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Open Roads Forum  >  Beginning RVing

 > Is this worth it. Or am I in over my head...

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vcarvajal89

Florida

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Posted: 12/18/16 07:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey guys obviously new to the RV scene. I have just purchased a 1993 Fleetwood Southwind, 60k miles on a 454. Now I bought it as a project for only $300. it isn't currently running did not have batteries to get her running on my own but owner did get it to kick over for a few seconds with his batteries.

So what I am after is some honest opinion on is it worth the investment or am I wasting my time and more importantly money.
It wasn't in our plan to buy an RV but the original owner had it posted for $1,000 online. I shot him an offer of $800 and he quickly declined... I wasn't really looking for an RV just a project to keep me occupied during free time. Then one day a friend asked me if I could give him a ride to his buddy's house to pick some tools he left there and as fate would have it there she was the RV I inquired about a few months back. The owner saw me eyeing her down and shouted out "$500 and shes your". I hesitated to answer and just surveyed as much as I could when all of a sudden the front door of the house flew open and out came an angry wife saying this thing has sat to long and she is ready for it to be gone $300 cash and I can take this baby home. The owner threw in a couple batteries turned the engine over for a few and gave me the long story of how his father in law used the rv as a vacation spot in south florida and then he passed away. The RV sat for about 8months when someone broke into it. So then the owner brought the RV home and there it saw for what seems like 2 or 3 years and the owners house.

Now for the bad... I inspected the RV and saw the water damage just behind the drive seat on the roof and wall. And part of the cabinets in the kitchen had some damage. the front door was mangled from the break in and the rest was impossible to reach because they piled junk from floor to ceiling, but from the looks it seemed alright. Finally got her home and cleaned her out and then that's when my concerns started. I thought the leak was only because one of the skylights I'm assuming broke allowing water to get in. I started opening doors and closets and noticed the water made it all the way back to the bed room. So I started gutting her out figured I would go for a clean slate. the more I ripped out the more damage I found until finally I climbed the roof and realized 50% of the rubber material was gone and the roof was rotted away. I started to pull the paneling off the wall and in the front half (so far) the wood was soaked, as well as the wood under the carpet.

So as it sits (from what I know) It needs a whole new roof, all new walls, all new flooring, and new cabinets and furniture.

I am a mechanic so I am fairly capable of the large task at hand just wondering if anyone has taken on a project this big before and if so was it worth it in the end. What are the chances the cost will outweigh the worth of the RV??? Any advice would be great. Thanks in advance!

jfkmk

NJ

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Posted: 12/18/16 07:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sounds like the water damage is fairly extensive. You might want to consider parting it out. I'm sure you can more than make up for the purchase price, especially if you can get that 454 running.

coolmom42

Middle Tennessee

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Posted: 12/18/16 07:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When you get done, you will have a solid unit that is built the way you want it. If you are mechanically skilled, you can get the chassis in good shape, too. You will come out ahead of buying a new one and it will be better than new.

Whether or not it is worth it depends on how much time you have to spend on it and if you really want to do it.


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dons2346

Sioux Falls, SD, formerly of So. CA

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Posted: 12/18/16 07:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To me, time is money. Looking at the condition of that coach, I wouldn't want to waste my time and extra money.

I would part it out





Son of Norway

Denver, Colorado

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Posted: 12/18/16 07:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not worth it. You could get a used class A in good condition for less and start camping in your spare time. X2 on parting it out.


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dewey02

Minnesota

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Posted: 12/18/16 07:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We had an old 1978 Wilderness trailer that we'd recieved for free from my wife's parents. We used it for several years and enjoyed it with our young kids, but in spite of our recoating the seams on the metal roof, it continued to leak. I finally tore out the ceiling and walls in the bathroom and found them all to be rotted.

I thought about fixing it up. But...we'd rather be camping during the late spring, summer and fall season, and not at home working on the camper as time would allow. So we ditched it and bought a new entry level trailer and we spent the summer camping.

The question you need to ask is: Do I want to be camping or do I want to spend MAJOR amounts of time and effort fixing a camper. The answer for us was easy. On the other hand, if your finances are tight then maybe investing a summer in fixing a camper will allow you to spend the next many years in a camper that you will have faith in.

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 12/18/16 07:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You wanted a project and you sure have one now.

Get a roof on and seal the walls asap. The rest you can take your time.

http://rvroof.com/


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Isaac-1

SW Louisiana

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Posted: 12/18/16 08:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The way I see it is you can put $20,000 into it and then when you are done you will have a $7,000 motorhome.

free radical

Canada

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Posted: 12/18/16 08:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Probably not worth fixing such an old RV..
IF it was something desireable such as Airstream or Avion then maybe...
Is the roof and walls made of fiberglass?

Maybe you could post pictures to get better idea?

nineoaks2004

Florida

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Posted: 12/18/16 08:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I once had one that had 2X4's holding the ceiling up to keep it from falling in, I stripped it all the way to the frame and started over. It took a year but I did finish the job and it looked really good and with all new siding, studs, paneling, roof trusses and roof it should have looked good. I drove it for awhile ad finally gave it to a friends daughter and her hubby as a present. I never regretted doing itand enjoyed every minute..


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You're to old to play the game


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