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Old 08-09-2013, 04:31 PM   #1
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Newbies need help!

We have finally decided to take the plunge and get a Class A. Our plan was to go to Hershey next month and look for "deals". We have to keep costs under 100 grand and actually 80,000 would be more to our liking so we figured we'd look at the newer entry level buses. But now a deal has presented itself to us and we're wondering if we'd be crazy to pass it by. It's a 2006 National Tropical 391 LX in seemingly perfect shape, 34,000 miles, 4 new batteries, 2 year old tires, king dome, 2 yr
Old washer dryer combo , garage kept, all records available....asking $83,500. Is this a good deal....should I worry about National being out of business? Plus I've never even ridden in a bus! We plan on inspections, etc. What do yall think? I always wanted a diesel and this may be my chance but are there bettrt bargains out there? Thanks so much for any advice!!!

2004 Alpine FDTS 38ft.
400 ISL
Nokomis, Fl.
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:44 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 173
If it passes all the inspections and is within book averages for price you can save a lot of initial depreciation on a used RV. Have them take you for a ride, hire a person for the inspection and bargain with them for a better price. National wouldn't do much for warranty on a 2006 model it's 7 years old already. Extended warranty's are possible but again it's 7 years old. Motor and transmission are probably the things that are the most costly followed by slide out issues, and roof issues. Make sure someone checks out all of those areas.


ps, I have never owned a Class A, looked at a whole lot of them a few years ago. Drove 3 of them. Drive very nice, cannot even hear the engine unless a window is open.


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Old 08-09-2013, 05:04 PM   #3
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Location: Wellington, Florida
Posts: 12,533
Hi Kiddikop,
NADA says low retail is $88K. MSRP, when new was around $213K. Assuming the original purchaser paid 70% of MSRP ($149K). Only you can decide if the price is right. Three things sell a coach:
1. Floor plan (look at the coach in travel, sleeping and living mode).
2. Will the coach carry all your stuff and you (CCC or NCC)?
3. Will the coach tow what you want to tow (GCWR and hitch rating)?
3a. Does number 2 and 3 mean the engine to weight ratio is more than 1 HP per 100 lbs?

You are about to purchase a truck. Weight is important.
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 08-09-2013, 05:07 PM   #4
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I have a 11 year old National, and I can tell you that there is NOTHING on this coach that cannot be serviced or replaced. Body panels would be the only thing that was proprietary to National on my coach, and even those can be bought from a company that bought the molds when National folded.

As lappir said, due diligence for ANY coach you are considering will include inspections and records, but there is absolutely no reason to hesitate based on National being out of business. Good luck, and keep us posted!
2002 National Dolphin LX 6356
Workhorse W-22 chassis
Don't believe everything you think.
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:48 PM   #5
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All the description and your planned inspections sound good. National built some very good motor homes.

But..... if you do not have a point of comparison for floorplan, storage capacity for your stuff, handling, and condition you would be making a leap of faith since the pricing appears fair but not extraordinary.

Get to a dealer. Do a test drive(s) of a similar category rig. Imagine where all your stuff goes. Where will everyone sleep. When will they have to retire so the others can sleep in their position. Will the cook be happy with the galley set up?

Above all have fun....
1995 CC Magna #5280
C8.3L 300hp Cummins, 31,000lbs
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:50 PM   #6
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You will be hard pressed to find an unhappy National owner.
Their build quality was excellent.
That said, the most important thing in any coach is FLOOR PLAN.

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