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Old 12-01-2013, 01:41 PM   #1
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Hello I am a newbie and sure could use some help

Ok I just put a deposit on a HTT. This will be our first.
We are experienced car campers. It is my wife, my 3 year old daughter and my large dog.
Looking to buy a 2002 21' Jayco Kiwi C from a dealer in PA for $3500.

There is some water damage on the ceiling and floor so I will have to repair that.
It seems like a fairly simple task, is it?
The leak has been fixed and it needs to pass a PA safety inspection before they sell it to me. They assure me that everything works however are selling it to me AS IS. Also I can not test the water/plumbing since it has been winterized.
They have a good reputation (I think) and have been in business a long time.
I have never towed anything so any advice there would help too.
I have a 2006 Toyota Tundra TRD with the tow package rated at
7500 lbs. So this HTT will fall well below my upper limits.
I am told I should purchase Sway bars and electronic brake controller any advice on that, make models etc.
Should I let the RV dealer I am purchasing the trailer from do that? Or buy on line and pay a mechanic or do myself.
They quoted me $695.00 for parts and labor.
I am about a 6 on a scale of 1-10 in being handy. My biggest issue is I don't have a lot of spare time. So unless I am going to save a considerable amount of money, my time with my daughter is worth about $40 an hour to me.
How do I know when to replace or re caulk the seals/gaskets?
My default is to just go crazy with silicone sealer.
Is a cover worth it? Brand recommendations? etc.

I could go on forever with my questions but......

When you were in my shoes what advice/questions did you wish had asked or gotten?

Thanks I appreciate any help.

Looking forward to being part of the community!
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Old 12-01-2013, 01:45 PM   #2
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Welcome to IRV2! It's great to have you join the gang!

I can't help with your questions, never having owned a TT, but I would be really cautious about this deal! It sounds like there may be many problems there, and the fact that you can't test the water systems is scary! JMHO

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette
Sometimes I sits and thinks, sometimes I just sits.....
2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 12-01-2013, 01:52 PM   #3
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There is No way I would buy a used RV with known water damage. HTT, are notorious for being light and using some light cheap materials, As such any water damage could exceed the cost of what your paying. Meaning you should be able to get a good one for not much more than what your paying for garbage. Once you open things up the damage can be far more extensive than you think costing you hundreds more. Not to mention the possibility of black mold which if present would render the trailer scrap unsuitable for occupancy. It is just not woirth the chance.
Don and Lorri
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:50 PM   #4
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Welcome and glad to meet you!
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Old 12-01-2013, 05:05 PM   #5
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OK not what I wanted to hear, but that is why I asked.
I am going to insist on checking all of the systems before I buy it.
They said I couldn't test water because of the weather. I think they are being lazy.
I also asked for a quote to fix the repair before I buy.
So being prudent if they don't give me a quote for the repair and wont let me test water I will pass.
I am guessing that the quote for the repair will tell me al lot. If it is reasonable I will just have them do it, if it isn't then I know it's junk.
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Old 12-01-2013, 05:19 PM   #6
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Welcome to the forum. You were wist to ask before buying rather than after.

I agree with the earlier post. I've read so many stories here about repairing water damage that turned out to be much more extensive that the owner had imagined that I would never think of buying anything that has even a whiff of water damage.

The mold issue is a real danger and could harm your family if present and there's no way of knowing if it's there until you rip up the carpet and open up the walls and ceiling. Once you find it, getting rid of it completely may not even be possible

Unless you're prepared to throw away $3500 dollars then you'd be well advised to find a unit without water damage! It's 14 years old and a 21 foot trailer, you have to be able to find a comparable deal somewhere. Keep looking and best of luck if you move forward on this
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Old 12-01-2013, 05:53 PM   #7
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It seems you are getting some advice that I am unable to offer.
John & Cathy R.
06 Pace Arrow 38L Workhorse W24
08 14 Lincoln MKX AWD 06 Lincoln Mark LT 4X4, 2020 Lincoln Corsair
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:09 PM   #8
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welcome to the forum you have been given good advise from people that have been there done this be thankful its going to save you a lot of piece of mind
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:46 PM   #9
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Welcome to IRV2. Not an experienced RVer but here is my two cents, or 1.9 cents to you. First always use your judgement. However water damage can very quickly escalate to structural damage. Structural damage is serious problems. Take an accident car, looks great outside but the repaired "totalled" probably will never track straight again, will probably have other systems acting up and will crumple like a tin can. Avoid structural problems. Mould can be VERY VERY dangerous to your health. We aren't talking a cold here.

Now the good news. There are literally tonnes of units out there. At $3500 not all will be great. Truthfully most won't be too good. However you can get a 8' last year pop up for under 4000 and a new HTT (small one) for under $10,000 new. What does that mean to you? With a little searching and waiting you will find one that is structurally sound. With a used unit I would personally get new mattress (can be cheap and save your back and health), thoroughly clean with disinfectant and of course small things can be repaired by a handy person. However the more you have working the easier and more cost effective it will be in the long run. Dated decor can be fixed easily. No TV? That's easy to fix (If you want a TV anyhoo). Adding a radio or coffee maker ha! Dealing with a rebuild. Well that's much more work and labour kills. Price out a kitchen, now price out the cabinets, counter, fittings, knobs etc. Tell me the difference in price. Ripping out most of a wall of a TT is 25% of its load bearing structure. Just food for thought. Maybe save up or wait for the right buy. You'll get the person just wanting to get out of camping with a decent TT at the right time. Or depending on finances/job security maybe buy that new $10,000 unit with some financing.

I can tell you a $7000 "project car" can be more trouble (and don't ask about time and money" then a $25,000 turn key classic. Ask me which one actually cost less and which one provides more enjoyment.

It's your decision but remember the initial repair is just part of the story. How about related systems down the road? Think carefully before parting with hard earned cash. Whenever I make a major purchase I take my purchase price and divide it by my billable hours that's my "brain equity" to get to that point. Now I take a list of "sweat equity" which will be more than their quote. Remember to check tires, if too old replace. You don't want that TT to dicate where your tow vehicle goes if the tire pops. Your daughter, wife and you are way to valuable for that. But hopefully your rig finds you and you get to enjoy the open flames. "Kumbuya!"
FREG/P under 45', over 300 hp under 600 lb ft torque.
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Old 12-01-2013, 08:42 PM   #10
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Sorry, I would probably pass on this also.
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Old 12-01-2013, 08:42 PM   #11
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I am certainly not an expert but on the positive side my son started out with 3K 10 year old As Is purchase with water and floor damage. He fixed the issues, performed maint checks on all of the appliances, buffed the outside until it looked new, used it for 2 years and turned around and sold it privately for double his purchase price. Used that money to purchase another As Is unit with some known issues , fixed them and now has a beautiful 27' unit that if he could probably double his money on again. On a scale of 10 my son is an 11 when it comes to being a jack of all trades which is a big plus.

If possible i would try and take a seasoned camper or a carpenter along to provide a second opinion prior to making the purchase. I truly understand staying within a budget and not going into debt... Good luck
Brian and Kim VanBuskirk
2008 Damon Tuscany 40 DP
Tow: 20" Trailer with Classic C3 Corvettes
Car Dolly: Mini Cooper Clubman
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:59 AM   #12
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Welcome to the forum and "Run Forest Run". The unknown extent of water damage is not how you want to enter the RV world...
Terry & Brenda - From the Iowa Banks of the Mighty Mississippi
2011 Winnie Journey 34y, Freightliner / Cummins , 2012 Chevy Colorado Toad

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Old 12-02-2013, 06:03 AM   #13
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if they wouldnt just warranty the water problem is fix, i would scape this deal, as plenty more out there.
Well Itasca got totaled. Just picking up a 2021 5th wheel, (first one). Arctic Wolf. Do miss my Diesel pusher.
IT Guy.
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