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The RV: should I buy it?


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I'm working on getting the 'model' of the RV, but anyway, here's the scoop... My dad passed away last year. Mom has since began the task of estate sale, selling the house, etc., and will be moving in late June. She bought a 38ft gooseneck TT and parked it at my brother's house. He lives on ~5 acres, and has a huge 40 x 60 shop out back. He's in the process of tying in septic and such for mom's TT. It's just her and two dogs now, so the 38' x 12' (bumped out) unit will be her new home; that's what she wants... So, to get to the RV portion.. Dad had a 1988 or 89 Ford E350 chassis Class C motor home. It's got a 460 (not sure if it's carb'd or FI), 28ft long, AC/heater, shower, toilet, sleeps 6, kitchen, etc. Onan generator, good grief, I don't know what all else. IIRC, it's got new tires, and I believe around 45-50k on the odometer. I don't know the specific model/brand of unit on the chassis, but I'm trying to find out from mom. It really resembles this: http://nationalvehicles.com/viewlisting.php?listing_id=106060 http://nationalvehicles.com/image.php?image_id=703812 http://nationalvehicles.com/image.php?image_id=703800 Anyway, the price offered to me is $2000. It's located in TX, and I'm in Virginia, so obviously, a road-trip or one-way flight would be in order for retrieval. I'm sure the fuel economy is gonna be close to negative LOL

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Here is my feeling on motorhomes... When you pack up a motorhome and stay in a camp site you'll have everything home like. But the only problem is when you need to go to the store or such you got to pack up the entire camp site and motorhome tie everything down just to go shopping or pickup supplies. I've owned a 1976 Dodge Jamboree which was exactly this issue. Get to camp and be there a few days and need to go somewhere... Pack it all back up... :rolleyes:Now with a 5th Wheel or travel trailer you can haul it with your Dodge and get rather good MPG's. Then when you get to the camp site you unhitch and the you can jump in the truck and go shopping or looking around. 5th wheels tend to pull better but also have a bigger profile to cut wind usually a bit low in the MPG dept.If you have a travel trailer and not a 5th wheel you can haul ATV's, UTV, bicycles etc in the bed of the truck and still haul the trailer but with a 5th wheel the bed is basically consumed with the hitch. Very limited what you can toss in the bed. So hence the travel trailer works for me... :wink:

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I totally get what you're saying. However, I'm looking to you guys for ideas as to whether or not I should get it, and if the price is good or bad or whatever. Maybe if I were to get it, a possibility to trade it for a TT later ;) Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk 2

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What I'm getting after is why invest $2K into something that might not work for you? :spend::shrug:

Consider what you plan on doing first before you jump and buy it. I did the very same thing my Dad sold me his 78 Dodge Jamboree for $3K and I jumped on it thinking it was a killer deal and found out in about 2 years it doesn't work for us so all it did was sit on the property and rot away... :banghead:

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In other Rogan sit down with your family and discuss what kind of camping and what you plan on doing with the RV. Like for me its a combo portable living quarters and enjoyment. In other words with the prices here locally going up and up we tend to pack up the RV on a set schedule and camp outside of Boise somewhere so we can drive into Boise or Ontario and pick up supplies for the home then retreat back to the RV which is usually less than 1 hour from Boise or Ontario. So now we take a few day and relax where we are camped at then haul home the supplies we need. So we haul back groceries, hardware, clothing, etc. But instead of 3 hours drive down to Boise and 3 hours home... Now you got that time to shop and do it with rushing. But it nice we can detach the trailer leave it behind and still shop with the truck. So now on the enjoyment I can load the ATV in the bed of the truck haul it with the trailer go up in the back country set up camp and go play with the ATV for a few days. Yeah I know you could put a trailer behind the the motorhome... But again you can leave the trailer in place and drive back to town with the truck pick gas and supplies.Just want you to think long and hard... :think:I'll admit its a good deal to jump on but highly consider your usage first before the price! :smart:

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Looks like a "mini-Winni". Don't know if it is. Certainly is an "in the family" deal. (I got my Mom's Cirrus with 5 years & 8000 miles for next to nothing. I still have her key fob on it, in rememberance.) Personally, I'd rather have a trailer. Like Mike says, you can unhook & use the truck. Easier to service... not every shop can put a motor home inside. One less vehicle to maintain. You can trade the tow vehicle & keep the same trailer.

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The biggest thing in my mind, is, it was my dad's MH. There's the sentimental factor there, that is heavy, and fresh.As for camping, we usually only go a few times per year. And when we do, it's mostly just for the weekend. Rarely do we go anywhere that requires us to need a secondary mode of transportation. So this would work fairly well for us.My biggest concern of it all, is, fuel economy, or lack thereof. The 460, albeit carb'd or fuel injected, I'm sure is horrendous.

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1989 was the second year that Ford put FI on the 460. I'm seeing reports of 12-13 in pickups but sub 10 mpg in RVs. Some reports of chipping the engine improving mpgs, also improved exhausts in one reported case. The condition of the power train is important... has it been started? I had a valve hang up in 6 months sitting in the yard. After that, I got smart & fogged the engine for storage after use. (Fogging might ruin the spark plugs but is cheaper than an engine.) When I throughly fogged boat engines for winter storage... after oiling, some would stall, others continued to run... about 50% would start on the old plugs, the others required new. A 22-3 year old RV... What is the condition of the roof & roof/side joints? That's where leaks start & are a major project to fix... You are buying a pig in a poke. No way to answer these questions in advance. If it was a dollars & cents decision, I'd walk away.

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My dad was an avid camper in his retirement years. His hobby was to buy campers (usually pop-ups) and restore them. He did a lot of little workings on this RV, fixing anything/everything he could find on it, that was in need of attention.It was always started at least a couple times a month, with some trips around the neighborhood to keep it 'lubed'.. Even after his passing, my mom starts it every couple of weeks, and my brother tools around the 'hood in it at least once a month. roof is fine, as he had it resealed when the AC was replaced.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The E350 chassis could have either engine. A lot depends on the time you have available & your ability to do the work yourself. If the roof is good as you suggest, then that's a big load off your mind. Painting the roof with reflective sealant is no big deal. Mechanically, I'd expect the brakes to be rusted & need service, likely rubber brake hosed, etc. steel brake lines can rust out too. If you want the unit for yourself, it might be worth it... if not, it'll be a headache. Is there a trusted mechanic where the RV is who would inspect & give you a list to make it road worthy?

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