Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Class A Motorhome Discussions
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-03-2016, 08:13 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Clayhammer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Southern Arizona
Posts: 105
Coach suggestions for first time full-timers

My wife and I are planning on going nearly full time starting late spring or early summer of next year. We do have about 4 years of limited RV experience in a large bumper pull trailer. This time however, we will be traveling about 9 months of every year with our mobile business. I've spent quite a bit of time looking through a great deal of info from this and other forums and think I've identified most of our requirements. I'd like to get your opinions based on the following:

1. We've decided to purchase a used unit. Our budget will be somewhere around $175-$225k. We want to keep the unit for a long time. Should we be looking to buy something fairly new (2-4 years old) or spend the same money on a higher end unit but older (5-10 years old)? For instance, we could get into a newer Entegra Aspire (maybe Anthem) or comparable versus say a '07-'08 Country Coach.

2. We'll be pulling an enclosed trailer that's 24.5' tip to tail and around 6k lbs. I'm somewhat concerned about getting over 65' total length due to the towing laws in some states. However, my research has shown that this is rarely enforced. Should I be concerned?

3. How much engine? The Cummins ISL seems to be the most popular in this range but, I've seen HP rating from 380-450. Is this done through programming and, if so, how does that impact reliability? I don't think I've seen anything in this range with an ISX. Some of the older units have the big CAT 525 though.

4. We'll be traveling with 2 dogs and 2 cats...

5. Reliability. As well be traveling for business, we can't really afford to be parked for days or weeks at a service center or at the manufacturer's facility. Part of this question goes back to question #1, newer vs older.

Coaches that seem to fit the bill so far are:
Entegra Aspire or Anthem
Tiffin Allegro Bus
Newmar Dutch Star or Mountain Aire
Country Coach

I've also looked into the Super C Dynamax DX3 and Force HD units. These were recommended by a friend for ease of engine/chassis maintenance and front collision safety.

Any insights and experiences you all may have would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance everyone
__________________

__________________
Clayhammer - Mike
2003 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40-TGP
DW: 1969 Tucsonan in Like-New Condition
Clayhammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-03-2016, 08:28 PM   #2
Junior Member
 
meddiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 24
Mike,


I am by no means and expert, actually a rookie that only has an opinion. We did the same thing that you are doing last year. We went from tent to 41 ft Class A towing an F150.
We ended up purchasing a used 41' Dutchstar about 10 years old. I had a few requirements, the first being a Cummins ISL or ISX and an Allison Transmission. They are very popular and incredibly strong engines and transmissions. The more horsepower generally means more fuel. I would recommend at least 380HP. The programming is very expensive to get it "Turned Up", as you may have to increase the size of your radiator. You will generally also have to program your transmission, as well. I am sure many experienced Rvers will have more insight than I do.
The length issue was a concern for us as well. I am 41 foot, tow bar another 4ish and our F150 is 20ft ish this put us at around 65'. We did not have any problems with Law Enforcement, but we also did not attract attention. I usually drive like the big rigs are, as they are careful and cannot afford tickets.
We have two 40lb dogs and we have lots of space.
From what I have been told new is not always the best as they still have problems. So I would recommend finding the RV you like, that meets your needs and have it inspected. This will give you some piece of mind. But I think in the end with my limited experience you will end up in the shop on occasion. Preventative maintenance should find and solve some of your problems.
I hope this little bit helps. I am going on a year full timing it.
__________________

__________________
meddiver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2016, 09:35 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
marjoa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 271
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clayhammer View Post
My wife and I are planning on going nearly full time starting late spring or early summer of next year. We do have about 4 years of limited RV experience in a large bumper pull trailer. This time however, we will be traveling about 9 months of every year with our mobile business. I've spent quite a bit of time looking through a great deal of info from this and other forums and think I've identified most of our requirements. I'd like to get your opinions based on the following:

1. We've decided to purchase a used unit. Our budget will be somewhere around $175-$225k. We want to keep the unit for a long time. Should we be looking to buy something fairly new (2-4 years old) or spend the same money on a higher end unit but older (5-10 years old)? For instance, we could get into a newer Entegra Aspire (maybe Anthem) or comparable versus say a '07-'08 Country Coach.

2. We'll be pulling an enclosed trailer that's 24.5' tip to tail and around 6k lbs. I'm somewhat concerned about getting over 65' total length due to the towing laws in some states. However, my research has shown that this is rarely enforced. Should I be concerned?

3. How much engine? The Cummins ISL seems to be the most popular in this range but, I've seen HP rating from 380-450. Is this done through programming and, if so, how does that impact reliability? I don't think I've seen anything in this range with an ISX. Some of the older units have the big CAT 525 though.

4. We'll be traveling with 2 dogs and 2 cats...

5. Reliability. As well be traveling for business, we can't really afford to be parked for days or weeks at a service center or at the manufacturer's facility. Part of this question goes back to question #1, newer vs older.

Coaches that seem to fit the bill so far are:
Entegra Aspire or Anthem
Tiffin Allegro Bus
Newmar Dutch Star or Mountain Aire
Country Coach

I've also looked into the Super C Dynamax DX3 and Force HD units. These were recommended by a friend for ease of engine/chassis maintenance and front collision safety.

Any insights and experiences you all may have would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance everyone

My wife and I just got through doing what you guys are doing now. Man...am I glad all that's over with. Mind numbing isn't it trying to cover as many bases as possible? If you buy used, and especially the amount of money you're looking to spend, I recommend the:
1) "RV Inspection Connection" to get a bonafide, 3rd party inspector to go over it thoroughly. They have several level packages available.

2) Get a complete set of fluid samples and send them off to JG Lubricant Services. It's like you or I getting a blood test. It can tell a lot of what's going on internally as far as the engine & generator are concerned. And if at all possible meaning if time is on your side, tell whoever has the rig that your really interested in to NOT change any of of the fluids as some are prone to do when they list the MH.

Our plans are about identical to yours concerning traveling and running our business on the road. We'll be taking about the next year or two to get that all ready and try our best to make the transition as seamless as possible.
__________________
TEAM Martin & Joanie...and Wookie
2012 Winnebago Vista 35F (Gracie) 18K miles, Koni FSD's, BG Fluids, Stored enclosed
Making Traveling and Our Motorhome "Great Again".
marjoa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2016, 12:00 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
marknpeg's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Roaming the southeast
Posts: 160
Interesting how many people are doing this. My wife and I are in almost exactly the same situation, going full time for the first time, and our purchase decision was right in the same ballpark as yours. Our biggest items were floorplan and finish level. It's going to be our home so we wanted something we would enjoy being in full-time. We needed space to run our internet business, and space to get away sometimes, a kitchen that allowed my wife to cook the amazing things she does, and an entertainment setup that fed our love of movies. We also wanted to stay under 40' to maximize the places we can go - we are not "resort" folks, much prefer the parks.

We went back and forth, new vs used, and had totally decided to buy a higher end coach that was a few years old. Then lightning struck for us with a new coach that checked every box, and for a price that really worked. We have not started our full time adventure yet, but I really believe we ended up with the perfect unit. Time will tell, but make sure you are both in total agreement on what you're looking for. Don't ignore new coaches, because you never know when you'll see "the one" and make the jump. We did.
__________________
Mark, Peggy and Samson on the road full time
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 and a 2016 Subaru Crosstrek
Real Life in the Cloud
marknpeg is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2016, 01:37 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 209
Mike,

Since you asked:

When we decided to go full time three years ago we looked for a high quality coach that had the best interior layout, a large galley and lots of storage. Only when those requirements were met did we focus on chassis and powerplant issues.

We found everything we were looking for in the 2003 Monaco Executive that we purchased in 2013. The Exec has the best galley we have seen in any coach, 91 solid cherry cabinets and drawers and the equivalent of 3.5 full width storage bays. It is stuffed to the gills.

The Cummins ISM is a great motor. We weigh about 52,000# and we recently got 8.2 MPG on the trip from Bangor, ME to St. George, UT, towing a minivan on a dolly.

So, my suggestion is to look at 2004-2006 high end Monaco, Newmar, Travel Supreme and Tiffin models. You'll spend less than you budgeted and have plenty left to cover some surprises and updates.

There you go, my $.02.

Cheers,
__________________
Bob

Home: 2003 Monaco Executive 43 SDDS, ISM
bobcovey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2016, 05:52 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Burlington, VT
Posts: 380
We too did the same, started full time in June of 14. We found our perfect rig at the right price. Used holiday Rambler / Monaco & Beaver coaches give you a lot for your money.

With your price range you can get an ISX 600, large 60D Aquahot and many other great features. We love our air leveling and would not be without it. Our rig has a very large galley, important to us and lots of storage. Solid cherry cabinets are top notch.

There are many gently used units out there. We love the size, 45 feet. Almost anywhere you can get into with a 40 footer you can get into with a 45. Don't miss out on the extra living and storage space due to fears of not getting into RV parks. If you are looking at 36 feet then you are going to get into smaller parks.
__________________
Stuart & Leslie
08 Holiday Ramb Navigator, 45 ft, Cummins ISX 600, 2014 Cherokee Limited, Cashmere. Roadmaster Sterling, SMI Airforceone. Full-timing since May 2014
S-n-L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2016, 06:08 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Burlington, VT
Posts: 380
I forgot to mention with these rigs I spoke of you get an all steel welded superstructure, no aluminum, no screws and bolts holding it together. These are very strong rigs.
__________________
Stuart & Leslie
08 Holiday Ramb Navigator, 45 ft, Cummins ISX 600, 2014 Cherokee Limited, Cashmere. Roadmaster Sterling, SMI Airforceone. Full-timing since May 2014
S-n-L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2016, 05:16 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
DD788Snipe's Avatar


 
Newmar Owners Club
Spartan Chassis
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 789
All good manufactures. Good luck in your search. BTW I had my ISL 350 re-rated to a 400. It cost $450. All the shop had to do was reflash the ECM with the blessings of Cummins and they got their cut of the $450. With a side radiator, which I suggest, cooling is not a problem.
__________________

Craig & Carolyn Roberts Apple Valley, CA
2006 Newmar 3910 KSDP 400 ISL Cummins Spartan Mountian Master Chassis
Toad: 2010 Chevy Colorado 4X4
DD788Snipe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2016, 05:51 PM   #9
Member
 
BigD629's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 68
We had similar requirements in our search for our fulltime coach. We ended up with a 2005 Foretravel, 36' 400HP Cummins, Allison 6sp, 8 Outboard airbags, 2 slides. We will be pulling a 20'-24' enclosed trailer also, which is why I wanted something a little shorter. One thing I considered in my search was if the manufacturer was still in business and availability of parts and service. I would highly recommend checking out Foretravel in your search.
__________________
2005 Foretravel U270, Cummins 400HP ISL
2015 Smart, Passion
2013 Polaris RZR 900XP LE, Orange Madness
BigD629 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2016, 04:24 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Clayhammer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Southern Arizona
Posts: 105
Thanks everyone for the great input. So far, the Entegra Anthem 42DEQ has the floorplan we like best but, the same floorplan is available in the Aspire. Looks like, for the same money, we could get into a '14 or '15 Aspire or a 2-3 year older Anthem. I understand the Anthem is a step up but, other than IFS, what are the real differences between them and is it worth the extra money?
__________________
Clayhammer - Mike
2003 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40-TGP
DW: 1969 Tucsonan in Like-New Condition
Clayhammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2016, 06:01 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
CoreyinWP's Avatar
 
Entegra Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: West Palm Beach, Fl
Posts: 1,015
All electric vs propane
Dishwasher
Upgraded furniture
Agm batts 8 vs 4 regular batts
Electric shades vs pull up
150 gal fuel vs 100
Larger tires
Michelin vs Goodyear
__________________
Corey and Tammi
2013 Entegra Anthem DEQ
2015 Buick Enclave
CoreyinWP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2016, 10:11 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
plasma800's Avatar
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 3,001
Blog Entries: 1
A dsdp would be high on my list.
__________________
RVM#78 - -USAF- F-15 Eagle Radar Vet
2005 Fleetwood Revolution
'12 Chevy 2500HD
'15 Airstream International Signature 27FB
plasma800 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2016, 01:10 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Clayhammer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Southern Arizona
Posts: 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by plasma800 View Post
A dsdp would be high on my list.
DSDP? Sorry, not familiar... the closest I can come up with would be Dutch Star Diesel Pusher...lol
__________________
Clayhammer - Mike
2003 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40-TGP
DW: 1969 Tucsonan in Like-New Condition
Clayhammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2016, 01:21 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
dkrobath's Avatar
 
Winnebago Owners Club
Texas Boomers Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: NW Houston TX
Posts: 223
You may also want to look at a Fleetwood Discovery 40e you can get a brand new 17 with all the bells and whistles for you same budget # you posted. Doesn't hurt to look.
__________________

__________________
Dave & Deb with furbabies Max & Myla
2015 Winnebago Vista 36Y ,2014 CRV w/Ready Brute Elite

FMCA members
dkrobath is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hello to all! New first time full-timers RunawayJim New Member Check-In 5 09-02-2016 08:54 AM
First Timers, Full Timers, is this rig too big? huntpalmer Full-Timers 9 07-15-2012 08:35 AM
First Timers, Full Timers, is this rig too big? huntpalmer 5th Wheel Discussion 20 06-13-2012 04:20 PM
First Time Full Timers kathyend444 New Member Check-In 5 06-27-2011 08:28 PM
First time full timers OnTheMove Full-Timers 5 03-03-2009 07:51 AM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:13 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.