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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes

 > How Long Should It Last?

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kalynzoo

Los Angeles , California

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Posted: 09/16/09 11:01am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We kept a previous Holiday Rambler Imperial gasser 454 for 12 years. When we finally traded it in it still was clean and road worthy, but our needs had changed. Additionally, it was beginning to nickle and dime us. Rubber cracks and breaks, carpet and flooring wear, frig seals leak, air conditioners become less efficient, etc.
The people who purchased our MH got a good deal, as the depreciation brought the value to less than mid size car. But for us, it was time to say goodby, and move on to new. I am sure the new owners will keep the rig for many more years.
To answer your question, useful life expectancy of the RV depends on your preference. I parked next to a Flexflyer bus RV last month that was beautiful, and still had many years of service ahead.

Jim@HiTek

Gresham, OR, USA

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Posted: 09/16/09 11:24am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Since 2-'94, repair and maintenance plus optional items bought specifically for the RV equals $26,445. That comes out to an average monthly expense of $132. Over 142,000 miles. That's $0.186 per mile repair costs.

And I'll be buying a new set of rear tires this week for another $1175.

I do allot of the work myself and usually pre-test failures so I can talk to the tech with some knowledge, if I decide to take it to a shop. I usually go to truck repair shops or independents to save money. Never go to a dealer, and will not go to Freightliner (always too high of a quote...always).

I've only been stuck on the road with tire issues, always been able to drive somewhere for repairs or to buy parts for other problems. Might be luck, or it might be that diesel engines and Allison trannis are as reliable as everyone says.


Jim@HiTek
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Fleetwood Bounder, '94
Cummins Diesel, 190HP, 36.5' with 50HP LP boost.
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amazingvanstones

Southern Ontario, Mexico or somewhere in between.

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Posted: 09/16/09 12:50pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You guys are trying to put words in my mouth. I said Gas or Diesel, either way, move up from entry level. Buy something designed for more permanent use. Can you live in entry level? Of course you can. I'm saying your money is better spent buying better quality used than entry level new. And that's all I said. Larry


2006 40' Camelot usually followed by a Ford Edge
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MeanderMan

Fulltiming Somewhere

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Posted: 09/16/09 01:31pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We've lived in both a Class A gas and DP; those who say that a gas model isn't suitable are probably basing their comments on old models, entry level models, or are simply biased towards a particular DP model. There are quality gas models (the Tiffin Allegro Bay and Winnebago/Itasca Adventurer/Suncruiser, for example) that are built as well as most of the diesel models and have the same quality of appliances. Motorhome manufactures don't build different wiring harness, plumbing fixtures, or sidewall and roof panels for their better gas and their diesel models. Buy a Tiffin or Winnebago gas and you'll get the same construction as their pushers. True, upscale DPs will have all-wood interiors, but there's no evidence that they last longer than the interior of a good quality gas model's interior. The difference, and it is significant, is the chassis, but if you're not going to travel extensively and don't need a CCC over 2500 lbs or so it doesn't matter much. A quality gas model will do fine for full-timing and will cost significantly less to maintain. We meet a lot of folks in our travels who are doing just fine in their gas MH, entry level or better. You should be able to find a lightly used, late model gas in your price range that would suit you well. Maintenance costs over 10 years should include oil/filter changes every 3-5K miles, other fluid changes depending on miles driven, and an amount set aside for tire replacement and things like awning repair and other needs, but is impossible to estimate depending on where you have maintenance done or if you do some of it yourself. Insurance also depends on your location, driving record, and other factors - the only way to know is to ask for quotes. Remember, it's not so much the vehicle, but the lifestyle - get the floorplan you like in the price range you can afford. Best of luck!


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qtla9111

Monterrey, Mexico

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Posted: 09/16/09 03:18pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I appreciate everyone's input so far. My question about "demise" of a motorhome is the engine and the exterior. I realize that the more you spend, outside of choosing a diesel engine, the nicer and better quality you will find on the inside. Those things obviously would need upgrading or changing such as carpets, cabinet facings and draw pulls. That I would consider normal wear and tear.

But my main questions were how long can I expect the engine mentioned in my OP to last? How much would an engine replacement cost (can't find that number yet anywhere)

It appears one of my concerns was answered regarding wiring and overall construction. It would seem logical that one manufacturer would use the same techniques and materials for the shell, wiring, plumbing etc. throughout its list of models unless I am wrong.

It's not the amount of money but how the money is spent over a period of time and managing it well throughout the 10 to 15 years of ownership to "justify" if that is possible the expense.

Please keep the information coming as it is appreciated. Thanks!


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Carrera man

Warrington, Pa.

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Posted: 09/16/09 03:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MeanderMan wrote:

We've lived in both a Class A gas and DP; those who say that a gas model isn't suitable are probably basing their comments on old models, entry level models, or are simply biased towards a particular DP model. There are quality gas models (the Tiffin Allegro Bay and Winnebago/Itasca Adventurer/Suncruiser, for example) that are built as well as most of the diesel models and have the same quality of appliances. Motorhome manufactures don't build different wiring harness, plumbing fixtures, or sidewall and roof panels for their better gas and their diesel models. Buy a Tiffin or Winnebago gas and you'll get the same construction as their pushers. True, upscale DPs will have all-wood interiors, but there's no evidence that they last longer than the interior of a good quality gas model's interior. The difference, and it is significant, is the chassis, but if you're not going to travel extensively and don't need a CCC over 2500 lbs or so it doesn't matter much. A quality gas model will do fine for full-timing and will cost significantly less to maintain. We meet a lot of folks in our travels who are doing just fine in their gas MH, entry level or better. You should be able to find a lightly used, late model gas in your price range that would suit you well. Maintenance costs over 10 years should include oil/filter changes every 3-5K miles, other fluid changes depending on miles driven, and an amount set aside for tire replacement and things like awning repair and other needs, but is impossible to estimate depending on where you have maintenance done or if you do some of it yourself. Insurance also depends on your location, driving record, and other factors - the only way to know is to ask for quotes. Remember, it's not so much the vehicle, but the lifestyle - get the floorplan you like in the price range you can afford. Best of luck!


Couldn't agree more. That 8.1 GM motor should be good for the very minimum of 200K miles with proper maintenance. That's 10k a year for 20 years. The Allegro Bay and the Adventure are top notch motorhomes and every bit as nice as most diesel pushers. If your not towing anything heavy and are not driving 20K miles a year they would be the MH's I would be looking at, new or slightly used.
If your going to spend most of your time in Mexico my concern would be sun damage.


2008 Chevy 2500 Crew Cab 6.0 gas, 2013 Audi A5 Q, 2013 VRV 26FB Toy Hauler by Livin Lite , Triumph 1200 Explorer

qtla9111

Monterrey, Mexico

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Posted: 09/16/09 04:38pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sun shouldn't be a problem as we would keep it under a palapa or patio cover when we are parked at home. The roads we would use would be much different than those we use today with our little TT for boondocking. We would be moving the rv using toll highways and U.S. travel in the hot summer months. So our new piece of land which houses our 40 foot TT would be set up to allow for easy in and out access.

We will be in Kansas City next week for a family event and hope to have a day or to do some motorhome window shopping. I have been using rvtraderonline for quite sometime and have found an incredible selection of both diesel and gas motorhomes that fall within our price range as well as model year.

Jim@HiTek

Gresham, OR, USA

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Posted: 09/16/09 04:51pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Six years ago I was looking at used and concluded after a year of internet searching that the manufacturers of the 5 year old rigs I was interested in tended to underpower them...so the average I found back then was 77,000 miles on a gasser and 150,000 or better on diesels, before major repairs. Many non-RV'ers said MANY more miles from a diesel was probable.

These figures were just guesstimations as the different conditions that RV'ers subject these machines to kind of cloud the issue. But I thought I'd learned something important and chose a DP instead of a gasser because of it.

Three years ago I was in a truck repair shop and asked if I should replace the water pump on my Cummins with 124,000 miles on it, for PM. The answer was a resounding NO, it's fine.

(My research was 5-6 years ago so don't ask me for details). JMO!

hottubkid

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Posted: 09/16/09 04:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wouldn't buy new again but I would buy a gasser. I love the 8.1 just didn't like dealing with fleetwood and looks like that problem is gone


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RayChez

Barstow, Ca. USA

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Posted: 09/16/09 06:55pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If I was you and you want to spend around 125K for a coach, buy a diesel coach, not a gasoline motorhome. The gasoline engine is good for around 100 miles, while the diesel engine you can get 400K miles on them. And the house part if you take care of it, it will last you a long time. Twenty years is very possible on a diesel coach maybe even more with TLC.

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