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Old 06-23-2017, 09:55 PM   #1
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Default used class B purchase help

Hello everyone,

I am new to this forum (and the RV world) and hoping to get some guidance from the experts. There is a 2007 Leisure Travel Free Spirit 22Ft van with Mercedes Turbo Diesel and 229K miles asking for $35K. There were many options added, and recent thorough maintenance/services performed. I am very interested in this RV mainly due to its low price, but am concerned about the high mileage, given that I am new to RV and not planning to work on the vehicle myself (I am a female). I think that it's the lowest priced Mercedes Sprinter based class B right now. Is this a good deal or too good to be true? Can you guys help on things that I should ask, watch out for, or any other advice that you can give me on purchasing a used class B?

Thank you all for your help in advance!
Jean
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Old 06-23-2017, 11:01 PM   #2
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Just my thoughts:

That's a lot of miles for a 10 year old vehicle. It's around 1,900 miles every month for 10 years. More than 10,000 gallons of fuel used I'd expect. I wonder if it was ever a rental unit?

If you're really considering it then I think it would be worth paying for a Carfax / Carproof report for its history. I'd also do a title search / lien search to find out if there's any money owed on it. I'd also suggest contacting your insurance agent to find out how much they'd value the RV at in the event of a loss.

If you buy it, just as you are concerned about the high mileage before purchase so will others be when you try to sell it.
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Old 06-23-2017, 11:21 PM   #3
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too many miles for me.

so, advice for selecting:

gas or diesel

diesel provides better mpg, but the increased cost reduces the $ advantage.
gas is more plentiful, easier to get worked on


domestic/ imported-
a domestic ( I have a chev) can be fixed by anyone anywhere with parts from autozone or napa. an import may have a supply chain back to germany or Italy and require specialized knowledge or tools- especially electronic controls. May also require special maintenance- such as you adding DEF to a tank

a chev or ford may allow you to buy tires and batteries at costco...an import probably not...my tires are under $200 each

layout- ? what works for you?
youtube sales videos are great to show the typical features on various models- WATCH how the sales guy moves around- like tripping on a dropped floor model or having trouble opening cabinets or turning around due to narrowed spaces

shopping- there are dealers ebay and craigslist as well as models posted on this site and others
Home - Road Trek International

you can compare prices and comparison shop.

if searching craigslist look for mis-speelings.
my Pleasure-Way can also be a pleasureway or a pleasure way.
I have seen ads for roadtreks, road treks and roadtraks.
little errors can conceal a deal from shoppers.

My PW's previous owners had run an ad for a month with zero responses probably due t a spelling mistake- they were eager to sell and I probably saved thousands because I searched strategically.
( I also found one of my Harley's like that- the model misspelled...)

a B has a very high cost per sq ft than other RV's like a class C
our advantages are parking, ease of driving and mpg

I did look at slightly larger RV's but my parking situation at home would have been tricky ( I have room but also had about 8 cars at that time)- and my Wife wanted to ( and has) be able to do solo trips out of State to see Pals. The B makes that easy

hope this helps, Mike
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Old 06-23-2017, 11:50 PM   #4
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.

Those Mercedes Benz diesel engines can easily go 500,000 miles.

But that does not mean it is the right vehicle for you.

Mercedes repair will be expensive.
Mercedes repair centers are few and far in between.

There are no free lunches in this world.
The price might be low, but that does not mean it is a bargain.


Good luck.

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Old 06-24-2017, 01:47 AM   #5
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Mercedes might go 500K, this one is already over the halfway mark! I think I wouldn't get my hopes to high, as Marko indicated that B has been run very steady. Ron
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Old 06-24-2017, 12:35 PM   #6
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The OP's Class B under purchase consideration sounds like it is built on a T1N Sprinter (which might be plated as Dodge). If LT does things the same way that Airstream does, then the Sprinter itself might be 2006, to correspond with the rig year being dated as 2007. That would make it the same year as mine, so I can add a few comments. (If instead the Sprinter is an NCV3, some of this might not be relevant.)

Yes, T1Ns can go 500,000 miles, but that doesn't necessarily mean they "go" without needing extensive repairs during that time. I watch a few older T1Ns on Instagram ("older T1Ns" is a redundant phrase - they are ALL old by this time as they are ten years out of production). Within the past week or so, one such owner lost his glow plugs while another lost his gear box.

The guy who lost his gear box bought a divested ambulance with about 288,000 miles on it at the point of sale, so that he could do a DIY conversion to a camper van. It will be interesting to see what mechanical predicaments he faces going forward.

In general, the OP should note that any Class B of that vintage is likely to need repairs whether it's high-mileage or not. And it's not just repairs to the engine, drive train, etc. The upfit components are also going to begin suffering from issues in any 10-year-old rig. That's just part of it.

The OP says "not planning to work on the vehicle myself (I am female)". Well, I'm female too, and had never worked on vehicles prior to my husband and I buying our Class B. But I sure as hell learned to work on this vehicle in a big freakin' hurry once we bought it. I had no choice in this respect - nobody who wasn't born into a bucket of money, or who didn't win a lottery, or hit a major career jackpot, can afford to hire out for the types of interventions that these older rigs need. RV labor in my area is $120 per hour irrespective of which facility is hired. Sorry - my husband and I can't afford that for anything except the most dire of repairs for which we lack tools (our propane tank replacement is the only job we've hired out to date - I wasn't comfortable working with a system characterized by potentially catastrophic flammability).

If the OP wants to get an idea of the types of repairs we faced, they are published on my blog under the "Repairs" tab. Our rig is not a Leisure Travel, but it's the exact same age as the unit under purchase consideration by the OP.
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Old 06-24-2017, 12:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by interblog View Post
...

Yes, t1ns can go 500,000 miles, but that doesn't necessarily mean they "go" without needing extensive repairs during that time.

...

+1


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Old 06-24-2017, 01:36 PM   #8
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We owned a 2005 LTV Free Spirit. Bought it new and loved it for 10 years and 125,000 miles. I would not buy a 2007 with those miles and price. Put that money toward something a lot newer. There are a lot more old items to be concerned about besides the high mileage.
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Old 06-25-2017, 02:04 AM   #9
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Thank you all for your help!
You guys are awesome.
I decided not to go with this one.
I want to keep the maintenance costs down so probably would stick to gas/domestic chassis.
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Old 06-25-2017, 04:47 AM   #10
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If you go the gas engine, then you will be able to get parts easier, and should you break down in some out of the way place or small town - mechanics know how to diagnose and affect the repairs. Ron
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