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Old 01-07-2015, 08:17 AM   #15
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Ok you're new to the RV hunt. I would strongly suggest that you go to rv.org buy their product and read ALL the material. This is a great source of information that will greatly expand your knowledge base and will offer a lot of sound suggestions about RV selection based on your wants and needs, how to inspect one, how to buy one and....... It will be the best money you spend on an RV. Then after you decided on what kind of rv you are interested in go to oodle.com plug in what you're looking for and check the right boxes and it will keep sending you daily updates from all over the web, except craigslist.
Good Luck and Happy Hunting
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Old 01-07-2015, 09:38 AM   #16
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Starting to do the hunt for what we want in a class a gas motor home. People have talked about high end rv's and low end rv's. What do you think are the highs and lows?
All manufacturers have entry level to luxury units for the most part. There are differences other than glitz. Chassis are not all the same, even Spartan has different levels of chassis. Jacks, size of tires, weight carrying capacity, appliances, aqua hot, quality of floors, quality of cabinets and interior materials, blinds, awnings, the list goes on and on.

I have seen jacks on some units that look like pencils and others that are very stout. If all chassis were equal why do some have only a few thousand pounds of capacity for you and your personal belongings versus many thousands.

I would encourage you to do a lot of reading, taking notes, and if you know someone who has owned a couple of different units to ask them to show you some of the differences. It won't take long for you to educate yourself, but there is a big difference between units in a quality standpoint, that doesn't mean the best is always the highest quality, but you need to know what is important to you. Good luck and enjoy the process.
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Old 01-07-2015, 12:20 PM   #17
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Grimb,
We bought our first motorhome August 2013 and are very happy with our choice. Originally we thought we would start with a smaller and cheaper one since I had no experience driving anything that big. We looked at smaller ones (Cs and As that were 30’ and under. Our friends who had motorhomes for years convinced us that this was a mistake because we wouldn’t be satisfied and would soon be looking to upgrade. (Which would cost a lot more $$$ in the long run) Also I thought that a smaller one would be easier for me to learn to drive and park. My friends argued that whether you are driving a shorter one, or one much longer, you don’t notice the difference in length.
On this thread you are getting good advice e.g.: Look for a layout that will suit YOUR needs and budget first. Learn what you need to know as far as quality in furniture and cabinets. The main thing to look for in a used coach is ‘how was it used, stored and kept’. Mileage isn’t as important as it is on a car. Last year (8 months after I bought mine) my friend sold his 1993, 34’ Newmar Kountry Star. It had always been garaged and was like new. If I hadn’t already bought, I would have bought it and saved $$,$$$. He sold it for $17,000.
I found one that had always been garaged kept since new. It is a 2000 34’ National Seabreeze. The size is perfect for what we use it for and I am very impressed with the quality of the National brand even though they are now out of business. Although I was somewhat intimidated at first, my friends told me that after about 3 trips, I would feel totally at ease driving it. They were spot on and I am glad they convinced me not to start out with one too small like I originally planned.
Hope this helps in your search.
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Old 01-07-2015, 02:01 PM   #18
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You might start with a must haves list for each of you and a wont have list. When we started looking for a MH last year to upgrade the 5th wheel we knew we wanted a bath and a half, diesel, minimum 350 HP, and didn't want a pass through bath. Had to be 40 ft or less as I didn't want the hassle of the CA license requirements. We wanted to eliminate hassle and frustration by buying our dream coach first and not having to upgrade later. That list eliminated a lot of coaches. We looked at new and slightly used rigs but the DW fell in love with the Revolution 40LE that met every criteria. I've added solar, set the Honda up as a toad, and changed a lot of lights to LEDs. We will never full time but will do a month or two on the road at a time. 6 months later we are still enjoying the rig and the length is not an issue after a couple of trips.


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Old 01-07-2015, 02:22 PM   #19
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Chassis, engine, gas/diesel aside .... the thing you can't change without significant work and dollars is cabinetry ... be very sure you are satisfied with the woodwork. You can change a sofa but it isn't likely you will change your kitchen cabinets.
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:39 PM   #20
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There are substantial differences, though more glitz is indeed one of them. Some examples: chassis load capacity, independent front suspension instead of solid, side radiator instead of rear, larger engines, solid wood cabinetry instead of MDF or particle board, superior floor covering and upholstery, more/better lighting, circuit labels on the wiring harness, water shutoff valves for each line, built in power line monitors, large inverters, bigger battery banks, etc. etc. etc.

When we went shopping for a "new" coach to replace a 5 year old model that we factory ordered, we decided to get a used high end model instead of another new one. Felt we would get a lot more bang for our buck as well as a classy rig to show off. Eight years later, we still feel it was the right choice.
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Old 01-09-2015, 01:31 PM   #21
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If you live anywhere near the very top of Alabama you need to check out the Tiffin Allegro. Built in Red Bay, Alabama. They do a great factory tour and you can be in the factory as yours is being built if you choose. Family owned,
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Old 01-09-2015, 04:35 PM   #22
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The basic difference between high end and low end comes from the added glitz of cloth, floors, etc. The chassis and all the appliances are the same manufacture whether high end or low end. You can buy a Chevy or a Cadillac, whats underneath is exactly the same, the different is glitz.

That being said, Newmars are considered high end and Winnebagos are entry level.
As with everything there are differences of opinion. Many good points have already been brought up. However I would strongly disagree with the above statement. While you do get more "glitz" on a higher end coach the main reasons they are considered "higher end" is because of the higher quality of the furnishings, appliances, heating and cooling systems, plumbing and electrical systems, and craftsmanship.

All appliances, cabinetry, heating and cooling systems, and just about any other component are not all created equal. An example might be a microwave. Some entry level models come with a shoebox sized low powered no name unit similar to the ones you could buy at Wal-Mart for $69.00. A higher end coach will come with a larger, much more powerful convection microwave built by a well known manufacturer.

Reading brochures and browsing the internet may give you an idea of what's available, but it won't show the difference in quality between the brands, or from one model to another within a brand.

The best eye opener would be to visit a dealer or RV show. It's easy to tell the difference between a $60,000 motorhome and a $160,000.00 motorhome. The higher end models will be furnished and decorated similar to a well built stick house. The entry level models will have furnishings and amenities more closely resembling those in a furnished apartment. Seeing is believing.

I would also take exception to classifying all Winnebago products as "entry level. They like any other manufacturer make entry level coaches in the $62,000.00 range, but they also make some that start at over $425,000.00. That may be entry level if you compare it to a $9,000,000.00 Prevost conversion, but it certainly isn't entry level for most people in the market for a motorhome.
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Old 01-09-2015, 10:15 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
There are substantial differences, though more glitz is indeed one of them. Some examples: chassis load capacity, independent front suspension instead of solid, side radiator instead of rear, larger engines, solid wood cabinetry instead of MDF or particle board, superior floor covering and upholstery, more/better lighting, circuit labels on the wiring harness, water shutoff valves for each line, built in power line monitors, large inverters, bigger battery banks, etc. etc. etc.

When we went shopping for a "new" coach to replace a 5 year old model that we factory ordered, we decided to get a used high end model instead of another new one. Felt we would get a lot more bang for our buck as well as a classy rig to show off. Eight years later, we still feel it was the right choice.
I think this is very solid thinking.

We live in a world where everyone cries, "Floorplan! Floorplan! All that matters is the floorplan!"

So, a coach manufacturer can focus on the floor plan and lots of glitz, then build it on a chassis made of pudding and get the sale!

I think there has to be a little more thought put into it than that. You have to do your homework and come up with some guidelines regarding what kind of coach you want to have.

Then, look for the floor plan that will work for you.

Contrary to some opinions, the chassis on low end coaches ARE NOT the same as the chassis on high end coaches.

Not even close.

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Old 01-10-2015, 08:09 AM   #24
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Whether or not it has a bathroom is functionality. Whether it has formica or solid surface counter tops is glitz. Folks can argue until the cows come home that they need the glitz but the basic truths are that some of us want the higher end and some do not. I would not put up with tile floors as they are hard, cold unless you have and are using floor heat, and they crack. I could walk through all the parts of a MH and tell you the good and bad of them but it would be moot. We all pick our level of comfort and try to go there then justify it to our fellows.
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Old 01-10-2015, 10:51 AM   #25
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I don't think you could convince any Winnebagos Grand Tour owners to trade for something like a Newmar BayStar. I wish I could afford that Winnie.
You are absolutely right. No one in the right mind would trade a $400+K Grand Tour for a $100K short wheel base gas Baystar.
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Old 03-26-2015, 06:57 PM   #26
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I don't think you could convince any Winnebagos Grand Tour owners to trade for something like a Newmar BayStar. I wish I could afford that Winnie.
We have the MH in my signature. Some friends have a 2004 Newmar Essex. They both said our MH has features their Essex does not, but they wish it did.
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Old 03-26-2015, 09:09 PM   #27
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I guess it really depends on what you are going to use it for. Is rving what you want to do or is the rv just a way to get there and a place to crash for the night. My rv for me is the later, not there for the rv its just a place to sleep when the sun goes down. We are busy either boating, camping, atving or snowmobiling, that is why we are there. For me spending tons of money on the rv itself would be a waste, I'd rather spend it on my toys. If traveling was the main objective then I'd be more inclined to spend a little more. So the only one who can answer your question is yourself. You probably won't own your first or even your second rv for the rest of your life, so buy what suits you now. Just remember the more you spend now the more you are going to loose when you sell it...
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:04 AM   #28
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No right or wrong on this, just choices based upon what is important to a buyer.

We did lots of investigation, and pencilled things out multiple ways.

We chose to stay within the budget range by dropping years and buying a high quality coach. We had determined in RV's, as with other things in life, that quality lasts.

The other advantage is the ongoing depreciation is much less.

I also feel that a high end coach, provides much more then just extra bling. It is the foundation we were mostly looking for. Solid chassis, superior components, better (more expensive) construction technique, better materials on interior wood, carpets, counter tops, fixtures, etc. High end coaches also usually have Aqua/Hydro Hot, and many have heated floors. The suspensions of higher end coaches, usually have more sophisticated air bag systems then the lower/entry models.

And with a good quality coach, it is easier to invest in them to modify things to what you might like specifically.

All that being said, spend money the way you want to. Buying new is important to many, so go do so.

Best to all,
Smitty
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