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Old 10-19-2010, 12:36 PM   #1
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RV Comparison Guide

I keep seeing information on and advertisements for JR Consumer Resources' RV Comparison Guide with one volume for older RVs and one for newer. It seems a tad pricey at nearly $40.00 per volume. Has anyone bought and used this guide in their search for an RV? Any comments on its utility or value? I'm just trying to evaluate the available resources as we search for our second RV. Thanks!
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Old 10-19-2010, 01:32 PM   #2
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I have never bought one, however I have seen where people who have will recap what the guide says for any given unit. Trailer Life also publishes a Buyer's Guide that shows floorplans and price ranges - you have to be your own judge on quality.

That said, you can probably learn as much here and on other RV forums as the opinions expressed are usually on the extreme ends of the spectrum (love or hate the rig) sometimes you get minor complaint or it would have been better (IMHO) if they had done it this way kind of things.

Has your experience with Fleetwood been good, bad, or neutral? if they have been
either neutral or good - then by all means look at their current offerings. If not then look around at others.

Most motor coaches start with the chassis - I have heard that the Workhorse is one of the best and builders other than Fleetwood use it too. So broaden you search a bit. When you find a couple of models that you like - ask for opinons here and on the other RV forums - you might get someone to quote the Guide - and you will hear both the best and worst about that company.

Another factor in the equation is the dealer - I think that in general the dealer is responsible for correcting any mfg errors - at least during the warranty period. Also a good dealer would also go to bat for you if something breaks outside that period - if they thought it was an mfg error - of course the mfg has to be willing to stand behind thier product too.

I hope this both answered your question - and gave you some ideas on how to proceed with getting information about different RV products.
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Old 10-19-2010, 03:39 PM   #3
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Thanks, Randy. I have found it very interesting to follow the opinions of the owners of the various RVs in which I am potentially interested. I haven't noticed the Guide being quoted in the threads I've looked at (or I've overlooked the reference), but I'll keep watching for it. There certainly is a wealth of information to be gleaned from the forums on iRV2.

BTW, we have been pretty pleased with our Fleetwood unit. We're just considering something a little bigger as we begin to get closer to the time when we're both retired and might be on the road much more than is possible now. The Workhorse chassis seems good. The Chevy 8.1L may not be the best for the environment, but it's an excellent engine. We'll look at Fleetwood again as a manufacturer, although there are a few others of interest too.
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:49 AM   #4
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The Comparison Guide may be a convenient way to see a lot of specs in one place, but I have no faith in its assessment of quality, and I'm doubtful there a statistically valid database of customer satisfaction reports either. Caveat Emptor.
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:10 AM   #5
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Thank you, Gary. That was a helpful thought.
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:17 AM   #6
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Be advised that, unlike (let's say) Consumer Reports, the RV Consumer Guide publishers do not purchase or even borrow and use a subject RV when compiling their ratings. These ratings are based on arbitrary proprietary empirical formulas and are augmented by subjective observations by J.D. Gallant.

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Old 10-20-2010, 10:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyJC View Post
Be advised that, unlike (let's say) Consumer Reports, the RV Consumer Guide publishers do not purchase or even borrow and use a subject RV when compiling their ratings. These ratings are based on arbitrary proprietary empirical formulas and are augmented by subjective observations by J.D. Gallant.
The OP wasn't asking about RV Consumer Group (RV Consumer Group - We Rate RVs). JR Consumer Resources is an entirely different company from RVCG.
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:50 AM   #8
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fsc,

I did use the RV Consumers Group Membership Package to study and learn about inspecting, dealing with Salespeople, and considerations for safety, my needs, etc.
I found it very informative but a little expensive! It definitely did influence my purchase and I am very happy with the results.
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:13 AM   #9
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John, I looked at the RVConsumers Group membership package and knew I didn't want to spend that kind of money even if it might save me some. That's why I was wondering about the RV Comparison Guide. While buying both volumes of the Comparison Guide would be nearly $100, only one of them is half that and so if I choose the year well, one will do me.
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:15 AM   #10
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Actually I was remembering the price per volume of the Comparison Guide wrong. It's only $40 each with both therefore being $80, a lot less than the RV Consumers Group cost.
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Old 10-20-2010, 12:45 PM   #11
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I did purchase the JR Consumer RV Guide and found it to be very helpful. It gave me a good gauge on what I should be spending for the rigs we were looking at and what would probably best fit our requirements. It is easy to fall in love with a particular floor plan or model without knowing the detail behind that unit, whether it be good, bad, or indifferent.

If you go on various owners' forums you will find mostly positive reviews for that particular unit. I found the guide to be helpful as to what companies had filed for bankruptcy and may or may not be emerging unscathed. For me the Guide was very valuable and well worth what I spent. If you use the two year comparison you can see what companies have gone up in the ratings and what companies have gone down.
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:11 PM   #12
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I bought both

I am a little geeky when I buy stuff. I can spend a couple months on a washer comparison. When I was looking for a larger / newer motor home I bought everything I could find that gave opinions and facts on motor homes. I bought both the JR book and the RVCG package and compilation disks. Both JR and RVCG offer useful information. And IMHO both guides opinions about quality and other aspects about motor homes coincided pretty darn close with my own personal investigations. JR is a general book without much specific information. On the other hand the RVCG compilation CD's offer a vast information pool that IMHO imperative for someone who wants to quickly find out the CCC capacity, chassis length, towing capacity, and many other vital statistics of thousands of motor homes made in the past. And when you are mo home shopping you NEED that info. There are BIG differences in different models of a line of motor homes.

Lots of people say RVCG does not do a complete enough review of coaches. OK, I don't share that opinion, but lets say it is true. The disks still are a quick reference guide to information when you are on a lot, looking at ebay, shopping of RVsearch, and so on. I spend MANY many many hours going over the statistics on those disks and used them to narrow down what we were looking at. And I have to say on a scale of 1-10 (10 being best) I am a 10 with my purchase. Both JR and RVCG helped me achieve a good purchase. So buy them both. A small cost compared to what you are going to buy. If you cannot afford the RVCG disks let me know and I will pry them away from a couple of my friends using them who want to buy a motor home and will send them to you. When done please send back.
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:05 AM   #13
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To echo what B Bob has to offer, you are about to make one of the biggest purchases of your life, if not the biggest purchase. Wouldn't you want all the information possible to make an informed decision?
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:23 PM   #14
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It would seem that in making a purchase of tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars, a guide, even if it cost $ 100 would be a small price to pay if it could assist you in avoiding a HUGE mistake in purchasing an RV.

We used the guide several years ago, along with many other sources, and I am VERY happy in the purchase we made and I am even happier in the purchases we avoided.

Time has told that the purchase we made was a correct one and one that we have been VERY happy with.
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