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Old 09-19-2016, 02:51 PM   #1
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Buying a used Class C Motorhome or rent an RV?

Hello,
We are considering buying a used class C motor home. We only want to use it occupationally or in the weekends during summer to travel mostly to national parks or state parks.
We live in mid west and we usually have pretty cold weather. We will have our first motor home RV trip this weekend using Cruise America's 30 feet class C motor home. We have limited budget and we don't know yet whether to use rental or buy our own RV.
We did rent an RV trailer last summer for 10 days and it was an exceptional experience, however our SUV can only pull MAX 4500 lbs considering whole family 2 young boys and 2 adults sitting in the SUV while pulling the RV. Therefore we are considering either buying a motor home or renting one when we need. I know that each one has its own pros and cons.
Renting:
Cros:
No other additional cost in terms of depreciation, insurance, winter parking, registration, maintenance.
Cons:
Could be very expensive if you want to RV during high season/frequently.
You need to sleep in RV that many others have been used.
You cannot decide the internal layout of the RV.

Owning an RV:
Pros:
You can use it whenever you want
You can customize it.

Cons:
All additional cost that you don't have them when renting an RV.


I really appreciate to hear your opinion on buying or renting.
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Old 09-19-2016, 03:49 PM   #2
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Buy a used rental unit from Cruse America. People are very happy with them.
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Old 09-19-2016, 08:14 PM   #3
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RVlover_2016 ... you've just about nailed the key Pros & Cons. Owning an RV is a depreciating asset with some fairly regular maintenance expenses. At the end of day, the cost of ownership is the price one has to pay since it's not anything like saving or making money. So having your own RV, setup for your needs, stocked with your stuff, and maintained to your standards is just part of the deal. The other part is the pride of ownership ... it's your RV. And for some people, that's an important part of the RV Life or experience. Some have rented for quite some time before making a series of decisions about owning a RV and the renting experience helped them to make an informed decision.
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Old 09-20-2016, 12:25 AM   #4
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Buying a used Class C Motorhome or rent an RV?

Sometimes you can have the best of both worlds. This company near our home rents out RVs that others own. Before dissing the idea, it may make sense to read what this is about. There may be options like this where you live.

http://www.portlandrvrentals.com

We decided to still buy a used Motorhome rather than this route because we use ours for day trips with a medical needs family member that needs RV amenities for any travel and that means a particular length (24 feet) and a lot of regular use.

A Motorhome is an investment in experiences. They are expensive no matter how you cut it, even if older models. For us in our 40's, the expense is worth the experiences. Time with a family member that won't be able to make these trips at some point in the not distant future. Memories. Family connection. I ride the bus daily to work rather than drive and pay to park. That savings alone pays for our fuel costs for our trips and the Motorhome maintenance.

If you don't have the time to own one and it rots in the weather, don't own one. We have another family member who purchased a 5th wheel new. It was used twice and sat on a storage lot for 10 years. Too busy. They made payments on it until it was paid off. The roof leaked while parked and rotted out the floor. I helped them sell it for 7% of what they paid for it (after all that interest) to someone who has the time and facilities to salvage what it was.

To prevent the above problem, we set aside extended weekends every year on the calendar that are for camping within <100 miles of home, booking them in advance so that we don't let our busy lives crowd them out. In season we camp typically once per month from March to October - mostly at state and county parks. We also do a 2 week trip in the summer most years. (Yellowstone, Yosemite, Redwoods, Disney, etc are examples we've done)
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Old 09-20-2016, 09:35 AM   #5
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FWIW when we first started looking we could make the rv payments for a year on what the rent was for two weeks. That got us looking at a newer high milage unit that had good tires. It was cheap and we drove it for several years before trading up. You won't be doing huge miles per year. One decider may be whether or not you can store the mh at home. If you are stuck with paid storage the numbers go way off. OTOH if it is at home you can keep it stocked and ready for some impulse tripping.
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Old 09-21-2016, 11:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NRR View Post
Buy a used rental unit from Cruse America. People are very happy with them.
I thought the rental RVs have reached their "end of life" by the time they are put for sale. I checked on internet, almost all of them have plus 140 K mileage, which is not desirable from my point of view.
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Old 09-21-2016, 11:48 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone. Tomorrow, we will take a 30 feet rental motorhome from Cruise America for 4 days camping trip. I will share our experience with you.
Regarding buying an RV, if we decide to buy, they are 2 major areas that we feel we could fail,
1- To identify rust and corrosion on the frame and underbelly of the RV.
2-To identify sign of water leaks inside .


Our budget is around $20000 and we are aiming on 24 feet C-class 2008 with low mileage (~ 20K miles). I checked the NADA web site, according to their estimate, we can find such RV to fit to our budget.
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Old 09-21-2016, 05:30 PM   #8
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FWIW don't sweat the milage all that much. The engine and transmission is good for several hundred thousand miles. Unless you are going to use the camper as a daily driver you will probably do less that 10,000/yr and may well do less than 5000. Maybe well less than that depending on what you want to do.
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Old 09-27-2016, 04:52 PM   #9
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Hi,
We had our first rental motorhome class C 30 foot (Cruise America) trip last weekend. It was a very good experience. We have had a couple of campings with a rental RV trailer, but this was pretty much a much better camping experience. Driving, parking, backing with even 30 foot motorhome is much much easier than doing those with RV trailer. My family were sitting very comfortably in the RV and everyone was enjoying the trip.
I had to drive a couple of times to dumping station and once to MCDonald's with no issue, just pulled the power hook up and drove the RV.
MPG was 8 as an average, which is lower than what I get with my diesel SUV when putting an RV trailer (17 MPG) but it is very good considering the size of the RV.
Sides wind was noticeable but was much less than what I experienced when pulling an RV trailer with my SUV even with using sway bar.

We noticed that 30 foot is little bit bigger for us, we did not use all space, even if 2 days of our 4 days trip we had sit in the RV due to rain.

We are leaning towards buying a 25-26 foot with over the can bed (kids just loved that) and rear bed. I have seen Jamboree, and WINNEBAGO.

I am looking for 2005-2008 with low mileage with Ford engine, no leak or damage. I checked NADA, it seems that I can get such motorhome for around 25000-28000.
Any advice or recommendation is welcome.


Thank you


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Old 09-27-2016, 05:02 PM   #10
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You will not see a significant change in milage if you change to 25-26 ft. In that range every foot makes a significant difference in comfort. It comes out of storage, sit space counter space and bed access. IMHO if you were comfortable with the 30 ft stay in that 28-32 ft range.
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Old 10-17-2016, 11:36 AM   #11
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Class C owner/rental

We bought a used 2008 this year from a couple who bought it from a rental company. it is a 24 ft Four Winds (Thor).

It had 142,000 on it, V-10 Ford and it was a in wonderful shape. When they bought it the rental company went over it well and up graded a few things.

This was a outstanding purchase for us and we love it.

A V-10 with 150,000 is just getting broken in, the main thing is how it had been serviced in the the past.

I would not let a used RV scarce you, but buyer beware do your due diligence with it.

Good luck! Be Safe!
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Old 10-17-2016, 02:25 PM   #12
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It sounds like you have a good understanding of motorhome use. We bought a new 23 ft. Midas in 1977, and drove it for 97,000 miles with winter use for ski trips in the Midwest. When we sold it to a friend in 1984, he remarked on the amount of rust underneath.

Regarding renting vs. buying; if you do find something to buy, and are able to keep it at your residence, this is a significant benefit. Packing, unpacking, cleaning, maintaining and tinkering are all easier when the thing is parked in your driveway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RVlover_2016 View Post
Thanks everyone. Tomorrow, we will take a 30 feet rental motorhome from Cruise America for 4 days camping trip. I will share our experience with you.
Regarding buying an RV, if we decide to buy, they are 2 major areas that we feel we could fail,
1- To identify rust and corrosion on the frame and underbelly of the RV.
2-To identify sign of water leaks inside .


Our budget is around $20000 and we are aiming on 24 feet C-class 2008 with low mileage (~ 20K miles). I checked the NADA web site, according to their estimate, we can find such RV to fit to our budget.
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Old 10-24-2016, 05:37 PM   #13
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Used former rental class c

I am a retired aircraft mechanic and also worked as a fire truck technician after retiring from a major airline. I studied up on the used rental market and went with a 2006 Fleetwood Jamboree 24D. I bought from El Monte because 1) I wanted a Chevy Chassis 2) I wanted 2 - 6 volt deep cycle batteries in the coach 3) El Monte provided service records from day 1. They also provided a 12 month warranty which I used because my trans went bad. They took care of the problem rebuilt the trans and I have had zero major problems in 22 months and 7000 miles. I had a busted belt on a tire and replaced a LP leak detector. Those are routine maintenance items. I installed a battery disconnect switch, a wired back up camera, flat screen TV, LED bulbs, vent covers, xm radio and RV GPS. I had 125k miles on my vehicle and fully expect to get another 125k from it. While I am obviously a mechanical person, I have had to do nothing but normal routine maintenance. I check all the goodies once a month and drive the vehicle at least one weekend a month. I have been on several extended trips and have several planned. I know everybody is not mechanically inclined but if you are I highly recommend this option. People believe so much hype. Go to a junkyard and look at the odometers on your average abused delivery van Ford or Chevy, you will see most have 275K to 350K+ miles on them. American trucks are not fragile. Rental companies don't make money on broke down raggedity vehicles, they take good care of them. They won't have all the bells and whistles because renters would tear them up. The vehicle I have is solid as a rock, I have and am modifiying it for me (thinking seriously about adding solar) in short I am well pleased, saved a lot of money and would do it again.
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