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Jun 2, 2006
My name is mike and my wife and I are about to purchase our first motorhome. We have a 4yr old and a 10yr old. We are getting a used 89 31' southwind with 70k miles, 20k on the new engine, stabilizing jacks, banks power pack and gear vendors, awnings on all the windows and many new parts inside as well including a new fridge. We ended up purchasing it for 10k and I think its a good deal. Its hard to say, because prices are all over the board on the internet. We hope to have some great memories with it!
Hi Mike and welcome. Before taking delivery of the Southwind take a look at some of the  checklists in our library. Just click the Library button above and select Checklists.
The price sounds OK, since that is around rock bottom for a working Class A, but it's going to be crowded for 4!

Check the manufacture dates on the tires - it's stamped on the sidewalls. See the glossary under Tires if you don't know how to read tire dates (it's easy).  You do not want to travel on tires that are approaching 7 years old, regardless of how good they may look.  A 7 year old tire will fail at any instant, usually the most inconveneint and expensive one.  It's not just a matter of convenience either - when a tire fails catastrophically (delaminates) at highway speeds, it can damage the RV severely. And if it is a front tire you could lose control. Don't gamble on old tires!

Tires have a life that is independent of mileage and that life is pretty consistently about 7 years. The chemical compounds used to keep the ruber flexible gradually evaporate , the tire gets stiff and the plies & belts begin to separate internally. The tire looks good but it can fly apart at any moment, usually when the tire heats up while drivingon a hot summer day.

You should also get the Rv weighed as soon as practical so you can determine the correct tire inflation pressure. Tire pressures are critical in avoiding tire failures on RVs. You can get away with incorrectpressures on a relatively light passenger car, but a heavy RV is unforgiving!
Welcome and please use the Library as much as you can.  Will save you lots and time and $$$$$. Good Luck
thanks for the quick replies. I have looked at all the lists on the site. Very good information. I understand that it will be a little crouded, but we love each other so it should be ok. Plus we plan to spend a lot of time outdoors. Our first big trip will be to sequoia and we are in souther california so its about 300 miles. We plan to take a mini trip once or twice before then.

On the tire issue, I believe they were put on about 5 years ago and have about 10k miles on them or so. I will look at the date code, but how old would you say is the max safe operating age. I dont mind spending the money on new ones, but I dont want to spend money that does not need to be spent. Also, what is a good brand of tire?
but how old would you say is the max safe operating age.

We usually say that the early part of the sixth year is probably still OK but you are pushing your luck towards the end. Conservative folks replace theirs at the end of the fifth year while others will go most or all of the sixth before replacing. It's not an exact science, but our collective experience has shown that the chances of getting through the seventh year without  a problem are rather slim, even if you don't drive all that much. But then, there will always be the person who is still managing to get along at 9-10 years.
Good info, very clear and to the point, thank you. I am going to check the MFG dates on the tires asap.
Ok, checked the tire codes and it is 0202 so thats jan of 02, I should get another 1 to 1-1/2 years out of them? The weird thing is that I couldl find the code on the rear tires but not the fronts. The front and rears were the same exact brand and in the same condition. Is it possible its tagged on the other side of the tire?
Ok, checked the tire codes and it is 0202 so thats jan of 02, I should get another 1 to 1-1/2 years out of them?
Yeap. Their 7th birthday will be Jan 2009. If you are a summer user only, I'd plan on replacing them sometime during 2008 and in any case before starting out the 2009 summer season. If your travel in the summer of 2008 will involve long trips in high temperatures, replace them earlier.

Is it possible its tagged on the other side of the tire?
Yes. I'ts required by federal DOT regulations, so it will be on one side or the other

Yea, thats right about the teenage thing.

My 10yr old informed me that she was a pre-teen. I told her that she is a toddler and thats as far as it goes! :)
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