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Old 11-14-2013, 11:57 AM   #1
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2004 30' Classic
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Buying a Motor home

This is a message for all persons thinking of buying a motor home, our bad experience passed along. We just purchased an Airstream 395 XL 39ft diesel pusher Motor home. After the purchase we found the motor had blow by, it was not seen as any thing more than a little smoke as some diesel motors have. We took the MH to the Cat dealer to have it checked and was told the motor had been over heated some 95 hours ago. With that said we asked what we needed to do. The answer was a motor overhaul, at a cost of between $12000 and $20000.

So for my point, have the vehicle computer checked out before any deal is signed.

Russ
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Old 11-14-2013, 12:51 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by dirtturner View Post
This is a message for all persons thinking of buying a motor home, our bad experience passed along. We just purchased an Airstream 395 XL 39ft diesel pusher Motor home. After the purchase we found the motor had blow by, it was not seen as any thing more than a little smoke as some diesel motors have. We took the MH to the Cat dealer to have it checked and was told the motor had been over heated some 95 hours ago. With that said we asked what we needed to do. The answer was a motor overhaul, at a cost of between $12000 and $20000.

So for my point, have the vehicle computer checked out before any deal is signed.

Russ
Sorry to hear you are having problems. I have sent you a PM that may be of interest. Good luck.
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Old 11-14-2013, 04:08 PM   #3
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Sorry to here of your problems. As you said... Caveat emptor.

Just curious as to how much you paid for the unit? If the price was good you may still be ahead of the game.

How did it drive when you took it home? Did it seam weak and was the temp running high. If not you may not be too bad off for now.

When they said 95 hours ago, did they mean 95 hours run time?

You may want to get another estimate on repairs from a private shop that works on CATs.

For what it's worth, the 390 XL is a great beast of a MH. I would love to have one some day.
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Old 11-14-2013, 04:14 PM   #4
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Good advice! You should have legal recourse if it was misrepresented though.
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Old 11-14-2013, 04:39 PM   #5
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Don't despair! Evidently it is still driveable. I'd investigate some smaller shops south of the border. Don't pay those horrendous Canadian labor rates! And don't go to a Cat main dealer, they're used to dealing with commercial clients who are rarely price conscious.

I had injectors replaced on my Duramax last year, and a job that would have cost me about $5500 in Alberta cost $3200 in Oregon, including new serpentine belts. Maybe someone on this Forum has a lead in western New York or northern Pennsylvania?
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:16 PM   #6
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Congrats on the Airstream Class A purchase. Is that the one from CW in Tennessee??? Or any other dealer, you should be able to go back to them for some discussion.

I have delt with two shops in Ontario that I found very good. Antrim Truck Center, (Freightliner) in Arnprior, and Freightliner in Brantford. Both are CAT repair centers and when I delt there the service managers were very upfront on costs, time, etc.

Try to spend some time getting to know who you are dealing with and bit the bullet if it has to be done.

Canada Customs will get you at the border if you have major repairs done in the south and leave a paper trail??????

Hope things work out for you.

Can we have some pictures of your new hobby?

Dave
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:29 PM   #7
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We feel that the price we paid was fair, we actually drove the MH about 400 kilometers and it worked very well, no heating problems. The 95 hrs was running time. The motor has to be removed from the bottom and the Cat dealer has a bus hoist for the job. We like the MH and feel the cost of the work is outrages, but in the end we will have warranty for 1 to 4 years.
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:55 PM   #8
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Canada Customs will get you at the border if you have major repairs done in the south and leave a paper trail??????
Dave
They sure do.... for sales tax. But that's nothing when you are saving as much as 50%. If I have work done or buy tires etc. on trips to the States, I always declare it. Of course, we only pay 5% here in Alberta
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