Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Truck Campers: Road tripping for used TCs
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subarctic_moose

Northern California

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Posted: 04/13/22 12:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm reading a few threads on this topic, but would love to hear some advice on how you all have handled looking/buying TCs that aren't in your immediate area?

Here's what I'm currently looking at:
2013 Wolf Creek 850- nearby but priced high
2014 Wolf Creek 840- price is decent, but 4.5 hours away
2012 Lance 865- nearby but overpriced at a dealer
2012 Lance 825- great price, but 8 hours away
2014 NS Laredo SC- kind of nearby, not sure if it's overpriced or not

I taught myself a good lesson this past weekend by driving 750 miles round trip to look at an older Fleetwood. I was hoping for something semi-usable or a moderate project and it turned out to be practically scrap. Nobody's fault but my own, but I'm now a little paranoid about spending hundreds in gas (and time) to get burned by a misleading photos.

Is this just part of the deal? I wouldn't mind these trips at all IF I knew there was a high likelihood of things working out, but doing 3-4 of them and coming up empty would be rough.

Cheers,
Hunter

RickW

Sacramento CA

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Posted: 04/13/22 12:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A phone call or message asking for more photo/closeups.

Things like under the bed by the nose, caulk seams at roof/wall/windows, jack brackets, under the wings, back of cabinets ceiling corners, etc. Also questions about maintenance and storage.

If they are unwilling, then you have another data point.


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monkey44

Cape Cod, MA and Central Fla

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Posted: 04/13/22 12:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's a big investment, one you'll use often once you find it ... I drove 1300 miles to buy one in 2002, sold it in 2008 and upgraded ... we still cross-country camp in the 2008. The 2008 we bought was new, at auction, and 800 miles, which makes a difference, of course. But we had been looking for quite a while, both new and used.

It depends on how much a hurry you are ... eventually only you can decide if it suits you and how much to spend. You will find one you like and in your budget as long as it's a reasonable budget and camper is in acceptable condition.

Might take awhile, might not. Personally, we'd drive that far again for the right camper at the right price. Hope that helps. Good luck ... B & G ...


Monkey44
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n0arp

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Posted: 04/13/22 12:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We're Xscapers members, and once we decided to look at a specific TC, we posted on the Xscapers FB page asking if anyone would go take a look at it in exchange for a little bit of cash. We found an experienced RVer to give us an unbiased review and all the photos we wanted for $100, and bought it sight-unseen and had it transported to us.

That might not be a viable option for you (?), but speaks to the benefits of some of these RV clubs and networking with others.

Killingsworth

Northern CA

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Posted: 04/13/22 01:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Im in Northern Cal also, near Marysville, when I started looking I looked at dozens, drove from Livermore to Redding looking, most were Scrap. My first one, the guy saw me coming and afterward I could see where he pretty much led me away from the problem areas and, I had looked at so many i just wanted to get going. a BIG mistake. My second try went better I had to travel up by Placerville but found one that was in acceptable condition, NOT what I would say was great or even very good condition but I could work with the problems I could see. We have been happy with it and at the time I thought the price was high but turned out it was pretty much the going price and so It all turned out fine.
I had looked at many many fleetwoods and EVERY one was in terrible condition, I never ran across, even one that was not just totally ruined by water.I finally just quit looking at Fleetwood.
I ended up with a '02 lance 1130 and for the most part pretty happy with it. Wish it didnt weigh so much but it is "roomy" for a truck camper and a dry bath that the wife insisted upon.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 04/13/22 02:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You have to glean as much subjective information as you can from the pics, talking to the owner, judging the owner as much as the camper, basically.
If you can’t get a relatively educated opinion of the condition by that, then you’re better off paying more to buy new or near home, imo.


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we3

Birnamwood Wi.

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Posted: 04/13/22 06:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What we did was pack up some hand totes with bedding and many necessary items and tie them in the back of our truck and headed out to Washington state with the idea of staying in motels until we found what we wanted. There are dealers all along hwy 5. After 2 days looking we found what we wanted and wired the money from our bank. We then went shopping and stocked up on what else we needed and headed south along the coast for about 3 weeks and then back to Wisconsin. Great trip.

BurbMan

Indianapolis, IN

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Posted: 04/14/22 07:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We just went through this buying our fifth wheel. I love a good road trip and have no problem traveling for the right deal, but as are discovering, you never really know what you're looking at until you go and look at it. We set a search radius of 150 miles (about a 2-1/2 hr drive) and left the search running on RV Trader and a few other sites. We wound up buying the camper at a dealer that was about an hour from home. We probably looked at 2 dozen trailers before pulling the trigger on this one.

Also remember that buying long distance means at least 2 trips...one to go look at it and if you like it and make a deposit, then another to go back with the purchase funds and get title from the owner. If the owner is still paying a note on the unit, then you have to deal with the lienholder which may mean another trip to the bank or credit union.

Price of the unit is only one factor to consider when shopping used.

jaycocreek

Idaho

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Posted: 04/14/22 09:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When I bought my last TC,we set a distance we were willing to travel for the best available truck camper for sale in our budget..Turned out to be 400 miles round trip but the return would be camping on the way..I asked for extra pictures and paid attention to his attitude..Off to Hamilton Montana we went with cash in hand....Super people and we camped the whole way home on the Lochsa river...Couldn't be happier a few years later with how it all went down..


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subarctic_moose

Northern California

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Posted: 04/14/22 11:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks everyone for the insight! The Lance that I was looking at long distance seems to have gone off the market, so no more worrying about an 8 hour drive.

I think I'll take the advice of staying within a reasonable search radius... The more I wait the more units I see popping up within a 2 hour drive anyway. No sense in stressing about what's in the next state if you don't need to! Cheers.

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