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Old 09-17-2015, 05:43 PM   #1
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Question Newbie looking to buy our first RV

My wife and I are looking to buy our first RV. Because we are new to this we have lots of questions. We have been looking around for about a year now (Started at the Hershey RV show last year and now we are going back again this Saturday) and we have figure out what we don't want and a few things we do want. At least that is a start. So I am going to list a few questions below to at least get started on. We are open to any advice, opinions, funny stories, horror stories, lessons learned, wandering thoughts that are unrelated and basically anything that jumps into anyone mind even if it doesn't have to do with RV's and you just want to share it with us.

We cant decide on a class A or a class C. It is only the two of us and 1 crazy 45lb dog. We know we don't want a corner bed. (I'm 6' 4" and she pee's a lot. A corner bed would mean waking me up to climb over me and I'm grumpy when I get woken up)

Are there any real concerns with buying used for our first one? It appears that there a lot of used low mileage ones that are in our price range.

I have come up with some (somewhat arbitrary) numbers while we are looking. I am thinking $60 - $80K tops. No more that 30,000 miles. No more that 10 years old. Is this realistic or am I crazy and should I have myself committed to the asylum?

Are there any manufactures that should be generally avoided? For instance is there a Yugo of the RV'ing world?

I think that is a good start because at this point I am sure most of you have stopped reading this craziness and have come to the conclusion that I should never be allowed on a computer again and that I should just give up and go live in some cave somewhere so I cant annoy others.

Thanks again for listening and in all seriousness thanks in advance for the help.
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Old 09-17-2015, 06:34 PM   #2
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www.pplmotorhomes.com/
I think you are off to a good start. We all were new to Camping at one time so ask many questions. You will find that you will get a lot of good information on this site. Check out the above web site for used motorhomes. If you find something you are interesting in post on this site and ask for opinions. Good luck.
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Old 09-17-2015, 07:21 PM   #3
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To get an idea of various floorplans and cost on used A's or C's, check out this site. Just click on the category you want to view:

Used RVs, Motorhomes for Sale, and Consigned sales - PPL Motor Homes
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Old 09-17-2015, 08:01 PM   #4
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Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined us!

Hope you find the perfect rig for your needs!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 09-17-2015, 09:46 PM   #5
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First off, Welcome to IRV2!

Tons of good information here as well as folks that will honestly answer your questions based on experience and not how the manual was written.

As for the "A" vs "C" question, we've been RV'ers for a relatively short time, and have owned both.....we liked our "starter" 1995 class "C" and love our upgrade to a class "A". There's more space in the "A", but it is 4' longer and has a slide-out that the "C" did not. The "A" rides better, but the "C" handled better on the road in cross-winds, however the engine noise from the "C" was louder. I'll be working on improving our RV's handling and making other changes over time, but that's not a surprise.

The key to this little spiel is that the most important part is that you purchase the RV that is right for what you want and fits your needs. Peruse the various forums and don't be afraid to ask questions!

Again, welcome aboard!
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Old 09-17-2015, 10:21 PM   #6
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Hey, Chris, welcome to the Forum, we're right across the bridge from you over here in Joisey.

Buying used for your first RV is a great idea - you can save a huge amount of money, and chances are very good that your first RV will NOT be your last. Be not as concerned with mileage, per se, unless you see something with 100K miles that's only three years old. In fact, a LOW mileage rig that's 6 or 8 years old might indicated a lawn ornament that's actually degraded more than a rig that had 15K miles a year put on it. The worst thing an RV can do is sit there.

Your major concerns with buying used are maintenance history, and large-ticket expenses like tires on a Class A rig. Rubber does not want to be more than about five years old, or you'll find yourself replacing it within a year or two. This may not be as big a concern with a C class van as it is with a 6-wheel DP with 22.5" tires.

We just recently graduated up from a 34' front-engine gasser with no slides to a 39' DP with four of them, and the difference is night and day. The old Bounder was serviceable, and fairly reliable and steady, but the new coach has twice as much room, which, Trust Me, is VERY IMPORTANT. To see if you can stand really close quarters, try living with the little woman AND THE DOG, in ONE ROOM of your house for an entire day. Bathroom breaks are OK, but you'll have to cook in the living room, and sleep on the couch...

J/K a little bit, but seriously, buy as BIG as you can afford. There is no substitute for cubic feet. Especially with a pooch. Yeah, the "C" might get better mileage, but you're driving a house. MPG should NOT be a limiting factor.

Find the kind of floor plan you like, and go from there. For all intents and purposes, there are really only a couple of different layouts that you will find - some coaches, from the front, go "living room, kitchen, bath, bedroom", others go "kitchen, living room, bath, bedroom." And may vary as to which side the dinette is on versus the sink & stove. But that's about it, at least in the Class A world. C class units are a little different, and have few other layout options, but for the most part, you drive and live up front, and sleep in the back. It sounds like you need a bedroom setup where the bed is parallel to the body of the coach, not perpendicular. Our old Bounder was like this, and either person could get out of the bed without disturbing the other, within reason. The new coach has a bed that's perpendicular, but there is walk space on either side, so she can still get out of the bed on her side (the left) without crawling over me.

Don't be misled or bedazzled by flash. You can always upgrade to a fancier radio yourself. Or put in LED bulbs. What you should care about are things like drawers and storage spaces in the coach, what kind and condition of major appliances (stove, fridge, etc) are in, what condition are the sofa and driver/passenger seats in, things like that. Check the outside storage doors and bins - are the doors solid, do they close straight, are the insides of the bins in good shape, or are they beat to hell? What about awnings? No rips, tears, etc? Does it or they open without too much struggle?

Check the age and condition of the batteries. Look for good, tight connections that DON'T look like a rat's nest of wiring that might indicate problems and less-than-optimal repairs and fixes.

Good maintenance records mean a lot. A LOT. They indicate care of ownership. I'd pay more for a coach with good records than one that's newer or shinier, all other things equal.

It's kind of hard to quantify, but you want a coach with "good bones". Solid pieces inside. No veneer peeling off or out of balance drawers, cabinets, etc. Check ALL of the doors and things that move, open, close, or slide inside. Again, if they all work and don't fall apart in your hands, that's a sign of owners who care(d).

You can get a lot of RV for $80K. Especially now that the season is over, some people are selling, dealers may have a bunch of used units on their lots that they want to get rid of, etc. There's usually a lot of wriggle room at a dealer, maybe not so much with a private seller. Check sites like RVTrader and even eBay for price comparisons.

Good luck and keep us up to date.
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Old 09-18-2015, 08:05 AM   #7
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Thank you very much for all of the reply's. Everyone has given some great advice to consider and we appreciate it. We think we have found one we like and want some thoughts on this particular make/model/layout/stuff we haven't thought of. We are going to take a look at it Monday so please feel free to tell me what to push on, kick, pull, push, lick???, smell.

http://www.stoltzfus-rec.com/default...OwnedInventory
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Old 09-18-2015, 09:28 AM   #8
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You might stretch the age of the coach a bit. It seems like after the 10 year mark the price/resale drops quite a bit. Might get a bit more for your money with a 11 or 12 year old unit.
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Old 09-18-2015, 09:40 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by chrisgoforth View Post
Thank you very much for all of the reply's. Everyone has given some great advice to consider and we appreciate it. We think we have found one we like and want some thoughts on this particular make/model/layout/stuff we haven't thought of. We are going to take a look at it Monday so please feel free to tell me what to push on, kick, pull, push, lick???, smell.

http://www.stoltzfus-rec.com/default...OwnedInventory
Test drive it. We test drove a 2013 Bounder gasser and found the sway really bad. It was the only one the dealer had on the lot and we rejected the bounder because of it. My guess is that it was only that one and not all bounders, but who knows.
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Old 09-19-2015, 10:13 AM   #10
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With a budget of $60-$80K you should be able to find a quality used Diesel. That's what we did over 5yrs. ago, and we're still going strong full timing. It's hard for us to imagine full timing in a gasser. Oh, I know plenty of people do it, but for us it was the quiet, and ride we appreciate. When looking just be sure to see ALL maint. records. I'm also 6'4" ,and a full sized queen bed was a must. Also the increased CCC of a diesel was a must since we full time. Don't be in a big hurry, do a lot of looking and don't get caught up in the flash because it's substance that'll get you down the road with the least trouble. I would also recommend staying with better quality built coach's that we're built to last...IF they we're taken care of. Good luck in your search. This is probably the best site to get first hand knowledge, and advice.
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Old 09-19-2015, 12:52 PM   #11
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I agree with Ramets. Not that the Bounder you're considering is a BAD choice, far from it - the Bounder gives you a ton of value for the money, and that brand has always been one of the best in the bang-for-the-buck stakes since the mid-80s when it was first introduced.

If a test drive and a thorough tire-kicking prove useful, ask Stolzfus if you can stay in it overnight in the lot, with everything hooked up - at least water and electric. That way you can see for yourself what it's like to spend more than half an hour in it, and also without a sales guy hovering nearby. You probably know that Stolzfus has been around for a million years, (I grew up in West Chester, so I know that stretch of 202 really well...) and I think they're a pretty straight-up dealership.

We paid $82K for our Excursion last month, private sale, but my research indicated that that was a fair price for our model year/trim level/mileage. Although a DP can be a tad more $$$ to maintain, they also tend to have better build quality (though not by a huge margin), stronger chassis mechanics, and offer a far quieter and smoother ride, for the most part. We had our '88 Bounder for three years, put about 10K miles on her, but the Excursion is a whole 'nother galaxy.

Just for fun, ask Stolli to take you out in that 34' Winnie Journey DP they have advertised. It's in your same price range, and you can probably knock 5K - 8K off either of those prices and make an offer.

Keep us in the loop.
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Old 09-19-2015, 01:06 PM   #12
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Good advice here!
And even if you do you due diligence in looking things over stuff can still break unexpectedly! Happened to us and we are still "recovering" from it!
Be prepared for things to go wrong and break even in new rigs!
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Old 09-19-2015, 01:06 PM   #13
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Keep in mind, if the RV has a long overhang behind the wheel you're going to have to deal with sway and semi truck will move you around. You'll also have to watch carefully when making turns.
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Old 09-20-2015, 06:46 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by chrisgoforth View Post

Are there any real concerns with buying used for our first one? It appears that there a lot of used low mileage ones that are in our price range.

I have come up with some (somewhat arbitrary) numbers while we are looking. I am thinking $60 - $80K tops. No more that 30,000 miles. No more that 10 years old. Is this realistic or am I crazy and should I have myself committed to the asylum?



Thanks again for listening and in all seriousness thanks in advance for the help.
I wouldn't get too hung up on mileage if you're looking at a diesel. If one was 10yrs. old with only 30K on the odometer I probably would pass. Diesels like to run. Like ours that just turned 97K, I swear it runs better now than it did 5yrs. ago, and I'm sure it will outlive me.
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