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Old 10-26-2011, 11:10 AM   #1
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Motor Home Quality Construction?

Does this really exist? We are shopping for our first motor home, and it's a full-time job trying to sift through all the information. We are planning to buy new, around 30', either Class A or C gasoline and our budget is under $100k. ($80k will be better, lol) I know the approximate floorplan that I like and I wish there was a year round RV show to attend so we could compare units side-by-side.

I have seen a couple of videos of MH construction, each touting to be the "best" and sturdiest, longest lasting, blah, blah. Is there a definitive buying guide or Consumer Reports review of motorhome construction? For first time buyers, do we just pick one that is cosmetically attractive and roll the dice?

We have considered a Fleetwood Storm, a Winnebago Vista, and three different Fleetwood and Winnebago Class C's that I can't remember the names of right now. We are planning to travel about 200 miles this weekend to see a Thor Damon Daybreak, a Coachmen Mirada and a Four Winds Hurricane.

Any input on any of these brands will be truly appreciated.

Also, the local dealer insinuated that if we don't buy from them, our service will be "moved to the back of the line." I hate this tactic and I'd like Winnebago/Fleetwood to know that the dealer is insinuating that warranty work won't be a priority.

I realize that $80-$100k is small potatoes to some people, but to us it's a LOT of money and I'm hoping to not get stung. We will be paying cash, but that doesn't seem to be much of a bargaining chip.
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Old 10-26-2011, 12:21 PM   #2
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SarahW:
Buying a new motor home on a pinched budget won't save you any $$. For a lot less $$ you can buy used, learn a lot and not spend as much . Buying a new motor home is not like buying a new automobile. The car people build jillions of cars and have figured how to do it. Spend some time reading iRV2 and see the huge problems with new motor homes.
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Old 10-26-2011, 12:24 PM   #3
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Welcome to IRV2, there are folks that have just about every brand and model on board, each will have their own opinion of quality. Some of us are lucky and are pretty much trouble free some will have the same model and tell horror stories. You will do better if you narrow your search on your own and post to that manufacturer forum. It's still a crap shoot but your chances of getting pertinent information will be better. Good luck!
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Old 10-26-2011, 12:30 PM   #4
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Some good info past on to you so far. If it were me I would look at a used motorhome. The depreciation has been passed on to a previous owner and with the amount of rigs out there for sale right now you could end up with a top notch unit. Not trying to brag but we bought ours and this was four years ago for just under what your minimum budget is and believe me this is one nice motorhome. Take your time and shop around, I'm sure you can find a top of the line unit within your budget.
Oh by the way WELCOME to the forum. Hope you enjoy your time here.
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Old 10-26-2011, 12:33 PM   #5
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Just bought a "used" 2011 Fleetwood Southwind 32v with 8,000 mi from a private party. Looked for over a year. So far love the construction. Paid under 90,000. No tax.
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Old 10-26-2011, 12:41 PM   #6
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We bought an our first MH 6 years ago(an older unit, a 94') with the purpose of leaning. Last Fall we purchased a 2000 CC after finding out that the quality of materials and workmanship of newer units was many times lacking. The unit we purchased was a 10 years old CC Magna($75k) we have had to repair a few things but the cost of repair and the quality of the unit far out weighed the the option to be a cheaper poorer quality unit. Newer is not always better, one advantage of preowned is many of the initial problems have already been worked out.
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Old 10-26-2011, 12:47 PM   #7
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Just remember.. Their all junk just hope you buy the best of the junk. Don't expect not to have any problems because you and your wallet are going to keep busy. moho's are like boats both money pits. Owning one of these is like flushing money down the toilet. Their great when there not broke down. But it seems like something always needs replacing. You'll find out the hard way like many of us. Until then my friend
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:09 PM   #8
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You can look at these video's or take a tour through plant while being built.
Good luck in your hunt and welcome to irv2.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SarahW View Post
Does this really exist? We are shopping for our first motor home, and it's a full-time job trying to sift through all the information. We are planning to buy new, around 30', either Class A or C gasoline and our budget is under $100k. ($80k will be better, lol) I know the approximate floorplan that I like and I wish there was a year round RV show to attend so we could compare units side-by-side.

I have seen a couple of videos of MH construction, each touting to be the "best" and sturdiest, longest lasting, blah, blah. Is there a definitive buying guide or Consumer Reports review of motorhome construction? For first time buyers, do we just pick one that is cosmetically attractive and roll the dice?

We have considered a Fleetwood Storm, a Winnebago Vista, and three different Fleetwood and Winnebago Class C's that I can't remember the names of right now. We are planning to travel about 200 miles this weekend to see a Thor Damon Daybreak, a Coachmen Mirada and a Four Winds Hurricane.

Any input on any of these brands will be truly appreciated.

Also, the local dealer insinuated that if we don't buy from them, our service will be "moved to the back of the line." I hate this tactic and I'd like Winnebago/Fleetwood to know that the dealer is insinuating that warranty work won't be a priority.

I realize that $80-$100k is small potatoes to some people, but to us it's a LOT of money and I'm hoping to not get stung. We will be paying cash, but that doesn't seem to be much of a bargaining chip.
We have owned three, so called, quality diesel pushers-all bought new. They ALL had significant issues. Two (Monacos) completely broke down and had to be towed in for repairs. The Winnebago Vectra had basement air and would never cool properly. All had many other issues putting them into repair shops for weeks at a time. As you can see by my signature, we gave up and went to a fifth wheel.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SarahW View Post
Does this really exist? We are shopping for our first motor home, and it's a full-time job trying to sift through all the information. We are planning to buy new, around 30', either Class A or C gasoline and our budget is under $100k. ($80k will be better, lol) I know the approximate floorplan that I like and I wish there was a year round RV show to attend so we could compare units side-by-side.

I have seen a couple of videos of MH construction, each touting to be the "best" and sturdiest, longest lasting, blah, blah. Is there a definitive buying guide or Consumer Reports review of motorhome construction? For first time buyers, do we just pick one that is cosmetically attractive and roll the dice?

We have considered a Fleetwood Storm, a Winnebago Vista, and three different Fleetwood and Winnebago Class C's that I can't remember the names of right now. We are planning to travel about 200 miles this weekend to see a Thor Damon Daybreak, a Coachmen Mirada and a Four Winds Hurricane.

Any input on any of these brands will be truly appreciated.

Also, the local dealer insinuated that if we don't buy from them, our service will be "moved to the back of the line." I hate this tactic and I'd like Winnebago/Fleetwood to know that the dealer is insinuating that warranty work won't be a priority.

I realize that $80-$100k is small potatoes to some people, but to us it's a LOT of money and I'm hoping to not get stung. We will be paying cash, but that doesn't seem to be much of a bargaining chip.
I would highly recommend that you buy a USED unit that has already taken the high hit in depreciation and most likely has had most of the build issues/repairs already sorted out. In todays economic climate there any MANY deals out there now on newer used units, it's a buyers market right now. The new $80,000.00 Motorhome that you buy this year will be worth $60,000.00 next year and you'll spend the 1st year of ownership having defects repaired!
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:26 PM   #11
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Whoa, DonandMax, I would disagree with you totally. They aren't all junk and they aren't all money pits either. We owned a 32' Class A gasser that never saw a shop in the 7 years we owned it. We currently have owned a diesel for the last two years which has had very minor problems. Yes there is maintenance but there is maintenance on everything you own with a motor attached. You must have had a very bad experience!

To SarahW: I would agree with those who suggested buying used first. There are a lot of them out there only a year or two old that are great coaches with the initial bugs all worked out. When you buy new, you have to realize that these are very complex homes on wheels and there will be things that don't work right that must be fixed. Why not have a coach with the fixes already done? You would get a lot more coach for your money.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:29 PM   #12
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Hi SarahW,
Welcome to iRV2. Consider what the previous posters have said about buying used. One can get an 04 higher line coach (ex. Newmar diesel pusher) for your budget. The coach would qualify for a service contract (ex. Good Sam) for the first year. Gut feel says this is the way to go.

The bottom line is floor plan sells the coach. Find the floor plan that meets your needs and the rest will be history.
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Old 10-26-2011, 06:52 PM   #13
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SarahW. Your may want to check out the RV Consumer Group and J.D. Gallant for RV ratings and values. It is by no means "the last word" but gave me a good starting place for my last 2 RV's.
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:32 PM   #14
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Welcome to the forum Sarah and good luck on your search.
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