American Tradition Class A Motorhome at lake lanier campground

Who is Pippi?

Pippi is our 2000 American Tradition 37TRS. She is a 37 foot Class A diesel pusher. Her full name is the Purple People Eater which is abbreviated P.P.E. and pronounced Pippi. We live in her full-time and travel North America. To learn more check out our About Us page.

She is a solidly built classic and we’ve owned her since 2013. We are the third owners and regularly get compliments on her excellent condition. Kevin works hard to keep her fresh and shiny with regular washing and waxing. 

Why is Pippi called the Purple People Eater? 

Her main accent color, interior and exterior, is a dark plum purple. She has silver and purple full body graphics on her white exterior. In 2013 when we bought her, she even had purple carpet. 

We’ve made a lot of modifications in our seven years of ownership. Mods have included hardwood flooring instead of carpet, converting to solar and lithium-power, replacing the RV refrigerator with a residential unit, and lots more. In short, Pippi is not cheap but we love the home we’ve made. 

Check out the story behind the RECUPIRTE logo on Pippi’s rear end.

Should I buy a 20-year-old motorhome?

Pippi was 13 years old with 55k miles on the odometer when we bought her. We don’t regret buying an older lady.

In my opinion, a 20-year-old motorhome still has a lot of useful life and shouldn’t be passed over due to age. Condition and maintenance records should be a primary deciding factor in the purchase of a 20-year-old motorhome.

How long do diesel pushers last?

We’ve had several diesel engine specialists tell us the life expectancy of a diesel engine is one million miles. A professional told me the house part of the motorhome would fall apart before the engine dies.

Are old motorhomes good?

We’ve been touring other motorhomes since 2012 and found the older motorhomes are built more solid than a lot of newer models. Prior to the 2008 financial crisis, many luxury high-end brands were separately held. They focused on quality rather than producing large quantities of motorhomes. Since 2008, most have be bought out by national brands that produce a wide range of RVs.

Would we buy Pippi again

We do not regret buying Pippi even though she is an older lady. She is sturdy and we expect her to last for many more years of full-time travel.

I would argue older motorhomes are oftentimes better built than newer models. Also, your budget goes further when you are willing to buy an older model. At the time of our purchase, we got a high-end luxury diesel pusher for less than half of a new low-end gasoline motorhome.

Since purchasing Pippi, we have spent thousands of dollars on engine work and repairs however we have friends with newer rigs who have done the same. Repairs are just part of owning an RV.