Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Blaine_on_the_road

Completely New!!

Recommended Posts

I am brand new to motor-homes! I am looking at a few options, but my favorite so far is a 1979 Toyota Huntsman. I am going to be traveling the country with my daughter for a bit. What do I need to know before buying? What do I need to look at? The Huntsman has 33,000 miles on it, manual transmission. I asked if it was 5 or 6 axle, but I have not received a response quite yet. I am going to look at it tomorrow, but thought I should join this forum and get advice from people who have some experience. Please share anything that may be helpful to know!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You’re looking at a 40 year old vehicle. I would add at least another 100K to the mileage. Rear axle is the biggy. If only 5 lugs your looking at $2-4K to upgrade to a ff axle. The 5 lug axle is unsafe.

Everything else use due diligence. Take it for a test drive. Nothing that old is going to be “turnkey “.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Though I agree that the axle is important, I think the cost to 'fix' is way less unless you get 'taken' for a ride. I'd say more like $1000-$2000 installed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Post tire size and check tire mfg dates. Tires are 600-1000$

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Make sure everything works. Have the owner turn on the refrigerator, the furnace, the water system, the water heater, the stove, the roof top air conditioner, the cab dash air conditioner and heater, all the driving lights, coach outdoor lights and the 12 volt interior lights. If the owner says he doesn't know if they work or hesitates to turn everything on for whatever reason, assume that they don't work and go from there. For instance if you won't need the shower, you can get by with out a functioning water heater. You can heat water for dishes or cleanup on the stove top.

 

Also look for signs of water leaks particularly under the bunk over the cab. Leaks aren't necessarily a deal breaker unless the whole roof is falling down or you can see daylight through the sides. Some leaks you can live with, some are more difficult. You decide.

 

The axle is the biggie, though. Make sure its a six lug, full floating type. Your trip sounds like fun...

Edited by wemit
clarity

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even at such low mileage, plan on a tune-up and a good look over in the engine bay.  Good chance your fuel pump will be on its last legs.  Sitting for that long gums them up.  

 

Tires again, check DOT date codes.  You will almost defiantly have to replace them.

 

If you know enough to do most/all the work yourself, you will be fine.  If you can't and have to take it into a shop, that is when it becomes expensive.  

 

Most importantly before you decide to drive it home, get your insurance/towing upgraded for RV and make sure enough time has passed to have it instated.  AAA has an upgraded RV tier, but it is basically a joke.  Take a look at Good Sam.  If halfway home it has an issue and has to be towed, these are NOT a normal $50-150 tow...  A CHEAP deal of the century tow will cost you $500!!!    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, thewanderlustking said:

Even at such low mileage, plan on a tune-up and a good look over in the engine bay.  Good chance your fuel pump will be on its last legs.  Sitting for that long gums them up.  

 

Tires again, check DOT date codes.  You will almost defiantly have to replace them.

 

If you know enough to do most/all the work yourself, you will be fine.  If you can't and have to take it into a shop, that is when it becomes expensive.  

 

Most importantly before you decide to drive it home, get your insurance/towing upgraded for RV and make sure enough time has passed to have it instated.  AAA has an upgraded RV tier, but it is basically a joke.  Take a look at Good Sam.  If halfway home it has an issue and has to be towed, these are NOT a normal $50-150 tow...  A CHEAP deal of the century tow will cost you $500!!!    

Actually, AAA has a pretty good rate package. There is a 5 day wait before coverage kicks in. I have AAA plus RV which tows for up to100 miles. With my two daughters as associates my yearly cost is $168.00. Not a bad deal for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have AAA too.  And we got the RV package....  YMMV but when we needed a tow we waited 3hrs with promises of a tow is coming, before finally being told "Sorry we can't find anyone."  We wasted well over 5 hrs trying to get towed that night, and they never came through.  It could be our area, or being it was late evening, could have been the time.  Our experience was so bad we got Good Sam and the next week got it towed back.  

 

My point mainly being, either have RV towing, or be ready for the tow bill on one of these guys.  

 

Good Sam offers a lot of benefits beyond towing, that might make it the more worthwhile choice.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Must be your area. For the two times I needed a tow, the wait was no longer than 45 minutes. Of course my RV is small and will fit on a standard ramp truck. I’ve been with AAA for over 17 years and am very happy with their service.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They did flatbead mine out too on a standard tow truck, but it was not a simple thing to pull it on.  Ours is a Mini-Cruiser at 20'.  The guy had special 2x10 ramps made to get the rear up at a better angle.  Even then, it scraped.  As for AAA, I LOVE them and have probably ben a member for 15yrs or so myself.  Getting the RV towed was the only bad experience I have ever had with them.  And it wasn't just the one time.  I think we tried getting their help three times to get the beast home.     

 

But again my point here being, old RV and it is a REALLY good idea to have RV specific towing ready to go.  Obviously, if Blaine decides not to get it, kinda pointless to worry about.   

 

I think the experience of owning one of these older Toyota RV's is well worth it.  It is a MUCH lower cost point to get into one than a newer "modern" and there is a TON of help here (and elsewhere) to get issues resolved.  

 

Oh a benefit to Good Sam?  I just got off the phone with a "certified" (whatever that might mean) RV technician to give me some ideas on how to proceed with a roof leak repair I am working on.  I am an ASE certified mechanic, so the auto mechanics portion I have well in hand.  I just scratch my head with some of the cross over into RV-land points.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...