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Old 08-29-2014, 07:30 PM   #1
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Motorhome longevity

We have a 2004 Itasca Suncruiser 35U on a Workhorse chassis with Allison transmission, which currently has 84,000 miles. It has been a great motorhome. We still have several big trips on our bucket list & predict we'll want to be RVing for at least another 10 years, perhaps more, as health permits. Should we be looking into getting a new or newer motorhome at this time?
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Old 08-29-2014, 07:38 PM   #2
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It all depends upon what you would like to do. If you would like a new(er) motorhome I would suggest you get it. If you would like to stay with the one you currently enjoy I would suggest you keep it.

RV'ing is a personal thing. IMO you worked for your money and saved it so the method you wish to spend it is entirely up to you.
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Old 08-29-2014, 07:49 PM   #3
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Thank you, Gordon. Yes, we agree totally with what you're saying. I guess what we're trying to figure out is what kind of longevity can one expect from their motorhome.... in other words, how long can we expect a motorhome to last? We have always heard that mileage is not a factor with a diesel, for example, but what about what we have? Obviously, there are certain amenities that are currently desirable. We know that. But how long can we expect our current motorhome to serve us reliably & safely is the question.
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:06 PM   #4
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Not sure about the workhorse but I have had gas engines last for a long time. Lot depends upon how you drive and maintain them.

If you are uncertain about the motor perhaps a compression test and a test of the oil to see if any potential problems are developing.

You would be able to do a lot of repairs for the difference between your current MH and a new one.

What shape is the body of the MH in. It seems to me you take care of it so it should be in good shape. Our 5er is 10 years old. We snow bird in it yet the rugs show almost no wear. It has been our habit to remove our shoes when coming in from outdoors. Other folks walk in and their rugs are soon looking the worse for wear.

Either way if the coach is in good shape you can replace rugs, furniture and do many upgrades for the difference between your coach and upgrading to a new unit.

We did the upgrade to a new coach because we wanted to. We are considering a change in the way we snow bird and the coach will fit our new needs very well.

A benefit cost analysis of your current coach vs a new coach may be a good way to make an objective decision.

Our decision was very subjective - we wanted it. We found the layout we liked and that is what we purchased.
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:28 PM   #5
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That's a legit concern. I have the same thoughts with a 7 year old coach and 30k miles. My DW loves the floor plan and we have not seen anything else that she has liked yet. I am anal about the maintenance and we are now putting about 5-7k miles a year since my retirement.

We have talked about a DP, but not sure we want to spend that much money for amount of miles we are traveling. My thought is to be proactive with maintenance and keep driving. We will update as necessary on interior.

FYI, we have seen many late model 80's and 90's rigs at various campgrounds we have been to in the last year. So, I think we have a chance of many more years and miles to go.
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Old 08-29-2014, 11:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom&berni View Post
We have a 2004 Itasca Suncruiser 35U on a Workhorse chassis with Allison transmission, which currently has 84,000 miles. It has been a great motorhome. We still have several big trips on our bucket list & predict we'll want to be RVing for at least another 10 years, perhaps more, as health permits. Should we be looking into getting a new or newer motorhome at this time?
If you like the floor plan, have been keeping up with maintenance, don't race it on the interstate and have no major issues with it then run with it. As others have mentioned have a mechanic check out the condition of the engine and drive train to determine if its aging well and go from there.

I have a 35U and really have not found a new floor plan that really hits me compared to the 35U. Since its the older lower height design and less that 35 feet long (34' 10") it can get into most older parks with limited overhead clearances and site lengths along with fit in my driveway for loading and unloading. Many of the newer, taller couches do not fit very well into many of the more quaint parks I have pulled into.
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Old 08-30-2014, 12:15 AM   #7
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If you really love your MH and the floorplan, but would like some of the new style equipment/components of the new MH's, you can always take it to a RV shop that specializes in MH remodels. When we were looking we checked out some of these shops and other than the body style on the outside, the insides were just as modern as any of the new ones. The remodels were not as expensive as you would think. So if the engine/chassi/ tranny are all good to go this is an option. And as stated before do whatever will make you happy and give you peace of mind...it's your money and you can't take it with you.
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Old 08-30-2014, 09:22 AM   #8
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With proper maintenance the chassis should be able to get to 150,000 plus miles. You will need new tires, shocks, spark plugs and fluid changes along the way.
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Old 08-30-2014, 09:38 AM   #9
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I have a 2002 Monaco with 72,000 miles and plan to keep it and use it Full-Time until my health will not allow it anymore.

Does it require maintenance, of course! Does it require updating and upgrading, absolutely.

However, I have no desire to change to a newer RV. In some respects, mine is far better than the newer ones.

How many vintage cars do you think are in the US? Thousands and that's because people what to take care of them instead of retiring them to a junkyard.

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Old 08-30-2014, 10:08 AM   #10
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I have the same view of this decision making.
Separate your decision into house and chassis. Sounds like the house is OK with both of you, which leaves your main concern as the chassis.
Chevy 8.1 and Allison is a great combo. Workhorse is a very good chassis. Depreciation is already complete. If it is running good - keep it.
If it blows up decide if you want to spend $15K on a engine/tranny rebuild or get a newer used motorhome at that time (if you still need/want one then).
Of course my opinion is worth exactly what I charge for it:>)
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Old 08-30-2014, 11:12 AM   #11
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Want to share a singular reality of RV upgrade...recent RV chassis changes are not really improvements...

Any gas powered Class A RV made since 2011 will be on a Ford F53 chassis with V10 6.8L (414cu.in.).
Gone, is any competition, including the big ol' 8.1L (496 cu.in.) V8. The HP is similar in both engines, but the overhead cam V10 has to spin up over 4000RPM to reach max power. The transmission will be a Ford - OK, but surely not equal to the Allison offering.

For Diesel powered RV's, the engines are now burdened with much more emission control systems that rob power, require the use of additional Diesel Emission Fluid (DEF) and have some odd charateristics controlled by the engine computer like what is called the "regenerative cycle" where the engine is de-tuned and raw Diesel fuel is fed to the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) to clean soot.

So - for me - new RV's are nice for the new interiors and options, BUT if the interior in the older RV is still nice, it is well worth the maintenence routines to keep the older one running.

Best luck!
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Old 08-30-2014, 11:25 AM   #12
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Sounds like some great insight and advise. The older it gets the more care it needs, usually. Generally the cost of repairs are less than the cost of new. For us we reached a point where it was not so much the cost of repairs, but the time lost when breakdowns occur on the road, or scheduling repairs. We had 10 great years with this coach and just purchased a new one. Our old coach will make someone very happy, but for us it was time to move on.
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Old 08-30-2014, 11:31 AM   #13
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I guess it depends on the initial build quality. Ours is 16 years old with 88K. The running gear is very solid, gets regular maintenance and is in great shape. As we use it we are periodically updating the house and peripheral items. New convection/microwave, counter tops, washer/dryer, new vent fan, lighting fixtures, new window shades, new awning, etc. We're not concerned about it being all new and shiny but it needs to be reliable and fit for it's use as a recreational vehicle. We enjoy using it without worrying about the wear it gets through normal use. We like that we don't have a huge investment in it and that makes it more fun. If owning it stopped being fun we'd quit
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Old 08-30-2014, 11:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomwalt View Post
I have the same view of this decision making.
Separate your decision into house and chassis. Sounds like the house is OK with both of you, which leaves your main concern as the chassis.
Chevy 8.1 and Allison is a great combo. Workhorse is a very good chassis. Depreciation is already complete. If it is running good - keep it.
If it blows up decide if you want to spend $15K on a engine/tranny rebuild or get a newer used motorhome at that time (if you still need/want one then).
Of course my opinion is worth exactly what I charge for it:>)
IMO your opinion is great and worth much more than you charge.
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