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Old 05-21-2013, 06:34 AM   #1
XLI
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Older RV. Which one? Thoughts please.

My family and I are looking at older RVs and I'd appreciate some feedback on some options below. We love camping but our budget is around $10000 right now, so looking for a decent older Class A. I'm interested in build quality, mechanical issues and the like. Thanks! Here are some I've found for sale. Whadda ya think?

1997 Holiday Rambler: 32CG, Ford;32000 miles.
1995 Airstream Land Yacht 30; Chevy; has generator issues; 70000 miles.
1997 Southwind 35LS Chevy with 1 slide. 74000 miles.
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:59 AM   #2
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Depending on the mechanical condition on each which is very important.
Look for maintaince records.
After that look at floor plans. If you are indicating only 1 has a slide I would lean towards that assuming the slides works good. A slide gives you a lot more room.

Mechanical soundness is most important. If your budget is $10k you also need to be prepared to put another $2-3 k in fixing things that break.
Check tire dates. Anything over 7 yrs or earlier if weather checked need replaced.
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:57 AM   #3
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Any comments on the manufacturers and their reputation for these years? For instance, I'm steering clear of older Coachmans. I know HR and Airstream are historically quality builders. Not sure about Southwind.

I also found a 1991 Rexhall Airex to add to the list. Thanks.
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:23 PM   #4
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I think in general, most of the RVs listed could be nice. It all depends on the condition of the RV inside/outside and mechanically. For the price your looking at, you have to be prepared to accept some issues. If you are mechanical, this can be a great savings for you. If you are not, repairs by an RV dealer will get very expensive very quickly. Nothing seems to be cheap to repair on an RV if you take it into the dealer. In regards to the RVs listed, a slide out is a huge improvement, if it works. My RV has 2, but neither worked when I bought it. Once I got them fixed, it makes all the difference in the world when you put them out. So, if you can, try for that one. Good luck.
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Old 05-21-2013, 02:36 PM   #5
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All things being equal, I would go for the Rexhall as I have always been partial to the pride taken in constructing the older units. I could not find one within my budget when shopping so I settled for what I have now. And you know what?, I'm not one bit disappointed and I have the previous owner to thank for that..
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XLI View Post
My family and I are looking at older RVs and I'd appreciate some feedback on some options below. We love camping but our budget is around $10000 right now, so looking for a decent older Class A. I'm interested in build quality, mechanical issues and the like. Thanks! Here are some I've found for sale. Whadda ya think?

1997 Holiday Rambler: 32CG, Ford;32000 miles.
1995 Airstream Land Yacht 30; Chevy; has generator issues; 70000 miles.
1997 Southwind 35LS Chevy with 1 slide. 74000 miles.
We purchased a 1993 Fleetwood Southwind used with 63K on it and at 32'. It was a one owner and we are getting great service from it. The engine is chevy 454 and is tight and strong. Mileage is about 8.5 and oil use is negligible. No smoke, no sounds, no worries.
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:13 PM   #7
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I would say the Holiday would have the best build quality, you can see that in how thick the roof is by the vents or skylights

The Airstream would be a good choice too
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:17 PM   #8
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I prefer the Ford chassis especially with only 32000 miles .Its just broken in .
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:08 PM   #9
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I purchased my 95 Newmar Kountry Star for $12k - Ford 460 with Banks and 1 slide - pretty much everything worked and it just needed a good clean. I am replacing items slowly as time and money allow but it wasn't actually necessary - just that I want to.

The only thing I found when searching was that I had to kiss a lot of frogs before I found my princess! Definitely 'Buyer Beware' at that price point and you need an experienced RVer with you when checking them out. Be prepared to wait for the right one.
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Old 05-22-2013, 11:34 AM   #10
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One caution - based on experience (unpleasant) - if at all possible, stay new enough not to have a carburator (a French irregular verb that means "leave well-enough alone"). I think that will mean 1991 or later for the major manufacturers. We had an '85 with the Ford 460 with a 2-barrel carb. In two seasons, we had almost $2000 of repairs caused by that motor.
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Old 05-22-2013, 11:46 AM   #11
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I bought a 96 Fleetwood Pace Arrow Vision last year for 10K. Had to look alot to find a well maintained unit. I stayed away from slides and Diesel's my top price point was 15K. Found units with slides and diesels in that range but felt (and still do) that units in the 90's with those options had the ability to be money pits. So I went for KISS method for my first MH, been happy so far. BTW, be sure you know how to look for delamination, if you see water spotting inside RUN, and the FI engines are far better than the earlier versions.
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Old 05-22-2013, 12:54 PM   #12
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As stated by another poster, buy new enough to have fuel injection not a
carb.

Buy a MH with a slide, it is very hard to sell a RV nowadays that does not
have at least one slide.

Also budget $$$ for replacement of items like tires, they may look good,
but if over 7 years old they need to be replaced.

Other than those items it is a safety thing to replace hoses and belts
and clean the radiator and maybe even replace the waterpump just for
security.
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:25 PM   #13
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I stayed away from slides .
I make a lot of people mad by saying this, but if you need a slide, get a house
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:41 PM   #14
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I make a lot of people mad by saying this, but if you need a slide, get a house
It really depends upon what you want to do with it, how much time you will spend in it and how well you get on in confined spaces.

For a 2 week vacation a couple of times a year, a no-slide unit is just fine - for a 6 month trip for 2 you need at least a front slide.,... or a Wide Body and 40'
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