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Topic: Starting to look (Read 854 times) previous topic - next topic

Starting to look

Hello, we are going to look at 2003 U320 40. After reading about bulkhead and rust issues, I’m really getting stressed out. The coach is in Ohio but has been garaged and only one owner. We have owned a Safari Trek for years, but the systems are quite more complex than what we have now. We are trying to do as much homework as possible before we go. Another coach we might look at is an 02 U290 with very low miles, approx 4000 original. That concerns me more that the 03 with 67000. I would appreciate any thoughts or suggestions.

Owen
Powhatan, VA

Re: Starting to look

Reply #1
Too few miles is more concerning than higher miles.  Coaches need to move for lubrication of all components.
Dan - Full timing since 2009
2003 U320 40' Tag 2 slide

Re: Starting to look

Reply #2
The 02 must be a 270,don't think there is a 290.
96 U270 BUILD 4810
85 380SL
Drummonds TN.

Re: Starting to look

Reply #3
The 02 must be a 270, don't think there is a 290.
But there is a U295.

Agree 4000 miles on a almost 20 year old coach is something that needs to be investigated.

Would be extremely undesirable if the coach was parked in one spot, outside, and lived in the whole time.  (Park Model)

Might be OK if the coach was properly stored inside a climate controlled barn and taken out for regular exercise runs.  (Garage Queen)

Mileage is only one of many important factors when evaluating a potential purchase.
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: Starting to look

Reply #4
After reading about bulkhead and rust issues, I’m really getting stressed out.
In 20-20 hindsight I think I lost too much sleep over this when I was hunting for my first FT. I was so terrified by the extreme cases of  $30k worth of damage that I lost sight of the forest through the trees.

Now I would still consider it a very important item but more equally balanced with slide issues, bags, tires, fuel lines, etc... Don't let it consume you and settle for less in the other areas.. Anything can be repaired on these rigs, you just want to limit those repair jobs to single-digit coach bucks if possible ;D
2001 U320 4010

Not all that wander are lost... but I usually am.

Re: Starting to look

Reply #5
Owen, where in Ohio is the coach located that you're stressed about?  There may very well be a forum member nearby that will inspect it for you.

Re: Starting to look

Reply #6
Owen, the bulkhead issue is something that we ALL will face sooner or later. If the work has been done properly then the coach is worth a bit more than if it hasn't yet been done or done improperly because you will have to take care of the issue. Same with tires and batteries. They age out, so factor that into your offer.

As T-Man mentioned, someone near to the coach in question can look it over for you and at least give you an evaluation based on some experience. The ideal, of course, would be to have Brett Wolfe inspect it, but that isn't too likely, so take advantage of whatever help you can get.

A coach that is used is generally a better buy than one that isn't. The key word is "generally" because a garage queen might well be a better buy than one that has been used but not cared for. Whatever you decide, remember to keep some money in reserve to do the upgrades, delayed maintenance, and repairs that you feel are necessary.
David, kb0zke
1993 U300 40' Build 4371
Motorcade number 17214
SKP #118163

Re: Starting to look

Reply #7
I would not worry about low miles on the coach. Our 1993 had 60K back in '08 and almost nothing has gone wrong with it. What is important is getting an owner with bulkhead experience to check it out with you. It's not just the bulkhead as the damage frequently goes with other corrosion issues that will lead to other problems the rest of the coach's life. Maintenance with rusty fasteners can take much longer and cost a lot more. The exception here is damage caused by water/tank/overflow leaks. Problems here may be limited to a localized area.  An experienced inspector can usually tell in a very short time what it's past has been like.

Bottom line is that treated roads in winter and coaches rarely get along.

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

Re: Starting to look

Reply #8
The coach is in Waynesville Oh, going Sunday to look it over. It’s one owner, and garage kept. From the pictures it looks very clean. I believe the two slide bladders have not yet been replaced, Tires 3yrs. I’m going to plan on 10k in maintenance the first year. He says no bulkhead issues, I will spend time underneath with a inch pound torque wrench if he allows that, if not I will probably walk.

Re: Starting to look

Reply #9
Thanks again for all the input. I think we are going to look for a 320 38 tag in that same year. If you know of a good coach send me a note.

Owen

Re: Starting to look

Reply #10
My money would be on the ‘03 40’ u320. We love ours, bought it with 105k miles  But that’s just my .02
Keith & Jo
2003 U320T 4025 PBBS Designer series
Build 6203    Cummins 500hp
2000 U320 4010 WTFE / Build 5762 —Sold—
Motorcade #18070   
Pasadena, Texas
2015 Jeep Wrangler Sahara-Sunset Orange pearl coat
Don't argue with a fool, people watching might not be able to tell the difference.

Re: Starting to look

Reply #11
Just remember. Even the older Foretravel coaches have "good bones" compared to most of the other stuff on the market.This Forum is the greatest value that you can get with a coach.
Nitehawk,  Demolition Lady, & our master, Rocket the cat.
1989 Grand Villa 36' ORED
Oshkosh chassis, 8.2 DD V8
2006 Saturn Vue AWD

Re: Starting to look

Reply #12
Waynesville ! It’s amazing that there would be a Foretravel hidden there, it’s a small village and I drive through it all the time and I have driven nearly every street and never thought there may be a coach secreted there. More amazing is that it makes Dayton the most populated area in Ohio for Foretravel's.
I am certainly no expert on Foretravels, the lack of miles will make certain parts of the coach very desirable, they will be like new, but there are still components that will have aged, belts, hoses, fuel lines, shocks, slide seals, suspension air bags. An older washing machine would most likely leak. Moving parts will not have been lubricated and exercised, brakes, valves, bearings, shocks.
Springfield Truck Center is a great “mechanical” place and they are very familiar with the Cummins engine. The Coach features should also be checked out, I am “newer to these coaches” and not familiar with the slides, there are more knowledgeable owners locally who may be able to help you.
I suggest that you take it for a long test drive, take it on smaller roads to I-71 and a good 20 miles on it to see how the coach performs and handles.
I hope you find a diamond in the rough.
These are amazing coaches, beautiful to drive and spend time in.
If I can be of any help please feel to contact me
David
David & Emma Roche
Dino (Golden Doodle)
1999 U270 WTFE 36’ Build # 5534
Xtreme “Lights, Stripes & Roof”
Motorcade# 18321
Dayton, Ohio
Towd: Jeep Grand Cherokee
Two Townie Electra Bikes

Life is made to enjoy, the Foretravel helps!

Re: Starting to look

Reply #13
Well, Owenbryant, what happened when you went to Waynesville?
People posted answers to your question and then silence?
Was the info helpful, did you look at the coach, was it a bust?
OR did you become the owner of a Foretravel?

David & Emma Roche
Dino (Golden Doodle)
1999 U270 WTFE 36’ Build # 5534
Xtreme “Lights, Stripes & Roof”
Motorcade# 18321
Dayton, Ohio
Towd: Jeep Grand Cherokee
Two Townie Electra Bikes

Life is made to enjoy, the Foretravel helps!

Re: Starting to look

Reply #14
Look at reply #9 it looks like he gave up on that one is now looking for a different one.
1999 40 ft. U-320 wtfe build 5563 Chuck & Lynda's "Rollin' Inn"  2030 watts solar
prev. mh's 71 GMC 5 yrs. 73 Pace Setter 1 yr. 78 Vogue 5 yrs 81 FTX 40ft all electric 18 yrs. 1996 Monaco Signature 3 yrs.
2014 Grand Cherokee Overland
Dream as if you will live forever. Live as if you will die today.  James Dean

Re: Starting to look

Reply #15
Ah apologies!
David & Emma Roche
Dino (Golden Doodle)
1999 U270 WTFE 36’ Build # 5534
Xtreme “Lights, Stripes & Roof”
Motorcade# 18321
Dayton, Ohio
Towd: Jeep Grand Cherokee
Two Townie Electra Bikes

Life is made to enjoy, the Foretravel helps!

Re: Starting to look

Reply #16
The very low mileage coach has much lower chance of owner negligence or ignorance concerning maintenance or keeping things operational.  Read some of the threads on these RV forums and you'll get an idea of what's going on.  And then there are those who will say only the ones with problems are the ones who frequent these forums.  But my first sentence still holds.  I've been watching and looking for a while but I haven't convinced myself that a Class A is the way to go due to multiple owners of the older models I'm considering. 
Searching, searching, searching, Rawhide!

Re: Starting to look

Reply #17
I've been watching and looking for a while but I haven't convinced myself that a Class A is the way to go due to multiple owners of the older models I'm considering.
You will often find multiple previous owners in every class of motorhome.  Multiple owners is not necessarily a bad thing.  Like every other factor, it has to be taken into consideration and evaluated.  Our 1993 model U280, for instance, had 4 owners before we bought it.  We have been totally happy and satisfied with it for 8 years.  It was in excellent condition when we got it, and it has never let us down.  I'm really glad we were not discouraged or put off by the fact that we would be the 5th owners of our fine old classic.
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: Starting to look

Reply #18
Our 1989 GV has had four owners also. Originally purchased in California. Then owned by a State Patrol Trooper Helicopter pilot on the East coast (I understand it sat in storage then for about 10 years) and then by an owner in either Wyoming or Colorado. Now us here in Wisconsin.
Problems? Not anything that stopped us from using it. Expensive repairs? NONE.
Enjoyment? Impossible to put a price on the memories.
Pride? We love how people stop and compliment us on how beautiful our 31 year old coach is. We love this Foretravel so much that when any little "need to fix" issue comes up we fix it immediately.
Would I buy another old Foretravel with a bunch of miles on it? YOU HAD BETTER BELIEVE IT!!
Unfortunately our ages, physical and medical issues are causing the need to divest ourselves of our coach in a couple/few years. (SOB) :'(  :'(  :'(
Good "bones" in Foretravel coaches make them bargains irregardless of age. Mileage/use is not much of an issue if the coach has had diligent owners that love their coach.
Nitehawk,  Demolition Lady, & our master, Rocket the cat.
1989 Grand Villa 36' ORED
Oshkosh chassis, 8.2 DD V8
2006 Saturn Vue AWD