Mallard Sprinter

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New member
Jul 16, 2006
Looking for advice on a 1990 Mallard Sprinter-Class A... I have a chance to buy it. 27,000 miles in good shape (275SB XL Package?- $12,300). The problem, I don't know anything about MH's or this model. My wife and I want to start slow and enjoy it, before moving up to a newer and bigger RV. Need help (what to ask/look for) before I buy.
Well, it's a small, entry level motorhome and no longer in production. Perhaps well suited to what you want to do with it, though.

A 1990 is going to have some age problems and the low mileage is almost a drawback because lack of use sometimes lets things deteriorate more than regular use.  Internal seals may have dried out from lack of lubrication that occurs when engine oil  and axle and transmisison fluid are circulated during driving.  Same for tires, which rely on frequent flexing to keep the rubber componds pliable (more on this later).  Belts and hoses will also likely be dead of old age, simply dried out and ready to crack without notice. Check the age of the tires, which can be determined from the DOT date code on the sidewalls. See the  RV Forum Glossary under tire Manufacturing Date.  Any tire approaching 7 years old MUST be replaced, regardless of apparent condition. It will fail catastrophically sometime in its 7th year  or very shortly thereafter and may cause severe damage as well as inconvenience when doing so.

I would also be leery of the refrigerator in an old rig, but there is little you can do to check it except see if it cools done to food storage levels in 4-8 hours.  Unfortunately there is no way to discern if it may be near the end of its life, since all the working parts are sealed plumbing.  A replacement fridge is VERY expensive - think in terms of $1800 for the size in this rig. Sometimes these fridges run on for 20 years or more and sometimes they fail in 3-4. It's somewhat of a gamble on any rig, though.

Check the operation of all appliances and systems carefully - spend an entire day and work through them systematically.
RV Roamer has give some excellent advise.  I would like to add one more item to check.  If the MH has a Generator set start it to make sure it runs and then turn on the air conditioners to put a load on the Genset, and make sure the AC is operating and will cool.
You got to keep in mind this coach is 15 years old and has not been used much which is not really a good thing.
Thank you all very much for your advice. I'm learning, boy I'm learning...
Tires will be shot, genset may not run and it will need a service at the least, guaranteed fridge problems, engine will need a major tune plus new belts/hoses at the least,tranny service, diff and brake fluid change at the least with possible brake job, new batterys, check for coach leaks if its been sitting in the weather for 16 years. Probably will need a new coach water pump. Use every electric socket. Plan for the worst and be happy if its not that bad. Do a complete check of these items BEFORE you negotiate the deal.

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