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Old 09-11-2011, 06:36 PM   #561
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Well we made is 250 miles to pittsburgh and the bugger died in a tunnel. Luckily we kept it alive teasing the deep cycle long enough to get it out of the tunnel. After 4.5 months of hassles letdowns constant breakdowns, we are packing up out of the Stinkebago and hopping in an 04 chrysler convertible.

When 1 month, $1500 breakdowns dont last 300 miles, theres a problem. Mold stench, wet dashboards from leaking roof… oh the $300 porcelien spark plugs that didnt stop the engine from running too hot... I dont understand how people can find this fun.
$300.00 plugs? Or were those wires? Either way, that was not your engine overheating problem. Maybe $$$ to stop burning wires to the sparkplugs. Anyway it's an older unit and you have to have some serious DIY skills or a good, honest mechanic. RV'ing is a lot of fun, you gotta get all of the bugs out first. New or Used.
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Old 09-11-2011, 07:27 PM   #562
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Originally Posted by Gummibear View Post
Well we made is 250 miles to pittsburgh and the bugger died in a tunnel. Luckily we kept it alive teasing the deep cycle long enough to get it out of the tunnel. After 4.5 months of hassles letdowns constant breakdowns, we are packing up out of the Stinkebago and hopping in an 04 chrysler convertible.

When 1 month, $1500 breakdowns dont last 300 miles, theres a problem. Mold stench, wet dashboards from leaking roof… oh the $300 porcelien spark plugs that didnt stop the engine from running too hot... I dont understand how people can find this fun.
I am really sorry for your misfortunes. I have an extensive background in auto mechanics and my motorhome is still mentally exhausting. I could not imagine having to put my faith in someone else's hands to fix something that will need fixed constantly. Not to mention the amount that that would cost. It has been an expensive endeavor getting mine to the point that I can call it mechanically sound. Last trip was 1300 miles and relatively no problems (had minor coolant leak, but it was just a loose hose clamp, thankfully). But, even a small problem like that could get expensive if you had to pay someone to find and fix the problem. Once again sorry for the problems that you ran into. I hope your travel go much smoother in the convertible; top down I hope
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Old 09-11-2011, 07:31 PM   #563
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$300.00 plugs? Or were those wires? Either way, that was not your engine overheating problem. Maybe $$$ to stop burning wires to the sparkplugs. Anyway it's an older unit and you have to have some serious DIY skills or a good, honest mechanic. RV'ing is a lot of fun, you gotta get all of the bugs out first. New or Used.
J
You said it, and even if you get all the bugs out there will still be minor issues along the way. You just have to keep an open mind and maintain patience, which is sometimes almost impossible.
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Old 09-11-2011, 07:34 PM   #564
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When 1 month, $1500 breakdowns dont last 300 miles, theres a problem. Mold stench, wet dashboards from leaking roof… oh the $300 porcelien spark plugs that didnt stop the engine from running too hot... I dont understand how people can find this fun.
Buying an older RV that needs work is more of a passion for someone who is mechanically inclined. Sounds like you are in over your head with this one. I would suggest selling it before it breaks down again and let someone else take over.
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Old 09-11-2011, 07:56 PM   #565
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Buying an older RV that needs work is more of a passion for someone who is mechanically inclined. Sounds like you are in over your head with this one. I would suggest selling it before it breaks down again and let someone else take over.
That is so true. If I had to take in my old RV for each broken thing rather than work on it myself, I would not be able to do it. Somethings I can't do and that I will let someone do for me, but whatever I can do myself, I will. And it's like a hobby for me. I was so bored since retiring, just sitting around the house twiddling my thumbs. Now I have something to do and think about. It's awesome.
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Old 09-11-2011, 09:39 PM   #566
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Never posted mine... 1989 Gulfstream Sun-Vista Hi-Rise (see the windows ). Paid $2000.. 72k miles... Needed gen work, fridge work, new wh, roof resealed, ceiling work.. Still needs new tires as most are G159's from 1999 same as avatar pic


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Old 09-12-2011, 09:09 AM   #567
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Buying an older RV that needs work is more of a passion for someone who is mechanically inclined. Sounds like you are in over your head with this one. I would suggest selling it before it breaks down again and let someone else take over.
Gummibear, I have to agree with the Guys here. Older RV's can be maintenance nightmares, but for many of us the upkeep is more of a Hobby.
Non Mechanical Types are going to be challenged in the wallet to keep them up. We are assuming you are not a wrench puller here!

Before I retired my Hobby (cough) was buying old houses, remodeling them and flipping them. Hot Rods and Hot Motorcycles have always been a passion of mine also. So eventually I burned out of fixing up houses. That and the Economy took a major dump on the Market. I have always had a camper of some sort to get away with. I enjoy the challenge of upkeeping my RV.

With the wife about to retire too, I've been outfitting one of my basement compartments with a large slide out tool box. Then we'll hit the road a lot more. Hopefully I will have addressed most of my Old Girls issues. (The Coach, not the wife!)
But, I figure I'll have some things pop up and possibly a camping neighbor will need some assistance. So tools and Skills will come in handy. I added a large air tank and compressor for my air tools for good measure.

If you're having overheating issues it could be either a blown headgasket, bad water pump or radiator blockage. Oh, and don't forget to look at the fan clutch too. A few years back I had mine overheat on me going west out of Denver because of a worn out fan clutch. A bad fan clutch is a cheaper option, but expensive if you have to pay a mechanic shop to change it.

Even newer RV's will have problems, but they have warranties that will keep the cost of upkeep down.

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Old 09-14-2011, 03:56 PM   #568
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I have another take on this. My RV is almost 30 ywears old and everything works while many ten year old RVs that I've worked on recently were in TERRIBLE shape. It's not just how they were made but also how they were maintained and stored..
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:02 PM   #569
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I have another take on this. My RV is almost 30 ywears old and everything works while many ten year old RVs that I've worked on recently were in TERRIBLE shape. It's not just how they were made but also how they were maintained and stored..
Absolutely!

A blanket indictment of "older, used" RVs as being a bad investment is unfair - at least as long as being at least *somewhat* mechanically inclined and knowledgeable is concerned!

IF a potential used RV buyer's is pretty much technically limited to only filling the gas tank on his lawnmower, then they're surely asking for trouble and disappointment in buying on older and well used RV - just as they would buying a 10 or 20 year old automobile!

Case in point, we bought our current '88 Winnie MH at CONSIDERABLE savings over a new similar quality unit, then replaced the cooling unit ourselves for about $500, new HD shocks for about $300, new plugs and wires for about $50, and new tires for about $2000.

The engine and drivetrain with about 60K miles - and the never leaked on interior, are in near perfect condition - and in it's current condition, we never hesitate to take on 1500 mile trips, and wouldn't hesitate to take it across the USA and back again!

IF you want to save serious $$$ by buying a used and older RV, you'd better be prepared and able to do at least SOME mechanical work on your own - but then, that's also true of a 150K new rig, as well!
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Old 09-15-2011, 11:23 PM   #570
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Old 10-02-2011, 01:41 PM   #571
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Joined up yesterday, figured I'd post our trailer. Been on rv.net for several years, just found this site. I like what I see so far! Our trailer isn't really 'vintage' as compared to some in this thread, but it falls into your definition.

1987 Coachmen Coventry 255BH bunkhouse. Found it at a local dealer this spring. It had been owned by one family since new and kept inside a barn. It fits our family perfectly since we have 3 small kids. They each have their own bunk in this trailer, and we don't have to set up and take down a table every day.

All appliances worked, fridge already replaced with a 110v. Previous water damage in the curb side rear corner, but it was fixed and leak repaired. No other evidence of leaks. It's a good solid camper that should last a long time for our family. Tow vehicle in pics has recently been replaced by a 3/4 ton diesel Suburban.









Rear bunks:



Looking forward from the rear bunks:

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Old 10-02-2011, 01:54 PM   #572
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It fits our family perfectly since we have 3 small kids. They each have their own bunk in this trailer, and we don't have to set up and take down a table every day.
Nice looking camper... but, with 3 kids getting 3 bunks, and you dont use the table, are both you and your spouse using only the 4th bunk?? Sounds like great fun!
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Old 10-02-2011, 03:04 PM   #573
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Nice looking camper... but, with 3 kids getting 3 bunks, and you dont use the table, are both you and your spouse using only the 4th bunk?? Sounds like great fun!
The couch folds down into a full size bed; that's where we sleep.
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Old 10-02-2011, 04:03 PM   #574
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Ahh...
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