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Old 11-16-2011, 08:48 AM   #1
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New to RV Motorhome

We have been on the water cruising for years and now want to experience land cruising with a 37 to 40 foot Class A diesel pusher. Need help to point us in the right direction as far as best motorhome for $80,000 to $90,000, what to look for, restrictions in travel and parks, etc. We do understand that most of the systems are very similiar to a power boats system, therefore are familiar with them. Please help ! Thank You Paul 213.

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Old 11-16-2011, 09:19 AM   #2
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Ahoy... welcome aboard Paul. My wife and I are presently making the same transition. The last 6 winters we were aboard our 40' trawler on the Gulf coast. The trawler is history, and we now have a 1999 38' Monaco Diplomat diesel pusher. It has low mileage, and is in very good condition, just needs some "catching up" on deferred maintenance items from the last owner. Yes, the systems are very similar, in many instances they are the very same, only with less of the costly stainless steel that is necessary on boats. You will find that the acronym BOAT, (for "break out another thousand") applies to large motorhomes as well. An early finding of mine is that motorhomes, especially large ones, frequently take an even worse beating than boats, and the systems and running gear reflect that. Obviously, a motorhome's running gear is more complex than a boat's hull. Shop for and decide what to get in an RV just like you did for the boat. Take your time in sorting out what to get. Talk to a lot of experienced RVers, and spend a lot of time on this and other forums before you buy. New is nice, but used is considerably less expensive and there are a lot of great deals out there right now. It all depends on how you plan to use the motorhome; part time, full time, with or without frequent company, etc., etc. $80,000 to $90,000 will buy a lot of used motorhome, but not much of a new one, and I don't know of anything new in a diesel that you can get for that money. Have fun looking, and enjoy the new lifestyle. Maybe we'll pull up at the same dock somewhere along the way.

'99 Diplomat 38A- "High Plains Drifter"
'02 Wrangler Tender
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:58 AM   #3
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Welcome! One thing is for sure, you won't get any one answer time and again on here about anything, especially what brand is best.

That being said dwkirch is right, $80-$90k will buy a lot of used motor home, even when it comes to DP's. Look around and do some research.. Once you think you know what you like then start researching that one in particular. Good luck!
Mark & Kathy, Rocket, Sadie & Ginger (Chihuahuas) So. Cal. FMCA 422677
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:32 AM   #4
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Hi Paul,

WELCOME!! The previous posters are dead on! As a dozen people, which model is the best and you will get a dozen answers.

For several years (I was a lurker before finally joining the forum) I read everything that anyone, on this forum, had to say-- good and bad-- about their coaches. That REALLY educated me! The folks here are pretty honest, in their posts, and that helped me tremendously when it came time for me to start shopping.

When I was looking for my coach, I wrote down what I needed, what I wanted and what I could live with. Then I started hunting.

I can tell you that it is a lot harder, to find an older coach with what you want/need, than it is buying new. You also run into how well the coaches were cared for by their previous owners.

Get yourself a check list (for when you do road test one). Here is an example: Buying a Used RV Checklist There are pages, when you Google, of these. I made up my own from a number of them.

Take your time. This is a big investment and you'll be living with it for at least a year or so (joke!!!)

Ask lot's of questions on the forum. No such thing as a 'dumb' question here and you have- adding everyone up- hundred's of years of experience.... and it's FREE! Can't beat that with a stick! The folks on this forum have been nothing but helpful to me and I was never made to feel like I should already KNOW this or that.

Good luck, in your hunt, and let us know what you find.

1990 Itasca Suncruiser 32'
1996 V8 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
7 Pomeranians, a white Chuihuhia & a 1982 Honda Express Scooter
~ Salt Creek Recreation Area Olympic Peninsula, Washington ~
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Old 11-16-2011, 04:35 PM   #5
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Welcome to another person putting a toe on dry land!

Your budget will buy you quite a bit of quality motorhome....40 footers are good space and really do not restrict your access to the parks and campgrounds that you would like to explore.

Here are the generic recommendations that will make the ownership and operation of a Class A DP a good experience IMHO:

-Side radiator for ease of engine access

-Generator on a slide for ease of service

-Fiberglass Roof

-Large tankage (look for 150 fuel, 100 fresh water, 60 gray and 40 black as your minimums).

-Allison Six Speed (3060) transmissions are the gold standard

-Since you are going to be buying used, look for the "step up" in displacement when
you are looking at the diesel power (Cummins ISC vs. ISB for example)

-Large Cargo Carrying Capacity

-Slide-out cargo trays for ease of loading and unloading your stuff

-Dual fuel fills

-Redundancy in A/C, Heat and Hot Water heating (2 units, 2 furnaces and gas/electric hot water heater)

-Good thermal and acoustical insulation (dual pane windows)

-Solar panels are a plus to keep your battery bank charged while the coach is between trips

-Chose a manufacturer with a good reputation for service

1998 American Eagle 40EVS
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:05 PM   #6
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Been there, done that! We got rid of the boat and now are in our 2nd MH. Was not happy with the first one! One thing I know is there is no right or wrong when it comes to boats and the same is so with MH. It all depends on what is right for you. With the price you are expecting to spend there will be any # of people ready to take your money and you will have many choices. Some of them may actually be good ones! Take you time and enjoy the search. Do not rule out 5 th wheels. You can get a lot for your money there.
Larry B, Luckiest Dreamer
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:28 PM   #7
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To cut to the chase, I did a lot of research before I bought. The top quality used coaches, are Foretravel, Newmar, Country Coach, Travel Supreme, and just about anything made by Monaco. Winnebago, and especially Tiffin are great choices also. I got these names from extensive research, and two consumer sources. Some on here may agree or disagree , but that is what I found.

Here is a good tip, if you have 80 to 90 k to spend, buy one for 60 to 70 k. Leave your self the 20,000 for hitches, toad, and other things that might break. Otherwise, have fun. I thoroughly enjoyed the learning and investigative process, and when I found a great buy, I could confidently make the decision.
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:57 AM   #8
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Lots of good ideas put forward but venture to say that it will be the floorplan/interior that will "seal the deal". In that regard we looked at every diesel that had been added to Ebay (the night before) for over a year!!! The intent was not necessarily to buy on Ebay but search the ad and pictures for the aforementioned interior/floorplans. If an ad had different terminology or strange equipment, we asked about it here. The Monaco web site has a "brochure archive" area with full brochures on all models back to the early 2000's which we found helpful.
You didn't mention the time frame but in our over a year search we found that winter was the best price time.
Hal & Ginny Miller '04 Beaver Santiam PRT40
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:23 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Paul213 View Post
Need help to point us in the right direction as far as best motorhome for $80,000 to $90,000, what to look for, restrictions in travel and parks, etc... Please help ! Thank You Paul 213.
We won the lottery in a way, since good friends suddenly had a rig for which the buyer fell through, and were panicked since they'd already bought a Newell to replace it.

So, I got a MH whose history I knew, whose owners are part of the neighborhood. Everything they own is lovingly cared for and top-shelf; the bus was no exception.

But, in this mkt your investment can stretch a long way. Much further than dealers will try to make you believe.

I like the Fleetwood we got, the vinyl-clad cabinetry is its only shortcoming. Why they did that on such a nice and elegant-looking coach, I'll never know. I'd rather apply oil to hardwood, than chase scratches with a brown marker.

We were torn between Country Coach, Fleetwood Revolution, a new Winnebago, or the Monaco Camelot as our next coach and chose the latter for its chassis and floorplan (42KFQ).

My lessons learned, what I'm looking for in my next rig:
  • Moisture and smoke are the show-stoppers. Can you sense either? Walk away.
  • Space with the slides in is more important than with the slides extended.
  • DOT dates on tires are important.
  • Low mileage is not your friend. This isn't a car. Disuse will cost you.
  • Extended service plans are not a good value, generally.
  • Look for signs the MH has been lived in. That is a bad thing.
  • Operate every switch, system, before buying.
  • Outdoor storage is bad. Covered storage is fair. Indoor is best.
  • Filter replacement, annual oil changes, fresh belts & hoses say volumes about everything else.

Good luck!!
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:51 AM   #10
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Welcome to the club!
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Old 11-18-2011, 08:16 AM   #11
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I'll add my nickel's worth once more then go away. RVNeophytes2 raises some very good points, and I'll add one more. Large coaches, and even smaller RVs, have complex systems, and any RV should have a log that details problem issues and their fixes, systems repaired and how, oil changes and lube records, system and/or chassis modifications, etc. Ask for maintenance records for any used coach before you buy, and take it for at least one long drive over all types of roads, not just smooth ones, and at various speeds. If there is no log with the coach have it inspected end to end by someone other than the dealer. Like a boat, there should be a pre-buy "survey" performed by a qualified person. I got stuck with a huge repair cost to replace several front end components, even after I had the front end inspected by a recommended "front end and suspension specialist" - a local alignment and suspension company that specializes in buses and semis. They missed the worn king pins, and king pins are not cheap to replace. Apparently, the king pins had not been properly lubed for a long time before the coach hit the dealer's lot. For me, a very expensive lesson learned!
'99 Diplomat 38A- "High Plains Drifter"
'02 Wrangler Tender
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Old 11-18-2011, 08:24 AM   #12
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Paul, Welcome to the forum and terra firma...
John, Deb; & our dog, Benji, Forever in our hearts.
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:28 AM   #13
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We are trying to get a handle on the cost of staying in a campground for a 40 ft motorhome with a toad. I guess the camp site is a pull through. What would be a normal/average price for a nice place ? and than a very nice place ? weekly/monthly?
Also does anyone have a list of expenses nonmally associated with fulltime rving ?
Thanks for the responses to date. This site is loaded with information I will need. Thanks again !
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Old 11-20-2011, 11:01 AM   #14
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Cruised a 47' Sabreline for 6 yrs out of San Diego and made the transition to MH's 2 yrs ago......Loving it.....

We decided to go small/cheap to see what we liked/disliked then after 1-3 yrs buy what we want...We bought a used 30' 06 Gulfstream Class A gas MH 2 yrs ago and now know what we want/need....It has done what we wanted....We are not going fulltime but will upgrade in the next year or so..

The current MH is OK but it is entry level and we understand that....We will move into one that:
1. bigger fresh water and holding tanks
2. diesel, biggest engine I can find in the model we are considering
3. large inverter with batt bank to match (the boat was great on the hook for days at a time w/o running gennie)
4. quality builder....still in business is not an issue to me, most all that goes wrong in a MH, the mfg is still around
5. I will NEVER buy a MH again w/o a detailed electrical/water/etc schematic. Gulfstream considers these "proprietary" which is BS....
6. side opening storage bays
7. single bath, preferably rear closet
8. dedicated desk
9. TV located where you can watch it w/o ending up with a bent neck...I have no idea why people put up with watching TV at a 90 degree angle

Steve and Liz
Fallbrook, Ca

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