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Old 11-07-2012, 10:57 PM   #1
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Winnebago First Time Owner... Please Help

I am driving down with my dad to possibly make a purchase on a 1971 Winnebago Brave (unsure if this is the model). The seller is asking $2000. I am thinking this is a deal. The interior doesn't look bad and is fully funtional. The engine still works. Being a first time buyer of an RV, I am scared to make this journey 3 hours back to my parents place. This is the only place I can park at the moment. At the end of my lease, I have also indulged the fact of seriously downsizing to living full time in my new home. There is nothing absolutely nothing I need to do to the interior to make it livable other than a space heater. I am excited yet scared to death my new home is going to caput on the side of the road. What are some things to consider if the the Winnie can make the drive? I'm bringing my dad who has vast knowledge in engines. Hopefully this will make the decision easier. Also repair and maintenance responses welcomed.

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Old 11-07-2012, 11:32 PM   #2
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The cheap rv's usually end up being the really expensive ones. Face it, it's over 40 years old. Totally disregard how many miles it has, and expect to replace the ancient engine, transmission, brakes, refer, plumbing, etc. If you just want el cheapo living, buy a decent truck and an old travel trailer. Unless you're headed to the Slabs, you're still going to have to pay rent on a space, insurance, etc.

2012 Montana 3582RL
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:52 AM   #3
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Is your fear the 3 hr drive or the 40 yr old MH? I have been told the useful life of most RV's is about 15 yrs. After that expext one major problem after another. Look for roof leaks inside and out. Delaminated side panels (a bow or curve of the side). Sagging head liners and stains. To replace the rubber roof is about $5k. My son bought a '98 Winne class C and has spent more fixing it than he paid for it. Just be aware of what you are getting into. Good Luck.
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:30 AM   #4
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My Dad had one of those up until about 6 years ago. He was going to give it to me. He had taken it to Fla many times but had been sitting for the last 12 yrs with short trips to the beach every couple of years. I had fond memories of trips in it and was looking forward to fixing it up so it could be used again. So... long story short, it ran, the tires were up, but I would not have trusted driving it across town. The interior looked good, if dated but it would have cost me, even when it was free, quadruple at least what it was worth, just to get it safe.

In my mind, the only reason you would consider this motorhome is if you were just nostalgic and wanted a project, like folks that buy old cars and restore them. It is for the joy of the restoration. They know it is not practical.

Just my 2 cents. Don't mean to be a downer for you. Just want to be realistic.
Dan and Kathryn DeBruin plus dogs
2005 Newmar Dutchstar 4009
Victor NY
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