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Old 12-01-2018, 11:03 PM   #1
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What to look for during purchase?

Hello all! New to the forum, been lurking awhile. We're picking up our FR3 32DS this week and are very excited to start hitting the road with the family and seeing the US/Canada! We've only taken 1 RV trip, in a Thor Four Winds 30D, but are eager to get started and learn as much as we can.

My first question -- is there anything specific I should keep an eye out for, check, evaluate, etc. as a part of the walkthrough/pickup process? We're buying one of the last 2018's on the lot so it's probably spent the year on the lot. Has some miles on it from a few shows they took it to, but otherwise seems ready to roll.

What would you look for and inspect before signing papers? Thanks!
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Old 12-01-2018, 11:08 PM   #2
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every thing. plus about a 3 hour walk through and explanation of all systems so you understand how things function. or you will be wondering why your ac doesn't work off the batteries if you have never owned an rv before.
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Old 12-01-2018, 11:21 PM   #3
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every thing. plus about a 3 hour walk through and explanation of all systems so you understand how things function. or you will be wondering why your ac doesn't work off the batteries if you have never owned an rv before.
X2

Either videotape or take notes during your walkthrough and don't sign the papers until everything works. We would not sign the papers til everything worked and you should have seen the techs come out of the woodwork to get everything repaired in two hours. Then we signed the papers.
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Old 12-02-2018, 08:21 AM   #4
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Make sure to ask about any recalls and if they have been taken of. we purchased the last 17 32DS Feb this year and we even asked about recalls and dealer told there wasn't any, wrong! there was a recall for roof leaks. recall notice was issued September of 2017. just got it back yesterday after almost 4 months at factory to replace roof. there were other issues where coach was in shop numerous times. I am hoping everything is ok now. just be very, very thorough when going over coach before you sign and give them lots of money. wish we had.
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Old 12-02-2018, 01:46 PM   #5
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Before I buy (because I am cheap), I would suggest you search all over the internet for that year and model and see if the price can be brought down due to better offers elsewhere. Buying the first trailer you like at the local dealer may not be the best deal for you. Even if you have to drive a ways, you can stay in the trailer on the way home.

I have often seen local dealers asking $2-3k more than the same unit can be bought elsewhere, not to mention you may find one with more options (fireplace or second AC) for the same or better price. Be ruthless in your search for the best value, then hold the dealer's feet to the fire about their warranty and what they cover. Get it in writing.

Make sure all systems work before you drive it off the lot.

Have them adjust your hitch for you so the trailer is at proper height before you drive off the lot. Your maximum clout is before you sign the papers. After you sign it can sometimes be a case of "What did you say your name was again?"

If a dealer is unwilling to work with you before the sale, multiply that by ten for after the sale.
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Old 12-02-2018, 02:02 PM   #6
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During your walk through, your dealer will want to show you how things work.

Tell him/her "No." You tell me how to operate it and I'll do it myself.

Exercise EVERYTHING. This means everything, including the speaker-balance switch on the radio and the dimmer switch on the driver-console. Everything! (This is why people say it will take 3 hours to do the walk through.)

Have them bring out an electrical receptical tester. Test every electrical outlet so you know which ones work on the inverter and which are strictly on shore power or generator.

Ask them to check the air pressure in all tires and watch them do it. I got mine home and one of the dully tires was 'clocked' wrong and I couldn't get to the valve stem. Had to pull the wheel and rotate it.

Checking the air pressure will also assure the beauty rings (chrome wheel covers) don't obstruct the valve stems.

If they have difficulty checking the air, have them add valve stem extensions. You don't really want to pull the chrome covers just to check the air pressure.
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Old 12-02-2018, 02:23 PM   #7
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[QUOTE=McCormickJim;1983379

If they have difficulty checking the air, have them add valve stem extensions. You don't really want to pull the chrome covers just to check the air pressure.[/QUOTE]


THIS!


While it may not seem like a big deal, it really is!


And what everyone else said, X 100.
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Old 12-02-2018, 03:31 PM   #8
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new rv's OOOOOOOH!

be picky ,catch the defects now! I have seen (as most rv folks do) all kinds of braindead items fresh from the dealers. if you have a hot water tank make sure the anode rod is A. installed - B. new and C. the water flows through it . Also check the date on the Tires ,be sure they are the same year or only 1 yr old as the rig they are installed on . most wheels are not covered by the dealer unless they installed them as an option from a 3rd party (lionshead,etc) even then you will be dealing with them not the dealer. If it has sat on the lot for a year find out why! Many RV owners find out to late that the rig they just bought and loved was a factory or dealer fixer upper ! damaged during delivery/transport or defective from the start and returned or traded for a different one .Remember buyer beware the dealer is under no obligation to inform you of any recall/defect known or unkown to them -you are also under no obligation to patronize them either ,so be ready to walk away from a bad deal regardless of what the dealer says he/she will do "after" you sign on the line . if all fails and you already did and you are not getting help from the dealer or mfg. your state attorney general maybe of help.
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Old 12-02-2018, 05:02 PM   #9
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Find and attend an RV Boot Camp BEFORE you buy. MANY (most?) of your questions will be answered at RVBC. The Escapees RVBC is EXCELLENT, usually run over a weekend. Other groups offer their own version of RVBC (FMCA, RVSEF, RV~Dreams etc). Some go as long as eight days (more social activities). Mistakes made with RVs are often expensive and, sometimes dangerous. RVBC will explain and demystify all the systems found on a modern RV. RVBC graduates are smarter RV buyers and safer RVers in general. Some insurance companies offer discounts to RVBC graduates. RVBC will be a wise investment in your RV lifestyle and, is WELL worth the time and money. Attendees can stay locally (motels or, camping cabins) and drive in to the event each day. Just DO it; you'll be happy you did!
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Old 12-02-2018, 05:43 PM   #10
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Don't let "very excited to start hitting the road" cause you to do something you will regret later. Make sure everything is the way you want it before you sign papers and leave the dealer. If this is in Indiana it is most likely winterized. Insist the dealer dewinterizes it and demos the water system then rewinterizes it. Many dealers will tell you to sign and take the unit then after you have used it for a while, you can bring it back for warranty work as you have a year. For many dealers, once you sign and leave they forget who you are. Your warranty repairs will go to the end of the line behind full price paying service. Before you sign you will be at the top of the list. If the dealer has the ability spend a night on the dealers lot actually using it before taking it home.

Enjoy it.

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Old 12-02-2018, 08:36 PM   #11
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Everything that as everyone has said. Slides electrical, jacks. Make sure the jacks retract automatically if you pop the emergency brake. Only do that with the slides in. Make sure the slides arenít rubbing on anything like wood on wood. All plumbing. In side and out. Make sure the water pump isnít leaking. All the outlets as suggested. Air conditioning. Heat pump. Furnace. Hot water heater. I videod everything for mine. It was about 2.5 hours. Donít sign anything until you go over everything. Donít let them pressure you into that. Get up on the roof make sure there are no cracks or leaks.
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Old 12-02-2018, 09:34 PM   #12
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can't get it all.

And in the end, have the mind set, you did your best. You will find things long after your purchase and be on your own. Fix it and enjoy your new toy.
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Old 12-02-2018, 10:26 PM   #13
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I sugguest:
Do everything suggested above.
Do not let them tell you things can't be tested because it's already winterized.
Take your time no matter what.

Read this:Forest River Forums - Downloads - PDI Checklist
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:23 AM   #14
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Congratulation on your new purchace,

We took delivery of our new Vibe TT this year and two things I now regret not dealing with are: We got very few owners manuals with the TT and no one from FR wants to help me get them. How can you maintain the unit without them. Make sure you get them. They should be in there from when it was built. 2nd, Did you recieve any special tools for your unit? The tools to retract your awnings and stableizers and tounge jack should be there. Accuslide tells me that the tool leaves the factory with every unit but I didn't get mine. The dealer will sell you one. Imagine that.
Hope you have years of HAPPY CAMPING
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Old 12-03-2018, 04:05 PM   #15
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We took delivery of our new Vibe TT this year and two things I now regret not dealing with are: We got very few owners manuals with the TT and no one from FR wants to help me get them. How can you maintain the unit without them. Make sure you get them. They should be in there from when it was built. 2nd, Did you recieve any special tools for your unit? The tools to retract your awnings and stableizers and tounge jack should be there. Accuslide tells me that the tool leaves the factory with every unit but I didn't get mine. The dealer will sell you one. Imagine that.
Hope you have years of HAPPY CAMPING
Your dealer should have provided you the manuals. They should be the ones responsible for getting them for you.

What manuals did you not get, that you want?
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:47 PM   #16
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owners manuals

We had a rockwood TT before and its supplied manuals covered everything in that camper. I thought the new Vibe would also have the manuals, but i took delivery and never looked for them until i got home. The dealer said they were never in the TT from the factory when I contacted them later.
These are the ones I am missing that I feel should be included.
The range hood, the rooftop a/c unit, the converter, the electric panel,the axles and brakes, the new style stairway, the electric slide (AccuSlide), according to the on-line manual all accuslide units leave the factory with a flexible manual operation tool with them. I did not get it. I did not get manuals for the electric awning, the electric stabilizers, the remote control system, all the plumbing fixtures, the entry door, the windows, the roof membrane, the tires, the automatic lp gas valve, the LED light fixtures, the c/o detector. I also did not get the manual for the camper, which would lay out simple maintenance items like where the winterization valves are. This is a large list but these are important in order to keep the camper in top condition. I contacted FR Vibe and they told me to copy the info from the internet. Does not seem right.
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Old 12-04-2018, 06:18 PM   #17
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One additional thing. Get a "build sheet" FR ships s multi color build sheet with ever RV they ship. It lists the make, model and serial number for every OEM item in the RV. Note much of the unit is OEM equipment. This information is invaluable when you need troubleshooting help or need to order parts. Many dealers do not provide this unless you push them. Their solution to a problem is "bring it in and we will check it".
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Old 12-04-2018, 06:44 PM   #18
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Again the dealer should have requested those from FR , when they accepted the trailer and did the PDI.
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Old 12-04-2018, 09:43 PM   #19
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Thanks y'all, this is really helpful! I'm purchasing from a little town you might have heard of called Elkhart, Indiana No delivery/transport to worry about being just a few miles from the factory. The dealer seems to have a pretty solid relationship with Forest River, so I feel comfortable with them and have been impressed so far. I also emailed in advance to check on a few things (is it winterized? for example) and they said they had already de-winterized it and would re-do after the walkthrough. And that we would do a full walkthrough before any paperwork.

I feel good about the price, nearly 20K below the 2019's so most year 1 depreciation has been absorbed and only about 5K above used 2017's.

I've got a list of things to keep in mind and check on tomorrow thanks to you all. Much appreciated! I'm sure the questions will continue as I learn more about the FR3, owning a Class A and life on the road!
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:30 PM   #20
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Back home with our new 32DS - inspection went well. Discovered the passenger side camera was inoperable while testing everything so they are mailing me a new one. Asked for a few other things to be taken care of before I left, and they re-winterized it as well. Terrific experience at the dealer today!

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