Very many rear end problems with high mileage RV's?
* This post was
edited 03/11/13 12:06am by path1 *
1990 37 ft King of the road 5th wheel. Great carpentry, summer home
1997 33 ft Holiday Rambler, Never again will a new RV come into this family
2003 25 ft Majestic M/H, Old RV rental Best travel machine we've ever owned.
Gears are cheap, probably around $1K installed at a rear end shop. I bought a ring and pinion and did it myself on a chev once, the gear was around $400. Fords are usually really easy, since you can take the pumpkin out and carry it to the shop, you don't need to take the axle out. You are right, though - they last a long long time if the lube gets changed once in a while. The rear gear in my RV (converted MCI) has probably way over 2 million miles on it, and I ain't changin' it!
If you decide to buy it have a shop that does a lot of axle work check it out. Specialty shops that work on a lot 4 x 4s do a lot of axle work. Unless they find a problem with it that will not cost much. They can also tell you what that axle is worth used.
Also make sure the brakes are compatible with your old axle. Or just switch your old brakes to this other axle with new shoes, drums, etc. if needed. Plus it would be a good time to completely change your brake fluid.
I have never heard of a rear differential used under normal conditions, i.e. not for racing, that has failed all of a sudden. When the wear gets to a certain point you should be able to hear a clunk in going into reverse or back into first gear. If it is quiet it is probably OK.
Easy enough to check on the internet to see if your truck and model year tend to have a problem with the rear end. If not then forget about it.
When I had a rear end redone on a truck of mine I had them put in new replacement parts as most of the cost was in the labor.