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Old 09-24-2015, 11:35 AM   #15
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You may want to invest in "RV inspection service" to have some knowledgeable of RV's to check it over. The same for an RV as it is for a S&B home, an inspection for that type of investment is essential. Check: rvinspection.com to see if they have someone located in your area. They are nationwide so chances are they could help. I don't know what the cost will be but I would guess somewhere around $4-500 fo thorough inspection which may be money well spent. What you are looking at is over 20 years old so most likely will need every piece of rubber replaced, hoses, tires, belts etc. to start with. Not a lot of miles so seals may have dried up on the engine, and transmission so that needs to be checked. If you are going to stay put in one place for an extended period of time it may not be a big issue but if you are going to be moving around quite a bit then it may be a BIG problem. If the owners can provide you with maintenance records it would help to know what has been taken care of.

2014 Palomino Puma 25RS 28 days in 2014, 47 days in 2015, 71 days in 2016, 2017-33, 2018- 29 booked.
2011 F-150 Supercrew 5.0 6spd, Me, Xyl and the 2 Fur kids, BooBoo and Gracie (felines)
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Old 09-25-2015, 10:00 AM   #16
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I've bought every RV I've ever owned used from a private party. Two things I insist on before I will even talk to the seller. A)do you have the manuals for the systems? B)do you have service records? If I get a no answer to either question I keep looking unless I'm looking to steal it. Having these things show me, pride of ownership and that the person had some idea of the systems. Most everything in a motor home is standard, fridge, water heater, A/C etc and most are fairly easy to test and are relatively cheap to fix. If you're buying a motor home old enough to get into a bar I'd suggest you being a little handy. There should be a bunch of little fixes that if you can't do will eat up your budget.
Other than that the drive train should be gone through as that's where it can get expensive. Good luck

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Old 09-25-2015, 10:18 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by DesertLass View Post
What I'd like to know is what should we look out for as far as "less than perfect" as far as expensive repairs go? What are some of the red flags that we should walk away from?
Everyone has an opinion, I am no different. As a DIY person, I think service records are mostly bogus. Especially since such a large number of RV "service centers" often do more harm than good. Nice info to have but certainly does not tell the whole story.

Since this is a commonly asked questions, my standard response is here.

Hope that helps!
JD - Full timer out west
Missy - 1998 MCI 102-EL3 - 1.7kW Solar - 10kWh Lithium
My Adventures & Build
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Old 09-25-2015, 10:24 AM   #18
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[QUOTE=DesertLass;2756704]What I meant by "testing the waters" is that we plan on living in it full time for at least a year. If we'd rather have a property after that time, we'll just buy one after that year is up, and keep the RV, as our work requires travel.

Just be aware that there is a huge difference between a gas coach and a DP.
I had a 2000 Pace Arrow and found it just too lightweight for my style of RVing. If you are parking it in one place and living in it, that is a different horse. If you plan on travelling a lot, then you need to ask different questions.
Not sure if the 1998 has a V10........my 2000 did.
Blew a head gasket and found out you have to replace the motor.
Early V10's had plug problems also.

Have the propane system certified and all appliances work both on propane and electric (if this applies).
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Old 09-25-2015, 01:34 PM   #19
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I would echo inspection of tires, belts, hoses, seals, etc., that may be explained in the maintenance records. Current owner probably has insurance, so let him replace the windshield..!

Re: one AC - That is probably OK in the winter AZ weather, depending on size (not mentioned). It does get pretty cold here at night, so a good furnace is mandatory.

Another expensive problem that might occur with your Pace Arrow is leaking headers. This can occur with either the 454 Chevy or the 460 Ford, and I assume the 94 rig will have one or the other. Remember the $125/hr figure for labor somebody mentioned previously....

As the owner of an old Class A, I seeked out a rig with no slides since we don't use it to live in, nor for long periods of time. I had a 95 Vectra gasser prior to our current 96 Vectra diesel pusher. Our current one has a wide body, and the difference that extra 6" makes is pretty impressive! Something to think about. An older diesel may cost a few bucks more now, but will also be worth more when you go to sell it so the cost of gas vs. diesel is probably a wash.

There are some high quality older diesel rigs around and are certainly worth considering. I love mine, and would take it anyplace. Purchased nearly 8 years ago, it was immaculate (still is), and had excellent maintenance records. Craig's List is a good place to look. That's where I found mine!

Good Luck in your search. Just remember that there are a lot of coaches out there, so don't get hung up on one.
Ken & Jeannie
96 Vectra Grand Tour 35' DP
Jacey (terri-poo, waiting at the rainbow bridge), Jack (silky terrier), Hannah (poodle)
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Old 09-25-2015, 02:31 PM   #20
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So many answers! Thank you ALL so very much for the great advice. I have found someone to look at the units for us, so that will help us greatly.

We plan on parking it and living in it in Havasu/Parker Arizona area until May, then we embark up to the Redwoods, Oregon, down to Utah and across the USA to Michigan. So, it's definitely going to get driven. In September, it's back to Arizona, which is our home state.

If anyone needs a spot to boondock, we have land 37 miles from Las Vegas, and another lot near Dolan Springs, Arizona. They both have panoramic mountain views! Give me a shout if you need a reprieve from the road, I'd be happy to accommodate as long as you take out what you bring in , it's FREE .

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