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Old 12-04-2014, 10:02 AM   #1
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My intro, used DP search

Hello fellow RVers! As you can probably surmise from my screen name, my name is Joe and my wife is Delores! We have been RVers for several years starting with a 30 foot bumper pull and currently with a 40 foot 5th wheel. We started full timing in July of this year after I retired. My DW retired 9 months before me. So, having done the prerequisite research and believing a 5th wheel and dually truck would suit us best, we are second guessing that decision. It's actually more than second guessing. My DW has some health issues and the stairs to the bathroom and bedroom are causing her problems. It also doesn't help that she is afraid to drive the dually because it is so big. Climbing the steps to a MH once or twice a day would not be a problem. Once inside, everything can be accessed without steps. So, we have started the research process all over again. Like others, we have the champagne taste and beer budget! I have a meeting set up with my financial advisor so I can determine what I can really afford to do. We are looking for a used DP. We are used to a lot of room and have several "must haves" and several "nice to haves". On the "must haves" list we need a king size bed, separate washer and dryer, large refrigerator (preferably residential style), double pane glass, two 15K AC units (preferably heat pumps), large kitchen sink, good counter space, television viewing without turning your head. The "nice to haves" are: dishwasher, 1 1/2 baths, residential refrigerator, roller shades and a large LED TV opposite the sofa.
So, the search begins. We have looked at our local dealer and found nothing. However, we looked at a couple of Newmar coaches and know that Newmar would be a good choice for us. We would rather get an older quality coach than a newer low quality coach. That said, our short list is Newmar, Tiffin, Entegra, Monico, Holiday Rambler and American.
I am very capable of doing many repairs myself. I have extensive knowledge of pneumatics, hydraulics, electrical, electronic, refrigeration/HVAC and gas appliances. I wouldn't attempt to rebuild a cummins engine, but most other repairs on an RV are not beyond my capabilities, so I'm comfortable with buying a used coach.
Does anyone see anything wrong with my thought process so far? Any ideas, suggestions, etc would be appreciated. Hopefully, if all goes well, I'll be posting here as a MH owner soon!
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Old 12-04-2014, 10:18 AM   #2
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

I can see no problem with your reasoning, but in the end it's going to be your financial adviser who has the final word.

There are lots of good deals out there on used DPs. We just sold ours and the buyer really got a pretty good deal on a one owner, gently used full time rig.

If you haven't yet discovered PPL in Texas, check them out. They may well be the largest dealer of used RVs in the nation and their on line prices give one of the best indicators of what the market really is.

Best of luck.

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Old 12-04-2014, 10:22 AM   #3
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A similar situation with mobility , prompted our move from 5er to coach four years ago, and we have not regretted the change.
Good luck with your search and future travels.
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Old 12-04-2014, 10:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_Camper View Post
Hello fellow RVers! As you can probably surmise from my screen name, my name is Joe and my wife is Delores! We have been RVers for several years starting with a 30 foot bumper pull and currently with a 40 foot 5th wheel. We started full timing in July of this year after I retired. My DW retired 9 months before me. So, having done the prerequisite research and believing a 5th wheel and dually truck would suit us best, we are second guessing that decision. It's actually more than second guessing. My DW has some health issues and the stairs to the bathroom and bedroom are causing her problems. It also doesn't help that she is afraid to drive the dually because it is so big. Climbing the steps to a MH once or twice a day would not be a problem. Once inside, everything can be accessed without steps. So, we have started the research process all over again. Like others, we have the champagne taste and beer budget! I have a meeting set up with my financial advisor so I can determine what I can really afford to do. We are looking for a used DP. We are used to a lot of room and have several "must haves" and several "nice to haves". On the "must haves" list we need a king size bed, separate washer and dryer, large refrigerator (preferably residential style), double pane glass, two 15K AC units (preferably heat pumps), large kitchen sink, good counter space, television viewing without turning your head. The "nice to haves" are: dishwasher, 1 1/2 baths, residential refrigerator, roller shades and a large LED TV opposite the sofa.

So, the search begins. We have looked at our local dealer and found nothing. However, we looked at a couple of Newmar coaches and know that Newmar would be a good choice for us. We would rather get an older quality coach than a newer low quality coach. That said, our short list is Newmar, Tiffin, Entegra, Monico, Holiday Rambler and American.

I am very capable of doing many repairs myself. I have extensive knowledge of pneumatics, hydraulics, electrical, electronic, refrigeration/HVAC and gas appliances. I wouldn't attempt to rebuild a cummins engine, but most other repairs on an RV are not beyond my capabilities, so I'm comfortable with buying a used coach.

Does anyone see anything wrong with my thought process so far? Any ideas, suggestions, etc would be appreciated. Hopefully, if all goes well, I'll be posting here as a MH owner soon!

Your thought processes appear sound to me. My wife and I are 8 years into full time life. We can vouch for the Monaco/HR choice in your list of possibilities. Look particularly at the coaches built on the Roadmaster S Series chassis. These are very solid, well built coaches and represent excellent value.


Steve Ownby
Full time since '07
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Old 12-04-2014, 12:10 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies!

RickO, I have discovered PPL and also Lazydays and bestpreownedrv.com. Are these good places to shop?
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Old 12-04-2014, 12:12 PM   #6
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Welcome Joe!
Have you looked over these sites?;
Diesel Motorhomes for Sale - PPL Motor Homes
Diesel Pusher RVs, Class A Diesel Pusher, Diesel Motor Homes

I started out with a Tent trailer! Made the mistake of driving from NH to UT in that tent trailer. What a nightmare! I was the only driver, wife and two boys. I would be driving all day, pull into a KOA in the afternoon then spend about 1.5 hrs getting everything ready for dinner. Then the big cleanup after dinner, some sleep & then the 1.5hr teardown the next morning! Not that Tent Trailers are bad, they are just the best for a CC trip.

While I was at that KOA two DP's where parked across from us. I looked over at those 2 rigs & said to myself, "I'll have one of those down the road"

A year later I spotted a 93 Pace Arrow Diesel Pusher for sale on Ebay. A broker up in NY was selling her. Ended up winning the auction and then overnight I was a class A diesel owner!

Just this last spring we purchased the 07 Discovery. A great deal for a low mileage coach! Drove her up from Texas. 1st project was swapping out the cooling unit in the 4dor Norcold. New Amish built cooler. I'll also be repairing a number of fogged windows. Hope to be F.T. in a year or less!

What's nice about Class A
Pull in to site
Neutral/parking brake
Chock tire, Dump the air bags
Hit the levelers
Full slide then headboard slide
Kill Engine
Connect W/E/S
Done


We drag a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Takes us about 4 min. to disconnect. I'm out front connecting/disconnecting while she is in the jeep.
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Old 12-04-2014, 12:31 PM   #7
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IMO the most important thing is FLOOR PLAN, FLOOR PLAN, FLOOR PLAN.

When you are purchasing used most of the gremlins have been found and fixed. Hopefully the maintenance has been done so all you are looking at is normal wear and tear from use.

Since you already have a unit to live in I suggest taking the time to find the right unit is achieveable.
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Old 12-04-2014, 12:37 PM   #8
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As to the steps, in addition to moving to a class A, if you buy a longer chassis there are services, thinking a few years out, that can also put in a chair lift in the entrance or a hydraulic lift in the bedroom. There are not a whole lot of ones with them already built in, but there are some out there as well. You might not need the hydraulic lift today, but it is something to keep in the back of your mind.

Of course, a mobile ramp might be a choice, as would be a toy hauler class a with a ramp that your wife could ride up and down with a small motorized "toy." Frankly, I would vote for the toy hauler as it gives you lots of options further down the line and avoids the lifts and the stairs if you buy something simple you can drive right up into the garage. If the ramp you get isn't too steep, a motorized wheel chair might work, should that be a future issue.
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:08 PM   #9
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Joe,

There is a fellow IRV2'r in Georgia named Rick that has a coach for sell you might want to consider. It is located in Cumming Ga.

Here is a link to his RV. I have seen it and it is really nice and exceptionally clean inside and out. 2005 Holiday Rambler - Ambassador 36PRT $70,000 - RV & Motorhome Classifieds

Good luck on your quest. I was on an extremely limited budget and took 18-24 months to find the right coach, I've done a ton of work and modifications to get it like I want it ... now it's ready. There are lots of good used coaches out there, just have to be patient and get what you want.

Hugh
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:11 PM   #10
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As to the steps, in addition to moving to a class A, if you buy a longer chassis there are services, thinking a few years out, that can also put in a chair lift in the entrance or a hydraulic lift in the bedroom. There are not a whole lot of ones with them already built in, but there are some out there as well. You might not need the hydraulic lift today, but it is something to keep in the back of your mind.

Of course, a mobile ramp might be a choice, as would be a toy hauler class a with a ramp that your wife could ride up and down with a small motorized "toy." Frankly, I would vote for the toy hauler as it gives you lots of options further down the line and avoids the lifts and the stairs if you buy something simple you can drive right up into the garage. If the ramp you get isn't too steep, a motorized wheel chair might work, should that be a future issue.
It's funny you mentioned a chair lift. When we stopped by the dealer that sold us our present 5th wheel, they had a 2015 Dutch Star that was handicapped set up. As luck would have it, the steps at the door would not deploy and the salesman said we could just step up. Well, my wife could not so he kept trying to get the steps working. Meanwhile, I got in and started looking and was telling DW all about it. Finally, the salesman had the generator running and still no steps, so he opened the huge door on the side and the baggage door for the chair lift and brought out the lift. He got my wife on it and raised her up to floor level. It was a beautiful coach and, since DW is vertically challenged, she loved it. All counter tops, switches etc. were positioned so a person in a wheel chair could reach them. However, that beautiful DS was also $420 some odd thousand dollars! Too rich for my blood!
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:12 PM   #11
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first of all let me say that I have a DP and love it. That being said have you looked at DP to see how much better that would be for you than a 5th wheel. If your only decision is step from the bedroom and bathroom and driving the dually those are not that big a difference. I have had a 5th wheel. The steps getting into and out of the 5th wheel are a lot easier to navigate than the steps into and out of a DP. I know there are steps to the bedroom and bathroom on a 5th wheel. But have you looked at other 5th wheels. Some of the new ones have taken the best parts of DP and added them to the 5th wheel. Self Leveling is getting common in upper end 5t wheels. I have looked at some that have rear bedroom and bath on the same floor as the front door with the living area up a couple of smaller/ wider steps in the front. You can get residential refrigerators in some of the newer 5th wheels. They have an inverter that runs off of batteries and that charges off of the alternator in your dually. I will not list the difference in maintenance and upkeep amounts but it is significant. My experience is that it was easier to heat and cool my 5th wheel than it is to heat and cool my DP. You are going to be able to buy a new or 1 year old 5th wheel with all the bells and whistles for what you pay for a good older used DP in the brands you are talking about. For example I bought a 7 year old Allegro Bus with 2 slides and lower mileage for when all was said and done about 100,000 I can get a very nice new 5th wheel for the same money. If I could have gotten the same options in a 5th wheel that is available now I would have a big decision to make. The only problem for me was I never got comfortable towing the 5th wheel but that was a personal thing.

Not trying to talk you out of a DP just pointing out that there are other options out there now that might do what you need for less money overall
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:15 PM   #12
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Yeah, but you can buy that kind of rig used. To install in an existing coach is around $15 last I checked. Don't drop the idea too quickly if DW loved the idea...as time goes on we all become more/increasingly vertical challenged to put it nicely, in particular based on your current starting point.

No reason to not buy a well maintained longer rig you can install it in or with in already installed new by the current owner.

Enough said.
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I never got comfortable towing the 5th wheel but that was a personal thing.
Same for me. I went from 5th to DP and not a bit sorry. I never liked hooking up to the 5th, but again, just me.
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RodgerS View Post
As to the steps, in addition to moving to a class A, if you buy a longer chassis there are services, thinking a few years out, that can also put in a chair lift in the entrance or a hydraulic lift in the bedroom. There are not a whole lot of ones with them already built in, but there are some out there as well. You might not need the hydraulic lift today, but it is something to keep in the back of your mind.

Of course, a mobile ramp might be a choice, as would be a toy hauler class a with a ramp that your wife could ride up and down with a small motorized "toy." Frankly, I would vote for the toy hauler as it gives you lots of options further down the line and avoids the lifts and the stairs if you buy something simple you can drive right up into the garage. If the ramp you get isn't too steep, a motorized wheel chair might work, should that be a future issue.
Over the years Newmar has built several models with lifts, they now have several in their lineup for 2015
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