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Old 12-25-2013, 10:49 AM   #1
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Posts: 1
Hello from SFBay area

Merry Christmas!
We are new RV'ers (is that the correct term?) as of two weeks ago. We are planning for retirement this spring, and the big plan is to move aboard our boat, a 41ft motor trawler named Dragon's Breath. We intend our travels to take us around the eastern third of the US.

However we wanted to start by making a 3 month land excursion to the Pacific Northwest. Having been tent and off-road campers all of our lives, we thought we would do just that. Then I thought about packing the camp up almost daily for three months, mix in plenty of rain, and we would be ready to throw in the towel by July.

Let's rent an RV! The math on that quickly added up, not to mention that most rental outfits and private parties had a few days or weeks in mind, not an entire summer.

Ok, let's get a used rig. We'll buy it now, fix it up over the next few months, and go in June, sell it in October. How hard could it be?

We went to lots and looked at used class A, C, fifth wheels. We looked at new, almost new, and far from new. But we did not wish to dent our retirement nest egg. I fell in love with the old GMC with the rear bogey wheels, but the more units I looked at, the more the same problems kept showing up. And they weren't cheap for their age. Then I found a 1979 Revcon. It was somewhat perfect. Then we learned it had a salvage title. STOP!

I found a 1991 Chaparral Class A gasser closer to home and bought it right away. I was drawn in by the Passed Smog claim. And I liked the fuel injection and the hydraulic levelers. Almost everything else was non functional, but I looked with the view of "I can fix that". I should have made a list, because the one in my head overflowed.

Here I am two weeks later. I repaired the electric stairs. The furnace works, as does the refrigerator, stove, and water heater. I fixed the turn signals, replaced the coach battery, repaired the overhead vents. I shampooed the carpets and extracted pounds of Burning Man dust.

The roof is shot and will be coated with EPDM today or tomorrow. The water system had a split line under the bed, and let me know by soaking the carpet after I filled the tank. The toilet valve leaks and we will replace the entire toilet. That is after we rip out the old linoleum tile, sink pedestal, cabinets, and most everything else in the bathroom. The tile in the galley has to go, as does the main salon carpet. A new heater control is on order through e-Bay. Interior rotted wood needs to be replaced, tires are expired, and the list goes on and on.

What did I get myself in to? I should remember to focus on what I paid ($4100)) what I expected, and what I got. Perhaps it isn't too bad. Fortunately, I am very handy with tools, and have kept repair costs to a minimum. I am apprehensive about my purchase, understanding that one gets what one pays for.

I hope that my wife and I find that our rig gets to where we want to go this summer. After we tire of the boating life, a full time RV is in the plan. That will cost a lot more than what we spent on this one. But I have already learned a lot about what to look for when purchasing.

So, wish us luck. Hopefully, we will be able to travel the coast highway and keep the rain off our heads.
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Old 12-25-2013, 11:35 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard!

The good thing about buying an RV that needs work is that you become familiar very quickly about how things work, or don't work, as the case may be.

Once you get on the road you'll have a handle on most things but there are things that always pop up whether it's a brand new RV or a used one.

Good luck in your travels!
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Old 12-25-2013, 11:59 AM   #3
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Welcome from Santa Clara and Merry Christmas. A huge job for sure but don't forget about the rest of the USA, lots and lots to see. Wish our health would let us do it again but the memories developed young get you through the bad times.
While I am thinking about it, don't forget to develop an adventurous since of humor.

Don G.
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Old 12-25-2013, 01:58 PM   #4
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Hi folks! Welcome to IRV2! It's great to have you join the crew!

Congrats on the new rig! Sounds like you've taken on quite a project! Hope it works out well for you. Enjoy the forum!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!



MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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Old 12-25-2013, 02:38 PM   #5
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Welcome and your project sounds like fun. Enjoy the adventure!
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Old 12-25-2013, 02:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kvw613 View Post
Merry Christmas!
We are new RV'ers (is that the correct term?) as of two weeks ago. We are planning for retirement this spring, and the big plan is to move aboard our boat, a 41ft motor trawler named Dragon's Breath. We intend our travels to take us around the eastern third of the US.

However we wanted to start by making a 3 month land excursion to the Pacific Northwest. Having been tent and off-road campers all of our lives, we thought we would do just that. Then I thought about packing the camp up almost daily for three months, mix in plenty of rain, and we would be ready to throw in the towel by July.

Let's rent an RV! The math on that quickly added up, not to mention that most rental outfits and private parties had a few days or weeks in mind, not an entire summer.

Ok, let's get a used rig. We'll buy it now, fix it up over the next few months, and go in June, sell it in October. How hard could it be?

We went to lots and looked at used class A, C, fifth wheels. We looked at new, almost new, and far from new. But we did not wish to dent our retirement nest egg. I fell in love with the old GMC with the rear bogey wheels, but the more units I looked at, the more the same problems kept showing up. And they weren't cheap for their age. Then I found a 1979 Revcon. It was somewhat perfect. Then we learned it had a salvage title. STOP!

I found a 1991 Chaparral Class A gasser closer to home and bought it right away. I was drawn in by the Passed Smog claim. And I liked the fuel injection and the hydraulic levelers. Almost everything else was non functional, but I looked with the view of "I can fix that". I should have made a list, because the one in my head overflowed.

Here I am two weeks later. I repaired the electric stairs. The furnace works, as does the refrigerator, stove, and water heater. I fixed the turn signals, replaced the coach battery, repaired the overhead vents. I shampooed the carpets and extracted pounds of Burning Man dust.

The roof is shot and will be coated with EPDM today or tomorrow. The water system had a split line under the bed, and let me know by soaking the carpet after I filled the tank. The toilet valve leaks and we will replace the entire toilet. That is after we rip out the old linoleum tile, sink pedestal, cabinets, and most everything else in the bathroom. The tile in the galley has to go, as does the main salon carpet. A new heater control is on order through e-Bay. Interior rotted wood needs to be replaced, tires are expired, and the list goes on and on.

What did I get myself in to? I should remember to focus on what I paid ($4100)) what I expected, and what I got. Perhaps it isn't too bad. Fortunately, I am very handy with tools, and have kept repair costs to a minimum. I am apprehensive about my purchase, understanding that one gets what one pays for.

I hope that my wife and I find that our rig gets to where we want to go this summer. After we tire of the boating life, a full time RV is in the plan. That will cost a lot more than what we spent on this one. But I have already learned a lot about what to look for when purchasing.

So, wish us luck. Hopefully, we will be able to travel the coast highway and keep the rain off our heads.

As a boater who has cruised the Great Lakes to Key West, you will love that cruising adventure on you 41' trawler. Despite all your issues with the RV, it is still cheaper than the boat Of course, now I have by Diesel pusher on order and get to spend money in 2 different ways!!
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Old 12-25-2013, 07:07 PM   #7
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Good luck with your endeavor.
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Old 12-25-2013, 08:16 PM   #8
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Welcome and glad to meet you!
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Old 12-26-2013, 07:44 AM   #9
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Welcome aboard the RV world and good luck...
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