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Old 10-04-2012, 09:11 PM   #1
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New to Rving- 1986 gulfstream HELP!

My wife and I have been kicking around buying a RV and came across an older A class. It's a 1986 Gulfstream Classic 28ft. It has a 454 engine with 60k miles. It has newer fridge and interior is in great condition. Has pull out awnings, etc. generator works good. Are these good RV's ? Should I keep looking? Any reconditions or advice would be good. What's the value of an RV like this? Nada has it for $2500 but I haven't seen one even close to that price, all in the 5-6k range. Thanks in Advance
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:48 PM   #2
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I think for $5000 if it is clean and everything is in good working order it would be great way to get into the RV game. I will warn you that these machines require a lot of maintenance and hopefully you are very handy and have some mechanical know how. Also budget $1500 for tires for the immediate future.

This site is very helpfull and members are a wealth of knowledge and hospitality. Wish you the best of luck and happy travels
97 Fleetwood Bounder 36S on F53 chassis 460 with as many quads on the trailer that I can fit or get running!
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:46 AM   #3
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Several things come to mind. If it has been in use you'll be better off, chances are it was maintained. One that has been setting could lead to many things to repair and it could become very costly fast. Check all that you can prior to buying. Have someone with experience look at it with you. Just remember it could be memories and enjoyable or a nightmare. The cost of tires and many other things add up fast to your overall investment. Good luck.
Bruce & Nancy
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:40 AM   #4
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I bought a used Winnebago a few years ago with a 454 in it. The engine had 62,000 miles on it and thew a rod just 700 miles later. I put a new engine in it and everything has worked great since. You just never know. I would really recommend having someone look at the MH who knows about them. The mechanic who looked at mine wanted to buy it himself. Again, on mechanical stuff, you never know.
95 Winnebago Brave Sport. 27'
94 33' Fleetwood Wilderness
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:18 AM   #5
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MY truck that I traded a few weeks ago had a 454 eng. and 126,00 miles on it. In the 12 years I owned it, I replaced 1 sensor. They are great engines and will hold up and last if serviced. My Class A is an '88 HR and was used every weekend by the previous owner. It has been well maintained and everything except the fridge worked perfectly. The Ford 460 runs like a top with 78,000 miles on it. Have it checked out and then make your decision. Good luck.
1988 Holiday Rambler Imperial 35 ft.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:50 AM   #6
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The earlier MH with 454 chevy engines had a problem with the exhaust manifold warping. The only way to fix them was to put headers on for about $1200.
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:48 AM   #7
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the chev 454 usually last about 60 to 100 k miles and start to fail.
With the current metallurgy, a controlled explosion in a confined space of this size is detrimental when it gets this big. that's why a smaller 350 or less last much longer.
so expect the life of a 454 to be about 60 k miles. the ford 460 a little longer..
( find an old 12V cummins computers, simple, reliable. and 100k on a 5.9 is like 20k miles for a gas engine. .... 8-) ) Best of luck in your search. On the older rigs if your a fix it kind of guy, you will do well.
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:58 PM   #8
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Best bet is to take coach to rv teck pay 100 or 200 to have it checked top to bottom. If tires over 5 yrs old replace 1500.00 run thru truck wash look for water, talk owner into weekend campout. Ck and double ck all appliances. Rving is about fun not repairs. Good luck
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:38 AM   #9
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Anything of that age and price is a hobby, or more like a labor of love. All you can do is test everything thoroughly before you buy, but you have to expect to find things less than perfect at that age.

I would be particularly concerned about engine and transmission, since in that era it is not unusual for them to be well-worn when used exclusively in a heavy vehicle and in hot weather besides. Exhaust manifolds are a common issue on those old 454's, and the trannys get tired around then as well, also from running hot too much of their life.

Any RV of that vintage that runs and is in reasonable working order will probably command $3500-$5000. The online NADA guide is based on average depreciation rather than actual market value, so its gets way off for older rigs.
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition and several other RVs
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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