Old Timer with and older motorhome but Brand New RV'er

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Tiercel

Active member
Joined
Jul 20, 2021
Posts
35
Location
Pennsylvania
Hello to all, and thanks to the members who do the hard work of making this forum work. I have been there and know the work and commitment required.

I never considered RV's very economically practical (don't hate me :)
But my BiL had a motorhome he bought new in 2000. Once since my sister died 13 years ago, he stopped using it. His son uses it for about 1 week a year. He offered it to me for $1500, but I insisted on giving him $2000. It has 23,000 miles, new tires, and newly inspected, but sat out mostly uncovered after his cover ripped. I just felt I could not turn it down at that price.

It had older water damage to the floor of the cab-over and under the EMERGENCY window in the master bedroom. It has some wavy delamination signs but no seams opening up. I am repairing both of those myself and putting in a new Atwood hot water tank. I have been on a crazy learning curve for 3 weeks.

I am retired law enforcement and the federal government (DOJ). We circulate between central PA and central GA. Since we have a place to stay in GA, we will mainly have the motorhome based in PA and use it for 5 -7 hour trips to see grandkids when we are in PA. I have little interest in getting into car towing. Plus, it will be my man cave when my wife of 51 years gets annoyed with me :).

We might use it more once it is in good condition and we figure out how to best enjoy it.
 

Matt_C

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 4, 2019
Posts
442
Location
SE - Mich
Tiercel,

Two things:
When you travel, what are your two big concerns?
Where are you going to sleep, and where and what will you eat? OK?
If you never thought of an RV as a practical and economically viable thing, you never did the entire analysis. I have. Yes, if you pack everything in a little economy car and drive to the next stop, eat only fast (cheap) food and stay in budget motels, you might get by with less cash out of pocket, but not by very much. The pleasure of travel will be lost and there will be places you cannot go because there is zero local accommodations.
With your own coach, you know where you will sleep and who used that bad last.
As for eating, stop at grocery stores (they are all over the place), eat at your own pace in the coach. Too much left over? Put that in the reefer for tomorrow (or a snack later).
You did spend a lot on fuel, but you didn't have to move the luggage up to 70$/nt room.
Where are you going to spend a night on the road?
Don't get us started. If you are self contained, it doesn't need to be a campground. Almost any level pavement will do.

Next big thing (from experience).
To make a 20yo+ MH reliable requires attention, but it is not expensive or time consuming.
You should start by replacing every rubber part that matters. You will hear all about tires. But there are also belts, fuel lines, brake lines and coolant hoses. The brake system should be flushed because the fluid attracts moisture. So change out the rubber lines before you refill it. The coolant has depleted the anti-corrosives, so refill that with new after you change out those hoses. None of this is all that hard, but any failure of these parts will leave you on the shoulder. If you do the work, you will learn a lot about the coach. Don't have the tools you need? RV shops around here get over 100$/hr. Think about and buy the tools you need.

Does this guy have any idea what he is talking about??
That coach in my picture is a 1973 GMC with a little short of 180K on it. The thing in the background is Devil's Tower. That was on the way to Yellowstone. That was a 2500 mile excursion we did. One of many. We have been down this year and last because a lot of the places we would like to go have not been open. Don't want to go places? (I can't imagine that, but OK.) You can go to races and park in the infield. You can go the music festivals and lots of other events that would otherwise be out of range.

Get it ready and go places man.....

Matt
 

Domo

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Posts
272
Location
Fort Myers, FL
Congratulations = great to have you on the road with us.

I think you mentioned the tires were new - was that new 13 years ago? If not, 13 year old tires are past their safe life and you might consider replacing them... just in case.

Keep rolling!
 

Ex-Calif

Well-known member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Posts
1,540
Thanks for your long career as LEO, appreciated.

Congrats on the new to you MH. You'll have a great time and you deserve it.

Don't forget you can rent a runaround while in PA and you can also leave it up there somewhere during the "100 days" of summer and shuttle back and forth.

Lots of options having a mobile house and 90% sure you got a great deal. Don't be surprised at the possible $300 a month on average to keep an old MH alive.
 

Tiercel

Active member
Joined
Jul 20, 2021
Posts
35
Location
Pennsylvania
Thanks for all the replies, suggestions, and ideas. I really enjoyed reading them.

A few points. This MH has had the oil changed every year. Any year his son touched it, he had it winterized by a dealer. My BiL had all fluids changed and filled the gas tank before I bought it. Today he just stopped and dropped off 80 Ft of rubber window glazing for all the fixed windows. The sliding portion of the sliding windows takes different glazing, but strangely those don't look bad. Oh, and it came fully stocked with cookware, utensils, sheets, towels, first aid kit, warning reflectors, rotisserie toaster oven, a tent, large umbrellas, grill, telescoping walking poles, etc., etc.

I am almost sure the tires are actually new within the past couple of years BUT thanks for bringing that up. I will confirm that.

To Matt C. I enjoyed your post, although I am a little skeptical. I jumped on this MH because I have little to lose if it blows up tomorrow. I love the concept of freedom even before I use it. Traveling is hard on my wife, and hopefully, this will make it better. BUT I was referring to a new MH. You made many thought-provoking points, but a MH today probably starts at 80G, then gas, maintenance, etc. You still need a car and maybe car rentals, so a MH does not save you a car payment unless it is a class B. I can eat and sleep pretty good for 80G over what I pay for groceries. You still pay a lot of camping fees unless you always boondock. I completely agree with all your points on freedom, knowing who slept in your bed last, etc. Thanks for the perspective.
 

1dino17

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2021
Posts
11
Location
California
Tiercel,

Two things:
When you travel, what are your two big concerns?
Where are you going to sleep, and where and what will you eat? OK?
If you never thought of an RV as a practical and economically viable thing, you never did the entire analysis. I have. Yes, if you pack everything in a little economy car and drive to the next stop, eat only fast (cheap) food and stay in budget motels, you might get by with less cash out of pocket, but not by very much. The pleasure of travel will be lost and there will be places you cannot go because there is zero local accommodations.
With your own coach, you know where you will sleep and who used that bad last.
As for eating, stop at grocery stores (they are all over the place), eat at your own pace in the coach. Too much left over? Put that in the reefer for tomorrow (or a snack later).
You did spend a lot on fuel, but you didn't have to move the luggage up to 70$/nt room.
Where are you going to spend a night on the road?
Don't get us started. If you are self contained, it doesn't need to be a campground. Almost any level pavement will do.

Next big thing (from experience).
To make a 20yo+ MH reliable requires attention, but it is not expensive or time consuming.
You should start by replacing every rubber part that matters. You will hear all about tires. But there are also belts, fuel lines, brake lines and coolant hoses. The brake system should be flushed because the fluid attracts moisture. So change out the rubber lines before you refill it. The coolant has depleted the anti-corrosives, so refill that with new after you change out those hoses. None of this is all that hard, but any failure of these parts will leave you on the shoulder. If you do the work, you will learn a lot about the coach. Don't have the tools you need? RV shops around here get over 100$/hr. Think about and buy the tools you need.

Does this guy have any idea what he is talking about??
That coach in my picture is a 1973 GMC with a little short of 180K on it. The thing in the background is Devil's Tower. That was on the way to Yellowstone. That was a 2500 mile excursion we did. One of many. We have been down this year and last because a lot of the places we would like to go have not been open. Don't want to go places? (I can't imagine that, but OK.) You can go to races and park in the infield. You can go the music festivals and lots of other events that would otherwise be out of range.

Get it ready and go places man.....

Matt
Parks open about 0430 am in some southern Cali city's, stay all day, lots of things casino are another place you can stay overnight check it out!
 
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