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Old 04-07-2016, 09:52 PM   #1
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First fifth wheel purchase

Hello all, this is my first post. I have been lurking for a few days but I think I need to post. I am in a very fortunate situation so I will give some background. My wife and I have been looking for a pull behind camper for our half ton f150 for a couple months and I mentioned it to a guy at work. Well he said he had a fifth wheel he needed to get rid of as he is no longer using it. He didn't mention price but I thought what the heck, worst case is it is out of our budget. We looked at the camper it is a 2006ish 30+ footer. Not sure of the brand. Long story short, we walked into the camper thinking it was way over our budget as the thing looks brand new. It was bought used 1.5 years ago and has sat unused ever since. Due to this he has offered it to my wife and I for $5000. Just wondering what to look for when we go back to look at it. We told him we would buy it if everything worked. It does need three new vents as the wind has destroyed them and leaked snow into the sinks and toilet. We are buying a new truck if the camper buy works out. Not concerned about that. But we are looking at buying a Chevy 2500. Anyways any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:57 PM   #2
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If you are buying a truck then a 350/3500 SRW will be the best. But I have a 250 and doing well towing our 39' 15500 trailer. We had the truck before the trailer.
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Old 04-08-2016, 03:25 AM   #3
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I think you need to take someone with you who knows RV's and how to give it a real good inspection. Did the snow leaking in do any damage to the floors, water can do real damage in short time. How old are the tires, how are the brakes, water lines, water heater, does the AC work? Good luck.
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Old 04-08-2016, 07:42 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies! Sadly I don't think we can afford a 3500. I have been looking for one but most are in the 50-80k range. But I am looking at used 2008 diesel f350 for $8k with a little over 100k miles.

Also, I don't really have anyone that knows an rv but I do have a little bit of a construction background/engineering so in that sense I do know what I am looking for structurally. Brakes/tires I need to look at those. Our plan for now is to go back out there and make sure everything is running and in working order.
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Old 04-08-2016, 08:25 AM   #5
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check slide operation, look closely at ceilings for water damage, floors for sponginess, smell? you will want to replace those tires, even if the tread looks good. find out what camper GVWR is, diesel f350 should be plenty adequate to pull this camper.
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Old 04-08-2016, 09:30 AM   #6
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You kind of glossed over the previous suggestion to get it inspected. Ok, so you have some construction experience, great. However, have you rv'd before? You need an experienced rv technician to inspect it. It may cost $200, trust me, well worth it. You asked for advice, that's the best advice. Check with rv dealers in your area, they may be able to recommend a mobile technician or call rv parks in your area, they usually know one. Water leaks are sneaky in an rv, they may not be real obvious.
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Old 04-08-2016, 10:26 AM   #7
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You kind of glossed over the previous suggestion to get it inspected. Ok, so you have some construction experience, great. However, have you rv'd before? You need an experienced rv technician to inspect it. It may cost $200, trust me, well worth it. You asked for advice, that's the best advice. Check with rv dealers in your area, they may be able to recommend a mobile technician or call rv parks in your area, they usually know one. Water leaks are sneaky in an rv, they may not be real obvious.


That is a good idea. I didn't think about having a tech come out. I will call around and see if there is one available. I do have some experience with rvs. But am no expert. A tech would help out a lot. If I can't get a tech is there some advice for things to look for since leaks can be sneaky? The reason I say I may not be able to is due to the location of the camper being quite a ways from town.
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Old 04-08-2016, 11:35 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies! Sadly I don't think we can afford a 3500. I have been looking for one but most are in the 50-80k range. But I am looking at used 2008 diesel f350 for $8k with a little over 100k miles.

Also, I don't really have anyone that knows an rv but I do have a little bit of a construction background/engineering so in that sense I do know what I am looking for structurally. Brakes/tires I need to look at those. Our plan for now is to go back out there and make sure everything is running and in working order.

8k for a 2008 F350 seems pretty low. Does the owner have service records? Was the oil changed every 3-5k miles? Fuel filters every 10k? What did they use it for, short trip daily driver or long drives and heavy towing? How's the radiator look, any leaks? They are notorious for them leaking and I had to have mine replaced under warranty. Would have cost me $1600.00 if I didn't have the extended warranty.

They're good trucks but need love an attention. I'd have it looked over really good as repairs aren't cheap. You're talking 12k if the fuel system goes and way more if you lose the motor. I don't want to rain on your parade but 2008 was the first year of the 6.4 and while not as problematic as the 6.0 they do have there peculiarities.
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Old 04-08-2016, 11:43 AM   #9
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That is a good idea. I didn't think about having a tech come out. I will call around and see if there is one available. I do have some experience with rvs. But am no expert. A tech would help out a lot. If I can't get a tech is there some advice for things to look for since leaks can be sneaky? The reason I say I may not be able to is due to the location of the camper being quite a ways from town.

If you can work the carpet back along the walls then look for stains on the sub flooring. Look at the ceilings for water marks. Poke around where the walls meet the floors and see if anything is mushy. Get on the roof and look at the caulking for cracks or if it's peeling away from the roof surface. Nothing ruins a RV faster than water leaks that aren't handled right away.

Search the site for a PDI form and use that to guide you through testing each system. If it checks out then that price sounds pretty good.
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Old 04-08-2016, 12:54 PM   #10
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If you can work the carpet back along the walls then look for stains on the sub flooring. Look at the ceilings for water marks. Poke around where the walls meet the floors and see if anything is mushy. Get on the roof and look at the caulking for cracks or if it's peeling away from the roof surface. Nothing ruins a RV faster than water leaks that aren't handled right away.

Search the site for a PDI form and use that to guide you through testing each system. If it checks out then that price sounds pretty good.


Thanks so much for the help. I appreciate it. We are hoping to go "poke" around on Sunday as that's the only day he has off. I still haven't gotten a hold of a tech yet so it's still in the air. Thanks all.
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Old 04-10-2016, 08:32 AM   #11
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Tires Tires Tires, anyone on here will tell you the tires on these units from the factory are JUNK. and if its been sitting by all means replace the bearings and tires.
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Old 04-10-2016, 08:50 AM   #12
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2008 F series diesels were horrible to be blunt. If it's a gas motor truck, then maybe, but there certainally better options out there.
As for the trailer, yes, definitely find or take someone with you. If the vent covers are missing, their cheap to replace. However the resulting water damage could become a night mare.
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Old 04-10-2016, 10:06 AM   #13
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I would suggest staying away from any 2005-2010 Super Duty with Diesel engines unless you have records that the engine Head bolts, oil pump, and fuel system have been replaced. Simply put, you do not want to take the risk that your "$8k truck" will require a $15,000 repair in just a few thousand miles. Ford use to use Navistar (International) as their diesel engine supplier. This was the worse years for the super duty and resulted in many law suites, warranty claim denials, and upset customers. Generally speaking, most owners were fine if they had less than 100k miles on their truck. But after that (sometimes 2 or 3 owners later) the head bolts would fail and cause over $10k in damage. This repair required the cab to be lifted off the engine (not in all cases, but in most) raising the repair bill by several thousands. Stick to what was suggested and look for something with a Gas engine if price is that much of a concerns for you. Perhaps even something with the V10 in it.
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Old 04-10-2016, 12:32 PM   #14
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There is no way a 2008 F350 with 100k should be priced at $8000--unless it is an oilfield unit and a base model. And, yes, 6.4L Ford diesels can be very expensive to repair, so be VERY careful about getting one. I am on my 2nd 6.4, so I can tell you about mine if you want the details.
Having lived in Evanston for 10 years, if the roof has had leaks thru many freeze/thaw cycles, I would really be leery of the roof condition.
Best of luck,
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