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Old 10-17-2021, 08:19 PM   #1
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Unhappy Verbal Agreement between buyer and seller

Hello all. I am currently in a situation with my recent purchase of a class A pusher. I am seeking advice as to what would be a fair option for both parties. I will try to explain it as simple as I can. I bought this rig with the understanding that the owner was going to have the generator repaired. Seems the mobile mechanic he used had a hard time to get it to run, he ended up throwing lots of parts at it, over $3k so he did attempt to make it right. On the day I went to pick it up the generator was in fact running and seem to have been running well So I did not hesitate so I paid him and took delivery. By the time I got home the generator was smoking beyond my belief. I called him he said its probably because it hasn't been run in so long. Well days went by weeks went by and problem did not go away and actually started to die after running for short periods of time. Then one day it would not start. Of course I talked to him he feels no responsibility. I have it a shop now they told me it has 2 dead cylinders. They found large amounts of starting fluid in the crankcase. Seem person who worked on it last attempted to start using a lot of starting fluid, that destroyed the engine.
Well a replacement generator is in the $12k range and to top it off backordered 6-9 months. My question or advice I am looking for is am wrong to think he is still responsible for it at the very least half. I feel bad it was not his fault he put his trust on the mobile mechanic. I don't see how I should be stuck with this entire bill for the generator. I am considering taking him to small claims court, I feel I dont have anything to loose. I would like to hear from anyone who may or may not have had any experiences with something like this.
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Old 10-17-2021, 08:25 PM   #2
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Was there a sales contract?
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Old 10-17-2021, 08:36 PM   #3
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Unless there was a warranty provided to you I would say the seller has no further liability. I know it doesn’t sit well , but you bought a used RV. Personally, I would suck it up and move on.
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Old 10-17-2021, 08:37 PM   #4
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If the Bill of Sale said "as is" it's your problem. You also wrote:

Well days went by weeks went by and problem did not go away and actually started to die after running for short periods of time. Then one day it would not start.
Had you raised the issue in the first few days, preferably as you arrived home and saw the smoke, and gotten a negotiated resolution in writing somehow, you may have had a chance.

Right now the onus will be on you to prove that you did not use the starting fluid because "weeks went by".

Good luck,

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Old 10-17-2021, 08:40 PM   #5
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The verbal agreement is worth about as much the paper it is written on.

That said, the primary principle at play is caveat emptor. Buyer beware.

Unless you can prove the seller intentionally tried to defraud you, you don't have much recourse. As you stated, he made a good faith effort to have it repaired and you accepted that repair.

To be honest, it's your issue to deal with at this point.

It's not what you want to hear, but based on your telling, that's where it's at.
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Old 10-17-2021, 08:41 PM   #6
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You bought it used with no guarantee.

You were satisfied with the operation at final inspection, paid and drove away.

Weeks went by...

I think you should move on...

The prior owner has no idea what could have been done to it once you left (sorry).

Sad - sometimes things sneak by all of us...
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Old 10-17-2021, 08:43 PM   #7
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Unless you've got a warranty it's an as is sale.

Did it make power while it was running? If so the engine is the only problem, rebuild it, find a rebuild or used one. You'll save a bunch of money and have it a lot sooner.
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Old 10-17-2021, 08:46 PM   #8
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Sounds like it ran when you bought it. Unless you have a warranty it is your responsibility. Would you feel the same if the ac quit tomorrow? It worked when you bought it. Best to forget about the seller helping you.
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Old 10-17-2021, 09:13 PM   #9
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As is where is.. unless written warranty in ohio.. verbal or not.. must be in writing.. salesperson can say it matches color of your eyes.. no count.. I am not atty.. but if I were you.. find another shop.. get a second hobby.. learn to turn wrenches.. you can read.. so get a 15.00 book on small eng repair.. parts probably 800.00 from what you describe.. basic hand tools.. May need to rent some.. or hit rv salvage yards.. you might turn this experience into a learning experience.. and have fun along the ride.. that's what rving is about.. we fix things.. they break all the time.. and when we are at a loss.. we turn here.. to our FRIENDS and families that give us a push. Tell us their story and get opinions on how to make repairs.. I have been trying to get mine going for 4yrs now.. with so many resources here.. the ride has been great.. and I have never left the driveway.. so.. tear it down.. tell us what you find.. we will chime in.. good luck and keep us posted.. you can call your local court house and talk to a real atty for free.. just to see.. bet you will not be happy with what you hear.. sorry.. or drop 5,000.00 on atty and court fees.. and see what happens..
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Old 10-17-2021, 09:44 PM   #10
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It's your responsibility now. Once you paid final amount and took possession it's yours.

You can use your MH just fine without the genny until you decided how you want to get it fixed. Me personally, I'd do what donr103 above said. I'd take it slow, study up, take pics, post them here, make a plan and fix it myself. They really aren't that hard to work on. It would be your first baptism working on your coach. I would NOT pay 12K for a new one or wait 2yrs.
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Old 10-17-2021, 10:22 PM   #11
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Leave the seller alone, this is your problem.

You live in Ca. and used vehicle sales are “as is” unless provisions are in writing. Seller made good faith attempt to repair. Generator ran at time of purchase. Both you and the seller believed the generator was repaired. You accepted the repair, sale was completed. End of seller’s responsibility.

From your description, the generator could have very well been properly repaired when you bought it, but it suffered internal damage from oil diluted by starting fluid. That damage was due to repeated running, and the seller had no control over that.

Get it repaired and move on.
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Old 10-17-2021, 11:16 PM   #12
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Just to let you know, there are used generators available for way less than the 12K you are talking about . Check out here
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Old 10-18-2021, 12:10 AM   #13
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"As-is, where is" UNLESS the seller knowingly and intentionally made misleading or untruthful representations to a buyer regarding condition and/or operability prior to sale. It seems the mechanic did little more than soak the generator with ether to start it. I would question the seller about the alleged $3k repair bill and obtain the receipts for that work. If the mechanic made X repairs to the generator and was paid for it, there is some expectation the issue's been resolved. Starting fluid is used somewhat sparingly--there's a reason it's called "starting" fluid, not "running" fluid! But if this "mechanic" used so much it pooled up in the crankcase, then he clearly has no idea what he's doing and has apparently caused real damage. Hopefully he's insured. Beware these "mobile technicians". Anyone with a '98 Mercury Mystique, two screwdrivers, and a pair of jumper cables can be one. You should probably seek advice from an attorney.

Edit: I just realized you have a diesel generator. If this mobile mechanic used ether starting fluid in it, it will likely need rebuilt. Would be much cheaper to locate a used generator. Ether is for gas combustion engines, whereas diesels are compression engines.
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Old 10-18-2021, 06:04 AM   #14
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Welcome to the RV world something always breaks. My opinion you bought it as is.
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