Go Back   iRV2 Forums > iRV2.com COMMUNITY FORUMS > Vintage RV's
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-09-2015, 10:24 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 77
Want to Travel 6000 miles per Year is Vintage Right for Me?

We plan to travel around 6000 miles per year. Am I crazy for considering a vintage motorhome? If it is possible what should I consider when shopping? I don't mind cosmetic work but I don't have much experience with engines, transmissions, etc. Thank You.

Jhuff8181 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-09-2015, 11:11 AM   #2
Junior Member
Utah_Jay's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 7
We were in the same mindset as you, we travel 3-5k miles per year and I went with a 95 gasser- Winnebago with the 454. We are really enjoying it. I would just do what we did and look for a low mileage rig that has been cared for. You can tell just by walking through most of the time whether they care for their coach or not.

Utah_Jay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2015, 08:33 PM   #3
Senior Member
mbridinger's Avatar
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 523
YES. Just look at all of the posts of the "new" Rv's with many, many issues.
1992 Bounder 28T, Chevy 454, Yak Rak
2000 Trackatara
Scottsdale, AZ
mbridinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2015, 08:31 AM   #4
Senior Member
DDDonkey's Avatar
National RV Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 430
I would do it in a heart beat, but when looking at vintage MH's get one that is fuel injected and has an over-drive trans for the gas side, or a 300hp (or more) and 4 speed trans for the diesel side. Then enjoy the ride!
2008 National SurfSide 34E (Bunk Model) Ford V10
Sold- 1990 Hawkins Chevy P30 454
DDDonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2015, 03:47 PM   #5
Jpony56hd's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Fulltime on the Road
Posts: 88
Being the owner of a Vintage MH (88 Gulfstream Hi Rise) for the last 10 years, 7 of that fulltiming, with a lot of miles covered, I can say: It's a great source of pride to travel in a classic/vintage vehicle, But it's a labor of love. Something is always wearing out and needing attention (Drive train, electrical, plumbing, interior, exterior, Roof, ect.) You will either become a Jack of All Trades Or a whole lot poorer. My wife a I love our Vintage MH, the people we meet with like vehicles and the adventures we have had. Wouldn't change a thing.
Richard "PONY", Virginia & Cleo "Cleopatra" the Cat..Restored 1988 Gulfstream HiRise 32' HiPo 460, 1974 Harley 74. Fulltimers since 2005.
Jpony56hd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2015, 05:32 PM   #6
Senior Member
George Schweikle's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,791
Second the recommendation for an injected GM 454. These will have more power than a carburated version and likely better gas mileage. Given the difference between something like this, and a brand new motorhome, you should have plenty of money for upgrades or replacements.

Originally Posted by DDDonkey View Post
I would do it in a heart beat, but when looking at vintage MH's get one that is fuel injected and has an over-drive trans for the gas side, or a 300hp (or more) and 4 speed trans for the diesel side. Then enjoy the ride!
George Schweikle Lexington, KY
1999 Safari TREK 2830, FMCA 190830, Safari International chapter
1995 Safari TREK 2630, 1983 Winnebago Chieftain, 1976 Midas Mini
George Schweikle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2015, 04:29 AM   #7
Senior Member
Piker's Avatar
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1,126
Most of your gas powered engine and tranny combos will get tired before 100k miles. I'm sure some folks will debate that, but I think as a general rule of thumb it's probably on par. It is definitely something to at least consider before you make your purchase. The gas drivetrains however are considerably less expensive to repair than the diesels. Ask me how I know...

The best anyone can do is plan for the worst and hope for the best. If I were buying an older gas powered rv, I would try to set aside some cash to cover additional costs for rebuilding the motor and tranny before 100k miles. There will be plenty of other expenses youll come across with a vintage rv... you cant predict or prepare for all of them... but maybe if you plan for the big ones you'll be further ahead...

1994 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE - Engine Rebuilt and Restoration in Process
Piker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2015, 07:50 AM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Snowbird - Waterford Mi and Citrus Springs Fl.
Posts: 3,332
I would suggest you reread Jpony56's note above. The older stuff should be approached much as you would a new hobby. You need to be willing and able to do the majority of the work on it yourself. The heavy chassis work can be jobbed out for sure, but hopefully there won't be a lot of that. The rest though, if you can't see yourself doing it, an older coach may not be your best plan. The constant need for attention, even if it's mostly minor, will turn the coach into a money pit depending on a dealer to do it for you. If this maintenance is ignored, the coach will degrade incredibly fast.

I would look for injection as mentioned, but additionally, for a 4 speed trans (over the 3 speed). If you get into the later 90's stuff (starting '97 maybe?), you can find wide body coaches built on a wider chassis. Not only is there noticeably more room inside, there's a much better handling chassis underneath you.

Last, I've also found myself completely spoiled with a slide out. I wouldn't buy another coach without - which means there's not much chance of me getting one of the classic coaches I'd love to have otherwise (Travco, GMC, Revcon, Barth, Blue Bird, etc.).

Good hunting!
1997 37' HR Endeavor, 275hp Cat, Freightliner
03 CR-V Blue Ox, Ready Brake
ahicks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2015, 08:41 AM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 188
First thing you have to ask yourself is how much of the upkeep can you and will you do your self. Be honest with yourself. Vintage motor homes can be a lot cheaper to maintain then a new one because they are easier to work on yourself. If you know what you are doing a carbureted engine can be as good or better then fuel injected. No computer controls to mess up on the side of a highway. But if you going to have to pay someone to fix you will have a hard time finding someone who can diagnose an engine without a computer telling them what to do.
MotorPro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2015, 05:45 PM   #10
Jpony56hd's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Fulltime on the Road
Posts: 88
A perfect example of that: Knowing that the ignition control box on 80's Fords was a problem, I had packed one away just in case. On our first trip down the west coast on Hwy 101 going thru the Redwoods where the road gets skinny and twisty, just out of the real twisty part, the engine backfired a couple time and shut off. Got lucky and coasted into a side road turn out, grabbed the spare box, three bolts and two connectors later and we're back on the road. You can see All the ways that could have gone bad, BAD, and BADDER, if not for a little knowledge of the beast and some precautions. It's exactly the kind of thing that you get with older vehicles, But the good thing is, That you can fix it yourself.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	001.jpg
Views:	63
Size:	314.9 KB
ID:	99770  
Richard "PONY", Virginia & Cleo "Cleopatra" the Cat..Restored 1988 Gulfstream HiRise 32' HiPo 460, 1974 Harley 74. Fulltimers since 2005.
Jpony56hd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2015, 08:42 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 199
Try barthmobile.com. Best coach ever made.
Mo Fred, South Central Missouri
1990 32' Barth Regency
8.3 CTA Cummins, 4 Speed Allison
MO Fred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2015, 12:06 PM   #12
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 77
Thank you everyone for your comments and suggestions. I will let you know how the search goes.
Jhuff8181 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2015, 08:21 PM   #13
Senior Member
castrol's Avatar
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 415
This forum is immensely helpful. You will need some sort of mechanical knowledge but really a willingness to even TRY to fix something will get you a lot further than you think. I've been fixing things all over the coach after taking it apart and just seeing what was broken.

Hardest thing is finding replacement parts!
1997 40' Monaco Signature Series Cummins 325HP & MD3060
castrol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2015, 08:10 PM   #14
Senior Member
MattC's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 459
I truly do not understand your problem...
How long have you owned this coach?
How much do you trust it?
Can you even attempt to make repairs on the run?

Last year, we put ~12K on our '73 GMC. Ended the year at over 150Kmi.
This year in the middle of a 3K excursion, we took a hit that required three days to repair, but we are at home now. It is all part of living with a vintage anything.


A lifelong waterman and his bride going dry places for as long as the fuel money lasts.
MattC is offline   Reply With Quote

travel, vintage

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Winnebago Industries - Newsmaker of the Year for 2013 DriVer RV Industry Press 0 01-30-2014 04:27 PM
Travel Trailer verses Motorhome lrh111 Travel Trailer Discussion 90 11-03-2013 11:35 AM
2014 Palazzo - observations after 5000 miles HeavyH2O Palazzo Motorhomes 34 06-13-2013 10:54 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:47 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.