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Old 10-03-2010, 02:49 AM   #1
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Haven't bought yet...need advice!

hi all! i am steph, in northern california. i am single with a 7 year old daughter who is in LOVE with the idea of having an rv. i think if she were offered a flying talking unicorn or an rv, she'd pick the rv!

it would take 10 or more years for me to save enough for a newer one, so i'm thinking i will just jump into this with her while she is still young enough for me to be fun to hang out with i am looking for the really old rv's.

i have found online such things as a dodge delta 1978 23 footer cared for very well with a GREAT looking interior for its age. many things have been replaced and fixed as needed. even has a tow package and a backup camera. sounds like only the AC needs to be hooked up but all else works. they are asking 2500 for it but i could probably knock a few more hundred off.

then i also found a 1977 holiday rambler looks about the same size, really nice looking interior, appears to have been cared for and the owner states all things work fine. it does need to be reg in california tho, has out of state plates. she is listing it for 1700.

does anyone have any comments on these two vehicles? assuming they are both mechanically sound, is the rambler the obvious better choice?

thanks!!!

steph
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Old 10-03-2010, 03:11 AM   #2
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Google NADA RV Prices; then go to their website. It is a good general rule of thumb to START with. They will list two prices; low retail is the price average from an individual owner and the high retail is from a dealer.

The lower price generally includes things that need repairs and cosmetics, etc. The higher price are generally trade in units from dealers inventory. Please remember these are RETAIL and not wholesale prices.

We bought our 2008 30' Travel Trailer for just under 12K, even though we saw prices on the internet from 14 up to 23K for the same unit. We bought it "as is" with no warranty; and replaced the tires with new ones ($458.00), the kitchen sink was damaged ($100.00 for the factory replacement) and have traveled over 3200 miles in two months WITH ZERO PROBLEMS.

The dealer was asking almost $16K for the unit, but when I got ready to buy, I let my credit union give him a call.......when I went to pick up the check they told me that he had decided to come down. (utilize your bank, there is leverage there !)

The main thing is to go as new as you can; not just for cosmetics, but also generally, the newer RV's are structurally more sound and lighter.
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Old 10-03-2010, 03:25 AM   #3
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thanks for your reply! i do not have the good credit to finance anything. this would be a cash purchase. i figure if i spend 1700 and get a few years out of it, it's gotta be worth it! i have heard that the older rv's have really high quality structurally, right?

steph
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Old 10-03-2010, 08:49 AM   #4
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In reality, the RVs are selling for low retail based on NADA. On an older RV, be especially watchful for leaks. A little water can do a lot of damage to the RV in the walls and floor.

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Old 10-03-2010, 10:26 AM   #5
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Welcome from a fellow Northern Calif native. It sounds like you're in for an adventure. I don't have knowledge of either of the rigs you mention but would just offer a caution.

By their very nature, RVs require a good bit of "tinkering" to keep everything working as it's supposed to. Our coach is new and I still spend a good bit of time working on a thousand little things. It can certainly be a learning experience and perhaps you and your daughter can enjoy learning and fixing things together, but put "maintenance" on your list of things to consider.

Have you considered a small travel trailer instead of a motorhome? It could be a way to simplify things.

Best of Luck,

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Old 10-03-2010, 10:41 AM   #6
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thanks guys! i only have a ford escape. to successfully tow something i'd have to get something real small and i think we would not enjoy it as much as a motorhome due to the size, plus a very large golden retriever, and we would not use it as much. a ford escape towing a small trailer will probably get about as much gas mileage as just driving a 23 foot truck-front motorhome.
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Old 10-03-2010, 03:04 PM   #7
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When evaluating a Motorhome consider one is actually looking at two different vehicles. One vehicle is the coach, the other the truck. Each has mechanical systems one needs to consider. The coach part is easiest to see and most familar, with its plumbing, electrical, heating systems to consider along with its weatherproofing. Any part of any system could fail and put a damper on an excursion.
The truck part would cause the most angst if failed along the way. A breakdown of the truck and one is stuck..too heavy to push, expensive to tow and one cannot take them to just any garage to be repaired. Besides engines, things such as wheel bearings, universal joints, cooling systems, tires, brakes are all negatively affected by age and a failure will leave one stranded. Like most things in life one gets what one pays for. I don't know what the correct measure of time spent driving my MH vs time spent working on it..but it wouldn't surprise me if it were 5 to 1. 5hrs driving=1 hr working. Maybe higher. I would encourage prudence before considering venturing too far in a 30+ yr old truck with a house on its back; especially if one is not mechanically inclined and adept with mechanical diagnoses and repair and especially especially alone with a dependant child.
Consider operating costs too. Most RV's get 6 to 10 mpg. At $2.79/gal and 10 mpg thats .$28/mile just for gas. Older RV's are gas guzzlers..I get 8 on a good day.
There are RV's which can be pulled with an Escape, and they are pretty cool units. Here on irv2.com are forums for such RV's, have you considered looking into the Forums and seeking owners counsel?
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:22 PM   #8
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well i went with the 1978 dodge delta. it's got a 440 in it. i just could not ignore the awesome shape of the interior, and with a couple of issues to address, it still has a good engine.

now i am in the market for an owners manual!

i am praying it will pass smog, it has about 43k miles. the owner said it passed the other times. then on to insurance, and head down to camping world to get a couple of ventilation units (owner crunched them on a low tree branch) and try to pick the employees brains on how things might work LOL

steph
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:38 PM   #9
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How jazzed is your daughter? That's the important part! The rv will probably be a pain in the ass to keep tip-top but will be a blast for ya'll anyhow!

I have an older class c unit, (a 77) and I really haven't near the probs my buddys with 80s/90s units have had.

Been thinking about going way bigger and newer but the probs I keep heariing about here are making me think hillton with room service.
Of course I don't have little ones at home either. That would be a whole different story.
Have fun with your daughter in your new RV!
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamasnap View Post
well i went with the 1978 dodge delta. it's got a 440 in it. i just could not ignore the awesome shape of the interior, and with a couple of issues to address, it still has a good engine.

now i am in the market for an owners manual!

i am praying it will pass smog, it has about 43k miles. the owner said it passed the other times. then on to insurance, and head down to camping world to get a couple of ventilation units (owner crunched them on a low tree branch) and try to pick the employees brains on how things might work LOL

steph
Congratulations! You guys will have a ball learning it all together. I didn't check to see where you're located but at least where I used to live it is the SELLERS responsibility to ensure the unit passes skog.

Good luck...

Rick
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:08 AM   #11
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Congratulations! You guys will have a ball learning it all together. I didn't check to see where you're located but at least where I used to live it is the SELLERS responsibility to ensure the unit passes skog.

Good luck...

Rick
oooo didn't know that. i think he said he paid the tags but they won't send them to him til the smog is done. so when i go to do the xfer of title and release of liability and all that, don't i just hand them the smog cert from the smog place?
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:20 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by mamasnap View Post
oooo didn't know that. i think he said he paid the tags but they won't send them to him til the smog is done. so when i go to do the xfer of title and release of liability and all that, don't i just hand them the smog cert from the smog place?
His registration will show the fees have been paid but that the smog needs to be done. The California smog is automated and computerized. You should have the smog receipt with you BUT it should go into the DMV system automatically now.
FYI-The smog HAS to be done- but it is negotiable as to who is responsible for the smog. (They will not send current stickers until the smog is completed) I would NOT buy a vehicle without proof that it has passed smog because it will now be your responsibility to get it to pass smog before you can finish registering the vehicle. Who is responsible IF it does not pass smog???
Good Luck and happy traveling.
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:59 AM   #13
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Hi MM... this is directly from the Ca DMV website:

When a car is sold, who is responsible for the inspection?

The seller is required to provide the buyer with a valid smog inspection certification at the time of the sale or transfer. Smog certifications are good for 90 days from the date of issuance.
The inspection is not required on a transfer if a biennial smog certification was submitted to DMV within 90 days prior to the vehicle transfer date (a vehicle inspection report may be required for proof of certification).
NOTE: Smog certifications are not required for transfers that occur for a gasoline powered motor vehicle that is four or less model years old. (Determine the oldest-qualifying year model by subtracting three from the current year) the four or less model years old rule does not apply to diesel powered vehicles. A smog transfer fee will be collected from the new owner.



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Old 10-05-2010, 02:54 PM   #14
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Ahh, now the saga begins!

My fullest and best wishes for your new motorhome to give you many years of pleasure with a minimum of troubles and headaches. And there WILL be troubles and headaches, especially on an older coach like yours.

Rest assured when those "issues" crop up, you have a whole bunch of friendly, knowledgeable folks right here on the forum to help you work through them.
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