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Old 02-03-2012, 01:26 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by HeapBigEngin View Post
Great advice above, especially re LOOKING behind things for real quality. You will know it when you see it....and vice versa.

One other thing I would mention....adequate counter space. I am amazed at how so many highend DP's ($$$$'s) have every conceivable comfort known to man packed into their coach....and yet consider 18" of counter space as adequate. Lights in the floor and mirrors galore...but only enough counter space to accomodate two cereal bowls, a coffee cup and one fork. Suggest you pull off the sink and stove top covers....and see what you are left with. In way too many cases, you will be disappointed.

Not sure if you will be full-timing....we do not. Our coach, like many, was built prepped for washer/dryer installation. The original owner, however, ordered the coach with a second full sink/vanity/medicine cabinet/etc. in the shower area in place of the w/d setup. Of all the great "touches" I love on our coach, this feature is by far our favorite. I'll let the readers decide why. But if you can find a coach with the two sinks,etc., and it meets your other requirements, you will soon love this feature as well. Just MO....Good luck in your search!!
Boy! Is that every true about counter space. I had more counter space in my 1973 11' Holiday slide in camper back in the 70's than in our current (for sale) coach.

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Old 02-03-2012, 05:09 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by RickO View Post
Howdy and

Absolutely give the advice above serious consideration. I understand the logic of your stated priorities but at the end of the day it's going to be the floor plan that you live with so make it something that works for you.

Best of luck.

I don't completely agree with this statement. I hear "floorplan first" a lot and I just disagree.

Yes, floorplan is important, but I think quality and dependability are above floorplan in importance. If you shop for floorplan only you could end up a great floorplan with walls and cabinets made of pressed cardboard that screws come out of built on a chassis that won't stand up to the rigors of the road.


2009 Newmar 42 ft. Allstar 4188, Wheelchair Accessible, 400HP Cummins ISL, Allison 3000, Mastertow Dolly, '98 Riviera
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Old 02-03-2012, 05:37 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by akadeadeye View Post
I don't completely agree with this statement. I hear "floorplan first" a lot and I just disagree.

Yes, floorplan is important, but I think quality and dependability are above floorplan in importance. If you shop for floorplan only you could end up a great floorplan with walls and cabinets made of pressed cardboard that screws come out of built on a chassis that won't stand up to the rigors of the road.

X2, but I'm a guy and not that fussy as long as the roof doesn't leak.
With that lead in, I'll add to the list to inspect the inside ceiling closely for signs of water leaks, then climb up and inspect the roof closely - no soft spots on the roof or delamination on the sides.
Use www.nadaguides.com/RVs to base your offering prices.
Tom and Amy from Northern Virginia.
2000 Allegro 454/Workhorse P32/TST/Crossfire
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Old 02-03-2012, 05:44 PM   #18
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Welcome to the forum! Make a list of the wants, must have, and would like to have. Stick to it and don't listen to a salesperson. Sit in the MH for at least an hour or more before you make a decision on anything. Good luck.
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Old 02-03-2012, 05:58 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by gschwob View Post
[...]Logically, it seems appropriate to prioritize our purchase, first, on the best chassis we can afford, secondly, quality of build and then lastly on floor plans.
I would say your priorities are exactly backwards. Most people spend a LOT more time LIVING in their RV than DRIVING it. All recent (last 6-8 years) RVs are built on quality chassis that will likely outlive the rest of the coach. An exception is if you have special needs. Are you planning to tow an enclosed car stacker with a couple of race cars, tools, spare parts, etc? If so, THEN you have a reason to consider chassis first.

To me, #1 priority is floorplan and amenities. If you don't like the floorplan, a great engine will not matter. One little thing about the floorplan you don't like will make you regret it every time. Cramped bathroom? Every time you sit down, you'll regret it. If your WIFE hates something about it, it'll be doubly bad.
2002 National Dolphin LX 6356
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:09 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by akadeadeye View Post
I don't completely agree with this statement. I hear "floorplan first" a lot and I just disagree.

Yes, floorplan is important, but I think quality and dependability are above floorplan in importance. If you shop for floorplan only you could end up a great floorplan with walls and cabinets made of pressed cardboard that screws come out of built on a chassis that won't stand up to the rigors of the road.

I think we agree. I didn't mean to imply that one should "shop for floorplan only". How we view the quality of our rigs are very important as well. But a coach constructed to the highest quality standards... laid out in a way that causes us to bump in to each other every time we try to move around the rig... or causes us to get cramps in our necks should we want to watch TV for an hour... doesn't appeal to everyone.

Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

2007 Itasca Ellipse 40FD
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Old 02-04-2012, 05:40 AM   #21
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I was in the same boat as you. I talked to a lot of folks and as you can see by the number of replies you get everyone wants to help. The more I investigated the more I found out that I was ignorant of what I was ignorant of. I suggest that you go to rv.org pay what they are asking to join. I did and it was the best $150 I have ever spent. (I don't get a cut or any deals. If you're starting new this is a great resource) Once you read through their book and look over their reviews of coaches go to oodle.com and plug in what coaches you're looking for. It will search sites all over the US for what you're looking for (dealers and private listings) and email you every day with up dates. Plan on doing some traveling to look at coaches your are interested in. When I first started looking I was impressed with all the flash, 4 slides, fire place, 4 TVs, etc. But with rv.org information I learned what to look for in a quality coach that would fit my needs. There's a lot of good looking coaches out there that are crap. Take the time do your research and find the ones that will fit your needs and budget first then look at your wants.
Good Luck have fun.
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:11 AM   #22
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Welcome! My two cents worth would be to rent one for at least a couple of days. We did and boy oh boy did we get an education. You will learn about cabinet placements (knees jammed in while on commode), shower size, how doors open into pathways, kitchen functionality, where you can hang towels, closet and drawer space, etc. This in turn, will give you a great picture of what your wants and needs are for interior. Then, when you shop, you will be able to narrow the field. Enjoy, it's a wonderful adventure!
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Old 02-05-2012, 05:10 PM   #23
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Since you have yet to form your own opinions about chassis vrs drivetrain vrs floorplan, I think it is safe to assume this will be your first MH. While we feel the the floorplan is mighty important, I can't imagine owning a MH with an engine that couldn't get out it's own way or with a chassis that wandered all over the road! But... People do it all the time and then spend $$$$$ buying aftermarket handling & performance "fixes". Regardless, everyone has an opinion and yet you won't know what is important to you until you have to live "with" or "without" it. For example, we thought a washer/dryer would be so great as it would free us from the laudramart(s) & save us some $$..... Totally useless in an RV (anyone want to buy a Spendide 2200?). Having said this, 10 people will disagree and will write to say how much they " love" their washer/dryer.

So...... No matter how much money you have I would suggest that you do not buy new.... Buy a great USED MH and "learn" about the lifestyle, the systems & form your own opinions..... once you have discovered what works for you.... In today's market you may even be able to sell the Used RV for pretty close to what you paid & upgrade or trade.

You never know... You might get lucky as we were I find the "right" MH first time. If you are not so fortunate at least it will not be tooooo painful making a change. Buy NEW and a mistake will "hurt" for a long time!

Good luck.
Jack & Maggie
04-Rexhall Roseair (37)
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:48 PM   #24
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Jack 1234.....Great post and AMEN to your comments, especially regarding buying used. I also can identify with your washer/dryer comments. As I posted earlier, we have the dual sinks/vanities/etc. in place of the washer/dryer. We get a lot more use out of our set-up than we ever would with a w/d. But that's just our deal....not all would agree.
2003 Fleetwood Revolution DP
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Old 02-06-2012, 04:54 AM   #25
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Let me add my Welcome to the fourm also You have received a lot of good advice, however no one has told you to have fun and Enjoy

You will meet a lot of really great people and one old grouch And if you haven't already, rent a copy of RV with Robin Williams, its a really good instruction video on what not to do!

When you get that new RV you'll have some specific questions about it, no doubt. We'll all be standing by to answer those questions. I come here on a regular basis to have mine answered.

So have fun, and enjoy and make some great friends.

Happy trails
Jim and Bonnie
MGySgt USMC(R) 1961-1991
2001 Fleetwood Expedition
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:32 AM   #26
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What I have learned has been covered by previous comments but one thing for us was counter space and drawers for simple things like forks, spoons, pots and pans being easily available. Especially if you plan to do a lot of cooking. After you are in camp or at the RV park and everything gets brought out, you will be amazed how your space gets consumed.

Pay special attention to the sliders for any areas around the floor where water could leak into the unit.

For me, the more open the floor plan, the better.

When you test drive, don't just drive it on the smooth roads. Get a feel for how it will be on a rougher road. Nothing will drive you more crazy than the rattle and shacking of poor cabinets and shelves. All said one needs to remember you are in a house rolling down the road so some rattles are expected.

Diesel fuel is expensive so you might consider gas but the power of the diesel compared gas is significant.

When driving the diesel, it is very quiet up front compared to hearing the roar of the gas engine below you.
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:12 PM   #27
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Engine Torque is important in a large MH, you dont want to be climbing hills at 30MPH with your flashers on. Be sure to ask how much torque the engine has.
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:46 AM   #28
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We decided in the following order:

Buy a DP (to provide the chassis to carry weight of quality materials and features)
Buy a Bus chassis if we could for a soft ride (Gillig Bus built the chassis for County Coach)
Buy a Country Coach (because at that time they had a great product and reputation for quality)
Buy used (because that was the only way we could justify buying a Country Coach)
Buy a 38' Magna (because it had a floor plan including long galley counter that we liked)
Bought a 1995 in 2002 because it fit the criteria above.

10 years later we still have and use the rig. Now we might like a couple of driver side slides and a bigger engine. But are still content with the one we have.


1995 CC Magna #5280
C8.3L 300hp Cummins, 31,000lbs
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