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RVing message boards => Newcomers' Corner => Topic started by: klh64 on January 09, 2020, 05:04:06 AM

Title: !989 F350 Coachmen Catalina 24ft
Post by: klh64 on January 09, 2020, 05:04:06 AM
Hi, I am definitely a newbie I am 55 yrs old with my two 12 yr old dogs for companionship. I  fell on hard times a year and a half ago . I tried living in a van with my 2 dogs with a bed in the back someone had built, propane heater, 5gal Flushable porta-potty, and portable shower. It was junk to begin with and $2500/repairs later I finally found something within my budget. I am in TN and Ironically the RV is in my hometown in NY. I had 2 family members go look at it and talked to the owner on the phone for over an hour. He is giving me a few more wks to pick it up so I will have extra income for the minor things that need fixing plus transfer, reg, ins, and gas to get back here. I have been trying to research this model and year. I have read some very negative things such as; they are a low-end RV, tire blowouts on the rear duallys where the exhaust is, electrolysis and just random negative things. I realize I am purchasing a 30+ yr old RV ( the price is within the NADA RV values)but if I believe the guy he is 2ND owner and his circumstances warrant that he cannot use it any longer. He is also going to let me stay in his driveway plugged in for almost a week b4 I head back to TN.. I've driven that route enough times (15,000 miles in 1 1/2 yrs and know that statistically Tuesdays and Sundays are the safest days to travel 800 miles. My question is as a First time USED RV owner of this year and model is there anything positive about this RV? If it isn't what I expected I'm thinking of continuing to sock $$$ away to upgrade and sell this eventually because they go like hotcakes( RVs in general) but I also figured I have to start someplace! I think I'm getting wedding Jitters to an RV I haven't met So anything positive about this year and model? anything? Thank you in advance!
Title: Re: !989 F350 Coachmen Catalina 24ft
Post by: Back2PA on January 09, 2020, 05:24:12 AM
Welcome the forum.

With a rig that age the primary concern is condition. The first issue is whether it had ever leaked. If it has, the damage could easily be beyond repair, even if cosmetically it looks OK. Then, virtually anything rubber will need to be replaced. This means EVERY cooling hose, belts, rubber brake lines and, before you drive it home, the tires. No matter how great the tires look, if they're more than about 7 years old (10 at the absolute most) they should be replaced. Have the wheels been pulled and brakes checked? When's the last time the bearings were checked and packed? All fluids, including transmission, rear end, brake, and power steering should be changed. Then, does everything work? Has the fridge been checked? A replacement fridge will cost you a thousand or two to fix or replace. Does the generator run? Furnace? Air conditioner? Have the black, gray and fresh water tanks been checked for leaks by filling? Do the dump valves work? Water pump?

Has the water system been pressurized to check for leaks? Has the 12v system been checked for shorts? Does the 120v system work properly? You're buying an old vehicle and an old house combined, a LOT can go wrong, leaving you with an unusable money pit. Not trying to be negative, just giving you the facts.

I would highly suggest you spend a few hundred dollars and get the rig professionally inspected by a certified inspector. Finally, price. NADA (which is only a wild approximation of value) is $3-4000. In the unlikely event it was an absolute cream puff with everything done that I mentioned, looking perfect in and out, I wouldn't pay much over $5k.
Title: Re: !989 F350 Coachmen Catalina 24ft
Post by: SpencerPJ on January 09, 2020, 06:53:37 AM
Welcome to the Forum.  I found an old post from 2011 that might give you some more information.

I agree with Back2Pa, I would have a mechanic of some kind inspect it.  That breaks down on the way home, transmission goes out, between a tow and the work, you'll pay several thousands.

800 miles is a long way in a 1989 RV, those old girls tend to drift around and require constant driving, hence very more tiring than driving a regular vehicle.  Give yourself at minimum two days to drive it. 

Title: Re: !989 F350 Coachmen Catalina 24ft
Post by: klh64 on January 09, 2020, 10:08:49 PM
Thank you for the comments and suggestions. I have not exchanged money with him yet and plan on having a few thousand with me to get what does need done fixed while I am there. My cousin and her dad Ron went over and looked at it for me. They listened to it checked the floors and walls for soft spots, signs of leaks, etc. The man I plan on purchasing it from is the 2nd owner and took $3000 for it after I asked him to knock $500 off to fix the one caliper he said had started to drag and replace one of the two batteries. My cousin's dad checked underneath and the rust at all, solid frame, It had been coated yearly except this year as the guy had a seizure and fell and broke his shoulder. It had been inspected until September. I know in NYS if you have a seizure you cannot drive for a certain amount of time, Im thinking a year. He said his Gf and daughter are not into camping as he wished them to be and they would rather go boating, he purchased the boat and Rv at the same time. I talked to him for over an hour and believe he was honest and as I said I did have 2 adults go check it for me. The only other thing he said was the top upper passenger bunk side there is a seam that started to come unglued..He thinks his daughter may have hit some low hanging branches and wont admit it. He works in construction and said its an easy fix and told me what to get and how to do it. He is going to go through all the ins and outs of it while I am there for 5 days. and that he just thinks the quicker its on the road again and Coated and out of WNY weather sitting the last 5 months the better off it will be. He claims to have purchased Tires recently and has receipts.  HE is going to show me the ropes while I am there for the 5 days. I know its an older vehicle but its really all I could afford at the time and hopefully can just keep saving and keep upgrading. I will definitely take all of your suggestions and take it to a reputable place to do the inspection and make sure all hoses, belts and the other things are looked at. Thank you very much for your comment! . Oh I have AAA+ for my van and plan on getting it for the RV b4 I head out. I appreciate the comments very much  They help give me perspective and make sure I am prepared. Thank you very much!
Title: Re: !989 F350 Coachmen Catalina 24ft
Post by: klh64 on January 09, 2020, 10:27:33 PM
Heres a few pics. I know pics do not really mean much if the hidden parts arent looked at also
Title: Re: !989 F350 Coachmen Catalina 24ft
Post by: Gene50 on January 09, 2020, 11:18:02 PM
 Just looking at the one picture makes me suspect in the area of concern above the passenger door of the cab.

It looks like the sheet metal is buckled and the bottom corner trim has come away from the side sheet-metal to
Title: Re: !989 F350 Coachmen Catalina 24ft
Post by: klh64 on January 10, 2020, 12:45:46 AM
Yeah that's the spot I was talking about where he thinks his daughter hit some low hanging branches and came unsealed..Its also been sitting there with the sun shining on it for 5 months. He claims its an easy fix. I did the body work on my van myself...I just made a template and went from there...IDk for $3 grand ...but as I said No Money has been exchanged yet. Since I was on here last i requested a quote from fleet inspection station there. That's my hometown where my permanent address is. NYS requires yearly inspections and emissions..
Title: Re: !989 F350 Coachmen Catalina 24ft
Post by: klh64 on January 10, 2020, 12:47:45 AM
My cousin and her dad checked the inside and it is not leaking and the wood is not damaged  so..idk
Title: Re: !989 F350 Coachmen Catalina 24ft
Post by: klh64 on January 10, 2020, 12:51:34 AM
There is never any guarantee when it comes to that I know my sis in law in TN here and her BF purchased a brand new travel trailer last year..after a few months it started leaking and it was brand new and very expensive.
Title: Re: !989 F350 Coachmen Catalina 24ft
Post by: klh64 on January 10, 2020, 01:02:35 AM
Once I get there he may knock off another few hun for that too..Once I get there ill know where I stand but I really do appreciate you pointing that out. I was trying to explain in one of my posts and didn't specify. That's why I'm here. I want to know these things and I appreciate any and all comments good or bad. That lets me know where I stand when I get home and how much leverage i have with the price. And like I said NO MONEY has been exchanged yet.
Title: Re: !989 F350 Coachmen Catalina 24ft
Post by: klh64 on January 10, 2020, 04:15:48 AM
Heres a 1989 Coachmen Catalina for sale in TN for $11, 500 and it looks like something is up similar by the top passenger bunk window
Title: Re: !989 F350 Coachmen Catalina 24ft
Post by: SpencerPJ on January 10, 2020, 07:04:30 AM
It looks pretty decent for $3k.  I' glad you are having a few people look over it with you.  Used is always a gamble, follow your gut, if something doesn't feel right, it's not.  Tires, great point.  Here is how to tell how old they are, there will be a code stamped into the rubber with four numbers.  Example: 1318.  This means they were made in week 13 of 2018.  It does not matter what the tread looks like, tires go bad after 7-10 years, and they are kinda expensive.  I highly suggest you find these stamped numbers and certainly not take off on a trip if they are too old.
Title: Re: !989 F350 Coachmen Catalina 24ft
Post by: TheBar on January 10, 2020, 07:33:19 PM
Heres a 1989 Coachmen Catalina for sale in TN for $11, 500 and it looks like something is up similar by the top passenger bunk window

The fiberglass shows the damage is likely coming from the window leaking right above it. What happens is water causes the wood sheathing on the side to expand and push the fiberglass or metal siding to bow outwards. This pulls the siding out of the bottom trim leaving the open gap where even more water gets in. You need to get the window sealed the the bottom trim sealed up ASAP to prevent further damage. And pray the wood underneath is not already rotted.