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Old 05-20-2012, 11:52 AM   #1
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Smile BF got me excited about RVing... saving up and researching older models

I am in the military and just got back from Afghanistan looking at a forced early retirement due to service-connected injuries. I came home to find I no longer had a home/rental property, a marriage, personal belongings, decent credit, or custody of my daughter.

I was having a hard time moving forward with my life until one day, one of my best friends growing up, who I had lost contact with for 20 years, looked me up on Facebook and introduced me to the idea of RVing as a life filled with fun, freedom, and flexibility. I am still on active duty while getting evaluated/treated for my injuries, and it was costing me a fortune see my daughter every time I was able to take a little leave. As strange as it may sound, looking for an RV has given me purpose and hope.

I am now on the hunt for a classy class A (or possibly a larger class C) around $10,000. I am open to finding an older one I can fix up/update (as long as it doesn't have too much water damage or a funny smell). I am hoping to find one with a nice exterior that has a clean, cozy interior and ample storage that feels light, open and airy on the inside. I don't necessarily need any slide-outs. I am open to hearing advice/experience from people who know about older RV's and what brands to get/not get.

I saw a 1996 fleetwood southwind for $7,500 with a floor plan I just loved... nice kitchen, big tub, a hallway leading to the bedroom (so it felt more like a house) and a huge closet with a space where I could put a stackable washer/dryer, but it was one of the first ones I saw, and I did not snatch it up in time ... now I hear that fleetwood went out of business so it might have been hard to find parts/get service, etc., so maybe it was for the best, but now none of the ones I have been seeing lately seem to measure up. But I am doggedly determined to look for as long as it takes to find exactly what I want.

Looking forward to meeting/hearing from all y'all... thanks for reading my post!

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Old 05-20-2012, 12:59 PM   #2
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Howdy and welcome to the forum. Thanks you for your service to our country. Hope you can enjoy the site as well. You'll meet plenty of fine people here with a wealth of knowledge. I would surf around the forum and post some questions in the Class A forum along with maybe another and just ask some general questions. As far as Fleetwood, I have not heard of them going out of business. They build plenty of different models in their lineup. They may have quit making the Southwind I'm not sure but they still build the Bounder which is probably their most popular model. Well anyway have fun shopping and hope you find the rv that fits your needs the best. Keep us informed and don't be shy to ask questions. Good Luck!!!

Steve & Sally / HiTee & Hudson Our Little Poms / Heidi & Houston Forever in our Hearts
04 NEWMAR MACA 3778 W22 / 05 PT Vert
Michigan (Summer) Florida (Winter)
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Old 05-20-2012, 05:38 PM   #3
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Hi and Thank you for your service
US Navy Vet, Liberty Tree Member of Oath Keepers, NRA & VFW Life Member, Alaska EMT.
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Old 05-20-2012, 05:46 PM   #4
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Welcome and also thank you for your service. When looking for an older MH be sure that there are no leaks or if there were that they were fixed and no further damage was done. If you are handy with tools you should be able to get a good deal and work on it to improve it and save money. If you have questions just ask and this site will assist you in your search. Good Luck
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:04 PM   #5
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Howdy and welcome. Good luck with your search...and Fleetwood is very much still in business. Fleetwood RV
Sarah (RVM69), Hubby, and Harry the RVin' Dog
.......2012 Fleetwood Bounder 33C | 2012 Jeep Wrangler

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Old 05-20-2012, 06:16 PM   #6
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Welcome to the forum. Keep your chin up, things will get better. Thank you for your service and good luck...
John, Deb; & our dog, Benji, Forever in our hearts.
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:43 PM   #7
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Hi and thank you for your sevice to our country. RVing is lots of fun and you'll meet many friends. Any info you need just post your question and we'll all help all we can.
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:51 PM   #8
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Welcome to the forums. I'm fairly new here myself but I've learned a lot from the many great forum posts. I bought and drive an orphan RV myself (Thor is still around, just not the same Thor that built mine) and I don't lose any sleep over it and if I found a good deal it wouldn't stop me from buying another orphan. Take your time, do the research and you will find a nice RV in your price range.
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:05 PM   #9
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Thanks for your service to your country, sir. The right rig for you will come along, and you will be able to see the country you served for so long. There are many veterans on this forum, you are in good company.

Things will get better for you in time. In the meantime, look for that rig that fits your needs, ask for help on this forum if you need it, and press on. God bless.
SSgt. Richard L Ray, USAF (Retired) - Laura L Ray
Our second home is a vintage 1995 Jayco Eagle 277RB 'The Love Shack"
towed by a 2008 Ford F-250 Lariat Crew Cab short bed "The Green Goblin"

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Old 05-20-2012, 09:48 PM   #10
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Hello and welcome to iRV2, wishing you all the best .
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:56 PM   #11
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Welcome! Sorry to hear about your troubles... hopefully the RV will make a positive difference.

My best advice is... condition condition condition when it comes to an RV. You want the floorplan you like, sure, but issues around conditions can get VERY expensive.

But feel free to ask advice, and I suspect there's always someone local to you that can spend some time helping you learn about RVs!

The Green Machine -- 2000 Mountain High Coachworks Summit (Spartan chassis / Cummins ISC)
...and F-Troop: Fearghus, Fiona, and Frankie (Cairn Terriers)
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Old 05-21-2012, 04:00 PM   #12
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Thank you for your service. So sorry for your injuries and other problems. But have faith things will get better. Keep us posted on your progress in buying a MH.
Brenda and Frank, FTers, Zebulon, NC
Raisin our mixed hound and our cat BooBoo.
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Old 05-21-2012, 04:16 PM   #13
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Welcome back and thank you for your service. Most motorhomes use the same appliances from the same makers so do not be afraid of "orphan brands"-I have one. And there are even motorhome wrecking yards. Main thing to look for is leaking water damage. I like the older MT (motorhomes) as they have more-style? We all can be more help if we knew what part of the USA you are in.

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