Prev. Owned Class A

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Steve

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Joined
Feb 12, 2006
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34
Hell again Gang,

On prev. owned RVs I have been doing some searching. First of all a Brand New Coach is out of the question, so of course one which would be a prev. owned will be ours.
Question: We my wife and I have seen coaches(Class A) with mileage advertised many as being below 50,000 miles and then some with 50,000 to 60,000 and up. Any recommendations on what to stay clear of in reguards to mileage.
thanks Steve.

P.S. We will be full timers, and the coach looks like probibly a gas one.
 

Steve CDN

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Jan 31, 2005
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2,388
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Canada/U.S.A
Any recommendations on what to stay clear of in regards to mileage

IMO if a motorhome has less than 10,000 miles a year, I would be concerned about the state of the mechanical system involving seals and lubricated joints, not to mention the engine and drive train system.? I would certainly insist on a credible service history, because so many owners of motorhomes simply "plug and play" and ignore the recommended maintenance schedule.? Furthermore, even if the service schedule has been attempted to be followed, the quality of maintenance in some areas leaves much to be desired.

I would look for a coach where the owner did his/her own maintenance and has the documentation to prove it.

Motorhomes exposed to road salt should be closely evaluated for damage and corrosion of the underbody.  Most motorhome chassis prior to about 2003 did not do well when exposed to winter salt.

Though you did not ask the question, I would submit my usual advice to anyone looking for a used coach...avoid anything made by SMC, Safari Motorcoach, Harney and Beaver.? Beaver products made prior to their acquisition by Safari can be evaluated on their own merit, but Safari made Beavers should be avoided.

Safari had serious quality control issues throughout their history, and a large majority of their products were built with unrepairable major engineering failures.? These motorhomes were dumped by their owners, usually at a financial loss and many are now available at bargain basement prices.

Even at these prices, they should be avoided because, in most cases the problems are irreversible structural failures.

Safari products made by Monaco should be evaluated on their individual merit, however.

What brands have interested you?
 

Steve

Active member
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Posts
34
We have been looking at Fleetwood, years 92-97, also Cobra Monteray 95.
Steve
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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74,650
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
The RVIA says the average RV travels only 6000 miles/year.  Some are weekenders and simply don't get out much. Others may be snowbirds and make one round trip per year to their winter locale.  Even many fulltimers don't log all that many miles, spending 3-6 weeks in each location.  So ingeneral, used RVs will have far less miles than a passenger car of the same year. 

As Steve says, the relatively low mileage causes some owners to neglect maintenance.  Some things need to be done regulalry, whether the rig is driven or not.  Also, the tires will deteriorate based on age as much as mileage. A 5 year old tire is long in the tooth and a 6 year old tire is on the verge of failure and should be replaced immediately, regardless of its aparent condition. See the forum library topicon tires if you don't know how to read tire dates codes - it is important!

Gas coaches of the late 80's and early-mid 90's vintage were typically heavily loaded (right from the factory) and their engines and transmissions worked hard every day of their lives. These rigs are mechanically old at 70,000 miles  unless supurbly maintained. Things began to get better about 1996 and by 1999 the life span was improving.  The new Workhorse W series gas chassis in 2002 is rated as a 200,000 mile chassis and should perform well to 100,000 miles or more with only routine maintenance. Ford scambled to match it and is probably there by now.

Diesels are designed to be more robust and are generally equipped with industrial grade transmissions, thus they are a better bet at higher mileages.  A diesel with 70,000 miles is just nicely broken in if it has had the proper routine maintenace.

In the age you are looking at, you can probably get a diesel for close to the same price as gas, especially if the rig has no slides or only one slide.  The market value of non-slide rigs is pretty much rock-botton regardless of other factors, so you can get some very nice rigs, including diesel pushers, for low prices. Look around and don't be afraid to make very low purchase price offers. You may be surprised at what may be accepted. Be prepared to walk away if they turn down your offer - chances are good you will be called back
 

Karl

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Mar 3, 2005
Posts
5,154
Location
Elkhart Lake, WI for the summer. Work at Road Amer
Steve (not CDN ;),

I have a previously-owned '96 Bounder gasser. Bought it with just over 20k miles on it, well maintained by the owner - the well-respected Ed Juge, founder of this forum. After 3 years and about 18k miles, haven't had any problems with it; just normal maintenance. There should be many coaches out there that are equally as good, but as Steve CDN suggests, check the records and look for signs of deferred maintenance or neglect. Also check tire dates. Anything 6 years or older will need replacing NOW.
 
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