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Old 02-13-2018, 10:50 AM   #1
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Questions On Purchasing Used Class A

As promised in my introductory post from yesterday, I have a few questions relating to my search for a Class A gas motorhome. I would prefer used from a private seller, but I will consider the right coach at the right price from a dealer.The budget is 80k although I would like to stay well below that if possible.We won’t be full timing in it and our trips will most likely be one-two weekends a month with long holiday weekends thrown in as well as 2 or 3 nine day trips a year.I have narrowed down the search to Winnebago, Newmar, Tiffin & Fleetwood in that order.Winnebago is listed first because we have actually had the opportunity to walk through an Adventurer (35L) and of all the floor-plans so far, this is the one that gave us the “Wow, we can live in this one” reaction.We have only seen pictures of the Newmars and Tiffins online.For the Fleetwood, we are most interested in the Pace Arrow followed by the Southwind.So now on to the questions:
1. As much as I like the Winnebago Adventurer, the basement air gives me pause.I’ve read on this forum some of the issues.Is the A/C heat pump something that will still have available parts and service?The model I looked at was 2007.
2. On the older models with lower mileage, I know hoses, belts and fluids should be changed.On the brands listed, how difficult would it be to DIY?I am more than mechanically inclined.If it’s not a DIY, what is the approximate cost to have this done?
3. Since I will most likely have to travel, I will get an RV inspector to go over the unit.For those of you that have enlisted the aid of an inspector, how confident were you in their final assessment?Additionally, how long does it typically take for the oil and transmission fluid analysis to come back?
4. We plan to spend a weekend in Tampa in the near future to visit Lazy Days and North Trail RV.They seem to have a lot of inventory new and used so we will check out floor plans from the various brands.Are these two high pressure, or do they let you walk the lot and come back with questions?
5. I have seen units on PPL’s site that seem to be reasonably priced.Do they negotiate, or are the published prices bottom line prices?I don’t have an RV to trade.
6. This question may seem a little odd, but at some point I would love for a local RV owner to show me the ropes on what to look for and general operation.Are there members here who have done that?
I will stop here for now, and all your input will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:41 AM   #2
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I can't help too much on your specific questions, but would like to say a few things about perspective. Last week I was in Houston, and while there went by PPL to shop for a new toilet for my RV (one of those things I wanted to see in person vs ordering based only on photos). I had never been to PPL, though I had seen there website many time, anyway once I was done shopping in their parts store, I decided to take a walk around the used RV lot. I am happy with my coach, and was looking mostly due to curiosity of the odd and unusual, so what does a 1990's unibody foretravel look like in person, ...

There were a number of other people shopping when I was there, and based upon the things I heard them say it seems most if not all were first time buyers. What I generally saw were people focusing too much on specific traits, be that length or floor plan or color scheme while excluding other factors. More than once I overheard couples talking about how great a coach was, and all I saw was a coach with failing paint, peeling floors, that someone would have to pay me to take.
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eland01 View Post
4. We plan to spend a weekend in Tampa in the near future to visit Lazy Days and North Trail RV.They seem to have a lot of inventory new and used so we will check out floor plans from the various brands.Are these two high pressure, or do they let you walk the lot and come back with questions?

6. This question may seem a little odd, but at some point I would love for a local RV owner to show me the ropes on what to look for and general operation.Are there members here who have done that?
I will stop here for now, and all your input will be greatly appreciated.
I can help with these 2.

4 - Yes, you can roam the lot at Lazy Days. They may try to stop you and ask if they can get you in touch with a sales person but if you walk in like you know what you are doing you can just go out back. Walk in the front door, hang a right and head towards the cafeteria. There is an exit door out the side of the building with access to the units. Be prepared. It's a HUGE lot. I think the first time we were there we walked for 3 hours out there. There are cups/soda machines that were open most of the day so we were able to get refreshments. The cafe works well for discussing what you saw. I'd say if you have an iPad that's a good thing to bring for looking up specifics on the units while discussion. Bring a notepad to jot down info while walking through the units.


6 - We actually found a unit that was close to us FSBO. We went and saw it and looked at the model online to see a value. He was priced a bit higher but we offered what the unit was going for on the open market and he accepted. We asked that he show us the ropes of how things worked. We didn't catch everything but did most of it. Take a video camera and record everything so you can reference it later. We heard to do that but didn't take the camera and on a few occasions we did have to do some research.

We are located in the Tampa/St. Pete area so it was much easier for us to look at units. There are 3-4 other locations that you should check out if you are making the trip to Tampa. There is General RV, Tampa RV, Camping World and Lazy Days all within a few miles of each other. I suggest looking at all of them. I'm underlining looking because I've heard horror stories about buying from a few of them but they've got inventory and your job (at this point) is to see as much as you can in the time you have!
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Old 02-13-2018, 12:34 PM   #4
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Gulf Stream Class "A"

I am very pleased with my 2005 Gulf Stream "Sun Voyager". Mine is a model
8379MXG. GS quit building Class "A" coaches in 2011. I consider mine to be a quality unit. It has some incredible features. It's on a Workhorse Chassis with a 8.1 ltr Chevy (496cid) gas motor with a 5 speed Allison transmission. Ours only had 8250 miles on it when we bought it in March last year. We bought it from a private owner at a very good price I am embarrassed to specify.

https://www.rvtrader.com/New-Or-Used...View=listView&


Have a peek here.

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Old 02-13-2018, 01:46 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Eland01 View Post

1. As much as I like the Winnebago Adventurer, the basement air gives me pause.I’ve read on this forum some of the issues.Is the A/C heat pump something that will still have available parts and service?The model I looked at was 2007.
2. On the older models with lower mileage, I know hoses, belts and fluids should be changed.On the brands listed, how difficult would it be to DIY?I am more than mechanically inclined.If it’s not a DIY, what is the approximate cost to have this done?
I will stop here for now, and all your input will be greatly appreciated.
1. I have a 2005 Itasca Suncruiser 38J with the basement air. The Suncruiser is the Itasca sibling to the Adventurer. Mine is on the Workhorse W24 chasis and the overall unit is good. I had heard that parts for the coleman basement air were hard to find. However some research showed that they could be found and or replaced with similar off the shelf components by an AC / refrigeration shop. However an AC guy would have the owner pull the air unit for them to have easy access to. I figure that if I need to I can do that based on some reading on another forum. A common issue with the basement air however is that the duct that runs behind the rear cap to the ceiling can come disconnected. The fix is simple to reattach and use aluminum tape to over the joint. Access is the difficult part. Also the capacitors go bad with age but are easy enough to find and replace.

2. On most gas chassis the belts, hoses and fluids are a DIY item. Access can be harder on some units then others. Also some access can be from underneath, from the wheel wells, or from the dog house inside. So you might have to look around to see the best way to reach that hose end. When looking at rigs try to crawl under and look around. The gas chassis are high enough off the ground usually that bringing a mechanics creeper with you will give an idea of access from one model to the other. On DP chassis that use air bags I would not recommend getting under without blocking the frame somehow. Also make sure that the rig is not going to roll away with you under it ie parking brake, wheel chocks, etc.

As I live in WA I can not help on the dealers. I bought my rig from a smaller dealer that carried new trailers but only consignment / trade ins on motorhomes. We were looking specifically for the 38J floor plan. We had seen one on a lot that was in poor condition and looked at 3 others before buying this one.

Mike
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Old 02-13-2018, 02:05 PM   #6
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Red face

We can help on the PPL question. We bought our current Class A gasser through PPL. The prices are definitely negotiable. We bought a unit that was supposedly marked at the "Rock Bottom Price". We offered $4,000 less than that price and settled at $2,000 less than the asking. It depends on the owner, of course, but yes, you can negotiate. It was well below low retail from NADA and we got all kinds of extras like a tow package and braking system, wheel covers and some other little extras. We felt like we got a great deal. The unit had been sitting awhile though, so that was probably the key.

Debby and Pat
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Old 02-13-2018, 04:50 PM   #7
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Check the date code on the tires. Rvs tires are based on age, not mileage. 10 years and replace no matter how good they look. The rubber hardens with age.
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Old 02-13-2018, 05:01 PM   #8
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Just sold a '03 31Y Adventurer...great MH. There's a reason WBGO sold so many of those. Had our '06 '17 and not a lick og problems q basement air. There are +\- so very much a personal choice. Quieter in living area but noisy if you run AC at nite.
I think ypu are on the right path... used private sale... just be patient and look for an OCD owmer that has maintenance records.
Only reason we sold ours is we were ready to move up to a DP.
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:54 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone for the input so far. It is very useful. I am trying to be methodical in my approach and your responses have given me some additional things to consider. I hope you all don't get tired of my questions as I'm sure to have a ton of them.
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:56 AM   #10
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I can also help with the PPL question. While looking for a MH I kept going towards the Winnebago brand because they seemed to have the floorplan we wanted and the basement storage we wanted.

Live in MI and wanted low mileage which I could NOT find at home. Same MH in MI had 40,000 to 45,000 miles on it and about $11,000. higher in price. I kept seeing the rig (we now own) on the PPL website.

It had a mirror missing, a busted windshield and what the owner said was an electrical problem. She had ran power cords throughout the main cabin. Had a friend check out the rig and he found two burnt fuses and a small water pipe leak. We low balled the rig price and the owner took it. I got a call back 20 minutes after offering and thought for sure they would not take it. So feel free to go low. The rig price because of all "the issues" was $15,000. below what I could find in MI.

Replaced the windshield, $1,300. Mirror $330. Leak $228. Fuses $1.50. We replaced the old TV with a flat screen, wanted a Bluetooth radio and replaced that and took the Ford V-10 in for a check up. Changed the oil, filters, greased and lubed, (at local Ford dealership) and changed two hoses and fixed the cruise control. Less than $500.

If you find a rig that interests you then you have to figure out what you want to fix or not. Everyone has different things they will tolerate or not. We knew we had to fix a few things but were willing to do so.

Go to the search engine here and look up a thread called "RV Fixes for Newbies & Oldies". There is info there that you will need. We are in a RV resort in Florida right now. If you are coming prior to April 14th, I would welcome you here to show you some of the things you need to know.

Lynne
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:06 AM   #11
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Don't be discouraged by what you see at PPL, most of the coaches seem to be dropped off there by buyers who lost interest in them. Many have old tires, leaks and various malfunctioning systems. However, there are gems hidden in there and you can find a good coach if you are patient.
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:13 AM   #12
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And we did.
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:18 AM   #13
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As far as the basement air goes, we had ours lose a compressor. We took it to ABC Coach. They work on RVs and large tour buses.

Their AC mechanic dropped the unit out of the coach quickly and then it was just like working any AC. He found a cracked pipe and a bad circuit. Fixed both, replaced the AC, and we were on our way.

It seems the parts are regular off the shelf stuff with no shortage.
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eland01 View Post
As promised in my introductory post from yesterday, I have a few questions relating to my search for a Class A gas motorhome. I would prefer used from a private seller, but I will consider the right coach at the right price from a dealer.The budget is 80k although I would like to stay well below that if possible.We won’t be full timing in it and our trips will most likely be one-two weekends a month with long holiday weekends thrown in as well as 2 or 3 nine day trips a year.I have narrowed down the search to Winnebago, Newmar, Tiffin & Fleetwood in that order.Winnebago is listed first because we have actually had the opportunity to walk through an Adventurer (35L) and of all the floor-plans so far, this is the one that gave us the “Wow, we can live in this one” reaction.We have only seen pictures of the Newmars and Tiffins online.For the Fleetwood, we are most interested in the Pace Arrow followed by the Southwind.So now on to the questions:
1. As much as I like the Winnebago Adventurer, the basement air gives me pause.I’ve read on this forum some of the issues.Is the A/C heat pump something that will still have available parts and service?The model I looked at was 2007.
2. On the older models with lower mileage, I know hoses, belts and fluids should be changed.On the brands listed, how difficult would it be to DIY?I am more than mechanically inclined.If it’s not a DIY, what is the approximate cost to have this done?
3. Since I will most likely have to travel, I will get an RV inspector to go over the unit.For those of you that have enlisted the aid of an inspector, how confident were you in their final assessment?Additionally, how long does it typically take for the oil and transmission fluid analysis to come back?
4. We plan to spend a weekend in Tampa in the near future to visit Lazy Days and North Trail RV.They seem to have a lot of inventory new and used so we will check out floor plans from the various brands.Are these two high pressure, or do they let you walk the lot and come back with questions?
5. I have seen units on PPL’s site that seem to be reasonably priced.Do they negotiate, or are the published prices bottom line prices?I don’t have an RV to trade.
6. This question may seem a little odd, but at some point I would love for a local RV owner to show me the ropes on what to look for and general operation.Are there members here who have done that?
I will stop here for now, and all your input will be greatly appreciated.


As we overwinter in the fort Myers area, we are surrounded by a lot of very expensive 5th wheels, diesels, even Prevosts.
Our 2014 Fleetwood bounder 35k has been great to us. ( knock on wood)
Bath and a half
We’ve met people who have 33’-35’ tiffin gassers and all I hear are complaints.
Stairs not strong enough, not enough storage ( unlike our main slide out bottom storage)
Poor craftsmanship. How the frame was built on the ford chassis. Lack of insulation.
Ask a lot of questions, if you buy from a dealer, they’ll run you thru pick up. Slow them down.
Work everything, I mean bring a cd for the CD players on all tv’s.
All wiring in all cabinets connected?
Put water in ( main water tank) flush toilets, use water pump.
Believe me, find the little stuff now or they’ll take the unit back and fix stuff in a few weeks...
FYI, giving tobdealer to warranty repair, take pictures of everything, my guy tried denying the dent in the ladder in back wasn’t their problem until I showed him the pictures.
Be happy to answer any questions....
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