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Old 04-16-2016, 12:32 AM   #1
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Mom looking to Buy an RV. Have pictures. Is this a good buy? HELP

I found a Bounder Model 32H and I just spent a few hours looking over it carefully. I plan to have an inspector check it out tomorrow but I don't know the right questions to ask and to make sure are covered.

Also a few questions I have are:

Is this roof in OK condition or will i need to replace it? I attached a photo.


There is a switch that changes the air conditioner from the front to the back but I couldn't get both to run at the same time. Do you think this is fixable? It says it should work in the manual. Would I look at the generator or the battery as the problem?? Ill post a pic of the generator .

I noticed that she has it set up to have the AUX battery on when she starts the RV and the regular battery turned off. Is this a tip off to something important?

Right now the stairs don't go up and down. How hard is that to fix?

The striping is cracked. How hard is that to redo or what would the cost be to have it redone?

I also posted pics of the inner workings. Does anything stand out? I'm sure the inspector will cover most things but I don't want to waste money on an inspector if you guys can warn me away.

Is the generator a good generator? (in photo)
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Old 04-16-2016, 01:11 AM   #2
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"I noticed that she has it set up to have the AUX battery on when she starts the RV and the regular battery turned off. Is this a tip off to something important?"

"Right now the stairs don't go up and down. How hard is that to fix?"

Those two problems are related. The battery that starts the engine also powers the steps. It sounds like the engine battery is bad or there are bad connections. The engine alternator could be bad and not charging the battery. So you need to find out what the problem is with that.

The Onan 7000 is a good generator and should run both air conditioners at the same time. Were you trying to run the air conditioners while the generator was running or were you plugged into shore power?

If you weren't plugged into 30 or 50 amp shore power then both air conditioners won't run at the same time.

The roof looks like they have repaired it a few times. Any signs of leaks inside?

You need to know how old the tires are, doesn't matter that they look good. if they are 10 years old they need to be replaced.

What year is the RV and how many miles? Are there any maintenance records? Do you know if it a Ford or Chevy engine?

A word of caution...RV's can be very expensive to fix. If in California it will need to pass a smog test.

How much are they asking?
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Old 04-16-2016, 02:14 AM   #3
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Her husband just died and it was his. It is a 1994 and she is asking $7000. I looks like it has been sitting for awhile so I assume I will have to replace tires, fuel pumps, belts and possibly breaks. And would I need to rebuild the carburetor on the generator?

The RV was not plugged in. I just had the engine running and the generator running. There was a switch in the wall that would switch the power from the front air conditioner to the back one. A few times I made the switch the generator cut out. I wondered if someone had changed something along the way. I couldn't get them both to stay on at the same time.

I didn't see any leaks. I carefully inspected the walls and roof and they look like they are in really good condition. With the repairs already done one the roof would we need to do anymore? I walked up there and it felt sturdy.

In general inside it was in good condition. There were some cosmetic things where the laminate edging was pealing, cracked or broken but I figured I could easily fix that. The carpets and the upholstery looked fine.

I got the microwave to work. The fridge did not get cold but I don't think there was propane in the tank and I didnt know if the fridge used propane. For the same reason I could not test the cook top.

It looked like the weather stripping could be replaced a few places. The blinds and windows were all in good condition except the front privacy one was a little tattered. Im not to worried about cosmetics. I am more concerned that the engine, batteries, generator, air conditioner etc all work and that there is not going to be some major expense that I didn't think of.

Thank you for responding! I am really grateful for the help!
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Old 04-16-2016, 02:43 AM   #4
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The refrigerator will take about 12 to 24 hours to get cold.

I can't tell you about the other stuff as it would be just guessing on my part.

The inspector should be able to answer those questions.

Have you priced similar RV's online? I don't know if that is a good price or not.

What state are you in? What are your state's smog and safety inspection laws?

At 25 years there will be some wear and tear and I agree with you they are cosmetic and can be redone.

Are you planning on driving it long distances...1,000 miles or more on trips? Be aware a break down a thousand miles from home isn't fun...I've been there.
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Old 04-16-2016, 03:34 AM   #5
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inspector, inspector, inspector...............get yourself a good one and have them go over the unit top to bottom testing all systems..........download a copy of the owners manual and read it cover to cover, several times while the unit is in for inspection..................with a coach that old, you never want to be surprised...............I would imagine it will take several thousand dollars to get it the unit into shape (tires, etc.).............good luck with this one
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Old 04-16-2016, 04:36 AM   #6
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If the fridge is bad it's at least a $1400 replacement. The fridge in ours operated on LP or electric. I had a 94 Bounder 32H. It served us well. As mentioned get a reputable inspector to go over the entire unit. As far as the striping being cracked they would need to be removed and re-installed. $$$$$ to have it done. If you do remove them I would have them painted on rather than having the vinyl ones re-installed. The electrical service on our 32H was only a 30 amp service. We could not run both a/c units at the same time. Our generator was only a 5500 watt unit. The one your looking at has a 7000 so I suspect it should operate both a/c's at the same time. Take your time and don't rush into a purchase. There are plenty of coaches out there for sale. Good luck and hope you find the one that is right for you and the family.
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Old 04-16-2016, 05:19 AM   #7
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I have to admit I admire your courage in going forward with your ideas, you seem to be on the right track instead of just jumping into the unknown.
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Old 04-16-2016, 09:35 AM   #8
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I agree with the others in regard to hiring a good inspector. Both AC units should be able to run with the generator so I'm not sure why they don't. It sounds like you did run each, independently, and did they operate appropriately? I also agree that the battery set up may be causing the step issue. Personally, I would ask the owner to plug the RV into the house , if possible, so you can see all of the electrical units, including the converter, but primarily to see if the refrigerator will get cold. it should be a gas/elec unit and this way, you can at least see if it works on the elec. the other poster is correct that if the refrigerator needs to be replaced, that is an expensive fix. In regard to the price, I think it's a little high. At least here in Colorado. If it were mint and everything working and all maintenance was recently done, then maybe so but it doesn't sound like that's the case. Based on your description, in my opinion it should be priced somewhere between $5500-6000. Your probably going to spend between $2K-3K to bring it up to speed, assuming you need to put new tires on it. I don't know if you are a mechanic but if you need to have a shop do some of the maintenance ( fuel filter/lines, pump maybe, tune up, other fluids and filters, wheel bearing pack, brakes, etc. etc. ) That's my opinion only but I've owned and restored vehicles and RV's as a hobby for years and it is always something and usually not cheap. Good luck and keep us posted of your decision!
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Old 04-16-2016, 10:01 AM   #9
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I have to admit I admire your courage in going forward with your ideas, you seem to be on the right track instead of just jumping into the unknown.
Look, it's a 1994 and $7000. The chances (even in great shape) of it continuing on for 1-2 years without any issues are near zero. Just be aware of that before you jump into it... It's going to be relatively maintenance intensive. This is a case where I'd probably look at spending 2x-3x that, but you'd be faced with a lot fewer maintenance and reliability issues. I realize that's not everyone's budget, but that RV will not be low cost of ownership unless you're just parking it...
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Old 04-16-2016, 10:04 AM   #10
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if possible, so you can see all of the electrical units, including the converter, but primarily to see if the refrigerator will get cold. it should be a gas/elec unit and this way, you can at least see if it works on the elec. the other poster is correct that if the refrigerator needs to be replaced, that is an expensive fix. In regard to the price, I think it's a little high. At least here in Colorado.
Well I only stated what it cost to replace ours. The fridge alone was $1200 + tax and if you think they'll remove and re-install it for free you're sadly mistaken. We had it done at Camping World which I know is a bit on the high side but when you're one day out from leaving on a trip and the fridge goes out and they're the only one to have what you need to fit the opening I guess your a bit stuck. But really they got it done and that's what was important so I don't think the price was bad at all. Check the price on a DM2652 Dometic, they are not cheap.
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Old 04-16-2016, 10:17 AM   #11
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Genny should support both ac but only one works.

Open genny hatch and look for a pair of breakers.

One is likely tripped.

Roof is rubber and has been repaired a few times.

A couple thousand to replace or a few hundred to recoat.

We did a friends with liquid rubber and cost was maybe 600 but he is a real good friend and his money...lots of work.

Cooling unit on fridge is maybe 600 or hunt craigs list for a used one...sometimes you get lucky.

Consider roof toast regardless as you should recoat maybe liquid rubber and we did post the process and it was a Southwind so similar unit.

So in addition to tires batteries and general stuff add another 1500 for roof and possible stupid stuff.

Converter is not battery friendly but will be fine for weekend or vacation use as long as when stored converter is off.

We also made and posted a "switch cord" for controlling converter in same unit.
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Old 04-16-2016, 10:27 AM   #12
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Check the age of the tires! 7 years in warm climates, maybe 10 max in cold one's.
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Old 04-16-2016, 10:45 AM   #13
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I hope you get a really good inspector! There's a lot of things there that could run into really big bucks to fix! Don't jump into anything without getting all the questions answered!
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Old 04-16-2016, 11:13 AM   #14
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Check the age of the tires. Their "birth week and year" is coded on the sidewall next to the DOT stamping. That code is only visible on one side of the tire, so you may have to look behind the tire to see it. There is a relief oval in the sidewall with 4 numbers in it. The first two digits are the week of manufacture and the second two digits are the year. An example would be 1811, which means the tires were made during the 18th week of 2011. Look carefully for sidewall cracking. Look a little above the steel rim around the circumference of the tire for cracking. The cracking can be minor or major and either would signal a replacement is needed.

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