This is my first post. So, its sort of an introduction to say hi and get a little advice as well.
I'm about 30 years old and "the old lady" and I are looking into fulltiming while we can before we buy the house we plan to settle in (so to speak). Before jumping right into a couple year old RV, we are thinking about buying about a 2000 model 35-40 foot gasoline class A to get a feel for the lifestyle and to make sure it is possible for us to live in such a small space(its a little intimidating haha) before we spend such substantial money.
I've read and read about these RV's, FAQ's...everything for months now. I've looked and toured many. Originally thought we'd do a big travel trailer first to try out. Then, we started thinking 5th Wheel and have now decided its probably the Class A that we need/want. I'm reasonbly handy (father raised me to fix my things).
So...here it is. Looking for around 2000-2002 gasoline 35-40 footer that will only see about 600 miles/year. Thinking around 30,000 miles on it when we get it. I intend to do all of the "yearly maintenance" and service the air conditioners as soon as we get it (along with any other items that need tended to). I will be pulling the floor and replacing it with something we like (hard wood or tile looking). I will be pulling all the cabinets and refinishing them and installing new bed, counter tops, furniture and things like that including wiring it up to be sort of a "smart home" on wheels. The idea, is to have it as comfortable as possible to live in.
It being a gasoline engine, i'm not really concerned about the drivetrain, as I can likely deal with anything there. Am I being naive about this? Should I look at an extended warranty that covers the drivetrain?
I get the impression that I can handle most anything that comes at me w/the workings of the RV, but I am a little concerned about leaks and the roof. Is this a valid worry, or will this be something that should be no big deal if something manifests?
Now, since it will be parked most all of the time and hooked to shore power and plumbing, I will be starting it and letting it idle, as well as running the generator once/month just to run them. I will also be keeping up with the manufacturer recommended maintenance while its parked and have wheel covers on. How bad is it to only drive the rv twice/year totalling <600 miles total?
It would be very hard on a motor to only drive 600 miles a year. With any engine if you don't drive it to get it up to real operating temperature you do no good by only starting and running in place once a month. Tires will deeteriorate from just sitting much quicker than being used. I seriously think you would be better off with a TT or 5th. wheel. You would eliminate the motor factor. You could just rent one for a lot less for your 600 mile trip each year.
2003 Newmar Mountain Aire, Workhorse W22, 2008 Saturn Vue, Falcon 5250, & US Gear Unified Tow Brake
I think you may have been correct to first consider a 5th wheel rather than a MH looking at how little you will be actuqally driving the coach. Your initial investment will be less, and if you're not traveling much it may be the best bet to try the lifestyle.
My advice would be to reconsider a 5th wheel and HD pickup truck. Under your current plan for parking, that would be the better choice, both for livability and maintenance. You could also pick up a small car, giving both parties the ability to go in different directions when needed, or together with more economy around the local area. The only issue there is when you move the 5er, both will be traveling solo unless the trip is a vacation and you'll be returning. In which case, you can put the car in storage until your return. Just a thought.
Welcome to the forum.
You're getting off to the right start by asking questions.
I agree with the others, only 600 miles a year is not good for the engine/chassis.
I like the convenience (but not the maintenance) of a Class A. Maybe you should reconsider a TT or 5th wheel.
Many on the forum do not like the 'extended warranty' and opt to put the money in a separate account and use it as needed.
Another option would be an older Class A. It would be cheaper but, may need work.
Whatever you buy, check for leaks. Then make sure there are no leaks. Then check for leaks.......
And, check the age of the tires on your potential purchase. Most replace tires at about 7 years. If you are looking at 2000-2002 models, they may have the original tires.
Ask lots of questions on the forum before you buy, someone will have an answer for you.
I too would suggest that you go for a slightly older model class A because of the alterations that you are planning plus it would be cheaper in price than a 2000 or better class A or a 5th wheel trailer if you don't already own a heavy duty truck. On the other hand, I don't see anything wrong with a 35 or 40 ft Class A for full timing. I have a 35 footer and there is plenty of room for two people especially if you have slides. Also with an older model class A, you won't have too much invested in the purchase of the motorhome in the event that you find rving is not for you. As for extended warranty, motor wise, you will not get your money's worth with only traveling 600 miles a year.
Nathan and Linda
2000 Winnebago Chieftain 35U Ford Triton V10 F53 Banks Power Pack