Opinions wanted...

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by Cliff, Oct 28, 2002.

  1. Cliff

    Cliff New Member

    Ok, I've pretty much decided the late model Pop-up has been nice, but really want more amenities. I'm on a rather limited budget, and have been looking at a lot of things, mostly trailers. However, almost everything I've looked at is going to require a stronger tow vehicle than the Jeep Grand Cherokee. That looks like it's going to make the upgrade too costly.

    Now I've found a really nice 1989 Pace Arrow 37' MH on a Chevy chassis. I don't have all the particulars on this beast, but believe it's a gas/454 motor, it has 52k on the odometer, and "looks" like it's in reasonably good shape. I checked carefully through the entire interior looking for signs of water leakage, but none were found. Though the unit has a washer & dryer, I have no idea if they work or not. It's going on 14 years old and does show signs of age, but appears healthy otherwise.

    Ok, now I know looks can be deceiving, and I haven't heard it run or driven it yet, that will come if I decide to look deeper into it. The one thing that really has me interested, is the price is very reasonable, and I could pick this up for about the same price as a late model 5th wheel with slide-out. The big difference is that I could keep the Jeep as a toad (3500# empty) and only have to buy this one unit.

    I need opinions on the following...
    Pace Arrow... Good vs bad?
    1989... Too old?
    economy...operating cost?
    Maintenance... What kind of money is this beast going to require in a typical year (average use of 5-6 trips, 2-3,000 miles max)???
     
  2. rv wizard

    rv wizard New Member

    Opinions wanted...

    A good source of owner reviews on motorhomes is at www.motorhomereviewonline.com
    Does this unit have a tag axle? Be carefull not to get too much rear overhang or you are asking for all kinds of handling and clearence problems. On flat land you will have plenty of power to tow your jeep. Going up and down steeper grades will be more challenging. Recommend you have a good rv service center check the entire unit if you get that far before purchasing.
     
  3. Cliff

    Cliff New Member

    Opinions wanted...

    Ummm, yes it does have a third axle! I was kind of curious about that too, aside from distributing weight better, what is the "tag axle" for???
     
  4. rv wizard

    rv wizard New Member

    Opinions wanted...

    Motorhome builders cheat by adding a tag axle to get a higher weight rating and longer rigs on a chassis that was designed for less weight and shorter lenghts. It does also add some better handling if the tag axle was installed properly and the rear does not overhang too much over the back of the tag axle and the rv manufacturer has not overloaded the whole thing. How many feet of motohome is behind the tag axle? If you are still concidering this coach I would test drive it with a full fuel and LP tank. Also take your family and or friends on the test drive. This will assimulate the weight of "Stuff" you would normally carry. Take it on a long ride; on highways and small roads. check how it corners, how tight it turns, on rough roads and hills. This will give you an idea of wheather you want to go any farther with a possible purchase. Then have a dealer check out EVERYTHING. Good luck and take your time.
     
  5. Gary B

    Gary B Senior Member

    Opinions wanted...

    Hi Cliff, Mike is right on with advice hes given, another thing to check on that vintage is for side wall delanination, the 88 thur 92 Pace Arrows & Southwinds had a lot of delanination problems, it is too costly to repair. My opinion is that its too much MH for a gas chassis, paticularly the GM P-30 of that vintage, wholesale on it is approx $16400.00 and average sell price is $22000.00. For fuel mileage expect about 5.5 to 6.5 mpg its a carb. 454 three speed tranny. Tires are 19.5 so your looking at about $200.00 each, the Pace Arrow is an excellent MH and they were very popular. Also be sure to check the front air bags in the front srings they will problay need to be replaced, if they are not in good shape and hold at least 90 PSI of air that MH will not handle at all. Check to see if there are maintance records. Hope this helps
    :) :approve:
     
  6. Cliff

    Cliff New Member

    Opinions wanted...

    I noticed some demalination on a newer unit, but this one either had a healthy finish, or was painted at some point. It actually looked pretty good except for one dent near the entry door. I've got mixed feelings about this, as I was aiming at a 5th wheel, but it might be less money to get into this instead. Either way, I'm moving on up out of the Pop-up, just need more space, less set-up, and better amenities! :bleh:
     
  7. Larry

    Larry New Member

    Opinions wanted...

    Cliff,

    I have a 1988 Bounder. Bounder is a Fleetwood product as is the Pace Arrow. My Bounder sits on the P30 chassis as well.

    Both Pace Arrow and the P30 chassis are fine products. If both have been well maintained they have many miles and years left it them. Be prepared for the limitations imposed on the chassis by the state of the art that produced it.

    If you fit the following you will probably find this unit VERY agreeable:

    -You are satisfied with driving <=65MPH.
    -Having the newest toy is of little interest
    -You have the inclination and skills to perform minor repairs

    My Bounder now has 94K miles. The transmssion just failed and cost me $1400 to replace. The engine still runs strong and uses no more oil now than it did 25K miles ago. Everything else is in excellent condition. Gotta fix little things almost every trip but from what I can tell folks with the brand new ones do too!

    There are many ways to upgrade this motorhome. If you ask I will tell you about some of the things I have done to mine.

    Larry
     
  8. Steve2958

    Steve2958 New Member

    Opinions wanted...

    If you were having trouble justifying the purchase of a new tow vehicle you might seriously consider the fact that the purchase of a motorhome is far and away more expensive than a fifth wheel and truck. If we assume that you are buying used, a motorhome with 50k mi on it is about at the end of the drive train life. The raod use taxes are killer as well and as was stated your tires alone (8 of 'em @ $200.00ea) would put me in the poor house! There are great used 5th wheels out there for less than 10k and trucks in great shape for about the same price. Subtract the cost of your Cherokee and your in for under 20k with reasonable maintenance and tax costs, and you get to use the truck when you're not camping!
    Hoping to help!
    Steve
     
  9. Gary B

    Gary B Senior Member

    Opinions wanted...

    I would have to totally disagree with the above statement that a motorhome with 50000 miles is at the end of its life, NOT HARDLY!! A 454 or 460 properly maintained will go more than 100000 miles, there is little or no differnce between a pickup with a 454 /460 towing a 5th wheel or a 454/460 in a motorhome. In my part of the country any used pickup that sells for $10,000.00 will have far inexcess of 100000 miles and a you'll look for a very long time before finding a 5th wheel worth towing home. But yes it can be done and you can also find motorhomes for less than $10,000.00. I also agree that comparing apples to apples, say comparing a 94 Pace Arrow to a 94 Hitchhiker II the cost is going to be very close. :) :bleh: :approve:
     
  10. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Opinions wanted...

    Buy what ever suits your camping style. We had all from tents, converted bus, TT, 5th wheel to our present Mh and all was just right for the time. I think that you will find all about the same in cost or near. My Dually and trailer, 5th wheel tags ran about as much as the M/H and the insurance on both was close. went from 4 vehicles to 2. had to leave the dually park, loved that fuel. Got 10 towing the 5th wheel and the MH gets 9.2, not towing a dinghy. I had planed on 7 which may be close when I start towing.
     

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