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Old 07-22-2013, 07:58 AM   #1
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are you OK with $15k or less class A?

My wife and I are planning on purchasing a class A soon but we can't really afford anything over 15k. To those of you that have been doing this a while, would you be comfortable in a sub 15k MH traveling all over the U. S. ? We plan on just taking our time and going wherever we feel like it on no schedule. We have decided on a class A for the extra storage and overall stability and a gasser as I have a little mechanical ability but no experience at all with diesels.
2001 Newmar Mountain Aire 3798
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Old 07-22-2013, 08:05 AM   #2
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

If you're asking if "I" would be comfortable using a sub $15K motor home to travel all around the US... my answer is no.

However, for those who thrive on adventure, I say go for it.

My suggestion would be to do some scenario planning. Ask yourself what you'll do if you find yourself in Timbucktu, Arkansas and your transmission goes out.

A $15K rig will have a much higher risk of big failures and you at least need to think through what your backup plan might be if you experience one.

Best of luck.

Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

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Old 07-22-2013, 08:10 AM   #3
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Everything depends on the condition of the coach. To know that, you might employ an RV technician to inspect before buying one. Double the mileage to gauge what the actual wear-and-tear on the mechanical components will be. A MH with 50k miles is like a car with 100k miles. You will probably need new tires. Don't go cheap on these. Michelins can run $600 apiece.
Rvs don't wear out tires...the tires rot and crack long before they get worn out.

I wouldn't shy away from a diesel, but they are hard to find at a $15k price.
The thing about diesels is that they will outlast a gasser by 3 or 4 to 1. They take a lot less maintenance and are far more reliable.

Good luck with your search!
2004 Tiffin Allegro 27.5 ft. P32 18,000 lb GVW. 8.1 liter. Workhorse chassis built May 2002. 27,500 miles. 2012 Jeep Liberty Toad. RVi2 brake unit.
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Old 07-22-2013, 08:12 AM   #4
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Hi maneddi,
One does not want to get into purchasing a money pit. This means consider doing what anyone would do when purchasing a coach. Have the coach checked out by a:
1. certified RVIA tech for the coach systems
2. certified auto/truck tech for the chassis and automotive part of the coach.

Floor plan sells the coach. Next is the condition and maintenance. Big ticket items you'll need to look very closely at:
1. tires (date code not tread)
2. roof
3. batteries (have them load tested)
You'll most likely need to replace all automotive fluids, filters and belts.

Make sure the coach will carry all your stuff and you (CCC or NCC). Make sure the coach will tow what you want to tow (hitch rating and GCWR).
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Old 07-22-2013, 08:16 AM   #5
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I second what Gary has already said.

I say a $15k rig can be a travel bargain, but it will require a lot more diligence on your part to assure that at least the basic systems are sound. No signs of any leaks, engine and transmission run/work well. A/C units, furnace, stove all work. No leaks in the on-board plumbing. Do the tires need immediate replacement? There are more, but you get the idea.

Many travel both successfully and happily in a $15k (or less) rig. If that's all my life circumstances would allow, I'd be one of them. If you're at all "handy" it could work nicely for you.

Happy trails...
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Can't take it with you - don't plan on leaving any behind
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Old 07-22-2013, 08:32 AM   #6
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We traded a perfectly good Dutch Star 1999 MH 34' with one slide and only got $25,000 on a trade. It only had about 35,000 miles and was in excellent condition. The guy that bought it only paid $25,000 also. So they are out there. I know 25-K is more than you want to spend. Many trade because maybe they want slides and the greater room. We traded because we knew that the MH was 10 years old and we were both going to retire so we wanted to update.

Search and you will find what you are looking for. IF THIS IS THE ROUTE YOU WANT TO GO YOU BETTER BE HANDY KIND OF PEOPLE. If you are not handy you may soon be in over your head with expensive repairs, and that's $$$$$ that you could have spent buying a coach that was in better shape mechanically. So if you are handy at all kinds and types of repairs, decorating, etc, etc then you'll have a ball.

Also think about the extra storage space you will need keeping the required tools to do repairs while traveling. I know I plan for that kind of stuff. We were in FL last March and I had to trouble shoot and fix the furnace that worked only about 50% of the time and that was on a new TT. It was under warranty but the local shop couldn't fix it unless I brought it in so I figured out the problem and took care of it. You will have many issues that you can and should fix because even on a new unit the fuel to take it back is more than the trouble and cost to fix it yourself.

Here's something else we over looked and we have camped for years. When you retire and travel you may experience two, three, or even four climate changes just on one trip. That means you need extra space to keep all those seasonal changes of clothes.

TeJay Auto Instructor/4-yrs USAF/ Liz: RN/ WBGO 2014 Vista 30T/ F-53/CHF/5-Star/Koni * Bella & Izzy * Golden /Cocker mix/ Louie The Cat* All Retired
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:14 AM   #7
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All good info...thanks. what I'm looking at is something year 2000 or newer, less than 40k miles, 1 slide out for living room and 2 a/C's. I have seen a few over the last few months but have not pulled the trigger because the time isn't right for us yet.
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:14 AM   #8
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One gets what one pays for. Being handy is always a plus in life.Happy adventuring.
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:37 AM   #9
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I'm NO expert. Not even qualified to be a newbie.

But, we bought ours for about 1/2 that. You will need to learn EVERYTHING about that coach. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY spend hours on this site. To me, since I enjoy learning, the challenge and this site, it is all good.

We are not planning on traveling that much so age and mileage are not as critical. Figure on all new tires, fluids, brakes, etc. Have it inspected so you know what works... and what doesn't. We figured on $4-$8K additional to get it ready to roll. We are working on it a bit by bit.

To me there is no feeling like the one you get when that 454 roars to life and your home is ready to roll.
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:58 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by maneddi View Post
All good info...thanks. what I'm looking at is something year 2000 or newer, less than 40k miles, 1 slide out for living room and 2 a/C's. I have seen a few over the last few months but have not pulled the trigger because the time isn't right for us yet.
are those diesel pushers? for real? be aware of lot of scammers out there.
if all that good, why not? i remember in one of mercedes forums people said "the most expensive mercedes is the cheapest one". it may apply here as well.
Steven & Polly
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:59 AM   #11
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You will spend 30k on it anyway. Either buy the 15k coach and fix all the problems as they arise, hoping one of them isn't an engine fire or something else that can cause you to die prematurely, or spend the 30k up front for a relatively well maintained rig.

This is not to say that ANY 15k rig you find will be a money pit or a death trap. As a previous poster said, it's all about condition and maintenance records.
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:04 AM   #12
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We spent 11K for our 95 class A , we've put maybe another 4K into it, tires, shocks, plugs/wires, simple stuff really... So yes you can do it. Ours came with all records and manuals, and was pretty well taken care of. That helped a lot ! We have made several trips across country in all sorts of weather, so yes you can do it. Sure it would be nice to afford 100K+like some people can, but we cannot... So far ours has served us great !!! Simple prevenative maintenence goes a long ways, just like any vehicle....
Monkey, pilot of a Great Dane hauler,
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:09 AM   #13
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Monkey ...when did you buy yours?
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:12 AM   #14
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I sold my 1995 HR Endeavor gasser 2 years ago for $15,000. The prior year, it had just returned from a 4000 mile trip to Yellowstone and back. I would have driven it anywhere. However, you've got to be prepared for the inevitable breakdown that may occur. It ALL depends on condition and maintenance. I'd recommend if you buy a cheaper coach like this, spend about a year getting to know it and making repairs.
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