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Old 07-15-2004, 11:42 PM   #43
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What's the value?

Greetings Logan!

The procedure that I followed when I purchased my last collector car might be a possibility in your situation. I was purchasing in an area about 250 miles from home and the car was quite impressive but I knew that its bretheren had a reputation for potentially expensive mechanical problems that weren't always immediately obvious. The deal that I worked out with the seller was that I had two cashier's checks drawn-up equalling the agreed upon sales price - - one was for $750.00 and the other was for the balance. On the agreed upon date, I picked up the car and presented the $750 check to the owner and showed him the check for the balance - - I had 72 hours from that time to have my mechanic inspect and approve the mechanical soundness of the car - - if he turned thumbs down on the car all I had to do was return the car to the seller and our agreement was that he would keep 50% of the deposit and I could walk away (my late model Oldsmobile was parked in the seller's driveway during this 72-hour period of time). My mechanic approved the car and the deal was finalized in a little over 48 hours (I gave the owner the second cashier's check and he signed over the title).

As a side note, I obtained an insurance binder from my regular insurance carrier and I also presented a copy to the owner with the deposit check - - he hadn't asked for this, but I wanted to be sure that I was covered by insurance while traveling to my regular mechanic as I would be traveling through a large metropolitan area between the seller's residence and my home.

This process worked well for me. It allowed me to seal the deal on my "dream car" while providing me with an "emergency" out if the car wasn't a mechanically sound as it appeared. I still own this car nearly twelve years later, and can't think of anything that could convince me to part with it as it is one of 3,500 examples produced.

Good luck with your decision!

Kevin
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 07-16-2004, 12:02 AM   #44
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I like it as a classic. If your good with tools and want to buy more tools, go for it if it passes most of the tests listed by our members, above. Good luck.
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Old 07-16-2004, 12:34 AM   #45
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Logan. There is a pretty good chance that you will buy this motor home. You could very well get in it and start driving it and drive it for the next 20000 miles without anything ever going wrong. Thats what would happen to me if I bought it.
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Old 07-16-2004, 07:59 AM   #46
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Any idea why the current owner is selling so quickly? That is one thing that would make me nervous.

You really need a mechanic familiar with 70's trucks and an rv tech. Short of that give it the hardest, twistiest drive you can. Near the end I would find a cement lot and park, let it run. Get out and walk around the outside check everything out. After 5 minutes of walking and looking shut it off. The temp should be down (check it and the oil pressure). Now look underneath for leaks (this is why cement, leaks show much better), look on the bottom of the body for leaks, crawl around under it with a good flashlight.

Would the owner let you and your wife stay in it overnight where it is at? Hook it up to water and electricity. Except for the AC you can run it on a 15 amp circuit. It will give you some time to check everything out. Get the current owner to go through everything with you, he hasn't had it long but should know how the appliances work and might fess up to a few problems if you get him in the right mood. Run the generator and AC for a couple of hours. The more time you spend with it the more problems you are apt to find and the more you will know about how it suits you. You are going to live in it for days/weeks at a time and need storage space, convenient locations, etc.

John
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Old 07-16-2004, 10:29 AM   #47
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This is all great info! I'll try all of those things if I can't get the mechanic thing to work out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swebster@myrvadvanta
Check for quality, cleanliness and maintenance. These are all signs of how a coach was cared for.
Thats the way I see it, and this thing has obviously been cared for, not just owned by a clean person...

Quote:
Originally Posted by swebster@myrvadvanta
One note on low mileage engines. Low mileage on an old coach is not always a good thing. While a 454 can go to 120K miles and beyond, lack of use will kill a MH engine faster than miles.
When the current owner bought it 5 months ago he had it delivered to where he is. The seller (original owner) drove it 150 miles to get here. So I know it can be driven, if not superbly at least it did not burst into flames (yet?!). I'll put it through the ringer for sure!

I remember going on my first test drive ever with my dad, I was 16... The dealer made the mistake of letting us take it alone (without the salesman). My dad drove the first part, as soon as the building was out of site we tore off throwing me into the seat then slammed on the breaks (we must have skid at least 10 feet!). It was crazy! I learned that you don't need to be as exreme as my dad, but taking it furthar than you normally would without intentionally hurting anything can be helpfull...


-Logan
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Old 07-16-2004, 10:53 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 74Argosy24MH
Any idea why the current owner is selling so quickly? That is one thing that would make me nervous.
Yes, the current owner owns several apartment buildings in the area. He is a realtor and spends a lot of time out of state and some here. He didn't want to pay rent or have to buy a building for his local office so he went with a motorhome as an office/apartment, that way it could be moved and it was paid for and he could park it on his own property for free. He bought it without having been inside it. He bought it through e-bay and had the owner deliver it. I have not yet spoken with the original owner but I am told that the auction was to benefit an 8 month girl who needed a bone marrow transplant (I won't know if this is just a made up story to make you feel warm and fuzzy so you spend more or if it is true until I talk to the Original owner). Being that he had never really seen it (who knows how crappy the e-bay pictures were, I've seen some that made me cry) he didn't really have a good handle on the size of it. When he got it here he gave it a try and used it as his office/home-away-from-home for 4-6 months. He relized that it was a little big for his needs and that a smaller one would probably suit him fine. He then bought a smaller one (I think it is new but I do not know what brand or anything). Part of his "hurry" is that he is now 2 motorhomes in debt... I know that at least the second one was on his credit card. He wants to get his card paid off since he is only using one of them, and at that only using it part-time. The other thing is that he would like to do the deal in person (as would I!) and he does not live here. He comes here a lot and "lives" here for different periods of time while he takes care of business up here; he'll be here Sunday night but will be leaving again mid-week. Since he knows I am very interested he wants to finish it now while he's here, otherwise he'd have to plan a special trip or just do it over the phone and make me deal with a middle-man.

I'm not getting a panicked "I need to get rid of this the cops are after me" vibe. Just trying to expidite his time (and mine too).

It's not as scary with all that factored in.
-Logan
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Old 07-16-2004, 11:44 AM   #49
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Sounds plausible. I get nervous when someone owns a vehicle for a few months and is quick to sell, especially something like this that wouldn't have been driven all that much.

John
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Old 07-16-2004, 12:17 PM   #50
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ummmmmm....... the guy you are buying from is a professional salesman............................. don't feel rushed............... he's a professional and will take advantage of all opportunity to leverage you to buy at his price..................

brush up on how to negotiate tips before you go please
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Old 07-16-2004, 12:34 PM   #51
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and ya need to be a mechanic to own one of these, or the desire to spends lots of money to pay to have work done. These guys are not kidding about the cost of a new engine.

on the flip side, looks like airstream classic motorhomes value have gone up. Just looked at online trader and can't believe the asking prices!! Are they really selling for that much now?? If so, the unit you found is under priced??
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Old 07-16-2004, 12:38 PM   #52
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gotta wonder which state does not cover, for free, all medical costs including bone marrow. Health care is free for kids here in VA with few restrictions other than a very high minimum income and one must register for it. gotta wonder about the salesman's tale...........
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Old 07-18-2004, 03:39 PM   #53
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here it goes!!!!

I'm not sure on the health care thing...I dont know anything about where the girl lived. I don't know much about that type of thing anyway but I do know that when I was 11 and had a MAJOR medical situation my parents were still paying on it when I was 19 (and maybe after that). I am sure that if it was free medical care (Socialism right?) (Like in England) things would have been fine. However that is rather irrelevant in my current situation...

That aside, I am going down there today around 3:00 to give it the final run through and mechanical inspection. My father in-law is coming with me, he does not do this "for a living" but he really knows what he's talking about, and has done this for a long time (what a handy resource!!). I will do the things that everyone suggested! We better make a deal because this cashiers check is burning a hole in my pocket!!!! Heh.


I'll be sure to let you all know what fell off and what fell apart on the drive home...then I'll start asking how to fix the dang thing!!!

This is your last chance to stop me!!
-Logan

Thanks again everyone for all the help and advice!!
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Old 07-19-2004, 11:04 AM   #54
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When I asked about bag height:
Quote:
Originally Posted by 87MH
Bag height should be 10 1/2", max weight on tag should be 1500 lbs on each tire.......

Yours may not be the same - there should be a tag located on the axel stating the max allowable weight (mine is located at the midpoint, on the rear horizontal face of the tag axel).

Did you find anything else wrong during the inspection?
Ummm....
Things I found wrong?
When I asked if the awning was in good shape or not the owner (who had it only 5 months or so) said "I think it's a little torn up", I figured that was just something I would need to fix, and hadn't planned on using it that much anyway. Well, when I got it to my In-laws house after the test drive we opened it up...
Can you guess?!!....

It was awesome! hah! That guy musta' never opened it, I don't know why he told me that, I'll have to post pictures soon. I don't know a lot about these but it sure seemed in good shape to me. It unrolled easily, the arms slid easily, there were no tears it was not tattered...I'd say it was in great shape! Those are the kind of suprizes that I like to find!

Other issues...
Things I already knew:
- The track for the sliding door to the bathroom needs some help
- The carpet needs to be cleaned
- The blackwater tank needs to be replaced
- Paint is peeling in a few spots

Things I found out during the test drive and inspection:
- I love to drive it!
- Down = On for the tag tires
- Down = On for Portch light
- The front AC doesn't seem to get cold (the cable feels stuck, I hope that's all it is!)
- The horn doesn't honk (there are air horns on the top, and all I can find is the regular button on the steering wheel, and that does nothing.)
- Steering fluid was slightly over filled
- Needs a little Transmission fluid (still in the "safe zone")
- A few drawers need their travel latches to be adjusted...


good things I found during test drive/inspection
- Oil looked/smelled fine
- Exhaust smelled normal. No detected leaks
- Electric ignition has been installed (found the old points and a rotor in a tool box of goodies)
- The toolbox of goodies itself
- All lights (interior and exterior) work properly
- Radio works (all 4 speakers)
- Roof AC works
- H2O pump is good
- bigger shower than I remember...
- Engine ran at a good tempurature
- Steering felt solid and had no shimmie or rattle
- Suspension felt very nice (even before I figured out that "up" was "off" for the air suspension)
- Air suspension pumps up quickly, guages all work well

And the biggest one of them all.....
- THE WIFE LIKES IT!!!

Heh, this is gonna be quite an adventure...I expect that the list of things that need to be fixed will grow faster than the list of things I like.

There is a lot more, I'll post it all later.

I'm looking forward to a long and healthy relationship!

-Logan
p.s. one thing that we can't settle on is a name
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Old 07-19-2004, 12:59 PM   #55
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Great news!!

You fell into a heck of a buy......

Don't rush with the name.....let the "personality" of the beast develope....

It will more than likely name itself.
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Old 07-19-2004, 01:38 PM   #56
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Logan sounds like a winner to me, the minor things you found will no doubt be easily repaired. You may find some more of those later, but the deal sounds like a real nice one.
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