This thread makes the problems most of us
consider important, seem very small!
Amen to that my friend !!
My hats off to you for what you are trying to do, and my family and I will be praying for you all the way. My DW and I are doing something similar with our son who is a quad. No looking back, and no regrets my friend!!
Prayers and good wishes to both of you.
We have a 1994-Class A- bought him cheap 6 years ago and replaced almost everything including a top end overhaul of the engine.
Try Craigslist or local Rv repair shops, some good listings of rigs for a year or 2 journey. Mechanics at RV shops know history of repairs.
May you travels be safe.
May God bless your family. As you can see I have an older class A worth somewhere between 5K and 7K. It was in excellent condition when we bought it but still has required thousands in repairs and upgrades. Any older coach you find will be expensive, but it helps if you can do your own repairs. Right now I am camping with my wife who has chronic illness and is recovering from surgery. The time God gives us with our loved ones is precious and I hope you will enjoy every minute. I hope you can find your wife exactly what she wants.
Miles and Darcey
1989 Holiday Rambler Crown Imperial
Ok, first of all, before I say anything else, the most important thing is to stay away from anything made by Fleetwood in the 80s and 90s. Those will all delaminate if they are not already delaminated. Delamination means water damage, ie mold and rust, you don't want to get anywhere near it.
Now to try to meet your criteria, we do have some difficulty. Until you get about year 2000 or so, all gassers had raised area over the engine and are very difficult to get over the engine hump. Some are worse than others. Some of the better ones actually have the whole floor raised up a long way, so there is very little engine hump. As long as 2 steps to flat area are OK, you could possibly even modify the engine hump. I've looked into flattening mine, as I have tubes coming into the air intake, rather than a big air cleaner. But I would have to say most class A's are worse than class C's in this regard.
I would recommend trying to go a little older and finding a DP. It will be difficult in your price range, maybe an old Allegro DP or something like that. This way you get a completely flat floor up front. Possibly a mid 80s Beaver, but your going to have to find some money somewhere. Or the other Option would be an FMC like the one on Ebay, although a little expensive.
Thanks Everyone for the kind words! Means alot. Daveinet allready crossed Fleetwood off the list. Looked at a 89 Winne Superchief the otherday. It was too neglected but did have flat floor. Don't know if they all do it but that one had BAD Delam! Older gent had used tub and tile caulk to seal the trim. Didn't work!!LOL Don't care much for a D/P, I know gasers from the ground up, OLD motorhead from the 60s,loved to make em go fast. Maybe I'll find that diamond somewhere!
If you really are a gearhead and are going to tolerate the raised floor, go ahead and take a look at Revcon. While many have the side bed in the rear, there are several that have 2 single beds with the isle in the middle. From a functional standpoint they would probably resolve issues of getting in and out of bed. They also did make an island bed, but those are rarer than rare. Revcons are stretch formed aluminum, so there is some waviness to the sides, but they can not delaminate, as they are riveted. Also the seams in the aluminum will never leak. Yes, you do have to reseal around roof vents, but no seam will ever leak. Don't be afraid to look back to a few years older than your original plan, as Revcons were very well built. The only thing to watch out for is that because it is front wheel drive, it is more critical that all front end parts are not worn or loose. FWD will aggravate loose front ends, and make it handle poorly. On the other hand, if everything is tight, it is bar far the best handling motorhome ever made. The drive train is completely custom, but most wear parts can be bought from NAPA, once you know what to ask for.
Keep in mind your location in Washington State. The Winters get cold and if you plan on spending some cold nights boondocking, you will want to make sure that the heating system is up to the task.
I know that a lot of people are having difficulties right now and perhaps you may be able to find someone in your area that will rent you their older coach which may also help their own financial problems.
Right now, you want to get through the time that you have together with the least amount of hassle. Buying a unit that may need a lot of work could interfere with the time you need to spend with your wife.
Maybe you actually need to be looking at older stuff with aluminum sides vs. fiberglass in your area? A couple folks above have Holiday Ramblers. Riveted aluminum siding and aluminum frames won't delaminate. Not that water can't do other damage, but at least you wouldn't be worrying about the walls falling apart?