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Old 03-04-2015, 06:14 PM   #1
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RV Buyer's guide

Hi, Everyone;
I have been a lurker for a while and want to ask the group about buyer's guides. My expectation is to purchase a B+ or C in the next 2 years and was wondering if you could recommend a buyer's guide. I know there are several out there, but which one do you think is best?. Thanks for the info and I am amazed at the level of knowledge and good will on this forum.
Sue
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Old 03-04-2015, 06:31 PM   #2
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Hi SusieBrew,
Welcome to posting on iRV2. Any of the guides will get you started. The reason I say this is the manufacturer, most likely, did the write up for the guide. The guide(s) will get you started because the three most important things to consider are:
1. floor plan
2. Will it carry you, your stuff and your passengers (carrying capacity)? - This is CCC or NCC depending on the brand. GVWR minus UVW.
3. Will the coach tow what you want to tow? GCWR minus GVWR and the receiver weight rating. One may think with a B or C coach it is okay to go to all the sights with the coach. Once folks try this it is quickly understood that breaking camp and re connecting every day gets old really quick.

After these three things are okay, one can make the decision as difficult as one want to make it. Google "motor coach buyers guide" or "rv buyers guide" for choices.
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Old 03-05-2015, 09:49 AM   #3
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I don't think much of the few I have seen, but you said "several" so maybe there is a good one? Perhaps if you identified them you could get feedback on some or all.

A "buyer's guide' usually reflects the bias of the person(s) who created it. The creater may be the manufacturer, the RVIA (an industry group), an organization (e.g. RV Consumer Group - rv.org), or an individual author.

In my opinion, a good buyer guide would try to help you understand the tradeoffs of various RV types and options and emphasize how to evaluate your wants & needs vs floor plans, chassis capacity, etc. I don't know of one that is really comprehensive, but the DIY RV website has a reasonable introductory guide to help get started. See DIY RV Buyers Guide: Buy an RV for the Right Price for the Right Model
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Old 03-05-2015, 05:37 PM   #4
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Thanks, Gary and Gary. I have seen the web- based guides and Motorhome Mag or Good Sam may have a guide. Too bad there isn't a Consumer Reports type guide that is not written by the mfr or takes ad money. I will continue to hunt and spend time on the forums.
Sue
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Old 03-05-2015, 05:43 PM   #5
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I suggest you look around at dealers to see what is available. Pretend you are camping and it is raining for two or three days. Does the floor plan work? Does it have the space you need to cook, view tv, do hobbies, etc.

Once you identify a floor plan look around at several brands of coach with that floor plan in mind. Any questions about the brand on the forum will get a plethora of opinions. Some even from people who own one.

IMO one of the biggest issues on a forum is brand bias. If you look past that there is a lot of good information.
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Old 03-05-2015, 05:48 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Gordon Dewald View Post
Any questions about the brand on the forum will get a plethora of opinions. Some even from people who own one.
Your killing me Gordon.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon Dewald View Post
IMO one of the biggest issues on a forum is brand bias. If you look past that there is a lot of good information.
Everybody likes the stuff they have. Human nature.
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Old 03-06-2015, 03:29 PM   #7
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Thanks, Gordon. I guess my biggest concern is quality for the money. I certainly don't want to pay big bucks for something that is in the shop constantly and detracts from the enjoyment I went for in the first place. I have read positives and negatives about all brands. It comes down to the better of the bunch.
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Old 03-07-2015, 01:15 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by SusieBrew View Post
Thanks, Gordon. I guess my biggest concern is quality for the money. I certainly don't want to pay big bucks for something that is in the shop constantly and detracts from the enjoyment I went for in the first place. I have read positives and negatives about all brands. It comes down to the better of the bunch.
Sue
Hi Sue;
I believe there are good models in every brand. Some are better than others but some you pay more money for. Does not mean that the more expensive is better.

Most manufacturers build all of their models on the same assembly line so the major difference is likely the quality of the materials used in manufacture. A lot of the appliances, tanks, heaters, etc is supplied by 3rd party so another variable in the mix.

IMO the most important thing is the floor plan followed by the manufacturer/dealer. You want a dealer or manufacturer that stands behind the product and gives you the service you deserve.

No matter how good the unit is if you do not like the floor plan a lot it will soon become irritating and frustrating. Do you have enough work space and storage? Are the chairs comfortable? Can you get in and out without have to get everyone else to move?

Due diligence is paramount. If you are buying a used unit there may be no warranty. Check the unit very carefully to ensure there is nothing obvious or you are unaware of the will need fixing. Then it all depends upon price. Do not get caught up in the glitter of the unit. Look deeper.

In reading the forum there seem to be a lot of folks who are selling what they consider units from hell. There are also a lot who claim the used unit they purchased was in perfect condition. They are all out there.

New units have a warranty. Most will require some remedial work to clean up. Should not be but that is reality. Unless you are paying a million or more for a hand made unit. That is where the dealer and manufacturer come in.

IMO most if not all manufacturers will do their best to fix the problems. I believe they encounter folks who are more difficult to please and there may be some fallings out. Sometimes personality conflicts will thwart the best intentions of both parties.

Good luck with your search and acquistion of an RV. No matter what you end up with you will enjoy the lifestyle. Lots of really great folks out there in RV's.
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Old 03-07-2015, 02:05 PM   #9
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RV Buyer's guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by SusieBrew View Post
Thanks, Gordon. I guess my biggest concern is quality for the money. I certainly don't want to pay big bucks for something that is in the shop constantly and detracts from the enjoyment I went for in the first place. I have read positives and negatives about all brands. It comes down to the better of the bunch.
Sue

Sue,

There are 2 issues at play here:
1. Build quality. A number of high quality coach builders build all their coach models in the same facility. In theory, the build quality will be the same or similar across these models which are at different price points.
2. Component quality. The above quality coach builders will use components of different quality levels in order to achieve the price range necessary in the market.

By reading these forums you can slowly get a sense of who the manufacturers are who produce a quality coach off the end of the line. Also you can get a sense of major components and there level of quality.

Are you interested in:
1. Class & size
2. Gas/Diesel
3. New/used

There are so many variables that it's hard for anyone to be much help until you are further down the decision tree.


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Old 03-07-2015, 02:35 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
I don't think much of the few I have seen, but you said "several" so maybe there is a good one? Perhaps if you identified them you could get feedback on some or all.

A "buyer's guide' usually reflects the bias of the person(s) who created it. The creater may be the manufacturer, the RVIA (an industry group), an organization (e.g. RV Consumer Group - rv.org), or an individual author.

In my opinion, a good buyer guide would try to help you understand the tradeoffs of various RV types and options and emphasize how to evaluate your wants & needs vs floor plans, chassis capacity, etc. I don't know of one that is really comprehensive, but the DIY RV website has a reasonable introductory guide to help get started. See DIY RV Buyers Guide: Buy an RV for the Right Price for the Right Model
I am one that opened my wallet for the RV.org program. At the time I really had no idea what to buy or how to evaluate the ones I was looking at.
I found the information very helpful and still feel it was money well spent. Based on the information in the package, I ended up with my present coach. Without it, I could very well have walked into a pile of junk.
In the grand scheme of things $150 is cheap. JMHO,,,
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Old 03-07-2015, 05:14 PM   #11
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Gordon and Dennis bring up excellent points.


If you think it's hard to buy a vehicle or home - try both at the same time and you have the complexity of an RV purchase.


Two key factors your budget and how will you use the RV? After basic use is established (weekends? fulltime? ) best you experience it (ideally before purchase) rent one - spend an hour in one at an RV show - try, touch and test everything. Sound odd, but you will hear many stories of the bed that was to short, the too tiny shower -- (we never tried it) etc. Play house at the RV show and learn what is most important to you.


Then research brands online (know that on this forum many are brand loyal and brand blind) and so often people rarely post how happy they are over all, but we tend to be a bit negative. That said, know if you buy new or used; RVs spend time in the shop - it's a house that lives its life in a constant earthquake.


Ask a lot of questions, more from owners and friends who have similar RVs and you will get a lot of opinions.
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Old 03-07-2015, 05:24 PM   #12
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Hi Sue



You said you were a couple of years away from making a purchase. Plus you are looking for quality for the dollar. Being you have the time I would suggest that you attend one of the many RV shows in the country. You will find most manufacturers there. It will make it easy to compare them side by side. The quality of the builders will be easy to see. This could then translate into what RV to look at if you are considering used.
Tell us what state you live in and someone will suggest the RV show nearest to you, and when it will be held.

Best of luck with your search.
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Old 03-08-2015, 08:01 AM   #13
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You guys are awesome! Thanks so much for all the great info and insight. I did spend 2 days at the Hershey show in September and found it incredibly overwhelming. It is hard to look at models with many people inside a rig or trying to get inside. Maybe I need to go to a smaller show. I live in VA and there are several that are within a reasonable drive from me.

I must admit that I have been bitten by the bug and am trying to be well informed and methodical in my search even though down deep I want it now! I have seen some posts on this and other forums that one can over-analyze the process. I analyze data for a living so it's hard to break the habit. It is very easy to get caught up in the bells and whistles and hype of a particular line. So I am doing my best to be diligent.

The models I was able to see at the show and form an opinion about were the Nexus Viper and Phantom, Winnebago View/Itasca Navion, and Coachman Leprechaun. I did like the floor plans and actually felt very comfortable in The Nexus Phantom. You know how sometimes something just feels right? It was the Phantom. But I don't want to get sucked into that potential black hole of feelings vs common sense. I shall continue to read and explore.
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Old 03-08-2015, 08:23 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by SusieBrew View Post
You guys are awesome! Thanks so much for all the great info and insight. I did spend 2 days at the Hershey show in September and found it incredibly overwhelming. It is hard to look at models with many people inside a rig or trying to get inside. Maybe I need to go to a smaller show. I live in VA and there are several that are within a reasonable drive from me.

I must admit that I have been bitten by the bug and am trying to be well informed and methodical in my search even though down deep I want it now! I have seen some posts on this and other forums that one can over-analyze the process. I analyze data for a living so it's hard to break the habit. It is very easy to get caught up in the bells and whistles and hype of a particular line. So I am doing my best to be diligent.

The models I was able to see at the show and form an opinion about were the Nexus Viper and Phantom, Winnebago View/Itasca Navion, and Coachman Leprechaun. I did like the floor plans and actually felt very comfortable in The Nexus Phantom. You know how sometimes something just feels right? It was the Phantom. But I don't want to get sucked into that potential black hole of feelings vs common sense. I shall continue to read and explore.

The Winnebago twins have a pretty long track record. Winnebago has a reasonably good build quality and are generally a good value. The Mercedes Sprinter chassis has also been around for a fairly long time and is very successful in the commercial delivery van business. Winnebago also builds a small class A the Via on the same chassis. The two biggest weaknesses on all this type is small tank capacity and no leveling jack system. HWH builds a hydraulic leveling system for the Sprinter chassis.


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