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Old 07-31-2013, 01:35 PM   #1
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Newbie looking for RV

Hi All!
Looking to start RVing. My wife & I are in our late 60's and are starting to look at Class A RV's. We are limited to what we can spend. We have $17000 and really don't want to finance. So, that puts us in the used catagory of late 90's to early 2000's. Some of the ones we've seen are:

1997 Winnebago Brave, 31' 80k emmaculate new fridge, newer tires & batteries, everything works. Ask $17900

2002 Winnebago Sightseer, 27' 44k very nice interior, wood floors. The only issue is there is no couch just a dinette. Would probably want to put in a sleeper couch (don't know cost). It has one slide. Ask $18000

2000 Surfside, 31' 53k wood floor. haven't seen this coach yet. No slide. Ask $11000

Although I am partial to the Winnebago name, I'm open to suggestions.


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Old 07-31-2013, 01:54 PM   #2
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Those all sound like good candidates. I suggest the following:

1) Rule out any unit that has not been used for the last couple of years.
2) Pick the one that has been used the most regularily and has the most maintenance performed.

Most people let an RV sit for 3 yrs and then try to sell it. These units will have alot about to go wrong with them when you start using them again.

Many people have no idea how to maintain a unit. Talk to the owners and see what they do on a regular basis. If all the units are on dealer lots then see if there are any records with it. If no records then look for upgrades and replaced items. Bring a creeper with you to go underneath. Have the shocks been replaced? Suspension upgrades? Is the roof AC original? An on top of it owner will have replaced the smoke detectors, CO detectors and LP detector after 10 yrs so if you find one with newer versions of those items you probably have someone who knows their RVs.

Proud owner of 1994 Winnebago Brave 29RQ.
Chevy 454 on a P30 chassis.
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:11 PM   #3
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A couple of more points to keep in mind... Figure on offering 30% UNDER the asking price, then negotiate from there. Don't believe anything the salesperson says unless it's in writing in a legal document. One of the biggest problems can be the result of leaks. Because of the materials used, a roof leak can cause more damage than unit is worth. On outside, look for any wavy or bumpy panels that could indicate delamination, or water leaking into the siding causing the wooden underlayment swells and comes loose from the fiberglass surface. Have every system, heater, A/C, water heater, stove, plumbing, electric, (12 v and 120 v) etc. demonstrated that it's in working order. If they won't show everything works, have them move it to a place they can hook up and prove it works.
Good luck and have fun looking.

Bob & Donna
'98 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager DP being pushed by a '00 Beetle TDI
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:42 AM   #4
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Thank you "micd" & Bob! Some very good points to consider. We are going to see the Winnebago Sightseer tonight. Will keep you posted!!!
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:56 AM   #5
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Check out the classifieds here on IRV2, then go to RVTrader.com. They have a HUGE selection! There are many ways to search, including price range.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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