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Old 10-14-2016, 02:39 PM   #31
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 447
I look at this a bit differently, If you need to ask others about their concerns, you probably are not ready to buy. Instinctively you seem to sense that your knowledge base and experience is too limited.

Reconsider buying and instead rent so you can gain some additional experience. And spend more time reading and investigating.

On the other hand, there are plenty of owners who were impatient and in a hurry to live the dream they see pictures of, bought and then discovered that they made a poor to bad decision, and then 6 months down the line traded-up or quit altogether. This is a valid way to gain experience, though a bit expensive.

Note: salesman and dealerships make a very good living from first buyers who come back within a year to trade up. The owners are shocked at the lousy trade-in value that is offered, but it really is only a new bank loan away at a bit higher payment.

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Old 10-16-2016, 04:13 PM   #32
Tinkerer and Putterer
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 321
New, Used or Rental purchase, I am going to pay for a mobile RV mechanic to go through the rig with a fine tooth comb, checking the appliances, looking for roof, slide and side wall condition etc etc. I also like to ask the technician what he is going to look for and to talk to me as he checks things to let me know what he is looking for, what he is seeing, and any recommendations. That way the 500.00 charge for the 4 hour walk thought and inspection is worth your time. Yes it takes that long. That 500.00 includes a tip if the mechanic does a good job sharing and inspecting. Some things I look for:

- pull the fridge and do a visual inspection, visual and functional test of all appliances.

- water pressure test

- Generator load test

- high pressure water test on external surfaces

- mechanical inspection of chassis

A good mobile mechanic will be happy to educate you and have an easy day of inspecting at his normal shop rate especially if you tip afterwards. Post inspection you also have someone to call if you get in a tight spot.

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Old 10-16-2016, 06:05 PM   #33
Sunseeker 3010DS
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: California
Posts: 73
Yep $500.00 is a real good investment especially when you can be saving tens of thousands on a used or rental unit

But at the end of the day its your call!!
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Old 10-16-2016, 09:18 PM   #34
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 249
We have 2 kids, aged 12 and 9. We looked at the FR3, 32DS?, I believe. It had a bunk and a couch mid-coach.

We have a bunkhouse fifth wheel right now and we do like it, but we were looking to upgrade to something with a larger living area. DH happened to step into this and really liked, not so much, we will still have to tow a car behind us.
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Old 10-16-2016, 10:19 PM   #35
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 447
Hello HappyGuy,
My process would be a bit different:

If it is out of state, I would hire an RV inspector and request a written report. I think the cost, depending on the level of inspection is between $300 to $1100. Before I got on the plane I would want some confirmation that the coach looks like the pictures of the coach, no smell of smoke or pets, or evidence of such, no evidence of a water leak or damage, etc. However, an RV inspector is not a chassis expert or diesel engine expert.

Local unit Or after traveling to the unit with the written report in hand, I would access a PDI checklist and go through the unit myself. Top of my list would be looking for evidence of a current or past leak. I would look under the chassis to see how much rust there is, look at the DOT date on the tires and decide to replace somewhere in the 5-7 year range regardless how they look on the outside.

If all is going well, I would hire a leak detection service to do a pressurized soap bubble test, pull sample of all fluids and send them off to the lab, take the unit to a chassis center and then take the unit to a diesel mechanic. They have test equip on hand for that and the expertise.

Confirm the unit can be transferred to me, do a VIN check to see what pops up (both as to accidents or theft), if not too old call the mfg and see what they know about the coach as to the work done on it,, call the current mechanic (with owners permission) and discuss what they have done and recommended be done with the coach.

Keep an eye open for screwy stuff. Crappy body damage repairs, make do repairs, problems that should have been fixed if the owner was on his game. Recently looked at a Newmar Ventana. The valances had been replaced in the main section, but not in the bathroom or bedroom...sketchy. Damage on the underside of some of the baggage compartment. Lots of rust underneath, 10 year old tires.

Be sure to get the repair history if available or phone access to all prior mechanics.

Do a general internet search on the year, make, and model of the coach for recalls and problems. If there is a problem with that model coach it likely was discussed in one of the forums.

Be sure to look the owner in the eyes when you ask him why he is selling the coach.

We'll that's enough info for tonight.

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Old 10-17-2016, 06:56 PM   #36
Tinkerer and Putterer
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 321
True, if the rig passed the coach inspection I would then be looking at getting a mechanics inspection on the drive section. The important thing here is that the inspection should be performed regardless of whether the rig is new, used or a rental. Never take the current owners word for it if for no other reason than your own peace of mind. Philos3 went into more detail and I like the suggested tests. Especially the bubble test.

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