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Old 12-08-2014, 07:24 PM   #15
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Location: Bellevue, Nebraska
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In my opinion, you may want to look at older ('84-'94) Foretravel or Newmar. Use RVTrader, and search for those. You can limit your search to $10,000 to $20,000, or whatever price you're comfortable with. That search will show you most of the units around the country that match your criteria. You'll find lots of pictures and details.

You may want to visit (in person or on line) PPL Motorhomes in Houston, TX. The advantage here is that you can look at many, many units, all for sale by people who no longer want them. Usually, at a decent price.

A Safari Trek may also fit your needs. You can learn most of the info you're asking about with lots and lots of searching (here on this site, and Google).

Keep us posted.

And good luck.

2003 Ford F150 Supercab 5.4
1997 Keystone Sprinter 24RL
Former Full-Timers
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Old 12-08-2014, 07:26 PM   #16
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Location: Gulf Coast, Alabama
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Gus, maybe put aside your technical experience for awhile, and consider the hows and whys that RVs and MHs are built. They are a lot like boats; to appeal to a market that can afford luxury, can't see past the looks, and won't be holding onto their new toy more than 2-7 years.

If you were building that kind of product, you'd understand that short-cuts are a necessity to staying in business for most manufacturers.

If you have the skills to baby an old goose for another 50,000 miles, then you win your battle with reality. Enjoy your victory, but know that other folks are buying new units because they have more money than skill.

To each their own...and not suggesting that you don't have money as well as multiple skills, so enjoy your exclusivity if you have both.

Rick and Sandy
2003 American Eagle, 46K miles
...from Sept 2015
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Old 12-08-2014, 08:00 PM   #17
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: PUEBLO WEST, CO.
Posts: 31
1) Yep, I do belong to the ADHD club, but not that hard to keep in control! I have a good sense of humor, and still do not know were to look for built info.. LOL
2) Bad attitude? Oh my, not me, just ask my wife, or my goats, 8 dogs, 2 cats, and a few tenants! The world could be burning around us, and I keep things in perspective, I'm not allowed to blow a gasket, doctor told me that! I just want it all, and I want it my way, is that too much to ask? LOL
I'm even willing to flex a little, if it's got a 440, 454, 460 and a 727, TH400 or a C6, I'll yank them out and put in a 6BT and a Allison 5 speed, if in the mood, I'll slip in a transfer case too. As you SHOULD be able to tell by now, I'm looking for low frills and a sturdy high quality house box. Problem is I do not know where to find the info to sort out how they were built. I found a 76 Pace arrow, that could work, but I got a real bad feeling that the guy was running from the law, also found a 77 Sportscoach(steel frame) on a Dodge but can't get ahold of the guy selling it. Starting to look for a 28' Champion Ultrastar (also steel frame) I found that info by accident, I need to be able to go to a website, and see how these things are built. If the chassis is overloaded right from the factory, how the fit and finish held up, things like that, it's not like I can ask the seller,"do you mind if I pull a wall apart to see the frame and insulation?" And as Joan Crawford said "no wire hangers nor rubber roofs!" LOL Come on guys, have you ever seen any of the Caravans(MHs) down under, or expedition MHs? Some real sturdy rigs down under.
Come on hit me, I can take it, or is it that I like it? Anyway, I'm just getting into, what seems lots of you have been living for years, you must have some ideas as to information. What rigs can take a licking and keep on ticking?
Again it's just humor!
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Old 12-08-2014, 08:26 PM   #18
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: PUEBLO WEST, CO.
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Bamaboy, you just educated me! Great example RE: boats! Now I got it! I had not thought of it in those terms. Yep, now I have to look at if from the point of view of finding something in good shape cheap, and modify it to my needs, we can do that! Looked into tire prices, ouch,,,, windshields for $2K plus, I better see naked girls through a $2K peice of glass... LOL
Thanks for the info!
PS: I always thought about the guys on fancy boats with a little V6, and me on a nice enough boat, that saw wax 5 or 6 years ago, but I can take on almost any weather or water conditions safely, and it will also do over 70MPH(by GPS) @ a mile high.
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Old 12-08-2014, 08:58 PM   #19
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Vintage RV Owners Club
Spartan Chassis
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Cedar Park, Tx.
Posts: 257
Check out a BlueBird Wanderlodge FC (say early to late 80's). Mine is an 84 with 175000 miles on it and it is extremely reliable (Cat 3208 turbo, Allison MT643 transmission). It likes attention here and there (nothing 30 years old doesn't) but it is still as solid as it was when it was sold...it's just older now . 25000 would get you a well taken care of unit and would actually be cheaper than another that is 10,000 less. Maintenance is cheap if done as needed (as I do) but if you buy anything that's been neglected catching up on all the maintenance (belts, tires, hoses, fluids, odds and ends) can get you to 10,000 bucks in a heartbeat. My tires alone are 600-700 a piece....

I have some random videos of it here:
1995 BlueBird BMC 37
2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited
1984 BlueBird Wanderlodge FC35RB-Sold
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:02 PM   #20
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Monaco Owners Club
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Posts: 185
You could look for one like mine... Cummins 6BT, Allison AT542 with gear vendors overdive, tag axle rear end with 6 airbags. No slides, no electronics, solid oak cabinetry, and 11 MPG on a P30 chassis. Very reliable so far at 40k miles. Also, one piece fiberglass roof, and fiberglass sides. It's a pusher but has front radiator, great access to motor.
1988 34' Executive Industries - Executive Prestige
5.9 Cummins, Allison AT542
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:14 PM   #21
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Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
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Buy an old 30' boat with a pair of raw water cooled diesels, a little bit of soft core in the fiberglass decks, and motor homes look pretty good. If you don't miss the pelicans swimming around. I think I'm going to tear up pretty soon.
2000 DSDP, 3894,Freightliner,330 Cat, 07 Jeep Commander 4x4toad.
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:23 PM   #22
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Posts: 219
I recently sold my '78 GMC EM-50 Urban Assault Vehicle and bought an '85 Gulf Stream 34' Sun Stream. I did lots of research on the models I was considering. For some mfg, you can access scans of original brochures. Some have pretty good info about coach & chassis build. I was able to contact a gentleman at Gulf Stream that has been there since their startup in the early '80s who gave me some good info.
If you need help with a locally available coach let me know, I'm NE of the Springs in Black Forest.
1985 Gulf Stream 34' Sun Stream
1997 Newmar Mountain Aire 3757
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:28 PM   #23
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: PUEBLO WEST, CO.
Posts: 31
I would like to thank everyone, and those that send great comments, and pointing me to some MHs that I had never thought of looking at! Hope my humor did not offend anyone! As I tend to look at things from some odd angles. So now let me go shopping!
Talk soon,
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Old 12-09-2014, 08:53 PM   #24
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 96
Here's the problem; You just started looking a week ago!

Step back, breathe and take your time.

I cruised RV lots for about 3 years looking for the right one. One day, we lucked (and I really mean that) into a 20 year old Winnebago that was exactly what I was looking for. GM powered, no slides, and properly upgraded by the original owners. It had 80K miles on it, but judging by the logs, they were mostly highway miles and whenever something broke, the PO had it fixed right. No shortcuts. And best of all, it was $40K under budget.

I've put a few thousand into it, but the bones are good and I plan to keep it for at least another 5-7 years.
Enjoying the simple life w/a 1994 Winnebago Brave 31RQ (A). Past RVs; RoadTrek (B), Starcraft Pop-up, Coachmen (C), MinnieWinnie (C) and an American Something-or-other (TT). Started it all off as a teenager in a 1964 Apache Pop-up we named Wag Along.
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Old 12-10-2014, 07:13 PM   #25
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Location: NW Oregon
Posts: 70
Sounds to me like you probably would be happiest with any rig built on a bus chassis, with bus body construction. A friend of mine bought an old converted Greyhound for about $8000, and lives in it full time. He has had to do very little to it mechanically. It has NO frills at all, and is just a portable place to live, but would get him anywhere he and his wife want to go without leaking or shaking itself to pieces. It has a dependable (underpowered) Detroit 6-71, and a manual tranny. Another friend of mine mounted an older camp trailer, about a 30' long one, on an early 80's Kenworth truck, with the front of the trailer at the rear of the truck. He painted it red with black trim, and it was Beautiful! It looked every bit as good as any new ones on the road, and he didn't have more than about $25000 into it. Most "conventional" motor homes are a medium duty chassis with a large flatbed attached, and then a flimsy steel tube or aluminum tube framework in a grid pattern with thin plywood and styrofoam sandwich boards filling in the spaces, so there is really not much strength in the walls, and over the years water incursion can cause a lot of rot and weakening in addition to the original lack of strength. Most were, as many have said, built to impress "the yokels", but not to last for 20 or 30 years. People have "fooled" the factories by resurrecting these old rigs and giving them a much longer life span by rebuilding and improving on the original designs and construction, and are saving a lot of money over the cost of a new one in the process. It all depends upon how dedicated you are to making it the way you want it.
I said "I'll own a motor home when pigs fly"...Well I now own the "pig", and love it!
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Old 12-10-2014, 08:09 PM   #26
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Old 12-10-2014, 08:26 PM   #27
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Posts: 16
I just purchased a 2004 Holiday Rambler Navigator 40PBT. I have owned for 3 years a 1994 Holiday Rambler Navigator 38PD with a Spartan Chassis, 300HP Cummins and 6 speed Allison transmission. My 94 Navigator is a rock. I have averaged 10.2 mpg pulling my 03 F250. My 94 will be going on the market in the spring. I suggest you search on RVT.com and RVTrader for the 93 to 94 holiday Rambler Navigator. A lot of coach for the money.
Best of luck in your search and I highly recommend diesel.

04 HR Navigator 40PBT
03 F250 6spd manual
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Old 12-11-2014, 10:04 AM   #28
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: PUEBLO WEST, CO.
Posts: 31
Thank you all, I eat up all the info I can get, in the mean time the wife and I will be driving north from Pueblo West to maybe Cheyenne, Wyo., this weekend looking at MHs., as we need to move out of our house for about a month. Our health has had too many hiccups, so we are going to get the house shocked big time, with Ozone and have it tested for residue of a drug house. Hard to believe I bought this place in 2000, nice place 46 acres, above the Arkansas river, and I started to get sick of all kinds of odds and ends by 2005, doctors of all kinds have looked at me, tested me, and they can not pinpoint my problem, then 4 yrs ago wife moves in and she starts to get sick six months later, again a bunch of docs, and test and they can not pinpoint her problem, so it must be something with the ranch. Wish us luck. THANKS, GUS

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