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Old 04-06-2016, 07:07 PM   #57
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We went to rv shows for years. We knew from owning our TT what type of floor plan we really wanted. We looked at local dealerships and found one a few hours away that had a lot of interesting coaches. We really knew we didn't like the tv situated at the front of the coach. But the other option was the fireplace thingy. We walked into (now our) coach and "TA-DA" it had the "office" option! the tv is straight in front of the single couch! It's perfect (of course!) And the other important thing.. we can maneuver and use it closed up! One feature I'm not "in love" with is the walk-through bathroom. But even that is growing on me.! I think the one thing that really does bother me a bit is the "orphan" coach issue. Yes Monaco is coming to life again, but our baby is a bouncing 10 yr old and I don't think the new Monaco cares too much about it's older kids...

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Old 04-06-2016, 11:49 PM   #58
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First Time Buyer Mistakes

Originally Posted by Hammer bird View Post
I think the one thing that really does bother me a bit is the "orphan" coach issue. Yes Monaco is coming to life again, but our baby is a bouncing 10 yr old and I don't think the new Monaco cares too much about it's older kids...

Excellent point. We spoke to a Monaco rep at a show about a ten year old coach and he made it clear that the coach had been built two Monaco's ago and good luck with that. We bought an American Coach by Fleetwood and have had excellent customer support from the manufacturer. Only once did anyone point out that our coach was built by the "previous" Fleetwood.

Do you want/need a manufacturer backing the product, or are you comfortable with just a user network to rely on for support?

Do you have a local reliable and recommended mechanic who knows that particular engine and chassis? Is parts availability an issue? Are drawings and schematics available?

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Old 04-07-2016, 05:45 AM   #59
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I would not be concerned at all about "orphan " coaches.
We have a 15 year old Monaco and have no problem finding whatever we need and that includes factory tech support.
2001 Monaco Windsor 40 PBD
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Old 04-07-2016, 06:28 AM   #60
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So far we've been pretty well taken care of. We do have a good mechanic and a local Freightliner place. But I love our coach and DH is a handy guy. I'm hoping for many long years in it!
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Old 04-07-2016, 06:38 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Hit_the_Rhod View Post
X2 on the heat and noise with engine up front! Another disadvantage of a coach with the engine up front, irregardless of whether it is a diesel or a gas engine is that the "umph" has to get to the drive wheel in the rear, which means a drive line from front to back, which takes up space "pusher" owners use for storage! Also more drive line to lube etc.

Have you perchance asked the current owners why they are selling? Looking at purchasing a pusher perhaps???
"Irregardless"? Is that a word? What does that mean?

Is that a combination of regardless and irrespective?
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Old 04-07-2016, 01:09 PM   #62
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Like you I was interested in an RV of some type. We (Dear Wife (DW) & I) went to the local RV shows to see the sparklie maxis and mins. I did research from every source I could find. Then a friend suggested that I come to the next State-wide Samboree (get together of Good Sam Members) because I would see all types of RVs and be able to talk to their owners who would give me the straight story about what was good and not so good about their rig as well as that type of rig.

This turned out to be very good advise and it really helped me with my final choice. ('05 National Dolphin bought in 2011).

Best of luck and hope to see you in an RV park somewhere along the way.
J.J. Hayden (KN4SH)
Covington, GA
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Old 04-07-2016, 02:31 PM   #63
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I started looking for RV's 10 years ago, but DW did not want to even consider it. We then got a little more serious, and decided to look at Airstreams, and were totally hooked with the lifestyle. Bought a 25', then a 28', and then moved on to a 45' DP. Best "wasted" money ever. I could live in that thing full time, but I still have a full time job.
The important thing is that you are happy with your final decision, which, for what I have seen, takes a long time to be "final," due to upgrades and other decisions. If this is your very first RV, make sure the actual RV lifestyle is for you. DW and I knew it was from our first trip out with our first Airstream, which is why we moved so fast to a DP. The worse thing that could happen is not loosing some money in upgrading, but loosing it all because you just didn't enjoy your time out.
Have fun with the search, it's all part of the process.
Fred and Cindy, CA
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Old 04-07-2016, 02:50 PM   #64

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Lots of great info! +Subscribed!
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Old 04-07-2016, 03:03 PM   #65
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First Time Buyer

My advise to first time buyers is to buy when you are young enough to do a lot of travelling. Bought my first unit (gas) when my kids were babies. My MH was a 19 foot Winnebago with lots of sleeping room and was small enough to go anywhere without having to tow a car. We toured a lot of provincial and state parks. A lot of weekend get-a-ways. So if you are planning for short trips, a small gas works well. Did this for about 10 years. Took a break from RV lifestyle.

After a 10 year break, we bought a 32 foot gas Class A Winnebago. No slides. Travelled without a tow vehicle for awhile. Kept this one for 10 years. In the later years we were taking it to Florida for long stays. Driving I-75 was a lot of work. The Motorhome would get pushed by wind and other transport trucks that were passing me. I thought my driving days would be limited.

Decided to buy a third unit with slides. This is when I thought I would buy a diesel. Had heard they hold better on the road, gas mileage would be better, diesel gas was cheaper and they would last longer than gas units.

My research at the time pointed me toward a gas unit. The specific configuration was a unit with a Workhorse chassis and a Chev 8.1 vortec engine. The front wheels where positioned to line up with the outside wheels of the rear duals. There was no stabilizing shock required in the front end. This combination was found on a 2002 Winnebago Adventurer with two slides and with the bathroom as one unit (not split or a pass through). This unit has a 345 horsepower rating. More than some diesels. It sticks to the road. I don't get pushed over and I am not always fighting to keep it straight. I have always said, this motorhome drives like a sport car. Moves in and out of traffic easily and can be driven with one hand on the wheel.

You can buy a diesel and you will likely be happy with it. But you will pay more, so you will need to use it more to get you moneys worth. Never liked the front door location. Mid-door and inside layout were more appealing on the gas units.
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Old 04-07-2016, 03:06 PM   #66
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Check out class B

15 years ago , upon retirement, we pondered the same decision. For once, we got it fortuitously exactly right!
For us a used Leisure Travel Van, gas, Dodge 250 chassis is perfect.
The biggest mistake I see people making is that they do not account for the 80-90% of the time when the RV is unused.. Then it's a pain and cost of where to park, how to insure. Most driveways will take a 20 ft campervan without disturbing bylaws and neighbours. With our compact micoro motorhome we can explore forestry roads, dry camp 90% of the time, even when visiting urban friends, do a U turn on most highways, stop anywhere for minutes or days. Many Many times, as we brushed by branches on either side of wilderness roads, we have been so glad to have this compact vehicle.
I wouldn't pay anywhere near the new price, ours was 10 years old, now 25 years old. Serviced by any shop, common parts, tires etc, sometimes $20 oil change at a Walmart for instance.
Choose a layout that will allow the bed left made up with alternate seating for meals etc.
We love the true independence and flexibility.. never make a reservation except ferries.
Keep it simple and compact is our advice.
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Old 04-07-2016, 05:32 PM   #67
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Rent one for a vacation first

My wife and I introduced ourselves to RVing by doing a private-party rental of a Class C rig for a 10-day trip to Yellowstone. We had a lot of fun on the trip, and that started us looking. But those 10 days really helped us figure out what were must-haves and nice-to-haves for us.

Full-length bed, not a shortie.
Table & chairs, not a booth dinette.
Storage. Storage. Storage.
Counter space (we both like to prepare food)
3-burner stove and oven, not 2 burner without.
Class C or A, not a TT or 5th Wheel.

So, I guess I'm with the earlier poster that suggested focusing on a layout that works for you and actually walking around inside it. The more technical details (chassis, engine, reliability) you can find online.

Four years ago, we opted for a '01 HR Endeavor DP. Then I scoured the forums to get a sense of the problems that current owners of our model have faced and felt that I could deal with them. It's not perfect, it's not new, but it works for us and our two pups.

Best of luck!

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Old 04-07-2016, 06:08 PM   #68
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Don't spend a lot of $$$$ on a rig. Things happen to our bodies as we get older. After coming home from a three month trip I needed a stint. Then hip surgery then another stint and now I need a knee replacement. I am in fairly good shape for the shape i am in. As far as full timing I like a place to come home too. Remember you have to go up and down those steps to get in your rig. I love our class A, DP.. So we just gas it up and go. Don't worry about gas mileage.
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Old 04-07-2016, 07:57 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by TwelveVolt View Post
Be practical and realistic about the total cost of ownership. Factor the owning/operating costs of the first year into your budget, particularly for a used RV. Insurance, fuel, planned maintenance, unexpected maintenance, upgrades, tires, etc.

Know what things will cost to avoid surprises down the road. For example, DP tires will cost $500 to $600 each. Used DP's sometimes come onto the market when the owner is faced with thousands of dollars in costs. If you have someone do an inspection for you, ask for an estimate of maintenance costs for the
next year or two. Based on personal experience and accounts of others on this site, $10,000 is probably a reasonable start-up maintenance budget for a used DP.
12V. Since I am currently shopping for a used DP, I was wondering how you arrived at $10K for the first 1-2 years maintenance budget?
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Old 04-07-2016, 08:09 PM   #70
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My advice would be to find and attend an RV Boot Camp BEFORE you buy your first RV. In Boot Camp, you'll have the opportunity to meet and talk with over 200 other RVers, most of whom will already have RVs. You'll also get a great education and, wind up as smarter and safer RVer. The Escapees RV Club run an excellent Boot Camp; usually over a weekend. Other groups offer Boot Camps too. I started with a 17' Casita Spirit Deluxe Fiberglass Travel Trailer (an EXCELLENT way to try RVing). My second (and current) rig is a Dynamax DX3 37-RB Super C diesel puller.

On whatever you buy, go over it with a fine-tooth comb before taking delivery. Far too many manufacturers do NOT pay enough attention to quality control. In addition to the obvious, take drawers out and inspect things you normally can't see. Spend at least 30 minutes sitting in the dinette and another 30 on the couch. The builders make everything look real pretty but, the built-in furniture is often NOT comfortable when used in real life. Same for the bed. Inspect a candidate with the slides CLOSED. How useable is the rig with the slides in? In many cases, you can't even open the fridge door to get a soda / bottle of water. What about using the toilet or bed? It may well be impossible to pick your ideal rig the first time. As you use your RV, you'll learn what works for you and, what doesn't. As already mentioned. Many people "get it right" on the third try. GOOD LUCK and WELCOME!

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