Hi everyone, I have spent the day here reading and searching the forum, quite informative.
We are looking for our first (used) coach. Money is an issue, so we are looking in the $15K - $20K Range. My preference would be a DP, my wives would be that the pattern of the curtains match the seats, and preferably wood floors...... We have different priorities....
This will a casual use vehicle, guessing 5,000 to 15,000 miles per year. This year we want to plan a trip across country. NC to Oregon, Arizona (Via PCH most of the way) Key west then home.... Roughly a 12,000 mile trip before scenic stops etc..
We have out eye on a 1995 Safari Sahara, diesel pusher; 50,325 miles, 250 Cummings 5.9L engine with a 6 speed Allison. I haven't physically gone to see the unit yet, trying to do my home work first.
So my questions: Is the 5.9L and drive train a dependable set up for this coach? Is it under powered? Owner says it was just serviced..... Not sure what that means yet, we just started the conversation today.
It would seem well appointed with the amenities that we are looking for. Asking price is $18,500.... Im thinking of offering $15K cash, would that be reasonable, too low, to high?
Other than date codes on tires, oil leaks on the engine, tranny, jacks etc, is there anything else that I should look at? Ask about?
The drive train is my obvious concern, but is there anything major on the coach that I should look at, be aware of? Is there anything about this particular coach (Safari Sahara) that I should be aware of (Recalls etc)?
The ad for the coach is a lacking in information, i.e. length of unit, hours on generator, age of tires, what service was done etc.. Pictures also. I asked for more pics to be emailed, which they said they would this weekend (ice storm in NC right now, then I will start the actual verbal communications. Up till now it has just been emails. It's a great looking coach, but will $15K to $20K buy me more? (Not finding that it will, but I could be looking in all the wrong places)...
jobe05 just sock away an amount $5K over your purchase price if gas or $10K if diesel for stuff for the first three years you own it and you should be OK.
Welcome to the forum.
We read the forum before buying as well. We bought the first MH I took the kids to see the night we went to see it so have your money ready because there are some great deals out there but the buying decision needed to be made before you leave.
Check the numbers on the tires and go to a tire dealer to find out when they were made. If they are over 4 years old, replace them. Need to check for cracks in the sidewall. The cost is approximately $200-250 EACH. On my 35' gas Winnebago, I had to replace 3 pair $1500. Plus, plan on a oil and filter change $300 plus for diesel. May need the generator checked and serviced - approximately $500.
Definitely have a RV mechanic check it out. Find out where he had it repaired, get a mechanic from somewhere else, but check with them to see what they have done to it.
For your wife - she can buy a comforter set with pillow cases, and sheets for about $50 at Walmart. There are also catalogs she can order from for new curtains if she doesn't like the pattern. If the couch is in good shape she can also buy slip covers. I was quoted approximately $7,000 for labor to replace the carpet in my MH. They would tell me how much materials to buy from a flooring store or Camping World has flooring for approximately $8,000 or so with labor. The cost is high because they must unbolt all furniture from floor and remove it before removing old flooring. That is all cosmetic.
I agree, if it is the plan for you and is easy to get into, drive, load, etc. Have a good mechanical check up and bargain from there. It maybe ok and maybe a lemon. With all the floods on the East Coast in the last few years, I would want the mechanic to check the electrical, fuel, etc. to make sure it was not a vehicle that was junked by the insurance company.
Check the numbers on the tires and go to a tire dealer to find out when they were made. If they are over 4 years old, replace them. Need to check for cracks in the sidewall. The cost is approximately $200-250 EACH. .
I don't know where you can buy tires for that price. They are probably 22.5" tires and they are $450-700 each.
For the few miles you are looking at using it why not consider a gasser? You will have lower expenses and may be able to get a few years newer. In addition to the items you mentioned look at the roof. If there is any sign of a leak run away. At the age and price y ou are looking at CONDITION is the main thing to consider.
Welcome to the forum. It sounds like you are doing your homework prior to purchasing. It will probably be worth the cost to pay a tech and or mechanic to look over the unit that interests you.
As mentioned above, CONDITION is very important, regardless of the make/model.
If the interior appears in poor condition, it's probably a good bet that the engine and chassis are in similar condition.
Keep asking questions and looking. There are a lot of RV's for sale.
You will find something that fits your and your wife's priorities.
Thanks for the replies and ideas. We will have an additional fund set aside ($10K-$13K) for emergency repairs if needed.
A couple years ago we were looking at gas units and we test drove a couple and didn't like what we had seen at that time. It would seem..... And I only get this from reading the ads, that most Gassers for sale have major engine or transmission (or both) issues right around 50K miles? Why is that? Again, thats on units that are in the late 80's, early 90's models. I like the upscale features that seem to come in the DP's and, based on what I read, the ride and handling of the DP is unsurpassed. Although I will add, a gas unit is not out of the question for the reasons mentioned above.
I do have a friend who is an RV Mechanic and he will look at whatever I would like to get, but he too is pushing for a gas unit.
In the world of Diesels, is the 5.9L a good engine for this model year? Any known issues with this model year coach, engine or transmission that I should be aware of? So far all my searched on the 5.9 Cummings takes me to the Dodge mid size truck engine......
In the world of Gas engines, what would be the better of the engines? 454, V10, 460?
I guess it's all relative to the history of the maintenance but is there any thing that was produced in the mid to late 90's that I should just completely avoid?
I am fairly mechanically inclined. The good Lord blessed me with just enough tools to get me into trouble sometimes but most things I can work on once I figure them out. Last time we were looking at RV's, I ended up coming home with a Honda Goldwing, GL1200 LTD. Since then I have picked up a GL1500 and have gotten to the point that I can tear them down for major maintenance like water pumps and timing belts in a weekend. The 1500 now has 119,000 miles on it and I would jump on that and drive it to California right now.
So most of the re-occurring maintenance items will be done by me, along with most repairs when required.
On anything we decide to get, Oil, engine and tranny, along with filters will be changed. Antifreeze changed and brake fluid flushed if not done in the past 2 years. Hoses, belts or other "Rubber items" unless I can see a receipt where they were just done.
I assume the tire code is universal for all tires? a number like 04605 would mean the tire was manufactured in the 46th week of 2005? Is five years still the standard for replacement on these as well? I have always been a Michelin Man, thats what I have on my cars and preferred on my Motorcycles. Is that still a good tire for a coach?
As the owner of an antique motorhome, I can tell you you have both a solid plan and lots of good information here.
Yes, the tire date code is a DOT specification, but it is only on one side of the tire and unless the owner was very specific, it will be the least visible side (inside the front or between the duals).
Yes, many of the gas MH need major service before 100K, this is largely because they are less well cared for ("Hey, its a pickup driveline"). People that spent the extra money on a diesel know what it will cost if they don't take care of it. (<= Remember that)
If you buy any diesel, find and buy ($$$) the real service manuals for the engine and transmission. You sound like a capable wrench, but with the coloring books on hand, you will have the authority as what is required and how to do it. It is also a great help if you need another to do anything and he is not a company trained guy. If he can read (check on that first), he can always follow the instructions he has. (This from a guy with a 40yo coach that very few have any experience servicing.)
What ever you and up with, take it slow and enjoy the scenery.
Another got this same message because I had a computer problem and managed to save the post, but I put back in the wrong place first.
Matt & Mary Colie
A sailor, his bride and their black dog going to see some dry places that have Geocaches in a coach made the year we married.