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Old 04-29-2016, 09:22 AM   #1
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Help me find RV to buy based on these specs...

Looking for any inputs from other RVers.

Looking for our 1st RV. We are in our 50s and will travel alone 80% of the time. However, when we do take our grown kids with us it will be five adults all trying to play board games, eat dinner and get a good nights sleep. We will also have two dogs with us (medium and small).

I would like to get a BIG 40 footer and have a mobile apartment. My wife would like something smaller that is easy to drive around in. So, I start my search seeing if it is even possible to get something that matches the specs below.

  • 30' or less
  • at least one slide-out
  • Shower separate from toilet
  • Real primary bed (not cushion jigsaw puzzle)
  • Nice second bed (over cab, bunk or a couch you can really fold out and sleep on)
  • Can tow a small car
  • Prefer table for eating / playing games VS dinette (every dinette we have seen is a cramped waste of space)
  • Class A/B/C gas or diesel (not really interested in trailers/5th wheels)
  • looking for used vehicle
  • purchase price less than $50,000
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:27 AM   #2
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I see many C' s out there in gas with all your wish list except the dining area. Almost all company's make a like model and with a budget like yours a later model in the 2007 plus or minus is possible. There are a few A's that would also fit except again for the eating area. If a A the drop down bed over the drivers area gives sleeping almost comfortable for six pls with that bed up the two extra chairs. Also your price range a two slide just might be there.

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Old 04-29-2016, 10:28 AM   #3
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Hit as many RV shows as you can. JMO but 30" is way too small for full timing and crowds. Suggest a gasser in the 35' range. Good luck.
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:47 AM   #4
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Hit as many RV shows as you can. JMO but 30" is way too small for full timing and crowds. Suggest a gasser in the 35' range. Good luck.
X2

Reading the requirements.. I was thinking one was made by unobtanium..
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:54 AM   #5
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Look online for floor plans of the various manufacturers and their models. Imagine living in it, for example: where is tv and where are you expected to sit. Does it make sense? You will be better able to know what make, model you want to see and walk through.
Being a first time buyer be aware that 30-35% off MSRP is reasonable.
NADA has a RV price section.
Hope this helps.
Enjoy researching and shopping and take your time.
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wbonsell View Post
Hit as many RV shows as you can. JMO but 30" is way too small for full timing and crowds. Suggest a gasser in the 35' range. Good luck.
I agree with Wbonsell , that your 30' limit will be the big problem , 5 adults in any coach will be a crowd particularly with the slides in.
But an older gasser class A in the 35' range will be an issue, because many were overloaded from the factory. Learn to look for the RV weight stickers and pay attention to the CCC ( Cargo Carrying Capacity ) and how it's calculated by the manufacturer. For an RV where you want to be able to carry 5 adults and their gear , you need to be looking for a rig with a CCC of 3,000 lbs MINIMUM!
JMHO: You wont find that number available in coaches under 30' or 95% of the older gassers out there.
Here's a picture of the weight sticker, the sticker can be anywhere in the coach, usually in a cupboard or closet.
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:00 AM   #7
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This rig would not be for full-timing. It would be for weekend trips and the occasional family trip (2x a year) to a major location for 4-10 days.

what about the scenario below...

if we are going to drive to Grand Canyon with three adults - then, two more adults fly out an join us. The RV is only then used at campground as our "lodging" - so, maybe the carry capacity isn't as much of an issue.

Personally, I would rather go with an older diesel 40 foot unit... but my wife thinks it would be a bear to drive around and likes the idea of something smaller.
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:11 AM   #8
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I am going to agree with most of the other posts. What you are planning to do seems okay on paper, but after a short time you'll realize that you should have gone bigger. A 40 footer is a bear to drive, for about three days the you'll adjust to it and find it easy to drive.

Even in your second scenario of people meeting you and staying with you? 30' is still too small. How about this scenario. You have people meet you for a vacation of 5 days. You get rain, wind and it's just miserable out. Now you have 5 people cooped in your RV. It will not be a fun time. JMHO
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:13 AM   #9
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Tall order but one you will ultimately have to decide for yourself.

Take your family with you to a dealers. Ditch the salesman and go visit a bunch of units in various sizes. Take some time to pretend you are by yourself or with family. Then pretend you are weathered in for a day or two. You will quickly find what will work for you and what will not. With 5 adults I would expect a bath 1/2 would be much more convenient than a split bath.

It seems like an oxymoron but IMO larger coaches are designed for smaller groups. We operate on cocktails for 8, dinner for 4 and sleeping for 2. We have sleeping for 4.

Floor plan as you have shown is the most important. Finding the best one for you is going to be a matter of trying them out. Dealers and shows are your best friend.

Once you find the criteria you can decide whether you will purchase new or begin the search for a used unit.
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:22 AM   #10
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wfcentral,

Like you I am searching for a coach to fit my family's needs. We will always have 2 adults, 2 children (though much younger than yours) and 2 dogs. But we will frequently have another 2 adults. At this point I am only looking in the 33-37' range, and even then it could be cramped. With the kids still in carseats I have to keep the dinette so I can secure them properly. But I also need a real pull out hide-a-bed couch and not a jack-knife.

I wanted to go longer like you do, but I got veto'd because a longer coach wont fit in our RV slot on the side of the house, and the longer coaches have issues getting into CA State Parks, and some National Parks. In CA anything bigger than 40' requires a Class B non-commercial license, and I was the only one willing to get one.
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wfcentral View Post
This rig would not be for full-timing. It would be for weekend trips and the occasional family trip (2x a year) to a major location for 4-10 days.

what about the scenario below...

if we are going to drive to Grand Canyon with three adults - then, two more adults fly out an join us. The RV is only then used at campground as our "lodging" - so, maybe the carry capacity isn't as much of an issue.

Personally, I would rather go with an older diesel 40 foot unit... but my wife thinks it would be a bear to drive around and likes the idea of something smaller.
Even for the two of you 30' will most likely not fit your needs, and soon you will be wanting to buy a bigger MH. Even an extra 5' will make a huge difference, and you will be much more comfortable. After a few trips you will not even notice the difference in length.

We travel quite comfortably in ours when we take our 3 grandkids, but if our adult kids came with us it would be crowded in any size MH. We have the bath and a half which is great for having extra people, but even with that if they meet us at a CG as in your example they usually sleep in a small tent, or their own RV and then share all the amenities our MH has.
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:36 AM   #12
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I'd go with your wife with a caveat. Get a guest tent. Very few motor homes really seat more than 4 for a meal. You can cook for more but not seat them reasonably so it will be an outside adventure. Ditto the board games.

You won't be full timing so you will not need the space. A 30 foot unit opens up a lot more places to park. It is a sweet spot for two. You can add a guest or two with the couch. Ditch the dinette for a table if you want to but keep track of how many you can seat with belts. Dinettes are 4 but tables are zero because chairs do not count when driving.

When parked and the crew flies in get two adjacent campsites and bring a decent tent. Most folks can do well on the ground with a good air pad as long as they are fairly limber. Your kids should qualify. They might also like the privacy. Sleeping bags all around except for the main bed makes life a lot easier.

You can take a reasonable towed with the 30 ft then have the fly in's rent a mini van for group trips. Again, a lot easier. and sometimes handier.
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Old 04-29-2016, 12:13 PM   #13
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I've owned everything but a Class B, and I would rule out Class B if I were you. My answers for 30' or less, at least one slide-out, shower separate from toilet, real primary bed, nice second bed and can tow a small car can all be met by most Class C or Class A units. Likewise, both can tow small cars. Anything under under 30' can be cramped for 5 people and 2 dogs, but you did say only 20% usage with the extra 3 people. Unless things have changed (I haven't been in a Class C in years), most Class Cs have dinettes that I agree are cramped. If you think you need 30' or less, I think you're looking at used gas Class Cs if less than $50,000.
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Old 04-29-2016, 12:26 PM   #14
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My motorhome is good with two adults and 3 teenagers and 2 kids. We carry 7 bikes, a lot of materials, full of water all the time and I have put heavy floor, ceramic, etc.

We went to Grand Canyon last year. And we spent 10 days in the park and I drove on every roads, even the ones people say we should not bring a motorhome. We had no tow cars. The motorhome was slow on big hills but we were not on a rush.

I wanted 34' or more so that we would have a washing-machine which is a must for my wife. I do the washing but she would not come without it.

This spring I will split the exhaust to have two distincts exhausts for an expected boost of at least 10% in power on hills. I will do it because we tow a car now. We went in Florida from Montreal this winter and the motorhome was at 65 MHP almost all the time even with the tow car.. but there was no hills. So the exhaust modification is for our next trip this summer in the west USA with big hills.

On our older Pace Arrow Vision the sofa is a jack-knife and is a very confortable bed. We can sit 4 persons on it. I met many people with newer motorhome that told me their sofa was very bad and useless (cheap foam with no springs). I had my sofa covered with new commercial grade leather.

So my advice: try the sofa to see if adults can really sleep on it.

I have bought two small stools. We place them in front of the dining table so we can sit 6 slim persons. They can also fit under the table when we drive.

I read a lot about people worring about weight. They are probably right. But in my opinion, these engines are very very tough and they were made to have a tough life. The transmission will fall in safe mode before it burns (if it goes in safe-mode too often then you can simply add an extra transmission radiator for 200$). The suspension will be simply happier with more weight.

On the worst hills in Grand Canyon, YellowStone, Grand-Teton, Las-Vegas, I had sometimes the engine at high revolution for 30 minutes on big long hills at 30mph(on a two months trips in the west). If you push an engine with heavy weight like I do in my opinion the only consequence for a Ford Gazer like mine will be that your sparkplugs will last 30000 to 50000 miles instead of 100000 miles. So when you motorhome get slower than in the past for the same hill, it is probably time to re-gap or change the sparkplugs.

At least one extension in the front is a must like you said for five persons.

I paid my motorhome 23k Cad including taxes, immatriculation, insurance. I put 20k in material to restore it all by myself. I have a lot of posts about my project. I did not paint the outdoor walls yet.

My motorhome on a Ford F53 turns on a dime. Very easy to drive, park and turn. So don't be afraid of going more thant 30'. I am quite sure my 36.5 is more stable than a 30' simply because it is heavier. These toys are very high. The more we put weight, the more the gravity center goes down and this gives you stability. The main chalenge on driving is on the highway at high speed and not at slow speed. So the stability is more important than the lenght for the driver.
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