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Old 06-06-2015, 02:07 PM   #15
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I kind of disagree with the floor plan first people not because it's not important but because the lower quality makes have some great floor plans for young families. Mud room shoe drawer by the door, outside TV, hide away bunk beds in the loft, Thor ACE has it all. What they don't have is quality components underneath the skin. Cheap macerator, weak slide motors, thin insulation which requires more heat or AC, trim that needs glue, etc, you can't see that from the show room! Read all you can on these websites. I thought I had a good one till the last 3 months of my warranty when the sheets hit the fun. Traded out for one the the better makes. Not perfect but better.
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Old 06-06-2015, 02:23 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farmer Steve View Post
I kind of disagree with the floor plan first people not because it's not important but because the lower quality makes have some great floor plans for young families. Mud room shoe drawer by the door, outside TV, hide away bunk beds in the loft, Thor ACE has it all. What they don't have is quality components underneath the skin. Cheap macerator, weak slide motors, thin insulation which requires more heat or AC, trim that needs glue, etc, you can't see that from the show room! Read all you can on these websites. I thought I had a good one till the last 3 months of my warranty when the sheets hit the fun. Traded out for one the the better makes. Not perfect but better.
When I suggest choosing the floor plan first I mean ... find floor plans you like THEN find that floor plan or a similar one in different manufactures THEN compare those manufactures.
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Old 06-06-2015, 02:30 PM   #17
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You have recieved some great advice. For us first and foremost was the structural integrity then the floor plan. After that was the amenities.

Before making a decision make sure you know the details of the systems. For instance there are different models of aqua hot. Although this is just our opinion and many may not agree we would not be as happy with a 450 unit as we are with our 600 unit. I could not image living long term in the motorhome without an auto generator start. I love air leveling and find it much easier to deal with than jacks, we have both. Pass through storage trays that roll out have been a life saver. We have lots of stuff and the more cabinets the better. We love to cook and wanted a large kitchen. We opted for one bathroom, many disagree with this, as we felt for us the floor space could be better utilized elsewhere and we wanted to avoid the higher complexity of plumbing and issues with filling the black tank quicker compared to a single bath.

There are many more smaller things but these have proven to be important to us.

Enjoy the search and do lots of searching online,

Stuart
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Old 06-06-2015, 02:37 PM   #18
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If you want to live pretty much the same way you do at home, then go into a coach and play house.

By that I mean, get in the shower and see if you have room to suds up without banging your head or elbows, get out and dry off. Sit on the throne and see if you can complete all tasks without hitting the wall and there is room for your knees. Is there a place for a bulky hairdryer and other accessories?

Cook a meal in the kitchen, so to speak. Where will you put pots and pans, dishes and glasses, utensils, etc. Where will you plug in the coffee maker and where will you store it while on the road? Is there enough storage in general. If you fry something will the grease spatter that nice couch nearby (an easy fix if it will but something extra you'll have to do)? Of course, if you're going to use paper plates and plastic cups, it won't matter as much. See if the dinette, if there is one, is comfortable.

Is the bed big enough to sleep in comfortably and still get around it? What about cross ventilation? Is there plenty of hanging locker space for your clothes as well as drawers. Years ago we looked at a coach that seemed really well laid out until we realized there were NO drawers in the bedroom.

Then check the basement for size and capacity. The slide out trays are one of the best inventions ever to come along in my opinion. Will it be a problem getting stuff in and out without a tray?

And if all the above works for you, take it for a test drive. Check for steering play, braking, and overall handling and ride. Try and find a hill to climb and some curves to go through as well as some rough pavement. And don't let the salesman try and cut you short. He/she has a predetermined route that will put the coach in it's most flattering light. You're spending a lot of money so you need to be happy with your purchase and how it drives and rides will be a huge component of that happiness. Bear in mind, most ride and handling issues can be resolved or at least improved but it's expensive to do so.

Good luck and have fun shopping.
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Old 06-06-2015, 02:42 PM   #19
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OK, here is my spin:
Look for an older, well kept DP that "looks like" what you want.
The thing is you dont KNOW what you want until you've had one for a while.
So thats what we did. Bought what I call an "let me learn" 40' 2001 Monaco Windsor. This way if we didn't like that much traveling, we wouldnt take a big hit trying it out and reselling.
So what have we learned with this coach?
First, we love traveling. Just love it.
We were VERY lucky to get the S-series chassis.
We love the drivers side kitchen.
Like a table not a booth.
Like a lot of windows and many newer coaches dont have them.
Would like a bath and a half, if possible.
Love having a washer and dryer and a stack unit would be better than a combo.
Really like only having the 2 slides. It leaves plenty of room to move around even with the front slide in.

So now we are beginning to look at a newer coach, less miles, keep for a while kind of thing.

Thats my advice and how we entered the DP market.
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Old 06-06-2015, 03:05 PM   #20
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Hi Allfish,

Why dld you want to start out with a DP? Have you ever driven one? What do you know about air brakes? Have you checked into the cost of maintaining one?

There are a lot of gas coaches that have the same amenities as a DP and are less of a hassle and ride just as good plus gas is cheaper than diesel. They also are a lot less to maintain.

I would check out some Winnebago gas coaches such as Winnebago Adventurer 35 - 38 footers.

Good luck!

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Old 06-06-2015, 03:06 PM   #21
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Do a lot of research and ask questions. Many people spend months and even years at this stage. The more you know, the more comfortable you'll be making a selection. Price will not be near the factor as it might be first going in to it. You'll find yourself becoming more and more of an expert regarding the coaches that interest you the most - that's how/when you'll recognize a deal when you see it.

PPL motor homes in Texas advertise use coaches for sale. Not only are they popular, what makes them unique is that the adds include floor plans. Not familiar with anyone else that does that.
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Old 06-06-2015, 07:57 PM   #22
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We started out with a Class B Sprinter, found it too small. Got a B Plus and liked it but still too small. Then shopped shows, new and used, looked at consignments and finally found a 2004 Dutch Star DSDP. Put over 40,000 miles on it in 2 years. Loved it, but wanted newer on board systems. Shopped newer used and new ones. Bought a 2014 Dutch Star DSDP 4018. Absolutely love it. Just remember, the more you research and look, the more you will know. Take notes. Record your likes/wants. Record dislikes. You will be an educated consumer. Good Luck and Safe Travels
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Old 06-07-2015, 09:19 AM   #23
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I started with a budget before i walked into one class A. I looked at PPL website and many others for years looking at pricing and amenities that would fall with in our number. I looked at colors, floor plans, decor and such. Also was on this forum for years just listening to the threads under Class A, and also the Manufacturer forums. I narrowed my search down to the top manufacturers. When we sold the house and the cash was in the bank, we went to PPL to walk through their selection. Probably looked at 60-70 motorhomes that day. Almost all were ridden hard and put up wet. There was really only one that both my wife and i walk into and said that we could call this one home. It was with in our budget and we wrote a check.

So, my advice would be to pick a maximum dollar amount and stick to it keeping a reserve in the bank for issues that, trust us, will come up. Do a lot of virtual looking and looking in person.

Three years later Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByiRV2 - RV Forum1433686727.277713.jpg
Views:	53
Size:	95.7 KB
ID:	96451and we are still happily on the road. Now just gotta decide whether the do a minor update or trade up. Probably just put in new carpet and reupholster the furniture. Especially since i have fixed so many components.

Good luck and keep asking questions.
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Old 06-07-2015, 09:25 AM   #24
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One more suggestion. I would consider a well maintained higher mileage coach over a barely used low mileage if buying used. These thing are meant to be used, not stored.
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Old 06-07-2015, 09:44 AM   #25
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Some great suggestions ones that my wife and I used when started DP shopping. It was a two year + process which included making lists and narrowing down brands, layouts and attending several RV shows. In the end something that I give my wife credit for was posting an ad describing what we were looking for. This connected us with a couple that did not want to have dealers and many people going through their unit. There are obvious dangers to posting ads ie. attracting fraudsters etc but it worked for us and we made the purchase almost exactly from our original wish list.


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Old 06-07-2015, 08:15 PM   #26
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Ah, hmmm. Lots of good advice, but let's face the facts folks. If you've never tried living in a DP RV, it is really hard to make that "perfect" choice. We've had our coach 11 years and have done extensive remodeling and adding on as we adjusted to what we wanted. I seriously doubt any one makes the perfect choice right out of the gate. Agreed, you have to do some research and need to consider what will be important to you. But, the simple reality is, until you get your feet wet, swimming is a little bit more.

I'd recommend something as crazy as renting an RV for a week. Drive someplace near home, set it up, and give it a try. What do you like, what don't you like? The floor plans are so similar, does that really matter to you? Do you like everything to be totally automatic (levelers, TV, power, etc) or are you ok with doing some things manually? Do you want your power cord to be an electric auto-retract? Is it ok your fridge runs on propane, not a super fancy inverter power system? Do you need more storage and less slides? Or more slides and less storage. What I'm getting at, you don't know if you want to swim unless you get wet.

Reading more of the forum is another way to get a better feel for what works for you and what doesn't. Don't get too bogged down in major problems that folks have with major brands, that is pretty analogous with Ford and GM cars. Concentrate on posts about posts that relate to what people like and don't like. I've made a lot of major decisions just based on this forum. If you read enough, you won't go wrong.
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Old 06-07-2015, 09:08 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky68D View Post
If you want to live pretty much the same way you do at home, then go into a coach and play house.

By that I mean, get in the shower and see if you have room to suds up without banging your head or elbows, get out and dry off. Sit on the throne and see if you can complete all tasks without hitting the wall and there is room for your knees. Is there a place for a bulky hairdryer and other accessories?

Cook a meal in the kitchen, so to speak. Where will you put pots and pans, dishes and glasses, utensils, etc. Where will you plug in the coffee maker and where will you store it while on the road? Is there enough storage in general. If you fry something will the grease spatter that nice couch nearby (an easy fix if it will but something extra you'll have to do)? Of course, if you're going to use paper plates and plastic cups, it won't matter as much. See if the dinette, if there is one, is comfortable.

Is the bed big enough to sleep in comfortably and still get around it? What about cross ventilation? Is there plenty of hanging locker space for your clothes as well as drawers. Years ago we looked at a coach that seemed really well laid out until we realized there were NO drawers in the bedroom.

Then check the basement for size and capacity. The slide out trays are one of the best inventions ever to come along in my opinion. Will it be a problem getting stuff in and out without a tray?

And if all the above works for you, take it for a test drive. Check for steering play, braking, and overall handling and ride. Try and find a hill to climb and some curves to go through as well as some rough pavement. And don't let the salesman try and cut you short. He/she has a predetermined route that will put the coach in it's most flattering light. You're spending a lot of money so you need to be happy with your purchase and how it drives and rides will be a huge component of that happiness. Bear in mind, most ride and handling issues can be resolved or at least improved but it's expensive to do so.
Good luck and have fun shopping.
Well said! Kick the tires and spend a lot of time trying it out!
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Old 06-07-2015, 09:16 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Climbon69 View Post
Ah, hmmm. Lots of good advice, but let's face the facts folks. If you've never tried living in a DP RV, it is really hard to make that "perfect" choice. We've had our coach 11 years and have done extensive remodeling and adding on as we adjusted to what we wanted. I seriously doubt any one makes the perfect choice right out of the gate. Agreed, you have to do some research and need to consider what will be important to you. But, the simple reality is, until you get your feet wet, swimming is a little bit more.

I'd recommend something as crazy as renting an RV for a week. Drive someplace near home, set it up, and give it a try. What do you like, what don't you like? The floor plans are so similar, does that really matter to you? Do you like everything to be totally automatic (levelers, TV, power, etc) or are you ok with doing some things manually? Do you want your power cord to be an electric auto-retract? Is it ok your fridge runs on propane, not a super fancy inverter power system? Do you need more storage and less slides? Or more slides and less storage. What I'm getting at, you don't know if you want to swim unless you get wet.

Reading more of the forum is another way to get a better feel for what works for you and what doesn't. Don't get too bogged down in major problems that folks have with major brands, that is pretty analogous with Ford and GM cars. Concentrate on posts about posts that relate to what people like and don't like. I've made a lot of major decisions just based on this forum. If you read enough, you won't go wrong.
I believe you can find the "perfect" MH by shopping around to see what you like and don't like particularly with the floor plan. I believe the floor plan is very important just like when buying a house. We bought our 1st RV, a gas Class A, 8 years ago and loved it; never changed a thing about it. Then we wanted slides and a DP so we researched and shopped around until we found the "perfect" one! Haven't wanted to change a thing since buying 2nd RV, a DP with slides, in January. With the prices of MH, IMO, most people want to shop around and not make an expensive mistake particularly with a floor plan. Just MHO.

--Kay
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