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Old 08-12-2019, 06:45 AM   #1
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Newmar on a budget

Well, after 25 years of camping/RVing in everything from tents to our current 35' Coachmen trailer it's time to jump into a Class A. With Wednesday being my last day of work, I guess it's time!


For years we have been "looking", but with no schedule or plan in place. For the longest time we thought it would end up being Tiffin, but on the advice of a good friend who had two Tiffin's and is now on his second Newmar we have decided Newmar is it.


But, we are on a budget. No loans, no payments, no games. m $150,000 is it.


So, now looking with an eye to this budget we know -


  • New is out of the question
  • "Newer" (2012 - 2016) units will put us in a Ventana
  • If we start going "older" (2009 & before) we get into Dutch Star's
  • Even "older" (2006 & earlier) opens up a world of other possibilities including the Mountain Aire
So, where is the sweet spot?


Then the next question is size. In years past looking at Tiffin, teh vast majority of units available were 40's. Looking at Newmar, teh 40's are out there but are eclipsed by the number of 43's available.


While our RV building (yea, we built it first) is about 49 feed deep (the door is 14' high clear space and 15' wide) a 43' coach will eat up a lot more real estate inside. I built it 36' wide so I could store other toys on the sides. Hindsight is always 20/20, it should have been 60 feet deep.....


So older Mountain Aire, less old Dutch Star or newer Ventana?


Part of me wants to stay away form DEF units, so 2012 and newer may be out. I haven't made that decision yet....


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Old 08-12-2019, 07:11 AM   #2
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DEF is not a bad thing.

DPF without DEF is a bad thing. In my experience.
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:40 AM   #3
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All I gotta say is, love your bus barn. Is it heated?
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:51 AM   #4
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Newmar on a budget

Well the good news is your RV garage will fit anything you want. I personally would not be afraid of DEF units, they do keep your TOAD much cleaner. All of the units your considering are great, Iím a big fan of the tag axles,so 40-43 foot. Newer is probably better than older as far as technology goes.
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:57 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Prairie Dog View Post
All I gotta say is, love your bus barn. Is it heated?
The living space to the left of the bus door is a full efficiency apartment. Kitchen, bath, washer/dryer - the works.


The RV space is not heated, but at our altitude in the NC mountains (2,300 feet) and weather patterns we have never had to winterize anything inside. The coldest I've seen inside was the low 40's.


This property is 3 acres on a paved state road (narrow 2 lane). The original plan was to build the house next to this barn, but when we were ready the real estate market was still depressed form the 2008 collapse. We were able to pick up an additional 3 acres with an existing 3 bedroom house just a mile up the road from this property. This property had another detached 3 car garage in addition to the 2 car attached. This gives me shop space and a place to park the Aliner. We plan on keeping it for back country/national Forest camping.
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Old 08-12-2019, 08:28 AM   #6
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Who is the manufacturer of your metal building (not installer)?
Did you build it yourself?



Quote:
Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
The living space to the left of the bus door is a full efficiency apartment. Kitchen, bath, washer/dryer - the works.


The RV space is not heated, but at our altitude in the NC mountains (2,300 feet) and weather patterns we have never had to winterize anything inside. The coldest I've seen inside was the low 40's.


This property is 3 acres on a paved state road (narrow 2 lane). The original plan was to build the house next to this barn, but when we were ready the real estate market was still depressed form the 2008 collapse. We were able to pick up an additional 3 acres with an existing 3 bedroom house just a mile up the road from this property. This property had another detached 3 car garage in addition to the 2 car attached. This gives me shop space and a place to park the Aliner. We plan on keeping it for back country/national Forest camping.
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Old 08-12-2019, 08:49 AM   #7
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Maybe I missed it, but is diesel a requirement? If not, then new is not out of your budget. My 2019 Bay Star 3401 was $142K, including WV sales tax (6%). So depending on what you want in a floorplan, size, etc. I think you could certainly afford "new".

And the barn is pretty damn sweet.
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:21 AM   #8
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I think the Dutch Star is the sweet spot. Gives you all the premium features, IFS, tag axle, bigger generator, side radiator, etc, but is also new enough to not need much updating or repair if you buy right.
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:23 AM   #9
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You didn't say if you are going to be traveling in your new purchase 10 months out of the year or just 2 weeks in the summer, but either way I would first decide on two main factors:

1. What exact floor plan fits our needs/wants.
2. What chassis/engine configuration do we need/want for our towing and travel needs.

If you plan on traveling 5,000 or more miles every year and you will be towing something 4,000 pounds or heavier than you may want to consider diesel. If considering diesel than having a tag axle is nice IMHO for several reasons.

If you will only be putting on a few miles a year plus maybe just hauling around a small vehicle then maybe a newer gasser would work. Just keep in mind that many class A gas coaches on the F-53 chassis will give you a real workout on windy days.
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:24 AM   #10
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I agree with the "newer is better" comment. And, there's nothing wrong with a Ventana. They are solid coaches.

If I were in your budget situation, I would be looking for a 2014-15 coach; likely a Ventana though if you are patient, you might find a 2014 Dutch Star pretty close to your $150K budget.

Finally, I don't find DEF to be an issue. I certainly wouldn't rule out a later coach that uses DEF.

Good luck on your search. Remember; the "right price" is what a willing seller and willing buyer agree on. Don't let advertised prices scare you off; if you find something you like, make an offer and you may be surprised.

TJ
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Old 08-12-2019, 10:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRod View Post
Who is the manufacturer of your metal building (not installer)?
Did you build it yourself?
Morton Buildings.



The design the building, do most of the cutting at one of their factories and then final installation is done by one of their employee (not sub-contractor) crews. At least when mine was built the emphasis was on quality, not speed. Warranty repairs (I had zero) are charged back to the installation crew bonus pool, so they had skin in the game for quality.


They build them with poles in the ground or bolted to the slab. I went with slab mounted and so far no issues at all.


The did the shell and I did the interior work myself and subbed out the electrical and plumbing.


As I mentioned before the small space is an efficiency apartment and the coach space has water/electric/sewer for he coach connections.





https://mortonbuildings.com/
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Old 08-12-2019, 10:02 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Allentc2 View Post
Maybe I missed it, but is diesel a requirement? If not, then new is not out of your budget. My 2019 Bay Star 3401 was $142K, including WV sales tax (6%). So depending on what you want in a floorplan, size, etc. I think you could certainly afford "new".

And the barn is pretty damn sweet.
I didn't say it, but yes - we want a diesel pusher.
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Old 08-12-2019, 10:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLJOE View Post
You didn't say if you are going to be traveling in your new purchase 10 months out of the year or just 2 weeks in the summer, but either way I would first decide on two main factors:

1. What exact floor plan fits our needs/wants.
2. What chassis/engine configuration do we need/want for our towing and travel needs.

If you plan on traveling 5,000 or more miles every year and you will be towing something 4,000 pounds or heavier than you may want to consider diesel. If considering diesel than having a tag axle is nice IMHO for several reasons.

If you will only be putting on a few miles a year plus maybe just hauling around a small vehicle then maybe a newer gasser would work. Just keep in mind that many class A gas coaches on the F-53 chassis will give you a real workout on windy days.
While our friends go out 6+ months at a time, we will probably be in the month to six week range. But, we plan multiple trips a year.


Knowing that we are looking used, we know that we have to be flexible in floorplan. But, both being retired form the government we have moved every 3-4 years. Because of this we are pretty good at looking at plans and figuring out if it will work for us.
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:10 AM   #14
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Lots of good advise here. Expand to the newest you can and donít be afraid to low ball a dealer on something you want and donít give up easily. You might be surprised in this slow down of motorhome sales how much they will come down. All JMHO
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