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 12/6/2008 11:36 PM
 
New member - this site is great!!!!
I have been researching RV motor homes for 6wks, may have settled on Class B - 1994 Coachman Catalina with 73,00 miles. Headed out to look at it tomorrow, $8,500 - price seems good. I plan to camp with a friend from Spring-early Fall, close to home to start with - to test the waters ;-) and so price, living space and design were my priorities. Home-from-home
Any thoughts on whether this is a good model [maintenance, parts accessibility, serviceability, etc]
What i really need help with is: - I am used to travel trailer camping in S Africa [am an expert on that!!]. Never camped in US. Vehicles are different [duh!!], and self-contained, which they aren't in SA...any comments on just this for a 1st-timer? Feel a little overwhelmed
- what do i need to know, and what are the don'ts? For example: - storage...? any tricks? [avoid critters, freezing avoidance, plumbing care, covering RV, buy an air-compressor, etc?] - actual camping: i haven't a clue how to hook up for goodness sakes...any cheat sheets out there? - taking care of plumbing [grey, black water - odor, chemicals, etc...? - any members in the DFW, TX area - looking for good dealer/service contact...a smart womYn needs to have a good mechnic close at hand - general comments on mechanics: average life of generator [#hrs] - any thoughts on whether retro-fitting 'extra's' is OK on an older model [electric step, stabilizers, TV reception tricks, etc] - do most parks have digital TV transmission [now that analogue going out of the picture....?] - lastly, what about fitting the RV out with practical things like appropriate cabinet containers to secure items while in transit? i see all RV's have no special storage design [in S Africa all travel trailers have special places for dinnerware, silverware, cups n glasses, etc...] In US, all cabinets are just 'holes' with doors...i see stuff rolling all over the place while driving...surely non-stick/non-slip cabinet liners aren't enough? [spices, cans & packets of food, toiletries, etc]
Are there any RV clubs for TX/DFW one could research - preferably catered to us galz; publications or 'hints n tips' websites I should go to? [already checked out www.koa.com, peter greenberg.com].
Whew - i realize this is a laundry list - i'm a pretty capable and independent gal; i'm also pretty adventurous - however, i DO recognize this is new and i need some help ;-) so here i am...i'm ready to take the plunge!
hope to see some of you on the road....iffin you get close to TX.. ;-) till then - will meet you here.
Thanks much in advance D dance like nobody's watchin....

dance like nobody's watchin....
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 12/10/2008 11:49 AM
 
Welcome, chrysalis!
You have so many questions! And I'm sure your brain is jumping from subject to subject right about now. My personal opinion is that $8500 is more than I'd want to pay for a 14 year old rig with over 70,000 miles on it, but keep in mind I live in a different market than you do and there are probably many more for sale here. My best advice is to look, look, look and then look some more. Since you aren't going to use this rig until Spring, you have a lot of time to shop. The more you look and ask questions, the more you will learn about what you want and need. Your perfect RV is out there. This may or may not be it!
There are a number of books out there that will answer all your questions. If there is a Camping World store anywhere near you it would be worth a visit just to browse around, see all the things available, and check through some of the books. Joe and Vicki Kieva present seminars on all subjects regarding RVing and have written quite a few books on everything from choosing an RV to full time living in one and every subject inbetween. All of their books, e-books and DVDs are available on their website
You can search the Internet for answers to just about anything. The Good Sam Club offers many books at their website, too, and if you search for RV Information you will keep yourself busy for weeks!
Many of us can probably answer most of your questions, but perhaps one subject at a time? Go over to the regular forum and ask away.
Good luck.
Evie with fur people, Spike & Pia and "Flitter", 26' Itasca Spirit

Evie driving Flitter, 26' Itasca Spirit with furry co-pilot, Elsa
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 12/10/2008 2:34 PM
 
Hi and welcome! I use to RV and am wanting to get into it again and have been looking, too. It's just me so I don't need a huge rig AND I won't be doing it fulltime so smaller for shorter periods of time should be ok, too. Whenever I go look at a used RV I ask for maintenance records, especially if it's a motorhome (engine, tires, fixes etc). I feel that by seeing how they took care of that part will reflect on how well they took care of the rest of the rig. It's sad that allot of miles means less time you'll have using the rig. Maybe not in all instances, but I bet in most. Well, that's my two cents worth. Keep doing your homework and learn what questions to ask. Take care and good luck. Lenora & Choco "Let Heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about the things down here on earth."

Sometimes, the only right answer is silence...which in and of itself speaks a thousand words.
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 12/10/2008 6:12 PM
 
HI ! Welcome to the forum :D There are allot of questions when you're starting out, aren't there !?!?! I must have asked a million and I'm still asking :D As to the cupboard storage - I have my plates, cups etc in the cupboard with that non-slip stuff on the bottom of the space and my stuff stays put. Most all my stuff is Corelleware or at least it's not glass. I have 2 coffee cups that are heavy ceramic. All my 'stuff' has been OK. Things will shift in your cupboards so be careful when you open any doors after traveling - I've had some food stuffs fall out on my head. The hooking us "stuff" - I'd ask whoever you buy from to give you instructions and show you - take notes and then do it in front of whoever you buy from and make sure you've "got it" - see if there's a class in your area, maybe a RV dealer can help you. That's about all I've got for now - like Pooker said, maybe you want to pick one or two questions and post in the General Talk area and see what you get ! couldn't hurt :D Welcome !!! Looking forward to hearing from you in the forum :D Trudy, Molly & Murphy 37' Montana 5th wheel - "be the kind of person your dog thinks you are"

Trudy, Molly & Murphy "be the kind of person your dog thinks you are"
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 12/20/2008 6:45 PM
 
Hi and welcome.
I agree that that's a lot of money for a rig that age - also consider where you are going - some parks don't admit rigs that are over ten years old. A rig with 73,000 miles on it is going to need some major maintenance in the not to distant future - that's about the mileage that things tend to pack up - fuel and water pumps, hoses and even more expensive the transmission. Be sure to have a mechanic you trust go over it and ask for the maintenance records. Check the age of the tires - they rot on RV's when they are just sitting - older than three years are candidates for replacement = expensive. There's a code stamped into the tires that will tell you when they were made.
As a general rule the life expectancy of any equipment (generators) depends on how they were maintained and how much they were used - a lot of use with good maintanance can mean they will last a long time. And new ones pack up too - there are no hard and fast rules.
Check on the current status of the manufacturer - a lot of them are going out of business these days - can you get replacement parts? How many of this model did they build? And check on the mfgrs of the appliances - are they still in business - are parts available - where can you get them fixed? You don't want to have to buy a new refrigerator in a few months.
Storage organization is the least of your concerns right now - you can figure that out later.
Hooking up is a piece of cake - you plug the electrical cord into an outlet at the campground. Hook up a water hose to your MH and to a faucet at the campground. Dumping is only slightly more complicated - but only slightly. You hook a sewer hose to your sewer outlet and run it into or hook it up to the dump station receiver. Dump the black tank first, then the gray water - so that the gray water washes out the sewer hose. If your rig has a sewer washer you then hook up the water at the dump station to the sewer washer outlet and let the water run to flush it out. Rinse the hoses, close the outlets, stow everything and you are done. It's not rocket science. Treatment for holding tank - go to Wal-Mart or Camping World and chose a holding tank treatment that you like - they are all pretty much the same - and follow the directions. It's also easy.
You need a dedicated hose for your fresh water - I have three - 2- 25's and a 10' you want to be able to reach the source and being a few feet short means no hook up - Wal Mart has a flat one which winds up on a flat spool and doesn't kink and is easy to store. Get an inexpensive additional hose to use for your sewer flusher if you have one. Don't use your fresh water hoses for anything but fresh water.
I wouldn't add a lot of expensive retrofits on a rig that age, I'd buy a rig that had what I wanted/needed. If it needs stabilizers it should already have them. It's like pouring money into an old car - it won't add to the value if you decide to sell it and you may decide that you want something different in a year or two.
Let us know what you decide and how it goes. Louisa & Jasper Joy
28'2007 Airstream 2002 GMC 4x4 5.3 liter shortbed pickup

Louisa & Jasper Joy 28'2007 Airstream 2002 GMC 4x4 5.3 liter shortbed pickup
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