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Old 06-20-2013, 11:46 PM   #1
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1st RV- 2011 2301- what to look for?

Hi all,

I'm new to RV'ing, and am looking to purchase our family's first RV- a 2011 Forester 2301.

I've shopped and found a dealer that is a distance from us that has a low miles unit that someone traded in and appears to be in good condition.

Having never purchased anything without being able to inspect it in person, let alone an RV, can someone educate me as to what both in general and specific to this particular model I should look for?

Also, with it being a used unit, how can I make sure that I'm not driving off the lot with a problem that I have no recourse to have the dealer fix since I'm half the country away?

Any words of wisdom/advice to put me at ease about doing something like this would be appreciated by this newbie and his family.

Thanks!
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:52 PM   #2
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This is a great RV Inspection checklist that includes what to take with you.
I will add to it by saying...Press on every wall in every area, every few inches, inside and out to make sure there are no "soft" spots. Same with floor and ceiling. That would indicate rot from a prior or existing leak. If it is a laminated trailer, stand back and look down the sides of the exterior...if you see bubbles or waves, move on...that is delamination...

RV Inspection Checklist.

Good luck and happy camping.
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:56 AM   #3
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The way I read the beginning of your third paragraph is that you might buy this without looking at it. Not sure if that's correct or not (its been done before). If that's the plan, it's definitely not recommended.
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:14 AM   #4
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Besides having someone knowledgeable inspect the unit. Request the Dealer provide you a warranty on the RV components in the deal. Make the warranty part of the deal and not something you must pay for separately. Depending on the chassis manufacture there may still be warranty left on it. Ford E350 & E450 are 3 years/36,000 everything and 5 years/60,000 on major components. The RV is normally only a 1 year warranty but some components could be longer depending on the manufacture.

Test all RV components before purchasing. They should have a site you can hookup the RV and spend sometime in it during the day.
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Old 06-21-2013, 04:18 PM   #5
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Thanks for the link- I will be sure to check out the unit thoroughly using that checklist. All the pictures seem to show no apparent damage to the walls/roof- pictures of the roof show all seams in good condition with no cracking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bodzcampers View Post
This is a great RV Inspection checklist that includes what to take with you.
I will add to it by saying...Press on every wall in every area, every few inches, inside and out to make sure there are no "soft" spots. Same with floor and ceiling. That would indicate rot from a prior or existing leak. If it is a laminated trailer, stand back and look down the sides of the exterior...if you see bubbles or waves, move on...that is delamination...

RV Inspection Checklist.

Good luck and happy camping.
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Old 06-21-2013, 04:20 PM   #6
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For sure I'd inspect it before purchasing the unit- if nothing else, I'd put a refundable deposit down and finalize payment once I've been there and inspected it in person... I'm wondering if there are any particular areas that I can have the dealer take pictures of before traveling out there to look at the unit so that I can tell if its worth my time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulmlac View Post
The way I read the beginning of your third paragraph is that you might buy this without looking at it. Not sure if that's correct or not (its been done before). If that's the plan, it's definitely not recommended.
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Old 06-21-2013, 04:23 PM   #7
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The unit is a 2011, and the dealer did mention the two Ford chassis/engine warranties being in effect.

My question regarding the warranty is if I pay for something like that, how do I end up getting something serviced under warranty if the dealer is in Indiana and I'm in Colorado? Do I have to go back through them to arrange service, or can it be done through a local dealer?

Typically what do dealer warranties cover? Are they filled with exclusions and exceptions like car extended warranties to the point where they're not really worth much? Is there any sort of warranty through Forest River that transfers to me, or that I can purchase through the factory (I believe that the dealer selling the unit is a FR dealer)?

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Originally Posted by trwmodela View Post
Besides having someone knowledgeable inspect the unit. Request the Dealer provide you a warranty on the RV components in the deal. Make the warranty part of the deal and not something you must pay for separately. Depending on the chassis manufacture there may still be warranty left on it. Ford E350 & E450 are 3 years/36,000 everything and 5 years/60,000 on major components. The RV is normally only a 1 year warranty but some components could be longer depending on the manufacture.

Test all RV components before purchasing. They should have a site you can hookup the RV and spend sometime in it during the day.
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Old 06-21-2013, 04:31 PM   #8
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Maybe bring a friend that owns an RV, might be able to give you some insight on what to look for.
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Old 06-21-2013, 04:45 PM   #9
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The dealer would be writing a warranty through one of the Insurance Companies. Dealers do not have warranties exclusive to them. You want a warranty that permits you to get repairs/service at any authorized locations around the Country. Example: you have a Dometic refrigerator issue, just a find the closest dealer that is authorized to make the repair. Sometimes you will find Mobile RV Techs that come to you and can make the repair.

Check out Good Sam Warranties as an example and you can see what they cover. They are just one of many Companies that provide RV warranties.

http://www.goodsamesp.com/default.aspx
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Old 06-22-2013, 01:26 PM   #10
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Just my opinion but I wouldn't consider a used RV in Indiana if I lived in Colorado. The only exception would be if it was something extremely unique. This isn't.

Here's why: I looked at a lot of used units and there is a lot of potential for things not to be right. Just a lot of question marks given the distance.

I would think there would be a good amount of used RV's in your area (although not sure what impact the recent fires there had on supply and demand).

As to the two warranties the dealer talked about: One is the 3 / 36 bumper the bumper chassis warranty. There is also a 5 / 100 (???) power train warranty. Any Ford dealer could handle that work.

But to be clear, the greater likelihood for something to be / go wrong is with the "house" portion and, again, it's just a long distance away in my opinion.
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'94 Coleman Cedar Pop Up
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