I am looking at used Diesel Pusher in the 35-40 foot range. I am limiting the search to brands that have been recommended E.G. Newell, Wanderlodge, Prevost. Obviously, a higher-end coach comes down in price as they get older. But I am wondering how old is too old?
I have what I think is a mid-level budget and want to get the most for my money, but I don't want to get nickel-and-dimed to death after the purchase. How old a Motor home should I be looking at?
I don't think there is a rule for how old is too old. What you want to look at is how well it was maintained. Many of the older coaches have been updated and modernized over the years. We have members on this forum that are extremely happy with their 70's vintage coaches, and we've had members that looked at mid-2000's to buy that were basically trashed.
Jon & Chris Everton
1986 40' Dog House #86
0 hp 8V92 Allison HT740
Soon to be 500hp ISM with ZF 6 Speed
Age isn't as important as how the motor home was cared for and used. If it was used often enough to prevent the various systems from failing from disuse, and maintenance, particularly engine and chassis, was performed at the specified intervals, that's more important than the actual age.
Let's assume that you are very handy and can easily repair anything. Then the issue becomes how easily you can get parts for your coach. There are very few things I have not had to fix in some way.
The house portion of the RV is fairly easy to maintain, regardless of age. The exterior problems are directly related to how well you maintain the watertight seals, ie sealant. Mother nature weathering is dependent on the amount of exposure. Outdoor storage leads to more issues. After 5-7 years of age, constant monitoring and upkeep of these things is almost mandatory.
The chassis & engine parts become harder to find after 10 years of age. Since these are 'custom' vehicles, parts are not usually stored on the shelf. Preventative maintenance is the best route to prevent problems on the road.
If you are not handy, have limited abilities to fix things, or just don't want to, then I'd suggest the newer coach route.
Regardless of age, you can perform an inspection simply by operating all features to satisfy yourself that they work. Look for any signs of water damage or anything that looks like it is not as it should have been build, then ask questions. This may take an hour or more. Use your best judgement. Treat it like you are buying a house and a car in one, after all it is a house on wheels.
1976 Newell Classic (Sold)
Home Base: Riverside, CA
If anyone needs my contact info private message me and I will send it to you.