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Old 07-22-2011, 08:29 AM   #1
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Low mileage

We're looking at a used 2002 motorhome with only 13,000 miles on it. It has the Cummins 8.9 engine in it. Would you be skeptical of the low miles?
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:50 AM   #2
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What make and model are you referring to?

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Old 07-22-2011, 08:59 AM   #3
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Our 02 had just under 12,000 miles on it when we bought it last summer. It hadn't been used much the previous two years because of original owner's medical issues. We put 2500 miles on it between July and October, but won't be using it much this season because of medical issues with our older dog.

I see no reason to be skeptical.
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:30 AM   #4
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Skeptical enough to ask why the low miles and listen to the answer.

Certainly just sitting in one place is not good for MH"s in particular---but in a sense most of them do to varying degrees. If it sat for a time in someplace hot a dry then there will be drying of components---something to look for---but not necessarily a deal breaker. If it sat for long periods but the owners performed maintenence then it may be no worse for wear.

Beyond that giving the intended MH a good inspection and getting some professional opinions from people who will survey it for you will tell you about it's apparant condition---then decided if it is a good deal to pursue.

It helps in any purchase to be a bit contrary Mary----so follow your instincts as well as knowledge.
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:58 AM   #5
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Just a thought here:
Bought latest M/H in Feb 2011, it was 2005 Itasca with 7400 miles. At 10, 125 miles on 12 April 2011 the motor suffered a catastrophic failure.

Firm believer that things that sit do not fare well, much like things that get used to death... either extreme is a negative effect.

Good advice on that "Ask why miles so low miles and PAY ATTENTION to the answer", therein may be the key.
Lots of folks buy a M/H and are shocked at expenses for fuel so they minimize long distance miles and stay local. So long as the motor got run frequently few worries would seem appripriate. On the other side, if the M/H sat idle for long period due to illness or other calamity then I, myself, would worry about seals, gaskets, bearing corrosion, etc...

Highly recommend an "Extended Warranty" to anyone purchasing a M/H with questionable history. The warranty will NOT prevent troubles BUT it will lessen the blood-letting should trouble visit itself upon ya. My recent engine failure could have been $18,000.00 plus outta my pockets, as it is I have been forced, for now anyhow, to contribute $3000.00, and even that hurts.

Best of luck, use reason and caution, then get out there and enjoy the Open Roads !
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Old 07-23-2011, 09:29 AM   #6
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Many motorhomes only do about 2500 miles a year, and there will be a lot more like that with current fuel prices. We did about 3400 between mid-July and late October last year. This year, because of older Labrador's medical problems it might be less than 1000.

In the off-season, we suspend the "on-road" part of our insurance coverage, usually from November 1 through the end of March. The generator gets exercised under load for 45 minutes about every 6 weeks and the engine run at a fast idle, but it doesn't go out on the street during that 5 months.
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Old 07-23-2011, 09:57 AM   #7
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I be more worried it was a full timer.
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MegaRoadie View Post
Just a thought here:
Bought latest M/H in Feb 2011, it was 2005 Itasca with 7400 miles. At 10, 125 miles on 12 April 2011 the motor suffered a catastrophic failure.

Firm believer that things that sit do not fare well, much like things that get used to death... either extreme is a negative effect.

Good advice on that "Ask why miles so low miles and PAY ATTENTION to the answer", therein may be the key.
Lots of folks buy a M/H and are shocked at expenses for fuel so they minimize long distance miles and stay local. So long as the motor got run frequently few worries would seem appripriate. On the other side, if the M/H sat idle for long period due to illness or other calamity then I, myself, would worry about seals, gaskets, bearing corrosion, etc...

Highly recommend an "Extended Warranty" to anyone purchasing a M/H with questionable history. The warranty will NOT prevent troubles BUT it will lessen the blood-letting should trouble visit itself upon ya. My recent engine failure could have been $18,000.00 plus outta my pockets, as it is I have been forced, for now anyhow, to contribute $3000.00, and even that hurts.

Best of luck, use reason and caution, then get out there and enjoy the Open Roads !
I agree that moderate use is preferable to little or no use on just about everything. Low mileage would be a red flag. There are things you can do to get the systems "exercised" when not actively using the RV but you have no way of knowing if those things (like monthly starting the generator) were done. My main computers stay powered on 24/7 and do not have problems. I have some older ones that can go months without use and when I do boot them up, all sorts of issues invariably arise.

Average RV use is 5000 miles/year, according to industry sources and even that is pretty mild usage. The OP asked whether to be "skeptical" of the low mileage -- not sure whether he meant there was a concern that it was not actual mileage or simply to be concerned about buying a 9 year old RV that had averaged only 1500 miles a year. As to the first, I would not doubt those are original miles given the the fact that the average usage is low anyway. But I would be leery of buying any RV that had sat for long periods unused. There is no way to determine if the RV had 10,000 miles in the first year and only had 3000 miles the last 8 years.

If the price was right, you should plan on paying for replacement of a whole lot of items that are subject to dry rot from non use. Belts, tires, seals, etc. Certainly you should never pay a premium for a "low mileage" RV. It is negative as to value.
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Old 07-23-2011, 02:41 PM   #9
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It still depends on the manufactuer a great deal, some makes age much better than others.

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Old 07-23-2011, 05:11 PM   #10
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Hi contrarymary,
Consider having the coach and chassis checked out by certified techs. A RV certified tech for the coach systems and a chassis/engine certified tech for the automotive systems. You're going to need to do all the maintenance (fluids, filters and lube) on the automotive systems. If everything checks out okay, go for it.
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