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Old 04-03-2016, 05:47 PM   #15
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Don't forget, Class A DP'S are the most expensive in terms of maintenance and unless you plan to use it a lot, not a good investment. IMHO
No RV is a "good investment"!

My DW wanted us to wait till closer to retirement to buy a DP, I wanted to get it early and enjoy it. I won out back in 2000 with a 38' Dutch Star. The we bought the 2002 40' DSDP as our "final" RV. And, finally, last year we bought the '09 Magna. Got it home in May after extensive engine repairs. April 30 the DW was terminated from her job. In early June she was diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer. So, at least we got a few years to enjoy our DP's. Can't go anywhere now due to her health and being on the transplant list.
So, get what you want and can afford and enjoy!!
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Old 04-03-2016, 05:51 PM   #16
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Mike and Cha, thank you - you saved me a lot of typing.

Well said!
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Old 04-03-2016, 06:02 PM   #17
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Don't buy on impulse.

Whatever you buy, make sure the FLOORPLAN is to your liking!

There's probably a thousand other things to consider, so do your homework before pulling the trigger on anything.

Good luck and safe travels.
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Old 04-03-2016, 06:22 PM   #18
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Don't believe, without proof, anything the salesperson says. If you are lucky, they will just admit they do not know.
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Old 04-03-2016, 07:01 PM   #19
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B1ghwx,
You came to the right place to get advice. Glad you're here!
Already you have received some good suggestions.
We looked for over 2 years before purchasing. Best advice I can give is to repeat what others have already said. Don't take your checkbook with you but take your time.
Looking at new as well as pre-owned helped us decide what features, floor plans etc. we liked. Never intended to buy new but it still helped to look. We bought our 2005 coach last June.
How you intend to use an RV should be a big part of your decision. Full time, weekends only, close to your sticks and bricks or long trips towing a car or a boat?
Lots to consider.
Best of luck and happy travels.

Cheers!
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Old 04-03-2016, 07:06 PM   #20
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Here's the biggest tip you will ever receive. Don't go to an RV show with a cooler and beer. You don't need to know anything else!
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Old 04-03-2016, 07:45 PM   #21
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Back late summer or 2010 I was in the same place as b1ghwx. First time buyer, hard limited budget and didn't know which direction to go. Started with thinking a C would fit us (just the two of us).

Shopped around, hit the shows and figured out an 'A' fit us much better. Shopped some more and quickly determined a diesel was beyond our budget against the model year range and features we wanted. Focused on gas and narrowed the field based on the floor plan. Large living, area open bath (just the two of us) and front facing bed. Figured we would spend more time in the living area than the bath or bed.

Fast forward thru five different shows, multiple dealers, countless phone calls and emails to April 2011. The coach that fit is 400 miles away and under our budget limit. Easy weekend drive to check out. Three round trips later drove our new to us coach home and have been enjoying every mile and night we spend in it.

Set a hard budget and stick to it. Make a list of needs and wants. Shop around and be willing to drive a day or get on a plane for the coach that fits your list. Don't compromise and stick to needs over wants. As a very first time camper or RV owner stick to your budget. If after a few seasons your counting the days to the next rip than consider something like a 40' DP but for now stick to your budget.
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Old 04-03-2016, 07:50 PM   #22
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I've been in your shoes. Ultimately made the plunge and purchased a DP. Haven't regretted it. The only suggestion I can make is to do your homework and research. Get to know what's available, get input from others and visit some dealers and kick the tires and drive. While the components are the same the quality, configurations and options differ. Get comfortable with a floor plan that you and your better half like and then you will be in a position to purchase. Good luck.
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Old 04-03-2016, 08:22 PM   #23
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. . .A little different take on things and more to consider. . . We enjoy BOONDOCKING, Forest Service, BLM, COE, State Parks, etc., so for us a smaller size is important - got one 30' ( The bigger the RV, the less places you are able to camp on public lands )(We carry enough water & have lots of solar; can go 2 weeks without need to dump ). Also wanted a good size bathroom & kitchen & got one with a drop down bed ( no bedroom but large kitchen & bathroom ). . . Did not feel as though I was wealthy enough to support a DP if Tranny / Engine blew up. . .Got the 8.1 gas engine with 6 speed Allison & grade brake - more than plenty as I only drive 55 ( also very quiet as we can listen to the stereo & have a good conversation - no lie!!! ) . .We are all different but we REALLY enjoy this Safari Trek RV. . . Also we did not want any slides; we wanted to keep it simple & light. . .Have owned several tents & backpacks, pop-up, 5th wheel, Class C & now the Class A. . . Have enjoyed ALL of them!!!!!!!
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Old 04-03-2016, 08:51 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by b1ghwx View Post
I'm a first time buyer...er shopper right now. I can already tell that I am going to end up spending much more than I started out to spend.

I was originally looking at Class C... but now I'm sold on Class A.

Looking at Gas but can feel the 'creep' towards just blowing it up and getting a diesel. Never have to wonder what I missed out on that way

So for all you experienced folks.. what are your top tips for 'buying mistakes' to avoid? What did you regret in your early purchases?
I also recommend leaving check book home and go window shopping and test driving all you can! Also try and find some RV shows this really opened our eyes to likes and dislikes. You will rule out what you don't want right way!

We window and Internet shopped for over a year we also went to several RV shows, which by the way was the best thing we could have done. At the show you get to go from RV to RV seeing the differences while fresh on your mind lets you know quickly which style and floor plan fits your needs. In addition we got to meet a lot of friendly people who gave us things to watch for or to think about. Most of this was their own preferences.

Then the FUN part test drive test drive test drive. We drove so many coaches it was crazy. We went from 24 ft to 38 ft gas to diesel and noted what we like or disliked about each.

Floor plan and the ride is what sold us on our coach, plus we had the opportunity to buy local which made it easy for future service and such. Once we decided we did give our local dealer the opportunity to meet the best price we could find and they did.

Most important thing is have fun shopping, when you head starts spinning shop some more, then once you decide it will feel like home.

Good luck and safe travels to all.
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Old 04-03-2016, 09:04 PM   #25
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I also recommend leaving check book home and go window shopping and test driving all you can!
Leave your credit cards at home too! They take credit. Just saying!!!
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Old 04-03-2016, 10:42 PM   #26
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So for all you experienced folks.. what are your top tips for 'buying mistakes' to avoid? What did you regret in your early purchases?
We got lucky, except for not fully comprehending how skittish buyers and dealers are about high mileage.

Get someone who you trust to speculate what maintenance will be required in the next few years. Of course, that includes tires and batteries.

Don't pay more than wholesale plus a few percent. Mutlipying the Average Retail at NADARV by .76 is about right to compute wholesale without a dealer's NADA guide.

Don't buy a rig that has been lived in.

Never buy a rig whose history suggests that it wasn't driven regularly.

Look for one with meticulous maintenance. That includes desiccant replacement, fluids analysis, filter changes inside prescribed intervals, tires replaced as recommended, batteries and their trays in good shape. Little or no chassis rust, fresh grease in ball joints (dust covers intact). The dash air should be ice cold, as should be the house AC units. No signs of leakage under sinks, around the shower, on the ceiling. Good maintenance will have good records, and you can also extrapolate usage from them, as someone already wisely noted.

A dirty roof is a bad sign.

Make sure you can move around inside when the slides are all in. Try to enter the coach after it has sat overnight, without power. Sniff for leaky toilets, moldy carpet, pets, cigarettes, other odors. Make sure no window panes are fogged. Sight down the walls inside and out and make sure there is no blistering in the fiberglass or wallpaper/paneling, no matter how slight. The area under windows is most vulnerable.

Drive it, and make sure a tractor-trailer passes you at highway speed. If you can drive it on a windy day, all the better.


Wife, reading over my shoulder, says to sit on the bed with the door closed and the AC on, decide if it's quiet enough.

Good luck! You'll knock it out of the park, with the gang here, pointing the way.
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Old 04-03-2016, 10:48 PM   #27
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We got lucky, except for not fully comprehending how skittish buyers and dealers are about high mileage.

Get someone who you trust to speculate what maintenance will be required in the next few years. Of course, that includes tires and batteries.

Don't pay more than wholesale plus a few percent. Mutlipying the Average Retail at NADARV by .76 is about right to compute wholesale without a dealer's NADA guide.

Don't buy a rig that has been lived in.

Never buy a rig whose history suggests that it wasn't driven regularly.

Look for one with meticulous maintenance. That includes desiccant replacement, fluids analysis, filter changes inside prescribed intervals, tires replaced as recommended, batteries and their trays in good shape. Little or no chassis rust, fresh grease in ball joints (dust covers intact). The dash air should be ice cold, as should be the house AC units. No signs of leakage under sinks, around the shower, on the ceiling. Good maintenance will have good records, and you can also extrapolate usage from them, as someone already wisely noted.

A dirty roof is a bad sign.

Make sure you can move around inside when the slides are all in. Try to enter the coach after it has sat overnight, without power. Sniff for leaky toilets, moldy carpet, pets, cigarettes, other odors. Make sure no window panes are fogged. Sight down the walls inside and out and make sure there is no blistering in the fiberglass or wallpaper/paneling, no matter how slight. The area under windows is most vulnerable.

Drive it, and make sure a tractor-trailer passes you at highway speed. If you can drive it on a windy day, all the better.


Wife, reading over my shoulder, says to sit on the bed with the door closed and the AC on, decide if it's quiet enough.

Good luck! You'll knock it out of the park, with the gang here, pointing the way.
Dang! Where were you when I bought my first motorhome???
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Old 04-03-2016, 11:26 PM   #28
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I'm with Monty. Put floor plan down way on the list and put build quality on top. I've seen numerous Coaches with a nice, pretty floor plan that were actually pieces of junk that I wouldn't take my worst neighbor to a dog fight in....Even if he was favored! What good Is a "nice floor plan" when the rest of the coach in falling down around your ears?

I would rate them

1 Quality

2. Quality

3. Drive train and chassis

4 mo quality

5. Floor plan


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