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Old 09-23-2007, 07:40 AM   #1
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I'm going to make the leap to full time from no time. To get started, I'm going to get a real starter motor home before making the jump to what I plan to have for a longer time. When I do that I'm headed to the 40' DP range. Until then (about 1 year) I want to make sure that this lifestyle is something for me, myself and I.

I'm looking at older motor homes (class A) in the 1989-1993 range, rather inexpensive but in as good a condition as I can find. I've narrowed the choices down to three models, all with under 40k miles on them.

Then I see this FMC with a rebuilt engine (30k miles ago) but in immaculate condition for it's age and better than most much much newer. Everything works. It's quite a jewel.

There will be just me, no pets, kids or others.

So, my choices come down to something like an Itasca, Bounder or similar in the 30' range, in decent condition or the FMC that looks and feels like it was made yesterday.

My concern is parts, reliability and a rebuilt engine (the FMC). I know that anything used and older is not going to function as new. I might take a few trips over the next year in the 2000 mile range but that will be next year toward summer. Until then, maybe some shorter trips in the 600 mile round trip range.

I'm pretty handy but would rather not start working on major systems and engines. Again, this will be an interim solution for about a year, maybe 18 months and then if I still like the lifestyle, a bigger leap into something for a longer period of time and (gasp) payments.

Given that bit of a profile, your comments would be real welcome.
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Old 09-23-2007, 07:40 AM   #2
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I'm going to make the leap to full time from no time. To get started, I'm going to get a real starter motor home before making the jump to what I plan to have for a longer time. When I do that I'm headed to the 40' DP range. Until then (about 1 year) I want to make sure that this lifestyle is something for me, myself and I.

I'm looking at older motor homes (class A) in the 1989-1993 range, rather inexpensive but in as good a condition as I can find. I've narrowed the choices down to three models, all with under 40k miles on them.

Then I see this FMC with a rebuilt engine (30k miles ago) but in immaculate condition for it's age and better than most much much newer. Everything works. It's quite a jewel.

There will be just me, no pets, kids or others.

So, my choices come down to something like an Itasca, Bounder or similar in the 30' range, in decent condition or the FMC that looks and feels like it was made yesterday.

My concern is parts, reliability and a rebuilt engine (the FMC). I know that anything used and older is not going to function as new. I might take a few trips over the next year in the 2000 mile range but that will be next year toward summer. Until then, maybe some shorter trips in the 600 mile round trip range.

I'm pretty handy but would rather not start working on major systems and engines. Again, this will be an interim solution for about a year, maybe 18 months and then if I still like the lifestyle, a bigger leap into something for a longer period of time and (gasp) payments.

Given that bit of a profile, your comments would be real welcome.
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Old 09-23-2007, 07:48 AM   #3
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only one comment from me, new verses used
used ones have the bugs worked out and new ones you loose depreciation soon as you drive off the lot (just like a new car). I will only buy
used, unless of course I won some big humongeous lottery and could buy anything I wanted.
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Old 09-23-2007, 02:51 PM   #4
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Maybe

Opinions in this area are just opinions so take mine for what its worth department. Buying an "old" rig can be very fustrating. Its not only the engine you have to worry about in a motor home, but all the other componunts such as doors, seals, A/Cs, brakes, springs, steps, tanks and etc. It could make you not want to get another motor home if you have a bad experience.

On the other hand, buying used can be okay if you get the right rig, but do you have any experience with buying "used" rigs. If you do do this, make sure you find someone who has some experience with MHs to advise you. (Is there any delimanition under the windows??) Are all the steering linkages wore out???) etc.
Buying a real old rigs IMHO is asking for it.

Then again on the other hand (3rd) trying to sell or trade an old rig can be very difficult. You will probably take a pretty big hit in this area to move up to a newer rig.

But if you buy new, (yes ALL new rigs have adjustment problems,) they are covered under warranty.

On the other hand (4th) buy a used one less than 3 years old that you will be happy with (40 foot) and work out the bugs and have a happy RV experience and don't try to get another one that is Ideal later on. s/Toby
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Old 09-23-2007, 03:14 PM   #5
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Is the FMC a rear engine 440? I would not run because of that, but I would think long and hard. It will be harder to find parts and harder to find someone that really knows how to work on them. They were good, quality motor homes. FMC Group on Yahoo. It would be worth joining and reading, ask questions about this unit. Some of these groups track what is around and may have a history for you.

As you are planning some fairly long trips I would look at the best quality in the newest unit I could afford. Service and parts will be easier. Newer will give you injection over carb, overdrive trans, disk brakes, newer appliances.

If you do well enough in your purchase you might find the diesel isn't as attractive. I make over 2000 mile trips, stay out 6-10 weeks at a time in a gas motor home. The ride isn't as smooth, hills/mountains are slower, carrying capacity isn't as great. But the money I save on payments puts a lot of gas in the tank.
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Old 09-24-2007, 04:20 AM   #6
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If it were me, I would buy the newest used unit I could. With a used motor home, someone else will have taken the big hit on depreciation. If you buy the newest (or best condition), things are less likely to go wrong. This is not guaranteed, but IMO the odds will be in your favor.

If you are just checking out the lifestyle and not necessarily checking out the type of final rig you will end up with, you may want to consider a Class C to make it easier on the budget. Service on the drive train will also be easier since many auto dealerships will work on a smaller Class C whereas a Class A will not fit into their repair bays and/or will be too heavy for their lifts and jacks. Just another opinion to consider.
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