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Old 01-04-2012, 02:07 PM   #1
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Cool Which way do we go?

We are looking into getting our 1st used rv and leaning strongly towards the class A. I have a bad back, 18 y/o son is autisitc and the better half suffers from knowing to much! Any suggestion on floor plans, brand, models, gas vs deisel will help. Looking forward to enjoying a long trip. Our plans are to visit all 48 continuous states within the next 2 years. We will be towing a 2005 Ford Escape. Never realized there were so many choices...

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Old 01-04-2012, 02:22 PM   #2
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Make sure your Escape can be towed 4 down. With a bad back dealing with a tow dolly is something you might not want. Find one with two bed areas as you won't want to make up a bed every night. Not sure what brands have them but know some do.

You didn't mention new/used or a price range.

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Old 01-04-2012, 02:30 PM   #3
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Consider this the first step in a long road of research, get to an RV Show ASAP, read, read, read, and read more, you, like everyone else have very specific needs, getting the best set up for your lifestyle will really dictate the kind of experience you have on the road, good luck, keep us posted....
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:34 PM   #4
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Hi FishnChips,
Welcome to iRV2. Your budget will determine the areas you can focus on. You are correct to get the floor plan down first. Floor plan sells the coach. There are several bunk bed floor plans from several manufacturers. Per wildtoad's post having a real bed for everyone is important. Your wife will know the floor plan she wants when she sees it. Unfortunately, this means you'll be looking at quite a few RVs. If you live near some large dealers that may be a good first step.

FYI, I've been around the USA several times. One time was with the kids and another time was with the Gkids (will finish the last Gkid this year). It takes me about 6 years to get the lower 48 states done. And this is more of a "Whitman Sampler" tour. Your statement about doing it in two years is very ambitious. Based on that, a diesel power plant may be better for a 2 year 48 state tour.
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:10 PM   #5
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The 2005 Ford Escape is towable 4 down only if it has manual transmission. See (Application Charts | Remco Towing and or http://www.fmca.com/images/stories/pdf/towing_05.pdf). It's weight should not be a problem with either a gas or diesel rig. Pick a floorplan that works for you (meaning your wife approves). With a bad back you might find the air ride of a diesel rig a bit more comfortable. The type of rig is not going to have any appreciable effect on your wife's knowledge base. Welcome to the forum.
Travel well, travel safe,
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:33 AM   #6
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The only suggestion I will make is Bath and a half.. You can't know how nice that 2nd hole is till you fully understand the following joke that is not really a joke.

How long "A minute" is depends on which side of the bathroom door you are on.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:55 AM   #7
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I feel that a class A would be the best choice for you. Not as much involved as with a 5th wheel or bumper pull. Floor plan would be critical, as would be the choice of a toad. Slides really open up the coach, but can limit access to some areas when they are retracted, so be sure to investigate this. Sleeping arrangements and ease of setup and comfort of second bed should be looked at closely.

As to diesel or gas, I prefer gas due to the simplicity. No complicated filter changes, etc. Fuel mileage would be similar between the two. Gas is significantly cheaper than diesel and in some instances, more easily obtained.

Good luck in your pursuit. As we were advised many, many times, it is better to have tried the rv lifestyle and maybe not like it, than not to try it and wished we had.

As for the better half suffering from "knowing too much", that will be taken care of as he learns the difference between "his" way and the "right" way. RV maintenance and operation has a way of humbling the very best of us and educating us very quickly as we make our mistakes (big grin and speaking from experience).
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:07 PM   #8
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Another vote for a Class A. We had a "C" for a couple of seasons and hated the turkey. It was a "let's see if we like RVing" purchase. Our current rig is much more to our liking.

There are so many variables in the choice equation. We were looking for a Class A within a certain age range and price bracket. There's just the two of us, and, back then, two Labradors.

We set our sights on something newer than 2000, no longer than 32' (driveway length limitation), two slides and a walk-around queen bed, and <$40K.

We looked for about 9 months and eventually came across our signature rig in the local paper. One owner from new, immaculately maintained and $4K below our limit. It only had 11,600 miles on it and less than 50 hours on the generator.

Because of the on-going Bosch brake controversy, we decided not to look at any Workhorse rigs. I wasn't too keen on the Workhorse/GM transmission "Autopark" system either.

On the whole we're satisfied with it. There are some quality of construction issues with what FR built (mainly in the cabinetry), but we're working through those. On the road performance is quite good - ride quality reflects that the underpinnings are an 11-ton truck, not a Rolls Royce! I'd rather spend money on gas and CG fees than trying to make a silk purse out of a pig's ear.

We hope to get 10 more good years out of the old girl, by which time I'll be 80 and driving may have become improbable - who knows.
Frank Damp -Anacortes, WA,(DW- Eileen)
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:20 PM   #9
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If you do any cold weather Rving or travel you should get some opinions about heating a class A while driving and parked. The front winshield and dash areas are not insultated. there are lots or posts about what folks go through to stay warm.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:59 PM   #10
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Fish and Chips - you don't state your amount of experience with motor homes. My strong suggestion is that you rent first several times with different RVs to learn what works for your family and if the RVing World is really for you. And then go to as many RV shows as possible to see as many models as possible. Take a long time deciding what to spend your money on. Research is very cheap compared to buying the wrong RV.
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:54 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by howdja View Post
I feel that a class A would be the best choice for you.

As to diesel or gas, I prefer gas due to the simplicity. No complicated filter changes, etc. Fuel mileage would be similar between the two. Gas is significantly cheaper than diesel and in some instances, more easily obtained.

Agree, and disagree... Class A, way better for traveling than a trailer of any sort.

Gas engine; strongly disagree. Diesels are much simpler than gas engines, no ignition system for example. True, diesels have one additional filter (fuel) to regularly change, but that takes most folks five minutes or so typically. Other than that, it's typical oil/filter changes and not a lot more. Diesel chassis are typically much better; smoother & vastly quieter ride along with greater carrying capacity. You really must drive both to appreciate the true difference. Most folks I know would much prefer a used diesel pusher to a new gas coach.

Operating cost; well, diesel fuel is slightly more expensive and gets slightly better fuel economy. It's highly unlikely you'll ever wear out a turbodiesel engine or Allison transmission, but I hear of plenty of folks who have needed to rebuild gas engines or their transmissions.

I would suggest researching which are the better quality coaches; which manufacturers have been around a long time and are still building coaches. You'll find there are simply a handful of companies that have been in business for several decades, are consistently well thought of, and are there to provide support when you need it. The reasons are obvious why quality manufacturers stay in business.
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:21 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by wildtoad
Make sure your Escape can be towed 4 down. With a bad back dealing with a tow dolly is something you might not want. Find one with two bed areas as you won't want to make up a bed every night. Not sure what brands have them but know some do.

You didn't mention new/used or a price range.
I would suggest you look at www.tiffinmotorhomes.com and look at the Allegro Open Road 35QBA (aka Bunkhouse).
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Home is in the hearts of those you love and who love you. Wherever they may be, THAT is your home.
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:20 PM   #13
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While doing your research when you think you have found the MH of choise. Have them put the slides in and then see what you can and cannot get to. You still need access to the fridge and the bathroom at all times. You will be suprised at how many don't offer access to thaose thngs when in travel mode.
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:57 PM   #14
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There are many things you need to decide before you purchase a MH. They are all easy to buy but not so easy to sell once you decide to part with it, even if it is a well maintained quality unit. The deciding factor in most MH purchases is cubic money. DP ride better, are quieter, have more storage and cargo carrying capacity but they cost more initially, cost more to operate and maintain. It is a lot of fun to do all the looking and research, just take your time.

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