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Old 11-08-2015, 01:18 AM   #1
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What should I look for? What do I need?

The DW and I are about to start full timing beginning of 2016. Searching for a used (200-2004) DP. We have our toad (a 2015 jeep wrangler unlmtd) that will be loaded down with bikes and yaks and I'm assuming close to 5k lbs. I keep asking specific questions about this and that, but I'm wondering... Is there perhaps a checklist or guide to buying a used class A? Things that I should check before buying? Or list of things that a good rig should have? This is a daunting purchase and don't want to be kicking myself later because I didn't get a unit with "X". Or "Y" didn't work and is expensive to fix.
I appreciate any guidance!
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Old 11-08-2015, 02:11 AM   #2
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As I upgraded to what I have now there are a few things I wanted. Remember this was me and others would not want the same thing. I had 400hp on my last now 600 which is just right. Im running about 53000lbs. Aquahot or equivalent over gas furnace. Residential fridge. engine brake as apposed to exhaust brake.Disk brakes over drum.Floor heat.Tag axle.
There's likely more but these are the items that come to mind. I like power and want to just cruise along but the number one thing I wanted was disk brakes and three stage exhaust brake. My current machine stops better then my pickup truck. Have fun with your shopping and ask any questions you come up with. Everyone is here to help.
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Old 11-08-2015, 07:15 AM   #3
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We are on our second class A. We upgraded from a Winnebago Journey to a 2006 Holiday Rambler Navigator. Things we learned along the way. Must have for us is the tag axle. Our first MH was a 36' single axel, not as stable on the road as a tag. And 43' is easier to drive than the 36'was. We went from a 350 cat to a 500 hp Cummins and I do like the extra power. We pull a jeep wrangler as well. King size bed and walk around room in the bedroom was high on our list. And I do like the side radiator on our Navigator. My suggestion is look, look, look. When you find the coach you think you want, crawl all over it. Spend time in it.. Does the floor plan work for you.? Get it out for a long test drive... At least, 50 miles.. And, if you do decide to buy, take an RV mechanic with you if possible to go over it. We did not do that and it was a mistake. And for the PDI, tell them you want the coach in ride condition when you arrive. Then you walk through setting it up just as you would on a trip. Another mistake we made. They had it all set up looking pretty. We went through the PDI and took notes but forgot a lot of stuff after we left. Make sure whatever coach you choose has all the manuals and maintenance records if possible. Another mistake we made. Many of the manuals were missing and we've spent hours trying to get them...most of all just enjoy the process. It is exciting to look at coaches and think this one might be "the one"!!!

Good luck!!
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Old 11-08-2015, 07:27 AM   #4
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I would read a lot of threads on this forum and others. Since you are going full time, you will want bigger rather than smaller and a lot of CCC. This puts you into needing a diesel. Yes, there are folks that full time in smaller RVs but most use larger diesels. I would hire an RV consultant to go over any RV you are considering. Go with a quality manufacturer. Make sure the coach has been well maintained. With a diesel, mileage is not a big deal but maintenance records are important.
Look at a LOT of coaches. Make sure the floor plan will work for you.
Make sure you can move around the coach with the slides in.
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Old 11-08-2015, 07:37 AM   #5
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All great suggestions so far and I agree with them all. For me, it's Tag, Res Fridge, Layout, and power in that order that I will be looking for in my next coach, and MAYBE a bath and a half. In fact, already have it narrowed down to a couple.

One thing I did before buying our coach, and will do again on any used purchase is have it inspected by an independant tech. It cost me roughly $150 and was money well spent.

One last suggestion is that if its reasonably possible for your to rent a few times before you purchase then you should. It doesn't have to be new, or even the same style coach you are looking at, but you will quickly find what you like / dislike and what you can live with.

Best of luck..
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Old 11-08-2015, 02:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roamin Mike View Post
The DW and I are about to start full timing beginning of 2016. Searching for a used (200-2004) DP.

I would go with the 200 model, they would be stone wheels, no blowouts. LOL.

But seriously........ quality, quality, quality. What's the point of all rest of it if it's cheaply done. A good floor plan that's made poorly will be a thorn in your side. Crawl thru and look at the little things and see how they are made. After looking at a bunch you'll get the idea. There's a lot of difference between a weekender and living in one 24/7. Some are just not made to be lived in. Good luck in your search.


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Cummins ISM 450hp
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Old 11-08-2015, 06:31 PM   #7
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Here is a resource for people thinking about upgrading or getting into RV'ing. RV Inspection Checklist



We initially had a 31' Class C, no slides. It suited us initially as we had not owned an RV prior to this so we weren't to intimidated by the size. After owning it for ~10 years we decided to upgrade and found out current coach. We now own a Class A 2002 Monaco Windsor 38 PKD.

By far we enjoy the Class A more. It is probably easy to drive then the Class C, has more power and range due to its 128 gallon fuel tank. It also has more water capacity (fresh, grey, and black) for better boon docking. 325 watt solar power with inverter, plus a 7.5KW generator so we can go off grid for a while if we desire.

Surprisingly, one of its short comings is that it has less CCC then the Class C use to have.
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Old 11-08-2015, 06:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IASM View Post
As I upgraded to what I have now there are a few things I wanted. Remember this was me and others would not want the same thing. I had 400hp on my last now 600 which is just right. I'm running about 53000lbs. Aquahot or equivalent over gas furnace. Residential fridge. engine brake as apposed to exhaust brake. Disk brakes over drum. Floor heat. Tag axle.
There's likely more but these are the items that come to mind. I like power and want to just cruise along but the number one thing I wanted was disk brakes and three stage exhaust brake. My current machine stops better then my pickup truck.Have fun with your shopping and ask any questions you come up with. Everyone is here to help.
We're running heavier than you are if we include the Ody.
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Old 11-09-2015, 07:26 AM   #9
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Knowing what I know now after 5yrs. on the road....livability is so important for full time. Res. fridge, Tv you can watch without twisting your neck, satellite dish, Diesel(which we have), good battery system, maybe solar for those out of the way places, at least two slides, under storage sliders, PSW inverter, washer/dryer, surge protector....and if used which you mentioned...Maint. Records are so important. Full time means living in the coach 24/7, so being comfortable is a priority, especially if you're cooped up inside because of bad weather.
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