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Old 04-30-2016, 03:57 PM   #1
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New Season

We've owned 2 RV's in the past (1 small trailer, 1 worn out Class C), now that the kids are "all gone" (yeah right!!) my wife and I are selling our home, with the plan to buy land and build a bardominium or "barndo". We are leaning strongly toward buying a DP in the $100k range to live in for 6 months to a year while looking for land and paying off debt (I'm
Almost 48 and graduate college in 2 weeks), meaning, of course, an RV park would be in our future. The reason we want a DP is due to the fact we already spend about 30 days a year somewhere else, so we would be able to use a decent aged DP for 10 years or so.
My considerations for the DP is as follows:
1) Large as practical; 40' or so, with as many slides as possible. I don't want to be too cramped if we are in it longer than we plan.
2) Fiberglass roof.
3) Double paned windows.
4) Residential Refrigerator.
5) Full length bed.
6) Dual Rooftop AC's
7) Split Bath
8) As little carpet as possible.
9) No cab TV of possible.
10) One of the "Big Three" diesels.
11) Get Roadside Assistance Policy
12) Get an Extended Service Policy
13) Expect $100 per month for maintenance for the first 10 years. After that it goes up.
14) Conditioned Basement if possible (we are in TX, but we do go to Colorado periodically)

Questions:
1) Is the idea of "don't buy an 07/08 model of anything, because the plants were laying off, cutting back and the halting production messed many coaches up" valid?
2) Is there anything else I need to consider before taking this plunge?
3) If #1 question is valid: In the used 2009-2014 year DP at $90-120k range, is there one or two brand better than others?

Sorry for that my first post is so long but I wanted to be thorough so I could get better responses. Thanks for all your input, even if I'm off base.
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Old 04-30-2016, 04:24 PM   #2
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I'm sure there will be plenty of people who will jump in to suggest what you ought to buy. I'll restrict my comments to your assumption that $100/mo will be sufficient for maintenance. Admittedly I don't do my own maintenance and repairs, but you don't sound as if you would either. IMO your $100/mo is the absolute minimum one would need to spend on a DP to properly maintain it even if nothing goes wrong (and it's a given that things will). In addition to oil changes, fuel filter replacements and generator service, there are the "every 3-4 year" things such as transmission filters that add to the annual maintenance cost.

The real question as I see it is are you prepared do deal with several thousand dollar repairs if they happen? We just had a parking brake failure that escalated from being a $1k repair to one that cost over $3k. Sure, this particular failure won't happen to most people even those with the same MH, but something like that is sure to happen every couple of years. IMO don't go into ownership of a DP unless you can afford annual maintenance and repair costs in the range of $3-5k/yr.

My views are based on the fact that we drive ~10,000 miles a year. If you drive a lot less you may be able to reduce those costs.
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Old 04-30-2016, 04:33 PM   #3
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My plans for the first few years will be less than 10k as well, with it parked 2-3 months at a time between trips.
Yes, you are correct, I was considering oil/filters only at $100 a month. I do have the money to maintain a DP beyond that $1200 a year, of course who wants to if they don't have to though, HA!!
Though I won't initially maintain the coach on my own, I do plan on getting to that point in a few years. It seems that "mid-life" could also be described as "busy-life".
Thank you for your input.
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Old 04-30-2016, 08:47 PM   #4
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In reference to whether a 07-09 is risky because many coach manufacturers were going under depends on the brand. My 2007 Itasca is still being made by Winnebago although not the Horizon. It would be a concern for those that did go under, at least for me.
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Old 05-01-2016, 06:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
... now that the kids are "all gone" (yeah right!!) my wife and I are selling our home, with the plan to buy land and build a bardominium or "barndo". We are leaning strongly toward buying a DP in the $100k range to live in for 6 months to a year while looking for land and paying off debt (I'm
Almost 48 and graduate college in 2 weeks),
You could be my twin. 51 yo, live in tx, DW wants to sell house to buy land for barndo, last kid graduating and leaving next month, and I graduate from college in 2 weeks. We bought a 39' discovery DP (2005 year model) in November in preparation for just such a time.

Quote:
My considerations for the DP is as follows:
1) Large as practical; 40' or so, with as many slides as possible. I don't want to be too cramped if we are in it longer than we plan.
2) Fiberglass roof.
3) Double paned windows.
4) Residential Refrigerator.
5) Full length bed.
6) Dual Rooftop AC's
7) Split Bath
8) As little carpet as possible.
9) No cab TV of possible.
10) One of the "Big Three" diesels.
11) Get Roadside Assistance Policy
12) Get an Extended Service Policy
13) Expect $100 per month for maintenance for the first 10 years. After that it goes up.
14) Conditioned Basement if possible (we are in TX, but we do go to Colorado periodically)

Questions:
1) Is the idea of "don't buy an 07/08 model of anything, because the plants were laying off, cutting back and the halting production messed many coaches up" valid?
2) Is there anything else I need to consider before taking this plunge?
3) If #1 question is valid: In the used 2009-2014 year DP at $90-120k range, is there one or two brand better than others?

Sorry for that my first post is so long but I wanted to be thorough so I could get better responses. Thanks for all your input, even if I'm off base.
As for your list, just keep in mind that when a great coach comes along at the right price, you need to know where you can compromise and where you can't. Our coach meets some of your criteria (we have a TPO roof, norcold fridge that works great, etc. but that is not a problem).

The 07/08 model years were where the manufacturer's were required to start meeting emissions standards. I have heard it said that there are problems with some of the DPF systems in those years, but by '09 they had some of those issue ironed out. However, if the coach is 9-10 years old, the previous owner should have had any issues taken care of.

No matter what you buy, look for a coach that was used fairly continuously throughout its life (rather than sitting for a few years). Also look for one that has maintenance records and scrutinize the date of the maintenance versus the date the maintenance was due.

Get a knowledgable technician to go over the engine/transmission/chassis as that is the most costly part. If you are a DIYer you can fix most of the coach systems yourself, but you will probably need help with the chassis.

So good luck and let us know if you have any more questions.
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Old 05-02-2016, 12:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montyhp View Post
You could be my twin. 51 yo, live in tx, DW wants to sell house to buy land for barndo, last kid graduating and leaving next month, and I graduate from college in 2 weeks. We bought a 39' discovery DP (2005 year model) in November in preparation for just such a time.







As for your list, just keep in mind that when a great coach comes along at the right price, you need to know where you can compromise and where you can't. Our coach meets some of your criteria (we have a TPO roof, norcold fridge that works great, etc. but that is not a problem).



The 07/08 model years were where the manufacturer's were required to start meeting emissions standards. I have heard it said that there are problems with some of the DPF systems in those years, but by '09 they had some of those issue ironed out. However, if the coach is 9-10 years old, the previous owner should have had any issues taken care of.



No matter what you buy, look for a coach that was used fairly continuously throughout its life (rather than sitting for a few years). Also look for one that has maintenance records and scrutinize the date of the maintenance versus the date the maintenance was due.



Get a knowledgable technician to go over the engine/transmission/chassis as that is the most costly part. If you are a DIYer you can fix most of the coach systems yourself, but you will probably need help with the chassis.



So good luck and let us know if you have any more questions.


Funny how some of us approach life just a little out of sync with the rest of the crowd. As one three years ahead of me and on the same track, I greatly appreciate your input. What part of the state are you in? We are in the College Station area.

Since we won't be major travelers for the first 5 years or so, just 30 days a year (or so), I have considered getting an 03-05 model; that does seems a bit more practical financially. Then we could have a bit more money set aside for the land when we find it.

Our goal is to be debt free and on paid for land in around 5 years. We would build the Barndo as we had the money, since we would have the MH to stay in we wouldn't be in a rush to get a mortgage.
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Old 05-02-2016, 12:45 AM   #7
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I realize your heart is set on a DP but don't count out the GASSER. Some of the higher end ones will really surprise you as far as how they are laid out and their ability to meet your needs. The other thing is that the maintenance is a lot less and you can eve do most of it your self if you are use to changing the oil in your car. For the price of a good used DP you may be able to buy a new GASSER. Yes the ride is bit different but if you are going to be sitting in it and not traveling that much then you may be better off. Diesels need to be running and pulling hard in order to properly maintain them.
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Old 05-02-2016, 02:15 AM   #8
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KC, from another Texan!

Check your PM's...
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Old 05-02-2016, 06:45 AM   #9
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DPs are top dog and so is their cost to purchase and maintain. There are also huge differences in the quality and design from one coach builder to another. If you are planing to live in it and keep it for a long time make sure you both really really like the one you have found. Personally I would rather have a 10 to 15 year old top quality than a 6 year old middle of the road, but that's me. The gas coaches have come a long way and are well worth looking at, cheaper to purchase and maintain. Could buy a newer gas but the resale drops faster too. Again find something you really like for a price you can afford, make sure it is in good shape and maintenance has been kept up. Then enjoy it.
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Old 05-02-2016, 11:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCfromTX View Post
Funny how some of us approach life just a little out of sync with the rest of the crowd. As one three years ahead of me and on the same track, I greatly appreciate your input. What part of the state are you in? We are in the College Station area.

Since we won't be major travelers for the first 5 years or so, just 30 days a year (or so), I have considered getting an 03-05 model; that does seems a bit more practical financially. Then we could have a bit more money set aside for the land when we find it.

Our goal is to be debt free and on paid for land in around 5 years. We would build the Barndo as we had the money, since we would have the MH to stay in we wouldn't be in a rush to get a mortgage.
We are 20 miles east of San Antonio, but I spent a couple of years in College Station in the early 1990s getting a Master's Degree.

I think an 03-05 coach has a lot of life left in it. Ours is working out great. Just got back from a 3600 mile trip from TX to PA. It was went without a hitch and the gas mileage get better and better with each tank we put through it.

Maybe we will meet at a rally around TX over the next few years.
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