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Thread: My Experience with a used coach

  1. #1

    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 07:15 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Beverly Hills
    Posts
    2,728

    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

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