Re: Used Class A Questions
Mileage and age are both important. The more miles on it, the more wear on the drivetrain and the more 'shaking' the other stuff has endured. The older it is, the more it has 'deteriorated'. A lot of stuff can be replaced, but some things would be more trouble than they are worth (like the sewage tanks). Also, beware of the one which is very low mileage for its age. RVs which sit a lot tend to be in worse shape than those used a 'normal' amount.
When I was looking at gas powered motorhomes, it seemed like every one I saw that was over 50K miles had a 'rebuilt engine'. This seems odd, since in cars and trucks I would expect to get 100K out of a gas engine (at least), but perhaps these earlier motorhomes had engines which were not really up to the task. In any case, the older and more mileage the unit has, the cheaper it will be and the higher the likelihood of a significant breakdown. You will need to make the decision based on 1) how much you have to spend, 2) how much you have to cover major breakdowns, 3) your competance in fixing things which break and 4) how well the unit is inspected before you sign on the dotted line.
I can't say which is better, Ford or Chevy, but in my family, we have always had trouble with Fords, and good luck with Chevys (and dodges and lately toyotas).
Buying from an individual, particularly the first owner, can be a good option. You will probably pay less, and you will get a better feel for how the unit was treated, maintained and modified. Also, in some states you may not have to pay sales tax. On the other hand, individuals are just as human as dealers, and you can get screwed by an individual too, and perhaps have less recourse. When you choose a dealership, look really, really, really closely at the service department. You may be able to survive a bad sales staff, but a bad service department can really do you in.
I've heard good things about Buddy Gregg just north of Dallas, and my favorite salesman, Justin Mcleod just moved there, check with him if you can.
Maintenance is critical. If you can't get the maintenance records for a used RV, it is a 'crap shoot'.
Here's another option to look at if you use it a little and store it a lot, a 5th wheel and a pickup truck. The trailer should take storage better than a motorhome does and should be a bit more usable for long stays. But it may not be as nice when travelling and will be a bit more trouble to set up when you reach your site.