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Old 11-26-2010, 09:49 PM   #1
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Looking at a 1998 Georgie Boy Cruise Master

We were thinking of selling our 1988 Travelmaster 32' Class A in the spring and using the money to something newer with a slide. Then this week I found a motorhome for sale and I need some advice.

The woman is selling because her husband recently died and can't make the payments. The bank is probably going to put the motorhome in auction next week if she doesn't sell it. As far as I know, I am the only one looking at it.

I won't be able to sell my current motorhome until spring, so cash is tight right now.

It is a 1998 Georgie Boy Cruisemaster with 89,000 miles on it. It is 35' with one slide. They were the original owners. I looked at it today, but wasn't able to drive it yet. It looks in fairly good shape, but it has definitely seen it's use. The date code on the front tires is 05, the rears are 04. It has been stored in a garage.

They claim it has been well maintained, but they are still looking for the maintenance records.

They are asking $13,000 for it, and I am wondering if this is a good deal. She still owes $22,000 on her loan. NADA list low retail as $14,000.

Any opinions?

-Joe
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Old 11-26-2010, 10:38 PM   #2
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They are asking $13,000 for it, and I am wondering if this is a good deal. She still owes $22,000 on her loan. NADA list low retail as $14,000.
Joe, It looks like a good deal for you if you are buying and a bad deal for her is she's selling and still owes that much money on the rig. That is a lot of miles but if it looks good to you and you know what you like, I'd say if this is an opportunity that you would like to take ... go for it.
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Old 11-26-2010, 10:50 PM   #3
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Hi Joe,
Welcome to IRV2!
It looks like you are looking at a gasser Georgie Boy model # M-3515
Do you know what chassis, drive train it has?
Does it have any add ons or upgrades?
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Old 11-26-2010, 11:12 PM   #4
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The owners son said he thought it had a 454, but all the similar RV I've found online have Ford 460's.

I wish they could have found the maintenance records. The Dad died, and his wife didn't know much about the specifics. Her son showed us the RV, but didn't know much more about it. She said one of her other sons did the maintenance the past couple of years. She gave me his number so I will try to find more from him.

They haven't taken it on any trips for almost 3 years, but they have taken it out for short drives during that time. It has been stored in a garage.

I don't know what would be upgrades. It did have a backup camera and bigfoot levelers. We couldn't get the generator door open, so I don't what is there.

I don't have much time to make up my mind. I will talk to her banker on Monday about the situation. If it seems doable, I will make another trip and take a closer look at it.

-Joe

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Hi Joe,
Welcome to IRV2!
It looks like you are looking at a gasser Georgie Boy model # M-3515
Do you know what chassis, drive train it has?
Does it have any add ons or upgrades?
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Old 11-27-2010, 12:02 AM   #5
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Joe,
I have seen other m-3515 models on the internet with chevy chassis. If it is indeed a Chevy P-30 chassis, I would be concerned with the GVWR. The P-30 maxed out at 16,000, the Ford F-53 is 17,000 GVWR. With a coach that is 35 1/2' long with a slide, you are going to be very close to the max GVWR of a P-30 without any cargo and without filling tanks.
By add ons I meant air bags, sway bars, engine mods, etc.
Joe, if your coach suites your needs for now, don't rush into buying this one just because it is a newer model with a slide. I spent a long time looking for a pre-owned coach that was within my budget and it had to met my criteria. Even then I knew I would have to spend around 25% of the purchase price on repairs and updates. When purchasing a coach that has not been used recently there can be many unknowns that can add $$$ fast. Service history is a must.
I also found a coach I liked under a similar situation. The husband had died, the wife knew nothing, and the son was trying to sell it for her. It too was missing the maintenance records. It was priced right, but had not been driven and maintained in years. I went over it with a checklist I downloaded from the internet. I soon added up over $5,000 in repairs it needed ASAP! And that was not including the hidden things that pop up. I was later so glad I had passed on that one!
My advice to you is, take your time in picking out a pre-owned RV. There's lots of them out there, and it is a buyers market.
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Old 11-27-2010, 08:29 AM   #6
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I noticed the key had GM on it, so it probably did have a p-30 chassis. Would that be a deal killer in my case? I don't have to buy a RV now, but I don't want to pass on a good deal.

-Joe

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Joe,
I have seen other m-3515 models on the internet with chevy chassis. If it is indeed a Chevy P-30 chassis, I would be concerned with the GVWR. The P-30 maxed out at 16,000, the Ford F-53 is 17,000 GVWR. With a coach that is 35 1/2' long with a slide, you are going to be very close to the max GVWR of a P-30 without any cargo and without filling tanks.
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Old 11-27-2010, 02:30 PM   #7
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If you went over the MH with a thorough check list and found very little wrong it seems like an ok deal as long as you know what you are getting into. Sounds like you already know tires will need replacement soon, so that needs to be factored in. The lack of maintenance history would be a deal killer for me, but if you are convinced it has been well taken care of, go for it.
If you are not all that mechanically minded, I would recommend to have a shop check it out for you. The mileage being near 90k would concern me, especially wear and tear on running gear and brake system. This is a big heavy MH and will stress the chassis/drivetrain to its limits. It's not quite the same as if a car had 90k on it.
Good luck with whatever you decide,

John
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Old 11-27-2010, 07:43 PM   #8
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If it has already had the common P series suspension upgrades done then it gets a strong yes. Can't beat that price even with ordinary stuff like old tires to buy and brakes to rebuild and wheel seals to repack and fluids and filters and hoses , (oh my!).

But if it hasn't had the upgrades done then it probably hasn't had the other stock suspension work done either. This stuff adds up fast (deduct $5K?) Then there are the appliances and the (nearly inevitable) water damage issues to fix too on any older rig.
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:13 PM   #9
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Hi John,

We have decided against buying it and your advice was really useful.

I am curious why a manufacturer would build a motorhome that was so close to the weight limits of the chassis? Would a 32' RV with a slide have similar issues on a P-30?

I mostly want to know for when we get serious about looking again in the spring.

Thanks.

-Joe


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Originally Posted by Wanabee FTer View Post
If you went over the MH with a thorough check list and found very little wrong it seems like an ok deal as long as you know what you are getting into. Sounds like you already know tires will need replacement soon, so that needs to be factored in. The lack of maintenance history would be a deal killer for me, but if you are convinced it has been well taken care of, go for it.
If you are not all that mechanically minded, I would recommend to have a shop check it out for you. The mileage being near 90k would concern me, especially wear and tear on running gear and brake system. This is a big heavy MH and will stress the chassis/drivetrain to its limits. It's not quite the same as if a car had 90k on it.
Good luck with whatever you decide,

John
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
I am curious why a manufacturer would build a motorhome that was so close to the weight limits of the chassis? Would a 32' RV with a slide have similar issues on a P-30?
Hi Joe,
Back then there just weren't many choices for a large Gas RV.
Did the P-30 you looked at have a tag axle? That is the only way they could get around the GVWR weight limitation issue.
If I knew more about GVWR before I bought my MH, I would have looked for a '99 or newer F-53 Ford chassis with GVWR up to 22,000 lbs. But my budget was very tight so I did the best I could. (I didn't want to make any payments) Also the price seems to jump up about 10K between the '97 and '99 Ford chassis.
My F-53 GVWR is 17,000 lbs. I had my coach weighed wet (Tanks full) unloaded @15,500 lbs , so I have enough room for appx 1500 lbs of cargo (including people)
I also added Ride-Rite air bags in the rear so I don't have to worry too much about running the coach near it's rated GVWR. My front axle is rated at 6,000 lbs, rear 11,000 lbs, but in theory the rear should now be able to handle 12,000 lbs, but I won't go over it's 11,000 lb limit. The other nice thing about the '99 and up F-53 is the larger wheels and tires can handle much more weight.
Even with what I know now, and with my budget constraints, I am happy with what I have.
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:41 PM   #11
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When we looked at the motorhome yesterday, the wife couldn't find any of the records (other than the title) for the RV. Would these types of upgrade have been made after the original purchase, or might they have been added when manufactured?

Would it be easy to tell what upgrades had been done visually?

As I mentioned, we had decided against buying the RV, but they are pretty desperate to sell. If they came back with an even lower offer we might reconsider. But only if they find the maintenance records and the suspension had been upgraded.

-Joe

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If it has already had the common P series suspension upgrades done then it gets a strong yes. Can't beat that price even with ordinary stuff like old tires to buy and brakes to rebuild and wheel seals to repack and fluids and filters and hoses , (oh my!).

But if it hasn't had the upgrades done then it probably hasn't had the other stock suspension work done either. This stuff adds up fast (deduct $5K?) Then there are the appliances and the (nearly inevitable) water damage issues to fix too on any older rig.
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:45 PM   #12
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It didn't have a tag axle. There a lot of tag axle RV's for sale, but then that means another set of tires and more expense. But from what you are saying, for an older motorhome with a slide it might be the best way to go?

Also, how many tires are on the tag- 2 or 4?

-Joe

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Hi Joe,
Back then there just weren't many choices for a large Gas RV.
Did the P-30 you looked at have a tag axle? That is the only way they could get around the GVWR weight limitation issue.
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Old 11-28-2010, 12:36 AM   #13
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Joe,
In my first post reply I asked if it had any upgrades or add ons.
Suspension wise items like front and rear air bags, safety steer, etc will improve the ride and handling of a 35' MH on a P-30 chassis.
*Edit; these are considered after market add ons.
Since it does not have a tag axle, I would be concerned about the tail wagging the dog due to the long over hang behind the rear wheels. This has a lot to do with weight placement but I would recommend to check the wheel base to length ratio before buying any unit. To do this divide the wheelbase length (in inches) by the overall length (in inches). This gives you a percentage. Anything over 50% is "OK" generally speaking.
Tag axles are usually added on by the coach builder to help solve tail wag issues, and to allow extra weight to be built on the rear of the chassis. I also agree, it is an extra expense and maintenance item. The other coach I liked had a tag axle (2 extra wheels/tires behind the drive axle) but who wants to buy eight tires when you need to replace the set.
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Old 11-28-2010, 12:59 PM   #14
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Stock suspension work would be any work that is needed to restore the factory original suspension system back to original specifications. ie, replace springs with HD springs, replace worn bushings, replace worn tie rod ends, etc.
Upgrades would be adding after market items to improve the original factory suspension and ride. ie, A larger sway bar, add air bags to suspension, install steer safe to help with sway control and steering wander, adding Koni shocks to improve ride etc.
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