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Buying a Wanderlodge, a Bluebird or any RV Ready to take the plunge or looking to upgrade and you have questions? Folks are standing by ready to help.

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  #1  
Old 06-27-2019
mbts7679 mbts7679 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Scottsdale
Posts: 2
Default Mentor Wanted to Guide Potential Purchase

Who I am:
A work from home 66 year old married male, never to retire. Never owned an RV or been a serious “Camper” (the Starcraft Pop-Up does not count). Owned airplanes and many houses, so I understand expensive maintenance. Fairly mechanical, especially in carpentry; but no electricity, transmissions, engines, etc. Puttering and maintaining really not my gig. If I’m going to camp, I want to spend my time experiencing and enjoying my locale, not replacing or upgrading a fitting or chasing some system problem/leak. If it breaks down, of course these things happen. I get that. Structured replacement and preventive maintenance is more my style. Simply put, I am not looking for a continuous project or a “needy” bus.
One wife of 45 years; 5 grown children-out of the house; two big dogs (Spinone Italiano’s, which, as a breed, I can recommend ALL DAY LONG) that will travel with us.

Objective: Purchase the soundest Bluebird in my budget ($50,000-$60,000). Model and year agnostic. Esthetics and fineries are secondary until my wife inspects the coach, but I will negotiate that, not the Seller. (She’s actually a wonderful and reasonable person!!)

Risk Management #1: If a Buyer is expected to spend 20%-30% of the purchase in the first 12 months getting the purchase “up to speed”, that’s OK, provided I can factor that into a buy decision. Nobody wants to blow the entire budget on the purchase and then be surprised by unanticipated repairs without liquidity…especially out on the road.

Risk Management #2: For me, the only way to answer a lot of my questions is to jump right on in and experience the ownership, travel, and community. Therefore, I need to save myself from ME. In the event that RV ownership is not for me, then I need to minimize the cost. I get that this is not an investment and there is a cost for “enjoying” the experience. Therefore, I wish to understand the economics of disappointment. Not really interested in: paying too much for a coach, being surprised by unanticipated repairs, deciding to sell, and then discover that I lost my shirt, because I didn’t know the right questions to ask, or who to help me inspect the coach, or locate the fair repair shops, or understand the Bluebird community environment/etiquette, or realize that despite my best efforts this is simply not the right cup of tea for me. I like my shirts. I realize I may have to go sleeveless, maybe even lose a few buttons; but I still want to have a shirt to keep the sun off my back. You all understand what I’m trying to say.

My Ask:
Is anyone willing to be my Mentor and guide the uninitiated (me) through this minefield of uncertainty or am I expected to go through a “Hazing” before I see enlightenment?
If you have an interest in being my Mentor, or at least responding, maybe you need more information about me.

Uses and intended travels: Primarily, Western States (no Mexico, think North where it’s cooler.) Probably not East of a line between Kansas City and Tulsa. Probably start with a few 7-10 days in length, then experimenting with 30 day trips, etc. If all goes well, then who knows. Not a tailgater. Probably have a lot of 1-3 day trips. Arizona and Utah have a lot to see without a great deal of road time for me.

Confusion for me: For the life of me, I can’t figure out the drivers of value on any of the coaches. In one to one comparisons, model, mileage, length, number of axles, all seem to merely be plots on a scatter graph. I refuse to believe that the entire Bluebird resale market is based on the “Greater Fool” theory. How do banks finance purchases? Who conducts independent inspections, etc.? What standards do they use? There has to be some general rules of thumb. Even if I found a coach with a complete history of repairs and receipts, I don’t know enough to evaluate them. I am the self-defined Greater Fool, and as stated above, I need a Mentor to protect me from me. Also, I live in the Phoenix area, so if the heat creates some unique issues, that might be nice to know as well.

I visited with Randy Dupree today and he was more than helpful. Thank you, Randy. However, he represents the Sellers and I need someone to help me protect my interests. Anyone up to the challenge?
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Timothy Shaffer
Scottsdale, AZ
Looking to own
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  #2  
Old 06-27-2019
sailor7cs's Avatar
sailor7cs sailor7cs is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: 14812 53rd St.Yuma Foothills Cell 239-464-6441
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Timothy,
Nice first post,and welcome to the forum...
I would be glad to help. but I'm in PA, right now heading to maine...
I winter in Yuma and will be back in there in Nov...
But there are a few people who live in the PHX area, I'm sure they will show to offer some help...
Good Luck in your search...
HTH
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Larry Dill & Barbara Ribar
Yuma, AZ. 85367
'95 37' BMC 'Pura Vida'
'84 35' FCSB SOLD
2006 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
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  #3  
Old 06-27-2019
arcaidy arcaidy is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Peachtree City
Posts: 185
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I'm fairly new to the Wanderlodge world. Will be two years in October.
Here is how my search went...
I put together a list of things I wanted. I read the forums for a long time and watched what came up for sale and the prices. I'd agree there doesn't seem to be a lot of consistency with pricing. You'll find it all over the place. There are screaming deals that pop up. You have to be ready to move quickly at times but others they'll sit for a while.
I wasn't planning on jumping in to ownership at the time I purchased. We just found the bird we liked at a price point that made sense. About the only thing it has in common with what I thought I wanted is the Wanderlodge name...
I doubt you'll be able to figure out what you really want until you've owned one and used it for a while. That has been our experience.


We like things about ours we didn't expect and would change things we thought were important. We've discussed getting another one that we think would fit us better only to step back and wonder if it really made sense to change. For instance, I can park the PT35 without much of a hassle at my house. I doubt that's doable with a bigger unit. I never considered that as a requirement till I had this one and now its important. (was easier loading, unloading, cleaning, servicing and so on at the house!)
Find a Wanderlodge that is used, known on the forum and has maintenance records. Like most other toys, you'll never be done with everything... But if you find someone that is using it I think you're more likely to find one that has a good core.
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  #4  
Old 06-27-2019
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Mike Hohnstein Mike Hohnstein is offline
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Location: NW Milwaukee Metro Area
Posts: 4,440
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Sounds like you'll be paying for mechanical mayhem, it will happen with any RV, new or used, however vintage units can be much more challenging than new.
You should stick to BMC, Cummins, 3060 Allison, most shops won't turn you away with that drive line, secondary consideration would be Series 60 coach's, but they get more expensive and not as easy to unload if need be.
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  #5  
Old 06-27-2019
Craig Clark Craig Clark is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Gretna
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Timothy welcome and good luck with your search I'm too far away to be of assistance although Randy Dupree represents sellers he is fair across the board truely a "Rare Bird"! I would give him a blank check based on his advise & assistance when I bought my coach from another broker in FLA. Randy jumped in cut to the chase & with his guidance I was able to make a quick deal. My family & I have been enjoying the Blue Bird Wanderlodge experience ever since.
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  #6  
Old 06-27-2019
al perna al perna is offline
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Everything you need to know is here already Timothy . The fact that you have taken a plane in he air where you can not pull over in caser of emergency is all I need to know about your ability to handle the bird. Just pick a topic and start reading . Then show up at a Rally near you and talk to other owners. It is really that simple so don't overthink coach ownership as many do .
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  #7  
Old 06-27-2019
markkitch markkitch is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Athens
Posts: 315
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Hi Timothy,
You started at the right place. My suggestion would be like everyone else's. Go to some rally's and look at some birds in person, talk to the owners. I have never met a bird owner that wasn't good with show and tell. Figure out the layout that you like best. You sound like a tinkerer, which is great birds like tinkerers. Once you get a good grasp of the systems you will know what PM needs to be done. There is a learning curve. I have no idea what your timeline is, but I think Randy has some good deals right now. He will help you. The huge benefit that comes with Wanderlodge ownership is this forum, whatever issue you come up with you can turn to this group and its archives to solve the problem. And most likely with the help of this group you can repair it yourself, $$$$.
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  #8  
Old 06-27-2019
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Crit Bliss Crit Bliss is online now
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Randy is your guide
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  #9  
Old 06-27-2019
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curtsprenger curtsprenger is offline
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Come to the Bird of A Feather (BOF) rally held the last two full weeks in January at Quartzsite, AZ. Click on https://birdsofafeather1.shutterfly.com/ and enter the password flocktogether (one word). You'll see approx. 100 Blue Birds gathered there.
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1974 FC31 534 gas engine, air brakes (sold)
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  #10  
Old 06-29-2019
toolmaker toolmaker is offline
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Welcome Timothy,
Read the forums and ask questions.
Attend a rally if possible and keep your eye on Randys site. There are also coaches that come up for sale privately so you might want to put a phone number or email in your signature. It's how we found ours. Happy hunting.
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