I am thinking about looking for an older diesel pusher to restore and wonder what would be a good candidate to look for. Here are some basics on what I am looking for:
1) I would expect to redo or replace the furniture, flooring, and appliances. Kitchen counter & cabinet doors too?
2) The TV's, stereos, and cameras would have to be replaced. I like high-tech, so replacing these items is a given.
3) Electrical and plumbing systems should be salvageable unless it has been abused. I don't want something that has been messed up.
4) Chassis & engine. This is where I want a solid starting point. I am OK with bringing maintenance items up to date, but I don't want issues. And, I don't want an under-powered rig. I need to pull toys up mountains, so small block engines will not satisfy.
5) Slides & Layout. This is a challenge. My wife is determined that anything without slides is unacceptable. I suspect, however, that there are layouts without slides that work well.
6) Resale. Who knows when plans will change and the toys need to go. I would rather put money into a Bluebird or Prevost than a Gulfstream.
Well, those are the things I can think of at this point. Any suggestions of what to look for or what to watch out for?
Your #4 - I would highly recommend you add solid coach walls and roof to that list!!! Discovery of rot or delams of any kind anywhere in those areas is a darn good reason to turn on your heel and walk away from it. Anything else you can fix....
I love the post from sunkatcher, it sounds like good solid advise. Find something in great condition that someone is unloading for cheap, add fuel, water, and food and go have fun camping. I think I will take your advise.
restore an old Mustang or Chevy or something. Restoring boats and RV's is a lost cause IMHO. Buy a MH to use and enjoy and play with Old Jeeps and other classics
Maybe dollar wise for resale, but the OP's purpose is to use it. I can tell you that from owning an old classic, if its a high end motorhome, you get your money's worth of use out of it, and enjoy the nicer features. If the OP buys a high end machine, he will have all the luxuries it was intended to have for the same investment as a newer gasser that wonders all over the road and squeaks and creaks in the process.
I have done the old Chevy project. I bought a '74 camaro for $1200, put about $5500 into it and sold it a week after the "resale-red" paint went on for $5000. Not a bad loss.
My next project, a Jeep restoration resulted in a brand-new 2010 Wrangler. My wife got involved in that decision. Anyway, the Jeep works great and follows the motorhome wherever it goes. I don't even have to change the oil, they included 3 years of maintenance when we bought it.