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Old 05-28-2012, 08:38 PM   #1
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Buying

Hi folks,
I am planing on buying a used class A unit as new ones are too rich for my blood, however my concerns are that I don't realy know what I should be looking for as I always had either travel trailers/5th wheelers around the 30 foot range.
My basic concerns are as follows, how old is too old, make/models, what features are a must, Ford versus GM, how to spot a lemon and gas power is what I believe I would choose also what sort of dollars needs to be spent for a decent reliable unit?
Any input will be appreciated.
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:06 PM   #2
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Welcome to IRV2!

LOTS of factors will play into your decision. 2 rules of thumb that I think are important...BUDGET and FLOOR PLAN.

That being said, perhaps you might give us some more info. Things like what your goals are, your family (don't forget pets) size, are you looking to full time, do you have ideas of what you like in a floor plan and so many more factors.

Spend LOTS of time looking at RVs. Take some notes because trust me, after you see a few in the same lot, they all kinda meld together in the brain.

Go to RV shows. Talk to other RVers. Find out what they like and don't like.

Class A rigs are COMPLEX machines. I've been part owner in 3 small planes and a Class A has more systems then any of them had. Look into getting educational videos, books and such to get your mind around what makes a Class A tic. I've owned mine about 6 weeks and WOW! I didn't know what I didn't know.

Keep in mind that a Class A is a potential BOAT. (Bring Out Another Thousand) Setting up one can be expensive if you don't want to haul things from home to it and back. Tools, household supplies, RV supplies and things like that can add up.

All that being said...do your homework, be prepared for surprises, deal with them safely and you may find yourself in an exciting place in your life. You will not know what you know until you get there.

Take your time, research and plan. Don't let sales people walk/talk you into something you don't want. Don't be afraid to drive a lot of RVs well before you buy.

I guess that the bottom line is what you think is decent for your needs. Find your needs and then decide what you can and are willing to pay for meeting them. I do NOT encourage buying something that you think will need to be traded later. Since you have other RV experience, I suspect you have a good idea what you want in a coach. As to Ford vs. GM. I was thinking Ford all along but wound up in a Workhorse instead. No regrets because I have a great floor plan that meets the needs of me, Sandee and our 2 GSDs. Never found a floor plan in a gas rig like mine that was based on a Ford set up. Nothing against the Ford at all.

HANG IN THERE!
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:30 PM   #3
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Well, last year I just purchased a 2002 Bounder and the main things I looked for was maintenance records, mileage (under 30,000 miles), tire wear, generator (under 250 hours), slide out, driving history, storage location (indoor or outdoor), and overall condition. Fortunately, I found one that met my criteria. Only, had to get new motor and coach batteries. It's great. It was a private sale and the sellers were more than accommodating showing me all the maintenance records. Also, get it checked by a experienced MH mechanic. I recommend the Chevy workhorse chassis for MH's 2004 and below.

Hope this helps. Good luck.
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:46 PM   #4
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Regarding generator hours...low hours are not "good". No guarantee that you have a problem but generators need to be used to stay healthy. I have an 06 generator with 1600 hours at time I bought it and every one who has touched my rig says it is running great part and parcel because it was used.

BTW...tires are much the same way. By being driven they actually stay in better shape. Most tires time out before they milage out. Tires that are driven on are often in better shape, even though the tread is more worn, than tires built on the same date that are not driven. Of course, that is not an absolute but all thing being equal is generally true.
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:45 PM   #5
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lol... mattech asks the questions that if 1 single person had the answer to... they'd be King or Queen of the used RV biz.

Condition, price, location, floor plan always factor in. Condition being the most important. A unbiased 3rd party inspection is highly recommended on coaches you narrow down through searches. What will work for you... depends on your proclivities.

I would just shop blindly and broke at first. Youll probably survey some stinky overpriced 15yr old class As before you realize how far you can stretch a buck.
Base Book values (NADA) are a good reference point.

Ebay, craigslist, PPL motorhomes, and RV trader are good places to window shop from your desktop/laptop. Get a small notebook and list the features you like as you see them on different models. Also write down year, model, and phone numbers of coaches that catch your eye. Sometimes these sit on the market for years.

I would rather overpay to a private owner than underpay for a repo/auction type rig. The former tends to be better maintained/stored than the latter.
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:32 PM   #6
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Thanks to all that so speedily responded to my questions, I have been looking at a couple of private 1999 34 foot Triple E commander's in the prise range of 29,000 with a millage of 74,000 and 52,000 km. both V10 Fords but not sure if I should not go to a later year like 03/04? I will post if I find someting. Thanks again for everones help.


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Originally Posted by mattech View Post
Hi folks,
I am planing on buying a used class A unit as new ones are too rich for my blood, however my concerns are that I don't realy know what I should be looking for as I always had either travel trailers/5th wheelers around the 30 foot range.
My basic concerns are as follows, how old is too old, make/models, what features are a must, Ford versus GM, how to spot a lemon and gas power is what I believe I would choose also what sort of dollars needs to be spent for a decent reliable unit?
Any input will be appreciated.
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