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Author Topic: motorhome fix it upper  (Read 2685 times)

shift4288

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motorhome fix it upper
« on: March 09, 2015, 10:02:04 AM »
hi looking to get my first RV and i found this fix it upper  good deal or bad? (looking for cheap)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1994-Coachmen-Catalina-320-mb-/111614686262?forcerrptr=true&hash=item19fcc0f436&item=111614686262&pt=RVs_Campers

Molaker

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  • We don't camp. We tour.
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Re: motorhome fix it upper
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2015, 10:11:57 AM »
It would depend a great deal upon your available tools and skills.  It is definitely a project and will likely take several thousand dollars to do it right - then there's the unknown condition of the running gear.  The price is probably OK if it will run and you can drive it home, but don't plan on using it anytime soon.
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

Rene T

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Re: motorhome fix it upper
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2015, 10:24:52 AM »
Do a thorough inspection from top to bottom for water leaking into it. Check the floor and walls for soft spots.

OOPS. I just read the entire add. It sounds like a really big project without even looking at it. It would be way too big for me. Others may feel differently.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2015, 10:27:20 AM by Rene T »
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

RobertB

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Re: motorhome fix it upper
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2015, 10:46:26 AM »
Depending on your budget. I just sold a 34' 94 DP allegro bus (no slides) in perfect running/working/living condition for far less than you will sink into that too even make it livable.

Do your research. I wouldn't touch that thing if they were too try it give it to me.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2015, 10:54:36 AM by RobertB »
I know nothing. Claim to know nothing. I have documents proving I know nothing. Just my experiences is all I have to offer.

halfwright

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Re: motorhome fix it upper
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2015, 10:56:26 AM »
I guess that it depends on whether you want to use it or work on it. If you have $5000 to put in it and don't want to use it for 2-3 years, go for it. You will also need an enclosed or at least a roofed area to work on it, a lot of tools and a good skill set. Me, I would rather be camping.
Jim And Darlene Wright
Full-timing with
Ryder, the Ethiopian monkeybeaver dog
and a
2007 Montana Mountaineer
2002 F250 Super duty 7.3 liter

HotTommy

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Re: motorhome fix it upper
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2015, 11:00:47 AM »
shift4288,
I don't have a simple yes or no to offer.  It all depends.  For starters I predict that you'll need to spend considerably more than the purchase price to make it safe, comfortable and fully functional (e.g., working plumbing).  It's unlikely you will be able to sell it for as much as you will put into it, even if you do all the work yourself.  So don't think of this as an investment.  It will be a hobby (like golf) that you spend time and money on with little hope of getting it back.

Second, it is very unlikely you will save enough money by vacationing in this to pay for the upfront costs or the gas needed to travel in it.  So unless you plan to spend most of your time parked somewhere, don't count on a MH to save you money.

As for the condition of this particular unit, the cost for repairs will depend greatly on your expectations.  For example, if you can find and seal the sources of the leaks, you may be able to dry it out enough to use as is.  It will have delamination and water stains, but it might be useable.  On the other hand, the water damage may be so bad it is causing structural failure in roof, walls and floors.  It could also cause rust in the metal framework on which the unit is built.  An appraisal of that damage won't be possible until some of the damaged areas are opened up.  There is no way to judge that from an Ebay ad.

I would not consider buying a unit this old without seeing it in person to evaluate its structural integrity and essential systems.  Otherwise you could end up $1,700 down with an unusable MH that no one else would buy.

Rene T

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Re: motorhome fix it upper
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2015, 11:13:37 AM »
shift4288,
  For example, if you can find and seal the sources of the leaks, you may be able to dry it out enough to use as is.  It will have delamination and water stains, but it might be useable.  On the other hand, the water damage may be so bad it is causing structural failure in roof, walls and floors. 

And don't forget the potential for lots of mold growing inside the ceiling, walls and floors.
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

RobertB

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Re: motorhome fix it upper
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2015, 11:15:19 AM »
And don't forget the potential for lots of mold growing inside the ceiling, walls and floors.

And critters
I know nothing. Claim to know nothing. I have documents proving I know nothing. Just my experiences is all I have to offer.

Gregg

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Re: motorhome fix it upper
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2015, 11:18:18 AM »
Working on a fixer upper myself that showed essentially no water damage until I started getting into it.  My experience is that you will have far more money into it than if you find one that was taken care of and that is not taking into consideration your time.  Like someone else mentioned, what about the mechanical end of things?  If someone did not take care of the structural detail, my guess they also did not take care of the mechanical items.   There are a lot of mechanical items that just plain go bad on something that is 20+ years old.

Just my opinion, but wish I never found my diamond in the rough.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2015, 11:23:28 AM by Gregg »
Make everyday a good day.
2005 Georgie Boy Pursuit
2007 Harley Ultra CVO

1275gtsport

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Re: motorhome fix it upper
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2015, 12:48:24 PM »
this is NOT cheap. I purchased a good looking unit. had a small stain near the kitchen. It took 2 years to rebuild. at one point we had the entire walls and roof disconnected from the unit while we replaced the floor. we replaced the walls and ceiling and all of the couch and dinette. the fridge and hot water and toilet worked for about a month. replaced the fridge with a used one. did all the work our selves including the furniture. still spent far south of 6 thousand dollars getting it ready for the road. drove it ONE summer and sold it for less then 2k to get it out of the yard.
the unit your looking at is not in as good of shape as the one I rebuilt.

THIS IS NOT A CHEAP UNIT

You would be far better off at least finding one that is being used rather then one that has sat for years. but feel free to stick your finger in the light socket for yourself :)
 
1977 GMC 26 foot Palm Beach
1976 Austin Mini

Gregg

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Re: motorhome fix it upper
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2015, 01:31:03 PM »
Although a little embarrassing, I will share some additional detail only because I had some similar thinking when I purchased my RV and it may help spare you some of the stress and financial mistakes that I encountered.

My diamond in the rough was a 2005 35 footer.  Someone lived in it and never drove it because there are only 1,040 miles on the odometer.  That's right and I believe it.  Ran all of the title searches along with the serial numbers on the tires and everything fits the timeline.  Other than some surface dust, the motor looks like it is brand new.  The tires had no wear on them and no cracks on the sidewalls.  It was a repo and thought that they put new tires on it until I ran the serial numbers on the tires.  They were made in 2004.  The generator only has something like 40 hours on it per the meter.  Purchased it for $10,000 less than the going street value of the unit.  Thought I could put a new interior in it, clean it up, drive it for a few years and not loose anything.  I am now $5000 over street value, probably a couple hundred hours from completion, (optimist) and missed a number of great planned trips.  Thank goodness I have the tools, mechanical, electrical experience, and this site or I would be SOL.   It is amazing what damage water can do, and how difficult it is to work on these things.  Everything is laminated, glued, stapled, and screwed. 

Live and learn.  :-[

« Last Edit: March 09, 2015, 03:13:50 PM by Gregg »
Make everyday a good day.
2005 Georgie Boy Pursuit
2007 Harley Ultra CVO

Charlie 5320

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Re: motorhome fix it upper
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2015, 04:14:48 PM »


Do your research. I wouldn't touch that thing if they were too try it give it to me.

I agree. I wouldn't take it for free. That thing has so much delamination it isn't funny.
2003 National Dolphin 5320
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driftless shifter

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Re: motorhome fix it upper
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2015, 08:59:08 PM »
I've got a fair set of skills and I wouldn't touch it for a driver. Might pick it up for parts to a sister ship.

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.

 

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