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Topic: 1st time buyer advice (Read 565 times) previous topic - next topic

1st time buyer advice

Still looking and been talking to someone in Sumner Washington on a 2003, 34' with 1 slide and 1 owner. Is anyone around that area that checks out Foretravels? Still debating if to travel 500 miles to check it out. Not sure if I know enough about what to look for. Anyone know anything about this coach?
Looking at this Foretravel in Justin Texas and wondered if anyone knows anything about it before I decide to head there from Idaho. Thanks, Malinda

Re: 1st time buyer advice

Reply #1
Looks like a clean coach. Dealer website listing says all new tires, all new batteries, and new alternator. 

Re: 1st time buyer advice

Reply #2
There were a couple for sale at Lake Havasu in AZ.,a little closer.
96 U270 BUILD 4810
85 380SL
Drummonds TN.

Re: 1st time buyer advice

Reply #3
Check the history of the coach and where it lived during it's life. Texas coach could be nice but may have been in the north with treated roads for it's earlier life or been in a flood. Don't see any engine or undercarriage photos. Find an Foretravel owner to inspect with you. Never take a salesperson's word on anything.

Pierce,  Gaylie and Koda
'93 U300/36 WTBI
Detroit 6V-92TA Jake
1140 watts on the roof

Re: 1st time buyer advice

Reply #4
Looks Original.... I have changed just about everything in mine and would be in the 125-130k zone.. With Solar and lithium setup..
2002 U320 Build #5974
Motorcade 17802
2010 Enclave

Re: 1st time buyer advice

Reply #5
It is a nice looking coach, clean by the pictures and they seemed to want to make sure you see it shines. Pretty surprising that mileage isn’t stated or the dash shown. 120K miles is common. A 2002 should have had the slide bladders replaced by now based on experience of most others.  It doesn’t appear to have any upgrades since original. TV, inverter, refrig. OEM blinds. Might have had a ceiling fan in the BR that has been removed.

Many, not all, of these coaches had lots of issues with the patio awing function, many have replaced them with manual ones. The 2002 slide mechanism (train) was only used in this year.  Maybe HWH came up with a better one or FT switched to a different one.  Some have had no issues, probably more have had some problems, a few have had significant problems with the mechanism.

If you go look at it have the dealer cycle the awning in and out several times, wait for awhile and do it again. Same with both slides. The seal bladders should never squeal.  If they do they are not fully retracted and are likely to get damage. Check for flush fit on both after each cycle.

And these used a compressed air/vacuum assist toilet assist to move stuff from one side of the coach to the black tank entrance on the other side.  There have been epic tales told of troubles with this toilet/system.  Again, not all but some. 

Mechanically, interior build quality and all other FT stuff is not much different from one year to the next in these years so all that should be checked out but not a big worry.

Look closely at the basement floors from underneath.  This is another problem are on many coaches especially in the rear.

The LP gas refrig might be fine for a long time, it is a common upgrade to a residential refrigerator.
TVs and the front cabinet work are often updated.
It has OEM bathroom carpet. Tile was an option then and probably more so now.
The OEM Prosines seem to have a 20 year life +/- a few years.  Another common upgrade.

Make sure the tire dates and battery dates are what the dealer says. Does the coach have service documentation?

Finally for a basically stock 2002 with nominal miles the price seems a bit high. It has to be perfect to get that price. Pay to get it inspected, pay 10% less. 

Slide seals will be $8K, a residential refrig maybe $1500-3500. A new LP refrig could actually be more. Inverters are $1500-$2500 + installation. A new tile floor might be $1-2K.  A complete service (a smart thing to do) - air filters,  oil, transmission, coolant,  gen, AH, all filters and chassis lube maybe $2K or more.  Brakes can be nothing to several thousand. Be an informed shopper.

If you like what you see keep asking questions and expecting answers without traveling. Get many more pictures of everything and as much history as possible.  If they start saying no so should you. Find an inspector or someone to help you look at it.  Know what you will pay if you go.  Be ready to make an offer and stick to it if is the right coach for you.

Re: 1st time buyer advice

Reply #6
Love the colors, oops, that is the colors of my coach!  lol  Nice looking coach with 2 slides and tag!
It has an air awning and most likely will need to be replaced.  ZipDee had real problems with that awning, since the aux compressor was not large enough to power the awning correctly!  We removed ours and went with a manual and glad we did!  Figure $2k on that!
Joe & Dottie Allen
2000 U320; build # 5645
Our coach, Maxine
Motorcade #  15922;  Escapee 150950; FMCA F495795; Boondockers Welcome
'98 U320 from 2000-'06

"the difference between stupidity and genius?  Genius has it's limits!"

Re: 1st time buyer advice

Reply #7
Not sure if by "first time buyer" this is of Foretravel or of any RV.  If the latter:

The slide in a 2002 is a one-year system.  No other years (except a few early 2003 builds) have the train system used.  This plus the air auto awning as implemented by FT will be a bit of an hen's tooth for service - be sure you are prepared to be tied to going to Nac for some service items.

VacuFlush system is awesome but requires maintenance at least once every 3 years (duckbills).  If original, the bellows and motor for the vacuum generator are past the end of their lives.  This is a system a marine servicer is more familiar with than an RV servicer.  I would not hesitate to have one (again - we had a coach with this for 13 years), but it is not a drop n' go (or should I say "go n' drop") waste system.

Be aware if it has the original tank monitor system (Javalina), that is obsolete and there are no parts or support available.  Budget for a SeeLevel system to be installed if you get it.

We lived in the Denton/Justin/Ponder/Argyle area for 13 years and never heard of this dealer (and we were pretty familiar with all of them, good or bad).  Doesn't mean they aren't reputable, but they are definitely not a known quantity.
Learn every day, but especially from the experiences of others. It's cheaper!  - John C. Bogle

Re: 1st time buyer advice

Reply #8
...but it is not a drop n' go (or should I say "go n' drop") waste system.
Actually, the correct technical term is "Drop & Plop".  We have one, so I am up to speed on the lingo.  :thumbsup:
Chuck, Jeannie & Bella the MalChi
1993 U280 SE 40' WTBI, Build: 4359
C8.3 300hp, 6-Speed, Exhaust Brake
960 watts on the roof (6 x 160)
Kia on a Kar Kaddy SS
I may suffer from the Dunning-Kruger effect, but I seriously doubt it...

Re: 1st time buyer advice

Reply #9

I did a Google search on the dealer and the satellite image showed what looked like a truck parking lot, no buildings.  Ask questions about how long he has been in business.  If he's just a start up you will have no comeback if problems present themselves.  His website shows it's more of a proper lot.  Take someone who knows Foretravels with you and insist on a full inspection.

For reference here is a listing at Motorhomes of Texas.  These are reputable people and I have had dealings with them as have other on here and I was satisfied.  Also they are located near the factory with other sales operations close by.

2005 Foretravel U320 4020 | Motorhomes of Texas

Good luck.

Keith, Joyce & Smokey the Australian Cattle Dog
1995 U320 SE Extreme 40' WTBI Build # 4780, with a Honda CR-V hopefully still following behind.
Motorcade # 17030
FMCA # F422159

Re: 1st time buyer advice

Reply #10
Mr Wonderful and I lived and traveled in our 2002 U320 that looked almost exactly like that one.  We had a love/hate relationship with the ZipDee AutoAwn and finally stopped using it. I would rather a manual. The interior of that coach is more like the laypout of the 2003, with the angled counter in the kitchen.  The carpet looks to be original ... ours had been updated to tile.  The bathroom is also a different layout than ours, with the open wall to the bedroom and the shower in a different location. This MAY mean that the commode is on the curbside of the coach, over the black tank, and a DIRECT DROP.  I know more about the Sealand Magnum Opus Vacu-flush computerized commodes that anyone should have to.  We called ours the Turbo-turd 3000.  It was an overly engineered marine toilet that is the stuff of nightmares for me.  There are much simpler models, now ... If it is a direct drop, you are golden!  We also had an issue with a secondary fuel filter on the 450 Cummins engine.  It required an electrical assist of some sort that was also a fuel warmer. When that little black box failed (located on the top of the engine bay near the purge button) the mechanic said that as long as we were not Ice-Road truckers, we would not need that assist. The replacement was just a regular filter ... Cummins had the whole procedure outlined for the mechanic ... and after that easy fix, we never looked back.  There is also a wonky hydraulic pump that was only used for 2 or 3 years that often develop leaks. This is a pump manufactured in England with Italian parts (or some such thing) and is stupid expensive. Ours had a very small leak  for years and we just kept topping off the fluid and watching it. The new owner of our coach is doing the same, I think.  We never had a problem with our slide. We did the maintenance and visited HWH and kept the keypad terminals clean. We did replace the slide bladders once.  We had our bulkheads fixed, along with many, many others.  I also remember that the 2002s included a group where there were issues with the endcaps needing to be redone because of a manufacturing issue.  Don't know how you find out if this coach was in that series.  We never had an issue.  After we learned the eccentricities of the coach (and they ALL have them) and dealt with a few kinks, we had a blissful time. There are ALWAYS things going sideways and needing attention.  It is what it is. 
Carol & Jeff Savournin
Usta have a '93 U225 36', Usta have a '95 U320 40', Usta have a '02 U320 40'
Usta have a 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4dr
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life."   Steve Jobs

Re: 1st time buyer advice

Reply #11
Here's one might interest you

2002 FORETRAVEL U320 4020 - rvs - by owner - vehicle automotive sale

good luck on your search 
Jimmy Freytag,   Ardmore, Ok
1999 36ft U320. — -SOLD—-
1988 40ft GV         1990 36ft U280
1993 40ft U280      1996 36ft U280

Re: 1st time buyer advice

Reply #12
I think Foretravel (for the most part) proves the adage that newer isn't necessarily better. DW and I have actually looked online at several of the late 90's/early 00's. We found one we would seriously consider (actually DW described it as a must have for reasons on the rear). Alas, it appears to be sold (and about a year before we're in a position to actually make a purchase). 2005 Foretravel U320 4020 Bunks | Motorhomes of Texas

Re: 1st time buyer advice

Reply #13
I saw that Aggie bus at MOT recently, and it really looked nice.  And I'm not just saying that because of the logo on the stern!  Bunks would seem to make it popular as well.
1996 U295 36' WTBI

Re: 1st time buyer advice

Reply #14
I saw that Aggie bus at MOT recently, and it really looked nice.  And I'm not just saying that because of the logo on the stern!  Bunks would seem to make it popular as well.

Agreed. It's the first one I've seen for sale that had bunks. Mike Phillips said he would get me the bunk dimensions, but haven't heard back from him yet. Just wish the timing was better for us.