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Old 06-05-2015, 02:31 PM   #1
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Tips for the beginning A shopper

I'm am new to the Forum and have registered to gain insight into all the things my wife and I need to consider before purchasing our first DP. DP owners, if you had just one suggestion for the newbie DP owner what would that be?
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Old 06-05-2015, 02:39 PM   #2
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Look at a lot of them. Our best resource was looking at the multitude on the lot at PPL in Houston. Know what you are looking before before you shop seriously. Little things can make a big difference to some - a six-foot bed if you are six-two. A shower you cannot stand up in (I am six foot and have seen this in $300K coaches.) A 4,000 pound towing capacity when you want to pull a full-size truck. A propane generator when you want to boondock for a month. In used coaches you will see lots of modifications that might be problem solvers for you.

A lot of shopping will allow you to come to know in minutes if a coach is what you are looking for. We were able to get our last coach because I was there first, and we were able to give a (conditional) agreement to purchase before the second guy got there.

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Old 06-05-2015, 02:42 PM   #3
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Make a list of what features you want!

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Old 06-05-2015, 02:45 PM   #4
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Add 20% to your budget, whatever budget you are starting with. Because, for just a little more money you can get......... . And don't look at RVs that are well outside your budget .

Add in $3k for a tow set up (make sure you have a towable vehicle, if not, budget that in too), and $2k to furnish it. Don't for get taxes / liscence fees.

If you are buying used, you need to add in any remodeling, deferred maintenance, and possiibly tires (normally age out before they wear out).

And have fun with the shopping adventure!
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Old 06-05-2015, 02:46 PM   #5
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I think the first thing to consider is the floorplan since you will be spending a lot of time in your coach, you need a floorplan that with suit you. There are a number of other considerations, such as features, quality, etc. There are a lot of manufacturers, models, sizes and prices to consider, so it takes a lot of research. Good luck with your purchase and welcome to the forum!
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Old 06-05-2015, 02:47 PM   #6
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Go Out Go Out and Go Out and look at as many Class A's as you can. Write out your Must Have" list and "Nice to Have" list. I think finding a floor plan you like is crucial so look at as many floor plans as you can to see what you like and don't like. What is your budget? Having this information will eliminate a number of manufactures, models, sizes and floor plans so you can find the MH that meets your needs. Without this info you will just get overwhelmed and verrrrrry confused.

And be open to looking at all options. Don't pre-judge. And stay open.

Good luck in your search. It is a FUN Lifestyle!!!
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Old 06-05-2015, 02:54 PM   #7
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I would spend time searching EBAY listings. Determine minimum length you want and any specific features (# of Slides, engine type, tag axle etc) and start searching. If you see a specific brand/model that you like write it down. List the Buy It Now price and if possible follow a couple to see if they sell or highest bid. This will provide a good estimate of value.

After you get a list of 10-12 research each of them. Most manufacturers have websites that provides an archive of their models. Down load the brochures and create a library of the ones you like.

If you live near RV dealers go and look & ask questions.

Once you narrow down your preference to 2-3 concentrate on these and try to find ones to look at.

My wife & I owned a Class C and after ~8 years decided we wanted to move up to a Class A. Took every opportunity to go to RV shows, RV dealers, etc. We started to understand the differences and what we wanted. Got lucky and found one in Florida while on a trip, we went to look but didn't buy. Waited ~1 week and called the seller and made a counter offer of his asking price which he accepted. This was in 2008 at the start of the recession, the unit was a repo and we got if for ~1/2 of NADA value. Still have it & love it. Lots of room and a dream to drive.
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Old 06-05-2015, 03:13 PM   #8
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We love our DP and have had many years of fun with it, but now due to husbands health, he can no longer do the maintenance to it. So 1st thing would be decide whether you are going to maintain your unit or have the work done for you. Cost are much greater for a DP than gas, an oil change & all engine filters was almost $900., tires are larger & more expensive, etc. Just be sure to allow for maintenance costs in your budget, Floorplan is essential, & inside storage. Also before you buy watch for total vehicle carrying weight, some we have seen don't allow very much. Good luck in your junk for an rv.
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Old 06-05-2015, 03:51 PM   #9
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Since it will be your first DP, your budget is the number one option to consider, then the age of the DP and then the layout; don't buy anything older then 10 years old and don't forget "the older the DP is, the more detailed inspection you will have to get" ! One important structure detail is to get a one piece fiberglass roof... nothing else.
My first motorhome was a 1993 DP bought in 2001 and in 2010 I traded it for a class A, wish i had aother DP
Good luck
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Old 06-05-2015, 04:07 PM   #10
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Go to every RV show you can. Hit all the local lots, and leave your billfold at home when you do. This will give you an idea of floorplan and the amenities that you like. At the same time, visit ebay, ppl website, craigslist, rvtrader, and others. This will give you a handle on value. DW and I window shopped for 2 years, then seriously for 1 year. And http://www.amazon.com/Buying-Used-Mo...used+motorhome this book was very helpful to me but could not make his system with private parties work for me.

And, absolutely most important, when you pull the trigger, have an independent inspector on your payroll inspect the rig. A lot of mobile RV techs do this. That is the single best thing you can do to prevent buying a headache. Good luck.
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Old 06-06-2015, 04:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diane98 View Post
We love our DP and have had many years of fun with it, but now due to husbands health, he can no longer do the maintenance to it. So 1st thing would be decide whether you are going to maintain your unit or have the work done for you. Cost are much greater for a DP than gas, an oil change & all engine filters was almost $900., tires are larger & more expensive, etc. Just be sure to allow for maintenance costs in your budget, Floorplan is essential, & inside storage. Also before you buy watch for total vehicle carrying weight, some we have seen don't allow very much. Good luck in your hunt for an rv.
Sorry I meant to spell hunt - not junk
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Old 06-06-2015, 07:19 AM   #12
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All great advice. But if used and you can't get the maint. records, I would walk away. There's too many quality used coach's available to buy a pig in a poke.
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Old 06-06-2015, 09:59 AM   #13
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First thing I would do is get on a forum and do research. Your off to a good start. Just look at a lot of them and don't be afraid to drive a 1000 miles to get one if the price is right. I saved over 30k but I had to drive to get it as the others around me would not come down on price.
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Old 06-06-2015, 10:07 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by COdutchstar View Post
I think the first thing to consider is the floorplan since you will be spending a lot of time in your coach, you need a floorplan that with suit you. There are a number of other considerations, such as features, quality, etc. There are a lot of manufacturers, models, sizes and prices to consider, so it takes a lot of research. Good luck with your purchase and welcome to the forum!
Agree - floor plan

Amenities
- all electric
- residential fridge
- bath and half
- stackable washer dryer
- aqua hot
- slides or not
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