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Old 09-19-2017, 07:14 PM   #1
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Opinions on this MH we are considering buying

We had a travel trailer in the past, 31 footer with single slide, towed by a 2500 Suburban. Sold it and got into boating big time, but now are interested in getting back into camping/traveling.

Although we could pull a trailer with our Expedition EL (2015) we'd rather have the family (me and my wife) and our 2 dogs (collies) and one cat all in the same vehicle, together, with space to move around, make a sammich, go to the bathroom, etc. Also want the option for my wife to bring the Expedition and tow one of our boats when we travel.

We live in the Tampa area and will, more than likely, do most if not all of our traveling in Florida, especially down in the Keys, St. Augustine, etc.

Will only be the two of us and the pets.

We are thinking at keeping it under 40 feet, Class A, and honestly I'd prefer a gas engine vs. diesel due to costs. My parents have a nice 40 foot DP, but it is way beyond our budget. We're not going to be full-timing it - more likely a few weekends a year and two 1 week trips a year starting out. We are 50 years old, and I've got some decent experience towing and backing trailers, so I feel a 30-40 foot motorhome should be fairly easy for me to drive.


We love to cook, so a good, well-laid out kitchen and decent counterspace, cabinets, and fridge is essential.

We want safe, decent quality, good reliability with regards to engine, tranny, components.

Budget will be $25k-$50k depending on what we find and how much more we're willing to pay for higher quality.

I'm sure I'll have more questions, but thank you in advance for your help.


Found this one that was very interesting to us - if we can't get a king bed, which I know can be a tight squeeze, we'd prefer twin beds for a variety of reasons (we have different heat/cooling needs, I radiate heat which annoys the wife, and I remember how difficult it was for us sleeping in a queen bed in our old TT.

Single slide, to me, means less things to break down or need servicing. Kitchen layout seems nice to us as well. Price sure is good, too.

https://www.rvtrader.com/dealers/Gra...3758-122558066
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:43 PM   #2
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There have been several similar threads recently about buying older motorhomes. So, to just hit the high points, if the tires are more than 6 years old, they need to be replaced ($3K minimum, depending on size). Same with batteries, hoses, belts, etc. Age takes its toll. Thus, in addition to the purchase price, you may need an additional $5K-$10K to cover all the needed maintenance.

As for the 8.1 Chevrolet Vortec gas engine, it will be OK if you don't plan to tow anything but a very light car. It will be marginal for power on the hills, but I don't think there are many big hills to worry about in Florida.

The coach looks clean so that's a plus. Be sure to check out every appliance to be sure all work properly, including water heater, furnace, ACs, etc. Ask the seller for service records and looks for signs of recurring problems.

It could be a fine coach if everything is up to snuff; and, a complete nightmare if it has lots of problems. Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:55 PM   #3
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Thanks, Jim. It is at a dealer, so I wonder if they have much in the way of service records - could surprise me, though.

Yeah, I figure on at least $10k for upgrades, maintenance, tires, etc.

About how long are tires good for before needing to be replaced? I usually replace my boat trailer tires every 5 years regardless of how nice they look.
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Old 09-19-2017, 08:18 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum and irv2.
Two chassis involved a Ford and a Workhorse chassis for older gas chassis.
I had a 2003 Kountry Star 3740 coach model with a bath & 1/2 full size fridge and loaded with options.
WH's were build between 2000 and 2010 and Newmar used many of them for their gas line-up during that time period.
So if you look through the brochures for gas coach's you may find the floor plan you would like.
You can check PPL, RV TRADER or just Goggle for the model your interested in for price comparisons.
The WH had a 8.1 Chev engine and Allison trans, here is a link to WH forum and a link to info for the WH chassis mods & recalls. I believe you would have the w-22 chassis under that MA.
If you go into QT's 1 & 2 and go to bottom of link you will see interior pictures of my coach and MOD's I also placed in mine.
The MACA . owners guide,is a good looking coach, the link I provided will show a recall for w-22 chassis but your pictured coach maybe on the w-24 or 25 chassis which had a better braking system that was not on the big recall for w-22.
All the likes below in my signature have answers for a Newmar you maybe interested in.
Tires if taken care of should get ten years of service mine when sold had 40,000 on the drive tires, steer tires were changed year before. That's another discussion.
Good luck in your quest.
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Old 09-19-2017, 08:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grey2112 View Post
Thanks, Jim. It is at a dealer, so I wonder if they have much in the way of service records - could surprise me, though.

Yeah, I figure on at least $10k for upgrades, maintenance, tires, etc.

About how long are tires good for before needing to be replaced? I usually replace my boat trailer tires every 5 years regardless of how nice they look.
The general rule is to replace tires every six years unless, of course, they show signs of excessive sidewall cracking or wear before that. The tires will have date codes on them so you can find their age.

A dealer may well have service records. If not, ask the dealer to contact the former owner and request them. That sometimes gets you what you need. If not, you need to do a thorough evaluation. If you are not a trained RV mechanic, it may be advisable to pay one to do an evaluation.
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Old 09-19-2017, 08:36 PM   #6
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You're on the right track looking at a Newmar. When we did research to choose a Manufacturer, Newmar kept rising to the top.

We won't take delivery until April 2018, so that's all the help I can offer.
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Old 09-19-2017, 09:43 PM   #7
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Are there for-hire MH surveyors? I know there are for boats.
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Old 09-19-2017, 10:11 PM   #8
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Condition is everything. I buy to resell and purchase all mine in the $30-50k range. Nice ones can be found that owners have actually taken care of but you usually have to look through quite a few "like new" units to find one that is actually worth buying. People can afford these units and are easy to sell if in excellent shape. Owners who keep their stuff clean fix all the things that other folks don't.
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Old 09-20-2017, 05:53 PM   #9
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I would stay away from gas. One reason is the generator, which is important to your comfort. As I've posted elsewhere, gas generators equal problems. Fuel system (carburetor) is one key area. You mentioned budget. I paid $26k for my Dutch Star DP. I drove it on a 4000 mile trip this summer. Zero problems. Did a lot of boondocking and the generator was great. Also, I agree with you that those "sammitches" and bathroom breaks were great. We only ate out once while on the road. Also great. Of course while at our destination, we went to local eateries... Anyways, I'me very happy overall with my purchase although I made a lot of mistakes, especially with a private seller who was not honest about tires, maintenance (he basically did nothing) and a rip off artist who gouged me on maintenance.... another story. But Newmar does build a quality MH and ours is really nice.
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Old 09-21-2017, 03:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I would stay away from gas. One reason is the generator, which is important to your comfort. As I've posted elsewhere, gas generators equal problems.
I have a 2008 Mountain Aire DP with a Onan 10K Diesel generator. The generator won't run for more than 2 hours. I already have $1,200 into it and what was done, did not fix it. I'll replace the fuel pump and see if that takes care of it.

Gas or diesel, either way, you can and will have problems.

That being said, if you can get diesel, get diesel.

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Old 09-23-2017, 05:01 PM   #11
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I would require maintenance records from the previous owner. The dealer should be able to contact the owner for the records. I would also ask the dealer if you can talk to the owner to see what kind of person the previous owner is was and how well it was maintained. I would also carefully look in the dark areas for paint checking.

When you see the maintenance records, you should check to see what should have been done and how often and how well everything was maintained.
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Old 09-25-2017, 05:14 PM   #12
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OK, so I went to check out the 2002 Newmar Mountain Aire today.

Everything worked, exterior looked nice, interior was nice, I liked the layout, setup, etc. Engine sounded sweet (nice and quiet).

Tires were 7 years old and in need of replacement.

Now, the bad part, or at least I think so. If I'm off let me know.

It appears that the second owner (who had it for about 9 years) drove it a LOT up north. The chassis, axles, underside, etc. had a LOT of rust. Is this normal? Or could this be an indication of a lot of road salt that was never washed/rinsed off and has taken to eating away at the metal?

I'm going to try and link the photos I took so you call can see them.


RV underside pics
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Old 09-25-2017, 05:35 PM   #13
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Wow I think I would pass. What's it like around the brakes. I would keep looking.
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Old 09-25-2017, 05:41 PM   #14
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Ouch! That's pretty bad IMHO. I believe I would pass on that coach. That rust is just going to get worse and cleaning things up is a pretty major job...and, expense.
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