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Old 05-08-2013, 03:54 PM   #1
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Default BORN FREE MOTORHOMEs?

I am looking at a 1992 26 ft, rear side bed Born Free. Yes, bigger than a B, but to my eye, it doesn't look like the average Class C either. Sleek all fiberglass body and interesting cabover.
It has a great floor plan, with sofa and chairs for 4 adults, a permanent bed, tall shower, reasonable kitchen space, lots of closet and drawer space.
I am having a mechanic look at the motor/transmission as it has -gulp- 125,000 miles on it. Am I crazy to consider buying a unit with that many miles? My Honda Accord has 186000 miles, but....
Any experience/advice re a Ford 460 with high miles? It starts easily and runs well, although it feels twice as heavy as my Class B. Can one really adjust to only going 55 ??? It seemed like it didn't really want to go 65. It did feel solid and !NO squeaks or rattles, so that was encouraging.
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: BORN FREE MOTORHOMEs?

I've always seen comments that Born Free RV's are amongst the highest quality units.

My concern would be that it is a 1992. I guess it all depends on the price. As each year passes it will get harder to resell. All the extra space in the 26' would be nice.

I went from B to B+ to C and enjoyed every minute of it..... well except for MPG.
I like to keep pace with the flow of traffic so 55 mph wouldn't do that in lots of places.

I think you use your van quite a bit so maybe make sure you can still do all that you do now with the bigger unit.

As for the mileage, see what the mechanic says.
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:42 AM   #3
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Default Re: BORN FREE MOTORHOMEs?

After lots of reading online about the quality of Born Frees, I paid a mechanic to go over this one. It needed some steering parts, a couple seals, etc. the motor and transmission were passed. I went through the huge file of service records. It seemed when something went wrong, the owner fixed it and didn't scrimp.
So.... I made an offer on it based on the work and tires it needed. Accepted, work done, new tires and I just drove it 1200 miles from Arizona to Montana, up Rt 93, a high and lonely road. It did great! Once I learned how to manage the overdrive, it began to feel actually sporty. That 460 is powerfull. MPG averaged 9.5, with a headwind or crosswind most of the way. I managed to negotiate Las Vegas and Twin Falls without problems. I just have to look for extended parking spots, but easier than I thought. I went to 2 hot springs and it was SO nice to come back and relax on my sofa.... So, I rationalize 30% less mpg for 50% more space.
Now will be selling my Bigfoot Class B. life is change....
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: BORN FREE MOTORHOMEs?

That's a well thought out purchase Factoring the new tires etc. into the offer was smart and good advice for everyone buying a used RV.
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Old 04-13-2014, 06:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: BORN FREE MOTORHOMEs?

We'll maybe someone would like to hear how the transition from Class B to C went.
I gained 6 feet, which may not sound like much, but wow, what a difference in "living" room. I won't go on about all the creature comforts...

What do I miss about my Class B? Well, I could parallel park it. I can parallel park the BornFree IF there are 2 spaces. I only do this if it is not a high traffic area/ time of day, where someone will get mad if I'm taking up 2 spaces. I have been able to squeeze it into smaller lots, if I can back the overhang over flat grass or such. Mostly I park in large lots where I can get 2 spaces.

Of course I miss the gas mileage.... Avg 14 vs avg 9. However, based on the 10,000 miles I drove this past calendar year, that was an extra 400 gallons of gas. At about $3.50 a gallon, that cost me an additional $116. a month, or $3.80 a day. Would I pay an extra $3.80 a day to have all the extra space and comfort? You bet.
I realize there are other higher costs, such as more insurance, 2 extra tires, more frequent alignments, etc etc. , so okay, round it up to an extra $5. a day. Would I pay $5. a day to have all the extra space? You bet.

Then there is the "cool factor". Do I feel a little embarrassed to be a single person driving a 26' vehicle? Uh, well at first I was, but then I think about how self contained I am and my overall carbon footprint is really not all that bad.
My whole propane bill for 6 winter months has been $55., for cooking and heat. I conserve water and can go ten days on one fresh water fill. Etc. If I were home in Montana, my heat bills would be $200. a month. So I left that guilt behind.
Overall, I am pleased with my choice. I do miss you nice people on a Class B Forum!
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Old 01-25-2015, 06:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: BORN FREE MOTORHOMEs?

I'm following Shezonit's lead. I'm selling my 99 American Cruiser and buying a 97 Born Free class C. I'm retiring in May and have been checking Craigslist and RVT for a good deal on a B with the bed in the back. My 2 primary complaints with the American Cruiser is having to set up the mid coach bed at night and to break it down again in the morning and the lack of comfortable seating. I stumbled across an ad on Craigslist for a 97 Born Free in West Hartford CT for $10K. I have always heard great things about BFs so I out of curiosity, I opened the add. Its a 24 foot rear bath model with only 78000 miles on it. While it sounded like a great deal, I was looking for a B so I closed the ad and moved on. Over the next several days, I kept thinking about it and going back to the ad. It wasn't a B but it addresses the issues with the AC. I especially liked the 2 swivel captains chairs and hideaway table dinette. Finally, 4 days after seeing the ad, I made an appointment to go look at it and made the 4-1/2 hour drive to Hartford. We really liked what we saw. Its in excellent shape and very comfortable. We decided for the longer trips we plan to do in retirement, it would be perfect, and the $10K price would offset the added fuel cost so we bought it. I should have it registered Monday and plan to go pick it up Wednesday (they're predicting another east coast snow storm Mon/Tues). We'll be putting the AC up on Craigslist and RVT in a week or so.
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Old 01-25-2015, 07:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: BORN FREE MOTORHOMEs?

Nice looking ride! 10k seems like a heck of a deal. Enjoy!
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Old 01-25-2015, 09:13 PM   #8
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Default Re: BORN FREE MOTORHOMEs?

There's value in older rigs. That layout is very similar to the B+ RV I had. Mine had dinette bench type seating not the nice comfy captains chairs though. It also looks like you have more storage in the corner by the door and more storage in the bathroom. And over-cab sleeping.

I found that it was easy to cook with the kitchen there. There's enough space for two people in that area.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: BORN FREE MOTORHOMEs?

Isn't it a pain to have to pull out the sofa to make the bed every day? That's been my main complaint about the Born Free and most B+ units I've seen.
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Old 01-27-2015, 12:32 AM   #10
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Default Re: BORN FREE MOTORHOMEs?

In my American Cruiser, my wife has to stand in the back while I stuff the table and post up in the cab area, pull the cushions off the couch and dinette, fold over the 2 hinged panels to span between the dinette bench seats and the aisle, rearrange the cushions to make the bed, and then pull down the bedding from the forward overhead cabinet. Then in the morning, switch everything back. We haven't decided if we will use the sofa or the cab over bed, but either will be such an improvement. If we use the sofa, the bedding can be easily stuffed out of the way in the cab over bed in the morning.
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