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travelnutz

West Michigan - On the Lakeshore

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Posted: 11/02/13 09:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Deb and Ed M,

The snowbirding for a month or so is great as it breaks up winter into two quite short time periods. We have been somewhat "snowbirding" for over 40 years now. As I owned my own business like you do, at first it was only 12-16 days and then when having a place in Florida for 19 years and keeping a boat down there, it was a couple 2+ week stints per year as I had gained an excellent staff to keep the business ship sailing right and they did. Besides, I was only a phone call away and also had my own mobile cell phone since 1986 (Century Cellunet) then and also had fax machines. I couldn't hide! Our place was very near my blind brother's home and we'd help he and his wife get their home ready for another year each year.

We always drove one of our various RV's down so we could take our time and explore many places during our traveling etc. Well, except for one year. A few times, we'd buy a barely used 1-2 year old Cadillac with under 10k or 15K miles that a retiree had traded in for us to drive down there and then my wife would drive it back home to Michigan folowing me in the RV. If we took a MH, we'd tow it back on a dolly. Helped that our family half owned a large Cadillac and a large Lincoln/Mercury dealerships in Florida and believe me, the used price was right! Besides, when staying in the fancy stick and bricks condo, it didn't cost anything to leave the RV just sitting and catching it's breath and waiting for the next adventure. Neither of us likes hotels or motels a bit as we want to sleep in our own beds etc and we do.

Finally, I semi-retired and we spent a little more time snowbirding but still never more than 5-6 weeks at a time as Florida is boring. We have always really enjoyed RVing in the winter in Northern Michigan and Ontario and have done it for roughly 40 years. Love snowmobiling/crosscountry skiing and the awesome beauty of winter snow and the outdoor activities. Besides our main homes in Western Michigan, we had and still have our year around place and acreage in Northern Michigan in the National Forest. 4 seasons is where it's at for us and being able to quickly go from one "season" to another in a couple days is fabulous and gives the ability to enjoy the best of all 4.

Now being fully retired for going on 12 years and not having the business and employees responsibility, we still get very bored in Florida if we stay over 2 months as most of the snowbirds are "old" and act even older than their age and we're both only 72 and very active and even though my wife is disabled, she won't let it slow her down!

We still enjoy RVing in the UP and Northern Michigan in the winter time as our RV's have great heat and are well insulated and our bodies only need a coat to be outside so why not?. Boots too of course if the snow is deep! Lots of CG's are open and plowed all winter in Michigan and you'd be surprised how many RV's are in them in the winter. Tahquamenon Falls Overlook CG at the Lower Falls is open and plowed all winter and so is Platte River CG at Sleeping Bear NP and the showers and bathouses are fully heated and simply beautiful. So is Mitchell SP at Cadillac and Traverse City SP at Traverse City just to name a few.

Florida varies geratly from location to location (N to S) in the cost of CG's, food, doing things, and to some extent temps and humidity. Costs for CG's are usually 2-4 times higher in South Florida as we go there (Palm Beach County) also every year for a couple weeks to visit and help my blind 10 year older bro and his wife. We also visit some of our family west of Port Charlotte north of Ft Meyers on the west side of the state. Literally hate their postage sized RV sites that are the norm in South Florida and a ripoff price. Some areas are like concrete jungles with very high crime and also nearly always have traffic jams and some areas are very laid back and also very safe and have much lower costs of living and so many things to do. Have to pick the one that suits you and your piggy bank. Huge differences!


A superb CC LB 4X4, GM HD Diesel, airbags, Rancho's, lots more
Lance Legend TC 11' 4", loaded including 3400 PP generator and my deluxe 2' X 7' rear porch
29 ft Carriage Carri-lite 5'er - a specially built gem
A like new '07 Sunline Solaris 26' TT

Aida

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Posted: 11/02/13 11:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If the price is right why not. I am of a different type of folk that only likes vintage. So for my first project was a 1975 American Clipper Class C RV. Purchace price 1000. Structure was sound however what a nightmare electric malfunction long story short the dealership that fixed our electricity screwed us it was a horrible job. So I called the news I wrote every nasty review I could and got Better Business on this to. They refunded me all my money and gave us their lot to advertise sold for 1500. And learned a******load on dealerships they will screw you if they can. So after that no more engine RV's decided on a 5th. Found one a 1986 NUWA 28 footer for 2000 with some water damage. Talked him down to 1500 purchase price. But I live in Arizona so I knew the water damage was not that bad. I also found on Craigslist believe it or not a great RV repairman although my better half is pretty RV suave so the RV guy charges us half with his help. Best 1500 purchase yes I spent plenty money fixing her up but this 5th is on the road and rolling. She went through a horrible storm recently and guess what she was rock solid.

Deb and Ed M

SW MI & Space Coast, FL USA

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Posted: 11/03/13 05:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Travelnutz, that's the kind of snowbirding we anticipate. We truly LOVE Michigan, but breaking up winter (which is our slow season anyway) could be nice?! Having spent a month in the Class C with no slides while traveling to Alaska, made us appreciate the roominess of a slideout...lol!!!

Aida, I'm a "tomboy" through and through :-) My dad and grampa taught me to build, wire, paint, etc. When we built our current house, I did the electrical, painting, and tilework. I'd rather tear apart a rotted wall than bake a souffle ;-)

Tomorrow, I'll take my infrared gun and survey the extent of the water damage. I'm much more concerned now that I know structural parts have probably been affected.... thank you, everyone, for your input. Even the "you're insane" comments.

Me Again

Sunbird(Wa)/snowbird(Az)

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Posted: 11/03/13 06:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGlnOOBdb4E
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aNLPSrWvAs
http://rvtravel.com/publish/dryrot.shtml
http://www.thediyworld.com/How-To-Repair-Water-Damage-Inside-Camper-Or-Rv.php
http://rvtipoftheday.com/rv-repair/dry-rot-in-an-rv

It will be much worst than you think, if you are seeing damage inside, once you open it up, you will see that if has spread quite far. Visible damage in a top corner almost always means every thing in the bottom corner below that is rotted away!

As I said earlier, mold is a real health issue, and its presence should not be dismissed as something that you can easily fix yourself.

Just the title of your thread should be sounding alarm bells in your head. That is why many long time RVers are flat saying Run don't Walk away on this one!

If you do buy this rig please come back with pictures so that others can learn from your experience!

Chris


2015 RAM 3500 CC SB SRW Our Rig New 2017 Bighorn 3575el. Retired and enjoying it!


NJRVer

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Posted: 11/03/13 07:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would go for it as long as the rot is confined to the walls. If it hits the floor then you have to remove the wall studs off the floor to fix the floor since the walls are set on top of the floor.

Otherwise remove the rotted paneling and replace the insulation if it is messed up, spray to kill any mold spores.

travelnutz

West Michigan - On the Lakeshore

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Posted: 11/03/13 09:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Deb and Ed M,

I admit that we have only bought new RV's except for the 2 purchased used of the many we've had or have. Only one had a leak develop in the 50 years of our RVing and ownership. It was in an 11-1/2' Fleetwood Caribou TC that we bought new. By the time it was 6 years old, the entry door was about to fall out as I closed the door and we had no idea how bad the rot was as it was hidden inside the rear wall and covered by the inside paneling and and the interior wall structures and the outside aluminum skin. The TC never had more than a very slight rot/mold type odor and only after it sat for a few weeks and it vanished when the wind blew or when it had traveled down the road. Never could find the source of the slight odor and it was so slight we kind of dismissed it. Real dumb!

Fleetwood (the manufacturer who was in Edgerton, Ohio on the south side of the RR tracks west side of the little town) wouldn't touch it or even agree to repair it if we would pay the bill ourselves. The warranty was many years past but it was obvious that it had leaked from day one as the rot was so extensive and wide spread. They even tried to tell us it was our fault and that it looked like the TC had been in an accident which it had not ever been and we know that for a fact. We had ordered it new and went down to Edgerton ourselves with our dually one ton truck to pick it up directly from the factory posing as working for the RV dealer who were also good friends of ours and with their approval and told Fleetwood we were coming to pick it up. I had to go just east of Edgerton to Bryan, OH to Bryan Plastics anyway for a business meeting and it only made sense to drive our dually and pick it up too.

A long story short! The dealer finally took it in on trade for our first Lance TC and over the winter totally rebuilt it as the RV season was over it it's always very slow. The entire rear wall and part of the floor was rotten and full of mold. Yes, I was curious so I stopped and watched them during the winter. The first thing they did was remove the exterior aluminum skin and all the thin insulation, then liberally spray everything with clear bleach which killed the mold and spores fast. Then, a couple days later they tore all the rotted wood off including about 8" of the floor at the rear and rebuilt it. They doubled the floor stringer by gluing (52-100 epoxy) and screwing with a right angle chuck the jack joists to the solid part joist that were unaffected by any rot damage. Yes it was repaired right and looked new and it was sold in the spring stating that it had been repaired. Only seen the TC a few times after the new owners bought it so I don't know if any other problems had occurred.

What I'm saying is that bleach works wonders to kill the mold and spores but it will not fix the bad damage already done. It simply cleans the air of breathing the bad mold issue and remember that with a wood frame etc, the bleach soaks in and kills everything deeply down. It will save mildly affected molded wood and that can make a huge difference in repairs required to wood framing and floors etc. The first thing it to kill and stop all mold! I have heard of many others using bleach first and several never had to do more than seal the leak area etc and replacing the insulation and then re-skin after eliminating all mold and drying thoroughly. Just food for thought!

Deb and Ed M

SW MI & Space Coast, FL USA

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Posted: 11/03/13 01:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, just for enlightenment, we drove the main drag that houses all of Grand Rapids' RV dealers. Found two used 5ers that we really like from the outside (very similar floorplans to the Gulf Stream in question) - asking prices were $13,995 and $15,995. Of course, subject to negotiation ;-)

I printed out the linked info provided by several of you - those references can help in case we do go forward with the "limper" as my husband likes to call them....LOL!

Swamp Man

Addis, Louisiana

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Posted: 11/03/13 03:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

Hi Deb and Ed,

Run, don't walk, away.


Factor of 10, use dragster to get away!


Steve & Trudy Jackson
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travelnutz

West Michigan - On the Lakeshore

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Posted: 11/03/13 05:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Deb and Ed M,

Yes, $14k to $16K would be about the normal "asking" price for a well optioned out in excellent condition mid-quality/mid-price level ($35K to $45K+ original MSRP) 27'-30' used 2003-2005 5th wheel with a large slide. Of course, nobody in their right mind would pay the asking price and owning a used vehicle lot, there's no doubt you know that so well. A new 5th wheel will normally sell for between 20% and 35% off the suggested listed price (MSRP).

Used RV's are all over the final selling price spectrum in negotiated final selling price discounts off the "asking" price. So much depends on what the dealer has invested in the used unit, it's condition, and how long it's been on his lot. That's what NADA etc does is give relative ideas as to the value of various items. Condition, age, time of the year of selling, the locality or region it's in, and how motivated the seller is to move the RV, etc.

Private party RV pricing is usually somewaht along the same pattern as most sellers check lot prices of comparable RV units and references like NADA Blue Book or both before offering their RV for sale. Yes, you will find mavericks on both the over priced and under priced items for sale. Usually, the under priced items sell real quick but the over priced items are dogs in the market price until one of the few and far between is willing to pay the higher price because it's exactly what he wants or needs and hasn't been able to find any others.

If the Gulf Stream this thread is about is what you really want and it can be bought at a very good price, I wouldn't be afraid to buy it after checking it out thoroughly and doing the repair. It would be fun to me and my wife would also jump right in and help as much as she can! We're a team and have been for over 52 years now! Also, both you and I have a large enough and high enough heated building to work and repair it in comfortably and that's real important. Bought very cheap and repaired properly, it will be worth a lot more and will be able to be sold in the future or several years down the road for more than just recouping all your money spent but then some. While in the mean time, it served you well for your wants and needs when you used it and will always have the memories that no money can buy.

BTW, we were at Camping World at American RV this afternoon (Sunday from about 1PM till after 3PM), their last Sunday of being open until next April, buying 2 Zappy 3 pro scooters and some other things and that's right in the same area you were scoping the used RV's in. Probably on South Division Ave? Ya should have waved to us! haha

travelnutz

West Michigan - On the Lakeshore

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Posted: 11/03/13 05:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BTW Deb and Ed M, there's several more RV dealer places/new and used lots on the north side of GR too! Check the yellow pages.

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