Is it worth going to look at this used Coleman Fleetwood? or this used Viking?

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by lksdrinker, Oct 18, 2018.

  1. lksdrinker

    lksdrinker Active Member

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    Thanks again for the info. So the ABS wont scare me away; but I do want to be prepared if I end up with one. If there are no visible cracks is it something you can just leave alone? Or would it make sense to apply something like grizzly grip as a preventative?

    I figured those awnings fail often. I'm not quite sure I understand how they're attached to the pup though. Is there a chance that it caused damage to something other than just the awning? I do usually have instant canopies we bring with us when camping. But I could see using a combination of one or two of those along with the awning on the pup as well.

    I'm hoping to go take a look at this 96 Fleetwood this weekend. Seems to be in pretty good condition overall. However, seller claims he has had it for 3 years and never once attempted to use propane or water; so I'm a bit concerned there. This one also seems to have very few amenities with no a/c no furnace etc. Seller is asking $1000 for that one but I wonder if it should go for less since it doesn't have much in the way of "extras".

    I've also been talking to someone who has a 1999 Viking that needs some work. He has yet been able to confirm which Viking exactly. Says the goshen lift system needs to be replaced . Claims the front spring is kinked. Also says there is a tear in the canvas which is also a bit dirty. I'm sure it can be quite expensive to replace the entire canvas, but how difficult might it be to clean this up and maybe fix just the problem area? Is that the lift cable/spring in the first photo? Seller doesnt even have a price he's looking for and is open to offers on this one. So the cheap side of me that knows I can probably fix this one is calling out. But I'm not sure else to be looking for on this one or what to expect to pay for the parts.
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  2. Shaman1

    Shaman1 Well-Known Member

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    I would avoid the Viking. New canvas will be about $1000. I'm not an expert on the Goshen lift system, but something caused the spring to kink. The water damage on the canvas would make me wonder about it being put up wet and/or other water damage. Just my thoughts. Good luck in your hunt.
     
  3. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, those pictures dont say buy me, even at a rock bottem price. Be patient, it might take a bit longer to find what you want , but eventually the time spent looking will pay off.
     
  4. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    I wouldn't touch the Viking. Also, would pass on the Fleetwood, but only because a/c is mandatory for me.

    If you can live without a/c, it might be worth looking at. It could be true that the owner never tried those systems. I see a crazy amount of people on here who tear out the sink and stove straight away.

    If it's close to you, wouldn't hurt to check it out ... if you can live without a/c and furnace, that is.
     
  5. lksdrinker

    lksdrinker Active Member

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    Yeah the Viking didnt do much for me, but if by some crazy chance replacing the canvas was super chap I might've considered going to look. I need to start seeing these things in person just to learn a bit more about them in general anyway! I can see having an A/C being real nice; but I'm sure I could live without it too.
     
  6. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    The canvas could be replaced. It's the broken Goshen lift system that I wouldn't touch. Been there, done that and sold that POS.
     
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  7. lksdrinker

    lksdrinker Active Member

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    Well I know it could be replaced, but the cost would be my concern. So what was so bad about the lift system? Should the goshen system be avoided altogether or was there something particularly bad about the one you dealt with?
     
  8. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    If the winch is mounted to wood, I would avoid like the plague. The only way I would even look at a Goshen lift is if the winch was mounted to the hitch or frame.

    I still don't trust them completely, but at least the whole camper won't be trashed if the wood becomes compromised. Always use a couple corner supports with them, while up, just for back up.
     
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  9. lksdrinker

    lksdrinker Active Member

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    Wow that is good to know. What models used the goshen system? and what other lift systems are there? Any others to be cautious of?
     
  10. Spridle

    Spridle Active Member

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    I bought a $300 camper that "needed work" just to get my feet wet in popups. I did get wet, while sleeping, repeatedly. Campers are not built to last decades. Many of them do, but they aren't built that well. For sure some of the stuff is really solid and built to last long term. But at the base they are fiberboard, chipboard etc.

    My second camper has an ABS roof....

    I don't always make the best life choices.

    I'm not saying this to be negative. I enjoyed learning on that first one and I'm still nursing the ABS roofed one along and probably will for a long time. But the question you have to ask is what is your time worth? Because keeping these old campers together can suck up a lot of hours. Bringing one back from the brink is a massive amount of time.

    Take your time, choose wisely.
     
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  11. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

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    I have 2 colemans with the ABS roof that is all cracked and peeling. The only leaks were from the bunk canvas seams and the trunk seams. The coleman lift system is easy to work with and repair. I would not hesitate getting an ABS coleman to play with.
     
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  12. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Colmans have the lift system mounted to the frame. I found mine , and did work on it for about 2000. Its loaded and wasnt that hard. Waiting for a better camper is worth it. Mine is 18 years old , and for the most part wasnt hard to repair. Tenting is $$$$ about a grand. The abs roof was a buying point for me, relatively easy to fix and not over 400$ to do yourself. It knocked a grand or more off the price of the pop up. And they dont leak. The inside stuff, as long as it is taken care of should last a bit. Make sure you check under the pup for soft spots and or staining . The rest is relativly easy if your handy.
     
  13. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Go look at post 25 again. Read that well , everything that i did. I think it might be helpfull in determining if a pop up is in good shape.
     
  14. phoodieman

    phoodieman Active Member

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    A Goshen lift system with tubes, and cables is about $150.00 (Assuming the lift arms are reusable. This doesn't include the winch either). They are much easier to replace than the L&W. All the work occurs outside the camper with the Goshen.

    Phoodieman
     
  15. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    In that case, I stand corrected. Must have been an L&W system I was dealing with on our Coachman Clipper.
     
  16. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    I think Goshens always have the winch attached to the metal frame at the tongue, so I think so. Goshen's are pretty easy to work on and relatively cheap to repair.
     
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  17. emoney

    emoney Well-Known Member

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    Y'up, my Goshen lift was super easy to work on and those folks are still answering questions even on the older
    models. Don't let a Goshen scare you, because I, for one, think it's a "plus".

    As to the Viking, if you really like doing projects, offer the guy a few hundred dollars and see what he says.
    Especially if it happened to have AC that's working. Heck, you could be safe at offering $500 if that's the case.
    You could try stitching that tear, or even using gorilla tape, because once screwed into the top, it should hold.
    If you do want to replace the canvas, that's not going to be cheap, but that's the same for any pop up you buy.

    These things are pretty simply made, so nothing in them is hard to repair/replace if you have the inkling and a
    little bit of skill.
     
  18. lksdrinker

    lksdrinker Active Member

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    I went and looked at a 96 fleetwood this weekend and was unimpressed. Clearly this thing is leaking and unfortunately I think the seller was completely unaware of the problem and the damage its caused. Despite the photos looking decent the ABS roof on this was definitely coming apart but didnt seem to be leaking so no big deal there.....but seller promised the roof was perfectly in tact and it really wasn't. There were some soft spots in the floor, and there must have been a leak near the door as the whole side panel was soft and could have been ripped off the trailer if I tugged hard enough.

    I think the biggest take away from going in person is that there are probably a lot of people out there who just dont even know about problems they might actually have!
     
  19. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    yep and the sellers who think they could pull a fast one just to dump it for top dollar. Went to see one popup advertised as in excellent condition. I exited my car with a clipboard and flashlight the seller saw this and straight up and said this unit is not the one your looking for. He knew he wouldn't be able to get away with it with me. Thank goodness for this website.
     
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  20. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    Or don't want to admit them.

    Keep looking, you will surely find something perfect for you. When we purchased our latest, we did have to buy one with minor damage to get what I wanted (a/c and full bathroom) in our price range ... which was only around $1500. I wouldn't buy anything with a ruined side panel, but we did have a leaky storage trunk, roof that needed GG'ed, and two small soft spots in non traffic areas.

    After we fixed the leaks, the floor spots were both able to be fixed with wood hardener and filler. We knew that because we checked it out and got the seller's permission to pull up the linoleum a bit in those spots to check it out good.

    The seller we purchased from did lie about condition, but we found everything and got him down from $2500 asking price to $1500. Prior to that we looked at many that had worse damage and every single seller lied about condition. I suppose I could give them the benefit of the doubt and say they didn't know, but as a very non-mechanically inclined 54 year old grandmother, I would think things that I can notice, anybody can.

    Looking forward to the day you finally bring your camper home! It will happen.
     

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