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RE: [classicrv] purchasing a 1981 GMC Sandpiper Executive

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  • Ted Kroll
    Katherine, Make sure the brake system is good as well as the tires as these are very expensive items to R&R, also check under it for leaks of anything. Another
    Message 1 of 15 , Jul 1, 2010
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      Katherine, Make sure the brake system is good as well as the tires as these
      are very expensive items to R&R, also check under it for leaks of anything.
      Another expensive Item is the refrigerator and Generator. Try everything!!
      $2500 is pretty cheap, there must be something wrong.
      Ted
      -----Original Message-----
      From: classicrv@yahoogroups.com [mailto:classicrv@yahoogroups.com]On
      Behalf Of KatherineB.
      Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 10:18 PM
      To: classicrv@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [classicrv] purchasing a 1981 GMC Sandpiper Executive



      Hello,

      I am new to forum. I am purchasing a 1981 class a sandpiper executive. I
      am new to this and owner has no idea about anything other than it runs. it
      is great shape. Just looking for advise on what I should be looking for. it
      is 33 ft and its $2500. Is there specific things that I should be aware of
      before purchasing this monster!!! I mean refrigerator/AC what is the most
      common first time buyers make??






      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Warren
      Tires. If the tires are over 5 years old. They will probably need to be replaced. If they are showing signs of deep cracks on the sidewalls. They probably need
      Message 2 of 15 , Jul 1, 2010
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        Tires.
        If the tires are over 5 years old. They will probably need to be replaced.
        If they are showing signs of deep cracks on the sidewalls. They probably
        need to be replaced.
        Even if the tread is good.
        So. Make allowances in the budget for tires right after you purchase the
        motor home.
        And plan on servicing the engine and trans. Budget for that as well.
        And get the generator serviced.
        Might not hurt to also get the AC cleaned and serviced. Something most
        people never do but needs to be done from time to time. Get the crud out of
        the coils so the AC will cool better.

        Fire up every appliance on propane and see if they work properly.
        If there is an electric component, test that as well.
        Fire up the Gen and turn on the roof AC to see if they work on the gen.

        Pump water into the plumbing under pressure and look for leaks (evidence of
        frozen pipes)
        See if the drain plumbing leaks or not.
        See if the holding tanks actually hold or do they leak.

        Inspect for rotted wood around the corners in the walls and floors. Also
        check for soft spots in the floor around the door, corners, under cabinets
        etc.
        Mold is a sure sign there is water and probably some wood rot.

        Very common problem. The fill line to the potable tank deteriorates over
        time and can bust leaking out all the water as your filling the tank so pump
        some water into the tank from a garden hose and see if it fills or pores out
        on the ground.

        If the body if fiberglass. Look for evidence of cracking and delamination
        (pealing and cracking)
        If aluminum, look for places where the screws or rivets are loose or falling
        out. Ripples in the exterior skin can be signs of delamination of the
        fiberglass or where the glue between the exterior skin and the wood backing
        had come apart. May be fine as is but something to be aware of. If the skin
        is aluminum, wavy skin can be a sign of wood rot.

        Look for spots where there is excessive caulk in big gaps. Could be signs of
        wood rot. Could also be a sign of poor assembly when new.


        These are not reasons to reject he sale. Just items that need to be checked
        so you go into this deal knowing exactly what needs to be fixed and how much
        work it may be to fix it.

        Could be a really good deal. Or could be a $2500 money pit you will keep
        throwing money into for a long time. Hard to tell without seeing it my
        self.

        The frig, if it work. Just look for excessive rust, dirt and wasp nests
        which can impare the function of the frig.
        Rusy exhaust pipe on the gen could mean it will need an new one soon.

        Take it for a test drive and do a few rapid stops to see if the brakes work
        properly.
        Expect them to not work so drive with extreme caution until you know for
        sure they work. Know where the emergency brake is and if it works just in
        case you need it during the test drive. Bout messed my pans on one test
        drive due to faulty brakes and he didn't warn me before hand and I didn't
        think to test before the stop light. Just about didn't stop. Had to stand on
        the brake peddle to get it to stop and almost hit someone. Grabbed the
        emergency brake and found the handle not mounted to the floor. Rotted out.
        So double failure and end of deal. I just left it there and walked back to
        my car and went home. Owner was with me. I just left it up to him to get it
        back to his house.

        These are pretty much good rules to go by with any RV your may be looking
        at.

        Best of luck and hope it passes all inspections and test.


        --
        Warren
        1989 GMC R2500 HD Suburban.
        1953 Airstream Cruiser Travel trailer (The Runaway Sue)
        Western KY

        On Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 10:18 PM, KatherineB. <easycells2@...> wrote:

        >
        >
        > Hello,
        >
        > I am new to forum. I am purchasing a 1981 class a sandpiper executive. I am
        > new to this and owner has no idea about anything other than it runs. it is
        > great shape. Just looking for advise on what I should be looking for. it is
        > 33 ft and its $2500. Is there specific things that I should be aware of
        > before purchasing this monster!!! I mean refrigerator/AC what is the most
        > common first time buyers make??
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Warren
        There will be something wrong so expect and look for something. Not necessairly a deal breaker but at least you will go into the deal with your eyes wide open
        Message 3 of 15 , Jul 1, 2010
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          There will be something wrong so expect and look for something.
          Not necessairly a deal breaker but at least you will go into the deal with
          your eyes wide open and well informed as to what expenses to expect after
          purchasing.

          --
          Warren
          1989 GMC R2500 HD Suburban.
          1953 Airstream Cruiser Travel trailer (The Runaway Sue)
          Western KY

          On Thu, Jul 1, 2010 at 8:05 AM, Ted Kroll <tedkroll@...> wrote:

          >
          >
          > Katherine, Make sure the brake system is good as well as the tires as these
          > are very expensive items to R&R, also check under it for leaks of anything.
          > Another expensive Item is the refrigerator and Generator. Try everything!!
          > $2500 is pretty cheap, there must be something wrong.
          > Ted
          >
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • PennyT
          ... I am purchasing a 1981 class a sandpiper executive. it is great shape. Just looking for advise on what I should be looking for. Is there specific things
          Message 4 of 15 , Jul 1, 2010
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            --- In classicrv@yahoogroups.com, "KatherineB." <easycells2@...> wrote:
            I am purchasing a 1981 class a sandpiper executive. it is great shape. Just looking for advise on what I should be looking for. Is there specific things that I should be aware of before purchasing this monster!!!
            what is the most common first time buyers make?? >>>

            Not checking in every corner, in every upper and lower cabinet looking for soft spots and rot. Clearance lights are known potential for leaks. The plumbing might have been frozen, and have water leaks. I suggest you look up all the things you should look for, as the list is lengthy, like on NewbieRV or RVNet.
            Happy Trails, Penny, TX
          • Ted Kroll
            Katherine, I just read the add on that Motorhome, based on that, I think I d buy it! Ted ... From: classicrv@yahoogroups.com
            Message 5 of 15 , Jul 1, 2010
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              Katherine, I just read the add on that Motorhome, based on that, I think I'd
              buy it!
              Ted
              -----Original Message-----
              From: classicrv@yahoogroups.com [mailto:classicrv@yahoogroups.com]On
              Behalf Of KatherineB.
              Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 10:18 PM
              To: classicrv@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [classicrv] purchasing a 1981 GMC Sandpiper Executive



              Hello,

              I am new to forum. I am purchasing a 1981 class a sandpiper executive. I
              am new to this and owner has no idea about anything other than it runs. it
              is great shape. Just looking for advise on what I should be looking for. it
              is 33 ft and its $2500. Is there specific things that I should be aware of
              before purchasing this monster!!! I mean refrigerator/AC what is the most
              common first time buyers make??






              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • firstladygolly
              I agee, i think i d buy it. Please do remember to budget $200 each for tires, i can t imagine what a blow out in a motorhome is like. Sent from my U.S.
              Message 6 of 15 , Jul 1, 2010
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                I agee, i think i'd buy it. Please do remember to budget $200 each for tires, i can't imagine what a blow out in a motorhome is like.

                Sent from my U.S. Cellular® Windows® phone.

                -----Original Message-----
                From: Ted Kroll <tedkroll@...>
                Sent: Thursday, July 01, 2010 9:31 AM
                To: classicrv@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: RE: [classicrv] purchasing a 1981 GMC Sandpiper Executive


                Katherine, I just read the add on that Motorhome, based on that, I think I'd
                buy it!
                Ted
                -----Original Message-----
                From: classicrv@yahoogroups.com [mailto:classicrv@yahoogroups.com]On
                Behalf Of KatherineB.
                Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 10:18 PM
                To: classicrv@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [classicrv] purchasing a 1981 GMC Sandpiper Executive

                Hello,

                I am new to forum. I am purchasing a 1981 class a sandpiper executive. I
                am new to this and owner has no idea about anything other than it runs. it
                is great shape. Just looking for advise on what I should be looking for. it
                is 33 ft and its $2500. Is there specific things that I should be aware of
                before purchasing this monster!!! I mean refrigerator/AC what is the most
                common first time buyers make??

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


                Reply to sender |

                [The entire original message is not included]

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Gianna
                This is GREAT information. We received a 77 Dodge for free. I wish we had this list when we got it. Every had to figure out every item on the list. We spent
                Message 7 of 15 , Jul 1, 2010
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                  This is GREAT information. We received a 77 Dodge for free. I wish we
                  had this list when we got it. Every had to figure out every item on
                  the list. We spent about $1600 on the engine and need new tires
                  another $1100. We feel it is worth it but it might not be to someone
                  else.

                  Thanks,

                  G

                  BTW - the manufacture date of your tires is on the outside. it will
                  have 4 digits. The first 2 represent the week of the year, the 2nd
                  represent the year - ours were 9 years old....yikes!

                  On Jul 1, 2010, at 6:13 AM, Warren wrote:

                  > Tires.
                  > If the tires are over 5 years old. They will probably need to be
                  > replaced.
                  > If they are showing signs of deep cracks on the sidewalls. They
                  > probably
                  > need to be replaced.
                  > Even if the tread is good.
                  > So. Make allowances in the budget for tires right after you purchase
                  > the
                  > motor home.
                  > And plan on servicing the engine and trans. Budget for that as well.
                  > And get the generator serviced.
                  > Might not hurt to also get the AC cleaned and serviced. Something most
                  > people never do but needs to be done from time to time. Get the crud
                  > out of
                  > the coils so the AC will cool better.
                  >
                  > Fire up every appliance on propane and see if they work properly.
                  > If there is an electric component, test that as well.
                  > Fire up the Gen and turn on the roof AC to see if they work on the
                  > gen.
                  >
                  > Pump water into the plumbing under pressure and look for leaks
                  > (evidence of
                  > frozen pipes)
                  > See if the drain plumbing leaks or not.
                  > See if the holding tanks actually hold or do they leak.
                  >
                  > Inspect for rotted wood around the corners in the walls and floors.
                  > Also
                  > check for soft spots in the floor around the door, corners, under
                  > cabinets
                  > etc.
                  > Mold is a sure sign there is water and probably some wood rot.
                  >
                  > Very common problem. The fill line to the potable tank deteriorates
                  > over
                  > time and can bust leaking out all the water as your filling the tank
                  > so pump
                  > some water into the tank from a garden hose and see if it fills or
                  > pores out
                  > on the ground.
                  >
                  > If the body if fiberglass. Look for evidence of cracking and
                  > delamination
                  > (pealing and cracking)
                  > If aluminum, look for places where the screws or rivets are loose or
                  > falling
                  > out. Ripples in the exterior skin can be signs of delamination of the
                  > fiberglass or where the glue between the exterior skin and the wood
                  > backing
                  > had come apart. May be fine as is but something to be aware of. If
                  > the skin
                  > is aluminum, wavy skin can be a sign of wood rot.
                  >
                  > Look for spots where there is excessive caulk in big gaps. Could be
                  > signs of
                  > wood rot. Could also be a sign of poor assembly when new.
                  >
                  > These are not reasons to reject he sale. Just items that need to be
                  > checked
                  > so you go into this deal knowing exactly what needs to be fixed and
                  > how much
                  > work it may be to fix it.
                  >
                  > Could be a really good deal. Or could be a $2500 money pit you will
                  > keep
                  > throwing money into for a long time. Hard to tell without seeing it my
                  > self.
                  >
                  > The frig, if it work. Just look for excessive rust, dirt and wasp
                  > nests
                  > which can impare the function of the frig.
                  > Rusy exhaust pipe on the gen could mean it will need an new one soon.
                  >
                  > Take it for a test drive and do a few rapid stops to see if the
                  > brakes work
                  > properly.
                  > Expect them to not work so drive with extreme caution until you know
                  > for
                  > sure they work. Know where the emergency brake is and if it works
                  > just in
                  > case you need it during the test drive. Bout messed my pans on one
                  > test
                  > drive due to faulty brakes and he didn't warn me before hand and I
                  > didn't
                  > think to test before the stop light. Just about didn't stop. Had to
                  > stand on
                  > the brake peddle to get it to stop and almost hit someone. Grabbed the
                  > emergency brake and found the handle not mounted to the floor.
                  > Rotted out.
                  > So double failure and end of deal. I just left it there and walked
                  > back to
                  > my car and went home. Owner was with me. I just left it up to him to
                  > get it
                  > back to his house.
                  >
                  > These are pretty much good rules to go by with any RV your may be
                  > looking
                  > at.
                  >
                  > Best of luck and hope it passes all inspections and test.
                  >
                  > --
                  > Warren
                  > 1989 GMC R2500 HD Suburban.
                  > 1953 Airstream Cruiser Travel trailer (The Runaway Sue)
                  > Western KY
                  >
                  > On Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 10:18 PM, KatherineB. <easycells2@...>
                  > wrote:
                  >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Hello,
                  > >
                  > > I am new to forum. I am purchasing a 1981 class a sandpiper
                  > executive. I am
                  > > new to this and owner has no idea about anything other than it
                  > runs. it is
                  > > great shape. Just looking for advise on what I should be looking
                  > for. it is
                  > > 33 ft and its $2500. Is there specific things that I should be
                  > aware of
                  > > before purchasing this monster!!! I mean refrigerator/AC what is
                  > the most
                  > > common first time buyers make??
                  > >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  >
                  >



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Mike VanPelt
                  I agree with Ted - I d go for that if I wanted a Class A. As said, $200/tire is about the norm. Check the DOT date on the side of the tires - it doesn t
                  Message 8 of 15 , Jul 1, 2010
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                    I agree with Ted - I'd go for that if I wanted a Class A.



                    As said, $200/tire is about the norm. Check the DOT date on the side of the
                    tires - it doesn't matter how nice they look, age & weight (RV's are almost
                    always right at their weight limits when loaded) take their toll. Here's
                    how to tell the age if you don't already know (DOT code is stamped into the
                    sidewall):



                    The DOT Code begins with the letters "DOT" followed by a plant code (two
                    numbers or letters) that identifies where it was manufactured. The last four
                    numbers represent the week and year the tire was built. A three-digit code
                    was used for tires manufactured before the year 2000. For example, 178 means
                    it was manufactured in the 17th week of 8th year of the decade. In this case
                    it means 1988. For tires manufactured in the 1990s, the same code holds
                    true, but there is a little triangle (�) after the DOT code. Thus, a tire
                    manufactured in the 17th week of 1998 would have the code 178�. In 2000, the
                    code was switched to a 4-digit code. Same rules apply, so for example, 3003
                    means the tire was manufactured in the 30th week of 2003.



                    You'll be getting light truck tires; last time I replaced all seven (2
                    front, 4 on the dually's, spare) it ran around $1300. I use All-terrain's;
                    a little more expensive but worth it in my opinion. I've had two blowouts
                    over the years - neither with any warning - and both were older tires that
                    still "looked" good. One on an inner dually, one on the passenger front.
                    Of the two, the front blowout was in the long run easier (once I'd stopped,
                    of course, doing 60 on a freeway) because when the back inner dually blew,
                    it really tore up the underside of the RV (took out a brake line, waste
                    piping, and beat the crap out of the underside).



                    Warren's list of what to look at is really good; only thing I'd add is plug
                    the RV in somewhere there's a good 30A receptacle and use a "GFI ground
                    checker" (plug in device, about $10 - any hardware store's electrical
                    department) to see just how much in the way of "guerrilla"
                    repairs/modifications have been done to the electrical system (trust me,
                    that's a pain).



                    Whatever you buy of this vintage will need some work, no matter how well
                    it's been kept. At some point, it almost certainly WILL have had a water
                    leak; you just need to find out how extensive the damage is/was and what was
                    done afterwards to make it better. We had a 1979 TransVan; we ended up
                    gutting it completely and starting over from scratch. It was worth it for
                    us - our first RV and we learned a lot - even though we put several thousand
                    dollars into refurbishing it.



                    Let us know how it goes.



                    Mike







                    =========================================

                    "There are two ways you can live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle;
                    you can live as if everything is a miracle." - Albert Einstein

                    =========================================

                    Cindy & Mike VanPelt

                    - Libby & Darcy

                    Milwaukee, WI, USA

                    1997 Itasca Spirit 21RK Class C

                    - 21', Ford E350, 460V8

                    2005 Lund Explorer

                    - 16', Mercury 60



                    mvp1114@...











                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • vulcanman1500
                    Plug it in and try all the systems , heat , air , water , tolit . Try the gen. set . Drive it see what works and what dosent . It will give you an idea on
                    Message 9 of 15 , Jul 1, 2010
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                      Plug it in and try all the systems , heat , air , water , tolit . Try the gen. set . Drive it see what works and what dosent . It will give you an idea on where to start from . They all need something done to them . So know where you are at .
                    • vulcanman1500
                      Sorry I didn t read all post before answering !
                      Message 10 of 15 , Jul 1, 2010
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                        Sorry I didn't read all post before answering !
                      • Warren
                        Disastrous. A front blow out will make your motorhome swerve 50 feet left or right, towards the blow out before you can get it under control. More than likely
                        Message 11 of 15 , Jul 1, 2010
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                          Disastrous.
                          A front blow out will make your motorhome swerve 50 feet left or right,
                          towards the blow out before you can get it under control.
                          More than likely it will result in turning the motorhome over.

                          Back in April this year.....
                          http://www.rvdailyreport.com/News/tabid/56/ctl/ArticleView/mid/370/articleId/5318/Motorhome-tire-blowout-kills-three-in-Florida.aspx

                          Kind of stikes close to home. They were from Paducah. Just up the road from
                          me.
                          Well. Could be from Texas, Illinois or California. They got a Paducah to.

                          Nope, they are from Kentucky. Loan Oak is a community in Paducah, KY.

                          --
                          Warren
                          1989 GMC R2500 HD Suburban.
                          1953 Airstream Cruiser Travel trailer (The Runaway Sue)
                          Western KY

                          On Thu, Jul 1, 2010 at 10:09 AM, firstladygolly <firstladygolly@...>wrote:

                          >
                          >
                          > I agee, i think i'd buy it. Please do remember to budget $200 each for
                          > tires, i can't imagine what a blow out in a motorhome is like.
                          >
                          > Sent from my U.S. Cellular® Windows® phone.
                          >
                          >


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Warren
                          That is ok. Multiple opinions are usually expected and appreciated. -- Warren 1989 GMC R2500 HD Suburban. 1953 Airstream Cruiser Travel trailer (The Runaway
                          Message 12 of 15 , Jul 1, 2010
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                            That is ok. Multiple opinions are usually expected and appreciated.
                            --
                            Warren
                            1989 GMC R2500 HD Suburban.
                            1953 Airstream Cruiser Travel trailer (The Runaway Sue)
                            Western KY

                            On Thu, Jul 1, 2010 at 12:33 PM, vulcanman1500 <vulcanman1500@...>wrote:

                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Sorry I didn't read all post before answering !
                            >


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • redwing
                            wow, same floor plan and looks like my eldorado! except maybe the toilet...wonder what water damage it has?? not bad. if everything works well worth the price.
                            Message 13 of 15 , Jul 5, 2010
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                              wow, same floor plan and looks like my eldorado! except maybe the toilet...wonder what water damage it has?? not bad. if everything works well worth the price. and for tires....130bucks for 8r19
                              .5 plus install easy to find.


                              --- In classicrv@yahoogroups.com, "richard" <lamont4689@...> wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > --- In classicrv@yahoogroups.com, "KatherineB." <easycells2@> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > Hello,
                              > >
                              > > I am new to forum. I am purchasing a 1981 class a sandpiper executive. I am new to this and owner has no idea about anything other than it runs. it is great shape. Just looking for advise on what I should be looking for. it is 33 ft and its $2500. Is there specific things that I should be aware of before purchasing this monster!!! I mean refrigerator/AC what is the most common first time buyers make??
                              > >
                              > is this the add .?
                              > http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=218&ad=11317489&cat=143&lpid=4&search=
                              >
                            • redwing
                              unless you add a nice super steer system which also adds springs to each wheel to prevent the blown tire from pulling in that direction. even blue ox has a
                              Message 14 of 15 , Jul 5, 2010
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                                unless you add a nice super steer system which also adds springs to each wheel to prevent the blown tire from pulling in that direction. even blue ox has a system to help with not only blown tires but those heavy crosswinds and passing trucks. mine has the super steer system

                                i don't notice side winds at all nor big trucks. and would have good control during a flat on the front.

                                one thing to note is not scimp on front tires not let them get too old. and make sure you have steer or all postion tires on the front...there is a difference in them. drive tires go in the back.

                                a good steering/suspension system gets rid of wagging the tail, sway, rutting,holes, and a few other problems on the road.

                                and if you neglect tire/vehicle safety you might find the whole side around the tire of your home taken out by a blown tire.



                                --- In classicrv@yahoogroups.com, Warren <wncol2004@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Disastrous.
                                > A front blow out will make your motorhome swerve 50 feet left or right,
                                > towards the blow out before you can get it under control.
                                > More than likely it will result in turning the motorhome over.
                                >
                                > Back in April this year.....
                                > http://www.rvdailyreport.com/News/tabid/56/ctl/ArticleView/mid/370/articleId/5318/Motorhome-tire-blowout-kills-three-in-Florida.aspx
                                >
                                > Kind of stikes close to home. They were from Paducah. Just up the road from
                                > me.
                                > Well. Could be from Texas, Illinois or California. They got a Paducah to.
                                >
                                > Nope, they are from Kentucky. Loan Oak is a community in Paducah, KY.
                                >
                                > --
                                > Warren
                                > 1989 GMC R2500 HD Suburban.
                                > 1953 Airstream Cruiser Travel trailer (The Runaway Sue)
                                > Western KY
                                >
                                > On Thu, Jul 1, 2010 at 10:09 AM, firstladygolly <firstladygolly@...>wrote:
                                >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > I agee, i think i'd buy it. Please do remember to budget $200 each for
                                > > tires, i can't imagine what a blow out in a motorhome is like.
                                > >
                                > > Sent from my U.S. Cellular® Windows® phone.
                                > >
                                > >
                                >
                                >
                                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                >
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