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Farmhills53565

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Posted: 03/04/21 12:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My wife and I are first time RV buyers. We own a pop up and have been all over out west pulling it with our minivan. We are looking to move to a 30-32 foot class A without slides. We heavily modified our pop up our meet our needs and since I come with a mechanical background, expect that we will modify any RV we end up owning. I have figured out a lot by looking at videos and forums and have a couple questions. When you start getting back into the 20 year old RVs it seems like some brands fetch a higher asking price than others. It seems like a Winnebago Sightseer or Monaco from the early 2000s will sell quicker and for more money than a Coachmen or Georgie Boy. I am wondering if it is just brand recognition or were they better built? Also I have found that a Holiday Rambler was made with an all aluminum riveted construction verse fiberglass. Is this better? I guess it would not delaminate. The biggest unanswered question is suspension. I have seen people who upgraded sway bars and shocks with amazing changes in the coaches stability and overall handling which of course makes it safer. Do some coaches have better suspension “out of the box” or do they all need aftermarket parts in order to optimize driveability? I guess I am just looking for any thoughts on what I may get blind sided with.

MountainAir05

New Mexico

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Posted: 03/04/21 12:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Better build for the higher end ones. We have had a Pacearrow, Winnebago chieftain, Newmar and a Blue Bird Wanderlodge. The Newmar was build better than the first two and the Wanderlodge was no comparison to the first three. All were Gas except the Wandelodge.

The Newmar Mountainaire was a great RV, build very good and not many body issues. We keep it 16 years. The Blue Bird was a 2003 and build was very high end like you high end Monaco and other higher end couches.

Find something you like and afford and enjoy it.

The Blue Bird had the best drive train and suspension. No upgrade required. The Newmar I added air bags to made it ride smoother and it did.

No sure what you going to find in a 30-32 foot size.

midnightsadie

ohio

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Posted: 03/04/21 01:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

take your time ,do alot of home work on the rv you think is the one. then hire a inspector to look it over.

Sandia Man

Rio Rancho, NM

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Posted: 03/04/21 03:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have been searching for our next towable (5er or TT) and after a couple of years we started looking at Class A rigs, although we have always thought why deal with a motorized RV when we already have a great tow vehicle. A year of searching viewing over 50 Class A rigs both diesel and gas, we finally found a creampuff Monaco with under 20K miles in TX, we drove over last summer when the pandemic was raging to get it.

Class A diesels did drive better overall with less sway, having the bed directly over the engine and step up hump in our bedroom was something the DW did not care for. After driving many Class A gassers, we found Monaco rigs were quieter and handled well at interstate speeds, particularly the workhorse chassis version. Our Monaco has 8.1L, with W24 chassis, and 5 speed Allison 2100 tranny.

Owners were great allowing us to spend 3 nights in it before deciding, drove it home through record breaking 110+ degree TX heat without a hitch. Only reason for selling was the husband was hoping to still use it, but at 84 years old his 75 year old DW told him it is just sitting and should be enjoyed by somebody, some of their best life memories were derived from their coach.

Do as much research as possible and drive as many rigs as you can to get a feel for what is important to you and your DW. I have always done all my own work on our RVs, repairing and modifying our rigs to meet our needs. We have put over 8K miles since last July, although we live in the mountain west it does very well climbing the steep inclines we encounter. I love that it is very easy to perform maintenance and parts are readily available.

ferndaleflyer

everywhere

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Posted: 03/04/21 04:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What year was that Monaco? I have a 1998 Monaco DP, 8.3, 6spd Alison. We have always kept it inside so it still shines like new. Heater core failed on the way home from FL New Years and had some suspension parts replaced about the only major things that have failed. Has 98,000mi on it. Heading back down to FL Monday. Stay safe.

Bumpyroad

Virginia

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Posted: 03/04/21 04:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

your first post covers a lot. I would suggest, no rubber roof, no P=30/32 chassis.
bumpy





pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 03/04/21 09:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Look for water leaks. Look harder for water leaks. LOOK EVEN HARDER FOR WATER LEAKS.

Make sure chassis parts are available.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, soon to have SiO2 batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

jeromep

Eastern Washington State

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Posted: 03/10/21 06:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Buying an older class A (or C) is not for the weak of heart or budget. The "quality" of one brand or another has to be determined inside the era they were built in, and the original market they were targeted to has to be considered, also. Aside from brands and manufacturers building to a price and a market, which a bit of poking around and asking the right questions can answer; when you buy an older RV you need to be looking at overall vehicle condition, mileage, vehicle service records, vehicle completeness, and past owner "upgrades" and modifications.

Also consider this, by the time you buy a 20+ year old RV, any of the build quality issues a rig may have had, have probably been addressed by previous owners. Buyers of brand new RVs not only take the depreciation hit, especially if they trade off the rig after a few short years, but they are also the ones that go through all of the shake down activities which most new RVs inevitably go through during their first few years of use.

I think it highly unlikely that you'll find a bone stock used RV of any class that is over 5 years old. Because an RV is a rolling home, people do things to them like they are a home. The used unit I purchased last year certainly did have some prior owner customization, some of these changes were good, some not very well thought out. I also discovered a lot of deferred chassis maintenance which also falls into the category "what does the previous owner care about"

As you get used to your new-used RV you learn what the previous owner cared about, because that will be the stuff you see having been addressed by them as the vehicle got older, and you'll encounter the stuff that needs to be fixed or maintained, and this was something they either didn't care about or weren't paying much attention to.

In my case the previous owner had done a good job of maintaining the house. Cabinetry and upholstery was in excellent condition. Plumbing was good, along with having a new kitchen faucet, new water pump, and all the bits and pieces of the house were in good working order. On the other hand, while the chassis looked good and mileage was pretty low for the rig's age, there was a lot of delayed chassis maintenance, including a desperate need for new brakes, plus a bunch of stuff under the hood that started to fail as we started to put some serious road miles on the rig. Think radiator leaks, old hoses and tubing that were checked and starting to ooze and leak, and don't get me started on marker lights which were just totally worn out.

Try to get the backstory about the rig from the seller. If nothing else, when your new-to-you rig has maintenance needs, at least you might be able to correlate it to the story of the life the rig had before you purchased it. In my case, the previous owner was the second owner, he purchased the vehicle when it was about 6 years old and had about 30k on it. The first owner was a real road warrior and put a lot of miles on it in a short period of time. The second owner was a weekend warrior and the miles it accumulated in his possession, close to 20 years, were to and from home and nearby camping and outdoors stuff. It never really went on long trips with the second owner. This partly explains the deferred maintenance as the second owner wasn't driving far enough with it to really be bothered by stuff that might have been degrading on him, like brakes and hoses. He just kept the liquids topped off and went out on the weekends and had fun.

Anyway, this is a long ramble, but I think it kind of addresses your question, by saying, the prior reputation of a manufacturer may not be all that important when buying a used rig if your inspection of the used rig, or the inspection of an "expert" you bring in, shows that the rig is decent enough and worth what the seller is asking. Oh, and be prepared to do some maintenance no matter how great the RV may be.

MrWizard

Traveling

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Posted: 03/10/21 09:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great info so far
I will add this from personal experience
If it has been stored under a tree
Put in some ant baits in cabinets high and low front to back, first thing, once you start moving the RV they will get disturbed , woken up by warming up and the vibration of the moving vehicle
Ants love RVs, there is always something to eat, even if it's crumbs, and someplace to nest, walls and ceilings


I can explain it to you.
But I Can Not understand it for you !

....

Connected using Verizon and AT&T
1997 F53 Bounder 36s


Gjac

Milford, CT

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Posted: 03/13/21 07:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

At the age you are looking at I would look for one with a hung wall like the Newmar or HR. Also stay away from the IFS look for the straight front axel. Check for leaking exhaust manifolds which were common in a 460 or 454 engine. Look for one with headers that eliminated the problem. The length you are looking at is ideal. Look for one with the longest WB it will have less overhang over the rear wheels and ride better. If you can find a 28 ft that meets all other requirements I would take that. Basement storage with pass trus would be important to me along with FW storage if you dry camp. At that age how the MH was maintained or modified would be more important than the brand. I would choose the 8.1 over the early V- 10 in the years you are looking at. After 2006 they both had most of the chassis improvements. 340 hp for the 8.1 and 362 for the V-10 and more speeds in the transmission. Check the ride ht front and rear many that I looked at the springs needed replacement. The shorter and lighter the MH generally the higher CCC, which means less wear on the suspension and more stuff you can carry. Good luck on your search.

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