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 > How used is too used?

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bobbyg123

Duvall, WA

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Posted: 11/08/18 12:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi everyone. I'm a longtime (10+ years) travel trailer owner, and I'm strongly considering moving to a class C rig as my camping lifestyle has changed over the years.

My question is fairly generic, but I'm wondering what criteria you experienced class C owners would look at when considering a used camper. The usual stuff like mileage, how many owners, the overall condition of the unit is what I'll typically go by, but are there other hidden factors with Class C units that I should keep in mind?

There are a TON of used Class C units on the market, and even rigs that go back to 2007 often times only have 60K miles or less on them. I'd just like to hear what you would be looking closely at if you were in the market for a used camper.

Thanks in advance.


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gbopp

The Keystone State

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Posted: 11/08/18 12:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't own a C but, from everything I read they tend to leak at the corners of the cab overhang, or around the overhang windowif it has one.

the bear II

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Posted: 11/08/18 12:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When looking at used I would consider:
low mileage,
type of use (weekend, fulltime, long distance travel) both what previous owner used it for and how you plan to use it
overall condition- clean, shows little wear and tear...receipts for maintenance and repairs
be sure to check the roof and make sure it's in good shape no cracks and all seams are well sealed.
check ceiling and inside of cupboards plus the overhead bed/storage for any signs of leaks
test all of the appliances to make sure they work for more than just a short period...run the AC, fridge, generator and furnace long enough to make sure they don't have any issues.

enblethen

Moses Lake, WA

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Posted: 11/08/18 12:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Age can be a factor.
Some rigs have issues. Such as Ford V-10 spark plug issues
Gm chassis with brake issues.
I would look at the floor plans and see if they work for you.
Verify rig's mileage. 60K is more then I would like to see. There are some popping up with 25-35K. Look closely and start with floor plan, then mileage, then chassis.
Once you find something that works, do a direct search for that rig. May want to look farther away from home.


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IAMICHABOD

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Posted: 11/08/18 12:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looking mostly for water damage or signs of it,also maintenance records.

Low mileage may be a sign that it was not used much but that is not good,sitting for long periods is no good for them also.

Check the MFG dates of the tires 5 to 7 years is the expected life of them,they don't wear out they usually time out,they may look good but they may be rotten.

I found all of this when I was looking for my Class C,so I took a Different Route and am very happy with the results,as is More than 100 others on this Forum.


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bobbyg123

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Posted: 11/08/18 01:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks everyone.

Regarding mileage, my concern is what some of you have mentioned. While 60K miles for a 2012 is high, at least I know the vehicle was being used actively and was driving down the road. Of course there are some potential pitfalls with that logic, but the same could be said for a 2012 unit with 12K miles. Did they even drive it? Thing is, I camp up to 40-50 nights/year with my boys, but we still probably won't put more than 10K miles/year on it, as we don't typically venture too far from home.

You've all mentioned what I expected, and it's the same for travel trailer purchasing. Leaks are my #1 concern, and I know how to inspect for those. Engine & mechanical problems *shouldn't* be big of a concern for a Ford gas engine with less than 75K miles, provided it's been maintained.

The good news is that there are a ton of used rigs out there. Just have to find the right one.

map40

Florida

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Posted: 11/08/18 01:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DON'T FALL FOR THE LOW MILLAGE TRICK!!!!!!!
I have an RV rental company. They only units that work well are the ones that have been used regularly. I have sold units with 300K miles ex-rentals and they are still rolling around.
I have bought units with more than 100K miles, ex-rentals, not one mechanical problem. As long as they were maintained propperly.
All the units that I got with low millage for their age ended being a money pit. New appliances, new hoses, new seals, so on and so forth.
Look for signs of water damage, specially in the cab over.
Maintenance records are important. I always look at the little things. Light the burner cover in the stove, see how clean it is. Look at the steering greasable joints, check they are not dry. Age of tires and condition. Brand of oil filter used, how clean are the battery connections. Basically, little things that tell me the owner took good care of it. A new air conditioner is $600. A new transmission a year from now is going to be $4000.
If it was propperly maintained, I would not doubt buying a high millage RV. The V10 and the Ford transmission will do over 200K with no problems if it was excercised and used.


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camperdave

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Posted: 11/08/18 01:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just did this (old TT to newer but still old C). Roughly speaking, I narrowed it down to an 03+ Ford chassis which guarantees the most updated V10. No worries about spark plugs or anything like that, it's a true 300k mile motor.

From there, it was all about condition. I was not so much concerned with mileage. First and foremost, inspect every corner and joint, look under every mattress, pull up the carpet a bit in hidden corners, and look for ANY sign of water leaks. This is the single biggest killer of RV's. And in C's, it's the cabover that is most suspect, but really a leak could be anywhere.

I then gave a greater preference to rigs that were privately owned, since I could actually speak with the owner and get a feel for it's maintenance history. Most I saw on dealer lots were trade ins, the dealer literally knows nothing about them.

Carfax can sometimes give you a rough idea of it's usage. For example, you'll see the mileage each time it changed hands and may be able to tell if it was driven 50k in the first two years, then sat for the next 6 years unused or something like that.

Have fun and take your time! I looked for a few months and ended up traveling out of state to buy.


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SidecarFlip

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Posted: 11/08/18 01:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My take on it is, is it used or abused? Only you can decide that.


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bobbyg123

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Posted: 11/08/18 01:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

map40 wrote:

DON'T FALL FOR THE LOW MILLAGE TRICK!!!!!!!
I have an RV rental company. They only units that work well are the ones that have been used regularly. I have sold units with 300K miles ex-rentals and they are still rolling around.
I have bought units with more than 100K miles, ex-rentals, not one mechanical problem. As long as they were maintained propperly.
All the units that I got with low millage for their age ended being a money pit. New appliances, new hoses, new seals, so on and so forth.
Look for signs of water damage, specially in the cab over.
Maintenance records are important. I always look at the little things. Light the burner cover in the stove, see how clean it is. Look at the steering greasable joints, check they are not dry. Age of tires and condition. Brand of oil filter used, how clean are the battery connections. Basically, little things that tell me the owner took good care of it. A new air conditioner is $600. A new transmission a year from now is going to be $4000.
If it was propperly maintained, I would not doubt buying a high millage RV. The V10 and the Ford transmission will do over 200K with no problems if it was excercised and used.


That was my inclination as well. If it's a 2012 unit with 10K miles, for me, that's a red flag in some respects. If it has 60K miles, at least you know the owner was out on the road with it.

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