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How to check on old DP's engine, transmission ,radiator & Chassis


Hi, I am in the process of purchasing a mid 2000's Monaco DP - 70k miles (per dealer is a repo without service record), both inside & outside are very clean with very few paint chips, cabinets looks very good. I am getting an inspector, but he is mostly inspect the housing side of the RV, I read a lot of post on fluid test, that doesn't necessarily tell you that much and that will take some time for the result to come back.

So is any way (I know it is not going to complete) for me to open the engine cover and check the obvious thing on Engine & Transmission & Radiator ?(need to know what are those obvious things are), listen to the engine noise? I just could not find any of those post or video on the web.

Or there is just no way you can find out the the problems(if any) on engine , transmissions and Radiator?

Or if I hire a mechanic to inspect it, how much he is able to tell me and is that worth the money?

Unfortunately the dealer won't let me take the motorhome to a shop to hook up a machine to inspect(their "policy"), but I can get a mechanic there to inspect

for the Chassis, is just check the rust? or is there anything else?

Please advise.



Is the engine a Cummins or Detroit?  If the latter, stop and do not pass go.  Alright, I am kidding on that one, mostly.  Removing a cover on the engine would allow you to get a general idea of the cleanliness of the engine.  It'll either be clean or not.  However, not exactly a straightforward task, and will require gaskets, etc., (as I am sure you already know).  Fluid tests aren't a terrible idea, they will let you know if there are abnormal amounts of metal, etc, that shouldn't be there (i.e. bearings).  A mechanic could give it a once over, but unless he brings a diagnostic tool, he's not going to be able to do much more than an educated and mechanically inclined buyer (he might do worse).  You could get your own scan tool, like a Silverleaf VMSPec, and take it for a spin.  As another reply stated, run it up grades, get stuck in traffic, etc., and watch temps and pressures, then see if any codes pulled. Chassis wise, it'll be a lot like a car or truck.  Drive it, does it wander, does it make bad sounds.  Pump the brakes a lot and see if the air system can recover.  Get under it and look for dry rot on the air bags and other rubber.  Look for torn boots or signs of leaks, fire, rodents.  Basic stuff, really.  One of the best indicators will be does it look well take care of?  If you are satisfied but still have concerns, make the deal with a claw back clause to protect yourself for things you might find out later.  Don't forget to look at some of the other big buck systems such as the generator and Aquahot.  Overlooking something there could cost $10k, no joke.  Good luck, some of those 2000's Monacos (early to mid) are pretty cool!

Nomad II
Nomad II

I would not buy a diesel.

Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

Explorer III
Explorer III

Take the VIN to a Monaco dealer and see what they can tell you. Ditto, the engine S/N to that engine’s nearest dealer and have them run it also.

A diesel of that nature isn’t the kind of thing a shade tree mechanic whips out of the chassis and does serious wrenching on it himself.  

Nomad III
Nomad III

Basic fluid checks and put it through its paces. It either runs flawlessly or not. 
Then get a complete service. Change all fluids and filters and let er rip. 
But, why buy an old repo from a dealer and have zero backing from them for likely way more money than buying a private party unit that you have a better chance of knowing the history?  The market is flooded with good cheap low mile 15-20 year old DPs. 
Or if you’re set on buying this one make the dealer do a bunch of work that you can verify, like everything I said above. Along with brake inspection. And how old are the tires?  

2016 Ram 2500, EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

It is all about price, I could not find anything close to this price with the inside & outside conditions. 

The tire is 2019. If the powertrain is chassis is Ok then it is a good deal for me.

 I could not find anything close to this  on price & condition(what I can see right now) so if I can make sure the powertrain is good enough, it will be a good deal.

tires are 2019