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Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/17/21 5:41 p.m.

I've reached a point where I no longer have the time/energy/motivation to keep on top of all the projects around the house/property. I've also come to the realization that I neither enjoy, nor am particularly good at working on cars. So obviously it seemed like the perfect time to pick up something that combines the worst aspects of both. 
 

 

We weren't really looking for an RV - we'd still been planning on doing some level of camping conversion to the van. But we'd also discussed the merits and shortcomings of doing the van conversion vs. buying a ready-to-roll RV. We didn't want a big RV, but more space than was possible in the van would have been nice. I've been following RV prices since before everything exploded last spring, and happened to notice prices(locally at least) were dropping this summer, so I started paying attention closer. 
 

This 2004 Forest River Lexington 255ds popped up on Marketplace Saturday evening. I contacted the seller within 30-minutes of it being listed, talked to him on the phone about it & made plans to check it out Sunday. It's a V10 gas with 38,000 miles on it. It has 6 new matching tires, both house batteries are new, and the roof has been resealed & coated. It runs & drives like new, and all systems & appliances work fine. His phone was blowing up while we were there, so there wasn't any negotiating on price, but at $20,800 it doesn't seem like a horrible deal for the current market. 
 

We weren't actually planning on buying anything until next year at the earliest, but this rig really hit the sweet spot of our needs vs. price vs. condition, so we decided to finance part of the purchase price with our credit union - and that turned into a nearly 2-day fiasco... First, the bank uses KBB for valuation, and they don't list this model. Once I finally got the title & we ran it, the VIN only brings up the E450 cutaway it was built on - it says nothing about it being a motorhome. Well KBB doesn't list a 2004 E450 either. In the end we just took out a personal loan to finance part of it & once it's registered in our name I'll look around & see if we're better off refinancing it elsewhere. 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/17/21 5:56 p.m.

So it does have a few issues of course. The roof has leaked, so there a couple soft spots. They're ok for now, but I'll need to address them eventually. 
 

The window gasket has shrunk around a couple windows like below. I presume I can find a roll of this stuff somewhere & just need to replace it all? Or is there a better method?

 

All the vinyl graphics & lettering are cracked and/or peeling like this, so I need to pick up an eraser wheel & spend a day going around the coach. 
 

 

Someone smacked the RR corner, so I guess I'll be learning fiberglass repair at some point too. 
 

 

The awning(?) over one of the slide-outs is pretty tore up on one end. I'm guessing I just need to find a local boat/upholstery shop & see about them making a new one? I also need to deal with the rust on the light, but that shouldn't be too bad. 
 

 

The interior is nice though, and completely functional as-is, other than I need to tear apart this cabinet above the cab & build a shelf to attach our sugar gliders' travel cages. 
 

 

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) Dork
8/17/21 5:57 p.m.

What about the "grey water" tank?  or is that what the title of the thread was referring to? devil

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/17/21 6:59 p.m.

In reply to Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) :

Just quoting National Lampoon's Xmas Vacation.

I've not emptied them yet, but the seller said they don't have any problems & I've spent enough time with him the last 2 days that I don't think he's been hiding anything about the rig. 

barefootskater (Shaun)
barefootskater (Shaun) PowerDork
8/17/21 7:08 p.m.

Aren't you the guy that had a thread called "poor life decisions"?

At least you're consistent. 
 

laugh

birdmayne
birdmayne New Reader
8/17/21 7:08 p.m.

Slide topper fabrics are pretty easily ordered if you don't have a local source, just need some basic info. 

Rubber roof? 

Window rubber shrinking is super common, can usually order rolls of the material to replace. Presses in with fingers. 

The fiberglass repair should be pretty straightforward also

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/17/21 7:24 p.m.

In reply to birdmayne :

Awesome info - thanks! It's a one piece roof, but it's been coated with what I presume is some type of white latex product? That was put down after everything was resealed. 

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) Dork
8/17/21 8:03 p.m.

I have seen a whole lot worse in used RVs. New tires on a used RV is a good thing. Much better than original tires. I have seen a lot of those.

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
8/17/21 8:09 p.m.

Congratulations on your new pile of manufactured grief. laugh

birdmayne
birdmayne New Reader
8/17/21 8:33 p.m.
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to birdmayne :

Awesome info - thanks! It's a one piece roof, but it's been coated with what I presume is some type of white latex product? That was put down after everything was resealed. 

Its good to keep an eye on the coating. I've seen a lot of them peel / flake off. 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/17/21 8:45 p.m.

In reply to Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) :

All the rest of the presumably 17-year old rubber components will be getting checked and/or replaced before we take it very far from home.

I'm tentatively planning to tow the Miata over for the September autox in a few weeks. I figure a 200-mile round trip might be a good first test. 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/17/21 8:46 p.m.
ShawnG said:

Congratulations on your new pile of manufactured grief. laugh

Oh if that isn't an apt description! 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/17/21 8:47 p.m.

In reply to birdmayne :

Oh that's great to know - thanks!

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
8/17/21 10:26 p.m.
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) said:
ShawnG said:

Congratulations on your new pile of manufactured grief. laugh

Oh if that isn't an apt description! 

Don't thank me, thank the late, great Jerry Reed: https://youtu.be/4jOMcAlO7rQ

I've owned two decrepit truck campers and a new travel trailer. I feel your pain.

 

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago UltraDork
8/17/21 11:36 p.m.

In reply to birdmayne :

What're those rubbers called? I also need to replace some on my trucks camper shell.

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
8/18/21 12:13 a.m.

Steele Rubber has an RV catalog online. You can view the rubber seals and bumpers in cross section with dimensions. They will probably have something that will work for you.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/18/21 5:12 a.m.
ShawnG said:

Steele Rubber has an RV catalog online. You can view the rubber seals and bumpers in cross section with dimensions. They will probably have something that will work for you.

They should be in the condom business with a name like that. 

Dirtydog (Forum Supporter)
Dirtydog (Forum Supporter) Dork
8/18/21 8:13 a.m.

Good luck and happy trails with your new rig.  You could possibly check out a boat, or marina shop to buff that RV out.  That's a lot of acreage to hit by yourself.  Cost vs labor sort of thing.

Dirtydog (Forum Supporter)
Dirtydog (Forum Supporter) Dork
8/18/21 8:15 a.m.

Another thing, double check the roof, to make sure it's sealed correctly.  What kind of service records came with it?

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/18/21 9:22 a.m.

In reply to Dirtydog (Forum Supporter) :

I'll be watching the roof closely. It looks good now, but I don't know what they used. 

The only records are of an oil change about 100 miles ago. Though I checked the house batteries & see they're dated 5/21 & 6/21 so they're definitely new, as are the tires. 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/18/21 9:25 a.m.

Tire pressure question: when I stopped for gas after 20-miles of 70-75mph all-4 rear tires felt hotter than it comfortable with. I checked the hubs & they're cool, so it's not a brake or bearing problem. The tires are currently at 60psi with a max rating of 80psi. Does 70psi seem like a reasonable pressure to try?

Purple Frog (Forum Supporter)
Purple Frog (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
8/18/21 9:32 a.m.

You are probably running the tires too soft.  All that flexing builds up heat.  I'd be closer to 80.

One of my best ever motorhomes had the V-10.  I liked it.

You did good.  Nothing beats A/C in a hot paddock for the spouse to escape.

grover
grover Dork
8/18/21 11:33 a.m.

you want higher tire pressure in these than a truck or car.  I'd agree on 75-80.

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) Dork
8/18/21 12:21 p.m.
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) :

All the rest of the presumably 17-year old rubber components will be getting checked and/or replaced before we take it very far from home.

I'm tentatively planning to tow the Miata over for the September autox in a few weeks. I figure a 200-mile round trip might be a good first test. 

Can you still find it? I'm still looking for stuff for my Class C, and it's the same as a 1978 Dodge Sportsman Van.

Kendall_Jones
Kendall_Jones HalfDork
8/18/21 12:52 p.m.
birdmayne said:

Slide topper fabrics are pretty easily ordered if you don't have a local source, just need some basic info. 

Rubber roof? 

Window rubber shrinking is super common, can usually order rolls of the material to replace. Presses in with fingers. 

The fiberglass repair should be pretty straightforward also

The slide out topper is totally DIY.  Watch a youtube video and get er done.  I used this for ours - slide out topper material on amazon  Not a canoe :)

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