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Old 10-14-2015, 07:32 PM   #1
JimGnitecki
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Results of pre-purchase detailed inspection!

My wife and I have been considering a DRV Tradition 375KPS. Our local dealer in Austin, Texas, ExploreUSA, offered to bring one in for us from their Dallas location, if we would give them a REFUNDABLE $250 deposit on our credit card - if we don't like it, they will refund the money within 5 days by check. Since we are seriously interested, we agreed. The salesman was pleased, as he says that he really wants to sell that unit, and so if we don't like it, he will get the chance to do so!

It came in last evening, and the crew at ExploreUSA got it prepped for our viewing. My wife can't see it until tomorrow morning because of her unusually long and busy work hours this week, but I spent 3 hours examining it head to toe this afternoon, using Terry's PDI checklist, which is very detailed.

Now, I did not get to yet test the 12 volt water or city water systems, because there was no water connection yet, and also the LP tanks have not yet been filled. (Remember, we have not yet bought it - just placed a refundable deposit on it to hold it for us while we make a final decision).

But, I was able to test almost everything else, including all the lighting, the drawer and cabinet workmanship, operation of the sofa bed, operation of the theater seats, shower and closet sliding doors, opening and closing all the thermopane windows, operation of both AC units, and even checking the psi in all 5 tires.

While I was there, ExploreUSA's regional manager, Dan Tauer, who used to be a VP at DRV, stopped by multiple times, and actually spoke with me several times for long periods of time, answering my questions about the various systems onboard the RV. He even fixed one defect I found, while he was there!

Here are the defects I have found:

1. The gutter over the entry door was mounted a bit low (or the door a bit high), as the gutter contacts the top rounded corner of the non-hinge side of the door just slightly when opening and closing.

2. There are 2 missing screws in the trim rub rail on the driver side rear of the coach, behind the slide (a technician appeared while I was doing this inspection, to screw in the missing screws and even to then color match them with the touchup paint we found inside the RV).

3. The screen door does not engage the latch when closed, and so will not stay closed.

4. The curb side rear Goodyear tire has no green valve cap (nitrogen filled tires) - it apparently got misplaced somewhere

5. The curb side front tire has lost air. It is currently at 83 psi versus the targeted 110 psi.

6. The driver side rear tire has also lost air, and is currently at 80 psi versus the 110 psi target.

7. The spare tire matches the other 4 Goodyear tires, but the spare WHEEL is just a cheap white one. (Dan Tauer says this is intended - no point in putting an expensive alloy wheel under the chassis where it will get pitted up in short order)

8. The bottom right drawer in the bedroom dressed on the curb side wall was off its slider tracks, and Dan fixed it while I was there.

9. I thought that perhaps the slideout windows were not thermopane, because unlike all the other windows in the RV, they had no label saying "dual pane", but Dan assured me they ARE dual pane - the labels just sometimes fall off

10. The rear window right by the roof ladder will not close, as the ends of the 2 articulated arms that close it have fallen out of the track. Dan and my salesman Paul both said this is an easy fix that the techs will do during further prepping for the sale.

11. Dan himself, with his experienced eye, found a loose piece of trim on the wall near the bedroom curb side window, and had me add it to the defects list.

Should I be concerned that the RV traveled over 250 miles from Dallas to this dealership, with only about 75% of the air pressure it should have had? Could that have hurt the 2 tires involved?

That's IT. Everything else looked good, and remember, this is using Terry's detailed PDI checklist (11 pages long).

I am pleasantly surprised, given everything I have heard about RV quality lately (ALL RVs, not DRV RVs singled out).

Now there are still the water systems to test in both 12 volt and city modes, but so far so good.

This encourages me greatly, and I think my wife and I will try to make a firm deal tomorrow morning, that will include ExploreUSA providing and installing a Splendide stackable washer and dryer pair, with external vent of course.

The ExploreUSA price is $72,073 which is 58% of MSRP including freight, per the build sheet I was provided. I was told that both DRV and ExploreUSA are clearing the Traditions out, as DRV is stopping producing the Tradition line.

Opinions on the RV and the price, guys and gals?

Jim G
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:47 PM   #2
terry and jo
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Jim,

First of all, don't give me credit for the PDI checklist as all I did was get that from other Suites owners and post it to the forums.

As for Dan Tauer, I think he has a pretty good reputation among Suites owners, although I've had little if any interactions with him. So, if he is helping you out, I think he will be really helpful.

Terry
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Old 10-15-2015, 08:36 AM   #3
wingnut60
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Sounds like a good unit at a really good price.

Wouldn't fret the air pressure--yet--if they air up to max and hold. None of the trailers I am aware of with alum/mag wheels have a matching spare from the factory--but as to 'pitting in short order' that is just an excuse for the mfg saving some $$ where the customer never notices it. Would not the same wheel get 'pitted in short order' in use?
I don't think you mentioned the year model, but the tires WILL be aged some already--still not a real problem.

I think the Splendide units will run about $800+ each.

Hope this all works out for you.

Joe
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Old 10-15-2015, 09:28 AM   #4
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Dan is a good guy that knows the DRV product very well. he helped us way back then several times. In fact he took us on the factory tour in 05. Assisted in our purchase as well.

Like Joe said don't sweat the tire press. Depending on the wt of the unit the press may not need to be at 110 but that needs to be verified before guessing what to set them at.

We do have a full Alcoa Allum rim on spare, but I suspect they cut costs somewhere along the line as Joe said.

Do all your research and do not rely on a salesman for anything, especially concerning wts and what truck to use!

Good luck
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Old 10-15-2015, 11:52 AM   #5
JimGnitecki
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Thanks, guys. I should have mentioned that it is a 2015 model - DRV apparently is dropping the Tradition, despite it still being on the website. When I mentioned to Dan that I had heard this, he did not contradict it.

This Tradition 375KPS supposedly, per the DRV yellow weight tags on it in 2 places, weighs just under 13,500 lb. and has a GVWR of 17,000. So, it made the 250 mile trip with empty tanks and no personal possessions with 13,500 lb load on the tires.

Wingnut60, your estimate on the cost of the Splendides is I think pretty accurate. The dealership started off asking $3000 for the pair installed with external dryer vent, stacking tray, etc, despite the fact that the factory MSRP option cost is under $2100 when the unit is factory equipped with one, and the entire rig is being discounted 41% off MSRP, so we are resisting. We are trying to make a deal, and we'll see if we are successful. If not, there is another DRV that is a 2012 Mobile Suites model that looks attractive to us, and if a suitable deal, price and financing, cannot be made on this one, we'll probably try to buy the 2012 one.

Jim G
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Old 10-15-2015, 12:22 PM   #6
wingnut60
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You are right to wonder about the tires, but I would bet they are fine. And if the trailer weighs 13500 dry, then there is only about 10-10500lbs on the tires taking the pin weight into account.
Joe
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Old 10-15-2015, 01:28 PM   #7
JimGnitecki
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingnut60 View Post
You are right to wonder about the tires, but I would bet they are fine. And if the trailer weighs 13500 dry, then there is only about 10-10500lbs on the tires taking the pin weight into account.
Joe
I don't think you can "factor out" the pin weight, as the tire target psi was determined KNOWING that 25% of the weight would be on the pin versus the tires. The only thing you can really factor out is the difference between dry curb weight (13,500) and GVWR (17,000), since the tires at 110 psi hAVE to be able to carry the fully loaded 17,000 lb RV plus undoubtedly have a safety factor built in as well. So, it is "reasonable" to think that if 110 psi supports 17,000 lb safely, even under adverse conditions (e.g. 110 degree ambient weather), then 13,500 should be safe at 13,500/17,000 = 79% of 110 psi.

79% of 110 psi is 87 psi.

Now, the tires on the rig we are contemplating buying were run (during the dealer transfer process) on Interstate 35 for 250 miles at probably 70 mph versus the saner 60 mph recommended for trailer tires. And they were inflated to only 83 psi for the one underinflated tire and 80 psi for the other underinflated tire. Finally, the ambient temperature was also very hot for October for even Texas, as it was 97 degrees at the time the highway run was made.

So, I view what the dealer did as marginal from a tire health perspective, especially since the dealer specifically said that the tire psi is "always" checked by the transport driver before the run begins. (Ha. proved THAT wrong, didn't we! Another dealer assurance shot to Hell )

Jim G
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Old 10-15-2015, 10:27 PM   #8
wingnut60
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"target psi"--you are getting too involved on the tires, the 17.5s will take a lot of abuse and probably are rated for 4805/tire=19220. The trailer only has maybe 11000 on the tires running empty.
If this is a big deal to you, don't let it be a deal-killer. No matter what, if the trailer weighs 13500 'dry' then there is only about 10500 on the tires=2625lbs for tires rated for 4805.
I think you mentioned 58% of MSRP? as the price--if the trailer was right, you can put new tires of your choice on, sell the old ones at top dollar, and go on down the road very happy.
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Old 10-17-2015, 08:10 AM   #9
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This opinion may be too late, but consider the build features of a mobile suite verses a tradition and resale as well.
There might be better deals out there, check Rolling Retreats and RVs for Less.

Good luck, just take your time before you pull the trigger.
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Old 10-17-2015, 08:44 AM   #10
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If I understand things right, you are planning to take it to a permanent site and let it set for a number of years. Correct? So why then all the concern about the tires?

Bill
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