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Old 08-05-2010, 10:08 AM   #1
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Brand new to EVERYTHING!!! Yikes!

Hello All... we are in a massive search for info. on what type of used Class A or Class C to purchase because this is going to be our home.

We are selling our stickbuilt and jumping out onto the road. We are musicians and so we need to be able to get up and go and we also need to be more centrally located for routing/touring purposes. Being in Washington is way to far away from say Memphis, etc. with gas costs the way they are.

Our initial plan is to possible centrally locate in Colorado with the RV, unhitch our truck and go where our agent needs us to go as he routes us to gigs in various southeastern states.

So here we are, kind of scared, working on downsizing and hoping to sell the house furnished! ha..

Would love correspondence in regards to Class A/Class C RV'rs and suggestions, etc. We can spend about $50k - $60k on a good used home. We are hoping for a 37 - 40' rig with a tub and a strong chassis.

Please feel free to correspond with me here or by private email.

Best to all!!!
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Old 08-05-2010, 10:23 AM   #2
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For full-time RV living, get the biggest, baddest thiing you can afford.

Colorado cold climate and RV living presents a challenge. RV's generally do not fare well in extreme cold climates or extreme wet climates or extreme any climate. I lived in Colorado for many years and saw frequent temps in the below zero and sometimes minus 20. You can do it, but get preparred. Winter nighttime temps were always in the teens or low 20's. I guess the question is: Where in Colorado?

No matter where, you'll need to seek out an RV with a cold weather package and even then you'll need to add insulation, insulate everything.

Whether a Class "A" or a class "C" or "D", it's a matter of personal choice and preference. TIP: When I was looking around, a saleman told me to sit in the front seat of a class A and then sit in the front of a class C. OK... we did. Now he said, which would you rather spend the next 8 hours sitting in while traveling? It was obvious... The Class A was far more roomy and more comfortable. Easier to get in/out, open view, etc etc.

Then he said the final kicker... They cost about the same.. OK.. I'm sold on class A, and now live in one full-time.

Floor-plans are in the top 5 things you'll consider when buying.

(1) Cost
(2) Size
(3) Features and floor-plan (1 bath, 1 1/2 bath, kitchen forward or mid-ship, type of heating, tag, single axle, motor, TV's, washer/dryer, etc)
(4) Full-time/Part-time
(5) Amount of travel
(6) How many people? Motorhomes are designed for two people in mind. Although they can and often accomodate more, they are really made for two.
(7) Brand name, make or model is a big one for many. There are dozens to choose from. Some units are (not listed in preference): Prevost, Monaco, Fleetwood, Newmar, Tiffin, Winnebago, Thor, Coachmen, Gulfstream, Country Coach, American, Holiday Rambler, etc etc


What means the most to you? What is your vision?
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Old 08-05-2010, 10:45 AM   #3
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Unless you plan on being full hookups, stay away from the tub and washer...huge water and waste users..
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Old 08-05-2010, 11:03 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadDogs View Post
Hello All... we are in a massive search for info. on what type of used Class A or Class C to purchase because this is going to be our home.
Class A

Quote:
Our initial plan is to possible centrally locate in Colorado with the RV, unhitch our truck and go where our agent needs us to go as he routes us to gigs in various southeastern states.
The RV is your motel when you are down there on gigs too.

Quote:
Would love correspondence in regards to Class A/Class C RV'rs and suggestions, etc. We can spend about $50k - $60k on a good used home. We are hoping for a 37 - 40' rig with a tub and a strong chassis.
A) Forget the tub. It just ain't happening in your price range.
But you can get a rather nice shower.

B) whatever your budget is needs to be set aside into three categories.
1) the initial bargain purchase, and
2) the inevitable repairs and services and such like that which you WILL need to do even if you know and trust the seller, and
2a) to include the improvements and modifications and accessories that will make the RV work best for you, and
3) a substantial OMG! [moderator edit] just happened? gotta fix it NOW! reserve.

Just starting out... the $20-30,000 that you actually have available to buy with (see above).... will get you a very nice 5-10yo used gasser in the 30-34 foot range with one slide. It could also be a $10-15,000 semi beater that you can justify pouring $10,000 worth of improvements into.

And truth be told that is either option will be all the RV you'll ever likely need.

If it all works out for you then you can upgrade to a bigger, nicer, newer rig in a couple of years once you have some experience to base YOUR opinion on.

If your musicianship requires a lot of stage equipment or large instruments then consider pulling a trailer with that equipment all bundled together (and which can be pulled by others now and then).
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Old 08-05-2010, 01:30 PM   #5
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Welcome and congratulations on your decision! Don't be intimidated by all there is to learn. I was in your exact same spot a little over 3 years ago and now we're about to complete our first year of full timing and loving it.

Ask your questions freely here. You've already gotten good advice so you're off to a great start!
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Old 08-05-2010, 02:48 PM   #6
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Well.. my first response before I respond to all the wonderful suggestions is that I heard the first thing one should be concerned with is the Chassis and that many Class A's don't have a chassis big enough to support all the weight and length including all the slide outs that Mfg's are adding due to demand.

See this link: http://rv.org/class_A.htm


So floor plan aside isn't this the most important thing?

Also what's the story on the tub and washer? One should not use them unless we are at a location where we have full water availability?

thanks everyone!
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Old 08-05-2010, 03:02 PM   #7
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Colorado isnt quite centrally located and its a cold climate during the winter, so finding a suitable campground may cause you a problem. Were it me, I'd be looking around the DFW area, more central, cg's open year round. The money you save on gas can also go towards your ac bill in the summer.
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Old 08-05-2010, 03:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadDogs View Post
Well.. my first response before I respond to all the wonderful suggestions is that I heard the first thing one should be concerned with is the Chassis and that many Class A's don't have a chassis big enough to support all the weight and length including all the slide outs that Mfg's are adding due to demand.

See this link: Class A Motorhomes - RV Consumer Group


So floor plan aside isn't this the most important thing?

Also what's the story on the tub and washer? One should not use them unless we are at a location where we have full water availability?

thanks everyone!
The advice you've gotten on chassis is right on but I think applies more to gas coaches than diesel. It's certainly something to watch out for. Look for CCC (cargo carrying capacity).

Floorplan is VERY important because it's where you're going to live and you have to be happy with it.

I think you'll find that some people love their washer/dryers but many (such as us) find that using campground laundries works better. With the coach W/D arrangements I believe their capacity is pretty small and takes a long time while at the laundry you can get it all done at once. I think the comment about having hook ups is because they use a lot of water that you don't want to use if you're limited on fresh water or holding tank space.
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Old 08-05-2010, 03:16 PM   #9
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Your on the right track

Roaddog,

We just bought our first RV (class A) a few months ago. My budget was $20K max and I hoped to land around $10K. I found my RV at $10K. To learn about what was good to buy we bought the RV.org consumer group package with reviews of RVs. With shipping and handling it was about $150. I think it was a good investment. It was no consumer reports, but it is what is available and about as good as it gets for RVs. For just about everything we looked at I looked up the specs. on there. They included things like letting you know if it was likely to be overweight, the wheel base, construction notes, whether it is suitable for full time living etc. They also had a book "How to Select, Inspect and Buy an RV" that as a newbie (who had never even rented) found very useful.

Their star rating system had me looking at some models that I hadn't heard of since they were rated highly. Since we were going older I went with a Winnebago due to their having all the brochures, specs, parts list, diagrams on-line and available.

I also subscribed to one of the unlimited VIN number check services. If you go through certain web sites you can get unlimited VIN numbers for 60 days instead of 30. Well worth it to see the history of the RV and check out the seller's story.

You should also book mark NADA to check out prices.
RV prices, specs and options at NADAguides.com

Another good book mark is the recall lists so you can check that all the recall work has been done on any unit your interested in.
ODI - Office of Defects Investigation

Here are some pics of our RV.
1994 Brave 29RQ RV: Our first RV!

We pretty much grabbed the first one that met my major requirements (I had made a list and it is published somewhere on this forum) that did not have a water leak with associated moldy/musty smell and was in good shape. The floor plan was exactly what I was looking for. It isn't a top rated one by the consumer group due to having a short wheelbase but the price was right and I figured will all the aftermarket trac bars, steering stabilizers etc. I could compensate for it. The important thing is to know as much as possible about what your buying so there are no big surprises.

Good luck in your search.
Michelle
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Old 08-05-2010, 03:18 PM   #10
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Welcome

Welcome to the RVworld here....just from reading here I found, that CO is not a reasonable State to have your MH registered in.... Search here and find out. What I remember SD and TX are more for FULLTIMERS. Maybe some of the FT's can write about this here?
CLASS A, the only way to go!!!
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Old 08-05-2010, 03:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadDogs View Post
Well... that many Class A's don't have a chassis big enough to support all the weight and length including all the slide outs that Mfg's are adding due to demand.
I don't have the background to really address this aside from saying that the engineering issues are probably more true of older RV's where the slides were added to existing chassis designs.

But this is the sort of thing where choosing from the better Coach builders will pay off; in the five to ten year old range it shouldn't be a factor

Quote:
So floor plan aside...
As important as floor plan *can* be those decisions must be subservient to the mechanical issues... especially when looking at used.


Quote:
Also what's the story on the tub and washer?
On washers:
space in the (smaller) rig that your budget will afford you, storage water capacity, water heater capacity, waste water capacity, and small capacity of the machines, etc.

on the other end of the deal is that any parking/camping spot with the "full hook ups" they need will also have a laundromat to use where you can run your four loads at one time.

Read a few paragraphs or glom on their wifi for an hour or so and you're done.
Even with quarters that will also cost less in the long run.

Tubs are a chick thing.
The same issues (mostly) apply but my rational arguments won't win against that.
You're on your own there.
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Old 08-05-2010, 05:37 PM   #12
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Tubs are a chick thing.
The same issues (mostly) apply but my rational arguments won't win against that.
You're on your own there.
Actually i'm sorry to inform you that my husband has had a triple fusion back surgery and after a 4 hour gig we both need an epsom salt soak as we are usually pretty racked out. For me think Janis Joplin meets Joe Cocker.. and even though my husband has to sit when he plays, he's still very sore and aching and needs a bath when we are done.

So it's not always a chick thing!
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Old 08-05-2010, 06:08 PM   #13
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We have had 5ers, class As, class Cs and travel trailers. We have lived long term in both a Class A and a 5er. My preference for long tern living is a 5er and a dually diesel truck. This way if you have a problem with the chassis and it is in the shop, you still have a place to live.

Ken
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Old 08-06-2010, 09:51 AM   #14
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So hubby woke up late last night in axiety about driving this thing! He was reading one of the RV books and this guy was talking about having a hard time driving it and bumping into tel poles and pissing people off and so on and so forth.

I saw a cd about how to drive one of these rigs somewhere... but what are ya all's experience with learning to drive and RV and especially with a truck behind it?

thanks in advance!
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