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Old 08-07-2015, 08:24 AM   #1
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How high is too high

I am looking for a used class A gasser and would like to have an opinion survey as to what your cut off point on mileage would be. I have seen some nice rigs with 50+ mileage and the price reflects the higher mileage. I am a car guy and aircraft mechanic but no RV experience and don't know these motors in the class A's.
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Old 08-07-2015, 08:29 AM   #2
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Maintenance records and condition are more important than age and miles! Would you rather have a aircraft engine with low hours, no maintenance records and dirty oil, or one closer to TBO, regular oil analysis, and complete logbook and maintenance records? Also, do not forget to consider transmission. Do an oil analysis if you have questions!
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Old 08-07-2015, 09:23 AM   #3
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I think if you are looking at roughly post-year 2000 rigs that up to 100k is OK as far as mechanical considerations re concerned. A modern gas engine runs 200k miles, and even ahard working tranny should be good for over 100k. Maintenance makes a huge difference, though.

The house wear & tear depends large on the time it was actually used plus care in sotrage (sun fading, dried out foam rubber, etc.). Use your eyeballs to determine that. RV appliances should easily last 15 years unless abused.
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Old 08-07-2015, 10:40 AM   #4
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Like you said the price is reflected in the 50k plus rigs. With most rv's having less than 50k selling one with higher miles is very tough unless you are VERY low on price. I wouldn't worry so much about maintainence records on a lower mile vehicle, if the unit was well kept the maintenance was more than likely done. After all there really isn't much more to do on a low mile gasser than to change the oil every 3k and maybe a air filter every 12-20k. I buy in the 10-15 year old market and am usually looking for something in the 25-35k mile range. Would never even consider anything above 45k and with those miles the condition would have to be excellent and the price would have to be a very good deal. I buy with the intent to resale either at the end of the season or if I really like the rig might keep it for 2 seasons. Then I'm looking to sell for a profit and high milers are just not sellers.
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Old 08-07-2015, 10:58 AM   #5
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These thing TANK in value. I bought mine, 1 year old w/ 7k miles, for $40k under purchase price. That's about a 30% drop in price. If you're looking at 50k mile rigs, it had better be really good on price and care.
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Old 08-07-2015, 11:41 AM   #6
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The new V10s can reliably keep running for up to about 300,000 miles with regular and consistent oil changes, fluids maintenance, and worn out parts replaced. That being said, any used RV for sale with a V10 with over about 20,000 miles I would have the compression checked, and the engine diagnosed to by a trained mechanic. They are good strong engines, and will last up to about 300k miles, but they need their regular oil changes. If not maintained they can very quickly degrade, especially if it was driven hard. A good diagnosis might be able to hear loose/worn bearings, valve train knocks, and telltale leaks indicating abuse.

Keep in mind that for an F53 gasser you can completely replace the engine for about $10,000. And a tranny for about $5,000.

It's not like the world of the Diesel Pushers where you are potentially confronted with a $20,000 bill for an unexpected emergency repair. The entire drivetrain on a gasser does not cost as much!

With that in mind, if you find a wonderful motorhome deal with high mileage, just put in a new engine, and start it's life all over again.
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Old 08-07-2015, 01:28 PM   #7
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The new V10s can reliably keep running for up to about 300,000 miles with regular and consistent oil changes, fluids maintenance, and worn out parts replaced. That being said, any used RV for sale with a V10 with over about 20,000 miles I would have the compression checked, and the engine diagnosed to by a trained mechanic.
I am hoping you forgot to put on a 0 to your 20,000 miles.
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Old 08-07-2015, 02:04 PM   #8
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Isn't "a really good price" subject to the buyer. If I can afford a $900 per month payment for an acceptable time frame, isn't that a really good price and the same goes for $123 a month. Very few people buy RV's with zero knowledge. I, also purchase in the 10-15 by ear old range. With this one we have invested about $3000 into it with a large part of that being tires which I was totally aware of. Most of the rest was upgrades we wanted. A conscious buyer will get the major systems examined or will accept the consequences. Mileage is an issue that has a large variable. If I purchase a 2 year old vehicle with 8K miles on it and put another 50K miles on it in 5 years, chances are much of that is highway miles. To adamantly condemn a purchase because of variables that are truly unknown doesn't always make sense. My recommendation is and always will be to have a mobile RV repair person, who is qualified, check out all the systems. Have a trusted mechanic examine the engine and chassis. I have to believe there are 5 year old vehicles with 70K miles on them that are just fine and I also believe there are 15 year old rigs with 13K miles that are fine. There are coaches straight out of the factory that are lemons.

Far to many variables to make a good call with so little info.
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Old 08-07-2015, 04:07 PM   #9
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Well an offer I made came true and I now own a 1998 Coachman, Mirada Chevy 34 ft and 60k miles for $10.5. It has new rubber and owner assures me all systems work and regular maintenance has been done. I still have to examine and accept but for the price I should get my money's worth for an entry level unit. I should be in it Sunday if all goes well. Next question is where am I going next weekend on a shakedown cruise.
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Old 08-08-2015, 07:40 AM   #10
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Just a note: Plan on spending a couple of hours inspecting. Make sure it is hooked up to shore power, and filled with water, better yet, hook up the power and water yourself and familiarize yourself with the procedure. Check to see if you have hot water. Hopefully you do not. I say this because the next step I would do is turn on the ELECTRIC hot water heater, and go on with the inspection. after about 30 minutes or so, go BACK to the water and check to see that you have hot water. If you do run it for awhile, and THEN and ONLY then turn on the propane hot water switch and check to see that it comes on, runs with a clean blue flame, and does not go out. Only by doing it in that order will you ensure that BOTH the electric and propane portions of the hot water heater work.

Check EVERY electrical receptical. Run water from EVERY outlet, including the outside shower if equipped, disconnect from shore power and run the generator with everything on for a while (gas tank must be above 1/4 tank for it to run).

Check ALL lights, inside and out.

The owner states that all maintenance has been done, have him back that up with receipts and records.

Before you go to check it out, run the VIN through the federal database for recalls. Ask him about any that may show as not being completed. (the online records may not be complete).

Good luck with your purchase!
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Old 08-08-2015, 10:48 AM   #11
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Very few people buy RV's with zero knowledge.
That certainly has not been my observation! Far too many people go look at a snazzy-looking trailer or motorhome, fall in lust and take it home. Then they wonder why the a/c doesn't work when not plugged in, or why they can only take a couple of showers before the tanks fill up.
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Old 08-08-2015, 10:53 AM   #12
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The main reason for pricing on higher mileage rigs is the perception of buyers, many of whom have been brought up to suspect anything with wheels that has more than 50k miles. That has hardly been relevant for the past 15-20 years, but the perception remains. A knowledgeable buyer can take advantage of that and get a better price by reluctantly accepting a higher mileage vehicle while making a big deal of the terrible "high mileage". Of course, you should inspect everything carefully, regardless of mileage.
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Old 08-08-2015, 03:13 PM   #13
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A different view

I've worked on a few Motorhomes and have found that older Motorhomes with low miles seem to have more issues than the higher mileage well used rigs. Rusty brake lines and general lack of maintenance cause the most problems. People who actually use their Motorhomes for the most part take better care of them. Just my two cents.
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Old 08-09-2015, 11:57 AM   #14
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I've worked on a few Motorhomes and have found that older Motorhomes with low miles seem to have more issues than the higher mileage well used rigs. Rusty brake lines and general lack of maintenance cause the most problems. People who actually use their Motorhomes for the most part take better care of them. Just my two cents.

DITTO1 We have 40,000 miles on our 2011 Challenger and we are meticulous when it comes to scheduled maintenance. The Ford V-10 is a really good platform with plenty of power and carefree operation.

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