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Old 08-13-2015, 05:37 AM   #1
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New Motorhome criteria/evaluation checklist

I will be attending the Hershey RV show looking at Class A's for full time living. Since I will be seeing many rigs over a short period of time, and my mind can easily confuse features, benefits and deficiencies between various models I just saw, I was going to build a checklist/evaluation form I can use to keep track of rigs as I go. Figured others have done something similar and if so, might be willing to share. I know lists of what's important to people will vary based upon their unique needs and circumstances, but by reviewing other's work, I might be able to better refine my list prior to the show. So, anybody who has done this willing to share their evaluation criteria/checklist forms?


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Old 08-13-2015, 07:59 AM   #2
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Tiffin Owners Club
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Location: Las Cruces, NM
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I would probably approach this diferently than you are. The first thing you need to do is figure out what you can truely afford to buy. The next thing to do is figure out which brands you are interested in. The best brands, IMHO, are Entegra, Newmar, and Tiffin. Newmar and Tiffin also build gas motorhomes which are less expensive than the DPs.

You can research many of the floor plans online. When you get to the show, you can then seek out the manufacture's displays and focus on your list of floor plans to look at. Then take a really close look, focusing on what it would be like to live in that space. Can you cook in the galley, do you fit in the shower, etc. Check the storage spaces, accessabillity to major components, and so on.

Look at options as well. Tiffin and Entegra build very well equipped coaches with minimal options. Newmar has everything optional (it's like buying a custom house).

And most of all, take your time and take good notes. Come the next day and see if you can narrow down the list a bit.

And finally, talk price - but only for comparison purposes. Don't buy at the show, however. When you get home, research dealers in your area and send out RFQs. Plan on doing a factory order to get exactly what you want. When you are spending this kind of money, making a compromise shouldn't be an option.

Good luck!

Roger & Mary
2017 Winnebago Navion 24V
2014 Tiffin Phaeton 36GH (Sold)
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Old 08-14-2015, 05:55 AM   #3
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Buy used.

Save a ton.
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Old 08-14-2015, 03:56 PM   #4
"Formerly Diplomat Don"
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Location: Moorpark, Ca.
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"PJL".....I made a list like that many years ago when we were shopping for our first DP. The Hershey show should have brochures for each coach, but there were things, like you, that I knew I would forget. The brochures will give you the big info, but it was little things I wanted to remember. I still made a two page list.

Here are some starters:
Engine size
side radiator
rear radiator
Smart Wheel
Stainless wheel covers
Aluminum wheels
Coated Aluminum wheels
dual fuel fill
generator access, door or slide out
filter access, fuel, air and air dryer
fog lamps
docking lights
LED lighting exterior
LED lighting interior
slide covers (toppers) with metal enclosures
awning with metal enclosure
power awning
power door awning
window awnings
power cord reel
power water reel
side opening bay doors
power locking bay doors
storage compartment lighting
sliding pass thru tray
battery slide tray
DEF fill location

residential fridge
Home theater
hydronic heating
Inverter brand and size PSW or MSW
bed size
built in vacuum
dinette and chairs
booth dinette
A/C (need 3 in 40+ foot coaches)
Heat pumps

These are the things I can think of off hand. Floorplans are individual items. Just start your list and keep adding to it as you think about it.
Don & Mary
2014 Newmar Dutch Star - All Electric - 450 ISL
2016 GMC Canyon 4WD Crew Cab
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Old 08-14-2015, 04:37 PM   #5
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We just went through the same process. Hubby and I made a list of requirements and goodies we would like to have. We already had determined that we wanted a Newmar and that we wanted diesel ( trading in a gas Canyon star). By the prices, we found ourselves in the Ventana category. We wanted new and were able to locate 3 2014's that had not been titled. 2016's were released which made the 2014 even more affordable.
Our list: diesel 400hp and up, comfort drive, fiberglass roof,
King bed, stacked washer/ dryer, table and chairs with computer station, TV directly across from main seating, OASIS water heater, 2 recliners in lieu of sofa ( we didn't get this nor the oven I wanted.)

What we love that we didn't know we would: residential fridge, BIG bath/ shower, keyless entry, central vac

Things we got that we don't care about: 1/2 bath, TV over windshield, outside TV,

Roger & Sally Summerfield + bischons Bailey & Lily
2014 Newmar Ventana 4369
2013 Honda CRV
Roger & Sally + Bailey & Lily ( bichon/poo & bichon)
2014 Newmar Ventana 4369 + 2013 Honda CRV
Ashland, KY
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Old 08-15-2015, 05:05 AM   #6
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Thanks for taking the time to share. Your responses are appreciated.
2016 Entegra Cornerstone 45A
2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit
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Old 08-16-2015, 11:12 PM   #7
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What Alpha99 said. I ordered through the factory (1st one). I purchased from a dealer off the lot (2nd one). Absolute best deal was the current one purchased used, got everything I wanted and saved tons of money. Deals are out there.

Craig & Carolyn Roberts Apple Valley, CA
2006 Newmar 3910 KSDP 400 ISL Cummins Spartan Mountian Master Chassis
Toad: 2017 GMC Canyon 4X4 Crewcab
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Old 08-17-2015, 05:45 PM   #8
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The DW and I had spend 2-3 years researching 40 ways from straight, 5th wheel units for full time, and had it narrowed down to 2-3 units. We then walked into our current unit a MH and knew in an instant that THIS WAS THE UNIT FOR US. Don't necessarily get yourself wrapped around the axles with facts, figures, data, specs. etc. You'll know the unit for you when you walk in and say YES I'M HOME. If you're not comfortable and at ease with the floor plan then all else is just info.
2012 Journey 40U (Our Incredible Journey)
2008 Dodge Dakota(TOAD) 2005 Honda Shadow in TOAD
AF-1 braking system
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Old 08-17-2015, 06:24 PM   #9
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The most important list is the set of features, including floor plan attributes, that YOU feel you need to be comfortable. I personally feel that engines and suspensions are well down the list and of significance only after the field has been narrowed to a few. Yeah, price and brand deserve some thought, but you ought to look at a few that are out of your comfort zone just to see what is available at some price. And you may discover a "must have" feature that you may be able to find in the right lower priced models as well.

Do as much review as you can ahead of time, looking at photo galleries and floor plan schematics to see what appears to be good for your needs. Then at the show make sure you see at least some of them for real, to test your preliminary conclusions.

Make sure the wife has her items ion the list. She is probably more concerned with where the dirty laundry will go than the engine horsepower. And she is right to do so.

Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
Summers in Black Mountain, NC
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