Initial inspection of 2009 Flagstaff HW27sc

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by William Freeman, May 6, 2018.

  1. William Freeman

    William Freeman Active Member

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    Well my wife and in laws just completed the initial inspection of a 2009 Flagstaff HW27sc a little while ago. Of course, as always, I am at work when anything I am interested in pops up for sale!

    They checked for obvious damage, leaks, soft spots in the floor, canvas condition, air cond function and fridge function. The DH was at work, and the DW didn't know many details about it, so the fridge, water heater, furnace or stove/oven didn't get checked (propane wasn't on and they didn't want to turn it on without him there). The fridge was on and cold on ac power. The air cond was cooling, but they couldn't tell how cool because the windows were all unzipped to air it out. They said it was very clean - just needed a dusting. It has an electric tongue jack installed and she said they just spent $300 repairing the power lift jack. They have a full cover for it, but wasn't used because they keep it in the garage. They bought it 2 years ago and have only used it 5-6 times. She says it's hard to get in and out of the bunks for her. Comes with an anti sway bar and hitch. I'm also going to see if they will throw in the honey wagon (what my dad called a Barker Tote) that I saw in one of the pictures!

    Now, the bad. They don't have a spare tire, just the rim. The driver side light lens is cracked and taped. Some of the decals are peeling. One small tear at a corner where the canvas velcros down. Both rear roof corners are bent a little (possibly because they are retired and having to store it in a small garage - maybe hit something? My wife didn't ask). Didn't get to inspect the roof because the DH wasn't there to lower it for them. Nor did they get to check the function of the lift and tongue jacks.

    I wanted my DW to go look at it and leave a deposit if she liked it. I am off work tomorrow, so I am going to go do a thorough inspection. I plan on checking in all cabinets, inside the roof and all hatches for signs of leaks and/or rot. I am going to check the fridge, stove/oven, water heater and furnace for function on propane. I am going to take a thermometer to check air cond output. Going to check the age of the tires. Going to see if I can find any canvas problems. Going to check the slides for smoothness in operation before lowering the roof to check the lift function and roof for cracks/sagging and how bad the rear corner damage really is.

    Can anyone add anything else to my list?
     
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  2. William Freeman

    William Freeman Active Member

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    I just got a couple of pics from them.
    The first pic is where he had to cut the rear bumper off so it would fit in their garage HOA won't let them store it outside). I don't know how he has it rigged to be removed.
    The second one is the driver rear corner - she said the other side is the same.
    Third pic is decals peeling.

    She said that they had a blowout is why there was no spare tire, which leads me to believe it needs 3 new tires! I also failed to mention that they are asking $6k for it.
     
  3. CamperChrissy

    CamperChrissy Well-Known Member

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    I can't seem to view your pics : (

    Your first few "bads" don't seem too bad. Tire is easily replaced. Tail lights are cheap and easy. However dented corners and missing bumper set off my alarms. I would definitely investigate those more.

    Also check out the caulk, especially the roof. To me, the caulk condition represents the owners overall maintenance level.

    Given that, $6k seems reasonable if it were in great condition. I've been browsing high walls in my area for a while and seems similar to prices I've seen.

    Hope it works out!
     
  4. William Freeman

    William Freeman Active Member

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    Not sure I linked the pics correctly or not - every forum seems to be different, but they show up on this computer - IDK?

    Yeah, tires will be one of the first things I check - date, cracks and load range. Looks like these high walls should be running load range D tires (2200# rated single). C range is rated @ 1,870# single. The GVWR on this pup is 3,766#, so D range for sure!

    Apparently, he cut the bumper off to gain an extra 8" to fit in the garage, but it looks like he fabricated a way to re mount it with thumbscrews. It wouldn't be that big of a deal to weld it back together, but stuff like that makes me look harder at every other area of the camper!

    The rear corner pic does actually look like he backed into something - IDK, I'll have to ask tomorrow. It looks to be "repaired" by straightening as much as they could and installing some sheet metal screws. I'll have to scrutinize the repair job to see if it was totally sealed and to see if I can make it look a little better if it passes muster!

    Yes, caulking for sure! That was what happened to my Minnie Winnie that caused its ultimate demise! I definitely don't want to re live that nightmare!

    The low average for this model was $5250 I believe and high average was $8k maybe? I was willing to pay the $6k if it was in VG condition, but my offer has dropped a little before I have even looked at it! It all hangs on that roof which is the biggest problem area on ALL of them (if not taken care of).
     
  5. William Freeman

    William Freeman Active Member

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    I was doing a little more online shopping this morning and found a 2008 StarCraft Star Stream ss3416 for $7k. I have seen it advertised (at a dealer) for a couple of weeks now, but it was $9k up until yesterday. Only problem is - there are NO reviews of this model that I have found! I only found 2 videos on youtube - pups for sale with no video, just a slideshow. The pics that the dealer have show the pup to be in great condition. I am just doing a little more exploring before going to look at the 2009 Flagstaff HW27sc this afternoon.
     
  6. William Freeman

    William Freeman Active Member

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    Well, I was sold on the Flagstaff until I checked the roof! Both of the rear plastic end caps were cracked and had a heavy layer of caulking on them - they weren't bent up (it looked like the rear corners were bent up in the pics - that's before I found out that the roof was fiberglass and the end caps are plastic). While inspecting the roof, I found a 3/4" hole driver side front (looked like a limb had punctured it)that had been filled with silicone, but it had about a 6" area around it that was dry rotted (soft). On the right front, I found an area that had been caulked over heavily. Upon inspecting this area, I found that it had a soft spot about 12" around and onto the front edge. The roof had a slight sag to it in the a/c area.

    Despite these problems, I continued to check it out. I moved on to the body of the pup. The sides of the roof, front and sides of the body looked great. The driver rear panel was delaminated almost to the middle and the passenger side was delaminated about a foot. Looks like it might have started on the driver side corner molding and running lights and the running light on the passenger side. I could probably live with this, because it held the original shape. The roof would always haunt me every time it rained! I checked the tires. The spare that they put on when the driver side blew out was the original one - 48th week of 2007 (camper was built 7/2008). The tire that blew out was a 2014 manufacture and the passenger tire was 2011 manufacture - all different brands and all needed replacing.

    With all that said, I had to pass on this one! I just couldn't handle thinking about the roof problems every time it rained! Oh well, I guess it wasn't meant to be! I will probably go check out the StarCraft when I get off of work Friday morning if it is still available - that would be a 70 mile trip from work.
     
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  7. Jorja

    Jorja Active Member

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    Think your instincts on the roof were on target.

    While our Niagara was well used with some dings on the corners - guess some find the high walls hard to park
    : ) - the roof, floors, plumbing, bathroom, electronics, cabinets and canvas were in great shape (one small repair to canvas with no water damage)

    That damage to roof you described along with the other things would have been too much for us as well.

    Good luck w the Starcraft!
     
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  8. Toolmaker13

    Toolmaker13 Member

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    Good call Freeman
     
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  9. William Freeman

    William Freeman Active Member

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    I emailed about the StarCraft yesterday to get him to send me some pics of the water damage on the inside and find out about tire condition. In the pics, there was a LOT more work that needed to be done than he described! There was a good 3' section near the bathroom that was stained and the vinyl coating starting to separate. No telling how bad the luan was underneath. He said the tires were cracked and looked to be the originals! I emailed back asking if $7k was the lowest they would go considering 5 new tires and the repairs needed. He said that was bottom dollar. I told him I guess that's not the camper for me.

    I started thinking about the Flagstaff again. Although there are 2 spots on the roof, I think they can be repaired by me. They were soft, but I think the wood was dry rotted, not wet. There was no damage that I saw through to the inside. Maybe infuse with a resin or epoxy and then make sure the whole roof is sealed well with a spray or roll on bedliner. The rear panel concerns me, but on the other hand I don't know what damage is there. I know what I think the panel should feel like when pushed on, but I don't know what it should actually feel like. I called a local RV repair shop and asked them about the problem areas, but of course they couldn't tell me much without seeing it in person. If I could get the owner to drop the price low enough to cover the price of new tires and whatever I can't fix myself, I would love to have this camper.

    I'll call them on Friday (I get off work Friday morning for the weekend) to see if they would consider taking $4500 for it and letting me take it to the repair shop for inspection before coming to an agreement.
     
  10. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    . I think that will be a good idea however some shops will probably say it needs a whole new roof vrs patching. Just because they think in the lines of how much work it will take and how long it would take them, vrs ordering a new roof and slapping it on (if available).
     
  11. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    How far are you willing to drive? Nice camper free for the taking, needs a new roof and a/c according to owner. Not sure if he has delved very deep in trying to fix the roof properly. Doesn't seem to want to be bothered with it. You should check it out.

    http://www.popupportal.com/threads/1998-coleman-bayside.117780/#post-1197231
     
  12. William Freeman

    William Freeman Active Member

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    Man, that's a good deal for someone! I appreciate you posting that, but I'm not getting notifications about replies (I'll have to check my settings). I ended up passing on the Flagstaff and the StarCraft. I looked at a Flagstaff (not a highwall - can't remember the model, but had everything I was looking for). The guy said no leaks. Got there (130 mile drive) and pulled on the wheelwell first thing - rotten on both sides. Went inside and looked around - looked great. Felt around the vent fan - soft. Pushed on the rear roof panel through the canvas - rotten, falling off onto the canvas outside! I told the guy I wasn't looking for a project and he wouldn't like the offer I would give him even if I made one!

    I had inquired about a 2008 Fleetwood Arcadia about 30 miles from this guy a couple of weeks ago, so I messaged him to see if it was still available and if he could show it - since I was in the area. He was asking $7k for it. He was able to show it and it looked great! He's the 2nd owner and kept it in pretty good shape. Only one problem area was (what he said) that the original owner took it out right after he bought it and had a leak around the A/C. Took it back to the dealer and they found that it didn't have a gasket installed - installed a gasket and he (nor the current owner) never had another leak. Here's where it gets sketchy. Someone installed a fiberglass panel (like you see at Home Depot for shower surrounds - 1/16" flat fiberglass sheet) on the ceiling behind the A/C between the ceiling supports (I guess that's what they are). It looks like they tried to glue it up there and it is bowing down in places - looks like a hack job. So I'm guessing that "someone" is trying to hide a messed up ceiling. And why didn't the dealership replace that since it was brand new? The current owner said that he Kool Sealed (white) the roof twice since he had it. So why did he seal it if it wasn't leaking? My guess is that the current owner had a leak at the A/C that messed up the ceiling and he Kool Sealed it to stop the leak and wasn't able to fix the ceiling correctly. A little lie putting the blame on the original owner and everything is great! Anyway, I offered him $5500 a couple of days ago and he said $6k was bottom dollar. He texted me this morning and said he and his wife talked about it and would take $5800. My wife and I are planning on going to take a second look on Sunday and I am going to do an in depth inspection. I didn't have time to drop the roof to look at that while I was there on Saturday.

    So that's where I stand in my search for the right camper. I really like the Fleetwood - looks like a much better build quality and materials. Love the Sunbrella roof tents - you can feel the difference in heat! This one has 2yo tires and comes with a honey wagon, drain hose, water hose, BAL leveler, chocks, blocks, flatscreen, insulation board for the bunk windows(?) and tent roof insulation blankets. Pretty much ready to go camping - just needs a thorough cleaning.
     
  13. William Freeman

    William Freeman Active Member

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    We had a second look at the Arcadia yesterday. The DW and daughter agreed that it would serve our purpose well for now. I took a closer look at everything - the frame and bottom side of the floor look good and the A/C works. The owner (who is on this forum) was very accommodating when I asked to pull the inner A/C assembly for a look. Upon inspection, I was able to get my hand in the space between the fiberglass panel and the original luan panel on the ceiling. Two sides were wet. It has been raining this week and we had also run the A/C before we checked (lots of condensation runoff). Regardless of how it happened, there was wet luan. It was wet at least 4" on two sides. The luan was delaminated about 18" out on one side, 1' on two sides and 8" on the front. I wanted to take the roof brace cover off, but we couldn't decide if that was a good idea with the A/C sitting on top, so we didn't. I had the info I needed already anyhow. This would have to be repaired and the leak fixed immediately if I buy it. We decided to drop the top and check out the roof. After it was completely closed, I got on a ladder to check it out. It looked great! He had rolled on Kool Seal a couple of times over the years (he has owned it since 2011). I couldn't see any cracks. One thing I DID notice was that there was no caulking down the side of the edge rails and end caps. I know that it wasn't caulked from the factory - they relied on the seal under the edge rails and a little caulking under the caps.

    I am going to call a local repair shop this morning to get a rough estimate on repairs. We like the camper, but I don't want to do the repairs my self - although I'm sure i could. I will get the shop to replace the A/C seal and correctly caulk the whole camper while it is there (if I buy it).
     
  14. William Freeman

    William Freeman Active Member

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    All of the local repair shops said they would have to remove the roof to make the repair (at the tune of $2-3k) except one. He said he would patch it but offer no warranty, or he could remove the roof and do it correctly.

    I called the guy and made him an offer on it which he accepted and I picked it up yesterday morning. He had it ready to go except for tires being aired up (he didn't have a working compressor). I hooked up, checked the lights, which one wasn't working - tapped on it and it started working. I rolled out and stopped about 5 miles down the road at a tire shop for air - one was 38, the other 42#. I continued on to the end of that hwy - about 25 miles at 55-60mph. I came to a stop there with some pulsing of the trailer brakes - I don't know if that was the factory F250 brake controller or rust on the trailer brakes. I continued on with no problems.

    Now to get started on the cleanup and decide whether we want to do the repairs or let the professionals do it!
     
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  15. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

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    upload_2018-5-23_12-38-14.jpeg
     
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  16. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    I agree! Pics, pics, pics! We all have cameras on our phones. :laugh:
     
  17. William Freeman

    William Freeman Active Member

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    As soon as I figure out how to post pics I will. I tried uploading and inserting earlier in this thread, but obviously did something wrong - y'all couldn't see them, right?

    I was helping my mom with her pup until 3pm (left turn signal wouldn't work - deduced a bad light socket and ordered new ones for both sides along with a new a/c shroud). When I got home, I started on ours. I taped off, scuffed and painted the frame, tongue and stabilizers (they were covered with surface rust). I also removed the battery box so I could paint its frame too. I doubt I'll even open it up this week because I go back to work on Friday and need to get yard work done tomorrow.
     
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  18. William Freeman

    William Freeman Active Member

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    Here's a pic from when I got it home yesterday. Let me know if y'all can see it - uploaded from my phone.
     

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  19. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    I can see it! Nice, and thanks for posting one. :smiley:
     
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  20. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

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    Thank you!!
     
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