I found a well-running 1989 Mobile Traveler 27 foot MH (Ford 460, 3-speed tranny on a John Deere chassis) with good tires for less than the price of a set of used tires, an engine tune-up, and new startup and house batteries. The front shocks need to be replaced, but otherwise, the suspension is solid.
It was driven mostly about 100 - 200 miles a month for the past 32 years, so the 40K miles weren't accrued between long periods of non-use. The exterior needs some TLC, especially restoring the gel coat, but the fiberglass is intact, with no fibers exposed through the surface of the epoxy, and there's not much rust except for a few holidays from rock dings in the front bumper.
It has an aircraft-grade aluminum honeycomb roof that's well-sealed and there's no evidence of any water leakage in the interior. The underside of the roof honeycomb ceiling still has its original fabric surface, and it's completely intact adhesion-wise and stain-free.
The windows and seals are all waterproof, and several of the side windows are louvered glass with rubber seals that allow them to be closed flush within their frames. That's excellent for airflow through the MH that isn't possible in sliding windows in more modern MH's, which only allow airflow through half of the area of each window that opens, and often less.
Even though it's only 27 feet long, it has a queen-size bedroom, a bathroom and separate shower stall across the passageway, a complete kitchen with a propane oven, four-burner stovetop and Norcold three-way fridge/freezer (yes, I know about propane fridges and won't be using that option), a dinette that converts to a full size bed, a couch that converts to a queen size pull-out bed, and very nice, cushy driver's and passenger's front seats that swivel around 180 degrees.
The latch and window on the right side entrance door need to be reassembled, but the pieces are all there, including the fiberglass panels, intact aluminum frame, window glass and seals, latch plates and handles, deadbolt, screen door, etc. The cloth in the awning over most of the passenger-side windows needs to be replaced, but the frame is fully functional. It also came with all
of the manuals and other documentation, as the binder in this photo shows.
The interior cabinetry was mostly painted over with thick latex, the faces of which have cracked from heat-induced dry-out. The kitchen and bathroom countertops and dinette table Formica are worn down to the base layer in places. The walls are also painted over and will be covered with fabric-covered panels that will be pressed into place and held by friction along the edges. They will be Velcro compatible and there will be enamel-coated steel sheets behind some fabric to allow magnet-backed items to be placed on them.
The woodwork will all be replaced with real wood materials in clear oak. I cringe when beautiful natural wood is sloppily painted over because people are too lazy to properly sand, steel wool, and apply polyurethane or polyacrylic finishes to preserve wood grains.
The plumbing and electrical components appear to all be intact and fully working with no leaks, shorts, or interrupted circuits, but the dead starter and house batteries were removed. I have to figure out which unlabeled battery cable needs to be connected between the voltage regulator and the starter battery to allow it to be charged from the alternator, and the remaining cables need to be connected to the house batteries through a Sure-Power battery isolator.
It's a definite project, but built on solid bones. It's getting about four - five mpg at mostly 45 - 55 mph (slower on steep mountains) over a mix of mountainous, rolling hilly, and elevated flat terrain, but gasoline is faintly smelled after it's shut down when parked, although not due to any fuel leaks, suggesting incomplete combustion. That's probably due to the carb needing cleaning/adjustment and/or ignition system components needing cleaning, adjustment (e.g., spark plugs gapped, distributor timing, and so forth), or replacement.
The MH's previous owner is a fellow ham radio operator and the MH was used as a mobile emergency communications center at Senator Wash and Quartzsite during the Winter gatherings in that region. It had solar power via a ground array of panels, and I will also be establishing a solar power generation system for radios, as well as all house power, eventually.
I'll be driving the resurrected rig down to events there next Winter after shakedown cruises throughout the Mountain West, to include most of the National Parks and Forests, many BLM sites, and other boondocking opportunities via Harvest Hosts, Boondockers Welcome, etc.
More to Come, So Stay Tuned!