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Old 08-25-2015, 04:49 PM   #1
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First Purchase With Help Needed

We are going to purchase our first MH within the next year. Looking at retirement in 5 years and plan to use it on short trips until then. Once we retire we will be taking longer trips for months at a time. This is where we need help.

Looking at a Class A. 35 to 40 ft. no longer so we can access state parks. Reading all I can but still need help. Trying to decide on gas or diesel and I know this is a touchy question here. We are trying to decide whether to tow a car or a trailer with golf cart. Not sure which would be better. Considered golf cart but will car be more beneficial to us on longer trips. Probably do some camping with no hookups at time to save expenses.

Probably going with a used unit to save cost. Just the 2 of us 90% of time with grandkids along sometimes. Looking at spending around 75,000 to 100,000 on unit. Need help with size generator, type of fuel for generator, is solar needed? Satelite for TV, we love our news and sports channels. I am just asking for input into our experience planned to eleviate mistakes down the road.

After our retirement we do want to travel quite extensively but we aren't wealthy and will be on a budget for expenses such as sites and facilities. Need help from all you experts out there. It will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-25-2015, 05:21 PM   #2
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Welcome revrick3,
Gas or diesel is a personal choice, both have there advantages and disadvantages. I prefer diesel due to there torque characteristics and higher efficiency but, they can be more expensive to maintain. However, there are plenty of folks out there with gas engines who are very happy with them. Generators can be powered by gas, diesel or propane it depends on the motorhome setup. Our unit is a 5.5kw and provides enough power to run both AC units. I did install solar as we do like to go dry camping and it is nice not to have the need to run the generator.
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Old 08-25-2015, 05:50 PM   #3
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Welcome aboard. I would strongly suggest you invest some time searching the forum and reading through threads on topics of interest. Bear in mind that there is some tension between the bottomless wallet folks and the penny minders. It also depends on how much work you can do on your unit vs what you need to hire done and how you plan on picking your parking spots.
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Old 08-25-2015, 05:57 PM   #4
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You came to the right place. The people on this forum will bend over backward to guide you. Just read all the threads you have time for and soon you will get a sense of what you will want.

I bought my first MH 2 years ago and am very happy with what I got. I bought a used gas MH. I called about a lot of units, but when I called my motorhome friends, they told me to stay away from almost all of them. In the end I was very fortunate and some dumb luck helped. I am a little anal about most things, and made it a point to learn everything I could before and since buying.

If you have some friends who have coaches, lean on them, they will want to help. If you don't have close friends who have coaches, PM (personal email) some people on this forum and ask for guidance.

If you are thinking 'used', remember that motorhomes are very hard to sell and 99% of the time start out way high on price. In time they realize that they are overpriced. (unfortunately, most people think they can go by the NADA guide) I paid 66% of the price that the previous owner started out at almost 2 years before.

You are in a very enviable position right now since you will be buying outright and don't have anything to trade. You are in a great position to buy private. I had a guy in your same position PM me last fall with his phone #. I called him and gave him my #. He called me numerous times until he decided on one. I did guide him away from some units and he finally got a great deal on a unit from a private owner.

It would help if you complete your profile and let us know where you are from etc.
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Old 08-25-2015, 06:05 PM   #5
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Golf cart might be nice but you won't be able to use it in a lot of places, like most Federal or State parks or even a lot of the private parks we've been in.


As to gas or diesel, well look at my sig so I won't get in to the costs or reasons since some people seem to think there's "tension" between high end and penny pinchers.


Even though we have a pretty high end diesel I still pinch pennies by doing almost all my own work.
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Old 08-25-2015, 06:20 PM   #6
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I did not say penny pinchers for a reason. ;-) The simple fact is some folks can afford the big toys and some cannot no matter how we analyze it. The only people I criticize are the one's who knowingly walk into a situation they cannot get out of. One of those is buying too much MH for the budget. We know poop happens so plan on it.
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Old 08-25-2015, 08:29 PM   #7
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Food for thought as you mentioned State Parks I suggest you check before you buy what length coach state parks allow, most from what I've seen have restrictions and 30' to 35' seems to be the max lengths allowed please check the area's you whish to use.
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Old 08-25-2015, 08:44 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by nothermark View Post
I did not say penny pinchers for a reason. ;-) The simple fact is some folks can afford the big toys and some cannot no matter how we analyze it. The only people I criticize are the one's who knowingly walk into a situation they cannot get out of. One of those is buying too much MH for the budget. We know poop happens so plan on it.
Well, we bought the rig with 43,000 miles on it and 2,600 miles later the engine dropped a valve, cost us $22,000+ and we certainly hadn't planned on that! Then, a couple months later the DW was terminated from her job and we had to take COBRA for medical insurance. A month later she was diagnosed with liver cancer, has had one chemo treatment ($76,100 so far 100% paid by insurance) with another scheduled in mid Sept.
So yes, stuff happens!
I even left out her daughter dying and leaving us two grandkids to raise.
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Old 08-25-2015, 08:46 PM   #9
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Food for thought as you mentioned State Parks I suggest you check before you buy what length coach state parks allow, most from what I've seen have restrictions and 30' to 35' seems to be the max lengths allowed please check the area's you wish to use.
Our favorite state park has a separate area for the larger RV's but I'm not sure it can go over 40' as our 40' Dutch Star was pushing it. And I wouldn't even try to get the Magna in there although the road in is good, just that the spots are too short.
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Old 08-25-2015, 08:53 PM   #10
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I would recommend you think more along the lines of towing a vehicle. Golf carts may be nice in large RV parks, but if you are in a campground in a state or federal park, they are not normally so large that you can't walk around to see things inside the park. On the other hand, if you have to run into town because you ran out of ice, that golf cart isn't going to be of much service! Depending on what you are foreseeing for use of the vehicle, you can go small economical or larger 4X that will let you do some off roading if that is your thing. As we are older fuddy duddy types, we went small with our Chevy Spark, but we love it! Bonus is its light weight which makes towing a charm!
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Old 08-25-2015, 09:02 PM   #11
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We were in a similar situation last year. We had a 32' gas MH that taught us what we wanted and didn't want in our next coach. We made a list divided into three areas, must haves, would like to have, and added bonus features. No coach would have met all our criteria but we wanted to get as close as possible. Our budget was our trade in plus $80 k. This put us in the range of most new gas coaches and a 5-7 year old diesel pusher which was high on my list. Looked at hundreds of MH's online and walked through every MH sitting on a dealers lot within a 200 mile radius. We kept circling back to a new gas coach and its advantages ended up outweighing the fact it wasn't a diesel pusher so we ordered a new one. We are still pre retirement so our trips are weekends and vacations scheduled around the jobs. When we have the time to really hit the road, we, I , may regret not having the ride quality and power of the diesel but right now I'm glad we chose the new gas coach. I may have to work an extra year to be able to trade for that DP when the time comes but right now, we are happy with our decision.
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Old 08-26-2015, 04:26 AM   #12
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We were in a similar situation last year. We had a 32' gas MH that taught us what we wanted and didn't want in our next coach. We made a list divided into three areas, must haves, would like to have, and added bonus features. No coach would have met all our criteria but we wanted to get as close as possible. Our budget was our trade in plus $80 k. This put us in the range of most new gas coaches and a 5-7 year old diesel pusher which was high on my list. Looked at hundreds of MH's online and walked through every MH sitting on a dealers lot within a 200 mile radius. We kept circling back to a new gas coach and its advantages ended up outweighing the fact it wasn't a diesel pusher so we ordered a new one. We are still pre retirement so our trips are weekends and vacations scheduled around the jobs. When we have the time to really hit the road, we, I , may regret not having the ride quality and power of the diesel but right now I'm glad we chose the new gas coach. I may have to work an extra year to be able to trade for that DP when the time comes but right now, we are happy with our decision.
Roger what gas motor home did you get and is it the V10?
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:35 AM   #13
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Thanks to all of you for help, We wont fall into the big money pockets as we have a budget to live on now and after retirement. I am pretty mechanical minded yet I know I wont be able to do engine and trans. work myself nor alot of other things so maintenance and repair are a big concern. I did gas engine repair for years but know nothing about diesel. If I tow a car instead of golfcart, does that move me into the area of needing a diesel? If I go to a 38 or 40 ft. and tow do i need the diesel. If I go with a gas which engine and trans. should I be looking at to tow vehicle. Also which generator is going to be the quietest and most economical, gas, diesal or propane? Thanks for all the help.
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Old 08-26-2015, 09:00 AM   #14
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You sound a bit like us: short trips for short term, longer trips in about 6 years or so. We debated all the things you're debating -- except the tow... I knew I wanted a car for the things we wanted to do -- and eventually decided on a Tiffin Allegro Open Road 35QBA. It's a V10 gas model, able to tow our Subaru Outback quite handily, has room for us and our daughter + optional friend, and fit in our price range. A recent model year will be nearer the top of your range used.
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