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Old 05-06-2013, 11:55 AM   #15
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Here is a link giving the DL requirements for all the states. If you maintain your legal residence and keep your DL and vehicle registration in Alabama. Then your standard DL is ok for a motorhome regardless of weight. The DL requirements of your state of residence are accepted in all other states.

RV Driver's License Requirements

It's interesting that you listed "diesel" as a decision you have already made and immediately posters started trying to talk you out of it.
Like Steve, I am scratching my head as well over all the posters trying to talk you out of a DP? We bought a great used DP for $58,000 and put another $6000 in it for new cabinets, flat screens, slide awnings and misc. items. If my math is right that leaves me another $36,000 in cash to play with. We also looked at all the new gassers between the $90-100,000 price and personally we made the right decision to go with a used DP. I know....different strokes for different folks. I just thought you would be interested in another point of view from someone who was in your shoes last year.
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Old 05-06-2013, 01:05 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by csrrsr View Post
Like Steve, I am scratching my head as well over all the posters trying to talk you out of a DP? We bought a great used DP for $58,000 and put another $6000 in it for new cabinets, flat screens, slide awnings and misc. items. If my math is right that leaves me another $36,000 in cash to play with. We also looked at all the new gassers between the $90-100,000 price and personally we made the right decision to go with a used DP. I know....different strokes for different folks. I just thought you would be interested in another point of view from someone who was in your shoes last year.
Hi All..
I am with Steve and HUnter..
I currently have a 97 American Eagle that I am upgrading to an 04 Travel Supreme later this week.. I will be selling my when I get home from South Carolina from picking up my new coach..
I wouldn't really consider anything but a Diesel Pusher.. Why? Power, Ride handling and things like durability.. The chassis are MUCH heavier.. Components (Driveline) are heavier.
There is a reason that the NADA Price guides don't even consider mileage on diesel coaches.. These are engines that are rated in many hundreds of thousands of miles..
Yes, it does require a heavy duty shop to do much in the way of any major work on the diesel coach.. But lets see.. In 30 plus thousands of miles I really haven't needed any driveline work on my eagle.. We just got through with over a 3000 mile trip on our snow-bird adventure pulling my pontoon boat through Arizona and not a moments trouble!
Just keep the filters and lubricants changed and drive on.. I do..
Ron Husak
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:32 PM   #17
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Hi,
Gas or Diesel, you will get many posts about each. What it all boils down to is what has the features you want and what you feel comfortable with. My recommendation.....drive both then decide. Now the commercial.....I bought a gas class A 10 years ago, Ford F53 chasis with a Triton V10, 35 footer and flat towed a Ford escape. No problems or issues, just traded it for a '13 class A gasser Ford F53, V10, 37 foot with three slides...got everything we wanted more storage better floor plan and modern appliances. Most important...what we wanted feature wise, separate dining, and living with table and chair detached dining. Coachmen Encounter 37TZ. Gazed tile floors, real solid wood cabinets, electric fireplace in livingroom, LED lighting, 50 Amp chasis.
Hope this helps.
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Old 05-06-2013, 05:16 PM   #18
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I'm really not trying to talk you out of a diesel pusher, jMacrvn. I'll continue to get beat up here so I won't post further but I'll try to explain once again where I'm coming from.

Like I said, both the DW and I insist on having a diesel pusher as we both are behind the wheel an equal amount of time. But we are on the move more than we are stationary.

It just sounded to us that you will be stationary more than you'll be on the go. Because of that, we just assumed that you'd prefer to be more comfortable while living in the motorhome rather than when driving it. Because you are getting more bang for you buck overall pertaining to the "house" features in a gas unit, we just thought we'd throw out the suggestion that you consider a gas unit. Again, the extra cost of a diesel pusher is primarily going toward the chassis features.

We're not saying that you can't have both and you certainly can find a nice diesel pusher for around $100,000.

If you want a diesel for its torque and want that extra oomph going up mountain passes so you can pass trucks and such, sure, there's nothing wrong with that either.

But most women RVers (not all, of course) really don't care if the engine is diesel or gas as the majority that we've run into just want certain features in the "house" portion of the motorhome. Amanda wants both, of course, as she has driven diesel trucks and buses longer than I have and insists on a pusher. I'm okay with that.

There are front-engined diesel chassis Class A motorhomes that may give you a compromise if you just like diesels for the sake of having a diesel.

I apologize to you and to the membership for "trying to talk you out of a diesel" as that was NOT my intention but I'm sorry if everybody interpreted that way. I'll keep quiet from here on out but Amanda tells me if you'd like to DM her, feel free to do so. Again, best of luck with your decision.

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Old 05-06-2013, 06:17 PM   #19
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My story will probably not be of much use to you jMacrvn, but for it is worth; we bought our first MH March 5, 2013. It is used, but very little, 2002 Fleetwood, model 30H. It has only been lived in about one month and has just 10,000 miles on it. It has a Triton V10 motor on a Ford chassis. We anticipated cob-webs from long term storage, and sure enough! Replaced the dry rotted tires, had roof resealed and vents replaced, bought new coach batteries and overhauled the generator. We upgraded to a color backup system and bought an automatic satellite tv system for both front of coach and bedroom, plus DVD players in both. There are some other minor miscellaneous items we've added but won't mention.
The bottom line is that we paid $25K for the MH and have about $30K in it now after all the upgrades and repairs. It is in 'like new condition'. And. it serves our occasional needs perfectly.
Incidentally, my daughter-in-law is an RN and was a 'traveling nurse' back in the day.
Good luck...Hope you buy the exact fit for you!
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:34 PM   #20
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First off, Welcome to iRV2. Second welcome to the Travel Nurse RV World. My DW (Dear Wife) is a travel nurse. She has been for 6+ years now.

She now has a 2013 Winnebago Journey 42' Diesel Pusher. She had a 2004 Coachman Gas 35'. Both were comfortable & both seem to serve their intended purpose. Besides the advantage of more space in the new MH there are some differences we have noticed from a gas Ford chassis to a diesel chassis. One of the big differences we notice is the stability of the diesel with its heavier chassis when parked. This is not only due to the bigger chassis but the fact that the chassis is on an air ride suspension that when parked for leveling & living in, it drops the air out of the suspension, unlike a gas unit that is still sitting on its springs & shocks that could be fully extended due to uneven terrain when trying to get the MH level using it jacking system. Also when setup for camping the gas unit always seems to have the steps further from the ground to a point where we made a platform to carry with us and put under the steps. We have been to 2 of the same parks that we were in & the same spot with both motor homes. The gas required the platform the diesel did not & in fact we could not put it under the steps because they were that much closer to the ground. The other thing my DW likes is the added space of having the door in the front at the passenger seat instead of in the middle between the kitchen & the living area.

To offer my opinion of which brand of MH to buy is very much up to the individual and what they feel comfortable with, within the floor plan. I can say that the 2004 Coachman we had did not have any major break downs in the 4+ years we had it, and the one problem we did have with the hot water heater my DW was able to talk to an rv dealer , buy the part & replace it herself. We had a water line come loose under the bathroom sink & the roof vent fan switch quit on us. Both of which could happen on a diesel or gas unit of any brand. Unfortunately Coachman is now under a different management which is Forest River. I do not know if their products are still as well built or not. I have run into several people with 2002-2004 Coachman Aurora's like we had & all were satisfied with their purchases. As for diesels I can recommend Winnebago products. They have been in business for many years, have a good supply of parts or where to get them if needed & they offer good customer relations with their help desk. My parents have had 3 Winnebagos in the past 15-20 years with no major break downs except their current one needed a new gas heater 2 years ago it is a 2002 Journey.

My DW said you may contact her thru a PM to me if you have any questions about RV living or travel nursing. She is a ED Nurse.
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:41 PM   #21
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Wow, what awesome information. When I began looking and researching diesel seemed to be the choice to make. With further research and considering my needs, plans, budget and valuable rounded information, I have been doing more research on gas MH. Honestly, it is a big decision as you all know. When it comes down to it if I go gas it will be with larger engine and transmission. If I go deisel , well it will have to be older with improvements to compare. I did not realize about the DL issue. Thanks! Most of my time for sure will be parked. Female as I am, LOL, yes amenities and storage are important. I don't know as of yet if I will tow. Currently a have a 2006 Toyota Avalon. Nice car, loan attached, but maybe to heavy to tow. Thought of selling, trading for a more appropriate tow or additional down on MH???? I need driving lessons for such cargo!! Confident yet reserved.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:55 PM   #22
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As mentioned, Lazy Days offers RV training on their betterrving.com web site. Here is the link to their 7 part RV Driver Confidence Course. RV Driver Confidence Course: Part 1 - Better RVing It is a good starting point for someone with little or no experience driving any size MH. The post I made earlier with a link to PPL Motorhomes is a good place to see what is available and floor plans in DP that you can get for under $100,000. Just as a reminder, ask for the maintenance records, and check the age of the tires.

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Old 05-07-2013, 07:26 AM   #23
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Whichever power source you finally decide upon, if you are not totally happy with the total layout inside, you will not be happy with the MH in a short while. Living in an RV full-time places demands on it that will rather quickly cause things to deteriorate-if it is not designed for full-time living. For that reason I would avoid any of the "entry-level" motorhomes and purchase a higher quality unit, even if it means one a few years older.
The Chevrolet 8.1 gas engine is very powerful and reliable, I have yet to read about it having problems. The Ford V10 engine has the same reputation. Maintenance will be less expensive for gas engine-powered MH's too.
We just bought a diesel-pusher, as we don't stay in one place for long. Were we to be parked for weeks at a time we would have bought a gas-powered MH.

One thing to look for in an RV is insulation values and dual-pane windows, you need both in both cold weather and hot weather.
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:46 AM   #24
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Regarding your Toyota as a towed vehicle. All class A motor homes can tow at least a 5000 lb vehicle. Gasser normally at 5000 & diesels at 10,000 & up. Your Toyota weighs 3245 lbs according to Edmonds.com specs. The big question is not the weight but if it can be towed on all 4 wheels or if you would need a tow dolly. But even with a tow dolly you will still fall in under 5000 lbs. Plus the tow dolly can be rented from U-Haul or purchased from a dealer/private owner (Craigs list, Ebay) most likely for less than the setup & installation of the flat tow setup.
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Old 05-07-2013, 05:36 PM   #25
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Lots of good advice in this thread. I agree on checking tire and battery dates. These are now large expenses.

To help you make up your mind between gas and diesel, drive a Ford V-10 gas engine class A motor home up a substantial grade in the summer with the AC on. The engine sounds like it’s working extremely hard and the noise is deafening. Then drive a diesel class A up the same grade. The engine is in the rear and is not working nearly as hard. You can carry on a normal conversation. Then add in the advantage of riding on air suspension with added stability.

I agree on Aqua Hot heating if you live in a cold climate.
Also, do not be fooled by diesel horsepower ratings. Ask what the engine torque rating is (more is better).

Right now, I would recommend looking at used Monaco Dynasty’s. There are lots of them for sale and they can be a very good purchase. Be careful, prices are all over the place. Do a search on RV Trader, RVT.com, and this web site. Learn to sort them by price so the best deals stand out.

Take your time and look at every motorhome you can find. You will learn something from each one. Do not limit your search to local, but search nationwide. It’s well worth an airline ticket to save $10-20,000.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:37 AM   #26
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Regarding your Toyota as a towed vehicle. All class A motor homes can tow at least a 5000 lb vehicle. Gasser normally at 5000 & diesels at 10,000 & up. Your Toyota weighs 3245 lbs according to Edmonds.com specs. The big question is not the weight but if it can be towed on all 4 wheels or if you would need a tow dolly. But even with a tow dolly you will still fall in under 5000 lbs. Plus the tow dolly can be rented from U-Haul or purchased from a dealer/private owner (Craigs list, Ebay) most likely for less than the setup & installation of the flat tow setup.
That's not entirely accurate. How much weight a MH can tow depends on how much GCWR is remaining after the MH is loaded up with stuff you want to take along. Full-timers must carry everything with them or have a storage facility somewhere, so they tend to weigh more.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:41 AM   #27
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I'm really not trying to talk you out of a diesel pusher, jMacrvn. I'll continue to get beat up here so I won't post further but I'll try to explain once again where I'm coming from.

Like I said, both the DW and I insist on having a diesel pusher as we both are behind the wheel an equal amount of time. But we are on the move more than we are stationary.

It just sounded to us that you will be stationary more than you'll be on the go. Because of that, we just assumed that you'd prefer to be more comfortable while living in the motorhome rather than when driving it. Because you are getting more bang for you buck overall pertaining to the "house" features in a gas unit, we just thought we'd throw out the suggestion that you consider a gas unit. Again, the extra cost of a diesel pusher is primarily going toward the chassis features.

We're not saying that you can't have both and you certainly can find a nice diesel pusher for around $100,000.

If you want a diesel for its torque and want that extra oomph going up mountain passes so you can pass trucks and such, sure, there's nothing wrong with that either.

But most women RVers (not all, of course) really don't care if the engine is diesel or gas as the majority that we've run into just want certain features in the "house" portion of the motorhome. Amanda wants both, of course, as she has driven diesel trucks and buses longer than I have and insists on a pusher. I'm okay with that.

There are front-engined diesel chassis Class A motorhomes that may give you a compromise if you just like diesels for the sake of having a diesel.

I apologize to you and to the membership for "trying to talk you out of a diesel" as that was NOT my intention but I'm sorry if everybody interpreted that way. I'll keep quiet from here on out but Amanda tells me if you'd like to DM her, feel free to do so. Again, best of luck with your decision





-harry


Very well said Harry? I appreciate your input. Sometimes people read too much in a comment, thus misinterpreting the intended point. BTW I ave a diesel pusher 04 Eagle with 35,000 miles, resale is awesome. Just upgraded to a 2014 Entegra Anthem.
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:29 AM   #28
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Hello RVers,
I will be going full time as I will be working in various locations (state to state) as a travel nurse. With that said I will be in one location for at least 14 weeks at a time.
jMacrvn
Regardless of whether you choose diesel or gas you'll need to give very serious thought and research as to how you are going to keep this thing (and you & your dog) from freezing-up over the winter months or cooking during the summer.....and/or some very strategic planning about finding work in temperate climates. For example, we froze water lines in Tucson this past January and you can't get much further South than this on the West side...yet by Spring the temps were already soaring in Palm Springs & Phoenix! You'll need heated tanks, wet/storage bays, premium insulated walls & ceiling, double pane windows, heated water hose......efficient AC units, etc......what happens to your dog if the power goes out while you are at work ( winter or summer).......just something else to consider.
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