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First buy of an RV - Please your advices


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Dear all,

I need your advice in buying a used RV.

My wife and I have decided to buy a used 36' Pace arrow by fleetwood with 2 slides. This rig is 14 years old and looks great according to the pics and the description. Only 50 000 miles USD 25 000,-

Here is the description of that RV : This 2002 Pace Arrow By Fleetwood has a V-10 Ford Engine On a Ford Chassis, Features include....2 Slide-outs, Onan Gas Generator, 2 Ducted Roof A/Cs, Four Door Refrigerator, Main & Slide Awnings, 1 Piece Washer/Dryer, Backup Camera, CD Radio, TV, DVD Player, Outside Shower and 2 Burner Range. Also includes a Blue Ox Tow Bar.

We are French people accustomed to rent RVs the last 14 years.

We intend to join Escapees to benefit on the services offered by Escapees, then register the RV either in South Dakota or Texas, or Florida and spend 4 months (2 x 2) per year touring the States.

I would appreciate your advices regarding this motorhome.

We also intend to have an in-depth inspection by a certified NRVIA inspector (actually from RV Inspection connection company).

It would be our first RV and tbh we are hesitating....

Thank you in advance for your help.

Kind regards


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Is it a private sale or a dealership?

For a private sale find out if it has service records. VERY IMPORTANT.

How long has the present owner owned it?

If it's a one owner, well maintained RV and it passes an independent inspection then go for it.

Ours is a 1 owner 16 year old RV with great service history and we just love it.

DO CHECK how old the tires are, they are $500 each so if the one on it are old you need to negotiate the price down to allow for that. Old tires are dangerous, don't take chances.

Hope to see you in your "NEW" RV sometime.


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I would make sure the inspector is an independent one. That way he's working for you not the dealership. A lot of dealerships will tell you that they've inspected a rig and it all checked out fine. And of course as mentioned above because of the age, it would HAVE to have all maintenance records for me to even consider it. Good luck in whatever you decide.

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Thank you Kirk and sorry for the multiple threads.

I did not know exactly where to post. Actually after having post my request in "General information" I saw that there was a dedicated forum "For beginning RV".


By the way, I will not buy the MH cause the dealer told me that, as the owners were heavy smokers, the smell was awful.

So still looking for buying a other one.

Kind regards and thank you again.


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No problems at all. We all had to learn at one time. :) On the smoking issue, better to discover it now so you can keep looking. Some dealers will attempt to mask the odor that it leaves so be very careful as perfumes will help to cover it up, but they don't last and the smell comes back. You may want to specify with any seller that you contact that you will only buy a nonsmoking RV, just to keep things clear.


Hang in there as the right RV is out there and you will find it in time. When do you expect to come this way?

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hey jack, me an wife looked at MH's for months. probably about 100 of them in one an then another, the more brands/models you look at the better idea you get to get to the point where you say yup this model/floor plan is best. we went to about 5 RV Shows. 15 dealerships, some of them about 5 visits back an forth weeks apart. an one day we found one that fit our budget, our desired size, an condition we wanted . like my buddy kirk said, you will find the best one, just keep on looking.

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My suggestion is that you take advantage of the delay in purchasing to step back and evaluate your needs and wants. HOW will you use your RV? Are you going to full-time? If so, with or without a home base? If not, will you be on the road for months at a time, or just a couple of vacations and long weekends each year? How many people and pets? Any mobility issues?


If you are full-timing, will you be staying in one place for months at a time, or will you be moving at least monthly? Do you plan on boondocking regularly, sometimes, or rarely?


All of these questions, and more, will affect your decision on which coach to buy. A MH is not the best choice for some people, while it is ideal for others. We love our no-slide coach, while others won't even step inside one that doesn't have at least three slides.


My suggestion is that you both spend a fair amount of time talking about your travel plans. Look at various floor plans - doesn't matter whether you can afford the coach or whether it is on the way to the junkyard - to see what works and what doesn't work. It won't take many visits to dealerships and shows to let you know what floor plans will work for you. Once you know that you can start looking at high-end coaches that have the right floor plan and features. Why high end? Quality. Yes, you will be buying a somewhat older coach, but you will be getting so much more.


Keep researching and looking. Remember that you will most likely have something towing something else no matter what you pick. If you pick a MH it can tow a small, fuel-efficient vehicle, while a fifth wheel or travel trailer will be towed by a truck.

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