Early on during my health crisis (you can read about it in my blog posts The Unexpected Journey) we didn’t think we would ever be able to manage our RV again. Even if I recovered, we doubted that we would be able to handle a thirty-eight-foot fifth wheel and the one-ton pickup we hauled it with. So, we sold it as documented in the previous post.
But when it became clear that I was going to recover and might be able to travel again we began to talk again about how we might get back to Rving in the future. Not sure what my new normal might look like, we decided that we would look at drivable RVs this time. We had rented a twenty-eight-foot Class-C for eleven days a number of years ago. So, we had some knowledge about motor homes. We concluded that a smaller motor home would be more manageable for us. We would look at Class-C and Class-A motor homes no longer than 30-feet long. We also decided and older model motor home would serve us well. There are large numbers of them available, many in nice condition with low miles, and would be much more affordable for us.
While still in the hospital, as I began to feel better and get stronger, I began to use my android tablet to look at used motorhomes. I looked on sites like Face Book Messenger, Craigs List, RV Trader, and other places discovering what is available, how pricing compared and what condition I could expect to find.
I did my research. I read as many articles and blog posts on buying older motor homes as I could find. And I found YouTube videos about buying older motor homes. I wanted to get as much knowledge as I could so I might make the best decision I could.
At first, I looked at Class-Cs. Based on our earlier experience with them I knew we would probably be happy with one. But then I expanded the search to include Class-A motor homes no longer than thirty feet long. Recovering from serious illness and major surgery you have a lot of time on your hands. I spent a lot of that time looking online at use motor homes. I looked at hundreds.
We were in no hurry. I had a lot of recovery ahead of me. And honestly while we were dreaming about it, we weren’t sure we would really be able to return to Rving. Plus, we still hadn’t sold the fifth-wheel yet and couldn’t buy until we had the money out of it. So, we looked. We, mainly me, just kept looking.
After moths of looking and physical recovery I finally found a motor home that I really wanted to see. It was a 1999 Fleetwood Southwind Storm 30-H. I had 26,000 miles on it and appeared to be in exceptional condition. The owner had an automobile restoration business. He took older cars and made them new again. My thoughts were that a guy like that probably had his motor home in pretty good shape.
We made an appointment to go look at the motor home. We were pretty happy with what we saw. It was in really good shape. There had been some nice upgrades. It ran and rode really nice. We expressed interest but told him we would like someone else to inspect it for us. He encouraged us to do so.
A good friend is a retired automobile engineer. He began as a mechanic and went on to get a degree in engineering. He also has extensive experience with RVs. Most of all I trust him. He went back with me to inspect the Southwind. He went over it from top to bottom, and end too end, literally. He examined the engine, roof, undercarriage, everything!
When we first looked at it the generator would not start. The owner assured me he would get it going. Plus, we had asked for him to plug the RV into shore power so we could see how the refrigerator was working and also check the air conditions and furnace.
Having given it a thorough inspection and checking out everything mechanical my friend drove the RV. We took it on the highway, and every other kind of road to see how it handled, rode, and ran. In the end our friend gave it the thumbs up. We negotiated a price and bought it.
We named our new RV Chance. We have been on three outings with Chance. We have spent about three weeks in him and driven over a thousand miles and we are very happy with him. Like me he is old. And like me something may go wrong with him occasionally. For example, after our first trip we needed to replace the fuel pump. But he’s twenty-two years old which is no small thing. But like my wonderful wife, he’s in great shape for his age. We look forward to miles of adventure in him for years to come.
One thought on “HOW WE BOUGHT A MOTOR HOME”
Glad you’re taking every advantage of your “second chance.” Happy trails!