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Old 03-18-2013, 02:19 PM   #1
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Brand New! New Guidance.

My wife and I are shopping for our very first RV. We'll be full-timers. Outside of visiting several trade shows, a big dealer, and lots of web-searching, we know very little. And I would very much appreciate guidance and suggestions. While we'd love a big DP, it's way out of our budget. We have about $85,000 to spend so I think we're into gas. We don't need new - A nice used RV with low mileage would be fine. We like the look of a Winnebago Vista and the 27-32 foot range is just fine with us. Our first concern is this: Are there some good combinations of gas engine power/transmission/torque we should consider so we're not outrun by armadillos while climbing a modest hill? There's no advice you could give us that would be too basic or not fully appreciated. And while we need plenty of advice in many areas, let's keep this tread to diesels versus gas engines, and maybe the best type of gas powered chassis that's fits our budget - and goal of about a 30 footer with one or two slides. I hope this is enough to get things started. Many, many thanks for your input!
Tampa, FL

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Old 03-18-2013, 02:33 PM   #2
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My wife and I lived in our motor home for 18 months while relocating and waiting for our house to sell. We were thankful for the space in our 40' unit. I know there are different strokes for different folks.

You can get a lot of DP for $85k. I am thrilled with my 2003 Discovery that sold for around $70k. Unfortunately for others, there are a lot of repos available on dealer lots. Just my opinion. There are many veteran full timers on here that have more info.

Ron Patterson

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Old 03-18-2013, 02:47 PM   #3
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i agree with Ron as there are many, many DP's that are just like new in that range...a few years old like '06-'09 even...the higher end coaches in that range are the way to go...but you will be over 32 foot in my opinion...jeff
2007 Alfa Gold!! model 1008. 400hp Freightliner, IFS!!
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:11 PM   #4
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If you plan on full time less than 38 ft may be a regret.

You need to consider first your planned lifestyle as spaces in state parks tend to be smaller.

40 ft is largest size that usually does not need special license, but 36 to 38 may be good comprimise.

Go for the high end coaches of a few years older, they were built better with usually better materials.

Our CC is 1989 and it needed a bunch of little things, but the price was only $5000.00 for a rig that was $240,000.00 new.

Getting one a little older, 1998 to 2003 range with cash in hand if you have it will get a great unit.

If you can do minor repairs then you can get more coach, many folks like to personalize their units, so having that in mind you can consider units that may need repairs.

Example is norcold refer, say it is dead, you can deduct about $1000.00 from the asking price, then replace with home unit, if you were wanting to do that anyway then it is to your advantage.

There are a bunch of folks here that have made the many wrong choices before their last one, so heed to the advice given as most of it will be sound per their history.

Do look at ebay, lots of info there.

Look at country coach, then ebay will suggest the others to look at.

There are a few for sale here too.

Have function!
Tony & Lori
1989 Country Coach Savannah SE
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:48 AM   #5
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Check this out for an example:

2008 La Palma 34PDD for Sale - D134NB - PPL Motor Homes

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Old 03-20-2013, 08:23 AM   #6
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If you are thinking DP in your price range then probably used. If you are thinking gas you may be surprised what is available new. First quote out of a salesman before I said anything was $93,000 for a 34 ft class A 2013 Coachmen. I wasn't interested in that particular unit because of the floor plan but I think he would have taken less. Don't be afraid to come in with a low offer during this recession. That means roughly 30% off MSRP.

JMHO. How I operate. I try not to get excited at anything I look at. If the dealer quotes price all the better but I don't ask. If he gets pushy I tell them I have several units I want to look at in the area. I do my research. A couple of weeks later I call them up on the phone and make an offer. Tell them to give me a call back if they think we have a deal. That way you don't spend hours at the dealership getting pressure to buy and drive it home. When I bought my new MH I was totally shocked that he accepted the offer.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:07 AM   #7
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There are a number of quality used dp coaches out there. Educate yourself on what to look for. I suggest that you go to rv.org buy their product and read it all. Then go to oodle.com plug in what you're looking for and check the boxes for daily updates. Beware of deals that sound too good to be true because they generally scams.
Good Luck and happy hunting.
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:02 PM   #8
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We are F/T in a 33. Plenty of space and storage for us, as we dont require as much stuff as others, andas we spend little time in it except for breakfast, dinner, and sleeping.
Dave and Nola, RVM1
The Journey is Our Destination!

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Old 03-20-2013, 03:33 PM   #9
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Tampa is the place to be to look at RV's. Spend some time at Lazy Days. They have a large selection of everything.

You will be in ok shape with 80k to spend plus tax puts you at you 85k.

In your gas engines/chassis in the last three years there has only been one choice. That is the Ford V10 on a Ford F53 chassis. Workhorse/Chevy stopped making their rig around 2009ish.

Gas chassis come in 16, 18, 20.5, 22, and 24 and 26k sizes. The heavier the chassis the better. I think you really would want at least the 22k or 24k chassis with 22.5" wheels.

The Workhorse chassis/engine was probably marginally better than Ford.

Diesel chassis are bigger than gas chassis. A very common Freightliner chassis is their 32,000 lb. size. MH's built on these chassis AKA Diesel Pushers are much more expensive. The advantage of a DP is the engine is in the back so you do not hear the engine noise as much. The engine has much more torque but the whole rig is heavier so they also will go up a mountain slow. Usually better than gas but not always. Disadvantage of diesel is they cost more to maintain. And there is a risk of a very expensive malfunction.

My DW and I looked at lots of used DP's. We also looked at a lot of more expensive gas MH's. I saw a new gas MH as being much less risk.

I would recommend looking at a gas 2009 Winnebago Adventure 35P. A 2008 or 2009 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 36D. 2008 and 2009 Newmar Canyon Stars. These are the best gas MH's and probsbly now in your price range.

DP MH's you have to go back to 2002 or 2004 ish to get into your price range.

Last winter I was in Florida 5 months on a mission to buy s 2008 or 2009 DP. I bought a very nice 5th wheel and very nice
dually truck instead. So far very happy.
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:14 PM   #10
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About a year ago we decided to retire & full time it. We had a very well built 32' coach. We were the original owners. It was very well cared for. Low mileage. Summer before, had a slide refuse to come in. Kinda lost confidence in the unit. Decided if I was going to full-time it I wanted something new. We are fortunate to be able to afford almost anything on the road. Went with a 37' gas engine with 3 slides. Plenty of room for us (and we came out of a big house on 5 acres). But, first time out, couldn't get the back slide in. The issue is one of those fancy inflatable folding beds in a slid-out. Horrible piece of engineering. Warranty work failed to fix it. I think I have. Working out the bugs in a new coach, is unfortunately part of what manufacturers think is acceptable. And as an owner of a DP made by the same big name company as mine said, "Same guys build them both." Buying used, you have to be very careful that you aren't buying someone else's problem. Get it checked and definitely consider an extended warranty. We did not go with a DP (or a fifth wheel) simply because I felt there would be enough of a learning curve full-timing it. I knew gas engines. We got a great deal on exactly the coach we wanted. Way, way below sticker. We could have spent less on left over stock on either gas engine or a DP. I would strongly suggest you also consider a few other things. With a full-time size coach you'll definitely want to tow a dinghy. Watch much TV? Do solid research on the satellite TV options. Our factory installed HD in-motion system is years behind current in home technology. Look at what Camping World, etc. has. And finally. I thought it was pretty silly to have a washer and dryer. Separate, stackable w/d. Will never have a unit without them. One other finally. Be sure you have a sufficient cargo carrying capacity in whatever you decide on. For full-timing, it is critical.
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:15 PM   #11
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First, Welcome to the forum.

We made our first purchase last August. We researched RVS for 6 months or more before deciding. We too originally started looking at a 32 foot gasser. I was looking for Workhorse Chasis with an Allison transmission based on discussions with other RVers. The floor plans were nice but after test driving a couple I was not sold on a gasser. We are not full timers but research showed most RVS are purchased based on the floor plans, because you spend more time in them, then driving them. So we started splitting hairs on floor plans and chasiss. We then looked at smaller 35-38 foot DPS and they had small 5.9 diesels that had hard time pushing themselves. I did a lot of internet searching at RV Dealers and whatched pricing and reveiwed floor plans. We found Tiffan and Winnie Itasca units our favorite. Then one day just stopped by a local dealer and when we stepped in unit they had the FP was what we were looking for. The test drive was just as good, 8.9 400hp, with Allison 3000 on a Freightliner Chasiss. The price worked and we have enjoyed every trip. We have not found any CG that we wanted to stay at that could not handle the 40' but have heard that a lot of State Parks cannot accodimate. So depending on where you plan to stay you may consider staying at 38'. I have no doubt it will pull through long hills and mountains. I believe the gassers I drove will do the same but not with the ease of a diesel.

The PPL website, Campingworlds website, rv.com were some that I used. I also searched this forum whenever I wanted to see what others had to say about a product, etc.

You should be able to find a good DP in your price range if that is what you decide. You may just have to travel to find it as well.

Best of wishes in your search and make sure that it fits most or all of your needs.
Mike & Donna with two rescues Rebel and Dixie, near Memphis, TN
2005 Itasca Horizon 40AD, 400 hp Cummins
2003 HD Electra Glide, 2007 Ford F-150 toad
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:27 AM   #12
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Thanks, tuffr2. I appreciate the advice. I have been to Lazy Days 3 or 4 times and have checked out gas and DP coaches. They certainly do have heavy markups! Then, of course, they throw in the big discount to try to close the sale. Do you think the new Ford V-10's can move 24,000 pounds adequately? Enough torque? Has Ford updated the V-10 Triton in the last couple of years? I'll check out some of the coaches you recommend. Thank you. BTW, two of my grown kids live in Columbus and me and DW expect to spend much of the summer there.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:46 AM   #13
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Be sure to check the difference in the ride of a gas against diesel.Big difference with air ride.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:47 AM   #14
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Thanks, biosensai! You've given me a few things to add to my list when I get ready to pull the trigger on a purchase. Did I hear you say you got a stackable W/D in a gas unit? With a 37 footer you might have a second half bath as well. Two of my wife's wishes (along with W/D. When I say full time I mean we'll be in the Ohio/Michigan area about 3-4 months and out on the west coast about 3 months. Alaska is on the list as well. Wish there was an "experience pill" I could take to get up to speed.

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