Born Free Leap'n Lions RV Club

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 Post subject: Buying a Born free!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 7:38 pm 
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Location: Black River Falls, Wisconsin
Ok so my wife and went to the Factory and ed showed us around we didnt feel pressured or anything! strangely he didnt sell us a coach he was selling us Dodgen industries and his coworkers and let the coach and our questions sell the coach for us!

I liked that aproch, ive heard alot of double speak and one upmanship from dealers over my 2 years of search!.you get to feeling dirty after shaking hands with most RV dealers ive met <shudders>

My wife and i test drove the coach we were wanting and it was perfect for us!

So we will be purchasing a Built For Two this April (when we have the full down payment if all goes well)

The built for two twin couches/kingbed set up is perfect for us ... we tried the 24 rear bath and since the bath in built for 2 is fine for us we have a hard time justifying +$15,000 on the extra bathroom space, after all what the Built for two was competing against for my wallet was an Airstream Class B and thier bathroom worked for us .... but The built for two quality and more room fit us better and for the same price range as the airstream!.

So now that we have decided that our money is going to Dodgen industry ill be on the forums alot asking silly how to questions that Ed was unable to answer and he said you all would know better than he through experience!

Also the Help from the great leap'n lions here really helped me with the decision too Thank you all for your time and help.

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Patrick, Lea, Starlight, Twilight, Wendy Coville

2001 Built for two,2015 Jeep Cherokee


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 7:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 30, 2006 1:38 pm
Posts: 595
Location: Monroe, NJ
Congratulations on your planned purchase.

We bought ours from Ed just about a year ago, and have no regrets. We went from a 32' class A with 2 slides to our 26 RSB. After the size adjustment, and getting rid of a lot of "stuff" we carried with us and never used, we find we have more than ample space even for a 3 week trip. We have put more mileage on our Born Free in one year than we did 2 years in the class A. It's just so much easier to drive, we don't think twice about going someplace.

Any questions, post away :lol:

John

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John and Maureen O'Brien
and our 2 German Shepherds
2006 RSB - sold
2008 Jeep Wrangler X


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 8:19 pm 
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Location: Black River Falls, Wisconsin
Jobrien if My wife decided on a used Born free instead of new specifficly the ones at the factory in humbolt. how many miles is too much? the ones we walked through 2002 and 2005 models specificly looked in great shape but other than the miles on the drivetrain i dont know much about the engines and honestly im a horrible mechanic, i break what i touch. both exeed the warranties.... should i worry about that? no warranty coverage... both are under 50k miles Should i rely on the factory's checkup on the drivetrain or should i get it looked at by a ford service facility? and for the E-450 will i need to go somewhere special?

oh sorry for rambling on..

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Patrick, Lea, Starlight, Twilight, Wendy Coville

2001 Built for two,2015 Jeep Cherokee


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 8:57 pm 
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Location: Monroe, NJ
How many miles are too many? I think it's impossible to say. What's more important is how those miles were put on, and the maintenance that was done. If maintenance records are available, that will tell you if the required maintenance was performed.

Yes, I would have it checked out by a certified mechanic or dealership. I would also have an RV technician check out the appliances, etc. Also check the age of the tires, there is a DOT date molded into the tires. If they are more than 5 years old, consider replacing them.

As with buying any used vehicle, there is a risk involved. Some people feel better if they get an extended warranty plan. I believe Good Sam offers one, as well as other insurance companies. Some people believe if you take the money you will spend for an extended warranty and put it in the bank, only to be used for motorhome repairs, you will be ahead. The problem is no one can see the future. You can have many years of trouble free motoring and regret the extended warranty purchase. Or you could have a major problem shortly after your purchase and kick yourself for not having a warranty. With any warranty you have to read the small print, with a magnifying glass.

Another suggestion is to read past posts on this forum. You'll see that many owners have over 100,000 miles on thiers, with little or no problems. Others are not as fortunate.

If it were me, I would buy the newest (year wise and mileage) that I could afford. If new (a leftover is new) is possible, I would go for it just to have the comfort of a warranty and also the latest improvements made by Ford, Born Free and the appliance manufacturers.

Just my opinion.

John

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John and Maureen O'Brien
and our 2 German Shepherds
2006 RSB - sold
2008 Jeep Wrangler X


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 7:05 am 
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Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 7:48 pm
Posts: 653
Location: Tipton, Iowa
John's suggestions are spot-on.

There are two schools of thought on this. One is that you let someone else eat the huge depreciation, and for the money you save buying used (I saved about $40k over my coach's sticker price when new, and $60k over a new '07 24RB), you can afford repairs when necessary. It's not that I couldn't afford a new coach (as we could) I just have other uses for that money that doesn't depreciate, and (hopefully) increases our wealth. Frankly, for another $50k, I could buy a newer used coach if necessary, and just junk this one, and still not be at the cost of a new 24RB! According to current used pricing, my coach has depreciated over 50% in six years. My coach may continue to depreciate a little now, but in ten years it still ought to be worth roughly 3/4 to 2/3rds of what we paid for it. I can live with that, as we'll get more than that much use out of it.

The other school is that if you buy new, you get warranties and have no worries about expenses for the first five years or so.

Obviously, I belong to the first school of thought, but I'm always grateful to folks who are new buyers and who maintain their vehicles well so that I have really nice used ones to buy later. I bought my used coach from the factory in Humboldt.

As was said in this thread: http://www.bornfreervclub.org/bulletin_board/viewtopic.php?t=1149
these are 250,000 mile drivetrains, and the chassis are heavy enough to last many, many years. As long as the chassis and coach are in nice condition, the drivetrain is replaceable. At current costs, a new engine and transmission would be about $9k installed. A new fridge will run about $1,000. Those are the most expensive single items in the coach. There's nothing in or on the coaches either mechanical or RV-part that isn't replaceable or repairable. If the interior starts looking worn, the entire interior (upholstery items; e.g. couch, bed, and all four Captain's chairs) can be replaced for around $5k with the latest ultra leather.

I would be as willing to buy a late model coach with 80,000 miles on it with meticulous service records as an identical coach with 40,000 and no records, especially were there a significant discount on the 80,000 mile coach. I bought our '01 with 64,000 miles on it, and have had absolutely no maintenance issues in the 5,000 miles and nearly six months we've had it (other than routine maintenance, oil, fluids, and tires).

So, in summary, if you find a used coach that you really like, that fits your budget and travelling needs, and you have it checked out by your mechanic, don't hesitate to buy it. The new ones ARE gorgeous tho!

Roger

_________________
'06 Born Free 32 RQ Kodiak Chassis
(Former: '01 Born Free 23 RK)
Dinghy: '16 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with a Blue Ox Aladdin tow bar.
Traveling with Sir Winston and Lady Rae (Cavalier King Charles Spaniels)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 7:41 am 
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Location: Black River Falls, Wisconsin
Ill be honest if i buy an '08 its not because its new ... it would only be because of the of the big changes dodgen did with the '08's

and Ed showed me each new change, he had told us previously buy used or buy an '08 bot not a '07 unless deaply discounted.

one new change is dodgen has this new insulation wrap that goes between the insulation and the fiberglass body that quite literaly doubles thr R-value of thier RV and it is an added noise dampenerand added moisture guard.

Changes to the '08 chassis are the same length as before but the ay its done it allowed born free to add more storage spaces, also they changed the external doors to make the hookups easier to use and put away, plus the 08 has more horse power alowing slighlty smoother acceleration on hills, and the new E-350/E450 got cosmetic changes making them look like the F-350/F-450's and in doing soe slightly bigger windows to look out of when driving.

Now given all those changes id prefer buying an '05 or older well maintained but if im stuck with getting an '06-'07 i think ill just get an '08 for the changes since 3/4ths of my wife and our time will be in the cascades and rockies all year round (im from washington state DH is from colorado
)

Thanks for al your help... oh to get the Van looked at do i need to take it to an average ford service dealer or do i need to go to a medium duty service center? as honeslty all we have near are toyota and GM service centers so ill have to go out of the county for ford work. :)

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Patrick, Lea, Starlight, Twilight, Wendy Coville

2001 Built for two,2015 Jeep Cherokee


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 8:25 am 
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Joined: Tue May 30, 2006 1:38 pm
Posts: 595
Location: Monroe, NJ
I have Coach-Net for my road service. Highly recommended, but that's another topic.

Here is a link from their page to call Ford RV customer service and find a dealer who works on RV's. Not all of them do.

http://coachnet.coach-net.com/cnet/mbr/ford-home.htm

John

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John and Maureen O'Brien
and our 2 German Shepherds
2006 RSB - sold
2008 Jeep Wrangler X


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 8:46 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:32 am
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Location: Black River Falls, Wisconsin
Thank you for that link that is helpfull :)

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Patrick, Lea, Starlight, Twilight, Wendy Coville

2001 Built for two,2015 Jeep Cherokee


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 Post subject: buying a born free
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:16 am 
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Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 7:57 am
Posts: 11
Location: Johnston, IA
covfam, check Born Free's used listing. Stock # 2779 located in Calif has 8994 miles (a 2005). You probably can still get a 1 year warranty on ford and born free. We bought a 2005 BFT last June with 9400 miles From Ed N. and got a 1 year warranty on both the ford and bornfree. Born Free takes the used ones to a shop in Humbolt to have fluids changed if needed and to check out the mechanicals. They also check out the appliances and plumbing in their shop. (per what Ed N. told me). Glad you chose Born Free.

Jack

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No Toad


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:15 pm 
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Location: Black River Falls, Wisconsin
Thanks in particular we are interested in the 05' 24 rear bath stock #2798s
02' 24 rear bath #2800s we have seen them when were at the factory showing us how well the RV's hold up after time .. i was shocked how nice the 1996 and 1997 models were too! honestly if a previous owner didnt have it built without the bath or sink we would have thought seriously about one of them!.

biggest problem about the one in california is we live in wisconsin and since my wife is a physician and used up all our vacation time on family emergencies we cant get to california till spring.

it is a nice coach out there though!

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Patrick, Lea, Starlight, Twilight, Wendy Coville

2001 Built for two,2015 Jeep Cherokee


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 5:55 am 
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Location: Tipton, Iowa
Covfam wrote:
oh to get the Van looked at do i need to take it to an average ford service dealer or do i need to go to a medium duty service center? as honeslty all we have near are toyota and GM service centers so ill have to go out of the county for ford work. :)


If you are having warranty work done, you will, of course, have to take it to a dealership. There is, however, nothing on the E350/450 chassis that can't be repaired by any competent mechanic once it's out of warranty. I have all of my work done by an independent shop here with whom I've built a good relationship over the past few years. They work on all my vehicles, and also do tires. The labor is half that of the dealerships, and they're competent enough to tell me if a repair really needs to go to a truck center. It hasn't yet.

Roger

_________________
'06 Born Free 32 RQ Kodiak Chassis
(Former: '01 Born Free 23 RK)
Dinghy: '16 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with a Blue Ox Aladdin tow bar.
Traveling with Sir Winston and Lady Rae (Cavalier King Charles Spaniels)


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 Post subject: Re: Buying a Born free!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 5:58 am 
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Location: Tipton, Iowa
Sam Ryan wrote:
It had exactly what I wanted on it, diesel-engine, full-leather, cabover queen bed, and only 5,800 miles on it.


Sam, I confess I'm envious! I really, REALLY wanted a 7.3l Powerstroke! You done good! :D

Roger

_________________
'06 Born Free 32 RQ Kodiak Chassis
(Former: '01 Born Free 23 RK)
Dinghy: '16 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with a Blue Ox Aladdin tow bar.
Traveling with Sir Winston and Lady Rae (Cavalier King Charles Spaniels)


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 Post subject: Re: Buying a Born free!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 10:36 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 11:28 am
Posts: 25
Location: Silver Spring, Maryland
Sam Ryan wrote:
Roger H wrote:
Sam Ryan wrote:
It had exactly what I wanted on it, diesel-engine, full-leather, cabover queen bed, and only 5,800 miles on it.


Sam, I confess I'm envious! I really, REALLY wanted a 7.3l Powerstroke! You done good! :D

Roger

Well, the diesels do come up nationally, for sale, but you have to be watching for one. I flew down to West Palm Beach, FL., to pick this one up. I didn't mind flying across the country.

A same-year (2003) 24'RB diesel, with full-leather came up for sale in NJ, but it had the two sofa-beds floorplan. I wanted the sofa bed and two captains chairs / pull-up table floorplan......in leather of course. Funny thing was the 2003 diesel sold to a lady in NM for $1K less than I paid for my 2002. But, it also had 9K miles on it. RVTrader.com is one place to find one, nationally. I would not want a motorcoach that wasn't diesel-powered.


I know this must have been discussed before but after reading the posts on "How many miles are too many millage?" it appears that today's Ford gas engines will last quite long which I thought was one of the advantages of the diesel engine. If that is no longer the case what other advantages does the diesel offer over gas? I would assume higher torque? But aren't diesels heavier? And therefore does the higher torque offset the extra weight of the diesel? I'm trying to justify the extra cost of the diesel option.

Kent
Hope to own a Born Free in 6 months.

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Kent & Abby
2008 24 RB


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 Post subject: Re: Buying a Born free!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 10:37 am 
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Posts: 25
Location: Silver Spring, Maryland
Sam Ryan wrote:
Roger H wrote:
Sam Ryan wrote:
It had exactly what I wanted on it, diesel-engine, full-leather, cabover queen bed, and only 5,800 miles on it.


Sam, I confess I'm envious! I really, REALLY wanted a 7.3l Powerstroke! You done good! :D

Roger

Well, the diesels do come up nationally, for sale, but you have to be watching for one. I flew down to West Palm Beach, FL., to pick this one up. I didn't mind flying across the country.

A same-year (2003) 24'RB diesel, with full-leather came up for sale in NJ, but it had the two sofa-beds floorplan. I wanted the sofa bed and two captains chairs / pull-up table floorplan......in leather of course. Funny thing was the 2003 diesel sold to a lady in NM for $1K less than I paid for my 2002. But, it also had 9K miles on it. RVTrader.com is one place to find one, nationally. I would not want a motorcoach that wasn't diesel-powered.


I know this must have been discussed before but after reading the posts on "How many miles are too many millage?" it appears that today's Ford gas engines will last quite long which I thought was one of the advantages of the diesel engine. If that is no longer the case what other advantages does the diesel offer over gas? I would assume higher torque? But aren't diesels heavier? And therefore does the higher torque offset the extra weight of the diesel? I'm trying to justify the extra cost of the diesel option.

Kent
Hope to own a Born Free in 6 months.

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Kent & Abby
2008 24 RB


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 10:49 am 
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Location: Tipton, Iowa
Good questions, Kent.

In a new chassis, the diesel option has, in the past, been about $5k additional. While they don't require "tuneups" per se (like the gas engines do), they take 18 quarts of oil at an oil change, so there's really no maintenance cost difference. Diesel is currently more expensive, but has more BTUs per gallon, so less fuel per mile is consumed. Again, the cost for fuel turns out to be a wash. Diesel is more difficult to find than gasoline at the pumps. Diesels can be finicky in really cold weather even with the new diesel blends. (I have a diesel Kubota tractor that I love) They're heavy (at least the 7.3l diesel was) and cause the chassis to steer very differently, and they tend to understeer because of the weight compared to the V10 chassis. The later Ford diesels weren't nearly as stout as the 7.3l was, and the five speed trans behind the 6.0l diesel is problematic.

The mystique of a diesel, however, continues to keep diesel sales strong, and prices for used diesels high.

As long-lived as the V10 seems to be, and for as many issues as have cropped up with the 6.0l diesel, the 7.3l diesel has a reputation of being nearly indestructable and, with maintenance, has an essentially unlimited lifespan. The newer diesel engines don't yet enjoy that reputation.

For that reason alone, I would have enjoyed finding the 7.3l diesel coach that Sam found. Reality quickly set in, and I realized that first, it would take me a very long time to find the coach I wanted with the 7.3l in the condition I was looking for at a price I wanted to pay, AND I had found exactly the coach I wanted (sans diesel) at an excellent price at the factory, so I ended up with the V10.

If you demand a diesel, there's nothing else that will do. If you're merely looking for a rig with adequate power and good longevity the V10 is an excellent power plant and a good choice. This is my second V10 powered vehicle.

Roger

_________________
'06 Born Free 32 RQ Kodiak Chassis
(Former: '01 Born Free 23 RK)
Dinghy: '16 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with a Blue Ox Aladdin tow bar.
Traveling with Sir Winston and Lady Rae (Cavalier King Charles Spaniels)


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