Tuesday, April 22, 2014

We find a new home!

My buddy that helped me find the motorhome on Craigslist said that he wanted to meet Vicki and I to go look at it.  So I called him up gave him the address and we agreed to meet there in about an hour.  When we pulled up the dirt drive way sitting close to the fence was the Fleetwood Bounder.  The hood was opened and a battery charger attached (Not always a good sign).  My buddy arrived shorty after we got there, the owner walked over and introduced himself.  He explained that he had just picked up the rig 2 days ago from an elderly couple that had to come off the road.  They had been full-timing in it up to about 7 years ago when they had to park it due to health reasons and decided to sell it.  So I now know that this guy bought it cheap and is flipping it (A GREAT SIGN).  My wife walked in side the coach as I proceeded to check out the body and mechanicals.

ROUGH but maybe still doable!

As I walked around outside my head was saying "NO WAY" the rig had 2 awnings and one leg on each one was detached from the body.  Most of the trim that runs down between where the panels on the sides come together was missing.  There were a few cracks in the body fiberglass too, around the wheel housings the plastic fairings were almost falling off and there was a big piece of trim that ran down the left side that was hanging off.  The more I walked around it the more concerned I became.  Glenn my buddy who came with me said we should fire it up and see how she sounds, don't get too caught up on the appearance, you can fix most of this yourself.  I asked the guy for the keys,  He said that to get it started you turn it to the ON position and then he had rigged up a push button because the ignition did not work.  I sat in the seat, and tried to turn it over,  it took a bit of work but she finally started up.  To my surprise other than a terrible exhaust leak she sounded pretty good.  I looked down at the mileage, only 48,500 miles on a Ford 460. That is good and bad,  if it has set for a while then you have to be concerned with the gaskets dry rotting.  It was my turn to check out the inside.  Over the dinette was the power distribution box, a lot of wires were just hanging out, that concerned me a lot!  The rig had a very musty smell and you could tell by the thick coating of dust that no one had really been in it in a long time.  Most of the rig on the inside was in pretty good shape.  A few water stains, a lot of dirt but a very doable floor plan.  It had a washer/dryer, a built in ice maker,  in the bathroom was an installed brand new toilet, and it had a shower and bathtub.  I knew that most rigs do not have both so I found that as a plus.  The bedroom was very spacious,  big closet and plenty of room to walk around the bed,  Glen even commented that the bedroom was a lot bigger then most,  and it also had a sink and medicine cabinet in it.

The question I had to ask myself at this point was I buying a money pit?  The motor is low mileage, it needs some minor work I could tell but nothing too terrible, the body had some issues but I had the skills to fix most of that the bottom line at this point was HOW MUCH was I willing to spend to get it and HOW MUCH would it cost to get it back into Road Ready Shape? 

  

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