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Old 10-31-2014, 11:55 AM   #1
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Why do I have this fear?

Our previous MH was a 28' Coronado which we used a bit for camping but also I pulled a 20' enclosed trailer with a race car and it worked fine for what I needed for 4 years. The race car sold early this year and the DW and I began to think about a larger rig for some serious camping. Our really only "must have" was a walk around queen bed. Slides were negotiable. We figured we would upgrade in a couple years and were prepared to pay $40-$50 for something we liked.

Well I found an incredibly refurbished 34' Bounder with only 3375 miles and less that 25 hours on the generator (I know...bad), but honestly I don't think the frig or stove was ever used. I know the tub and shower weren't. All new carpeting, vinyl, window coverings were replaced. Even lamp shades. I did buy 6 new tires. In a nut shell, in better condition than I think I could have found in a much newer MH. We bought it after a thorough inspection for $15K. We have had it out three times and after coming back from a 2 week trip, we began to think about going out FT. My wife is retiring in 2 weeks and we hope to leave the NW by December 1.

I guess my fear, or question, is whether a 20 year old MH regardless of condition can reliably be utilized in a full time manner. We certainly could have spent more money and bought much newer, but it's nice to have money in the bank and a motorhome that did not cost a fortune, yet seems like new. Would be interested in hearing from those who are out there with older motor homes.

Thanks.
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:00 PM   #2
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Excellent deal....and if you and yours are happy with it...that's what counts....that's the only thing that counts.....
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:19 PM   #3
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Enjoy your bounder, I love mine. I have RV withdrawals when I am not in it. All RV have problems (just like S&Bs), just fix them and enjoy.
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:28 PM   #4
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Mark...have seriously thought about a Banks system for the 454, but think I will wait until we get back after 7 months on the road. We then will be better able to confirm, hopefully, that our 34 Bounder will satisfy our needs. Then install the Banks. I have heard it is well worth the money.
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:29 PM   #5
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Floor Plan, Floor Plan, Floor Plan.

If the floor plan works and the DW is happy life will be grand. We winter in the south and spend the majority of our time outside. So other than inclement weather we mainly sleep inside. We prepare most of our meals souside on the grill or a portable induction burner.

Try spending some time in what you have and see how it works for you. If it does not you will find the experience will give you insight to what will work and help guide you in picking the floor plan of your upgrade.
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:39 PM   #6
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Seems like you did your homework, like the rig and your only worry is the age?

I think your answer is: go for it! There are lots of 20 yr old rigs out there being used the way you propose. Sure there are going to be problems but that can (and does) happen with everything!
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:46 PM   #7
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As you can see from our signature we have an 87 Southwind, and if my DW was more willing we would be out full timing instead of me wasting time and money remodeling a mobile home, a grandparent's trailer, on our daughters property It has no slides or tip-outs but it has everything we need and we both like the floor plan.

In other words you will do just fine in your new Bounder. Get out and make new friends and memories. And deal with the problems that will crop up even if you had a brand new one.
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Old 10-31-2014, 03:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wbonsell View Post
Mark...have seriously thought about a Banks system for the 454, but think I will wait until we get back after 7 months on the road. We then will be better able to confirm, hopefully, that our 34 Bounder will satisfy our needs. Then install the Banks. I have heard it is well worth the money.
The engine in mine is a V10 and it came with the banks system. Can`t say if since if its worth it because I never drove without it. Up or down the hills I don`t drive fast, I try to remember it`s the journey. My first RV has a 318 engine, 28 feet long. Climbing mountain was easy, put it in low and wait for tomorrow
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Old 10-31-2014, 03:47 PM   #9
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Good advice!!!! You've got $15-K plus maybe another $1,000 in it before you leave on your trip. You've got $$$$ in the bank for any necessary issues along the way. Get on the road and enjoy. We are sure you'll come home with either a hankering to upgrade or a feeling that yes maybe this will work. Also when you arrive back home if you decide to upgrade (maybe some slides for more room) you've proven that the MH is sound enough for travel and travel well.

Do have everything checked. Even if it only has 4,000 miles it still needs serviced. New radiator/heater hoses. Flush the cooling system. Flush the brake fluid. That should be done every 2-3 years on any vehicle. Have all wheel bearings packed using a good synthetic lube (Mobil 1 or Amsoil) and correctly adjusted. A tune-up for sure. New air and fuel filters. All new belts. Have the drive shaft checked for condition. Lube chassis. Also have the transmission serviced. Find a good heavy truck place to accomplish this work. They usually have a better feel for the heavy truck stuff.
You might spend another $2,000 for that work but at least you'll know things are serviced and in working order.

TeJay
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Old 10-31-2014, 04:11 PM   #10
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We had a 1995 Bounder 34J with 454 Chevy power for about 12 years. Great MH.
Never thought we needed more power towing the S10 Blazers we had or an occasional car trailer (or horse trailer). Impressive braking for something that large.
Most common repair was basement door latches. I believe they were all replaced at least once by the time we sold it.
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Old 10-31-2014, 04:21 PM   #11
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We are full timing it in our 27 year old Class A 32' Rockwood. Have for the last few years with no problems. It is not the age but how well it was maintained that counts.
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Old 10-31-2014, 04:59 PM   #12
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Feeling a bit better about our upcoming journey. Our new to us Bounder has had several items renewed prior to our purchase including tranny service, all new batteries, fuel filter, spark plugs, distributor cap and rotor, radiator flushed and roof resealed and coated. Les Schwab said the brakes looked great when they installed our new tires. Should have had them install valve extenders at that time, so will be taking the coach to get those installed.

My son will be installing a tranny cooler shortly and while I have bought new radiator hoses and belts, I think they will be used if needed as current hoses and belts seem to be in great shape. Will also be replacing the diff fluid as well as another oil change using Mobil 1 10-30 and a Wix filter.

I have AAA RV for emergency road service, but have been thinking of cancelling and purchasing a Coachnet plan. I have heard that CN seems to be the one consistently providing exceptional service.

You know I have had several older vehicles including a few Porsche's and have worried about our Bounder a whole lot more than I did those cars. I guess it is because we have a home on wheels which needs to perform 24/7 and I admit to not being the handiest guy in the world. And every time I grab a tool to load my DW asks if I really need it...either she worries about weight, or questions whether I know how to use it...HA! Also, I think we have just had too much time to think about things as we wait for my wife's retirement on November 14th. But, I am confident that once on the road, we will begin to totally relax and enjoy this privileged journey we are about to undertake.
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Old 10-31-2014, 05:16 PM   #13
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Go forth and enjoy. I'm full-timing in a 96. Sure there will be expenses, then think about the upkeep of the s/b. I bet it will all even out.
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Old 10-31-2014, 05:54 PM   #14
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If you've owned and worked on race cars I'm sure you can fix whatever minor stuff may come up. With something that low mileage I would think it would only be minor stuff to go wrong after you replace all the obvious (tires, belts, hoses, alternator, fluids etc...) I like to carry spare parts for things more than 6-7 years old. so a spare alternator, water pump, distributor, and fuel pump would be on my list if traveling far from home.
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