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Old 05-30-2015, 06:30 AM   #1
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Recommended RVs

I am in the market to buy a diesel pusher RV between 30 and 40 feet long able to have room for six people two of which are five-month-old twins so we will be growing into it. What kind of RV do you recommend that s safe and reliable and doesn't have a lot of maintenance?

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Old 05-30-2015, 06:37 AM   #2
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You don't mention if you are looking new or used, but based on this and your other post about the number of times you are going to use it and how far you are going to drive, I would suggest at least a 38 foot diesel pusher, preferably one with bunk beds for the twins so they can take naps without disturbing (or being disturbed by) the other people. We have 38' bunkhouse coach and use the space for our dogs; top bunk mattress removed to store all of their food, toys etc and bottom bunk for them (at least in theory).

Larry & Cheryl Oscar, Louie, Ranger & Henry (our Springers)
2010 Allegro RED 38QBA "Harvey"
2009 Honda Element "Towster"
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Old 05-30-2015, 06:53 AM   #3
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That is one of the world's great open-ended questions. First off, you will be dictated more by your budget than almost anything else. ALL DPs will require a basic routine maintenance, pretty much regardless of size - oil, coolant, filters, belts, hoses, etc will be a cost of ownership, just as they are in a gasser. The substantive cost difference between diesel and gas is longevity - diesels are designed and engineered to run several hundreds of thousands of miles, most gas engines are not. That service life needs to be paid for in increased maintenance costs, and generally higher repair costs.

Pretty much every DP brand will have its detractors and supporters. The latter tend to far outweigh the former. The one thing you need to be aware of is the usual internet bias - take a hundred owners of Product A - from toaster to RV. The two or three pissed off owners who got a lemon or had a bad experience with a store or dealer will take to the internet to voice their complaints (and rightly so..) But the 98 owners who are perfectly satisfied generally stay silent, at least most of them do. Even if 10 of them go online and say "Hey, product A is Great!", it still looks like 20% of all product A are crap. The vast, silent majority never get counted.

So you can't really make a decision about quality, workmanship, reliability or any of those very important measures, especially in a mostly hand-built item like an RV. RVs are not like cars that come off assembly lines past robots and rather more tightly designed tolerances. There's a lot of guys and gals with hammers and drills and socket wrenches building RVs, and as with any hand-built product, there will be variations in finished quality. That is why a very thorough inspection of a proposed purchase is important, and may need to be done by a skilled, experienced person who KNOWS RV systems and can look for and point out potential flaws or weak spots.

Establish a budget, look at various models from various manufacturers to see the different floor plans. There's aren't really that many variations - the sofa and dining area are on one side, the kitchen and fridge on the other. There's a bath about two-thirds of the way back, and then the 'master' bedroom is in the rear. Closet space, bath layout, and interior storage layout are the other variables. Some of the larger coaches have 1 1/2 baths - or a larger shower/tub setup.

As far as makes and models, it's really impossible to say. Winnebago has been around a long time, and has a very large base of very satisfied and loyal owners. So has Fleetwood, in various incarnations. Gulfstream, Thor, Tiffen, Monaco, etc etc all have very large and very vocal supporters.

All you can do is shop, shop, and then shop again. If you believe you will be dealing with a particular dealer for much of the time, then that is also a very big part of the decision. You need to be happy with the people there - especially the service people. Check them out. If you're planning a multi-dozen thousand dollar purchase, they should be happy to show you around the service and parts departments.

Good luck. Don't believe EVERY bad thing you hear about any one brand, and take all comments from owners, both good and bad, with a large grain of salt. YOU have to look at each RV as an individual piece of engineering and construction.
Always remember, you're a unique individual - just like the other 7 billion people on the planet...
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Old 05-30-2015, 07:23 AM   #4
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Thank you!
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Old 06-03-2015, 12:03 PM   #5
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Many folks want to know about Winnebago products. My experience has not been very good. Bought it new off the lot in 2013. We have had over 90 (yes ninety) items that have been needed service. From the shell cracking in the front to the back engine hatch completely falling off. We are now dealing with numerous ( many, many) wall paper crinkling in various areas. Since we are out of Warranty they will not do anything. They did some good will warranty when we were out by a couple of months but now with a awning motor and arms broken (only in and out 15 times, $1000 +) they will do nothing. Let me repeat, over 90 items and months at service. You would believe that maybe they would say we did not do something right on this coach, Let's take care of this customer. We have written Randy Potts two letters. They maybe in the top three of customer service but they are not #1. Tiffin remains the coach I will buy coming up. So am I happy with Winnebago, not really.
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Old 06-03-2015, 12:26 PM   #6
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Look at Newmar coaches before you make a decision. Do some research on the company & their product line.

Jim & Shirley & Abbie (Scottie)
2013 Newmar Canyon Star 3911
2005 Dodge Grand Caravan
Jim & Shirley & Abbie (Scottish Terrier)
2013 Newmar Canyon Star 3911, 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan - Braun Accessibility Modified Toad, Remco Lube Pump, 5 Star Tune, Progressive Industries EMS-HW50C, Coach Net Emergency Road Service, FMCA 378968
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Old 06-03-2015, 01:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Whitneyaa View Post
Thank you!

I like your question, and it has been brought up before. (JiminJersey' Response) had great advise. Most manufactures have great and some not so great attributes at times for a variety of reasons. I would google ratings and find the top five brands and research like I did before buying.

What I recommend is to rent some RVs with your family and get out on some excursions and use a coach. Every family has different needs for comfort. As stated earlier, money will determine what coaches you will be able to look at. Do you have to own new, or would you be OK with used? What floorplan will fit your family's needs? Sounds like DP's with 1 1/2 bathrooms might be a need if you are to grow in it as you say. Somewhere around 40' would be the size to start looking at. Truly your biggest research is what amenities do you need versus what you would like to have. I've raised four kids now, and kids will put some fair wear and tear on your coach. In the end, you really need something reliable and dependable to keep your family safe. Some manufactures have some designs that fit well for car seats and the like for small children and others you would perhaps have to option into your deal for safety.

Like what was stated by OP #3 really hit home: negativity is really easy to put out, but compliments seem to be harder. Every manufacture will make some of its buyers very upset, as well as very happy. Quality and value is what you are looking for for your hard earned money. A DP pushing a coach is not an investment, but an option to fit the family's needs and budget.

So again, pick the top five manufactures, compare, window shop, camp, research and ask questions like you are now is a good start. A new 40' diesel pusher is going to start around $200,000.00 plus IMOP. The greatest way to buy a coach IMOP is to design what you want and have the coach built to your needs; manufactures that work with you and your particular needs will help you isolate where to start in this great adventure.
Terry & Kathy
2012 Dutch Star DP 4346
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Old 06-04-2015, 04:51 AM   #8
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Having had travel trailers on and off for years (Coachmen). I'm retired and recently became a widow so I though a motor home would be easier for me and a couple of grand kids . I bought a Class C , Leprechaun 2004 with 12K miles. It's 30 ft with one slide. It only took 4 months for me to realize this was too small. I'm now looking for a Class A, gas, 34 - 35 ft with the bunks. Maybe a year or 2 years old. I have a good, trustworthy mechanic ( of 21 years) but any other work would have to be done by a dealership. I would trade the Leprechaun in. I'm in the central north Florida area. Any suggestions would be appreciated
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Old 06-04-2015, 05:30 AM   #9
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Wow, I can't imagine 6 people in one RV of 40' much less 30', maybe for a tailgate party or a weekend. Think about being cooped up inside for days during a rain storm. I think it would take some special people to do it without being arrested for domestic abuse.
2000 Dutch Star Pusher
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Old 06-04-2015, 05:46 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ramets View Post
Wow, I can't imagine 6 people in one RV of 40' much less 30', maybe for a tailgate party or a weekend. Think about being cooped up inside for days during a rain storm. I think it would take some special people to do it without being arrested for domestic abuse.
4 adults and 2 five month old twins, in a MH together. I am trying to figure,out the "this is a lot of fun part" in that equation

My recommended RV, would be 2 smaller ones instead of one big one!
2015 Tiffin Allegro 31SA, 24k chassis
2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
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Old 06-04-2015, 12:57 PM   #11
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I'm also a photographer...in my mind, motorhomes are quite a bit like dSLR cameras, maybe even the higher end point-and-shoots. There are multiple manufacturers and each have their strong and weak points. Some are made better than others - sometimes reflected in the price and sometimes not. Most have a set of features. Different ones have extra features or buttons laid out in varying locations. But they all do the same job and there are people who are happy (or disappointed) with every single model.

Having just gone through the process that you are going through, I agree with those who have said to look at budget and floor plans. We looked at floor plans both online and in person where we could. When we found floor plans we liked, we did lots of reading on those models and tried to see them in person to get a better feel for the fit and finish. After all of that, we feel like we made a good choice for us. We didn't see anything we thought was better for us within our price range. So far (one weekend trip) we are VERY happy with our decision...time will tell if it was the right one long term...

BTW, that weekend was 6 adults and 3 dogs...wouldn't want to do that long term, but it was great for the weekend and we hope to do several more weekends while the kids are home from college this summer.

2016 Itasca Meridian 36M, 2009 Jeep Wrangler tow...
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Old 06-04-2015, 02:30 PM   #12
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We often travel with exactly the same setup you are mentioning but our twins just turned 18. My wife's parents often will travel with us. When they are along with our girls we have them take the bedroom, we take the couch which folds out into a queen bed with an air mattress, one of the twins takes the lower bunk and the other takes the knocked down dining room table. We have traveled quite a bit like this and we've never had any negative incidents or problems. It can be done but it does take a healthy dose of tolerance and patience.

That being said, we looked for quite a while before settling on the Berkshire. We looked at Tiffin but got very turned off by Tiffin owners seeming to spend a great deal of time at the factory. One recent post had one lady there in Red Bay, AL for 95 days waiting to get all of her repairs done. Even though we may get a unit that doesn't need that type of remedial work, it was something we could not take a chance on. We did not look at the Newmars at the time. We were coming from an Itasca gasser and we found Winnebago's support to be less than adequate when we had an issue.

We have had a couple of issues with the Berkshire. One was minor and resolved by the dealer and one more major issue that was resolved by Forest River two years after the warranty expired at no cost to us. So overall we have been very pleased with the Berkshire and with Forest River. If we were in the market for another non-tag axle coach we would look first at the Berkshire. We are, however, considering going to a tag axle coach and our choices are narrowed down to Newmar and Entegra.

2011 Berkshire 390bh
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