The Grey Beards

I’m not gonna lie, we know we don’t know a lot about a lot of things.  That’s some critical self-awareness right there going into a year living a new lifestyle in an RV we don’t know.  So I’ve assembled what I call our “Wise Cadre of Experts” (shortened to the ‘WCE’ for convenience).  I also affectionately call them The Grey Beards…. although you neither have to have grey nor do you have to be able to grow a beard to be included.  All cadre members went through a rigorous review: 1.  Part of our VIP list  2. Have some knowledge of something related to RVing (even if it’s tangential) and 3. Be willing to respond to wacky e-mails from me.  Of note, if you are reading this, you are highly likely to be tapped as part of the WCE at some point in the future.

Scott thought I ought to capture my inaugural email, so here it is (this was a surprise to everyone who received it in their inboxes):

Ok Wise Cadre of Experts (herein christened our ‘WCE’)…. would you entertain a question from me?!  

I am accidentally falling for a 37ft  ’82 Vogue with a Cat diesel.  She’s a beast – every bit as ugly as ****** .  It has 118,000 miles on it.  It’s at a dealership.  Part of the package is that the dealership will make sure everything is running/working at the time of purchase including things like the fridge, propane lines, water lines, etc.
Now… the engine currently “knocks”.  The salesman said that the dealership is fixing the engine – it will either be fixed or rebuilt before it’s sold.  So…. what does a knocking diesel engine mean?  Is this horrible??  Is it horrible to have a rebuilt engine?  Scott is scared of breaking down and not being able to easily find parts.  What do you think?  I think Caterpillar is the best diesel engine maker in the world (you may quote me on that, Heather).  I think their parts should be reasonably easy to find in the U.S and Latin America (since I’m here and I see Cat everywhere).  Agree or disagree?
Also, I recall our conversation, Mike. I also need to be concerned with things like old break lines and rubber seals and rust.  Of note, the tires are at about 80% the salesman said. 
I am open minded and will listen to logic. If a knocking diesel engine means “run fast and run far….”  ok.  If it’s something we can work with…. ok.  They’re asking $10k. We’d look for them to come down – hopefully to around $8k.  I don’t know if 20% off the top is even in the realm of possible.  But we’d have some money in the kitty to do fix ups.
Full disclosure – this is not Scott’s first choice.  However, he’s being open minded too and will appreciate your sage unvarnished advice.
Thank you for being the people I can ask.
Of note, the RV I’m referring to in this e-mail is not the Chieftain.  It was my soul-RV.  Scott looked at it before he bought The Chief but there was just too much work required (and… it was bought out from under us… but that’s a different story).  Anyway, here’s a picture of her.  Who can see Grandma Peg, cigarette in one hand, bourbon in the other in this bad boy?  This is Pink Camp on wheels.  I sure hope whomever bought it treats it right in it’s second life….