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Old 05-05-2019, 05:49 PM   #1
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Class A motorhomes on a budget (under $5k)

I wanted to start this to hear about your experiences with low cost class a motorhomes. I see post after post of people with $50k plus coaches but what about the $5k and under stuff? Have you had anything you've rebuilt, stuff you've gotten a ton of use out of or amazing deals?


I would love to see any photos or hear any stories you would like to share of great values or tons of use with little cost.
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Old 05-05-2019, 06:58 PM   #2
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First motor home was a 1984 class C Fleetwood Jamboree. It had sat for about 3-5 years. We made an offer, that was well under $5K. We put a battery in it and it fired up pretty quickly even though the gas was quite old. We had two major projects. The generator didn't work and the roof was in need of about 40 hours of work. Both projects ended very well. The tires on it were weather checked and it did need a good cleaning. It was sitting in a field so there was some mice infestation. The fuel pump went bad not long after we purchased it. Pretty easy fix as it was an external pump. Dual fuel tanks and one gauge did not work. we did not bother with that, we just kept track of the mileage for that tank.

It was a great entry level RV for us to determine whether or not we cared about camping. We've purchased 3 class A's since that one. I guess we like it.
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Old 05-05-2019, 10:07 PM   #3
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When we started shopping for our current coach, the first one we looked at was a 20 year old coach just a couple of miles from our house, it was a private party sale with an asking price of $6,900, the seller was down to $4,900 or make offer when we walked away. In the end we bought the same brand and model of coach, even the same floor plan just 5 years newer and for $21,000 over a thousand miles away from home, and I am certain I was way ahead from where I would have been if I had spent the same amount of money fixing up the or make offer coach.



The $4,900 (or less) coach was a money pit, even if it were free it would probably have cost money, the ceiling was covered with stains suggesting the roof leaked, the tires were ancient, the seller had owned it for 6 years and the tires were the same ones that were on it when he bought it, the generator did not run, the refrigerator did not work, the dash air conditioner did not work, their was significant paint peeling as well as poorly repaired mismatched body work, the automatic parking brake had been disabled so he used the leveling jack to keep the coach from rolling when paked. The list goes on and on, and that is just what I saw in a 10 minute overview there were even missing floor board from the hardwood floor in the kitchen.



About the only positive thing I can say about that coach was that it moved under its own power. Sure there may be some better $5,000 coaches out there, but in my experience the vast majority of them will be closer to what I describe above, with multiple major appliances not working, as well as major vehicle safety issues that need attention.
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Old 05-06-2019, 03:53 AM   #4
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Old 05-06-2019, 04:33 AM   #5
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I love the idea of this, but would be scared to death to do it. Envious of those that do and have a good experience.
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:08 AM   #6
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If you get a class A in that price range, you have to consider it a "handyman special". It's a money pit if you have to pay a shop for every little thing, but may be OK for a Do-It-Yourself type. Every once in awhile you will find a well-kept older coach that mostly just needs TLC. And tires and batteries...
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Old 05-07-2019, 04:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
If you get a class A in that price range, you have to consider it a "handyman special". It's a money pit if you have to pay a shop for every little thing, but may be OK for a Do-It-Yourself type. Every once in awhile you will find a well-kept older coach that mostly just needs TLC. And tires and batteries...
X2

If the budget is that tight, I would think finding a travel trailer or popup is a more realistic option.
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Old 05-07-2019, 05:11 AM   #8
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$5k for our 21ft 1988 Toyota Micromini. It got 14 mpg. We drove it to Alaska, when we got home, sold it for $7k and bought a 30ft Class A (2001 Mirada) for $8k
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Old 05-07-2019, 07:03 AM   #9
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Our first Class A was a 1978 Bendix I bought for under $5k. That was in the mid 1990's. The MH was in good shape and the gentleman that owned it took it out for a drive weekly, so everything was operational and maintained. We drove that MH all over for 5-6 years , including 2 cross country trips. I only had minor problems as you might expect on an older MH. Starter died, spark plug wires needed replacing, etc. All easily fixed myself. We sold it in 2000 when we bought a Pace Arrow. We have since seen our old Bendix in a CG in South Florida so it's still going !
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Old 05-07-2019, 12:36 PM   #10
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Bet you can get a deal on this one:


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Old 05-07-2019, 01:09 PM   #11
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A couple years ago I looked at a friends 35 class A. We were going to buy it for $18K. He wasn't ready. 9 months later I asked him about it. Anyway he sold us his 35 foot class A with slideout, leveling system, and all upgrades. 15000 miles on the 1999 and I knew the history. He gave it to us for $5K! I put on 6 new tires, new batteries, and did some upgrades. The oven had never been used. The rear furnace had never been fired. I did all maintenance to get my ground zero. Runs like a top and cleaned up very nice. We've doubled the mileage and read love the coach. We've been to several RV shows and the same question comes up. What are we gaining in buying a new coach? We love the floor plan and everything works as it should. We love having no payment! And the coach has everything we want.
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Old 05-07-2019, 01:11 PM   #12
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If you want to read an interesting thread about a cheap rv, read this one.
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Old 05-07-2019, 01:51 PM   #13
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While there are not a lot of class A or C's available in my area here are 3 under the $5K price point.


https://vermont.craigslist.org/rvs/d...876497436.html

This one definitely isn't a turn key deal but the price is not firm and if you are mechanically handy this could be a good deal.

https://vermont.craigslist.org/rvs/d...874440522.html

While this one is firm in price it is possible that it could be the one that you are looking for. Sounds like they want to sell it but they feel it is worth what they are asking. Who knows.

https://vermont.craigslist.org/rvs/d...855898396.html

This one is a clear example of why it likely will not sell. Absolutely no information but again if you are mechanically inclined and have any idea at all how to inspect a MH, it's possible that it has possibilities.

All of these are for beginners who really need a desire to work on it to get it to the point where you can find out if a better MH is what you want. If you find out you don't like camping ..... you haven't wasted a ton of cash and can likely recoup some of your expenditures. My point is that they are out there but generally not turn key ready. My class C wasn't but with minimal effort I turned a profit.
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Old 05-07-2019, 02:44 PM   #14
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[QUOTE=Mark_K5LXP;4762474]Bet you can get a deal on this one:


Didn't that get destroyed? Oops...spoiler alert!
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