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Thread: My Experience with a used coach

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Edmond
    Posts
    65

    Default My Experience with a used coach

    Late last year I purchased a 1998 Featherlight Vantyre Prevost conversion. 172,000 miles. This has been quite the learning experience and I just wanted to share what I have learned in the process. The mistakes I have made.

    I first want to state that my plans are to keep this coach for the rest of life, so I am not concerned about keeping myself from becoming upside down in what the coach will be worth. I just want a coach that is dependable on the road and all the amenities I was looking for in a coach are in working order.

    Early on I struggled slide vs non slide. I finally decided the non slide was for me, as I like to just go and many nights we just pull over in a truck stop, rest stop or Wal-Mart and like the ease of not putting out slides. Many times there we would not be able to due the parking spaces.

    The main seller for me was the coach has a bath tub and that is a must for my wife.

    I purchased the coach from very nice family who used a well-established broker. Both were very honest and upfront with any issues.

    It really worked out well for me as I lucked out the coach was maintained but had no service records as it was rarely taken to Prevost for service. The biggest mistake I made is I really should have had a detailed mechanical inspection from Prevost of a flown in a pro to do this. Once again I lucked out as all was in pretty good shape BUT after I did take it to Prevost for the DMI I realized how much could have gone wrong…the expense it could have been if not maintained.

    The DMI at Prevost was $700 ish and they inspected everything and gave a detailed report on what was needed. The seller informed me that the Tag brakes were in poor shape and needed to be done. My first trip to Prevost was the DMI, Tag Air Brakes, Tag air bags (as it was cheaper to do then as all was taken apart) Tag Calipers. Rotors, and Shocks. I also did Level 3 engine service, as I wanted a more detailed inspection of coach that this service offered. Also transmission and Differential service was done, as I did not have any service records. Cost was $8271.33

    As with all coaches there were many air leaks. Many people told me don’t chase these it will be very expensive, but I knew this is something I wanted to fix. Leaning drives me crazy. I now know this is quite a process and now that I am done, I am glad I finished.

    Trip two to Prevost they service some exterior light, Changed out Steer and drive air bags. All my air bags were cracking and showing wear. I was not sure of the age on these. Tons of air fittings. As you change out leaking fittings more pop up. Changed the power steer fluid and filter, repaired windshield wiper are, new coach batteries and added rear mud flaps Cost $4350.00

    Next I replace my carbon monoxide and added additional ones for redundancy Cost $175.00

    Not knowing the age of my belts I replaced all, had fix to my muffler pipe and retrofitted by trailer plug. Replace ck valve in engine compartment. Cost $1051.72

    Backup camera needed replacing. $494.08

    Valve stem replace $74.02

    My next stop was Marathon in Dallas; They repaired a steel panel on body, sealed some roof areas, added Freon to a cruise air. Phase one of the Aquahot which was not working when I purchased coach. They replace the fan motor and diesel pump. Air pocket door repaired. Replace grey and Black knife valves. Cost $3282.07

    Back to Prevost and they repaired High idle which was not working, more misc engine air leak parts and repaired my decelerate button which was not working. They replace a faulty tag air bag (under warranty) Replaced one mini lob in engine compartment replaced the air dryer and replaced 3 R-12 and 1 R-14 brake valves. They were leaking air. Cost $4300.00

    Back to Marathon and I put Hydro stop roof coating, serviced the generator, worked on Aux air leaks, took out trash compactor, fixed a fantastic fan, replace two relays, Cost $4153.39

    Back to Prevost Alternator leak kit, more general air leaks, replace the last engine mini lobe and replace two bay lock solenoid’s. Cost $1320 .49

    Back to Prevost replace oil pressure valve, fixed air tank fittings. Worked on more air leaks Cost 1229.61

    I purchased a rear engine regulator and replaced Cost 218.88

    I installed a fan in bedroom and replaced shower head cost $248.33

    Back to Prevost they replace the on /off valve in engine compartment, brake pressure switch refurbed, replaced right air tank fittings, replace another bay solenoid and worked on more air fitting leaks Cost $1213.32

    Back to Marathon and they replace bearing on Webosto, drained and refilled Aquahot replaced hosed and fitting. Cost $950.00

    Last trip to Prevost replaced odometer and bulbs $600.00

    Finally my bus has stayed up for a week with no noticeable loss of air.

    I now am budgeting to replace tires; they look perfect but are coming up on 6 years. I need a new washer and dryer, I want to re clear coat the coach, and deal with some Aux air leaks.

    I got a really good deal on coach, have put $30 k in it this year. Probably will put $15 K in this year and will hopefully have a great dependable coach for years to come.

    I know other things will pop up and general maintenance will cost several thousand a year.

    Hope this helps new buyers with a little information on my experience with a used coach.

    David Thomas
    Last edited by Dthomas9572; 12-06-2018 at 06:15 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Beverly Hills
    Posts
    2,985

    Default

    David,

    Great synopsis of what coach ownership can cost.

    FWIW, not all dealers operate the same. Some make their coaches look great (lipstick on a pig) and at the other end of the spectrum some do extensive repairs and service before offering their coaches for sale.


    Gil and Durlene
    2003 H-3 Hoffman Conversion

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    San Antonio
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Good example of what can go wrong.

    Thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    2,374

    Default

    Ed, don't make the mistake of misconstruing the post. You can very easily pick up a very nice mid-90s coach 4 very reasonable money. U will however also be maintaining a million dollar vehicle regardless of the purchase price.

    Putting 30 g into a nice used prevo is not that unorthodox.
    Last edited by Joe Camper; 02-04-2019 at 10:37 PM.
    1990 Peterbuilt 377
    3406 B Caterpillar
    13 Speed Roadranger
    708 243 7871

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Edmond
    Posts
    65

    Default

    Many of the items I have invested into my coach probably could have waited as most were not and emergency.

    In my opinion there are two types of owners those who use a coach for just travel. One is those where there is no real urgency to get to a location. If there is an issue then stopping at a shop for a few days to fix the problem is no big deal.

    In the other case those of us who have because of business have to be at a place on a certain date, there is not the ability just hang a round for a few days. Time is money. Because of that I have decided to really be proactive and fix any issue as it starts to pop up. With me this only is on the coach side. If on the convertor side these is an issue that does not stop me from getting where I need to be. I always wait until the issue needs to be addressed.

    At this point I feel very confident in my coach. I know anything could happen, but just knowing that I have brought it back to great operating shape, it always stays aired up and straight, my breaking system is in great condition, ect makes me feel great when on the road.

    In the last few years, I have flown and done the hotel thing and am just sick of that. Being able to leave, be where I need to be, take my wife and dog and just enjoy nature is awesome. The Prevost allows me to have the best of both worlds.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Hamilton
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Thanks for this

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Hamilton
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Well said.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    8

    Default

    David, thanks for this post and all the detail. It's great info for someone (me!) considering a used Prevost and what I might expect in post-purchase catch-up maintenance. A lot of what you report I don't find unreasonable or unexpected.

    However .. what the heck is all the air leak stuff (bags, fittings, tanks, etc) and is that typical of what to expect? Or should one do some kind of inspection up front or go about it differently?

    Thanks again . (I almost typed "tanks again")
    Mark and Vada
    Chicago and Las Vegas
    2018 Dutch Star 4018 ... contemplating Prevost

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Beverly Hills
    Posts
    2,985

    Default

    Air leaks are the nature of the beast. Not all air leaks require attention. Even your braking system has an acceptable rate of leakage per federal DoT standards.

    Prevost, like other manufacturers, uses push-in air fittings. Over years, say 15 years or so, the rubber o-ring looses its elasticity and leaks. The leaks are worse in colder weather. These leaks are often minor and don't warrant remediation.

    What makes air leaks a nuisance is our coaches are leveled with air unlike most RVs that have leveling jacks. Leaking suspension can result in the loss of level when parked.

    You can spend a lot of money chasing leaks or do wholesale replacement of parts or accept some level of leaks.

    Just as a point of reference, my 03 suspension holds air for weeks. My brake system for over a week, and my aux air over a couple days. I could correct some of these leaks, but none affect my coach's safe operation.


    Gil and Durlene
    2003 H-3 Hoffman Conversion

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    8

    Default

    I have noticed, at the RV park we stay at, a number of Prevosts that lean. I guess that explains it. What kind of shops can do the replacement work ... truck / chassis shops, or are there specialized air system places? Does Prevost designate authorized ones?

    Thanks
    Mark and Vada
    Chicago and Las Vegas
    2018 Dutch Star 4018 ... contemplating Prevost

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