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Old 07-08-2016, 01:24 PM   #29
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Make a list of what you want, and get after it. For my wife, it was a big counter and prep area.

For me, it was basement storage.

For the both of us, it was hydraulic jacks so the darn thing didn't sway back and forth in the middle of the night when someone got up to use the toilet.

After that, it's a little give and take.

We are on our second motorhome, and fully expect to get a third, which will hopefully be our last. Ideally, a split bathroom and a bedroom and living room slide will be our next upgrade.

We based our want list off our first MH. The problem was that we use this one ten times more than the first one, so we really didn't have a full line of sight on what would have made this one even a better experience.

There are some real gems out there for well under the price point you are looking at, especially for the first time around with kids.
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Old 07-08-2016, 01:33 PM   #30
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Sure didn't mean to offend you, just offered up our exp.
I wasn't at all offended; I was engaging in a debate with someone who disagreed with me, and I was grateful for the opportunity! It's not often we get the chance for intelligent discussion and I was simply responding in kind. If I left you with the impression that I was in any way offended, I offer my sincerest apologies for the confusion.

And, for the record, I completely agree with you that no matter what rig you buy there will always be a wishlist of things you wish yours had... it's a given that compromise is part of the process. However, the point I was trying to make - and apparently failed - was to eliminate as many compromises as possible before making any purchase so that your wishlist can become a to-do list instead of an upgrade-next time list... the former likely being a lot cheaper and easier than the latter
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Old 07-08-2016, 02:02 PM   #31
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Given what is being asked for, but based on intended use, I'll take this 180 degrees - forget a Class A or even a C, get a nice big truck / or Suburban and a travel trailer, or 5th wheel.

Having a MH sit and sit in storage , and in reality only be used 30 days a year at most given what has been stated, is a waste. You can use the truck / suburban regularly while the much smaller investment in a TT / 5er sits in storage. And if you end up not liking camping, you dump the significantly smaller investment in the TT/5er and still have your investment in the vehicle. You'll also eliminate the need to deal with a toad to get around once you get where you are going.

As for the never ending new / used debate, I still have not seen an 8-10 year old DP (same general price point) that I would give up our 2015 Tiffin gasser for (for a laundry list of reasons that I won't get into) after 18 months, 11,000 miles, and 175 nights on the road. One key to that, we are "a lot of timers" with extended trips but still a (brand new) home base, and no plans to be full timers - and if we ever do decide to full time, that is an entirely different set of criteria that we would deal with at that point.

It is our first RV, and yes we made a lot of changes of priorities and budget during our buying process, but once we saw the 31SA we knew it was exactly what we wanted, and we were willing to bust our original budget to get it, and buy / order exactly what we wanted the first time, not buy something we really didn't want (new or used) just because it seemed like a good deal (cheaper or even more money).

As a side note, since wheel size was mentioned, the 31SA comes standard on the 22k chassis with 22.5" wheels. We ordered ours with sumo springs and the "off the option list option" of the 24k chassis which only comes on 22.5" wheels, and have a 3,500# CCC (the bigger 2k chassis nets you about 1,500#s of CCC).

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Old 07-08-2016, 02:56 PM   #32
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I wasn't at all offended; I was engaging in a debate with someone who disagreed with me, and I was grateful for the opportunity! It's not often we get the chance for intelligent discussion and I was simply responding in kind. If I left you with the impression that I was in any way offended, I offer my sincerest apologies for the confusion.

And, for the record, I completely agree with you that no matter what rig you buy there will always be a wishlist of things you wish yours had... it's a given that compromise is part of the process. However, the point I was trying to make - and apparently failed - was to eliminate as many compromises as possible before making any purchase so that your wishlist can become a to-do list instead of an upgrade-next time list... the former likely being a lot cheaper and easier than the latter
Thank you and I also apologize.
I believe we are saying close to the same thing, I just wanted to make a point that it is really hard to know till your got one, and not to be disappointed when you realize just what you really really want.
(Yes, spice girls reference there).
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Old 07-08-2016, 03:52 PM   #33
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Thank you and I also apologize.
I believe we are saying close to the same thing, I just wanted to make a point that it is really hard to know till your got one, and not to be disappointed when you realize just what you really really want.
(Yes, spice girls reference there).

Yeah, it's tough to know until it's too late sometimes. Looking back on it, I was really trying to warn just those buyers who walk into a showroom and get all blingy-eyed with the bells and whistles of the big beautiful new coaches without giving much thought to how they're actually going to be using it.

That said, Betr2Trvl made an EXCELLENT point... one that I usually make but failed to do so this time because I was so wrapped in "floorplan" instead of thinking about "best use:"

Having a MH sit and sit in storage , and in reality only be used 30 days a year at most given what has been stated, is a waste. You can use the truck / suburban regularly while the much smaller investment in a TT / 5er sits in storage. And if you end up not liking camping, you dump the significantly smaller investment in the TT/5er and still have your investment in the vehicle. You'll also eliminate the need to deal with a toad to get around once you get where you are going.

OP, I hope some (or all) of this helps in some way
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Old 07-08-2016, 05:28 PM   #34
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You really need to be honest about how you are going to use the rig. You'll see a lot of opinions on here advocating very large DP rigs and that's fine if it fits with your travel. Nothing wrong with that but personally we prefer to camp a lot in national forest cg's as well as boondocking in the desert southwest. Different strokes for different folks. A lot of places we go you could not get a dp in to. Back to your original question having owned both I would recommend the 22.5 wheels on at least a 22K chassis. Big improvement in ride quality and handling. As for the floorplan\rig size it really depends on how you are going to use it.
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Old 07-08-2016, 06:03 PM   #35
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I'm of the opinion that having a solid understanding of how you intend to use your motor home is the most important starting point. After that, it's a case of simply hunting down the coach that best suites your needs (and your budget).

I agree with others who have commented about how important floor plan is ... BUT, I'd be cautious about being too specific about the floorplan of your dreams. This applies especially if your considering used coaches. Having an idea of what you want is great - but if it's gotta be exactly what you have in your head - you could be searching forever. Approaching it with a list of a few "must haves" ... and longer list of "like to haves" will definitely expand the number of choices available to you.

Lastly - be sure you know the numbers! (especially if you're looking for a larger coach). Be certain that the net carrying capacity of any machine you're considering leaves enough room for you and your "stuff"! There are many gorgeous coaches out there that have a net carrying capacity in that's painfully close to the 2,000 lb mark (especially the larger gas units!). Toss in a 300-400 lbs of human cargo ... a few tools, a couple of pots and pans, a few bags of groceries and a few beers and it's real easy to be at your coach's max. Be certain any coach you're considering will "fit" !!!!
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Old 07-09-2016, 07:12 AM   #36
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The choices can bewilder, for sure.

My advice will likely run counter to what you have seen so far.

Three things, Tag axle, air leveling and Aqua-Hot. The herd will thin quickly. Buy an outboard airbag chassis. Then in the remaining choices find a floor plan that fits. A nice house does not stay nice house without a good foundation. The same applies in spades to a MH. But it's your money, you decide. Drive them all!

Notice I didn't say anything about what fuel you put in it. That's because it's waaaay down the list of important things.

Enjoy the search!
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Old 07-09-2016, 07:21 AM   #37
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Three things, Tag axle, air leveling and Aqua-Hot .... Notice I didn't say anything about what fuel you put in it. That's because it's waaaay down the list of important things.
Isn't the "Notice I didn't say anything about what fuel you put in it" comment a little disingenuous? I've been following the market for the past 15 years dreaming about the day I'd finally purchase. While I may have missed a few ... I can't think of a single coach that had your "big three" that wasn't a diesel pusher. Can you point to a recent production (say anything that was build in the last 15-20 years) that had a tag axle, air leveling and hydronic heating that was power by a gasoline engine?
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Old 07-09-2016, 07:21 AM   #38
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My husband and I are shopping for our first RV. We decided on a class A motorhome about a year ago and have been steadily shopping/ researching since then. We are so sick of researching at this point and we want to buy one, get our kids out of the house into the wild world, and move on with our lives!! In a nutshell: we are ready to put our money where our mouth is and buy one!!! Now.
We are looking for an entry- level(ish) price point (msrp 120K-160K), but like spending our money on quality- rather than junk. That being said right now our front runner brand is Newmar (although we have become very familar with many!)- specifically the Bay Star/ Bay Star sport line. They offer a smaller chassis (F-53, triton v-10 with 19.5 wheels-125msrp) on their "sport" line. The fit and finish/ box construction/ options available is about their same as the more pricey line, but the chassis is different (22,000lb, triton v-10, with 22.5 wheels- 155K on Bay Star). Interestingly enough the GCWR is the same for both chassis': 26,000 lbs. Also horse power is the same at 362.

This is our first motorhome. We take good care of our things and keep them for a long time. Money is also very important. The price difference in the end is about 10K- would love to save that money- but not if my husband has to fight the thing going down the road the entire time. By the way- we have three young kids- who are in school 10 months/ year who are involved in sports and different activities. We really don't know how much we will be able to use rv. Planning on 1, 2+ week trip per year and as many 3/4 day local weekend trips per year that we can swing!

Thanks!!
Julie and Travis

I'd like to add just a couple of things that may have already been covered, but I can speak to having bought our first RV in 2015 and trading up 1 1/2 years later in 2016:

1. Floor plan - absolutely: ALTHOUGH, we bought the first entry level with a good floor plan, the small chassis (18K lbs or less, I think) don't have a front trac bar - I believe this made it a bit more difficult to keep on a straight line in windy conditions or passing/being passed by trucks - even when taking sweeping curves at speed on the highway. Bigger chassis have a front track bar. I do believe this made a big difference - and I had added a safe-T-plus, and other improvements to help with handling issues (29.6 feet).
2. The FLOOR itself on the smaller chassis is often a step-up to the driver's area and back bedroom area (in our case). The slide where the dinette was, was also a step up from the main floor. A small thing, but became more annoying as we used it. The bigger rigs with 22.5" wheels have level floors with floor portions in the slides that are level with the floor when the slide-out is extended.
3. 22.5" wheels are machined aluminum, and give a bit smoother ride right off the lot - perhaps the slightly longer chassis and wheelbase helped (went to a 34'2" MH from a 29.6" rig).

Our new rig retailed for $168K got it for about $130K, so with the trade-in of our "old" rig, we ended up paying the equivalent of full retail - if we'd bought the nicer Tiffin first, we'd have come out ahead - there is some truth to "buy your last rig first".

So find your floor plan preference, then look at all the rigs you can find that come close, find the other features you'd like (my wife liked the residential fridge, fireplace, and stove with oven AND convection microwave) and do your homework. We looked at Tiffin, Newmar, and Winnebago - similar price points and lengths (about 34 - 35 feet). Ended up with the Tiffin.

Don't skimp too much.

Happy hunting.

best,

dave-oh
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Old 07-09-2016, 07:36 AM   #39
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Oh, and make sure the couch is comfy to sit in. Some of them are really hard, or the back is too low, OR they don't have arms! So sit for a while when considering a rig.

My friend had a WBGO Journey with a VERY uncomfortable couch --- the back felt like it was overinflated and you really couldn't settle on the couch for more than a few minutes. Think rainy day and down time in the coach.....
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Old 07-09-2016, 02:56 PM   #40
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Lots of good points and counter points in the above posts. I often refer to floor plan as a critical component of selecting a unit.

By that I mean:
- does it have sufficient counter space
- does it have a big enough fridge
- do you need the second washroom. (we like our second bathroom when there are only two of us!)
- is the bed big enough
- is the shower big enough
- do you have enough room to lay out a hobby or game and still have room to get by
- can you put a movie in one tv and watch the game on another and not interfere with each other
- is there enough room to sit comfortably while not being in the way of anyone who wants to get by
- does it have a washer/dryer combo or stack
- are the chairs and couches comfortable (we like a high back and a lot do not meet that criteria)
- can you all watch a movie together
- does someone have to get up so someone can move by
- in order for the kids to go to bed do you have to turn everything off
- do you have to crank your neck to watch the game or a movie

There are more questions that you can come up with to ask that fit your particular circumstances. Asking them will help the decision.

I suggest you get the whole family in a coach, shut the door and then see how everyone fits. Yup everyone will fit but kids will only sit for so long before they have to move. How will the unit fit for you?
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Old 07-09-2016, 05:18 PM   #41
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I also suggest the chassis with 22.5 tires and like the previous recommendation for a TT with a Suburban. Reason I like the Suburban choice for a young family is will you be able to resist the temptation of leaving the kids "untied" in the RV while driving ? If not ,an enclosed vehicle is certainly safer for traveling.....Do you plan on having a toad ? Is your existing Toad towable ?

I started my camping experience in exactly the same position you are in now and came to the conclusion that the best/safest most cost effective way to get into this wonderful pastime was with An TT and Truck....crossed all of North America with the family and loved every minute of it !

Today, my kids are older so I have a Motorhome ( Super C ) for our travels....Like many other folks have said, its pretty hard to buy your last MH first as your tastes/lifestyle /family evolves.

Hope I haven't added too much confusion to your selection process

Have fun !!
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Old 07-09-2016, 05:52 PM   #42
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I think Jewels, the original poster must have gone to purchase something. We have been here pontificating for quite a while, and nothing heard from them...oh well, they are missing out on a lot of good blather!
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