I've read here and there that one should be wary of purchasing a rig that's older with low mileage because it may have sat for a long periods of time unused, even if it appears to be in pristine condition.
I'm curious what one should look out for in such a rig...for example, mid 80's newell with < 130K original miles. Should a rig like this be avoided at all costs, or are there things to look for specifically that might make it a reasonable buy?
That mileage averages out to about 4500 miles per year. Which is about average mileage for someone who uses a coach for vacations, yearly trips, etc.
But you should determine if it was used each year. The problem comes in when a coach sits without being used for a year or more. Regular usage is the best.
And just like a house there will be normal maintenance.
My 1993 has about 95000 miles which averages out to about 4700 miles/year. Doesn't concern me a bit for the 4 years I've owned it.
I looked at a Mtn aire from Newmar that had sat for a year or two. Lots of damage too the wiring from mice and other rodents. The other things that can happen is seals in the engine/transmission can dry out from not being used and not getting oil circulated to keep them from drying out. Like Forrest said above, normal mileage is usually about 4 - 5k a year. I wouldn't necessarily walk away from a low mileage coach, I'd just be a little more careful in my inspection. I'm sure other that are more experienced will have more to say.
John and Patti
Julie and Gracie (Our papillons)
Check carefully the condition of all rubber parts - when rubber flexes it releases compounds that keeps it flexible. Let it sit in one position for an extended time and it becomes stiff and brittle.
Hoses, belts and gaskets are candidates for early replacement.
Check the DOT manufacturing date of the tires. Tires aren't cheap, and tires that don't move deteriorate faster than tires that move on a regular basis. In any case, tires more than about 7 years old are prime candidates for a blowout, regardless of how they look or how much tread is on them. And be sure to check the dates on all of the tires. The dealer I bought my last coach from was surprised when I crawled underneath with a flashlight.
And be prepared to change all of the fluids and filters.
We have an '82 with 125K so those miles wouldn't concern me. Our '82 sat for 5 to 7 years in the Yuma area prior to our ownership but at least it was dry. I did many things to the fuel system and motor prior to starting the diesel and could go through them with anyone who would like to know.
I would suggest that you have the Fluids for the Main Engine, Trans and Radiator and the Generator Engine and Radiator Analyzed prior to any purchase. These lab results could show at least catastrophic problems...with excessive iron, aluminum etc. But let me warn you that if the fluids have been changed just before you get there lab work most likely won't be worth the effort. Just take a look at the color of the oil because it shouldn't look real clean and clear after a few miles with these older 2 strokes.
have Coach will Travel
Steve & Tricia
1982 Newell 38' (built before #1) 6V92 DD, 5 Speed Allison, 12.5 KW Kohler, Couch used to make into a Bed but I fixed it! https://newellshowcase.com/thumbnails.php?album=214
2007 Yukon, 1981 CJ7 Laredo, 2002 Honda CRV, 1955 Thunderbird, 1952 Pontiac Sedan Delivery, 1952 Ford 8N, 1958 Airstream, 1959 Glasspar 16' Avalon, Cabin in the Woods........what will I work on next
I look at it this way: Nearly all used RVs are going to have some problems. However, the problems with a low mileage coach are likely to be different than the problems with a high mileage one. "Rust vs. wear" is one way to look at it.
In either case a thorough inspection looking at operation of every feature on every system and appliance is a good idea. This will take at least a half day if done right and can give you ammunition for asking for a reduction in price to repair/replace. Some private sellers will allow this in advance. Most dealers won't, although they will usually agree to a thorough delivery inspection and promise to fix things discovered. Good luck!
I would not accept a sales agreement that provided that the major systems worded. In insisted that EVERYTHING worked before I accepted it from the dealer. Once it leaves the dealer or prior owner, you are on the hook.
2001 Newell #579
tow a 2011 Honda Odyssey
1935 Mercedes 500K replica