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Old 06-09-2013, 06:44 PM   #1
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first time buyer some questions please

HI there,

i am about to head out on a 10-12 month tour! i am comparing Gas verses Diesel and of course comparing what you get for the money. meaning interior wise.

i have test driven several Gas RVs, Winnebago, National Dolphin lx, just 2 days ago test drove a four winds Hurricane. sadly i learned afterwards that the 2007 hurricane is not a quality RV. at least from what i have read and what i felt from being inside it. i felt it drove great but lack of storage and inside lay out was not good.

remember i am living in this for 10-12 months!

so diesel or Gas.

i am looking at a 2000 Class A Coachmen Sportscoach 381KS and a 1999 Newmar Newmar 4081 MOUNTAIN AIRE

i like the coachmen better as it has one slide the moutain aire has NO slides.

i am familiar with mountain aire and know they are top of the line but what about the coachman?

so two questions

gas or diesel for the 10 month tour
we will be boondocking quite a bit as well.
and
what can you tell me about the coachman

i should also say that i need to buy in the next 10-15 days. please note i have been researching RVs and test driving them for about 4 months now and the whole idea of the diesel RV came up in the last few days. for me it is not so much the bells and whistles but rather a quality ride that will handle the 30,000-40,000 miles i will be putting on it over the course of the tour. yes floor plan is important as i have to live in it for almost a year but really i am more concerned about engine life, going up and down mountains, towing a 12' trailer with about 3000lbs inside and ease of dumping and filling.

oh by the way my budget is $50,000 or less.

thanks

sam
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Old 06-09-2013, 06:57 PM   #2
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10 months and 30,000-40,000 miles? Ride and handling will be a prime factor. Diesel, air suspension, etc. would be a must for me.

I would not want to drive my gas coach these miles in these months. Nor would I want to drive any RV these miles in these months...
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:12 PM   #3
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LOL i hear ya but as they say the show must go on! its either buy and RV for book 300 hotels!! i dont even want to think about having to check in and out 300 times during my tour. not to mention the headache of finding hotels and booking it.

an RV will give me a sense of consistency for me and my daughter as we travel across the country. it also allows me to stop where ever i want and sleep! or play.

thanks for the input. hoping more people will offer advice.

sam
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:39 PM   #4
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Sounds like a diesel will be your best choice based on what you'll be towing alone. A trailer plus 3,000 pounds will be approaching the safe towing limits of a gasser. I will also add that 10-15 days is a very short time for deciding on a major purchase. You will also need to consider getting set up for towing, etc. Good luck.
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:43 PM   #5
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Hi Sam



Given the distance wanting/needing to travel, towing requirements and needing the torque to pull everything through mountain ranges, my first instinct would be spend most of your time looking at diesels. They're much more efficient fuel mileage-wise, they have the pulling capability, and longevity of overall life, when you maintain them regularly....

Another thing to bear in mind is the type of locations you'll be staying in, if you're planning on parking the RV outside your venue, and do overnights in Wal-marts, truck stops, etc. then staying in an RV is certainly more cost efficient versus a hotel room. Just remember, that you'll be giving your mechanical systems quite a workout, so make sure to spend the necessary time and $$ in keeping up with maintenance, regardless of your decision of gas or diesel.

Good luck on your upcoming tour, and be sure to keep all of us, who knew you when you first started out, let us know your tour dates, once you get them established.
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:53 PM   #6
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Congrats on your trip!! I think you are overestimating the mileage but of course you can travel any distances you choose. 40K doesn't leave much time for sightseeing, camping, hooking up and breaking camp and taking care of the coach. With your diesel (only way to go), your going to need at least three oil changes and routine service along the way. Probably a set of tires depending on what you start with. You mentioned a budget of 50K but didn't say if that was you total or just what you planned to spend on a vehicle. If 50K is your total, you will not be able to go anywhere near 40K miles. Don't know if you have run any numbers but a trip like that is not going to be inexpensive. Fuel, maintenance, tax, license, insurance, food, lodging (there will br some), campground fees and fun money all add up.

I havn't made a trip like that in 12 years but at that time, my cost per mile was running $1.27. My guess its a lot higher now. I put 41K on, i was single, running a 1995 Foretravel 320SE with a 400HP M11 Cummins.

Hopefully, others will contribute using more recent data.
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:49 PM   #7
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thanks for the input.

$50,000 is just for the cost of the RV

i have $1500 a month budgeted for gas
$1000 a month for food, fun, internet, and what ever
$100 a month for upkeep of the rv
basically i have approx $2500 a month budgeted for the trip.

i will be boon docking a lot- parking in wal marts, cracker barrels, flying jays, and churches that i have contacts with across the country. of course there will be many stays at rv parks.
my hope is to park mon-thurs for free then some weekends either pull in to refill and dump and keep moving or some times park and set up camp and plug in.

this is not all happening on a whim of 10-15 days. i have been researching this and test driving and studying RVs for 4 months now. i am convinced that an RV will be the most cost effective way to live for this tour. Hotels would kill me! having to check into 300 hotels no thanks. an Rv gives me consistency for me and my daughter as we travel. there will be plenty of time for site seeing and fun while on the road. in December we will have 2 weeks off and there are some scheduled short weeks to allow me to relax and enjoy.
make no mistake this will be a grueling tour but worth it in so many ways.


i am a full time DEAF illusionist and taking my new show DEAFinitely magic to hundreds of schools across the country to inspire the kids to work hard and never give up.
i will also be presenting my evening illusion show several times while on this tour.
you can learn more at DEAFinitley Magic! Home Page | The Hilarious Magic of Sam Sandler!

i only wish i could find a sponsor for this incredible tour! no luck yet but i am still hoping to land one or two sponsors.

thanks again for all the input and if you can think of anything else i would greatly appreciate it. while i am not new to traveling for my show this is the longest i have ever been on the road for a tour. but i live for this. and to be able to share it with my daughter is just all the better!!

sam
america's only full time Deaf illusionist!
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Old 06-10-2013, 01:43 PM   #8
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We don't mean to sound discouraging, but hopefully you will realize that expenses for a 40,000 mile trip will be very high. Let's just say that your RV gets an average of 8 MPG, which is fairly typical. At that rate, you will burn 5,000 gallons of fuel @ ~$4.50 a gallon, which is $22,500 for fuel alone. (Summer fuel prices usually increase, so take that into account.) You will need to factor in insurance, roadside assistance coverage, engine maintenance, maybe tires, etc. An older RV may need significant repairs, even if it is a diesel engine.

You won't always want to be boondocked at Walmart or a truckstop, and campgrounds can run anywhere from $20-$50 for a night. You will need to dump your tanks and take on fresh water fairly often, so planning a route with dumping stations or finding full hookups should be part of your trip planning.

Lots of things to consider. Best of luck to you.
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:23 PM   #9
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If comfort and fatigue is of any concern, then diesel is the logical choice. 3-4000 a month is serious miles.
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:38 PM   #10
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If comfort and fatigue is of any concern, then diesel is the logical choice. 3-4000 a month is serious miles.
And about $1750 in diesel, assuming 3500 miles/mo at $4.00 per gallon.
And $30/day for your average RV park * 30 days = $900

That's $2650 in expenses right there... And that assumes everything goes right and absolutely no problems, other fees, or maintenance.

What about insurance?

OK, so you'll boondock. Now you've got to run the generator. Generators require service and fuel.


I love a good dream... I'm just saying that your budget isn't realistic.
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:06 PM   #11
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how so is my budget not realistic.
i have budgeted 15,000 for fuel with understanding that it might cost an additional 5,000 and have that covered. i think the $2500 a month living expenses is reasonable.

of course i wont boondock every night and yes i have planned out insurance, good sam club, rv park cost, dumping and filling water.

i would hope that $2500 a month is doable.
i mean there are no real bills other then the fuel. yes i understand maintenance is key to a long and successful tour. but realistically even if it cost me $3000 a month thats fine i am just shooting for $2500 a month.

i have my motorcycle with me so we can do all sorts of running around on that. running to food store, go to movies, or site seeing.

i think i have a pretty good plan here. the reality is this
hotels would kill me. lets say i can get hotels for $85 a night thats $25,500 for 300 nites and if i take my truck and 12' trailer i still have to pay close to $18,000 in fuel. so now i am at $43,500 and that is just for travel with no extras no food no fun! so rv is way to go. not to mention the nightmare of having to book 300 hotels and the waste of time to check in and check out and load in and load out. kill me now!!

i save a fortune by RVing full time. so maybe my numbers are off a tad but i think i can make it work. i can cut other things out to make up the difference.

i do appreciate all the input from everyone. it truly is helping me make my decisions and i appreciate the education i am getting here.

I am going to make my budget work i know i can.

sam
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:17 PM   #12
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heres a question-- would i really save any money going with a class C. i mean do they get better gas mileage?? i think they are too small to live in for 10 months. even with a 3 week break during christmas at a friends house i cant see living in basically a one room vehicle with my daughter for that long of a trip.

thanks again for all the input. i am not discouraged. this is the stuff i need to hear and learn.
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:28 PM   #13
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We had a class C Coachmen with the first generation Ford V10. It was tolerable for short trips, long trips not. Went to a Class A gasser. It was some better, longer wheelbase, bigger (22.5 in. wheels) for a better ride. Bigger rig, litlle more powerful engine. Still, not terribly comfortable for more than 200 or 250 miles in a day. Both of these were dogs on any significant incline. We are moving up to a diesel pusher for more comfort and and power.

Is it possible to lease a DP for a year at a reasonable rate? If you buy a used DP for $50 K or so it is going to be pretty old, but you could maybe find a good one. Here are some used ones:

http://www.campingworld.com/rvsales/...rid=&x=93&y=23

As stated fuel is going to be a big factor at 8-9 mpg. But, if you cook most of your meals that would be a significant savings.

Are you going to be in Michigan?

Good luck and lest us know how it goes.

Walt B.
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:46 PM   #14
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We had a class C Coachmen with the first generation Ford V10. It was tolerable for short trips, long trips not. Went to a Class A gasser. It was some better, longer wheelbase, bigger (22.5 in. wheels) for a better ride.
I did the opposite. I went from a Class-A gasser to a Class-C because the Class-C is easier to drive and rides better. The difference in power is from different generations of the V10 motor.

The V10 is going to get 6-9 MPG, not that far off a big DP and may be the same after you factor in the cost difference for diesel.

We've lived in a Class-A (33') for more than 9 months while building. I don't see much difference in a 31' Class-C.

I know what it costs me to travel in these things on vacation, I just think to travel full time - that budget is off... but we don't boondock...
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