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Old 08-24-2013, 11:49 AM   #1
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Question Newbie to Class A's

My wife and I are about to move up to a class A. We started with a slide-in, then a travel trailer. We travel w/dogs and like to go off the beaten path occasionally. Having used an F-350 diesel for both prior camping styles, we have decided on a class A diesel pusher in the 32-34ft. range to allow access to smaller campgrounds.
My question is, is there a list of questions posted somewhere to ask a dealer when shopping for a motorhome. Where do I start?
Cummins or Cat
Freightliner or ?
Air ride
Air brakes
So on and so forth
thank you.

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Old 08-24-2013, 12:03 PM   #2
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Hi kurtdnellson,

Three things will determine your future with a coach:

1. floor plan - Yes you can determine a floor plan that is right for you. The wife will, most likely, take the lead on this item. Look at the coach in 3 configurations:
1a. travel - slides closed, will the coach be okay in this position. Can you get to what you need without opening a slide or crawling over furniture?
1b. entertaining - slides open, will the coach be okay for any entertaining you do? Is the seating good for conversation, game playing, etc.?
1c. sleeping - slides open, can all beds be used at the same time?

2. Will the coach carry all your stuff and you? (GVWR, CCC or NCC)

3. Will the coach tow what you want to tow? (GCWR and hitch rating)
Have the coach inspected by a:
certified RVIA technician - for the coach
certified (by the manufacturer) for the chassis
certified (by the manufacturer for the engine/transmission)

As to the engine, chassis, suspension, etc, etc, etc one can over analyze the purchase. This will result in paralysis and the decision will be made more difficult.
There are many adventures waiting for you.

2005 Newmar KSDP 3910 + GMC ENVOY XUV 37K lbs Moving Down The Road
The Avatar Is Many Times Around The USA
Nobody Knows Your Coach Like Somebody Who Owns One Just Like Yours
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:12 PM   #3
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A search of motorhomes for sale in your price range on ebay might help you get an idea of what you can get for the money and also gives you some good national price discovery info that will be helpful when you are negotiating a price
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:19 PM   #4
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

Although there are some available, I'm not sure you'll find a really wide selection available in that size so I would start doing searches on ebay, craigslist, PPL, etc... just to get a feeling for what is out there. Then you can begin to understand what options are to be considered.

Best of luck.

Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

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Old 08-24-2013, 02:38 PM   #5
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There are two words I would give to you ***Be Careful***

I hate to be negative and I don't know what year you want to buy in at but my wife and I bought a 1999 Winnebago a year ago and just keep putting money into it. We were trying to get something that would drive to AZ so we could stay the winter. We live in central IL. Well we bought this rig because it was a good deal and my friend had a 1995 Winnebago somewhat like it and he drives to AZ. Well we bought one from a dealer in IL. They said they did a Leak test and other tests to confirm everything was alright. Not so, we had leaks at every faucet and had to replace the toilet base and flush valves. We have also had to replace the awning and all the tires because they had cracks. The water heater also had a leak. Several things don't work such as the wipers (didn't know that until it rained on the way to AZ). The winterizing system does not work properly as well as the co2 detector is out. We have spent north of $6000 on the rig after purchase. Needless to say I will never buy from that dealer again. And I don't think I have listed all the problems. Oh ya they only had one battery in the coach and it takes 2-3. The furnace bangs each time when it shuts down. I could understand some repairs but not that much. And the roof leaks.

By the way I have been talking a lot with that friend that has a 1995 and come to find out he is breaking a lot of things.

Well, I've learned a lot about diesel pushers and somewhat know what to look for. I would try my very best to get two or three others that have owned Class A's for a time (2-5 years) to look at any used ones.

But my findings are this. To buy in (diesel) to a 95-2000 you need $30,000 to $40,000 to buy a 2004-2006 you need $60,000 to $80,000 and to buy 2009-2011 you will need $100,000 to $135,000 or more and you probably know the price of new ones. If I had to do it again I would try to spend more money(although I didn't have it) I spent about $33,000 on the rig and now have added another $6000 so far, hopefully I won't be more. It seems to me it's all about money and how much you have to spend. They are expensive

I think it is easier to fix a pickup than a diesel pusher but it would have cost me more yet.
Dave in Illinois
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Old 08-24-2013, 02:53 PM   #6
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One more thing..............I believe you would do better hunting for a 36-37 footer. They are more plentiful.

If you use www.searchtempest.com or www.adhuntr.com

with Search tempest you can set the distance you want to drive to look at a rig and adhunter will get you all of craigslist.

Dave in Illinois
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Old 08-24-2013, 03:19 PM   #7
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I've owned 4 coaches, each around the same year range. Late '70's to mid 80's. Being a newbie when I bought my first 78 Four Winds class C in '96, I had no idea of the extensive work it needed, but I spent uncounted hours with that thing, tinkering, fixing ,upgrading etc. That coach taught me a lot about motorhomes along with the various literature I used to get a better understanding of them. I never took a trip in that coach because I fell in love with an '83 Establishment. I had 2 motorhomes at my house and my neighbors called me "RV MAN." I sold the 4 Winds to my older brother and continued to perfect the Establishment by adding a generator and a plethora of other items. I traded it for a '85 P Chassis Itasca Windcruiser, which needed much TLC but after a paint job, new fridge, awning, adding an extra set of house batteries for more power, troubleshooting a generator problem, tearing out and re-doing the interior and adding Doug Thorley Headers, it was a sweet coach that I was forced to downsize back to a Lazy Daze when I had personal issues in my life.

The Lazy Daze was also a project coach, which came out great, with which when I sold it to my nephew, because he, his wife and three year old were driving a beat up Toyota Dolphin and didn't feel they were safe. I'm in between coaches now, but have enough experience to know what to look for.

No motorhome out there is perfect because they are temperamental, complex machines which require a great deal of attention. The key to getting a lot out of the life style, is to school yourself on them so that you can cope with problems on the road. When a water pipe bursts, or gets damaged when one of your inside duals blow, it's good to have the knowledge to remedy that situation so that it does not ruin your trip.

Knowing about them and what to do has no effect on enjoying the lifestyle. It would be in your best interest as a newbie to learn as much about them as you can before you buy one and be willing to learn even more when you do!

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Old 08-24-2013, 03:47 PM   #8
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We bought our first diesel pusher last Jan. put about 4000 mi on it so far. it's a 2000, Freightliner,Spartan would have been OK, Just seem to be more Freightliners out there. Looking for price, layout & condition was first, Side radiator was 2nd. Being my 1st big diesel, there are still a few things I'm not sure what they are,but no major problems so far, I hope this isn't tempting fate.
2000 DSDP, 3894,Freightliner,330 Cat, 07 Jeep Commander 4x4toad.
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Old 08-24-2013, 03:50 PM   #9
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On used MHs, you sort of get what you pay for! If you pay $30K for a DP you will get something that needs work. I would never purchase an older MH without having an independent mechanic inspect it thoroughly. Never take a dealer's word for these things because, as has been mentioned in the last couple of posts, you WILL have to spend money to get it in usable condition.

Generally tires last 7 or 8 years, no matter the miles on them. What kind of maintenance has been done over the years? Is the maintenance documented well? "Caveat Emptor"!
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Old 08-24-2013, 03:59 PM   #10
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Try to buy a high end quality built MH as much as your budget will allow.
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Old 08-24-2013, 04:06 PM   #11
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Welcome to the forums... I wouldn't get too excited about Ripperfarms post... I believe he summarized his dilemma with his statement "I would never buy from that dealer again"!

Lets look at your pending decision from a couple of different angles...
First the coach... what features do you want? Do you understand what an Oasis or Hydrohot system are and the benefits they provide? Do you understand the various slide configurations, slide mechanisms and associated reliability? Do you know what RV manufacturers are considered more reliable vice the lesser reliable manufacturers? When looking at a used coach, do you know the "things" that should be looked at closely, the battery life issues, tire life issues, ETC? This is my succinct method of saying you want to do a great deal of RESEARCH! And when doing your research VISIT dealerships, not just those that you are considering but high end coaches also (not for bling) but rather to understand "what is available". Coach size... personally GO LARGE!!

Now the MOST IMPORTANT POINT: The DEALESHIP!!!!!!!! A dealership without honesty and integrity I wouldn't go near! And remember, the dealer does not necessarily have to be in your backyard... you are purchasing an RV. As an example, let me describe the delivery of our current coach, a "used" Newmar. We spent Friday with the delivery Tech going through the unit starting in the cockpit. He explained and we discussed every switch, button, light and indicator in the Coach... this went from 9 AM to 6 PM! While we finalized the paperwork the staff moved the Coach down to their acceptance spaces with full hookups. When we arrived, everything was set up and operating. We were given the delivery techs private cell number and instructed to "play with everything!" If we hit something that we couldn't figure out, call the tech and he would walk us through it. Thus we spent a 3 day holiday weekend becoming familiar with our new Coach. On Tuesday morning, the door bell rang and it was our delivery tech, he wanted to know how it went and what issues we found. I provided him the list and we discussed each issue. We turned the keys back to the tech and we packed the car and drove home. A week later we received a call that our unit was ready for pick-up. Upon arrival our delivery tech met us and walked us through every issue and what was done to repair or resolve the issue. Prior to our departure we were given the warranty paper work, the techs cell number with the instructions that if anything comes up, call him!

So prior to jumping in, spend time looking at and learning the various systems/features that will be on your "must have" list. AT the same time be looking at dealerships, their reputations and how they treat their customers.

Just two centavos...
Ken & Anita
2011 Newmar Essex, 45'- 4522, Cummins 500 ISM, 2013 CRV, RVI2 Brake with TPMS
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Old 08-24-2013, 04:15 PM   #12
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not sure you price range but if you want new look at Thor palazzo " 3 floor plans @ 34.5 feet "" 33.1 33.2 33.3 " or fleetwood excursion " 2 floor plans@ around 34 feet " 33 A and 33 d .

good luck you will get a lot of input

Mike , Fre & daughter Kimberly , 2 dog's name Marly & Zorra , 2014 Palazzo 33.3 , Jetta TDI & Acme tow dolly ,Goodsams, Koa , Still learning
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Old 08-24-2013, 04:32 PM   #13
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Hi Ken,

We are newbies, as well. Can I ask the name of the dealer you purchased from?
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Old 08-24-2013, 05:24 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Bitterroot42 View Post
Hi Ken,

We are newbies, as well. Can I ask the name of the dealer you purchased from?
Coachlight RV, Carthage, Missouri Their Website:

Coachlight RV | Carthage Missouri RV Dealer

Ken & Anita
2011 Newmar Essex, 45'- 4522, Cummins 500 ISM, 2013 CRV, RVI2 Brake with TPMS
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