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Old 02-01-2019, 01:57 PM   #1
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Opinions on possible purchase

Hello all. Been out of the MH lifestyle since 2006 (had an '03 Four Winds 28a) and looking to wade back in. Initially was thinking of a Tiffin 36la in the $125K bracket but thinking may just start off small and see if we use it for the season. A 2006 Hurricane 34 n is local for $28K with 24K miles. He describes it as follows: 2006 Hurricane 34N
24,000 miles, Ford V-10, In Motion Direct TV Satellite, 3 slides, Automatic Levelers, Brand New Batteries, 2 AC units. Awnings are in great shape with no holes or rips. Generac generator that can run both AC units at the same time.Tires are in great shape but are out dated. Roof is also in good shape. There's really nothing this needs to get on the road and have fun. Great family RV!
Stored indoors since Iíve owned it (4 years). Kids are to involved with sports, so we don't have time to use it anymore. Just put into outdoor storage last month. Priced to sell quick.

It looks clean based on photos. I'm sure I need to have a thorough inspection and will replace the tires. Don't know about any slide outs, generator, fridge, etc. issues with Thor but had no problems with my '03. Have a 3,800 lbs boat I'd like to pull.

Any thoughts on this motorhome specifically or plan of going "thirfty" until we know we like the lifestyle is appreciated ! Thank you.
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Old 02-01-2019, 03:22 PM   #2
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RichP5 - I recommend you rent a rig of the size you are thinking about and try a 1-2 week trip. That will show you what you like now as opposed to what you liked previously and the price will be much cheeper that buying a rig, then having buyers remorse.

As for the rig being made by Thor. Following my own advice above, I rented a 2013 Thor Chateau Bunkbouse on the Ford V10 chassis for a two week trip going from Atlanta to Colorado. It had less than 5000 miles when we started. I rented it because I wanted to see if my new wife liked motorhomes as I had sold my class A many years earlier.

In a word, the trip was a disaster.

The first indication of trouble came about 90 miles out of Atlanta when a large crash made me jump to see what the kids had broken. It was not the kids, the back of the front slide had fallen off and dumped all the spices from the spice rack behind the slide. Next the drawer below the stove containing a single iron skillet would not open - the bottom had fallen out. This continued through out the trip. When I returned the rig, there was not a drawer that worked. I apologized to the lady at the rental office and her remark was "Oh, that is ok we have to rebuild all of them when the come back. I complain to the owner, but apparently he gets a good deal on them so we keep purchasing new ones every year."

While that was bad enough, I was fortunate that my son-in-law wanted to drive so I was spared that ordeal. I made him let me drive for about 2 hours on the way back. The fuel tank was 26 gallons and we only got 6 mile per gallon the entire trip. As you can imagine we did not pass many fuel stops. I am told that some owners install Banks headers to improve this situation.

This was in the fall, and the engine hump got so hot you could not rest your leg against it. The slot between the passenger seat and engine hump was so small you had to lift your leg over the engine hump to get to the back of the coach from that seat.

The drivability was terrible. Every time a truck passed in either direction you had to jerk the wheel to keep it in the road. You could not take your eye of the road for a moment because the steering wandered all over the road and you were continually correcting. I am told that others install steering stabilizers.

I do not know if this experience is typical of the model, brand, or just this unit, but I have owned and driven several motorhomes and this was the worst I ever encountered. My wife says Thor is a four letter word for a reason and it certainly kept me from considering a Thor anything when I decide to make my purchase the following year. Instead, we selected an older Tiffin diesel pusher on the Freightliner chassis for just a little more money and we could not be happier. Then, I only pull a Jeep Grand Cherokee, not a boat.

I have one more more piece of advice from my friend - when purchasing a used rig, your investment is fairly well protected. It is likely you can resell it for close to what you paid for it if you make a wise purchase. For this reason, you may wish to try the Thor. Hopefully you will not have my experience.

Whatever you choose, Have fun!
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Old 02-01-2019, 04:11 PM   #3
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So I am of two minds about this. We started with a budget friendly, but higher end, older RV when we started. We got a really great deal on a very nice older class c that was in very good condition. We used to that RV for three years until we decided to order what we really wanted and upgraded to a Tiffin. We used that RV for three years until we decided to order what we really wanted and upgraded to a Tiffin. So Iíve done exactly what you are describing, but the older RV that we purchased was a very high-quality model in its prime. We didnít rent because the cost of renting was so damn high we felt it better to sink that cost into the purchase and we could always sell if we didnít like it and not lose even as much as the rental would be. Renting is a good option though to test the waters.

My other thought process, however, is that I would never trade my Tiffin for an older Thor, even for that amount of savings. If I was wanting a tiffin in the 125k range, I would not be happy with thor. But 100k can buy you a lot of fun. So idk. Do you want what you want? Or would you be ďsatisfiedĒ with a lower end model that costs a heck of a lot less? These are the questions Iíd be asking myself for sure.
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Old 02-01-2019, 04:56 PM   #4
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Thanks for the comments. I have two left thumbs and am concerned about repairs which was my rational for the Tiffin. Of course a loan would be in the picture for the Tiffin whereas a $30K cash expenditure is doable for the Thor. I'm just concerned about the nickle/dime repairs that may follow. Appreciate other input from you all on the general question and/or specific model question.
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Old 02-01-2019, 06:10 PM   #5
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The price sounds high for the age to me, but condition is very important, keep in mind a new set of good tires will likely run $3,000+ installed
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Old 02-02-2019, 01:00 PM   #6
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Negotiate a good price after an inspection and buy it. Win, loose, or draw it will be a worth while experience and help you remember what you liked / disliked when you were RVing before. It will be a great "test run" before you drop $125,000 on something you think you want to own longer term, and even if you turn around and sell the Hurricane fairly soon you should be able to recover almost all of your money (more or less). In the mean time it will help you decide if you want to dive back into RVING, JUST RELAX AND HAVE FUN, it's about the experience not the money.
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Old 02-02-2019, 05:52 PM   #7
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Again, thanks for the input. Is there a mobile inspection site/outfit to have someone come out and perform a look over prior to purchase? If so, I would appreciate any referrals. Also, what would you expect the going rate to be for this inspection?
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Old 02-02-2019, 09:34 PM   #8
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Try the independent inspector locator at nrvia.org
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Old 02-02-2019, 10:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by richp5 View Post
Thanks for the comments. I have two left thumbs and am concerned about repairs which was my rational for the Tiffin. Of course a loan would be in the picture for the Tiffin whereas a $30K cash expenditure is doable for the Thor. I'm just concerned about the nickle/dime repairs that may follow. Appreciate other input from you all on the general question and/or specific model question.
Your Tiffin budget gets you a 2015 36la and hopefully no headaches. The Thor budget, who knows, its apples and oranges. There are plenty of good MH out there in the 60/80k range. Your preference is what counts the most along with your Due Diligence. Best of luck.
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Old 02-03-2019, 04:13 AM   #10
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We've only owned our Bay Star since last spring. Originally, we were looking for something in the $40,000 or so price and found out that it was hard to find one that didn't need a lot of work with worn out carpeting being one common issue. Another was faded exteriors with cracking decals. We like to buy something and keep it for quite a while. We also, found that we wanted the quality found in units we saw made by Newmar, Tiffin, and Winnebago/Itasca. In our opinion, when you start looking at the quality of cabinet work, furniture, and overall construction, you see why these brands are considered to be better units.......that's not to say that models by other companies can't be a good buy. And, our search was only for a gas motorhome.

Early in our search, we looked very closely at a 29' Bay Star and it was really nice, but we weren't ready to up the budget and make a deal. Also, it didn't have room to add a chair and was just a little smaller than we wanted. But....seeing the quality sort of set a standard for comparison when looking for others.

Then, after initially thinking the MH we bought was out of our budget, we "crunched the numbers" and decided that we should take a trip and look at it. I called the owner first and said that we wanted to look at it, and made an offer I thought sure would be refused. But, the owner agreed on the price. Long story short, the purchase went very well and we even were able to transfer an extended warranty. After purchasing the motorhome, I did replace the original Goodyear tires with a set of Toyo tires and one AC unit has been replaced using the extended warranty. We're currently enjoying our first winter trek to Florida, and we're more happy with it than ever!

So, my suggestion is to look for a really good used motorhome made by one of the more top rated manufacturers. There's quite a few out there in the 60-80K price range that are in great shape and could be something you would keep for many years. And, you avoid the depreciation that goes with buying a new one. If you find that after using it for awhile that you want something bigger or smaller or with a different floor plan, you shouldn't have a hard time selling it or getting a decent price on a trade in. It's just my 2 cents worth.

Before you buy....take time to really look and compare motorhomes from different manufacturers. Look and listen to the AC system. Newmar's design makes for a pretty quiet AC system......so much better than in the travel trailers we owned. Also, consider generator size as it's great having enough power to run both AC units when needed as well as the microwave or coffee maker. Compare wall construction and R ratings. A lot of the current designs with darker color exteriors can draw a lot of heat when sitting in the sun which means you want good insulation if the AC units are going to work efficiently. Double pane windows have made a big difference......no condensation on the windows while headed south in cold weather and they also make for a quieter interior.

The bottom line is that you have to decide what's best for you in consideration of finances and what will work for you. I'm sure that we could have been happy with a unit from other manufacturers but I will say that if we wanted to buy another motorhome, I'd be looking for another Newmar!

Good luck in your search and I hope you're enjoying one soon!
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