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Old 05-24-2016, 03:30 PM   #1
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Considering a Class A Diesel (1st RV ever)

My DW and I are considering seeing the country in an RV. Now that I'm retired (and DW will be soon) the time seems right to see this great country before we're too old to do so.

DW has a non-negotiable requirement for a King bed
I have a non-negotiable requirement for a Diesel Pusher
Budget of less than $200K - preferably much less! (duh)
I'd like to keep it under 40 ft. 37-ish seems about right

So far we've looked at a few new DP's and love the Thor Venetian M37. Everything about it looks very nice. There's some 2016 Venetian M37's for $210K or thereabouts. (Don't know if I can get them under $200K).

The Winnebago Forza 36G looks good online (haven't seen one with a King bed in person) and is significantly less than $200K for 2016's. But I'm concerned about the 340HP engine in the Forza. I think I'd need the get-up-and-go for the hills out west. Do you agree?

Any other comments relative to the Venetian (or any others for that matter. I'm still trying to get my head around spending $200K with the certainly that it'll lose $100K in 10 years guaranteed. Yikes.

Thanks, Bill

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Old 05-24-2016, 03:59 PM   #2
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What many do with Class A purchases to lessen the depreciation plunge is to buy an older coach that has already taken the largest portion of its depreciation already. The caveat with that is there may be large headaches out of warranty. There will be headaches with a new model too.

It all depends on your tolerance for repairs research and procuring solutions, or your own personal handiness with making many of the repairs yourself. I went with a much older high-end coach, but that suits both my interest in the motorhome as a hobby and my own abilities. YMMV.

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1998 Country Coach Allure 36' (CC# 30146), Cummins ISC 325
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland, Roadmaster Brakemaster & Blackhawk
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Old 05-24-2016, 04:11 PM   #3
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This one is loaded, and has the King size bed !

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Old 05-24-2016, 04:19 PM   #4
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Welcome to IRV2!

Both of your must have's are reasonable, so is your budget for that matter. Some folks want new, you don't say.

I think you get your most Bang per Buck out of used. You have to protect your self with proper inspections and perhaps even a maintenance agreement/insurance. I wont kid you the learning curve can be steep, but if you take it as an adventure you will enjoy it.

You can buy quite a bit with your budget, for example, take a look here. FWIW I've seen their offerings in person and wouldn't hesitate for a second to purchase one there. You will have to decide what amenities are important to you in order to thin the field a bit. My personal criteria for a new (to me) MH consists of three things. Tag Axle, AquaHot and air leveling. Not every MH has any or all of them. Ones that do, also have very nice cabinetry, wall treatments, tile and maybe even granite counters. Another feature high on the list is residential refrigerator.

Establishing what is a fair price is a real challenge, prices vary by tens of thousands on identical coaches. The NADA values are very rough guides, you can find sales above and below their values. E-Bay is another place to get pricing info,
so is PPL.

Enjoy your search! We spent most of 3 years in our MH after retirement looking for a place to light. Its been an adventure i wouldn't trade for anything.
Jim and Jennie, Cats=Bittles and Potter, 2000 Dynasty 350 ISC
2013 Silverado 4x4 Towed with R1200GS in bed.
PROV23:4 Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.
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Old 05-24-2016, 10:50 PM   #5
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They say buy your last coach first. I was like you, never owned a MH and wanted one. I'm a go big or go home kind of guy and after 2 years of looking and researching and changing my mind about 12 dozen times, filled out order sheets for 3 other coaches I finally took delivery of a 2017 45' Entegra Anthem last week. I too want a DP and a king bed. DW just wanted a nice pantry for food, Vitamix and coffee. Took my written drivers test 2 weeks ago, took my skills test Monday and passed with flying colors.

Go for the DP, with your budget, be patient and do your homework and be ready to move when you find the right coach. That Tiffin listed would be sweet. Not too old and that's in my neck of the woods. Tiffin makes a good coach and has good customer service. I was down to Tiffin, Newmar and Entegra and went with Entegra. All make great coaches.

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Old 05-25-2016, 12:24 AM   #6
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Some statistics that might help:
~Tiffin is the #1 best selling maker of Class A Diesel RV's in North America.
~Thor Motor Coach is the best selling maker of motorhomes in North America (all segments combined).
~Venetian was a new for 2016 model.
~The 2017's are rolling out to dealers at this time, so 2016's will start to be available at bigger cuts to MSRP.
~ A "too large" coach will not seem too large for long...but a "too small" coach will only seem smaller as time passes.
~Finally...you should NOT pay MSRP for any coach sitting at a dealers lot (special orders excepted).

With due diligence and patience you should be able to find that perfect coach.

Best luck in your search.
Kim and Steve, Mustang LCDR (USCG Ret), Outlaw #1193
"I have seen gross intolerance shown in support of tolerance", S.Coleridge 1797
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Old 05-25-2016, 06:22 AM   #7
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You will hear lots of comments about whether to buy new or used. My advice is to ignor all advice and get what the heck you want. Every year manufactures add a little something the thier models. Of course you want to weigh the cost of an older model against the newer technology and amenities afforded by the newer model.
Your budget puts you in a nice place to get a new or two yearold coach that should provide you with all the bells and whistles to,make you happy.
Make the search part of the fun.
Paul, Kathy, and Tux the Mini Schnauzer
2014 Tiffin Phaeton 42 LH, 2013 Honda CRV
"When the time comes to look back, make sure you'll like what you see"
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Old 05-25-2016, 06:36 AM   #8
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Concern over 340 horsepower seems silly here. We do just fine, easily staying with most truck traffic in the hills, even the long ones - with 275hp.
1997 37' HR Endeavor, 275hp Cat, Freightliner
03 CR-V Blue Ox, Ready Brake
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Old 05-25-2016, 10:27 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ahicks View Post
Concern over 340 horsepower seems silly here. We do just fine, easily staying with most truck traffic in the hills, even the long ones - with 275hp.
I would match your HP with the weight of the combined coach and toad. Then consider where you will be driving most frequently and what type of performance you expect.

In the west, our terrain, our 300 hp Cummins goes up steep grades at 35 mph pushing/pulling 35,000 lbs. It cruises at 70 mph smoothly on level ground.

We have always made it to the top and are in no hurry, so our needs are met.
1995 CC Magna #5280
C8.3L 300hp Cummins, 31,000lbs
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Old 05-25-2016, 11:06 AM   #10
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Floor plan is very, very important. If it turns out you really do not like the floor plan in the end you will not use it. Period. If you have much RV experience fine. It rather sounds like you may not. Suggest you rent before you spend big bucks. A few rental trips to nearby campgrounds will sort out what you really want and don't want

A great idea, just make sure you get a unit that suits you and momma. (Especially momma!)
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Old 05-25-2016, 02:43 PM   #11
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Since you are new to RVing and don't know how long you will travel I think you would be better off looking at a used unit. If it turns out you don't like RVing your depreciation cost will be much lower when you get rid of it. There are many good used units available and if you do your research its not hard to find one that will make you happy. Have a independent mechanic look at it for you and ask questions.
Goo luck.
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Old 05-25-2016, 02:54 PM   #12
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first mh, go used........will leave you with $ for upgrades and/or repairs................if you plan on traveling a lot, more room inside is better.............there is not much difference driving a 40 vs. a 37..........and 300+ hp should be fine, remember, you have all that torque at your fingertips................good luck..............ps. my next bus will have a king bed..................
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Old 05-25-2016, 03:03 PM   #13
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Figure out which manufacturer you like and back the years out til it fits your budget. I got that advice from a friend when I was looking, and it worked well for me.
'04 Newmar MADP
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Old 05-26-2016, 06:46 AM   #14
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Thanks for the advice! All good. "Buy your last RV first" is exactly what we'll be doing no doubt.

That 2009 Tiffin does indeed look very nice. But I/we have a problem with the floorplan where the TV is on that inside wall - it seems we'd be constantly turning our heads/necks to watch it. A TV on the (long) driver or passenger wall, or perhaps diagonally across a corner seems better.

Buying used makes sense from an initial depreciation point of view. And for getting a nicer coach that what the budget would allow for new. I've been looking at used online (for many hours!). I'm sure many can relate to this, but it seems every one I look at looks perfect "except for" this, that or the other thing. I'm sure I'll find one.

Thanks for the OK for the 340HP engine. That makes me more comfortable with a (comparatively) lower HP purchase. I always like getting the good stuff if possible. In an RV too.

I'm sneaking my research up in size a little to 40-ish, though I've never driven a big rig and (to my little brain) smaller seems like it would be easier to drive. But you all know much better than I!

One more question if I may. I test drove a 37 footer last week and it went fine; fun actually! But there seemed to be some play in the steering. It took more and bigger corrections to keep the rig driving straight ahead in lane than in a car or SUV. Is this normal for these big monsters? Os does this sound like some mechanical adjustments are needed?


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