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Old 10-22-2011, 03:45 PM   #1
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First Timers, Shopping for a Used RV

HI,

We just started looking at RV's in the past couple of weeks. Our hope is to find a nice used model RV for under $10,000. Looking around online, that seems to indicate that we are going to be looking into the early to mid 90's range (Class A), if we're going to go with a 29-33 foot model. The reason we're saying under 10K is that going any higher pretty much means having to go with some sort of financing, and from what I've seen, lenders don't seem to want to finance much before 2007, which means a lot more cash outlay, and higher payments than we want. Even at $10K we're probably going to have to get some sort of personal loan.
Are there any models that are generally good to look at, or to stay away from? What sort of issues besides leaks and tires should we look for in an older model?

Thanks

J&P
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Old 10-22-2011, 04:12 PM   #2
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In that price range, the only thing that matters is condition.
Tires? How old r they? check the DOT code on the sidewall. 6 tires for a class A will set you back $2000 or more.
Refrigerator? works on propane and A/C? Gets cold enough to freeze ice cream?
Engine, drivetrain, suspension, brakes? Moves the rig down the road without making too many funny noises?

Water. This is the biggy. Ant sign of leaks or water damage, run away. any stains on the walls or cieling, any funny bumps on the outside.

My first moho was a 99 gasser that cost me $32k. It took another $8000 in the first season to get it into useable condition.
While I know many do it, it's hard to imagine a motohome on a $10k budget.
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Old 10-22-2011, 06:36 PM   #3
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Hi keishik,
Welcome to iRV2. JimM68 said it all. The only thing I can add is to look for a private sale where the owner has died or poor health requires them to sell. These are the jewels waiting for some new love. You'll not find these at a dealer or on the Internet. Newspaper classified adds, estate sales and for sale signs along the side of the road is where these coaches are found. If you have 55+ communities in your area stop and ask the management about coaches for sale. Look at the bulletin board for coaches for sale.

What you want will take quite a bit of leg work on your part.
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Old 10-22-2011, 06:38 PM   #4
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the $10,000.00 budget is doable but don't expect to find one the first week. i searched for nine mos before i found mine.

tires, batteries and appliances will be the biggie to make sure they are up to snuff.
and leaks in roof.
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:39 PM   #5
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Old 10-22-2011, 10:40 PM   #6
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Plenty of good ones in your price range. IMO, stick with ones that have 4 speed (including the overdrive) transmissions and fuel injection to avoid some engine headaches.

As others have said, condition is everything. Buy nothing that has any water damage, and look for units that have already had new fridges and a/c units installed at some point. And make sure tires and brakes are in good shape.

But from what I've seen, not every motorhome in your price range is good, but enough are that it shouldn't be hard to find one.

Steve
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Old 10-23-2011, 12:13 AM   #7
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Old 10-23-2011, 06:32 AM   #8
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I bought my 95 Brave (27' and 61,000 miles) just over a year ago. The exterior is perfect, the interior is the same. I checked it all over and we bought it. 700 miles from home on our first trip, the engine blew and it cost me $7,100 to get a new engine put in it. We now have a 95 that is in great shape. It's just one of those things. You may get one that runs forever or one that has some problems. Just expect to keep fixing things. I hope you can find something that will fit your needs. We really enjoy or motorhome.
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:13 AM   #9
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I bought a $10,000 dollar motor home. It ran good for a couple of years. After that, I needed repairs every time I took it out. After I spend as much on repairs as I did on the purchase, I figured that if I was making a monthly payment, I may as well get something that would get me where I am going. It went from the repair shop to the trade in lot.

On your budget, you'll be getting a gas chassis. The rule of thumb I was given is that since everything on the chassis is maxed out, take the mileage and double it. That's the wear and tear.

Make sure the generator runs for a couple of hours under full load. Brakes and tires can set you back quite a bit. Rebuilding transmissions is not unknown.

These are the things you can't see. Pay attention to the things you can. With the vintage you'll be seeing, it may be worth your while to have it professionally inspected.


Good luck.
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:42 PM   #10
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Hi J&P,

Our experience is so recent it may not be of much value to you, but here it is. Four months ago we bought a 26' 1998 Winnebago Itasca Sunrise for $7,900. We were looking specifically for Winnebago because one of their construction features is a wrap over fibreglass roof. There are only two seams running from side to side, one in front and one in back. The reason we wanted this feature is that the fifth wheel we had before this had a rubber roof that deteriorated badly and we didn't catch it in time to prevent major damage. Motorhomes with this design are easy to spot - the roof edges are rounded over; not square. Hopefully we were correct in our selection of fibreglass over rubber. Only time will tell. Hope this helps.

Art
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Old 10-24-2011, 02:00 AM   #11
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RV's, boats, planes: the cheap ones are usually the most expensive.

Keep in mind that no matter how many thousands of dollars you put into an old coach, it won't be worth any more when you go to sell it. It will only be older...
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Old 10-24-2011, 04:06 AM   #12
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Check Craigs List, they lots of private sellers and sometimes you can find a deal. I recomend you get a fixer uper. Get one for $7000 and put some work and $3000 into it or something like that. At $10K, I wouldn't look for everything perfect but you would be surprised how nice you can make one with a little investment and work
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Old 10-25-2011, 01:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keishik View Post
HI,

We just started looking at RV's in the past couple of weeks. Our hope is to find a nice used model RV for under $10,000. Looking around online, that seems to indicate that we are going to be looking into the early to mid 90's range (Class A), if we're going to go with a 29-33 foot model. The reason we're saying under 10K is that going any higher pretty much means having to go with some sort of financing, and from what I've seen, lenders don't seem to want to finance much before 2007, which means a lot more cash outlay, and higher payments than we want. Even at $10K we're probably going to have to get some sort of personal loan.
Are there any models that are generally good to look at, or to stay away from? What sort of issues besides leaks and tires should we look for in an older model?

Thanks

J&P
Try BofA online or your credit union. The cost of money is rediculously cheap and you will be suprised at your options.
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Old 10-25-2011, 08:05 AM   #14
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I second craigslist. We bought a Class A 1998 Rexhall for $10,000 (only 26,000 miles) through craigslist from a private seller. Had to buy 4 new tires ($600) and new auxiliary batteries, but everything works with no leaks. I have to admit we lucked out, because we didn't know what we were doing and what to really look for as first-time rver's. It's been a little bit of a challenge learning how everything works because the sellers didn't really tell us a lot, but we've slowly figured it out and are enjoying it. Good luck.
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