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 > Eyeing the Used Market And looking for Some Help

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TheHound

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Posted: 08/31/17 02:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey folks,

First post here after doing a ton of lurking and reading including the FAQs. Very helpful but I am looking for some specific input please.

We have been researching various trailers and motorhomes and have come to the conclusion that a shorter Class C checks the most boxes. It will just be the two of us and our dog on road trips but will need the capacity to tow a utility trailer for our SxS on occasion. I think 22'- 24' would do the trick.

We are planning to rent one this October to check out the fall colours and if we enjoy the experience, make a move on an older used class c and then upgrade when we retire.

An example of one that's in our wheelhouse in terms of budget and size is listed in the autotrader (can't link to it apparently)
Quote:

2004 Gulf Stream BT Cruiser 235 - 2004 Gulf Stream BT Cruiser 235
Super clean in and out, stored indoors, non smoker, no pets, no accidents, service records, in mint condition in and out. fully loaded and self contained, generator, microwave, 2 awnings with new material, 3 piece bath, sofa slide for added space, 3 burner stove with oven, 2 door fridge, tv, large sink, holding tanks, plenty of storage, recent michelin tires. propane tank certified (good until September 2021. Very easy to drive and park. you will not be disappointed. Priced to sell at only $26,999 certified and etest included


My only experience with an RV was a 24' boondocked 5er. So, the questions... any specific used makes/models that are considered more reliable or ones to avoid at all costs? Is it hard to get parts in general? The unit in that listing has over 70,000 miles, what would be considered reasonable? Am I crazy? lol

Thanks in advance for any intel.

donn0128

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Posted: 08/31/17 03:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Used, there is no warranties, so condition is paramount. Most all Cs your looking at will be on Ford E350 cutaway chassis. In those sizes towing or reserve capacity will be limited as will be load carrying capacity. So look closely. You would be IMHO better off going slightly larger and getting the E450 chassis. This would increase almost everything, plus possibly a better livable floor plan.


Don,Lorri,and Charlie Bear 2016
The Other Dallas


PghBob

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Posted: 08/31/17 03:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I expect that you will go and inspect the rig. When you do, check for water intrusion (soft spots, water marking) around all windows, slide outs, and especially in the cab over area. Most on the forums feel that water intrusion is a no-go, unless you are willing to put a lot of time/money into the repair, or unless you are handy with do-it-yourself projects.

Make sure all appliances work. Make sure the slide works as it should. Fire up the generator and make sure it works as it should. Check the tires for date codes. Consider that the tires should be replaced at six years old no matter how good the tread looks.

In general, 70K miles is not bad for this age. RVs need to be run and used. Beware of low mileage in an older rig. Good luck with your search.

Desert Captain

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Posted: 08/31/17 03:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

donn0128 wrote:

Used, there is no warranties, so condition is paramount. Most all Cs your looking at will be on Ford E350 cutaway chassis. In those sizes towing or reserve capacity will be limited as will be load carrying capacity. So look closely. You would be IMHO better off going slightly larger and getting the E450 chassis. This would increase almost everything, plus possibly a better livable floor plan.


I agree condition is paramount but the limits you imply on the E-350's are not necessarily true...

My 2012 Nexus 24' E-350 {2011 Ford Chassis}, 305 hp/420# of torque V-10 with the Torque Shift 5 speed trans and a 4:10 rear end is rated to tow 5,000# and can easily do so and it has 3,363# of payload. In a Class C 25' or less the E-450 {same V-10 and trans but with a 4:56 rear end and the same 5,000# tow rating}, is overkill with a stiffer ride and worse mileage than the E-350.

Both are fine powertrain combo's for a Class C but 25' or under the E-350 will put perform the 450 as it is thousands of pounds lighter with the same engine/trans. Anything larger than 25' and I would definitely go for the E-450. Whatever the OP ends up with make sure to get the 55 gallon fuel tank {many of the 350's only came with 40}.

As always.... Opinions and YMMV.

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TheHound

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Posted: 08/31/17 03:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great insight so far. Thank you all for taking the time to reply. I am definitely taking notes. With respect to towing, I currently have a v6 Toyota Venza as my TV. It is rated for 3500lbs. I would be around 3000 with the SxS loaded up and fueled. Gets the job done but you know it's there.

TheHound

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Posted: 09/01/17 05:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

*Bump* So, how about parts availability for older RVs? Good to go or is this going to be a full-on MacGyver kinda deal.

I assume some makes are discontinued. Any ones in particular to avoid or should I try to stay within a certain time frame?

Thanks again!

Bordercollie

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Posted: 09/01/17 06:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Renting a 24-25 foot Class C will give you some experience with Class C's and help you decide on the length and floor plan that will satisfy your needs. Short Class C's usually have less storage/cabinetry area and convertible sofas/dinettes, or sleeping in the overhead including climbing over your partner when you need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Take your time learning about class C's and what to look for in a used RV.

mikethetexan

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Posted: 09/03/17 07:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

TheHound wrote:

*Bump* So, how about parts availability for older RVs? Good to go or is this going to be a full-on MacGyver kinda deal.


2004 is still new enough that parts aren't too much trouble. Ford made a gazillion cutaways of both E-350 and E-450 style, and the powertrain systems are used on other vehicles too. Chassis parts won't be a problem. As for house parts, most manufacturers use the same ovens, refrigerators, and all that. Those parts aren't so hard to find, either.

My home is a 2005 on a 2004 chassis. I haven't had any problems finding bits and pieces to keep it in service.

F1bNorm

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Posted: 09/03/17 09:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

About 8 years ago, we went to look at a 24' BT Cruiser. When we got to the lot, there was a Winnebago Aspect 23d sitting next to the BT. Same size, similar layout on an E350 chassis (there are some on the E450). We really liked the Winnie, seemed to have better fit and finish, a fglass roof and the capper for me were the Alcoa wheels.

We tow a Honda CRV and it is easily within the Aspect specs. The brochure is on the Winnebago site, the 23d (24') was only made, I think, 2005-2006.

Just another option

Norm


F1BNorm

jimx200

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Posted: 09/03/17 11:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Love our 22' C. It's 1999, had 19,000 miles on it, E350, V10 with lots of power. It's mint condition with everything working well. We had the roof sealed for protection, new tires, turn signal unit replaced, and complete engine, generator, and a/c on top serviced. Do not be afraid of a older unit with low miles..it's all about how they were cared for. We had a of school RV inspector guy check it over before our first trip and it passed with flying colors. Good luck and hope you find gem.
Forgot to add we bought it two years ago.

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