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Old 07-31-2018, 11:56 AM   #1
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Advice about purchase, please?

Hi, its been some years since I've owned an RV or posted here. My husband has passed away and as life unfolds for me as a widow, I've decided I need to get back into RVing, even if I no longer full-time.

Here is what I'd appreciate some informed opinions on; I'm kind of poor, so I've decided ideally I want a late 90s/early2000s Class A in the 34-36 foot range, with one slide, a tag axle and a Ford chassis w/V-10 Triton.

I'm well acquainted with the issues I need to look for as far as working systems, water intrusion and the like; not looking for advice on that.

There are a couple rigs fairly close to me, in my price range (cheap, in other words) that have all or most of these attributes, but I don't know how to evaluate and weigh the importance of each.

For example; our last RV was a 34 footer and I'm very comfortable driving that length with a toad. Would a 38' feel significantly different, or would I have more trouble finding a camping spot in State parks and the like?

Is the V10 significantly better than the 460? (No, I don't want to consider a Chevy product)

One of the rigs I'll be looking at is a 2000 38' rig with a salvage title because (the owner says) it has back bumper damage and the insurance company is calling it a total. Is a salvage title bad news aside from the unrepaired bumper damage?

Another rig I want to check out is a 98 35' with a tag axle but a 460. Yet another 34' has the V10 but no tag. I realize each instance is different, but which would be reasonable to give more importance to?

Please feel free to voice an opinion; I'm in no hurry to buy and I'd like to collect wisdom from others as I look around. Sometimes a great deal comes along quickly and I want to have the knowledge to grab it, but also when to let it pass me by.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-31-2018, 12:01 PM   #2
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The V-10 came out in '99 as I remember. We bought a '98 Santara wuth the 460 that literally fell apart as we drove. It never got over about 6.5 mpg and sometimes down to 4 mpg. Traded it in for our first DP.
Glad you're going to get to RV. My wife died 2 years ago on Aug 21st and I've spent the last two years waiting for a step grandson to graduate. Now that he has I can get out more and start selling off 30 years of accumulation. Antiques, Hummels etc.
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Old 07-31-2018, 01:53 PM   #3
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If I remember correctly, the v10 came out with a new chassis at the same time with a much wider axle width and bigger wheels & tires, and a much heavier front axle. The tag axle was a "fix" for older rigs with a limited front axle weight capacity and the V10 chassis eliminated it on a lot of floor plans. I would look for a V10 without a tag, they are a pain when things go wrong, vibrations and alignment etc.. not to mention the Toll tax.
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Old 07-31-2018, 01:59 PM   #4
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Be careful with a salvage title most people will tell you to stay clear of them good luck whatever you do
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Old 07-31-2018, 07:04 PM   #5
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Hi HoneyBadger,

We have a 2004 Winnebago with a V-10 and 19.5 tires. The rig was bought 3 yrs ago with 18,642 miles on it. It drives great, gets decent mileage, and the oil changes at the Ford dealership don't kill the pocket bool. It's 34 ft long.

I have heard you want to stay round the 34 ft length for state parks. There are also BLM sites to stay at for cheap. $5. a night but not full hook ups and sometimes no hook ups at all.

Go to PPL Motorhome website our of Texas and start looking. Any consignment place in your area might be a good place to look also. As you know with a used rig the tires could need replacing right off. Keep in mind it is around $3,000. to do so.

Good luck with finding what you want. Check out workamping jobs and see if that might fit you.

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Old 08-01-2018, 06:02 AM   #6
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Is the V10 significantly better than the 460? (No, I don't want to consider a Chevy product)
I think either one will be acceptable. I prefer the Ford V10 because I'm familiar with it.
1999 Fleetwood Southwind 35S (Ford F53 6.8L V10 275hp 4R100 4 spd trans) - Toad 2003 Saturn Vue.

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Old 08-01-2018, 06:53 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by HoneyBadger View Post
Hi, its been some years since I've owned an RV or posted here. My husband has passed away and as life unfolds for me as a widow, I've decided I need to get back into RVing, even if I no longer full-time.....
There are two groups of people that I always tell to be careful when it comes to RV'ing. People on a very tight budget and those that can't fix stuff. If you're able to hold on to your S&B than I guess you're not putting all your eggs in one basket.
I like that you're thinking gasser..... I think they are less likely to have huge maintenance costs. I also think it's fairly easy to find older MH's with low miles so I don't think the motor is going to be your problem.
The challenge is finding "your" diamond in the rough. With the proper attitude and taking your time I think you'll be able to find it.
Don't limit yourself to MH's in your area. It's possible that other irv2 members would go look at a possible prospect before you take a drive/flight. I know I've done this for someone and who doesn't like looking at MH's?
Good luck on your latest journey!
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Old 08-02-2018, 05:24 PM   #8
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Thanks to everyone for the replies!

Learned some things I didn't know, like the V10 coming with an improved chassis design, making the tag less important.

My husband and I full-timed for many years and owned several different RVs, but I'm not going to pretend I know how to or am willing to work on the chassis side; the house portion is a different matter and I don't expect any surprises or impossible tasks there. I am very capable.

And yes, I'm on a budget but that's not a crime, and it won't prevent me from enjoying RVing again.
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Old 08-05-2018, 11:20 PM   #9
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The 460 are cheap efficient and easily maintained. Look for a one that has headers or you will have the dreaded manifold leak. The V-10 are a costly beast and unless they were redesigned a maintenance nightmare. If I were concerned about reliably there are million of 460 s still around.
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Old 08-06-2018, 12:36 AM   #10
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We had a 2002 Pace Arrow 37A on a 2001 Ford chassis with the V10.

The house was very nice - not a dated looking interior and well put together with quality finishes. Was a top of the line Fleetwood when new.

The V10 worked very well - pulled out 5000lb jeep nicely.

We would still have it - but transitioned to a larger DP as our usage model changed in retirement.
Vince and Susan
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:10 AM   #11
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From what I've heard, you cannot get full coverage on a salvage title, you'll only be able to get liability. Just a thought, it's a decent investment, I know I'd rather have my mh fully converted in case of a hit and run, or my brakes go out.
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