Wednesday, January 19, 2022

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Your advice needed: “Should I buy this used RV?”

We found this question on a social media platform group we manage. We’re re-posting it here, where you can respond without anyone profiling or tracking you (as is the case with this particular social media platform). We will alert the author of this question about the discussion.

Here goes:

“I went to go check out a 1993 Ford Four Winds Class A 30’ motorhome, priced at $7,000. Before deciding to take the 2 1/2 hour trip to see it, I asked the seller if he’d be willing to negotiate the price to $6,000. He agreed.

“So I went to check it out today and found out that the WHOLE fridge is missing out of its compartment. All that is there is the freezer door. The seller doesn’t know if the pipes/wires that would be connected to a fridge work or not.

“Also, it took a jump and a few tries to get the RV to run. The lights turned on but I didn’t try the water. It has an Onan 500 generator which seems to be in good condition considering that eventually it turned on. The seller says it’s been sitting for a while.

“So, my question is: Should I walk away from this or is this a good deal for the make and model and year of the RV? Also, how much would it cost me to install an RV fridge?”

Please advise. Take the poll, then please leave a comment.

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Dennis G
2 days ago

So, first of all a 1993 Thor Four Winds class-a motorhome is not as common as the Four Winds class-c model. If the seller did not disclose that the refrigerator is missing, does not necessarily put this RV into the “run-away from it” category.

It does put it into the please inspect it closely category. You may find it truly is a hopeless cause. You may also find the previous owner is inept at completing repair tasks. My question would be, why was the fridge removed, and do you still have it?

Being the seller was only asking $7K and even was willing to go to $6K before you went to see it in person, makes me want to ask two things.
1) Why are you selling the RV at this time? Would be interesting to know that answer. (For example, it could be it was their dad’s who passed away, and they are looking for a quick sale.)
2) What other repairs besides the refrigerator, were being done before this sale was advertised? Would also be an answer I’d want to know.

Gordy B
14 days ago

Unless you have the skill to fix anything on the vehicle (including possible water damage) or very deep pockets over flowing with cash (run don’t walk) away from this overpriced piece of garbage. Something that old at that price should need little or no fixing.

Gordy B
14 days ago
Reply to  Gordy B

Also consider fuel mileage. That age range usually got somewhere between 5 and 9 mpg.

JAMES
14 days ago

I once drove 3 hours to buy an RV but the pictures didn’t show and the seller didn’t mention the roof was sagging in the middle. He kept lowering the price as I left

JAMES
14 days ago

I said yes but offer a lot less money because I am use to fixing up things like this. If she or someone she knows can’t fix these things then she should NOT buy

John Koenig
14 days ago

Buy an almost 30 year old RV that is in poor condition……..

ARE YOU CRAZY????????

TIM MCRAE
15 days ago

The fact that they have to ask this question means they are unqualified to do this deal.

Not only do they not know how to fix what is already known they don’t know enough about RV’s to estimate the repairs.

Also they do not know enough to evaluate all the other systems and estimate those repairs.

My last 2 cents? The price is a zero too high…

DW/ND
14 days ago
Reply to  TIM MCRAE

Absolutely correct Tim: This is a money pit for sure and that $6,000. will soon be $10,000.!

Arnold A Chamberlain
15 days ago

Unless you are into mechanics and RV restoration, this camper sounds like a poorly stored and maintained money pit. The rule with buying older vehicles that are in need of restoration is to buy the best vehicle one can afford. To buy a “cheap’ vehicle that “just needs a little work” is false economy. People who buy such vehicles do so because they enjoy the restoration process or because they have lots of money and do not mind spending it to have someone else restore a unique vehicle for them.

kat
15 days ago

I put sounds good to me. But I am used to fixing things up, getting them the way I want them and knowing between my husband and I we can get things going on it. I would ask for pictures before going to see so I know how much I would be spending cosmetically (my end) and my husband would go over it with a fine tooth comb once there so he knew how much we would be spending so he could get it mechanically sound. After all of that, we could decide for sure whether or not we should walk away. Another reason for a yes is nearly everything is fixable, it is just sometimes cost prohibitive!

Juls
15 days ago

The problem is, that $6,000 value just depreciated by 100% and that doesn’t include the unknown repairs/updates needed.

Keep looking. If you are on a tight budget, buying something in poor condition will only cost more in the long run. If you have the funds to make all those repairs, then you can always find something else that is likely in better overall condition.

volnavy007
15 days ago

Before answering with one of the given responses, more information is needed. Examples include: How is the engine? Do you plan to re-do the inside of the whole RV? If so, do you have an estimate of how much that will cost? How much would a new (or newer) RV compared to this RV and its updating?

Wayne R
15 days ago

Unless you have deep pockets and can do most repairs yourself, I would pass on this one. This would be a never ending money pit.
Also keep in mind that a lot of RV parks have the 10 year old rule.

Larry Lee
15 days ago

It is OK to purchase it provided you allow for all the repairs which will be necessary. For example, you thought $6000 might be reasonable IF it was in good condition, but it is not. So since you have $6000 to spend just lower the offer by the cost of: new batteries, oil and filter change, new carb for Onan generator, reseal to roof, new fridge and install, cost to pressure test and/or replace lp tank, new tires, air filter, spark plugs & tune-up, all new rubber parts on engine (hoses & belts and radiator cap etc.), anode on water heater if it has one, repairs to any water leak damage, the list goes on. It could easily get the price down to $0 OR LESS! In any case do not pay $6000 for it.

McTroy
15 days ago

Our friends just sold their 95 Four Winds C class. $3000 it ran great and looked good. Their frig had quit but could be repaired or replaced. The biggest problem was the front over the cab window leaked.

Dr4Film
15 days ago

If in doubt and you are a very long distance away, have a certified NRVIA inspector go through the RV for you. I did that for a coach I am purchasing in Salt Lake City and I am in Florida. Well worth the money!