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Old 04-29-2013, 09:31 AM   #1
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How should we start ?

Hello,

We were recently forced to retire a couple years sooner than planned.

Thinking a motorhome would be fun way to see the national parks out west.

What would you recommend ? Should we rent first, buy a cheap used one or buy new ?

Thanks
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:35 AM   #2
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:40 AM   #3
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Personally, I would go the cheap used route first. I would go with a higher quality older coach that hasnt spent a lot of time sitting around. I just saw a very nice late 90's Alpine DP that sold on EBay for less than 12k! You can always upgrade later if you choose. That way, in the event the lifestyle is not for you, your not left eating thousands in depreciation. Renting probably costs more than buying new.
Good luck!
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:46 AM   #4
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You could always rent an RV first to see if you will like it. Most rentals I have seen are class C (van chassis with the front overhanging the cab) but there are class A (more like a bus) out there for rent.

Keep in mind that the rentals may not have all the bells & whistles of high end motor homes but can give you a good idea what you are getting into without getting bound by ownership.

That said our first RV was a new 31' class C so I didn't take my own advise
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:05 AM   #5
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Rent, some people love this lifestyle and some don't. Buying is like a second home that moves. We love it and sold our home. Oh and before I forget, you have chose a great forum for some great help and guidance.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:08 AM   #6
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We had never been in an RV before we retired.

We rented first and it was a great way to get the feel of things. While renting we looked at many other peoples coaches, talked to them and decided by using a Class C what things were important to us, Then we bought our first and last Class A with that knowledge base.

Renting is not cheap but actually using an RV is a very practical way to discover your likes and dislikes. f you buy an older one you need to consider tires often, insurance, licensing, tow set up etc, It may balance out.

We bought new, and if I were to do that part over I would probably buy a used coach, diesel.

But we love our coach and do not regret our choices, just a learning process. Good luck to you.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:18 AM   #7
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Welcome to the forum and congrats on your retirement.

We too had never owned any kind of RV when we retired and bought a new 40DP. I was afraid that if I bought a smaller, cheaper, older rig I wouldn't like RVing and would sour on it quickly so we bought new.

That strategy sure took care of my concern about dealing with problems on older units but it does involve eating a HUGE amount of depreciation.

In hindsight, we should have bought used but oh well...

If you see yourself spending most of your time in state or national parks you will want to choose the size carefully. At 40 feet we don't fit in many/most of those parks.

Best of luck to you both.

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Old 04-29-2013, 10:32 AM   #8
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Hi folks! Welcome to IRV2! It's great to have you join us!

Unless money is not a consideration I would not rent an RV. I would suggest buying one a few years old that you can use to check out the RV lifestyle to see if it's for you.

Hope you find what's right for you. Enjoy the forum!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:58 AM   #9
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Lots of different opinions, at least you have the ability to learn from the mistakes of others if you take the time to read first.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:49 AM   #10
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Welcome to IRV2.

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Old 04-29-2013, 02:37 PM   #11
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:38 PM   #12
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Hello Twosmac and welcome to the forum.

You don't say how long you plan to spend seeing the national parks out west. Maybe you'll do one trip for a few months this summer and then plan another trip later?? Maybe you'll fall in love with the lifestyle, take the plunge and go full-time?? I'd suggest you keep your investment small at the outset...

We started with a popup tent trailer and we spent over 157 nights in it during the 2 years we owned it. It was a very cheap way to get into RVing and it took us all over the west (we were from Phoenix so we were already "there" in a way).

During those early trips -- most were 4 to 10 days -- we found we loved RVing and we met some very cool full-timers and seasoned RVers. And we decided we'd like to try full-timing.

So we bought a 27' TT. Lived in it for a year. Had an absolute ball. And realized that to be comfortable full-time we needed a bigger unit.

So we bought a 36' fifth wheel and have used it ever since.

We bought all 3 units new, had no trouble selling, took only moderate depreciation, and chalked all the depreciation (maybe $4-5k total?) up to a very fine education in the art of RVing.

All this is to say -- don't feel obligated to go fancy and big at the start. Focus on seeing the national parks. You can live in anything for a month or two, especially if you are busy all day every day seeing the greatest sights this country has to offer!!

Then when you go home you can decide what you want to do next and in what kind of vehicle.

During your travels you can interview everyone you see to find out what they have (get tours of their rigs!) and find out how they like it and why...

Good luck. Have fun.

We started full-timing in large part because my husband thought he was retiring but the night before his last day was told they couldn't let him go.... he was too "valuable." So six weeks later he quit. We dealt with the shock of him getting dissed after 26 years of loyal service by downscaling our lives and learning to live on a fraction of his old income for 2 years.

Then we ran away to a life of adventure and have never looked back.
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:42 PM   #13
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Wow, thanks for the warm welcomes and thoughtful advice !

Sadly, money is a consideration. We are late in our fifties, so no SS checks yet.

At this point we're not sure where we would spend most of our time. But I'll share a quick story. A dealer invited us to an open house at a nearby RV park. We figured that would give us a good snapshot. Well, we went to the open house at the RV park but we were pretty discouraged. It looked like mayhem.
I think it was called Pin Oak Creek RV Park in Villa Ridge, MO.
(I wonder if the fact that we enjoy solitude means we won't be good RV candidates.)

So far we have been to a couple of dealer lots simply to walk through the various class A's and class C's.

We have also been reading an assortment of RV blogs and forums trying to determine which motorhome manufactures are known for quality and service.
My impression so far is that buying a motorhome seems more a leap of faith than anything, and that even the best RV's have their share of headaches.

One thing I don't understand is why there are no inspections services for RV's.
When folks buy a boat, the universal advice is to get a marine survey on the boat before purchasing. I'm not mechanically inclined at all so it's pretty scary trying to do this by myself.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know where we are in this process. We would love to hear your thoughts and wisdom.
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twosmac View Post
Wow, thanks for the warm welcomes and thoughtful advice !

Sadly, money is a consideration. We are late in our fifties, so no SS checks yet.

At this point we're not sure where we would spend most of our time. But I'll share a quick story. A dealer invited us to an open house at a nearby RV park. We figured that would give us a good snapshot. Well, we went to the open house at the RV park but we were pretty discouraged. It looked like mayhem.
I think it was called Pin Oak Creek RV Park in Villa Ridge, MO.
(I wonder if the fact that we enjoy solitude means we won't be good RV candidates.)

So far we have been to a couple of dealer lots simply to walk through the various class A's and class C's.

We have also been reading an assortment of RV blogs and forums trying to determine which motorhome manufactures are known for quality and service.
My impression so far is that buying a motorhome seems more a leap of faith than anything, and that even the best RV's have their share of headaches.

One thing I don't understand is why there are no inspections services for RV's.
When folks buy a boat, the universal advice is to get a marine survey on the boat before purchasing. I'm not mechanically inclined at all so it's pretty scary trying to do this by myself.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know where we are in this process. We would love to hear your thoughts and wisdom.
Welcome and good luck in your search. There are many really great choices out there both New and Used. There are also professional people out there that do the same thing as a marine survey for motorhomes. Don't give up. Find something you and your family likes and then get it inspected before you sign anything. You won't be sorry. We love our "used" 40' KSDP and wouldn't trade it for anything newer. There are some really bright people on this forum and probably one or two in your area that could help you with a "look over" before you spend any money on a real inspection.. Take care. Seeya on the road...
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