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Old 08-06-2013, 05:42 PM   #1
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need advice

looking to spend jan 1st to end of march in Florida every year starting in two years. thinking of buying a motorhome , not sure what I should be looking for, there is just my wife and me and two dogs , thought maybe a c type but really don't know anything about them ,I was in the vehicle service for 30 years but have no idea what type of motorhome would be best to live in for that length of time. also any info on other things about living in a motorhome would be helpful. have a budget of about $30,000 , live in central New York
thanks
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:07 PM   #2
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:59 PM   #3
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Spider,

Welcome to group.

You say you worked in auto service, but you don't say what you did.
This may matter a whole lot. Coaches in your price range are almost always in need of serious attention. If you have to buy this work, it will be expensive. If you where anything close to a line mechanic, none of it will matter.

I happen to have a classic coach and a stable of senior vehicles, so things like having tires age out while they still have tread, or flushing brake systems because they are now five years old is just one of those things.

There are some fine old coaches out there that can be had in you price range, but you will have to be very careful to not end up with a money pit.

Matt
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:12 PM   #4
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I have a very nice 35 foot class A with 2 slides I paid 35 for so there some good ones out there around that price. I would not want stay for that length of time in anything too small. I could see spending that much time in my 35 foot. We had a B plus before which is like a C and I would not have wanted to spend much time in it
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:13 PM   #5
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Regardless of what you buy, it must be COMFORTABLE> DRIVERS SEAT , DINETTE SEATS, THE MATTRESS, ALL WILL MAKE IT PLEASURABLE, OR JUST PLAIN HELL. Look for something that fits your lifestyle. You, your wife, your dogs, will be sharing 8 ft. by 30 ft. of living space for months.. As mentioned above, there are mechanical issues, as well as appliance issues.. Think it through, you CAN do it.
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:50 PM   #6
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I was a service manager at Dodge dealership ,I was never a tech but can perform most repairs, but at a slower pace then a trained tech. if I need to raise the budget up a little we can do that, Im more worried about buying something that wont fit our needs , since I don't have idea of what im going to need ,(never spent a night in one) I was thinking about renting to get a better idea of what works , but i think a 3 month rental would be very costly. if you can even do that. and a short rental would not be a good test.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:08 PM   #7
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We bought a used 29' Class C back in '06 to do what you are planning. It wasn't long before we got very uncomfortable. Narrow body coach, no slide and the drivers area is useless when camped. We struggled for 2 years and the 3rd year we traded it out in FL for our present coach, 1999, 40k miles, 34' Class A with a 16x3' slide. Only paid $20k and was in good shape.

I'm handy and when we got back home we updated the interior and I went through all the mechanical and RV systems. We now have about $25k in it and I would take off full timing tomorrow and never give it a thought. Last year we were in FL Nov to Apr.

From our experience, I would avoid a C unless it has some slides. An A has more room in the coach, a greater view on the road, much more storage room, and you can get a decent one in your price range.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:53 PM   #8
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Rent one first and see what you like and dislike.

The problem with class C's is they have a limited cargo carrying capacity. Be sure and weigh the RV first to see how much room you have on GVWR, front and rear GAWR.

Ken
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:11 AM   #9
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I would also be looking at fifth wheels. If you are going to plop down somewhere for months at a time, a fiver makes a lot of sense, and is much easier and less costly to maintain.
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:41 AM   #10
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A point to consider is what the unit will be doing for the 9 months you're not living in it? I prefer fifth wheels because I get year-round use of my truck, I can get more living space for the dollar and a floorplan that fits us. But you may not need the big truck the other 9 months, so it sits in the driveway, a motorhome and a toad makes more sense here.
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:02 AM   #11
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A point to consider is what the unit will be doing for the 9 months you're not living in it? I prefer fifth wheels because I get year-round use of my truck, I can get more living space for the dollar and a floorplan that fits us. But you may not need the big truck the other 9 months, so it sits in the driveway, a motorhome and a toad makes more sense here.
After looking at larger TT's and 5'ers, this is the concept we used to justify the purchase of a motor home. We could not justify owning the PU when we were not on the road (the other 9 months). That, and the fact our MH cost about what a nice PU might cost? We also went at it from a gas mileage perspective. The only time we would be getting bad mileage was when we were actually moving our "home". Once located, the toad's ability to get 25+ mpg on scenic trips (or grocery runs) in the vicinity of the coach just made more sense to us.

I would advise that you will almost certainly want a coach with a slider to increase your sq. footage. Might not sound like a big deal at the moment, but once you experience the difference I'm pretty sure you'll agree.

We were led, through a series of (mis)adventures, to a Class A diesel pusher. We use it enough to justify diesel power, and it has the ability to pull our toad without a second thought. It has the ability to not just fit all the "stuff" we think necessary to take with us in a manner that's not cluttered, it has the capacity to carry that weight without exceeding or even coming close to our GVWR. Add the fact it has serious braking available as necessary, it rides on airbags not springs, and the engine is in the back for a super quiet ride, and we were sold. Haven't looked back.

Yes, I do all of our maintenance. It's a very complex piece of equipment when viewed as a whole, but it's comprised of many systems that are pretty simple when viewed independently? And the chassis part, consisting of very heavy duty components for the most part, is almost trouble free. -Al
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:36 AM   #12
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for your usage pattern, a class A makes the most sense, emphasis on comfortable living space. I think your budget is good enough for your first MH. you probably won't get exactly what you want with the first one, that takes time at the wheel and bums on the seats.
there's plenty of vehicles available in that budget range, you're almost spoiled for choice.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:13 AM   #13
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After looking at larger TT's and 5'ers, this is the concept we used to justify the purchase of a motor home. We could not justify owning the PU when we were not on the road (the other 9 months). That, and the fact our MH cost about what a nice PU might cost?
Same with us. We had no use for a $20-$40k p/u except to pull a 5er or TT. So for $25k total, we got everything we needed. Riding in an A is very comfy and a great view of the scenery, wife can prepare a meal and do whatever, the biggy is the bathroom . Rest stops and overnight stops are a snap, just turn the key of and turn around. Setting up for a longer stay is also much easier. Key off, jacks down, slide out. Leave coach hook up utils and done in 10-15 mins.

Of course had we already owned and used a 1 ton diesel dually, we probably would have bought a 35' 5er. But that would have to have been a toyhauler since we take 2 Harleys. No it was really a no-brainer for us.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:30 AM   #14
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Hi,

I'd suggest going to several RV shows to find out what type and what size you are comfortable with .... once you know what you want, Class A, B or C, start looking online to understand what the used pricing is.

That's how I came to own my used RV .... I already had a A-liner trailer and was not particularly looking to upgrade until I saw an RV ad that I just had to go see and test drive. After the test drive, I knew I couldn't pass up on the deal. But I already knew that I liked Class Bs with open concept designs and already knew what the used pricing was ahead of time.

You have lots of time to figure out what your preferences and needs will be - only you can decide what those are.

Cheers,

Steve
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