Jump to content

Need advice regarding a used RV


kpetrey1

Recommended Posts

Hello
My wife and I are in our 40's and are looking for a 30-34ft class A under 30k for a 1 yr round the US trip. We would sell it or use it for short trips after. We have rented a C in the past twice for 10 day trips and are looking to take the plunge.I will be working a few hours a day on my online business and plan to boondock 25% and RV parks 75%. Winnys, Fleetwoods, Thor, etc have come to mind..Any advice on an RV that would suit us?

Thank you !!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the Escapee forums! In the length that you are shopping it will mostly be gas powered coaches in the market that you will be shopping. There is a lot to know about choosing an RV, if you are completely new to them so do feel free to seek opinions and advice as much as you wish.

 

Since your question seems to be one of brands we suggest, if I were shopping for that size used class A I would look mostly at Tiffin's Allegro or Allegro Breeze, Newmar's Bay Star & Canyon Star, or the Winnebago Adventurer, Sightseer, or Vista lines as leading candidates from companies that have a long history of quality RVs and factory support. There are other manufacturers which I'd consider if the price and age were just right, but these would be my first choice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When buying used I think the shape of the RV is more important than the brand. As you investigate you will see that, just like cars, RV's vary from basic to deluxe. Only you can decide how deluxe you want. Many people think you can only full-time in top of the line RV's but I don't agree. You can full-time in any RV as long as you know what you want. If you are new to the life style you may need to find an expert that can examine any potential RV's to discover potential problems. For one year I would just look for one that fits your lifestyle and budget and make sure there are no big hidden problems.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hours on the generator is a biggie, "IF" close to 1000 hours on an Onan Diesel. I was at the Onan Service Center in Elkhart IN, this past week, checking on a possible way to quiet the Microlite 4000 on our B+. The going rate for the 1000 hour check up on a Quiet Diesel 8000, like ours, shocked me, $1800. It does include "everything" being checked and or replaced: pulling the generator, hoses, belts, filters, thermostat, antifreeze, oil, fuel system, valve adjust, compression test, power output, electronics and the like. Hopefully with 620 hours in 11 years, it will do me for the length of time I own it, without that "recommended" service. See that could be a biggie if buying a used diesel pusher.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Hello

My wife and I are in our 40's and are looking for a 30-34ft class A under 30k for a 1 yr round the US trip. We would sell it or use it for short trips after. We have rented a C in the past twice for 10 day trips and are looking to take the plunge.I will be working a few hours a day on my online business and plan to boondock 25% and RV parks 75%. Winnys, Fleetwoods, Thor, etc have come to mind..Any advice on an RV that would suit us?

Thank you !!

 

 

"30-34 ft class A under 30k".

 

Do you mean under 30k miles or do you mean budget under 30k? Could be a BIG difference.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We did it and so can you. You have to be savvy shoppers in your price range. There are older well looked after units at the top of their price ranges and newer run down ones at the bottom of theirs.

Our journey:- http://banbrv.blogspot.com/2014/11/you-can-get-there-from-here.html

Floor plan is a big thing. Some RV's seem to have been designed by people who've never camped! Get to lots of dealers and shows and sit in RV's while thinking about watching TV, cooking, moving around with the slides in.

Learn how to check the date codes on tires.

Find an independent RV inspector.

When you look at RV's take pictures and keep notes, after a while you'll forget what you've seen and which ones you liked or disliked. A list will save LOTS of time.

Don't be afraid to look a little over your budget and negotiate to get to your budget.

I see you're from Florida? You should have a lot of opportunity to buy a "Snowbirder's Rig" at the end of the season (March/April) get educated before then so you can move fast with a cash offer when the right time comes.

BEWARE of very low mileage rigs. Ones that have stood unused for long periods of time can have all kinds of problems with rotted seals, rusted frames, water intrusion.

There are several books on buying a used RV.

Good hunting, see you on the road somewhere.

BnB

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Many people think you can only full-time in top of the line RV's but I don't agree. You can full-time in any RV as long as you know what you want.

While I do agree that condition is more important than brand name, for a person who has little or no RV experience the manufacturer can be very important as any RV that is of lower quality will only go down as the years of use increase. With experience and knowledge a buyer can often determine just what the condition is currently and not just simply upon the outwardly visible things but that requires more than a superficial knowledge of RVs. Most buyers are wise to get the services of a professional RV inspector or at least a mobile RV tech to go through the RV before they make a purchase.

 

If you plan to spend no more than $30k, that will also mean that you will be buying an older Class A, since that price means that you will be looking at RVs which are in the 10 year or more age range. As you go up in the quality of RV you look at, the age will increase in order to stay in the price range that you are looking for. It is important to also realize that it can be very difficult to find financing for RVs that are more than 10 years old, so consider that in your planning. With any motorized RV the condition of the chassis mechanical systems and power train can be critical. Replacing an engine or transmission is very expensive and you probably won't be able to get any sort of "extended warranty" on an RV of that age. The appliances of older RVs can also be an issue and much of that depends upon both the amount that they were used and the maintenance history of them. Replacing appliances can easily cost the owner as much as $500 to $1500. You can greatly lower that cost if you are able to do some of the work of maintenance and repair yourself. Remember that knowing someone who has traveled in an older RV with few repair or maintenance problems does not mean that you will be as fortunate. I suggest that you take steps to lower the risk of your purchase as much as possible. That means to take the time to learn as much as you are able, to find experienced help in your shopping and to get professional advice before you pay any money to the seller.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We found our full-time unit for less than your budget amount. We are now 5 yrs full-time with mostly maintenance items that have been needed along with a couple of circuit boards and new tires. We are still very happy with our choice. PPL Motorhomes does have a website making it possible for you to view many motorhomes in different price ranges, floor plans and would be a good place to start.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having recently made a similar search, intent on minimizing depreciation and maintenance....

 

Some brands are better than others, but Tiffins and Newmars tend to command a higher price for a given age. Under $30K, there's more variation in condition. I'd say to be aware of brands, but mostly that there are a few to avoid (R-Vision comes to mind). I was shopping for an Adventurer, but in my price range, all had problems. I eventually chose a 2003 Bounder with low mileage and no signs of leaks, and minimal signs of looking "lived-in".

 

But for sure, the construction details are nicer on Adventurers. Winnebago is generally very good, and they have lots of tech info online for their older models. There seem to be a lot of 30' SIghtseers at reasonable prices, I might have chosen one of those if had found the right one. Tiffin unfortunately doesn't even have specs online older than about 2005. Tiffin 32BA seems a good choice if you can find one in your price range; I couldn't find one near me, worth looking for.

 

I was shopping in Florida at the height of their selling season (Feb-March). So be mindful of the season. Fall must be the best time to shop, I'd think.

 

I think mileage really matters. The drive train is good for 100K+ miles, but the body gets shaken up with each mile. And the more it's occupied, the more it wears.

 

If you buy something under 15 years old and under 80K miles, you can get an extended service contract. Though not generally a fan of extended warranties, I chose to go that route for a combination of reasons.

 

I chose a warranty company (Wholesale Warranties) that does their own inspection, and once it passes, they basically own any problems they missed. After about six weeks, a battery charging problem surfaced, which they covered. And it was the kind of thing that could easily have been missed by inspection.

 

Inspections... be careful, you can spend a lot of money on coaches you don't buy. You can pay for an independent inspection, but learn to eliminate as many as you can by thoroughly inspecting it yourself first. Trust me, you'll get good at it quickly. Under $30K, they all have some problems, the trick is to avoid the expensive ones.

 

I purchased a moisture meter at Lowe's, it revealed all sorts of problems in some of the ones I looked at. Check under the windows and at all the roof seams. Walk the roof and feel for soft spots. Mine measured very dry but I still found a leak after purchase. Shop on a rainy day or the day after.

 

Take photos of the capacity sheet, usually in the bedroom closet... some models don't have as much cargo or towing capacity as you expect. I saw a Brave that had a 5000# hitch, but GCWR was only 2000# greater than GVW... I wouldn't have been able to fully load it and tow my 3500# Forester. This seems more common on Workhorse chassis, but many of those spec out just fine. I have a Workhorse and so far I'm fairly happy with it.

 

And learn to read DOT tire dates. ;) They age at about $300-$500 per year. Michelin and Goodyear are more costly than others, and they're what usually ships with the chassis. My Bounder came with 2012 Chinese truck tires. Theoretically they'd be good for another couple of years, but I'll probably replace them now rather than absorb the cost new ones when it comes time to sell. I figure I should buy tires for myself, not somebody else. ;)

 

You can't really pick a coach based on tires, but since you're planning a long trip the first year, you want to start out with something you trust. So even if they're "okay for tailgating", you might want new tires right away, and that should be considered in the price negotiations. It's usually a binary choice... if they're new enough and a brand that you trust for cross-country, that's one thing; if you'll want to replace the existing tires right away, then they're really worth nothing.

 

Shopping and inspecting was intimidating at first, but I started to enjoy it after the first few, once I had an idea of what to expect and what to look for.

 

Hope this is helpful, good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One other thing to keep in mind, under $30K, you're paying 25%-40% of the original selling price. But replacement parts cost the same as if you're buying new. Repairs are relatively very expensive compared to the purchase price. So that can lead to difficult decisions. That was a big reason I went with a comprehensive and fairly costly service plan, so I wouldn't be faced with "is it worth it to keep fixing this?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would put floorplan last. First you need to find one in very good condition (have it inspected) in a price range for you without putting yourself in debt. There are plenty of them out there. If you can find two or three to choose from - THEN select the one with the floorplan for you.

 

An excellent floorplan is no good to you if the RV starts giving you problems and expensive repairs.

 

Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the replies. I decided to up the budget from 30k to 40K and negotiate one down from the 40K range. Narrowed it down to Winnys, Tiffin, Newmar and Bounders from 2005-2007 and 33-36 ft long. I'm still a few months out from a purchase so in the meantime reading and reading a bunch

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you already have tons of great advice so I will just relate our story (readers digest version)...we weren't pressed for time so I began by reading all the info I could get my hands on and this forum provided some of the best I could find. The members here are an endless source of great information because so many have "been there and done that". We started making the trek to PPL about once a month looking at all the different floor plans and models. Making notes and taking pics are vital because they all start running together. We were fortunate to get the chance to live in a small, older Class A for a year (because of the lack of rental property) and that was a GREAT learning experience on how all the systems on an RV work and what to look for. We were looking for something in about the same price range except that we wanted a diesel pusher. We found our "new to us" unit and have been very satisfied but we have already found a couple of things that we would add to the must have list the next time (if that ever happens) we are looking!! Get the motor/transmission oil analyzed and figure out what floor plan will fit your needs and then go hunting!!! Best of luck in your search and keep us up-dated on your mission!! Oh and don't be afraid to ask questions!!! The folks here love to help!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...