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Old 03-25-2015, 08:17 AM   #1
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Question Need some Experienced help to clear confusion

My first post ever on any type of forum so please excuse any blunders.
We have a 2011 Avalanche 5th wheel and want to get a class A. I research things to death and at this point just have myself confused.

Here is the deal: Want to trade 5th wheel, like to stay under $100,000. Son accepted to Grad school in Seattle WA. We live VA. Another son with first grandchild in CA. Sooo, July we want to visit grandchild and move son to Seattle. Over 5000 mile round trip. 6 people traveling so it will need to accommodate but really want reliability for long trip. Also traveling through the desert in July so overheating and staying comfortable a concern. After this, wife and I plan to semi-retire in next year and travel more.

Now confusion. Diesel vs gas. Read hundreds of posts, lean toward diesel. Smooth ride and handle, wife nervous about driving, she hates to drive pulling 5th wheel. Old vs new. Older seems way to go but then get into 10 year rule at rv parks and problems with loans over 10 years old. Length, what is really a good length? As you know I could go on and on...

Bottom line, current need for this summer and longer term use what do you with experience think we should focus on and look for? Thanks so much!!

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Old 03-25-2015, 08:34 AM   #2
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Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined us!

I think it mostly comes down to your budget figure. I would highly recommend a diesel pusher, around 40'. Do a LOT of searching to find the floor plan you want. That will make a big difference in how happy you are with the MH!

If you get a really nice MH, even it it's over 10 years old, most parks won't turn you away.

We love our 2002 Windsor 40PBT! It has the perfect floor plan for us, Roadmaster 8-airbag chassis with full air leveling, side radiator, and a dream to drive and ride in! You will probably find this model at around $70K. We have made a lot of improvements for added comfort and safety, but that's a personal choice.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!

Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 03-25-2015, 08:46 AM   #3
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Just make your list of what is important t o you.
What is a great feature to me, may be useless to you.

But here are a couple of things that the majority will agree on.

Diesels are expensive on maintenance. Most take about 6 gal. of oil and a $40 oil filter.
Tires are huge ($$$). $100 for a air filter.
Usually have more coach batteries, again more $ when replacing.
They do ride quiet and smooth.

My opinion is a diesel coach is a higher end rig, so you generally get more "fancy features".
Like a macerator toilet, really nice for short 2 & 3 day trips.

Our Phaeton is geared for two people, but can sleep 4 with the pull out couch. Not the best for a larger family.

if you buy used from a dealer make sure everything is working and make them fix stuff that is not as part of the deal. Don't settle for the "as is" pitch.

Good luck, it is always a hard decision.
2014 40QBH Phaeton DP Cummins 380HP ISL, Freightliner XC, 2014 Jeep Trailhawk TOAD
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Old 03-25-2015, 08:47 AM   #4
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You're in the same boat everyone else was at one time. Budget vs. Desire. At $100g, you will end up with a diesel that's several years old. MH's loose value faster than bowling ball off the empire state building. I would lean (and did) towards "newer" (within budget) which means it had to be 'gas'. Although people take care of their rigs, older models can have hidden problems. I also found it difficult to get a decent loan for anything over 6 years old. At 10 years old, it was a no-go period. For desert travel, you'll want to make sure you have dual a/c units and a decent size generator (5kw).
The newer gas rigs have 5 speed trans. World of difference when driving.
Size.. always a personal question.. but like breast implants.. get one a little bigger than you think you actually need. "Buy it nice, or buy it twice". Check out where you plan on stopping and see if there are any size limits. Too large (do I need to make breast references again??) can be a problem too. Difficult to maneuver, blocked out of smaller campgrounds, inter-city gas stations..etc.
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:15 AM   #5
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IMHO Make Your Lists . . . Must Have List, Would be Nice List and Don't Want or Need List. Then find the Floor Plan you like!

Questions: Will 6 people be traveling with you when you semi-retire? Or are the 6 just for this trip? If 6 is for that trip only, might want to rent a MH and focus on the long-term MH selection for your semi- retirement. If it will only be you 2 when you retire, you might look at shorter MH. We love our 36 foot for my husband and I and grandson. Our MH can sleep 4 adults and 2 kids; has seat belts for 6. Just a thought.

Good luck in your fun journey and keep us posted.

~ Kay
"Living Our Dreams and ❤️ The Ride!" Kay & Richard, Austin TX
2015 Itasca Meridian 36M "Roada"
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:22 AM   #6
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Class A

I don't know if you can get a good diesel pusher for under $100,000, but for going back and forth across the Rockies, a diesel pusher will give you much better performance than a gas MH. We have been full-timing for almost 6 years, and have crossed the Rockies 6 times without a hitch in our 2009 Newmar Dutch Star 3623. Good luck with your search!
Barbara and Tom Palmer
2009 Newmar Dutch Star 3623
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Old 03-25-2015, 12:50 PM   #7
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Here is a thought. If your 5th wheel can accommodate everyone during your trek across the nation and back, why don't you wait until you get everyone and yourselves where they need to be THEN go purchase the MH you need to accommodate fewer folks. The only problem would be 6 people in a Pick-up for hours at a time.
Depending on what you can get for your 2011 5er I would go with Diesel. more expensive yes but you may be sorry a few years down the road and wish you would have bought the diesel..Good luck to you guys and happy trails
Charlie & Diane Amato
2014 Thor Tuscany 40XE XTE DP
Ferndale, Arkansas
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Old 03-25-2015, 12:52 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by unicus5 View Post
My first post ever on any type of forum

Good luck with your outcome.
John & Cathy R.
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Old 03-25-2015, 01:18 PM   #9
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From my observations when we were looking to upgrade, I believe the DP units are generally higher quality construction, they tend to cater to a higher end customer, and they garner a higher resale value than a gas unit.

I am a tinkerer and like to screw around with the systems, and we did not require that level of quality, so are quite happy with our gasser, at this time.
2001 Coachmen Mirada (Ford F53 6.8L V10) - Toad 2003 Saturn Vue.
It won't do MACH 2, but I can get a sandwich and take a pee.
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Old 03-25-2015, 03:14 PM   #10
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Tricia & Dennis Lockhart
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Old 03-25-2015, 03:36 PM   #11
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In my shopping, found many more gas RV's were set-up for larger groups (like bunk beds units).

Interestingly, the Diesel Pusher's were often focused on the 6-4-2 rule...
...6 for drinks, 4 for dinner, 2 for the night.

Often Families do not have the $300,000 and more for a DP at initial purchase, so are not as well catered to in the DP market.

Best luck
Kim and Steve, Mustang LCDR (Ret), '07 Damon Outlaw #1193
I have seen gross intolerance shown in support of tolerance, Samuel Coleridge
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Old 03-25-2015, 04:16 PM   #12
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There are very nice DP in the 100k range. We traded up from a 5th wheel to A 2000 Monaco Dynasty and haven't looked back. Alliart Credit Union loves doing RV financing and will do older than 10 year in age. They know how to get it done on lune asnd fast. Yes tires are pricy but we expect to run these longer than the ones we had on the truck so in the end its a wash.
Yes the service (oil etc) is more but we do it once a year as opposed to several time for the truck. Again its a wash. Sleep 4 and suggest a couple of those young folks sleep in a tent
Ron & Linda
2000 Dynasty 38PBS
Full time since 2007
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Old 03-25-2015, 05:08 PM   #13
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Depending on where you live in VA there are several used RV dealers in the Richmond/Ashland area which sell both gas and diesel units in your price range. You may be able to view a number of units to better educate yourself prior to looking at for sale by owner units. I did a bit of viewing and shopping for used diesel pushers and did okay with my purchase.

Some great advice from the other members.

Good luck!

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Old 03-25-2015, 05:46 PM   #14
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I'd recommend diesel due to the better ride along with the other benefits mentioned. I purchased mine a year ago, got a loan without issue, 8 years old now and still get lots of comments on how nice it looks. As noted above, a lot of owners take good care of these vehicles as they purchased new and paid a lot. I lucked out and got a one-owner unit which is in great condition. Look a lot, don't limit where you might buy one, there is an RV out there for you.

'07 Newmar KSDP3916 w/Hydralift carrying '06 FLHX, '15 Chevy Equinox, Blue Ox Alpha, RVibrake2
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