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Old 11-21-2014, 09:15 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Caswelld View Post
Before buying any RV I highly recommend joining the RV Consumer Group. You can download unbiased ratings of MHs along with their road handling & safety ratings. That was one very significant input into our decision to buy a Tiffin Allegro. For $139 you get the ratings of hundreds of MHs (new & used) plus how to inspect & buy an RV. You can also get an idea of a used MH's value. This will be the best $139 you'll spend.



Most opinions are on forums are anecdotal & some are better than others. Before spending the $$$, you might want to look at what the experts have to say.



Here's their web site: RV Consumer Group - We Rate RVs



Happy camping

Dave

I certainly agree that this service is worth the price. I would however, advise against attaching too much importance to their ratings. Nothing substitutes for personal research about specific coaches. Much of these ratings are derived from published literature from the manufacturers. There is no real attempt to evaluate coaches by personal inspection. Given the number of units in their data base that is to be expected but it's easy to lose sight of when reading their ratings. These guys recommended against slide outs of any kind for a number of years.

If you consider this service as one of many sources of info and don't accept as the last word, then is serves a purpose.


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Old 11-21-2014, 09:32 AM   #30
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I certainly agree that this service is worth the price. I would however, advise against attaching too much importance to their ratings. Nothing substitutes for personal research about specific coaches. Much of these ratings are derived from published literature from the manufacturers. There is no real attempt to evaluate coaches by personal inspection. Given the number of units in their data base that is to be expected but it's easy to lose sight of when reading their ratings. These guys recommended against slide outs of any kind for a number of years.

If you consider this service as one of many sources of info and don't accept as the last word, then is serves a purpose.


Steve Ownby
Full time since '07
Here is a quotation from the RV Consumer Group web site on how they form their ratings:

"We analyze RV brands and manufacturers in the following way:
Consumer surveys. By staff evaluations. We visit dealer lots, attend RV shows, and make unannounced visits to RV factories. Consumer complaints. We review the type of complaint against a brand and compare it to the input received through surveys and staff evaluations."

But Steve is right on to do your own research. But I have to say, I wouldn't own a MH that they had rated less than an 80 in Road Handling. They helped us eliminate a lot of coaches from our search.

Have fun in the search!

Dave
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Old 11-21-2014, 09:58 AM   #31
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Thanks for all your comments. I wish I could afford a newer MH but $60k is my budget. The Journey is priced at $50k and the Ultimate is $88k. The Ultimate is a bit over my budget but the wife really likes the Cherry cabinets in the Ultimate. I don't want to have that monthly payment so we will have to compromise. I am a good mechanic and probably won't have any trouble repairing appliances and coach systems but the chassis and drive train are out out my comfort zone. Both rigs are on Freightliner chassis with the 330Hp turbo diesel and Allison 6 speed automatic. Fortunately we have a Freightliner service center where I live. I guess we will check them out tomorrow.

Obviously you have been given some solid information on how to go about buying the RV...

My only two cents are as follows... At this point.. I would go with the one that you feel best about AFTER you follow some of the sage advice given by everyone...

However, I will suggest this.. based on this response.. you are looking to pay cash.. which is great... and if you can pay cash and still give yourself about a $10k cushion to fall back on.. even better... but I would suggest the following.. take all the cash you have, except for $10k and buy the RV with a loan.. put the $10k in an account designated as "RV only"... If after one, or two years, you feel you are out of the woods and no major expense has happened, take the money out and put it towards the loan..

Heck, money is cheap now.. it's getting to the point where you're earning more on your money vs. borrowing it... So you have a small payment on the RV, big deal.. at least you have the piece of mind knowing you have a very large cushion to fall back on should you need to... It's a win-win scenario... you get the RV of your choice and the security of your own warranty (and you're earning interest on said warranty)...

Good luck on your decision... I'm sure you'll be happy with whichever one you go with !!
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Old 11-21-2014, 09:59 AM   #32
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We had a 2007 Tiffin Zephyr and even at that "young" age things were starting to go wrong, things were adding up and making every trip less than enjoyable. The coach was well taken care of, but at a certain point things just need upgraded. We traded it in for a new 2014 and are so happy (plus our new one is better suited for a family with three kids... so there was more going into our decision than the age of the coach).

THAT SAID... If you are really handy and mechanically inclined, a think an older coach can be great. DH and I often said, if someone had the time and know-how to go through our old coach with a fine tooth comb they would have a great coach... we just aren't those people.
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Old 11-21-2014, 10:43 AM   #33
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We have had two Winnebago gas rv's and loved them both. We traded for an '03 Allegro Bus in 8/13 and love it also. It had 15,500 miles on it and now has about 21,000. We have had some issues such as failing to start once, replaced fuel lift pump and had to have a clogged fuel filter replaced while on a trip. There is an abundance of good information here that should be taken into consideration. That being said, I agree that you should be prepared to spend some money on the coach. We are taking ours to Freightliner in Gaffney in March for a full 48 month service. That should give me a good base line to work from regardless of what was done before since all fluids, filters, etc. will be new. I anticipate spending close to $2k for all of the work I want done. We will also be attending Camp Freightliner to learn more about the chassis. I can handle most of the coach related items, but will rely on Freightliner to take care of the chassis for me.


Owning and operating a diesel coach is not an inexpensive venture. I am getting over some of the initial shock now, and have to say we love our coach and traveling in it. Either of the Winnebagos would be a good choice IMO. We do have nice cherry finishes in our bus and love the wood work. It seems you are moving forward with your eyes open, so try to relax and enjoy the view.
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Old 11-22-2014, 09:27 AM   #34
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I think when you buy an older coach, you pretty well have to perform all the basic maintenance yourself, let's face it, if you buy a lower cost RV, it is not to spend the equal amount of money on maintenance.

I normally do all my maintenance, but this time I said, oh it is cold and rainy so let someone else do it. I went for and oil change and fuel filter: $244.00, not TOO bad, ABS light on and sensor replaced: $200.00, I could not find the problem myself so OK to pay. Then they asked me if I wanted to grease it, check tire pressure and check all fluids, I tought well this should not take long and it is normally included when I go for my pickup oil change. Well, it cost me over 140 dollars just for those little side check up including 2 gallons of antifreeze.

It is those little overall check up that you have to watch, this is where they will sneek in your wallet. Some of these shop think just because you have a MH you have all kind of money to throw at it, some think it is very complicated mechanic, it is not, this is just a bigger box over the similar mechanic as a pick up truck and the rest is very similar to any fith wheel or any other travel trailer, unless you have a top end MH with all the bell and wistle.

There are many many things that you can do yourself. One thing I allways do is : ask me before if you want replace anything, and next time they will quote me the $$ before they do anything, If they can't, I will go somewhere else. On top, If I have some repair to do, I will go for one thing at a time, so they do not loose time at getting parts, wait for parts, waist time in between repairs.
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Old 11-22-2014, 09:48 AM   #35
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Since Winnebagos are known to have rust popping up under the windshields you should check for this even if it means removing trim on the inside or the rubber molding on the outside.

I would also be looking closely for any potential delamination on the sides which from the right angle will be easy to see in good light conditions. Also look closely at the interior openings & are the ceiling for discoloration or soft ceiling material . I would check the interior walls especially around windows making sure there's no soft Luan board. I had a passenger window that leaked, my unit never had water diverter a on the drip rails to get water away from hitting the unit.

I would want a Cummins diesel unit since it continues to be made for the RV industry
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Old 11-23-2014, 07:13 AM   #36
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We did it! We just took delivery of a 2006 Itasca Horizon 40KD.

2006 Itasca Horizon Class A Diesel Knoxville, TN Details | Kodak RV | Knoxville Dealership+

We like the Journey DL but my wife really had her heart set on Cherry cabinets. It wasn't what we wanted so we moved on to the Ultimate Freedom. It is a very nice coach and very well maintained but there were some modification, cosmetic deterioration, and moisture in some of the dual pane windows that we weren't comfortable with. We were a bit disappointed as you can imagine.

The salesman told us he had an Itasca with Cherry but it was a bit more $$ than the Freedom so we checked it out. My wife fell in love with it. Everything we wanted and a lot more. The original owner kept full service, repair, recall records and invoices. And this dealer has done most of the maintenance since it was new. Everyone here on the forum said go with your gut and get what you are comfortable with, so we did.

As one of the potters here suggested, we used our cash as a down payment but held back $10K and financed the rest. I was surprised with the payment as its less than a car payment.

The coach did have a few issues that we caught during walkthrough and our during first night in the coach at the dealer campground. The only major issue was the heat pump which didn't work. It tuned out to be a bad sensor switch that detects air flow. Then there we burned out bulbs, and adjustments which the dealer promptly corrected. The rig was in their shop all day Saturday and when they brought it back to the campground everything is perfect.

Thank you again to everyone. This has been a scary venture but your support, comments, and recommendations were informative and comforting.

Jerry & Susie
Alabaster, AL
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Old 11-23-2014, 07:19 AM   #37
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We did it! We just took delivery of a 2006 Itasca Horizon 40KD.

2006 Itasca Horizon Class A Diesel Knoxville, TN Details | Kodak RV | Knoxville Dealership+

We like the Journey DL but my wife really had her heart set on Cherry cabinets. It wasn't what we wanted so we moved on to the Ultimate Freedom. It is a very nice coach and very well maintained but there were some modification, cosmetic deterioration, and moisture in some of the dual pane windows that we weren't comfortable with. We were a bit disappointed as you can imagine.

The salesman told us he had an Itasca with Cherry but it was a bit more $$ than the Freedom so we checked it out. My wife fell in love with it. Everything we wanted and a lot more. The original owner kept full service, repair, recall records and invoices. And this dealer has done most of the maintenance since it was new. Everyone here on the forum said go with your gut and get what you are comfortable with, so we did.

As one of the potters here suggested, we used our cash as a down payment but held back $10K and financed the rest. I was surprised with the payment as its less than a car payment.

The coach did have a few issues that we caught during walkthrough and our during first night in the coach at the dealer campground. The only major issue was the heat pump which didn't work. It tuned out to be a bad sensor switch that detects air flow. Then there we burned out bulbs, and adjustments which the dealer promptly corrected. The rig was in their shop all day Saturday and when they brought it back to the campground everything is perfect.

Thank you again to everyone. This has been a scary venture but your support, comments, and recommendations were informative and comforting.

Jerry & Susie
Alabaster, AL

Congratulations Jerry & Susie,

I'm sure you will have a good experience with your new ride. From where you live it's an easy drive down to the gulf coach for some camping. Don't waste anytime getting out there.

Safe travels.


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Old 11-23-2014, 09:02 AM   #38
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Whatever the cost of the coach, plan on needing another 10% of the cost to make it right. Make sure none of your windows are fogged and your tires are no more than a year old. If buying from Camping Whorld remember that MANY of them only rejuvenate the pretty "coach" parts for sale. They do nothing to the engine or chassis, not even check the fluid levels. So take it to your own diesel mechanic and your own "coach" mechanic for a going over before signing. This worked for us. YMMV.
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Old 11-23-2014, 09:33 AM   #39
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Congratulations!
It's only a bad investment if you don't use it.
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Old 11-23-2014, 11:04 AM   #40
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The adventure begins. Have fun. Great looking rig.
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Old 11-23-2014, 11:31 AM   #41
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KD4XR, nice coach. I wish I had the cherrywood like my 2002 had but couldn't pass up the price for my 2004. Happy trails.
Rich


P.S. I know my avatar shows the 2002 but can't seem to change it.
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Old 11-23-2014, 11:44 AM   #42
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Very nice unit, I allways liled the Itasca, looks like a well made MH. The wife was right, the interior is very nice and modern.
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