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Old 02-22-2012, 11:13 PM   #15
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Darcan - When my wife and I were looking for a DP to buy 2 1/2 years ago the first coach we just loved was a slightly used 2008 Fleetwood Providence I think 39L. It had a full wall slide on the drivers side and two more slides on the passenger side. We then went and both test drove a brand new one. We really really liked this coach. But since this was a huge purchase, second only in cost to our house, we wanted to look at lots of coaches and drive them.

The slightly used one was 135,000. Good price. The new was in the range of 180,000. Still a lot of coach for the money. We looked and drove many dozen over the next few months. We went back to look at the Providence just before we made our decision. We were originally blown away by the wide open interior of the Providence. And it was hardly used and looked new. Well, they had sold the slightly used one. What they had was a 17,000 mile hard used one. The sparkle was way way off this coach. The carpets looked like the apartment grade carpets they actually were. The dining table had dings in it's laminated surface and it looked much worse for wear. Still a bright big interior. After seeing many higher end coaches with many years on them the Providence went way down the list.

For the 135,000 we were going to pay for the Providence we spent the same money and bought a very high end Country Coach that has a beautiful custom interior. The carved wool carpets in the living room hardly look worn at all. Our solid counter tops and dinning room table look wonderful still. We have special stained glass in all areas of the coach. Our interior is significantly nicer than our friends 2005 Foretravel that they paid over 400,000 for. Our paint looks new after almost ten years. And so on.

Plus our coach got 100% grade from the RVCG for handling. The Providence we liked was rated 75%.

After 2 1/2 years and a number of trips we still love our coach. It is a beauty and if it burned to the ground we would try and find exactly the same one.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:05 AM   #16
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Darcan- having taken the search to the point of confusion, I recommend taking a step back and making the search more objective. Figure out the coach you love the way I figured out what kind of woman I loved before I met her. Make a list.
Write down everything about a motorhome, good or bad or novel. Take a couple 3 weeks, and make the list complete.
Then, after you've run out of observations to add, start 4 new lists. Take every positive thing from list#1, and place it on a Gotta Have list (if the next coach doesn't have this one thing, then its not an option), and if you can live w/out it then place in on the Nice to Have but Can Live W/out It list. Take all the negatives and put them either on a Deal Killer list, or on a Negative But I Can Live W/it list.

Then memorize the lists, and go shopping again. Its amazing how well this works. For us, particle board cabinets kill the deal. That, in 2 seconds, eliminates a lot of low & mid range products that use plastic film over particle board (even on face frames, which takes a close look on some rigs). One look finding a deal killer, and you're on to check another rig. Makes going thru an FMCA rally coach area much easier; no confusion trying to balance sorta-negatives against sorta-positives when you know from sober contemplation which ones are deal-maker-minimums & which are deal-killers.

For me, I couldn't own a Cat engine coach. Nothing about quality, just that Cummins has greater than 2x the installed inventory, so way easier to get help on places like iRV2, a lot more shops w/good experience and easy to get parts & service.

Then when you make a deal, join a great club. After all, its about who you spend time with. Hope to see you on the road.
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:36 AM   #17
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Hi. My husband and I are brand new members. We have owned a couple of 5th wheelers and loved them. We are now ready to move on to a motorhome. Very confused after a couple months of looking. We know we want a diesel pusher, plan to pull an enclosed trailer with our jeep, RZR and a couple kayaks inside. We've been looking at 38-40 foot, 2006-2008 DPs and get more confused every day. We have friends who are totally loyal to Holiday Ramblers but haven't found what we're looking for there as far as floorplan, colors, etc. Our friends are not at all fond of Winnebagos or Fleetwoods; which look pretty good to us. They feel the Winnebagos are "not very solid or well built" and the Fleetwoods have too many electrical problems. We'd like to hear from others who have experienced these brands. We appreciate your guidance and input. Thanks so much.
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Hi darcan,

We Have 99 Alpine Coach that we like very well. Like many other brands, they are out of business, but that is not a problem.

You are experienced RV;s, but have you thought about where you are going to park a 40 ft , a large enclosed trailer plus a Jeep?????Rent 2 camp sites?? I am a retired cross country trucker, so the size traveling down the road would not be a concern, but once in an rv park, trying to get the jeep unloaded, unhook the trailer, hook the jeep to the trailer to park it someplace, would be more hassel than I would want. How about forgeting that expensive trailer that will weigh 3-4000#, flat tow the jeep with the kayaks on the top of the jeep??? good wishes, old trucker
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:36 AM   #18
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Darcan- having taken the search to the point of confusion, I recommend taking a step back and making the search more objective. Figure out the coach you love the way I figured out what kind of woman I loved before I met her. Make a list.
Write down everything about a motorhome, good or bad or novel. Take a couple 3 weeks, and make the list complete.
Then, after you've run out of observations to add, start 4 new lists. Take every positive thing from list#1, and place it on a Gotta Have list (if the next coach doesn't have this one thing, then its not an option), and if you can live w/out it then place in on the Nice to Have but Can Live W/out It list. Take all the negatives and put them either on a Deal Killer list, or on a Negative But I Can Live W/it list.

Then memorize the lists, and go shopping again. Its amazing how well this works. For us, particle board cabinets kill the deal. That, in 2 seconds, eliminates a lot of low & mid range products that use plastic film over particle board (even on face frames, which takes a close look on some rigs). One look finding a deal killer, and you're on to check another rig. Makes going thru an FMCA rally coach area much easier; no confusion trying to balance sorta-negatives against sorta-positives when you know from sober contemplation which ones are deal-maker-minimums & which are deal-killers.

We are using this "list format" in making our decision. And we got this format from a RV salesman.
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:43 AM   #19
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Wow, thanks for all of the great input. You bring up several excellent points. We th agree that we seem to be drawn to the Fleetwood line. I like the 40X floorplan and my husband likes the 39L. We keep coming back to the Providence; 2007-2008. We just need to find some close enough to us to take out for a drive. They are scattered in every area of the country except near us. I had a feeling that these coaches were all basically good but I believe I will check on the two resources mentioned for some consumer feedback. Again, thank you for all of your input. We are so glad we found this site. It has answered many questions.
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Whatever you do, don't try to please your friends, they are clearly biased, and you'll be the ones using the RV, not them. Every make/model has good coaches and every make/model will have a lemon or two, it's the nature of the beast. Floor plan is key, make sure it is something you like. I would also find a good RV mechanic and let him do a pre buy inspection.
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:10 PM   #20
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Thanks again for your input. You all have many good points. What are some higher end brands? Tiffin? Country Coach? We bought our current 5th wheeler over 10 years ago (a 2000 Crossroads) and it was beautiful then and still is now. Excellent quality woodwork, flooring, etc. It seems they aren't making them as well anymore. I certainly don't want to feel like I have taken a step backwards.
As far as the trailer goes, we do have concerns about parking, having enough HP and torque to pull it properly, etc. We won't always need it with us but we love to go rock crawling and into the sand dunes, etc. with the RZR, and we gotta have the kayaks too, plus a vehicle to get around in. Too many toys and "habits/hobbies" I guess.
Again thank you to all of you. We appreciate your input. We have certainly found a great site to communicate with other like-minded people. Hope we run into some of you down the road
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:43 PM   #21
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I've met with Bob Tiffin at RV shows, never have I been given the same time and treatment from any one else in the industry. Tiffin owners we met from Key West to Canada were pleased and seemed impressed with their units. If he had built a bath and a half 5 years ago I would not have bought the Holiday Rambler we have. Our coach has been a good unit but the support has been weak.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:39 AM   #22
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Engineer mike has a very good point ... this is the type of thing that we have done in the past. Once you have this list, you are able to use websites like RVtrader.com to scan through hundreds of units in the blink of any eye.

Deal breakers for us were free standing dinettes, lack of storage/cabinets and poor bathroom layout
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Old 02-24-2012, 04:59 AM   #23
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Darcan,
When we did our research we came to believe that Entegra Coach, Tiffin, and Newmar were the higher end coaches in the price range we were looking for that are currently manufacturing coaches. We came to this conclusion based on a review of the detailed ratings and comments in RV.org and by JR Consumer as well as numerous forums. Review the independant publications as well as the owner forums here and others. Place more weight on the independant publications but be aware of issues that are being discussed by various owners. Everybody, or most of us anyway including me, feels he has the best brand but it is much a matter of personal choice based on a review of all data you can find.
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:33 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by darcan View Post
Our friends are not at all fond of Winnebagos or Fleetwoods; which look pretty good to us. They feel the Winnebagos are "not very solid or well built" and the Fleetwoods have too many electrical problems. We'd like to hear from others who have experienced these brands. We appreciate your guidance and input. Thanks so much.
darcan
Your iRV2 friends will mirror what I'd say about the reliability of peoples' opinions, I'll just tell you about our own rig

We fell into a Fleetwood as our first DP by accident: friends had it, lost their buyer after already purchasing a Newell. We came to their rescue.

Well, the Fleetwood has been wonderful, and we've used the daylights out of it, this first year! I've gotten prompt service the few times I've called them (to get an electrical schematic so I know where fuses are, for example).

Ours had 84K miles on it the day we bought it, was immaculately kept and given all needed maintenance. Meaning, it was used constantly since birth, never lived in, carefully maintained.

The only thing I really resent is that the older Fleetwoods have windows that fog. Make sure you look at candidates with clean glass, in bright sunlight

PS Our friends were so disgusted with their Newell, they sold it after two miserable trips, bought an older Fleetwood that was well-kept.
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:57 AM   #25
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Another thought other then the mfr of the coach is the chassis it's sitting on. One may like a Freightliner, the next may not, or a Roadmaster or not and then there's the powerplant that's attached to them. Torque enters into the picture depending on the power your looking for. Quite a bit to sift thru. Good luck in your search and hope you find the coach that works best for you.
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:42 PM   #26
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For as many replies you get you will get differing opinions. You have to find a coach that will fit your needs. I will not offer any advice on what type or model of coach to get. But what I would suggest is to go to rv.com pay their fee. Then read all the material they have provide for you. Use their rating system and find some coaches that will work for you.
Then when you figured out what you might want go to oodle.com It will search multiple databases and look for the coaches that you have entered and give you a large initial list then email you with daily up dates.
Good Luck and happy hunting. By the way when you find the coach that sounds good be prepared to fly off to go check it out in person. Also beware of any deals that sound too good to be true. They aren't .
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:13 PM   #27
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But what I would suggest is to go to rv.com pay their fee. Then read all the material they have provide for you. Use their rating system and find some coaches that will work for you.
I typed in www.rv.com and got a sales site by Dometic. What am I missing?
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:19 PM   #28
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The RV consumer rating places are a money making proposition. Some don't even see the rig they're "rating". How can you rate quality if you've never even seen the unit, let alone driven it.
That's like looking at one unit and saying they're all poorly made or they're all great.
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