First Time Buyer

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New member
Oct 15, 2006
We are looking at buying our 1st RV and need some advice. We are looking at Class A and have found some newer models in the $80k range, one at $78k that is a very good deal.  That's ok with me, I want a nicer one, but my wife is more of a "walk b4 you run" person. She has found a very well maintained 1989 Fleetwood limited, very nice, 65k miles, for 24K. She feels this is a good starter and we wouldn't feel concerned about letting our kids in their mid twenties borrow for weekends, and that we can upgrade later. Advice?
1st and foremost  Welcome to the forum.  Next, an 89 for 24K,  everyone has to do what they feel is best for them, but sopme of these so called well maintained  or the worst to buy.  I'll let some of the experts in here get into that.  for me  no way  rather be be somewhere in the 8 to 11K for an 89.  Heck,  I've got a 98 that wife said sell, I say no cause only have 29000miles on it and it's perfect. 2ndly I doubt it I could get 42K out of it and I don't know of anything wrong with it.  So you can buy a lot newer than 89, get a better unit and be better equiped for the road.  But remember this is only my opinion and as my statement says,  I'm old oinionated and stubborn, and only been doing this since the 60's.  My suggestion would be to invest a little more and get one with a slide, you won't regret, and at least a 97 vintage.
Thank you, you confirmed my thoughts. I'll keep my eye out for a newer model. As the 26 yr marriage goes, we'll probably land somewhere in the middle of her ideas and mine.
You better or she'll never like the RV.  She'll probably spen more time in the jitchen than you do in the RV.  Big tip,  Find one SHE likes.
I would suggest a used one for your first (and maybe subsequent ones too - they are generally much better buys).  We bought our current motorhome new and are now looking again at used ones for an upgrade. I see little advantage in a new one, but opinions differ.

I would not spend $24k for an 89 - there are numerous used motorhomes available and you can get a lot newer ones for only a little more money. If the 89 is  a gas powered rig, 65k miles is a fair amount of wear and tear - gas motoromes of that vintage were generally overworked and lead hard lives.  I would stay away from that one if I could afford something a bit newer.  If you can get into a mid-late 90's model, the gas chassis were much more capable and higher mileage is much less a concern.  Starting in 2001 with the advent of the Workhorse gas motorhome chassis, gas rigs can be expected to exceed trouble free 100,000+ miles. Diesels of most any vintage should be OK but I would avoid the ones with four speed transmissions if possible. The six speed Allison is a much better performer and more reliable to boot.

You should be able to pick up a very nice used motorhome for around $50K.  To give you a reference point, I'll be putting my 2002 up for sale shortly and it will be priced at no more than $60K. That's a 36 foot, top-of-the-line gas model. Check out sites like and to get an idea what you can get at various price levels.
One other thing comes to mind Ryne  Please drive all types of MHs so you can decide what suits you best.  And yes diesel is the best but run considerably higher in price and for starting out  you can buy a lot of gas for the difference.    Drive units that have short and long wheel bases and for sure drive a unit with a tag axle to judge the stability. Then decide don't jump at the 1st thing you see no matter how much it impresses you and by all means 60% of the decision to come from the lady  that will be using it.  Of course this is just my opinion
I'll echo the comments on the 24K price tag for a 1989 model... that seems very high.  I've been shopping for MH's of that era for several months now, so I've seen just about every variation of pricing out there.  And something "new" will cost you dearly in the depreciation department, unless you plan to keep and use it regularly for many years.  Like you said, probably best to "land somewhere in the middle".  ;)  For price reference (and possibly purchasing places) make sure you check out the other online RV classifieds...,, your local newspapers and dealerships,, and I'm sure google can give you a hundred more sites to check if you're in a surfing mood!  :)
I just bought my first MH and Think I got a good deal !! It's a '94 Pace Arrow w/40,600 miles on it everything works great, has two a/c and 7000 watt Onan Marguis, hardwood floors, 2 tv's,vcr,drivers side door,tires are in excellent shape, has heated utility bays,just a really nice MH IMO...
The only thing I've found wrong is one floor vent is cracked (plastic) and the crank for the antenna has a piece broken out of the turn stop!!!

Would welcome others comments that know more about values than I do! I give 18,000 for it!!? ?

rclark  We had a 93 with 7000 Onan and loved it.  Put over 70K miles on it and it's still running today.  Don't have any Idea what you paid for it, and it's no of my business, however that sounds as tho the people that had it used it just enough to keep it flowing and took decent care of it.  My kind of used unit.  Congrats and happy RVing.
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