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Old 09-03-2010, 09:38 AM   #29
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Don -

It is at Barnes & Noble. Amazon, too, I think. I am sure it has very basic info, but that might be good. I plan on buying quite a few books (already have Living Aboard your RV by Janet and Gordon Groene - buy it!!!)

I have started a spreadsheet (literall!!) of my "must-haves, needs, and wants." I have also sought advice in every rv website forum I can find and have now narrowed my decision down to four, maybe five, manufacturers. The plan is to take that spreadsheet shopping with me - the RV with the most checks will be the one I get!
Wow! You're taking the exact approach I am trying--you're just way ahead of me. Would be very interested in how your search proceeds. I'm in an airplane partnership and that is the exact approach we used to narrow down on a plane that met everyone's needs. Hoping this method will hold up well for my search. Will also try to locate the Groene book. Thanks again for the pointers, Sherri. I wish us both luck!
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Old 09-03-2010, 01:15 PM   #30
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Looks like some good researchers here

It looks like there are some good researchers here so I'll post the links I found most helpful in my RV search.

#1 Tip: To learn about what was good to buy we bought the RV.org consumer group package with reviews of RVs. With shipping and handling it was about $150. I think it was a good investment. It was no consumer reports, but it is what is available and about as good as it gets for RVs. For just about everything we looked at I looked up the specs. on there. They included things like letting you know if it was likely to be overweight, the wheel base, construction notes, whether it is suitable for full time living etc. They also had a book "How to Select, Inspect and Buy an RV" that as a newbie I (who had never even rented) found very useful.

Their star rating system had me looking at some models that I hadn't heard of since they were rated highly. Since we were going older I went with a Winnebago due to their having all the brochures, specs, parts list, diagrams on-line and available.

#2 Tip: I also subscribed to one of the unlimited VIN number check services. If you go through certain web sites you can get unlimited VIN numbers for 60 days instead of 30. Well worth it to see the history of the RV and check out the seller's story.

#3 Tip: You should also book mark NADA to check out prices when you find a unit your interested in.
RV prices, specs and options at NADAguides.com

#4 Tip: Another good book mark is the recall lists so you can check that all the recall work has been done on any unit your interested in.
ODI - Office of Defects Investigation

Here are some pics of our RV.
1994 Brave 29RQ RV: Our first RV!

We pretty much grabbed the first one that met my major requirements (I had made a list and it is published somewhere on this forum) that did not have a water leak with associated moldy/musty smell and was in good shape. The floor plan was exactly what I was looking for. It isn't a top rated one by the consumer group due to having a short wheelbase but the price was right and I figured will all the aftermarket trac bars, steering stabilizers etc. I could compensate for it. The important thing is to know as much as possible about what your buying so there are no big surprises.

Good luck in your search.
Michelle
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:20 PM   #31
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You are welcome. I'll update you with any new info I found out. LOL
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Old 09-04-2010, 09:13 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by micd View Post
It looks like there are some good researchers here so I'll post the links I found most helpful in my RV search.

#1 Tip: To learn about what was good to buy we bought the RV.org consumer group package with reviews of RVs. With shipping and handling it was about $150. I think it was a good investment. It was no consumer reports, but it is what is available and about as good as it gets for RVs. For just about everything we looked at I looked up the specs. on there. They included things like letting you know if it was likely to be overweight, the wheel base, construction notes, whether it is suitable for full time living etc. They also had a book "How to Select, Inspect and Buy an RV" that as a newbie I (who had never even rented) found very useful.

Their star rating system had me looking at some models that I hadn't heard of since they were rated highly. Since we were going older I went with a Winnebago due to their having all the brochures, specs, parts list, diagrams on-line and available.

#2 Tip: I also subscribed to one of the unlimited VIN number check services. If you go through certain web sites you can get unlimited VIN numbers for 60 days instead of 30. Well worth it to see the history of the RV and check out the seller's story.

#3 Tip: You should also book mark NADA to check out prices when you find a unit your interested in.
RV prices, specs and options at NADAguides.com

#4 Tip: Another good book mark is the recall lists so you can check that all the recall work has been done on any unit your interested in.
ODI - Office of Defects Investigation

Here are some pics of our RV.
1994 Brave 29RQ RV: Our first RV!

We pretty much grabbed the first one that met my major requirements (I had made a list and it is published somewhere on this forum) that did not have a water leak with associated moldy/musty smell and was in good shape. The floor plan was exactly what I was looking for. It isn't a top rated one by the consumer group due to having a short wheelbase but the price was right and I figured will all the aftermarket trac bars, steering stabilizers etc. I could compensate for it. The important thing is to know as much as possible about what your buying so there are no big surprises.

Good luck in your search.
Michelle
Thank you, Michelle! Have added those bookmarks and will definitely be referring to them as well as the other resources. Nice RV!! Enjoy.

Don
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:23 PM   #33
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Thank you, sir! I'll see what I can find about it. Would be very interested in your opinion after you get a chance to look at it.

Don
Don,
I received the JR Consumer publiocation and have given it a read. It is titled 2008-2010 RV Comparison Guide and is a 166 page text. It starts out by categorizing RV buyers and then reviews and rates various construction techniques from the Chassis up. The guide covers all types of RV's including tt's, Class C' Class A and so there may be more info that a Class A searcher might be interested in. It rates the motorhomes by manufacturer and not by specific model. Points are awarded based on a maximum of 25 for each of Construction, Customer Satisfaction, Dealer Rating, Resale value. The Manufacturers are then sorted based on premium coaches, Above average coaches, and Economy coaches. You can view the points awarded in each category but the guide does not list the specific items taht causeda manufacturer to receive say 19 points for construction vs another that received maybe 23. This is troublesome in that I get the feeling that the information used by the writer is a bit dated and I would think most of it is based on the 2009 or earlier model year. If one could read the reason for the rating it could be taht the particular issue has been improved now but the book doesn't tell you that. There are some 96 pages comprising Sections dealing with each manufacturer. At the end of each of these the author comments generally on the manufacturer. The guide also talks about dealer profit margins, RV insurance, additional resourcxes, etc. It ends witha list of (in the author's opinion) the top rated 100 RV dealers in Canada and the US.
All in all the guide is I feel a ghalf decent reference but did not contain the level of detail I was looking for and also was not as current as I would have liked.

Bill
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:16 AM   #34
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Don,
I received the JR Consumer publiocation and have given it a read. It is titled 2008-2010 RV Comparison Guide and is a 166 page text. It starts out by categorizing RV buyers and then reviews and rates various construction techniques from the Chassis up. The guide covers all types of RV's including tt's, Class C' Class A and so there may be more info that a Class A searcher might be interested in. It rates the motorhomes by manufacturer and not by specific model. Points are awarded based on a maximum of 25 for each of Construction, Customer Satisfaction, Dealer Rating, Resale value. The Manufacturers are then sorted based on premium coaches, Above average coaches, and Economy coaches. You can view the points awarded in each category but the guide does not list the specific items taht causeda manufacturer to receive say 19 points for construction vs another that received maybe 23. This is troublesome in that I get the feeling that the information used by the writer is a bit dated and I would think most of it is based on the 2009 or earlier model year. If one could read the reason for the rating it could be taht the particular issue has been improved now but the book doesn't tell you that. There are some 96 pages comprising Sections dealing with each manufacturer. At the end of each of these the author comments generally on the manufacturer. The guide also talks about dealer profit margins, RV insurance, additional resourcxes, etc. It ends witha list of (in the author's opinion) the top rated 100 RV dealers in Canada and the US.
All in all the guide is I feel a ghalf decent reference but did not contain the level of detail I was looking for and also was not as current as I would have liked.

Bill
Wow, Bill, I really appreciate this update. I was thinking like you, that it would supply very specific information and recommendations. I was considering downloading a version, given their moneyback guarantee, and was trying to narrow down the selection. Doesn't sound like that is going to provide me the info I need.

I am continuing to speak with other RVers I know and am trying to compile a good list of references. I'm going to pass anything I find useful on to you. Right now, I am going to be focusing on publications that will help in selections and ratings. Going to then move on to other support mags (like Woodalls) that address other issues.

Will let you know what I find that may be useful and others I run across that are not of use.

Thanks again, Bill.

Don
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:33 AM   #35
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Much appreciated Don. I am a complete novice here and plan to buy a Class A DP bath and 1/2 between next May and September. Any info/references will be usueful I am sure.

Bill
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Old 09-06-2010, 11:29 AM   #36
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One thing to consider - registration cost in CO. We lived in CO - moved to NH in 1984 - and when we went full time we checked into the costs involved. They would have charged me about $1200 for plates for my motor home. The price would go down a little every four years but it would still have been expensive. They also have a state income tax.

We decided to move to SD instead. Total cost for my motor home and car was about $200 that year and now is about $180. If I buy another motor home the excise tax in SD is 3% compared to a lot more in CO. The sales tax seems to vary depending on the town and county but it is about 7% in Mesa county where we have property.

We spend some time in the fall on our CO property but don't intend to live there.
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:26 PM   #37
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Very interesting, Clay. We also have property in CO and will be facing the same question. Will be moving from VA, but will be RVing for a period of time before that. Hadn't considered the registration costs. Oh boy, it never ends.
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:34 AM   #38
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In all your research please look carefully at the Winnebago lines. Winnebago makes coaches under the Winnebago and Itasca divisions and many models in each.

Rationale:
Winnebago developed new models while many other manufacturers went bankrupt.
Winnebago does make much of the actual coach themselves and actually makes parts for other manufacturers.
Excellent documentation available as previously stated.

For any manufacturer the dealer you deal with will be extremely important in eliminating or minimizing any defects that are going to be in any ones units.

I say all the above after 30+ years of Winnebago manufactured motorhome Ownership of various units and frequent use.
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:41 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micd View Post

Here are some pics of our RV.
1994 Brave 29RQ RV: Our first RV!

We pretty much grabbed the first one that met my major requirements (I had made a list and it is published somewhere on this forum) that did not have a water leak with associated moldy/musty smell and was in good shape. The floor plan was exactly what I was looking for. It isn't a top rated one by the consumer group due to having a short wheelbase but the price was right and I figured will all the aftermarket trac bars, steering stabilizers etc. I could compensate for it. The important thing is to know as much as possible about what your buying so there are no big surprises.

Good luck in your search.
Michelle
Since you have a non-basement model, a longer wheelbase would have intruded on your bedroom. Wheel humps in the bedroom would not be a pretty sight. What length wheelbase do yo have, 178" or 190"?
J
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:19 AM   #40
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Donrickey if you get close to Palisade (abuts Clifton and Grand Junction) before the middle of Nov you are welcome to stop by. We have an RV site for visitors with water and electricity.
We will be heading for AZ sometime in Nov.
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:27 AM   #41
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Wheelbase

Quote:
Originally Posted by GOLDWINGER2 View Post
Since you have a non-basement model, a longer wheelbase would have intruded on your bedroom. Wheel humps in the bedroom would not be a pretty sight. What length wheelbase do yo have, 178" or 190"?
J
Hi,
We have 178". When we bought it, it handled really well. But when we had new tires put on the shop here in Denver could not align it properly and it handled horribly. We had it realigned on the road in Helena Montana and it handled great again. Then after some steering work here in Denver they realigned it and it was a disaster again. I figured out that they were lowering the front air bag pressure too low. After I pumped it back up the handling was great again. In high winds I have to slow down a bit but other than that I can easily drive it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bill2011 View Post
All in all the guide is I feel a ghalf decent reference but did not contain the level of detail I was looking for and also was not as current as I would have liked.

Bill
Bill,
You may want to try the CD set from the rv.org group. The star rating system and comments on each RV model can be helpful. The info is better for the 2000-2010 models than the older ones. I used the newer comments in my research as they sometimes referred back to the 1990s (the time frame for which I sought info) to discuss what was better back then or what had been improved upon.

Michelle
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:31 AM   #42
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Welcome to IRV2. You're off to a good start by joining this forum. Continue reading and asking questions and make friends with your "neighbors" when you start camping. I'm amazed at how much I've learned and continue to learn.
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