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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes  >  Restoration & Vintage RVs

 > Which old motorhome to buy

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Chum lee

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Posted: 09/29/21 07:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RAMwoodworks wrote:

The Mrs and I are considering building a skoolie vs getting and older RV and fixing up what needs to be fixed.



It depends a lot on your skill level. Most aging school buses have windows down the full length on both sides. The body structure and weight reflects that. Making your new floor plan coordinate with the window spacing is a challenge as well as removing and plugging the windows if you go that route. (water and air leaks) Most school buses aren't designed for basement storage, IMO, a HUGE negative in a Class A. At some point, if you don't have basement storage, . . . . IMO, you'll wish you did.

That said, I've seen some very nice older MCI tour bus conversions. See youtube. Just remember that everything in the bus is custom made, there's only 1, and other than what you create, generally there's no support network on the road. Getting RV's repaired properly is a job in itself, IMO, most repair techs RUN (away) when these type of vehicles show up in their shop.

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ferndaleflyer

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Posted: 09/29/21 07:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Got a couple of women in NC building skoolies for sale ready to go. Read about it in the Our State Magazine.

way2roll

Wilmington NC

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Posted: 09/29/21 08:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What's your budget? That will certainly narrow your focus and provide more meaningful responses.

One thing for sure, if you build your own, you will know every nut and bolt. My wife wanted me to build a skoolie and I talked her out of it. While pretty cool, they ride awful and have almost no storage. Let alone that everything needs done. Meaning, unlike an MCI or prevost with multiple AC's, outlets, and a bathroom already, in a skoolie you will need to handle all of the electrical, HVAC and plumbing. The other thing to consider is that while one-off's and totally unique are cool, you'll never get your money back out of it. It will be a labor of love. RV's are never an investment but most folks buying RV's lean to production models with a greater support. It will be a labor of love. And nothing wrong with that provided you have realistic expectations.


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Sandia Man

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Posted: 09/29/21 01:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are always some well built, older class A rigs on the market, just have to be diligent in locating one before it gets sold. We first spent many months driving a variety of class a rigs in our state to figure which drivetrain, chassis, and floorplan would suit our needs best.

Once we knew what we wanted we stayed on course and searched the country, most were in FL, TX, and AZ as snowbirds would sell their rigs and stay permanently. Was quite a challenge as these units didn't last long on the market, not living in these states we couldn't close the deal fast enough.

Finally, we found a rig in TX and the private owners were willing to wait for us to look at it first. This was while covid was raging though TX July 2020, could not find anyone willing to do an inspection. Thankfully, we stayed 3 nights on their ranch, we were able to drive and test all systems thoroughly.

LouLawrence

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Posted: 09/29/21 04:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you have the budget and don't need a slide-out, there are some excellent late 90's Prevost available. It will be worth a whole lot more when you sell it down the road. You simply cannot own a better coach. I just sold my '88 and upgraded to a '98. Will keep this one until I can't RV any longer.

mountainkowboy

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Posted: 10/01/21 04:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We looked for over 10 months for aa pre 2008 class A, at least for a price I was willing to pay. We found out 07 on a little dealer lot. It had some issues, but nothing that wasn't easily fixed. We picked it up for 18K under NADA, when most were 10%-20% over NADA. The deals are out there if you look every day.

As others have said, unless your going to do suspension mods, the class A will ride MUCH MUCH better.


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jeromep

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Posted: 10/07/21 02:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are a lot of good, used, class A rigs at varying price points, and the older units which are still fully driveable and haven't had the snot beat out of them will give you a much better RVing experience than taking a schoolie shell and building it from scratch.

Any older class A that you look at, especially if it is 15, 20, even 25 years old is going to need some work. There will be delayed maintenance unless you find the perfect seller that kept all of it up, but just couldn't use it anymore. Those are pretty rare and go fast. But if you find one that is in decent condition there will be delayed maintenance in some areas that you have to work through. I picked up a much older class A last year. The house was in great condition, but there was a lot of delayed chassis maintenance that cost me a bit, along with the rig needing a new roof. But after spending the money on the chassis and the new roof, I still spent a whole lot less than buying a new rig or buying a used late model rig, and I was able to get out there and camp very quickly after dealing with the chassis repairs.

TechWriter

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Posted: 10/07/21 03:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jeromep wrote:

There are a lot of good, used, class A rigs at varying price points, and the older units which are still fully driveable and haven't had the snot beat out of them will give you a much better RVing experience than taking a schoolie shell and building it from scratch.

We ended up buying this 2001 31' National RV Sea View after a several month search.


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jeromep

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Posted: 10/07/21 03:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

TechWriter wrote:

We ended up buying this 2001 31' National RV Sea View after a several month search.


National built a lot of very nice RVs. We used to have a National dealer locally until around the time of the financial bust of 2007-08. I think they went bankrupt in 2007. Too bad as their older stuff has really stood the test of time. That looks like a really nice rig.

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Tn

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Posted: 10/09/21 07:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mine
Hope you find a good one.
Enjoy your travels.

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