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Old 02-19-2018, 01:18 PM   #1
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Advice before purchasing motorhome

SO Im looking to purchase a Class A or C motorhome and IM quickly finding IM in over my head. Ive done a little reading and need some advice

Ive looked at so many and I just want to be cautious before pulling the trigger

My budget is$20k-$30k I could go a touch higer if absolutely had to
Im wanting something around 30-34ft and 2005+ year model
What should I avoid? what is considered a "good deal"
any certain brand or model or design thats known to be avoided?
this RV will be used mainly for regular camping and occasionaly to pull a 6x10 trailer with my side by side to ride offroad at atv parks
heres an example

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Old 02-19-2018, 05:08 PM   #2
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First and foremost....floorplan. You have to live in it.
Second check weights and tow capacity of your coach. You may find you are overweight with many rigs so be careful. Make sure you get repair records. Drive the coach, make sure everything works (electric, plumbing, heat etc)
It is a process.

2018 Tiffin Allegro RED 37PA
2016 Veloster Toad
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Old 02-19-2018, 06:29 PM   #3
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The floor plan will be the most important thing, followed by how comfortable is for you to drive. Are you at ease, do you have enough leg room? head room? can you get in and out easily? Does the AC work well enough to keep you cool?.
Generally a class A will be more comfortable to drive, but a class C may be easier for you to drive.

How much work are you willing to put into a RV? Do you want one that is turn key or are you willing to upgrade some things? Gas or Diesel?

When you figure all these things out the list of RV's will be smaller and it will be easier for you to make your choice.
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Old 02-19-2018, 06:39 PM   #4
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Check the date code on the tires. RV tires are not based on miles but on a 10-year lifespan. If 10 years old on the tires or close figure another 2 to $4,000 for tires.
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Old 02-20-2018, 01:42 AM   #5
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My suggestion is not to pick an arbitrary cut off year, look at condition of the coach. I can't think of anything big mechanically that happened in 2005 on class A gas coaches. Workhorse introduced the 8.1 Vortec engines in mid 2001, I think they introduced the W series chassis in about 2003 with the 8.1 and the 5 speed Alison transmission, I think Workhorse switched to the 6 speed transmission in 2006, and I think the big Ford F53 redesign also happened in 2006, or maybe 2007.

I paid just over $20,000 for my 2002 coach in 2016, and spent right at $6,000 in the first year on maintenance and upgrades (adding such things as TPMS, GPS, new shocks, ... as well as numerous little projects, oxygenics shower head, ...) of which I would say about half were important / necessary.

Beyond that, save some money for unexpected repairs, even on a well maintained coach there are often things that slip through the cracks. For example I bought my coach from a guy that was generally obsessed with maintenance, though he did not drive at night, as a result he had failed to maintain a number of the marker lights, and they either had burned out bulbs, or corroded sockets. If the seller does not have detailed maintenance history, expect to spend $750 or so having all the fluids changed (oil, radiator, power steering, brake, diff, etc.). Expect a coach of this vintage to need any original rubber parts replaced, this includes not just belts and hoses, but all sorts of rubber suspension bushings, etc. As a rule of thumb anything made out of rubber on an RV has about a 12 year life expectancy.
2002 Safari Trek 2830 on P32 Chassis with 8.1L
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Old 02-20-2018, 07:02 AM   #6
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Your Dollars and Age seem to correlate. But remember, you're buying an old truck and an old house.. The more you know about them, the better position you'll be to negotiate a good price..

Number one Advice - DO NOT get emotional about the purchase. Be honest, open minded, AND be willing to walk away.

DIYer - If you need to write a check to fix things, you will quickly run out of money, OR, things don't get fixed. Almost all repairs / servicing on the house and truck can be accomplished by someone who isn't necessarily "Mechanically Inclined". They will need to be inquisitive and willing to learn about the vehicle.

I prepared a checklist of stuff to look at when I purchased my Southwind (F53 chassis). When I started climbing around the vehicle, the seller took note of what I was finding, and the price started going down. I knew exactly what I was getting for my money and there were no surprises..

F53 inspection maintenance checklist – 1999 Southwind 35S

The above checklist is very comprehensive for the chassis (the truck). You will also need to do the same detail inspection on the house part (the coach).|

Verify all major appliances work, frig, stove, furnace, AC units, water heater, generator, water system, awnings, windows, vents, fans, slide outs, 12 volt and 110 volt electrical, roof, etc, etc, etc.

High Dollar items will be tires... Verify date codes.

On an older motorhome, you will run into stuff that needs repair. We bought our 1999 Southwind last spring, You can look through my web site and see the stuff that I've been working on.. I would say this is typical. The Southwind is a top of the line, high quality MH, but a lot of the maintenance was being differed..

We are 100% happy with the Southwind, It is high quality, its the floor plane we want, and the 18 year old motorhome is now in tip top condition, both mechanically and functionally.
1999 Fleetwood Southwind 35S (Ford F53 6.8L V10 275hp 4R100 4 spd trans) - Toad 2003 Saturn Vue.

It won't do MACH 2, but I can get a sandwich and take a pee.
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Old 02-20-2018, 07:53 PM   #7
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Would this be worth it?

Itís higher than i want to spend bit is this worth $45000 ? Itís new and looks very nice


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