Short story, We've been looking for the past 6 months. And of course it's the same as buying a house. RVs are everywhere. The problem is finding the right size, layout and price to meet our needs and budget.....
So, on the off chance that you guys might know of a neighbor, family member or friend with an RV for sale, I'm going to just ask for a heads up to what you have seen in your area.
We are a family of 4 (6 if counted dogs) and plan on using it for about 3 years before either upgrading or getting out of it altogether.
- 6 or 8 cylinders diesel/gas (diesel preferred) - 30' or less (Preferred but will consider Longer) - Bunk above driver/passenger seats (must) - 1 bedroom / bunk house (sleeping area) - Rear passenger seat belts (children) - On-board Generator We are looking for
Is the space saving "wet bath". If you do not know what that is, just imagine your toilet in your shower. We just can't get past the image of water swirling around our feet and toes after it has run down the top and sides of the toilet.
Makes about as much since as standing barefoot in your toilet while cleaning it. :vomit: One huge deal breaker : Wet Bath
As some of you likely know, the rubber membrane roofing material can become damaged and result in a leak that destroys walls, wood structures and whatever else is connected to it.
The damage could be rapid which is almost preferable since the sooner repairs are made the lower the cost and risk of mold.
But, this type of damage can be subtle, stealthy and extensive. It can also be temporarily hidden by external repairs where the roof and interior paneling are replaced while leaving the damaged wood frame structure hidden out of sight.
Such damage would be a deal breaker for us. Obviously the condition is very important.
While we have been saving and planning for this purchase, we are restrained to our budget. So we will likely try to negotiate even if the price is a steal. The travel expenses will have to come out of the budget.
Roughly we are looking to find something between $5,000 - $20,000 1990's - 2000's No unrepaired leaks (deal breaker) No unrestored water damage (deal breaker) I can't afford the time and money for repairs. So we are looking for a turnkey purchase. Budget vs Cost to Acquire
Any particular reason you're set on bunks? That feature is usually limited to Class C motorhomes, aka van cutaways, which are (obviously) built on lighter-duty chassis. A 30' Class A will offer more storage, better tank capacity, and should be able to sleep/drive 4 readily, but probably won't have those bunks. Some older Tiffin Allegros did (and they're good rigs) but it's rare. In your budget, I'd avoid diesels like the plague since you'll be talking some pretty old tech *or* you're talking about a Class A pusher, which won't have those bunks. Related, the *first thing* to leak on a Class C is that bunk area and when it goes, it goes. You can probably tell I'm suggesting you abandon the bunk bed idea and get a Class A RV, but that's just my advice.
Are you looking for an rv or a motorhome..? Guessing by the you'd rather a oil burner motorhome.. You are looking at spending big bucks.. How much you see yourself using this.. HONESTLY.. That the oil burner upcharge will be worth it.. There is a huge gap in price from gas to diesel .. Will you use this enough to make that jump in price pay for itself in fuel cost.. Only you know.. It will be cheaper to buy an r.v and a used diesel truck.. That you can unhook, to go to the local sights or to go to the store.. instead of having to pack everything up to drive the motorhome to everything.. unless you plan on towing a small vehicle behind the motorhome..(if you do this, the tires on the ground while towed, upgrade to more ply's in the sidewall.. and full psi while towing) touring tires will not last.. with most of the vehicles weight on 2 tires.. plan on burning up hubs/bearing faster than normal . live rear ends.. over fill alittle as you will not be turning fast enough for the gear lube to get to the axle bearings..otherwise. Either way.. I'd first go to an r.v. motorhome dealer.. to window shop, to get ideas of what you'd like and what is out there.. Most that buy a motorhome tend to plan on using it allot.. if it's diesel powered.. Older units can be had cheap.. and easy to fix the 70's looking interiors.. and most will have 20-40k on them.. R.V.'s tend to sit and not get used much and then sold.. so you can get a well optioned one for short money.. even less if you are ok with diy work..
I'd hop over to link below. and ask questions, after you window shopped a dealership to see what layouts you like.. what "brands" feel better built/etc
My smaller one is a Tiffin Allegro and I like it. Theyre easy to modify to suit. Mine had twin beds in bedroom, central bath (no tub), a sofa bed, and a 4 seat dinette that was a double bed. I kept the rear twins and a new sofa bed, tossed out the dinette completely in favor of a foldown table. I keep a double air mattress aboard for extra. Its also easy to work on being a 454 chevy with throttle body FI. I have both, but recommend a gas burner over a diesel unless you need the diesel torque for pulling or climbing mountains. Diesel also have air brakes...better than regular brakes. Gas is substantially cheaper and easier to find and you get better fuel milage with gas vs diesel...at least in my case. My gas 35' gets 10-12 mpg, Cummins diesel in other 45' is closer to 6-8 mpg. So your going to get twice as far on your dollar with gas if you dont need the torque.
BIG things to check is that ALL the appliances WORK...furnace, AC, fridge, water heater, generator...all are expensive to fix or replace. ie/ smallest cheapest fridge for my Allegro is over $1500 installed...double stainless in the big one is over $5,000.
Your better off buying used from an individual/ craigslist...cheaper and can talk to the owner. Dealers just want to move units. When I got the Allegro the dealer checked out everything and told me with a straight face that the OEM vehicle AC worked fine. I bought when it was cold out. The add on roof air works fine, the OEM air does not work at all, and estimate was $1500 to fix it. I just run the generator and roof ac that works better anyway. You find thats what most motorhome users do as the little vents in the dash for OEM air wont even touch a 40' motorhome in summer. The on board generator to operate the ac only costs you slightly for the extra gas out of the common tank.
Check the roof by climbing up on it. You want to see no tears, holes or bubbles (in rubber roofs). One piece plastic is the best. Avoid metal roof UNLESS its a seamless one piece. Inspect ALL the Dicor sealant (you DONT want to see silicone caulk) around all vents, antennas, etc. Silicone is used for side windows and doors ONLY. Look inside all cabinets for signs of water leaking in. A roof replacement can cost between $5000-10,000. Bubbles in the siding are a sign of water leaking into the walls either from a roof seam or windows. Some is expected in a used one, but not excessive.
You can find used 10-15 year old ones in excellent condition and low miles for under $25K everywhere. I just got a 2003, 35', Winnabago Adventurer for a friend, loaded with everything in mint condition in and out with 19K miles, gas 454 Chevy for $21K out the door. Hes going to tow a Jeep and live in it full time. He retired and just wants to travel the US with his wife. I ONLY recommend a diesel if you plan on hauling a lot of stuff/people and travel in mountainous, hilly terrain. I like gas too because if I do have a breakdown I can fix it on the spot in most cases myself with tools I carry. I know nothing about diesels. Spend $100 a year for road/breakdown service.
[This message has been edited by rogergarrison (edited 05-08-2017).]
Are you willing to travel to White City Oregon to pick it up? I have a friend who has 2003 low mileage Gulf Stream 36ft Class A w/ dual slides, HVAC, washer & drier, two TVs, complete towing package (tow bar & brakes) plus other stuff I am unaware of. He has Parkinson's and is no longer able to drive it. It has not been driven or maintained for a couple years & he says it will probably need new batteries & routine maintenance. He is willing to let it go for what he owes on it, approx $16K If interested, l'll be glad to put you in touch with him. PM or email me.
[This message has been edited by Monstertone (edited 02-10-2018).]
They are family-owned, actually look after their stuff and customers, and while the sales guys will try everything, they arent that hard to get thru to get a deal. I worked there about 5 years ago as a service advisor and can tell you 1st-hand they are willing to call all over North America to get you going again when something breaks (notice I said when, not if)
Did I mention those things are a pain in the ass and RV stands for ruined vacation ???
If the head mechanic there says its good--then its good. Only place I've ever seen that has a full-blown woodshop and finishing carpenters on staff (yeh, on staff, no outsourcing) to get the interior right.
[This message has been edited by MidEngineManiac (edited 02-17-2018).]
Originally posted by Monstertone: ... with dual slides ...
Slide outs. I am 58 years old. I never listened to my Dad's sage advice when I was younger. I just bought another RV.
My Dad has had 35 of them, mostly brand new. Some were bumper pulls, some fifth wheel, and a few motor coaches.
I asked my Dad thought about a RV I was liking, it had slides. He advised me against them and for once, I listened to him. He overruled my wife, who wanted slides.
My Dad told me slides are problematic. Mostly, they can get stuck in position, in or out. Usually out. Or, they may not go all the way in, or out.
What do you do when you are ready to go to your next destination when your slide will not go in ? Take out a loan and wait for who knows how long for the mobile RV tech to get there.
There are three kinds of slides. Hydraulically driven, gear driven, and cable (double cable) driven. Knowing what you have is important. Some, perhaps all, have a human powered back up method. Learn it because you might have to live it. It will need it's special tool. I would not buy a car without a jack.
Also, slide have seals to weather proof them, just as our sun roofs and T tops have. They can fail too. If you look at slides, you can see many which have awnings over them, to protect the seals. The slide awnings also deteriorate over time.
Another thing, a slide should be chalked/supported.
Originally posted by Monstertone: ... washer & drier ...
I will add one thing only. I asked my brother for buying advice because he'd owned about every size & type known over the years, and lived out his retirement in a couple of them. He said buy the biggest damn thing you are comfortable driving because they all got the same crappy fuel mileage. The difference between the 17 ft Van type and his 34 footers was not worth paying attention to. The only engine he ever bragged on was a fuel injected big block Chevy. He had some of everything except those very small Toyota based overnighter rigs.
Add up what this is going to cost you, monthly payments that most likely dwarf you home mortgage payment, plus all the misc equip, plus space rent while staying at your dream place, (not cheap) not to mention fuel, maintainence, insurance, etc, etc, etc. That's a lot of money to be able to spend summer vacation with your family. How many weeks vacation to you get per year? Then pick out the fanciest ski lodge, hunting/fishing lodge, Dirty Dancing trip to the Pocano's deluxe lodge, even a multi week trans Atlantic cruise. Forget time shares. These days you can find vacation rentals in exotic locations, with an app on your phone. (just ask your kids ha ha) All cheaper than RV-ing it in your own rig. And you get waited on like kings & queens. Remember too, children often grow out of Mom & Dad time, especially when confined for extended periods.
This is a little late to the party, but a few things brought up. I agree dont get slide outs if you dont have to have them. My big one has 3 and they have given me trouble. Also dont get the built on jacks/levelers. My big one has them and they always stuck down and it was a major job to get on the road again. My small one does not have them. I just use cut pieces of 2"x 12" boards to place under wheels. Have a front to rear level and a side to side level inside...or use a free app that has a center bubble. On mine generally a degree off needs a 1 inch correction. So if my front for example is 4* low, i just drive the front wheels up on 2 planks (2" each) and im level. I also stabilize it for set up and minor further adjustment with 4 hand crank scissors jacks. Theyre made for RVs and lift up to 24" for about $40 each. You can also just use a battery power impact wrench to run them up. Any RV fridge needs to be within a few degrees of level to work...they run by a completely different method than a compressor pumping Freon. Id also recommend just a shower, tubs use a lot of water and onboard tanks are pretty limited...so theyre a pain unless your in campsites that have water and sewer hookups. My big one has a washer and dryer. Ive never used it because it takes so much water. I never use campgrounds...I always boondock. Thats parking anywhere your allowed with no kind of hookups except maybe a place to plug electric into. At the racetracks, where I usually take mine there are NO hookups for anything. Your on your own water, sewer, generator/batteries or solar. If Id financed my smaller one, the payments would be $150 a month...far from a mortgage. Thats maybe a week in a motel. It was nearly brand new with plastic still on the seats from the factory. They finance twice as long as a car loan so you got like 9 years. My insurance, with road and breakdown service is less than my Dodge Caravan. They change a flat and even get me a new tire if needed that I do have to pay for, or replace a fan belt, supply a battery jump, etc. Good Sam Club even gets you 20% off supplies and accessories and major repairs like transmissions.