This will be my first post. I need a ton of advice. I have a 2006 Buick Rainier that can tow around 6500 pounds and I am hoping to get a Hi-Lo in the lower 4000lb range, loaded weight. I do not know if the NADA guidelines for weight are accurate (and if so, are they loaded or unloaded). My budget will allow me to purchase a unit in the $3000 range. Obviously, that doesn't leave a lot of options.
I believe any unit with this weight range needs to be under 24' to tow comfortably in the safety margin, yet the 24 foot units have more idyllic floorplans and features.
Intended users would be myself and up to three of my 6 foot tall sons, so sleeping 4 or more would be best. An ideal unit would have either a fixed bedroom or pull down from the ceiling mattress. It seems those features are only on the newer models. I do like the older models' mini bathtub which seems to not be available in newer models.
A factor to consider in my decision is the unit's longevity. It would seem to be that in the extreme heat of Arizona, the older units with aluminum siding would fare better and have already experienced weathering (correct me if I'm wrong). I've seen many newer RVs with fiberglass sides that have the common problem of de-lamination and bubbling due to the extreme temperatures..
I've found a 1975 19 foot unit for sale in this price range. The decor is definitely dated and I'm weighing the costs of renovation vs saving for a newer unit. Another thread noted/warned that the older units were made of wood rather than steel or aluminum structure. Would this make a significant difference? How difficult would it be to remove the two couches that fold to make a bed and replace with a more traditional RV sofa bed? Or are the boxes hiding tons of pipes and wiring?
I much prefer the decor of the newer units but can't justify that expense at this time. Could anyone help locate a 1975 19 foot manual?
Advice very much solicited!
Thank you for helping a wanna be owner.