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Old 09-02-2010, 07:19 AM   #43
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rough - thank you for all of the input!

I plan on buying from a local dealer unless I absolutely cannot find what I want there - if that is the case I am going to go to Atlanta (4 hours away) or similar -all "close to home." I also plan on taking some form of RV driving instruction, be it formal training or getting someone I know to teach me. I live in Charlotte so have access to a few people who drive the haulers and MH's for Nascar drivers, I figure they are a great source! (just have to find one who has the time to help me out.)

Jake brake not in slippery weather - kinda scary. So if I am rocketing down a hill in the rain in a 30,000lb plus MH, what is going to slow me down exactly??????

I do have concern in getting the DP that I am the first in line in the event of a "frontal incident" shall we say. But then again, not so sure I want to be sitting next to the engine in a frontal incident either. I have heard they are quieter, ride better, etc. My entire decision comes down to a) what is the safest, b) what is the easiest to operate, c) what will be the most reliable/have the least maintenance problems/not leave me stranded where I shouldn't be stranded.

Oh yes - I DEFINITELY plan on buying used. Not a chance of buying new - not in the budget unless I go with the gas version and I want to let someone else take the depreciation.

And I will, of course, have to take the "hot vs. smoking hot" into serious consideration when making my decision! (completely taken in the nature it was intended.)
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:34 AM   #44
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Don't forget you have a large disel generator in the front which might help as much as a gas engine in a front collision.
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:00 AM   #45
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If safety and where the engine was in the event of a collision, is a major factor to someone buying an RV, they shouldn't even consider a Class A MH, gas or diesel. IMO

Buy a 5'er or nice TT and a big honkin tow vehicle with huge brakes and air bags everywhere and you have the best chance of surviving that crash.
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:45 AM   #46
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Somewhere in this litany of posts it was claimed that gas engines can now match the torque of a diesel. I'd love to see the gasser that can match the 1250 ft lbs of the Revolution we just ordered. For that matter, I'd love to see the gasser that can muster half of that. Its the torque that gets you up those grades without overstressing or overheating the power train. It also comes with a two stage engine brake.

Yes, oil changes are much more costly, but the recommended interval is three to five times that of a gasser, assuming you're doing it based on miles driven. That pretty much applies to all chassis systems.

I'm skeptical that a gasser might see 300k, 500k or even a million miles before needing replacement or at least a major overhaul. This may be a moot point if you don't put more that 5k miles a year on the coach.

If your GCVW is over 25k, my opinion is a gasser will be pretty much maxed and stressed pulling those long grades. Yes, they'll pull it, at a very high RPM, where the newer engines seem to produce their power, but there's no better prescription for overheating, as just one consiquence, than 'high power, low speed' demands. At some point all the air the fan can pull is just not enough.

One of my major pet peeves with my current gasser is the PITA it is to find a gas station I can get in and out of, especially with the toad behind me. The diesel can use the truck lanes, in a pinch, and with a 1200 mile range (that 30% better fuel economy mentioned earlier, matched with a 150 gallon fuel tank) I can pass on any facilities that look marginal.

Yes, you pay a premium for a DP. That premium allows you to literally 'bring it all with you', and is returned, in large part, when it comes time to sell or trade.

If the budget allows (obviously the desire is there), go diesel.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:06 AM   #47
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Jake brake not in slippery weather - kinda scary. So if I am rocketing down a hill in the rain in a 30,000lb plus MH, what is going to slow me down exactly??????

Our best solution is to just stay put with a good book when the weather looks scary. We can always travel "tomorrow".
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:12 PM   #48
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Wheelsup711,
You have alot of good suggestions from alot of experienced people on this forum but you should actually test drive a gas MH and a diesel MH so you can see the difference. If you do not feel comfortable driving yet have the dealer take you for a ride in both. The diesel pusher is quieter if that is important to you.
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Old 09-03-2010, 06:57 AM   #49
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JMonroe, I don't think anyone is going to disagree with the notion that really big coaches NEED really big power; its a given.
My position is that with the new reality of the state of diesel engine technology gassers are now a very very attractive alternative, very, very, very attractive alternative (within the parameters of the discussion at hand) and I will submit to you that there are alot of diesels that are not going to get to the mileage numbers you posted without some top or bottom engine work. Remember I am a diesel guy.

I really believe that, all things being equal, a modern gas engine in a rv will last at least as long (for the first FOUR owners) as a diesel and in fact, a modern gasser may outlast a diesel depending on driving habits.

Now on the particulars of a class A I know NOT of what I speak through first hand knowledge which is why it is critical for everyone here who owns or has owned one of these to give Wheelsup711 the real deal on the good, the bad and the ugly-your post may influence her decision.

Do you like driving something that high, that long all the time-how often do you go WITHOUT a toad or does having one of these magnificent coaches mean that toading is now a required mode of travel, does your State require a different class of license, what are the insurance costs and are the costs significantly different from other classes, can your 'partner' drive in an emergency.

I love looking at class A's, if you want comfort it does not get any better than this-but I can't afford one, though I am thrilled that some can, seriously.

But even if I had the means, they really aren't for me-for just me and the dw, 24' or so is just about perfect, and 10' or so makes life real easy-our first rv was a B conversion, wayyyy too intimate and the small tanks/wet bath, was horrible-the perfect day or weekender but that is it. Next we went into a Shasta C, 24' and that was good but man that vintage 460 could use gas at an astounding rate.

The good parts of -A- travel has been posted, pushers are quiet, air ride, air brakes, jakes, COMFORT, and the requisite power is superb, plus of course you have a picture window to the scenery but there must be a downside/s to owning one of these and it is IMPERATIVE that wheelsup711 be aware of it/these/any-can we agree that the dealer is NOT going to be upfront with her????

How do you know when a salesperson is lying?

Jack, I have never met an unhappy fiver, I like them

hardy1000, drive it, drive it, drive it yes BUT should someone make this kind of investment if they are not comfortable from the very beginning?, remember the dealer is going to cut you loose after what, 1/2 hour in THEIR parking lot-didn't wheels mention that she might be solo at times?
Imagine the salesperson's face if you told him/her that you wanted to take it out onto the road and head straight into downtown, at rush hour, through construction, pull into the quick mart for a drink having to turn across two lanes to get there???
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Old 09-03-2010, 07:24 AM   #50
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womp - very good point!

jackrobin - for safety reasons being single, younger F traveling alone I don't want to go the separate truck/trailer route (otherwise had thought of truck/5th wheel for sure)

Jmonroe - more good points. I don't expect to do a "lot" of mountain driving, but you never know! I may end up moving around a lot more than I think I might.

ricko - true! (and the reason we all want to do this, right?

hardy - I think that may be the next step, but the dealer here knows I am months away from buying...think they will still take me out in one of each?

rough - you address my concerns perfectly. Let me say - I WILL BE SOLO 100% OF THE TIME. There will be no partner, no help, nothing. Just me and the 2 cats heading out. Again, I am 41 (42 when this all takes place) female and safety/ease of maintenance/reliability are paramount. The only way the Class A DP fits in my budget is if it is used - my top end budget is going to be $100k to $125K (which puts payments at roughly what rent is now but I lose the car payment, lower insurance, lose utilities, etc.)

Insurance I have checked into - it is less than I am paying for my passenger vehicle right now if you can believe THAT. And I won't have a toad, at least initially. I know a lot of people will disagree with that decision, but it is just my own personal comfort level at this time. Maybe after 60 days of calling cabs, shuttles, and rental car companies I will be aggravated enough to get one (most likely!!!) but I would like some "wheel time" getting comfortable driving, parking, turning the MH before I want to have to worry about the extra length of the tow vehicle. I know I won't feel it from a towing standpoint, I just worry about getting into and out of gas stations, campgrounds, parking lots with the extra length, at least initially.

Quiet is important, definitely, as I will be driving down the road by myself and would like to listen to radio, cd, etc etc without the roar of an engine to overcome (since I won't have anyone to converse with!)

And yes, we can all agree that if a car/rv salesman or politician's mouth is moving they are lying. Although I am in sales, too and I am honest, although I don't sell cars or rvs. Ha ha.

I think from ALL the collective input - here, another rv site/form, and chat rooms here - that the way to go for me is going to be used, Class A, DP, 35-38'. It just seems that there are a lot of benefits. The only added benefit I see going with gas is the cost (purchase cost) which up front will be less. But I don't plan on buying new anyway and that is where I am seeing the largest variance in price.

I do thank you all SO much for your thoughts - this is a big decision, a big investment, and I am literally putting my life in my hands with this decision!!
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:15 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by wheelsup711 View Post


Again, I am 41 (42 when this all takes place) female and safety/ease of maintenance/reliability are paramount. The only way the Class A DP fits in my budget is if it is used - my top end budget is going to be $100k to $125K (which puts payments at roughly what rent is now but I lose the car payment, lower insurance, lose utilities, etc.)

Don't stress too much on the G vs. D issue. At 42 yrs old this won't be your first and last RV purchase. For the $$ you want to spend you can get a great gasser, play with a toad, learn what you really like and move up. Every couple of years there are new innovations in MH's, you will ride the wave. The biggest plus to the DP is the carrying capacity. As a full timer you may need that. Second is the ride, air ride/leveling a nice plus. Whatever you do don't get stuck with a rotten floorplan. Spend the time and check the coach with the slides in and out. This is a big purchase, don't let some twinkling lights and flashing monitors jade your decision. And on the LOUD gas engines, on my OLD '88, I only hear the fan when climbing long grades and short periods when the outside temp is high 80's and up. If your gas coach is in good shape you just don't hear roaring all of the time. Since your purchase is a year off, now is a great time to test drive the wheels off of some MH's. You can drive units in all of the classes starting with the B's and move on up to the DP's. That will give you the best comparison as well as free lessons on driving a MH. A salesman once told me, "it's the test drive that hooks you". I know, his lips were moving!
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:30 AM   #52
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Sherri, a couple of prior responses made mention but I don't know if you've considered a truck conversion. A t/c is based on a semi truck chassis. You said safety is a concern. There you go. Safest way to make a rv. Cheapest maintenance too. You can pull into any truck service center and they can do any chassis work. And their rates are well below rv rates. Power is unmatched by most other rigs. My truck weighs 27k lbs with full (200 gallon) water tanks. My engine is 430 h/p, 1650 torque. Two stage true jake brake. With an auto shift Eaton 10 speed trans there is no torque converter to rob power and create heat. My chassis is rated at 34k lbs. That leaves me lots of margin for adding gear and supplies without risking overloading the chassis. A bailout door for driver and passenger, as well as the living room exit, adds to the safety. You can get all sorts of floor plans. Maybe one with a garage in back so you could store a scooter or bicycle might be of interest to you? A guy I know puts a Smart car in his garage. Or some set up their garage as an office so you have a clear seperation of your living quarters and work area.

Most conventional rv dealers don't sell t/c's. The primary market for a t/c has traditionally been the race car people since they are clearly the best rv for pulling a trailer. There are lots of places to find t/c's tho. And the market has lots of used ones available for great prices.

My first rv was a Allegro class A gasser. After 5 years I sold it and bought a t/c. Great decision for me. I've met several other t/c owners that love them much more than their previous A's or C's.

Now there are certainly drawbacks to a t/c. Just like there are drawbacks to any chassis. The t/c is louder in the driver's seat. Mine rides very firm. Some would say it's rough up front. Doesn't bother me a bit but it might bother you. Find some and take them for a drive to see what you think. They don't have as much "living quarters" in the same footprint as a class A.

There are some forums that cater to the t/c crowd and they might have some more info for you. There are also often many t/c's for sale on www.racingjunk.com so you could get some looks at them there. Being in NC I bet you could find a bunch of them being used by some of those car racing teams. Stop and talk to them. Go to a Saturday night race at the local circle track and walk the pits and talk to the guys/gals about their t/c's. See what you think.

Good luck. No matter what you buy you'll love it I'm sure.
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:32 AM   #53
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Sherri,

The whole process may feel daunting but I found it can be fun and rewarding too. As you can see there are lots of helpful folks in the RV community whose experience, while sometimes at odds, are all valid and worth considering.

Based on your projected budget, let me offer the following...take a look at the new Winnie/itasca 32 (or 35) foot class A gassers with the full wall slides. (or other mfg but I am winnie bigot)

Because:
- properly negotiated you could get pretty close to your price range for a new model. expect 25 % discount from msrp. Especially if you order and get it built.
- you have a WARRANTY to back you up. Not so on a used. A BIG deal!!
-small enough to be at ease behind the wheel for a newbie.
- financing expenses should be at a lower rate than charged for a used unit.
-the full wall slides make these units live (fulltiming right?) like a larger unit. Plenty for one person and two kitties.
-with a smaller and lighter toad (2-3,000 pounds) it should pull fine for occasional use in the mountains. And if you have already driven trucks and horse trailers, you will feel very comfortable in no time at this size.
-Much less complexity for someone not doing their own maintenance than a diesel pusher. And particulrly when looking at a used DP with who knows what problems you find after buying.
-I think the old argument of the noisey front end gasser is overused these days compared to the new models. (My 38 gasser is plenty quiet.)

For your situation, I would at least explore that possibility.

enjoy the process and be safe.
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:34 AM   #54
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Wheelsup711

If they are wanting to have a chance to sell you an RV they will gladly give you a test drive and help you find the best RV for what you want to use it for. If they are not eager to help you now then shop somewhere else. Just think, if they are not willing to help you now (pre-sale) then just imagine how they would treat you after the sale if you need help or service. We shopped 3 dealers and went to a couple of RV shows to look to see what is availble out there which was really helpfull. We were looking at Diesels because we had owned Gas MH's before (which we liked very much) but wanted something larger and found the Diesel to be the best choice for us.

Good luck and have fun with your search.
Time is on your side so go to some RV shows and see all that is avaliable to you.
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:07 PM   #55
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Gold - thank you! I actually think the unit needs to be purchased by the first week of June 2011 at the latest (time to stock it, drive it, etc.) But you are right, time is on my side for sure.

Bob - I had not thought of that option but will add your link to the many I have. You are right, tons of races/racers around here to inquire about such a rig!

Jack - it feels daunting but I am already having fun with it. I really don't want to buy new primarily because of the huge depreciation hit. Ugh. But....I have looked at the Tiffin Allegro new and the Winnie new (both gas) and they are nice....

hardy - the salesman here was very helpful, my mistake was probably in telling him that it would be a while before I bought anything. Whoops. But there are others within an hour of me so I may take some drive time and go look at others and go for a test drive.
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:14 PM   #56
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Bob that class of coach makes an awful lot of sense to me;

Luxury RV | Luxury RVs | Class C Motorhomes | Motor Coach | Fifth Wheel | Dynamax Corp.

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