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Old 06-25-2009, 05:33 PM   #1
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Post Considering Fleetwood

Hello everyone~!
My husband and I are 1st time RV buyers and have some questions for the community.

1st I will tell you what we will be needing it for. We plan on touring the 48 states together with our 3 young children, while pulling our hot rod in an enclosed trailer - full time. (should we go with a workhorse chassis?)

My husband prefers the look of the "flat nosed-bus" over the older traditional motorhome style. So that had pointed us in the direction of the Bounder, I prefer the options "computer workstation in dash" Does anyone know wat year Fleetwood 1st started adding this option?

Other brands we have considered are holiday rambler, coachmen, gulf stream

We are still in the process of zoning in on the specific details of what we want in an RV.

We plan on fully financing through a 1st time homebuyers loan. Anyone heard of doing this?
So we need to decide do we get the newest,longest with the most pull outs we can afford scince our family needs to grow with it for the next 20 years? or do we go conserative hoping to upgrade the features as time goes by?
I have heard some models come with 2 slides in the living rom (is that on both sides? It must be rare. Is Fleetwood the only one that makes the 3rd slide out in the back? the space saver plus?
Also w are looking for a mid 1990's to mid 2000's used coach. yet it is hard to find available floorplans - the manufactures website onlyofferes the latest of course. Does anyone know of a Fleetwood resource that shows older floorplans?
I look for answers on line but it is confusing and very time consuming.
Thanks for your time.
~ m0usi ~

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Old 06-25-2009, 06:30 PM   #2
emeryts's Avatar
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try this link below for used Fleetwoods


2003 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 36B
Workhorse W-22
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Old 06-25-2009, 07:30 PM   #3
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Not sure what "flat nosed bus over traditional older motorhome" means -- virtually all Class A motorhomes would be flat nosed...

Many mfg'ers make Class A's with 3 and 4 slides, some even have virtually full-length slides from one end to the other. But in the year ranges you mention, you will most likely be looking at 1 or 2 slides -- maybe a few diesel pushers in those years might have 3.

Pulling a car in an enclosed trailer will come close to maxing out the towing capacity & hitch on most gas coaches (normally 5,000 lbs). Some of the newer Workhorse chassis may be rated higher. For gas coaches, the newer Workhorse would have far more cargo capacity ...be very careful with some older ones as they may have very little cargo capacity or even be overweight when nearly empty! You need to know the combined weight of the trailer and all that will be in it. You may need a coach with 10k towing capacity, which in most cases would mean a diesel pusher.

You need to look at as many different RVs as you can, focusing on what you can see of build quality more than glitz & floorplans. Look "below the surface" inside cabinets, basement compartments, etc. You can begin to narrow down to the specific features & floorplans you really want later. We looked at RVs for years before buying ours, keeping in mind general features we wanted but focusing first on build quality and cargo carrying capacity (CCC) until we narrowed our search down to 2 or 3 brand names. Then we looked for the features and floor plans we wanted only among those brand names.

A very critical thing in a used RV is owner maintenance. A top line coach can be a bad buy if it has been poorly maintained. Look carefully at the physical condition, check tire mfg dates, and get mechanical maintenance records as much as you possibly can so you can have a fairly good idea of how it has been cared for. It can really pay to have a trusted mechanic check out one you are seriously considering before committing yourself.

Many people finance part of an RV purchase. Just be sure you don't finance ALL of the purchase or you will likely be upside on the loan to the point that you could be in trouble if for some reason you need to sell in a few years (the family doesn't like RVing, unemployment, etc). You are buying something goes down in value, especially if you buy a new one. List price on new RVs are normally 25% - 30% higher than you should pay so the dealer can afford to pay a trading owner more than their old RV is worth. Many used RVs for sale by owner are way overpriced because the owner owes much more than it is worth. If you buy used, make sure your are not overpaying to cover someone else's problem. New or used, pay as much down as you can to avoid the "upside down" trap.

Most of all, enjoy the search, don't be in a hurry to limit your choices, and don't get pushed into any decision your are not totally comfortable with. That way, when you make your purchase decision, you will know WHY that is the right RV for you, and you can hit the road with as much confidence as possible.
Paul (KE5LXU) ...was fulltimin', now parttimin'
'03 Winnebago UA 40e / '05 Honda Odyssey toad
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Old 06-26-2009, 08:56 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by m0usi View Post
Hello everyone~!

So we need to decide do we get the newest,longest with the most pull outs we can afford scince our family needs to grow with it for the next 20 years?.
~ m0usi ~
In my opionion, the twenty year requirement will be tough. Raising a family, albeit sounds good, in a motorhome or any kind of rv would be tough. Are you now or planning on home schooling?

Use your first time home buyer opportunity and buy a stick house.
Jim with Judy
2017 Newmar Ventana 4369, 2005 Jeep Wrangler (Rock Crawler), 2016 Jeep Wrangler (Mall Crawler)
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Old 06-26-2009, 08:33 PM   #5
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As for the 1st time home buyer, I don't believe any mortgage lendor will give you a loan on a motorhome. They want stick and brick houses so they know where their collateral is. Besides, a motorhome declines in value (rapidly) na dwill be worht very little long before the mortgage is paid off. No mortgage banker likes that. You can get a 20 year loan on a new RV at decent rates, but you will need a around 20%.

You need a diesel powered coach to get enough tow capacity for your car trailer and you need plenty of coach to house a family your size.

3 or 4 slide outs is not rare at all - they have been quite common since around 2003. Just about all manufacturers offer them, with 1-2 in the bedroom and 2 in the lounge area. Two in the lounge will be across from each other, which gives a decent size room to live in. You need to go out and look at some 40 foot motorhomes and start learning what is available.
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
Summers in Black Mountain, NC
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Old 06-27-2009, 10:06 PM   #6
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There are lots of 3 and 4 slide out models in the model range you are quoting. We have a 3 slide 03 Discovery and the 2 opposing slides in the living room not only gives you more room, it looks more roomy thus less of a closed in feeling.
What you might have a hard time finding is something with the bedding configuration you will need. I have seen very few with anything more than the bedroom, a sofa bed and the booth that makes into a bed. I can't imagine that would work for you.
You will need as much counter space in the kitchen as possible and a fairly large refrigerator. We are fulltimers who both love to cook so those were major considerations when we bought.
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Old 06-28-2009, 11:15 AM   #7
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Thanks everybody for the help, keep the suggestions rollin in.
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Old 06-28-2009, 11:36 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Elkhartjim View Post
In my opionion, the twenty year requirement will be tough. Raising a family, albeit sounds good, in a motorhome or any kind of rv would be tough. Are you now or planning on home schooling?

Use your first time home buyer opportunity and buy a stick house.
my husband and I have been homes chooled , have home schooled children in the past and plan on home schooling our small children.

Also afew years agon we had inherited small 650 sq ft home which we spent over $60,000 remodeling. Our contracter who "garenteed" our basement would be dry, treated it with some sealent barrier paint, yet when residual from hurricane George passed our way we ended up with 2 ft + up water in our remodeled basement.
DISASTER. My husband luckily has the forethought to install a sump pump, which helped remove the water, but sadly all the sheet rock and 2x4's had to be removed in both rooms of the basement and we spent 6k-8k more having a specialist come in and squirt a product that is mainly used in the oil filled , in drilled out holes in the concrete walls of our basement.
after that our contacter didnt want to come back and install the flooring in our home,( ceramic tile and laminate wood,) so the toilet, bathrub, pre bought appliances from sears, kraftmaid cabinetry still cant be installed, or then the final native cedar trim through-out (baseboards) ect. It was a dream come true turned into a nightmare. The next couple of contracters came to estimate, 6 more months of flooring and finishing work, estimated around $60,000 and still need more from electrition and plumber.

So, we have decided to finish it ourselves. we just cant see investing that much more into such a small house, exspecially where we live is not a high market anyway, and the econimics. We cant sell it as it is anyhow. And it is customized to our tastes.

So we just want "away from it all" knowing its ours and we can come back when we feel better about the whole thing. We're just burnt out on everything.
Thanks everybody
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Old 07-03-2009, 06:39 AM   #9
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If you are going to pull a trailer with a vehicle inside then you should consider a diesel rather then a gas powered motorhome. Plus the diesel should probably have at least 350 hp or better.

You mentioned Workhorse Chassis'. Most of the Workhorse chassis' are gas powered. Depending on which model they're pretty heavy even before you add a trailer and/or tow vehicle which means you will NOT be happy with the performance. This is true of just about all gas motorhomes. They may seem adequate in the lower elevations of the U.S. but when you get to the higher elevations like out west or in the hill country areas they are too underpowered for pulling the kind of load you refer. Plus the hitch on the back of a gas powered coach is usually only rated at 5,000 lbs, compared to 10,000 or more on a diesel. You can easily surpass this with a trailer/car combination.

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