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chaajoad

Well-known member
Joined
May 29, 2006
Posts
322
Location
Poulsbo WA
A little background ...

I live in the Seattle area and my daily commute is two hours each way. It always amazes folks but I've got a routine down and much of the trip is on a state ferry and is very pleasant. I watch a movie, read, have a bite to eat - even doze off. Because this area is ultra-expensive, the only way for us to have a nicer home with property is this commute. But for a few years I've wanted to work at least 1 of the 5 workdays at home and there's no reason why I can't. The big hold back: no real room for a home office.

So - I started checking out options. I thought of an addition to the house but to do it properly would a be a ton of cash. Then I thought - why not a TT? I can use it as an office and our family of 3 can take it out for RV'ing. After all, the NW is RV nirvana. I came very close to buying a trailer, including a near scalping by one dealer who almost had me talked into a new 28' TT for $26k - outrageous but you know how sales guys can sometimes sucker anyone into signing the deal NOW. I went back & forth; with a Ford Explorer as a TV, I was limited by weight to an absolute max of 5,000 lbs. And that's with NO water or anything else in that trailer. Plus a tranny cooler, etc. Lots of work for limited choices. And the ultralight trailers don't have the best rep.

It was my wife who finally mentioned a MH. I had resisted because of the expense and the fact that anything with an engine would be costly to fix/maintain, etc. Well, after nosing around, I decided that we should look into the MH option. I visited local dealers and was pretty much disappointed - musty smelling coaches that seemed overpriced. I scanned private ads and visited forums such as this. I then turned to ebay where I've purchased literally hundreds of items. I was pleasantly surprised to find a big selection of coaches. Many of them (the used ones) looked very well-maintained and it was obvious that coach owners felt the same away about their rigs as I do about my motorcycle - I keep it in top-notch shape and always clean.

To get to the point ... tonight I bought a 1999 35' Bounder. I'm pretty sure we'll pick it up next weekend. At least by the weekend after next.

We're excited, nervous and pretty happy. I get to use it as an office and get the second home tax advantage. And we all get to travel around the NW without paying hundreds each night for a B&B, hotel or restaurants.

It's a beautiful rig, man. I had the RV lust big time after I saw the ad. 35k miles, Tag axle, full-sized tub and a cool interior design. I had trouble with a lot of the coaches with the wild fabrics and colors - just my taste. But I wanted something a bit more subdued. The only thing I noticed (after I bought it, of course) was no awning. I didn't know that was an option but it's not a big deal.

So now we just pile in and go. And if we move (a topic my wife won't discuss :) we take it with us. At some point I imagine we'll get a small toad (see? I've picked up the lingo!) but for now we'll either rent a car for in-city stuff or - and this is mainly what we'll do - we'll stay AWAY from cities and hunker down in MH.

It's been literally months and months of back-and-forth but when I saw this rig, it was over. Guess I'll have post a photo as soon as I can. I'm pleased to see that through these forums, Bounders come off pretty good. I think we got an excellent price on a like-new coach so we're off to a good start. I know there will be challenges but at this point, we're jazzed!

Just thought I'd drop in and ramble a bit. Seems like a friendly place. See ya on the road! 
 

Smoky

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 11, 2005
Posts
3,589
Location
wherever we are parked
Yes please do send us photos.  And congrats!  The Bounder is a solid reliable machine IMO.

Would like to know more about what it is like buying over eBay.  Are you required to buy it before you have a chance to test drive it or walk through it?  What happens if you don't like it after you see it in person?  Are you buying from a registered dealer or a private person?
 

chaajoad

Well-known member
Joined
May 29, 2006
Posts
322
Location
Poulsbo WA
Dang! I wrote a long reply and tried to attach some photos but the file was too large so the whole thing is in the ether. Oh well ...

I've bought a ton of stuff from ebayers, including some bigger items. In fact, there's nothing I would buy without checking there first. So, along with local ads and dealers and craigslist, I used ebay. I was willing to get on a plane so I searched for a radius as far as 1,000 miles.

Using ebays feedback feature helps find reputable folks. In addition, most vehicles are covered under ebay's fraud protection policy for up to $20k so that's another layer of protection. The guy I bought the Bounder from is a private seller; he deatils/restores cars and RVs to sell for a profit and his business is very small in scope. He's just a few hours down the road and I have his address and phone # - I'll call him tomorrow. He'll get a $2k deposit with the rest after I do an inspection. And then - the first trip in it!

From what I can see here, folks buy new $200k units and have troubles while others buy a 1989 coach and run it for years with few troubles. To me, I'd almost rather buy a MH off ebay sellers than a dealership.

BTW - I see names are important here, so ...

Danny Wright
Christie
Adam
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,937
Hi Danny,

Thanks for sharing the info. I've never bought any big-ticket item on ebay and wondered how it worked in those cases.

chaajoad said:
I wrote a long reply and tried to attach some photos but the file was too large so the whole thing is in the ether.

Hopefully this will save you some grief in the future:

The screen warns you of the maximum attachment size (immediately below the Attach box) before you click the Post button, although the warning is in a small font. One reason for the size limit is to make downloading practical for folks on slow connections.

If you miss (or ignore) the warning, your message won't post, but you needn't re-compose the message; You should be able to hit the Back button in your browser and your text would be intact, although you would need to re-attach any photos.
 

Betty Brewer

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Posts
4,758
Whoopie and Congrats on the new rig.? May she give you adventures of a lifetime!? Ask away with questions.

Betty
 

Wendy

Site Team
Joined
May 14, 2005
Posts
12,554
Location
Colorado
Enjoy the Bounder !! I assume that since you're using it as an office, you have a place to park it at your house (not an easy thing to do in Seattle).

We buy and sell a lot on eBay and have almost never had a problem. And we bought our Winnebago over the internet (from a dealer in Seattle), although not through eBay. One good thing buying on eBay is no high pressure sales.

Get that first trip under your belt, be ready for something to go wrong, and, above all, enjoy your travels, however far you go.
 

chaajoad

Well-known member
Joined
May 29, 2006
Posts
322
Location
Poulsbo WA
Thanks for the welcome, folks. Wendy, we live in Poulsbo on the Kitsap Peninsula. We have 3 acres and most lots here are 5+ acres so lots of room. On the Seattle side, the lot alone might be near 7 figures. And I can't imagine complaints about running a generator, etc. I like working outside at night. I just rig up some powerful work lights and saw and hammer as long as I want to. We used to live in a nice neighborhood (Ohio) that I truly loved - it was like a postcard - but I didn't enjoy the fact that every neighbor knew everything I was doing and most had an opinion or a comment. Most of the neighbors were much handier than me and I know they got a kick out of watching me stumble with some projects.

ANYWAY -

I did notice that our MH doesn't have an awning. I imagine most of you will say it's pretty much mandatory so I'm assuming that this can be an add-on, correct?

The photos the seller has are execellent and I've asked to have them sent in jpg format so I can post a few soon. I'm thinking it's okay to be kind of proud and happy and share - at least at first. Do y'all share photos of your travels at all? Is that kosher to post them or is it considered bad manners?

This is a big deal and a major investment for us. So I'm praying that we don't have some of the big troubles I've noticed in some of the forums. At least until I can build the bank account back up!

Thanks again for the friendly welcome -

The Wrights

Danny
Christie
Adam 

 

Ned

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Posts
25,107
Location
USA
A patio awning isn't a necessity, but window awnings are very handy.  We rarely put out our patio awning but use the window awnings for all but short stays.

Photos are indeed welcome as you'll see if you peruse some of the other message sections.  There is a limit to the number and size of uploads, but you can use multiple messages to post extra photos if needed.
 

Wendy

Site Team
Joined
May 14, 2005
Posts
12,554
Location
Colorado
We had our Class C for 14 years without a patio awning and never really missed it. And we never had to worry about putting it away when the wind picked up. Now that we have an awning on our Class A, it's very nice. I think it might be one of those things that you use if you have it but don't miss if you don't have it?
 

Shayne

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Posts
4,324
I have an Awning (Sun Setter) with all the goodies, like screens and plastic panels.  Awning and screens were used for 2 years. Plastic shields - never-  stillin the box.  Would have to measure now sure if 12, 14, or 16 ft. If you are interested.  Have them in my trailer and was going to use on the trailer, but may part with it.
 

TNROY

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 4, 2006
Posts
115
Location
Kalamazoo, Michigan
You certainly have every right to be proud of your new acquisition. You are on the verge of many years of fun times. I have a patio awning on my rig, but no window awnings. We use the patio awning all the time to shade from the sun, and protection from light to moderate rains. It certainly is not a necessity, and can be added anytime.
 

chaajoad

Well-known member
Joined
May 29, 2006
Posts
322
Location
Poulsbo WA
Tom & Barb -

I was born in Kalamazoo, MI and mostly raised in Portage. I recall it as a great town although it's been at least 20 years since my last visit.

I talked the guy I'm buying the Bounder from awhile ago. He said an awning runs between $800-1200. It seemed like EVERY rig I checked out had one so I just assumed ... and we know how that works. Truthfully, it doesn't make a difference. I just like the looks of this Bounder - inside and out - more than any of the literally hundreds I scanned. I can get some folding chairs and a nice little table with a market umbrella for a lot less.

I have a habit of rather quick decisions. The house I bought was the very first one I saw 4 years ago and I was unsure if we could afford it. And I bought it with my wife back in Ohio - the real estate agent said I was a brave guy :) This could be the craziest thing I've done yet but we're all pumped and looking forward to the first overnight trip. We're surrounded by camping spots where we live so I'm thinking we'll stay within 20 miles or so, spend one night and see how it goes.

Danny, Christie & Adam
Poulsbo WA
 

Smoky

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 11, 2005
Posts
3,589
Location
wherever we are parked
Danny:

We have window and patio awanings and would not be without any of them.  Camping World is one place where you can purchase and add an awning.
 

TNROY

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 4, 2006
Posts
115
Location
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Danny, we actually live in the City of Portage right at the border with Kalamazoo. We use Kalamazoo in the signature line because it is more recognizable to most. I've lived in the area since 1962 when my father was transferred here. Graduated from Norrix, just down the street from me now. At one time or another we probably met while cruzin' Swartz's? :D

You are going to have some great times in your new motorhome, with or without the awning. However, if you enjoy sitting outside you will likely end up with a nice awning mounted proudly on the motorhome. They are especially handy when you want to use the BBQ during the light rains, or bask in the shade on those unbearably sunny days in a treeless campground.

Use the motorhome for a couple of trips before you buy anything extra. See what you really want and need first. Keep a list before you go too wild at the closest Camping World or dealer's accessory store.
 

chaajoad

Well-known member
Joined
May 29, 2006
Posts
322
Location
Poulsbo WA
TNROY -

Thanks for the advice. I was thinking for now we'd just get a table and umbrella w folding chairs but i know an awning is the way to go. We'll see.

I'll pick the coach up in 2-3 weeks and it's tough to wait. Getting the cash together and the trip south to get it takes a little coordination. I have a few nagging doubts. The driveway into our property is very sharp and the idea of a 35 footer making that radical turn ... I'm thinking "yes" but it might take some effort and I'll be blocking the way as I manuever. And I've been in vehicles as varied as a cruise ship, a Navy fighter jet (a passenger - I'm NOT a vet!) high-powered motorcycles, garden tractors - but never a beast nearly the size of a city bus. Plus I've read some of the horror stories on these forums and it can all work on a guy. But I figure there are literally millions of RVs gallavanting around and the majority get by just fine, so ...

I'm looking forward to swapping tales, getting/giving advice and posting photos of the coach. I think I got a very good prize on a rig in great shape - and even that makes me nervous!  :-\
 

TNROY

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 4, 2006
Posts
115
Location
Kalamazoo, Michigan
You're going to love your new Bounder, they are a fine motorhome. Don't worry too much about the size of the vehicle, it just makes it easier for others to see you and stay out of your way.  ;) The key to driving those things is SLOW DOWN. Take it easy and don't push it. You have to remember the size of the box you are driving so you don't crowd the turns. Take the time to adjust the mirrors before starting out, make sure you can see what is along side of you. When you travel in a motorhome you plan on taking more time to get from point A to point B than when driving a car. For us it is the best method of travel we have found, we love it.

I don't think you mentioned in your original post if you are buying from a private party or a dealer. From the sounds of the post I am guessing a dealer. You owe it to yourself to plan a substantial amount of time when you go to pick it up to do a PDI (pre delivery inspection). The dealer should have someone knowledgable go through and over the new motorhome from bumper to bumper with you. They should explain how everything operates, and demonstrate ALL systems to you. If you have any questions at all, ask them over and over again until you are sure you understand. During the PDI you may find items that are broken, or may be a problem as simple as a leaky faucet. Bring any problems to their attention and ask them to fix it before you leave. Even get up on the roof and check the fittings there. When I went to pick up my current motorhome the roof inspection discovered a badly cracked refridgerator vent that was not visible from the ground. The dealer had it replaced while we finished up the rest of the inspection. Ask if there is a by pass for the hot water heater, and make him SHOW you how it works, you will need to know that when you winterize in the fall. If you find anything that seems major to you, have it fixed before you take delivery. Some of the most minor things you find you may want to take care of on your own, and that is fine. After all it is a used motorhome, and won't be perfect. Be prepared to spend a good deal of time, a proper PDI can take several hours to complete.

The driveway could be an issue, but not insurmountable. You biggest problem may be low hanging tree branches, or rocks and plantings too close to the edge. You have some time, make sure you have a minimum of 12' verticle clearance to get the motorhome in. Actually 14' would be best if you can do it. I'm sure you have already mapped out a place to park it when you get it home. It might not hurt to have an outlet wired in the area to accomodate the power requirements of the motorhome in the area where you are going to park it. Of course you need to know whether it is a 50 amp or 30 amp service. Having the electric service available will allow you do maintain all the systems, and give you the power to do the tinkering I'm sure you will be wanting to do. As you are a motorcycle enthusiat I am guessing you enjoy a bit of tinkering anyway. As a motorhome owner, tinkering becomes a way of life.

When you get your rig make sure you post the critical stats in your signature on this and other forums. It will help others steer you in the right direction when answering your questions. Year, make, model, engine and chassis are very helpful. BTW you mentioned that you found this on eBay. Can you post a link to the (expired) listing so we can see some pics of your new beauty?
 

chaajoad

Well-known member
Joined
May 29, 2006
Posts
322
Location
Poulsbo WA
Hi again!

You'll have to copy and paste but here's the ebay link: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1,1&item=4644858328&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWN%3AIT

I'm biased but I think it's beautiful and is in pristine condition. I looked at literally hundreds of trailers, Class C's and Class A's before this one just drew me in. I was willing to go most anywhere in the U.S. for a good deal on a coach that struck me as "us" so it's cool this one is just a few hours down the road. Seems to be a lot of value for the $$. I like the tag axle - I saw a ton of posts saying once you had a MH with one, you'd always want it. The interior is - IMO- classy and understated. Doesn't appear to be a mark on it. The price was so good I'm actually a bit nervous, but ... I think it's all good.

The small downsides? No levellers - but I'm okay with that. I'm certain the vast majority of places we go will be flat. The majority of the time the MH will live next to the house and serve as an office. But I've read where it still needs to be run, so I'll take it out every 10 days or so for a highway spin, put a load on the generator, ck all the systems to try and stay ahead of problems. And no awning! I swear I thought they were standard - I looked at all those ads and it seemed as every MH had an awning! Again, we can live with that. We might just carry a small table/umbrella combo. Besides, here in the NW, hot weather is the least of our problems.

A few quick questions:

Any opinions on after-market awnings? There are some on ebay as low as $5-$600. Here are the 2 I'm looking at: 1) http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=4646367091&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1

2) http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=4647505422&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1

Opinions? Are they easy to mount?

I also don't want to leave the coach uncovered for long periods of time. Searching around, it appears that a metal carport type set-up is about $1000. A custom-fit cover is much less. The covers (and you know this, I'm sure) fold back for the door and some window space. I'm thinking I could work inside in all but warmest weather and the covers go for a few hundred bucks.

Comments?

Thanks in advance -

Danny Wright
Christie
Adam
Poulsbo WA


 

Smoky

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 11, 2005
Posts
3,589
Location
wherever we are parked
The picture looked great!

I have never installed awnings, but I watched them being installed on RV Today and it looked easy and straightforward.  However one never knows what a TV production might do to make something look easier than it is.  While awnings are nice to sit under, their most important function is keeping the interior cool.  They do a fabulous job of this, greatly reducing the load on the air conditioner.  All of our main windows have awnings and it keeps us really cool inside.

Being without levelers will cause some extra work.  We have to level about 95% of the time.  However, if you do not have manual satellites, the need for precision will not be as great.  It will then mostly boil down to your comfort level for some slight tilting.  Bathroom door might swing open, things will roll, liquids will spill further, acid reflux might get worse, etc.  ;D  To some extent you can level using blocks under wheels, but it will not be precision leveling like needed for manual sat dishes. 
 

Gasser

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Posts
173
Location
Ada, Oklahoma
chaajoad said:
Hi again!

You'll have to copy and paste but here's the ebay link: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1,1&item=4644858328&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWN%3AIT

I'm biased but I think it's beautiful and is in pristine condition. I looked at literally hundreds of trailers, Class C's and Class A's before this one just drew me in. I was willing to go most anywhere in the U.S. for a good deal on a coach that struck me as "us" so it's cool this one is just a few hours down the road. Seems to be a lot of value for the $$. I like the tag axle - I saw a ton of posts saying once you had a MH with one, you'd always want it. The interior is - IMO- classy and understated. Doesn't appear to be a mark on it. The price was so good I'm actually a bit nervous, but ... I think it's all good.

The small downsides? No levellers - but I'm okay with that. I'm certain the vast majority of places we go will be flat. The majority of the time the MH will live next to the house and serve as an office. But I've read where it still needs to be run, so I'll take it out every 10 days or so for a highway spin, put a load on the generator, ck all the systems to try and stay ahead of problems. And no awning! I swear I thought they were standard - I looked at all those ads and it seemed as every MH had an awning! Again, we can live with that. We might just carry a small table/umbrella combo. Besides, here in the NW, hot weather is the least of our problems.

A few quick questions:

Any opinions on after-market awnings? There are some on ebay as low as $5-$600. Here are the 2 I'm looking at: 1) http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=4646367091&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1

2) http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=4647505422&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1

Opinions? Are they easy to mount?

I also don't want to leave the coach uncovered for long periods of time. Searching around, it appears that a metal carport type set-up is about $1000. A custom-fit cover is much less. The covers (and you know this, I'm sure) fold back for the door and some window space. I'm thinking I could work inside in all but warmest weather and the covers go for a few hundred bucks.

Comments?

Thanks in advance -

Danny Wright
Christie
Adam
Poulsbo WA
Looks great.  Very clean and well maintaned.  I bet you get years of service out of her!  Good luck.

Jeff
 

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