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Old 07-15-2014, 01:54 PM   #15
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Lang, you're relatively anonymous here, care to detail what your budget is for purchase and what you'd expect to spend on maintenance / repairs? Based on that, I'll bet you get some good advice.

In terms of a "mechanic" - you're looking for two things:
1) A mechanic or vehicle inspector that can do an E350 / E450 truck. Often when I've bought or sold vehicles, I found that dealers can do pre-buy inspections of the mechanical systems. Ask the owner if he'll take it to a local dealer for an inspection on your dime. If it's sold in "good condition" there should be no reason not to do this. Offer the owner a copy of the report - he/she can still use it if you don't buy.

2) An RV inspector. IF you're in a metro area, you can find one on craigslist or by calling local RV service centers and asking for a recommendation. They should provide you a checklist. The RV should be "ready" to go before the inspection - the fridge should probably be allowed to cool overnight, it should have propane, have some water in the tank, and should have at least 1/4 tank of gas to run the generator. If these things aren't ready, the inspector can't fully inspect the rig.

Most mobile repair persons - both for mechanical and RV will do inspections.

Ask for maintenance records. An RV without them is suspect. An RV that hasn't been used in a year is suspect. Run the generator with the AC on. Ask if all major systems work.

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Old 07-21-2014, 09:31 AM   #16
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Location: Granville, NY 12832
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Back about 25 years ago (when I was employed) I would tackle just about any project and buying used worked out fine. Learned a lot about travel trailers and their repair!....took a 25 year vacation from the RV lifestyle....just returned and decided that I'd try the travel trailer thing...backed out of the first purchase and continued looking....found a unit that seemed a little too big but the light weight made it seem like the right way to go. The unit was 14 years old but showed no sign of any hard use. It was in almost new condition. So far so good but I really want a class C unit. Since I am retired and money is tight I want used and after reading on this site I can see many are in the same position as I am. It may take me a long time to find the right unit that fits my comfort level. In the interim I'll be reading everything I can to continue my "Class C" education. Good Luck in your quest!

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Old 07-25-2014, 10:18 AM   #17
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Before you pay the expense of a prepurchase inspection you should make a check list of things to check yourself. Example: Check tire age, battery age, ask for maintenance history, perform a VIN check, look for indications of leaks (warped floors, wood, look at the seals around all the windows, etc), make sure everything works (fridge, microwave, generator, leveling system, etc) that is on the unit.

Basically go in looking for a reason to walk away that way if you can't find anything you aren't willing to pay to get fixed then you have saved yourself the cost of a prepurchase inspection. If that checks out then set up an appointment and go from there. I bought an 05 in January and just had a rear differential leak repaired and still don't have a working shower (not that we really need it for our camping style). Getting these rigs fixed isn't cheap and the annual maintenance is pretty steep unless you are doing all the work yourself. But I can honestly say I don't have any regrets at this point and hope you find a gently used rig in your price range so you can enjoy the ability to escape in comfort just like the rest of us.

Good luck!
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Old 07-26-2014, 05:47 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by cb1000rider View Post
... I found that 9 out of 10 Ford dealers wouldn't even work on one - they don't have the lift capacity for a 31' vehicle that is about 11' tall....
X2 on that, despite what others claim here and on other forums. The only Ford dealer anywhere close to me in Northern Virginia told me he has stopped taking RVs because of insurance issues ... his guys kept dinging up the RVs that were in for service.

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"It's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark ... and we're wearing sunglasses."
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