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Old 01-03-2013, 11:26 PM   #29
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JohnT - I don't know if this is our last coach yet. But after a bit over 3 years of owning her we still like our current coach quite a bit and when we go to look at RV shows and so on we don't see anything we like better. So I would say our current one is a keeper.

I spent hundreds of hours on the internet. I went over the RVCG materials a dozen times. I read all the motor home magazines and forums and so on to learn as much as possible. Then we looked at in person and test drove a lot of motor homes. We were not in a hurry so what we wanted had a chance to evolve.

In my opinion if you want to buy your last coach first you better make sure it will last as long as you want to use it. In my opinion most motor homes do not have heavy duty materials inside or out. Most medium priced motor homes and all low cost ones use some materials that do not look good fairly soon. My solution to this was to look at a little older higher end coaches that had durable build materials. In most ways this strategy was good. One issue is that the KISS factor is alive and well in coaches. So more expensive coaches tend to be more complex and end up needing more work to keep all the systems running. For example. My old gas motor home had a generator start button inside the coach and next to the genny. Push the button one way to start and the other to stop. Simple. Never broke. Our new coach has a on and off button at the genny and in the bedroom, but also a computer on off with auto turn on and about 30 options. Just finding out what the standards are for auto on is hard. And several times the computer start has not worked.

Space is another thing. When in doubt buy bigger. More space usually not a problem, too little is.

Final comment. You need to learn to be your own judge of what you need in a coach and what is good quality. Good quality is easy to spot if you learn how to look for it. If you take your time you will figure that out. Just trying to stick with a "good" brand will not cut it. Most makers have some good models and some not so good ones. IMHO it is hard to go wrong with a Country Coach or a Foretravel. I also like Beavers, Monacos, Holiday Ramblers, and Newmars quite a bit. But those last four you HAVE to make sure the chassis gives you appropriate CCCs and are long enough for the house.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:09 AM   #30
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When I started looking i wasn't in a rush at all. Took me 2 yrs. to find what I wanted. First looked at quality, didn't even care about floor plan or anything else. Just wanted to see how well the whole thing was built, house and chassis. Decided I would rather give up yrs. to go higher quality with something that would not only last but would stay looking good while doing it. Once i found the make i wanted then started filling in the criteria that was important to me. As B Bob said i have gone to several rv shows and not even close to tempted to getting rid of mine. This will be my first and last one. Lots cheaper that way. It's fun to start the journey, don't get in a hurry and enjoy the adventure.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:18 AM   #31
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Have your every thought of why Commercial trucks are Diesel? Power, Fuel economy, longevity are the first three that come to mind.
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:35 AM   #32
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We just bought our first coach about 3 months ago. I knew what I wanted as my parents have a DP. We came from a travel trailer but I was experienced and had my eyes opened by my parents unit. I would love to say we bought our last rig first, but I'm only 36 years old. I really doubt it'll last long enough for me. However, I got pretty much everything I wanted, except for full pass-through storage. My coach only has one small compartment with pass-through storage. Oh and it didn't have "Newmar" on the front either. But my pocket book dictated a few compromises. All in all, it's a very nice motorhome that will bring us lots of enjoyment.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:39 AM   #33
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I'm not sure if this is my last motorhome. My fiancÚ and I wanted to start traveling the country about 10 months a year. No rush. All enjoyment.
The problem is I wanted to pay cash on a used unit. I wanted s DP at least 36 feet and had $35k to spend. Leave it to my girl. It took her 6 months of us looking. Most MH. In this price range were trashed. She found a 2001 monaco diplomat DP 38A in Sarasota, FL. What a beauty inside and out it had 93K miles. I checked the systems out the best I could being a newbi. I bought it. Drove it home on Thursday and left the next day for Raleigh, NC to see my kids. When we got back I sent it to my local MH shop. I had them check out the entire rig. Had all the fluids and filters changed. I lucked out. Everything was perfect. What a great deal. We then left on a 5 month trip up the east coast. No problems. We are now in New Orleans and traveling for a month or so. We are leaving for the west coast in the spring for 8 months, and I have computer confidence in this rig now after all the time spent in it. Thanks to my baby not giving up. We are living our dream.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:07 AM   #34
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Quote:
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How many have done that?


How can you possible know what you will need on your first purchase?

So help me out. I have this loaded dart and need to take one shot to hit the bull's eye.

How did you do it?
We did not plan to buy our last first, but two things combined to accomplish the deed.

1. We had your list and bought a higher end unit that met the criteria.
2. Depreciation is so large and rapid that changing to a unit with more features was not cost justified.

So, after eleven years we think we have our last unit and are still quite happy even though we have no slides and a smaller engine.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:12 AM   #35
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First off I am not a fulltimer. Second I have a 35ft. 2011 gas rig. I live on the east coast where our mountains are not quite as high (or steep?) as those living on the "left coast". But Wow! I am amazed at the amount of RV'ers out there that sell their sticks n bricks to bury that money into 40-45ft. DP and look to cram their whole household of junk into it! Looking around some campgrounds we visit throughout the camping season my DW and I are in total amazement at the amount of "stuff" some people seem to think they can't be without. We realize that everyone is different and has different wants and needs, however when it comes to the RV'ing lifestyle isn't part of the attraction to simplify ones daily life? Reading all the posts makes me wonder. Some of the comments like 20,000 pounds of "stuff and a tow" and ten year planning process before "we bought" and spread sheets and computer programs all make me want to barf. This certainly isn't why my DW and I got into RV'ing seven years ago. Would I ever want a DP? Absolutely! But not until I would be retired and could justify the incredible difference in price and maintenance costs over a gasser. One short post mentioned why are most commercial vehicles diesel, simple, because they put 250K to 500k+ miles on them and drive them into the ground before replacing. How many DP owners out there do that? Gas mileage in comparison to a gasser? When you take into account that here in NY diesel sells for about $.65 more per gallon than 87 octane I find it hard to believe that there is any savings there. Lets face it, we all are in the 6-10 mpg range no matter what we drive and how its powered, yeah, I know there exceptions.
To the OP, good luck in your search for that perfect DP. Enjoy the outdoors and beauty of RV'ing that you have already experienced in your 5'er. Remember to have some fun while you are at it too!
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:34 AM   #36
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But Wow! I am amazed at the amount of RV'ers out there that sell their sticks n bricks to bury that money into 40-45ft. DP and look to cram their whole household of junk into it! Looking around some campgrounds we visit throughout the camping season my DW and I are in total amazement at the amount of "stuff" some people seem to think they can't be without. We realize that everyone is different and has different wants and needs, however when it comes to the RV'ing lifestyle isn't part of the attraction to simplify ones daily life? Reading all the posts makes me wonder. Some of the comments like 20,000 pounds of "stuff and a tow" and ten year planning process before "we bought" and spread sheets and computer programs all make me want to barf. This certainly isn't why my DW and I got into RV'ing seven years ago. Would I ever want a DP? Absolutely! But not until I would be retired and could justify the incredible difference in price and maintenance costs over a gasser. One short post mentioned why are most commercial vehicles diesel, simple, because they put 250K to 500k+ miles on them and drive them into the ground before replacing. How many DP owners out there do that? Gas mileage in comparison to a gasser? When you take into account that here in NY diesel sells for about $.65 more per gallon than 87 octane I find it hard to believe that there is any savings there. Lets face it, we all are in the 6-10 mpg range no matter what we drive and how its powered, yeah, I know there exceptions.
To the OP, good luck in your search for that perfect DP. Enjoy the outdoors and beauty of RV'ing that you have already experienced in your 5'er. Remember to have some fun while you are at it too!
As you said, all people are different and look to RV lifestyle to allow them to define it to fit their needs.

When it comes to gas vs diesel... I still maintain that the absolute BEST reason to buy a DP is because you WANT one. I've yet to see a spreadsheet which "justifies" the additional cost in "savings".

Rick
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:28 PM   #37
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As you said, all people are different and look to RV lifestyle to allow them to define it to fit their needs.

When it comes to gas vs diesel... I still maintain that the absolute BEST reason to buy a DP is because you WANT one. I've yet to see a spreadsheet which "justifies" the additional cost in "savings".

Rick
I think there is a second way to look at this. If you want 40+ feet of home space to carry as much "stuff" as you can then you MUST have a DP. At least from all my searching I don't think there is a gasser over 39' and certainly they have CCC limitations.

After that, if you "must" have good to outstanding big hill climbing then a DP MIGHT be a MUST. LOL How is that for being vague?

OK...one could take this to the point of nausea with this and that. Certainly there are area that a DP will generally (not always) do better than a gasser. In the end it sometimes boils down to ego as much as necessity. Toss the size of the wallet into that equation and you get all kinds of opinions on "must" items.

I know that I had to sort out MUST vs REALLY WANT vs NICE TO HAVE in my search process. I think it has been said a couple times to buy bigger than you think you need. Certainly there is a whole lot of truth to that...to a point. You can't up-size easily without $$$$ and it could be reasonably argued that it costs less to go "big" the first time (and have extra capacity) then to upgrade to a bigger unit. I can say that was our experience.

There is also the factor of commitment. Some folks are like us and jump in the deep water with both feet and a cider block tied to the ankles. Some of those are actually going straight to FT. In our case we just hadn't made that emotional commitment so we kinda took the half way road. This last summer in our MH convinced us we were ready to commit to a FT future which means we MUST sell our S&B home. If someone has a bigger wallet, that may not be important. For us it was.

Do we know for a FACT this is our second-last MH? No. There are too many variables ranging from wrecking it to one more upgrade. Do we plan on change? No. We "THINK" we got it right this time. A year on the road will tell us if we actually got it right or not.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:37 PM   #38
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Yo Sky_Boss - is it too late to edit out the "wrecking it" - no need to be that much of realist no sir ree. Take it back while can.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:50 PM   #39
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Yo Sky_Boss - is it too late to edit out the "wrecking it" - no need to be that much of realist no sir ree. Take it back while can.
ROTFLMFAO!

Ain't being anal/realistic a curse!?
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:27 PM   #40
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ROTFLMFAO!

Ain't being anal/realistic a curse!?
I know the feeling. Still - very happy for you and Sandee - she must be a saint. Lol.

I've put off weighing in on this thread altogether. It seems a little hokey - buy the last one first - like get the VP job before the entry level job - that's what everyone should do. Start out rich and go broke instead of the other way around. If ya like mystery books - read any book backwards to find out why it turned out the way it did. Two thoughts - Wanna make God laugh, tell him your plans - and Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans. Obviously it's a fun topic to wax poetic on - put the fortune teller down the street has as good a chance of knowing if this is my last MH as I do. Just my penny's worth. YMMV
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:47 PM   #41
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Lots of interesting comments.
First is last or last is first.
Appreciate everyone's input.
We need to start kicking more tires.

Thanks.
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:15 PM   #42
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I believe we did manage to buy our last DP first ...and the only RV we have owned at this point. We went to RV shows for apx 30 years of marriage, and stayed with friends in a pickup camper and couple of trailers. As I was approacing retirement we began to add dealerships to our RV show looking with the goal being putting our hands on as many rigs as we could inside and out, looking at floorplans while slamming doors and pushing/pulling on walls, drawers, etc. We added internet research on forums like this, for sale listings, and consumer complaint boards. After a couple of years we had narrowed our search down to Class A DPs from a few mfg'ers. We ended up buying a dealer show coach a year before we had planned to. That gave us plenty of time to get used to the coach, and to get everything set up as we wanted, including getting the right toad. We have apx 66k miles on the coach to date, and have yet to see another that has tempted us. Apparently, through our search process and some luck, we managed to get the right one for us.

I would strongly recommend that budding fulltimers get their coach/fulltiming rig at the very least a full year before hitting the road, particularly if they have little or no RV experience, equipment, etc. That prep time helps you to have pretty much everything "right" when you hit the road, taking a lot of stress out of the process.
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