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Old 04-07-2012, 06:33 PM   #1
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Purchase of all american toyhauler - Sport

Hello all, I am new to this whole camping thing. My wife and I just had our second son (10 days old). As a result, my wife can't come out to the dirt bike track with our oldest son and I. We were looking at getting a camper for camping purposes and now we found ourselves needing a camper for both the tracks and camping.

Anyway, we are currently looking at a 2002 Forest River All American 24' toy hauler. The seller appears to be a dealer and does not appear to have much info on it. Of course I found it on Craig's list and it is 3 hours away. I am thinking of driving there and looking at it next week. The seller advised he will email me the specs on Monday. I am thinking of offering him 6K. This is a few hundred under what he is asking.

Also, I have an older Honda 3500 generator. Will this run the camper's a/c unit?

Any help would be a great help.

Thanks Eric and family
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Old 04-07-2012, 07:01 PM   #2
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since you don't say where you live, it's hard to say what a good price is, since it varies by what region of the U.S. you are.
Midwest areas have better prices than the coastal areas.
also, providing a link to the Craig's listing would help.

as far as the Honda 3500, it depends on the size of the a/c, 13.5k or 15k.
and if it's open-framed, don't use it in campgrounds. at races or boondocking, it would be fine.
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Old 04-07-2012, 07:29 PM   #3
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You do need to think about the generator and when you can use it. Lots of campgrounds and other places don't allow generators or limit the hours when they can be used.

When I was looking for our class C motorhome, I searched the internet and found lots of sites selling the same rig and could compare prices. You might try RV Reviews | Review RV Values, Camper and Trailer Specs, Motorhome Value & RV Prices | NADA Recreational Vehicle Appraisal Guides for pricing info. It's free and was useful for me to get a ballpark value.

Update: Welcome to the forums and congratulations on your new son.
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Old 04-07-2012, 07:29 PM   #4
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Sorry, I'm in Florida. Craigs list link 2002 FOREST RIVER TOY HAULER. There is no info on the size of A/C unit. Don't even know if this unit normally comes with a fueling station. Hope so.

I have spoken with the guy and I believe it is a make shift sales place (by looking at the pictures on the link attached to the craig's list). They say they have lowered the price to the 6900. I'm hoping they will come down another 900 to meet my budget. (I was going to give the guy cash if the trailer looks ok).

But that is some of my problems. I am going to bring a friend that has had more experience with campers than me. But, just wondered if there was certain concerns to look for with these campers. This kinda sucks, because I'm limited by lack of knowledge. Wish I could have the camper gone over by an independent mechanic.
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Old 04-07-2012, 07:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by New2Rvs View Post
You do need to think about the generator and when you can use it. Lots of campgrounds and other places don't allow generators or limit the hours when they can be used.

When I was looking for our class C motorhome, I searched the internet and found lots of sites selling the same rig and could compare prices. You might try RV Reviews | Review RV Values, Camper and Trailer Specs, Motorhome Value & RV Prices | NADA Recreational Vehicle Appraisal Guides for pricing info. It's free and was useful for me to get a ballpark value.
Thanks, when I get the detailed list from the guy on Monday, I will do that.

Also, thinking of using the generator at the dirt bike tracks. I'm pretty sure there are no limits there. At the camp sites, wondering how the batteries do? Is it true you can run some of the camper (not the A/C) off the batteries? How long can I expect them to last using the lights.

Also, how does the heater / refrigerator work. Doe they only work of the battery. Someone told me they may work of the propane in the tanks. Not sure how a fridge works off propane. Again I'm very new to this so all the help you guys want to provide will fall on very grateful ears.

Just FYI, I will be away from the computer for a few hours, but will be back on for a few hours after that. Thanks again very much for any help you can provide. Happy Easter!!!
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Old 04-07-2012, 07:59 PM   #6
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Here is how it works on my Class C 2007 Motor Home and I'm sure it's similar for your rig.

A/C -- works on AC (110V) only.
Fridge -- AC or propane (some older units ran off 12V)
Heater -- propane
Water heater -- AC or propane
Lights -- 12V DC
Water pump -- 12 DC

Your rig probably has a converter that supplies 12V when running on shore power (110 VAC).

I found that each of the 921 interior light consumed 1.5 Amps each so I changed all 18 bulbs to LEDs. The LEDs were $8 each but I'm happy with the results and they consume 1/10th the power (around 120 mA). Very important if you plan to run on batteries for any length of time.

When we purchased our rig a month ago, I found a couple books useful for understanding the "internals." One was Trailer Life's Repair & Maintenance Manual. The other was Woodall's RV Owner's Handbook. Both books were discounted at Camping World.
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:00 PM   #7
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there are 3 different models listed for 2002:

M-21FB - 25'
M-27FB - 30'
M-28FB - 31'

it looks like the 21FB, since it doesn't look 30' long.

NADA shows a low value of $2660 and average retail value of $3200.
you don't count the value of "options" that were standard, such as a/c, oven, awning, fridge/freezer and so on.

yes, the lights, water pump, furnace, fridge/freezer and other 12v items can run off the battery. using the furnace will run the battery down faster than anything else.
fridge/freezer run off of 110vAC shore power or propane. runs by absorption, not by compressor like your home fridge works.

suggest you do some research on RV systems and how they work. Google the 12 volt side of life, to learn about RV battery and 12v systems on RVs.
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:49 PM   #8
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Thanks guys. I appreciate all the input. Is there anything I should look for while looking at the camper that is a pretty common concern for this type, model, make of camper?
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:57 PM   #9
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Eric
If it were me I would have it thoroughly checked by an RV Mechanic. There are several of them that will do mobile inspections. It is well worth the money spent.
Also use the figures Bikendan gave you to negotiate.
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Old 04-07-2012, 11:01 PM   #10
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Ohh Sweet, I didn't know they did mobile inspections. I will check the city the camper is in and see if a mechanic would be available on Thursday (when I plan on taking the road trip). I was also planing on using Bikendan's figures. I figured I will know more when I get the options sheet on Monday.

Thanks again guys for everything. I know with cars that some cars have common problems that are shared amongst other members. I wasn't sure if this was similar with RVs.
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