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Old 02-03-2019, 08:04 AM   #1
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Recommendation for RV brands?

Hello,
I am from Germany and will travel North America with my family, starting February in Vancouver until the end of September. We have the plan to buy a used RV (class c) in Vancouver, around 20 foot ,with an alcove, in the price range of 25.000 dollar.
Because I don't have any knowledge about the American/Canadian RV market, I would like to ask for some advice, like what would be a good Rv-brand to look for and km and year wise what to expect for that price.

Thank you very much for the help!
Jan
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Old 02-03-2019, 09:43 AM   #2
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A few things you need to know about the American RV market, the first is that quality control has been awful in the RV industry since the 2009 economic crisis, this has been due to a number of bust / boom cycle factors, first many companies went out of business in 2009-2010, then popularity of RV's picked up again, and production demands resulted to complete lack of quality control for most companies to the point that would probably be criminal by German standards, unfortunately there are no lemon laws to protect RV buyers in the US like there are for automobiles.


Having said that, given your budget, and the fact that you will be buying at a distance, you might want to consider a former rental class C from Cruise America, El Monte or one of the other major RV rental companies. These units will tend to be higher mileage, though still with a good bit of useful life left, but have the advantage of being newer than you could otherwise likely buy for your budget, in addition by all reports they are generally well maintained. The disadvantage to these former rental RV's is that they were custom built for the rental market and are rather basic in nature lacking many of the luxury features found on my similar class C's, so no retractable awnings, or big screen TV's, as these RV rental companies operate under the theory that the fewer systems the renter needs to learn about the better. see https://www.cruiseamerica.com/buy/ and https://www.elmontervsales.com/
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Old 02-03-2019, 12:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanF View Post
Hello,
I am from Germany and will travel North America with my family, starting February in Vancouver until the end of September. We have the plan to buy a used RV (class c) in Vancouver, around 20 foot ,with an alcove, in the price range of 25.000 dollar.
Because I don't have any knowledge about the American/Canadian RV market, I would like to ask for some advice, like what would be a good Rv-brand to look for and km and year wise what to expect for that price.

Thank you very much for the help!
Jan
Hi Jan, try and look at product reviews before you plonk down your money. If you have no RV experience, consider getting someone independent to do a pre buy survey. It may cost a bit, but will be worth it. Isaac is right, quality can be terrible and RV's have lots of systems you may not be familiar with.
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Old 02-03-2019, 01:48 PM   #4
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Greeting, Jan.


I own a former rental unit from Cruise America although I did not buy it from them - it was sold by them to another person, who traded it in on a larger RV, and I purchased it from the dealer.


Isaac is spot on about the lack of amenities and features. Cruise America seems to market to families that want to travel and explore rather than drive a sophisticated residence or who will do much more that cook, sleep, and clean up in the unit.


My thoughts on size - my 23A is tight for me as an individual traveler and I don't carry a lot of personal stuff. Consider activities like dressing - how much room do you and your family need to put on trousers, shirts, dresses, etc? Having your knees against the bathroom door to pull on your pants, or if you wife has to stand by the dinette to dress may cause a loss of enthusiasm over a period of time. Likewise for meal preparation - if you're not cooking a lot it may not matter but if you or your spouse likes to cook you should try to envision where all of that will take place.


Welcome to iRV2 - there are plenty of friendly and knowledgeable folks here to help. I hope your holiday and travel experience is a good one and that you'll have lots of positive things to share with your friends and family when you return to Germany.


My mother's side of my family is originally from Bavaria. Prost!
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Old 02-03-2019, 02:17 PM   #5
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Check with national rv centers, they sell low milage winnebago class c rental returns. I looked at several about 6 months ago and they were well equiped and were in very nice shape with most the bugs worked out.
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Old 02-04-2019, 03:24 AM   #6
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Thanks for the help and useful information.
Does the problems which occurred 2009-10 also means, that it's better to buy a very new RV (2014-2018???) or an old one (before 2009)?
Is there one brand which maybe had (before 2009) or has now a better quality than the others?
Is it realistic to get a RV with less than 100.000 km for that price?
Because we have to buy the RV in British Columbia, Cruise America is not really an option. Is Cruise Canada the same thing? And, sorry for the question, what is a national RV center and can I find that also in Canada?
Ps. I made a mistake. Our budget is 35.000 Canadian dollar.
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Old 02-04-2019, 09:09 AM   #7
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I can't help much with the buying in Canada, as I have few dealings with Canada as I live in the southern United States. As to the rest there are a few brands with a stronger reputation for build quality, though when looking at coaches over 10 years of age, the prime factor for reliability becomes more about maintenance and general condition. I am sure there are many 10-15 year old class C's out there that would fit into your budget, the problem becomes buying one from a distance, finding one with under about 100,000 km (62,000 miles) should be reasonably easy as that is about the average miles one finds on a 10-12 year old coach, as most motor homes see about 5,000-6,000 miles of use per year on average. Mileage though is also rarely a factor in most used motorhomes, instead the concern is primarily components aging out on coaches over 10-15 years of age, as well as wood rot, fiberglass delamination, etc, caused by water leaks, typically around roof penetrations, and window frame sealant, as well as lack of routine preventive maintenance (changing of fluids, etc.).



Let me break that down a little, age related issues often relate to any number of rubber components which harden and crack with age, obviously this includes tires, but also engine belts and hoses, as well as numerous other components, brake and fuel lines, suspension and steering bushings, but also house side of things as well like the roof top air conditioner or rv refrigerator, both of which frequently fail around the 12 year mark, though some just seem to keep running and running. There are also life safety things like the LPG and Carbon Monoxide detectors which should be replaced every 5 or so years as they go "nose blind" with age, or the propane regulator which contains a rubber diaphragm. Then of course there is that roof top caulk like sealant that should be replaced as it ages due to cracking which leads to water penetration and wood rot.


In general rot caused by water penetration is the number one killer of RV's, this problem is commonly seen around the over cab bunk on class C's, but can occur anywhere. Water gets into the wood backed fiberglass, and rots it away. This damage is often far more extensive than it appears at first glance, and far more expensive to repair than one might think, often being beyond economical repair. As the RV gets older the chance of rot increases, but even buying new there is no guarantee that you will avoid it, all it takes is one split rubber seal, or place where the sealant at the factory was misapplied to allow water to get in and rot to begin. Last year I saw an 18 month old small travel trailer where the nearly the entire roof had rotted away due to sealant being misapplied from the factory.


The bottom line here is shopping for an RV is not like shopping for a car, it is more like shopping for a house.


Ike
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanF View Post
Thanks for the help and useful information.
Does the problems which occurred 2009-10 also means, that it's better to buy a very new RV (2014-2018???) or an old one (before 2009)?
Is there one brand which maybe had (before 2009) or has now a better quality than the others?
Is it realistic to get a RV with less than 100.000 km for that price?
Because we have to buy the RV in British Columbia, Cruise America is not really an option. Is Cruise Canada the same thing? And, sorry for the question, what is a national RV center and can I find that also in Canada?
Ps. I made a mistake. Our budget is 35.000 Canadian dollar.
Hi Jan,
I live near Vancouver, so decided to search online one of the major rental companies around here (FraserWay RV). Didn't see much in your price range, and not much on the general used market this time of year - maybe because we are unseasonably cold right now. There is a 25'Jayco for $39K Canadian (no mileage posted, but its probably high cause this is a 2004 unit). It 'looks' in decent shape, and it is overpriced in my mind (I suspect they would take $35K).

Here's the link: 2004 Jayco GREYHAWK 25DS for sale | Abbotsford, BC

Good Luck!
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Old 02-06-2019, 11:13 PM   #9
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Used class c, I would stay In the years 2005 to 2007 those years yielded the best units,quality iis high compared to 2010+ RV's 2 brands that have good customer service are Fleetwood and winnebago, good diagrams of plumbing and electrical. Dont worry about miles, the Ford E350/450 chassis are as good as your going to get for the money, the V10 runs forever,i think the 5 speed trans started in 06,
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:09 AM   #10
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We purchased a used 1999 Born Free and LOVE it. Very high build quality. Finding one is somewhat difficult, and sadly they are out of business, but they are very high end and comfortable.
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Old 02-09-2019, 04:33 PM   #11
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Used class c, I would stay In the years 2005 to 2007 those years yielded the best units,quality iis high compared to 2010+ RV's 2 brands that have good customer service are Fleetwood and winnebago, good diagrams of plumbing and electrical. Dont worry about miles, the Ford E350/450 chassis are as good as your going to get for the money, the V10 runs forever,i think the 5 speed trans started in 06,
Save travels
Ford introduced their excellent 5 speed TorqShift computer controlled transmission in their 2005 E350/E450 chassis year. If you buy a used Class C motorhome built on the Ford E350 or E450 chassis, be sure to stay with a 2005 or newer chassis so as to at least get this transmission in it. (Real recent Ford E-Series chassis models now have a 6 speed computer controlled transmission in them.)

For what it's worth, our 2005 Winnebago Itasca Class C was designed superbly and has been an outstanding performer for us. We hope to still get several more years out of it.
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Old 02-16-2019, 03:11 AM   #12
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Thank you, for all the usefull Information. Next week will see what we will find in BC (under the snow ;-)
Cheers
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Old 02-18-2019, 08:02 PM   #13
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As Vancouver is only an hour from the U.S., can you not include that country in your search? Opens a much larger market and you can have it delivered to Vancouver.
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