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Old 02-23-2012, 11:31 AM   #29
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Hi Jim,

We plan on looking at the 93 first because that's in the same town we live in so it's easier. I'm going to look at the 1985 on Saturday which is about 4.5 hrs from home. The 1993 isn't listed anywhere yet so I'm confident that I can look and if I'm unsure I can go to the 1985 on Sat and if I don't like it, come back and get the 1993. But I may just skip the trip on Sat all together if it looks as nice as the one pictured.

As far as maintenance, I know he picked it up fairly cheep and rebuilt the motor himself and put a bunch of other work into it.

As a side note, I ruled out the 1989 after getting some more interior pictures. The linoleum in the kitchen is coming up badly as you can see here. This concerns me because it must have either gotten wet or it's just been neglected. And in either case I don't want it.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:09 PM   #30
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Definitely looks like they had a leak of some kind that ruined the floor. Perhaps from the bathroom. I'd avoid that one too.

A rebuilt engine is something I would consider very important...in the year I spent researching before I finally decided on a diesel, I keep reading experts saying that gas engines in motorhomes were generally undersized from the factory, and if the maintenance wasn't excellent they would die beginning around 77,000 miles. Main reason I went with diesel.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:47 PM   #31
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Some good money saving & engine repair advice, run fast as you can from any carbed 460 Ford motorhome.
The old carbed 460s were bad on gas, had about a kazillion vacumm hoses that would break, leak & cause the engine to run lean & then ruin the cylinder heads.
In 1990 the 460 Ford went to F/I which was a great improvement over the carbed version, but still needed more help.
Ol 460 Ford engine is a tuff engine, plenty of power & torque, but it is those small things like heads, exhaust manifolds, vacumm lines that are their downfall.

Anything your looking at, 10 years old is what most will stop at & anything older than that, needs to be a VERY VERY good price, because you will be doing some repair work.
You'll be suprized as well, that after you buy something & once you get it home, how many lies the people that owned it before looked at you straight faced & told you. There are those people out there & then some just simply forget of the problem they had or still have on the unit.
Just keep in mind, 10 years old, real cheap if older & a lot of work later for you to get it like you want it, or newer than 10 years & cost you more & you still need to check the newer one out just as close.
Neil
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:35 PM   #32
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Hi Static,

I do not know if you are still considering the Southwind, but as others have stated, it is not a good sign that they have let the step go (and not even checked into the issue). I agree that there is a strong possibility that they have let other things 'go' and you will inherit the repair.

I shopped, every single day, for 14 months before I found my Class A. She is a 1990, tires only two years old (with receipts), coach and engine batteries just a year old (with receipts). Very lovingly cared for by the previous two owners (I did not count someone who inherited it and then sold it).

The owner, who bought it new, was amazing with their documentation. He kept everything in a huge binder. Have everything in it to include all manuals and the original sales sticker.

It is a basement unit with 139 cu. ft. of storage (the inside also has a huge amount as well). Having the basement is a wonderful addition that most coaches, of that era, did not have. While it does not have slides, it is laid out well. Yes, I would have liked slides but could never have found one for the price I got this coach for.

That is not to say that it did not need things done to it. I had two items that needed work to fix (hot water heater and furnace rebuilt $500 for both) and then I had things I wanted added or needed and had that done at the same time.

One was a full length awning; a necessity, for me. Great to have in sunny summertime days and for rainy ones as it gives you’re an entire ‘outdoor’ room to use.

I have two more changes that I will be making but she is darn near perfect now.

As with anything previously owned, you run the risk of getting someone else's problem but with enough research, you can narrow down that risk considerably.

I have attached two files that helped me a great deal when shopping. For me, it took the "wow, this is so great" feeling out and made me look at the details, not the cosmetic. I am glad to have them as they pointed out areas that I would have overlooked and when I did inspect, found issues too expensive for me to continue to consider the coach further.

I know one says "new MH" but what I liked is the explanations for why it should work, not just a check box. The other list gave me more items to consider than the first. I hope that they can help you in your inspections.

Sheila

New MH Checklist.pdf

Changin' Gears - RV Inspection Checklist.pdf
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:33 AM   #33
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Just out of curiosity, what sort of price range are these units that you are looking at. Based on their condition at what else is on the market, I would suggest $10K max.

A very good resource is the website RVtrader.com ... you are able to search by RV type, size, year, brand etc. I used this along with the RVTrader magazine over several years before we finally landed on the perfect unit.

It is worth while to wait for the one that you really want. There is next to no resale market on older units ... especially those without all of the bells and whistles ie slides, air ride suspension etc.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:42 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C-Leigh Racing View Post
Some good money saving & engine repair advice, run fast as you can from any carbed 460 Ford motorhome.
The old carbed 460s were bad on gas, had about a kazillion vacumm hoses that would break, leak & cause the engine to run lean & then ruin the cylinder heads.
In 1990 the 460 Ford went to F/I which was a great improvement over the carbed version, but still needed more help.
Ol 460 Ford engine is a tuff engine, plenty of power & torque, but it is those small things like heads, exhaust manifolds, vacumm lines that are their downfall.

Anything your looking at, 10 years old is what most will stop at & anything older than that, needs to be a VERY VERY good price, because you will be doing some repair work.
You'll be suprized as well, that after you buy something & once you get it home, how many lies the people that owned it before looked at you straight faced & told you. There are those people out there & then some just simply forget of the problem they had or still have on the unit.
Just keep in mind, 10 years old, real cheap if older & a lot of work later for you to get it like you want it, or newer than 10 years & cost you more & you still need to check the newer one out just as close.
Neil

^^100% correct^^

I worked as a mechanic from 1987 to 1997 and the 460's were horrible to work on. Vacuum lines crumbled apart after a few short years, exhaust manifold leaks along with broken studs, valve cover gasket leaks, oil pan leaks. I could go on and on. Not that I am a chevy, dodge, ford or any kind of fan of any manufacture. Personally I would stick to a Chevy engine for the years of the 80's and 90's. If you need replacement parts (new or used) they will be more plentiful and less expensive.
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:32 AM   #35
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Here is my list of things you need to check out however Senior Chief's list might be more complete.

Engine, Brakes, Transmission, Exhaust System
Generator - how many hours on it? Does it work? What kind is it? How many Watts?
Tire age- don't forget to check the spare tire (you usually get one spare that fits the front)
Roof condition- older rigs can develop leaks or seal problems, check the seals around the ACs and Vents
Propane tank- size? leaks?
Waste Water Tanks: Black/Grey, what sizes are they? are they clean? leaks?
Fresh Water Tank: size? clean? leaks?
Batteries: Engine battery: age? Coach batteries: find out if they are 6 volt or 12 volt, (2) 6 volt is best
Inverter: Does it work? Is it "true sine"? if not you might not want to plug sensitive equipment like computers in
Water pump: Make sure it works
Fridge - Does it work on both gas and electric? RV fridges are expensive to replace!
Stove and Oven- Gas ones rarely go bad, they work forever!
Hot Water Heater: make sure it works, what size is the hot water tank (6 gal, most likely)
Toilet condition
Tub and Shower condition
Sinks: any plumbing leaks?
Lights- head lights, running lights, coach lights, etc.
Shocks: condition, does it have air bag shocks?
Leveling jacks: Does it come with them?
Heater and Furnace in working condition?
Battery charger: Does it work? can you hear it running when plugged in?
Air Conditioners --Do they work? how about the dash one?
Microwave oven working?
Radio and TVs work?
Check the exterior for any damage (sun, weathering, dents, etc)
Check the windows for any cracks, they can be expensive to replace!
Check the towing hitch for any damage
Check door frames and door for any damage and make sure they close and lock properly
Check basement storage compartments for any damage
Check the floor for any rot
Check the Fluid Monitor Panel and make sure it works. You should be able to check the level of the fresh water tank, Grey water, black water, and propane tanks on a meter in the coach
Check out any other electrical equipment like back up cameras or GPS systems if they have been added

I'm sure I have forgotten something but more than likely you will need to put some time and effort into some of the things I have listed here. Consider that you will have to invest some money into a fixer-upper, check out similar coaches and what they are selling for (not asking prices but selling prices) , check the black book for RV values and then make an offer.

Good luck
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:02 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by albertatim View Post
Just out of curiosity, what sort of price range are these units that you are looking at. Based on their condition at what else is on the market, I would suggest $10K max.

A very good resource is the website RVtrader.com ... you are able to search by RV type, size, year, brand etc. I used this along with the RVTrader magazine over several years before we finally landed on the perfect unit.

It is worth while to wait for the one that you really want. There is next to no resale market on older units ... especially those without all of the bells and whistles ie slides, air ride suspension etc.
All of the RVs pictured are between 5,000 and 6,000 but the 1993 they are asking 9,500.
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:11 AM   #37
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I didn't get any pictures but we looked at the 1993 today. It needs some TLC inside. The recliner arm rests are worn pretty bad and a couple of mirrors are cracked inside.

On the exterior, the awning needs to be replaced, the dome for the satellite dish has a hole (I'd remove this and seal it because I don't care about TV) and one of the basements doors is missing. It's a small door near the rear wheel on the passenger side.

On the plus side it's a deluxe edition so it has hydraulic leveling jacks, heated electric side mirrors, a washer/dryer combo, tile counter tops, outside shower, a queen bed in the back and best of all, he replaced the motor. I thought it was rebuilt but he told me that he replaced it with a brand new motor last summer and hasn't put many miles on it at all since then.

I know it needs a little work but it all seems to be cosmetic. Which I can live with if I can get a mechanically sound rig for a good price.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:12 PM   #38
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I guess we cannot say it enough. Have an expert look at it. $9500 for a 93 isn't a bad price ... providing it is in good shape. If you go on eBay and look you'll see 93's for far less. That doesn't mean much to me since I would travel many, many miles to pick up an RV that I haven't seen other than pictures. I also find that the NADA book is extremely low. It is a good tool to argue with for a lower price. I actually got a guy to drop over $3000 for a 96 Winnebago but we didn't get it because of the layout. A 93 will undoubtedly need some roof work. Examine the edges and seams very closely. They are generally easily repaired but ... what has happened before you got it. Look at your ceilings very carefully. Look in the cabinets all along the edges of the MH. That is a place where leaking will show up and often people do not look closely in there. make sure to look in your fuse panel. Have there been any wires cut, added or just a mess in general ?? Take your time. They are only going to become more plentiful at a lower price due to the rising cost of fuel.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:34 PM   #39
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I'd agree with $9500 being on the high side in this economy. Even with a new engine (a DEFINITE plus) I'd think $7500 is more realistic.

Understand, you WILL have issues cropping up, maybe very expensive ones, that the owners didn't know about or didn't tell you about.

Its just the way it is with older motor homes. Its extremely common, maybe the norm to spend an amount equal to or greater than the purchase price in the first year in repairs and upgrades.

That's the reason '80s and early to mid 90s RV are cheap
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:08 PM   #40
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Don't forget to check for seat belts. I've been surprised while shopping that some manufacturers did not put belts at all seating positions. With four kids plus two adults you may run up short on some coaches.

You can search for 'seat belts' on these forums and see some discussions about the wisdom and liability of installing additional ones-it is definitely an individual decision-and from what I've seen you'll have to do the work yourself because no one wants the liability of installing a safety restraint.

Best by far to find a motorhome with enough factory installed belts and seating positions for all friends and family that will be riding along.

-wb
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:03 PM   #41
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Been there.When looking at the older motorhomes you really need to set them up in camping mode.That would include travel to a camping site. Go through each and every component .If that is not acceptable with the owner move on to the next unit.There are a lot of great coaches out there and finding them is a bit more time consuming than a used car.
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:40 PM   #42
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To RAMBLIN I think you should shop somewhere else if you're paying $600 each for tires. Are you serious?
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