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Old 10-31-2019, 03:39 PM   #1
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New Life Path

Hi everyone. I am a Medical Technologist, and have decided to wind up my career by returning to being a travelling tech. I thought I might combine the job with RV'ing. I usually end up in one place for 13-16 weeks at a time sometimes longer if they still need me when my contract is up. This can mean weeks on end in a crappy motel room, or a less than stellar apartment. I have decided to get a Class A motor home to live in. Since it will spend months at a time parked, the dismal gas mileage doesn't bother me overmuch since it will only be on the road 3-4 times a year max. I am also looking at replacing my beloved 2003 Ford F150 flare side with a Honda Element as a Tow car.
I am looking at a 1984 Holiday Rambler Imperial, near where I am working. Other than needing the bed platform installed it looks like a decent home. Quite comfortable and for the price I can probably sell it later if need to and not lose money on it. Thoughts?
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Old 10-31-2019, 03:50 PM   #2
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If you've been saving and can do all the vehicle changes without going deep into debt than go for it.
People that go the MH route thinking it's to save money often end up disappointed.
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Old 10-31-2019, 04:23 PM   #3
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Why was the bed platform removed ??
Does the owner have service record's?
No excuses if he doesn't.
Is the oil fresh and showing full ?
Transmission also.
Do you see new oil and air filters ? Or rusty mounts.
Dirty batteries?
A no deal if they are.
Clean Radiators??? Fans, no leakes?
Regardless
You may need a qualified mechanic or rv savy inspector to spend a day with the unit if you dont feel qualified. Its allot of work.

Be certain to have $10 to $20 + thousand in reserves for personalizing, updates
Tires ??? New awnings, Roof repairs or whatever you may run into.

There are Always threads running by persons stranded and no $s to repair.

Others that have spent 3 to 10 thoussnd along the road and the coach still wont run.

Many shop owners have, own a class A because they put a lien on it for towing and or repairs or both.

Its much more common than you think and or that anyone wants to talk about.

I 95 south of Jacksonville.

There are three towing big truck, buss repair shops north of Bunnell and south of Jacksonville that I visit with now and then.

They often have several Busses, class A,s
Sitting waiting on owners to send $$$s so they can diagnose, or order parts and pay the towing.

Some for a year or more.

Think about the couple on their honeymoon in Texas ?? Sad, very sad.

Im certainly not saying thats your situation
But dont think that a cheap purchase price on a 20 year old rv is ever a bargan
In the long run.
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Old 10-31-2019, 04:51 PM   #4
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Check it out thoroughly with an experienced RV tech. It's 35 years old and may or may not be a good deal. Check the date code on the tires. RV tires age out before they wear out. Many manufacturers recommend replacement at 5 years, but if the tires are kept in good shape with protection from the sun while parked they should be good for 7 years. At 7 years they may still look good but the structure of the tires has deteriorated even though it may not be visible. If the coach has been sitting for extended periods of time, seals deteriorate, and tires really break down. The generator should have some good running hours on it. Best to run an RV generator under full load for at least an hour each month. 100 hours a year on a generator is a good target. Do a lot of research. Check sales on rvtrader.com and rvt.com. It shouldn't take long to get a feel for price ranges on various motorhome manufacturers and year of manufacture. Also set up a free profile on irv2.com and start reading all the forums. Check out the Class A forum, the Holiday Rambler Owners forum, Chassis forums, etc. A lot of information there. As stated by others, set aside $$ for maintenance and repairs no matter what manufacturer or year you purchase. But don't let this scare you away. The RV lifestyle is Great!
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Old 10-31-2019, 05:39 PM   #5
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Just be aware that there are a lot of risks involved buying a motorhome that old. Be prepared to do a lot of work yourself if you're capable of doing it, or paying to have someone else do it. I think you would be much better off finding one in the early 2000's range. JMHO

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 10-31-2019, 05:52 PM   #6
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I would agree with Joe on that. Try for a newer one as they all will cost you money to keep them moving. The newer one may hopefully be better.
If you buy a diesel have $20,000 for unexpected repairs and if you never spend it you will have a nice nest egg when you are done.
My slide controller and water pump would not work when I got to my campsite tonight. Both had 5 amp fuses that for some reason blew while I was travelling today. I knew where both where and changed them and things came back to life.

This are just a very minor inconvenience when you are familiar with your rig and where the controllers are.

Terry & Pat
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Old 10-31-2019, 06:06 PM   #7
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For an older RV that is going to be mostly parked, I would go with a towable and keep your current truck if it's light enough, or get a bigger truck if necessary. Especially for someone new to RV'ing, bumper pulls and fifth wheels are much easier to maintain, and the maintenance tends to be much less expensive. Older motorhomes can be expensive to maintain, even if you can do the maintenance yourself.


What sort of areas are you looking to be working in? The cost and availability of RV parking spots varies widely by area. Different areas can also make a big difference as to what sort of features your RV will need to have, as many, if not most don't do very well in temperature extremes.
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Old 10-31-2019, 08:20 PM   #8
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Welcome to the forum.

You are joining a good group of folks here with good info to share. With a coach that old I hope you have deep, very deep pockets. Consider having an independent inspection done before handing over any money.

Good luck and enjoy the adventure!
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Old 10-31-2019, 09:10 PM   #9
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Good Points to Consider.

Thank you all for your advice. There were several points brought forward that I had not thought about. Fortunately I can do my own electrical, plumbing, and heavy mechanical work, but that doesn't mean I want to spend all of my spare time doing it. I may revisit the idea of a bumper pull camper. The problem there is that my truck has a the 4.2 L V6 in it and that has limited what I can tow even with the factory tow package it has. I have found some smaller 5th wheel campers I like but it would require a slider 5th wheel hitch because of the short bed. I was comparing the costs of buying the slider hitch, and the cost of the campers I could tow, to the cost of the older Class A's and the cost of the motor home was a bit lower in the short term, but in the long run the older Class A may be a money pit I do not want to start digging into. Back to the drawing board for now. I don't have to rush into anything. My housing is taken care of until the 28th of December, then if worse comes to worse there are other options in the area that will do until my contract is up in late January.
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Old 10-31-2019, 09:35 PM   #10
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Where I Want to Work

Quote:
Originally Posted by Searching_Ut View Post
For an older RV that is going to be mostly parked, I would go with a towable and keep your current truck if it's light enough, or get a bigger truck if necessary. Especially for someone new to RV'ing, bumper pulls and fifth wheels are much easier to maintain, and the maintenance tends to be much less expensive. Older motorhomes can be expensive to maintain, even if you can do the maintenance yourself.


What sort of areas are you looking to be working in? The cost and availability of RV parking spots varies widely by area. Different areas can also make a big difference as to what sort of features your RV will need to have, as many, if not most don't do very well in temperature extremes.
Right now I have to stay within about 8 hours of where my elderly father lives. so mostly NC,VA,GA, SC, TN, and N. Florida. I love the desert Southwest, and the Pacific Northwest, and hope to get some contracts out there when I am no longer tethered to the areas I mentioned above.
Anything I buy, I figure I will modify, improve and tinker with anyway, that is just my nature. Even though I have worked in health care for the last 25 years, I just haven't been able to abandon my former trades. I restore cars for fun. I do my own home repairs, and restore old reel to reel decks on rainy days.
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Old 11-01-2019, 05:30 AM   #11
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If you buy a TT or fiver you can hire someone to move it for you a few times a year.

The sales tax alone on a new truck will cove a few moves.

When you buy the trailer negotiate the price to have it setting at your desired first location.

We purchased a nice fiver for our kids in Maryland.
We put it at Raystown lake every summer
Then back to the site at their home for his folks to us when visiting Christmas or Thanksgiving.
A neighboring farmer or another close neighbor with a fiver himself moves it for the kids for a few hundred $$$s.
A few big ones $$$s wont buy you a good hitch.
Its a 2.5 hr drive when towing x two annually.
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Old 11-01-2019, 06:06 AM   #12
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Welcome to the IRV2.com FORUM(S).

When you first enter this group, a new Member may feel a bit overwhelmed by all the forums you can find here. First, you need to set up your USER CP

Once you open and start a menu will open on the left side just take it all in the step-by-step top to bottom.

NEXT, you will find this forum is made up of 14-Forums broken into four-part forums. First is the HOME, top left above the member's menu. This forum is very helpful to new members to learn and become more familiar with overtime.
NEXT TO HOME is FORUMS on the top left covering Community, RV Lifestyles, Regional and RV Camping. and to the right of this is RV Forums.

RV FORUMS on the top left covers a lot about TRUCKS, Conversations, MVT's, HDT's, Travel Trailers/5th Wheel Chassis & TECH stuff, Chassis CLUB, RV SYSTEMS, Powertrain Garage.

Then you have the OWNERS FORUMS Covering Registry, A-M, and N-Z.

Now if you pan down to the bottom of the page you will find other FORUMS and if you know or have a Class B, you can direct or join the CLASS B FORUMS at Class B Forums And if you get down to Florida this link may be very HELPFUL http://www.CampFlorida.com Enjoy the Roads.

So, welcome you again, I hope you join in the fun and share your knowledge by helping new members find their way in this forum as you would in, any RV Park. Again, make sure to set up your USER CP as this is helpful to you and other members. Again if you enjoy or think of starting your own RV Blog you can do that here as well above on menu bar is BLOGS Enjoy and safe TRAVELS. You can also find RV PARKS above in CAMPGROUNDS. Wal-Mart Parking locator & Bed & Briefest
http://www.allstays.com/c/wal-mart-locations.htm

Welcome to our FORUM, may you be blessed with Happy Travels and safe Trails on all your Road Trips.
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Welcome to IRV2 FORUM, be safe have fun and enjoy the adventures in your RV. Pack out what you bring into a campsite.
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Old 11-04-2019, 03:05 PM   #13
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Long Road Trip

I had to take a very long road trip during the weekend and I kept an eye out for motor homes like the one I had been thinking of buying. I didn't see a single older model on I-85, I-40, or on the road I take up into the mountains of North Carolina. Mostly I saw newer Class C's and a few huge brand new Class A's. So I guess if I needed any further convincing that a 80's vintage Class A would be a foolish idea, last weekend added validation to the cons side of the list.
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Old 11-04-2019, 06:40 PM   #14
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There are lots of traveling nurses in our area. We're friends with one. Her husband is a merchant marine and they sometimes go a while without seeing eachother- but, they love it. They have a small travel trailer and stay in a park close to us for about 2 to 3 months on average.


I'd personally look into a newer/smaller unit that's manageable so you won't worry about it- especially because this lifestyle will be unfamiliar and new for a while. Good luck- I envy the freedom you have!
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