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Old 11-22-2014, 05:02 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 4
Hello from Alaska....for now

I just signed up yesterday and I can't wait to hear from more experienced RV'ers. I have a million questions, but I'll start with just a few.
The wife and I have camped the Alaska campgrounds for 20 years with our boys. It was great in a 2003 22ft Nash Trailer. Now that they are grown and gone, we have decided to do the full time thing. We have a target date of May to sell the house, quit our jobs and hit the road.
First question....my RV budget is $150,000. Do I buy a used diesel or a new gas rig? The new gas rigs are pretty, but I'm afraid it won't have the power I want. We plan on pulling a toad (Honda Fit) behind us. Not much weight, but will a gas rig not do so well with a toad?
Next question....I have pulled a trailer for years...no problem. I have sat in a couple of 40 ft diesel pushers and I am pretty intimidated. I am kind of afraid to drive it off the lot when we buy one (this February). I would hate to make a turn too quick and wreck it right off the lot. Any tips or advice to heed?
I'll save the other questions for later. Pretty excited. Can't wait to hit the road and get out of the rat race. Appreciate all advice from the experienced!

Paul & Julie......no rig yet

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Old 11-22-2014, 05:18 PM   #2
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Fleetwood Owners Club
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Location: Marquette, Michigan "Da UP"
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Good luck with a solution.

John & Cathy R.
06 Pace Arrow 38L W24
08 14 Lincoln MKX AWD
See My RV Upgrades
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Old 11-22-2014, 05:20 PM   #3
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Location: Cumming, GA
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I have mixed feelings when it comes to the selection - diesel vs gas.

I have a diesel Four Winds Serrano 32 feet long and i pull a 2009 CRV without much of a problem. I normally drive 60 mph because the CRV has a 65 mph tow speed limit 4 wheels down. I get a consistent 11-12 mpg. But the maintenance is about $350+ per year.

We had a 30 foot 5th wheel that i towed with a Ford F250 V10. The power was better in my opinion and the F250 annual maintenance was less than $50.

Never having a diesel proved to be a challenge in learning all the operational differences. I am lucky because my MH does not require DEF.

We have been looking to get a larger MH and I am thinking of going with a gas powered MH.

The other thing to consider is length many federal and state parks have limits.
2011 Serrano 31X, 2006 CR-V
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Old 11-22-2014, 05:26 PM   #4
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Hello from Connecticut
How you doing in Alaska ????
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Old 11-22-2014, 05:36 PM   #5
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Location: Floyds Knobs, Indiana
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I just purchased a diesel pusher but only after struggling with whether it was worth paying 50k more over a gasser. For me, the ride and drive was as important as the stay. The freightliner chassis glides over the bumps, is dead quite, and doesn't lean around corners nearly as much as the gas version. With the engine in the back the weight is just where it needs to be to help stabilize the coach when pulling a toad. As you already know, the diesel handles the hills better than a gas engine. One thing I did not anticipate is how much more the DW enjoys the diesel. She sits in the copilot seat and and scrap books while we converse in the quite. The experience is totally different from when we had our gasoline Sightseer.
Mike & Sue Jones
Venetian A40, formally Palazzo 35.1
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport S
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Old 11-22-2014, 05:57 PM   #6
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Doing good. Warmer here than where you are right now. I'll take it.
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Old 11-22-2014, 06:42 PM   #7
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We owned a 31' Class C no slides and after ~11 years decided to move up to our current rig, a Class A 2002 Monaco Windsor 38 PKD, 2 slides.

Believe it or not the Class A is easier to drive then the Class C. You sit up higher so your visibility is greatly improved. It has an 8 air bag suspension so it glides over the road and with the engine in the back it is quite, It's 350 HP engine is more then enough to keep it going pulling our Jeep.

If your budget is $150K you can buy a nice used Diesel Pusher with all the bells and whistles. We bought ours in 2008, it was 6 years old but it has held up well and we've had limited problems. Monaco is a great coach.

If you are going to full time you need to be concerned with storage, the Class A's in most cases have lots of storage and carrying capacity. If you choose to buy a tag axle you will even have more carrying capacity. The Class A's with quad slides have plenty of room and IMHO is essentially a small house on wheels with all the amenities.

Good Luck on your choice.
Jim J
2002 Monaco Windsor 38 PKD
2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee w/5.7 Hemi
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Old 11-22-2014, 06:44 PM   #8
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First thing is to find the best floor plan for you anticipated needs. It might be a new gas or a used coach but you have to select the floor plan you will share full time. There will be days when you will encounter inclement weather and a small unit can become very small quite quickly.

Will you have room for your hobbies and the things you like to do when you are not outside. Is the seating and bed comfortable. Many like a king bed. It is nice!

Gas or diesel can be misleading. Both will have sufficient power to tow the Honda. Some of the smaller gas may be questionable but it would make full timing a slog as well. You may not get there as fast as a diesel but you will get there. Remember the rule of mouse traps. The second mouse gets the cheese.

You could seriously look at used and get a very nice coach in your price range. Whatever you purchase you will have to do some research and due diligence. All coaches will require maintenance no matter who built it.

Try and get a coach that is up the model line. It will generally have better quality materials and appliances. Pressed wood will work but it will also deteriorate more rapidly than real wood.

Do a bunch of looking around. Go to a dealers (ditch the salesman) and pretend you are living in as many models as you can. Take the time to sit and imagine what you would be doing if it were raining outside. Can you recline in your chair and have DW or DH pass by? Is there sufficient counter space to prepare and cook a meal? Do you intend to have guests either staying or visiting and is there room for them/

Lots of questions but you will enjoy the life.

Let us know what you are considering and many will provide the answer that they considered when they purchased their RV.
Gordon and Janet
Tour 42QD/inTech Stacker
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Old 11-22-2014, 06:48 PM   #9
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While there are great advances in gas MH's if your plans are FT and hitting the highways of the US torque is king. Ride and handling, less fatigue, many other pluses that many will counter on the gasser side. In my opinion, at your budget buy a used DP of high end quality. You will have to go back some years but it will be advantages to your quality of life. Just remember to use due diligence in your search. Have fun the hunt is exciting!
Clay & Pebble.. Miss Butter our sweet Goldie (Jan. 2005-Jan. 2015) Sissy our Border Collie
2012 Providence 42 M. Spartan Chassis, 450 ISL
Ford Edge toad, RM All Terrane, TST TPMS, SMI Air Force One, RVM95....
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Old 11-22-2014, 10:04 PM   #10
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Location: Enjoying the Western States!
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It snows in February in Alaska, doesn't it? That's not the right time to get a motorhome and learning to drive it!

When you can safely drive it off the lot the big key is to not over steer it. It's amazing how they follow the road effortlessly. You'll do just fine.

For your budget of $150,000 you would be able to get a very nice, quality used diesel. Are there even many to choose from in Alaska? You might have to travel to the lower 48 for a good selection.

Best of luck in your new lifestyle. We absolutely loved it for 16 years.
Full-timed for 16 Years . . . Back in S&B Again
Traveled 8 yr in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Diesel
& 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th wheel
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Old 11-23-2014, 05:08 AM   #11
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Welcome and glad to meet you!
FMCA #F431170, GS #822128658, Escapees SKP #112655
2012 Airstream Mercedes Interstate Class B
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Old 11-23-2014, 05:30 AM   #12
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Old 11-24-2014, 07:49 PM   #13
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16 years on the road and still loving it!! That is awesome and very encouraging. I bet you have a few stories to tell, huh? Thanks for the information and wish us luck. We have been talking about this for 5 years and finally decided, screw it, lets do it. Scary but fun.

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