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 > Used motorhome, interested in A or C

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Capeteacher

North Cape May, NJ

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Posted: 02/12/18 10:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Back again with more questions. Actually I've changed my mind again. Originally rented a 2014 Axis a couple of years back and liked it, but out of my price range. I thought a small TT would be good, so I researched all about towing a TT. Now I am back to a motorhome. I think that would suit me better.
I am looking used with a top budget of $50,000. Class A,Axis/Vegas or something else in that size range, 30' tops ( more like 25'-28'). There are others on my radar, BT Cruisers, Phoenix Cruisers, Forest River FR3, and a few others made on the Mercedes Benz sprinter a diesel. Is there an advantage/disadvantage of the diesel sprinter over the gas models?
I am concerned when looking at used models that they were traded in due to manufacturing or engine issues. How much of a concern is high mileage on some used units? Since I am single this size MH might seem more than I need but I am planning on my niece and nephews and brothers being able to join me when they are free, as well as friends. I've looked at RVTrader and RVT and am going to the AC RV show this weekend. Any information/opinions on buying a used MH will be appreciated.

ppine

Northern Nevada

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Posted: 02/12/18 10:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have been attracted to motorhomes before. They have a whole separate drive train to worry about. They sit around most of the year and then get used hard. It is kind of like boats. I would leery of a gas MH with much more than about 60-75k miles. A diesel could have higher mileage say 100k miles and be dependable. I think if you are going to own a used MH you have to get used to the idea of higher maintenance and repair costs. Some may occur on the road.

A travel trailer gets towed by a truck that is in service all the time and it is easier to keep up with. Then you just have to concern yourself with keeping batteries charged and systems working in a TT. It is a less risky and less expensive option.

midnightsadie

ohio

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Posted: 02/12/18 11:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

we have a 2007 leisure travel van mod serenity freedom II has 40k on it now, has been a very good rv one of the better made one,s out there. used to have a class A just to big for us. do a google ,leisure travel van for sale, also known as a LTV. there out there. and others. I buy used, sellers seem to be more honest than a dealer ,who really knows nothing about his trade in,s. don,t worry about the diesel some will say you,can,t find service,we,ve had no problem .for piece of mine hire a rv tech to check the unit over before you purchase any rv. it,ll be the best money you,ll have spent, when the inspection is done you,ll a lot about the rv. and you get to watch and ask questions. have fun.

toedtoes

California

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Posted: 02/12/18 11:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You need to know how much maintenance you will be able to do yourself. Can you do engine work? If not, factor that additional maintenance into the cost.

Some expenses, like tires, batteries, etc., will come around regular. Others are often just a "get it back to proper working condition" expenses - like replacing all rubber.

As for mileage, a high mileage motorhome is better than a low mileage one. The reason is because, unlike cars, a motorhome is not driven daily for a few miles. So, a low mileage motorhome has been sitting a LOT. When a vehicle sits for long periods of time, things rot, fluids go bad, etc. They also tend to be ignored.

A high mileage motorhome will have been used and if it was used, it was in working order. There may be some "catch up" on maintenance, but you're more likely to get something that had been kept up.

I started with a trailer and then switched to a small class C. I am extremely happy with it. I bought OLD (1975 American Clipper) and did have to put money into repairs. But I have no payments. I can also use it as a 2nd vehicle (at 21ft) when needed.

You don't mention if you will be using a toad or not. If so, is your current vehicle doable? Or will you have to buy another?

How are you going to use it? Camping or sightseeing? How much distance do you plan on traveling per trip?

Also, I will add that you are best off looking for a motorhome that fits YOU best. Don't go bigger so you can accommodate other occasional folks. You can very well end up with a rig that is bigger than is comfortable for you so that someone not paying for it can be comfortable. There are ways to make a smaller rig work - with the class C, you have the cabover bed. I have had a friend stay in my 21ft with me and 2 large dogs with no issue (other than her need to take multiple 3 hour naps per day). So, don't get too caught up in that. Buy it for you.


1975 American Clipper RV with Dodge 360 (photo in profile)
1998 American Clipper Fold n Roll Folding Trailer
Both born in Morgan Hill, CA to Irv Perch (Daddy of the Aristocrat trailers)

Isaac-1

SW Louisiana

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Posted: 02/12/18 12:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You have not told us much about how you plan to use your RV, so it is hard to give specific advise. Overall I understand the appeal of the Sprinter based class B's at about 25 feet they are small enough to get in and out of places without necessarily needing a second vehicle, my one big issue with them as well as most similar offerings (Promaster, etc) is the very limited cargo carrying capacity. The Sprinters have an 11,030 GVWR, and once you build a motorhome on top of this chassis you are left with very little cargo carrying capacity, often less than 750 pounds reserve left for you and all your stuff. Compare this to a small class A, like my 2002 Safari Trek, which is not much bigger than a Sprinter at 29'5" bumper to bumper built on a 17,000 GVWR Workhorse P32 chassis (later 28 ft Trek's were built on the even heavier W18 and optionally W20 chassis), in my case what this means is a cargo carrying capacity of right at 3,000 pounds for me and all my stuff. With fully loaded water tanks, luggage, BBQ grill, camp chairs, kitchen ware, basic tools, and other junk for a long trip I am typically within 500-600 pounds of my GVWR, and there is a surprising amount of empty space in the cargo bins. To put it another way Sprinter based RV travel is sort of like traveling by airlines be being limited to 1 carry on bag.

As to the rest, I too am pro-private seller when it comes to buying a used coach, not only can you get more information about the maintenance history of the coach, you can get a feel for the person that maintained it. Buying a used motorhome should not be like buying a used car, there is a lot more to inspect than kicking the tires and driving away, having the owner / seller there to go over things can give you a good feel for their knowledge and skill set as well as reason for selling. Motorhomes are sold for many reasons, people find they don't have time to use them, are moving up to something bigger, or often are selling due to health reasons, this last one is very common given the age of so many rv buyers.

In my case I bought my coach from a retired industrial electrician who had no intention of selling it until shortly before he put it up for sale, so he had done a number of upgrades, some of which were only partly installed, like the new pure sine wave inverter. (He was selling due to finding a great deal on a vacation cabin) While he had done a great job on general maintenance there were gaps that needed my attention, some were little things, like non-functioning side marker lights, as he never drove it at night, he never noticed the failed bulbs / light sockets.

Cider

Central Oregon

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Posted: 02/12/18 01:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Class A vs C is a big swing. Mostly depends on what you plan to do and where you plan to go. If you like the big RV parks, class A may suit you. If you like NF and BLM campsites and a lot of National Parks, the Class C may be a better fit based on size. Most NF and BLM sites generally clip lengths around 27 - 29 feet. We downsized to a 24' MBS Sprinter class C from a 31' 5th wheel and could not be happier. Plenty of space for 2 adults and a small dog. If you have a family - small class C's can be tight, especially in bad weather. Not too sure of finding a MBS in the $50K range unless you find a private party wanting to dump a unit. Cheapest I have seen lately tend to be in the high 60's. I would also stay away from the 5 cylinder Sprinters as MB quit making those and opt for the 6 cylinder. At this point, I would suggest that you provide more info on how many people, pets, cargo you plan to carry and of you plan on a toad tor not. Without the info, it is more difficult to give suggestions rather than opinions. Suggest you consider these items as a starting point.

midnightsadie

ohio

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Posted: 02/12/18 02:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I,d disagree on the 5cyc MB engine its a true proven engine , gets way better mpg than the v6 ,with less maint. if your ever in canton ohio area your wecome to look mine over.

Capeteacher

North Cape May, NJ

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Posted: 02/12/18 03:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is great information. I didn't realize that you could go over the weight limit with a MH, I knew you could with tow limits with a TT.
As I said I am single and retired so I can up and go whenever for however long I want. I figure on trips to start maybe a week or two up and down the east coast. When I decide to go cross country I will make longer trips. I don't plan to tow a vehicle, will rely on Uber, Lyft, shuttles and renting. I'm thinking about a motor scooter about 200cc to get around as well.
I rented a Thor Axis when they first came out and liked it. I had some friends with me so we were 5 adults and all slept comfortably so I am more focused on the 24'-26' range. I liked the slide it had. Gave more space in the living area as opposed to the bedroom area.
The sprinters are lower on my list of options because of the price and being a diesel. A used MH under $50K up to a 2016 is what I am researching. I will now take a look at some I was interested in and focus on the cargo weight, good tip.

magicbus

Nantucket Island, MA

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Posted: 02/12/18 04:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Isaac-1 wrote:

... I understand the appeal of the Sprinter based class B's at about 25 feet they are small enough to get in and out of places without necessarily needing a second vehicle, my one big issue with them as well as most similar offerings (Promaster, etc) is the very limited cargo carrying capacity. The Sprinters have an 11,030 GVWR... To put it another way Sprinter based RV travel is sort of like traveling by airlines be being limited to 1 carry on bag.

Actually mine is 12,000+ which lets me carry an extra half-ton bag! [emoticon]

And let's not forget the mileage. I'm not sure what the Workhorse does, but my Sprinter delivers a solid 18 MPG.

Dave


Current: 2018 Winnebago Era A
Previous: Country Coach Allure 36


ncrowley

Utah

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Posted: 02/12/18 04:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Mercedes chassis's I have looked at can only safely pull a 4000 pound car at most. What vehicle will you be pulling?


Nancy
Newmar Northern Star


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