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Old 01-14-2013, 10:08 PM   #15
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I just bought a 98 Beaver Patriot. Apart from obviously sitting in a barn somewhere, it appears to be well built and has a lot of bells and whistles. I am still trying to learn everything. I have slowly been going through all the equipment and confirming it works properly or fixing it. I have a technical background which helps no end.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:09 PM   #16
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Had many types of TT over the years but my Bounder is my first MH. After a total of 60 days sleeping in it since we bought it in May, I can honestly say I still love it! Has the floor plan we were looking for, good on gas, tons of storage and nothing major has gone wrong... so far...
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:40 PM   #17
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Its a crap shoot, partner.

Go to dealers and RV shows to get a feel of the general size and layout you like. Drive trains, options, etc. new, used whatever. There is one out there for ya. Come on out and join the fun!
You'll know it when ya see it.

Welcome!
And best of luck
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:20 PM   #18
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You really just need to get out an look at different makes, models, floor plans Etc. When doing this make yourself a list of your must have's (Chevy chassis, Ford chassis, low miles, awning, leveling jacks, Etc.)

When we did this it narrowed our choices down to 2 makes (Winnebago & Fleetwood) we went with the Winnebago as it had a fiberglass roof and a few more gadgets that we wanted.

1995 was the oldest that we were willing to buy. You need to expect that you will need to fix a few things on any older MH. Once its fixed, maintain it, maintain it, maintain it.

Hope this helps and happy hunting.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:29 PM   #19
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I really them BIG and EXPENSIVE!
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:47 AM   #20
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Ok, those are all honest answers to what I believed to be an honest question - loaded as it may be. And it seems to be just as I thought - too many answers and opinions, just like the number of brands out there. I just didn't know if there were any that truly stood out above the rest.

Example - I see plenty of Fleetwoods out there, but I also saw a 1992 Champion. I looked the Champion up on NADA and that yr/make/mod wasn't listed. Ok then, if it's not listed in NADA then it's probably something I don't want.

As a beginner I'm not looking to jump in at a high dollar value. I'm looking more towards $10k and below. I know that doesn't buy much, and that's ok, but there are diamonds in the rough out there somewhere. It's just me and my wife and two dogs so I don't need a mansion on wheels. I don't mind blowing a few bucks to get my feet wet and see if this is really for me - nothing ventured nothing earned, right? On the flip side I don't want to lose my @$$ on someone else's money pit.

I realize my question is about as vague as finding how many licks to the center of a Tootsie Pop (I know - 3 LOL) but we all have to start somewhere, right?

Oh, and the popcorn thing - I figured that's what it meant, just wasn't sure.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:17 AM   #21
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Not to discurage you but you most likely should lookat class C units with a gas engine. Somewhere in the 28 foot range. Look at the back and the front upstairs window which are the most likely places to leak. Look and look more. You will find something. Take somebody with you that knows something about RVs.good luck Cheers Gerald
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:33 AM   #22
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Depends on what you plan to do with the unit. Live fulltime, I'd look for a diesel and something in the line of 38 to 40 feet with slides. Of course, I'd want my own washer and dryer. Next Question... going to stay in RV parks or boondock... if the latter is going to be your choice... I'd look for solar system on or be willing to put it on. Now for the hard part... I'll just lurk around while I eat and enjoy the much more experienced ones offer their priceless wisdom and they all have lots of it...
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:54 AM   #23
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Renting them is a good way to get a feel for it.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:51 AM   #24
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I would suggest you rent several different brands/sizes of units for a few trips; then you can see for yourself if a) you even like it and b) which features, brands, functions you guys are partial too.

That way when you are ready to buy you have a more clear idea of what you do and don't like. We'd all hate to see you spend money on something that you don't enjoy...but as many have stated you're asking biased people an open ended question.

To that end I can tell you that Tiffin had some serious issues with roofs and water bay/floors rotting. Someone on here will know the years affected. I think that's the type of info you're asking for...what to definitely avoid or definitely look at.

Good luck.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:05 PM   #25
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Like you we were new and wanted to get our feet wet with a late 90's model and the only reason we chose that date was because we wanted a Diesel Pusher on a freightliner chasis. When looking at 14 year old coaches the brand didn't become important to us because they all had issues because they are 14 year old coaches. We looked at Monaco coaches that were $40k and Fleetwoods which were $30k and e bought based on floorplan and price because pretty much everyone we looked at was upgraded and they all had issues on the outside.

We ended up getting a 98 Fleetwood Discovery which we got for a great price, sure I have already spent $2k on it and we have only owned it 24 hours but we got it $5k less than asking and I enjoy fixing things. Most of what I am fixing doesn't need to be fixed, I'm just enjoying tinkering . Also when buying pay attention to tires, the coach we bought has tires that are just months old so that saved us $4k. A lot of coaches we were looking at were $32k+ and would have needed tires in a year or so so really we would have paid $36k.

Forget brands, forget prestige and buy the floorplan. Just about any coach worth buying will already be upgraded so forget about what brand looks the best when talking MHs.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:37 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcarlson View Post
Ok, those are all honest answers to what I believed to be an honest question - loaded as it may be.... As a beginner I'm not looking to jump in at a high dollar value. I'm looking more towards $10k and below. I know that doesn't buy much, and that's ok, but there are diamonds in the rough out there somewhere.
For that budget you COULD find a great coach...but it will take some looking.
Here are a few opinions/tips:
- Shop based on your floorplan preference - then check the rig over for operation and condition just like buying a used car.
- Private party sales will probably be your best source in this price segment ...shop using Craigslist and SearchTempest.com. Dealers won't offer much because there's too slim of a margin in that price point.
-Diesels will hold their value, but will cost more up-front and to maintain.
-CHECK FOR ROOF LEAKS and condition - That's a can-o-worms that you probably don't want to open.
-Class A's will cost a bit more than similar Class C's. But the open floorplan is great.
-A carburated gas engine WILL use more gas to operate than a fuel injected model of similar engine size - but the carburated ones are easier for home mechanical repair folks.
- Interiors can be renovated, so - if you are handy - you could buy a fixer-upper and make it look great.
- Mechanical issues also can be fixed, but because the chassis is not a just simple Toyota Corolla, that can get expensive - and fast.

Best of luck and safe travels!
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:00 PM   #27
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Most RV dealers will have to older MH's in the back or along the side. I recommend getting your feet wet by actually going and looking at some. They will let you on any or they might already be open. An old Bounder is probably as good as any. Remember you want to look at $12,000 to maybe $15, 000 asking price units - offer $9, 000 to $10, 000.

Good luck
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:14 PM   #28
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Fuel injected over carb - good point, would never have thought of that

Floor plan over make/model - gotcha!!

Roof/window leaks - saw a video on RVTrader, was interested until I saw water damage around three windows and delamination on the driver's side.

What about equipment? How do I check a fridge or A/C in the winter, especially if it's been winterized?

What if it needs wheel bearings? How do I check that and what's that cost (ballpark)?

How much of something not working is acceptable? I mean if a fridge is shot is that expensive? If plumbing underneath leaks, is that expensive? Things like that.

I don't expect it to be perfect - its used so why would it be? I don't mind fading , scratches, dented bumper, but leaks and delam is a no no for sure.

Is all delam bad? I know it's not good and indicative of leaks, but is a small bubble acceptable as long as I get it fixed right away?

I know these things may sound like rookie questions, and the are, but remember we're all rookies at something, right? :0)
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