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Old 05-26-2015, 12:12 AM   #1
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Red face Im Ready! Bring on the Rving Lifestyle

Hello forum!! I want to start by saying this site is awesome - I've learned a lot reading the stuff posted on here these last few days, so thanks. I've been doing research these past few months and am convinced that RV living and traveling is what I need in my life. But obviously its not as easy as we all wish it was, and I am looking for a little advice

Here's a little background info:

*I am 25 and not looking to buy new - trying to stay under $25,000.
*Its just my dog and I, and my boyfriend (and/or friends) when we travel (but he won't be full-timing like me)
*I don't care about fancy - am looking more for reliability.. Sometimes they come hand in hand, other times they don't.

I am leaning towards a class C motorhome for a few reasons. Since I don't have a family I don't need a ton of room, they are easier to drive/park, more sleeping space for friends, cheaper to buy and maintain and there seem to be quite a few different floor plans.

I am curious which Class C's have been reliable for you? For some reason its been hard for me to find reviews that aren't from a dealer. Personal experiences?

I was also hoping someone had advice on how to finance the RV. I will have money to put down but don't have 25 grand to dish out. I live in CO - anyone have experience with a good credit union down here? I've spoken to a couple but would love any advice on this subject. Is going through the dealer a good idea for financing?

Other than that - I've been doing my research on how to spot a rotten RV and what to look for like leaks, body repairs inside and out, bad wiring, bad tires, etc... But any and all advice is welcome on this as well Should I go with a dealer or try for a private seller?

Thanks for reading guys and feel free to throw any and all thoughts out there for me! I am super excited to start my life as a full time RVer and cant wait to see where it will take me. Cheers!

- Tasha - Gypsy Lady At Heart
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Old 05-26-2015, 09:04 AM   #2
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Hi Tasha,

I'm also new to this forum, but on my third go-round in the RV world. In December I bought a C Class (an older one) as I was aiming for a vintage unit to trick out, but to also convert to 4-Wheel drive. Big undertaking, right?

I spent a year just studying and shopping and came down to quality of build every time. Lazy Daze, Born Free, or Aluma-Lite were the three that I went on a hard target search for. Now mine's an 88 Aluma-Lite, you're going to want to go newer, but take a good hard look at these three; (The Aluma-Lite maybe only up to about a 2000 as I understand it, beyond that the quality of build might be less than the good old days).

You have a pretty good understanding on the generalities of what to look for, but when it comes down to laying out any cash, find a good RV mechanic and pay him a couple of hundred bucks to check out the unit and confirm the integrity of your final choices, it's money well spent.

ALSO, be sure to secure financing first and have the guidelines of what the financial institution will and will not finance before landing final choices, and lastly, try real hard not to shop during "RV season", this of course is summer months. The prices are higher and the choices are few.

In closing, almost always plan on Tires 900-1800 for six (Have the date code checked to confirm the age). Go with Ten ply or better, don't worry so much about brand of tire because they're going to Time out before they wear out. A great tire for not a lot of money are Yokohamas. And plan on Fuel pumps (At some point during ownership). RVs sit more than they run, so fuel systems, regardless of how well they're preserved tend to suffer.

Get all that done, then get out there and kill some bugs!
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Old 05-26-2015, 09:13 AM   #3
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I would be surprised if you can find a new class C for $25,000. You might want to consider also looking at late model used ones.

Joel
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Old 05-26-2015, 09:21 AM   #4
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Credit Unions...I am a member of the Electrical Federal CU (you need a family member in the trades to be able to join) and also the Public Service CU...I have found the credit unions are better than banks for personal service and good rates. I financed my 5th wheel through the EFCU with no problems. Paid it off 4 years early (had a 5 year loan).

I don't know where you are in Colorado (I'm in the Denver area), but I would recommend a Credit Union over a bank, but do your research!

Good luck! I'm sure you can find a good used class C, but as others have said, hire that RV mechanic to have a look. I have a guy...

Tim
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Old 05-26-2015, 06:40 PM   #5
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If you have $25k to spend, figure that the RV will be at least 10 years old in most cases. There are ones out there that are in good shape. If you have a chance, rent a few for a weekend (or weekday can be cheaper!) to get a sense of what floor plan works for you.

The Achilles heal of Class C RVs is leaks in the cabover bunk. If they are properly maintained, it's great to have. Many folks park RVs in the sun - this cracks the sealant at seams and "bingo!" comes the leaks in the rainy season. I have learned a lot by looking at RVs in the rain (leaks revealed).

Slideouts not maintained can also be a leak area.

Trust your nose. If it smells musty, there often is a leak somewhere. Air fresheners and open windows are a dead giveaway. Move on to something else.

We really like our Chinook (full fiberglass body with no seams that can leak) but also no cabover bunk.
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Birder View Post
I would be surprised if you can find a new class C for $25,000. You might want to consider also looking at late model used ones.

Joel
Joel,

I think you read my post wrong (or maybe I put it in there wrong somewhere...) I am not looking for new - if there was such a thing as a class c for 25000 new I would definitely look into it haha.. but I know it doesn't exist.

Cheers!
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timay View Post
Credit Unions...I am a member of the Electrical Federal CU (you need a family member in the trades to be able to join) and also the Public Service CU...I have found the credit unions are better than banks for personal service and good rates. I financed my 5th wheel through the EFCU with no problems. Paid it off 4 years early (had a 5 year loan).

I don't know where you are in Colorado (I'm in the Denver area), but I would recommend a Credit Union over a bank, but do your research!

Good luck! I'm sure you can find a good used class C, but as others have said, hire that RV mechanic to have a look. I have a guy...

Tim
Thanks for the reply Tim I will look into Public Service CU as well as others... I have also heard they are better than going through banks.

I will also keep you in mind if I cant seem to find a RV mechanic up here. Have a good one!
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:45 PM   #8
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by DokFDoe View Post
Hi Tasha,

I'm also new to this forum, but on my third go-round in the RV world. In December I bought a C Class (an older one) as I was aiming for a vintage unit to trick out, but to also convert to 4-Wheel drive. Big undertaking, right?

I spent a year just studying and shopping and came down to quality of build every time. Lazy Daze, Born Free, or Aluma-Lite were the three that I went on a hard target search for. Now mine's an 88 Aluma-Lite, you're going to want to go newer, but take a good hard look at these three; (The Aluma-Lite maybe only up to about a 2000 as I understand it, beyond that the quality of build might be less than the good old days).

You have a pretty good understanding on the generalities of what to look for, but when it comes down to laying out any cash, find a good RV mechanic and pay him a couple of hundred bucks to check out the unit and confirm the integrity of your final choices, it's money well spent.

ALSO, be sure to secure financing first and have the guidelines of what the financial institution will and will not finance before landing final choices, and lastly, try real hard not to shop during "RV season", this of course is summer months. The prices are higher and the choices are few.

In closing, almost always plan on Tires 900-1800 for six (Have the date code checked to confirm the age). Go with Ten ply or better, don't worry so much about brand of tire because they're going to Time out before they wear out. A great tire for not a lot of money are Yokohamas. And plan on Fuel pumps (At some point during ownership). RVs sit more than they run, so fuel systems, regardless of how well they're preserved tend to suffer.

Get all that done, then get out there and kill some bugs!
Hi! Thank you for the suggestions, I will check out those types of Class C's

Find an RV mechanic.... Check! And unfortunately I'm looking to buy an RV next month because my lease is up on the house im in in August - so no time for the "right" season. I am hoping to still find a decent deal.

I will plan on getting tires - from some of the stuff I've read it seems like dealers should be willing to do tires for you (Depending of course) so I'm going to try to squeeze everything I can out of them if possible ha.

Gratzi for all the information! Cheers friend
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderso View Post
If you have $25k to spend, figure that the RV will be at least 10 years old in most cases. There are ones out there that are in good shape. If you have a chance, rent a few for a weekend (or weekday can be cheaper!) to get a sense of what floor plan works for you.

The Achilles heal of Class C RVs is leaks in the cabover bunk. If they are properly maintained, it's great to have. Many folks park RVs in the sun - this cracks the sealant at seams and "bingo!" comes the leaks in the rainy season. I have learned a lot by looking at RVs in the rain (leaks revealed).

Slideouts not maintained can also be a leak area.

Trust your nose. If it smells musty, there often is a leak somewhere. Air fresheners and open windows are a dead giveaway. Move on to something else.

We really like our Chinook (full fiberglass body with no seams that can leak) but also no cabover bunk.
Thank you! Happy Camping
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