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Old 10-02-2012, 11:53 PM   #1
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New or used MH for full time?

Greetings fellow tax payers.

We have owned our 2005 Fleetwood Southwind 32VS since March of this year. We've spent several week ends in National Parks in it.

We recently took a trip from NW Florida to Indianapolis. Stayed one night. Went to Norfolk, VA. Stayed two nights. Back to Indianapolis. Got some sleep and came home. 3070 miles in six days. On the road stayed between 62 and 70 MPH. Everything on the motorhome worked like new. Frig., furnace, AC, range, jacks, doors, everything. Well, except for the no TV reception. That was one of the drivingest, tiring trips I've ever done but had to do it. Great-Granny wanted to see her Great-Grandson graduate from H.S. and you do not tell Great-Granny no.

The Southwind has 75,000 miles on the meter. We like the looks and the interior set-up. Starts right up and is ready to go every time we head out. Now, with almost fifty years (yikes) as aircraft mechanic/car mechanic/tractor mechanic experience I can see that the engine has had some work at one point (had to repair the oil dipstick tube) but can't find any problems or what may have been worked on. Geeze. He does ramble on.

We are planning on going full time in June 2013. We are really considering staying with the Southwind for full timming. But there is the thought of 75,000 miles on the meter.

O.K. FINALLY. The Question. Keep the 2005 Southwind or buy a new unit (something in the line of 34V Bounder) for going full time? There are many things to factor into the decision. I'm having a heck of a time deciding. Any suggestions/comments??? Please?
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:57 PM   #2
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What does your budget say?

What does the DW say?

Keeping her happy would be a priority!
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:23 AM   #3
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Budget says, Volkswagon bus with a gas can strapped to the back. Just kidding. Sorry. Couldn't resist.

Budget will allow either way. But I am thrifty (to city folk, that means cheap.).

Wife says "Whatever." BUT. I want to set it up for her quilting hobby. And that is no problem to me. Just a little pay back for putting up with me for almost half a century.

The unit age and mileage is my concern. I don't plan on doing mechanical work or overnighting in a shop while on the road. But, new units have problems also.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:02 AM   #4
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You will not avoid spending a few nights in the shop new or used. Getting the "bugs" out of a new one is kind of a famous routine for MH's (wish it were not so).

What big problem is it really to start out in the MH you have now and let nature take it's course. It may run like a champ for years relatively unscathed. When you think she is done, or you are done with it, then buy a new one.

Fulltiming may take some adjustment, you may tire of it quicker than you believe right now. Give it a try in what you have, you can always buy a new rig anytme you want.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:57 AM   #5
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You will not avoid spending a few nights in the shop new or used. Getting the "bugs" out of a new one is kind of a famous routine for MH's (wish it were not so).

What big problem is it really to start out in the MH you have now and let nature take it's course. It may run like a champ for years relatively unscathed. When you think she is done, or you are done with it, then buy a new one.

Fulltiming may take some adjustment, you may tire of it quicker than you believe right now. Give it a try in what you have, you can always buy a new rig anytme you want.
X2, you can always upgrade at any time. Not saying one way or the other but if you will be sitting more than travleing a 5th wheel will offer you more useable space.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:12 AM   #6
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but if you will be sitting more than travleing a 5th wheel will offer you more useable space.
After you spend $60,000 for a diesel pickup to pull it....
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:28 AM   #7
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It really depends on a lot of factors. First one being, how much will you travel? Or will you park it most of the time? If you travel a lot get a diesel pusher. If not, a gasser might work fine.

The second factor is floor plan. Can the two of you be happy in a 32 ft. We have owned three 5ers and now the mh. Now retired, the setup and living area and floor plan makes it much easier for the both of us as we are full timers too.

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Old 10-03-2012, 07:32 AM   #8
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At 75,000 miles, someone has really enjoyed the RV and I am sure there is tons of fun times left to be had. My old DP had 115,000 miles on it and I am sure there is at least another 100,000 miles left in that engine. I think the gassers have to work a bit harder than say a normal car, so 75,000 car miles is not the same as 75,000 RV miles. I can fully understand your concerns about breakdowns cutting into your fulltiming fun and adventures. If you plan on going throughout the entire union, you might put 30-50,000 miles on the rig. I have seen a lot of two year old coaches with 50,000 miles on them as there is a lot to see and rightly so. I would add your current miles to your expect miles to help with your decision.

I would keep with your current one and if you feel you want a bit more, those bounders are really nice, you can start looking around for one. It might take 6 months or more to find one. Interest rates are really low. I just bought a 2005 and got 4.49%. The nice thing about your current coach is that you will be able to determine your needs and if more room is required or not for your hobbies.

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Old 10-03-2012, 07:40 AM   #9
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X2, you can always upgrade at any time. Not saying one way or the other but if you will be sitting more than travleing a 5th wheel will offer you more useable space.
I agree with bbeane 5vr has more usable space use what you have and if the life style fits then make your decision
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:52 AM   #10
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If you have a unit that runs good, fits your lifestyle and is a proven thing, stick with it and try out your full-timer dream. You can always change it out down the road. 75000 miles is nothing for a modern diesel. Keep your present unit and do anything you can to keep DW happy. When Momma is happy, everyone in the area is happy!
Seeya on the road
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:53 AM   #11
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Our preference is a 5er for full-timing. But that is what fits us. And you do not need to buy a NEW truck to pull a 5er. Lots of good used ones on the market.

Ken
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:00 AM   #12
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I think you need to spend a little time evaluating your current MH for full-timing. Do you love the floor plan? Things that are just a little irritating on short trips become much bigger issues when you are living in the MH. Is the hot water tank big enough? What about holding tanks? Too-small holding tanks can be a real pain when living aboard. Is the refrigerator big enough to handle your needs full time? Do you like the sleeping arrangements? Is there a countertop corner that you are constantly running into because you don't have enough aisle space? Is there enough storage and will the MH safely carry all the stuff you need? If, after making these judgements, your current MH passes with flying colors, I would keep it. If not, then I would look for one that meets your new full-time needs.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:01 AM   #13
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Mechanical problems can be fixed with $$$ & time. An inadiquate floor plan & unhappy DW is another situation all-together.

IMHO for full-timing its the living space that counts.

JJ

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Old 10-03-2012, 08:06 AM   #14
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You can still get financing on an '05, so the market you might have for it if you put it on the market is still pretty good? Not sure how much longer that will be, and you might also be up for another big "value" hit as you approach/exceed 100K miles?

From there, I would look for something bigger, diesel would be the power choice, and it would be another used coach.....
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