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Old 10-28-2020, 09:51 PM   #1
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No Records History - AT What Point Might a Purchase Make Sense?

I went to look at a 2000 Monaco Dynasty Regent 40' w/ 2 slides, 350 h.p. ISC. This would be my first Class A D.P., but I do have a good amount of time in 5th wheels, TTs and slide in campers. Recognizing my lack of experience and qualification to evaluate a rig of this complexity and age, I plan on a professional pre-purchase inspection, including fluid analysis. It has around 130,000 miles on the odometer and the Onan 7500 Quiet Diesel has 5100 hours on the hobbs meter. The seller is a "flipper." I believe he bought this unit at auction. Suffice it to say, the maintenance and repair history is unknown. It seems to be unmodified. There are telltale signs of prideful ownership, including a professional roof re-seal, but no direct evidence of leak history. Somebody pulled out the original flooring and laid an engineered hardwood plank throughout. Adds a very modern look. The up-front seats have some age related cracking (they would be reupholstered if we buy). The seller spent considerable time and money to repair the dash A/C, which now blows chilly-cold. Everything seems to work, but I haven't had time for a deep-dive yet.

It may have a lot of its life stored under cover, since the exterior finish is clean, unfaded and shiny. I did not yet analyze the tire date codes, but all six have an estimated 95% tread with zero sidewall checking. I would call the coach's overall condition "good." I'm seeing similar units posted for ask prices from mid-40s to the 70s, with one "sold" that had been asking $101,000. NADA retail by my count of options runs from $37,000 to $45,000. I have to assume the higher priced rigs were impeccably maintained with upgrades and came with A through Z of records.

With all that said, if the price is right, is a recordless coach that passes a thorough PPI worth a gamble? My target acquisition price is $35,000, assuming no big ticket items found on the inspection. I'd be prepared to spend a bit to dial the coach in once in our possession. The entire philosophy is to get into a comfortable cruising diesel coach that's lien free. Obviously, a 20 year old rig is going to require some attention, but that will be offset by having no payments. I expect many of the engaged owners on here insist on good records when considering a used coach; indeed, that's preferable, but is there a price point where that takes a back seat?

All thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 10-28-2020, 10:10 PM   #2
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Oil analysis and a good inspection is about all one can do.
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Old 10-28-2020, 10:18 PM   #3
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Hummmmm
Wonder WHY it was sold at auction.
Seller a 'flipper'

To me those are RED Flags

1st thing I would do is get the VIN and run a VHR (Vehicle History Report)
https://www.dmv.org/vehicle-history/why-run.php
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Old 10-28-2020, 10:37 PM   #4
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I think you said that the coach has 130K miles on it. Tires, if they are expired are an expensive investment. I bought my coach for $26K almost 4 years ago with 62K miles on it. My generator has about 900 hours on it . My coach has records, manuals, etc., but there are gaps in the receipts especially the last owner who didn't do anything to it and no records for the time of his ownership, which was thankfully a short time. I don't think I would pay that much for a year 2000 coach that is an orphan. (Not made any more.) Have you driven the coach? With no records, I would want a full MH inspection by a qualified inspector. I would make any sale contingent on a good transmission and engine oil analysis. That being said, I would also make sure that the oil analysis samples are done with oil that is not freshly changed so you get a good, true picture of the state of the drive train. If the oils are freshly changed, that would be a red flag to me because you won't know the condition of the drive train. If the seller flipped the coach, that means he probably did stuff to make it look as enticing as possible to buyers. He might have replaced the floor to cover up something? Be sure and check the basement bays for signs of rust and damage. Good luck!
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Old 10-29-2020, 07:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
Hummmmm
Wonder WHY it was sold at auction.
Seller a 'flipper'

To me those are RED Flags

1st thing I would do is get the VIN and run a VHR (Vehicle History Report)
https://www.dmv.org/vehicle-history/why-run.php
It could have been a trade in that a large dealer didn't want to deal with. 20 years old, fairly high mileage, hard to finance. The dealer got it cheap, so they flipped it for quick cash.

We have a neighbor who used to be a car dealer and he floor plans a guy who buys RV's like this all the time. We drive by his lot daily and inventory seems to rotate frequently. Most are older quality DP's similar to the OP
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Old 10-29-2020, 07:22 AM   #6
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Nada value on older coaches in not really accurate. I believe it is based on age and mileage depreciation not sales comps. I would be leary of buying from a non-rv'ing flipper but if you get a comprehensive inspection you will have a better idea of what it may need.
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Old 10-29-2020, 09:28 AM   #7
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I purchased a low mileage (~11,500 miles) DP a little over a year ago from a Texas dealer who represents the brand. The unit looked good overall and I trusted the dealer to go through it prior to delivery and change fluids, etc. It came with absolutely no service history. After buying it, I have purchased new tires, replaced the radio (since the backup camera image failed), replaced the kitchen faucet, replaced a water drain line in the kitchen, replaced the Onan exhaust pipe and hangers, replaced hydraulic lines, replaced the broken front suspension air bags, replaced the front leveling jack valves, made numerous adjustments to doors and cabinets, replaced the main slide-out components, replaced the water system Anderson valve, and probably other things I cannot remember off the top of my head.

From my experience with this, I would not buy another used RV without a detailed service history. I think deferred maintenance issues can quickly creep up on you even if a PPI gives it a clean bill of health.
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Old 10-29-2020, 09:42 AM   #8
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There are a lot of coaches of that time frame available. For your first DP, I don't think it a good idea to buy one with the those miles, gen hours and no service records. You could dig a little deeper into it, but I would keep looking for something with a known history. DP's require more service as they age. Who knows what attention it has had? Possibly, through a VIN search, you could locate and contact the previous owner/owners. They could tell you what they had done and would have no reason to mislead you. Without previous information, I would pass and keep looking.
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Old 10-29-2020, 09:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCSuper View Post
It could have been a trade in that a large dealer didn't want to deal with. 20 years old, fairly high mileage, hard to finance. The dealer got it cheap, so they flipped it for quick cash.

We have a neighbor who used to be a car dealer and he floor plans a guy who buys RV's like this all the time. We drive by his lot daily and inventory seems to rotate frequently. Most are older quality DP's similar to the OP
I agree that this is a likely scenario. I can see fathom it being traded in for 25K, on paper, when in all reality the dealer has about 10K in it. Quick sale to a flipper for 15K and an undesireable (in their minds) unit isn't tying up space on their lot. Car dealers do this all the time with older, high mileage vehicles. They go to auction and often end up on "sled" lots.
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Old 10-29-2020, 11:49 PM   #10
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Thanks to all for the thoughtful responses. I found an accredited inspector that is very thorough. His requirements of the seller seem reasonable but are extensive (full hook-ups, room for slide deployment, fuel for a one hour run on both main engine and genset, fridge powered up for min 12 hrs. in advance, jacks deployed to level, and on from there. It seems the seller is not up for that level of effort. That's a show-stopper. We'll see how it sorts out when push comes to shove. I am falling back on my inclination that a well-loved and documented coach is the way to go. I'm still in the game on this one, as I want to get to know the inspector better. Sounds like he's willing to give a verbal "let's dig into it" or "walk away" after a cursory look. The deepest level inspection is going to run me over $1000 before fluid analysis, so it's not child's play. I'll post back to this thread with outcome, one way or another.
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Old 10-30-2020, 12:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zippinbye View Post
Thanks to all for the thoughtful responses. I found an accredited inspector that is very thorough. His requirements of the seller seem reasonable but are extensive (full hook-ups, room for slide deployment, fuel for a one hour run on both main engine and genset, fridge powered up for min 12 hrs. in advance, jacks deployed to level, and on from there. It seems the seller is not up for that level of effort. That's a show-stopper. We'll see how it sorts out when push comes to shove. I am falling back on my inclination that a well-loved and documented coach is the way to go. I'm still in the game on this one, as I want to get to know the inspector better. Sounds like he's willing to give a verbal "let's dig into it" or "walk away" after a cursory look. The deepest level inspection is going to run me over $1000 before fluid analysis, so it's not child's play. I'll post back to this thread with outcome, one way or another.

It's one thing not to have records on a vehicle, it's another to fail to cooperate with an inspection.... big red flag in my opinion...

I'll be interested to see how this plays out... but I would be in the wind at this point...
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Old 10-30-2020, 07:54 AM   #12
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Whether it has records or not would not impact my decision. When I bought my used DP, I performed all the required maintenance for a coach of that age and mileage. Did most of it myself (not hard...YouTube is great resource). But at least I take comfort in knowing when it was done and it was done right.

I can't give you any estimate on the value. But there is a website called RV Value and Pricing that is very useful. You will pay $75 for an accurate market appraisal (which includes the true wholesale and trade-in values). This will tell what the "flipper" probably paid for it. It is worth the $ - NADA is not to be trusted by buyers.
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Old 10-30-2020, 08:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zippinbye View Post
Thanks to all for the thoughtful responses. I found an accredited inspector that is very thorough. His requirements of the seller seem reasonable but are extensive (full hook-ups, room for slide deployment, fuel for a one hour run on both main engine and genset, fridge powered up for min 12 hrs. in advance, jacks deployed to level, and on from there. It seems the seller is not up for that level of effort. That's a show-stopper. We'll see how it sorts out when push comes to shove. I am falling back on my inclination that a well-loved and documented coach is the way to go. I'm still in the game on this one, as I want to get to know the inspector better. Sounds like he's willing to give a verbal "let's dig into it" or "walk away" after a cursory look. The deepest level inspection is going to run me over $1000 before fluid analysis, so it's not child's play. I'll post back to this thread with outcome, one way or another.
Sounds like youíve got a good inspector. Most rv inspectors arenít up to inspecting a DP, but they know travel trailers well. You might want to discuss the inspection process thoroughly with the seller. It seems many sellers misunderstand the inspection process, causing them to baulk.

Iím in the camp of buying without records is okay, as long as you can get a good inspection completed and coach shows well.
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Old 10-30-2020, 08:33 AM   #14
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We had a Class C for ~8 years and started to look at trading up and started looking for a Class A DP. We spent ~3 years taking our time to figure out what we wanted and value of the used coaches.

We happened to be in FL and saw an add for a coach that looked too good to be true so we stopped in to look at it. The dealer was a transport guy who would buy coaches from the bank when they were repo'ed, he picked and chose which coaches he bought.

When we walked inside both my wife and I were floored, it was a nice coach, all solid Walnut cabinetry, 2 slides, lots of bells and whistles. I was comfortable doing my own inspection (20 years heavy equipment maintenance) and I spend ~3 hours crawling over and under the rig testing all the appliances etc. Could not find anything wrong other then the tires were aging out and the front had a wear pattern that could indicate an alignment issue. Went back home to TN and thought about it for a couple days and called the dealer and closed the deal. First thing I did was take it to the Cummins shop for a complete inspection and service, I knew the manager and when they were done he said the rig was "Cherry" and I got a heck of a deal (I paid ~50% of nada). I then had tires installed and a front alignment. BTW, the rig I bought came with no maintenance records but appeared to be well taken care of.



The Dynasty your are looking at is one step up from my Windsor, it is a nice rig and probably had and MSRP of ~$240K. It has a full steel frame and because of this rides (floats) and drives great. If you can get the inspection done and it come out positive I wouldn't hesitate to to buy for the right price.

Things to look for or consider would be the refrigerator, If original it probably has the 1200 Norcold and should have had a recall done on it. That old of is on it's last legs (mine failed last year) and I just replaced with a residential.

With the mileage I'd make sure to take a good look at the brakes, depending on previous owners they still could be plenty of meat on the shoes or they could be wore out. My brakes are in good condition with ~107K miles on them and my guess is I still have +50K miles left before I need to consider changing/service.
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