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Old 07-08-2016, 07:29 AM   #15
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If your interested I have a nice 97 Class A for sale 2 owner 21K original miles and rust free. I'm in So Cal. Message me for more details. Its in your price point

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Old 07-08-2016, 09:11 AM   #16
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You need to get something new enough to (if a gasser) have fuel injection, even if only throttle body fuel injection like the Fords of the early '90's.

You really would want a '96 or newer as it will be an OBD II type for testing and troubleshooting of the engine. Prior to that it becomes more of a crapshoot when it breaks, as to whether someone can fix it or not without spending lots of money on unneeded parts.


2007 Winnebago View 523H, 2006 Dodge (Daimler-Chrysler aka Mercedes) Sprinter 3500 chassis. Bought Sept 2015 with 18K miles, Prog Ind HW30C, Prog Dynamics PD4645, Chill Grille, Fanstatic Fan Ultrabreeze, PML/Yourcovers.com deep alum trans pan, Roadmaster sway bar
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Old 07-08-2016, 01:52 PM   #17
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I agree with previous posters that your two main challenges are the price point and the fact that you don't have anyone to make up the difference with sweat equity.

It's not impossible to find what you're looking for, but you're not going to get a super-nice Class A that doesn't need upgrades or maintenance for that kind of money, unless you happen into a freak deal.

One of the problems with older machinery is that it's old. Hoses/belts/filters/fluids/tires/suspension/brakes/U-joints/shocks the list goes on, and that's just mechanical safety.

All of the appliances, interior fabrics and surfaces, plumbing, generator, televisions, and so forth will be old and potentially need replacement or repair.

From an exterior standpoint your #1 concern is WATER. Everything else I listed above is fixable - water leak damage is almost always infeasibly expensive/difficult to remediate.

As a frame of reference - I bought a 1997 a few months ago that was in remarkable shape, all things considered. I paid $13,500. I'm now in it over $35,000, I *did all the work myself* and there was no water leak damage to repair.

You have the age-old decision in that you can pick two attributes: quality/condition, price, features.
Brad Felmey
1998 Newmar Dutch Star M-3883 DP (Freightliner)
Soon to be full-time (est. late 2016)
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Old 07-08-2016, 03:42 PM   #18
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Everything I can think of has been said already except for one:

Consider the seller. I almost always buy privately from people who have obviously take care of things they own. I look at their other vehicles, their house and yard, and get a sense of them as a person. When I sell something I tell people everything I know of that is wrong with it and I expect the same in return. If I don't think they'll do that, I walk.

I just bought a 9 year old, one-owner MH from a fellow who, from his personality and the look of the rest of his possessions, wouldn't be able to stand having something that didn't work. I haven't been disappointed.
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Old 07-09-2016, 06:20 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by shelle007 View Post
We are selling our TT soon and looking to buy a used motorhome and our budget is pretty tight. We hope to spend 15,000 to 20,000 tops. We are finding some we kind of like that are late 80's to 90's models but I'm a bit worried they might become money pits.

I'm concerned about things like refrigerator. A/C and other appliance failures and issues with the motor and transmission, roof leaks ect . We hope to buy from a dealer because hopefully they at least look it over mechanically but we are seeing some good deals pop up from private sellers.

So how old is too old to be looking at? My husband is disabled and I'm pretty much not physically able to do a lot of work on anything we get.
Though there are some pretty nice coaches in the age and price range you mention, there are twice or 3 times as many that have one foot in the scrap yard. It's been my experience those that do best with finding one of the good ones almost always do the majority of their own work. If everything that needs to be done must be hired out, these coaches probably WILL be a money pit.

One of the bigger reasons for this is that it may take somebody used to doing their own work to be qualified enough to do a proper inspection. I would NOT trust a dealer's inspection. They are there to sell you a coach - not show you the imperfections - no matter what they tell you.

One of the biggest issues with coaches this age is water intrusion. That single problem sends more RV's to the scrap yard than all others combined. Once that process has started, especially on a coach this age, it's very difficult to fully stop it. At best, generally the best you can hope for is to slow it down. This in mind, when you see damage and are told it's been repaired, I would seriously doubt it. Unfortunately, by time you find that out, you own the problem.

Bottom line, from the info you've given, this doesn't sound like a very good plan. You may be OK for a few months if you're really careful, but longer term, I think you're looking at a disaster.
1997 37' HR Endeavor, 275hp Cat, Freightliner
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Old 07-09-2016, 10:14 AM   #20
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Certainly do not want to discourage anyone looking to buy an older motorhome. But the reality, as ahicks pointed out, most of us who bought an older coach planned on doing fixes, replacements and upgrades ourselves. Cream puff and babied motorhomes are out there but finding them is a challenge. Strongly suggest seeking the help of someone who is a savvy buyer to assist with the purchase, and paying for an independent PPI (Pre-Purchased Inspection).
Tim & Ruth
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Old 07-10-2016, 01:48 PM   #21
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Have you found one yet...

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