Things to look for when buying?

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cloudpants
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2024 8:09 pm

Things to look for when buying?

Post by cloudpants »

Hello group, I am from Australia and looking to buy an RV to drive around the US in. After checking out tons of vehicles on RV trader and Craigslist I landed on the Safari Trek 2430/2480 as one that interests me most. The combination of small size (25ft), but practical and spacious floorplan, along with reasonably good quality materials makes a 1990's model look like a decent buy IMO. So I joined this group to see if I could get some advice or tips on what to look out for, before throwing away tens of thousands of dollars.

If anyone can share some insight into pros/cons of this model and any potential gotchas it would be most appreciated.
vanman1.1975@gmail.com
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2023 5:58 pm

Re: Things to look for when buying?

Post by vanman1.1975@gmail.com »

Hey I’m selling a 99 2430 86000 well documented miles vanman1.1975@gmail.com asking 23000.00 new tires new Roof AC
astrnmrtom
Posts: 164
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:49 pm

Re: Things to look for when buying?

Post by astrnmrtom »

What year is the Trek you are looking at? What engine and chassis?

The older gas powered ones were built on the Chevrolet P-Chassis which did have some weak points, some of which can be addressed with aftermarket parts. Specifically, the factory Bell cranks on the front steering wear excessively, which makes for quite a bit of play in the steering, wander and something called rut tracking where the front wheels wander back and forth when driving on roads that are worn, usually by heavy trucks. A company called SuperSteer makes much improved replacements as well as other handling upgrades. Adding a rear track-bar is supposed to help. If the one you are looking at has the original bell cranks, it's easy to check them if you bring a helper. With the engine off, and the helper behind the wheel, have them rock the steering wheel back and forth with a little force while you look at the bell cranks underneath. If the shaft moves sideways, they're worn. The good news is they aren't that hard to replace "if" you have some of the right tools and are handy. If the bell cranks are bright blue, they are likely Supersteer. It's not an unusual upgrade for owners. Start with watching the one on the driver's side as this one takes most of the stress and wears out first.

https://supersteerparts.com/

One other thing about the Chevy chassis whether P-chassis or Workhorse, is actually a common problem with gas rigs, and that's cracked exhaust manifolds or broken manifold studs.

I owned a different brand rig on the P-chassis and experienced both issues although the cracked manifold was my fault. I pulled over at the top of a long grade in the summer and turned the engine off before letting it cool down - crack! Replaced the manifolds with headers for about the same cost.

If memory serves me correct, some of the older Treks were built on diesel Isuzu truck chassis powered by a small front end, turbo diesel. While the engine is pretty bullet proof, part of the reason is, it doesn't have a lot of power. We had a delivery truck at work built on that chassis, and it didn't have a lot of get-up, it was abused, but the darn thing kept running and running and running, even as the rest of the truck slowly wore out and fell apart.

Treks have quite a following and in part is long as you understand the quirks and shortcommings people seem to love them for the reasons you mention.

Here's a Trek specific link that may help, you'll need to join: https://www.trektraxs.com/index.php

As for any other issues? It's like any other used rig. Try to get one that looks like it's been well taken care of. If you can't verify they've been done, expect to change all fluids and belts, and even hoses if they look old.

Safaris can suffer from a problem with the aluminum skin especially if these's been any leaks and that corrosion pitting. It can happen on the skin even if there's no leak because of poor prep of the sking before painting. It's pretty obvious as you'll see blisters and pit in the aluminum. My Serengeti had/has some so but only in a few places, so it wasn't a deal breaker for me. My rig was a great overall condition so putting up with a few warts is to be expected in RVs this age.

Good luck on your search!
Tom and Pris Masterson, w/ Buddy the 17 year old Siamese cat.
1998 Serengeti 3706
300hp Cat 3126, Allison 3060
900 Watts of Solar
17cf, Fisher & Paykel residential Refrigerator
Dragging four telescopes around the US seeking dark skies.
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