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Author Topic: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A  (Read 26441 times)

johnd393

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1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« on: December 22, 2014, 04:47:59 AM »
I don't know if I'll end up with a motorhome or just enjoy the shopping and learning experience and not buy anything. Wife is not real enthusiastic.
I once bought a rough class C and parked it at my dad's house than never did much work on it. Dad used it as a extra room to get away by himself. It was 30 mils away from my home which made working on it inconveint. . I've been interested in a one of those 70's GMC classics but had never been in one. One came up for sale local for $4000. I looked at but it's way too much of a project for me. I really didn't like the driver seating position. It felt really cramped. I felt too close to the windshield and couldn't stretch my legs out. Looks like the GMC's are out.

There is a 88 Holiday Rambler Imperial, 454,  less than 50k miles on it for $3750. The owner say there's no delamination, but there is some ceiling damage. One of the A/C's has been removed and there' a tarp over. Its supposed to run good. Seller is too old to work on it. It apparently has not been used for a while. It's about 60 miles away. My next step is to call and get the VIN and see if I can learn any history before running over to look at it. Than if I look at it and it pass mine and my wifes inspection, and does not smell bad, get a pro to check out the engine drivetrain and suspension.  Hopefully the tires are good enough to get it home.

I'm handy enough to fix almost anything but I don't want to be doing big jobs like pulling an engine or trans. I could replace an appliance, replace  manifold,  throttle body or carburtor if I can get at it How difficult is accessing the engines to like change a water pump, starter manifold, oxigen sensor etc?. How does one work under them safely?
I read that the missing A/C could be replaced with a roof vent. I don't want to see any damage where that A/C was.

I would start with some short trips of under 200 mile to see how we like rving. There's some car shows we could go to, some shopping trips, park it by a house I need to work on.

Budget? I can't justify spending $20000 on one. Don't want to spend money fixing up one that cost $10000. Could buy one for 3000 to 5000 and spend a few thousand on it if will add equivalent  to its value.
John

HotTommy

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2014, 07:28:32 AM »
Are you seeking advice or just thinking out loud?  It sort of sounds like you're trying to justify a purchase that might not be a good idea.  If that is the case, you may find my recent experience informative.

I'm retired and I get bored during the winter when its too cold to go outside and work on a project.  So I spend hours at the computer imagining one new project or another.  Last winter I caught the RV bug again (I've had two motorhomes in past years) and I set my budget at about $7,000.  There are plenty of older motorhomes on the market at that price, but few I would trust to hop in and drive 2,000 miles.  I searched via the Internet for three months and made several 100+ mile trips to see disappointing motorhomes.  One the way back from one trip I saw a motorhome parked in someone's front yard with a for sale sign on it.  A test drive and an hour later I had bought it for $7,000.  I hadn't done as much research as usual because of the unexpected nature of the find, but I felt comfortable because the Blue Book value was about twice what I paid.  After all, how much could I have missed?

I made a horrible mistake.  It turned out there was massive water damage to walls, floor and cabinets.  I spent the summer removing, repairing and replacing much of the interior.  It's mostly finished now and I enjoy projects, so I didn't mind the work too much.  I still have less than the Blue Book value in it in cash, but I would have been in a deep hole if I had paid someone to do the work.

My main point is that cheap motorhomes are cheap for a reason.  Unless you like doing work yourself, it will likely be a money pit and you will not break even.  If you want to find out if you like RVing, rent one and try it out.  It will be cheaper in the long run.  ..... One more thought.  Because motorhomes get such poor gas mileage, you will not save money by traveling in one unless you spend a lot of time parked at your destination.  So, a 200 mile trip followed by a seven night stay is a good value in a motorhome.  A 400 mile trip for a two night stay is not.

Good luck in whatever you choose.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2014, 08:18:56 AM »
As long as you are handy and can do most repairs yourself, an old motorhome can be a fun project and financially manageable. The risks are substantial, though, as HotTommy's experience shows. Old motorhomes can easily become a money-pit, so tread carefully. Water damage can be major, and a failed fridge or generator is a big expense to replace or repair. New tires are another big expense and almost a given for any old RV.

Don't get sucked in by what may seem like minor generator issues. A generator that won't start or quickly stalls out needs much more than spark plugs. And one that runs but produces no power will require major bucks to get going again.

An old motorhome is only worth around $5k-$8k no matter how much you improve it.
Gary
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RodgerS

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2014, 08:57:12 AM »
The comments seem right on to me, except for characterizing the situation as a potential money pit.  If we don't know, we will certainly soon know, that if you buy an old broken down boat, airplane, rv, or car, you need to budget a lot of money if you want that baby to work reliably on the road so you can enjoy it.

All RVs are money pits.

Now here is a really impressive money pit. I just saw a 2013 RV up for private sale at $132, the owner paid around $350 new. So that money pit is roughly $120 blown off over something like a two year period, not counting the interest paid. Worse, much worse, if he trades it into a dealer and buys another impressive money pit.

But that is no problem because he had the money to spend and it was his right to do so and he doesn't have to justify it.

So, when I buy my money pit, I plan to enjoy it as it will soak me either right in front of my eyes or hidden behind those itty bitty monthly payments.

Here is a question: Why are there so many dps out there with long years and short mileage? I think there are a lot of reasons, but a money pit certainly is high on the list.
Gone RVing with Susan
Class B- RV: 2001 Mercedes CLK320 Soft Top

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2014, 09:01:22 AM »
I found a 93 Bounder with a reman long block for $7500. I put about $4000 in parts and tires in it. I did all repairs my self, complete rear brakes wheel seals out, master cylinder, new front pads, water pump, fan clutch, radiator, belts and hoses, exhaust manifolds, additional tranny cooler, recoat the rubber roof, and all the heat shields the engine installer eliminated. All appliances worked no leaks. After all that I was a little over what similar rigs were advertised at in MA. Made a maiden voyage to south Texas and needed a fuel pump.

For 12K I have a rig that I know pretty well, has 5k on the engine 43k on the rest of it. It helps to real handy, the radiator would have been over 2k if I paid to have it done, recoring the radiator cost $800 by itself. Them radiators are in a black hole on class A rigs!

Bill
Bill & Nan
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I'm an analog guy in a digital age.

HotTommy

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2014, 11:03:36 AM »
Now here is a really impressive money pit. I just saw a 2013 RV up for private sale at $132, the owner paid around $350 new. So that money pit is roughly $120 blown off over something like a two year period, not counting the interest paid. Worse, much worse, if he trades it into a dealer and buys another impressive money pit.

I agree with everything in your post (except for the typo that made your math wrong). But somehow, it feels worse for a guy who can barely afford a $4,000 unit to end up with $8,000 in a unit he can neither use nor sell.  The guy who paid $250K for a new one should have known what depreciation to expect.  I suspect a lot of people who buy a $4k motorhome don't really understand what they're getting.

1275gtsport

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2014, 11:48:41 AM »
not to beat a dead horse. but depending on what seat and how it was mounted in the 70's GMC there is plenty of room up front. at leat in the palm beach model that I have. I had to put a 2 inch extension in the steering column so it made it more comfortable to drive. yes the windshield is rather close on the left (cause it wraps around) but it is all I can do to reach the gps stuck to the windshield. of course I am only 5' 8" so maybe if your a lot taller.. anyway I have leather seats out of a yukon denelli edition very comfy and really have a lot of adjustment.
However I do also agree that a 4k unit may be a rather large project. depends on how much of the work you WANT to do.
we paid about 6k for the rig and are around 7-9k in total at this point. still needs to have a few things re-done including the re-upholstery. and of course paint on the out side. when complete should be worth anywhere from just about what I have into it or hopefully more. most of the nice complete ones I have seen run around 15k

but don't EVER buy a Motor home as an investment! never never expect to make money on selling one. hope against hope that your will get out at least even. Motor homes are ment to be enjoyed (and driven)   not as a money making venture. unless you own a dealership. :)

They don't have to be money pits but then can be. I lost over 5k on the first one I bought and sold 2 years latter. how ever the guy that bought it from me lost it all as the motor went on him 3 months after he bought it. so you pay your money and ya take your chance. pick a rig that YOU feel comfortable in.
1977 GMC 26 foot Palm Beach
1976 Austin Mini

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2014, 01:28:47 PM »
Great posts. You guys sound like you know me.
I was hoping for some comments about the 88 Holiday Rambler Imperial and, for motorhomes in general, How difficulty is accessing the engine, drivetrain and suspension for repairs. Does one buy a big floor jack and jack stands?

I'm mostly looking on Craigslist for by owners. Several sellers have failed to respond to emails and a couple who did sounded like scammers.

There is also a 96 Winnebago adventurer 34, 460 66k miles, w/slide out, for $8500. The ad says it's been on recent trips and only points out some faded paint and decals. I just called. The tires were not replaced as a set but are about 2 years old. Generator may need the carb cleaned. Still owes money on it. My RMD would pay for it and a tank of gas.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2014, 05:02:00 PM »
The engine and tranny are nearly always a PITA to access in a motorhome - the body is built around them with little or no attention to future access for repairs. Sometimes even routine maintenance is difficult. Ditto for the genset.

No RV generator ever "just needs a carb cleaning". Disabuse your self of that notion upfront. If you do manage to get away with a thorough carb clean (soak 24 hours in a carb cleaner bath), buy a Lotto ticket cause your luck is running hot!

The 96 Adventurer sounds OK, but many other things to check. See the RV buying checklists in the forum Library under CHECKLISTS. The 96 460 engine is a strong one, but the accompanying transmission (Ford E4OD)  doesn't match the gears well to the heavy load. Does great in 3rd and OD, but has to drop to 2nd gear at any grade, even a common 3% climb.
Gary
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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2014, 05:46:21 PM »
I use a 12 ton bottle jack and jack stands meant for medium trucks. !/2" or thicker plywood pads under jack stands for dirt or black top. Generally you take front wheels off and remove inner fender panels for access to sides of engine for M/C, spark plugs and many other accessories. I always drive up on 4X8 blocks of wood before jacking. Be extremely safety conscious when jacking.

Bill
Bill & Nan
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93 bounder 34, chevy chassis
couple of aircooled vw's, 1 fast(sold), 1 reliable(sold).  Dubless : (
USN '76-'80, 1 boat, USS Blandy, DD 943.
I'm an analog guy in a digital age.

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2014, 04:14:22 AM »
Gary
Good to know about that Ford E4OD Trans. Is it also a reliability issue?  I'm a Chevy man but Ford has kinda made a good name in trucks.  I've printed the motorhome checklist. That's a pretty detailed list. It points to some things I might not of thought to check. That's what I'd expect to have been done when buying from a dealer. I will have my own priorities cus I best know my own capabilities.
The generator. If it turns and has compression and the bearing are not shot, it can be made to run.

Bill,  Good info. That's the kind of stuff I need to know. I have several floor jacks and jack stands,none of which is heavy enough for something that big. Can the load leveling jacks get the RV high enough to get jack stands under it. Are there support points where you can put jack stands.

driftless shifter

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2014, 07:38:46 AM »
I don't know about leveling jacks, I would still drive up on blocks to give more clearance for jacking in case the jack slips. Up front, I use crossmember that suspension mounts to for jacking and stands if greasing suspension or, jack from center of crossmember and stands under "A" arms for working through fender wells. Rear end, I jack from forward spring mounts right on the spring, place jack stands under spring perches on axle. Only lift rear axle on level ground with front wheels firmly chocked from moving either way. NEVER lift all 4 wheels, the likelyhood of vehicle tumbling off stands is extreme.

Bill
Bill & Nan
(o\_!_/o)
93 bounder 34, chevy chassis
couple of aircooled vw's, 1 fast(sold), 1 reliable(sold).  Dubless : (
USN '76-'80, 1 boat, USS Blandy, DD 943.
I'm an analog guy in a digital age.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2014, 08:17:15 AM »
Quote
Good to know about that Ford E4OD Trans. Is it also a reliability issue?

Not at all - it's a solid tranny. Just the spacing of the gear ratios. But there is only so much you can do with 4 forward gears (including OD). If you try to maximize higher gears for economy and smooth shifts, you come up short in the mid-range between there and the oomph required for 1st gear. You really need at least 5 speeds in a motorhome tranny, but those weren't available until 2002 (Workhorse W20/W22 chassis) and even later in the Ford F53.

Some people added a Gear Vendors Over/Under drive to their mid-90's gas coaches, effectively doubling the number of gears. A very nice add-on, but expensive, so you won't find many with that installed.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
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99WinAdventurer37G

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2014, 12:42:25 PM »
Let me add my two cents.  It speaks more to getting a MH in general. 

I'm a single guy, no kids.  I have a farm that I like to spend time at, but haven't decided where to build a house yet.  So I bought a 99' Winnebago Adventurer 37G.  It had all the maintenance records and all the owners manuals.  A gas unit that I only planned to use at my farm to set up in different places to decide where I really wanted to build.  I figured a building mistake would be more costly than a few thousand dollars spent on a MH.

I had a budget of $10,000, but settled on this unit at $23,000, spent about $2,000 on all the "accessories" ie. blocks, sewer hoses, fresh water hose, chocks, etc..  They add up quickly.  Tune ups, and minor repairs have run me around $4,000 in about 2.5 years.  So even without "major" expenses it can add up quickly; BUT;

My sister found out about the MH and asked me to do a trip with them to the NC mountains.  I took the MH over there and all the other families (all related) I was staying with, had tents.  It rained almost the entire trip.  Their tents were flooded, so they all stayed in my MH high and dry.  We played games, kids slept on the floor of the MH, in both the drivers chair and passenger chair that turn and recline.  Adults were all sharing a bed.  We all had such a great time.  They said the MH saved the vacation.  That made me feel so good that I purchased the MH, regardless of the cost.  That trip was what I call priceless!

There have been other trips, that individually I feel "paid for the MH in memories."  But this last one, I drove it to FL to my parents house, had it rigged up for their oxygen machines, to take them to a family reunion.  They got to see the great, great grand kids.  This never would have happened without the MH, as they simply would not have gone.  But in the MH they felt safe, generator, back up batteries, all there for their oxygen, a bathroom always available that they don't have to wait for and is clean, beds to lie down on in transit, and there truck driver son to get them where they need to go safely.  I couldn't put a price on that trip either, even though we didn't overnight in the MH.  My parents will tell that story to their friends the rest of their lives.  And no one knows, the probability that the whole family will get together again. Could I put a price on that?  I think not.

So, many things I had not planned on, many memories have been made besides these, with friends as well as family, and I did not think I could do this in a 99 MH, I was just getting it for use at the farm.  As I look back on the expense; I know these memories will last much longer than the MH.  And had I not spent the money on the MH, it would have probably gone to something else, much less rewarding.

Also, I've heard that "Jesus paid it all,"  so in Heaven I won't have any need for the money anyway. ;)
1999 Winnebago Adventurer 37G , Ford V-10
2006 Honda VTX 1300S

Kevin Means

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2014, 05:43:40 PM »
Great stuff 99WinAdventurer37G and I couldn't agree more. It often seems like the unplanned things make the best memories.

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ or an Acura MDX
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Lakeside, California

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2014, 10:05:33 PM »
Still pondering those compromises with a 4 speed trans. Living here in flatland Indiana I think I would prefer it optimized for cruising speed on a level highway.

Molaker

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2014, 10:15:34 PM »
My cent and a half...would you buy an 88 Pontiac and expect to not spend a lot of money on it to make it dependable?  Doesn't mean you won't luck out, but the key word is "luck".
Tom & Joyce and Ditto the "don't tell her she's a dog" Westie
U.S. Navy (Ret)
2014 Winnebago ERA 70X 24' class B Sprinter chassis

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2014, 11:53:05 AM »
My cent and a half...would you buy an 88 Pontiac and expect to not spend a lot of money on it to make it dependable?  Doesn't mean you won't luck out, but the key word is "luck".
I wish buying a motorhome was as easy as buying a 88 Pontiac. I used to check out cars more thoroughly but after several decades of buying and driving used cars, there are visual, audible, smellable, seat of the pants cues to almost anything that can be wrong. I think the brain can pick up on cues we are not even aware of an tell us "this car doesn't feel right".  Am I starting mythical?  If you have repeated bad luck with used cars you are not listening to the force. Kidding. Sort of.
John

Molaker

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2014, 12:46:16 PM »
I wish buying a motorhome was as easy as buying a 88 Pontiac. I used to check out cars more thoroughly but after several decades of buying and driving used cars, there are visual, audible, smellable, seat of the pants cues to almost anything that can be wrong. I think the brain can pick up on cues we are not even aware of an tell us "this car doesn't feel right".  Am I starting mythical?  If you have repeated bad luck with used cars you are not listening to the force. Kidding. Sort of.
John
Perhaps you missed my meaning, which admittedly, is frequently obscure.  Just be aware going in that buying any '88 motor vehicle is going to require work and expense and then you still have an '88 model.  True, most of us have some experience with automobiles and a motor home is effectively an automobile with all the problems of an automobile, but then piled on its back is a house with all the problems of a house (that gets bounced down the road).  So, buying an old motor home must be approached more from the standpoint of a restore project (which are always costly) rather than just an opportunity to pick up a cheap RV.  That doesn't say there aren't lots of older motor homes that are in terrific shape.  But, the only way to really find out if they are in terrific shape is to use it for a while...kind of a catch 22.
Tom & Joyce and Ditto the "don't tell her she's a dog" Westie
U.S. Navy (Ret)
2014 Winnebago ERA 70X 24' class B Sprinter chassis

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2014, 04:28:28 PM »
Molaker
I didn't mean to disagree. I was just sharing my thoughts about it. I think buying a MH is more difficult. So many new things to check. I don't think I can trust my instincts about the systems that are shared.  I've still never driven  class A.
It's starting to make buying from a dealer more attractive.
Soon everything's gonna be covered with snow. We have a Florida trip planed. Maybe I can get some FL dealer to give me a driving lesson.

Ken & Sheila

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2014, 05:00:40 PM »
Molaker
I didn't mean to disagree. I was just sharing my thoughts about it. I think buying a MH is more difficult. So many new things to check. I don't think I can trust my instincts about the systems that are shared.  I've still never driven  class A.
It's starting to make buying from a dealer more attractive.
Soon everything's gonna be covered with snow. We have a Florida trip planed. Maybe I can get some FL dealer to give me a driving lesson.

LazyDays in Seffner, FL (near Tampa) used to give regular RV driving class. I pretty sure they still do.

One thing to be aware of in older HR products. They have Aluminum Roof and sides, but the roof is flat with a seam down the middle. This seam can be a source of leaks. Easy fix with Eternabond if the inside damage isn't severe. Good thing is the all the framing is also aluminum son there won't be any rotted wood framing to fix.

ken
« Last Edit: December 24, 2014, 05:04:50 PM by Ken & Sheila »
Ken & Sheila
2009 Monaco Camelot 42 PDQ
2008 Jeep Liberty, 2006 Saturn Vue
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thedjjack

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #21 on: December 25, 2014, 02:57:38 AM »
shop carefully...  older rigs can treat you right...  bought my 1983 G3500 6.2L Diesel brougham for around your price...  sight on seen...  Drove 20hours to pick it up...blew an oil cooler line 1hour into the trip home.  Caught it with smell and a dancing pressure gauge in time...

Driven all over (every drive for me is in the mountains) been a reliable rig....  would I drive it 2000 miles tomorrow yes.. would I pack my tools yes...  but I trust it more than some of these newer rigs... 


cadee2c

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #22 on: December 25, 2014, 09:11:09 AM »
Having an inspection done wouldn't be a bad idea. It could save you money in the long run, and they know what to look out for.

Caryl
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johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2014, 03:56:32 PM »
If tires 7 to 10 years old should be replaced.  Should I be afraid to drive a MH, with old tires, 60 to 90 miles home, perhaps keeping speed under 55 or 45?

TonyDtorch

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #24 on: December 26, 2014, 04:19:30 PM »
If tires 7 to 10 years old should be replaced.  Should I be afraid to drive a MH, with old tires, 60 to 90 miles home, perhaps keeping speed under 55 or 45?
Just keep an eye and ear out for the tires, many times you feel a difference in the steering wheel or the brake pedal and that is a signal to pull over and check the tires.

I bought a 11 year old motorhome on Ebay, it was 300 miles away in Phoenix.  I drove there got in it and drove it home on 7 year old tires.
 I wasn't expecting an 11 year old motorhome to be perfect, but it was perfect for me.

 I look at everything as just part of the big adventure of life, even a flat tire.

« Last Edit: December 26, 2014, 04:40:22 PM by TonyDtorch »

99WinAdventurer37G

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #25 on: December 26, 2014, 05:22:11 PM »
Many times one can spot tire separations, as well as other severe problems with a good, thorough visual inspection.  By a careful inspection, you are looking, and feeling for abnormalities.  As you feel from the inside to the outside of the tire, it should be smooth, it should not have any splits in the rubber, one should not be able to see any steel, and if there is any dry rot, that would be of immediate concern.  I've seen people drive on very old tires without any problems, but it's just a roll of the dice.  Certainly proper air pressure and low speed travel will lower the risk of a tire failure.

A blow out on a steer tire could result in loss of control of the vehicle, many times resulting in a rollover.  So I would keep a firm grip on the steering wheel.   A blow out on any tire can result in severe damage to the MH, and the failure to pull over immediately after a tire failure can result in damage to the rim, requiring replacement, and more damage to the MH.
1999 Winnebago Adventurer 37G , Ford V-10
2006 Honda VTX 1300S

Deano2002

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #26 on: December 27, 2014, 06:55:09 PM »
Take it from a person that bought a 1990 motorhome, I have put a good amount of money into it (for what it is) and there is still more to do. I paid 3850.00 for it and have probably put that much into it, less tires. I would NEVER do it again, I would get a loan for something much better like a diesel pusher. Way too much time involved and with everyone wanting to go to the rv park we belong to, there's not enough time to work on it and get the things done that I want too. I've resealed the roof, built a new dinette booth, all new belts under the hood, new jack knife sofa, new fridge with a custom frame around it, new tile replaced the carpet in the bathroom, new toilet, new bathroom vanity and top with new faucet. I starting working on the bottom part of the MH where the cargo doors are, the front ones were rusting thru, so I tore the galvanized panels out and had new ones made and I reinstalled them. I now will have to repaint the bottom 30" of the coach all the way around this spring. I have all the supplies ( base coat, clear coat) and all the primer, just have to get motivated early this year, weather permitting of course. Oh yea, I bought  a new awning this past fall which will be installed once the painting is completed. All in all, if I was 20 years younger this might not be much of a problem, but I am done with projects like this anymore. Next one will be a 40' DP with a couple of slideouts, then we can live in it out at the club for the summer with decent room to move about.
1989 Champion LaSalle 34' project

99WinAdventurer37G

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #27 on: December 28, 2014, 02:31:33 PM »
Take it from a person that bought a 1990 motorhome, I have put a good amount of money into it (for what it is) and there is still more to do. I paid 3850.00 for it and have probably put that much into it, less tires. I would NEVER do it again, I would get a loan for something much better like a diesel pusher. Way too much time involved and with everyone wanting to go to the rv park we belong to, there's not enough time to work on it and get the things done that I want too. I've resealed the roof, built a new dinette booth, all new belts under the hood, new jack knife sofa, new fridge with a custom frame around it, new tile replaced the carpet in the bathroom, new toilet, new bathroom vanity and top with new faucet. I starting working on the bottom part of the MH where the cargo doors are, the front ones were rusting thru, so I tore the galvanized panels out and had new ones made and I reinstalled them. I now will have to repaint the bottom 30" of the coach all the way around this spring. I have all the supplies ( base coat, clear coat) and all the primer, just have to get motivated early this year, weather permitting of course. Oh yea, I bought  a new awning this past fall which will be installed once the painting is completed. All in all, if I was 20 years younger this might not be much of a problem, but I am done with projects like this anymore. Next one will be a 40' DP with a couple of slideouts, then we can live in it out at the club for the summer with decent room to move about.

It sounds to me that it has been a good learning experience though.  With your comment that the "Next one will be..." it doesn't sound like it has ruined your MH dreams, but taught you a lot about what you want out of the MH experience for under $8,000.  Most people would call that a low cost education.
1999 Winnebago Adventurer 37G , Ford V-10
2006 Honda VTX 1300S

TonyDtorch

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2014, 04:00:37 PM »
It sounds to me that it has been a good learning experience though.  With your comment that the "Next one will be..." it doesn't sound like it has ruined your MH dreams, but taught you a lot about what you want out of the MH experience for under $8,000.  Most people would call that a low cost education.

and the opposite side of that is a guy I know that bought one of the last $400k 3 axle Country Coach motorhomes ever made, and he's had nothing but problems...

like the whole rear cap fell completely off, and the whole front cap cracked and separated from the mail body with water damage inside. he claims that the motorhome was a total loser deal, now he is way upside down and he can't even sell it. 

 there is no real guarantee on things ...it could be an $ 8k mistake, or $ 400k mistake, any warranty is only as strong as the company is.
 
« Last Edit: December 28, 2014, 04:10:28 PM by TonyDtorch »

Deano2002

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2014, 06:57:32 PM »
It sounds to me that it has been a good learning experience though.  With your comment that the "Next one will be..." it doesn't sound like it has ruined your MH dreams, but taught you a lot about what you want out of the MH experience for under $8,000.  Most people would call that a low cost education.
Well if there is a next one it won't be a fixer upper, thats what it taught me. Any money lost is not education, education should have been learned before hand on my part. I do know now what to look for now when looking at these coaches. You will not get much for not much spent
1989 Champion LaSalle 34' project

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #30 on: December 28, 2014, 08:05:02 PM »
Deano2002   Thanks for sharing your experience. I hope you get enough use out of the MH to enjoy the results of the work you've put into it.

There is a 91 Lesharo for $2000 that wont start. 'Sposed to be an electrical problem. I emailed for more info.
I know Lesharo's have a bad rep, but I've seen them on the road so some of them run.
I've always been curious about them. It would be more for local use. I don't see serious traveling in something that small. I can't even stand up straight in one except in the entry foot well. I downloaded a service manual for some fun reading.

driftless shifter

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #31 on: December 28, 2014, 10:22:53 PM »
It's a Renault driveline. Good luck finding even the simplest parts for it.
Bill & Nan
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93 bounder 34, chevy chassis
couple of aircooled vw's, 1 fast(sold), 1 reliable(sold).  Dubless : (
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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #32 on: December 29, 2014, 12:17:47 AM »
It's a Renault driveline. Good luck finding even the simplest parts for it.
I knew that. There are parts sources and support sites online. It's unlikely the Lesharo will be nice enough that I will want to fool with it.
For oddball MH's I found this 1992 SONOMA Isuzu NK 400 Motor Home on CL. I search the entire US I found one other old ad. I think it was made by Cobra. There seems to be absolutely no info online.
http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/rvs/4799621203.html

Deano2002

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #33 on: December 29, 2014, 04:42:18 PM »
I knew that. There are parts sources and support sites online. It's unlikely the Lesharo will be nice enough that I will want to fool with it.
For oddball MH's I found this 1992 SONOMA Isuzu NK 400 Motor Home on CL. I search the entire US I found one other old ad. I think it was made by Cobra. There seems to be absolutely no info online.
http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/rvs/4799621203.html
I would not by a 2000.00 unit, I think when they are that low in price the seller is just trying to dump it. Now if he wants to give it away, then a person could take weeks to look it over to see if they want to tear into it. If not maybe someone else would or off to the salvage it goes. Anything I have seen for the price is a basket of rusted metal and rotten ceiling and walls. The 8K one might be more realistically worth 5K, that engine might be the same as is in a truck at work an it is worthless going up even the slightest hill with any weight on it, its not nearly as heavy as that coach either.The fuel mileage on the later one might be close, just shop around, summer is a ways off
1989 Champion LaSalle 34' project

Deano2002

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #34 on: December 29, 2014, 04:56:09 PM »
I looked up the Sonoma by Cobra, they don't list a 33' coach in 1992, I did find a 93-94 listing with NADA but for 1994 and only 26' L, did I miss it?
1989 Champion LaSalle 34' project

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #35 on: December 29, 2014, 07:15:07 PM »
It looks like some rust on the bottom edge of the door. Seller has not answer email.
Tried to attach picture.
There is one in Sarasota for $6000. Much nicer. Ready to go.  Too much risk to buy 1200 mile from home.

99WinAdventurer37G

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #36 on: December 29, 2014, 08:05:24 PM »
", just shop around, summer is a ways off"

The other thing about this quote, is if you buy one now it has to be winterized.  So don't rush the search, take your time.  I'm not sure I'd want to travel 1,200 miles to check one out, and you definitely want to look one over before you buy it.  Go to the "Library" then click on check lists.  That is where I got my checklist when I bought mine.  It is very comprehensive and well thought out.  I believe using the checklist found in our "library" here, is how I got such a great unit, and discovered the bad ones before I made a several thousand dollar mistake.
1999 Winnebago Adventurer 37G , Ford V-10
2006 Honda VTX 1300S

Deano2002

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #37 on: December 29, 2014, 08:19:10 PM »
I know I should have joined this site before setting out to buy something of this size and complex, but to tell the truth it never crossed my mind. I was out in my today to make sure the mice have enough food ;D, and am glad summer will come before long.
1989 Champion LaSalle 34' project

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #38 on: December 29, 2014, 08:50:12 PM »
Quote
I'm not sure I'd want to travel 1,200 miles to check one out, and you definitely want to look one over before you buy it. 
Will be in the area anyway. Wouldn't spend 6k on a Lesharo though.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2015, 10:54:37 AM by scottydl »

driftless shifter

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #39 on: December 29, 2014, 10:46:59 PM »
I started looking at Craigslist locally before I was ready to buy. I went looking at rigs I had no real interest in, just for practice in looking for defects. Learned how to spot leaks and delamination. Saw what people and dealers thought was a good asking price for my region. Found one that needed chassis work, but had documented new engine, bonus points for everything in the house and the generator worked. The PO had issues with the engine installation and brakes that were all within my abilities to remedy. I was able to buy it far enough below local prices to make my expenditures worth buying it. My maiden voyage was moving my wife and I from MA. to TX, a 2500 mile journey. Found it about 20 miles away from my house. I did need a new fuel pump upon arrival in Texas. Take your time, don't fall in love with anything, listen to the voices in your head if they say run away.

Bill
Bill & Nan
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93 bounder 34, chevy chassis
couple of aircooled vw's, 1 fast(sold), 1 reliable(sold).  Dubless : (
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I'm an analog guy in a digital age.

thesameguy

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #40 on: December 30, 2014, 06:19:16 PM »
I started shopping for my first RV in 2013 and finally bought in early 2014 after looking at a lot of them. What I learned came as a surprise even though it shouldn't have... just like with regular old cars as RVs devalue people take progressively worse care of them. There just isn't any such thing as an old, cheap RV that needs nothing. Compounding the issue is that RVs have a lot of expensive components, devalue like nobody's business, and their whole is absolutely not the sum of their parts. So if you buy that $4k RV that needs a few things, you're going to drop a fortune on those things when you could have just bought a newer rig that hadn't bottomed out, hadn't gone uncared for, and didn't need things in the first place.

I was originally shopping ~$4k trucks from the '80s, but they ALL needed something. Tallying up those needs made me realize I wasn't going to get what I wanted for anything approaching $4k and my real number was probably closer to $8k, all said and done. As a result, I instead started shopping trucks from the '90s - trucks made with newer materials, with (ostensibly) better construction, and more advanced parts. I won out with a 4-speed electronically controlled transmission and a fuel injected engine along with an interior and exterior with ten fewer years on it for the same price as an '80s truck with a handful of repairs. My nut was $7k with $1k worth of post-purchase repairs and $600 in updates... around $8k all said and done. I've been very happy with the purchase and while there are things I could do, there is nothing it needs and everything works great. I probably *should* have spent the $8k up front and gotten something just a tad nicer to start with, but no regrets!

(I will mention that I had fairly modest needs - sleeping room for four, a fridge, a toilet, and AC. Anything beyond that stuff was just complexity I didn't need or want. No fancy features like slideouts for me! I sought only a comfortable place to sleep and poop when I'm not outside doing vacation-y things :) )

If you *like* the idea of working on an RV and have some specific result you'd like to get, yeah, you might as well build - just be aware that when you put $4k into a $4k RV, you probably still have a $4k RV and you've done it for the love and the experience. But if you want to drive around and have a place for your food and your head, buy something in good shape from someone who still used it, kept it up, and didn't let it languish. I'm thankful every time I drive mine I bought someone else's love affair and not a project because it always just works. Tinkering on your vacation machine sounds like the worst of the worst. ;)
« Last Edit: December 30, 2014, 06:20:47 PM by thesameguy »

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #41 on: January 01, 2015, 11:30:17 AM »
I find my thoughts going toward that 88 Holiday Rambler Imperial. Now another seller is parting out a 88 HR. Don't know what model but it's Ford. The Imperial is a Chevy
My vibe is they might take a lower offer for the HR Imperial. It's been so cold I don't want to go out

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #42 on: January 02, 2015, 04:05:14 PM »
Got the VIN for the HR Imperial. It's actually a 1985. 7.4L 4BBL LE8 engine. Carbureted engine is disappointing. Bought a $6.99 instaVIN report. Not much useful information. Two title event dates, in 1999 and 2013. No odometer readings. A page of possible problems checked off as not reported.
A $25 carfax report I got a few years ago on a 84 Vette, showed more info.
Seller volunteered that he would take less to get it out of his yard.
Could it be a later model MH on a 85 chassis?
« Last Edit: January 02, 2015, 05:02:35 PM by johnd393 »

Alfa38User

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #43 on: January 03, 2015, 09:14:06 AM »
The date of manufacture of the chassis (ie chassis VIN)  is often a year or (or more rarely) two behind the actual completion date/model year  of the motor home. The manufacturer of motor homes usually do not purchase the chassis' one at a time but in quantities and stores them and/or uses them depending on demand.

I doubt you will get much info on the chassis VIN from any of those services as they are initially sold as "incomplete"; a stripped chassis, only an engine,wheels, brakes and frame etc.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2015, 09:39:53 AM by Alfa38User »
Stu
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johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #44 on: January 04, 2015, 03:21:58 PM »
With previous Carfax reports I was able to know what states the vehicle was titled in, the mileage at each transfer or registration. Living in the rust belt it was nice to find out my old Vette spent it's first 7 years and 70000 miles it Texas.
I'm reading about 80's P30 carbureted fuel & emission control systems. I'm in one of the few Indiana county's that require emission tests. I think vehicles over 9000 gvwr are exempt from testing. This is good stuff to know about If I wanna buy an old cheap MH. I would prefer fuel injection though.
Haven't looked at the 85 HR yet cus it's 75 miles away. Now the snow has come.

Alfa38User

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #45 on: January 05, 2015, 07:53:26 AM »
A motor home chassis is not titled until the 1st buyer buys the completed unit. The year shown on the title should be the year the whole unit was completed. Sometimes the year shown on the original chassis VIN has been used in error by the licensing authority, judging by reports noted here and other RV forums.
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

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joester

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A - johnd393
« Reply #46 on: January 05, 2015, 01:14:24 PM »
john,
take your time and don't rush into a purchase. Wife and I searched for an an entire year (1997) before finding what we still have today - a 1991 Tioga class C. Dealers would get frustrated when we couldn't tell them what we wanted - but we knew that once we found the right one, we would know it. some folks move from vehicle to vehicle, and rv to rv; we found what we liked, and have it now into our 18th year with it. consider keeping about 10-20% of your budget for repairs and upgrades buying a used rv - just a rough estimate. our purchase price was 25k, but time we were done with new tires, awning, other upgrades, we were at 29k. value has slipped to about 5k now according to NADA - but it's worth more to us as we know exactly what we have. there are a LOT of different models and floor plans - keep looking, have fun looking and good luck!
tener corazón de oro

1991 Tioga class C

garymunson

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #47 on: January 06, 2015, 08:34:59 AM »
Having had 6 RV's over the years, we have come to prefer a class A for the extra room. For some time my wife didn't think she'd be comfortable driving one but now she's fine with it, just lets me take it if we approach someplace with a lot of traffic. We've always bought used and I now prefer the Workhorse chassis with the 8.1L V8. We had a couple of Ford chassis units and there is quite a difference in power between those platforms. You see post from people wanting more power from their V10 Tritons, the 8.1s, not so much.

thesameguy

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #48 on: January 07, 2015, 06:20:07 PM »
You kinda need to get into the '90s to get fuel injection. Although GM had the TBI 454 in '87, as was previously mentioned a lot of coach builders buy the chassis in advance of building so the motorhome model year will virtually always post-date the chassis date by a year or two. When I was searching, I found model year '87, '88, and '89 motorhomes were still using carbs, albeit in decreasing numbers. By 1990 they're virtually all TBI. That's part of what led me to just go to a '93, because that also wins the 4L80-E 4-speed instead of the TH400 3-speed. That extra gear is GOLD on the highway... I test drove a couple very nice late '80s machines and they were screaming at freeway speeds. The 454 in the Southwind with the 4-speed behind it is quietly cruising at about 2k RPM, netting happier ears and better fuel economy to boot. (I *personally* believe the 4L80-E is a stouter, more reliable transmission too, but opinions are like, well, you know. :) )

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #49 on: January 09, 2015, 06:04:35 PM »
As my armchair RV experience continues, I have read up on Quadrajet carbs enough that I'm not so afraid of them. Now a 1989 Thor Yellowstone has come up forsale local, $5500. Paint looks pretty faded in pix.  Ad says it's fuel injected but the VIN decodes to a carb. If someones changed it to FI, that opens a new can of worms. Not having any luck finding info online for that model. Seller needs some warm days to clear the snow away before showing.

thesameguy

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #50 on: January 10, 2015, 04:19:08 AM »
As far as carbs go, Quadrajets are good ones. GM managed to run basically the same carbs from the late '60s into the late '80s on everything from 350s to 502s with variations powering even smaller motors. It's a very flexible, well-designed carb. But it's not like other carbs and finding people proficient with them is *tough*. Add in complexity from smog controls and computers added to the ones they were building in the '80s and you're not talking about simple stuff. Lots of sensors. thermo-vacuum switches, valves, etc. It's not trivial keeping one working at 100%, and no matter how good the q-jet is set up it'll never be as good as fuel injection, even primitive '80s TBI.

Like others said, you've got a long time til RV season - I would not rush this. Target April or May for a purchase, and I'd really encourage you to seek out fuel injection. The last thing anyone wants in tinkering with carbs on vacation.

(FWIW, I have a q-jet on my '67 Fleetwood - but got so irked at the CCC q-jet on my Trans Am I finally sold it)

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #51 on: January 10, 2015, 07:00:48 AM »
Some engines of that vintage had throttle-body injection, half way between a carb and multi-point fuel injection. A fairly simple system that has one injector to meter fuel into a psuedo-carburetor (the throttle body) where air is mixed in and then and sent on to the cylinders..
Gary
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thesameguy

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #52 on: January 11, 2015, 11:46:30 PM »
All GM V8 engines from '87 through '95 were TBI fuel injected (in '96, they went to port sequential with the Vortecs), but as mentioned earlier the disconnect between the GM build date and the coach build date results in some '87-'90 motorhomes that still have carbs. Although primitive by modern standards, TBI is a totally reasonable technology. It's found new purpose with bolt-on fuel injection conversions from Holley, Powerjection, etc. Kinda neat stuff, but maybe not good enough to justify the price tag in the face of things like Megasquirt. ;)

PorscheMark

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #53 on: January 12, 2015, 12:41:35 PM »
John -
Might I suggest that you start out with a small pull behind camper?
-Mark 'n' Jane
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2007 Phaeton 42QRH

2010 Honda CRV (TOAD)

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #54 on: January 12, 2015, 02:30:41 PM »
John -
Might I suggest that you start out with a small pull behind camper?
I don't have a vehicle that can pull the smallest size camper. I don't want to travel in a truck. I don't want to camp in any soft sided popup or tent. I have, though, spent some time looking at what Chevy Suburbans are for sale. I had a neighbor and a coworker who each had fanatical love of their Suburban.

thesameguy

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #55 on: January 12, 2015, 05:07:06 PM »
I love mine. :) I just bought my third last week. First was an '87 1/2 ton with a 350 and a 700R4. I sold it when I got the second, an '84 3/4 ton with a 6.5l diesel swap and a TH400. It belonged to my childhood friend's parents, and I took it when they didn't need it anymore. I've had it for nine years now, but it needs some work. While I do that, I got a '99 1/2 ton with a Vortec 350 and a 4L60E. They are great trucks, just be sure you know what you're getting into in terms of congenital failures, limitations, and maintenance requirements. I really think the '87-'91 trucks are the best in terms of being reasonably civilized while still being a truck. In '92 the interiors got much nicer, but much less durable. My '99 has a leather interior and you can't hear the engine running. It's nicer to drive, but I prefer the '84 and its lack of niceties. Regardless, they are great, stable tow vehicles - I tow a 1,800lb car trailer with various vehicles and there's nothing I'd rather do it with.

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #56 on: January 13, 2015, 02:06:12 AM »
I sent a email response for a 99 Suburban for for $2k. Ad says 90k miles. I prefer 2WD for less complexity and weight.  A 'Burb would replace my Ford Ranger 3.0l that eats gas like a much larger vehicle.
Supposed to see the 89 Thor MH tomorrow. Won't be able to make a decision in this weather. Anxious to get wife's response if the interior is nice. .

thesameguy

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #57 on: January 13, 2015, 12:10:46 PM »
I am a believer that an SUV without 4WD is a waste of an SUV. The added weight of the transfer case is trivial in the scope of a two and a half ton vehicle  and the driven front axle is very durable unless heavily used or abused. My '84 has 340,000 miles on it and has had exactly zero work done on the front axle in its life. My '99 has 165k and same story. You may never use 4WD, but that one time it gets you or someone else unstuck or through unexpected weather you'll be glad you had it. If the '99 is a half ton you can expect mid to high teens overall, if it's a three quarter ton expect low to mids. If you are shopping for a 3/4 ton, it may be worth moving onto the GMT800 ('00+) trucks. The Vortec 8400 isn't really much better than the TBI 8400 in terms of output or fuel economy, but the 6.0l in the GMT800 is very, very good. For anything except the biggest trailers, the half ton will do you - although the heavier duty transmission in the 3/4 tons is a nice perk. No matter what you do, make sure you get a truck that has the HD towing package (trans cooler, etc.) or add those features yourself.

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #58 on: January 13, 2015, 08:39:08 PM »
The Thor was too rough on the outside. Inside wasn't bad. Didn't like the driver seating position in this one either. There must have been a seat height adjustment I didn't figure out. Wife wouldn't get out of the car. She's more determined we don't do this than I thought. I was getting excited at the thought of trying something new.
Got a email response on the Suburban. 2wd, 5.7l, no rust. Didn't give exact location. It's in a town with areas to avoid.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2015, 11:26:38 PM by johnd393 »

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #59 on: January 21, 2015, 04:46:10 PM »
I've not given up but I have to tread lightly with the WAF. There is another HR Imperial close. <$5k.  It's an 87 with 87400 miles. This one has the walk around queen bed. The other imperial mentioned earlier has 2 singles. It's supposed to be ready to use except the frig and the 2 roof A/C s are bad. Owner is a former RV sales person. Engine and trans are rebuilt. He had a trans failure on the road and had a used one installed, than had it rebuilt later. I would trust the rebuild more it it had a couple thousand miles on it.  I am somewhat qualified to fix the A/C's if they are not mangled from hitting something and parts are available. If the frig problem is not the sealed system, perhaps it can be fixed. Have not yet approached the wife about going to see this one. Maybe tomorrow.

Molaker

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #60 on: January 21, 2015, 04:53:01 PM »
I've not given up but I have to tread lightly with the WAF. There is another HR Imperial close. <$5k.  It's an 87 with 87400 miles. This one has the walk around queen bed. The other imperial mentioned earlier has 2 singles. It's supposed to be ready to use except the frig and the 2 roof A/C s are bad. Owner is a former RV sales person. Engine and trans are rebuilt. He had a trans failure on the road and had a used one installed, than had it rebuilt later. I would trust the rebuild more it it had a couple thousand miles on it.  I am somewhat qualified to fix the A/C's if they are not mangled from hitting something and parts are available. If the frig problem is not the sealed system, perhaps it can be fixed. Have not yet approached the wife about going to see this one. Maybe tomorrow.
I would definitely approach this one as if the A/Cs and fridge are total losses and must be replaced, even if you can fix them.  You won't know that going in.  Now, is the price still attractive?
Tom & Joyce and Ditto the "don't tell her she's a dog" Westie
U.S. Navy (Ret)
2014 Winnebago ERA 70X 24' class B Sprinter chassis

scottydl

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #61 on: January 21, 2015, 08:50:23 PM »
^^ Agreed, as those two items are among the most expensive in terms of RV-specific parts.  Even if you replaced the RV absorption fridge with a standard electric model, it still would not be cheap.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

Ernie n Tara

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #62 on: January 22, 2015, 08:59:52 AM »
Sounds to me as if you have $3, 000 in repairs before you find out what else is wrong (mh ac's are usually replaced if the cooling system is bad). I'd run from this one!

Ernie
Ernie 'n Tara

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johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #63 on: January 22, 2015, 01:38:47 PM »
In the price range I'm looking at, many MH's are going to be too old, smelly and ugly. If the MH passes the smell test, is fresh and clean enough that I would want to spend time in it, mechanically and structurally sound with rebuilt mechanicals, I'm not sure I should pass on it because of a couple bad appliances. I see used a/c's on craigslist for 200-250 and rebuilt refrigerator cooling units online for around 550.

thesameguy

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #64 on: January 22, 2015, 05:33:48 PM »
Well, of all the things you probably don't absolutely need, AC and a fridge are probably high on the list. It's still pretty chilly out in most of the country and humanity got by ok for a long time with iceboxes. Last time we took the Southwind out (10 days), we used a pair of big 5-day coolers and left the fridge off. Wasn't bad at all.

Still, those repairs really are probably closer to $3k than $1k. Not sure and '87 would be worth even $6k to me. Again, my '93 was $7k. I think you can do better for that price.

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #65 on: January 23, 2015, 06:11:40 PM »
Looked at the HR. Seller was just out driving it and arrived home a few minutes after us. So we know it ran and could be driven. He was gonna take us for a ride in it. Wife and I got in the coach. I immediately knew it was not nice enough for ether of us. Wife was patient. A good sign. Looked it over a while cus we were there. The padded ceiling was coming loose at some of the seams, not really hanging down. There had been attempts to staple it. Don't know if that's water damage or just adhesive failure over time. It may be mechanically sound but seems pretty neglected. It is quite awkward for 6'2" 220 lb me to climb over the motorhump in to the drivers seat. Probably easier to use the drivers door. Drivers door now on my preference list. Drivers seating position was better than the other two MH's I've sat in. Didn't go for the ride. Felt it would be dishonest to take up any more of the guys time. I don't know if 1987 is too old  but this one felt too old. The Thor I looked at was fresher on the interior.  I like the idea of the aluminum frame skin and roof on the HR's. I'm still curious about the other HR Imperial that's for sale. It's lower mileage and lower cost.. Attached couple pictures of the one we saw today.

RobertB

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #66 on: January 23, 2015, 07:20:37 PM »
My family and I started in a 1994 34' allegro bus ( no slides). We loved it. if your looking to save money. Don't get into camping. A camper is like a boat. Something that your going to constantly through money at. Some people consider a boat as a hole in the water. Well the same go's for a camper. It's just another hole in the road. Lol. That being said. You have to like what you see and feel. If you have any ideas that your not going to like the rig. Then most likely you wont. You will know the rig u want when you see it. It's going to be a stepping stone to bigger and better things to come.
Best thing I can suggest is to be aware of how things look vs how they feel. Musty smells and high humidity would be a good reason to turn and run. Before the owner suggest to listen to the pur of the motor or genset. Nose around those areas just to see how long it was warmed up before you showed up. I hope that you have as good experience as my family and I have had with our 1st motorhome.  Just remember it is also a vehicle. 
I know nothing. Claim to know nothing. I have documents proving I know nothing. Just my experiences is all I have to offer.

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #67 on: January 24, 2015, 03:20:43 AM »
If it's still there when we head to FL, there's a 1998 38' diesel pusher Gulf Stream for $15k.  Wasn't really thinking of that large but my computer took me there. Might be another bogus ad. 

HotTommy

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #68 on: January 24, 2015, 07:57:18 AM »
John,
This is just a reminder of the advice I gave way back when you started this thread. .... I looked at a lot of cheap, but not worth the money RVs before I let my urge to end the search push me into buying the wrong one.  Don't let that happen to you. .... The good part of seeing lots of wrong cheap units is that you'll know for sure when you see the right cheap unit.  But don't let the thought that, "this one is not great, but its not nearly as bad as the last three" push you into a bad decision. .... Good luck with the search.

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #69 on: January 24, 2015, 08:12:59 PM »
If it's still there when we head to FL, there's a 1998 38' diesel pusher Gulf Stream for $15k.  Wasn't really thinking of that large but my computer took me there. Might be another bogus ad.

I called the number for it. Guy place the ad for his 83 year old grandfather who can't drive anymore.
Still sounds too good to be true. Guy is calling back tomorrow with more info. I hope I'm still driving at 83. The attractive for me is the flat floor access to leather drivers seat.

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #70 on: January 27, 2015, 07:34:35 PM »
1994 Georgie Boy Cruise master $1200  120k miles. A lot of miles but cheap. Sent a text. Might be too far away for a casual look.

scottydl

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #71 on: January 27, 2015, 07:40:24 PM »
$1200??  Okay that seems TOO far in the other direction.  I'd be afraid of the condition of that one, but I suppose you won't know until you know!
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

99WinAdventurer37G

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #72 on: January 27, 2015, 09:52:21 PM »
$1200??  Okay that seems TOO far in the other direction.  I'd be afraid of the condition of that one, but I suppose you won't know until you know!

You heard of the story that was reportedly printed in the Chicago Tribune in 1979;

A man in California saw an ad in the paper for an "almost new" Porsche, in excellent condition - price $50. He was certain the printers had made a typographical error, but even at $5,000 it would have been a bargain, so he hurried to the address to look at the car.

A nice-looking woman appeared at the front door. Yes, she had placed the ad. The price was indeed $50. "The car," she said, "is in the garage. Come and look at it."

The fellow was overwhelmed. It was a beautiful Porsche and, as the ad promised, "nearly new." He asked if he could drive the car around the block. The woman said, "Of course," and went with him. The Porsche drove like a dream. The young man peeled off $50 and handed it over, somewhat sheepishly. The woman gave him the necessary papers, and the car was his.

Finally, the new owner couldn't stand it any longer. He had to know why the woman would sell the Porsche at such a ridiculously low price. Her reply was simple: With a half-smile on her face, she said, "My husband ran off with his secretary a few days ago and left a note instructing me to sell the car and the house, and send him the money."

********
So maybe it's just listed by an upset X.
1999 Winnebago Adventurer 37G , Ford V-10
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johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #73 on: January 28, 2015, 12:09:18 AM »
$1200??  Okay that seems TOO far in the other direction.  I'd be afraid of the condition of that one, but I suppose you won't know until you know!
Well, there's probably something wrong. The picture looks nice. Maybe a missing zero and it's really $12000. No answer to my text. Sent an email. Maybe it belongs to a rich person that just wants it gone. It's craigslist so one must proceed with caution. At $1200 one could consider an in vehicle engine rebuild.
 
I have an old vacant house in need of serious repairs. I'm about to lose it to nature. It's 30 miles from home so I don't get over there much. A cheap RV would many a nice construction base.

HotTommy

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #74 on: January 28, 2015, 04:55:31 PM »
I've lost count of the number of times I responded to a craigslist ad in the first 24 hours it was listed and never heard back even though the ad remained for weeks.

scottydl

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #75 on: January 28, 2015, 05:55:43 PM »
^^ Yeah, not everyone is as attentive to their ads as I would like... or as attentive as you'd think, if they are genuinely trying to sell something!  I've also found that many posters rely on phone calls or texts these days, and the Craigslist relay e-mail does not always generate a quick reply.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

Stephen S.

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #76 on: January 31, 2015, 09:26:38 PM »
A motor home chassis is not titled until the 1st buyer buys the completed unit. The year shown on the title should be the year the whole unit was completed. Sometimes the year shown on the original chassis VIN has been used in error by the licensing authority, judging by reports noted here and other RV forums.

Yeah, my RV is a 2000 for wiring and plumbing diagrams from Winnebago. But the DMV says it's a 1999.
Stephen S.
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johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #77 on: February 16, 2015, 10:25:24 AM »
Looked at some used RV's at dealers. Went to a RV show in Ocala. There are a few new class A's under $100k. New ones we looked at no longer have interior fabrics chosen by old southern church ladies.
Left a phone msg on a local 1994 HR, one owner, 25k miles, asking $7k.

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #78 on: February 18, 2015, 07:32:48 PM »
Left a phone msg on a local 1994 HR, one owner, 25k miles, asking $7k.
Looked at the 94 HR Endeavor. Like the other old HR's I've seen the ceiling fabric is separating from it's foam backing. Seller says it's due to Florida heat and not water damage. Outside fiberglass faded. Lower blue part where the basement doors are held up much better. Ford 460 engine sounds good. Another shopper has been promised first chance. We'll leave it.
I wonder if the older HR's with all aluminum skin can withstand the effects of the sun better.

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #79 on: July 27, 2015, 05:27:05 PM »
I'm still at this. Mostly watching Craigslist ads. It's not uncommon to see a great deal that screams scam. Sometimes its listed as local but has a phone number in a far away state. Sometimes they respond to emails with a request for my direct email for more info or with a convoluted story that's too weird to believe, or sometimes a web search, for the same ad wording, finds the listing, or a similar one with the same picture, placed in CL ads in several other cities around the country.
My present ad of interest is a mid 80's  28' class A with a Chevy 454 for $2000. The seller has  sent more pictures, I ask more questions and some of what looks bad in the pictures maybe isn't as bad as it looks. It's a full hour drive so I'm finding out as much as I can without making the trip.

Superjp

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #80 on: July 27, 2015, 09:37:05 PM »
Enjoying your thread and hunt.  I had the bug about 4 years ago and took a year to look and find a rig within a $10,000 budget knowing I would have to put some money into it over time.  Actually found a 1998 HR Vacationer with the Ford 460 off of ebay (I know what a red flag) for $9500.  Called the dealer and he flipped repossessed units.  Guaranteed all appliances worked, engine, tranny and generator were all good.  Took the trip from VA to IN to pick it up in December - burr!  Drove my fathers Jeep and towed it back.  Trip went well except for a clogged fuel filter from sitting over time.   I cleaned the carb on the genset and it runs perfectly had the gas tank dropped and cleaned and some minor repairs totaling $1300 once I got it home and no issues since then.  Replaced the 4 rear tires for $600.  We ripped up the carpet and laid flooring in (replaced 2 small spots of rotten flooring) this past winter and put a new mattress in as well (total cost of $800 for mattress and all flooring needs).  We have had the rig for 3 years and it has been great.  With a family of four we have been to FL 4 times, several places in VA, PA and NC and love it.  I know I got lucky, but if you keep looking you will find the right one for you.  Certainly another place to look and if they are close enough check it out before placing the bid.  Now I just need to the dash AC working that stopped on the last trip...always something to work on - be ready.
'98 Holiday Rambler Vacationer
34' with Ford 460
Virginia Beach, VA

James

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #81 on: August 06, 2015, 06:01:22 AM »
I just received some pictures of a 1987 Pace Arrow. It's only $1500 but has some bad delamenation.

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #82 on: August 06, 2015, 06:10:48 PM »
Pretty bad
« Last Edit: August 06, 2015, 06:16:46 PM by johnd393 »

TonyDtorch

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #83 on: August 07, 2015, 01:55:06 AM »
Terminal delam...

thesameguy

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #84 on: August 07, 2015, 12:53:33 PM »
Holy crap... was thing stored underwater?

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #85 on: August 07, 2015, 11:22:14 PM »
1984 Elanden. 32k miles. Looks good in pictures. Sent email

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #86 on: August 08, 2015, 01:53:47 PM »
84 elandan $5k,  Don't like fabric/upholstery color
email response says always stored indoors.

« Last Edit: August 08, 2015, 02:03:11 PM by johnd393 »

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #87 on: August 08, 2015, 06:35:29 PM »
84 elandan $5k,  Don't like fabric/upholstery color
email response says always stored indoors.

When in this price range condition, is more important than color, My upholstery is kind of mauve or something. Didn't care for it early on, but when it made a 2800 mile maiden voyage without stranding us it stopped bothering me!

Bill
Bill & Nan
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johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #88 on: August 08, 2015, 11:25:26 PM »
Waiting for return call.  I left voice message.  It's discribed as "very clean".
I can see a rip in the fabric on the dinette seat back in the pix.  Listing is 1 day old. If it's as good as it needs to be for me to buy it, the first person that gets there will take it. I'm enthusiastic because of the "always stored indoors" claim. From what I'm seeing these things don't stand up to out door exposure well.

Finally got another email. They showed it to someone else and found out the brake lights don't work. They're trying to figure out why. Can be a good thing if minor electrical problems scare away other buyers. We not scared of wires.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2015, 11:27:21 PM by johnd393 »

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #89 on: August 14, 2015, 05:02:53 PM »
I don't have a reason for not going to look at  the thing yet. It is old. He said the price is firm. Other pictures show the rip on the seat is just a pattern in the fabric. He was hesitant when asked if it could make the 120 mile trip home. Recent use has been short local day trips. If someone else doesn't pay the $5k maybe the price will soften.

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #90 on: August 19, 2015, 02:25:16 AM »
I looked at it. There is a little delam. It"s barely visible but you can feel it if you press on it.  They took us for a short ride on a country road. They drove it so slow and gently.  I don't fit in the shower. I like the cabinets. Ceiling and floor are ok. There's a lot that's good about it but it just didn't feel right. If it doesn't sell and the price comes down I might give it another thought.

scottydl

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #91 on: August 19, 2015, 08:17:41 AM »
There's a lot that's good about it but it just didn't feel right. If it doesn't sell and the price comes down I might give it another thought.

Underlined portion is of great importance, and it's good that you are passing on the rig that "feels" that way.  Keep doing what you are doing!  I know it can be frustrating, but the more shopping experience you have... the more you will  know when you find the RIGHT unit.  Gotta say though, you probably should not expect much for anything under $5000.  Many RV owners price their used units too high, so anything priced THAT low is probably that way for a reason.  "Rich person wanting a quick sale" is a nice thought but doesn't happen very often.  ;) 

That doesn't mean you have to pay a lot for a used RV, but if you find a diamond in the rough... just be prepared for a reasonable price tag.  1980's models may be okay, but consider expanding your search to mid-90's depending on your budget.  There were considerable improvements in body/interior design in that decade IMO, and more robust powertrains with performance features like engine computers and fuel injection.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #92 on: August 19, 2015, 10:40:04 PM »
I know I am all over the place with this. I can spend a couple thou, or less, and it's just something for me to fool around with. For 5k or 6k it would be nice if I think I might get my wife to travel in it. If we looked at one and my wife said "This looks like fun, we could live in this thing"  maybe we could go up to $20k.

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #93 on: August 20, 2015, 09:46:16 AM »
Quote
If we looked at one and my wife said "This looks like fun, we could live in this thing"  maybe we could go up to $20k.

I think you will have better luck showing your wife the $20K ones to begin with. If you show her the $5k ones, she is not likely to say she could live in it. Look at a few $20K RVs and you will see a world of difference.
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thesameguy

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #94 on: August 20, 2015, 01:03:18 PM »
Words of wisdom there. The few (very few) $3k rigs I looked at were dumps or had major systems not working. At $5k or $6k it was older but reasonably well maintained drivers. At $6k or $7k things got nice enough you didn't have to worry about getting an infection. :)

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #95 on: October 30, 2015, 05:23:06 PM »
Did a walk around look at a 30' 92 Southwind 454. Asking $4k. Seller not present so couldn't go inside. Overall weathered look was off putting. Some loose beltline molding badly reattached. Some duct tape residue on some basement door edges. Cracks/brakes in front grill headlight area, looks like replacable parts. Here's the thing, I could not find any delamination. That one thing is keeping from walking away. Tried to see inside through windows. Look like the inside could clean up nice, probable some new curtains would help. Couch looks like the cushions are still plump, not smashed flat. Couldn't see ceiling damage.
Was told, one owner, some original documents are with it. odometer broke, may have 100k miles, FI454, started it yesterday.
For this to happen I think I would have to test drive it and decide. Than he would have to drive it to my house and the deal would be done there. I don't want to learn how to drive a 23 year old motorhome on 50 miles of very busy interstate highways.

SeilerBird

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #96 on: October 30, 2015, 05:30:56 PM »
A $4k RV is going to need a lot of money and attention to make it road worthy. You need to increase your budget.
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driftless shifter

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #97 on: October 30, 2015, 06:59:18 PM »
johnd393

Unless you have better than moderate mechanical skills walk away. A '92 may run fine but need some wear and tear parts replaced, such as brakes, radiator, definitely tires. My '93 Bounder, made by the same manufacturer, Fleetwood, seems to have tin sides. Delamination shows more like vertical and horizontal bulges following the lines of metal frame behind outer skin. Mine has a couple spots of it, I have no worries about it. A good scrubbing can do wonders for the weathered look. On an old rig and an obvious budget constraint you might look want to find the "red max  pro" thread, a cheap way to make it shine with some elbow grease.

Bill
Bill & Nan
(o\_!_/o)
93 bounder 34, chevy chassis
couple of aircooled vw's, 1 fast(sold), 1 reliable(sold).  Dubless : (
USN '76-'80, 1 boat, USS Blandy, DD 943.
I'm an analog guy in a digital age.

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #98 on: October 31, 2015, 12:47:52 AM »
My mechanical skills exceed my mechanical willingness.
It would be a lot easier to make a buy decision if the MH was within 5 miles of home.
A cheap MH is something I can learn with. I don't want to rent, and be responsible for, somebody's $80k MH.

scottydl

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #99 on: October 31, 2015, 03:19:05 AM »
A cheap MH is something I can learn with. I don't want to rent, and be responsible for, somebody's $80k MH.

Good plan for your first rig especially, but there is a lot of middle ground between $4k and $80k. ;)  of course you want to buy something within your budget too, but with enough shopping and research you could probably find a well-maintained used rig for a fraction of $80k, that's a lot less likely to need immediate high-dollar repairs and maintenance.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #100 on: October 31, 2015, 06:42:26 AM »
You aren't going to find body parts for a '92. Headlights and tail lights yes, cause they are from production cars or trucks, but any actual RV body parts (grill, front cap pieces, etc) will not be available (except maybe in salvage yards).
Gary
--------------
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #101 on: October 31, 2015, 07:38:41 PM »
Salvage yard parts are good enough. The broken parts around the headlight could be some repaired enough to stay together and not look too bad. The Red Max Pro gloss restore thing is also probably good enough. I'm not beating a path over there to be the first one to buy it. If a few people pass on it there's it is better to negotiate. It looks like more end of season MH's are popping up on CL. Makes me a even more stubborn buyer.

Off topic: Another thing making me a stubborn buyer. A recent government budget decision has screwed us out of thousands of future social security income.

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #102 on: December 31, 2015, 03:30:01 AM »
Well i thought I found a real nice 99 Suburban. Haven't seen it but the description and pictures look good. The guy sent me a picture of the RPO tag and I looked up all the codes. With 2WD, a 5.7L, the 3.42 axle the towing capacity is only 5000 lbs with a star  that says "Must have Towing Package". The guy said it has the package. According to the codes, it does not have it. Without modification I don't think it can tow much more than a Pop Up and that ain't happening.
A weight distributing hitch adds 500 lbs and a 3.73 ratio adds another 1000. I'll text them again and see what's said about the tow package. It's 145 miles away so I ask a lot of questions.


scottydl

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #103 on: December 31, 2015, 10:40:41 AM »
You SHOULD as a lot of questions, and those codes are a perfect way to educate yourself so a seller does not give you bad information.  The seller might think it has a "tow package" just because there a hitch installed, but there many other features on vehicles with tow packages that enhance towing capabilities all around.
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thesameguy

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #104 on: December 31, 2015, 04:09:44 PM »
There is another code that gets some additional towing - my '99 5.7l/4WD has the weight distributing receiver, trans cooler, high capacity air filter, 7-pin electrical, 3.73 gears and is rated for 7,300 pounds. It may be a function of being 4WD and heavier, but I don't think so. Maybe rear brake size? These GMT400 Suburbans are so cheap it's not even funny. I paid $2k for mine with 165k and it's been a great truck, zero problems. Do be careful if you shop 4WD ones - the transfer cases suck and are prone to lunching output shaft bearings. In any case, there isn't much about the "HD towing package" that couldn't be replicated by the dealer, so the RPO codes don't tell the whole story. Nothing about the chassis, body, or drivetrain changes - it's all bolt-on stuff (excluding, I guess, the brakes). Although... in this particular case you probably wouldn't want to tow *anything* with 3.42 gears... that'd be slooooooooow.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2015, 04:12:04 PM by thesameguy »

FlawedRV

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #105 on: December 31, 2015, 05:15:00 PM »
Enjoying your thread and hunt.  I had the bug about 4 years ago and took a year to look and find a rig within a $10,000 budget knowing I would have to put some money into it over time.  Actually found a 1998 HR Vacationer with the Ford 460 off of ebay (I know what a red flag) for $9500.  Called the dealer and he flipped repossessed units.  Guaranteed all appliances worked, engine, tranny and generator were all good.  Took the trip from VA to IN to pick it up in December - burr!  Drove my fathers Jeep and towed it back.  Trip went well except for a clogged fuel filter from sitting over time.   I cleaned the carb on the genset and it runs perfectly had the gas tank dropped and cleaned and some minor repairs totaling $1300 once I got it home and no issues since then.  Replaced the 4 rear tires for $600.  We ripped up the carpet and laid flooring in (replaced 2 small spots of rotten flooring) this past winter and put a new mattress in as well (total cost of $800 for mattress and all flooring needs).  We have had the rig for 3 years and it has been great.  With a family of four we have been to FL 4 times, several places in VA, PA and NC and love it.  I know I got lucky, but if you keep looking you will find the right one for you.  Certainly another place to look and if they are close enough check it out before placing the bid.  Now I just need to the dash AC working that stopped on the last trip...always something to work on - be ready.


Can I get the Dealers name/number??

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #106 on: January 11, 2016, 10:34:35 PM »
I sent an email response through craigslist for an ad that's probably a scam.
2003 motorhome, less than 6k miles, less than $5k, with an extended warranty.
We'll see what kind of response I get, if any.
I think CL protects your actual email address.

scottydl

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #107 on: January 11, 2016, 10:44:45 PM »
Yeah that's gonna be a scam.  ;)  They will likely direct you to some other e-mail address than the one you actually e-mailed, then mention that they have a friend or family member with a delivery service that will bring the RV to your front door... just wire the money first.  A sob story of some kind will probably accompany that offer.  If you ask for detailed photos or descriptions of RV-related items, or ask to speak to the seller on the phone about it... you'll see some of their true colors or may just never hear anything back!  Which is fine, considering there is no actual RV for sale anyway.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
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- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

kdbgoat

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #108 on: January 12, 2016, 06:53:09 AM »
I check out rv's constantly on Craigslist.  There are a bunch of scams out there and I flag them as hard as I can, often with 2 different computers. When I'm bored,  I run through a lot of the nearby area listings and see what I can find there also.
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William52

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #109 on: January 13, 2016, 11:13:10 PM »
I check out rv's constantly on Craigslist.  There are a bunch of scams out there and I flag them as hard as I can, often with 2 different computers. When I'm bored,  I run through a lot of the nearby area listings and see what I can find there also.
  Flag em with two diff. email accounts that should delete them. Or get the DW to help.
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drisley

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #110 on: January 14, 2016, 01:43:12 PM »
Yeah, when I was shopping, came across a CL ad for a nice Journey DP for $10k. It was obviously at least a $40K unit - probably more. Story I got was husband died, she needed to pay off house, was planning to sell on eBay. I suspected BS, but then confirmed it when I Googled the email address and found somebody else talking about the same thing on a 5th wheel listing for the same email.

CL is such a cesspool, sometimes.
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johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #111 on: April 02, 2016, 02:50:06 AM »
Another Elandan has popped up, 32 ft, 1989, 80k miles. The ad's been up just a few days and the price has been reduced. It's cheap. It's about 20 miles away with no high speed highway driving to get it home. (I've still never driven anything that big). Can't see anything bad in the pictures. I really should look at this one. Maybe I'll call or text them tomorrow. I got too many projects. I'm trying to think of which ones to abandon to get them out of my life.

Update 1:15pm  Text seller to see if they are showing it today. Just sold.
The last asking price was only $3800.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2016, 01:18:03 PM by johnd393 »

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #112 on: June 18, 2016, 08:17:46 PM »
i've looked at several more motorhomes. None nice enough for we to convince Mrs to travel in.
Just made phone contact with a seller with a rust free 03 suburban 2500, 6.0, 2wd, with, <100k. Supposed to call him tomorrow. I read online that the 2500's ride rougher. I've been in trucks with stiff suspension that were rough enough to hurt my bank, so if it's like that, I might have to pass on it.

scottydl

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #113 on: June 19, 2016, 08:53:55 AM »
The 2500s do have a rougher ride because of the heavy duty stiffer suspension, but it's not really TOO noticeable on fairly smooth roads.  Make sure you double check that "rust free" claim.  The Burbs are notorious for rust forming in the wheels wells, quarter panel bottoms, and door panels (crawl down and look at the underside of the doors for creeping rust).

Engine and rear axle gear ratio are the two factors for determining towing capacity.  Biggest combo for '03 is the 8.1L and 4:10 gears.  Check the RPO code sticker in the glovebox to determine which it has, which the seller may not know.  Code GT4 = 3.73 gears, and GT5 = 4:10 gears.  If that '03 has the 6.0L and 3.73, it may not be enough for larger TTs.  Check the Trailer Life Towing Guide for 2003 (free, find through Google) to see the different ratings for engine/gearing combos.

That said, those 2500 Burbs with decent mileage are RARE, so if you find a good one you should seriously consider grabbing it!
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #114 on: June 19, 2016, 11:51:29 AM »
The lowest tow capacity in the 2003 Trailer Life guide for a RWD, 2500, 6.0l is 7900. Their asking $4500.

Been texting, got the address and VIN.
Did a free VIN odometer check online. no problem flagged, but incomplete info.
Paid $10 for a VIN record check. No problems shown but some info not available. Report shows a title change in 2005 at 71000 miles. Is advertised today as 86000 miles. I don't believe it. Less than 1500 miles a year for 11 years.
Ad is "By Owner", has picture of it in front of a fine home. Address is actually a dealer or auto repair shop. Not seeing it today.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2016, 04:44:32 PM by johnd393 »

scottydl

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #115 on: June 19, 2016, 07:55:05 PM »
Yeah that price is too good to be true.  It should cost several thousand more at least.  I paid $4700 for my 1995 Suburban C2500 with 98k miles a year ago, which I barely drive and still put almost 3k miles on it in the last year.  The VIN check was a good idea, and should show if the odometer had been tampered with (i.e. if the selling mileage was lower than the historical mileage on VIN records), but that doesn't seem to be the case.

I'd be surprised if that Suburban even exists at all... if it does, there is SOMETHING they are probably not telling you about its condition.  Salvage title, underbody rust, damage, previously been wrecked, etc.  Those low-priced vehicles shown in front of a "fine home" are often scams, and the photo is pulled off of the internet.  Ask the seller for something specific that cannot easily come from Google Images... like a photo of the RPO sticker in the glovebox.  That will also have the VIN shown (which should match what you already have) and you can also check other option codes in the process.  Also ask the seller for a phone number to talk in person.  You can Google the number to see if it matches the other location items you know about, and scammers usually make up excuses because they want to keep communication to e-mail (more anonymous) and would probably eventually ask you to send payment through Western Union or something.

Be very cautious if you proceed.  If you want, post the sale link here or send it to me in a PM and I can take a closer look.  I do a LOT of Craigslist buying for all kinds of items, and I'm accustomed to spotting the scams.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #116 on: June 19, 2016, 11:06:33 PM »
He said he had no way to send a picture when I asked for a pix of the RPO tag. I did both speak to him on the phone and text messages.
I was looking at posting a link but now the ad has been deleted.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2016, 11:43:31 PM by johnd393 »

ToRvOrNotToBe

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #117 on: June 19, 2016, 11:56:30 PM »
Lots of good advice here already, so I will just add two small items.

If I could go back, I would not get anything over 30'...
I guess it depends on your camping style, but being over 30' in length can really limit the campsites available to you. This can especially be an issue during peak season when most places are booked up months in advance.

I would have also preferred a diesel... they have a lot more storage underneath.
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johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #118 on: June 20, 2016, 05:30:46 PM »
i miss the days when we could take off in the car with a destination, but no planned detailed itinerary, a few printed motel directories in hand, and decide in route where we would spend the night. Sometimes about 4:00pm we'd check the map for what town is  a couple hours ahead, call a motel 800 number and book for that night. Sometimes we'd just arrive and look for a vacancy.
Now we gotta plan an exact route and reserve everything ahead.

thesameguy

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #119 on: June 20, 2016, 05:58:11 PM »
I don't think $4500 is obscenely low. I do think $4700 for a 1995 Suburban is obscenely high! I would never even consider paying nearly five grand for a non-Vortec 454. That's, um, quite a premium! 18 months ago my '99 K1500 was two grand and pretty run of the mill. I could have had a K2500 for just a couple bucks more, but the 5.7l & HD towing is plenty for the 6000lb trailer & race combo car I need to tow and I didn't want to feed a 7400 on road trips... if I did, I would have just used the motorhome! ;)

Around here the crossover point from GMT400 to GMT800 is about four grand. $4000 buys you about the nicest '96-'99 Suburban there is, or the crappiest 2000 Suburban. Somewhere between $6k and $8k is where most of the GMT800s are. A $5000 one is probably in fair shape, maybe a little beaten but probably a good runner. I wouldn't run away from it, but I'd look very carefully, especially if it's from a dealer. If he's selling it for $4500 he probably bought it for $2500 at auction, and that raises all sorts of eyebrows.

thesameguy

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #120 on: June 20, 2016, 06:04:35 PM »
i miss the days when we could take off in the car with a destination, but no planned detailed itinerary, a few printed motel directories in hand, and decide in route where we would spend the night. Sometimes about 4:00pm we'd check the map for what town is  a couple hours ahead, call a motel 800 number and book for that night. Sometimes we'd just arrive and look for a vacancy.
Now we gotta plan an exact route and reserve everything ahead.

Nonsense! We never have a plan. Just a smart phone for when I miss an exit and to priceline a hotel in whatever city we're in or near when we get tired. Some of our favorite trips have been ill-planned at best. Like the time we drove a '67 Cadillac back from Denver with no route, no reservations, and no service history. So much fun!

First night, first hotel priceline coughed up. :)    http://www.sacsaabs.org/sacsaabs.org/misc/day2-1.JPG

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #121 on: June 21, 2016, 12:22:46 AM »
On a trip out west once, we intended to stay around Minneapolis, no reservation. We drove through the night not finding a vacancy anywhere until 5am, daylight, in Fargo ND. We checked in, slept till noonish and were on our way. I'm too old , and spoiled, for that now.
It's 11pm. I just went on booking.com & hotels.com and plugged in several cities, for tonight and I did find rooms available so maybe it's not as bad as I thought. Advanced booking gets me better rates and I like to know my costs upfront.

scottydl

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #122 on: June 21, 2016, 08:45:31 AM »
I don't think $4500 is obscenely low. I do think $4700 for a 1995 Suburban is obscenely high! I would never even consider paying nearly five grand for a non-Vortec 454.

It must be a regional thing.  For my area of the Midwest, I shopped for 2500 Suburban for several months (and by "shopped" I'm talking about several hours per week on Craigslist, eBay, dealership listings, and other sites) and barely found anything.  Most that I did find were rusty around the bottoms or had 180k miles, if they even had the 454 + 4:10 power train combo.  Like you said the 1500s and the 6.0 engines are a dime a dozen, but I knew I wanted the higher capacity towing.  The one I found I drove to another state to inspect.  It had everything I needed plus a Class 5 receiver and WD hitch already installed, new brakes, new tires, major undercoating that prevented any typical rust.  I had seriously considered lesser equipped 98-99 models in worse shape for $5500-6000 so I jumped on mine and haven't regretted it.  I did pay a bit higher than book value but it was a matter of availability and condition.

That's the reason why I advocate for lots of local research is so valuable when RV (or tow vehicle) shopping... Teach yourself enough to know exactly what you want & whats available in your area.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2016, 08:49:08 AM by scottydl »
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #123 on: June 24, 2016, 04:34:11 PM »
A 2002 Roadtrek has come up locally. 180k miles, new engine at 135k, but original trans. I don't feel good about that kind of mileage. it would be so cool if it would fit in my garage but specs say it's 6" too tall. Just thinking out loud. I don't know if I'll look at it. Roadtreks are expensive. This one's within the budget.
I could see a road trip where we sleep and eat in the van only when rooms & food are expensive.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2016, 09:09:59 PM by johnd393 »

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #124 on: June 25, 2016, 05:55:08 PM »
Just sharing my shopping adventure. There's a 1989, 28' class A at $8500, more than anything else I looked at of that age.
It sposed to be in great shape, has corigated aluminum construction rather than the disposible box construction of the newer ones.

scottydl

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #125 on: June 25, 2016, 08:41:29 PM »
For perspective, I sold my 1994 35' Class A for less than that price, $8000... and that was 4 years ago.  But I know that region and time of year can be everything when it comes to availability.  How far out from home (as in how many miles away) are you casting your search net?

Did you ever make any progress with the seller who had the perhaps-suspiciously-low-priced Suburban?
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #126 on: June 26, 2016, 05:55:12 PM »
The ad for the suburban was taken down. From info in the VIN check, I didn't believe the low mileage was possible. It was an hour drive away.

I look maybe 50 miles out. It depends on which direction. I'll go further into indiana than through Chicago. At the lower end of my price range they are not worth a long drive.

I can keep doing the car/motel or fly/rent a car/motel thing if the right deal doesn't happen. We have plane tickets and a car booked for the next trip.

scottydl

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #127 on: June 27, 2016, 07:18:56 PM »
Yeah it all depends on the importance of this search for you and your situation, as well as how close you are to heavily populated areas where items may be more available.  I live in central Illinois, about the same distance (around 100 miles) from Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis metro areas.  So that's generally been my range, and I've had great luck over the years buying/selling cars & RV's using those Craigslist sites... and being willing to drive that distance if/when the right deal comes along.

Heck we drove from IL to upstate NY (and then back again) to buy our first motorhome, but that was a blend of perfect circumstances as far as locating the rig we wanted.  I don't regular travel halfway across the country for single item purchases.  ;)
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #128 on: July 21, 2016, 06:44:11 PM »
On the way to see a local $3200 class a I spotted a forsale 2003 Escalade 4wd 6.0l 110k $6700 OBO.
It looks like a solid car but has several small but noticeable cosmetic issues inside and out. Just a small rust visible at one end of one rocker panel, it still feels solid when I tap on it. It's like a few rust specks poking through the paint. Seems to me, it's worse to see small blemishes on a Escalade than a Chevy. I expect that 6.0 is very thirsty. Seller says he's the 2nd owner and he got it at Carmax 12 years ago

I've become interested in a Traverse/Acadia/Enclave/Outlook as they have some towing capacity and are a little less truck like as a road vehicle. That would be more money and I read of some scary timing chain issues with them.

This Escalade is interesting. It's the shorter version SUV. I went for a second look and got a pix of the RPO tag. It's got Acuride suspension Z55, towing X82, 3.73 GT4, VR4 something about weight distribution platform, M32 4L60E trans. I need to do a test drive but there's more stuff there than I know how to test. I'd like to get it on a lift to inspect underneath.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2016, 03:26:26 PM by johnd393 »

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #129 on: July 27, 2016, 12:56:20 PM »
After several conversations and text exchanges with the seller of the Escalade. Bought a vehicle history report. Trying to set up a test drive and a chance to get it on a lift so i could inspect underneath. Apparantly he sold it to someone else. The the car is no longer parked where it was and he will not respond to a text. I guess I was too much trouble as a buyer.

billwild

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #130 on: July 27, 2016, 04:00:53 PM »
Tell us John, has something changed in your life that you are getting into a motorhome again? You did mention that you once bought a class C that needed work and you just parked it with out doing the work. Now you are looking at a Escalade. You also mention your wife is not enthusiastic about your search. You are all over the place. I doubt you are going to get anything but a money pit with the ages of motorhomes you are looking at. You certainly have been getting a lot of assitance here with your hunt. In all honesty you maybe should wait and go for something newer and nicer somewhere down the road.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2016, 04:04:28 PM by billwild »

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #131 on: July 31, 2016, 02:54:50 AM »
I absolutely admit to being all over the place. I do appreciate the conversation and advise here. Wife liked the Escalade. It's gone. We never traveled in that class C. It was parked 35 miles from where I lived. I was still working. I did some work on it but the distance was inconvenient. Dad used it as an extra room, so he got some use out of it.

DoubleDee

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #132 on: August 02, 2016, 09:43:36 PM »
Wow!  All kinds out there!  Our first MH was a 2004 Gulf Stream Conquest.  We bought it to see if we liked RVing.  It was 7 yrs old when we bought it and has served us wel other than replacing brake calipers twicel.  Letting it set for more than a month was a big mistake.   We've made numerous trips to the Smokeys staying a couple of weeks each time in the park campgrounds.  Now there's a learning experience on conserving water and tank space.  The opposite was the trips to Disney.  Two a year there and two a year to the mountains.  Now we're about to pull the trigger on a new MH.  Trying to decide between a ACE 30.1 and Winnebago 29VE.  We couldn't care less about televisions but must have levelers and a real queen bed.  We love our 25 foot class C but there's only a sofa bed and cab over bed.  We want a little more convenience at this point. 
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thesameguy

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #133 on: August 03, 2016, 01:15:41 AM »
The first gen Traverse etc. is an okay truck, but lacks refinement. The 2012 (?) revamp changes a lot. I've spent a fair amount of time in each, and while I'm not sure I'd go for a 1st gen the 2nd gen is - IMHO - a pretty nice vehicle to drive. I hustled one up to Tahoe a year or so ago (0' -> 7000' over 90 miles) and was impressed with just about everything from the handling to the power to the comfort.

If you're moving into less trucky trucks, you could also look at Trailblazers. They are reasonably competent, although even the big inline six feels a little lackluster. Not hardly gutless, just less quick than you'd expect for nearly 300hp.

If you come back to full size Chevys, take a look at various California CLs (Sacramento, SFBay, Los Angeles) and then come pick one up here. Apparently we have all the cheap rust free ones.

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/cto/5681946830.html

Five grand, 8.1l. What else do you want in a tow vehicle?

scottydl

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #134 on: August 03, 2016, 01:03:29 PM »
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/cto/5681946830.html

Five grand, 8.1l. What else do you want in a tow vehicle?

Ad deleted already... they go quick!  That was my experience when I was shopping for 3/4-ton SUV's.  Many of them were high mileage (like 180k+ miles) or fleet vehicles, were beat up, rusty along the bottom panels, or a combination of the above.  The nice ones disappear quickly, which is why I bought my 1995 fairly quickly when I found it (rust-free due to heavy protective undercoating, under 100k miles, good price for my area).  It was older than I originally wanted, but does everything I need in terms of towing.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #135 on: August 03, 2016, 02:57:35 PM »
Yeah, We've looked a a couple Trailblazer and a Buick Rainier. Nice size vehicle. I'm really picky about rust and know where to look to see where it starts. One beautyfull Trailblazer had a rebuilt title. Don't want to fool with that.
There are too many reasons to reject a vehicle to travel great distance to buy one. Got a trip west coming up, maybe i'll look around a little. Visited Mt St Helens in 1985. Gonna take another look.

Look at this one.
http://grandrapids.craigslist.org/cto/5711887903.html
 and this one.
http://quadcities.craigslist.org/cto/5693498314.html
« Last Edit: August 03, 2016, 03:03:27 PM by johnd393 »

thesameguy

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #136 on: August 03, 2016, 03:03:43 PM »
Ad deleted already... they go quick!  That was my experience when I was shopping for 3/4-ton SUV's.  Many of them were high mileage (like 180k+ miles) or fleet vehicles, were beat up, rusty along the bottom panels, or a combination of the above.  The nice ones disappear quickly, which is why I bought my 1995 fairly quickly when I found it (rust-free due to heavy protective undercoating, under 100k miles, good price for my area).  It was older than I originally wanted, but does everything I need in terms of towing.

Well, we don't have rust here, so that's not a concern ever. But they do go quick - I sold my well-loved but awfully ratty '84 with 350k in two days. My less ratty but less well-loved '87 took about a month. But, GM sold millions and millions of them, there's never a problem finding one. Personally, I wouldn't worry too much about mileage on the GMT400 trucks, especially not the 3/4 ton models. Most people who buy them just drive the family around, and it takes a lot to destroy the 4L80E. I mean, that's what's in most of our motorhomes, and they are putting a lot more stress on the transmission than a Suburban ever will! The lowest mileage Suburban I've ever owned is my current '99 with 170,000 miles on it. Zero issues, runs like new. I might be concerned well into the 2xx,000 mile range, but high 1xx,000? Nah. I personally don't trust and never trusted the 700R4, and wouldn't buy another truck with one, despite the fact I really prefer the look of the earlier Suburbans. My '99 is way too car-like inside for my taste, but I'll be damned if it's not way more reliable. :)
« Last Edit: August 03, 2016, 03:05:32 PM by thesameguy »

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #137 on: September 11, 2016, 07:34:28 PM »
Well our trip out west got canceled by some medical issues. Got some blood clots. All I gotta do is take some pills. Can't fly for a while. It could have been a lot worse.

I still look into an occasional class A, if it's close, but it's probably not gonna happen.

Been texting with a guy, for a couple days, about a 2006 Tahoe ex cop car, than while out for breakfast at a restaurant I spotted a nice 2003 Tahoe at the dealer next door. Normally I wouldn't look at a car with over 120k on it, but this thing is very nice with 196k. The paint is shiny like there's a new clear coat on it. No exterior signs of rust.  5.3l 2wd. Their web page says $5000, it had $59xx on the window. There is some wear on the leather drivers seat but its not tore up. Radio knobs icons are worn. To my thinking, with that kind of mileage, one needs to have a budget for a new/used/rebuilt engine & transmission. If the body is nice enough it might be worth it. Hopefully the dealer will put it on a lift and let me inspect underneath.

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #138 on: September 13, 2016, 11:14:01 PM »
I called the dealer on the Tahoe. After they play their games it's like $6500.

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #139 on: February 07, 2017, 04:36:34 PM »
I guess this is not really a Class A thread any more. There are too many practical reasons for a separate tow vehicle.
It's bad timing cus I got some medical stuff to deal with but now comes available a 2010 RWD Expedition 5.4l, 6 speed auto, with 9200 lbs towing capacity, and 76000 miles, southern car till 2 years ago, under $14k.  The only thing is, the listing is 10 days old, why is it not sold.
A Vinsmart vehicle history report agrees with sellers provided information.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2017, 04:39:07 PM by johnd393 »

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #140 on: April 03, 2017, 02:41:02 PM »
I bought a 2005 Chrysler, $2500, minivan, that does not have the tow package. It rolled over 100k on the test drive.The minivan was in one family from new and has complete maintenance records. Was in the south till 2015. As it is, it's limited to 1800 lbs towing capacity. It's enough to tow my little utility trailer and enable me to get rid of my pickup.

It's not RVing but its has room to take along some, on the road, meal prep stuff.
I have a thermoelectric cooler, butane, propane, & electric hotplates, An 750 watt inverter that can power the hotplate or a little 600 watt burger grill. A 1000 watt inverter generator is coming, $158, Home Depot online.
The RV/Motorhome idea is not forgotten, if the right deal comes alone, but with my new minivan, I'm more ready for a road trip.

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #141 on: May 24, 2017, 01:12:39 AM »
I knew it would happen. I give up on finding a tow vehicle and buy a minivan.
Now, right here in the neighborhood is a 2005 RWD Suburban with 121k, beautiful leather interior, and very little rust. Only the driver seat bottom needs a little attention. It's not the lowest price one I've seen but it's pretty nice for the money.
Wife says I can't buy the Burb unless I get rid of the van or she gets a new car. Thing is, I really like the minivan.

kdbgoat

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #142 on: May 24, 2017, 05:54:36 AM »
Would the minivan serve as a new car for her? :o
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #143 on: May 24, 2017, 01:18:33 PM »
Ha Ha, No.

TonyDtorch

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #144 on: May 26, 2017, 09:29:03 AM »
Happy wife  =  Happy life.

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #145 on: September 02, 2017, 10:51:46 PM »
On a recent trip to Washington/Oregon there were lot's of used RV dealers out there. We saw more older MHs on the road. Some $200+ hotel rooms has made me take another look at the RV thing.
I looked at a $2500 MH. Wasn't worth getting out of the car to walk around it.
We looked at a $12k 2001 R-Vision Condor, 91k miles. Not bad, I liked it, but still too shop worn for us.
There's a 1989 Holiday Rambler Limited diesel pusher 130k miles, for $15k. I thought it's a bit high for that old but the ad shows it should be about 1 mile away so why not take a look.
I called and found out it's my neighbor a couple doors away. I've never seen it close but it's been totally wrapped up covered each winter. This RV come from a nicer home than any others we've looked at. Were supposed to go look at it tomorrow. Any advice about a Cat diesel with 130k miles?

scottydl

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #146 on: September 03, 2017, 08:43:46 AM »
130k miles on a Cat engine is really no big deal on its own... but remember that maintenance is still key and the rest of the rig also that has much "mileage" to consider.  Find out as much as you can on the prior use, history, & repairs of any rig you consider buying. 

Use NADAguides.com (click on RV section and follow the links) to get a ballpark value on used RV's too, so you know what a good price range may be.  Here's the page for '89 Holiday Rambler motorhomes and it looks like the "Limited" series were the diesels.  Suggested prices for the 37' model range between $8550 (Low Retail) - $10,300 (Average Retail)... but it retailed at over $180k new (which is something to consider)!  That might not be the one you are looking at, it's just the first one I picked.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

johnd393

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #147 on: September 03, 2017, 01:58:14 PM »
It's 37 ft. I looked up the same NADA page. Price seems high. All I know is it's been covered in winter and it's sometimes not there, so it gets driven somewhere. It's like 100 ft from the street so, never saw it close up. I'm supposed to go over there later today.

Looked at it. Met the nice neighbors. Its old but well cared for but it's still old.
There is another one listed for $8500
« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 05:53:34 PM by johnd393 »

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #148 on: September 04, 2017, 09:59:41 AM »
Conventional wisdom is that a diesel lasts a million miles or more, but that's mostly a misunderstanding. The basic engine - block, pistons & crankshaft -  will indeed last 2x-5x compared to a gas engine, but the rest of what the owner/driver considers to be "the engine" has about the same life expectancy. Fuel & water pumps, starter, alternator, radiator, etc. all wear at about the same rate whether the engine is gas or diesel, so at 130k miles you can expect that all of those either have already failed or soon will fail. Likewise, the air suspension, wheel bearings, brakes, etc. have all had the usual wear & tear associated with higher mileage.

A diesel pusher chassis is generally built to be very robust, but maintenance is still needed and makes a huge difference. And neglect of maintenance on a DP chassis results in extremely expensive repairs.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

 

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