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MCHinson

Feedback sought... or maybe talk me out of this...

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I am about to retire. I am searching for a motorhome, primarily to go to as many AACA events as possible in the future. It has been about 10 years since I owned a motorhome. I have been searching for a 30 or so foot long Class A Motorhome so my disabled wife can sleep in while I attend judging schools, get the Model A on the showfield and do whatever.

I have no experience with Diesel powered vehicles. I happened across this and am considering it. It is not equipped to be as comfortable as what I was initially looking for but I could easily do some modifications to it myself. I am thinking that it might be nice not to have to worry about all the issues of trailering. Am I crazy or should I give it serious consideration? Anybody who knows anything about similar vehicles, please chime in.

RACE CAR HAULER-TOTER-TRANSPORTER-RV : eBay Motors (item 320506826753 end time Mar-30-10 13:46:44 PDT)

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My buddy owned a toterhome type RV to pull his race car trailer. While they can be a huge asset they are a bunch of work to own. The International based unit required normal truck type maintenance which not everyone likes to do. If it is a truck unit filters and large amounts of motor oil are involved. The fun only begins there. Most RVs have several on board systems. They include plumbing, generators, and other systems. Keeping the batteries up and all the charging systems was a challenge. They usually have a stove and refrigerator unit. This means propane, etc. They normally run off the truck systems while moving down the road but then need to switch over to generator or shore power when parked. This means transfer switches and so.

The great part was it gave a good base of operations while at the track. The truck handled the car trailer like it was not there. It was great buying a cheap RV plate and no special drivers tag needed.

The work to keep it up became a bit too much. He finally let it go and now just uses a dually pick up.

It was fun while he had it though.

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Looks like a nice rig if you can modify the camper part to meet to your needs. I have a friend with a similar size Class A with a big enough gas engine to pull a car trailer and he gets 4-6mpg when he is not towing. He has never said what it gets towing.

I switched to a diesel pickup a few years ago and the standard maintenance is more expensive and when something does go wrong the parts are expensive. The upside is they run forever if you take care of them and the low end torque is fantastic. With the miles I put on mine it may out last me if it doesn't rust out. So far all my costs have been on the pickup part of the truck (2000 F250), so it was just fixing all the normal things on an older truck.

With it's age, it would be nice if you could have someone look it over with a cell phone in there hands so they can tell you what they see. Looks like you are running out of time on the auction, if there are not any snipers lingering for the end of the auction you may want to make contact with the seller before the auction ends in case it doesn't sell and you want to continue the negotiations. Must be some AACA members in that area.

Another friend of mine bought a big class A diesel of eBay a few years ago without seeing it and the seller was willing to give him a get out of auction guarantee if it wasn't as advertised and pictured. He ended up with a very nice rig, he just flew in and drove it nearly 2000 miles home.

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Thanks. I have sent him an email to find out a little bit more. I need to give it a lot of thought. I would probably be better off just buying a motorhome and using my existing trailer, but I am going to do some thinking about this one.

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I'd take that over a gas motorhome towing a trailer...but that's just my preference. To me that is a "man's way of doing the car meets"...getting the annoying PITA trailer off the back and completely off your mind...not fretting about what's going on WAAAAY back there on the car trailer.

Now, thinking about women instead of men; I can see a woman wanting a bigger motorhome living area....and not sharing space with a car :)

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The fact that you have asked for feedback indicates the presence of perhaps some doubt as to whether you should do this or not. I always follow this path: When I see something I want I always wait; then think, then wait some more[repeat]. Then after about six months to a year; if I still want it I go get it. You would be suprised at how many things I was glad I did'nt buy and now would'nt even consider. I think that it a cool vehicle though. You would be limited however to the length of vehicle you could haul. For what its worth; thats my input.

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There's no perfect car show transporting system, it's all a compromise. That vehicle looks neat from the outside but I would guess it is not good at being either a trailer or camper. Positive is it's self contained but there are some negatives. It's huge which means logistics problems, expensive up keep, you would need to drive your show car for transportation, expensive to operate, pretty much useless other than shows, very limited resale market.

I have a friend that decided a BIG motor home would be neat for the family to do some traveling in. It's BIG so he needs to tow a car for normal transportation. It has all kinds of "systems" that require maintenance even when they are working. He can't even change a tire unaided. He's needed service for break downs on trips and claims he is almost always financially raped. He would like to buy a smaller unit to get away from what I mentioned but says the more modest units are more in demand and more expensive so he is too far under water with his bigger unit to get out from under it. He says he made a BIG mistake.

Of course everyones situation is unique and it might be right for you if you can buy it cheap enough and you've thought it through. Good luck either way.............Bob

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A 1966? If it was 35 years newer it might be worth considering. Way too old in my book for long distance travel. My guess is you would spend your retirement money and time working on this thing. Not to mention the worry about it breaking down and spare parts availability.

I would get a late model medium size motorhome and trailer. A diesel is the way to go if you can swing it.

If your primary goal is going to Buick meets and not doing extensive cross country touring, you might consider getting a luxury diesel tow vehicle like a Ford F-350 King Ranch and stay in hotels. On the other hand if you are going to be on the road for weeks or months at a time then a motorhome is the way to go.

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Dear Matt:),IMHO,First thing you mentioned was you are in the process of retiring,this :eek:THING :eek:is GONNA be your NEW career and WHAT happens when you break down outa town.Do the motorhome and trailer deal,you get where you wanna go and you can unhook if need be and go into town or WHATEVER,you gonna want to drag this :eek:THING :eek:all over.I had a Dodge crew cab and chassis with a 24' box on the back with a sleeper,roll-up rear door,winch,water tank and whatever else i thought i had to have.BELIEVE me i couldn't wait to have a trailer back.:)diz

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I have a 29' class 'C' that I tow just about anything except my Packards. It is a 460 gas that gets 8 MPG towing anything I put back there. 9 MPG if I am not towing and keep my foot out of the carb. If /when the time/money is all in sync we will switch to about a 32' class A deisel. The deisel will pull the Packards. The only time I forsee any difficuly is snaking around town. So we tend to haunt campgrounds outside of town and drive whatever car we are hauling for around town driving. When not hauling an antique on the trailer we haul a Honda Element or a PT Cruiser on a tow dolly. By all means go deisel especially if the generator is also deisel. A one fuel fits all rig is the best way to go. What everyone else says about the maintenence and service is all true but then you opt for either AAA or Good Sam road side service. It can't all be perfect!!!!!!!!!!! P.S. I hate to deep-six a fellow e-bayers sale, but that rig is for a much younger type person/couple who have the mechanical skills to put up with the minor inconveniences that are inherent in that rig.

Edited by AlK (see edit history)

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I have own and driven Diesel vehicles over 30 years. Yes Yes Yes Sure its more engine oil but longer distance between changes most of the time twice the fuel mileage or more foe about 30cents a gal more. No tune ups and longer engine life so to those ho don’t own and drive diesel do the research and you soon be driving a diesel.

I just returned from a trip from NJ to OH to IN to MN back with two stops in OH and home in NJ with a 2002 GMC 2500 6.6 T diesel 6 speed. I have 140 gal tank and filled up in NJ at the start and had 6 gal when I got home that’s 2800 miles on 136 gal. My last truck I had for 18 years and drove for over 585000 miles and sold it because my wife said it lookde bad. I am going again next week so as far as a diesel Yes Yes Yes. By the way today I bought a 2006 Jeep Liberty diesel sight unseen for my daughter who is in Green Bay.

Bob

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Matt,

Something newer and easier to use will come along.

Besides, at some point you'll want to put a Buick, or something bigger than your Model A back there, and 17ft does NOT give the space you'll want for tools, jacks, gear, etc.

The interior is also cramped for your family and your needs - at our age we deserve a real bed, especially in an RV.

Best of luck.

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Hey Matt,

I'm not in the market for a hauler, but that rig is cool.

Let me tell you what I know. As Marty said there is not any room for anything bigger then that Challenger I see in the one picture, bigger cars will be out. Yes, the living quarters are small, depends on what you're looking for.

Running gear:

10 speed roadranger! You can not kill this transmission. Assuming the bearings are in good condition, it will outlive you and the kids. Parts will be available for this until the apocalypse. My mechanic has parts for this transmission and can completely rebuild it for $500.00, not including taking it out, the real bugaboo about any motor home. You may need to learn to double clutch the tranny again. It's easy!:)

220 hp Cummins, a never-die diesel. It was the predecessor to all Cummins right up to about 1988. It does not have a turbocharger, although one could be easily installed. It also does not have an intercooler, which means there will not be a water leakage problem with the intakes. The biggest problem people have with these engines is that they do not put enough water treatment in the radiator which allows the engine to produce heat bubbles, which eat pin holes in the liners. Pulling the pan allows access and eyeballing of the liners to check for this. Assuming someone pulls the pan, it's also advisable to replace the bearings. Not an overly expensive job for an older mechanic. If all of these things check out, this engine will run darn near forever. You will have to keep an eye on the water pump as they develop leaks over time, but they only cost about $75.00, and are easily replaced. 10 miles per gallon is excellent for this type of engine.

I see tubeless 22.5 wheels which means you should never have a blowout or flats for that matter.

I hope this helps. It really is a cool bus/motor home!

Wayne

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