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Old 10-17-2014, 02:51 PM   #1
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Can you help a newbie with your opinions and experience on buying an RV

Hello Everyone,
I appreciate any help you all can provide in the form of warnings or advice about purchasing a used RV...our first RV. We are excited to get one, but I would like to be as informed as I can before we start kicking tires, and maybe your advice will help to manage my expectations a little bit too.

We are hoping to purchase a used Class A Motorhome, probably gas (as they seem to be cheaper than the diesel pushers). It is going to be older, probably from the late 90's early 2000's as that seems to be our price range. I personally want it to be in the neighborhood of 30' as we would like to use it to travel cross country, and we have 3 boys aged 15, 10, and 5, so I don't want it to be too small.

Any particular manufacturer/year that I should avoid...other places for the info I'm going to need...things that should make me run away from a unit...anything will help.

Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge with a (pre) newbie.
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Old 10-17-2014, 03:00 PM   #2
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Regarding late 90's gassers. Look into the difference between conventional (pre late 90's contruction) and what became known as a "wide body". They were switching back then. Difference in wheel track for handling, difference in body width for roomier interiors.
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Old 10-17-2014, 03:18 PM   #3
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Glad you're aboard.

Check this link out for some pertinent info. Then most suggest finding a floor plan that you like and doing a search for the RVs available with that floor plan. Go out and look at all the RVs you can find to do that. RV shows, dealers, private parties, etc. You can find those in the classifieds here on IRV2, on eBay, on Craigslist, at RVTrader.com, at RVT.com., your local classifieds. Best of luck in your search and decision.

Enjoy your adventures and be safe.
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Old 10-17-2014, 05:23 PM   #4
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Thanks Ken! I appreciate the info
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Old 10-17-2014, 05:24 PM   #5
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thanks ahicks, I didn't know about the frame width change in the 90's.
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Old 10-17-2014, 05:36 PM   #6
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With 3 children you may want to consider a 30' to 34' BH (bunk house). Winnebago is a great entry level MH. You will also want at least one slide. And lastly, figure out the floor plan you like.
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Old 10-17-2014, 06:05 PM   #7
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Very true Pepper2, I like the idea of bunks for two younger ones, just hard to find that floor plan in the 90's vehicles. I would love that tho.
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Old 10-18-2014, 02:31 AM   #8
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Hopefully you are starting this research a few years from the time you will actually take the plunge. This may open up the avenue of a little later model year as well. Don't be in a rush and you can find the perfect coach at a price that will surprise you. Expand your search to cover the entire nation and you can save the cost of flying to pick it up and then some. The market is extremely flooded with used coaches but it has started to turn the corner and I predict in a couple of years there will be a deficit and the prices will go up. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 10-18-2014, 06:36 AM   #9
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You have to consider the fact that with a 30' motorhome you don't really have 30' of living space. Approx. 5', maybe a little more is taken up from the windshield to the back of the two front seats. Bunks are a good idea, but that still leaves a couch or dinnette for the other boy to sleep on. It's doable, but consider spending 3 or 4 rainy days stuck inside...who's going to be the referee?
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Old 10-20-2014, 08:00 PM   #10
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Welcome Tom13, you are in the right place to find out all kinds of information! Where in the country are you located? There are several dealers that allow you to walk through and even test drive some of the available types that may have your interest. Perhaps there is one near you! I can promise you that there is such a huge range of options out there, from the little ones to the rolling palaces! The search is one of the greatest parts of the process. Just as many others have mentioned find a floor plan that works for you, and above all, DON'T BE IN A RUSH! Take time to think about your choice, pick it over with the members of this forum, check out the owners section on the brands and styles that get your attention. Good luck and let us know how your progress goes. Maybe we will get to meet you someday!!!
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Old 10-20-2014, 08:03 PM   #11
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You didn't state your budget but look at the PPL consignment site to get some general ideas of what's out there and for what price. They handle diesel and gas. Look at both.

Diesel Motorhomes for Sale - PPL Motor Homes
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Old 10-21-2014, 02:09 PM   #12
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Thank you for the welcome and the info Rabbitfish! We are located in Washington State, near Seattle. Our desire is to take an RV on a big looping trek around the US. The initial "dreaming" phase marked a path about 7600 miles long. So the hope was to find a vehicle up to that task, with enough space for all of us, but something that doesn't cost so much we can't afford to take it anywhere. Finding that middle ground will be tough, and the research is going to prove whether or not that's even possible. You are right though, the search and research phase it exiting! We went to a couple dealerships last weekend to get a feel for the interiors that we had been seeing online. The kids went nuts...they loved it, and wanted to buy an RV right then so we could go use it somewhere.
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Old 10-21-2014, 02:17 PM   #13
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Thank you for the info twogypsies, I appreciate getting the inside scoop from all of the RV veterans. That is a great site, I like how they have the floorplans included. We are still a bit up in the air about our final budget tho. My wife is ok with the old style RV, but now that I've sat in an RV with sliders...I really want one with the extra room afforded by at least one slider...such a huge difference.
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Old 10-22-2014, 05:38 PM   #14
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The bigger they get the nicer they get and more expensive! I was perfectly happy in a small gas rv no slides, until the next one 40 ft diesel with four slides, then happier with a 45 ft with four slides. You won't miss what you don't have, but boy these things sure can spoil you! There is also a huge difference when you fuel up too! How does 2.5 mpg strike you? After a little backing off the pedal I've gotten almost up to 5 mpg. That makes a big hole in the wallet at the fuel stop! Don't forget to take in account the price of a new tire if you have a flat or blowout. Would you believe $600 plus for one tire. But you will learn as you go along, and don't forget we are all here for you! There are no stupid questions here! Ask away! Glad to have you here!!!
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