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1989 Ford E250 - good buy?

Not for sure if this site still exists, but I want to buy a Ford E250 campervan, 1989. Says it has 51,000 miles. The lady selling has showed me receipt after receipts on a new transmission, New radiator, fuel pump around $4000 of repairs in the last year. New compressor on frig. New valve on propane take.but looks well cared for. $8000.

I don’t know what site you are referring to…

This is a 30 year old RV. Run! RUN! Run far, run fast. Do not look back, this is more of a money pit than a slot machine in a Las Vegas gas station.

Can you explain why you say this??? It has low miles unless they tampered with odometer. She has done lots of work. New microwave, new toilet, like I said before new transmission, radiator, fuel pump, lots of work. The motor should be good low miles. I do think $8000 is way to high but she says since she put all that money in it.

Just see if the seller will take it to an RV dealer and shop and have it examined . You may have to pay for that but it might save you 8000.00. Very few RV’s are ever sold over market value.

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If you look at it as a restoration project, consider that almost no restored vehicles return anything close to the money the restorer puts into it. This is especially true if the work is all done in a shop where the labor is added in.

@Pam59 - what is your experience with RVs? Every 30-year-old vehicle will need lots of attention, an RV much more. If you’re still interested, pay to have it inspected by an RV (not car) mechanic. Lots of extra things to go wrong on an old RV…

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This is an antique, ancient van, regardless of the mileage. I wouldn’t pay half that for it. It’s going to need frequent repairs even if well maintained.

It’s good that you told us the vehicle the motor home is based on, but it’s also important to know who did the RV conversion, and even more important to know the nature of that conversion. Are we talking about a class B/C? Or something more like a Roadtrek, which is technically a class-B, but is really just a stretched conversion van with plumbing.

Especially if it’s a true B or C, you need to pay very careful attention to the house part of the vehicle. Many motorhome roofs are made from a rubber membrane. Motor homes also tend to be parked at campgrounds, under trees, and that rubber membrane gets torn. Then water leaks in and rots the wood frame. See where I’m going with this?

As others have said, a 30 year old motor home should be very close to free, because otherwise you’ll be upside down even if you know how to fully restore one yourself.

That’s what I would have thought.

I just looked on RV Trader, I couldn’t find a 30 year old class B for under $16,000 in my area, a couple were pushing $25,000 for a 30 year old conversion van.

No argument there. The used RV world is full of “I know what I have” listings. And they usually find unsuspecting innocents to buy their problem vehicles.

The ugly truth is that even new RVs are problematic. The best bets are the half-million-dollar-plus bus conversions. Those are usually built pretty solidly because they have to be.

The class B/C’s are rattly nightmares that beat the hell out of every system in the house section every time you drive them. Things break all the time, even if you just bought it this year. Winnebago is probably the best bet since at least they don’t make the frames out of wood, but they’re still putting a giant box full of heavy crap on a chassis that’s not really designed to take the load. The carrying capacity of those things is often only 500 pounds from empty. Put 2 adults and their luggage in there and you’re overweight even before you stock the fridge. And now you’re driving that overweight vehicle around prematurely wearing both the vehicle and house components.

So, while old used RVs are listed for and sold for quite a lot of money, in general people who buy them are suckers setting themselves up for massive headaches and expense.

Buy a nice tent for $50 and go camping for real.

It is way overpriced. $2,000 may be too much to pay. But it is your money.

Thank you Out of these reviews they say no