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Old 10-25-2011, 12:23 PM   #1
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Howdy from Texas!

Currently shopping for a new Class A "entry level" gasoline MH. The amount of stuff we don't know is terrifying!!

If anyone can provide guidance on reliable dealerships in the Houston area, it will be greatly appreciated. Also, any thoughts on quality of Fleetwood versus Winnebago MHs?

Nice to meet ya!

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Old 10-25-2011, 01:14 PM   #2
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Hi SarahW! Welcome to IRV2. I can't personally help you because I am in NC. but someone will be here to help you out soon. You might want to also post in the Class A section as not everyone reads the new members post. Good luck

Brenda and Frank, FTers, Zebulon, NC
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Old 10-25-2011, 02:56 PM   #3
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You might also want to look at some late model used units... they will be much lower in price as they have already dropped a bunch off the original price! Also there are 80 or so Class A's in the classifieds section of this website.
Ronnie (WD5GIC) & Jan (WD5IHU)
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Old 10-25-2011, 03:32 PM   #4
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Most of the manufacturers that made it through the tough times build a good mh. The key for most people will be the floor plan. Spend as much time as possible in the ones you like the most and after narrowing your search you can then drive those to see which one drives the best.

As far as dealers go, I would visit their service department and try to talk with some customers. The sales dept will be the initial contact but the service department is where you will be made happy or not. I bought my motorhome at DeMontrond in north Houston. The service department was horrendous at the time. No matter what it needed they said it will be 6 weeks before we can look at it and my response was I'll bring it back in 6 weeks to which they responded it will still be 6 weeks. They are no longer a Fleetwood dealer and they wondered why.

Unless you're set on new you may want to check the inventory at PPL. Class A Motorhomes for Sale - PPL Motor Homes

Good luck and remember floor plan, floor plan, floor plan.
Jim with Judy
2017 Newmar Ventana 4369, 2005 Jeep Wrangler (Rock Crawler), 2016 Jeep Wrangler (Mall Crawler)
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Old 10-25-2011, 04:22 PM   #5
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Welcome Aboard!

Originally Posted by SarahW View Post
Currently shopping for a new Class A "entry level" gasoline MH...
Sarah, I was you back in October & November. Make sure you drive lots of gassers AND diesels, just to develop a sense of what they each offer.

Generally, if you are going to be a frequent user, the diesel is advantageous. If you'll only take it out every few months, go with the gas.

If you have a friend or someone willing to trade dinner for a few hours of his/her time, get an owner to give you a bumper-to-bumper tour of his/her Class A. Learn about fridges, inverters, generators, AC & heat, air suspension, tire dates, shocks, awnings, toilets, grey/black/fresh water, leaks, fogging, slideouts, brakes, towing, hills, jacks, hookups, backing up, etc. For icing on the cake, take a ride and listen to air noise, creaks & squeaks, get a sense of how the different rigs handle in the wind, feel the rate of acceleration.

I started looking for a small gasser, eventually came to the rescue of good friends who'd bought a luxury Newell and were stuck with their pristine Fleetwood Excursion, since their buyer couldn't get financing.

I found that in this market, you can have a large diesel pusher for what a gasser usually costs. But, everyone has different requirements, and one size doesn't fit all.

To my fellow iRV2'ers, I suggest that, when people like Sarah arrive in our midst, we make the effort to get them oriented, teach them what we know. Surely, there is one of us close by, in every case. How hard is it to let them crawl over our coaches, to tell them what to look for in selecting their first purchase? I think it'd be a good outreach program, and would save new RV'ers a lot of trouble down the road.

And, since you're a few hours south of us, Sarah, I'll put my money where my mouth is and extend an invitation to come and take the grand tour. We're 8 miles SE of Granbury, and have no fewer than 20 MHs in our tightknit private community, along with a super family-owned RV supplier nearby, an active RV club and a community-owned RV park along our river. I can't speak for everyone, but you're free to crawl over our Fleetwood* and exercise every system.

While we love the thoughtful touches that go into Winnebago products, the quality seems a bit lower than that of Fleetwood, in general. Both are fine machines, deserve more respect than they get, among owners.

*One of our neighbors just bought an '01 Discovery for $45K, it's being detailed next door, where the newer Prevost is normally garaged. The interior is better than new: some very factory-like enhancements, not a hint of moisture. With new tires and filters, it'll be as good as any new model costing $150K.

BTW, we bought a new Volvo from Demontrond and thought they were okay. But, we've heard consistently good things about PPL.
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Old 10-25-2011, 04:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by texnet View Post
You might also want to look at some late model used units... they will be much lower in price as they have already dropped a bunch off the original price! Also there are 80 or so Class A's in the classifieds section of this website.
Welcome from another Texan, even though you first stated "new" the advice above is really the best way to go for your first unit. Stay in the 3-4 year old bracket in one of the better brands and you'll save around 40 to 45 percent of the cost. That's what I've done on last two units
Stan, Shirley & 2 Schnauzers (Sandy & Sassy)
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Old 10-25-2011, 04:43 PM   #7
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Sarah, welcome to the forum. Good luck...
John, Deb; & our dog, Benji, Forever in our hearts.
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Old 10-25-2011, 05:35 PM   #8
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Lots of great class A gassers in the classifieds on this site! Look at THIS little gem:

2002 National Dolphin LX 6356 Workhorse - RV & Motorhome Classifieds

( I may be a bit biased )

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Old 10-25-2011, 06:27 PM   #9
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Stay far-far-far away from Cliff Jones (in Sealy)...

Also, anything the dealer promises, make sure it is written into the contract and signed by a authorized person. Have any used unit inspected by an an independent tech that you hired. make the contract contingent on his inspection.

Amateur Radio Operator (KE5DFR)|Full-Time! - 2012 6.7L Ford Crew Cab Dually -2013 HitchHiker Champagne 38RLRSB - Travel with one Standard Schnauzer and one small Timneh African Gray Parrot
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Old 10-25-2011, 07:53 PM   #10
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Welcome for Katy. Good luck in your search. Hope to see you at one of our rallies soon.
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Old 10-25-2011, 10:52 PM   #11
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Thanks so much for the warm welcome; I appreciate everyone's input very much. I guess I have my heart set on a NEW MH, so we'll just have to bend over on the depreciation. (You can all say "told ya so" in a few months!)

We are traveling to the Dallas area on Saturday to check out "Motor Home Specialists", where it seems there is a HUGE number of units of all makes. I am anxious to find a dealership where there are lots of models to compare.

Thanks again, everyone.
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:17 AM   #12
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Welcome to the forum from another new Texas Member. Good luck on your search for a new coach.

I just bought a diesel pusher from PPL in Houston and they were great to work with. However, they are a consignment dealer so they only sell used units. You can negotiate with them on the price and they take the offers to the owner. That being said, they have a HUGE inventory of gas and diesel motorhomes, some of which are barely used and look like new that sell for much less than new ones. The main thing is to look for a floorplan that you like then make your best deal on the coach. Motorhome Specialists in Alverado does have a lot of inventory of new and used coaches as well and their prices seem to be very competitive, so that may be a good place to start your search. I have not heard anything about their service department, so you might check that out with some of their customers that are there for service and have used them before.

Again, welcome and have fun shopping for your coach. After all, that's half the fun.

Dan & Carla Walters
40' American Dream
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:44 AM   #13
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I think I responded to another post you have but anyway this is not in Houston but you might try PPL Motorhomes. They are in Texas. pplmotorhomes.com is there site. Good Luck hope you find the ride of your dreams.
Steve & Sally / Hudson Our Little Pom / Heidi, Houston & HiTee Forever in our Hearts
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Old 10-26-2011, 12:27 PM   #14
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Sarah glad you've joined us. Also from Texas here. the Motorhome Speacialist Dealer seems to have some very nice units and a good selection. Good Luck in your looking, hope to hear from you on your decision.

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