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Old 10-01-2019, 10:52 AM   #1
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Survey: How long did you take to make a buying decision? How many times did you cha

Hi all - like so many others we are not yet owners and still deciding on what we want. We’ve been seriously looking and evaluating for about 8 months.

So it got me wondering about others - first you take time to figure out what you want, then you save for it, etc.

We have never been RV owners. We first thought we would need a place to live and work 5 months out of the year as we rented out our resort home in AZ in high season. We were tired of air bnb. We started looking at Leisure Travel Unity for drivability and knew we couldn’t live in it long-term so, quickly moved to Newmar, then ended up with Tiffin Phaeton 40IH due to floor plan.

Thank goodness it was an order we could cancel and not an outright purchase at the time!

After a lot of changes in our life occurring we realized we didn’t want to rent the house out anymore and would rather spend the winter in our AZ home and do summer weekends in an RV and a few vacations. Also we really wanted to go back to the sprinter style for drivability and ease of getting into campgrounds. I do the majority of the driving and so I needed to feel like I could get around safely.

So back to Unity FX, wayfarer rw, quickly learned OCCC is an issue even though they are beautiful coaches. We have 2 heavy electric bikes in addition everything else so no go. Landed now on View/Navion 24d and have yet to find anything that can beat it for floorplan. So.... now we watch prices and save our money to hopefully buy in late spring for an awesome summer of fun. Unless another two living space coach comes along with everything the 24d has and more, I think we finally have decided. If all goes as planned we will have looked, researched and saved for 1.5 years.

So many learning experiences already and very grateful we changed our direction in time or we would be likely forced to keep renting the house out to support the coach we bought to rent the house out. The RV GODS smiled on us for getting out of that dilemma.

Lessons learned - don’t pull the trigger just because you’re tired of looking - take a breath, make sure you know what you want to use your RV for, and stay within or below budget so the RV truly does represent freedom and not financial prison!

Looking forward to other folks stories


Have a great day
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Old 10-01-2019, 11:04 AM   #2
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We had been camping for years and years..........tent/sleeping bag, pop-ups, truck camper, travel trailers then small 5th wheel.
All of our camping had been 'off the path' ---boondocking ---under developed CGs so neer even considered a MH



When we started talking about selling everything/hitting the road FT we made the rounds of some MHs.
Just wasn't for me........
So it was back to 5th wheel and new truck



Spent roughly a year visiting the numerous dealers/various brands/models of 5th wheels available almost every weekend.
Had a huge spread sheet and would cross off the NOs as we made the rounds.
Finally broke it down to ONE MFG and then finally the floorplan we felt would work for us.
Ordered it and the new truck in Sept of 2006


5th wheel showed up at dealers lot first..even with changes to our order.
2 weeks later ...dealer called and said truck would be there next day.


Nov 2006 (Thanksgiving) was our shake down cruise
April 2007----Other truck, 5th wheel, household (Estate Auction), house were SOLD.

And we were GONE!
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Old 10-01-2019, 12:29 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
We had been camping for years and years..........tent/sleeping bag, pop-ups, truck camper, travel trailers then small 5th wheel.
All of our camping had been 'off the path' ---boondocking ---under developed CGs so neer even considered a MH



When we started talking about selling everything/hitting the road FT we made the rounds of some MHs.
Just wasn't for me........
So it was back to 5th wheel and new truck



Spent roughly a year visiting the numerous dealers/various brands/models of 5th wheels available almost every weekend.
Had a huge spread sheet and would cross off the NOs as we made the rounds.
Finally broke it down to ONE MFG and then finally the floorplan we felt would work for us.
Ordered it and the new truck in Sept of 2006


5th wheel showed up at dealers lot first..even with changes to our order.
2 weeks later ...dealer called and said truck would be there next day.


Nov 2006 (Thanksgiving) was our shake down cruise
April 2007----Other truck, 5th wheel, household (Estate Auction), house were SOLD.

And we were GONE!


Thanks for sharing!
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Old 10-01-2019, 01:43 PM   #4
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We've owned several RVs in the past. A couple trailers, a 5er, a class A and class C. We were going to buy a friend's class A,but he wasn't ready. I saw him 2 years later and asked him about it. He offered to sell it to us for 25% of what we were going to buy it for. I pulled out the cash from the bank, met him at AAA to transfer title, and drove it home! It was the exact floor plan that we wanted, and only had 15000 miles! We couldn't say no! Its been a reliable coach!
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Old 10-01-2019, 02:28 PM   #5
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I'm usually pretty quick to decide on things. I had a few requirements when I was looking for a replacement travel trailer. I did some digging around online to find a few models that fit those requirements. Once I did, I compared each one to try and figure out ease of use, and ease of upgrade differences. Once I figured out which one would work best for me, I looked around for the cheapest price and purchased it. The whole experience took about a month if you don't include the time I spent just waiting until the end of the job I was on so I had the free time to go get it.



I did the same thing with my truck, and motorcycle. The truck took a while, but the MC was found pretty quick.
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Old 10-01-2019, 04:06 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Bahamaniac View Post
We've owned several RVs in the past. A couple trailers, a 5er, a class A and class C. We were going to buy a friend's class A,but he wasn't ready. I saw him 2 years later and asked him about it. He offered to sell it to us for 25% of what we were going to buy it for. I pulled out the cash from the bank, met him at AAA to transfer title, and drove it home! It was the exact floor plan that we wanted, and only had 15000 miles! We couldn't say no! Its been a reliable coach!


Wow - that certainly sounds like the universe was looking out for you
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Old 10-01-2019, 04:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Itchytoe View Post
I'm usually pretty quick to decide on things. I had a few requirements when I was looking for a replacement travel trailer. I did some digging around online to find a few models that fit those requirements. Once I did, I compared each one to try and figure out ease of use, and ease of upgrade differences. Once I figured out which one would work best for me, I looked around for the cheapest price and purchased it. The whole experience took about a month if you don't include the time I spent just waiting until the end of the job I was on so I had the free time to go get it.



I did the same thing with my truck, and motorcycle. The truck took a while, but the MC was found pretty quick.


I guess once you have owned one before the process gets easier! Thanks for sharing
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Old 10-01-2019, 08:09 PM   #8
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We had a long term plan, taking it one step at a time

We love to take epic backpacking trips and challenging multi day hikes. So my wife and I decided 20 years ago that we really enjoyed the outdoor lifestyle and decided to make that our long term priority.

The natural progression was to start tent camping, then moved to a pop up camper. Eventually we got a TT and then several class C's and class A's MH. EVERYTHING we purchased was used (with the exception of our most recent purchase)

Having THOROUGHLY researched the full time RV lifestyle, we decided that this wasn't for us. We wanted a home base that a "sticks and bricks" provided and instead of going "full time" we will eventually be "a lot of the time" folks. We recently bought a MH that closely meets all of our RV goals. We also downsized our house and built a place the allowed us to store our RV inside hooked up to all utilities. (The RV door literally opens up to our bedroom and laundry room) We're still several years from retirement and "livin the dream part timin" but until then we still take epic trips to areas to go backpacking and hiking....... SOOOO, that's the long back story answer to your question.

The shorter answer is I purchased what I could afford for that time in my life. YOU will find you guys will learn so much when you purchase your first RV. I think that you will find that there's no perfect RV, just one that will meet your needs for now. So get into something as soon as it feels right. You will then start the process of truly understanding what you like and dislike and ultimately wind up with something that will more closely meets your needs. This stuff is loads of fun. If you love the outdoor lifestyle, our gonna love getting your first RV!!!!!!!
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Old 10-01-2019, 08:36 PM   #9
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We love to take epic backpacking trips and challenging multi day hikes. So my wife and I decided 20 years ago that we really enjoyed the outdoor lifestyle and decided to make that our long term priority.



The natural progression was to start tent camping, then moved to a pop up camper. Eventually we got a TT and then several class C's and class A's MH. EVERYTHING we purchased was used (with the exception of our most recent purchase)



Having THOROUGHLY researched the full time RV lifestyle, we decided that this wasn't for us. We wanted a home base that a "sticks and bricks" provided and instead of going "full time" we will eventually be "a lot of the time" folks. We recently bought a MH that closely meets all of our RV goals. We also downsized our house and built a place the allowed us to store our RV inside hooked up to all utilities. (The RV door literally opens up to our bedroom and laundry room) We're still several years from retirement and "livin the dream part timin" but until then we still take epic trips to areas to go backpacking and hiking....... SOOOO, that's the long back story answer to your question.



The shorter answer is I purchased what I could afford for that time in my life. YOU will find you guys will learn so much when you purchase your first RV. I think that you will find that there's no perfect RV, just one that will meet your needs for now. So get into something as soon as it feels right. You will then start the process of truly understanding what you like and dislike and ultimately wind up with something that will more closely meets your needs. This stuff is loads of fun. If you love the outdoor lifestyle, our gonna love getting your first RV!!!!!!!


Thank you for sharing- we would love to have a setup like the one you have with some land after we have the coach for a bit. Beautiful home!
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Old 10-01-2019, 11:18 PM   #10
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I read a lot of wisdom in your post, you are to be congratulated for sharing your experiences with others, which is the main purpose of irv2.com.
This is one topic where "learn as you go" is very true.
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Old 10-02-2019, 02:32 AM   #11
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My wife and I have been RVing for 45 years. We started out at 18 years old camping in a shell on the back of my truck. After we got married, we bought our first Lance slide in camper. We bought three more slide in campers over the next 14 or so years, as our family grew.

We eventually needed more room and moved into a 27' Class C that we owned for 14 years. Then the time came.....the kids were off on their own and we were ready to buy our first DP. In 2004/2005 there were still a lot of PF brands still available. We narrowed our search to an Alpine Coach, Country Coach and Monaco. We toured all three plants and eventually bought a new 2005 Monaco Diplomat. It was the best bang for the buck and was a GREAT coach.

With all that said, most of our early purchases were family driven along with the fact we needed to incorporate our truck as part of the combination as we owned a boat. The first RV we really researched was the Monaco Diplomat. I made a list of pros and cons and we made our decision.

When we decided to replace the Monaco, we had already been looking at other brands just for fun. From the beginning, I knew our next coach would be either a 40' Tiffin Allegro Bus or a Newmar Dutch Star. Since I do all my own work and repairs, I knew my way around a DP pretty well. Our next choice was just a matter of deciding on must haves, coupled with budget. The Newmar Dutch Star won for a few reasons. First, there was a dealer, just a block away. I also wanted a tag axle in a 40' coach (only Newmar makes one), 1/2 bath, full wall slide and tile floors. An added bonus was Comfort Drive. We bought a 2014 off the lot and kept it 5 years, then ordered a 2019 EXACTLY how we wanted it.....no long decision process on our current coach.

So.....after my long story, I think you see my decision, your decision and that of most is "life" driven, which includes, kids, budget, needs, age and TYPE of camping you intend to do.
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Old 10-02-2019, 05:44 AM   #12
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No matter how much research you do, you will never know how you will end up using the RV until you live with it a while. Also, your requirements may change over time. If you tour and only stay places a few days, what works is not the same as if you travel between a couple of spots and stay in each for half a year.
We are on our 4th RV, 1 trailer, two class C's and now a class A. Each was the right choice when we bought it and the current class A is the right choice now.
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Old 10-02-2019, 07:30 AM   #13
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I began camping when I was 6 years old. Have had tents, canoes, pop ups, travel trailers, 5th wheels, and now a motorhome. We changed our style as our needs changed. In your case, I would suggest that you rent a camper and take off for a few days. Actually being in the camper and experiencing your living style on site will help you make your decision much much clearer. good luck
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Old 10-02-2019, 08:06 AM   #14
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“Looked” for about a year prior to each purchase. One we knew what we wanted it took 3-5 months to actually find the coach we purchased.
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