Questions about used Class C

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

dawnaramma

New member
Joined
May 3, 2021
Posts
3
Location
San Diego, CA
Hi, all! Newbie here looking to buy my first RV. I'm looking online (haven't seen it in person yet) at a 2015 Coachmen Leprechaun 210QB. It's a class C with 94K miles. It's listed by a private seller at $42,500.

I'm also looking (online) at a 2018 Thor Majestic M-28A. It's also a Class C and with 122K miles. It's being sold by Cruise America at $42,850. Cruise America told me by phone that it's been refurbished. For $1798, I can purchase a 5 year/100K warrantee. I include the warrantee piece because I read in a prior post that some recommend that newbies buy from dealer and get warrantee.

I'm concerned about the high miles. Is that an issue? Is this really "high miles" for a Class C? What else should I be looking at and asking about? TIA!
 

Isaac-1

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2016
Posts
4,383
Location
SW Louisiana
My first thought is, that is a lot of miles for a 6 year old coach, that sort of mileage is more typical for a 20 year old coach, in fact my 20 year old class A has only 93,000 miles on it. My second thought was wondering if it was used in a rental fleet. As to if it should be a concern, the 6.8L engine used in most of these class C coaches has a design service life of 150,000 miles in commercial truck use (U-haul, etc.). This does not mean that the engine will last 150,000 miles, just that in fleet use, one should expect a significant fraction of them to show signs of being worn out at that point (ie showing signs of worn bearings, excessive blowby, etc.) I don't recall the exact fraction used for this standard, but I think it is 20%, ie in fleet use with proper maintenance 80% of these engines should still be running and not worn out at 150,000 miles. To follow this up, most motorhomes see about 5,000 - 6,000 miles per year of use on average long term, so even an ex rental motorhome with 125,000 miles on it may have another 5+ years of service before hitting the 150,000 mile point.

As to buying an ex fleet rental motrohome from Cruise America, a lot of people have done it and are happy with it, a few have been very unhappy and have found major issues, like the wall separating from the body after they bought it, therefore follow the prime rule before buying any RV, inspect, inspect, and inspect, this means you or an independent inspector you hire to do a careful detailed inspection of the coach, top to bottom, inside and out. Not a dealer provided inspection where they don't have any incentive to find defects. Also when it comes to Cruise America motorhomes, be aware that they are custom made extreme bare bones models, this means no awnings, no leveling jacks, durable fabrics, minimal accessories (no TV, etc.) as they work under the philosophy of the less stuff for renters to break the better.
 

JudyJB

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Posts
1,591
Cruise America RVs are often beaten up because they have been mostly used by people who have never driven a motorhome. Also, I agree that these vehicles are built without "frills" such as awnings, slides, hubcaps, etc. that most of us consider important in an RV. You definitely should view this vehicle yourself and get an inspector to verify what they mean by "refurbished."

And yes, that is fairly high mileage for a motorhome used only on weekends and a couple of weeks in the summer. However, it is NOT high mileage for most full-timers like me. I put 15,000 -18,000 miles per year on my motorhome.

However, if this is the Ford v10 engine, I can tell you that it should last 300,000 - 400,000 miles "easily." This information was given to me by the Ford Motor Company corporate quality group (6-Sigma Team) that I did some training course development for back in 2011-2012. They were not selling me anything and had no reason to lie to me since I had already just bought my rig new. It is one of Ford's best engines and built knowing that it will be used in fleets. Currently I have 154,900 miles on my nine-year-old Class C with no engine or transmission problems at all.

The only issue with the engine is whether Cruise America occasionally put oil into it and maintained it properly.
 
Last edited:

Skookum

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 19, 2018
Posts
154
Cruise America's RV's are about one-half star nicer than a U-Haul in terms of accommodations, and beaten on just as hard--or harder. I wouldn't buy one.
 

Mark_K5LXP

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Posts
973
Location
Albuquerque, NM
One thing I would factor is what I planned to use it for. If I were contemplating putting on 10-15K miles a year on it, I'm not sure I'd start with one having that many miles on the clock. But if this were just for knocking around on weekends and a few weeks a year, then the mileage is less important and having a relatively "young" house can work out. Seems like a lot of money though, guessing that's the current market at play. I bought my older class A with half those miles for half that price. No matter what though I'd want to lay eyes on it before committing to anything.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

dawnaramma

New member
Joined
May 3, 2021
Posts
3
Location
San Diego, CA
Thanks for all of your feedback. It's very helpful and giving me a lot of food for thought. For the price point we're looking at ($50K), it looks like it's going to come down to an older model with more comforts and possibly fewer miles or a newer model with just the basics and higher miles.

Example: 2009 Coachmen Freelander 2600so with 63K miles or 2012 Fleetwood JAMBOREE SPORT 31N with 92K miles

Any thoughts or recommendations?
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,038
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
Most people here are really negative on used rental units, but notice it is preconceived notion about rentals rather than actual experience. A few people here have bought from Cruise America or EL Monte (the big names in the rental business) and have reported being fully satisfied as far as value for their money and reliability. Cruise America claims to do regular maintenance and does indeed offer a solid standard warranty plus an optional one. You may find this previous topic of interest - comments from people wo actually bought one.

Yes, they may lack some typical Class C features, so don't assume anything or get distracted by a seemingly bargain price. And remember that some features can easily be added, e.g. an awning, while others cannot (like a built-in generator).
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,038
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
I'm concerned about the high miles. Is that an issue?
That's fairly high mileage, but not "end of life". The Ford v10 should be good for 200k miles and probably more before it needs a major rebuild. Or replacement, since labor & parts costs for a profesional rebuild usually exceeds the cost of another engine. However, from an RV owners prospective, you can begin to expect roadside breakdowns starting around 100k miles or so. Most of us consider the "engine" as the whole thing that makes the vehicle go, which includes bolt-on parts such as starter, fuel pump, alternator, water pump, etc. Any of those will leave you stranded just as surely as a piston or crankshaft (but not as expensive to repair). You should also consider that automatic transmissions often need a major repair somewhere around 125k-150k miles, especially when in a vehicle that is always working at near max capability. Also, the brake system on a heavy vehicle like that is probably rather worn at 100k miles (if not before). None of these may be showstoppers as far as a purchase, but if you are looking for happy, trouble-free miles, a rig with that mileage may not be right for you.
 

TheBar

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Posts
944
Location
MS
The reason why RV rental companies sell off the ones over 100k miles is because that is where maintenance starts to become too expensive. As Gary mentioned all the other components start failing. Also belts, hoses, shocks, fuel filters, tires, etc. All together they quickly become as costly as replacing a gas engine. You could very well be better off with a 10 year old @ half the price and half the miles. You'll be replacing those things either way. To have an RV that is dependable count the cost of those items into the price point.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,038
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
Agree with The Bar except that the rental companies also have their image to protect. They want to offer shiny new looking RVs to their customers, so they avoid the perception of a "rent-a-wreck" by keeping their fleet newer and lower mileage.
 
Top Bottom