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Old 06-04-2015, 06:42 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by normandlegra View Post
One last point, make sure you buy a product that is still on the market such as Winnibago, Newmar, Tiffin, Coachman, Fleetwood and Thor; forget about Gulfstream and others like them that closed their production of motorhomes...
Meh, I call BS on this one. A high percentage of components that could or will fail are common pieces across most all RV's. Some have proprietary chassis's but again use common components.

A quality high end RV that has been taken care of is the way to go, regardless if the mfg. is still around or restructuring.
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Old 06-04-2015, 06:50 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by austx View Post
You can negotiate discounts on most new MHs 25-30% off the MSRP. And don't rule out fly/drive to get your best price.
Itaska and mainly the Meridian 36 is one of the best for ratio price/quality; I would never hesitate to buy one of them if I had a good trade in for my gazzer...
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Old 06-04-2015, 07:12 PM   #31
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For KarenS144, You can buy a temper pedic mattress topper for a queen for about $125 on Amazon. $199 for a king. You will think you "died and gone to heaven". That's what my DW says and she's very picky.
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Old 06-04-2015, 07:31 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normandlegra View Post
Itaska and mainly the Meridian 36 is one of the best for ratio price/quality; I would never hesitate to buy one of them if I had a good trade in for my gazzer...
We got 27% discount off MSRP on our 2015 Meridian 36M in Jan from CW!!! Tiffin is another. Before we decided on the Meridian, we were negotiating with 3 dealers long distance who give deep discounts on new Tiffins. When we were negotiating in a new Tiffin RED we got 29% discount!
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:21 PM   #33
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Best advise you can get go look, go look, go look. Develop a list of things that you must have, things you'd like to have. Then look at all of them that fill the bill. You'll get lots of advise on DP and gasser. On used vs new. Etc. We went through a 3 iterations before we found the one that did it for us.

The good news is you've already learned a great deal having owned the Winnie.

I hope you enjoy as much as we do. We are half timers our Thor Challenger 37TB does it well for us. MSRP was $173k. You can find them for about 30-40% off.

Hope that helps.
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Old 06-05-2015, 12:21 AM   #34
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Smile

Thanks for the responses. I know my question wasn't detailed enough, but
this post will be far too long and detailed. Sorry!

We are young geezers (barely eligible for Social Security), and we've
camped in one fashion or another since we first became a couple in the
early '70's. Tents, pop-up campers, and a 24' *Winnebago* Minnie we've
used for 3-month trips the last four summers. We'd like to go *full time*
for a year or two, beginning in the next 12 months.

What was behind the question is simply that we've "run up" on a couple of
RVs in the last week that we had never considered before. Specifically, we
came across a 2002 *Newmar* Dutch Star (40') for a $50K, and just today a
friend who knows we are looking offered a 1997 *Prevost *XL for $85K.
Until this week, I had never heard of either type, so I had no idea what a
good price was or whether either would meet our needs. (Turns out the
Prevost originally sold for 1.4 million.) Now that I've spent so much time
on the internet checking them out, I understand now that these are both
better quality units than a *Winnebago or Thor ACE.*

We thought we wanted a *Thor ACE* ( I especially like the floor plan of the
29.2), until we realized it has essentially the same Ford truck chassis we
have now. Actually, the size and even the storage of the Minnie has worked
well for us, since we have been able to follow the "less is more" rule when
on the road. But the ride was never comfortable, and riding on very rough
roads in the NE US and the Canadian Maritimes last summer really took a
toll on the pleasure of our trip. Since I'm betting that potholes and
poorly poured concrete highways will never go out of style, I'm trying to
fix the concern from the side I can control. Namely, what kind of RV we
drive.

It has been my impression (Please correct me if I'm wrong) that a *Class A*
would give a smoother ride in addition to the additional living space.
We've tried to keep to the shorter side of RVs so far, because it is so
much easier to park them in a shopping center or in a campsite. If I could
find a 27-30' Class A that was well-designed, well-built, and had a *smooth
ride*, I'd go that route.But then I keep coming back to the Ford truck
chassis, which is what I'm hoping to improve.

*Diesels *have been recommended (not sure exactly why, since diesel engines
and fuel are more expensive than gas), but most of the diesels I see are
only in 33' and above. As I said, we've been fine with the less is more
approach up to this point. We prefer public campgrounds (especially the
National Parks) for the beautiful surroundings, and are able to go barefoot
for up to 4 days at a stretch. We don't much like the commercial
campgrounds where you are very close to the next camper and there aren't as
many trees. So even though the larger class A's might provide more creature
comforts while we're in the coach, but we may have to sacrifice - maybe
even a LOT - in terms of being in the kind of semi-natural spots we enjoy
so much.

I know that every situation has more than one angle, and that we have to
make choices along the way. I'm just trying to get the information I need
weigh out the choices. If you were to list the highest quality (meaning
durability, comfort, good use of space) units out there, what would they
be? What brands would you steer me clear of?

If you've hung in there reading all this, wow, thanks a lot. I look
forward to seeing what you have to say.
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Old 06-05-2015, 12:42 AM   #35
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Before answering your questions, have you made your "Must Have" List and "Nice to Have" List? Without those two lists you will be just wondering around and getting verrry, and I mean verrrry, confused. Also, what's your budget? Another thing that is important is took at floor plans to see what you like and don't like. These two lists, your budget and floor plans will elimate a lot of MH's so you get closer to the best MH for you!!! Happy looking,

P.S. We have a 36 foot and have never had a problem parking it in a shopping center or campground or anywhere.
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Old 06-05-2015, 07:50 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyCothran View Post
It has been my impression (Please correct me if I'm wrong) that a *Class A*
would give a smoother ride in addition to the additional living space.
We've tried to keep to the shorter side of RVs so far, because it is so
much easier to park them in a shopping center or in a campsite. If I could
find a 27-30' Class A that was well-designed, well-built, and had a *smooth
ride*, I'd go that route.But then I keep coming back to the Ford truck
chassis, which is what I'm hoping to improve.
Well Suzy, you've got it right about the Ford truck chassis .
Love my F53 V10!
Lots of tweaks you can do to them to get them riding pretty nice, but in the end, they are still a delivery truck chassis!
(Read the Ford Motorhome Chassis Forum to your hearts content!)
Some real nice gassers out there, but they come with the trade-off of less than riding on a cloud!

They say not to test drive a DP unless you are ready to buy one .
I guess DP's come with their own set of idiosyncrasies - Diesel cost, maintenance, etc., but apparently are the ultimate in comfort.

I hope to be upgrading for retirement a few years down the road. Still not sure what direction I'll be going in , but my research is ongoing!
(Right now my sights are set on a Dynamax or Seneca Super C diesel )
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Old 06-07-2015, 11:12 PM   #37
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Almost made a BIG mistake!
Heard about a great deal through a friend of a friend. We were seduced by a "bargain" price on a 1997 Prevost that originally sold for $1,400,000. BEAUTIFUL leather upholstery, many luxurious features. The 45' length concerned me a bit. Also not crazy about the Las Vegas style lighting and the mirror on the ceiling over the bed! We are more nature-lovers than luxury-lovers, but we were tempted to the point of making a verbal agreement with the owner for $85K. When we spoke to the agent, he told us he had paperwork from another potential buyer for the same price, but no cash yet. Sent us a thorough evaluation and walked my husband through it. Explained it would take an additional $6,000 to get it ready for its next trip. Huh?! What happened to "It's in great shape?!" So THANK YOU to the honest salesman who could've really taken advantage of us! It was a wake-up call for what it would mean to keep an older prestige unit running.

We're still keeping our eyes open for "just the right thing" for our next rig for full-timing a couple of years. But we're slowing W-A-Y down in the search process!

Still want something that's not too big (for us) - 30', or maybe as much as 35, with a smooth ride. Would like something with truly comfortable bed and sofa, and one that is well-organized, utilizing space efficiently. Any more suggestions? I'm wide open!
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Old 06-07-2015, 11:42 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by SuzyCothran View Post
Almost made a BIG mistake!
Heard about a great deal through a friend of a friend. We were seduced by a "bargain" price on a 1997 Prevost that originally sold for $1,400,000. BEAUTIFUL leather upholstery, many luxurious features. The 45' length concerned me a bit. Also not crazy about the Las Vegas style lighting and the mirror on the ceiling over the bed! We are more nature-lovers than luxury-lovers, but we were tempted to the point of making a verbal agreement with the owner for $85K. When we spoke to the agent, he told us he had paperwork from another potential buyer for the same price, but no cash yet. Sent us a thorough evaluation and walked my husband through it. Explained it would take an additional $6,000 to get it ready for its next trip. Huh?! What happened to "It's in great shape?!" So THANK YOU to the honest salesman who could've really taken advantage of us! It was a wake-up call for what it would mean to keep an older prestige unit running.

We're still keeping our eyes open for "just the right thing" for our next rig for full-timing a couple of years. But we're slowing W-A-Y down in the search process!

Still want something that's not too big (for us) - 30', or maybe as much as 35, with a smooth ride. Would like something with truly comfortable bed and sofa, and one that is well-organized, utilizing space efficiently. Any more suggestions? I'm wide open!
We too aren't for the glitzy MH either that high end manufacturers seem to think we want. Maybe the generation before me but not these Baby Boomers!!! Keep in mind a lot of used MH's have been detailed (gotten all spruced up) before being put on the floor so buyers go " WOW, it was so clean & well taken care of!" WRONG, a lot of time it's the result of a good detail department and private party owners will detail theirs too. Buyer Beware of surface beauty! You see what they want you to see but what you don't see is what can co$t you big time!

BTW - You were lucky because this is an old trick by car salesmen ... "When we spoke to the agent, he told us he had paperwork from another potential buyer for the same price, but no cash yet." This is to get buyers to act now because another buyer thinks it's a good deal so we better get it first.

My suggestion would be to check out the Itasca Meridian 36M, used or new. We love every thing about ours! Prides smooth, great length, well organized, two sofas across from each other so it's easy to converse. Great bed that faces front to back; we chose the queen bed so we had more to walk around it, W/D option. Super basement storage and interior storage. And it is not glitzy!!! It's perfect for the two of us going out about every mouth for 1-2 week trips. Check them out online to see if you like the floor plan & other features. If you do, google it and see who has one to go see in person so you can "kick the tires!"

Go visit every major RV dealer to JUST LOOK, no buying, JUST LOOK at as many different models and manufactures. Take photos, notes, even videos of ones you like. Also write down which you don't like and why for future reference when your heads are spinning. Find out where and when RV shows are being held close to you.

Also don't get caught up in what a MH originally sold for. That just clouds your thinking. Buy it because it is the best one for you.

P.S. I recommend to not act on something when you see it. Leave. Go talk and think about it. Go home and research the heck out of it. Sleep on it. IMO if it's a good deal today it will be a good deal tomorrow. Still want it, get an independent inspection of it BEFORE you buy it and take what the sales persons tells you with a grain of salt! Luckily the guy told you what it needed, or at least some of what it needed.

You are doing the right thing by slowing it down. The right one for you is out there. Good luck and keep us posted.

-- Kay
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Old 06-07-2015, 11:49 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by normandlegra View Post
One last point, make sure you buy a product that is still on the market such as Winnibago, Newmar, Tiffin, Coachman, Fleetwood and Thor; forget about Gulfstream and others like them that closed their production of motorhomes...
Why?
We bought a '09 Country Coach and the rig itself (outside the engine) is great. Everything in it is standard industry and while stuff like the halogen light units are no longer made pretty much everything else is still available.
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Old 06-08-2015, 07:59 AM   #40
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One thing that concerns me as I've gone through this thread is has the original poster actually RVed before? The lifestyle is not for everyone and, although it may look cool, you really don't know if it will work until you try it.

If you have never tried RVing before you might want to rent a unit for a weekend or a week and try it and see if it is or isn't the right choice for you. Perhaps watching the movie RV with Robin Williams might not be a bad idea to see what rookies can do with a motorhome.
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Old 06-08-2015, 10:00 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by SuzyCothran View Post
Almost made a BIG mistake!
Heard about a great deal through a friend of a friend. We were seduced by a "bargain" price on a 1997 Prevost that originally sold for $1,400,000. BEAUTIFUL leather upholstery, many luxurious features. The 45' length concerned me a bit. Also not crazy about the Las Vegas style lighting and the mirror on the ceiling over the bed! We are more nature-lovers than luxury-lovers, but we were tempted to the point of making a verbal agreement with the owner for $85K. When we spoke to the agent, he told us he had paperwork from another potential buyer for the same price, but no cash yet. Sent us a thorough evaluation and walked my husband through it. Explained it would take an additional $6,000 to get it ready for its next trip. Huh?! What happened to "It's in great shape?!" So THANK YOU to the honest salesman who could've really taken advantage of us! It was a wake-up call for what it would mean to keep an older prestige unit running.

We're still keeping our eyes open for "just the right thing" for our next rig for full-timing a couple of years. But we're slowing W-A-Y down in the search process!

Still want something that's not too big (for us) - 30', or maybe as much as 35, with a smooth ride. Would like something with truly comfortable bed and sofa, and one that is well-organized, utilizing space efficiently. Any more suggestions? I'm wide open!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coma View Post
Welcome to the Forum!

Maintenance cost can be breathtaking if it has not been well maintained.
$6,000 is not breathtaking, rather, normal cost for a set of tires. FWIW
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Old 06-10-2015, 01:13 PM   #42
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Had the ACE 29.2. Great floor plan...we were happy with it for what it is / was, but neither of us cared for long rides on bumpy highways with it. Very similar to what you described on your current unit. Just like austx, we looked around (online and in person) and ended up with a Itasca Meridian 36M. So far, we have been impressed with the better ride and the ease with which we can have conversations on the road. It has much better storage as well both inside and out. My wife was initially concerned with the increased length, but it is easier to drive and gives us much more room than the ACE 29.2 gave us. We've only had it out once so far (second trip coming soon!) and we can't believe how much more we enjoyed the trip. We camped at a State Park and it seemed much easier to back it into the site than it ever was with the ACE. That's probably just in my mind, but it sure felt good for having only driven it about 100 miles and it being the first time I'd had to back it into a fairly tight space!

Floor plan may or may not work for you, but we like it even better than the 29.2 floor plan that we purchased first time out...Good luck on your search!
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