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Old 03-06-2018, 07:11 PM   #1
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No RV and No Truck

My wife is retiring soon and we've been giving thought to buying a fifth wheel and a truck, probably later in the year.

I'm leaning toward a 32-38' fifth wheel and a 3500HD diesel, DRW, long bed.

I'll try to sort through the various manufacturers of RVs and narrow it down and then seek out a used later model. Any advice on literature that helps sort through the various manufacturer's quality, specs, etc would be helpful.

Are RV shows and factory tours a good idea? How does someone avoid making BIG mistakes buying a very poor quality used RV?

I plan to purchase the truck new 2017 - 2019.
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Old 03-06-2018, 07:15 PM   #2
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There are RV surveyors much like there are nautical surveyors. When purchasing a boat often times an offer is made contingent upon a survey and trial run. Might be something to consider.
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Old 03-06-2018, 07:33 PM   #3
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My advice would be to do the following:

1. Figure out what you MUST have vs what you'd LIKE to have. Make up your list and have your spouse make up their list. You may not know right now, so keep your lists handy to do any ADD/CHANGE/DELETEs.

2. Take a look at floor plans and compare them to your lists in step 1.

3. As you work your way through the floor plans, start making another list - this one makes/models of RVs that meet your needs from steps 1 & 2.

4. Join the owner's forums from the RVs identified in step 3. This was a mistake that I missed when I bought my current RV, and it cost me a few thousand $$$ because I wasn't aware of a serious flaw. In my case it was the Lippert grease seals failures. It cost me $2,800 to get that corrected. Once I joined the forum (Grand Design) I saw the 53-page thread on this problem. Had I known, I could have addressed that with the dealer PRIOR to closing the deal. So learn as much as you can about the RVs that are on your short list.

Others will add stuff here.....
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Old 03-06-2018, 07:37 PM   #4
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i'm still overwhelmed by the multitude of manufactures. They all have floor plans that look nice, so I'm first trying to seek advice about the quality ratings of the people who put these things on the market. I know there is a wealth of experience out there that can tell me the companies that cut corners with cheap materials and workmanship. Any guidance?
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Old 03-06-2018, 07:49 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by manwithnorv View Post
i'm still overwhelmed by the multitude of manufactures. They all have floor plans that look nice, so I'm first trying to seek advice about the quality ratings of the people who put these things on the market. I know there is a wealth of experience out there that can tell me the companies that cut corners with cheap materials and workmanship. Any guidance?
Unfortunately, they're all doing the bare minimum to get product pushed out the door. I was told that Grand Design was a step up from the Jayco's, Forest River's, etc. Truth be told, they're all assembled by guys making minimum wage. I honestly don't believe that Grand Design is any better or worse than the rest of the herd. There might be a couple of things in some manufacturers favor (i.e. welding on both sides of a brace), but for the most part they're all the same. They all use 3rd party (Furrion, Norcold, etc.) products to build them.

The real differentiator is going to be at the Pre-Delivery Inspection. That's where you're going to have to have the knowledge (i.e. "pull off the wheels, I want to inspect the grease seals") to know what to look for. And you're only going to get that knowledge by reading the owner's forums.
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Old 03-06-2018, 07:53 PM   #6
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Every manufacturer cuts corners . I don’t care if it’s a million dollar coach or a 10,000 dollar pop up camper. The main thing to remember things break it’s going to happen. Don’t worry eather fix it yourself or take it to a dealer where they fix it. No different then a sticks and brick home...
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Old 03-06-2018, 08:02 PM   #7
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You need to have a really good idea of how you will use it. For example, we figured we wanted to be able to use state parks, Corps of Engineers parks, county parks & National Parks over private campgrounds. That puts a length restriction on your choices. Go over 35' & your site availability rapidly decreases with length increase.

Very few floorplans have much galley working room. Something that is needed if long trips using campgrounds far from a local strip are planned. Along with a workable galley very few have a decent freshwater capacity. 60gal that most have is not going to last long dry camping. Figure 12gal per person per day to be comfy. For us the 'must have' was 80gal minimum. We bought one with a 100gal capacity & can do a week without breaking much of a conservation sweat. That requirement alone cut a huge number from the potential model herd.

Lots of CGs have power but no water at the sites. We use our own shower, not the CG's because we have the water onboard.
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Old 03-06-2018, 08:16 PM   #8
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1st...WELCOME ABOARD!!!!
Keep in mind that your 1st RV (no matter if TT, 5'r or Motorhome) IS A TOOL!
To learn what you love
What you can tolerate
AND What you truly HATE!
My suggestion is to buy a USED unit that has everything You "think" you want and need to satisfy your chosen lifestyle...
Then...
After a year or two... more or less....
You will KNOW
What you love
What you will tolerate
And what are the "Deal Breakers" on the next RV.
Then go buy your "Forever Coach"

Happy Hunting
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Old 03-06-2018, 10:03 PM   #9
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Go over 35' & your site availability rapidly decreases with length increase.
Does everyone agree with this statement...How important is length in site availability?
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Old 03-06-2018, 10:06 PM   #10
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So my question is... "what background do you have? and are you sure this is the life style you'd like to live for the next few years"

Once you buy NEW and drive it away.... it will loose 30% of its value.. that's a really bad financial mistake if its a lifestyle you find you don't enjoy....

I've know more than one friend who has spent a lot of money to find in the first year or two that they really didn't like the life style...
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Old 03-06-2018, 10:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim1521 View Post
My advice would be to do the following:

1. Figure out what you MUST have vs what you'd LIKE to have. Make up your list and have your spouse make up their list. You may not know right now, so keep your lists handy to do any ADD/CHANGE/DELETEs.

2. Take a look at floor plans and compare them to your lists in step 1.

3. As you work your way through the floor plans, start making another list - this one makes/models of RVs that meet your needs from steps 1 & 2.

4. Join the owner's forums from the RVs identified in step 3. This was a mistake that I missed when I bought my current RV, and it cost me a few thousand $$$ because I wasn't aware of a serious flaw. In my case it was the Lippert grease seals failures. It cost me $2,800 to get that corrected. Once I joined the forum (Grand Design) I saw the 53-page thread on this problem. Had I known, I could have addressed that with the dealer PRIOR to closing the deal. So learn as much as you can about the RVs that are on your short list.

Others will add stuff here.....
We took a movie camera with us (1997) when looking for our first and only new Type C mh.
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Old 03-06-2018, 10:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by manwithnorv View Post
Does everyone agree with this statement...How important is length in site availability?
It really depends on where you're planning to stay. If you're going to do national parks then that statement is fairly accurate. If you're going to stay at RV resorts then length won't matter.
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Old 03-06-2018, 10:54 PM   #13
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Old 03-06-2018, 10:55 PM   #14
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Sorry for the double post!
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