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HALP!! Advice Needed on Buying an RV

(13 posts)
  • Started 12 months ago by wyfbane
  • Latest reply from wyfbane
  1. wyfbane

    wyfbane

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    My glorious wife has decided that our pickup/travel trailer setup can no longer accommodate 2 adults, 2 teens, and 4 dogs (one a pony-sized mastiff). So we now need an RV (a motorized one). I'm all for impulsive spending, but the long term effects of screwing this up are much more profound than chancing an Ebay estate pipe purchase.

    We have a budget of x. X is right around $20k. I figure we can spend x-$2000 because we need to pay taxes/licence and put a tow thingie on her car.

    My question(s) are:

    Are there any brands to avoid or chase? I know that bayliner boats in the 80s were cheap and were cheaply made. Are there RV brands like that?

    How many miles is a gas motor good for? A diesel?

    We seem to be in the 1999-2004 range for RVs: what does routine maintenance run on ones of that vintage?

    There are a couple diesel pushers out there in our range but are even older (1991-ish): are they viable?

    Thoughts on slide-outs? I've heard bad things.

    What costs occur that don't with regular vehicles?

    Are there things I need to be looking for when I am examining an RV that a first time RV guy wouldn't know?

    What questions haven't I asked?

    Posted 12 months ago #
  2. tbradsim1

    tbradsim1

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    What kind of pickup do you have, a 5th wheel used is a better option. Diesel MH, are expensive, I had a 40 ft Foretravel, 6 tires cost over 4000$. A 5 th wheeler has no motor, with a slide out just as much room as a big RV insurance is higher for RV. My RV had it all, washer and dryer, ice maker, Caterpillar Diesel, bought it used, third owner it cost over 300,000$ new. If I had to do it all over again, you don't need all that shit, a good used 5th wheeler, maybe about 15,000$, small gen for lights and an ac, 1500$, 5th wheeler you can park on a dime and you have your driving vehicle with you, no need to tow one.thats my take on it.

    The Old Cajun
    Posted 12 months ago #
  3. workman

    workman

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    +1 Bradley. I know someone who bought an RV and regretted it. It is a car, but it's not. It needs all the care and money a car needs and then some, but you can't use it as a normal car as it is just too big and ugly.

    Smoking is one of the leading causes of all statistics.
    Posted 12 months ago #
  4. addamsruspipe

    addamsruspipe

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    There are companies that rent RV's. You might want to look into renting one first to get a feel for it before buying. Then you need to make a decision on a tow behind or a motorhome. There is a distinct difference between navigating each type. For the money you are talking about you should be able to get a good used rv(of either type) if you shop around.

    Posted 12 months ago #
  5. wyfbane

    wyfbane

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    Thank you for the responses. It is now illegal to have dogs in towed trailers and 5th wheels, so that won't work.

    We may rent, but floorplans aren't really a problem and I can drive anything after 22 years in the army. Rentals of bigger RVs are $240-$270 a night.

    Just was wondering about maintenance and wow(!) Tires are a lot more than I thought!

    Posted 12 months ago #
  6. wyfbane

    wyfbane

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    Brad, my pickup is a 93 Ford F250 Supercab. With the boys AND the dogs it makes an RV more justified.

    Posted 12 months ago #
  7. tbradsim1

    tbradsim1

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    I haven't been in the game for a while, but the 454 Chevy engine was used a lot, lots of power, but a hog on gas. Winnebago always made a decent rig, I can only tell you, it's a crap game, one that looks good can be a cancer mechanically, it pays to find a good mechanic, throw some money his way to peck and probe. A/Cs are expensive, if you live or go to hot climates, one doesn't cut it. Don't know if kids like TV, I had a manual,Direct TV Dish with a handheld finder, caught baseball games, and whatever which was nice. Wife learned to pack flat on food in freezer, she would take the food saver and draw air out and freeze flat so more food could be put in freezer, some people bought little chest freezers to keep foods in, buying what's on sale on the road. I had friends that worked at Federal Parks, stayed for free, made money doing jobs there. It could be a damn good life lesson for your kids. Stay away from the pretty RVs, they usually are fuzzy dice. You got more questions PM me. Clarification my RV had dual wheels in back.

    Posted 12 months ago #
  8. hiplainsdrifter

    hiplainsdrifter

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    My advice:. Don't. You can rent a lot of motel and BnB rooms for 20k. No maintenance, no license or insurance fees. I see no point in driving one of these monsters. Don't kid yourself, that ain't camping.

    Posted 12 months ago #
  9. dochudson

    dochudson

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    $20k won t get you into a MV the size you want unless it needs a considerable amount of work. MV's are money pits.

    I Enjoy Aromatics
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    Posted 12 months ago #
  10. philobeddoe

    Philo Beddoe

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    As Brad said, find a mechanic first, many car dealerships won’t work on RV’s though some truck dealers will, if the chassis is the brand they sell, though the labor rates will be probably 50% higher than regular maintenance rates. If you have a RV dealership near you, it would pay to find out their labor rates before you make the leap. Diesels pay off if you are going to do a lot of hills or long hauls on a regular basis, if not, the gas engine will be cheaper to run. Also, any pusher you could get for 20k would likely be a basket case.

    "So it goes." - K.V.
    Posted 12 months ago #
  11. addamsruspipe

    addamsruspipe

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    I am an insurance RV adjuster, and the two biggest issues that I see with motor homes is lack of regular maintenance and normal wear and tear. A motor home is the combination of a heavy truck and manufactured house. As such it has the regular maintenance issues of both. Oil changes, worn out tires, blown fuses, plumbing, air conditioning, cable tv, refrigerator, hot water heater. But just like your truck and a house if you do your regular maintenance and take care of it, it can last you 10-20 years. An important thing is to find a regular RV service dept. that you develop a relationship with. Someplace that you take it into every year for any maintenance issue, winterization or whatever. Make it so they know your name. If you can find a place and use it for your pre-purchase inspection that is even better. That way they have some buyin to any issues that might pop up. RV's are a lot like treadmills, a lot of people buy them only use them for infrequently for 3-5 years then just park them. So their are a lot good used units out there you just need to do your research and get a through pre-inspection done.

    Posted 12 months ago #
  12. warren

    warren

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    I purchased a class C for my wife's bucket list trip. It was used for three months solid and now sits at the house waiting for the kids to use it. I found it is very similar to boat ownership except the routine maintenance seems higher as road wear is harder on the RV than motoring around the Gulf of Alaska was on the boat.

    Many rental companies take extremely good care of their rigs. Many do not allow kids, smoking or pets. they often sell them after three years use, in great condition inside and out, many with a warranty. It's worth checking out.

    Tip-outs are much improved with protection from leaves and dirt. Not that many years ago you could pull into a RV park and see two or three having their tip-outs repaired.

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 12 months ago #
  13. wyfbane

    wyfbane

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    Thank you all for the responses! I have a lot to ponder. I don't think we can afford an RV being chief among them. Now to convince the wife.

    Posted 12 months ago #

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