planning for the big plunge

I am semi retired and my wife is a RN who is gearing up to quit her long time hospital job and hire on with a traveling nurse outfit. We have been looking at the fulltimer lifestyle for awhile but did not intend on it happening this quick. Our home is on the market, kids are grown, and we anxiously await the life change. We are looking at a used,40ft Foretravel MH. 2001 model with 80k mileage. Excellent condition. I know this is quite a broad question,but, what kind of reasonable life expectancy can you expect from a quality MH in terms of interior and exterior (with proper care given). I have seen 15yr old models that had a lot of mileage but seemed to be holding up very well. I've just found this forum and have had a lot of questions answered already, but life expectancy of a MH has eluded me thus far.


Senior Member
Re: planning for the big plunge

That is one of those questions that really don't have an answer. The quality of maintenance and care of the RV is everything. Some RVs outlive more than one engine and transmission, while others, or the same make and model are junk in only a few years. Generally an RV like the Foretravel should easily last for 15 to 20 years and approach 300K miles, if given the care that they need and if owned by a knowledgeable RVer. The difficult part of buying a used unit such as you are looking at is to know what the true condition is. If you can, it would be wise to have an analysis done on the engine oil and the transmission fluid. Those will tell you a great deal about the condition of those parts. About all that you can do for the RV appliances is to make sure that all of them work and cross your finger. An RV refrigerator or furnace should last somewhere between ten and twenty years as a general rule but the care in use and maintenance can cause the numbers to move in either direction. A water heater will usually last around ten years as well, but flushing and such will make that very from five to perhaps twenty years. Another factor for all appliances is, were they used full-time or just a few weeks per year? RV refrigerators will often last longer when used constantly but a water heater or furnace will in time burn out the fire box so the amount of use for them is bad. It is nearly impossible to assess the condition of the inside of any of those appliances.

Another factor for what you look at is tire age and also belts and hoses. RV tires should be replaced at least every 5-7 years, no matter what the tread-wear condition is. You can determine the tire age by checking the last digits of the DOT code on the side of the tire. Hoses and belts are probably origional and I would expect to replace all of those. Yet another item is the possibility of any leaks in roof or windows. A leak can cause major structural damage if not repaired very quickly.
Re: planning for the big plunge

Welcome to the Forum, Bloozeharp! We are here to help!!! All that Kirk has said is true. My DH and I have been full-timing for 2+ years and I am constantly learning more and more about taking care of my coach. I have a dear firend, also a full-timer, who lives about 5000 away who is helping me set up a maintenance schedule so I can do the work myself. I am looking forward to getting my hands dirty and not having to depend on the rip-off artists who claim to do a good job!! I expect our coach to be our home for at least 10 years....maybe longer...until we are ready to make our exit back onto land!!!

C Nash

Senior Member
Re: planning for the big plunge

Bloozeharp the Foretravel is a top of the line IMO. If it has had proper care and not abused there should be a lot of good years left. Which engine does it have? 80k should just be broke in for a diesel but again that depends on how it was driven and cared for. Does it have all service records?