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Old 09-16-2015, 09:33 AM   #1
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What is the first RV you bought or started with?

My husband and I want to start off with an older MH model that may need a little work. We have a max budget of $10,000 and have seen some pretty good deals out there, but they get snatched up pretty quickly. We have personally never been RVing or even driven a MH. My husband is retired Army and mechanic so he can drive anything.

We are just wanting to start out doing a little camping here and there and then take a couple of bigger trips to see how it goes. I want be fulltimers eventually but hubs needs to see if he feels the same.

What is the first MH you purchased? Did you buy new or used?

We live in Central Texas and I have searched everywhere on the net looking for RVs. I was hoping fellow Texans will respond with some recommendations of other places to look within the State. Is it better to buy from a big lot or private seller?
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:33 AM   #2
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I looked at lots of stuff, and then got lucky with Craig's List. Found a 94 Dolphin DP 34 listed as repo. Jumped on it for just under 10K. Added new tires on the way home, but other than that it didn't need much.


We traveled for a while but wanted more room. We made the mistake of looking at a 2005 Newmar 3910 with four slides.


We have traveled over a large part of the country in the last two years and are still going strong.


They're out there........................


Good luck


Tom
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Old 09-16-2015, 11:04 AM   #3
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We just recently started wth almost the same situation. You're right, the good ones go fast so you gotta' find it and buy it at the same time. We found our 1991 Tioga Arrow 26' Class C on Craig's list. Basically saw the ad right as it was posted, immediately called for an appointment, drove the 50 miles to check it out and bought it. All within 2 hours. Also, we too had a budget of 10k. Right now we have less than 8k in it and we probably have another 500 or so to go (oil change, house battery, brake line flush, etc). She runs very strong and everything works, most of it worked when we got it. Here's a little slideshow of before and after pics. They're out there, hope you find one.
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Old 09-16-2015, 11:12 AM   #4
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We started 3 years ago with a 1996 Pace Arrow Vision, looking on Craigs List mainly. We kissed a lot of Toads until we found a good one. Chassis miles are not a huge concern, showing good care is important, be sure you understand delamination. The price range you are seeking will throw you into alot of 1990 era coaches, stay out of the 80's in my opinion RV made big leaps forward in the 90's in build, fuel injection, interiors. Search this forum for Delamination it is an RV killer.
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Old 09-16-2015, 11:13 AM   #5
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Bet you have never see one like this.
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Old 09-16-2015, 11:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TamSam View Post
My husband and I want to start off with an older MH model that may need a little work. We have a max budget of $10,000 and have seen some pretty good deals out there, but they get snatched up pretty quickly. We have personally never been RVing or even driven a MH. My husband is retired Army and mechanic so he can drive anything.

We are just wanting to start out doing a little camping here and there and then take a couple of bigger trips to see how it goes. I want be fulltimers eventually but hubs needs to see if he feels the same.

What is the first MH you purchased? Did you buy new or used?

We live in Central Texas and I have searched everywhere on the net looking for RVs. I was hoping fellow Texans will respond with some recommendations of other places to look within the State. Is it better to buy from a big lot or private seller?
Welcome to iRV2.com we are glad you joined and posted.

My intent is not to discourage you, but based on your comments above I suggest you RENT a small MH and get an understanding of the lifestyle. BUYING before you've ever been "camping" seems like a huge gamble to me. Go to a NEARBY commercial CG or a State Park, because you don't need to travel a long distance to see if the lifestyle is for you.

IMO, any MH you can buy for $10K is going to be very old and you will soon find it to be a money pit, even if you can make some of the repairs yourself. Replacement components are expensive, if you can even find them. Chassis parts and systems can be hard to find, especially on an older unit.

To answer your question, our first money pit was a used 1988 Pace Arrow(in great condition), which almost immediately after driving of the dealer's lot began costing us THOUSANDS of dollars in repairs and replacements, starting with the refrigerator at ~$1,600.00 700 miles from home. Then rebuilt the Tranny (twice) before I finally sold it on Ebay at a $9,000 loss after 18 months. We were fortunate enough to replace that money pit by ordering a NEW coach, and still love the lifestyle using MH # 3.
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Old 09-16-2015, 01:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by edgray View Post
Welcome to iRV2.com we are glad you joined and posted.

My intent is not to discourage you, but based on your comments above I suggest you RENT a small MH and get an understanding of the lifestyle. BUYING before you've ever been "camping" seems like a huge gamble to me. Go to a NEARBY commercial CG or a State Park, because you don't need to travel a long distance to see if the lifestyle is for you.

IMO, any MH you can buy for $10K is going to be very old and you will soon find it to be a money pit, even if you can make some of the repairs yourself. Replacement components are expensive, if you can even find them. Chassis parts and systems can be hard to find, especially on an older unit.

To answer your question, our first money pit was a used 1988 Pace Arrow(in great condition), which almost immediately after driving of the dealer's lot began costing us THOUSANDS of dollars in repairs and replacements, starting with the refrigerator at ~$1,600.00 700 miles from home. Then rebuilt the Tranny (twice) before I finally sold it on Ebay at a $9,000 loss after 18 months. We were fortunate enough to replace that money pit by ordering a NEW coach, and still love the lifestyle using MH # 3.
I also encourage anyone new to the RV/Camping life to rent first. It is so much cheaper than a multi thousand dollar mistake.
We started with an 63 Mallard 14" travel trailer back in 1979. I put a lot of work into it before we sold it for more than we had in it. First Motorhome was a 24' Coachmen.
We just worked our way up in size over the years.
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Old 09-16-2015, 01:17 PM   #8
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We started with a StarCraft Pop-up in 1976.
1979 Purchased first hard trailer, 28'
1980 Purchased second hard trailer, 32'
1985 Purchased first MH, 1975 Pace Arrow,25'
1995 Purchased second MH, 1980 Winnebago, 30'
1997 Purchased third MH, 1992 Allegro, 32'
2004 Purchased fourth MH, 2004 Gulfstream Sun Voyager 37' (new)
We now have 106,500 miles on it and love the travel. Workhorse Chassis.
I always tell folks that want to get into RVing, rent one for a couple of weeks to travel with the family to make sure being together 24/7 works.
Also if you are a MPG guy, don't buy a MH. If the tank needs fuel, put fuel in it and not worry about it. By the way when we purchased the 2004 MH we became Travelers more then campers.
There will always be times to put money in it, remember you are driving a home down the road. Always carry tools.
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Old 09-16-2015, 01:33 PM   #9
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Already you've gotten opinions from opposing view points. Neither of them are wrong. A couple of points you need to understand right up front. The money you have will get you a mid 1990's at best. I would suggest nothing less than 1993 as I believe that is when they went to 4 speed transmissions. Better gas mileage. A year ago we sold a 1993 Fleetwood Bounder for $9000. Basically it was a well maintained unit that was 21 years old. The worst issue was the levelers, but they did work. Just not like new. A class "C" will be less expensive ..... usually. They are usually a bit more compact, which isn't always good.

Before you run out and buy a pretty looking MH please look through this site for things to look for when purchasing. Roof, tires, plumbing, generator and all the appliances. If you're unsure of what you're looking for then get someone who does know. Renting for a weekend is also a good choice. A few hundred is a far easier to accept mistake instead of a $10K one.

Our first unit was a 1984 class "C" 27' Fleetwood Jamboree. We had camped many years before with a pop up. It needed plenty of work but it was a great learning tool. We put money in it but still sold it for a profit.

Good luck in whatever direction you go
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Old 09-16-2015, 02:56 PM   #10
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I'll 2nd rental or hang with someone who has one for weekend. Friend of mine got a sweet deal on 1 month old 5r. from his brother in law, guy figured out the family hated camping a month after he bought it.
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Old 09-16-2015, 03:26 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone!

Wonderful suggestions and I should have said that we are campers but not MH campers. We have both camped all of our lives and have rented a camper a couple of years ago. We definitely know this is the lifestyle for us. We absolutely LOVE camping. We have also been doing ALOT of research and are not jumping into anything at all. We are looking right now, learning about the different ones, what we like and dislike. We have watched hours of videos from other RVers and get some great advice from friends and family who have done it and still doing it.

I'm sure it will take quite a while for us to find 'the one' but love all of your suggestions. Everyone of them do help and are appreciated. We are hoping to be on the road by this time next year. I hope y'all don't mind me coming back with a lot more questions until then. Keep the suggestions coming!
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Old 09-16-2015, 03:37 PM   #12
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2007 Georgie Boy Landau (36 ft) bought new
2010 Tiffin Phaeton 38 couldn't pass up the deal on this one and we both love it. Headed out tomorrow for 5 days, then Dec headed to Gulf Shores, AL for the winter
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Old 09-16-2015, 04:51 PM   #13
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My first and only is 2003 sightseer and had no clue what to look at. But be warn to look at the tires first. They may look great but as all will tell you look at the date. Anything that is near 10 years old no one will touch them. I found this out when I bought mine. They almost looked new a little dry looking but didn't think about it until I wanted the front end aligned and the tech said nope wont touch it. That cost me $3000 for 6 tires and getting the front done. So that is 1/3 of your budget. Windshield leaks big problem mine had it and I paid a lot more then 10 grand. But after driving it fixing it up putting money in it to make it mine I am happy with it. I live in Fort Worth area and if you need a little help let me know.
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Old 09-16-2015, 05:22 PM   #14
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Our first MH was a 5 year old high milage C we bought from a dealer for $15,000. Traded it several years later for more than that on a new bigger C. Looking at A's. Expect we will do a dealer again so we can trade in what we have.

One of the best educations we got was the walk through from the dealer tech on out first purchase. We went through every system and saw how it worked and what we had to do. I won't say we remembered it all but enough so most issues we had a clue about where to look. I'm not big on rentals but when we picked up the unit we camped in the driveway then back near the dealer in case we needed anything or had questions. I figured that a rental would have been close to a Thousand down the drain. They are not cheap around here.
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