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Old 05-08-2007, 09:13 AM   #1
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My wife and I are planning an RV purchase soon. After having rented several times, we think its time to buy. I need some help getting my selection narrowed. I am more interested in quality than luxury. I am thinking diesel for the mileage and long term durability. I tend to keep things longer than most and fix as I go, rather than trade every few years. A solid chassis is more important than Corian countertops. Would the kind folks here point me to some brands and models that fit. I would like to keep MSRP under $200,000 and plan to spend between $125,000 and $150,000 at the most, or have I missed something big in the market.

Thanks to all!
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Old 05-08-2007, 09:13 AM   #2
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My wife and I are planning an RV purchase soon. After having rented several times, we think its time to buy. I need some help getting my selection narrowed. I am more interested in quality than luxury. I am thinking diesel for the mileage and long term durability. I tend to keep things longer than most and fix as I go, rather than trade every few years. A solid chassis is more important than Corian countertops. Would the kind folks here point me to some brands and models that fit. I would like to keep MSRP under $200,000 and plan to spend between $125,000 and $150,000 at the most, or have I missed something big in the market.

Thanks to all!
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Old 05-08-2007, 10:17 AM   #3
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Dmax:

Welcome to the forum and you will get lots of help. Choosing the first RV can be fun but stressful and as you would expect, personal opinions on which are better/best will vary.

Looks like you've already decided that a diesel is what you want/need based on longivity and potential resale. You will need to decide on diesel pusher or perhaps a front diesel (FRED) coach. A DP will give you air suspension and usually a higher weight carrying and towing capacity. The front diesels give you the durability of a diesel engine but not air suspension. However, you can get a nice coach (Tiffin Allegro Bay, for example) with a front diesel in the price range you mention.

My opinion only but at the price point you note, I would suggest you look at well maintained used mid to higher end DP's. While a number of manufacturers produce rigs that meet the quality standards of many owners, I believe quality control in the RV industry suffers. If you buy new, you may find yourself spending time at the factory to get the bugs worked out. If you carefully shop for a good used rig, you may find that the previous owner got the bugs out. If I was looking for a DP to replace my current rig, my list would include:

Country Coach Inspire or Allure
Newmar Mountain Aire or Dutch Star
Tiffin Allegro Bus
American Coach Heritage or Tradition
Itasca Horizon

I am convinced (for me) the best value is finding a good, used rig.

Take your time and drive as many rigs as you can. Browse the owners forum here to see what folks are saying about their rigs.
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Old 05-08-2007, 05:57 PM   #4
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My list would include, in order of preference:
- Foretravel (used)
- Winnebago/Itasca (new or used)
- Tiffin (new or used)
- Monaco (new or used)
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Old 05-08-2007, 06:43 PM   #5
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A used mid-high end diesel would be a better deal than a low end new one, in my opinion. Lots of them on the market and you get both quality and amenties. However, there are some pretty good new ones with an MSRP right around $200k that might meet your budget: the Holiday Neptune & Ambassador, Fleetwood Discovery & Bounder Diesel, & Monaco LaPalma diesel come readily to mind.
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Old 05-09-2007, 04:38 AM   #6
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How does Damon fit into the picture? I found a model with about the right pricing and a very atractive floor plan.

Thanks,
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Old 05-09-2007, 07:07 AM   #7
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DmaxCC6spd, you should have a wide range of quality RVs to choose from with your price rance. You will probably get about as many opinions about makes as there are readers on this forum. You will be able to choose from higher end gas to mid-level diesel (or higher if you want to consider used). AFChap has a good list that I totally agree with, except that I would add Newmar.

One place you might check for owner reviews is rvreviews.com. Another good place is to scan through some of threads in The Chassis Club and The Owners Corner sections right here on irv2.com to see what some of the other members' experiences are.

You say you don't care about things like Corian counter tops, although you will probably get them in your price range. I agree that a strong, good-handling chassis with sufficient cargo carying capacity should be the number one priority. However, don't discount quality interior features such as Corian and high quality tile, carpets, and upholstry. What good is a diesel that will go 1,000,000 miles if the interior is worn out after 50,000 miles?

Good luck in your search and enjoy the hunt. Visit as many RV shows and dealers as you can. Walk through, drive, and compare.
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Old 05-09-2007, 07:42 PM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">How does Damon fit into the picture? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
It is my understanding that Damon has had a serious push to improve quality in the past 2-3 years ... something they really needed to do. They still are not on my list. Maybe the owner of a recent year Damon can provide more info...
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Old 05-09-2007, 08:24 PM   #9
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If you check the classifieds on this site, you will see a variety of pre-owned DPs that meet your criteria. I'm partial to my Alpine because of its ride and quality. Someone quotes "nothing rides like an Alpine."
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Old 05-11-2007, 12:46 PM   #10
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1) Buy Used....

2) My brother was service manager at a Monoco dealer when he advised me to buy Winnebago...
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Old 05-11-2007, 04:13 PM   #11
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Winnebago builds a good coach for a reaonable price. We are on Winnie #2. We have yet to find a coach we like better, at a similar price point.

If you are interested in a new coach, look for a 2007 model, as the 2008's will have the new diesel engine low particlate requirements, which will add $5-10K to the price.

Winnie and Itasca have some 'SE' models out for 2007 running about $160-170 list. You should be able to buy at 25% off list.
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Old 05-15-2007, 05:12 AM   #12
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I'm still ticked off at myself for not exercising more patience and buying used. I think you'll be able to buy much better quality and clearly avoid the BIG depreciation hit.

I think the only drawback to buying used is the process of finding one you like. Involves more travel, more research, and more patience. If you can pull it off I suspect you'll be mighty happy you did. I'd be looking at...

Level One = Newell, Prevost Conversions, Bluebird
Level Two = Country Coach (Allure & Up), Foretravel
Level Three = Newmar MADP and Up, Travel Supreme (Select & Up), American Eagle
Level Four = Newmar DSDP, Allegro Bus

Good Luck
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