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Old 06-26-2010, 11:13 AM   #1
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HELP...potential RV newbie

Can anyone give an RV newbie some advice? Found a guy who wants to get a 1991 coachman catalina off his property, and is willing to give it to me for one of my collectible rifles..value 1100.00. It has a pretty bad roof leak in front with some damage to driving area. Has 48k original miles new tires and brakes, but is pretty beaten up inside. Has a full roll of fiberglass to repair roof, and a roll of new carpeting. has complete maint records and clean title. am told it needs a new battery and 2 new cellinoids..has quote of 600.00 for engine work. the rest would be the weekend project I am looking this a decent deal folks? thought I would ask the experts. email me please with advice or suggestions to thanks in advance,
[Jedhohlfeld] Jed
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Old 06-26-2010, 11:14 AM   #2
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Oh it's a 31 foot coachman catalina with the chevy 454
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Old 06-26-2010, 12:20 PM   #3
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Be prepared for a LOT of weekends before you get it back to usable. Do you think he'd let it go without the trade for the rifle? One thing I've learned, is that for every one thing that you see needs to be fixed, there are at least 3 more that will pop up as you get into it. Its almost 20 years old, may be time to let it rest in peace.
Denny, Connie & Shadow (former barn cat made good)
2006 Tiffin Phaeton, Cat C7, Freightliner Chassis
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Old 06-26-2010, 02:11 PM   #4
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It's my humble opinion that you'll find yourself well over 3 grand in debt towards fixing that 1 grand motorhome when you realize you 've only just begun...

If you look hard, you'll be able to find many decent rigs with 5-6 grand or so asking prices. This means 4 grand or so selling prices....

F'rinstance, our '87 32' CruiseAirII, we just traded it to a friend for $4000 worth of boat storage over the next few years. Now, it's not the purty-est motorhome in town, the sun has taken its toll on the outside, the decor is dated, there's a few places where the cabinets are bruised a little, it could use new curtains, the storage doors have seen much better days,

BUT-- the roof doesn't leak and never has, the carpet is good, the upholstery is great, it has a Ford 460 that runs great, it drives great, has a newer fridge, a newer electric-start water heater, all the plumbing works, all the interior lighting works, all the exterior lighting works, it has 2 furnaces, 2 AC units, a big bathroom, big closets, a food pantry, a nice bedroom with a queen, a 6.5kw Onan generator with less than 100 hours, an electric step, coffee maker, microwave, good stove, there's awnings on every window, hydraulic leveling jacks---and it all works. The ONLY thing that doesn't work, is the old TV.

I've added some pics below--

Our old unit is far from perfect, but it's completely useable as is. And there's many similar units out there for sale for a song...

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2000 40' Tiffin Allegro Bus \ 2002 Regal 2860 Commodore
1988 53 x 14 Skipperliner \ 1995 32' Party Cruiser
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Old 06-26-2010, 02:58 PM   #5
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Just my opinion, unless it has been used or worked on a regular basis, walk away. These things are meant to be used and you must stay on top of everything that goes wrong.

David & Gail Salisbury, NC
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Old 06-26-2010, 07:29 PM   #6
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The roof leak would make me nervous

I would turn it down based on the roof leak. Mold and mildew are very difficult to get rid of once they set in. You could be risking your health if you fix it up and it is still growing in the walls.

Proud owner of 1994 Winnebago Brave 29RQ.
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Old 06-26-2010, 08:08 PM   #7
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How much is the rifle worth? Be prepared to spend money on the following after you get the leak fixed:
$1000 for new tires,
$1100 for a new RV frig.
$800 for a new A/C.
$200 for new batteries.
$200 for a new power converter....
You can see that there is the potential fro a lot more money to be spent.
Amateur Radio Operator (KE5DFR)|No Longer Full-Time! - 2023 Cougar 22MLS toted by 2022 F150, 3.5L EcoBoost Tow Max FX4 Lariat Travel with one Standard Schnauzer and one small Timneh African Gray Parrot, retired mechanical engineer
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Old 06-27-2010, 06:29 AM   #8
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Great Advice

Thak you all for the wonderful advice...definitely some things to think about. Here is my situation. I am a stay at home dad turning 40 this year with 2 boys ages 4 and 8. My wife travels 4-5 nights a week. The only reason I was considering this trade was due to the fact that I am desperate need of a project. A storage facility in a barn a 1/2 mile away would charge me 40.00 a month including water and elec. I am not looking for the deal of the century and would be getting the rv for the price of the rifle about 1000-1100.00. Am fine with spending...lets say 5k over the next 2 years to get her up and running. I could buy a potentially safer investment for 5k but then there goes the project/hobby with the exception of the 3 or 4 times a year we could take it camping. The mold issue a member mentioned does concern me however.........with this newly added info, any thoughts?

Thanks Jed
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Old 06-27-2010, 06:56 AM   #9
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Hi Jed, Welcome to the Forum,
As others have said a Motor Home that has been unused and particularly with a water leak can be a huge Money Pit. What sounds like a great project that serves your need for a project may end up as another Basket Case.
I have been on another Forum for the Classic GMC Motor Homes. These units although the newest is 32 years old are prime examples for restoration and many are rebuilt. Time and time again there are ones up for sale where the owner is just giving up and selling. Those GMCs were built with Aluminum and Fiberglas, very little wood to rot and cause mold, water leaks cause many many problems, mostly hidden problems.
I love projects, but I would Pass on this MH.
The money from your Rifle could certainly be used (with some additional cash) to find a better Project.
2001 Monaco Dynasty
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:07 AM   #10
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I agree with the others - it's a money pit. Too many serious things wrong and you haven't scratched the surface yet.

And don't worry about the project - any RV will keep you busy with repairs and upgrades. Buy a $2500 one and you will still have plenty to do every night and weekend.
Gary Brinck
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:22 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by RV Roamer [Gary] View Post
I agree with the others - it's a money pit. Too many serious things wrong and you haven't scratched the surface yet.

And don't worry about the project - any RV will keep you busy with repairs and upgrades. Buy a $2500 one and you will still have plenty to do every night and weekend.
This is the absolute truth, even a new one. Start with a good foundation and go from there.
Travel well, travel safe,
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