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Old 04-12-2013, 07:03 PM   #1
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Diesel Pusher for $30K

For just over a year I have been window shopping used motorhomes with the goal of moving out of a stick house and into an RV full time this summer, with my wife, dog and cat.

Lots of research and budgeting has me shopping for a Diesel Pusher in the $30k range.
I have found several mid to late 1990s vintage.

Was told at an RV dealer today by salesman "I wouldn't trust a $30k motorhome" he said I need to spend at least $60k.

I realize he is a salesman and wanted me to buy what he had at the moment on the lot.

I figure any used motorhome may need some work so we bugeted money to invest into whatever we buy for tires, service, batteries,...

What do you experienced RVers think? Can I move into a decent motorhome for $30K? Or do we give up on this dream until we can save more.


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Old 04-12-2013, 07:13 PM   #2
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You should find several mid to late 90's diesel pushers in that range that would be in good condition. Just don't expect slides, newer coaches, etc. I would look for individual owners as you can save lots from buying from a dealer but of course no warranty.

Inspect tires for older date codes as you could easily sink another 3 to 4 grand into a new set of tires.

Check maintenance records and drive vehicle before purchase. If possible, get someone who is familiar with motor homes, preferably a diesel pusher to look at it with you.

Good luck.....burfurd

2012 Tiffin Phaeton 36QSH Diesel Pusher, TireTraker TPMS
'08 Honda CRV Protect-a-Tow
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:14 PM   #3
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Hi Mike,

You can find some older diesel units in the price range you are looking for. Check out PPL Motor Homes. They have a lot of consignments and they will give you an idea what the prices are.

Used RVs, Motorhomes for Sale, and Consigned sales - PPL Motor Homes

Good luck and happy hunting,

Jon & Sue Francis (Retired U.S.A.F.)
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06 Allegro 35TSA Workhorse Chassis
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:35 PM   #4
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I would follow Cranky Ape. They have repos and such. Prices I have seen are great. They show lots of pics and disclose deficiencies up front. You may even be close to one of their locations.

Crankyape.com Bank repo rvs, motorcycles, snowmobiles, atvs, boats, trucks, trailers, go karts, jet skis, sleds, fourwheelers, trailers, motorhomes, rvs.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:39 PM   #5
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We bought a 1998 Dutch Star w/ 3126 Caterpillar last year. It had 78,000 miles and is in decent shape. It has some cosmetic wear consistent with it's age but is in excellent mechanical shape and all the major systems work fine, which was my prime consideration. After putting 2 new tires on it, changing fluids, filters and belts I probably have just over $ 30K in it. We've driven it around 6,000 miles since, including a winter in Mexico and haven't had so much as a hiccup. I'd drive it anywhere confidently. Oh, the washer/dryer unit needs repair but we'll probably just haul it out and replace it as it is the original.

I'd say buy a quality unit that has good bones. If you can overlook some cosmetic issues that don't affect it's use you can find a good one in that price range. After 15 years there are likely things in the house portion that will need updating but you can do that at your leisure and to your own taste. I've spoken with people at campgrounds who traded into newer rigs after owning the same as the one we have and they've told me "they don't make them like that anymore"

Save the extra money for fuel and travel
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2003 Honda Element
" Don't let the same dog bite you twice "
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:43 PM   #6
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If you look around you can find a really good unit, but be prepared to spend some $$$ to bring up to spec as mentioned above.

I have a '95 and will drive it anywhere. But it did take some initial investment and it always has a running "to do" list. That said, I would suspect the same cautions apply for any used motorhome, whether the initial cost was $30K, $60K or more.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:31 PM   #7
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Go to rv.org and buy their product it will give you a lot of great information on how to buy, how to inspect, how to deal with sales people. it also rates mh over the years. It will be the best money you spend on your motorhome.
good luck and happy hunting
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:04 PM   #8
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If you are planning on full-timing, be prepared to spend more than you thought. I just remodeled inside, and once you start, you never know what you'll find. You'll want to do something with 15 year old furniture. You'll want to change out old carpet. Camping is one thing, but living with it everyday will make you want your own stuff. Once you start removing stuff, you may be surprised what you have to do. I just remodeled, and here is the list.
Interior including flooring, repairs, furniture, $4000, tires-$2000, complete maintenance including all filters, fluids, $1100. That's $7100, and I haven't addressed the house system yet, probably about $500.
But, now its like new inside, and runs like new.
Just expect to spend $10,000, and if you dont , consider it a bonus.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:50 PM   #9
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I agree with "all of the above". It's doable, just be careful. Then enjoy....
Travel well, travel safe,
2006 Tiffin Phaeton - 2011 Cadillac SRX
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:17 AM   #10
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I built my "RV" and I trust it more than anything else I currently have/drive.
Mine is a 94 F-700 with a 12V 5.9 Cummins. the main reason I like it is that there NO computer to make it quit or even cause concern. The computers seem to be on all diesels by about 1998.
I have $7500 in it right now. That price includes $2000 for New tires.
(RVM#26) THE U-RV 94 F-700/24 foot U-haul box home built RV
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:20 AM   #11
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BE careful what you buy we paid 35K for a 98 beaver patriot , that looks great in and out but had several things that did not work when we got it . seemed to be small things but they add up fast. I now have another 12K in it and still working. hopefully a few hundred more will have it where we can live with it. things like new tires, new brakes, new water heater and furnace, and of course the usual , I changed all the filters and fluids. it only needs new shocks and upgraded entertainment center then maybe ???
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:38 AM   #12
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Since we can't be trusted to edit our own messages I'll add this:

A bad vehicle is a bad vehicle no matter the price.
sometimes the most expensive vehicle/home is the one that free.
(RVM#26) THE U-RV 94 F-700/24 foot U-haul box home built RV
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:05 AM   #13
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1996-1998 Monaco Dynastys can be bought for $20 to 25K and are an excellent MH. with dollars left over for whatever. Having both Cat and Cummins I prefer the Cummins engines--parts are cheaper and service techs. more available. A side radiator has its negative and positive aspects but on most of the above mentioned, if not all, the generator slides out the front on a tray for access. Some of the shorter models use LP Gen. which I would avoid in you case. If you can find one with all the manuals and the at least the last 10 years of maintenance records, chances are you can make a wise decision regarding the purchase or not of said coach. The maintenance on such a coach is going to be higher than a gasser but floor plan is also very important for you. 60k vice 30k can still leave you with problems and money to spend. Good luck. Do a lot of research and looking.
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:08 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Davdeb1 View Post
Just expect to spend $10,000, and if you dont , consider it a bonus.
Dave is absolutely correct! Been there done that!

Clay & Pebble.. Miss Butter our sweet Goldie (Jan. 2005-Jan. 2015) Sissy our Border Collie
2012 Providence 42 M. Spartan Chassis, 450 ISL
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