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Old 07-08-2015, 01:47 PM   #15
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A few thoughts from a new RV owner...........

Once we got to the 30'ish Class A decision point, based on our original budget, we were in what I consider the mid entry level with a Jayco Precept. But, something just kept nagging at us. Went to some local RV shows, and really nothing else clicked there either.

Decided to go back again to the dealers and look up to the higher level Gassers, and quickly knew that we needed to make a budget adjustment. First rule, don't look at something if you are not ready to spend that kind of money......

Once we decided that we really liked the "living room" style with a couch across from the TV, that we saw in the 31SA, it it really narrowed down our search quickly to the Tiffin 31sa and similar Bounder (interesting, we saw the Bounder at one of the shows and it never really hit us there, maybe just all the people crammed in them at the shows......). At that point, we said if we were going to break the budget, let's just spend the extra - extra for Tiffin vs. the Fleetwood for a various list of reasons.

Then started looking closely at what we could find used in Tiffins, even if it was not a 31sa, just to be prudent. We quickly realized that buying a 2013/2014 used Tiffin was going to be a game I was not going to play, and in reality, we would be compromising on what we really wanted.......

And, against the popular opinion, it was not really going to save us all that much money as a percentage of the total once everything is added up; taxes, tow equipment, trading in our GLK on a Jeep, upgrading to a Winegard Traveler, and all the other things was another $20k over the cost of the coach.

So we just decided to order exactly what we wanted, and are very happy with that decision. And by the way, the earth does not stop rotating if someone buys a new gasser (although the iRV2 website might hiccup ).
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Old 07-08-2015, 01:49 PM   #16
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We rented for many years as the kids grew up, Class C's mostly and a few Class A's. After renting so many times, we discovered what we wanted and what we did not want in a floorplan and/or features. We have been lookig at RVs for more than 3 years but wanted something in a Class A 30 ft or shorter. When Thor came out with the 25'6" AXIS/Vegas versions, we were exicted to see what they were all about. We settled on the 24.1 floorplan and thought we were going to get a 2015 but the 2016 AXIS 24.1 was available and we pounced on it!
It has just what we want/need and does not have what we don't need/want.
Best of luck to you on your search!
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Old 07-08-2015, 04:16 PM   #17
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I knew there was one other nuance I forgot to mention. Not that it played a part in our decision, but very happy about now, is that our slides do not have the heavy Fridge or any mechanicals / systems / water etc. in them other than basic electrical..... Just the bed in back, and couch / dinette in front. Takes a lot of potential headaches out of the ownership equation......
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Old 07-08-2015, 04:40 PM   #18
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Remember this as well, most new MHs can be purchased at at least 20-25% off asking price, so that may put you in a new gasser for around $65000 on under 34 ft. Which may be within $5000 of a used one, and under warranty. Check out some of the weekend shows and camping world. Narrow down what you can afford. It is a process. A lot of bargains out there, used and new.

Do your homework on the brand, you can google problems. Itasca, Fleetwood and winnebago make good middle quality. The important thing is what the model shape and milage it has. Good brakes, tires, make a checklist.
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Old 07-08-2015, 05:54 PM   #19
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Hey Adam;
Big list. You seem to know what you want. As mentioned floor plan is primary IMO. I think more folks will change because their unit is not what they want rather than for defects.

With you list in mind go visit numerous dealers. Ditch the salesmen and go sit in various units. As many as you can. Each will have parts that you think are very nice. Sit for a while in each one and pretend you are living in it. Oops - it is raining and you do not want to go outside. Will it be comfortable? Is their room for all of the family? Can they do stuff without interferring with someone else?

During each visit make a list of things that were good. Do you want all electric, washer dryer, half bath, residential fridge, comfortable chairs and couches?

In essence you will be making a list of must haves and nice to haves. Now start looking at brands.

Quality is like buying oats. If you want good clean fresh oats you must pay a fair price. However if you can be satisfied with oats that have gone through a horse that comes cheaper.

All units start out pretty much even. Generally they are all built on the same assembly line so the workmanship will be about the same. Where price comes in is in the size, quality of the appliances and quality of the materials. Units built with chipboard and vinyl surfaced will be cheaper and will last for a fair amount of time if taken care of and used gently. Same for units with real wood but they probably will last longer because of better material.

It seems like all of them, even the expensive ones, take some shortcuts. Folks have posted that some of the "higher end" manufacturers will use OSV rather than plywood in the floors etc. Confusing but that is what you get.

Be careful when folks are over enthusiastic about their unit. They may simply be very loyal to the brand they purchased and are trying to convince everyone they have purchased the best. As well I have observed that some folks are anal when it comes to each and every detail while others are more philosophical. Dont forget the unit will be driving down our roads at 60 mph - the equivalent of a 3.5 earthquake for hours at a time. Plus you will be running in and out with who knows what sport equipment so there will likely be nicks and scratches quite soon. Sort of like installing a new hardwood floor in the kitchen. How long before you drop a knife or something else to leave a dent?

After floor plan the next important item is the issue of customer support. Will/does the dealer and manufacturer stand behind the product? If you go through the forum there are horror stories about all of the manufacturers, as well as exceptional support stories for the same manufacturers.

So once you have determined your floor plan, manufacturer and dealer the next thing to do is buy your unit. Sooner rather than later as each day that goes by is a day that is lost to using and enjoying your unit.

Hope you find the perfect unit for you. Good luck.
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Old 07-08-2015, 11:24 PM   #20
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My husband and I have been doing a similar search as Adam, mostly on the internet. Thought we found the perfect fit for us: Avanti 3106. Love the floorplan; especially love the very comfortable furniture. Went to see it, thinking we would be bringing it home. Got there and hated the windows, of all things! They are small and chop up your line of sight. Don't allow much air flow. It was a warm day - mid 80's - but it felt like you were in a baker's kitchen inside. Since we don't want to be tied to AC all the time, we walked away sad.

I've decided the one thing we really will need for full timing is comfortable furniture. How can you tell what something will feel like? Are there special names for particular manufacturers, like we have with household furnishings?
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Old 07-09-2015, 03:00 AM   #21
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Once again, I appreciate all of the responses. We will go soon and start going inside some but I'm one of those people that I want a MH so bad that when I go see one I want to take it home.


Here are a few more details:
For the first 5 years we will be weekenders and 1-2 times a year 1-2 weeks at a time. We plan to travel through every state in the next 10 years. I retire in 5 years from LE and I just want to getaway and have a life. We live in Orlando, Florida and will keep our house while we travel and eventually sell it.


We want a auto/satellite dish that works while moving and one for stationary as I have already read there could be trees in our way in campgrounds and the dome on the roof cannot be moved. My wife is a huge movie buff and sci-fier so we need communications. I can work on things so making adjustments and fixing small things are no big deal.


We do not want a table and chairs. We want a dining booth - preferred u-shaped. We want to be able to watch TV while traveling down the road so those which have a slide that cover the TV when not extended are definitely out. We want the bathroom shower and toilet in separate areas. We want the shower to have doors and not just a curtain. We want a 2 door refrigerator (preferably residential style). She want one that has some kitchen counter space too. I see a lot that only have counter space when you have the sink covered. That won't work. We like having the couches. We want comfortable furniture. We would like one of the new induction cook tops over the gas. We don't want those slide switch stick up type lights inside either. I would prefer all recessed LED. A queen bed in the back is good but I want the room to have a slide out so the bed is sideways. We would like to have a washer and dryer. We are not really into the bunk bed but we do like the over head front bed that lets down from the ceiling over the front cabin. We have 5 grand kids but were thinking of using the couches and dinette more for them as they will not always be with us. I would like to have the side and rear exterior cameras. We plan on using a toad but not sure what light weight car we are going to get as fuel would kill us pulling our SUV behind the MH. I forgot to mention that 10 years ago we had a Coachman travel trailer. We absolutely loved it but it leaked in the front. We bought it new too.
I want auto electric leveling jacks.


I have rented a class 'c' from that big rental company cruise America and spent over $1,000.00 only to get a piece of junk. The door rattled so much and so loud it was hard to carry on a conversation inside the unit while moving. Once we got to Tennessee and it got cold, we turned on the heater and the inside of the unit developed so much moisture the sheets on the top bunk were drenched and water was going everywhere. I prefer to use that $1,000.00 toward a purchase and not a rental. Giant Recreation World is here in Winter Garden, Florida and they will put your rental toward your down payment (specific other terms) but the manager at that store called me and he was very rude and unprofessional (made me mad) so I think I will not buy anything from them even I had all the cash. Giant recreation World is mostly Coachman.


Independence RV is our Newmar dealer.


Lazydays RV is about 60 miles southwest down Interstate 4.


LaMesa RV is in Sanford, Florida about 45 miles northeast up Interstate 4.


Orlando RV is in downtown Orlando area and they mostly sell Thor and Jayco.


Camping World is in Kissimmee and Winter Garden, Florida.


Hopefully that gives you a little more information to help me.


Thanks.
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Old 07-09-2015, 10:23 AM   #22
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With your list it appears that you are now on the hunt for the one that DW likes the best. We found buying new enabled us to pick the options we wanted, customize things we did not like and select the colors we preferred.

Check with BBB and on various forums to see which dealer you prefer. We used Lichtsinn Motors in Forest City. Have had a great experience with them. We have experienced superior service IMO.

We felt they were competitive price wise and have no issues with travelling to their shop for service. We bought the coach to travel so distance is not an issue. Have decided that Iowa has some great corn!! Always try to time our visits to coincide with corn season.
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Old 07-09-2015, 11:30 AM   #23
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We jumped into a gas entry level MH (FR3) without much research and enjoyed the 8 months we had it. But during that time we discovered too many things that we didn't like so we started looking to trade up. We knew that we were going to take a loss no matter when we switched so we decided to get out as soon as we found our next coach. I guess we were typical of "you buy the first one to figure out what you want in the next one."

You mention that the rattling door on the rental made it hard to have a conversation. In our gas class A the engine noise was so loud during highway driving that we would have to yell at each other. And if we wanted the radio on we had to turn it up so loud that it caused distortion. In our unit this problem was compounded because the speakers were above the drop down bunk.

We have never driven higher end gas coaches. Perhaps they have a quieter cab.

My best advice is to make sure that you get a good long test drive. Highway, residential and climb some hills - so that you can really hear the engine noise. You will focus on handling and controlling the coach but don't forget to relax and try to have a conversation.

We switched to a DP, and can't get over how quiet it is up front. We have creaks and rattles but nothing that makes us have to talk louder than when we are in our car or having a meal at home.

As far as having a drop down bunk, you'll find more gassers with that feature. It was a deal breaker for us and really limited our options. You need a mid-entry door, to allow room for the bunk to drop. Our coach sounds close to ideal for you, except that the bath is all one room and the price is too high. It's a Winnebago Forza 34t. Sadly you won't find a used one with significant price reduction because they just started making them in 2014.

Good luck in your search. Try to be patient and you will find what you are looking for.
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Old 07-09-2015, 12:21 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Adam1219 View Post
Once again, I appreciate all of the responses. We will go soon and start going inside some but I'm one of those people that I want a MH so bad that when I go see one I want to take it home.


Here are a few more details:
For the first 5 years we will be weekenders and 1-2 times a year 1-2 weeks at a time. We plan to travel through every state in the next 10 years. I retire in 5 years from LE and I just want to getaway and have a life. We live in Orlando, Florida and will keep our house while we travel and eventually sell it.


We want a auto/satellite dish that works while moving and one for stationary as I have already read there could be trees in our way in campgrounds and the dome on the roof cannot be moved. My wife is a huge movie buff and sci-fier so we need communications. I can work on things so making adjustments and fixing small things are no big deal.


We do not want a table and chairs. We want a dining booth - preferred u-shaped. We want to be able to watch TV while traveling down the road so those which have a slide that cover the TV when not extended are definitely out. We want the bathroom shower and toilet in separate areas. We want the shower to have doors and not just a curtain. We want a 2 door refrigerator (preferably residential style). She want one that has some kitchen counter space too. I see a lot that only have counter space when you have the sink covered. That won't work. We like having the couches. We want comfortable furniture. We would like one of the new induction cook tops over the gas. We don't want those slide switch stick up type lights inside either. I would prefer all recessed LED. A queen bed in the back is good but I want the room to have a slide out so the bed is sideways. We would like to have a washer and dryer. We are not really into the bunk bed but we do like the over head front bed that lets down from the ceiling over the front cabin. We have 5 grand kids but were thinking of using the couches and dinette more for them as they will not always be with us. I would like to have the side and rear exterior cameras. We plan on using a toad but not sure what light weight car we are going to get as fuel would kill us pulling our SUV behind the MH. I forgot to mention that 10 years ago we had a Coachman travel trailer. We absolutely loved it but it leaked in the front. We bought it new too.
I want auto electric leveling jacks.


I have rented a class 'c' from that big rental company cruise America and spent over $1,000.00 only to get a piece of junk. The door rattled so much and so loud it was hard to carry on a conversation inside the unit while moving. Once we got to Tennessee and it got cold, we turned on the heater and the inside of the unit developed so much moisture the sheets on the top bunk were drenched and water was going everywhere. I prefer to use that $1,000.00 toward a purchase and not a rental. Giant Recreation World is here in Winter Garden, Florida and they will put your rental toward your down payment (specific other terms) but the manager at that store called me and he was very rude and unprofessional (made me mad) so I think I will not buy anything from them even I had all the cash. Giant recreation World is mostly Coachman.


Independence RV is our Newmar dealer.


Lazydays RV is about 60 miles southwest down Interstate 4.


LaMesa RV is in Sanford, Florida about 45 miles northeast up Interstate 4.


Orlando RV is in downtown Orlando area and they mostly sell Thor and Jayco.


Camping World is in Kissimmee and Winter Garden, Florida.


Hopefully that gives you a little more information to help me.


Thanks.
You did say your budget was $60k.... correct ???
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Old 07-09-2015, 12:41 PM   #25
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Yes... $60k. See my problem then? When asked what we want, we know. Never said it's what I could afford right now, lol. We will compromise but at least we know what we want.
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Old 07-09-2015, 05:24 PM   #26
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First, I want to thank Adam for his detailed question on purchasing a MH. DW and I am in the "same boat." Second, I want to thank all the forum members for sharing their experiences and knowledge on the subject. Your responses are informative, relevant, and in many cases, reminds me of Will Rodgers! LOL! To put it short form, is there a 33' gasser MH where the cost, maintenance and reliability is comparable to my Camry? And, for my DW, has the interior of her Lexus?

Thanks!
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Old 07-09-2015, 09:43 PM   #27
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Lexus vs 33 gasser?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Micah.TX View Post
First, I want to thank Adam for his detailed question on purchasing a MH. DW and I am in the "same boat." Second, I want to thank all the forum members for sharing their experiences and knowledge on the subject. Your responses are informative, relevant, and in many cases, reminds me of Will Rodgers! LOL! To put it short form, is there a 33' gasser MH where the cost, maintenance and reliability is comparable to my Camry? And, for my DW, has the interior of her Lexus?

Thanks!
staying tuned to this thread. Fun!

Adam:
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Old 07-09-2015, 09:55 PM   #28
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Me too! This should be a fun thread to watch.
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