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Old 06-21-2009, 01:38 AM   #1
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Purchasing used motorhomes

still trying to find right motorhome...would like some responses as to purchasing a 2002 motorhome...rv is almost 8 years old but otherwise seem to be a good buy and floorplan...is it a good decision to consider something this old?//thanks to all that continue to reply,it's just a sobbering decision when making such an expensive decision,,,,

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Old 06-21-2009, 03:34 AM   #2
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We will need more information as to what make and model of motorhome you are considering. If it is a well built unit and has been taken care of with proper maintenance, I would not be afraid of purchasing one 8 years old if the price were right.

Mike, RVIA & RVSA Certified Master RV Technician
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Old 06-21-2009, 03:48 AM   #3
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If you are 'capable' of taking care of the issues yourself, there should be no fear in purchasing an older used unit. However, you don't want to buy a piece of hidden trash, so take your time, and check EVERYTHING !! If you can't work on it yourself etc, then the decision is more jerk wrenching if you don't check it all out ahead of time. Be careful
and good luck


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Old 06-21-2009, 09:47 AM   #4
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RV Wizard and Hamdave are right on. Having bought one myself, here is my take:
  • Try to determine if engine and chassis maintenance has been kept up.
  • Extra points for full time covered storage.
  • Understand that they have more systems than your family car.
  • You can do a lot of the maintenance yourself, even if, like me, you're not real handy.
  • Part of the fun is dinking around, seeing what you can fix, improve, add, etc.
  • You will continually find accessories and things that you just have to have because they would just be so neat!
  • Have a maintenance budget in mind. Effluent occurs.
  • Subscribe to a good road service, like Coachnet. $100 a year buys unbelievable peace of mind.
  • If you're going to use it twice a year, and ignore it in between - wrong hobby.
  • Get a CLEAR title.
  • Have a BALL!
Best of luck, and welcome aboard. See you on the road.
Ken & Carolee, 1994 36' Pace Arrow/Ford 7.5L, Mobil 1 full syn & Banks Pack. Towing a 1999 Saturn SL2 with Roadmaster Sterling All-Terrain & Brake Buddy.
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Old 06-21-2009, 11:14 AM   #5
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You've gotten some great advice so far. I'll add a couple of other points.

1. There are probably some guaranteed things to deal with. For example, if the MH has the original tires on it, it would be mandatory (for me) to replace them right away. Do not depend on how the tread looks - they always look great. It is the sidewall that blows out.
2. Regarding the maintenance records, you need a point of reference. The manuals (hopefully you can get them as part of the deal) need to be researched carefully to determine when the maintenance should have been, even of the current owner has a log of when it was done. Nobody does it perfectly but the further the owner has strayed from the recommendations, the more exposure that you have. If you don't have records or the records are spotty, your risk is significantly more and you will have to set aside funds to deal with both immediate maintenance and repairs for maintenance that might not have been done. For example, if you don't know if the engine belts were replaced, that is something else that needs done immediately. Failure to find evidence of proper differential maintenance would be a deal breaker for me. It is items like that and the transmission that could result in very expensive repairs. On casual use, those items can seem to work well but if you suddenly start driving the MH long distances or for long periods of time, the drive train weak points could fail.

I'd strongly recommend that you make a list of every item that is supposed to work on the RV and methodically checkup that each appliance or item functions in every way that it is supposed to. We bought a 4 year old RV, carefully checked everything out and still ended up with 8 unexpected repairs. It is very difficult to check every permutation and combination.
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Old 06-21-2009, 02:14 PM   #6
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ware old cloths----before you even open the door and go inside; craul under the motohome; look real good everywhere; if there is any leaks or seeps , stop right there get back in your car and leave. I've bought 4 used motorhomes and haven't been stuck yet. if that checks out ok; the real fun will begins. if your realy enterested after giveing it a gone over, ask the owner to show you how everything works and demonstrate them. then you can start to dicker on the price.
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Old 06-21-2009, 03:31 PM   #7
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Hard to add to the good advice already posted, but I'll throw in my two cents.
Be aware you WILL need to make some repairs, if not today, tomorrow. That's not bad if you are getting the unit at a really good price (and in today's market, you should be) and you really like it, i.e., does it suit your every desire?? If not, keep looking. One VERY important question: are the tire sizes rated well above the GVW chassis rating? If not, keep looking. Take a looonng hard look inside for leaks. If buying from a dealer, find out the previous owner and talk to him/her. Take the unit on a looong test drive -- if you are not mechanically savy, take a mechanic you TRUST with you and let him drive it.
Good luck and have fun.
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Old 06-21-2009, 05:26 PM   #8
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Be aware you WILL need to make some repairs, if not today, tomorrow.

I usually allow about $2;000, to bring up to snuff, the motorhomes I've bought used.
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Old 06-21-2009, 05:36 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by robert h View Post
Be aware you WILL need to make some repairs, if not today, tomorrow.

I usually allow about $2;000, to bring up to snuff, the motorhomes I've bought used.

Not a bad number
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Old 06-21-2009, 07:27 PM   #10
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I would agree with the $2,000 number. That does not include upgrades that you will want to make. Also, even though the prior owner of mine did appear to keep some records of maintance (oil, filters, etc) I took mine to Cummins South (I bought a 2002 Winnebago Ultimate Advantage with a Cummins 350 HP engine) and had them to do a full change out of all of the fluids and filters and to do a general inspection of everything to see if it had any obvious problems. When I purchased the motor home, I did purchase a 4 year, 48,000 extended warranty (some say to do this and some say to not -- each to their own decision on this). In my case, I have had three major problems -- not there when purchased that have been corrected since I have had the motor home and the cost of the extended warranty has been pad for by the coverage I have had. The suggestion about Coachnet is a good one -- get a good roadside service with someone.
Dave and Karen -- '02 Ultimate Advantage 36 C, 350 HP Cummins, Allison 3060 Tranny
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Old 06-21-2009, 08:04 PM   #11
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Two years ago I bought my very first motorhome. A 1991 Elite 33' Class A with 6000 original miles. I had no idea what I was doing or what to look for. Especially from the mechanical side. I went and looked at it and as soon as I stepped inside it just felt right. I immediately went and got a friend that is a longtime RVer and took him back. As was previously suggest the first thing he did was get under it with a flashlight. He came out about 20 minutes later and gave me the lowdown. All the belts and hoses would have to be replaced along with all of the fluids. The $2000.00 figure you've been getting is very realistic. In addition we completely updated the inside with all new upholstry and wood laminate flooring. Over the last two years we've replaced one of the a/c units, had the outside painted, replaced the two front tires, added the Banks Power System, replaced the fuel pump, and put ina 27" flat screen. That sounds like alot but it has happened over two years and most of those things were not necessary but choices we made. Even with all of those upgrades we are still under the high blue book price. Go with you gut and get some help with the thing you know nothing about! It was agreat decision for us! Good Luck and Happy RVing!

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Old 06-22-2009, 12:22 PM   #12
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In addition to all the above advice, I recommend using the RV rating guides that the RV Consumers Group www.RV.org puts out. They are an independent non-profit group that rates RVs using a standard system. It's great for comparing brands and models. It was a great resource for me eight years ago when I bought a 10 year old Foretravel. It was my first RV purchase and I still have the coach today and I'm happy with my choice. The guide might seem a little expensive at $139 but that cost pales compared to making the right purchase decision.
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Old 06-25-2009, 12:47 AM   #13
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what about those prices for the 2 winnebagos and national seabreeze???? do they seem fair??? need help from you that are good at the nada prices. faye/walter
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Old 06-25-2009, 12:32 PM   #14
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Did you mention any specific coaches or prices? I don't see any in this thread...

Gary Brinck
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Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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