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Old 03-02-2017, 11:36 PM   #1
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New Buyer Advice

HEY THERE! Potential first owner

Just wanted to introduce myself. Been wanting to pull the proverbial trigger on an RV for a while now. I have grew up with rugged "roughing" camping my entire adolescence and been familiarized with the luxury amenities of rv's as well.

I am looking to purchase a 1997 Winnebego Itasco Suncruiser
ICG34WK. ANy reviews and/or potential Achilles heel to these specific rigs? Any info would be greatly appreciated. Seller seems really honest and I am have a keen sense of character. Has a previous and ongoing auto brake issue.

Good tires, Newly replaced AC roof unit, Recently serviced Second Roof unit.

53,000 miles, the upgraded beefier Onan 6500 generator.

Current owner inherited from a longtime friend/coworker. Has extensive history and knowledge of the RV. Many details. Interior is immaculate which is the least of concerns.

Main concern is reliability and drive-ability. Thanks in advance!
Also any endorsements on good starter models. Have a 28 ft pull behind and weighing out the practicality and maneuverability vs an RV and the pros and cons from a 28ft to a 34 ft. A lot to learn. Thanks in advance
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Old 03-03-2017, 07:39 AM   #2
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Location: Houston, TX
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All these points may not apply to you but may be helpful to others:

A few things to consider when buying ANY motorhome (MH):
Buying any MH is NOT like buying a car. You should not just go out and find one that you like and it’s pretty to look at, the price is good and then make a decision. Buying a MH on emotion without careful thought could turn into buyers remorse. There is also a learning curve and testing of all the systems that are in a MH. It is considered—best practice—that no matter what type of MH you decide to purchase, Gas or Diesel, used or new, that once you do purchase one, give yourself time and a few short trips to become familiar with it, and fix any bugs or issues that may and probably will arise BEFORE you go on any extended trip.

1) The first thing to consider and probably the most important to most of us is, what can I afford
2) How are you going to use the MH? Are you going to use it sporadically throughout the year for short 1,2,3 or 4 weeks at a time or are you planning to travel a lot year round, traveling the US & maybe Canada
3) Are you planning to tow a vehicle
4) Insurance will vary a lot depending on the type of MH, how you use it, the size, its value, its age, the state you live it, and your driving record
5) A few states have MH size restrictions, and license requirements
6) It’s a best practice to store your MH inside when not in use so in most cases this requires renting a storage unit and—depending on your location and the length—will vary a lot on what you pay. Usually a 35’ or less storage unit for most people the cost is very reasonable. Over 35’ it goes up quite a bit. And don’t forget, you’ll need an extra 5’ - 10’ at least to give yourself the ability to store supplies and have the ability to work on and clean your coach. If you choose not to store your MH and leave it outside, your MH’s condition will pay a price
7) Maintenance is another consideration and this is not just confined to oil changes, air filters and lubing the chassis. MH’s are equipped with many onboard systems. It’s a house on wheels. They have 12volt and 110 electrical systems with a variety of different appliances and charging systems. Some have no slides some have many slides. There are different types of roofs. There are so many systems they can’t all be mentioned here, but some are only found on Diesels. Regardless with ether it’s Gas or Diesel, all these systems have to be maintained on a regular basis and you have to decide whether you can perform some, most or all of these systems yourself or pay someone to do it
8) Any MH owner should also have roadside service of some kind
9) Warranty. If you buy a new MH it will come with a factory warranty. But most dealers & shops today are so back logged with coaches that need service work—in many if not most cases—may take weeks to schedule your work. Therefore, your normal warranty expires fairly quickly so you’ll have to decide whether you want to pay for an extended warranty. Many times if you buy a new MH out of state, when you get home, your local dealer will not service it because you didn’t buy it from them. Or, they may work on it but you’ll usually be put on the bottom of their list. If you buy locally your local dealer is probably fairly close to your home base, but it would be to your advantage to buy a MH that also has factory service center nearby (say within 500 miles or so) that can not only take care of warranty issues, but also address any other more complicated issues that may arise
10) Tire costs for Diesels (for the most part) are much more than gas rigs simply because they are bigger
11) How much storage space do you need in the basement to carry all your stuff
12) If you buy a new MH you will take a big depreciation hit, especially in the first 3 years
13) If you buy a used MH, get it inspected by a professional and have the fluids tested by a lab. IMHO the sweet spot on a used MH is one that's 3 -5 yrs. old. The previous owner has already taken a big hit on the depreciation, a lot of MHs out there have hardly been used or abused yet and they have a lot of the new updates.
TEAM Martin & Joanie...and Wookie (our Yorkie)
2012 WGO Vista 35F, 5 ST, Toyo M122's/duallys, Centramatics (all around), TPMS, ScanGuage II, Safe T Plus, SS Rear Trac Bar, Koni FSD's, BG Fluids, 2017 FORD Fiesta
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Old 03-04-2017, 09:15 AM   #3
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I also just bought a used motor home which the owner seemed very sincere and honest. After spending $3000.00 to get it on the road I hate to say it but he lied. You might want to try and find a service on line that inspects these units. Good Luck, Chuck:
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Old 03-10-2017, 05:15 PM   #4
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Got a 1996 Suncruiser 29RQ last year a love it. Do have to drop a thousand every six months for something mechanical. 454 Chevy does great. No rattles. Great fit and finish that is holding up great. We use it a dozen plus times a year for dog shows and camping. First rv so we went older quality in place of newer lower price. Part are very easy to get. Key is a good local rv - truck repair shop to work on it.
1996 Itasca Suncruiser 29RQ
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Old 03-10-2017, 05:27 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Chucksterfxw View Post
I also just bought a used motor home which the owner seemed very sincere and honest. After spending $3000.00 to get it on the road I hate to say it but he lied. You might want to try and find a service on line that inspects these units. Good Luck, Chuck:
We were lied too as well....Buyer beware!
Bill & Debbie Lees
2010 Tiffin 40' QTH 2013 Cadillac SRX
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Old 03-10-2017, 05:32 PM   #6
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There is a LOT to learn. Good for you for going older and on a reliable brand. We looked at ads for a few years, getting a feel for the market. Then we went to the Tampa RV Super show (we lived nearby) for 5 straight years. We learned that the factory reps were there, so interviewed them and had them show us why we should buy their brand. We finally narrowed it down and ended up with one that we could take back to the factory for some tuneups. We were lied to by the owner, although we thought we were also good judges of character....we're full-timers, so we couldn't make a mistake. We've put a lot of money into it since the initial "good deal" purchase. But since we picked a reliable manufacturer, it has all worked out. Good luck and happy trails!
Bill & Debbie Lees
2010 Tiffin 40' QTH 2013 Cadillac SRX
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Old 03-10-2017, 06:04 PM   #7
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Since tires might be bad as the sidewalls actually deteriorate over the years even thought the tread may be fine

Most tires over 7 years old need to be replaced - there is a four digit date code on all tires the first two are the week made and the next two are the year made IE mine our 5011 manufactured late December 2011
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