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I'm looking to buy my first RV tomorrow...it's a 1985 Toyota Escaper with 94,000 miles. Asking price $4500. I have no experience with this situation, and I've been researching for days online. I would like to find out if there are certain things, besides the rear axle 6 lug thing, that I should be looking out for?...what are some basic questions I should ask the current owner?? AND should I take it in somewhere to get looked over before I buy? Also, if there are issues with it, how do I go about asking for a lower price? From the looks of the ad photos, the RV has been very well taken care of, and the owner has updated the interior. He did mention in an email, though, that at higher speeds, it will leak a little bit of oil...is that something I should be concerned with? Is that an expensive fix? How much off the asking price could I get for something like that? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!!

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Don't fall in love immediately but look at this camper as a learning process. If you don't buy it, you'll know more than you did before.

Ask for a demo of each cabin system (water, electicity, propane, fridge, AC).

Most people are glad to show what they know and it will teach you about Toyota motorhomes.

See if he will take you for a test drive around the block. Listen for anything that doesn't sound right. Listen to the suspension as you drive. Check that speedometer, odometer, AC, are working.

See if all the outside lights work, brake light and turn signals.

Ask if there are receipts and records of maintenance - take a quick look to see if there has been a recent tuneup.

Look at the tires for cracks that may indicate dry rot. Check the age of the tires.

He may volunteer what he really wants for the camper. You know what you want to pay, offer less, then bargain close to where you want to be.

If engine oil, the oil leak is probably an easy fix - a gasket most likely. it indicates fresh oil has been added on a regular basis. A camper that has been used regularly is better than one that has been sitting.

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I have an "88 Escaper and really like it.

As far as looking at a new to you RV:

1. Take a checklist with you when you go look at the RV. Check EVERY item on the list.

2. I take a friend with me that is pretty good with cars and trucks and I give him total veto power if he sees something that I am overlooking. I may fall in love with the RV and not see its flaws. He is more critical. This works for me. We have done this for 30 years. I have steered him away from a couple of motorcycle purchases also.

3. Remember that this is a 28 year old vehicle. Things will be wrong with it and things will break. If you can't fix it yourself, can you afford to pay someone to do the repairs and still have enough money left over to enjoy the RV?

4. Be honest with yourself about you ability to do the repairs. Shops are expensive.

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what they said ^ but I would add the test drive should include both freeway and city street driving. We have time and again seen issues in here that only occur at 55-60 MPH (vibration, braking, cooling, etc).

I would say this, the mileage of that rig is PERFECT. it was used enough to keep it lubed but it has life left. $4500 seems legit especially if everything works.

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look for water damage around windows roof ac unit

look at wallpaper for bubbling or peeling for water damage

knock on walls to make sure solid

take a friend to help you.2 eyes are better then one...

ask a lot of questions see how honest owner is (rv gets 18-20 mpg is not honest)

ask how its used and how often it is used

test out everything

frig might take couple of hours to get cold (ask if all frig settings work 12 VOLT/110 VOLT/PROPANE)

make sure furnace will actually blow HOT air

have owner plug rv in to Shore Power (rv is plugged in to 110 volt outlet) and test roof ac and test 110 volt house plugs.

to make sure converter works...

like skydancer says don't be in a rush to buy you might find a better floor plan. the more rv's you look at the better....

good luck searching

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In addition to looking at the tires for age and cracks, make sure they are the correct truck tires and

not car tires, otherwise that will end up adding $700 to the price. The correct trucks tires should have

a size of 185/R14 or 195/R14 (vs something like 195/70/R14). The tires should be maked with a

load range, you want Load Range D.

Crawl under the truck and make sure the frame is solid, a little surface rust is okay. Look at the

gas tank (and water tanks) for any leak stains. While under there you will be able to see if there

are any engine oil, transmission fuild, and rear axle leaks.

Be sure to take your hand and push around the window frames and celing vents from the inside,

if you feel any soft spots you have water damage. Also step on every foot of floor, soft spots

are water damage. Look at the roof from both the inside and outside, there should not be any

sagging. One way to spot sagging on the roof from the outside is to look for water stains/rings.

Make sure everything on the inside works, the stove top and oven, the A/C and heater, all lights,

the frigs, the sink water pump, and water heater.


soft p

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The correct trucks tires should have a size of 185/R14 or 195/R14 (vs something like 195/70/R14). The tires should be maked with a

load range, you want Load Range D.

Unless they're Yokohama Y356 in which case there is a suitable 195/75R14 available. A Load Range C will also do the job. This is what many left the Factory with. There MIGHT be others.


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