Possibly buying a camper tomorrow

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by BarmanBean, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. BarmanBean

    BarmanBean Member

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    Hi All,

    First post here :) We are going to look at a fleetwood camper tomorrow that seems to have some sort of cable / lifting issue. One corner of the roof doesn't seem to lift all the way up. You can see in the picture here, it's the passenger/rear corner of the camper:

    [​IMG]

    I'm wondering if this is a major issue or something simple like a cable adjustment. My main concern would be access for fixing the problem. I'm fairly handy / mechanically inclined, but if I can't get to the problem I obviously can't fix it.

    Any help / advice on this issue would be appreciated, thanks!
     
  2. champ1fc

    champ1fc Member

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    yikes!
    depending on what type of lift it is, it could be a pita to fix. replacing the cables isn't always the most difficult part, but it can be expensive if you are not a DIY'er. My NTM PUP has an internal lift system, and the anchor points for my cables is the problem for me. Some of my anchor points are weak and rotting. I will have to reinforce them to keep them from pulling out of the frame. I have a Jayco with a crank lift. I lubed the pullies and inspected the cables as well as I could. So far it lifts straight and true, but there is a point when everything inside pops. scares the stew out of me every time. I go slow! this could be an expensive problem for you. so make your offer accordingly.
    Good Luck!
     
  3. pixel

    pixel Campers: Nature's way of feeding mosquitoes. Unkn.

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    BamanBean,
    Others can chime in on the mechanics of the lift systems.

    One FYI to consider is that Fleetwood/Coleman parts are hard to find. C/F are no longer in production, and parts are a major factor in pricing of these units. There are some places that have them, and other vendors that have created 3rd party parts. Personally, love C/F trailers, and have just purchased my second one a few months ago. Just wanted to give you a heads up to make sure you get a GOOD price for the unit.

    Pixel
     
  4. pixel

    pixel Campers: Nature's way of feeding mosquitoes. Unkn.

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    Ps: double check the roof. Even these models have roof leaking issues.
     
  5. BarmanBean

    BarmanBean Member

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    Ugh. Sounds like some of my worries are potentially confirmed. I think I'll still go take a look at it tomorrow, and like mentioned will make an offer accordingly. For a full cable reinstall (i.e. to fix a broken cable system) I've heard the price of $1000 thrown out before. Is that about accurate or too much / too little?

    Honestly, if it could just work "as is" without needing to address the issue I'm not sure I'd care, but I imagine that could cause drainage issues during rain storms and that it's just a problem that could get worse.
     
  6. BarmanBean

    BarmanBean Member

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    And thanks for the quick replies :)
     
  7. Heartman_wa

    Heartman_wa Active Member

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    OK that model does not have roof problems only ABS roofs that is aluminum. Coleman lift systems are very easy to work on all parts are still out there. It maybe adjustment but even a bad cable only take about 1.5 to replace and can be made by most cable suppliers and most cities have them for construction or mfg.
     
  8. pckeen

    pckeen New Member

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    Pretty much everything you want can be found here for coleman lift systems: http://colemanpopupparts.com/collections/crank-assemblies-related-parts?page=1 I have dealt with them and they were quite helpful - they bought the entire collection of parts from Coleman when it went out of business.

    This company also sells coleman parts: http://www.popupparts.com/index.php...th=4_8&zenid=a4efd36a9c9f6924c1c1fd0c7507b56f


    This could be anything from as little as an adjustment, to a broken cable in the lifter post, to a need for lubrication, to a broken cable from the whiffletree. My money is on a broken cable in the lifter post.

    With a damaged lift system, the pop up should be very significantly discounted. That looks like a 2005 Fleetwood Colonial. I would guess that would be worth between $3000 and $5000 if in decent working order, depending on condition and location. If they want $4k from it, stay away. If they want $1000, and if you are handy, I would buy it quick, and then work out how to do the repairs.
     
  9. BarmanBean

    BarmanBean Member

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    All of that sounds about right. I have done some more reading tonight and don't think I would have too much trouble with the repairs--seems messy, but no real issues. My background includes light construction and pretty much everything on a Subaru aside from actually pulling the motor. Getting a lift post out shouldn't be much trouble :)

    And the price might make sense then--it's currently at $2950, and I plan to negotiate that down farther, so it still might be a decent deal at the end of the day. And yes, it's a 2005 fleetwood colonial.

    We are also looking at an '06 fleetwood Cheyenne. What I like about the cheyenne is that it is more "turn key" in terms of condition and it also has a front storage box and an awning. Nice features that I don't have to find time to install later, and with two kids time is a precious commodity!
     
  10. PNW Family

    PNW Family New Member

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    This is not a comment about repair of the Colonial, but about what you're looking for in a PUP.

    If you really like the storage box on the Cheyenne, give it more consideration. Besides that, the Cheyenne has an extra pull out sofa-bed.

    I'm actually waiting for delivery of my '04 Cheyenne. The storage trunk and the sofa-bed combined are the only reasons I'm sticking with a 10' box model.

    If the price difference isn't huge, the Cheyenne is a very nice model. I've never heard a complaint about layout or capacities from anyone on here who has that model.

    If there are other features you like on the Colonial, of course, factor that in as well.

    It's all pros and cons, and what you like best, and what you think will suit your family the best as well.
     
  11. BarmanBean

    BarmanBean Member

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  12. Heartman_wa

    Heartman_wa Active Member

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    There is something wrong with at least 2005. It says shower I.E hot water but there's neither a water heater access door nor the shower access door.
    The other one says "heater" but there's no heater exhaust it may be in the AC but then you would have to be plugged in to shore power to use it. It also has no water heater access door.
     
  13. PNW Family

    PNW Family New Member

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    Yeah, that Cheyenne is not equipped with hot water or a furnace. Hot water on that model would also come with an outdoor shower, which would have an additional access port on the side close to the dinette. It may have a heat strip in the air conditioner, but those require AC (shore) power to operate and aren't that powerful. May or may not matter to you, that depends.
     
  14. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

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    The storage box on my 8' Jayco makes a big difference in keeping all the "stuff" packed in the PUP at all times. Without it, packing up would be a much bigger chore. For the most part, everything I need except food and clothes is in the PUP and stays in the PUP. Without the storage, it would be a much different story with chairs, hoses, etc.

    Can't comment on the lift system though. All I know is on mine, it always pops at crank 37, and has been going strong for me for two seasons. I slow down at 35 and pick it up at 39 on my way to 51 cranks.
     
  15. BarmanBean

    BarmanBean Member

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    Thanks everyone. Love to see that this is a fairly active forum and I really appreciate all of the info.

    We're looking at the 2005 first up tomorrow morning and I'm hoping that it is nice. Right now I'm leaning towards picking up something cheap, camping with it for a bit to figure out what we REALLY want, and then buying our second camper in a couple years when the kids are a bit older (currently have 4 week old!). I think that down the road if we find we are really using the thing, we'll probably appreciate something nicer with hot water, a slide out, etc since we already have 2 kids and dog :)
     
  16. pckeen

    pckeen New Member

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    $3k for that would be worth considering only if you can diagnose the problem first, and confirm it is an easy fix. At that price, with that problem, they should have a hard sell, so you have some bargaining power. Good luck!

    Sent from my SGH-I717R using Tapatalk
     
  17. mnebinger

    mnebinger Livin' The Dream!

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    This is what we did. I bought a pretty basic 2003 Coleman Sedona. Fridge, air conditioner, cold water only. We used it 2-3 years. For me it was a low cost experiment to see if DW would like camping in it, as she was burned out on tent camping! Experiment was a success, so I traded it in on a new 2014 Jayco HTT. DW loves it. Hot water, bathroom, oven, fridge with freezer, furnace.
     
  18. BarmanBean

    BarmanBean Member

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    Well, did not buy. The thing had a bunch of minor issues--missing hooks, broken elastics, etc. Roof was also getting some water in it and you could see some rot from the inside. Not really what I expected and I'm choosing not to give up several weekends repairing something, just not worth it at this point.

    Looks at a bunch of pop ups on the way back today at a couple dealerships which gave us a good idea of what's out there and what we might like. The search continues :)
     
  19. jeanmariemc

    jeanmariemc New Member

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    Good call. You're learning a lot in the search and will find the perfect one soon!
     
  20. BarmanBean

    BarmanBean Member

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    Most of all I'm learning that my wife is going to make me spend more money on this thing ;)
     

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