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Old 03-26-2014, 11:35 AM   #1
Winnebago Camper
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: GA
Posts: 5
1st MH..... How old is too old? How much to budget?

I believe we have it narrowed down to Winnebago. Had a pop up for 5 years and have zero desire to tow a camper.... Like the C Class, but afraid we would just want to upgrade a few years down the road so seriously considering "A" class 30-32' maximum.... Seems to me that buying a used one at least 3 years old is the right way to go and would be within our budget....

We are both retired, healthy, early 60's and live near two large lakes, one less than 5 miles and the others nearby. Plan to spend plenty of time on the lakes and 2-3 trips a year, each trip 1K and max mileage of 5-7K miles per year.....

Found a few that we really like and are unsure about the age...

2004 Brave 32V with 25,000 miles in the low $30,000 range....

2008 Sightseer 29R with 20,00 miles in the low $50,000 range...

Any feedback on these models and questions appreciated....

Financing on a 2004?
Down payment?.... We would like to finance no more than 8-10 yrs....and can put down up to 10-20% if necessary...

How much should we budget monthly for travel and maintenance based on this lifestye?

We have a excellent condition 96 Jeep Cherokee 4wd that we plan to tow on the long trips...
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:19 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Southern NM
Posts: 327
Before you buy anything, do a car fax and have a good mechanic check out the chassis, and if you can , get an independent rv guy to check the rest...
As far as I can recall, loans of any vehicle over 7 years are hard to come by, banks are pretty frugal when it comes to used vehicle loans....advise you check with the bank you have a good rapport with.
Both the MHs you mention should have all the bugs worked out but most likely you will be replacing the tires at the very least.
Look for water stains in carpet and ceiling, spongy floors, solid roof etc.
As far as travel, a lot depends on how far you want to travel a day and where you park at night...
Our 2012 Vista 35F gets about 7.5 average mpg and usually costs us about
$1600 to run from NM to CT , plus the Rv park fees...
Good luck on your adventures...
2014 Phaeton 40 QBH
2015 GMC Sierra SLT 4x4
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:28 PM   #3
Winnebago Camper
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 17
We paid 90k for our brand new 2014 Georgetown. Very well built and some really nice options for a starter coach. Also, as far as size, go with the biggest you can get. In a Class A you lose space because of the front seating.
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2014 Forest River Georgetown 351DS
2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Toad
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Old 03-26-2014, 01:56 PM   #4
Winnebago Camper
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: GA
Posts: 5
I think I can rule the 2008 out..... but I still have a couple of options... whether to go for a recent model 2-3 years old that is under warranty and use bank financing or look for an older unit that is 10+ yrs old and pay cash and keep a good reserve for repairs...
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:59 PM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Southern NM
Posts: 327
I think you will find that most MHs have only. One year or two year warranty on the MH part and depending on the chassis up to 5 years.
I have a 2012 Vista 35F if you're interested, PM me.
2014 Phaeton 40 QBH
2015 GMC Sierra SLT 4x4
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Old 03-28-2014, 12:09 PM   #6
Winnebago Master
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Full-timer/volunteer w/SOWERS
Posts: 2,740
Take a look at the brochure for each model you are interested in. I only buy used and I only buy diesel pushers. I like Freightliner, Cummins and Allison under my motorhomes. I buy used because most of the manufacturing problems are usually resolved. I buy the extended service plans to help with the stuff that breaks. With a house on wheels, things are going to fail.

This 40U gets around 9+ mpg and has ample storage for most folks. Even the DEF emissions is not all that bad to feed.

We are financed through Bank of America.

Buy the comforts and features you want now. I highly recommend the residential refrigerator.
Rick & Melissa Young & Dawson (RIP), 2011 Meridian 40U, FL XCL, ISL 380HP/DEF, Al 3000 MH, 2014 Honda CR-V, SMI AF1, Blue Ox TruCenter & tow equip.,EEZTire TPMS.
Servants On Wheels Ever Ready. Best job we ever paid to do . (full time volunteers)
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:56 AM   #7
Winnebago Owner
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Palm Coast, FL
Posts: 57
Lots of good suggestions. We started out cheap with a 20 year old rig, spent bucks getting it road ready and bought an almost new Vista on our first long trip. Have upgraded since. Which brings me to my main questions - How much do you plan to travel and how far and how handy are you? If hitting the road and seeing America causes your saliva to drool, find a local RV club, ask a lot of questions and take notes. Go on some short trips with your newfound club members and get some practice. Once you hit the road, it won't be dress rehearsel, it's for real and some folks do it for one trip and come home and sell the rig. RV addicts like myself can't wait to hear the rubber hit the road again and again.

As for which one to purchase, check the maintenance records. The stand up RVer will have them and be ready to produce them. Be picky. Tires are the achilles heel for MHs. Check it out as if you were going to live in it because you will.

Last, you are going to make mistakes, get distracted and do bone headed things that make you ask the question of yourself, "Why did I do that?" We've all done it and that's why the pencil makers installed erasers. Suck it up, learn all you can, be safe and enjoy the sights this beautiful country can provide.

07 Winnebago Voyage, Ford Chassis
12 Chevy Malibu
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:32 PM   #8
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 80
The gas cost using a gas motorhome is approximately equal to the one way miles of the trip that you will plan. Like others have said, tires are going to be the most common maintenance item to replace if they are more than 7 years old. Other than scheduled fluid changes, my experience with motorhomes is that the maintenance is no different than that of a stick and brick home.
Nathan and Linda, 2000 Winnebago Chieftain 35U, F53 Chassis, Banks Power Pack
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