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Old 09-30-2014, 09:58 AM   #1
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New Member - class a what to buy

My wife and I have been looking at class A's and really would appreciate any information/opinions that you fellow members have on:
1) Best makes/models to buy.
2) Used vs new
3) We are leaning to a diesel pusher since we might want to explore some places with steep grades. Would a gas coach perform?
4) Budget is somewhat flexible but we get nervous over $150/$200M.
5) Any good dealers out there? We live in south Alabama and can travel to look.
Our first post so be kind.

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Old 09-30-2014, 10:08 AM   #2
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What to buy is a loaded question; JMHO. Floor plan that would work for you would be the first thing to look for , then intended use. Occasional travel ? Full time ? Just the two of you ?
Most modern MHs , both gas and diesel , will handle 99% of the highways, then it comes down to required capacities for storage and towing.
Daunting, I know, keep notes and take photos of things you see and like, then narrow your search, by where you can find it all in one package.
Take your time , and Good Luck.

99DSDP 3884, Freightliner, XC, CAT 3126B, 300 HP /ALLISON 3060
2000 Caravan toad, Remco & Blue Ox.
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Old 09-30-2014, 10:29 AM   #3
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Good luck with finding a solution.
John & Cathy R.
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See My RV Upgrades
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Old 09-30-2014, 10:45 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by rbblak View Post
My wife and I have been looking at class A's and really would appreciate any information/opinions that you fellow members have on:
1) Best makes/models to buy.
If you're looking at older diesel pushers, the 2000-2002 Monaco is a great coach to buy! Look for one with the Roadmaster 8 airbag semi-monoque chassis. They changed this is 2003 I believe.

2) Used vs new
If money is no object, then certainly I would go for a new one. Ideally, I would buy a used DP with complete maintenance records and save a TON of money!

3) We are leaning to a diesel pusher since we might want to explore some places with steep grades. Would a gas coach perform?
DP is definitely the way to go!

4) Budget is somewhat flexible but we get nervous over $150/$200M.
You can get a great DP in that range. For example, I really like the 2008 Tiffen Allegro Bus well within your budget. For example:
2008 Tiffin Motorhomes Allegro Bus, Vero Beach FL - 113017402 - RVTrader.com

5) Any good dealers out there? We live in south Alabama and can travel to look.
Our first post so be kind.
Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 09-30-2014, 11:20 AM   #5
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Glad you're aboard.

My $.02: Find a floor plan that you both feel will work for you. Spend time looking at rigs at dealerships and Shows/rallies to help you determine that. Once you've decided that look at the classifieds here, on eBay, RVTrader.com, RVT.com, anywhere you can find that model be it new or used. Personally I am looking at higher end DP for me once I sell my S&B. I think you get more amenities included as standard, don't suffer the 25% depreciation that you would with a new coach, and, have most of the bugs worked out by the PO. There are a number of good deals available in the price range you are suggesting. Have a certified RVIA tech check out the house systems and a reputable mechanic check the chassis systems and you should be good to go.

Best of luck in your search and decision. Enjoy your adventures and be safe.

[Edit] Brands: Newmar: Dutch Star, Mountain Aire, Essex; American Coach: Revolution, American Eagle, American Heritage.
Have a wonderful day!
Ken (RVM 87)
FT DP Wanna B The journey is the destination!
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Old 09-30-2014, 11:55 AM   #6
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The wife and I jumped right in with a lower end (price wise) DP. Even tho we are very happy with it, there are still a TON of things we learned over the past year.
ie: We picked up a 2001 Damon Escaper 40' with a Cumins 350 and only 47k miles for 45,000.

Layout is a lot...since you will be using this as a home away from home. This is of course more important to the Lady tho.
Power is also a lot...if you plan on pulling anything heavy with you. We sometimes take a 24' box trailer with (2) Rzrs with us.
I absolutely love the way mine drives and handles... pulls a load as well as my F350 truck does... And I can set the Cruise at 65 and just relax too.

Our only real complaint has been not going Newer to begin with... but we just didnt feel safe jumping into one around the 100,000 mark.

Now that we know we like them, we will probably sell ours and move up to an 80 to 100,000 dollar coach tho.

Good luck!
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Old 09-30-2014, 12:57 PM   #7
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Welcome and glad to meet you!
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Old 09-30-2014, 01:00 PM   #8
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OH BOY did you just open a can of worms
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Old 09-30-2014, 01:16 PM   #9
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Here is a site you might want to look at. There is a $150 subscription cost but IMHO, it is money well spent if you have not owned or operated an RV prior to your search.
We used it during our search and found it extremely helpful.

RV Consumer Group - We Rate RVs
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 09-30-2014, 01:21 PM   #10
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Ok here's our real life story.

I'm tired of flying, and I've always though an RV would be cool.

We started out with the exact same question you had, and was overwhelmed with responses.

We slowly figured out the big names - and they might be a little different through the years. But boils to Monaco, Fleetwood, Holiday Rambler, Country Coach, Tiffin, Newmar

What we also learned is there is A LOT of stuff you don't know, and won't know - until after you buy one.

We settled on used high end. We ended up in a rush after tons of research for months - so we just went for it.

We picked up our rev for under 90k - and immediately faced 12k in fixer up stuff.

SURPRISE - but still not as hefty as buying a new one.
I probably would never buy a new one - I just can't stomach the rapid depreciation when there are so many fine used examples. Plus buying used, you're doing someone a favor if you go private party.

Ultimately, we love our bus - and I looked into replacing it for something newer once I discovered I really like this - but I couldn't really find much that tickled me more - in other words, none of them are really perfect, there will be something you probably won't like about it, so just get over that right now.

For 150k, there are A LOT of really great choices available - but again, think high end used not entry level new (unless you are looking at the tiffin RED's - the 33AA and 38QRA are both stunningly well done - but entry level - so that means single paned windows, only 2 a/c's, things the sales guy won't mention ((((if you can get 3 a/c units, do it)))).

Probably the most pervasive used models on the market are the Tiffin Phaetons (google "the big 3" for list of year models with major roof issues), the Tiffin Allegro Bus, The Newmar Dutchstar, and the Monaco's (dynasty what have you) - those were pretty solid.

The Fleetwood Revolution from the American coach lineup and the fleetwood discovery... lots of those floating around.

I can tell you this, anytime I have ever call American Coach (a brand of fleetwood) they have been amazing! I also hear that Newmar and Tiffin also treat their buyers well, even with used coaches.

I hear that thor is trying, but no cigar = dicey

I hear that Entegra (an offshoot of Jayco) is really kicking butt with the support side - they've only been making class a's since 2010 - and from what I understand, the 2014 and 2015 year models have finally really seen the benefit of the lesson learned by them.

Country Coaches are super nice! Even used they are 200k, but you need to know the differences between models - but an 06 07 08 intrigue is one well built, nice machine inside and out.

Lots to learn. So understand this.

The chassis is one thing, the house is another, and the engine is another. Some manufacturers used spartan chassis, some use freightliner, some made their own (and support dried up when they tanked)

Some use Cat engines, some use Cummins, some use navistar (out of business?) I feel if you stick to Spartan or Freightliner - you'll be better off in the long run. Same for Cat and Cummins.

Houses - some are made well, and some are real peachy lemons - and none of them are perfect.

RV salesman are a breed unto themselves. Better for you to do your own research and education.

My old girl (my rv) is 10 years old. Her paint has cracks, the outside doors don't close perfectly or sit flush, the paint along the roof line is losing it's clear coat, sometimes a slide makes me think it's not going to work, the front curtain has stains on the back, the fridge has died so my new GE fridge hums perfectly and all in all, she's gotten us from one side of this country to the other, safely, has never let us down, has allowed us to do and explore things I had only dreamed of - and that's really the mission here right???

And my payment is in line with what you might pay for two normal cars, or one corvette.

We love our bus!
RVM#78 - -USAF- F-15 Eagle Radar Vet
2005 Fleetwood Revolution
'12 Chevy 2500HD
'15 Airstream International Signature 27FB
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Old 09-30-2014, 02:21 PM   #11
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Glad to have you here.

That is sorta a loaded questions as everyone will have their favorites. I would look at used diesels. The floor plan is very important as you will LIVE in it. Diesels do offer comfortable rides, air brakes, engine brakes and considerable towing capacity. Their annual maintenance is higher then a gas model but IMO they are worth it.
Diesel pusher with its engine in the rear will make it quieter in the cockpit especially when climbing hills. With the genny in the front it is somewhat removed from the bedroom at night when you are trying to sleep.
I'm sure you will receive a lot of responses on this subject. Take your time as the budget you are working with will buy you a very nice coach.

Good luck with your decision and Happy Trails!!!!
Tony & Ruth........... FMCA#F416727
Newmar Dutch Star 4320, Spartan MM Chassis, Cat C9, Jeep Grand Cherokee,with Hemi, hooked up with a Blue Ox Aventa LX, and Brake Buddy.
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Old 02-02-2015, 09:51 PM   #12
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We have had used . . . a gas 1995 Safari TREK 25' for 8 yrs that fit our budget and was a top quality Class A. But we wanted to travel more and wanted slides and a bedroom, so after much research into our needs of quality, open floor plan, lots of windows, good storage and diesel plus a list of wants, we bought a brand new 2015 Itasca Meridian 36M on Jan 15, 2015 and we have never looked back! After all, we aren't buying another RV.

We got a great 26.95% discount off the MSRP which was way less than buying used!!! And we looked at lots of used RVs (1-2 yrs old) but the owners wanted more than what we could buy new or they needed too much work. So it was a no brainier . . . NEW!

In negotiating our new Itasca, we used the same discount guidelines we found when researching new Tiffin RED 33AA. There were certain Tiffin dealers that would give 25-30% discounts off the MSRP plus provide great service. We also found it was not uncommon for buyers to purchase from those dealers were they got the best price even if they would have to travel to do so. We prefer to negotiate by email (phone is second best) requesting their best bid since we can email the options we want to 4 or 5 dealers at the same time. There is way too much pressure and stress when in person so we would always leave and negotiate by email and phone. Spend some time researching at home on your computer and preparing what you want to buy it for, what is the most you would offer and get prequalified. And be prepared to walk if they aren't willing to negotiate.

Contact Roz Latta at Camping World of San Antonio (219-384-0506) for great discounts and the best experience ever . . . no stress, no pressure and great service! Tell her Kay & Richard Bratton referred you. The dealer also did a great PDI! If you want to know the Tiffin dealers, PM me.

Good luck and know the best is yet to come!
"Living Our Dreams and ❤️ The Ride!" Kay & Richard, Austin TX
2015 Itasca Meridian 36M "Roada"
2014 Honda CR-V EX-L FWD
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:12 AM   #13
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Don't expect to get everything you want in the first coach. Floor plan and livability is the most important, as you will spend a lot more time living in it than you will driving. A gas coach will go anywhere a diesel will. Having said that, we have a DP, but have also owned several gas MH's. We enjoyed each and every one of them. Don't back away from a good clean gas coach if it has the floor plan you feel comfortable in. After you have spent some time in your first one, you will discover things that you wished you had. Your second coach will be even better, but it took us four coaches to get what we wanted. After that we just went bigger. Enjoy your new adventure.
2013 43 QGP Allegro Bus
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Old 02-03-2015, 02:57 PM   #14
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Don't get hung up on fuel choice, gas/diesel.

Look instead at the amenities and room you want. If your tastes run to granite and Aqua-Hot, 10k towing, you'll end up in a diesel. If those feature are not needed or you like limited access campgrounds then you'll likely end up in a gas MH. It is your choice and one of the lovely things about RVing. Enjoy the search!

Jim and Jennie, Cats=Bittles and Potter, 2000 Dynasty 350 ISC
2013 Silverado 4x4 Towed with R1200GS in bed.
PROV23:4 Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.
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