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Old 08-13-2014, 11:22 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by TQ60 View Post
Dont rebuild...buy better first and focus on life instead of home repairs
+ 1.
your primary goal is still focusing career building. do not spend too much time on it. you have a life time to learn and do it. as only as you have a right career path, and striving for it, those rv thing will come your way.

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Old 08-13-2014, 12:10 PM   #16
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Wow! Thanks everyone for the awesome advice!
Question: What's worn out on a $10-15k 15-20y/o motorhome? I doubt the drivetrain since it only has 50,000mi. Would it leak or delaminate? Is the interior just be worn out (which would be a non-issue)?
I'd love to have a new model, but the bargain basement ones still cost $60k and the livable ones start at $100k. Trailers are much cheaper, but suffer the same floorplan issues.

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Old 08-13-2014, 12:42 PM   #17
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First off lay out about $150 at rv.org and read ALL of the material. This will give you a good knowledge base. Then figure out what kind of units you are looking for. Then go to oodle.com to find what you're looking for. I would suggest that you look for some older model Foretravel or Country Coach. These were well built units made for full timing. Then think carefully about remodeling before you tear into it. A MH is a complicated piece of equipment that had all the systems of a home and all the headaches that go with it along with and old vehicle. So choose wisely grasshopper and good luck.
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Old 08-13-2014, 02:31 PM   #18
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an1...Asking what might be worn out on an RV is too big to answer... You might find a gem that has been fully maintained all the way to the model I bought for a few thousand and refurbished... where I started on the roof and am not finished with it yet. A motorhome is much more complex than a 5th Wheel or Trailer....it has a full drive train to include in the package. But you described gutting and restoring to your specs.... Hmmmmm.... wait until you find the first barrier.... door size. Many of us remove the front window to remove and install our appliances (true) Some times you can take a big side window out...but you will learn. Product and wiring is more complex in the motorhome due to space constraint.... trailers and 5th wheels gut right down to a tube like structure....motorhomes ..... not quite that easy.
Look up the topic TINY HOME.....and review some of the You Tube stuff on that topic ...it might drive you in a new thought. I have been thinking of building up one of the Tiny Home designs just to see if I can make one happen and then use it as a guest home on my property. They are very interesting and beautiful.
Craig Gosselin
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:22 AM   #19
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Everything can and will break. I have been lucky in that only one item has broken at a time on my new-to-me coach. Have someone with experience look it over with you and test EVERYTHING. Make no assumptions.
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Old 08-14-2014, 11:40 AM   #20
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What about a "tiny house" kit. They can be built on trailers...I've seen some created from cargo containers. You choose your floor plan. You can move it anywhere. I would not go the road of a motorhome...but a tiny home perhaps and you can buy your own plans and kits and build it yourself. Here are some of the many websites. Good luck!

Courses in Tiny home building: https://yestermorrow.org/tinyhouse?g...L6AaAl_18P8HAQ

These guys are expensive for already built units...but they have everything in between:Tumbleweed Tiny House Company - Welcome to our website !
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Old 08-14-2014, 01:40 PM   #21
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We are doing the same thing to the Coach we bought a month ago. Just remember the door size is small.
I did a dumb thing and cut out the water valves, donít ask, and now Iím working on having running water again with the help of the other good people on this site.
Take plenty of pictures before and after you remove things so you know how to put them back together.
Iíll post a few pics of a few of things we did so far.
All LED lighting
32" Flat screen by the driver and a 20" in the bedroom
Lounge Furniture
All new kitchen and bath faucets
Air adjustable bed
New dinning set
New drawer/cabinet pulls
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Old 08-14-2014, 05:50 PM   #22
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Yes you can do the work. There is nothing you can't research, learn about, repair or replace on a 10-15 year old gasser.

Have fun and good luck!
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Old 08-14-2014, 07:39 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by an1m3n00b View Post
As a 20y/o looking to move out after college I looked at some housing options and I didn't like what I saw. Apartments that allow pets are practically nonexistent in some areas. In other areas the rent is way too high. Real Estate ownership is way too expensive, complicated and risky not to mention PERMANENT. This got me thinking, why not RV? I don't plan on staying in one place for the next 5-10 years, I'd rather move around and find out where I want to be.

So I'm considering buying an RV that's 15-20 years old that has a good chassis, exterior and drivetrain (class A, 0-1 slides, 30'+) and stripping the interior . I plan to make the interior more livable like a "real" house, so I'm going to be replacing most or all of the RV appliances and furniture with household ones. a 32" shower and induction cooktop for example. The main reason I plan on rebuilding though, is that every floorplan i've looked at sucked for my purposes. There's never any open space, entertainment centers that are decent (not a 20" TV 8' away from a perpendicular sofa) or workspace of any kind. This makes sense in a smaller RV, but larger RVs have the same basic design, but with more beds! While I'm at the rebuild I'm also thinking about replacing all wear items, tires, fluids, roof etc, so that I'll have trouble-free use for the next 5-10 years I expect to live in it. I might even repaint the outside to give it a more modern look.

So I guess my question is twofold: Is this at all practical financially? I'm giving myself an estimated budget of $30,000, of which $10-15k will be for the RV itself. Second, is this feasible for me personally, I've never undertaken any project of even remotely this scale before, but I don't see any particular reason this won't work; it should just take a long time and a lot of effort.
I have been redoing. '93 georgie boy 30' class a... bought it off craigs list for 3K... Im handy and have engineering education... i loomed it over... checked engine and trans.. and knew what i was getting into... i have spent 2k into it witb tires.. Its the day of the net.. i find parts... alot oem and fix modify and pimp out our rv.. no slides but it looks very close to a new higher end rv without slides.. take your time do your reasearch.. and do it yourself... u can do so much for a lot less.. i even change my own oil.. the usual price and start at $200 & go up.. i do mine for $40
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:08 PM   #24
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Personally I would look for a older high end unit with no slides lots of decent diesels out there for around 20k. Advantage is better cabinets and much better chassis so all you have to do is update wiring for new TV's and electronics. Then work on the interior to get what you want. Mid to late 90's units with no slides or even just one slide are all over find one with no water damage and go from there. Just remember the best you will likely do is not lose all your money on the deal.
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:14 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by 1mainiac View Post
Just remember the best you will likely do is not lose all your money on the deal.

Agree. not a good way for a 20 y/o to start out, buy a condo or cheap house and fix it up - it will appreciate in value, not depreciate....all IMO as an MBA with financial planning experience.

Good Luck.
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Old 08-14-2014, 11:30 PM   #26
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I appreciate the advice, but there's a couple things I should mention:

I don't know where I want to live. Thus buying a house would be idiotic.

99% of the houses on the market are way too big and expensive. I'm 1 guy and his cat. If I'm lucky I'll find my special someone. That's it. I don't want kids anytime remotely soon (if ever.)

In my mind housing is an expense, not an investment. Land is an investment. Land appreciates. Houses do not. Look at mobile homes for evidence.

The travel trailer or Tiny house thing is looking more and more practical the more I look into it. I might be better served living in a cheap TT and spend my effort on building a house/tiny house of my own design, with my own 2 hands.

Still, I can think of lots of reasons a motorhome would be more practical. No need to rent or own a truck, easy to tow my car/motorcycle behind it, I can leave very quickly in an emergency, motorhome insurance is way cheaper than truck insurance, etc. Out of curiosity is it possible for an individual to buy a MH chassis and build their own from scratch, or do you need all kinds of licenses for that? Not for now, for future reference, you know dream (motor)home.
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Old 08-15-2014, 06:14 AM   #27
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an1... There are many box truck conversions and city bus conversions to RV. I work for a city bus company...and we sell off our older buses on GOVT auction sites...there you can find a big BOX Truck or a big covered trailer....and do a start from scratch project. The words of wisdom that others have shared with you I will summarize...the best intensions are going to get scrambled in any effort you make. Life steps in your way. Find a fully functional living space (MH, TT or what ever) Live in it...do you CAD experiments by dreaming better use of the space.....shop parts....make plans....gather resources....and if everything in life capsizes....and you cannot get the effort of a tear down completed....at least you have a living space and are sleeping ...showering....eating and are warm and or cool....
Another thought to send your way...find a decent but not lavish TT to live in....start your adventure. Then get a second that is abused and needs restoration. Tear the second one apart (like I do with my parts RV). It will make no different how long it takes you to perform your restoration ... you will be free to cut, scrap, design and free think any changes on the gutted chassis that you might dream. If you get disgusted...or decide it is of no value...you are still with functional home and need not worry.
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1995 Fleetwood 30H (parts vehicle)
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Old 08-15-2014, 07:37 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by an1m3n00b View Post
so that I'll have trouble-free use for the next 5-10 years I expect to live in it.

Reality check...there is a good reason that most products come with a "12 month limited warranty". Whether it's a boat or RV, whether it's old or new, it needs fixing.

You will want something well insulated to limit your heating/cooling costs. A simple test of the insulation is to close the windows and vents, turn up the stereo, step outside and close the door. What you hear or don't hear is a pretty good indication of how much insulation the structure has. If you want to get more scientific about it, smart phones have decibel sound level apps.

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