Originally Posted by BlakeEatmon
Thanks for the input. My eyes have been opened. I'm now taking a serious look at a TAG. Tiffin was on my hit list until I joined these forums. Its like reading about a THOR. Leaks, Rotten wood, Roof issues, hanging out in Red Bay...thoughts?
Oh I dunno man - pretty much anything you buy has the potential for issues.
Here's the debate.
On one side - some buy brand new and discover unknown problems that may have never existed before - could be small, could be BIG. But a lot of people who buy brand new end up with 6 to 12 months of shakedown / back to the shop to fix that trips. Absolutely expect at least some. If I were buying brand new, I would plan on 6 months in the beginning to get everything tweaked.
On the other side, if you buy used - maybe a few bits aren't as pretty as they are brand new, but the hope is the previous owner has already worked out the major bugs - but the downside is the potential for problems that exist specifically because the previous owner DID NOT maintain certain aspects of the unit.
A tough crag - a catch 22 - between a rock and a hard place
Here's another thought - what happens if you find one that is only 1 year old? Or only 2 years old used? I always lean on the side that the potential exists
that the unit was a lemon, and the owner ditched it back to a dealer. And that sales guy is not going to tell you anything about it.
2008 the economy took a huge dump if you recall - and motorhome manufacturers were hit pretty hard - some went right out of business, some rallied back but it took some years. Plus the fact that there are now more manufacturers in the category, with some trying to take the entry level market - the last bunch of years of seen "some" squirrley stuff.
I think it for this reason why so many speak of the 07 and back years - less corners were cut back then, and the idea of entry level DP's didn't really exist. Entry level was to buy a gasser or a travel trailer.
With all that said - no matter what, you're more than likely going to invest money after the sale - so plan for it. If you don't use your after sale budget, great, you have money saved. But the opposite could really make a bad taste in your mouth.
With my unit, everything looked on the up and up - but then we discovered a leak in the roof at the drivers side window. Now all that wood back there is soft and squishy. It's known around here as the infamous squishy wall. I meet people from here in person all the time and they ask "Did you ever fix that squishy wall?" Nope. I stopped the leak, left the wood - it's behind wall paper anyway, i'll get to it one day.
Had to replace the sensor switches in the jacks, no big deal. Had to replace the rear air bags, no big deal. Replaced the fridge, no big deal. Put in new headlights and mirrors, no big deal. The flooring was replaced by the dealer with fake wood. Air compressor valves leaked, replaced. And usually every trip, something little goes wrong.
All in all, I am really glad I didn't max my budget. I could have spent up to 250, but spent 90 + fixer money instead, and overall, it's turned out fine.
I think it boils down to expectations. Early in the game you tend to expect that everything will be perfectly perfect, and that just ain't so - so if you expect some fixer time, some shake down time, a trip to the chassis shop, a trip to the tire store, and a trip to a house fixer - you won't be let down.
If you buy used, plan right out of the gate the following.
Trip to chassis shop - check brakes, e brake, change the engine oil, oil filter, air filter, fuel filter, flash engine to newest software + transmission. Check airbags, check air dryer and filter - change filter is needed.
Trip to tire store - have the tires looked over CAREFULLY, check dates on tires. Throw it on the alignment machine. If you need to buy new tires, plan on 5k to 7k depending on the tires. I lucked out and the dealer put new tires on for me at their cost. The ides is tires should never be operated if they are 7 or more years old. Some say 4. But other tire issues can exist, which is why you want a professional truck shop to check them inside and out. A blowout with a truck tire is a MASSIVE ordeal. When one of those tires shreds, it usually takes a portion of the bus with it - not to mention the potential for loss of control - another reason I don't drive 75mph.
Trip to house RV repair. Check the batteries, 12 volt system, grey and black tank valves, fridge, smoke alarms (i replaced all of mine right away regardless), check the health of the inverter, clean the a/c coils, check furnace and water heaters gas tubes - make sure they fire. Check the entire roof, seals and seams where there are screws. Check wipers and motor. Have slides and motors and motor brakes checked over. Install tire pressure monitoring system if not already on board.
All of that might cost you a couple grand, probably less.
ANYTHING built 2011 and after (some 2010's) is going to require that you put DEF in it. DEF is a silly liquid you put in the DEF tank for emissions. The tank should last much longer than your fuel tank - a thousand miles?? At any rate, another hassle if you ask me... and up until 2015, chassis makers had been installed the def tank on the passenger side... well guess what - the truck stops installed the def pump on the drivers side
Chassis makers have caught on to this snafoo, and are now moving junk around to squeeze it on the pump side - but did they rush it?? Who knows. In other words, did they make some booboo in relocating something else to put the def tank there. No one will know for a while. I'm just glad I don't have to mess with it (but I'm lazy)
As to floorplans, you are going to find an array, but you will realize there are 4 or 5 main layouts.
1) Opposing couches, straight shot - The couches are up front, face each other, the tv is in the overhead. The kitchen and dinette are directly behind, and a straight through the middle hallway goes to shower, bath then bedroom. Very common. The dinette may be a booth or a computer desk. There are various takes on this floorplan, some lose a couch and have a desk and recliner opposing, but same plan. SOME of these floorplans have the fridge IN the slide, some do not. Check that carefully, cause with the fridge in the moving slide, it seems so much larger inside when open. Especially if the bus has a table and chairs. Look closely, if the fridge doesn't move out with the slide, the chair at the back is squeezed between the stationary fridge and the table - hope you're not fat.
2) Hall to the right - some floorplans have the kitchen up front, couches behind with TV on back wall, hallway on the right leads past bathroom to bedroom, shower and toilet usually in same room. Think Holiday Rambler Scepter 09 or Fleetwood Discovery. Some love em.
3) Full wall slide. Dude, lovely inside. American Coach 42F, Ventana, Holiday Rambler 38PFT or Endevr, tour and some others - couch, dinette and fridge and bedroom, all in slide. These will usually have a bath behind the bedroom and a small toilet room midship. Great floorplan! Honestly. Hard to find with a king size bed, most seem to have queens (new ventana has king
Consequently, Tiffin REFUSES to use a full wall slide citing the fact it could goof up - i don't buy it. I think tiffin TRIED to use that as an excuse to keep things the same - may or may not have been a good move for them, cause the full wall slides seem to work pretty good.
4) Bath in bed - 08 09 43QRP - if you have dogs and dog beds, this rear end design leaves a lot of room for movement around the bed, great place for dogs to sleep. I love it. country coach intrigue too.
all things being equal, simple is simple. Heat, Cooling, Water, A place to make food, eat, sit, watch tv, drives nice, tows my car, get's me places I've always wanted to go. Simple.
If you are only going to use it occasionally, I would not spend a lot of money on it. I would get what works, and enjoy my time in it.
A lot will depend on how you plan to use it and how often. It's a good idea to go walk in a bunch of them with no other intention than observation. If you want some stark advice on how to deal with an rv sales person, PM me.
This here, is a REAL BEAUTY! And buying it directly from country coach, I the chance of major issues goes way down, but this is a shining example of a great used coach. Big engine, lovely interior, lots of storage, bed bath, a real beaut! I've been eye balling it hard myself but....