Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-19-2002, 01:56 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 29
Images: 6
MH pre-buy suggestions

I thought this thread might help, not only me, but others, who are thinking of MH ownership.
I would be interested in your thoughts of what to look for when inspecting a 'for sale' Motor Home. There are, of course, the obvious things, such as mileage, tires, interior, exterior condition, etc.
What should one consider regarding the generator? What is considered 'low hours'. How important is an overdrive (Gear Vendor)? How can someone who is not that mechanically inclined, determine that an engine is OK? Tranny? Window seals? Steering?
I'm sure there are other things to consider. Maybe some of you who have 'learned the hard way' might want to chime in.
Thanks
Jack
__________________

__________________
jkleven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2002, 02:42 PM   #2
Just a member
 
thenewkid64's Avatar
 
1978 28' Argosy 28
Tampa Bay , Florida
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 4,539
Images: 21
Send a message via AIM to thenewkid64 Send a message via Yahoo to thenewkid64 Send a message via Skype™ to thenewkid64
Jack,

I would have to say that the mechanicals are best left to the experts. Take it to a trusted or impartial mechanic that works on trucks and would have some familiarity with the drive train and suspension. You can do the visual inspection for leaks and such but to delve further you need to know what to look for. As to the generator, this is a specialty type of system and as such needs to be checked by a pro. (If you take it to Onan and there is a problem they will usually tell you to buy a new one). There are simple tests that you can do to check the generator by fully loading it to be sure it can put out the necessary power. Low hours are a relative term. Low hours on the generator or on the meter?? Also low hours can mean repair bills down the road as the seals may not have been lubed well over the years.

Mileage is also relative. Low miles is nice, but if it sat for years you could be dealing with a seals issue as well. A creampuff motor home IMHO would be one that was used regularly and well maintained. Mileage is not as much of an issue as maintenance. I would also use any non working appliance as a pricing issue and deduct the cost of replacing with new as the number to use off of the asking price. Remember these are not the normal rigs and as such sometimes the normal fix will not work.

As to the overdrive, Jacobs, banks systems. I don't have any of them, but I wish I did. If they are there test them if you can. Sometimes it is worth getting a little dirty and climbing under the rig for a look see.

Lastly, test EVERYTHING! It may take hours, but if you test it all and it works then you know what was working when you bought it. If they don't want you to test it all, then move on. Reluctance usually means that there is something lurking in the systems. Also this type of test will give you more to negotiate on.

Just my $.02 worth.
__________________

__________________
Brett G
WBCCI #5501 AIR # 49
-------------------------
1978 Argosy 28 foot Motorhome

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. -- Plato


thenewkid64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2002, 02:50 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
ALANSD's Avatar

 
1966 26' Overlander
Woodstock , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 8,462
There are so many systems to check, and inexperienced buyer will need professional help. It will be even more important if they are intending to buy a "classic" read "older" motorhome.
I have a lot of car and truck buying experience having been a used car appraiser for a dealership chain, and also growing up in a family that owned an automotive repair business, but even that did not adequately prepare me for all the things that could go wrong with a motor home.
One big factor for me in making my pourchase was that the previous owner had supplied me with numerous repair order copies to substantiate their maintenance and repair record.
As with buying a specialty car the maintenance records add a lot of value to the purchase.
One final thing, as a suggestion- keep a decent amount of money in your budget for unexpected repairs, as the previous owner (s)
may not be as concerned about some items as you are.
and finally -
Please no one tell any horror stories here about specific purchases- just generalize!!
__________________
ALANSD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2002, 08:48 PM   #4
Airstream Driver
 
PeterH-Airstreamer's Avatar

 
1997 30' Excella
1983 31' Airstream310
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,375
Images: 51
I'll chime in.
Would you buy a 1983 Chevy Van and drive it across the country without a very complete check-up?
The shiny aluminum is sometimes deceiving. A 20 year old chevy is still lurking under the hood.
And that is only the mechanical part of the equation.
My humble advise is:
be prepared to spend a lot of money to get it to the point you want it to be.
__________________
1990 29' Excella Trailer
1996 Airstream B190
1997 30' Excella Trailer
AIR #13
PeterH-Airstreamer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2002, 10:48 PM   #5
2 Rivet Member
 
Airstream402001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 32
purchase of MH and avatar

Hi Peter....
While I don't have anything to add to the remarks of Brett, Alan,and you, I must say that you have the neatest whatchayoucallit.......new avatar ?
Good to see you on the site again.
Cliff
WBCCI #6960
__________________
Airstream402001 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2002, 11:22 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
LOST , Hawaii
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 2,193
After your inspection and you are deciding how much it will cost to repair, double it because you have only found half of what is wrong. Then there are the "as long as this is apart I should change this......"

John
__________________
74Argosy24MH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2002, 06:35 AM   #7
Just a member
 
thenewkid64's Avatar
 
1978 28' Argosy 28
Tampa Bay , Florida
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 4,539
Images: 21
Send a message via AIM to thenewkid64 Send a message via Yahoo to thenewkid64 Send a message via Skype™ to thenewkid64
John,

I refer to that a "a bad case of the might as wells". I have not done projects due to the fact I get a bad case of the might as wells and the $50.00 dollar project turns into a $500.00 one
__________________
Brett G
WBCCI #5501 AIR # 49
-------------------------
1978 Argosy 28 foot Motorhome

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. -- Plato


thenewkid64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2002, 07:28 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
LOST , Hawaii
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 2,193
Brett

Isn't that the truth. It's contagious once you get started.

John
__________________
74Argosy24MH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2002, 09:48 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
ALANSD's Avatar

 
1966 26' Overlander
Woodstock , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 8,462
I also find it helps to make a prioritized list of what your wants and needs are. Then you will hopefully stay focused on what is really important to address. Until a surprise need pops up that is!!
Then its re-adjust the list, re-adjust the list.............kinda like life..
__________________
ALANSD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2002, 10:11 PM   #10
2 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 21
Thumbs up Great thread

What a great thread. As a recent MH purchaser I am reading with HUGE interest. As we get into using it, I'm sure we will have a few questions for the "collective intelligence and experience" out there.
Thanks to you all
__________________
Alice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2006, 01:26 PM   #11
3 Rivet Member
 
1982 28' Airstream 280
Norfolk , Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 135
The other thing to realize is that something will break on every trip. Get a good book on mh repairs and dig in. Part of the fun is learning how to fix the darn thing. If you don't, not only are you going to spend a bunch, but you never know if the mechanic is feeding you a line.

Steve
__________________
Geophilist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2006, 12:20 AM   #12
4 Rivet Member
 
Chuckles's Avatar
 
1983 31' Airstream310
Iwerne Minster , Dorset. UK
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 270
Buying from the "other side"

I too have just joined the club! Airstream Motor homes that is.

The main disadvantage I had was being in the UK, and that’s a no-no.

My advise to any overseas buyer is “go and see it” or at least track down someone who will to vet it for you.

I relied on photos and a couple of late night (for me) chats on the phone. Don’t get me wrong, Mary and I are very pleased with the 310 but there were a lot of omissions, like the dents and scratches and broken bits. Had I spent the extra (about $5-6,000) to fly over – (it had to be in the middle of nowhere!) I would have been a bit more prepared.

Thankfully the previous owners, PO,... had kept reasonable records, of service and oil changes. Little notes were made on some brochures indicating last attentions or bought new. .

Thank goodness for this Forum, as there has been a lot of advice and help out there, Thank you.

And yes! Someday it will be as good as new – I hope!

Chuck
Dorset UK
__________________
Chuckles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2006, 12:39 AM   #13
Rivet Master
 
1992 34' Limited
Falls Church , Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 945
Best of Luck Chuck!!!!!

I mean that!

We lived overseas ( Vienna) for 3+ years and missed the cars/vehicles more than anyting. Wierd but true.

I don't think that having a 'unique' vehicle over there does anything other than elevate your status. When you walk into the garage - it elevates the $ that you havea to spend - right???

It also appeals that there is a vehicle that %100 ( minus .0001) haven't seen
__________________
SilverToy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2006, 08:21 AM   #14
Rivet Master
 
Chaplain Kent's Avatar
 
1994 30' Excella
Currently Looking...
Milwaukee , Wisconsin
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,934
I know another cliche but here goes. Your purchase price is only the down payment. You need to love the motor home. Do not be deceived that it is a better investment than a trailer or will in any way save you money, it will not. These are very expensive toys. Very deceiving too, you said you are looking for a generator with low hours, well that is the one with the most problems to come. The best is to look for one with high hours! Generators need to be run in order to maintain function and last for a long time, it is called exercising. New generators will even have a feature that turns them on and exercises them at certain intervals if not run. This is only one item, the generator. there are many more to learn about.
Now please do not be discouraged, I bought Chummy knowing nothing more than how to turn the key in the ignition and I am still learning. I love my motor home and would be hard to part with it. This forum is great place to learn. Rallies are also helpful. Then depending on which model you choose you will find many fellow owners willing to come to your aide when you need help.
__________________

__________________
Chaplain Kent
2015 Coachman Freedom Express 19RBS, Chummy IV- Ford Excursion- 7.3 Turbo-diesel
Chaplain Kent is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Which Airstream to buy: Vintage or Pre-2000? Midwest_RVer Airstream Lifestyle 14 03-02-2014 08:01 PM
Pre Buy Inspection tolmied Our Community 0 12-01-2006 01:21 PM
To buy or not to buy, is that the question? ob1coby Our Community 1 06-24-2004 04:34 PM
to buy or not to buy? alt Our Community 56 03-29-2003 04:15 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:53 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.