The saying is true “anything can be done with cubic dollars” the trick is to find a coach that does not need some of the major repairs that will cost you.
I want to use this coach as an example of something that has to be #1 in your purchasing decision. Of course it should have many other positive attributes but frame is number 1.
So you look at this 78 TransmodeThe deck with the truck topper penthouse suite makes it especially disgusting I know but lets go diver down and look first…..too late, you’ve already seen the coach I know……. But sight up the drone from the rear bumper and here is what you want to seeird rare to see a frame without surface rust as you see but with the “C” channel running front to back you want to see a straight frame. Rust gets into the space between the rear “H” member between the rear wheels and cause the long front to back steel frame section to bend down. Some of this damage can be repaired but rust through or excessive rust where the long “C” channel bolts to the rear clip is not good.
We have replaced sections and plated over rust damage but the best way to not have is added expense is choose a coach that only needs cleaning up. Then we paint any visible metal on the undercarriage with a rust / seal treatment. We use POR-15, there may be others but with the goal of stopping any degradation and sealing the metal from future damage we then use a rubberized undercoating on the rest of the undercarriage to protect your investment.
Another issue on the frame to inspect is under the battery box where 45 years of escaping battery acid fumes can make a rust thru spot right here over the drive shaft on the up sweep of the front clip box frame channelTThe it may be dirty, greasy and crusty but we’re interested in the condition of the metal. Pressure washing, dealing and decreasing will show you what you have. Bang on the frame with a hammer and watch for falling rust…..it may hurt to bang on the frame but as was said in Dirty Harry,”I gotta know!”.And the beast is still ugly….I especially like how the entry door window was blocked off with a red velvet panel…… You “Facebookers” may remember seeing this coach offered up for free if someone will tow it out. There were several comments made on its looks…..ah but you needed to look deeper! Hey but the frame is good! I went a step further and offered to pull the drive train for the guy who had it. He just wanted the 403 motor. I can find more of those….what there are few of is the motorhome body and good frame. Sure its going to need a pile of love but Jason, one of my new workers” had dreamed if building up a “toy hauler” for his motorcycle. The double rear doors will make a fine bike shop/storage for him.
And so another puppy in the window find a new owner…..this is how it is with these things…….. You need to see the good and make a coach in to what you want. You will NEVER find a coach in with exactly everything you’re looking for. If you find a coach you can build on just buy the dang thing….do what you want and never look back.
I see so many folks trying their best to find that “PERFECT” coach. At 45 years old…..brother you just will not find that……you need to find one and make it yours. There is a guy now languishing over paying 1/2 of what it would take for him to build a coach he wants. He already missed 1 scratching the ground like a chicken quibbling over the sale price. That puts you in the game, now you need to win by making the coach what you want. No one said having one of these would be cheap and never give you troubles. There will be more put into a coach right after the purchase…..face it! Find something you can work with and build your dream machine.
Oh, and if you spend less than $10,000 know there will be much to do to make any coach that would sell for that be reliable. “If its too good to be true….I probably is”
Look at the frame first…..we’ll see you tomorrow.