It's a balancing act.....spend money for the newer one, or spend money ON the older one.....either way, owning an RV isn't for the faint of heart or wallet.
Have fun, and good luck
I couldn't agree more. Almost put 10K down on purchasing a new Class C. At the last minute decided to use the same $$ to purchase an old unit for cash and put the rest to mods or repairs. I am not handy, and so pay for most repairs to be done. So far, I've blown a coolant hose, needed a new engine control module, and found a leak in the cabover (and I thought I was the rare lucky one until then.) One year in, I think I am still way ahead of the cost of new, and if a month or two goes by without me using her (God forbid) I still don't regret it because it is paid for. Can't buy piece of mind like that IMO.
87 Mallard Sprinter 24' Class C Ford E350 w/460 gas "The Runny Duck"
Shiny side up, Rubber side down.
Lots of good advice. What's a new one in the size range your looking at cost, 60K-70K?. My guess is you can find a well cared for unit around 20K. Set back 5K for ????. Look for something in the 2000 year model range, V10 fuel injected, no pets, non-smoker, under 50K miles. They are out there for sale.
We buy new cars every 10 years, we always buy used toys, never new. Just bought a cream puff Yamaha 700 Raptor quad with 300 miles, fully loaded with extras, 1K less than listed prices on Craiglist. The guy just wanted it gone out of his garage and didn't really care if he was getting top dollar.
We're not here for a long time, let's have a good time.
We bought ours over 2 years ago. The tires were new then, so we did not have that expense. We have put in about $800.00 in repairs over the 2 years, not counting normal maintenance. It just passed inspection with no problems. We have put over 8000 miles on it in the last 2 years, and it has done us very well. There are good ones out there. Ours is only 27' and so far, it works perfect for us.
First thing to consider is with the gas prices on a continual climb can you afford to travel in a MH that gets only 8-9 miles per gallon?
My rig is a 1993 on a 1992 E350 with 81,000 miles which I bought 17 months ago for $7,700 and have been restoring it ever since. To date I spent over $5,200 just refurbishing the coach part which was in terrible condition when it was delivered to me. The only fixture that I replaced is the commode the rest of the expense was for repairs and a few minor upgrades. Now I have to repair defects to the E350 part. We rebuilt/replaced the cabover, flooring, upholstery material and foam, 6 Hankook tires, etc. We still have to buy a new mattress to replace the one we threw out on day one
Today I'll finish replacing the 2 rear tail/stop lights that arrived yesterday and continue repairing the brake system which locks up and maybe do some work on the electrical system which suddenly went bonkers the first time I went more than 4 miles. Hopefully someday I'll get the cruise control and HWH levelers to work and replace the badly rusted gas tank. Get the picture?
* This post was
edited 04/11/12 07:51am by Replant *
Actually buying an older unit IF you shop carefully, entails less risk than buying a New one. The 'off the curb' depreciation on a new one often is equal to the entire purchase price of an old one.
The question, as always, is. Are you capable of 'shopping' carefully, and what are your skills as far as rebuilds and renovations? Also if you are not capable of doing the work yourself. How good are you at searching out less expensive repair people, to do the work? An established shop may/will, want $100 an hour or more to do the work, and that's a 'flat rate' hour.
I've found that it's tough to find someone independent who will work on MHs. Most shops won't even talk to you about MH repairs, because of their size. And the ones who will, tend to not want to install 'customer' parts, as they want to buy the parts and double the price to you, which stacks the Cost even higher.
If you can't/won't/don't do your own repairs, the better part of valor MAY be to stay with a trailer or Truck Camper, as it's easy to find someone to work on the Tow Vehicle. Add to this the additional costs of adding another power train to service and license, as well as the additional depreciation involved..... well you get the picture.
NOT saying don't, just be aware of what the costs can/will be.
2011 Dodge 1500 C'boy Caddy
2000 Jayco C 28' Ford chassis w V-10 E450
Doghouse 36' or so Trophy Classic TT
We bought a 1989 Triple E C in 2007. 90,000 km. We had a garage inspect the engine, chassis, tires, brakes etc. Took that list to our local guy (who does not have room to work on Rvs but we trust. He said some of the work on the list was most likely to pad the bill.
We then after making the purchase too her and the list to another garage who agreed with our guy and did the necessary work. We spent $1500.00 before we brought her home on tire, brake, tranny fluid, oil change etc.
The propane was certified (law in BC), all the appliances were in working order.
Since then we have had regular tune ups, had to replace the fan clutch on a trip, replaced the switch on the fridge, recaulked the windows and used Eternabond tape on the roof seam.
You could buy a typical medium sized 2004 rig for $30K with original fridge, roof A/C unit and 4 year old tires that need replacing at 6 years for safety due to age. The fridge and A/C may need replacing within a year or two.The exterior graphics and finish may be sun damaged but look decent. Little things like day/night shades and roof vent lids may need repairs/replacements, The awning may be showing age. A new similar rig with 3 year housebox warranty, and six year drivetrain warranty from Ford might cost you $70K+. If you buy really old, expect to spend a lot more on repairs/replacments unless you find a rig that has been garaged, driven reqularly, and maintained religiously with relatvely low milage. Motorhome ownership and use is an expensive hobby like boating, etc. Your budget should account for purchase price, taxes and registration, insurance,emergency road service, immediate repairs and upgrades needed for safe and enjoyable touring and camping, gasoline at 10mpg, RV park fees, on the road expenses for tourist attractions, etc. You can save money with baloney sandwiches rather than restaurants, overnite parking in shopping centers where safe/allowed, etc.
* This post was
edited 04/11/12 10:25am by Bordercollie *
I purchased our current coach when it was over thirty years old and had over an hundred thousand miles on it. I have had to do a pretty fair amount of work on it to keep it reliable. The biggest expense was a new furnace.
Would I do it again?
In a heart beat.. (But I already have one.)
If you are not already an effective mechanic and handyman - Forget it...
It will nickel and dime you to death.
If you consider it, make sure that chassis parts are readily available. All the coach parts can easily be replaced with new.
Matt & Mary Colie
A sailor, his bride and their black dog going to see some dry places that have Geocaches in a coach made the year we married.
What you say is true. One of my favorite sayings is "If you want something done right, do it yourself." Of course if you don't do it right on your first try, do it again. My worst experiences came from buying new vehicles. Not one of the dealers were honest but chalk that up to my lousy luck. I've often said "In a 2 horse race, I'm sure to bet on the loser."
None of the work in my project was done by a hired hand, so to speak. The cab-over was worked on previously and still rotted out so we used all new lumber and coated everything with 2 or 3 coats of West System epoxy before assembly. When I replaced the clearance lamps with LEDs I covered all of the holes with Eternabond tape to keep water from entering the body and to protect the wires from rubbing against the sharp metal edges that the factory created.
Lunch is ready so I'll get off the soap-box
This is a pretty helpful post.. I decided to start researching now (and save money) so that hopefully I can make a good pick. Im pretty sure I want a class c so my boys have a decent spot to keep their beds made but now im worried about rot. I was hoping for a diesel but that doesn't look like its gonna happen for under 20g. I am pretty handy (i do some maintenance on our firetrucks) but I don't want to spend all my time and money . Idk...what's everyones opinion on buying a rental? Reasonable prices and fleet maintained sound good but what about the bad?