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Old 06-20-2013, 09:03 AM   #1
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Practical life of class A

Looking to purchase an 8yr. old class A and am somewhat concerned about the longevity in years of these units. I know diesel pushers can go many hundreds of thousands of miles if maintained properly, but how many years do they live before their use becomes impractical?

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Old 06-20-2013, 09:08 AM   #2
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I'd say ( hope ) that the usable lifespan of a class A , depends on build quality and maintenance. 13 years and counting on mine and looking forward to many more. See no reason that 20 + isn't do-able.

99DSDP 3884, Freightliner, XC, CAT 3126B, 300 HP /ALLISON 3060
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:20 AM   #3
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We are not fulltimers, but our motorhome is 27+ years old with over 100k on the original gas motor and it's still going strong. Structurally it is very sound. We didn't like the retro look so we updated a few things, but that was mainly cosmetic.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:28 AM   #4
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My Bounder is 16 years old and just getting broken in. I expect it will still be running, and proudly serving someone, sixteen years from now.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:33 AM   #5
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Fifteen years and only 18,000 miles for our MH. Granted, we just bought it a little less than 2 months ago, and some maintenance was overdue. Once we got that taken care of, the overall finish and condition of the mechanics and cabin of the coach is darn near flawless.

We have lots of plans/events scheduled for this coach. Our first full-on road-trip is scheduled to start tomorrow afternoon with a 100+mile jaunt into southern Indiana for the weekend with friends.

Is it time to leave yet?
The Macklin's - 1998 Georgie Boy 'Pursuit'
Pete: Pilot/Mechanic - Jen: Navigator/Travel Planner
Taylor & Patrick - Along for the ride....
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:24 AM   #6
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10 years old and 50K and she hummms like a top. The 8.1/ Allison combination is used in a huge number of heavy duty vehicles and has been a performer. Fords are not laying beside the road in big numbers either.

A lot has to do with how they are cared for and in our case it gets every thing it needs when it needs it. The problem buying used is you do not know exactly how it was maintained or driven. But there are enough checks and inspections that can be done to tell you what you need to know.

Our plan was to buy one and use it until we wore it out. I see another ten years at least. As it ages it needs more TLC but to think its life is over is just silly. My guess we will give it to our kids when we are done.

A well cared for gasser or an abused DP, I'll take the gasser, the reverse is true, of course.

Take them one at a time and evaluate their condition. But if a gasser stands up to inspection then it does.
I do all my own stunts
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:28 AM   #7
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Define practical in your terms.

That will make a response more accurate for your needs.

Ours is 18 years old. With exception of a re-upholstered couch and flat screen tv's, the rig is still original at 93,000 miles.

But, we do not have a slide-out. It is a bit underpowered but gets to the top of all hills encountered here in the West. The hardware is gold colored, not the current chrome look.

The service history is good and most work is done DIY which makes it practical for us.
1995 CC Magna #5280
C8.3L 300hp Cummins, 31,000lbs
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:28 AM   #8
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I am expecting at least 20 years and well over 100K miles form ours. So far, we're still on the right track.
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:46 AM   #9
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It will last as long as you want it to providing it has been maintained properly and not abused.

There will always be item's that will need to be replaced due to wear and tear and daily use.

Go to one of those Antique Auto Museums and look at how old those cars are and in what good shape they are in.

They are maintained and well cared for and not used on a daily basis but the point is it's possible for these rigs to last a lot longer than you think.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:57 AM   #10
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Mine just turned 21 years old with 85K on the clock. All systems work as they should and the layout suits us fine. Most likely my last MH as health issues keep us pretty close to home.
'92 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager. Tweaked 5.9 Cummins, complete interior makeover (previous owner).
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:09 PM   #11
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When you say practical life I assume you mean prior to costing more than its worth to keep on the road.that's really hard to say. A 25yr old RV can be had for little money and will need more attention then a newer model but certainly can be very practical.
Class A RVs not much different than a 5th wheel, tt or even a boat. They cost money to maintain. Stuff will need to be maintained and money spent beyond your payment. Each year a new model comes out improvements are made and new amenities are added. So if you can find an older model that meets your needs and had been taken care of, go for it. Just know that most RVs sit a lot (in most cases) so they tend to have low miles but along with sitting comes other issues like rotted out brake lines, crispy plastic and cracked rubber seals.belts and hoses go bad. Some RVs built around mid 90s used flexible plumbing that can't be purchased anymore so repairs can be involved. Finding replacement parts can be difficult in some cases so some things become almost easier to replace than fix when an issue arises.
So in a nut shell practical use is very relative to your abilities, your planned use, and your financial commitment to it.
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:26 PM   #12
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We traded in our 2001 with 12 years and over 100,000 miles of service. I wasn't concerned about the body or the chassis. Rather my concerns were for the heating & cooling systems and the appliances. Once they reach about 10 years of age parts for these items get a little more scarce and more expensive.

If we had kept ours the first things that would have to be replaced were the televisions. The still worked fine, but when shows are broadcast in the new format eveythng has to either shrink to fit the older format or both ends of the picture get cut off. Most sporting events were either not fully on the screen or the score boxes were so small they were hard to read.

The refrigerator and water heater were again working fine but when they need repair most times it's cheaper to replace them. We weren't willing to sacrifice part or all of our vacation time setting in a repair shop hoping the people there were competent enough to diagnose and repair potential problems. Most RV dealers and repair shops don't stock big ticket items so even if they were able to replace a worn out appliance it could take several days to get one.

If you buy right and don't have a boat load of money in an older rig you might be willing to put some substantial cash into repairs. Keep in mind though you could easily spend far more than the book value of an older motorhome replacing appliances upgrading furniture, and making repairs.
2013 Adventurer 32H
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:40 PM   #13
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My gas unit is 15 years old and everything works great. When something goes bad I fix it. Haven't had much go wrong as I keep it maintained pretty well. Has everything I wanted in a MH and a floor plan we really like. Don't plan on getting rid of it until I can't travel anymore which will be a long time from now. (I hope) I have no desire to try to keep up with new technology or trying to keep up with the Jones. Just want a dependable unit that we can enjoy with our family and keep it looking nice inside and out. Have one slide and thats all I need. Have a tag axel and the stability is very good. Its amazing how much fun you can have in an older inexpensive MH especially if you have no payments and insurance is reasonable.
Bob and Janice Ford
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:42 PM   #14
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Our DP is 13 yrs old and we have updated much of the interior including all the electronics and furniture because we expect to use it for a good many more years. We view it like we would a house, if we want to redecorate or remodel we do. Some people seem to think there's something special about keeping a MH looking like it did when new; we don't subscribe to that philosophy. If modernizing makes us happy or improves our quality of life we do it.

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