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Old 07-18-2016, 07:42 PM   #1
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Question Newbie buying questions

Greetings All:

We are not new to camping but are new to motorized units. Several years ago when the children were smaller we had a 30' bunkhouse trailer we pulled around the Southeast and Mid Atlantic. Fast forward to today.....both kids are in college and we are looking at purchasing a small class A. The trailer is long gone but the fond memories of camping make us want to get back into it again.....this time in a MH. There will be four of us. Two humans - the wife and I - a 60lb dog and a cat. We both still work as we have college tuition to pay. This means our camping trips will be limited to 2 - 3 weeks per year and several weekend runs. We have been looking around the web for information but there seems to be a lot. I thought I would come here and see what you folks had to offer in the line of advice. Our budget is modest, again two kids in college plus a house note and regular bills.

Here is what we would like to have:

- walk around queen or king bed
- enough power to tow a small car or Jeep Wrangler
- auto levelling system
- gas or diesel? With our modest budget I am sure a gasser is where we will land
- this won't be our "final" MH but rather a starter we hope to keep for a few years and trade up from. WHat manufactures are solid in construction and workmanship.

One question I'm not sure you all can answer but here goes.......over July 4th we went to Fort Myers Florida. On the way there we passed North Trail RV plus two other dealers within a mile of each other. There must have been hundreds of Class A's, B's and C's on the lots. Do all these units sell each year? If not, do they just change the model year to the current year and sell it as a current model? I can believe all those units sell......many of those units were more costly than a house.

We are just starting our due diligence for the purchase of a motorized unit. Any information you all could provide on brands, models, what is good to look for, what to stay away from or articles / website to the same effect would be greatly appreciated.

TIA for you responses.
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Old 07-18-2016, 07:57 PM   #2
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I think you are on the right track. We had 6 kids adn I remember how tight things can get. We started out in a small gasser and have just ordered our third (large diesel). That said go for a nice simple coach to operate til you understand all the various systems. It's like owning a house. There are a lot of deals out there, and you can control your budget by the age and amenities. When our kids were buying houses they all fell in love with the first or second house, but we warned them you have to look at a minimum of thirty before you start to understand the difference in features, price and quality. you really have to look close. There are older coaches that are well maintained and that are good deals and newer coaches that you will discover aren't worth taking home due to quality, not care. Just look and learn.
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Old 07-18-2016, 08:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjm522 View Post
Greetings All:

We are not new to camping but are new to motorized units. Several years ago when the children were smaller we had a 30' bunkhouse trailer we pulled around the Southeast and Mid Atlantic. Fast forward to today.....both kids are in college and we are looking at purchasing a small class A. The trailer is long gone but the fond memories of camping make us want to get back into it again.....this time in a MH. There will be four of us. Two humans - the wife and I - a 60lb dog and a cat. We both still work as we have college tuition to pay. This means our camping trips will be limited to 2 - 3 weeks per year and several weekend runs. We have been looking around the web for information but there seems to be a lot. I thought I would come here and see what you folks had to offer in the line of advice. Our budget is modest, again two kids in college plus a house note and regular bills.

Here is what we would like to have:

- walk around queen or king bed
- enough power to tow a small car or Jeep Wrangler
- auto levelling system
- gas or diesel? With our modest budget I am sure a gasser is where we will land
- this won't be our "final" MH but rather a starter we hope to keep for a few years and trade up from. WHat manufactures are solid in construction and workmanship.

One question I'm not sure you all can answer but here goes.......over July 4th we went to Fort Myers Florida. On the way there we passed North Trail RV plus two other dealers within a mile of each other. There must have been hundreds of Class A's, B's and C's on the lots. Do all these units sell each year? If not, do they just change the model year to the current year and sell it as a current model? I can believe all those units sell......many of those units were more costly than a house.

We are just starting our due diligence for the purchase of a motorized unit. Any information you all could provide on brands, models, what is good to look for, what to stay away from or articles / website to the same effect would be greatly appreciated.

TIA for you responses.
Welcome to the forum.

You will really need a floor plan that works for you. I don't know exactly what your budget is or if you're set on a new unit, but you might want to consider a used unit. Usually, not always, the diesel pushers are a little better fit and finish and will last a long time. Those usually start in the mid 30' plus size range and go up from there.

good luck.
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Old 07-18-2016, 09:36 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum! Lots of good info out there, and also lots of opinions, like the diesel vrs gas you brought up. Lots of answers, and lots of good input, but no wrong answers! Depends on the buyer and his/her needs and desires.

There are also lots of used rigs out there. To answer one of your questions, no, the dealers cannot just re-designate the model year, that is in the original MSO or Manufacturers Statement of Origin placed on the coach by the factory. That being said, the coach receives the MSO by the factory AFTER the coach is built onto the chassis. Chassis may come from Freightliner or Spartan if diesel (some other companies make their diesel chassis from scratch, but the majority are either FL or SP).

If looking at a newer gasser, the only choice is a Ford Chassis. Chassis may be a year or two older build than the actual date on the MSO.

If a used one, depending on year GM made different chassis using the Workhorse engine, but stopped I believe around 2007, but others can point you to the exact date.

Whatever you purchase, if used especially, regardless of whom you purchase from, private party or Dealership, GET THE COACH INSPECTED, NOT by the Stealership either. Have BOTH a chassis inspection, AND a coach inspection, probably two different inspectors. Will cost from $150 and UP for each inspection, probably in the $350 to $700 range for the Coach inspection from a reputable inspector. Have the purchase contract contingent upon satisfactory completion of BOTH inspections. If the sellers balk, walk away, there are other coaches out there!

New OR used, pay particular attention to date codes on tires. Also figure in replacement cost of all batteries if not being actively and regularly used. Figure $2,500 to $3,500 for tires, $600 to $1,000 for batteries if equipped with two chassis and 4 or more Coach batteries.

Good luck in your search, we upgraded from a travel trailer to our current coach and couldn't be happier, immaculate condition, brand new tires, paint job, one owner, meticulous maint. records, and LOTS of extras, for under 50K. They're out there, just gotta look.
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Old 07-19-2016, 06:43 PM   #5
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One thing I forgot to mention in the original post.....we are only looking at used coaches at this time. Our budget will not permit a new coach.

Thanks for the replies so far, the info is great.
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Old 07-30-2016, 10:16 AM   #6
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Lots of good information here. I have a couple things to add for consideration.
We have a 35' Class A diesel that we bought "gently used", only 10 months old. We looked a many but I wanted diesel for the power and air ride qualities. Gas vs diesel will be your first decision as people make good choices either way.

Buy something you can afford to own. There will always be repairs that will come along whether you buy new or used so don't go into the poor house on the initial purchase price. Also consider an extended warranty. I (almost) never buy these but I did with the MH and it has paid for itself.

The dealer will also be important. Since you spend time in FL I recommend that you check out Lazydays near Tampa. They are the largest dealer in the country and have the widest selection of used coaches. A visit or two there may help you narrow down your search. They are not high pressure and have taken care of us well. We visited one of the dealers you mentioned in your original post and were completely unimpressed with them. They barely gave us the time of day so we got out of there.

Good luck in your search.
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