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Old 11-08-2015, 08:17 AM   #1
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Question re Mileage on Used RV

I have narrowed down my RV search to a Tioga 31N. The back dinette/bunk bed combo is the perfect "office" space I need to be able to work while on the road. However, this floor plan is hard to find, and only in the older models. So, in my budget, the used RVs I'm finding have over 60K miles on them. I would appreciate any feedback from those that have purchased higher mileage RVs. The one I'm looking at now has 71K miles, but priced right and looks to be in very good shape; not much remodeling needed inside. Having never owned an RV before, I've had cars last well into the 125K miles and above, but what about an RV? Is 71K a risk? Thanks!
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Old 11-08-2015, 09:17 AM   #2
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The most important consideration in buying a used MH is how well the previous owner took care of it. A MH with high mileage might be in better condition than one with few miles...again how well was the unit cared for. This is where experience comes into play. It sounds like you have never owned a MH before? How much have you researched the build quality in different RV manufacturers? Also, do you know what to look for when it comes to how well a used MH was taken care of? In addition, is there any hidden damage, especially from water? It sounds like you have a floor plan picked out. Keep educating yourself on buying a used RV and you will find a good unit even if it has 71k on the odometer. Happy hunting!
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Old 11-08-2015, 09:24 AM   #3
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Just my opinion but 70,000 miles on a gas motor pulling that amount of weight is getting up there.
My comfort level would be in the 30,000- 40,000 range on used.
Do some go farther? You bet.
We had a gasser and sold it at 60,000. WE had it since 12,000 miles, maintained it wel,l changing oil every 3000 miles.
The fellow I sold it to has had it about 3 years now and is looking at doing the top end.
Is was a Ford.
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Old 11-08-2015, 09:24 AM   #4
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Mine has 89000 on it Has always had Mobil one. I would drive it cross country anytime. Previous owners drove it everywhere. It's all about condition and up keep.
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Old 11-08-2015, 09:38 AM   #5
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The Ford powertrain and chassis are top notch. No worries there. The rest of it is the house which will require upkeep just like the sticks and bricks. If it suits your needs go for it. 70,000 is nothing on a modern powertrain.
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Old 11-08-2015, 08:48 PM   #6
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Just my opinion but 70,000 miles on a gas motor pulling that amount of weight is getting up there.
My comfort level would be in the 30,000- 40,000 range on used.
Do some go farther? You bet.
We had a gasser and sold it at 60,000. WE had it since 12,000 miles, maintained it wel,l changing oil every 3000 miles.
The fellow I sold it to has had it about 3 years now and is looking at doing the top end.
Is was a Ford.

Seriously? 70k is barely broken in. What did you do wrong in your 48k miles? Or did the guy you sold it to flog the day lights out of it?

I've run numerous E & F 350 & 450's to well past 200k with no noticeable loss of performance.

My own little E-350 460 class C is getting near that point too. It was nearly at GVWR when it rolled out of the Winnie factory 20 years ago, it hasn't lost any weight since then either. It still runs just fine.
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Old 11-08-2015, 09:14 PM   #7
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I think in large part it depends on how many miles you plan to put on it as well, and in what time period. If you are going to drive it 3000 to 5000 miles a year, then the mileage isn't that big a deal. You'll still have plenty of years and miles left before the engine needs major attention, assuming it has been properly maintained. On the other hand, if you are planning on putting 20000 a yr on it, then you probably should look for a lower mileage coach. After a couple of years at that rate you'll be over 100k. Having said that, any modern gas engine should be good for close to 200k before needing a major overhaul. Even at 200k, it should still be serviceable, just maybe using oil and noisy. I've seen many modern gas engines with good maintenance go well past 200k and still be a reliable engine that uses little or no oil. In my experience, the transmission will likely require major service before the engine does.
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Old 11-08-2015, 09:23 PM   #8
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Just make sure to have it fully checked out by a well-rated local RV mechanic. Expect to pay $250-400 for the service, depending on the prevailing labor rate. Best money you can spend.

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Old 11-08-2015, 09:36 PM   #9
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If the motorhome you are looking at has been built in the last 10-15 years I would not be at all concerned with 70,000 miles if the coach has received proper service. Check the service work receipts and have the coach inspected before buying. Or you can get an extended warranty policy that will help you with breakdown expenses.

Coaches are not cars and it matters how a coach has been used. If you are looking at a used coach with low miles that has been lived in six months of the year every year most of the house may be worn out. When we bought our coach it had fairly high miles on it, but the house had hardly been used. We are quite happy with our purchase.
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Old 11-09-2015, 06:48 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone! Yes, it will be my first RV (not my last, after kids are gone, I plan to full-time), and I also plan to have whatever I buy checked out first. Most that I have looked at are spotless inside. I know the engine is important, but the interior is equally important to me (not fabric), I really don't like the idea of used, but that's my budget right now to get my family on the road. We will be using it any time the kids are not in school. So, probably 3-5K a year. I'm also now struggling with which vehicle to get. I really want a Hyundai Santa Fe sport, but from what I have read, only the Elantra is towable. I have a Honda van, but not really a fan of the Honda CRV model. Oh well, that's another post. Thanks everyone!
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Old 12-06-2015, 10:39 AM   #11
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Pay a pro truck mechanic to check out the engine, cooling system, brake system, transmission, suspension and date codes on all tires. ALSO VERY IMPORTANT: Tires older than 5 years will probably be unsafe and prone to failure with damage to underside stuff and possible loss of control. The roof AC unit and fridge in our 2004 Tioga died at around 10 years old, the house batteries and converter charger and fresh water pump needed replacement at about the same time. The awning fabric also needed replacement at the 10 year point. All brands and models use the same AC units and either Norcold or Dometic fridges, etc. Try RV'ing without a towed vehicle until you are sure you 'need" one. There are options such as renting a car, shuttle buses, and tour buses for visiting RV unfriendly cities, etc. It takes 5-10 minutes to disconnect an RV and drive off instead of using a "toad". Owning a new or used RV is not cheap. Learn how the 12 volt house batteries, converter charger, engine alternator and RV generator work as well as 110vac shore power hookup, and how to check and maintain batteries and connections. These are critical to operation of the appliances, AC and furnace, interior lights, etc.
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Old 12-07-2015, 06:28 AM   #12
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Boy am I ever glad nobody told my 20 year old m/h about that 10 year rule!!!

The only piece of OEM equipment on it that isn't still working is the microwave, and it died because of stupidity, not old age.
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Old 12-08-2015, 07:12 PM   #13
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Boy am I ever glad nobody told my 20 year old m/h about that 10 year rule!!!

The only piece of OEM equipment on it that isn't still working is the microwave, and it died because of stupidity, not old age.

After our fridge died at 10 years ,with fairly heavy usage, we heard that changes in coolant chemistry and quality of materials in current foreign made cooling units, resulted in shorter useful life. You hours between failure may vary. The old beater fridge in our old '79 Delta Class C looked like original equipment and never failed in the near 20 years that we owned it.
There is no 10 year rule.
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Old 12-08-2015, 07:19 PM   #14
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ALSO VERY IMPORTANT: Tires older than 5 years will probably be unsafe and prone to failure with damage to underside stuff and possible loss of control.
Not even the tire companies say that. They do say to start having the tires checked every year after 5 years and absolutely replace them after 10 years. Any tire will be more prone to damage as it ages.
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