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Old 02-19-2014, 11:39 AM   #1
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how old is too old?

My wife and I are planning on fulltiming starting this summer.We are presently beginning our search for a class a gasser,34-36 ft. in length.This will be our first motorhome,and we would like to start out with a used unit,and see how we like it.Would a 2007 year unit be too old to expect satisfactory use of? We are shopping with a buget of $65,000.I know there are a lot of variables to consider,but I would like to know if what I am trying to do is feasible in the minds of you seasoned travelers out there.We plan on traveling somewhere around 8,000 to 10,000 miles by the end of the year.Is that kind of life reasonable to expect out of a coach and it's systems if it were reasonably taken care of.What things should I be most concerned with? Thanks in advance for any advice and wisdom,bruc.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:55 AM   #2
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Ours is a 82 30ft. we bought 3 years ago and so far just 2 fuel filters needed to be replaced. They are out there just use good judgement sit in them for a while check out everything and if possible spend a 100 or so bucks and have a MH specialists check it our before signing on the dotted line.
Personally I have been looking @ a 2005 Southwind/Pace Arrow on Craigs list 37 footer 33,000 miles and they are asking 54,000.00 A real beauty inside and out.
Happy hunting and be sure to let us know what you pickup and some Pictures we like pictures
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:11 PM   #3
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Heavens no... We just came back from Florida and met a couple at a rest stop that just purchased a absolutely gorgeous 2005 DP with low mileage and 4 slides for 90K out the door. It had every bell and whistle you could ask for and looked like they just drove it out of the showroom. To me layout, condition and keeping within your budget is most important...the year of the coach is irrelevant to a point. FYI... to some a 2007 is considered relatively new!
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:38 PM   #4
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old is not a bad thing

I also bought a used DP. I got a very clean 2001 beaver Contessa 40' with a Cat 330 motor. Only had 31000 miles and super clean.

i have owned it 2 years and the only expensive repair was the set of tires.....and a new cooling unit for the fridge!

But when I negotiated the price the owner deducted what I thought it would be for those items...so it worked out.

I got a great coach in great shape and am happy!

If you look for used be sure to check expensive stuff: fridge...tires...generator...transmission...motor. ..and hopefully find one where the owner kept maintenance records and did regular servicing!
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:41 PM   #5
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If the RV has been well taken care of (appropriate maintenance schedules) there's plenty of life left in it. Whatever you find, have it checked out by an RV mechanic to be sure it's sound.

If you're looking at a Workhorse chassis, be sure the brake recall has been done. If it has a Norcold fridge, be sure that band-aid fix has been done as well. If the tires are original, inspect them for checking & possible replacing.

Good luck w/your search. Let us know what ya find.

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Old 02-19-2014, 12:46 PM   #6
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I have bought two gasser MHs to fulltime with. Each was 5 years old with about 30K miles at time of purchase. My first step was making sure the coach had a favorable rating from the RV Consumer Group guide. Then the normal care, maintanence, history, etc questions. There are no guarantees in life, but I feel your plan is feasible. Many have done similar to what you are planning. All the best!
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:58 PM   #7
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Hi bruc,
Floor plan sells the coach. After floor plan comes:
1. will the coach carry you, the wife and all your stuff? This is a weight and space question. One needs to know the net carrying capacity of the coach.

2. Will the coach tow what you want to tow? Take the GCWR - GVWR and see if there is enough for your towed vehicle. Check the receiver/hitch. Make sure it can handle the weight of what you want to tow.

After the above items are checked okay, then move on to the information in the previous posts.
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:23 PM   #8
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Hi bruc,
Floor plan sells the coach. After floor plan comes:
1. will the coach carry you, the wife and all your stuff? This is a weight and space question. One needs to know the net carrying capacity of the coach.

2. Will the coach tow what you want to tow? Take the GCWR - GVWR and see if there is enough for your towed vehicle. Check the receiver/hitch. Make sure it can handle the weight of what you want to tow.

After the above items are checked okay, then move on to the information in the previous posts.
X's 2.

In the year and price range you mentioned, I think you'll do very well.

If you drop older and the gasser has the F53 Ford chassis, try to be in the 2005/2006 model years or above, when Ford added the nice 5sp transmission.

If a Workhorse chassis, 8.1 engine) be sure brake recall is done.

At tha price point and I think year, Newmar still had a Moutain Aire gasser. When we were looking at gasser coaches, I felt this was one of the top quality gas coaches you find. We also liked a bit below this rig by National, the Dolphin is very good bang for your buck, and good components and construction.

Best of luck, and take your time to kick lots of tires, and sit in many coaches - to find what you two like.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:19 AM   #9
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Best money you can spend on your rv.org. Read all the material then look for the coaches that you're interested in on oodle.com. They will even send you daily up dates if you check the right boxes.
Good Luck and good hunting
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:25 AM   #10
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Would a 2007 year unit be too old to expect satisfactory use of?
Ideally no, but it all depends upon who used it We bought out 2007 39' Gasser one year ago. It had been driven less than 3,000 miles, had all the maintenance records and even had some of the original protective plastic coating still on in some places. As GaryKD said we focused on this unit because of floor plan first when we decided to full-time (this is our 6th RV) and this one works the best "for us"

Also this coach came on the W24 chassis so it was coupled with the 8.1 and 2100 Allison tranny so it is arguably one of the best gas chassis every built and the motor and tranny will outlast our intended time frame of ownership. One other thing to consider is that after the financial collapse all coach manufactueres cut back and you began to see some quality issues starting in 2008.

Quote:
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We are shopping with a buget of $65,000.
You should not have to spend anywhere near that to get a 2007 in your size range this year since we didn't went over 50K buying ours last year. (NOTE: I am the consummate bottom shopper and spent almost 11 months till we found this coach and were able to steal it away, but deals like these can be made if you have patience.)

After you buy your coach though I would suggest that you change all of the fluids so YOU know they have been done and you can start the clock ticking again. I also like to buy my own tires (rather than let he seller get them) and will inspect all rubber hoses and belts for wear. I usually will change out the batteries unless I can see dates that prove to me that they are less than a few years old. Most people don't take care of batteries and yours will probably not hold a charge very long.

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I know there are a lot of variables to consider,but I would like to know if what I am trying to do is feasible in the minds of you seasoned travelers out there.
There are tens of thousands of people full-timing with gas coaches built in the 1990's right now.

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We plan on traveling somewhere around 8,000 to 10,000 miles by the end of the year.
WOW, that's a lot of mileage for full-timers. We average between 5-6K a year and get told all the time that we are blazing through the country and need to slow down. To give you and example this what we did and plan on doing and to be honest it has gone very fast.

Year one Seattle to San Diego following the coast, then over to Las Vegas down to Quartzite and to Tucson.
Year Two Tucson to New Orleans over 3 months then head north up Natchez Trace parkway to Chicago, up to the top of Wisconsin then down to Key west, Florida to celebrate christmas and New Years
Year Three North from Florida up the east coast to Nova Scotia, then southwest in the fall with winter probably in southern Texas.

These are all 5-6K years and every time we leave a place we keep saying "we need to come back, we missed so much."

Quote:
Originally Posted by bruc View Post
Is that kind of life reasonable to expect out of a coach and it's systems if it were reasonably taken care of.
As I said earlier there are coaches that are on the road from the 1980's and 1990's. Sure systems will break down more often than a brand new coach but not as much as many people fret about.

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What things should I be most concerned with?
This is coach dependent. First I would suggest you narrow down your choice to three different coaches that fit your "mission profile". That means floor-plans that work for your and can you carry all of the stuff and tow your car (Hmmmmm that's what GaryDK said ) Then start researching those three coaches on the web and you will start to see if there are any recurring problems. Don't shy away if you find some, almost all coaches have some things but you will soon begin to learn that leaking roofs are very bad, chassis steering/handling problems that cannot be corrected with after market solutions are very bad, etc etc.

As always this JMO, YMMV.
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:25 AM   #11
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I have seen lovely RV's that were 10-20-30-more years old
And I have seen some in serious need of .. Well, Scrapping that were still in their single digits. SO "too old" is not an easy answer.. SOME RV parks have things like 10 year rules.. So if you get an older rig you can't park there, but I figure they are so busy they do not need my business anyway so I am not going to park there. (I mean why else turn away a paying customer just cause his rig is 12 years old, mine by the way is nine).

The subject line reminds me of a song: Bad Man's Blunder (Kingston Trio) This part is "Challange response"

The Judge was an old man
. TOO OLD
Ninty Three
. Entierly TOO OLD
And I didn't like the way... the jury looked at me.
. I think they were suspicious.
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Old 02-21-2014, 11:19 AM   #12
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I have been waiting for a thread like this!

23 year old 1991 40' Beaver Marquis I own & maintain. Its paid for. It gets 8 mpg towning a 6k lb jeep. It has 100k miles. 7.5k onan diesel gen has 2,500 hours.... good for 15k or more.... Cat 3176 with 12k+ lbs of torque good for 500k miles at least. Many feel old coach is trouble but to me.... this old girl is just getting broke in. Moral of story? ... OLD COACHES CAN BE VERY COOL TOO...
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Old 02-21-2014, 11:35 AM   #13
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23 year old 1991 40' Beaver Marquis I maintain. Its paid for. It gets 8 mpg towning a 6k lb jeep. It has 100k miles. 7.5k onan diesel gen has 2,500 hours.... good for 15k or more.... Cat 3176 with 12k+ lbs of torque good for 500k miles at least. Many feel old coach is trouble but to me.... this old girl is just getting broke in. Moral of story? ... OLD COACHES CAN BE VERY COOL TOO...
Attachment 56594



A great example of what proper maintenance can do for you.
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Old 02-21-2014, 11:53 AM   #14
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23 year old 1991 40' Beaver Marquis I maintain. Its paid for. It gets 8 mpg towning a 6k lb jeep. It has 100k miles. 7.5k onan diesel gen has 2,500 hours.... good for 15k or more.... Cat 3176 with 12k+ lbs of torque good for 500k miles at least. Many feel old coach is trouble but to me.... this old girl is just getting broke in. Moral of story? ... OLD COACHES CAN BE VERY COOL TOO...
That is one beautiful ride you have. I love it.
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