EPDM Coatings
rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Custom Yacht Interiors

Author Topic: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A  (Read 26536 times)

thesameguy

  • ---
  • Posts: 358
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

  • ---
  • Posts: 62
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

  • Admin assist
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7673
  • Central IL
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

  • ---
  • Posts: 62
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

  • ---
  • Posts: 62
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

  • Admin assist
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7673
  • Central IL
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

  • ---
  • Posts: 62
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

  • Admin assist
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7673
  • Central IL
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

  • ---
  • Posts: 62
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

  • ---
  • Posts: 62
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

  • ---
  • Posts: 669
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

  • ---
  • Posts: 62
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

  • ---
  • Posts: 76
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. 
2004 F450 Gulfstream Conquest Limited Edition 25' SOLD
2017 Axis 25.2
2004 Honda CR-V
Surly Cross Check
Specialized Ariel

thesameguy

  • ---
  • Posts: 358
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

  • Admin assist
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7673
  • Central IL
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

  • ---
  • Posts: 62
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

  • ---
  • Posts: 358
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

  • ---
  • Posts: 62
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

  • ---
  • Posts: 62
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

  • ---
  • Posts: 62
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

  • ---
  • Posts: 62
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

  • ---
  • Posts: 62
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

  • ---
  • Posts: 4123
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

  • ---
  • Posts: 62
Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #143 on: May 24, 2017, 01:18:33 PM »
Ha Ha, No.

TonyDtorch

  • ---
  • Posts: 2132
Re: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A
« Reply #144 on: May 26, 2017, 09:29:03 AM »
Happy wife  =  Happy life.

johnd393

  • ---
  • Posts: 62
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

  • Admin assist
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7673
  • Central IL
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

  • ---
  • Posts: 62
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

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 60773
  • RVer Emeritus
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
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

 

Hosted by Over The Network