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Old 11-09-2005, 03:05 PM   #1
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IS this a Reasonable Price for a Diesel Powered '94 Land Yacht(34')?

Hi! Looked in the Classifieds first for a price comprison but saw none. I have a chance to buy a 1994 Land Yacht(34') from an older driver unable to use this home due to eyesight. Paint is what one would expect on a Rig of this Vintage that was not always under cover. He is the only owner, bought it new. It has a Cummins Diesel 5.9L w/allison 630 tranny(has 60k miles on motor). Due his eysesight, he hit a few things backing up-nothing major. It needs a new Carpet. Starts and drives straight, no excess smoke on start up. He is a person with resources($$) and always maintained it mechanically at the Dealer. He is asking $19 600 but I think he would take $17,000. To those of you experienced/knowledgeable with this Rig, in the condition I described it, what do you think would be a fair price for this Rig? what would you offer or pay for it? Long term, is it a good investment? Do you think this Rig could tow a VW New Beetle or Honda CRS(either of these cars weigh maybe 3200 lbs) without difficulty? Thanks,any Info and Advice is greatly appreciated.(miamimike56@yahoo.com)
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Old 11-09-2005, 03:24 PM   #2
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[BTW, what kind of Fuel Mileage could one expect on a Rig with this 5.9L Cummins Engine? This Rig would be driven 55-65MPH. Thanks again,Mike.(miamimike56@yahoo.com)
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Old 11-09-2005, 09:07 PM   #3
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Is there such a thing as a Land Yacht motorhome?
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Old 11-10-2005, 06:22 AM   #4
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Yes, Land Yachts are lower profile non aluminum bodied while most still on the Chevy chassis. I am not familiar a Cummins Diesel version, but if most systems are a go, and the thing needs mainly cosmetics it sounds like a fair price for it. The LY are popular because of their profile which makes them easier to handle and maneuver on the road.
Diesels as you may know are more expensive to maintain, but have advantage of somewhat better mileage,( although not always), and longevity.
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Old 11-10-2005, 06:37 AM   #5
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Good price

I sold my 1990 LY 33 gasser in january for 20K.
Any diesel below 20 k in good shape is good price. (IMHO)

You will like the unit. Carpet is a given on any used rig.
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Old 11-11-2005, 12:37 AM   #6
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Thanks for the Info! I'll be checking it out this Week-end. BTW, appoximaately whats the weight on a Rig like this? I searched high and low for the Specs on this LY but without sucess. Thanks Mike
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Old 11-12-2005, 01:04 PM   #7
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I think it is a good price. Remember that with a motorhome use is better than non-use. Which means you could have gen set problems from sitting, or appliance, and other mechanics which need to be excercised.
Check out Fred'd page for possible comparison or specs.
http://www.airstreammotorhomes.com/
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Old 11-14-2005, 06:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Chaplain Kent
I think it is a good price. Remember that with a motorhome use is better than non-use. Which means you could have gen set problems from sitting, or appliance, and other mechanics which need to be excercised.
Check out Fred'd page for possible comparison or specs.
http://www.airstreammotorhomes.com/

Hi Everyone! Well I went to inspect this LY earlier today. The Owner's son said it needed some "TLC" in that the Carpet and Upholstery had to either be cleaned/replaced. Well, interior wise, its needs new carpet everywhere and the seats everywhere need recovering. There was a water leak above the Dinette Tabel and the water leakage ruined the Table, so it needs replacing. I am told this roof leak has been repaired but I did not go up on the roof. The white ceiling material has seperated in a couple places(maybe 4 sq.ft total) The Hardwood floor in the Kitchen needs refinishing(sanding and urethaned) As the owner wasn't there, his son didn't know much about its operation. I attempted to turn on the AC Units,Generator, Microwave/convection oven, and Refrigerator but it was a no go(while the engine was running) . Water/pluming toilet/shower was not checked for fuctioning. Needs an intensive int and ext detailing! Outside, the Lower Dark Gray area, that area of the LY 30" up from the bottom of the coach ; This area needs some repairs, a few areas have been banged up and a few of the various doors need some adjustment-I would re-paint the whole bottom area(this gray area) after the repairs are made. The upper rear door was damaged, the Blacks slats are banged in and the Fiberglass is cracked. Needs replacement or good repair(its possible) The lowest Rear door also needs repair as its been banged, though not as bad as the upper. A strut holding up the Door side Awning needs to be re-installed. The Old Man backed up into a Solid Object, tree limb/fence and that's when the rear damage occured. Ripped the Awning support off on another minor collison. Hes 88 I found out and drove it up to 2 months ago(150 miles)though not often. Thank God. His Son tells me his Dad's short-term memory is going. So NO MORE LY driving! A nice surprise, it has a $1800- 2 Panel Solar system. Also has a TV satellite system. The Motor started up OK, with Smoke. After it reached operating temp around 180 degree on the Temp Gauge, the smoking cleared up. It has not been driven a lot in the last year really. The motor sounded good. I did not drive it. Also the Dash AC did not work.All in all, this is a project. The only way, in my opinion, for this to be a feasable deal money wise, would be for me to do a lot of the Repair myself. A lot of it I could do but its not a week end job for sure. If someone hired this work out, I could see a minimum of $6k to 10k. I was thinking I may hire a Cert. RV Mechanic to do a fairly through inspection on it as for SURE there are other items I have NOT seen. I am told the Dad always had the Engine/drive train maintained professionally although I did not see a detailed paper trail of Bills. He said his Dad would accept $17K-bottom dollar.Last week, another Potential Buyer offered $10K but the Old man wouldn't sell. I don't think he has had many other offers! Any advice would sure be appreciated. Anyone's idea of a Fair Price on what I have described problem wise so far? Thanks Mike
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Old 11-14-2005, 07:03 PM   #9
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Mike,
Depending on the motor (190hp or 230hp) the value might be different, but I did a quick NADA lookup on this year, length and came up with between 32K and 39K. (NADA Value). I also found one other for sale on RVTraderOnline.com for 45K at a dealer (typically marked up above NADA).

One note, the AC will not work with the engine running, you would need to run the generator for AC power, or plug the shore power cord in.

Sounds like it needs some work. The leak worries me. I would also be concerned about general maintenance in that it does not sound like it was well cared for at all. If they are not repairing water damage then what didn't they do as far as engine maintenance, generator etc. Lack of use is worse than over use on RV's. Low mileage on a ten year old coach is not necessarily a good thing. Replacement and repair on major systems (engine, tranny, generator, fridge, etc) can eat up a lot of money very quickly.

I would absolulety pay the money to a certified RV tech to go through the entire rig, chassis, drivetrain, coach (roof, etc), systems like generator, water, AC, fridge, water, electrical on and on. If you end up paying them a few hundred to do a complete inspection you might just ask them for an estimate on making the necessary repairs (treat it like a home inspection). Then you will know what you are getting into with the seller. If the cost of the MH plus the repairs exceeds the market value then pass for something else. But if you add it all up and think it's a good deal then you'll know what you're getting yourself into. If you have the skills and the time to make some of the repairs or prep certain areas for the professionals (like new baggage doors ready for painting, etc) then you might be able to save some money.
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Old 11-14-2005, 07:51 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by swebster
Mike,
Depending on the motor (190hp or 230hp) the value might be different, but I did a quick NADA lookup on this year, length and came up with between 32K and 39K. (NADA Value). I also found one other for sale on RVTraderOnline.com for 45K at a dealer (typically marked up above NADA).

One note, the AC will not work with the engine running, you would need to run the generator for AC power, or plug the shore power cord in.

Sounds like it needs some work. The leak worries me. I would also be concerned about general maintenance in that it does not sound like it was well cared for at all. If they are not repairing water damage then what didn't they do as far as engine maintenance, generator etc. Lack of use is worse than over use on RV's. Low mileage on a ten year old coach is not necessarily a good thing. Replacement and repair on major systems (engine, tranny, generator, fridge, etc) can eat up a lot of money very quickly.

I would absolulety pay the money to a certified RV tech to go through the entire rig, chassis, drivetrain, coach (roof, etc), systems like generator, water, AC, fridge, water, electrical on and on. If you end up paying them a few hundred to do a complete inspection you might just ask them for an estimate on making the necessary repairs (treat it like a home inspection). Then you will know what you are getting into with the seller. If the cost of the MH plus the repairs exceeds the market value then pass for something else. But if you add it all up and think it's a good deal then you'll know what you're getting yourself into. If you have the skills and the time to make some of the repairs or prep certain areas for the professionals (like new baggage doors ready for painting, etc) then you might be able to save some money.
Steve, Hi! Thanks for the reply and the Links for the NADA VAlues!! I overlooked the Engine size! Darn! On the Phone, the Dad told me he towed his Saturn no problem! Yes, definetely I would have it inspected by a Cert.RV Mechanic! Really, I like the Classic Aluminum Coaches the truth be told. In your opinion, is the Int. quality much different in these models like I am looking at? If it was only a few things neglected, I would not be so hesitant, but all these items I found makes me leary. I know a Good Mechanic will uncover for sure other problems my untrained eye has missed! I know on these RVs and Diesel engines, lack of use is Much worse then Use. I have run Diesel only Cars the last 5 years or so and my experience with these diesels bear that out for sure. They like to be RUN HARD and driven like they were stolen! Ha Ha!
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Old 11-14-2005, 08:23 PM   #11
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Interior components are almost exactly the same between the classic and the LYs. I've actually always been impressed with AS interiors compared to other same year models from other manufacturers.

I think your gut feeling is right on this one. I always tell people to look at the general coach condition to get a feel for how it was treated and maintained during it's life, then dive into the mechanicals. If it looks like it was run hard an put up wet often on the inside, then it probably was and that will give you a good indication of the level of [or lack of] preventative maintenance that was performed on the coach.

On the other hand, carpet and upholstery are fairly easy fixes. Wall coverings coming down are an indication of other damage (water). Again, this could be the deal of a lifetime or a complete lemon only a complete inspection will tell the tale.

One more thing to consider; Let's say you back down from the low value from NADA (because no one actually pays book on a used RV) and peg the value at around 28K. If you buy this one at 17K and put, by your estimate, 10K into it then you would be even, but out a lot of time and effort. Unless you want the experience and are willing to DIY this baby, you may consider just waiting for that "perfect", "gently-loved" and well maintained version to come along.

Lastly, some more unsolicited advice. Keep in mind that a good deal is only a good deal if the unit itself works for you. Engines can be tuneed up and generators can be replaced, but floorplans are floorplans and if they don't work for your needs then no matter the price it may never be "your Airstream". Take your time and think about what you plan to use it for; weekending, full time, taking kids and family, just two of you?, dogs, length of trips, etc. I started looking at 280's and 310's when I was bitten by the AS bug. I ended up with a 345. I got there one I started looking at different floorplans and thinking about what I needed in an RV. Middle bath, separate WC, sleeping for six (three kids), etc. Starting out I almost bought a really hurt little 280 because it was cheap. Now I realize that it would never have worked for my needs and while the 345 seemed WAY TOO BIG at the time, now it's perfect of our type of travel and camping.

Maybe I'm on my soapbox, but I've just watched a friend of mine go through two RV's now that weren't exactly right for his needs. Both were terrific deals, but he's now selling them and looking for something specific to his type of RVing.

My point is only you know what is right and wrong for you. If this one is speaking to you and it's mechanically sound and the deal is a good one then enjoy the heck out of it.
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Old 03-29-2006, 06:53 AM   #12
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I bought my '94 LY about 6 months ago for $45K - but it was in pristine condition. I did take mine to a diesel repair shop that services highway coaches, and in their inspection they picked up two items for repair - a broken left front upper shock mount and a loose torsion bar to the transmission. At the same time I had all filters and fluids changed (cost me $2K).

Given what appears to me to be rather extensive repair work (a local Airstream dealer told me that upholstery cannot be obtained any longer, so you would have to have that done by an upholsterer - the upside is that you get to choose your patterns), I would suggest you consider having an RV tech go over the unit and give you a tally as to what it would cost to bring it up to scratch. Of course, if you are a do-it-yourselfer and enjoy doing renovations, then it may be a good deal.

I found that the local RV dealers near me (we now have an Airstream dealer, but he sells and services only trailers, not motorhomes) can handle some of the things you might need done - they don't do the diesel work and most don't know much about the automatic transfer system where you have power switching through ATS switches between shore power and generator power.

As mentioned, the upper body is bonded fiberglass and the lower section, where the storage compartments are, are made of aluminium. I've managed to ding one compartment door while doing a U-turn in tight quarters the first time out, and I'll be getting that done at a local bodyshop. You can obtain replacement compartment doors from Airstream, so you would have to compute the cost of new doors versus the cost of repairing the old ones.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 03-29-2006, 08:51 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALANSD
Diesels as you may know are more expensive to maintain, but have advantage of somewhat better mileage,( although not always), and longevity.
Welcome to the forums. please forgive our good friend Alan and his forever slam on Diesels. No they are not more expensive to maintain. They do not require the expensive tuneups of gasoline engines, oil changes last 10,000 miles and they run forever. Do you think that truckers who make their living off of their engines would run something more expensive if they had the choice?
The unit you describe sounds like a very good buy. These are great looking units with the Cummings tucked under the bed in the rear. The cosmetics are easy to fix if the bumps are not too bad. Carpet is simple to put in. Expect to spend some money on mechanical like plumbing, heating, a.c. etc. due to age and possible non-use of the vehicle. Let me know if you decide not to buy it and maybe I will upgrade from Chummy.
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