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Old 03-21-2015, 02:44 PM   #1
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Buying our first class A

We are looking for advice on purchasing our first class A for our nearing retirement, and would love some advice. We realize this is a big decision with lots of options to consider. We appreciate any advice that we can get from those who have already experienced this.

First of all, our plans are to travel all over this great country of ours with our 2 dogs, 2 weeks to 3 months at a time. We plan to pull a jeep (4-door) behind us. In doing our research, this is what we think we want:

Diesel pusher with 300-330 HP
34 ft in length (to limit any chance of not being able to fit in a desired location)
We would like the room that a slide model would give us, but seems like the basement storage space may be too limiting in these models - so considering a wide body older coach with low miles (like Beaver or Bluebird brand) - would love to hear advice on buying and older coach such as these.
We want to spend somewhere between 25K & 50K

My wife is dead set on having an oven and a washer/dryer - any thoughts on that?

Any other comments or advice for us you would have will be appreciated.

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Old 03-21-2015, 03:21 PM   #2
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Monaco Owners Club
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Congrats on the upcoming retirement! We did that back in 2010 and are loving every minute of it! We plan to rent our home and do a 1-year trial fulltiming period, hopefully in about 3 months.

I know everyone is different, but I personally would not consider a Class A without slideouts. If you're going to live in it full time, every inch of space is important.

As for the length, I'm really glad we went with a 40'. Yes, there are sometimes restrictions because of the size, but I feel it's worth the inconvenience! It's gonna be a major adjustment to go from a 2600 sq. ft. home to a 320 sq. ft. home!

I definitely would only consider a diesel pusher! It's so nice to have almost no motor noise when you're driving!

I would highly recommend the earlier Monaco Windsors, maybe in the 2000 to 2002 models. They are built on the Roadmaster chassis that is known for it's integrity and riding comfort. We love our 2002! It has a W/D and a microwave/convection oven. It might put you a little over the budget figure you mentioned, but well worth it if you can make it happen.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!

Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 03-21-2015, 06:02 PM   #3
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I agree with MSHappyCampers.

We had a 31' Class C for +10 years, no slides and better then average basement storage for that type of coach.

We then upgraded to a 38' 2002 Windsor, 2 slides. Lots of basement storage plus with the 2 slides it provides good living space and the floor plan works for us. We travel with more then 10 dogs, my wife shows (confirmation, agility, rally, obedience, and dock diving).

You will not loos significant basement storage with slides as they only intrude on the upper portion of the basement area, which already houses the main frame rails of the coach.

Make sure which ever coach you choose has a floor plan you like. If you have never spent extended time in an RV you might try to imagine being stuck in it for 4-5 days straight, a 34' coach has less then 260 sq ft of living space. Could you live in that small of space without going crazy???

You should be able to accommodate your wife's needs as most of the coaches have washer/dryers and oven. Ours has a microwave convection oven which does a pretty good job once you learn how to use it.
Jim J
2002 Monaco Windsor 38 PKD
2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee w/5.7 Hemi
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Old 03-21-2015, 06:12 PM   #4
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I think you should also look in the 38' to 40' range. You may be surprised at the difference in living area.
2011 40' Monaco Cayman PBQ ISC 360
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
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Old 03-21-2015, 06:30 PM   #5
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Location: Shooting Creek, NC... for now
Posts: 1,259
Thor Palazzo or
ForestRiver Legacy

dont be overly concerned about storage,
we full time in our Palazzo 33.3 bunkhouse
and really have plenty of storage, and there
are 2 adults, 2 teens, and even a doggie : )

19k miles across this great country twice in
the last 8 months, looking forward to AK in July
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Old 03-22-2015, 05:23 AM   #6
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My advise would be to reconsider a 34' coach. It wouldn't be long til you started kicking yourself for not getting a 40'. We've been fulltiming for over 5yrs. now, been throughout the U.S. & Canada, and have never run into a place I couldn't get into. As far as oven and washer/dryer, that's a personal want or need. You will want storage space. It doesn't take long to realize the space needed to bring along some creature comforts.
2000 Dutch Star Pusher
2009 Saturn Vue Towed
Full timed for 6yrs.
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Old 03-22-2015, 06:19 AM   #7
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Whatever you decide you need or can live in make sure it has enough cargo carrying capacity for what you will need to carry with you. We were concerned when we purchased ours without an oven but now realize that we probably wouldn't use it, the convection microwave is great. We had a gas oven in our fifth wheel and it was only good for broiling we tried everything to bake in it, always the same burned on the bottom. We fulltime in a 38 foot no slide it hasn't been a problem but we live outside when weather permits.
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Old 03-22-2015, 06:34 AM   #8
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Location: Western NC -Cherokee area
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Your budget and needs are personal but a couple of quick thoughts. I wasted a lot of money working our way up to the coach we really needed-try to think ahead and maybe save some money. The 40 foot idea by some others sounds about right for what you are thinking. Also, the micro/oven units are great and are a bonified oven - if you find a unit with just that don't hesitate for lack of the old type oven. And, washer/dryer for us has found to be a must. The combo units are ok but loads are a tad smaller. Probably need 38-40 ft to finds the room necessary for those units. Hey, have fun, think ahead, and I hope his helps, mark
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Old 03-22-2015, 08:47 AM   #9
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Hi Timahoy. So glad you asked these question. I am also looking to move to a class A. I have class C now. I don't drive anymore because of vision issues. My sister does all the driving now. Shi will retire next year. I am already retired. The C is to small for us, with the idea of spending at leats 4 months in the south in the winter. Also I have a girl friend. Sleeping for 3 is needed. I have been reading just about everything I can about class A's. I will subscribe to this thread, to learn more. The 3 of us are going to start going to rv dealers to get a feel for the different models and the features that come with them. The final say so on what we will giet is my decision, since I will be the owner. Look forward to followin this thread.
Congrats on the up comin retirement.
Life is a trip, ENJOY the ride.
Safe Travels.
2003 Gulf Stream Cavalier, 29.5' V-10, most bells and whistles. Banks Power Pac System, Auto Mind, Tans Command.
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Old 03-22-2015, 10:30 AM   #10
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I would say the places you want to stay would dictate the length of motorhome you want. Are you wanting to stay only in RV parks, if so a 40 footer should be no problem. If you're looking to stay in smaller boondocking type campgrounds, many of them a 40 footer would not even be able to get into. We stay at Blm campgrounds here and some have a 30 foot limit, you could get by in a 34 footer just tell them its a 30, but anything longer and they wouldn't let you stay. If you're staying in it for months at a time I would get at least one slide, just makes life a little easier. I wouldn't worry about buying the perfect MH the first time, just spend some time and buy one at a good price that way if you end up wanting something else you can easily sell it and move on. When buying ask yourself if I had to sell this tomorrow could I get my money back, if no its time to look for a different one. Just look at all the ones for sale by private sellers that are 20-30k and more above the market value. Most of these are this way because they bought their "last coach first" for way too much money and now are so upside down in it that they will never sell it for anywhere close to what they owe.
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Old 03-22-2015, 01:34 PM   #11
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Good luck on your search. We had ovens in our TT and use them more as a bread box then anything. Our first motorhome had a washer/ dryer combo, and we did not like that. Our current motorhome has a separate washer dryer and we like this set up better. You might want to think about a little bigger unit like others have suggested for the room.
Tricia & Dennis Lockhart
2010 Ventana 4333
Spartan MM w/Cummins 360 ISC
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Old 03-22-2015, 01:37 PM   #12
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Good luck with your choices.
John & Cathy R.
06 Pace Arrow 38L W24
08 Lincoln MKX AWD
See My RV Upgrades
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Old 03-22-2015, 02:02 PM   #13
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You decision to look for a class A is well founded. However I think you should look at a longer coach. 34' may sound like a nice size, untiil you start putting your stuff in it. You'll be surprised how fast you fill it up. With a rear Diesel the engine sound is not right under you.

We have an oven in ours and use it all the time. We also have a stacked washer/dryer, and would not do without it. But again you need the room to fit these into your coach.

Good luck with your search and Happy Trails!!!
Tony & Ruth........... FMCA#F416727
Newmar Dutch Star 4320, Spartan MM Chassis, Cat C9, Jeep Grand Cherokee,with Hemi, hooked up with a Blue Ox Aventa LX, and Brake Buddy.
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Old 03-22-2015, 04:25 PM   #14
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Get out to local dealers and/or RV shows and go through some units, both new & used, to get an idea what your living needs are going to be ... slides won't hurt storage .. its all based on the particular unit ... in any case take your time and enjoy the search ... it took us over a year and a half to find just the right one ...
as mentioned prior ... getting into a unit that doesn't fit that you need to upgrade is very costly.

Hal & Jackie .... 03 TS Select 45DS01
02 Haulmark 20' Edge .... 02 Corvette Rdstr

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