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Author Topic: 1st post. Shopping for a Class A  (Read 26408 times)

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.
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- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
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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.

cadee2c

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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.

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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
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- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
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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).
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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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- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
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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.
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- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 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.

 

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