Would It Be Wise To Buy a Vintage (1980) Class C For a First Time RV?

by Stew

Would It Be Wise To Buy a Vintage (1980) Class C As My First RV?

Would It Be Wise To Buy a Vintage (1980) Class C As My First RV?

Hello all,
I am a single dad with my son full time. I was trying to think of something to get us out and about a bit and have been tossing around the idea of getting an RV. Not sure if we would love the RV lifestyle or not though, so I don't want to lay out big bucks on a new motorhome.

I don't have a truck, so it would have to be self propelled. So, I guess my question is, would an old class C in fairly (I think?) good condition be a good place to wet our feet? Or would it just turn into a cavernous money pit and sour us totally on RV'ing? My only other experience with RV's was an old tent trailer that pulled poorly and let lots of bugs in... :) Thank your for you insights all!


ANSWER Greetings Stew thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

There is no correct answer to your question. Yes, a 29 year old RV could end up being a money pit. A lot depends on how much it is being sold for and how well the RV has been maintained over the years. There are still a lot of RVs from the 70s and 80s on the road. A lot of them are in excellent shape and look and run as good as new, because they have been well maintained. Others on the other hand look their age and are primarily held together with bailing wire and duct tape.

One of the things that you are going to have to do is educate yourself on what to look for when buying a used RV. The first thing I would do is learn what is required to perform a used RV Inspection. Please visit our Used RV Inspection Page it outlines what you need to look at when
inspecting an RV.

There are some books from Amazon.com that I highly recommend that any person should read before purchasing a used RV. All of these books are very highly rated by people that have purchased them. They are The Insiders Guide to Buying an RV By Mark J. Polk, How to Select, Inspect, and Buy an Rv: A Complete Guide by J.D. Gallant and RV Buyer's Survival Guide Edition III By Bob Randall and Mark J. Polk.

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Since you have limited RVing experience with the exception of having a tent trailer and you are not really sure if the RVing lifestyle will work for you and your son. You might want to try renting an RV for your first RVing trip. Renting an RV allows you to try out the RVing lifestyle before actually jumping in and buying an RV. Please visit our Renting An RV Page to learn what you need to know prior to renting an RV.

I have no doubt that you and your son will fall in love with RVing just like our family has, but please take your time and search for the right RV for you and your son's lifestyle. The one you are looking at now may be the right one for you and your son, but take the time to ensure that it is in good shape. Learn as much as you can about what to look for when buying a used RV, by doing this it will prevent you from having buyer's remorse.

If any of our visitors have comments or tips for you they can add them to this page by clicking on the add a comment link near the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

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Comments for Would It Be Wise To Buy a Vintage (1980) Class C For a First Time RV?

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Go For It!!
by: Pamela

My husband and I bought a 1981 GMC Frontier for $900 and it was the best investment we have ever bought.This is our second year of rving and have spent part of a winter and summer and love it.You only have one life to live so enjoy it while you can :)

Wish the best, camping is great.
by: Anonymous

We bought a 8 year old that "seemed" in really good shape. We've replaced an entire slide out because of water damage. Before you buy anything check for water damage from the roof or leaky windows. One way to do this is to press very firmly on all the walls just below the ceiling & around the windows. If it crunches - don't buy it. Press under the windows also.

Also keep in mind the wheels, brakes, engine & frame are all 27 years old - look for rust on the frame.

Wise choice
by: Anonymous

I (we) say go for it! We started out with a 32 year old class A just to see if we would like RVing. Sure, there were plenty of things wrong but we learned to overcome and adapt. It gave us the security that if it suddenly died on the side of the road, then we were only out a few bucks and some aggravation. We like to live life as an adventure, so take this as you will! It did give us the knowledge that we did like RVing enough to actually go buy a brand new one this year. With life getting in the way, we don't use it enough but we love it. I am an RN, and we plan to do travel nursing in a few years and go (sort of) full timing. We can't wait, and it's one of the best decisions we have made. To think it all started out with our 32 yo class A, "cousin Eddie".Have fun!

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