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Old 07-30-2013, 06:37 PM   #1
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Advice on roof leak before purchase

Ok, I'm buying a 98 FW Discovery from FL (400 miles away). We've agreed on a price (subject to my inspection) and I've sent a small deposit. I hired a local mobile RV tech to go do an inspection and received a good report from him. I had a few scheduling issues so I haven't been able to go down to pick it up yet.

Alas, I called them today to schedule a pick up time for Thursday. However, they had some disturbing news for me. It has been very rainy in FL lately. They say that the skylight/fan/whatever in the bathroom began leaking. This had to have occurred sometime after my inspector was there last week.

They immediately took the MH to a repair center. They parked the coach inside and placed big fans in it to dry it out. The repair center is going to replace the skylight and determine the extent of the damage, including removing some panel (wall?). They also plan to re-coat the roof with some roll-on coating. The seller is obviously paying for the repair work.

How concerned should I be? Should this be a deal breaker? We haven't signed the bill of sale yet, but I have already added the MH to my insurance policy. What would you do?
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Old 07-30-2013, 06:47 PM   #2
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I would hire the RV tech to make a return trip to check out at the damage.
I would be VERY concerned with how long it actually had been leaking and hidden damage.
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:04 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by okgc View Post
I would hire the RV tech to make a return trip to check out at the damage.
I would be VERY concerned with how long it actually had been leaking and hidden damage.
Good advise!
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Old 07-30-2013, 09:44 PM   #4
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It could be something small and relatively insignificant or it could be a deal breaker.

As the inspector didn't report any staining of the ceiling, I suspect the former

But only you or an independent 3rd party can really verify the situation.

Can you talk to the manager at the repair shop and ask for his opinion?
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:28 PM   #5
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With all the other Fleetwood Discovery's on the market right now, why take a chance on buying one with a known water problem? I would not touch this one with a ten foot pole.
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Old 07-31-2013, 12:46 AM   #6
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I gather this is a private party sale. I also do not believe in coincidence. I would be willing to bet someone left the roof vent open through the rainstorms.

1) Are you absolutely certain that the local mobile RV tech that you hired to represent you and your interests has no business or personal relationship with the sellers?

2) What would I do? Depends. If you really want to buy this coach you've never seen, the first thing I would do would be to haul my ass down there right now (its only a 6-7 hr drive) and lay my eyes on the problem, with my legally responsible agent (RV inspector) right there beside me, and figure out just what the heck is going on. If you can't find a way to get involved with all this going on, then this coach is not that important, and I'd walk away.
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Old 07-31-2013, 06:35 AM   #7
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If I were going to have it looked at again, I would hire a new inspector with the thought the last one may have been incompetent enough to have missed this issue. Have him look over the entire coach and report back. A second set of eyes going over everything again won't hurt a thing and may provide insight that will save you the time and money to find something like this in person.

If you haven't yet, plan on getting the chassis looked at by a qualified shop. Most RV dealerships are totally clueless when it comes to chassis/running gear.
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Old 07-31-2013, 10:28 AM   #8
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I believe the skylight is over the shower in a 98 Discovery. Ours leaked and dripped into the shower stall. The Dicor around the skylight was cracked and water found it's way down. There was no damage to the walls or ceilings which is probably why the inspector didn't detect the problem. Of course I'm talking from experience on my 02' Discovery which could be totally different from this 98 Discovery. IMOP I wouldn't walk away from this deal until you hear from the inspector after the work is completed. I seriously doubt there's any collusion between the seller and the inspector. However, I wouldn't exchange any money until I personally inspected everything including a test drive.
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Old 07-31-2013, 10:47 AM   #9
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I've had that happen on my skylite as well. Water just dripped down the plastic into the tub. No evidence of a leak left on the ceiling at all.
Ben & Sharon
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:10 PM   #10
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It is my belief that all RVs leak some in the past, some now, and some later. It is a huge issue with RVs because even the ones that have a one piece roof have holes cut into the roof to install all manner of items. Vents being one of them. If the roofs were designed and built with an upturned flange, instead of simply a hole, there would be virtually no leaks. The fact that the current owner reported the problem to you, and is having it repaired, says to me that he is dealing with you in good faith. Your inspector may not have noticed a porblem because there was no evidence of staining, and it possibly wasn't raining when he was there. If you can speak to maintenance manager at the repair station and get his candid opinion that would be a good plan. For me, a small leak would not be a deal breaker unless there was evidence of a much more serious problem.

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leak, purchase, roof

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