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Old 12-20-2015, 10:10 PM   #1
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Buying first RV - Am I moving too fast?

In September, my wife and I decided that we wanted to be full timers. Loving the idea of such a crazy adventure and a life of freedom to see this country, I started to research the full timer's life and all about RVs. I have been reading this forum, read a few books and many blogs for months taking in a ton of information. Since I have so much to learn, I want to buy a used RV and take about a year learning the systems, making upgrades, and figuring everything out, not to mention downsizing and selling the house. Our goal is to go full time in the first half of 2017. We will not be retired and will need to generate a steady income, but that's a different discussion.

After much research, we decided what type of RV that we "think" will fit our needs and budget. Here's the summary: Budget $100k-$150k, Newmar 2007+, 400hp+, Spartan chassis, 40'-43' with TAG axle, 4 slides, king bed, area for larger TV. Nice to have polar package, solar panels, 2 sofas, washer/dryer.
I've looked at several Newmar's and a few Tiffins. I continually return to Newmar as the best brand for my budget and needs.
We've found a few that meet our needs and one that we really like the floor plan. This one has really caught our eye and with one owner. 2007 Dutch Star By Newmar 4320 for Sale - D740 - PPL Motor Homes

I need to go see and drive it, but it's 4 1/2 hours from my house and requires a large investment in time. If I make the trip and it's as advertised, I will get a third party inspection of all the systems. Assuming it checks out, we'll have to make a decision to move forward. Our goal was to have an RV by spring, so this would be well ahead of schedule.

Am I moving too fast? I've only driven one Dutch Star and it drove very easily. I don't know how often the right RV comes a long that's not halfway across the country or in Alaska. I have a tendency to be obsessed by a task until it's complete, but I may need a reality check so I don't rush into such a large decision.

Thanks,
Chris
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Old 12-20-2015, 10:47 PM   #2
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I may not be the best person to answer this but here's how it goes for us.
Find what we like, buy it.

Never going to be one of those folks who looked for 3 years to save $5000.
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Old 12-20-2015, 10:59 PM   #3
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Here is another one in that area...

2007 Newmar Dutch Star, 4 Slides, 400hp, 4 Slides

I am not a MH person, but keep in mind anything '08 and back will not have the emissions crap on it to worry about.

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Old 12-20-2015, 11:03 PM   #4
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Nice MH. Now as far as going too fast, not really; however, have you thought about your Toad? Also, fyi the extra axel will cost you when traveling on highways and bridges that have tolls.
Now as far as the MH itself, how handy are you repairs? This can be a deal breaker in itself if you are ready for the repairs that will be coming. Also under stand that DP's have higher maintenance cost than gassers do, however they should not be as often in some cases, depending on the mileage you put on the MH.
Another thing to consider is the length of the MH, do you plan on staying in State Parks, if so this could be a problem. Most of the older parks and State parks have room for 40' or smaller MH's.
Back to your Toad, 4 down or trailer Queen? If by trailer then you need more space to stow when at parks. If 4 down, then you have to be sure that it can be towed 4 down, don't trust the dealers, read the manual provided with the car, RV Towing section.
No matter what you do plan on having fun and don't be afraid to ask questions because there are lots of us out here that have either already done it or know of someone that has already done and have learned from them and their or our mistakes
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Old 12-20-2015, 11:27 PM   #5
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If you have found the floor plan you like - go for it. Do the due diligence with things like tire age, oil analysis, etc to ensure to the extent possible the mechanics are in working condition. Try all of the systems to ensure they work.

Enjoy it while you can.
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Old 12-20-2015, 11:35 PM   #6
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Beware of PPL. Especially Peter Sam- if his lips are moving he's lying. I drove over 3,000 miles rt to buy a coach I had been dealing with him on and when I got there it was nothing like he said it was. They also like to double dip by trying to charge you almost $500 for a coach inspection whether you buy it or not, and if you pay the $500 and don't buy it they charge the next guy the $500 again for the same inspection.
I have also read other posts here calling it the "water damage graveyard".

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Old 12-20-2015, 11:36 PM   #7
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SuperGewl, thanks for the feedback.

Tolls, good point, guess that's something I'll have to suck up. I decided on the tag for a few reasons, better ride/handling and the ability to carry more weight. Being new, I figured I'd have issues carrying too much crap and I want a coach that handles well.

Length, when we went in a few coaches, we learned quickly that <40' would not work. Once you're at 40' you're choices at national parks already become limited. Add the tag axle into the mix and we pretty much have to go with 43'. We have recognized this limitation.

I'm not that handy, but I can figure things out. Besides this forum will help. 😎 I have studied the differences in maintenance costs and have changed the oil and filters on oil field rigs many years ago.

Toad, 4 down is the way we are going. I studied the vehicles best for 4 down towing and we'll be going with a Wrangler or CRV.

Thanks,
Chris
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Old 12-20-2015, 11:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FunGus View Post
Beware of PPL. Especially Peter Sam- if his lips are moving he's lying. I drove over 3,000 miles rt to buy a coach I had been dealing with him on and when I got there it was nothing like he said it was. They also like to double dip by trying to charge you almost $500 for a coach inspection whether you buy it or not, and if you pay the $500 and don't buy it they charge the next guy the $500 again for the same inspection.
I have also read other posts here calling it the "water damage graveyard".

.

Based on recommendations from this forum I requested Scott Garlington. I'm also using an inspection company that others in this forum recommended. I will not be using their inspection service and will be very cautious to avoid the top 3 deal breakers; rust, bad odor and water damage.

Thanks,
Chris
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Old 12-20-2015, 11:45 PM   #9
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Tolls?? Small change compared to the other operating costs. The extra you pay for the extra axle will not cover off the fuel to go around. We travel with 6 axles.
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Old 12-21-2015, 12:04 AM   #10
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Remember to check the wrist pin s/n, you never know.
ISL Wrist Pin Recall: How to know if it's done?
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:31 AM   #11
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I would slow down slightly. Rather than selling off the homestead right away and hitting the road work up to it with longer and longer trips. Get to know your coach and how to live within 300 sqft. Any coach be it factory new, lightly used or a bit past it's prime there can be problems, back logged maintenance that is needed or just adjusting to the life style. Having time to source everything out before dropping a for sale sign in the front yard will make the transition at bit smoother and a much better way to start off.

Newmar makes a great coach. I like the Craig's List Dutch Star over the PPL coach. Like the general floor plan a bit more and the separate washer dryer are bonus points
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Old 12-21-2015, 07:39 AM   #12
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I'm like you and tend to be a little obsessed once I've made up my mind. If you know what you want and you've done the research to your satisfaction, then once you find what you want...pull the trigger. There will be folks that will bring up every little thing and you can spend the rest of your life "researching" and thinking about it. Have you ever heard of the phrase, "paralysis by analysis"? Just make sure to do your research, do NOT buy something that you don't want because it's a good deal and its justifiable...stay the course and trust your instincts and you can't go wrong. In regard to PPL, I had always heard that they were a great dealer but I don't have any experience of buying a MH from them, I've only bought parts online from them and their prices are great and so is their service. Good luck!
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Old 12-21-2015, 08:49 AM   #13
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If buying new, waiting till next year would be fine. If buying used, your timeline must be adjusted as the "right" rig may be hard to come by.

As for us, we looked for a couple years before we pulled the trigger. Granted we wanted to wait till the youngest went to college but it still took a long time to find what we wanted.

Floor plan is very important along with the guts of the rig.
We wanted the "L" shaped couch so we can sit down and watch tv without turning our head sideways, a king size bed "not an air bed" and a 450 Cummins with tag along with a 1 1/2 baths with Aqua Hot were all on our list.

We were not planning on buying when we did but could not pass it up.
I'll also added the Tyron to the front tires in case of a front tire blow out.

Now keep in mind as this is important, RV'S are expensive and buying one to "learn" may cost you dearly. The learning curve is the same with new an old, buy as new as you can.
I will be needing 8 tires in another year or so, 6 AGM batteries (I already replaced my 2 chassis batteries), a new belt and hoses.
Granted I am large into prevented maintaince and may be able to delay tires and batt a little longer. I have also done all the fluid changes and compleated the gen and Aqua Hot service as well.

My point being, I probable should have looked for a 1-2 year old rig as tires and batteries are hugely expensive.

That's just my 2 cents. We do love our rig though. Good luck.
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Old 12-21-2015, 09:09 AM   #14
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For full timing that floorplan would not work for me. The TV viewing from those seats will leave a nice crook to your neck. I would also like a bath and a half to full time. May I suggest you go to the Fleetwood site and build a new Excursion 36K and see if that would suit your needs and fit your budget.
Build & Price your own Fleetwood RV
Before I went into it full time I would get a smaller entry level coach and spend as much time in it as possible to learn the ropes. A relatively new used coach should be available for around 60K or less and in that price range tend to hold value pretty well .Earlier this year I traded an FR3 in for what I paid new towards an upgraded coach. Good luck on the making a living while full timing in an RV it sounds problematic at best but if that's your dream you only live once.
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