Originally Posted by VSPA
Did Thor once, won't do that again. Now have an Itasca 35F with the primary feature being the extra 1/2 bath. If I were to do it again and stay within my budget range, I'd start with, Newmar, Tiffin, or another Itasca/Winnebago in that order. Advice from above on going used gets you the best values.
This is at least the third post in this thread that is basically saying the same thing. Worth noting for anyone shopping for a first RV.
Both Canyon Star and Bay Star are very nice gas units from Newmar. Go check them out, shop for a used one that fits your budget.
Some things we really liked about our Winnebago/Itasca when we bought it, and still holds true today:
Built on a chassis with much higher capacity than the unit requires - this gives us a ton of room for cargo and towing.
Tanks are as big as luxury diesels. If you get smaller tanks you'll find you're out or full all the time - 85 water, 50/45 gray and black holding. Many of the units today are cutting down on tankage capacity which is not a benefit.
Good insulation and double-pane windows - easy to heat and cool and very quiet inside
Slides are all on the drivers side, opposite of your 'camp' side. Many of the newest coaches have slides on both sides now. No Schwintek slides mechanisms - never an issue.
All top-tier appliances and components - same as diesel units from the same vintage - they work well and hold up well. All our stuff still works after 12 years. Did just replace the roof air unit - $750 for a DIY job. Ouch!
Higher quality upholstery and floor coverings - we took the carpet out for vinyl, seating surfaces still look like new 12 years later.
Fiberglass roof - still just like new, never leaks
Flush cargo doors like the high-end units - look nicer, work better, and provide better access. Cheaper models have cut-outs in the sides with framed doors - also common on c-class units.
Parts are still readily available for all winnebago models - the company has a long and solid run - not being sold out or closed down.
I could go on but you get the idea. If you buy quality they hold up better and hold their value better.
I just put new tires all around, did all the engine and chassis maintenance. On the 'sun side' when it's stored I removed all the vinyl graphics and painted them on, buffed it out, and it looks like new again. Had new name decals made.
This is a $40K to $50K unit, was over $100K new list. We got a good discount but it was still a lot of money and a lot of depreciation. However it was over a good long time.