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Old 05-27-2015, 02:20 AM   #1
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$400,000 Class A vs $130,000 Class A

Here is the half million dollar Question (which should produce some interesting responses):

For $50,000 one can buy a very nice 2005 low mileage gas 35-40' motorhome that would have cost $130,000 new. Or for $30,000 more, one can buy a 5 yr older equally low mileage DP motorhome that cost over $400,000 new.

If today, one goes with the older high end coach, is he or she getting $30,000 more coach, or is he getting $300,000 more coach? How do you personally feel about it? The newer $50k coach would certainly be enjoyable and satisfy one completely. Plus one would have an extra $30k in case of emergency or some sudden financial disaster.

The $80k high end coach is obviously the lap of luxury, yet a bit of a splurge in that one really doesn't need that much coach to enjoy traveling and living in. The extra $30k would limit ones resources a bit, cutting their remaining savings in half. Either way, the owner would be living mainly on his monthly social security check which would come close to covering his monthly expenses if he budgets wisely, since he will have no other costs except the cost of insurance, traveling, and living in the RV. An occasional ballgame, tourist attraction, and a meal out most days should still be doable.

What are your thoughts? Is the extra $30k for the high end coach worth it? Might it be so much more reliable that one could conceivably make up that $30k as years go by? Or is it the opposite, the high end coach would cost a lot more to keep on the road?
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Old 05-27-2015, 02:29 AM   #2
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What are the manufactures and models?
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Old 05-27-2015, 04:20 AM   #3
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What are the manufactures and models?
Foretravel and Newmar
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Old 05-27-2015, 04:38 AM   #4
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If it were me I would take the gas coach. Seems to me that when we're parked we have the same creature comforts of a DP. We're not trying to impress anyone and our coach works just fine for us. That being said Newmar and Foretravel both make nice coaches. On the other hand I think the gas coach will cost less in maintenance. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'd keep the $30K in my pocket to have for maybe any unseen problem that may come up down the road. Don't forget they're both used coaches and will require something at some point and time.
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Old 05-27-2015, 05:42 AM   #5
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Having owned both a decent gas coach and two DP's (one entry level and one more of a luxury coach) I would say it depends on what your needs/wants are.

The DP will certainly cost more to maintain overall than the gas coach. They are more complex and more expensive to service generally, especially if you pay someone else to do your maintenance. However, the DP will have more cargo carrying capacity (usually), air suspension for a better ride and handling (especially if tag axle), and will be more quiet (engine in rear and not under your feet). If you plan to put a lot of miles on the coach and a lot of mountain driving, the DP will perform better than most gas coaches.

If you will do shorter trips and spend more time sitting than driving, gas may be a better choice. A high end gas coach may have similar amenities as at least a mid level DP.

I would suggest that you drive both and consider your intended use. Either will take you to wonderful places.
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Old 05-27-2015, 05:50 AM   #6
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SMLRANGER has summarized it nicely.
I would go DP to get more coach but in the financial situation you're in you might want to keep that $30K for a safety net. Odds are slim you will face an engine/expensive repair but on a 05 or older it could happen with a gas or dp...
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Old 05-27-2015, 06:15 AM   #7
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Don't take the DP for a test ride if you aren't prepared to purchase. I would only buy the gas coach if you do local trips. I do think your low on price for a 05 Dutch Star though. 80k tells me it needs work.
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Old 05-27-2015, 08:22 AM   #8
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I purchased a new Class C in 1997 and we used for ~11 years and then bought a 6 year old DP. Price difference was similar to what you discuss.

I believe it will depend on your needs, most gas coaches may not have the amenities that you would want if you were full timing and/or the carrying capacity.

Comparison wise it will cost a lot more to maintain a diesel DP so the budget will dictate what you can afford. 2 years ago I had to replace the transmission ECM ~$3500, Last year I spent ~$2500 on the coach, no catastrophic major failure, but did have EMS fail ~$450 to repair. Monday on our way home we had a "bad" coolant leak at radiator. If I have to replace radiator it will be ~$4000.

At this rate, if the trend holds, I will seriously have to consider another RV option.
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Old 05-27-2015, 09:11 AM   #9
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in my financial situation, I'd buy the high end DP.
in your financial situation, I'd want to keep as much of that small savings account as possible, and would spend $5000 on a cargo van and do my own conversion into a basic RV.
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Old 05-27-2015, 09:24 AM   #10
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We picked up an older dp that was $143000.00 new in 1989 for $5000 and yes it needed lots of little things but it is a good unit.

Many options out there...

First determine your spend (buy), upgrade, maintenance and use budgets then start looking at units that fit in those.

You may find a great newer gasser that may have less maintenance cost or an older dp with less buy cost.

Find what fits your needs and taste then go from there.
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Old 05-27-2015, 09:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SissyBoyBob View Post
Here is the half million dollar Question (which should produce some interesting responses):

For $50,000 one can buy a very nice 2005 low mileage gas 35-40' motorhome that would have cost $130,000 new. Or for $30,000 more, one can buy a 5 yr older equally low mileage DP motorhome that cost over $400,000 new.

If today, one goes with the older high end coach, is he or she getting $30,000 more coach, or is he getting $300,000 more coach? How do you personally feel about it? The newer $50k coach would certainly be enjoyable and satisfy one completely. Plus one would have an extra $30k in case of emergency or some sudden financial disaster.

The $80k high end coach is obviously the lap of luxury, yet a bit of a splurge in that one really doesn't need that much coach to enjoy traveling and living in. The extra $30k would limit ones resources a bit, cutting their remaining savings in half. Either way, the owner would be living mainly on his monthly social security check which would come close to covering his monthly expenses if he budgets wisely, since he will have no other costs except the cost of insurance, traveling, and living in the RV. An occasional ballgame, tourist attraction, and a meal out most days should still be doable.

What are your thoughts? Is the extra $30k for the high end coach worth it? Might it be so much more reliable that one could conceivably make up that $30k as years go by? Or is it the opposite, the high end coach would cost a lot more to keep on the road?
If today, one goes with the older high end coach, he or she inheriting $30,000 worth of "That broke, need to fix it .... that broke, need to fix it.... that broke, need to fix it.... that broke need to fix it... that broke again, need to fix it..."

I'm being slightly facetious, but in a very honest point, one could easily sink 20k into solving the multiple issues that arise from a 10 year old DP. I would have at least that much on tap for just in case moments. You might not need it, but if you do..........

I easily spent that amt in fixer up money on what appeared to be a well maintained , 9 year old, high end 400k+ coach that I purchased under 100k. But things simply wear out. They need new airbags in the rear suspension? There goes $2800. Need new tires? There goes 6-7k. Slide motor extends while driving a little at a time, Need a slide motor with brake assembly ('cause they don't sell the brake mech alone)? There goes 1800. Batteries? 1200. Steps stop working? beat em with a hammer and hope. So forth... it can add up very quickly. Going into it knowing this helps you from wanting to light it on fire for the insurance money each day. Don't push your max budget, be prepared for some fixer up money to be spent. Be ready for some head scratching from even "qualified" mechanics. Expect fixes to take 2 weeks longer than quoted. Cross your fingers every time you fire it up.

I would NOT think that extra price tag fluctuation of 30k in the "under 100k" range or so immediately equals better in that range - this is more a case by case basis.

For instance, PPL right now has a rig priced at 179 that I would never buy based on problems i've read from other owners, but they have one listed at 86?? ( an 08 bounder diesel 350?) that I would seriously consider.

P.S. ALL Rv's are crummy in some way or another, some to higher degrees of crummy, some less - but I would never discourage anyone from RV'ing, it's a blast!!

P.P.S - ALWAYS look before you step out. Don't assume your steps are extended just cause they did last time.... Someone reported just the other day that their wife stepped out into open air because the steps failed to open. She, luckily, did not break any bones, but was pretty shaken up over it. Another buddy of mine has the opposite problem, his steps open, and close, whenever they feel like it - including while driving or standing on them! Lot's of head scratching on this one, parts tossed at it, but no fix as of yet.
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Old 05-27-2015, 09:37 AM   #12
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One thing that hasn't been mentioned above is most of the depreciation on the DP has already happened. DPs tend to settle around 30% of original price, assuming properly maintained. The value of the gas rig, on the other hand, will continue to decline. This is just my opinion developed by reading and observing and I am not able to cite references.

Based on your numbers, the Newmar is already below that 30% number so it's probably a motivated seller or the rig is troubled. Again, just my opinion based solely on the limited info provided.

As you can see by the sig below, I went with the higher end DP and have been very happy with the extra amenities.
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Old 05-27-2015, 09:43 AM   #13
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hahahah

https://youtu.be/wBxRwF4qnhU?t=45s
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Old 05-27-2015, 09:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SissyBoyBob View Post
Here is the half million dollar Question (which should produce some interesting responses):

For $50,000 one can buy a very nice 2005 low mileage gas 35-40' motorhome that would have cost $130,000 new. Or for $30,000 more, one can buy a 5 yr older equally low mileage DP motorhome that cost over $400,000 new.

If today, one goes with the older high end coach, is he or she getting $30,000 more coach, or is he getting $300,000 more coach? How do you personally feel about it? The newer $50k coach would certainly be enjoyable and satisfy one completely. Plus one would have an extra $30k in case of emergency or some sudden financial disaster.

The $80k high end coach is obviously the lap of luxury, yet a bit of a splurge in that one really doesn't need that much coach to enjoy traveling and living in. The extra $30k would limit ones resources a bit, cutting their remaining savings in half. Either way, the owner would be living mainly on his monthly social security check which would come close to covering his monthly expenses if he budgets wisely, since he will have no other costs except the cost of insurance, traveling, and living in the RV. An occasional ballgame, tourist attraction, and a meal out most days should still be doable.

What are your thoughts? Is the extra $30k for the high end coach worth it? Might it be so much more reliable that one could conceivably make up that $30k as years go by? Or is it the opposite, the high end coach would cost a lot more to keep on the road?
The only reason I recommend the gas is your statement that the "extra $30k would limit ones resources a bit, cutting their remaining savings in half." In my opinion that isn't enough of a savings even if you are not living on that income from your savings (pension/social security), so no way should you erode your savings that much. Just my opinion.

Good luck on whatever you decide and I hope you enjoy yourself!
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