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Old 11-13-2012, 07:08 PM   #1
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Looking for First Motorhome

I just retired and we are looking to purchase our first motorhome. We are looking for a used 2004 to 2006, 34 to 40 foot Class A diesel and have looked at mostly Fleetwood. What brands are best and what should we avoid?


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Old 11-13-2012, 07:15 PM   #2
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i hope since i am new here i hope i dont bite any toes...but i really dont like the gorgia boys.... really like the tiffen and monoco and newmar..but you know there are many brands and i just looked at reviews and pricing with features....jefff

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Old 11-13-2012, 07:49 PM   #3
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Man, Dan, you really banged a hornets nest with this question. I can't wait to see the replies, as everyone who has whatever brand motorhome is most likely convinced "it is the best", especially for the $$$ they spent. It is hard to trash something when you are $110+K in debt for it. My signature line reveals my preference; it is our third.
Good luck on whatever you decide.
Barry & Sue Miller(extended RVer's, 6 mos + per/year)
04 Journey 39K, C-7, 330 hp, towing: 02 Dakota 4X or 2013 Ford Edge, Aero 5050XL
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:15 AM   #4
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What is best is what meets your needs. All motor homes are compromises, like everything else in life. You find the interior you like, that meets the needs of your family, you look at the quality and $$$ you want to spend and then you make sure it has been well maintained (if used) or has a good reputation as a manufacturer (if new or used), and you go for it. Sometimes it turns out to be better than you could have hoped, sometimes you sit back and re-consider and rethink your priorities and needs. As most will tell you, if you have unlimited funds, Prevost, Newell and Foretravel are the best made, most luxury but those are not for most of us. There are folks that happily travel about in everything else. As doorguy says, you can see my preference in my signature line, but that is my compromise. I would suggest you go to the manufactures forum section and read about each. It will let you know some of the joys and issues of each manufacturer including some specific to models.

Good luck, the joy is in the journey!!
Dan and Kathryn DeBruin plus dogs
2005 Newmar Dutchstar 4009
Victor NY
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:04 AM   #5
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We've been in our Itasca for about ten years now. I have ideas for a replacement when the wife wins the lottery, but it works for now. There are many units of all sizes in the classified section which might give some ideas. I agree you need to determine what floor plan and size you want/need, what your travel plans are (full time/short trips/flatlands /mountains/ etc) to be sure you get the power you need. "Best" is a matter of individual preference, but there are many brands I could accept and be comfortable with. Of course the more money spent, the better the quality and luxury, but it must fit into the budget...unless you have already won the lottery. Good luck with your choice and let us know what you get.
Ken, Judy, and the Angels--2005 Fleetwood Southwind--2008 Cargo Trailer--2003 EZGO Golf Cart
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:29 AM   #6
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If you have not owned one before, my suggestion is to check out this site. For a few bucks, it will answer some questions for you. It was a huge help when we started our search. Good investment.

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Dennis & Carol
2003, 4006, 41' DutchStar, Spartan, ISC 8.3L W/BanksPower - 2013 Honda CRV, BlueOx Baseplate, Aventa Bar & Patriot Brake. And the 04 Bird, Sunshine Car.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:06 PM   #7
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Dan: Not long ago I was doing the same questioning myself...I too am a first time used MH owner. I went to a RV and boat show that happens each year in Louisville KY....I spent all day at these mini-seminars at the RV Show....I learned tons of helpful tips on what to look for in buying and owning an RV. I decided upon Fleetwood based on number of used RVs on the road and pricing.... then I started hunting. Many machines were simply not for me.... then I went to the manufacture site and started hunting archives for MH interior layouts. I found specific lengths and model groups that simply made my search for my perfect MH easier. Once I had the 34H part of Fleetwood all I needed was the year and quick lesson on how to inspect an RV. so the moral of this long story is... do some looking at photos, features and layouts on line at the manufacture sites. Then hook up with a few dealers to get the feel of what is out there....before you try to do a private seller look.
Craig Gosselin
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:34 PM   #8
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Since I purchased a used mh recently in the age range and length your looking at, I would recommend you look at the Winnebago-Journey of the 2004 to 2007 range. We love ours and figure it will be the last one we own.
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:57 PM   #9
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heres my 2 cents fwiw

having been in the game for a few years now I can assure you that your first likely wont be your last, i have had one gas coach and two diesel pushers in the last 6 years, when I brought home my 1997 Bounder we were thrilled and it was a good coach for the money but and there is always a but, (and this is stricky based on our wants and needs) and there is almost always a but, the fridge we discovered was too small, even with three of us a slide was a must have, the gas engine was hard on fuel and even considering the fact that we went south in the winter for a month, 6 - 8 long weekends a summer the extra money for a diesel pusher would pay back in fuel savings, never mind the substantially better ride, the smaller tires and lighter frame when compared the more secure feeling the wife had on the highway and the quiet cockpit with engine and trans in the rear is another buy product of the pusher. So with that being said we bought a HR Ambassador diesel pusher, 5.9 cummins and Allison 5 speed, my opinion is this is a great coach, ride is far superior to most gas coaches, it has the Roadmaster 4 bag suspension, the engine and tranny is an awsome combination, fuel milage even towing dolly and car was 11-13 mpg, she was no rabbit off the line but cruised at 65 no problem and still passed 18 wheelers on the grades, the diesel generator makes fuel I think it uses so little, so all in all a great coach.....BUT, a bedroom slide would be nice, more towing capacity would be nice, bigger TV's, tag axles, bigger fridge and ice maker which we wanted since the Bounder is needed, so Monaco Dynasty Chancellor 40 plus footer tag axle with 370 ISL and I think we are finally there, thank god. Everything we have discovered that we wanted, we have, I think anyways, we bought used coaches along the way and did not get hurt to badky selling them, current coach is used too but it was looked after and the depreciation was obsorbed by the original owner who I bought her from thank god for that.

So I guess I am saying, get you feet wet, I dont think you can research enough to know what you want to end up without trying a few and living the RV experience. There are always rentals to help too but I think for us the way we did it was best for us.

As far as brands, the roadmaster chassis is the only one I have experience with and I have to say I am thrilled with both of the ones I have owned, further to that the workmanship and quality is second to none, and I have crawled from one end to the other and I am impressed.

Good Luck
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370 ISL Allison MH3000, aqua hot, in motion sat
2008 United UXT 24' 10K car hauler
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:26 PM   #10
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I told myself I wasnt going to offer up my 2 cents but I cant help it. I personally have been planning for the last few years and lookig forward to 2013 to when the Warden and I can retire. I first had to decide between gas or deisel. I chose gas. I looked at Winnebago siteseer, Newmar canyon Star, and The Tiffen open road 36la. Those three seamed to have the best quailty, fit and finnish. Thor, Fleetwood, or forest River didnt intrest me. I drove the Tiffen, and a Winnebago and knowing how well Tiffen stands behind their product, am going with them. To each his own, Im sure they are all fine rigs
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:41 PM   #11
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Quality is worth paying for. Avoid the low end brands and save yourself alot of headaches.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:00 PM   #12
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I am partial to the Fleewood brands. We had Tiffins before switching to Fleetwood, and we have had better "luck" with the Fleetwoods.
Jim and Lynda, (Sophie, Jake, attack trained killer Shi-Tzus :-))

2003 Fleetwood Expedition 38N 2005 Saturn Vue
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:17 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by dennis45 View Post
If you have not owned one before, my suggestion is to check out this site. For a few bucks, it will answer some questions for you. It was a huge help when we started our search. Good investment.

RV Consumer Group - We Rate RVs
The problem with getting "info" from them is that in most of the cases the reviewer never even saw the unit, used it, let alone drove it, plus they make money from selling the "reviews".
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:31 PM   #14
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dont forget to look at the truck conversions

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