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Old 10-01-2015, 07:34 PM   #15
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I'd buy a coach that USED to be 150K (or more), for something under 50-60k (or less). For those willing and able to do the majority of their maintenance anyway, there is little difference when working on a 10-12 year old coach, and one 5-7 years old. Once brought up to the point ALL maintenance (scheduled and unscheduled) is up to date, each will demand about the same amount of your attention.
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Old 10-01-2015, 07:34 PM   #16
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We were in the same position as you early this year. We went to several dealers, looked at different brands, sizes and floor plans. We also searched the web to get an idea on the different brands, diesel vs gas, sizes, etc.

After a few months, we narrowed the search to Newman, Tiffin, Fleetwood and Entegra DPs. We looked at several units, and for the two of us with 2 dogs decided on 36 - 38 Ft.

Finally decided on Newmar, originally found a Ventana 3635 we really liked, but wanted to hold off until a little later since we really won't start to use it until early 2016. We continued to watch on-line to see what was new on the market. We almost bought a new 40'Dutchstar, but decided to hold off a little longer to be sure it was the coach.

The next day a 2012 Dutch star came on the market, low miles and a similar floor plan to the Ventana that we liked earlier. That night we called the seller and sent a deposit the next day. The coach was in better shape than we could imagine. After a few weeks (seemed like months) we finally picked it up last month. We spent 3 nights in it and drove it 500 miles home from Virginia to Kentucky. We're headed to the Smokey Mountains in 2 weeks for our inaugural trip.

I guess my point is, do your research, find the brand and floor plan you want and keep your eye open for the right coach. We found the right one and jumped on it when it came on the market.

Our budget was a bit more than yours, but decide what is important to you and keep on the hunt to get the right coach. Good luck in your search. Hope to see you on the road!
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Old 10-01-2015, 07:37 PM   #17
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Your main question is " What do I buy?"

We sold and bought a 1999 National Tradewind 36 footer and am very happy with what we got

Been 2 years now fulltime and the living is something to get used to.
We had 2000 sf. and now have 250 sf but for ease of cleaning and looking after, it is just fine.

Yes the floor plan is very important but do not let the nay sayers shoot down a DP as they do not cost lots to maintain. Once over every 10000 mile and back on the road with quietness and power.

Good luck on your choice and may the Road Angels ride beside you.

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Old 10-01-2015, 07:45 PM   #18
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We love our 37 foot DP, but have found a number of camp sites that will not fit anything over 35 feet. If I were in the market for another, I would be looking at 32 to 34 feet. IMO, over 28 feet, diesel is the way to go.


Regarding floorplan, watch out for any that don't allow access to the toilet area without putting out the slide. Less important, but a small nit pick is not being able to see the living room TV without the slide out (mine suffers from this oversight)
Thanks BP.

Good points. I will likely go with a DP. I know that some campgrounds have length restrictions. I could go with < 40ft but < 35ft seems too tight. Right now I'm thinking of a DP in the range of 36' to 45'.
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Old 10-01-2015, 07:48 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Your main question is " What do I buy?"

We sold and bought a 1999 National Tradewind 36 footer and am very happy with what we got

Been 2 years now fulltime and the living is something to get used to.
We had 2000 sf. and now have 250 sf but for ease of cleaning and looking after, it is just fine.

Yes the floor plan is very important but do not let the nay sayers shoot down a DP as they do not cost lots to maintain. Once over every 10000 mile and back on the road with quietness and power.

Good luck on your choice and may the Road Angels ride beside you.

Thanks Pops. I appreciate the advice.
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Old 10-01-2015, 07:48 PM   #20
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Lots of opinions for you. If I were in your position, I would find a Newmar Dutchstar that falls into your price range, check it out or have it checked out mechanically. If it measures up, buy it. You cannot go wrong with a Dutchstar.
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Old 10-01-2015, 07:49 PM   #21
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A few more things.........

If you haven't checked it out already, read Gone With The Wynn's blog on gas vs diesel. We drove a few DP's, then a few weeks later I had to help my daughter move. I got the job of driving the U-Haul gasser 120 miles. When I got out I told my wife I will never own a gas motorhome........

As far as age, think about the technology in the age of the coach. Older CRT TVs vs LCD, radios, satellite systems, appliances, HVAC all might need to be upgraded. Make sure the roof has been maintained. Engines and transmissions don't get anywhere near worn out if they're properly maintained, so be sure to demand maintenance records.

Some people say buy new to avoid someone else's problems, others say buy used so all the bugs have been taken care of. I say do your homework.
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Old 10-01-2015, 07:49 PM   #22
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Lots of opinions for you. If I were in your position, I would find a Newmar Dutchstar that falls into your price range, check it out or have it checked out mechanically. If it measures up, buy it. You cannot go wrong with a Dutchstar.
Yes, I have been researching Dutchstar and I think that would be a good choice.
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Old 10-01-2015, 08:05 PM   #23
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Thanks for the input. Regarding floor plans, what floor plan do you like and why? I have heard most people say to select the floorpan first but I can't say that I fully understand all the reasons why. I tend to like the L shaped couch with opposing recliner but I am not sure I would turn down an RV just because it had another floorplan.

Thanks.
Really good question about selecting floor plan. The logical reason is the same as you would select the floor plan for a S&B.

There are times when you will be kept indoors by inclement weather. Is there room enough for the two of you to be comfortable. Can DW watch the game while you watch racing? Or vice versa?

Can you lay a hobby out or a puzzle and leave it for a day or two instead of putting it away each night?

Do you have a need for bath and 1/2? We did not think we did but found the extra half to be very handy and convenient.

I suggest you go to a dealership(s) and ditch the salesman. Sit in several units and pretend you are living there for a while. It will be as it will be when you really do. You will find that you will soon see advantages and certain drawbacks to various plans.

You will be surprised by the difference in comfort in various models. I personally like a high back on my chairs and couch. Surprising the number of coach's that had low backs. Looked great and the TV came up behind but not very comfortable. And who wants to watch a TV over top of a couch?

Many of the coaches have similar floor plans, L shaped couches mid kitchen, dinettes on either side, etc.

Do you want to cook in the coach? How much counter space do you need? Again the amount will vary. Janet and I like to cook together so the amount of counter space was very important.

Considering you are going to spend a fair amount of time in the unit I would think that the most comfortable to your tastes is the most important.
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Old 10-01-2015, 08:09 PM   #24
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GreyGoose57

We retired in 2012 and started with a 2003 Tiffin Phaeton[old technology] and we traded up to a 2009 Beaver Contessa in 2013 just a year later.
We have been happy with our Beaver--- BUT--- since you asked what would I buy---- if I was buying again and knowing what I know now with your budget I believe you could find a beautiful pre-DPF/DEF motorhome.
The pre 2007 engines that did not need to comply with the rigid EPA standards that started in 2008.
Look for an older diesel pusher with a side radiator that has been very well taken care of with maintenance records.
I would look for a tandem axle if I was going to full time and travel a lot. They ride better and handle traffic better on the highway.
Some of the Beaver coaches in our club are 15 yrs old and you can't tell how old they are unless you start counting slides.
Get full body paint and solid wood interior if you can it will hold up better.
Thats my 2 cents worth.
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Old 10-01-2015, 08:11 PM   #25
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To answer your question about the Floorplan, IMHO, it is very important. Questions you might answer, do you or your wife like to cook? Then extra counter and pantry space might be important. Do you need a desk for a laptop? Where is the a TV located.. Can it be seen from just one sofa or recliner? Floor plan was the first thing we looked at and we ruled out many coaches just fir that reason. We bought a Winnebago journey 36g but quickly realized we wanted a tag axle bigger coach, so we are looking at 43' now with our dream floor plan.
Good luck with your search... There are some great folks here to help!!
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Old 10-01-2015, 08:14 PM   #26
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Yes, I have been researching Dutchstar and I think that would be a good choice.

I have looked at a few other makes and yes, some have more glitter but the DSDP is solid, no nonsense, well built. Which ever one you choose, I suggest setting aside a bag of money (10-15K min) for the unforeseen. These things (any make) require a fair amount of maintenance to keep them rolling but it's the unforeseen that can be hard to deal with.
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Old 10-01-2015, 08:18 PM   #27
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We recently bought a 4369 Ventana as our new ( soon to be full time) home. Otherwise we would have chosen a DP in the 32-34 ft range. Plenty of room inside, able to pull a toad and easier to maneuver in campgrounds and boondocking areas. Our short list included Newmar, Tiffin, and Entegra. When the 2016's came on the market, the 2015's were reduced and the 2014's even more so. We found a new 2014 that had not sold that fit pocketbook and luckily it was the model we really wanted.
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Old 10-01-2015, 08:27 PM   #28
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I intended to buy a 5-7 year old diesel pusher but after looking at every MH new and used in a 200 mile radius, we ended up buying a new Gas Tiffin 36 LA because it had the most requirements that we were looking for. I decided that we would spend a lot more time living in it than driving it so I sacrificed my Diesel engine for the floor plan we liked most. Really no regrets yet but we haven't hit the western mountains yet either.
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