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Author Topic: MH Age Guidlines??  (Read 780 times)

YLBlues

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MH Age Guidlines??
« on: December 08, 2017, 12:29:33 AM »
Iíve been researching for a couple months and we are leaning strongly toward a DP in the 36-40í range.  Talking with friends, they recommended focusing on coaches 3-5 years old.  Iíve questioned whether you can extend the age component to 7-10 years if the original/manufacturer build quality is high, and assuming paying for a professional inspection.

Iíve read a lot in the message boards about identifying floor plan you like, being careful about any water damage, tire age, whether the coach sat for a long time without use, etc.  A conflict I have is I see many signature profiles of members with coaches in the 2001-2005 age range that donít seem to have complaints about age being a factor, as long as condition is good.

Is there a rule of thumb to follow regarding age, while understanding that does mean there is risk of appliances and systems possibly needing attention sooner than later?

Arch Hoagland

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Re: MH Age Guidlines??
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2017, 03:08:35 AM »
Well I've had mine 13 years and would actually look for the same unit should mine vanish somehow or another. Mine is not diesel but I'd probably do the same with a diesel.

I don't know of any rule of thumb...my appliances have held up well with only two problems...Refrigerator kicking a circuit breaker, $100 fix, and microwave shutting off after 59 seconds, $150 fix.

Chassis...exhaust manifolds and air conditioner compressor around $3,000. 

You are right about a lot of people on here with older coaches. We've kept ours because we like it and it's PAID for. The more money you are pouring into payments means the less money you have to travel. There is a trade off somewhere in there.
2004 Monaco La Palma 36 DBD
W22, 8.1 gas,  Allison 1000 Transmission
7.1 MPG over 90,000 miles

2000 Lexus RX300, 4020lb
U.S. Gear Braking System

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: MH Age Guidlines??
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2017, 08:33:51 AM »
Age is not really a factor.  You can extend it to 20-25 years if the condition is good.  As the age increases beyond 3-5 years there are perhaps more things the inspect carefully, but many diesel motorhomes are lightly used and have a long service life if maintained in a halfway reasonable fashion.

Appliances are rarely an age problem. Rubber things like tires age, so they have a useful life of 7-10 years regardless of apparent condition.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

YLBlues

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Re: MH Age Guidlines??
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2017, 12:31:34 PM »
Thank you very much for the feedback. Sounds like my approach is not out of reason.  Weíve looked at used units 2013 and newer, however are hoping to not have a large monthly payment on top of maintenance, insurance, storage, etc.  Your comments are encouraging.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: MH Age Guidlines??
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2017, 05:16:04 PM »
It's much like buying a house - condition is much more important than any specific age.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

ArdraF

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Re: MH Age Guidlines??
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2017, 05:29:24 PM »
Ours is a 2004 Monaco DP with 113,000 miles and still going strong.  We've owned it since new and have maintained it well.  Also, we're lucky to have an RV garage so it's always been protected.  The paint looks like new.  There have been some things repaired, but nothing unusual.  The Cummins air cooler was replaced under warranty.  The Onan generator had a failed stator and that was a big repair.  The Aqua Hot had a major repair.  The refrigerator and washer/dryer were both replaced when circuit boards failed.  But other than those things I can't think of anything major.  We keep good records and change fluids and tires as needed.  As Arch said, we like what we have and wouldn't want to change it for anything newer.

ArdraF 
ArdraF
:D :D

Isaac-1

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Re: MH Age Guidlines??
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2017, 11:53:57 PM »
My take on things revolves around 2 separate issues, when it comes to diesels there are a few key dates to keep in mind, most notably are the emissions requirement for DEF in almost all vehicles built after about 2010.  In addition to the DEF itself these exhaust systems are very complex and can be costly to maintain,  also read up on diesel particulate filters, required after 2007.

As to the issue of age, rubber components are the biggest issue, the real problem is that this goes well beyond tires and belts, there are also numerous hoses, rubber bushings, fuel lines, brake lines,... that are made out of rubber which tends to need replacement every 10-15 years.  Sure some people push them past 15 years, but all you need to do is try to work on any of these old lines to see how brittle and compromised they have became.  This is not to say you should not buy an older coach, just that you should consider if the previous owner has changed out all of the rubber components, or factor in the cost of doing so yourself.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

texaslime

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Re: MH Age Guidlines??
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2017, 12:28:08 AM »
We looked for a long time for a DP. and looked at some newer ones that were junk we ended up finding a 1999 Fleetwood American Tradition with 73,00 miles that looks new inside and out. Before we bought it and made them service everything and replace all the batteries while it was in the shop I looked it over top to bottom. We got it in Sept. 1 and went on a 3,000 mile trip starting on the 8th could not be any happier.

YLBlues

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Re: MH Age Guidlines??
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2017, 01:24:28 AM »
My take on things revolves around 2 separate issues, when it comes to diesels there are a few key dates to keep in mind, most notably are the emissions requirement for DEF in almost all vehicles built after about 2010.  In addition to the DEF itself these exhaust systems are very complex and can be costly to maintain,  also read up on diesel particulate filters, required after 2007.

As to the issue of age, rubber components are the biggest issue, the real problem is that this goes well beyond tires and belts, there are also numerous hoses, rubber bushings, fuel lines, brake lines,... that are made out of rubber which tends to need replacement every 10-15 years.  Sure some people push them past 15 years, but all you need to do is try to work on any of these old lines to see how brittle and compromised they have became.  This is not to say you should not buy an older coach, just that you should consider if the previous owner has changed out all of the rubber components, or factor in the cost of doing so yourself.

Isaac- have read lots of threads here and summary is DEF is not a big concern.  How do you see that factoring into age of the MH?

What i have researched, everything about a MH can and likely will be expensive unless you are able to roll your sleeves up and get dirty fixing things yourself. I am not familiar with cost of maintaining exhaust systems, so would like to learn more on that topic.

Understand and appreciate rubber components have limited useful life. To me, that aspect would be no different gas or diesel...correct? I may be off, but see that as similar to needing to paint your house periodically, maintain HVAC system, or descaling a tankless water heater in your house...maintenance, maintenance, maintenance.

Replacing load leveling air bags in an older Ford Expedition cost me $600.  I chalked it up to the price of enjoying having that feature work well for 10 years.

Iím looking for opposing views on buying a coach 6-10 years old, and something that might surprise me with a big bill other than maintenance....like a radiator or generator replacement.

Isaac-1

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Re: MH Age Guidlines??
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2017, 02:25:18 AM »
It will depend on the model, but I have read numerous reports about problems on Sprinter platforms with their proprietary DEF
2002 Safari Trek 2830

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: MH Age Guidlines??
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2017, 08:09:46 AM »
Quote
I have read numerous reports about problems on Sprinter platforms with their proprietary DEF

Proprietary?   Mercedes recommends AdBlue, which is actually a trademark owned by the German Auto Industry association. But as far as I can tell, they only require an ISO #22241 compatible DEF fluid.  All the brand name DEF sold in the USA is ISO spec.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL