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Author Topic: Buying a used motorhome on a low budget  (Read 1281 times)

yarnkitty

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Buying a used motorhome on a low budget
« on: July 04, 2012, 06:34:17 AM »
My husband and I are hoping to buy a Class A or Class C for fulltiming in the near future.  Our budget is quite low, around $10,000, saving a few thousand for repairs.  In your experience, for this price range, is it better to buy from an individual or a dealer?  I've seen some online that look like they might be viable options through a dealer about 100 miles away from us.  Experiences and opinions gratefully accepted!
Caryl and Todd
Allie (lab mix), Mr. Bebe and Miss Bebe (kitties)
Living in a 1999 Fleetwood Bounder 34-J
in the Lost Pines of Bastrop, Texas

shakenbake

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Re: Buying a used motorhome on a low budget
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2012, 07:43:37 AM »
I bought a 95  Class A back in December on Craigslist for $4000. I invested another $6000 fixing it up. It has been a great RV and just finished a 3600 mile trip out west. I say it is possible but you have to be very smart in your purchase decision. Tires alone can cost you $2000 or more and most older RV's are going to need them because of age. Be sure to pay a quality RV mechanic to look everything over for you.

SeilerBird

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Re: Buying a used motorhome on a low budget
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2012, 09:12:39 AM »
I bought a used class A on Craigslist for $6500 and I have put about $1000 into it. I love the thing and I live in it full time. I have been a full timer for nine years in 5 different RVs, three of which were class A.

It is possible to find a class A in good condition at $10k but it takes a lot of searching and shopping. I did not buy from a dealer for many reasons. The first is that in Nevada you pay sales tax if you buy from a dealer and you don't pay sales tax if you buy from a private party, so I saved $500 buying from an individual. I prefer to buy from the owner who will know a whole lot more about the history of the vehicle. I don't trust RV dealers, they are used car salesmen and they would lie to their mother to sell her an RV.

You should rent an RV or two before buying if you have never used one. It will help you immensely in figuring out what you want. If you are going to be full timing then a Class A has a lot of advantages over a class C. Class As have much more storage, which you will need as a full timer.

Here is an article from the library here that I wrote to help full timers get started:

http://www.rvforum.net/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=435:fulltimeprep&catid=29:fulltiming&Itemid=45

KAS

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Re: Buying a used motorhome on a low budget
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2012, 09:47:59 AM »
That is such good advice to rent!  I did that with my last new car.  I rented several different vehicles for a weekend each and did short day trips and puttered around town before I spent so much money.  It paid off because I am still driving the little car at well over 100,000 miles.

Hubby picked up two used RV's at around $5000 each (one auction and one private sale) but both needed his many skills to get them up to snuff.  But the FIRST one He picked up, he found the guy had lied, and made the guy take it back and refund the money.  Lesson learned and he crawled around under the two we did purchase and checked serial numbers and such to be sure they were what they were supposed to be.

Thus, we are new to RVs as well and learning!  I just joined this forum because I realized I need to be learning too and not just rely on my hubby.
KAS  B-)
1999 Rexhall LX3600 no slide-outs under renovation
Fides et Ratio

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: Buying a used motorhome on a low budget
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2012, 10:56:00 AM »
I would try to find a private sale, through either ads or consignment. Can use sites like RV Trader (rvt.com) or rvclassified.com too. Ebay or craigs list can have some good ones too, but they also tend to attract shysters, so be extra careful.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
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Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

99WinAdventurer37G

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Re: Buying a used motorhome on a low budget
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2012, 12:33:05 PM »
My husband and I are hoping to buy a Class A or Class C for fulltiming in the near future.  Our budget is quite low, around $10,000, saving a few thousand for repairs.  In your experience, for this price range, is it better to buy from an individual or a dealer?  I've seen some online that look like they might be viable options through a dealer about 100 miles away from us.  Experiences and opinions gratefully accepted!

I found one in Fort Worth that was a real nice home, well taken care of and stored under an awning.  Everything worked, the only problem I found with it is the rubber around the roof A/C, Antenna and vents was cracked.  I would want to seal up the roof first.  It was a 1995 35 foot  adventurer, no slide,  that had not been smoked in and smelled clean.  He was asking 11,500, and because of the condition I offered 9000, which was still over NADA value, but it was the best I had seen at the time.  They said they would take 10, I decided to pass, as NADA on the unit is 8200.  It only has 26k miles.  I ended up spending twice that for the one I just picked up today, but I only have minor things to do to this one.  Like get wires to hook the TV into the surround sound system, tighten a mirror, replace the swivel chair with my leather recliner, etc..  If you like I can shoot you his e-mail, after I've checked with him.  But it also had the 454 which I wanted the V-10, it had a 5 k genset, I wanted at least a 6.5, little stuff.  But I think now if he still has it, if you were to offer him 8k, he may take 9.  He's paying $120 a month to store it, plus insurance, etc. I've been looking intently for about 6 months, but looking casual for years, I needed to have the cash first though.  I listen to Dave Ramsey, and we teach his course at our church.  Nothing is so good that it can't wait until tomorrow, because another one will always come along.  Don't fall in love, make a rational decision on your purchase.  Good luck.
1999 Winnebago Adventurer 37G , Ford V-10
2006 Honda VTX 1300S

yarnkitty

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Re: Buying a used motorhome on a low budget
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2012, 05:39:07 PM »
Thanks for your input everybody.  I'm keeping my eyes open.  Actually don't have the money yet but should be getting it soon.  I'll keep you posted.
Caryl and Todd
Allie (lab mix), Mr. Bebe and Miss Bebe (kitties)
Living in a 1999 Fleetwood Bounder 34-J
in the Lost Pines of Bastrop, Texas

AChase

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Re: Buying a used motorhome on a low budget
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2012, 11:07:01 AM »
Aside from looking for owners selling their motorhomes, try checking with credit unions and banks. Because of the financial crisis, there are quite a lot of motorhomes that have been repossessed because of a default in payment. They are usually at quite a reasonable price and are often in good condition so you don't need to worry much about repairs.