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Old 02-14-2016, 07:04 AM   #15
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Some of us enjoy and get much pride out of restoring a vintage machine to its former glory, some of us view it as an unnecessary hassle and you'll get opposing advice from both camps. My advice is that if you're looking at it too save money you should probably pass, if you enjoy restorations, are handy with a strong mechanical aptitude and tools and are looking for a challenge then go for it. However, there is all types of mold, it'd be a good idea to have the mold problem analyzed by a laboratory to determine if the mold the unit has is particularly dangerous or not.

BTW I'm a life-long shade tree mechanic and my full-time home-on-wheels is 1994 33' class A HR that, while it ran good, was a neglected/abused disaster when I bought it. I paid $3,500 for it and have since invested over $6,000, including a rebuilt engine. Nearly every dime is for parts with me supplying the labor. The original good running engine lasted 5,500 miles before it developed a rod knock. If you buy the Wanderlodge be prepared!


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Old 02-14-2016, 07:13 AM   #16
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We really appreciate everyones input. We don't have a large shop to do a lot of work in so we're leaning towards passing on this one.

It's sort of like buying an older used airplane for cheap. The repairs and updates will bring the cost closer to that of a new (or newer) plane, but resale won't recoup the investments of new interior, new gauges, new motor, etc.

Looks like the best bang for our buck will be a TT to pull behind the truck.

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Old 02-14-2016, 07:23 AM   #17
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The fact the gennie and AC have been pulled would kill the deal for me without another thought. Otherwise, having several large projects on this scale behind me already, it would be about price, current condition, how bad I wanted one (with an eye on what it might be worth when done to prevent too large a loss), and last but certainly not least, a place where I could work on it conveniently. The number of hours spent on something like this will demand that it be very convenient to eventually become a successful project! Driving an hour each way to get to it a recipe for disaster....

Yes, very much like a plane with a timed out engine and bad paint....
1997 37' HR Endeavor, 275hp Cat, Freightliner
03 CR-V Blue Ox, Ready Brake
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Old 02-14-2016, 07:35 AM   #18
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Check out the Wanderlodge Owners Group at Wanderlodge Owners Group - Powered by vBulletin

Lots of good advice and tips and you might find one in better condition for a reasonable price.

Owning one is sorta like joining a cult.
Ron & Peggy Carter
2004 M380 BB Wanderlodge (sold); 2010 Enclave (sold)
Punta Gorda, FL
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Old 02-14-2016, 08:14 AM   #19
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I LOVE restorations, and I am equipped to do them (tools and experience). I also have room to do them. I've been tinkering with cars, motorcycles, boats, and airplanes my whole live (I'll be 61 this year).

So when wife announced that she would like to have an RV (and since we have dogs, and were tired of kennels, or cheap hotels that accept them), I decided to restore one. I didn't know ANYTHING about RVs at that point (short six months ago!). I knew I want Class A though. Zeroed in on 1991 Bounder. Everything was operational, but the inside was in the sad shape (PO was taking two teenaged sons offroading in AZ desert (RV was FILTHY inside!).

I paid 5K for it (new tires on it, new batteries, and mechanically sound with 65K miles on the clock). I spent two months gutting it out, and replacing the interior. Material cost was 6K, labor was "free".

After the first 2500 mile trip, I realized that I want diesel (preferably a bus, not a "plastic" one!), and I want it longer than 34'. I also decided that I will NOT buy a "junker", and go through all the remodel again (too much work, although it turned out beautiful). I sold that Bounder to a friend for 11K (got all my money back, except the labor). Had a 15K offer from a stranger (which would somewhat compensate for at least a little of my time), but friends are friends, and I gave it away for 11K. My friend is not well off, and I figured I learned a LOT during this remodel (every school costs money!), and that's that.

So,.......IF you take this road......make sure THIS IS what you want (need), and be prepared for a LOT of work (if you can do it yourself, or a lot of money if you have to pay for everything). IF (down the road) you realize you need something "bigger, faster, more torque...etc.", you will lose all the labor costs (paid out or yours), AND some equipment/parts costs. Nobody will buy MH without the generator/AC, and nobody will pay YOU extra for putting it in there, for example (and that goes for tires, batteries, refrigerator,..........you get the picture).

There ARE deals out there. One has to look, pick, and throw offers at them (you NEVER know what the sellers bottom line/situation is). I paid 19K less for my 40' diesel, than the seller was asking for.

In any case,.......if the motorhome of my dreams shows up without A/C and/or generator, I'd be looking elsewhere.

Now I have 40' diesel which will serve me well for couple of years. My next one is a vintage Prevost.
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Old 02-14-2016, 05:48 PM   #20
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Same, exact thing happened to me. Bought an old gasser, spent a lot of time and money fixing it up, only to decide that it was not for us. Loved the MH concept, but the gasser was lacking in too many areas. We decided on a DP with slide out, bought an older one, and had to do a second restoration....

"After the first 2500 mile trip, I realized that I want diesel (preferably a bus, not a "plastic" one!), and I want it longer than 34'."
1997 37' HR Endeavor, 275hp Cat, Freightliner
03 CR-V Blue Ox, Ready Brake
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Old 02-14-2016, 06:38 PM   #21
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I would pass. Sounds as if it has had a hard life plus it is nearly 40 years old. Odds are there are lots wrong with it that you can't see...then there's the mold...
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Old 02-15-2016, 08:09 AM   #22
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1970 Bluebird Wanderlodge

This example might be worth pursuing. The fact that the wheels have been updated is huge, and as the coach is fabricated from galvanized steel, rust is rarely an issue. Restored one similar myself that was in much worse condition. Seller might make a deal, but I wouldn't consider purchase with out a close personal inspection, then talk price with cash in your hand in the sellers face.
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Old 02-15-2016, 08:18 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Ernie Ekberg View Post

A perfect response from a man who really knows Bluebirds.
2004 Newmar MADP 4018, 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee
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Old 02-15-2016, 10:24 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Drilldoc View Post

A perfect response from a man who really knows Bluebirds.

Drilldoc-bet you are a dentist?
Terry & Alice
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2012 GMC Terrain
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Old 02-15-2016, 10:41 AM   #25
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Check out the threads:

Total Rebuild

RV fire and the RV that just wanted some love

Both have posted videos of their work. The RV fire thread is pertinent as it deals with rebuilding a MH.

Gordon and Janet
Tour 42QD/inTech Stacker
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