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Old 05-01-2015, 03:43 PM   #1
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Hello - Decision help please

Hello Everyone!!!

Very glad to be considering RV'ing again. Family man, wife, two kids (11 girl and 3 yr old boy). In the 2002-2005 period we owned a refurbished 28' Class C Cruise America motorhome. I added a TV, stereo, coffee pot, and away we went! We used it quite a bit until my work prospects took away the time, and we sold. Now, we want to get another motorhome and here are my parameters - if they are possible to achieve. Please help me assess the following:

Planned Usage: 2 trip per month averaging 3 hour drive each way per trip. Weekend stay 50% rough, 50% in campground. Will tow a small enclosed trailer for my hobby, aerobatic competition model airplanes. One major summer US continental trip.

Desired Features:
* Auto-leveling jacks
* Outdoor BBQ/Kitchen/Entertainment
* Pass-through under carriage storage
* Sleeping for 5-6 people, mix of adults and kids
* Class A (just like the looks better than Class C, and being able to utilize the "front" area more when parked.
* Gas or Diesel: May laugh when you see my budget, but I'm considering this as the "year" of availability used. IE, buy a 2005-2006 Diesel, or a 2010-2012 Gas.

1. MonthlyBudget: $900 ~
* Parking Estimate: $150
* Extended Warranty: $130??
* Towing: ???
* Insurance:???
* Payment: Considering 20 year financing, maybe $65-75k range for $300 / month?

* Monthly Trip (Gas, stay, groceries) $260.
* Total monthly cost of owner ship and 1 trip at $900 (or less ideally).

So with these features, planned usage, limited budget, outdoor storage in the Boca Raton, FL area, and goal of getting a Class A motorhome, I'm wondering what your opinions and advice is?

I'm trying to "up" my RV IQ before making the purchase. The price range for the longer term financing, and which is the best institution for such financing?

I view the "Gas versus Diesel" debate as a function of older used, versus newer used for whatever my final achievable price range turns out to be. Perhaps my desires and finances aren't aligning right??

The "Thor" stuff seems great, but there is mixed ownership experiences posted (using only as example). I would place a high "value" on robustness, & mechanical functionality of which ever Class A I am hopefully able to afford. Thank you and I 'm looking forward to any suggestions..
Jim Woodward
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Old 05-01-2015, 03:55 PM   #2
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Hi Jim! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined us!

Hope you find the right rig for your needs! Enjoy the forum!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 05-01-2015, 04:31 PM   #3
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Good luck with your decision.
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Old 05-01-2015, 05:13 PM   #4
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It's good to see you here, good luck with your choices.
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Old 05-01-2015, 05:47 PM   #5
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Well you can definitely get a quality gas model in the price range and year you are looking at. We chose gas as it seem easier to maintain and less costly. Our MH will get us anywhere the diesels go, and being on the newer chassis the ride is great. I think the problem you will have depending on how old of a MH you buy is getting a 20 year loan. Most lenders will not go that long on a used MH(unless you are in the 2012-2014 range), and that will of course raise your monthly payment, and it will also raise the interest rate. You didn't say how much you have to put down, but even if you finance 50-60k at 20 years with a great interest rate of as low as 3%, your payment will still be between roughly $300-$360 per month. Plan on about $500 to $1000 a year for insurance, the roadside assistance programs (if that's what you mean by towing) will be about $100-$150 per year, extended warranty depending on what covered and how many years could be about $250-$350. And then whatever your local registration fees are. Don't be afraid to buy a little higher quality, as the initial price may not be that much different, for what you get verses potential repairs down the road. I wouldn't include what it cost to use it for food ect as part of your monthly, you have to eat anywhere you are.

These are ballpark costs and can vary, but you can easily do it for $900 per month as a base cost. I would prefer a newer gas model, over an older diesel model based on your budget and potential maintenance costs. Although we bought new, and put about 70% down( we will pay it off in the next year) our monthly budget just for the MH and maintenance is about $500 which includes insurance, registration, roadside assistance,and extended warranty. That does not include gas for monthly trips, which based on our use this past year would be about $300 per month, based on about 8000 miles traveled, and about 100 nights of camping.


Good luck on your decision, most of all do your research like you are doing now to get the most out of your money.
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Old 05-01-2015, 06:13 PM   #6
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Thor has great user conveniences like a mud room door for shoes, Coat closets and outdoor entertainment centers. Problem is every thing they use from hinges to slide motors are the cheapest parts made to do the job. I sold mine after a year when small but constant problems continued to develop.

Had a Thor ACE. Have a Newmar Ventana LE.
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Old 05-01-2015, 06:57 PM   #7
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Thank you,

Is the Damon line linked to the cheaper Thor components?
Jim
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Old 05-01-2015, 07:34 PM   #8
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Thor has great user conveniences like a mud room door for shoes, Coat closets and outdoor entertainment centers. Problem is every thing they use from hinges to slide motors are the cheapest parts made to do the job. I sold mine after a year when small but constant problems continued to develop.
And THAT'S the meat of the matter. Any RV can be made to look "Golden" and a hoot to own and camp with, UNTIL you start actually trying to get beneficial use of it. That's when the quality issues start showing up, stuff starts breaking, wearing out well before its time, etc.

So therein lies the quandary, and I'm in it now. Where do we look in the Class A gas offerings to avoid that?
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Old 05-01-2015, 07:40 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Racklefratz View Post
And THAT'S the meat of the matter. Any RV can be made to look "Golden" and a hoot to own and camp with, UNTIL you start actually trying to get beneficial use of it. That's when the quality issues start showing up, stuff starts breaking, wearing out well before its time, etc.

So therein lies the quandary, and I'm in it now. Where do we look in the Class A gas offerings to avoid that?
... what he said
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Old 05-01-2015, 07:44 PM   #10
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... what he said
You won't be disappointed with a Newmar.
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Old 05-01-2015, 07:44 PM   #11
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$900 a month maybe $1,500 insurance a good policy is not cheap I think you are a little low on fuel cost. Then taxes either property or advalorem depending on your state and don't forget things that break. I would find out how much and how long you can finance a older DP verse a newer gas then start looking within your budget. There are ton and tons of RV's for sale don't get in a hurry and my best advise is a good test drive so you want be on the forem asking about swaying on not enough towing capacity as examples.
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Old 05-01-2015, 08:08 PM   #12
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Old 05-01-2015, 08:12 PM   #13
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You won't be disappointed with a Newmar.
That's becoming my impression, and in fact, I'm looking at the Canyon Star. Manufacturer brochures serve their purpose, but in those and their videos, everything just works perfectly, of course; nothing takes the place of owner reports..

We've owned a Class A gassers, a 5th wheel, and a diesel pusher. On the diesel, we had routine engine maintenance done by Cummins dealers. Where does one go to for routine maintainence, oil changes, etc, done for a gas-powered Class A? I never see them at the Ford dealers I go to for my Ford pickup truck.
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Old 05-01-2015, 08:30 PM   #14
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currently looking at RVTrader.com: RV Sales - Class A, B, C Motorhomes, Travel Trailers, & Pop Up Camper RVs For Sale Is this the largest site, or is there another preferred RV buying/searching site for research by this forum?
Thanks,
Jim
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