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Old 07-07-2015, 05:50 PM   #1
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RV Research - Purchase of Class A

I just found your blog.

I have been researching class A manufacturers, chassis, engines, and floor plans for the last 3 months.

I would appreciate your opinions and advice based on your purchase decision. Did you make the right decision? Looking back is there anything you wished you should have done differently? More options? Bad floor plan? Who builds the best quality coach? Who has the quietest riding? I hate rattles or noises. Which manufacturer should I stay away from?

I know there will be many opinions. These questions are not meant to start any arguments. I am looking for the facts. I will be buying a class A motorhome within the next 3-9 months and I want to make a fact based decision. So far here are a few of the things I have gathered:

I do not want a table and chairs for my dining room... I want the booth or u-shaped one.

I want a coach that is at least 32-36 feet long with either a full wall slide or 2-3 slides.

I am leaning toward the following manufacturers:

- Thor (windsport)
- Tiffin
- Newmar
- Fleetwood
- Coachman

I am looking to get a pre-owned between 2010-2015 model years.

I want the Ford V10 engine and chassis.

I prefer a separate shower and toilet area.

I don't know much about the RV seal and windshield issues.

Who is the best company to finance with? best for insurance? warranty?

Is it even worth buying a warranty?

I know the good folks on this forum can help me out.

Retirement is only a few years away but I want to start playing early.

Thanks in advance for all your advice!


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Old 07-08-2015, 12:05 AM   #2
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Best luck on your search.
Many folks (including us) say, pick your RV based on floor plan.

Take your time and you should be able to find that perfect RV.

Kim and Steve, Mustang LCDR (Ret), '07 Damon Outlaw #1193
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Old 07-08-2015, 01:16 AM   #3
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Welcome Aboard. Sorry I can't offer any opinions on the Ford chassis, or any of the brands that you have listed, but a lot of people here, can. We picked a diesel chassis due to the increased weight we wanted to lug around. I agree with the floorplan criteria you have listed, however. Slides are slides ... they all have nuances and everybody seems to have their own way to maintain them and keep them working well. Can't help you with the financing question, but I hear the interest paid on the loan is deductible like mortgage interest, so that is prolly a good way to go. An extended warranty was included in the deal when we bought ours [a previously-owned coach] but we never had to use it; in our case, that would not have been a good deal. Talking to a lot of people and asking a lot of questions is a great way to narrow down your choices. And buying a year or two before retirement is also a great strategy -- it will take you a while to learn all of the systems and features and to get comfortable with driving it. In the end, have fun and make the decision that keeps your spouse happy! \ken
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Old 07-08-2015, 01:28 AM   #4
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Lurking on this one...

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Old 07-08-2015, 05:47 AM   #5
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I would definitely not put Thor at the top of that list. Newmar, Tiffin yes, but I don't believe the others match the quality. Price wise go with Thor, but you get what you pay for.
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Old 07-08-2015, 06:57 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Scarab0088 View Post

Best luck on your search.
Many folks (including us) say, pick your RV based on floor plan.

Take your time and you should be able to find that perfect RV.

Could not agree more with Scarab0088. Floor plan will narrow you choices down quickly then decide based on your other criteria, IMO.

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Old 07-08-2015, 08:30 AM   #7
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Thank you for all of the replies so far. The manufacturers list is not in any priority order. I really like Tiffin and Newmar the best so far but my budget is another issue. My budget for my first class A RV tops out at $60,000.00.
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Old 07-08-2015, 08:40 AM   #8
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You don't indicate what type of research you have been doing, but the best way is to go out and kick some tires. Look at as many motorhomes as you can access, and don't worry about asking for a test ride. Sit in the coaches--get rid of the salesman--that is just noise anyway--and think about how you would use a particular coach. We looked very carefully when we bought this coach, but when we saw it, we knew this was the coach for us.
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Old 07-08-2015, 08:45 AM   #9
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I have a 2013 Fleetwood Storm and love it. Went cross country last fall and it ran great and loved the ride. It has bunks which works well with the grandson and daughter and son in law. I agree that layout is very important. Determining where you intend on going (ie. state and natl pks or private campgrounds) can help whittle down your choices. Sizer of sites in state and natl pks can be a determinant. Are you going to tow and what are you going to tow? Mine is the Ford v-10 and avg 8mph with no toad. Someone I met in Asheville,NC with same model and lite toad got the same mileage. Since this is my second MH and started with popup and trvl trl many years age I've been around rvs for a long time and agree with you about buying one a couple of years old. The kinks get worked out. Good Luck with your search and above all have fun with the search.
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Old 07-08-2015, 08:59 AM   #10
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A lot will depend on the intended use of your coach. For the wife and I, using ours to live in for extended snowbird trips, with the long winter nights, the location of the television was important. We wanted it across from where we were sitting, not on a wall at the other end of the room, or up over the windshield where you have to look at right angles to where you sit. That narrowed it down a lot for us. Many of the new expensive coaches have that feature, with tele-vators, etc.. but only a very few of the older ones did.
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:11 AM   #11
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A couple of things I just thought about. Financing, credit union is probably cheaper than a dealer and yes the interest is tax deductable as a second home. I use the Tobin Agency, I believe they have a website, and have researched direct from insurer and they have done well by me with the best prices. Internet is a great resource. If you have an affiliation with vet organizations or aarp there are some possibilities there for cheaper ins. You can always get an extended warranty either sold by the dealer or free standing, like Good Sam or other companies. If you get it with purchase from the dealer it then becomes part of the overall cost of the unit that you are financing. I forgot to mention mine is 32ft long which is fine by me. If you were living in it full time you may want a larger unit for more room and storage. Personal preference.
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:13 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Adam1219 View Post
....I really like Tiffin and Newmar the best so far but my budget is another issue. My budget for my first class A RV tops out at $60,000.00.

You haven't described your planned usage. Fulltiming? Snowbirding? Occasional camping? It will dictate your minimum standards. I suggest you subscribe to the RV Consumer Group, www.rv.org and make use of their ratings snd evaluations.

To reconcile quality with budget, select from the high quality builders, then back off in age until your budget matches the price. If you're buying quality, a little extra age won't matter. Quality lasts.

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Old 07-08-2015, 11:32 AM   #13
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I'll take a crack at this...

First and foremost... the best advice is HAPPY WIFE, HAPPY LIFE....

That said.. the key ingredient to any RV purchase is floor plan.. everything else is small potatoes.. the only way (for my money) to make that decision is to walk into as many RV's as you can.. kick tires until your foot falls off..

To answer your questions directly... here goes

Did you make the right decision? It was the right decision for us.
Looking back is there anything you wished you should have done differently? No, we are very happy with our decision.. we know this wasn't going to be our last purchase, it serves us well during this period in our life (weekend warriors)
More options? Ha, is there such a thing as not enough options?? question is, how much are you willing to pay?? staying within the budget is difficult
Bad floor plan? Personal decision.. only you can answer that..
Who builds the best quality coach? Loaded question.. I can say we have been very please with our Itasca.. answers on this will vary from experience to experience... too subjective to answer
Who has the quietest riding? Just about any DP riding on airbags..
I hate rattles or noises. Don't buy a gasser
Which manufacturer should I stay away from? Again, loaded question with no correct answer.. but ultimately, like someone said above, you get what you pay for..

I know this doesn't answer everything the way you want.. unfortunately, there isn't a "Consumer Report" type publication that really breaks down all the aspects of each model and/or manufacturer..

Best way I discovered to purchasing the perfect RV is.. buy one.. and figure out all that you don't like and what you might like, so the next one has everything you want/need/like...

Good luck..
Eric & Denise
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Old 07-08-2015, 12:11 PM   #14
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FWIW start a spread sheet. I have one going on ~30 ft class A's. As you start seeing the differences in things like wheel base, tire sizes, tank capacities, and anything else you want to list then you can compare. Floor plan counts as much or more than the chassis unless you plan on spending all your time driving. Can you see the TV, is there room to make a meal, can you get away from each other or the kids? How will it handle a rainy day?

Almost everything you look at will be on a Ford F-53 chassis but there are several versions of that chassis. Figure than out too.

Ignore the DP folks unless you want to get into that cycle. It is a different world.

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