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Old 01-17-2005, 04:49 PM   #15
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Piedmont,SC 29673
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While it is hard to disagree with RV Roadie, it is also hard to modify a used unit to get a full size king bed slide out, dual pane windows, stacked w/d and a few more items I wouldn't want to tackle. Besides I think the idea of rv'ing is to have fun not make money. Ed

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Old 01-18-2005, 04:22 AM   #16
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Location: Oregon
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Well I hate to burst your bubble, but the first thing you need to look at is What is the max weight that your truck can legally pull and what the payload max is.
Now once you know this you can start to shop for a 5VR, then you need to know exactly what the hitch weight of the 5VR you are looking at. Oh, yeah don't trust what the dealler tells you and don't trust what the sticker may say on the side or in the cabinate. You can take that data and add to it do to upgrades, extras and so forth. Also remember that your trucks payload needs to be reduced by the amount of junk you have in it and the weight of passengers you are carring. You will be amazed at how little you will be able to carry in the bed(legally) after that.

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2014 Itasca Sunstar 35F; 5 Star tuned; 2014 Jeep Cherokee TrailHawk
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Old 01-18-2005, 06:47 AM   #17
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Location: Bossier City LA
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Hi Ed,
I would certainly not try to add a slide although there are some folks that build their own trailers and bus conversions, going far beyond that. Sorry if you took my post as an answer to yours. It sure wasn't meant that way. Rving sure is all about fun!

But the other mods you talked about I have actually done, worked around, or researched.

Dual pane windows can be installed by Peninsula Glass for about $2500.00 for the average RV. If you saved $10k on the purchase of a used rig . . .

Hehr makes stock inside storm windows for their RV windows. That is what I used for my HH. I got them at the HH factory for right at $500.00. I installed them myself. They required some mods to the window treatments, adding a frame to allow room for them under the blinds, but worked perfectly, and gave me more airspace than thermals would.

I always recommend folks buying new to get thermal windows BTW.

We fulltimed for six years and preferred not to take up space with a washer/dryer. Some swear by them, some at them, but that is personal choice. Most of the better brands come washer/dryer ready/prepped. Easily added later.

On our first HH we had a booth in the kitchen that we hated. It took up too much room, as well as being uncomfortable. I removed it, weighed it all and salvaged the paneling, and replaced it with a counter I made and covered with top grade formica.

It weiged the same and looked better than stock.

I built in a custom computer area at the LR end, which took up even less space and worked great. Even the folks at the factory liked my design and commented that it looked as good as they could do it.

We don't do shabby. We do superstock, better than new, when we do a project, so used doesn't mean any less impressive, if not more so, than a unit bought new, a year after purchase. In fact, my rigs were in better condition than some that were only a year old. That is a function of maintenance as well as the quality of the original materials and workmanship.

We also recarpeted the LR, and hallway. The Kitchen and the BR got new window treatments, and we removed the sofa replacing it with two leather incliners.

Doing mods that are as major as I have done require that you understand weights and balance, not adding a larger load on one side than was originally designed, and verifying it with before and after weighing of each wheel, in our case, a dual axle fiver. So I weighed each of the four wheels, and the tongue weight to be sure no major changes to handling would occur.

I also do my own maintenance, with the exception of a few things that are cost effective to do at the factory, which we swung by, whether we needed to or not, annually, if for no other reason than to get the wheels serviced and visit our friends there, made from previous trips.

I agree that some things are not cost effective. Buying one that leaked and has a rotted structure or needs a complete new roof is certainly not cost effective. Unless it is a valuable antique, and is being restored for reasons other than daily use. The skill level and desire on the part of the owner to make it his/hers so to speak also count highly in that decision.

If new floats your boat, you'll get no argument from me.

But unless you order a custom unit from the factory to your specs, odds are that the same or close floorplan has been made before. They usually make a lot more than one of each right?

The real downside for many is the long search for the perfect used unit. You can't just walk in and walk out with it. For some, that, and negotiating with a private individual or dealer on a used unit are enough to never buy used. These are good reasons not to buy used for some folks.

For others, that search is actully fun, and the negotiations are part of the fun.

On my first rig I saved more than 50% of the then current book value used, when I bought it in 1997. Nevermind the savings from the new price.

When I was done with it, I had spent a little over 10% more, making my investment secure for the whole life of the rig. That isn't about profit, it is about cash flow for retired military folks like us who don't have the advantage of our old full income.

I used to restore/build hot VWs and Porsches as a stress relieving hobby when we were active duty. It also provided us with cars and trucks that were way beyond our means new, but actually fun to drive as they were unique, after customization/restoration.

While those things were what floated my boat, and all the rest of our toys, it isn't ideal for many folks. And shouldn't be.

Besides, if nobody bought new, the pool of available used units would soon dry up for me no? And if nobody bought used there would be no trade in value for you when you want to buy new again, right?

So we really need each other for our personal preferences to be possible, don't we?
USAF Ret. 1971-1998
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Old 10-18-2005, 06:20 PM   #18
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Location: LI, New York
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Each person that responded here has very good points no matter which side they are on. So here is my 2 cents. I just recently bought a used 03 Cardinal 31LE 5th wheel. The trailer was bought and used 3-4 times. The owners wife decided very quickly it was not for her. The trailer belonged to my buddy's cousin so I know the story was true. When I got the trailer it had been in my buddy's back yard for 2 yrs. The owner told me to use the trailer for a week and then if I liked it, I could pay him for it when I got back. He wanted $22,000. Just what he still owed on the loan. When we got the trailer we could not figure how they could have used it because the labels were still on everything including the shower. The battery in the smoke detector still had the wrapper on it. The microwave had not been plugged in yet and the carousel ring was still in with the warrantee paperwork. He still had not hung the tooth brush holder or tp roll holder. The refrigerator had not been used. There was paper instructions still taped to the shelves in it. Yes the out side was dirty. But I got under trailer everything was still brand new. So what is my point? My point is look around at the used trailers in your area. There are some very good bargains out there. People are selling very nice trailers out there for various reasons. Being RV's loose there value very quickly in the first couple years. This way you get a very good deal and have a chance to find out what is very important in a rig to you. I will put money that what seems important to you now will be very differant in a year from now. Then you can go out and order exactly what you want if you are still intent on buying a new rig. With out taking a beating on your first trailer. What I will say though is that I would not buy too old of a rig or you may end up spending valueable off time doing repairs. I hope this helps. I know you will have a great time. That is something everyone on here will agree on.

2003 Cardinal 31LE

Black 1997 F250 H/D 4X4
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