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Old 12-12-2018, 06:36 AM   #1
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Older DP as a starter unit - am I crazy?

There’s an 06 Winnie Journey DP (36G) near me for sale ($68k obo). Meticulously cared for by ASE mechanic, looks like a real gem for someone but...Is that someone me (us)?

Retired couple, mid 50s, and dog want to try RVing mostly to see the US a few weeks at a time and see where it goes from there. Feel like we’d go somewhere, let’s say NM, move a time or two, head home, stopping along the way.

I have a very avg mechanical ability, however, and worry (borderline scared) that a class A, a diesel (or maybe even a travel trailer) might be too much of a reach. Maybe start with a 5er? Head is spinning while wife waits for it to stop and I decide.

Anyone been there? Any advice?
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Old 12-12-2018, 06:44 AM   #2
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If your thinking about a class A now. Go ahead and buy one. Save yourself the Rv shuffle, it’s expensive.

The coach your looking at is likely to have less bugs than a brand new if the history of it and it’s owner is accurate.
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Old 12-12-2018, 06:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kone View Post
There’s an 06 Winnie Journey DP (36G) near me for sale ($68k obo). Meticulously cared for by ASE mechanic, looks like a real gem for someone but...Is that someone me (us)?

Retired couple, mid 50s, and dog want to try RVing mostly to see the US a few weeks at a time and see where it goes from there. Feel like we’d go somewhere, let’s say NM, move a time or two, head home, stopping along the way.

I have a very avg mechanical ability, however, and worry (borderline scared) that a class A, a diesel (or maybe even a travel trailer) might be too much of a reach. Maybe start with a 5er? Head is spinning while wife waits for it to stop and I decide.

Anyone been there? Any advice?
While your head is spinning, evaluate the maintenance cost of a DP ,which can average 3000 a year if you dont have to replace tires. AND if you DONT need repairs.
If that doesnt scare you, you can afford it.
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Old 12-12-2018, 07:10 AM   #4
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We started with a smallish trailer to learn if we liked the RV lifestyle. We loved it and were pretty happy with the trailer for camping in the FL state parks. Once we took the trailer on a longer trip up through western SC, we decided that we needed something more and bought a used 2018 gas class A. While we took a beating on the trailer, I am still glad we did it the way we did. We could have just as easily decided we didn't like RV'ing or been happy with the trailer for longer trips. The one thing I would change about what we did is that we should have bought a used trailer rather than a new one. That would have minimized the beating.

Also, the reason we went with the gas rather than diesel RV is that we could not afford a newer diesel and an older diesel scared us. While diesels are great, the cost to repair a chassis or drivetrain problem is generally much higher on a diesel than a gas RV. If you do decided to move forward on the diesel RV, I would strongly recommend getting a pre-purchase inspection. It could save you from a nasty surprise.

One last thought, how do you envision camping? Are you more interested in National and State parks or RV resorts. A shorter RV (definitely less than 35ft, 30ft or less is best for National parks) will serve you better in the parks while bigger RVs will work just fine in the RV resorts.
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Old 12-12-2018, 07:32 AM   #5
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While your head is spinning, evaluate the maintenance cost of a DP ,which can average 3000 a year if you dont have to replace tires. AND if you DONT need repairs.
If that doesnt scare you, you can afford it.
Something definitely to consider, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueridge-fl View Post
We started with a smallish trailer to learn if we liked the RV lifestyle. We loved it and were pretty happy with the trailer for camping in the FL state parks. Once we took the trailer on a longer trip up through western SC, we decided that we needed something more and bought a used 2018 gas class A. While we took a beating on the trailer, I am still glad we did it the way we did. We could have just as easily decided we didn't like RV'ing or been happy with the trailer for longer trips. The one thing I would change about what we did is that we should have bought a used trailer rather than a new one. That would have minimized the beating.

Also, the reason we went with the gas rather than diesel RV is that we could not afford a newer diesel and an older diesel scared us. While diesels are great, the cost to repair a chassis or drivetrain problem is generally much higher on a diesel than a gas RV. If you do decided to move forward on the diesel RV, I would strongly recommend getting a pre-purchase inspection. It could save you from a nasty surprise.

One last thought, how do you envision camping? Are you more interested in National and State parks or RV resorts. A shorter RV (definitely less than 35ft, 30ft or less is best for National parks) will serve you better in the parks while bigger RVs will work just fine in the RV resorts.
Good advice from someone who’s been there. Thanks. We would like to do parks and understand there are length limits to consider.

We’ve owned boats for many years. I wanted to start small, learn and experience, then move up. We did that four times; 17’er, 18’, 21’, and finally stopping at 23’. My wife, the treasurer, hated that approach because of all the $ lost and really wants to avoid this scenario again, as much as possible.
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Old 12-12-2018, 07:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerdutch View Post
While your head is spinning, evaluate the maintenance cost of a DP ,which can average 3000 a year if you dont have to replace tires. AND if you DONT need repairs.
If that doesnt scare you, you can afford it.
Your estimate of $3000 a year is a tad high. Over three years, our average is less than $800 for materials doing the work myself. It'd probably be double that if I took it to somewhere like Speedco to do the maintenance. Yeah, that's considerably higher than maintenance on a gas unit, but it's not prohibitive. Now, if you have a repair, then the sky is the limit!
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Old 12-12-2018, 08:08 AM   #7
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Your estimate of $3000 a year is a tad high. Over three years, our average is less than $800 for materials doing the work myself. It'd probably be double that if I took it to somewhere like Speedco to do the maintenance. Yeah, that's considerably higher than maintenance on a gas unit, but it's not prohibitive. Now, if you have a repair, then the sky is the limit!
Agreed. I average around $1200 - $1500 per year having all chassis work done at Freightliner in Gaffney. Had almost $3,000 one year, but that was changing all fluids, belts, etc. on a new to me dp to set a baseline to go from so I would know that everything was up to date plus some extras.

Considering the Winnie, I would probably go for it, but that's just me. If you don't like it, you can always sell it later without a huge loss.
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Old 12-12-2018, 08:21 AM   #8
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Considering the Winnie, I would probably go for it, but that's just me. If you don't like it, you can always sell it later without a huge loss.
That’s an important consideration, especially starting out where there’s a better than even chance we won’t stick. I’d expect, and am ok, losing $ but the less the better (duh).
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Old 12-12-2018, 08:31 AM   #9
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Some folks like to just scare you into their point of view. We've had our 02 Journey for many years and have never spent that much on maintenance in a year.

That year Journey might have one of those Cat engines and the one we have has been excellent. Also you won't have to worry about DEF.

Just get a Good Sam or some other extended warranty policy in case of catastrophic loss. We have one.
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Old 12-12-2018, 08:45 AM   #10
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Some practical questions that would apply to any coach:
Do you like the floor plan? Does your wife?
Is the bathroom large enough? Shower?
Does your wife like the kitchen?
What about the location of the TV? Are you able to look straight on to the TV or look sideways? We wanted to be able to look straight at the TV. (As it turned out we don’t watch TV as much as expected.)
What is the age of the tires? The tires “age out” long before they show wear. If they need to be replaced, negotiate that as part of purchase price.
We spent almost two years researching RV’s before purchase. We needed to purchase our third RV first. We are delighted with our choice.
All the best in your purchase.
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Old 12-12-2018, 08:55 AM   #11
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Personally I think it's a good idea especially if you get the maintenance and servicing records. Winnebago makes a good product and their factory support is great. With any RV the owner needs to be handy and savvy. As stated a new set of tires is expensive but easy to determine if they have aged out. If the basic plan will fit your lifestyle go for it. Since you are new apparently to the lifestyle you really don't know what you need or can live with. Also don't know what you don't know. Time and experience fixes that and if you have $60K invested in something that doesn't work that's a whole lot better than buying something new that will depreciate more than that by just driving off the lot.
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Old 12-12-2018, 09:11 AM   #12
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One additional consideration is registration and insurance cost. In Michigan, the registration is based on the original MSRP of the base vehicle. Which, for an older Class A can be very high. This costs more than the annual maintenance for me.
There is a huge difference in cost if you DIY your own maintenance. If not you, find a talented friend to trade favors with. Even if he/she sits in an arm chair with a beer guiding your hands onward.
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Old 12-12-2018, 09:13 AM   #13
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I agree. Buying used is a great way to jump in without selling the farm. Just do your homewaork and due dilligence. We went through this a few years ago. We bought a used DP and after 4 years, don't forsee ever upgrading to a new RV. Just be prepared to either DIY the maintenence or be able to pay someone else to do it for you. You can learn all that you need to learn from other owners with the same equipment on these forums. And as stated, there is no denying that a DP cost more. Maintenence, registration, and insurance is all higher.
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Old 12-12-2018, 09:14 AM   #14
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I like the older coaches - especially the ones with engines built before all the emissions junk was added (which seems to be the the majority of the problems and expense on the newer diesels).

If you have any mechanical inclination, the older coaches are easier to work on and troubleshoot electrical issues, because they don't use the multiplex boards (electronic switching circuity), so troubleshooting a problem can mostly be done with a just test light and wiring diagram.
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