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Old 10-19-2018, 08:05 AM   #1
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Question Need Advice

We are rv hopefuls and have been enjoying scanning the forums. We are in the market for a motorhome, but we are overwhelmed and need some more opinions with such a big expense. We have no experience with rvíing and money is tight. But, if we are ever going to make this lifelong dream happen for our family, it needs to happen now. So Iím hoping your knowledge will help us decide which path to take.

We have a budget of $30,000Ö not much, I know. We have a large family of adult children and young ones as well. We are looking at traveling with 8-10 people and this is why we need a motorhome over a travel trailer or 5th wheel.

I figure in a class a, we can place 2 opposing sleeper sofas, the sleeper dinette and the queen bed for sleeping 8. In a Class C, I would hope to get a 10 sleeper with bunks.

We plan to pay for a thorough inspection. Iím just not sure exactly what model I should be looking for. I donít know if the risks of a 16-20 year old class A Diesel are worth taking, so Iím hoping you can help.

I have been scanning rvtrader for months now and it appears that we can afford:

a 16-20 year old Class A, Diesel. (approx 45,000 to 145,000 miles)
a 10-12 year old Class A, Gas (approx 35,000 - 100,000 miles)
a 6-10 year old Class C, Gas (approx 30,000- 100,000 miles)

1) Is gas powered that much of a negative that we should seek out the old diesel?
2) How many miles is too many on a gas and/or diesel engine?
3) How many miles are too few on a gas and/or diesel engine?
4) Any brands to totally avoid?
5) Is it smarter to buy from a private seller who maintained it well or a dealer?
6) Will we feel too cramped traveling with that many people in a class C? Though they sleep more, they seem a bit cramped compared to the openness of a class A.

Any helpful thoughts, tips and advice are sincerely appreciated.

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Old 10-19-2018, 08:23 AM   #2
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First thought is that you will not be able to safely seat that many people in any class RV other than a bus equipped for that many.
That said there could be a second vehicle following rather than being towed. That would cut the RV pax load a bit. Swap 'em out at rest stops if that becomes an issue.
Second, an RV is a money pit. I'm not saying to avoid it but you need to completely understand what you are getting into. We enjoy the ability to travel with pets and our own linens but there's a cost to that luxury.
The other thing we enjoy is the friendly atmosphere at an RV park vs a hotel.
You don't say how long your trips will be in miles or days. A trip to a place within a day's drive allows you to travel with fewer people and then they visit for a night or two. We have a lot of fun within a couple hundred miles of home and family visits when they want. I'm not sure a multi-day trip stuck in any RV with that many people would be enjoyable. People would start to get on each other's nerves.
I agree that a driveable is preferable for the travel part but a trailer is fine once you get to the destination.
All just food for thought and it may not help with your decision.
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Old 10-19-2018, 08:34 AM   #3
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I’d highly suggest renting a unit and testing the waters prior to purchasing.
That many people in a unit is very difficult. Beyond sleeping arrangements where will everyone eat? What if the weather turns poor and 10 people are stuck inside? Where will everyone shower with 6 gallons of hot water available per shot? How about toys, clothes and other personal supplies?
And something else to consider that my mother always hated when I was young, is having a unit that the beds need made every night and then broken back down in the morning. And if someone wants to eat breakfast, but someone’s still asleep in the dinette, then that’s another problem.
I have seen large family’s camp together and use tents around the RV for extra sleeping quarters.
With older units you’ll be dealing with a lot of repair and parts replacement. Appliances and such can get expensive even if you do the work yourself.
A little story-
When I was a child my parents took us to the beach in their motorhome to a park we’d stayed at many times in the past. A young family came in to the site next to us with a brand new pop up. It was their first time out. All it took was a couple days in that thing, combined with no air conditioning in July, and they abandoned the trailer and stayed the rest of the week in a hotel. They were arguing with one another by the first night.
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Old 10-19-2018, 08:43 AM   #4
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Thank you for responding....

We envision long and short trips. We'd like to be able to travel the country and see things with our children. As our adult children are very young 'adult' children, their vehicles are not reliable enough to meet or follow long distance. So our goal is to have this as a means of getting everyone together, traveling together... but many would likely sleep in their own tents once we reached our destination.
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Old 10-19-2018, 08:51 AM   #5
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I can't imagine trying to load up and travel with 8 people in an RV. I love my Family dearly but that's just too close for comfort. Every one's situation is different and yours could work out just fine. For us, we love having the Family all together. However, I'd want my adult children to make their own arrangements of renting, borrowing, or buying their own rig. If they couldn't swing any of the above, then they could follow us in another vehicle and then pitch tents. And come to think of it, that extra vehicle would surely come in handy at times during a road trip!

A couple of obstacles to overcome,,, Finding a rig with 8 to 10 seatbelts might be tough. On top of that, you'd need to be aware of how much CCC the rig can handle. Loading with 8 people, their clothing, and incidentals is going to add a lot of weight.
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Old 10-19-2018, 08:53 AM   #6
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A lot of the places Iíve stayed limit tents in each site.
The average is around one screen room and one tent per site with an RV.
If you went to a place with a tent area you could rent 2 sites and set up all the tents separately from the coach.
May get expensive though.
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Old 10-19-2018, 08:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvdreamer18 View Post
.....We have a budget of $30,000Ö not much, I know. We have a large family of adult children and young ones as well. We are looking at traveling with 8-10 people and this is why we need a motorhome over a travel trailer or 5th wheel.
.......Any helpful thoughts, tips and advice are sincerely appreciated.


If the 30k includes the repair budget than make sure to change the MH amount to about 25k or so.
You definitely need to stay away from the Class A's with your budget IMO. You could end up with a Class A that you can't afford to keep on the road. As far as safety goes you could self install some seatbelts and be relatively safe. There are those that think you shouldn't put your MH in drive without being belted in. Kind of defeats the purpose of having a MH IMO. Yes, you will be cramped with that many people.
On a plus note; If you actually start a trip with 10 people you might scare some of them to start saving to get their own stuff.
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:01 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by rider77 View Post
A little story-
When I was a child my parents took us to the beach in their motorhome to a park weíd stayed at many times in the past. A young family came in to the site next to us with a brand new pop up. It was their first time out. All it took was a couple days in that thing, combined with no air conditioning in July, and they abandoned the trailer and stayed the rest of the week in a hotel. They were arguing with one another by the first night.
I've seen a similar story like this several times and it worked out well. Matter of fact, it was the love for our pop-up that caused us to get a MH and possibly even FT after we retire.
I've never seen a pop-up without an AC unit.
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:04 AM   #9
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RVdreamer, you have a tough order to fill.

1) The diesel can handle more weight and will have more CCC (Cargo carrying capacity)
2)Mileage: Find as low as you can on either engine but after many years of reading, it seems gas engine can go up to about 300K and a diesel 1M+ miles. What's more important are the maintenance records.
3)Mileage: It's not so much the low mileage as the lack of use. A low mileage coach used monthly vs. one that has sat for 10 yrs. is the problem.
4)Brands: In the years that you are looking into, it's maintenance vs. brand. At the age, if it hasn't fallen apart, it's probably a pretty good coach.
5)I would certainly try to by from a private seller as they will most likely have the maintenance records.
6)Traveling.... you will fill cramped if you have 10 people in anything.

Since your budget is so low, I still wouldn't rule out a travel trailer and maybe get a full size van to pull it. The van could be used as a secondary sleeping area and used to get everyone around. As mentioned, it will be hard to find adequate seating for 8 passengers with seat belts.

Good luck
Mark

PS. I hope that you are very mechanically inclined!
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:08 AM   #10
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the only other thing I could think of is pull a small TT behind the motor home
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:53 AM   #11
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:11 AM   #12
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the only other thing I could think of is pull a small TT behind the motor home
I have seen this being done.
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:47 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by rvdreamer18 View Post
We are rv hopefuls and have been enjoying scanning the forums. We are in the market for a motorhome, but we are overwhelmed and need some more opinions with such a big expense. We have no experience with rvíing and money is tight. But, if we are ever going to make this lifelong dream happen for our family, it needs to happen now. So Iím hoping your knowledge will help us decide which path to take.

We have a budget of $30,000Ö not much, I know. We have a large family of adult children and young ones as well. We are looking at traveling with 8-10 people and this is why we need a motorhome over a travel trailer or 5th wheel.

I figure in a class a, we can place 2 opposing sleeper sofas, the sleeper dinette and the queen bed for sleeping 8. In a Class C, I would hope to get a 10 sleeper with bunks.

We plan to pay for a thorough inspection. Iím just not sure exactly what model I should be looking for. I donít know if the risks of a 16-20 year old class A Diesel are worth taking, so Iím hoping you can help.

I have been scanning rvtrader for months now and it appears that we can afford:

a 16-20 year old Class A, Diesel. (approx 45,000 to 145,000 miles)
a 10-12 year old Class A, Gas (approx 35,000 - 100,000 miles)
a 6-10 year old Class C, Gas (approx 30,000- 100,000 miles)

1) Is gas powered that much of a negative that we should seek out the old diesel?
2) How many miles is too many on a gas and/or diesel engine?
3) How many miles are too few on a gas and/or diesel engine?
4) Any brands to totally avoid?
5) Is it smarter to buy from a private seller who maintained it well or a dealer?
6) Will we feel too cramped traveling with that many people in a class C? Though they sleep more, they seem a bit cramped compared to the openness of a class A.

Any helpful thoughts, tips and advice are sincerely appreciated.

All I can say is NO WAY! That many people in any RV is insane. My wife and I have 7 grand kids age 2-16 We have done a week with 5 kids that's seven counting us. Did this 2 years in a row, kids are well behaved but seven people is way to much for us. Last time was the LAST time.
Good luck!
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:31 AM   #14
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A TT might solve sleeping arrangement issues but that doesn't solve the 10 people travelling in one HM problem.
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