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Old 12-20-2015, 08:47 AM   #1
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Looking ahead for a Class A and Toad

We have traveled quite a bit -- using a bumper pull trailer and for a couple of years with a 5th wheel. I am now trying to get an education on the many brands of Class A's and some users thoughts on the good and bad points of a particular brand and size. My wife and I will generally be travelling without grand children, but two at a time may join us sometimes.

I would be looking for a used one ( likely in the 2004-2007 group) with 60,000 miles or so, one that could comfortably pull a small SUV or hatchback. We also think that a slide out may be a real benefit --if they are pretty trouble free.

We would like to be able to stay in most of the federal and state parks, and I know some have size restrictions.

Any specifics about particular brands or configuations would be good, Thanks
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Old 12-20-2015, 08:54 AM   #2
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To help narrow the responses, do you know if you are leaning towards a diesel or gas and what is your budget range?
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Old 12-20-2015, 09:11 AM   #3
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I know my info was pretty open ended --- but I am really open to all sugestions. I think the use of federal and state parks will likely be the determining factor of max size. As far as Gas / diesel I have no preference, mainly because I do not know the pro's and con's of each. I am not looking for the very expensive top of the line version -- just a design/ Toad combination that is functional and safe.
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Old 12-20-2015, 09:11 AM   #4
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If you are going back in years for price reasons and want to stay in tight parks forget diesel. Look at floor plans for a 30-35 ft gas unit. Figure out what general floor plan you like then start looking at used units with that (those) plans. There are more makers than plans for any general size range so it comes down to what you can find and what trim level you can live with.

You will most likely end up with a Ford F-53 chassis. There are several options there that the manufacturer chooses and you are stuck with. Compare the specs on a Newmar with a Thor and you will see what I mean.

Part of the reason Newmar builds on a heavier chassis is the level of trim. They stick a lot of heavy material in a coach compared to some other folks. Look at the trim levels you are happy with and weigh any prospective coaches so you know what the starting weight is compared to the published maximums then go from there.

As an example I started looking at a Baystar then saw a Georgetown and now a Bounder all with a similar layout. The gotcha with the Baystar is that it weighs so much that I cannot use our 4500 lb towed and dolly without exceeding the legal maximum combined weight. That put the Georgetown in the mix then I saw the specs on the Bounder. Now we need to see units and do some home work.
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Old 12-20-2015, 09:52 AM   #5
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I assume that your reasoning for looking for "a used one ( likely in the 2004-2007 group) with 60,000 miles" would be to get more for the dollar. I did that on my first upgrade to a class A, which in retrospect, I would have done differently after learning some things.

A lot depends on how the floor plan fits your needs, condition of the coach, how it has been maintained, what upgrades have been done, if it has a new set of tires, etc, etc, etc. Also, it greatly depends on what your long term (or short term) plans are. Like how many years you plan to travel, the type of camping (weekend warriors, extended stays, long range trips, etc).

You may want to consider a little later model like a 2010 - 2013 with ~20K miles. What I found is that you can get a substantially reduced price, but you may find that if you go with a coach that is > 10 years old you will save in other unforeseen ways....

1) Resale value is better if <10 years old, because of less financing options for a buyer. So if you want to only use it for two or three years and then sell it, this could be a concern.
2) Usually 10 years is the cut off for extended warranties.
3) If the tires are 10+ years old, you will need to replace them. A full set of new tires is an additional 2K+.
4) Mechanical concerns with the engine components.
5) It is not uncommon for the dash A/C and heating to need to be replaced.
6) Equipment upgrades, TV's, microwave/convection oven, water pump, etc.
7) Black/grey tanks, condition, buildup, etc.


Ted & Kathleen
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Old 12-20-2015, 10:26 AM   #6
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For additional sleeping for the grandkids you might look at the Fleetwood. They have a dropdown bed over the driver seats on this DP and they are in the 35' range. We bought a 2013 Tiffin Allegro RED 33aa. It has a pretty comfortable fold out couch which my wife and I have slept on when my daughter, son in law and grandson have joined us. We give them the bedroom so the little guy can go to sleep earlier.
I like the deisel for the power, air suspension and brakes and reduced engine noise with the engine in the rear. You can find good used coaches a few years old but they will typically sell fast. Good luck in your search.
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Old 12-20-2015, 11:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedgard01 View Post
I assume that your reasoning for looking for "a used one ( likely in the 2004-2007 group) with 60,000 miles" would be to get more for the dollar. I did that on my first upgrade to a class A, which in retrospect, I would have done differently after learning some things.

A lot depends on how the floor plan fits your needs, condition of the coach, how it has been maintained, what upgrades have been done, if it has a new set of tires, etc, etc, etc. Also, it greatly depends on what your long term (or short term) plans are. Like how many years you plan to travel, the type of camping (weekend warriors, extended stays, long range trips, etc).

You may want to consider a little later model like a 2010 - 2013 with ~20K miles. What I found is that you can get a substantially reduced price, but you may find that if you go with a coach that is > 10 years old you will save in other unforeseen ways....

1) Resale value is better if <10 years old, because of less financing options for a buyer. So if you want to only use it for two or three years and then sell it, this could be a concern.
2) Usually 10 years is the cut off for extended warranties.
3) If the tires are 10+ years old, you will need to replace them. A full set of new tires is an additional 2K+.
4) Mechanical concerns with the engine components.
5) It is not uncommon for the dash A/C and heating to need to be replaced.
6) Equipment upgrades, TV's, microwave/convection oven, water pump, etc.
7) Black/grey tanks, condition, buildup, etc.


Ted & Kathleen
RVM121

Oh, another thing that you need to consider would be the generator. When I upgraded to my first class A, it was ~9 years old. It had low mileage and looked to be in good shape, even had new tires and some upgrades. The generator had low hours on it. Regardless, I found that due to the fact that it had been sitting, and the generator was not used much, that this caused issues that cost more then what it was worth to fix. Replacing the generator is ~$5K...


Ted & Kathleen
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Old 12-20-2015, 11:16 AM   #8
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travel supreme mid engine

Look for a 2007 Travel supreme mid engine 41, they made approx 100 of them, they have a garage in back that can carry a mini cooper.
the coach work is outstanding.
We have one and just love it.
loaded and towing a race trailer we ave. 7.5 mpg

Happy Holidays,

RT 41
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Old 12-20-2015, 11:23 AM   #9
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Looking ahead for a class A

We have had two gassers with the Ford v10, 1999 Rexhall with the two valve and a 2014 Tiffin 36LA with the three valve. And it is a really good powertrain, easy to maintain and very simple. Will be adding the 5 Star Tune which makes for a little better low end torque, and better shift points, and some say a little more horsepower. Have not had a problem with power, but it is a truck, not car, so you have take a major hill with patience. So do the semis. But we pull our Honda Accord with no problems and have passed up many semis. But isn't about the speed of taking a hill but enjoying the ride knowing you are moving a small house and living in as you go.
If you stay no older than 2010 the build quality may be better as the manufacturers were beginning to come out of the Recession. Brands that I would consider is Newmar, Fleetwood,Tiffin and Winnebago. Your best service is yourself, Factory, or private certified RV techs. My experience with dealers is politely..AWFUL! (IMHO). Good luck!
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Old 12-20-2015, 12:01 PM   #10
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Everyone has their own opinion, but I prefer the Newmar product line. In particular, the Dutch Star with the Spartan/Cummins ISL diesel engine. I have many reasons I like this coach, but the main reason is the quality for the dollar.

I am a used coach fan purchased from the owner and not a dealer. I perform my own maintenance.

We have a 40' DSDP and have had no problems getting in state or federal parks. I have not seen a park with length limits, but I'm sure there are those parks around the country.

Do yourself a favor and look for a used coach with 10K pound towing hitch/limits. This allows you to tow about anything you want. We tow our 1/2 ton crew cab pickup with ease.

We bought our 10 year old 2004 Newmar with 30K miles, new tires/batteries for $80K. Can't tell it from a new one as it spends all of off road time in a climate control shop.

Good luck with your search.
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