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Old 05-02-2013, 04:49 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2013
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Soon To Be Retired and RVing

Hello, I'm going to be retiring this November, and will be looking to purchase a good, used motorhome then for my wife and I to do some traveling. We will be looking at buying an older motorhome, probably somewhere between a 1995 and 2002. I would like any help and/or opinions on what would be a good quality motorhome of this vintage. I'm not so concerned with any repairs to the rv other than I need a good engine and transmission. I am not a mechanic by any means at all. I realize on older rv's that a lot depends on previous owners and how well they took care of it. I've got plenty of time to look for something that will fit our budget. I would appreciate anh help or advice anyone could give us to help in our search. Thanks for your time. David and Susan Sizelove

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Old 05-02-2013, 10:41 PM   #2
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National RV Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Covington, GA
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Be sure to include the National RV's in your search. Our '05 is a well made coach that we really enjoy.


J.J. Hayden (KN4SH)
Covington, GA
2005 National Dolphin 5342
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:15 PM   #3
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Posts: 571

I would second that on nationals, we have had one and we just loved it, bought it with only 4,000 miles on it , it was a quality built mh, no rattles like alot going down the road and drove like a car.
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:24 AM   #4
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Carolina Campers
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Winston Salem, NC
Posts: 3,123
I am also retiring this year. My last day will be June 3rd. After looking and looking for an older RV that I could afford, I also landed on a National Dolphin.

I love the floor plan an other quality aspects that National built into their coaches. There are other quality coaches, but you will find that you may get a lot for the dollar with a National. National went out of business in 2009, so getting one from 2002 - 2008 may be a real bargain for the cost.

I bought mine from a smaller dealer in SC that upgrades older coaches with low mileage. Therefore, I got a great price, but also a reconditioned RV with upgrades like new furniture, new hardwood flooring, new carpeting, new batteries, new tires, completely serviced engine as well as all the other systems, new flat screen TVs in living room and bedroom, etc. That saved me a lot of time and money as well.

Best advice I can say is to look at a lot of different coaches and take your time. Don't jump for the first older coach you find, just because it has low mileage.

Good luck in your search for your dream RV. Enjoy your retirement my friend.

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Old 05-03-2013, 12:40 AM   #5
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Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 31,276
Years ago we settled on Newmar's for us. Used to belong to a club that only had 12 MH's, one was a Prevost, one was a Foretravel (my parents) and 6 were Newmars so we already had a good idea what we wanted. Won't be as cheap as some but the quality sold us. Don't leave them out of your consideration.
2009 45' Magna 630 w/Cummins ISX 650 HP/1950 Lbs Ft
Charter Good Sam Lifetime Member, FMCA, SKP
RV'ing since 1957, NRA Benefactor Life, towing '14 CR-V
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Old 05-05-2013, 03:48 PM   #6
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Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Near BEAUMONT, TX.
Posts: 427
Good afternoon David:

Our first MH was a 86 gas 34' Allegro, our second one is a 94 34' DP Allegro. The reason we bought the second Allegro was because of Don and Brent in customer service, we weren't the first owners but they sure treat us like one. We bought the second one because of the flat floor in the DP version. Stephanie has had a stroke (10 yrs ago) and had a lot more trouble getting in and out of the driver compartment then we had planned. For our second unit we had a choice between a newer gas or an older diesel, we chose the diesel. It also rides so much better because it's heavier.

Buy now while you are working so you can fix it like you and the DW want it. You'll have more money now then when you retire. We had a diesel mechanic look at the engine for problems. The roof needed to be recovered but that was deducted from the purchase price. While doing the roof we installed new AC units, ref vent, crank and power vents and added Maxxi vent covers. In the year since doing the roof we've put over 15k miles on her. I changed out the gas water heater for a gas/electric - best thing I ever did. With all that we did to it, we still are not topsy/turvy in this unit. It did take two days to get the Kwikee steps freed up and working. Six new tires were a must.

We found that you can get a better deal from an individual then from a dealer, and their are a lot of them sitting around wanting some TLC and a caring owner. Mondays' project is to get started on installing a dishwasher, I'm tired of dishwashing and I hate paper plates.

Well I've told you part of the story about our treasure, but remember "one mans trash is another mans treasure".

We are looking at another piece of trash that we may be able to turn into a treasure with a lot of work and maybe turn a profit.

If you'd like to do a voice to voice meeting send me an e-mail with your phone number, I promise not to put it on some outhouse wall.
Bob (RVM 27), now solo (3/26/16) with 3 cats, - Full timing during the summer
"Roughing It Smoothly" in a 1994 34' Allegro Bay DP
All of 190 horses but 11 MPG. 0 TO 60 in 62 sec. :flowers
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Old 05-06-2013, 05:50 AM   #7
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On the older coaches (anything over 5 years old) I would offer that should you be a lot more concerned with getting a body that's in good condition rather than the chassis? Most any chassis can be put back into serviceable condition reasonably, but you can't say that about a body. A coach that's been on ignore for a while can deteriorate so quickly it's hard to even imagine. Advanced water damage the cause for scrapping more coaches than any other reason.....

In my hunt, I walked away from more coaches for water damage than for any other reason? I refuse to even consider one.

Once you find a coach with a solid body, THEN you start considering the rest of it - and making plans to have the chassis inspected/serviced by a professional - and RV dealers are not qualified as chassis professionals. For proof of that fact, ask to see their chassis lift - the one that's capable of lifting a MH of the ground?
1997 37' HR Endeavor, 275hp Cat, Freightliner
03 CR-V Blue Ox, Ready Brake
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:05 AM   #8
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Before you buy something that old, why not rent one for a month or 2 and see if it is really for you. Old units like that can be a HUGE money pit. They can financially and mentally destroy what could have been a great RVing adventure.
Good Luck and Enjoy
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Old 05-06-2013, 05:21 PM   #9
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Location: Pensacola, Florida
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There should be some good units out there. I would be looking at the Tiffins, Fleetwoods, Newmars, and Winnebagos. A good use Prevost of that vintage would not be out of the question.
Travel well, travel safe,
2006 Tiffin Phaeton - 2011 Cadillac SRX
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:42 AM   #10
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All good advice above. We chose a Winnebago because of the parts, brochures and wiring diagrams available from Winnebago which makes it easier for us to do things for ourselves.

Whatever you choose make sure it is a unit somebody is currently using. That way things have been taken care of along the way. Be very wary of any unit that has sat for 3 or 4 years before being sold. Many things deteriorate with time and no use.
Proud owner of 1994 Winnebago Brave 29RQ.
Chevy 454 on a P30 chassis.
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:31 PM   #11
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Motorhome Selection Help

Hello, I just wanted to thank everyone that has taken the time to respond to my earlier post. I appreciate all of your thoughts and ideas on a possible choice when we get ready to purchase a motorhome. I would love to buy one now before retiring, but I'll have to wait to get the funds to do so until then. I do not want to borrow any money to get it. I've looked at quite a few so far, mainly on the internet, a few in person. So far, we seem to like Pace Arrow, Fleetwood Southwind, Winnebago, Tiffin, and Monaco's. Please keep your opinions and thoughts coming. David and Susan Sizelove
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:47 PM   #12
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Welcome and glad to meet you!

There are many sources for used RVs. Just do a Google search for used RVs. I might consider a reputable dealer as compared to a private seller unless you know a good mechanic that can check the RV over carefully before you lay down your hard earned cash.
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:43 PM   #13
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American Coach Owners Club
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Location: Orlando, Fl
Posts: 25
We bought our 2004 Winnebago Journey a little over a year ago and it has been well worth it. We are not retired yet so we are using it for mini vacations and to visit out of state family. We take it out at least once a month to local CG's. We have been very happy with this MH. Our plans are to sell this when we retire, get a newer MH and full time RVing. I would not buy a brand new MH. They depreciate so much the minute you take them off the lot.
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:59 PM   #14
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Monaco Owners Club
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Location: Columbus, MS
Posts: 29,606
Hi David! Congrats on the upcoming retirement! We did that 3 years ago and our only regret is not doing it when we turned 65!

I would highly recommend the 2002 Monaco Windsor! We have been very pleased with ours since buying it last year. You can read on here about the quality of construction on that model with the Roadmaster chassis that it has.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!

Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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