We need tips for buying a used RV

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We need tips for buying a used RV

Postby Tricksey » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:09 am

We are considering buying a used RV but have no idea where to start. In addition to taking it to Burning Man, we want to use it for skiing and for other vacations. It needs to be big enough for 4 people and we need to be able to run heat in the winter and AC in the summer without using hookups. We would like to be able to take hot showers as well. Beyond that, we need to be able to cook, etc. We also need to be able to bring bikes with us.

Do any of you know anything about RVs? We're looking for advice on the following:

* What brand/models are good and reliable and which should we avoid?

* How old of an RV could we buy and still have it run well? We're not mechanically inclined and my nightmare is being stuck on the side of the road between Nixon and Empire trying to get up to the playa.

* Is it possible to drive an RV up to a ski resort and be safe? Sometimes those roads can be scary in a regular car. Is there a particular style of RV that would be easier to drive up a snowy road than others?

* Is there anywhere near the SF bay area (preferably east bay) that actually sells RVs where we could go look at some? The closest place that
I have found to the east bay on the internet is Gilroy. If not, where do you recommend that we go? We'd like to go look at several at a time so that we can get an idea of what the different styles are like. Are we going to be stuck only looking at them online?

* If we find a used RV that we want, who should we hire to inspect it for us? The inspection would have to be of more than the engine because we want to make sure that the shower, toilet, kitchen, etc. all work.

* Are we missing anything important?

Thanks so much for any advice that you can give us!

Tricksey & The Coon
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Re: We need tips for buying a used RV

Postby Drawingablank » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:56 am

I've owned a few camper trailers over the years and the absolute first thing to look for is water damage. If there is any sign of leakage from the roof or seams my advice would be to avoid it like the plague. Once these things start to leak it seems to become a chronic problem no matter how you try to repair it.

Water damage tends to be insidious and often will remain hidden and unnoticed in the walls / floor until catastrophic failure. This is especially true of older vehicles which internally were typically 2 x 2 pine (sometimes with honeycombed carboard between the wood,).

If there is any bounciness to areas of the floor, it usually indicates that the plywood is rotting. If any sections of the floor have been replaced it is also a good idea to steer clear.

Although I have never owned a motorized RV I would assume that structurallly they are made in a similar way to trailers.

The refrigerator should also be thoroughly checked as replacing propane powered refrigerators is very expensive.

Hope this helps, and I'm sure there are others here with more advice.
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Re: We need tips for buying a used RV

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:04 am

I don't know if skiing is a good idea. Those things have no insulation, meaning that you're likely to be running the generator and burning $4 a gallon gasoline.
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Re: We need tips for buying a used RV

Postby Freesponge » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:28 am

What is your price range and how big does it have to be? Also what are your preferences in regards to fuel economy? Also how long do you plan on keeping it?

If you plan on doing lots of driving with the RV I would highly recommend getting a Coach bus converted into a motorhome. They are built with heavy service frames and most of them are designed to last longer than 5 million miles. There isn't a single stick and staple RV that would make it past 500K, the motors and transmissions on the HD busses can easily exceed 1 million miles before needing an overhaul. They will also get better fuel economy than any gas job RV on the market. I had a '73 MCI mc-7, 40 feet long, 4 speed manual, 9.3 litre diesel. Got a consistent 11 mpg fully loaded maintaining 70 mph on the way to the burn. I've had it up to 13mpg doing a more moderate 65mph. With a gas job you will be lucky to get 8 mpg doing 5, an older RV with a carbureted gas v8 will get 6mpg or less. Conversions projects are undertaken by passionate owners, not RV companies looking to maximize profit, so interiors are well built. Mine was only cost $10k but all the interior was still made with solid wood, not cheapass fibreboard found in stick and staple Winnebagos.

If a conversion isn't your style look for the following in an RV:

- Standard transmission
You never have to worry about melting your transmission on big hills and on the downhills you can use a lower gear so you don't ruin your brakes.
- Diesel Engine
A diesel motorhome will get double the fuel economy wen compared to its gasjob counterpart.


I would also recommend the newer motorhomes based off of the Mercedes Sprinter chassis. They have an excessively efficient diesel and their auto transmissions are modern and reliable. It is not uncommon for them to exceed 1 million miles under normal use.

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Re: We need tips for buying a used RV

Postby trilobyte » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:34 am

Take some time to dig through and read the boards. I believe there have been a couple excellent threads filled with tips and suggestions.
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Re: We need tips for buying a used RV

Postby mshaman » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:45 pm

trilobyte wrote:Take some time to dig through and read the boards. I believe there have been a couple excellent threads filled with tips and suggestions.


*mshaman starts compiling for a guide*
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Re: We need tips for buying a used RV

Postby illy dilly » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:49 pm

Freesponge wrote:What is your price range and how big does it have to be? Also what are your preferences in regards to fuel economy? Also how long do you plan on keeping it?

If you plan on doing lots of driving with the RV I would highly recommend getting a Coach bus converted into a motorhome. They are built with heavy service frames and most of them are designed to last longer than 5 million miles. There isn't a single stick and staple RV that would make it past 500K, the motors and transmissions on the HD busses can easily exceed 1 million miles before needing an overhaul. They will also get better fuel economy than any gas job RV on the market.

The questions that Freesponge starts with are very important!!!
Especially 'How Big' or 'How small/light' does it have to be?

You mention wanting to take it snow boarding...
And you ask about taking it to the slopes...
The number one answer to the question is: Depends on the driver!
Second important portion is: With quality tires and/or chains, absolutely! Bad tires= terrible idea!

I don't know exactly about Cali, but like you said, getting from the slopes in CO during the winter can be a very difficult task in standard car/truck/suv. Other days, its so damn sunny your stripping down to bathing suites.
For actually taking it up to the mountains for a weekend your water heater and Furnace are going to be very important. I'd look for water lines that are run inside the RV, above the sub floor, and below the furniture. Absolutely not below the sub floor.

I would recommenced either a Class C motor home, or a big fancy Diesel Rear pusher.
An RV like our 34' 1989' Fleetwood Bounder, on a Chevy 454 chassis. Image would be a huge pain in the ass coming down the mountain on a Sunday afternoon. A huge part of the reason is that these older RV's are built on medium duty truck chassis. They can support, start/stop, and control a 14,000 lb RV.
A Class C motor home is typically built on a 3/4 ton truck/van frame. They are not as heavy, and would be easier to maintain and control while heading down the grades. They are often better on gas, and sometimes come in diesel. Like Freesponge said, diesel is better! I have even seen Class C motor homes with AWD.
Also, a Class C is smaller, which means there is less space to heat at night in the mountains.

As to a coulple of your questions:
Brand/Model:
I figure the more common/more on the road the better= more parts readily available, more folks with experience. But most importantly, make sure the frame/engine is a common brand. Ours is built on a Chevy 454 chassy. Which means it has a Chevy 454 motor, a chevy tranny, and all chevy parts= readily available all over the country. But this only helps with the mechanical portion of the vehicle. The 'coach' portion is completely different. All RV's are different. Even mass produced RV's of the same make and model can be a little different from other ones in the same assembly line.

How old of an RV could we buy and still have it run well?
Depends on all the previous owners. At first you'll look at a couple of RV's and think "OMG this RV only has 55,000 miles on it!!! How great" but, since most RV's only get used for a portion of the year they don't really accumulate a lot of miles. And worse, sitting all winter if not properly taken care of, can do more damage than good.
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Re: We need tips for buying a used RV

Postby Tricksey » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:33 pm

Thank you all so much for this information. It has really helped a lot. I looked through the topics in transportation before posting but did not see anything on this topic. Then, after posting, I realized that I should have also looked through accommodations. I will do that tonight. If there is another place on here to look, I would be grateful for the information.

Ideally we would like to spend $20,000 or less. That certainly won't buy a new RV but hopefully will buy a reliable older RV. I like the idea of the Class C for ease of driving down the mountain. While I would love a giant RV for BM, I think that we need to go with a smaller one to be able to use it for skiing. Diesel sounds like a great idea.

It looks like I need to do a lot of reseach. Can any of you recommend a good buyers guide that would discuss things like chassis? So far I've been perusing the want ads but they aren't helping me figure out what's out there. Ideally I would like to figure out what I want, determine the make/model and years that we are looking for, and then watch the want ads for the right one to be for sale.

I know very little about cars and nothing about RVs. Your guidance is most appreciated!
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Re: We need tips for buying a used RV

Postby mshaman » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:39 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:I don't know if skiing is a good idea. Those things have no insulation, meaning that you're likely to be running the generator and burning $4 a gallon gasoline.


Fishy, I'm wondering if you're thinking of home-made RV's /schoolbus conversions. I have 6 different RV's that I put my victims, er, camp-mates up in for the burn. I would take any one of them skiing (the RV's, not the camp-mates), and have done serious winter camping in a few of them.

Typcially they have 1.5" or 2" of hard foam insulation, which can provide an R-value of up to 14.4 (the same as a 1980's house) if the RV was well-designed. The big problem is the single-pane windows and the uninsulated openings such as roof vents. 1980's and earlier motorhomes frequently had big gaps in the insulation system, especially around the front of the motorhome where curves and such make it difficult to put flat insulation in. This is generally better in newer units.

Virtually all of them come equipped with a propane furnace that operates not unlike the gas furnace in your house. The furnace fan runs on the RV coach batteries, so as long as you have enough charge, there is no need to run a generator to get heat. Every once in a while you'll find one with electric heat strips in the AC units so that you can heat or cool with them, but this is uncommon and I've never seen one that used these to the exclusion of a gas furnace.

I've camped in -15f in my best unit. Some of the others aren't insulated as well, particularly around the pipes and waste water tanks; as a result the pipes are prone to freezing. A little ingenuity and expanding foam insulation from Home Depot solves this.

TO EVERYONE WHO IS CONSIDERING A USED RV: You are not buying an investment. You are buying a new hobby. They require maintenance. The older you go, the more this is true. If you don't have the skills, you can definitely learn them, and we will help you. If you don't want to learn how to work on them, don't enjoy messing with them, then you are better off renting something, or spending $85,000 for a new one and having the dealer work on it for you.
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Re: We need tips for buying a used RV

Postby mshaman » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:49 pm

Tricksey wrote:Thank you all so much for this information. It has really helped a lot. I looked through the topics in transportation before posting but did not see anything on this topic. Then, after posting, I realized that I should have also looked through accommodations. I will do that tonight. If there is another place on here to look, I would be grateful for the information.

Ideally we would like to spend $20,000 or less. That certainly won't buy a new RV but hopefully will buy a reliable older RV. I like the idea of the Class C for ease of driving down the mountain. While I would love a giant RV for BM, I think that we need to go with a smaller one to be able to use it for skiing. Diesel sounds like a great idea.

It looks like I need to do a lot of reseach. Can any of you recommend a good buyers guide that would discuss things like chassis? So far I've been perusing the want ads but they aren't helping me figure out what's out there. Ideally I would like to figure out what I want, determine the make/model and years that we are looking for, and then watch the want ads for the right one to be for sale.

I know very little about cars and nothing about RVs. Your guidance is most appreciated!


You can get a very nice RV from the late 1990's with that kind of money. It will generally be reliable, it will have big brakes, a big radiator (1980's and older units tended to have inadequate cooling and brakes to stand up to current highway speeds), fuel injection and an overdrive automatic transmission. It will start easier get better mileage than an older carbureted RV with no overdrive. It may have a slide-out, which adds greatly to the "open" or "spacious" feel inside. You are much better off going with a $20,000 RV than a $2,000 RV if you aren't mechanically inclined.

Shop Craigslist and go to dealers. Also look on eBay for those near you. PM me if you want a phone conversation about them or have specific questions. We're all here to help.
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Re: We need tips for buying a used RV

Postby illy dilly » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:24 pm

mshaman wrote:TO EVERYONE WHO IS CONSIDERING A USED RV: You are not buying an investment. You are buying a new hobby. They require maintenance. The older you go, the more this is true. If you don't have the skills, you can definitely learn them, and we will help you. If you don't want to learn how to work on them, don't enjoy messing with them, then you are better off renting something, or spending $85,000 for a new one and having the dealer work on it for you.

AHMEN!!!
I knew nothing about RV's, and very little about 12vDC before owning an RV. I have since learned a ton!

What you say about buying an older one needing more work is very true too.
Though, what I've found, is that older RV's are less electronic and more mechanical. For me at least, its much easier to trouble shoot mechanical rather than electronic. The more electronically controlled systems the more places I see possible issue- but thats just me.
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Re: We need tips for buying a used RV

Postby EspressoDude » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:43 pm

if your are thinking about driving on snow or ice, watch how much is behind the rear wheels. Some that we rent have 1/3 the overall length hanging ass. On slippery snow they are very apt to swap ends
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Re: We need tips for buying a used RV

Postby ranger magnum » Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:28 pm

Having owned various rvs and trailers, I think that a class A will be your best bet. The class C's have smaller fresh/gray/black water tanks, and the two of you will have a hard time spending a week in the desert without needing water and waste tanks emptied. I have a 1988 31' bounder that I just acquired, and it is a vast improvement over the class C it replaced. Class A's usually have 80-100 gallon water tanks, while the class C's have typically half that. 28-30 feet is a good compromise. Any smaller than that, and the back bedroom and bathroom get a little too close, with only a curtain that closes off the bedroom.

20,000 isnt really going to get you into the diesel pusher catagory. Unless you plan on driving coast to coast, i wouldnt really worry about it. The new breed of Triton gas motors are really good, and get fair mileage. I cant think of anything with a manual trans, and you wouldnt want one anyway. Also, stay away from bus conversions. Most are built by people who are not coach builders, and you are taking a big risk on their build quality. Plus, if anything goes wrong, you will pay a lot more for someone to figure out how it was put together.

Buy an RV that has 19.5" tires. They are made for a more heavy duty application, are stronger, able to carry far more weight, and can last up to 100,000 miles. Smaller or lesser class A's have 17" tires, and those are light duty truck tires. The big diesels run 22.5 tires, which is what is found on big rigs.

Slides are wonderfull, but add cost. Plus, they are not playa dust proof, and its one more thing that can go wrong. Still, they add much needed footage, and really open up the inside. Most RV's built from the late 90's have at least one.

As someone posted earlier, you are buying a hobby. It will depreciate each day you own it. They need constant work, and what works today msy not work tomorrow, especially after returning from the playa. Playa dust is very corrosive, and accelerates rust. There are books on maintenence (RV's for dummys)?, and will walk you through some basic issues.

Roof leaks are common, and RV roofs need to be resealed regularly. If you find an RV with a roof leak, you dont necessarily need to avoid it, but be carefull with it, and have a PPI done by a reputable source.

Buy from a private party. You will save thousands. Sure a dealer may offer a warranty, but those are usually based on mileage, and you are realistically only going to put less than 5k miles a year.

Look on craigslist. Look at all price ranges and styles, and soon you wil see what brands keep their value better than others. PM me if you want, and I will give you my # and we can talk.

Lastly, I would strongly recommend buying bigger than you think you want.
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Re: We need tips for buying a used RV

Postby Major Krash » Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:52 am

...be sure the tires, including the spare(s), are in good shape (no cracks). RV tires tend to sit for long times in the sun unless well cared for, and those suckers are expensive!

always start the engine for a few minutes each month (to help keep the seals good, etc). Cover the plastic roof vents and other plastic to prevent direct sun while storing (the UV makes plastic brittle, and it will then break if a branch hits it) or use a car port, etc. Stuff a rag in the toilet (or something) to prevent "friends" from using it while it is being stored (this happened to me once - yuck).

be sure to have AAA road service or equivalent...
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Re: We need tips for buying a used RV

Postby gyre » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:47 pm

Go for a metal frame, not always obvious.

Some have heavy insulation for colder areas too.
An option on some models.

Check out the trailer life books for info.

There are a lot of options.
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Re: We need tips for buying a used RV

Postby motskyroonmatick » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:35 pm

From my recent searching of craigslist it seems that the best deals are listed on Sunday or a Monday if it is a holiday. could just be chance. Prices will rise soon as the high RV season approaches.
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Re: We need tips for buying a used RV

Postby illy dilly » Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:09 am

ranger magnum wrote: I have a 1988 31' bounder that I just acquired, and it is a vast improvement over the class C it replaced. Class A's usually have 80-100 gallon water tanks, while the class C's have typically half that. 28-30 feet is a good compromise. Any smaller than that, and the back bedroom and bathroom get a little too close, with only a curtain that closes off the bedroom.

Sorry to thread drift:
Ranger Magnum, have you checked out the Bounder Yahoo group?
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/bounder/

A lot of what I know about my bounder I learned from all these folks. They are super helpful!

And woo HOOOO! Bounders!!!!!!!
Image
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Re: We need tips for buying a used RV

Postby Canoe » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:05 pm

ranger magnum wrote:...Playa dust is very corrosive, and accelerates rust....

I have a great tip for very effectively treating and preventing rust, for RVs, other vehicles or metal structures. Easy, DIY & cheap too. Where best to post it?
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Re: We need tips for buying a used RV

Postby MartyZion » Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:55 pm

Canoe wrote:
ranger magnum wrote:...Playa dust is very corrosive, and accelerates rust....

I have a great tip for very effectively treating and preventing rust, for RVs, other vehicles or metal structures. Easy, DIY & cheap too. Where best to post it?


Sorry for thread drifting but we use tannic acid on rusted artifacts and the tannins convert iron oxide to iron tannate and that pretty much stops the rust. I'd love to know if you have a newer or more effective product.

Back to thread- OP, here's a checklist to use as you look at used RVs. I would advise renting an RV at least once to get the hang of what you're in for before purchasing. It's like buying a truck and a house with all the maintenance issues of both except the house you live in probably isn't shaken around by your truck.


Surfaces Dents, dings, scratches or stains - can we live with them?
Leaks Warped or stained walls, especially in the corners. "Soft" spots around windows, vents and along the floor
Generator Does it start smoothly? Voltage produces should be 110-125 volts
Lighting Working? Fluorescent ones should come on at full brightness
Fans Working? Do they need lubrication?
Door Hinges Check for wear
Side Mirrors Do they allow for good visibility?
Engine Did it start on the first try? Unacceptable if not
Road Test
Drive Listen for bumping, grinding, creaking or clanging, any unusual sounds.
Did it have enough power to get up a steep hill easily?
Did it hesitate when the engine was hot?
Check the braking power
Check the spot where it was parked. Is anything leaking?
A/C Run the air conditioner for at least 15 minutes and make sure it stays cool
Radio Check all the radio controls and make sure all speakers, front and back, work
Cruise Control Working?
Locks/Controls Are all the door locks and interior controls working?
Steering Check the play in the steering. Is it too loose?
Tires Check the tires for wear and cracking
Belts/Hoses Check for cracks - anything with a crack will have to be replaced
Exhaust In sunlight, the exhaust should be clear. If there is bluish smoke, the engine is in trouble. It should also be odorless from a few feet away.
Refrigerator Takes about 3 hours, but should stay cold and freezer to be icy cold using both propane and electric.
Stove/Oven Light the oven and stove top burners.
Water Try all the water faucets and check for leaks around the pump, water heater and tanks. Does the water inlet have a filter before the water gets to the pump? Is there a pressure regulator?
Check under sinks for signs of previous leaks.
Holding Tanks Run water into them and check for leaks
Bathroom Is it big enough?
Interior Colors Can you live with the colors?
Flooring Check the condition of all carpet and flooring.
Windows Do they all work properly?
Seating Condition of seating and/or foam cushions.
Phone Is it wired for a phone line?
Cable Is it wired for cable TV?
Microwave Does it work?
TV/Stereo Do they work?
Front Dash Is it in good condition?
Is there room on the passenger side to build in a computer workstation?
Cigarette Lighter Does it work?
Sleeping Is the sleeping area large enough?
Exterior Compartments Are they dry and clean, with no rusty areas?
Siding Check the screws for rust and streaking. Are there rusted areas in the body?
Roof Check for cracking on rubber roof, rust and loose screws on metal.
Is there a roof rack?
Solar Are there solar panels? How many house batteries?
Converter/Inverter
Furnace Start the furnace and be sure that it is working smoothly. Flame should not be too blue.
Awning Pull out the awning and check condition and ease of use.
Interior Storage Is there enough? Check in cupboards for signs of previous leaks.
Rear Ladder Check the condition of the ladder.
Previous Owner Can you contact the previous owner?
Vehicle Battery Check the condition.
House Batteries How many? Condition?
Manuals Do they have the manuals for all appliances and equipment?
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Re: We need tips for buying a used RV

Postby ranger magnum » Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:19 pm

illy dilly wrote:
ranger magnum wrote: I have a 1988 31' bounder that I just acquired, and it is a vast improvement over the class C it replaced. Class A's usually have 80-100 gallon water tanks, while the class C's have typically half that. 28-30 feet is a good compromise. Any smaller than that, and the back bedroom and bathroom get a little too close, with only a curtain that closes off the bedroom.

Sorry to thread drift:
Ranger Magnum, have you checked out the Bounder Yahoo group?
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/bounder/

A lot of what I know about my bounder I learned from all these folks. They are super helpful!

And woo HOOOO! Bounders!!!!!!!
Image


No I havent, but thank you! So far, we love our Bounder, and it is crazy large compared to our little class C.

Because I am pretty OCD, I went ahead and packed for ttitd last night. All we need to do is fuel up, get food and go!
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Re: We need tips for buying a used RV

Postby mshaman » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:51 pm

Canoe wrote:
ranger magnum wrote:...Playa dust is very corrosive, and accelerates rust....

I have a great tip for very effectively treating and preventing rust, for RVs, other vehicles or metal structures. Easy, DIY & cheap too. Where best to post it?


@Canoe, Transportation is the closest category I can find... please post! If not, please PM it so I can benefit.. :-)
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Re: We need tips for buying a used RV

Postby Canoe » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:58 pm

mshaman wrote:
Canoe wrote:
ranger magnum wrote:...Playa dust is very corrosive, and accelerates rust....

I have a great tip for very effectively treating and preventing rust, for RVs, other vehicles or metal structures. Easy, DIY & cheap too. Where best to post it?

@Canoe, Transportation is the closest category I can find... please post! If not, please PM it so I can benefit.. :-)

It's within the notes on RVs I'm preparing for you to consider for your RV notes you published.
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Re: We need tips for buying a used RV

Postby burner von braun » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:37 pm

<bump>
Another early attempt at success
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Re: We need tips for buying a used RV

Postby Captain Goddammit » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:47 pm

I'm not sure how important huge interior space is to you, but there's another option that RULES and no other RV even remotely compares to on snowy roads going to ski areas - a truck-camper unit on the back of a one-ton 4 wheel drive pickup!
I've owned a few motorhomes myself and I ended up going back to my crew-cab dually, 4 wheel drive truck and a camper for several compelling reasons. First and foremost was trailer pulling ability (that's how my Mutant Vehicle gets to the playa). Next, less interior volume means much less fuel to run air-conditioning - I'm able to keep my rig frosty cold at Burning Man.
Another huge advantage is you can drive the truck the rest of the year as needed and when you take off on a trip you already have a pretty good idea what shape it's in, instead of firing up a vehicle that sat most of the time that you don't really know is all good-to-go.
Water tankage is usually about 40 gallons in a big slide-in truck camper, although I carry extra water barrels (and an electric transfer pump) on my trailer so I have a full 100 gallons for the week at BM, which allows me to be pretty generous about showers and dish washing.

After owning both Class A and Class C rigs, I'll never own a Class A again. What a nightmare to service! The motorhome companies buy chassis, usually from GM, then build a shitty-quality house on top of it, with zero regard to how the hell you will get parts in and out of it.
In my last Class A, I had to grind holes through the frame to get the transmission out! They built right on top of the bolts...
The Class C rigs are built on one-ton chassis (not 3/4 ton like someone previously misinformed you) and while they are usually a little smaller, they have some serious advantages. They have front doors and are much nicer to get in and out of when you're driving around, and the whole front is a factory-designed van, that maybe isn't the easiest to service but generally a lot easier than an "A". I would also rather crash in a Class C, at least you're in a steel factory vehicle, not sitting on top of a chassis covered in spindly sticks stapled together and covered with fiberglass.

By the way, crash safety is another big "pro" for the truck-and-camper, in my opinion. Motorhomes LOOK huge and imposing, but they are really a big house of cards that crumbles in a crash like a tornado ruining a trailer park.

You can get a manual transmission in a one-ton pickup, too. Someone told you to look for a motorhome with a manual trans... lol... good luck, that's virtually nonexistent!

Every style of RV, Class A, Class C, Truck Camper, Trailer... all have their advantages and disadvantages, these are just some of the logistics that played into my choice.

The big bus conversions are the best things on the road (except for that snowy road to the ski area!) but unless it's a factory built rig (expensive!) then you are taking a gamble, maybe the guy who built it totally rocked, maybe he sucked. I'd have a bus if I could justify the cost for hardly ever using it, but I can't.
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Re: We need tips for buying a used RV

Postby Captain Goddammit » Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:07 pm

The big advantage to a truck camper comes when you carry it on a 4 wheel drive one-ton truck... you can drive it in the snow with ZERO issues, and still tow a 9000 pound trailer! And you can use the truck for a million other things.

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