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Old 01-19-2014, 11:59 AM   #1
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New Full Timers just looking for advice....

My husband and I have had some kind of camper, i.e. C Class, 5th wheel, pull behind for over 20 years. I'm a self employed web site developer, he's a diesel shop foreman and will be retiring in 2 years. We are planning to sell our 26' pull behind and get our first A Class and hit the road until we're sick of it.

We're shopping for our first A Class now. We thought we should get it and use it a couple years before we go full time. We want a diesel, naturally.

What suggestions and advise will you offer us newbies in choosing our first A Class?
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:21 PM   #2
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Get what you want. Get a bigger engine than you think you will need. Look at a bunch of them. Most salespeople don't know about motorhomes. Go over every bit, inch, piece, even if it is new. Cabinets, compartments, windows, lights, each system. Bring a bright flash light. Take someone with you who knows motorhomes. Read this forum, alot.

Good luck.
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:29 PM   #3
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Study, study, study. The more you know the better chance you will buy what you want on the first attempt. That may put off the purchase of your next one for a few extra years.
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikki View Post
My husband and I have had some kind of camper, i.e. C Class, 5th wheel, pull behind for over 20 years. I'm a self employed web site developer, he's a diesel shop foreman and will be retiring in 2 years. We are planning to sell our 26' pull behind and get our first A Class and hit the road until we're sick of it.

We're shopping for our first A Class now. We thought we should get it and use it a couple years before we go full time. We want a diesel, naturally.

What suggestions and advise will you offer us newbies in choosing our first A Class?
Lots of nice, serviceable 10-15 year old DP out there under 50 grand. It sounds like hubby is fully capable of spending the 2 years redoing so you will be ready to go when he is.

Best investment is a rented heated garage, so you can work on it anytime. I did that, and it gave me the flexibility to tear it apart. Take a trip whenever you can also.

Go to RV.org, you'll be glad you did.
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Old 01-19-2014, 04:44 PM   #5
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You guys are lucky - you are experienced RVers and hubby is mechanically inclined. You don't habve to rely on a sales guy cause you can assess the working condition of an RV on your own. And your husband can keep an older rig is repair at reasonable cost. Go shopping but leave the check book home. Just keep looking to see what features you like and the price range for a rig that has them. You have time, so don't fall in love early.

But do get that rig a year ahead of time, get familiar with it, and make it your own with those little touches. There are lots of 8-12 year old diesel pushers out there that will serve you well. Heck, I might even sell mine in a year or so!
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Old 01-19-2014, 05:18 PM   #6
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Here is a link to a web site that you may find helpful. It will prompt you to think of some things that might not occur to you otherwise. Under the "Learn & Research" tab you will find "Getting Started". That is a checklist to use when deciding what to buy. It sounds like you have already decided on a Class A Diesel but the checklist will cover other items specific to that type of MH. There is also a pre-purchase inspection checklist to use when you decide on a specific rig. I can't emphasize how important it is to do a thorough inspection on any RV, New or Used, BEFORE you hand over any money.

As suggested previously you can't research enough.

RV Camping & RV Lifestyle - Changin' Gears

Good luck
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:09 PM   #7
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I think you should pay more attention to the floor plan. You have everything else covered with your experience and abilities. Think about what you've had in the past. Would you want to live with that full time? What is a minor inconvenience on a vacation could be a huge headache when it's there all the time.

I also think you should seriously consider buying a used coach. Again, you have the experience and abilities to deal with it and you save yourself 10s of thousands in depreciation and many "working-out-the-bugs" occurrences.
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:44 PM   #8
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Be sure to look at interior storage, some class As are meant for weekenders, others consider full timers. We went large and got a 42ft with tag axle... No regrets! The tag allows substantially more storage capacity and more stability driving down the road.
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:52 AM   #9
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Pick a floor plan you like... The Selling point on the one I have was the floor plan.. it's a bath and a half model.

Now, today, that's not so important to me (Since my wife crashed and died) but back when she was alive.. Well we lived for 30 years in a one bathroom house.. With the bath and a half model.. 2 holes, no waiting.
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:25 AM   #10
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....Go to RV.org, you'll be glad you did.
X-2 on RV.org! I say that emphatically. Their ratings and analyses were invaluable to us when we were shopping two years ago.

Also, someone said buy more engine than you think you'll need. I'll up that...... buy more coach than you think you'll need!! If you're fulltiming, you don't want to be bumping into each other all the time, or squeezing around each other, or moving A so you can use B. That "Too big" feeling will fade away quickly, but "too small" will last forever, and get more irritating every day.

If you're going to live in it every day, shop for high quality manufacturers with long term reputations. You'll then have a unit that will stand up to the constant usage. If necessary, roll back on your target age until the pricing matches your budget. A high quality coach will still be in fine shape at age 10.

Good Luck!
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:26 PM   #11
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I'd try and get into one you can re-sell and not take a loss on because after you drive one a while - you will learn what you really want versus -learning to live with what you are stuck with because you don't want to sell at a loss. As one of the guys recommended leave your check book at home. There are a lot of DP out there and you can find a deal that will allow you to sell and stay roughly even....buy one 30-40% under wholesale..the deals are out there if you look and find a seller that wants out. The next one should be the one you want to live with and take a loss on over time.
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Old 01-21-2014, 04:15 PM   #12
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Thank you So much! Some fantastic advise! I look forward to sharing our future adventures with all of you.
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