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Old 05-23-2013, 08:34 AM   #1
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Post First time RV buyer, help!

Tommorrow i'm buying a 1997 pacearrow Class A. Everything seems to be fine, i'm buying from an older guy who needs to get rid of it. It's a 35 footer chevy chases, it has 40,000 miles on it. I'm paying $14,000 for it? Is that a good price for it? Is chevy a good chases? I need to know these things, because this is my first time buying an RV and I don't want to waste money on it, so any advice? Should I get an RV inspection done? Check the tires? Etc...anything that will help
I'll be traveling around with my daughter, I just want to be safe a long the way
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:47 AM   #2
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Chevy is good. Worry about the dates on your tires. If you getup-close, you should see a number inside an oval on each tire: e.g.: 22-03. That means the tire was manufactured the 22nd week of 2003. If you have a year earlier than 2005 you will have to replace the tires. The tires on an RV rarely wear out the tread. They DO rot out. They have a life expectancy of 8 years. Other than that, check that all mechanical systems work. Start the generator. Check that the water pump for the fresh water system functions. Check that the gas water heater works. Don't be afraid to negotiate down when you find stuff that is not working.Good luck.
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:56 AM   #3
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You don't say what model, but a cursory check of NADA shows a similar year Pace in the $13-15 range, so the price may be okay. As another posted, check the tires, check for LEAKS, check for delamination, make sure everything works. An inspection would be money well-spent since you're not familair with the workings of an RV. Put aside some extra money for repairs.
Mark Anderson - FMCA 351514 - NRVIA Certified Level 2 Inspector
Louisville, KY
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH
2006 Jeep Commander
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Old 05-23-2013, 09:34 AM   #4
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Open every overhead cabinet and look for discoloration of the ceiling or sidewall. A sure sign it had or has a leak.
'92 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager. Tweaked 5.9 Cummins, complete interior makeover (previous owner).
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Old 05-23-2013, 02:07 PM   #5
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A great tool.....

RV Inspection Checklist

Print it out and take it with you on a clipboard.... go over everything on the list. Its a great way of finding out what you're getting into, positively and negatively.
The Macklin's - 1998 Georgie Boy 'Pursuit'
Pete: Pilot/Mechanic - Jen: Navigator/Travel Planner
Taylor & Patrick - Along for the ride....
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Old 05-23-2013, 02:24 PM   #6
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Congratulation on your find
2x what every one said.

Also try to talk him down
if he's like me he bump it up a little just for that purpose.

Good luck
F/T 11/20/2012
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Old 05-23-2013, 02:40 PM   #7
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Welcome to iRv2!
Good luck with the purchase. Definitely look at the tires - that checklist that is linked is great as well.
I actually ordered an RV inspection. I figured, if I hire an inspection for any house that I purchase, I might as well do it for my house on wheels especially since it was used. Ultimately, that inspection led to a much higher reduction in price (compared to cost of inspection), so I think they are worth it.

Good luck and have fun!
Hugo - RV Rookie
2003 Fleetwood Bounder 35R W22
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Old 05-23-2013, 03:34 PM   #8
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This is a buyers market, if unit checks out as above price seems in line with to-days market, shouls always buy at low NADA unless exceptionally clean then maybe a bit more.Does it have a slide, if not may have trouble selling later!!!
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:02 PM   #9
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Do you have any pictures. If possible get maintenance records including oil and other fluid changes. Check the batteries and dates. Power up and check the systems under load and for sure give it a good test drive see how it handles. Good luck.
2003 Forest River Cardinal Platinum 37' 5th Wheel
1976 31' Airstream
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:14 PM   #10
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before you give up any money have the rv inspected.

Central California - Sacramento to Fresno and the Bay Area
RV Inspector Kemper Martin (530) 676-4078 or (916) 804-5477
Pre-purchase RV Inspection.

don't know these people but I'm sure they know more then you do about RVs and could save you money.

even if these people say it 's a good deal, don't give up the money until Moho passes the California smog test.

have a happy day and good luck on your purchase,

jack r
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:19 PM   #11
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Agree with what has been said about an inspection. I knew a little bit about class a motorhomes when I bought mine but an inspection is the way to go. Just my $.02
Bob and Janice Ford
1998 Fleetwood Pace arrow 35'
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