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Old 01-15-2022, 04:32 PM   #1
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Howdy from the Land of Enchantment

We are a couple, married over 25 years. In 2017 we purchased a 1995 Minnie Winnie Class C, 29 foot, on Ford E350 Chassis. We bought it to move with our family of cats from Northern California to the Albuquerque area. The old rig survived the trip, and we got out of Santa Rosa four days before the Tubbs Fire ripped through the town and burned about a fourth of it to the ground. Now the RV sits in the driveway deteriorating for the past four years. The engine has only 55,000 miles on it. The main mechanical problem is that the exhaust manifolds have apparently broken away from the block. I am told that this is a problem seen in the E350 engine, and there is a fix for it. I'm thinking first things first: is it worth pursuing the engine repair, then getting to work on estimated $10,000 worth of fixing the "house" part, or am I better off donating it to the Public Radio station, making sure we have a good cat sitter and staying in hotels from now on?
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Old 01-15-2022, 11:15 PM   #2
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Big decision. It would be easy for me since Im not that mechanically inclined. Id be looking for a new to me RV. To some people, I guess a project like that would be a labor of love. Sounds like a big project! Whatever you decide, best of luck to you!
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Old 01-15-2022, 11:19 PM   #3
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Hi Gcoomber31,
According to the brochure, your 1995 Minnie Winnie Class C might be one of three different floor plans; all with the Ford 460 cubic-inch engine. The big concern I would have is being able to get the exhaust manifold bolts out of the block, as it sounds pretty serious when the manifold broke away from the block. So, in addition to the $10,000 of reconditioning the house parts, add another $10,000 for a rebuilt long block, new exhaust manifolds, and whatever you might need. In looking-up the pricing of your Minnie Winnie on NADA, I find the retail value is about $6,700.
As for me, I would much rather stay in my own Motorhome than to be in a hotel. I know it does cost me more money, but it is my preferred mode of travel.
What are you going to do?
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Old 01-16-2022, 07:57 AM   #4
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A lot depends on whether or not you're sure the exhaust manifold issue is all that's wrong. I did a search and it might not be a very expensive fix (for someone else, not you):

https://www.google.com/search?q=cost...hrome&ie=UTF-8

It doesn't sound like it's a difficult repair for those with mechanical skills and there are potential buyers out there for whom this repair would just be a fun weekend project.

The second question is what's included in the $10k house repair estimate. Is it a DIY estimate? Are the repairs essential (leaks, refrigerator, A/C?) or are they cosmetic and improvements. Depending on your answers, you may be able to sell it for $1k - $2k, especially if it "shows" reasonably well.

In any case, if it was mine, I wouldn't put any money into it and try to sell it as-is or, if that's unsuccessful, donate it. Remember, there are a lot of people looking for low cost vans and MHs to live in these days.

What you do next, buy another MH or go the hotel route, is a completely different and separate question. One approach is to delay buying until MH prices drop and availability increases while, in the meantime seeing if the hotel route is for you.
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Old 01-16-2022, 09:35 AM   #5
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It sounds like maybe you already know the answer. At 27 yrs old, broken and sitting for 4-years it sounds like it would be better to pass it on. Donating it, or selling it for a couple thousand dollars might be best.

The money it would take to get it fixed is much more than what you’d spend to replace it with something as much as 10-yrs newer.
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Old 01-16-2022, 10:07 AM   #6
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To me it would only make sense to keep and fix if you can do all the work yourself. If you have to pay to have the work done, no way, you will come out under water.
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Old 01-16-2022, 10:13 AM   #7
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Have it towed while the tires still have some air in them. Travato John.
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Old 01-16-2022, 10:58 AM   #8
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Ask yourself: "If this wasn't mine, would I buy it for $1k to $2k in order to put $12+ into it?"
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