What can you tell me about purchasing a class A - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 12 Old 03-04-2019, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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What can you tell me about purchasing a class A

Have been kicking around the idea of buying an RV to escape most of the winter. I know nothing about them but I've owned a 30' boat and I know how they can be a hole you're just tossing money into. Have been looking around and came across a '89 Beaver 40' with a 3208 Cat. Because I'm just a car nut I'd love to get a converted Greyhound Scenicruiser but they are all out of my range. That and the idea of it breaking down and trying to get parts for a '50s bus. The Beaver is clean, local and reasonable and most of all I have some buy in with the GF. That way when it breaks (you know at some point it will) it's not all on me

About the only thing I know is to look for delamination in the sides and any water leakage from openings.
Anyone with any suggestions, info, warnings, ... about purchasing, maintaining, traveling and parking ??
How badly you can get on each others nerves living in a hallway for a couple months ??
Do you have one, did you have one, would you get another, what works, what would you do differently ??
Any helpful hacks or mods would be good too. Photos a plus

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post #2 of 12 Old 03-05-2019, 04:42 AM
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Youse might have to update your cheese land DL. And with that CAT Powering the movement you are looking at 4-5 miles per gallon of Diesel. so you and the Ghoul friend will be burning through a lot of Fuel money. Other than not being able to see pics of what you are thinking aboot buying that is all I can say on this 4 now.

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post #3 of 12 Old 03-05-2019, 08:45 AM
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I used to have an 1973 Airstream Land Yacht in the mid-90's and they were selling for 5K back then (used). I liked the fact that I could park it-insurance costs are much lower for a trailer and you have a vehicle to drive around when parked. I lived in the 28 ft. Land Yacht for a few years while going through grad school. At one point, I had to bring in water and had an outhouse nearby. The trailer had one water tank, a gas water heater, a small bathtub/shower, toilet, gas stove/oven, refrigerator (electric/propane), gas heater and AC.

Here's some similarities between the class A and the trailer: It's nice to have the propane capability on the refrigerator for the times when there is no electricity. Make sure your fridge gets cold before you buy. Check the oven to make sure it gets to the set temperature. Have the owner run the fridge up for a day and bring a thermometer to check it. It should go down at least to 36F/2.2C for proper food storage. With only one AC unit up top, it could only get to 80F/27C in 95F/35C heat outside and I learned to live with that down in N.C. in the summer. A unit with two AC's up top is much better. What is the difference between the temperature outside and the temperature inside? I could only get a 15F difference in the hot summer.

Even though you have a black water tank for waste, most long-time users only pee into the tank. It is said that solid waste smells terrible for a long, long time inside the trailer/vehicle even after you "flush". I followed that advice when I lived in the Airstream so I never actually found out about the solid waste problems. Also, cleaning out the solid waste from the black water tank is nasty business. It's nice to have a gray water tank too for sink and shower water. Check the black water hose and make sure it is in good shape and fits. Also, the black water valve absolutely needs to work!

Having an awning outside is nice so you can set up lawn chairs and spend time outside. The awnings usually need to be replaced. Make sure the screens inside the trailer/vehicle have no holes in them. The older systems used DC power for lighting and there was a battery with converter/charger in the back. Mine took automotive light bulbs.

The tires on these can be expensive if they are a rare size. They may have a lot of tread on them, but be dry-rotted. Look at the code date on the sidewalls. The propane tanks are stamped with a manufacturing date and some places won't fill them after 10 years unless they are re-certified. The older steel propane lines can rust and leak, the newer rubber covered ones are much better. The jacks to level the vehicle while parked can be manual or hydraulic. Check the hydraulic seals for leaks. Thermocouples for the gas heater and water heater usually have to be changed. Check to see if the gas heater and the water heater work. It's good to pressurize the water lines with air and see if they hold pressure. It's easy to leave water in the lines over the winter and it causes leaks. Ask the owner how he "winterizes" the vehicle and see if he has the fitting to pressurize the water lines. It is a simple fitting that screws onto the line, usually at the hose hook-up on the outside of the trailer. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=camco+pre...ref=nb_sb_noss .

Make sure there is a power cord for camping at a park. If it is a 30 amp system, is there a conversion plug for the higher 50 amp outlets in the park?



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post #4 of 12 Old 03-05-2019, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiss4aFrog View Post
Have been kicking around the idea of buying an RV to escape most of the winter. I know nothing about them but I've owned a 30' boat and I know how they can be a hole you're just tossing money into. Have been looking around and came across a '89 Beaver 40' with a 3208 Cat. Because I'm just a car nut I'd love to get a converted Greyhound Scenicruiser but they are all out of my range. That and the idea of it breaking down and trying to get parts for a '50s bus. The Beaver is clean, local and reasonable and most of all I have some buy in with the GF. That way when it breaks (you know at some point it will) it's not all on me

About the only thing I know is to look for delamination in the sides and any water leakage from openings.
Anyone with any suggestions, info, warnings, ... about purchasing, maintaining, traveling and parking ??
How badly you can get on each others nerves living in a hallway for a couple months ??
Do you have one, did you have one, would you get another, what works, what would you do differently ??
Any helpful hacks or mods would be good too. Photos a plus

.
Hi, I've written up a few paragraphs above about living in a travel trailer that I think are germane to the class A as well. I meant to add that you are living in a steel box that can be easily popped open. You will need to hide or take with you any financial important materials since the older vehicles are so easy to break into. I had a government filing cabinet in mine with a heavy duty dial combination lock on it that kept things safe. Here's a small safe that you might bolt to the floor:https://www.norfolksafe.com/safe-pro...6-field-safes/
I did have some break-ins at two of the parks I visited. In one case, someone cut the nylon screen and stole things that they could reach in and grab. In the second case, they came inside and tried to break into the govt. safe, but could not do it. This was when I was living way back in the woods in a park in N.C. The country boys were friendly and joked with me later on when I got to know them: "It's quite easy to get into your tin can!"
I just locked important papers/checkbook up in the small safe and that worked fine.
For backing up, I would install this backup camera at campingworld.com
Rear View Safety Backup Camera System with Side Cameras

Honda HSS928AWD (upgraded chute, transmission)
Honda HS720AS (at sister's)
Honda EU2000i (generator)

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post #5 of 12 Old 03-05-2019, 02:30 PM
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Never owned a A or C class, but have had two pop up tent campers and two slide in truck campers, one 8 footer and one 11 footer. These units allowed us to use the tow vehicle for sight seeing while not dragging everything with us. All of them were more than comfortable for the three of us going through the U.S. and then coming back through Canada. Here is an informational video comparing the A to C.


Good luck with your choice Mark.



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post #6 of 12 Old 03-05-2019, 03:10 PM
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Never owned any type of camper or RV, but I do have experience with people who have. So...just my 2 cents here.

I own a cabin right on the Upper Mississippi, in which the area on the shore has a camper/RV campground right in my front yard so to speak. I live on the bluff above the railroad tracks and they're on the riverfront beach area, so I see the campers all spring to fall - and have my entire life.

I've known people that camped there for decades, yet when one of the 7 cabins in my portion of the area became available...they were bought by those campers every time. It'd turn into a bidding war of sorts for the cabins. When I asked them why, they all said more or less the same thing. While the camper/RV was fine if you have a permanent place to camp - they tired of it easily because of the "labor/monetary overhead" involved and wanted something that they didn't have to break down and move twice a year (if not more). They also stated something to the effect that "there's never enough room for everything you might need" if you do anything involving a long term stay.

Every early spring and late fall I see them roll in and out - and some years it's multiple times depending on river levels (watching the "bugout!" circus is rather demoralizing). It's an entire weekend type thing for them just to set up or break down. Every one of these, it's a two vehicle operation also.

So...to me, if one were to go RV'ing - make the stops long term so you're not spending time packing/unpacking the entire time. And also, learn to live lean from a "my stuff" aspect - as John Wayne said in more than one movie, "I pack light".

The whole concept to me is simple. You're trying to relax...that's the whole purpose. Moving from spot to spot doesn't sound like any fun at all. But that's just me. Others may not mind that.

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post #7 of 12 Old 03-05-2019, 03:49 PM
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Hanky here my friend here has a Beaver and Beaver is no longer being built if I remember and they were or his has a Spartan fire truck frame etc. I was told that they are out of business also not sure on that. 2 years ago he needed front brake parts it took a month before he was able to find the right parts and they came from Texas. If you had a line sheet that comes when you order a highway truck that lists a part # for every nut bolt that went into building that vechicle it would make getting replacement parts easy. My friend here is in the USA now with out his motor home and playing golf there and is living in a RV park for the winter in a trailer and not his Beaver. You did not say how many miles on it but MOST truck shops charge a lot to work on those engine in motor coaches and it if difficult a Fan belt on a truck is easy but a belt for a Cat in a bus like RV is a different thing much more money to buy and no one stocks those they are special order. I would not leave home with out a spare belt for the engine. I have not owned one but being a retired truck driver and school bus driver I would stay away from it. I know of 2 people with beavers and they used like them but parts are a huge problem If you end up with it good luck

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post #8 of 12 Old 03-05-2019, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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I have run across his video before and he has his views but from what I've looked into I can't agree with much. I especially get a kick out of the going to die in an accident statement. Most cars that run into a truck take the brunt of the damage, not the truck. Trucks with commercial chassis might not have engineered crumple zones like a car but it's because they are built strong and heavy and don't crumple. They crumple what they hit.

Sorry for the rant.

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post #9 of 12 Old 03-05-2019, 06:55 PM
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I hear ya...We were in boating for many years when my sons were younger. We had ski boats and eventually had a 47' Carver Aft cabin motor yacht, which we used to travel all over the Great Lakes. So, we're now retired and live in the Central Rocky Mountains...Like you, we want to get away from the snow, cold and winter after Christmas. So we purchased a used 2016 36' Open Range Journeyer model pull behind travel trailer. It has three slides, plenty of room for my wife, me and our pets to go when and where we want.

I use a 3/4 ton GMC diesel with Duramax transmission. Honestly, I get 11 miles per gallon when pulling the trailer. Note, my last boat got 9/10's of a mile per gallon. When on open highways and interstates, I cruise at 65 mph. Otherwise, I adjust the speed to the road conditions. When going south or east, we have to go over Monarch Pass at 11,400'. When I begin the climb up Monarch, I drop the transmission into 4th gear, set the cruise control at 45mph and away we go. When coming back down, I drop the transmission into second gear, apply the exhaust brake and rarely touch the brakes the whole way down. The pull behind we purchased is probably the largest one you would want to have before going to a 5th wheel. I like the trailer we purchased because it has lots of exterior storage, two central heat, and air units, a stand-up shower big enough for me, lots of closet space and an overall comfortable floorplan we felt was right for us.

When deciding on what RV to purchase, decide if you want a pull behind, 5th wheel, or an all in one motor coach such as a class A or a cab over RV such as a class C. As for specifically a class A or class C, we decided to avoid both because we didn't want to have to pull a vehicle behind us when traveling. If you don;t have a pull behind vehicle, then you're stuck in one place or you have to travel with your RV to wherever you want to go. Also, from my past experience in boating, letting a motor sit for long is never a good thing, so unless you're going to be traveling a lot, you don't want an RV such as a class A or class C that is going to be sitting idle for any length of time...Things will rot and break if not used. Then select the floor plan that meets your needs and wants. As in boating, most people go too small when purchasing an RV and then they find themselves upgrading the next year. We did that when we first started boating. We made sure not to do that when we decided to get an RV.

Once you have the right RV and floorplan, then, if needed, select the right tow vehicle, which is as critical if not more so than choosing the right RV. BTW, if you enjoyed boating, you will love RV life...

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post #10 of 12 Old 03-05-2019, 10:23 PM
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Kiss4aFrog, please let us know what you and you special lady end up getting..

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