info needed on class a purchase

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by diver, Sep 21, 2003.

  1. diver

    diver New Member

    Hi, we are thinking of buying a used class a ,something in the 1989 to 1993 years in the 30 ft range. Ive looked at a lot but am confused as to why the sides are coming loose. the salesmen say its normal and nothing to worrie about. is this true. Is there a used class a that dont have the delaminnation problem. we cant afford new and we have only 15000 to spend .
    thanks, any info would be helpful
     
  2. ARCHER

    ARCHER Senior Member

    info needed on class a purchase

    Diver,
    FYI.
    We were in the same situation a little over a year ago. We looked at a few Class A and finally found what we think was the best deal for around $19K. It was a used 89 31 ft Winn Chieftain. Had a few side waves around the exterior by the hot water tank and the outside refrigerator access, but it was due to leaks on these areas that were fixed. The thing that sold us the best was it only had 5,800 miles on it....yes, 5,800. We spent the winter in it in Florida and did not have any major problems, thank goodness. When we purchased it, we took it to Winn Dealer and paid to have them check it from top to bottom and front to back...spent a few bucks to do this, but piece of mind resulted. There were a few things that had gone bad, just because of age, (tires, I replaced...expensive!) but overall, not too bad. I've used this web site to ask questions and have received superior help from fellow RVrs that have saved me a lot of bucks in other type of maintenance, etc.
    So, you can find a good used MH, you just have to keep looking until you find it. I don't believe what the salesman stated is true. If you take care of a MH or Camper, it will take care of you.
    KEEP LOOKING, YOU WILL FIND JUST WHAT YOU WANT...... :laugh:
     
  3. Gary B

    Gary B Senior Member

    info needed on class a purchase

    Hi diver, Archer is right on, the salesman are wrong it is not normal, a lot of the 88 thur 93 Fleetwood Southwinds & Pace Arrows had this problem, mostly due to water leaks causing the glue to release, some Winnebagos ( not nearly as many) also had so delaminations, mostly at and below the belt line. It is just about imposible to repair this yourself or at most rv service centers. The whole outter wall has to be removed and a new one bonded back on. There are a few makes that weren't prone to this or had very few that did delaminate, Winnebagos, Bounders, Holiday Ramblers, to name a few. I have a friend who had a 88 Southwind that was delaminated in the 5 years he had it it only got marginally worse but it did progress, although it didn't bother him that much. As Archer said kept looking thare are nice used rigs out there, just look them over at least twice, and as Archer said take it to or have a RV tech look it over for you, a prebuy inspection could save many dollars later. Good luck & welcome to the forum, and don't be afraid to ask questions, we've all been thur what your going thur and I don't think its any easier if its new or used the first time or 6th time. :) :laugh: :cool: :bleh: :approve:
     
  4. janicenlarry

    janicenlarry New Member

    info needed on class a purchase

    As usual, the salesman is full of BS. There are a number of internet sites that give user advice and full time owner experience with various manufacturers and models. Generally stay away from any Fleetwood products as they have poor quality history and mfg. warranty history. Airstream class a motor homes are also a poor choice based on full time user history.
    Before buying do your homework. Talk to owners, visit shows, and do extensive internet research. Besides good advice, pricing info is available. If you dont have a tradein you are in a great position to negotiate especially with private parties. Look in areas with high percentage of elderly folks who are leaving the RV life. Lots of good deals.
     
  5. Gary B

    Gary B Senior Member

    info needed on class a purchase

    The statement that Fleetwood products are of poor quaility is just plain wrong, two of the best rvs we have owned were FW products, we had a Terry 5th wheel it was excellent, we never had it back to the dealer for a single thing, the fit and finsh was excellent and the present ouners are extremely happy with it, we then purchased a (high line MH) both my wife & I hated it worse RV we have ever owned, we got rid of the sucker in less than a year, we then purchased a FW Bounder it was one of the best rvs we've ever owned, fit and finsh was excellent, systems layout was far superior to many other products, again we had absolutely no problems, we lived in both of these rigs for 3 months plus every winter, the reason we sold our Bounder is we both prefer a 5th wheel to a MH. Our present 5ther is nice and a great 5er but if we could have and if do find a Terry with the same floor plan we had we'd buy it in a minute!! As a matter of fact we called the folks we sold our Terry to and they wouldn't sell it!! One of the reasons FW had a lot of delams in the late 80's early 90's is in Cal. they were foruced to go to an envoromently friendly glue which turned out to be bad, ALL mgf. that went to bonded fiberglass walls in the late 80's all had delam problems, TO name you a few Winnebago, Fleetwood, Coachmen, Sportscoach, Pathfinder, Bravo, cruiseair, Mallard, Honey and there are more. I can't figure out the Airstream statment, they enjoy customer loyality like no other brand, AS tt from the 50's 60's 70's out sell anything on the market. There are a number of Mfg I don't like and would not even cosider for myself, but I wouldn't bash them just because I don't like them or heard some gripper belly aching about a brand. Look them over good and buy what you like and can afford. :) :laugh: :cool: :bleh: :approve:
     
  6. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    info needed on class a purchase

    Agree with you 100% Gary. I would also think there are more fleetwood products sold than any other so I guess you could expect more problems. Airstream is one of the best rv we have owned. Well, I never really had any problems that I didn't expect on all, and there have been a few, rvs from tent, converted bus, pop-ups, TT, 5th wheel and now MH. Expect some problems and you wont be disapointed :) . Yes, they could be better but, so could our homes and appliances that are in them :( . Recond what would happen to our houses if they were towed up and down our roads, twisted, turned, neglected, and jacked wrong. :eek:
    Sorry Diver, didn't mean to get away from your question. I would hunt another selsman if he told me that :( . Like the others told you there are some good units out there that have been taken care off. Keep looking and keep us posted.
     
  7. janicenlarry

    janicenlarry New Member

    info needed on class a purchase

    Gary, Glad you are one of few Fleetwood owners who have had a good experience however hundreds of on line complaints about Fleetwood tend to indicate that you are in the minority. Also look at past issues of the "Gypsy Journal" for additional full timer problems with this mfg. G
     
  8. janicenlarry

    janicenlarry New Member

    info needed on class a purchase

    Suggest you go to the many RVUSA Forums and do some research. Lot of good RV history and recommendations from users and not those interested in protecting their unit's resale value. Get the facts!
     
  9. Gary B

    Gary B Senior Member

    info needed on class a purchase

    HI janicenlarry, I don't at the moment own a FW product so no protection needed here, I went to the Gypsy Journal didn't find a thing in there about FW(is it in code?)I see they have a Bus conversion which is find if thats what you like. I am not one of the few that had a good expericene Fleetwood is second only to Thor now in sales, and many manybash Thor also how do these companies get to be so large if they are so bad? In the year 2002 Thor sold 47059 units FW sold 36348, Forrest River 28032, Jayco a distant 4th at 13876 then Coachmen with 11302, and it really get less as you go down the list. If you got a bad one I am sorry you had troubles, as I said I had a high line product and it was terrible, but I don't bash the line I got rid of it and got over it. I know whats in the history of this forum been here for many years and only folks bashing FW are the professional bashers they are on every forum there ever exsited and half of them never ever owned a FW product. There are folks that have had major problems with Monaco's, Winnebagos, Holiday Ramblers & Fleetwoods. :) :bleh: :approve:
     
  10. diver

    diver New Member

    info needed on class a purchase

    thanks for the info. i am not afraid of the drive train . i can take care of most of those problems. the delamanation just scares the heck out of me. i do want to try to get one that is fuel injected if possible and i will be pulling 4500 lbs of trailer and drag car.
    again thanks for any info
     
  11. Jay Raymer

    Jay Raymer New Member

    info needed on class a purchase

    As usual Gary, Chelsea, and Archer are right on the money. The delamination problem isn't a construction problem, it's a maintainance problem. Any unit, regardless of make, model, year, manufacturer, etc. is going to delaminate if it isn't kept sealed. If you have a leak around an appliance, window, or seam anywhere on the unit and water gets in, it will delaminate..period.
    My suggestion for you, Diver, would be to go to a reputable dealer that has a good history of checking used units prior to re-selling them. And definatly do your homework and have anything you think about buying re-checked by a seperate service department or RV tech.

    Happy hunting
     
  12. janicenlarry

    janicenlarry New Member

    info needed on class a purchase

    Gary,
    You need to contact editor of Gypsy Journal, former owner of a Pace Arrow aka The Motor Home from Hell. I can remember at least 50 letters to the editor verifying trouble with Fleetwood Class A units.
    The RV forum threads over the years have had consistent complaints re this mfg with Airstream running a distant second. I really dont care what you wind up with however "where there is smoke, there must be a fire". Good luck with your research.
     
  13. janicenlarry

    janicenlarry New Member

    info needed on class a purchase

    Gary, Your research at Gypsy Journal was very shallow. Reading one issue doesnt give much info. Suggest you go back 3 years and read articles and letters to editor. Editor does indeed now drive a bus conversion after suffering a number of years with a Pace Arrow a.k.a. The Motor Home From Hell. Besides the many letters agreeing with the editor re Fleetwood nonperformance, you will find some interesting info wherein FW was fined for taking RV's which were returned under various state lemon laws. FW then remarketed these lemons without correcting the problems or notifying the new buyers that these units had been returned under the lemon laws. Is the kind of manufacturer that you want to deal with? Feel free but remember that where there is this kind of smoke, there must be a fire!
     
  14. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    info needed on class a purchase

    Diver, be sure and check into the towing capacity of any MH you decide on. Most of the gas burners are not rated to high but, if you are into racing you already have some towing experience. Some of the hitches are only rated to 3500. Like janicenlarry said check all the boards and talk to campers. I happen to agree with Gary and have never owned a fleetwood product but, have repaired a lot of rvs and don't see a whole lot of difference. Most ever model had their bad years :( . Most of the problems come from neglect but not all. Worked on chevys for 20 yrs and boy, have I seen some lemons. Look at the chevys, ford, dodge that are bashed and we still find satisified owners for all. Listen to all opinions and then make up your own mind. What do you race? :approve:
     
  15. diver

    diver New Member

    info needed on class a purchase

    nash, thanks for the info, i had a class c that i sold. i did not like it but being that i was into it for so much , we had to keep it for a while to get equity in it.it was a ford v10 that ran great but trans was not up to par. lots of trans troubles. I am hoping to buy a used class a that i can find a deal on that may need drive line work and one i can put a gear vendors on and hopefully pay cash for. all the so called deals have the sides coming apart and i am so glad i asked befor buying one of these.
    as far as race car , i run a alky injected bbc . nothing super fast just something to waste money on.lol.
    Do you know what year the fuel injection started on in class a motorhomes?
     
  16. diver

    diver New Member

    info needed on class a purchase

    Has any one used PPL in texas. I have been in touch with them by email and they seem to be up front and honest about there coach description. they are 900 miles from me. but would travel if deal was right.
    thanks
     
  17. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    info needed on class a purchase

    Diver, don't recall righ off when the class A went to fuel injection. I think it was somewhere in early or mid 90s. I know the earlier GM versions were throttle body and not port fuel injection. Transmissions are still a weak point in most MH (IMO). They are just not built for the loads especially towing. A temp guage is a must if you will be towing your race car. Man, if you can afford a rv and race car you are doing great!! :eek: Have to let our son take care of the racing end here. He runs a 76 alky injected 327 CHEVETTE. It's set up for 1/8 mile runs. Haven't run this year because the heads went bad and new ones cost $2250.00 for a pair :eek:
    Keep looking for the right MH.
     
  18. Gary B

    Gary B Senior Member

    info needed on class a purchase

    Hi diver, Ford had EFI on the 460 in 1989 and they came out with the 4EOD OD tranny in 1987, Chev put TBI on the 454 in 1990 and I think thats when they came out with the 4L80E OD tranny, they went to port EFI in 1997 when they called their engine the Vortec 7.4, as Chelse said & I agree the trannys in both chassis are the weak link, useing a gear vendors type 2 speed will really help, plus an Aux tranny filter & temp gauge and a larger cooler will all be benifical. Good luck. :bleh: :) :laugh: :cool: :approve:
     
  19. diver

    diver New Member

    info needed on class a purchase

    One more question, there seems to be a lot of sway problems with the p30 chassie. should i buy a ford chassie instead of a chevy, im sort of confused as i see lots of sway problems with the p30 chassie. I dont seem to see as many of those problems with the ford chassie or is it because there is so many more chevy chassie homes out there. I thought my class c drove nice and was told the class a will drive even better, boy i sure hope so, lol
    thanks
     
  20. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    info needed on class a purchase

    diver, the best thing to do there is drive both before purchase and drive them on different roads. A lot have complained with viberation on the ford and sway on both. There are after market products you can install that helps with sway. Tire pressure and proper loading are also factors that can increase these problems. I think some might just expect more than they should out of the ride and handle. I have not had the viberation problem on my ford chassis, so far. It does ride pretty rough on the interstate roads (some)that have the joints. Most say different shocks helps this. If I had never driven a truck I could see where it might seem as though there was problems, but its a truck and will not ride like a car or pick up :)
     

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