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Old 11-22-2019, 07:20 AM   #1
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Does high odometer mileage really matter?

Would you rather have a higher mileage late model with a documented service record or a 15 to 20 years model with "low mileage"? And, I mean LOW MILEAGE to mean less than 5,000 miles per year.....

Why are people afraid of high mileage vehicles? Especially if they are regularly serviced?

Possibly, the reason for this is that many people skip the proper maintenance schedule??? They do that at their own peril. It's not a prudent idea to skip these things or not replace tires or shocks when they are worn.

Unfortunately, it takes a lot of maintenance ( read; money) to keep a vehicle going on the road whether it's a car or an RV..... the only thing that matters is the service you get from a vehicle....it is NOT an investment except for the service it provides you.

I've met a few people who are in love with the creampuff" low mileage RV they found ...is it worth it..... outdated safety features on a 20 year or more older rig??

OR, is the newer model more to your liking?? It's all about the money and the choices...... either way, the mileage will eventually creep up....I guess that the higher mileage vehicles were more enjoyable to drive... which is why they have early high miles??

What's your take??
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Old 11-22-2019, 08:58 AM   #2
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I would prefer to see lower miles, but enough that it was used regularly. If by high miles you mean hundreds of thousands, I would be concerned that major components are getting pretty worn out. Replacing things like transmissions and engines gets pretty expensive. Regular maintenance is good, but there is only so much service life in many components. Unless most of them have been changed, I would vote for something with say 50,000 miles.
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Old 11-22-2019, 09:21 AM   #3
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...really good question....ultra-low mileage in an older RV, especially a diesel, is probably not a good thing--certainly not worth paying a "premium" to buy....major drive train and suspension components on a Class A diesel, tend to higher grade/commercial quality so "high mileage" is a relative term....eg, a car with 100k is considered well-used; a Class A diesel is just getting broke-in... what does tend to show age is the exterior and the interior house components....I think the market has the most to do with how RV mileage and age are viewed....there always seems to be a lot of "gently-use" RVs on the market so why buy higher mileage units? Financing and extended warranties, if you feel you need them, are also harder to come by for an older RV....
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Old 11-22-2019, 04:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MWeiner View Post
Would you rather have a higher mileage late model with a documented service record or a 15 to 20 years model with "low mileage"? And, I mean LOW MILEAGE to mean less than 5,000 miles per year.....
I'd probably avoid the garage queens. As others have said, too many things atrophy by lack of driving and use.
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Old 11-22-2019, 08:51 PM   #5
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This is a hard one to answer without specific numbers, what do you call high mileage, etc. Remember mileage means wear and tear on suspension components, engine, etc. Of course at the same time ultra-low mileage may mean neglect on maintenance that should be time based, that ultra low mileage 20 year old coach may have the same dry rotted hoses and bushings that a 20 year old high mileage coach has, and the high mileage coach is more likely to have been maintained and had those components replaced when they wore out.
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Old 11-22-2019, 11:42 PM   #6
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Agree with you 💯 percent....

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Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
This is a hard one to answer without specific numbers, what do you call high mileage, etc. Remember mileage means wear and tear on suspension components, engine, etc. Of course at the same time ultra-low mileage may mean neglect on maintenance that should be time based, that ultra low mileage 20 year old coach may have the same dry rotted hoses and bushings that a 20 year old high mileage coach has, and the high mileage coach is more likely to have been maintained and had those components replaced when they wore out.
When I purchased my RV, it was 70 months old and 26,000 miles... seemed to be in excellent condition.... There's certain things you just can't see, especially when you get it used..

Now, at 99 months and 48,000 miles I had to replace the generator and refrigerator. Generator was not serviced and exercised regularly in the early years.. even though I followed manufacturer specs... Propane refrigerator is very inconsistent and has limitations, with having to be level and altitude issues.... long story short...I now have a new refrigerator and it works perfectly..

The replacement of these two major systems are key to my use and enjoyment of the RV...

I would suggest that replacing these items are just par for the course as the RV is now effectively 8 to 9 years old... It's marketed as a 2012.... but, the build was July 2011..... don't know how they were able to sell and market it for sale like that?? Sold first and registered in August 2011....I got it in May 2017.....

Has 48,300 miles... and it's a diesel...is this high mileage... I really don't think so.... Diesels are known for longevity.... And, yes, it's been serviced regularly and has mostly all highway mileage....
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Old 11-22-2019, 11:58 PM   #7
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I really don't consider 48,000 mile high mileage on anything of its age range, it seems over the long run most motorhomes average between 5,000 - 6,000 miles per year. As it happens my coach will turn 18 years old tomorrow, build date 11-23-01 according to the cargo capacity sticker with the VIN in the bathroom closet, and it just hit 92,000 miles a few weeks ago, which puts it at low average of about 5,100 miles per year. This rate fits in well with the mileage that was on it when I bought it in 2016, and the mileage when the previous owner bought it, ...


Of course mine is a gas coach
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Old 11-23-2019, 12:04 AM   #8
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Okay... let me ask you this

Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
I really don't consider 48,000 mile high mileage on anything of its age range, it seems over the long run most motorhomes average between 5,000 - 6,000 miles per year. As it happens my coach will turn 18 years old tomorrow, build date 11-23-01 according to the cargo capacity sticker with the VIN in the bathroom closet, and it just hit 92,000 miles a few weeks ago, which puts it at low average of about 5,100 miles per year. This rate fits in well with the mileage that was on it when I bought it in 2016, and the mileage when the previous owner bought it, ...


Of course mine is a gas coach
Issac, I noticed that on NADA, they don't consider mileage in the value of the vehicle..... it's only applicable for gas coaches....

So, do you think that diesels are capable of going further...

I think most vehicles today can make it to 200,000 miles. A number of articles talk about diesel engines being more robust than gasoline engines...

Since you purchased your RV in 2016; have you had to put a lot of money into it...of course, you have only traveled 15,000 miles in 3 years.. I've done more than 22,000 since May 2017....

I only ask because I think that there's a correlation between miles and repairs and maintenance costs..... maybe it's possible to predict what it will cost on the basis of MILEAGE.... Do you know what your cost per mile is on just repairs and maintenance?
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Old 11-23-2019, 01:41 AM   #9
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That is a hard one to answer, a lot depends on what you consider repairs, vs modifications, maintenance or upgrades. I have probably put somewhere around $10,000 into it counting everything, and the previous owner put right at $10,000 in parts into it in the 2.5 years he owned it. On the surface this may sound bad, but a lot of it was optional expenses. The stuff that was more mandatory is probably closer to $3,500 for me, with it being a mix of DIY vs professional shop stuff.


To break that down the previous owner installed a new Dometic refrigerator, new carpet, new seating, 400 watts of solar panels, 2,000 watt pure sine wave inverter, as well as right at $3,000 worth of suspension work / upgrades (track bar, Safety Plus, etc.), flat panel TV along with tv cabinet modification, tires, batteries, and a few other things that don't come to mind at the moment.


The things I have done that I consider mandatory since I bought it were, $450 brake repair just after I bought it (rip off shop rate, but when the pedal goes to the floor you pull in to the shop that is under 1/2 mile away), $750 dash air conditioner repair, $1,400 new upper and lower ball joints, $650 fabricate new automatic parking brake line after blowing a pin hole in the old one, and maybe a few other minor things, like spark plugs and plug wires, an alternator, a fan clutch, and an idler tensioner the last few being DIY and costing maybe another $600 total.


Then there is the stuff that was semi-optional, like new shocks, and sway bar bushings, the old ones were not completely shot, but it handles better with the new ones, and the old ones were certainly worn. Or adding in $300 Super Steer upgrade coil springs while the needed ball joints were being replaced as it was no extra labor.


Of course this leaves the completely optional stuff, some of which I feel is some of the best money I have spent on the coach, things like GPS, or TPMS, then there are things like upgrading to LED headlight, and adding a SeeLevel 709 tank monitor system, or my most recent $550 expense for Airlift 5000 rear helper airbags, and air compressor with in cab controls.


There are numerous little things on top of all this that I have not counted, and maybe don't want to, like a new entry door lock (the old one was worn out and would lock itself if the door was slammed too hard), or the new FM radio antenna that I had to replace because the old one got caught on the overhead door while pulling out of my storage shed...


p.s. yes, I think diesel are capable of much more than 200,000 miles, my family owned a small distributing business and ran a small fleet diesel trucks (5 to 7), typically 25,999 GVWR (non CDL) trucks, and all of them lasted well over 350,000 miles unless they were totaled in an accident. I also have a 2000 F250 with 7.3L diesel that I have owned for over 10 years, that is mostly relegated to hauling stuff on the weekends these days, which is still going strong at 235,000 miles, and which I plan to keep for years to come, as it does its job and I see no reason to replace it anytime soon.
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Old 11-23-2019, 10:07 AM   #10
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Issac, thanks for your very comprehensive answer, what RV and model do you have??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
That is a hard one to answer, a lot depends on what you consider repairs, vs modifications, maintenance or upgrades. I have probably put somewhere around $10,000 into it counting everything, and the previous owner put right at $10,000 in parts into it in the 2.5 years he owned it. On the surface this may sound bad, but a lot of it was optional expenses. The stuff that was more mandatory is probably closer to $3,500 for me, with it being a mix of DIY vs professional shop stuff.


To break that down the previous owner installed a new Dometic refrigerator, new carpet, new seating, 400 watts of solar panels, 2,000 watt pure sine wave inverter, as well as right at $3,000 worth of suspension work / upgrades (track bar, Safety Plus, etc.), flat panel TV along with tv cabinet modification, tires, batteries, and a few other things that don't come to mind at the moment.


The things I have done that I consider mandatory since I bought it were, $450 brake repair just after I bought it (rip off shop rate, but when the pedal goes to the floor you pull in to the shop that is under 1/2 mile away), $750 dash air conditioner repair, $1,400 new upper and lower ball joints, $650 fabricate new automatic parking brake line after blowing a pin hole in the old one, and maybe a few other minor things, like spark plugs and plug wires, an alternator, a fan clutch, and an idler tensioner the last few being DIY and costing maybe another $600 total.


Then there is the stuff that was semi-optional, like new shocks, and sway bar bushings, the old ones were not completely shot, but it handles better with the new ones, and the old ones were certainly worn. Or adding in $300 Super Steer upgrade coil springs while the needed ball joints were being replaced as it was no extra labor.


Of course this leaves the completely optional stuff, some of which I feel is some of the best money I have spent on the coach, things like GPS, or TPMS, then there are things like upgrading to LED headlight, and adding a SeeLevel 709 tank monitor system, or my most recent $550 expense for Airlift 5000 rear helper airbags, and air compressor with in cab controls.


There are numerous little things on top of all this that I have not counted, and maybe don't want to, like a new entry door lock (the old one was worn out and would lock itself if the door was slammed too hard), or the new FM radio antenna that I had to replace because the old one got caught on the overhead door while pulling out of my storage shed...


p.s. yes, I think diesel are capable of much more than 200,000 miles, my family owned a small distributing business and ran a small fleet diesel trucks (5 to 7), typically 25,999 GVWR (non CDL) trucks, and all of them lasted well over 350,000 miles unless they were totaled in an accident. I also have a 2000 F250 with 7.3L diesel that I have owned for over 10 years, that is mostly relegated to hauling stuff on the weekends these days, which is still going strong at 235,000 miles, and which I plan to keep for years to come, as it does its job and I see no reason to replace it anytime soon.

Issac, I can appreciate what you are saying.
A lot of people don't understand the difference between maintenance and repairs..... upgrades are a little easier to understand...

Sounds like you have a Class A? Especially since you mentioned air suspension....?

I would argue that new suspension system is a gray area... it's a blend of all three.... I know a few people who think it's "normal" for their RV to pitch, sway and rock when they enter fueling stations, driveways, or go over speed bumps... that's baloney... More and more, I'm finding out that a lot of coach manufacturers don't do anything special with the original suspension on the vans when they are retrofitting it for an RV. That's wrong.... they need e special suspension.... I like you was referred to Super Steer... and I have had special modifications done to my RV.... I have a track bar, large antisway bar and Koni FSD shocks...it helped a lot.... it's not an air suspension, but, I think that is overkill on a Class B RV.....too much money...

After I did the suspension upgrade, my RV drives more like my SUV.. much more control... I like that....

All vehicles need tires, brakes and batteries... maintenance items..... same thing for regular oil changes, filters and some consumables... I had to get my sewer line replaced, it cracked from age, and my macerator pump failed....I guess you could say that they are repairs.... but again, it's necessary stuff....

Upgrades, I had a really terrible audio system, so I had this replaced with a Kenwood DNX 893 complete with Android Auto, Bluetooth, Garmin Satellite platform and Sirius XM radio...all hands free.... Plus, I have front and rear cameras...so I can see exactly where I am....

Also an upgrade was the Zamp Solar Panel... and bicycle rack... Again, these are all easily identifiable upgrades...

Seems like a lot of people wind up replacing a Dometic refrigerator? Makes me wonder how the company can stay in business with the bad reputation they have or at least my impression so far....? And,. I'm so glad that I decided to replace it... my old Dometic propane refrigerator was not working properly, and when they removed it, they discovered that there were burned up electrical wires just a few inches from the propane flame that the refrigerator used to heat up the coils...if that had caught fire it would have burned up my rig. That's all gone.. propane line is capped off and I'm on electric only with a brand new Nova Kool...I don't need to be level and if I want to go to the mountains, 10,000 feet I can do that and it will still work fine... Good riddance. New unit is ultra efficient at 2.4 watts per hour.... this with my solar panel system and batteries is not a problem at all....

The generator is now under warranty as well... should be good to go for couple of years... and I'm very good about keeping up with the maintenance....seems like it is less expensive in the long run.... just my opinion.

I thought about the See Level gauges.... I'm not impressed with the standard stuff, they are just estimates..... it's complicated to get them installed on my Sprinter... tight clearance.....all money and would only do that if I were using the van more....

Things are very compact and not always easy to install on my little Class B....

So, I imagine that you acquired your RV with around 75,000 miles... and you've had to put $10,000 into it.... I don't think that is bad at all.. I think that is pretty good...

You're probably way better off than my situation.... although I'm sure that I won't have the kinds of expenses I had in the last year for some time....

All of my expenses so far with the maintenance repairs etc have worked out to $1 per mile.... assuming I can drive many more miles without a major failure.... my costs per mile should go down... hopefully....

RV's are not inexpensive.... I don't think I'm saving any money over just driving and staying in a hotel.... it's a different experience....I think it's best suited for going places you would not ordinarily go... into National Parks, etc.

The one thing I like about the diesel is how quiet it is... and has plenty of power for the size and weight of my rig, 190 HP and 325 foot pounds of torque. It's a small power plant and gets remarkable mileage.

This is my first and last RV.... It's great, but, I would never do it again...

Please post a picture of your rig... here's a few of mine...

Happy Thanksgiving.....
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Old 11-23-2019, 12:58 PM   #11
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I agree and you are right about much of that, my coach had 74,000 when I bought it in 2016, and had 54,000 when the previous owner bought it in 2014. It is a small class A, 28 ft Safari Trek on a P32 chassis.


I have to run before lunch gets cold, but here is a random photo (taken at the parking lot for the Startica salt mine museum in Hutchinson,KS).
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Old 11-23-2019, 01:33 PM   #12
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Nice RV... great space.

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I agree and you are right about much of that, my coach had 74,000 when I bought it in 2016, and had 54,000 when the previous owner bought it in 2014. It is a small class A, 28 ft Safari Trek on a P32 chassis.


I have to run before lunch gets cold, but here is a random photo (taken at the parking lot for the Startica salt mine museum in Hutchinson,KS).
Issac, I realize that everyone is going to have different space requirements.. your RV is great for a family of four??

It's just the two of us we wanted something a little smaller that we could park on the driveway right in front of our house. I couldn't even park a vehicle like yours at my house... I wasn't sure I could even get a Class C Navion easily in the front with the two other cars we have.....

I know this isn't a huge issue for you since you purchased a vehicle like the one you did, but, what's your MPG....10 MPG?

I presume that you paid cash for this? Do you mind telling me what you paid for your RV? It certainly appears to be in good condition....

What is it like on the road with noise? Do you have a dog house inside? Or is the engine far enough forward to avoid all of that??

You mentioned that the former owner fixed or added seats??

Also, I think that you may have a bed that drops down from the ceiling as an extra sleeping area?? We looked at many different RVs before we got the Sprinter....

How are you with carrying capacity?
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Old 11-23-2019, 02:02 PM   #13
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If I am selling I donít think high mileage matters. If Iím buying it matters a lot for an rv 5 k a year would be normal. Most full timers only put on 10 to 15k a year. The longer they do it the less they drive each year. When buying used low mileage is better for you not high. Only so much useful life before something gives it up.

Enjoy the journey
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Old 11-23-2019, 02:51 PM   #14
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The layout in mine is really more designed for 2 people (2 space dining table, etc.), maybe 2 adults and 1 kid, the Trek's are a bit unique as there is no bedroom, instead there is only a mechanical bed in the ceiling above the living room, the big advantage this gives is you get to have a very big bathroom and big kitchen by RV standards in a sub 30 ft coach (29'5" bumper to bumper, 96 inch wide wall to wall, and 11'3" tall to the top of the air conditioner, so other than length not much bigger than yours). The bathroom measures in at just over 6x6 ft wall to wall, and has a 32 inch neo angle shower in the corner, and the kitchen has just shy of 7 feet of total counter top space not counting the stove of the sink.


If you are curious about the Trek, here is a link to a youtube video of one that is nearly identical to mine (same year, same floor plan), just a couple of minor differences on options, l ... note the salesman makes a number of mistakes including length, transmission, ..


As to the rest of your questions,



Mileage really depends on how and where it is driven, we travel a lot to the western states where there are hills, mountains and high speed limits, if driven at 55 mph I can get around 9 to 9.5 mpg, though at my more typical 65-67 mph that drops down to around 8 - 8.5 mpg, to tell you the truth, I feel better when I don't calculate it and just accept it as whatever it is, as fuel price variation on a trip is often far more of a factor than any difference in fuel economy will be. Take our recent 3,200 mile 25 day trip from Louisiana to the Grand Canyon, etc. on the low end as low as $2.17 per gallon in Texas on the drive home, and $2.22 in Texas on the way there, vs a high of $3.20 in northern AZ and southern UT.


Actually I financed most of it over 4 years, as it made more financial sense at the time vs taking capital gains hit on liquidating stocks to get the cash on hand, this was still when interest rates were fairly low, I think 4.1%. As to price, I had been shopping for a Trek for about 5 months, on this one the asking price was $25,000, but it was 1,100 miles away, I offered $19,500, and settled on $20,500, however the sellers were in a rush to sell (they had just bought a vacation home), so I had to pick it up within 5 days, so that meant some added expenses like $800 airline ticket. Total counting taxes, registration and retrieval trip was probably close to $24,000.


The road noise was a bit of an issue when I bought it, however adding Dynamat Xtreme and Dyna hood liner to the bottom of the fiberglass dog house cover helped considerably, to the point where casual conversion is now possible without shouting. Overall it is not bad, though it is still louder than I would like ideally, it probably helps that I have the 8.1L Chevy Vortec V8 engine which does not rev as high as the 6.8L Ford V10.


The previous owner replaced the carpet in the living room area, and also replaced the notoriously uncomfortable in either position jack-knife sofa with a J sofa with built in recliner, as well as installed 3 captains chairs with 3 point seatbelts to replace the original SteelFlex seats with 2 point belts. The new seats came out of a wrecked MB Sprinter executive shuttle van, and are MUCH more comfortable than the SteelFlex seats which I had seen in other Trek's.


On the topic of carrying capacity, this is one of the main reasons I opted for the 28 ft floor plan Trek vs the similar layout 26 ft layout (same bathroom, smaller kitchen, and dining table across from sofa) is that the 28 ft model in this year range is built on the 17,000 GVWR chassis vs the 15,400 GVWR for the 26 foot, giving the 28 ft nearly 1,000 pounds more carrying capacity. Being a 2002 model the weights are counted using the CCC method, not the OCCC federally mandated method used since about 2008. Translated this means I have just a few pounds under 3,000 pounds of carrying capacity with empty water tanks. It would be even more if mine was built on the optional 18,000 GVWR chassis which was a nice option in 2002 as it had a 75 gallon gas tank, vs mine which has a 60 gallon gas tank, though I do have a 32 gallon propane tank, which is nice, most similar sized class A's have about a 24 gallon propane tank, and I think most sprinter class B's and C's have about 15-16 gallon propane tanks.


Attached are a couple of more photos of mine
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