Choosing/Finding An Appropriate RV

Discussion in 'Beginning RVing' started by jencoffey1, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. jencoffey1

    jencoffey1 New Member

    I am in the process of finding/buying an RV and need some advise. Primarily, I would be using the RV for short 1-3 day road trips approximately 1-2 a month, 1-2 days a week I would use it as a daily driver(60 miles), and once a month load it with merchandise to set up at a flea market. I have never gone camping before so I don't know how much I would use it for that. Also I am a female, non-mechanical oriented and will be the only one using it. After looking at the options it seems a class B would be most suited for me, but I only have a maximum budget of $10,000.00 and I can't seem to find any in that price range. I see some for $15,000-20,000 that are 12-18 years old. I do see some that are 20+ years old that are in my price range but would those be dependable enough since I will be driving a good deal? For example, one choice is a 1987 Gulf Stream Conquest (a mini class c) on a toyota chassis, 21' $5,500.00. Also I am unsure about other things like: How often will I have to go to a camp ground and unload the liquids? I would need to be able to use the ac/heat for the whole vehicle, not just the dash so I am assuming I will need to buy one with a generator, or can I easily add a generator if the vehicle doesn't have one? Due to my profession I get more free time around the winter months so would like to use the vehicle year round, but is that going to be possible due to pipes freezing, etc. I don't want to end up buying if the vehicle really won't meet my needs, so please help me out with any suggestions and answers to my questions. I appreciate it. Jennifer
     
  2. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: Choosing/Finding An Appropriate RV

    With a limit of $10K, you are going to have a difficult time finding one that will be reliable. Also, from what you are saying it looks as though you need a great deal of storage space and possibly weight carrying capacity. That is a lot to ask of a unit that is only budgeted for $10K.

    It would probably be wise for you to try and find one with a generator. You can easily buy a portable generator, but you will then have one more thing to find a place to carry. If you add a built-in set you will need to buy one made for an RV and very few class B units have a space to add on, unless they are built with it.
     
  3. jencoffey1

    jencoffey1 New Member

    Re: Choosing/Finding An Appropriate RV

    Hey Kirk, Thanks for your input! I decided not to go for the $5,500 RV. Instead, I was able to find a 1991 Airstream Class B with 75,000 miles. The owner has owned it for 9 years and has all paper work for repairs, etc.(since she's owned it) She has recently put on new brakes, rebuilt the transmission, new cooling system, replaced tires in the last year and a half, replaced cruise control and it has a generator with 223 1/2 hours on it. You would think nothing would happen to it for awhile since all that work was done on it recently, but who knows. There is one known problem, there is a leak related to the battery, but if you operate it at least once every 2 weeks it does fine. How many hours can you put on a generator before problems start happening? As for the carrying load I assume I would carry about 500 lbs to the flea market and later next year I would buy a small walk-inside trailer 5 ft tall, 5 ft long, and 4 ft wide attached. She is asking $8.500.00 for it. It seems like a reasonable price to me. I am going to test drive it tomorrow. What questions would you recommend I ask or things to check for? Thanks again, Jennifer
     
  4. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: Choosing/Finding An Appropriate RV

    This sounds like a much better choice. I would ask to see everything in operation, all appliances the genset, the air conditioner, the furnace, water heater, refrigerator, water pump, lights, toilet, and all faucets.

    The battery issue is a pretty common one and even has a name. It is called a "parasitic load" and most RVs either do or will have one or more. It is very easy to solve that problem by installing a cutoff switch on the battery and the can be purchased at any RV supply.

    The hours on the generator are very low for one of that age and so if it starts easily and runs well under load, you should have no problem there. If it is by Onan, they suggest a major engine rebuild at 1000 hours. This one is hardly broken in.

    What chassis is it on? If it is a Ford then it will have a 460 engine and if Chevy it will have a 454. Both of them have good track records. Look for any signs of leaks, or stains around windows and roof penetrations. I would also look for any signs of oil leaks or coolant leaks under the RV where it is parked.

    A well cared for RV should serve you very well.
     
  5. jencoffey1

    jencoffey1 New Member

    Re: Choosing/Finding An Appropriate RV

    Hi Kirk, I test drove the RV last week and had a mechanic look it over. No problems there. This is a B-190 Ford 350 with 75,000 on a rebuilt transmission. The generator wouldn't start or the fridge so she put it in the shop to be repaired. I am waiting to hear back. I offered $8,000 as long as everything could be repaired. The NADA value was between $8,403 to 10,187. She owned it for 6 years, the first 4 years she did mimimal repairs and the last 2 years she has put well over $4,500 into it, according to the repair receipts. Any other input would be helpful but thanks for helping already. Jennifer
     

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