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Old 12-31-2015, 05:19 PM   #1
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Nervous RVer? Or confused RVer

Yup! That is me! Just started this past summer after years of tent camping. Bought a used F150 and a StarCraft Launch. Easy! Now looking for a Class A. So confused! Gas or Diesel Fleetwood, Thor, Forest River or Tiffin? Want 33 - 35 ft. Other wants a certain floor plan! Told by a Thor dealer Fleetwoods are *rappy, Tiffin so so and ignored forest river! Can't afford mistakes or to wait for 3rd. What to do? Help? Ideas and thoughts please!

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Old 12-31-2015, 06:46 PM   #2
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Best advice is don't listen to a whole lot that an RV salesman says ... there is a WEALTH of free knowledge here on this forum. Spend some time here and you can confidently call BS on a lot of what the salesman says ... just sayin' ... Happy New Year and good luck on the quest for the perfect coach!

(Oh, put more emphasis on the floor plan that the "other" wants, than what the salesman says!)

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Old 12-31-2015, 07:18 PM   #3
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Definitely don't listen to RV salesmen, they have their own agenda and I doubt any of them research brands as much as typical IRV2 user does. Sometimes floorplan can lock you into manufacturer at least for a while. Thor seems to innovate on floorplans lately but also lots of QA issues. Fleetwood seems comparable to Thor but has a muddied product line with the crossovers. Tiffin is well respected like Newmar but has limited floorplans and only one gas line. I like my Winnie but i cost more than a Thor and took them a couple years to copy Thors floorplan but IMO it is better made. Figure out the kind of floorplan you like narrow down manufacturers with similar floorplans, go to shows and check them out, you will know when it fits. Probably going to have issues with any unit, quality is like 70's cars.
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Old 12-31-2015, 07:27 PM   #4
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I love the ignore Forest River comment. I am in my 3rd FR product and have never had a problem with any of them. By far the best is my current Georgetown XL 377TS. I had a Fleetwood that fell apart around me in three long problem filled years. You can get a lemon in any of the manufacture. Take the names off the sides and you would be hard pressed to tell which on is which. They are all built on assembly lines at the fastest pace they can without regard for quality. I have been lucky with my last three but that doesn't mean that all FR products are problem free. Same with Fleetwood, Thor, Winnebago or Tiffin. Just make sure you do a through PDI and get a good dealer with a good service department.
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Old 01-01-2016, 06:13 AM   #5
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Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined us!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette

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Old 01-01-2016, 06:30 AM   #6
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What's your approximate budget? How do you plan to use the coach? Are you a weekend warrior (like me) or planning extensive travel or even full timing? That would give people a better idea of what advice to give you.

Obviously a Thor dealer won't give rave reviews of Fleetwoods or other brands. Diesel vs gas is the argument of the ages.

Floor plan is king! We love our Excursion with its drop down front bunk and rear bedroom. Get out to the RV shows, as I'm writing this I just saw a commercial for one in Daytona. More to come in the next weeks/months. If you're looking for new, there are good deals on leftovers (that's what we bought last year) if looking at used, lots of folks starting to trade in 1 and 2 year old coaches for a new model. Lots to be said about buying used that have all the bugs worked out.

Let us know what you do
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Old 01-01-2016, 08:43 AM   #7
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Old 01-01-2016, 09:19 AM   #8
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Old 01-01-2016, 11:35 AM   #9
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Every coach we have had has had problems, some minor some major, 2 gas 3 diesel. I would agree with jondrew, how much you use it and budget, if in Florida area Tampa show is coming up. Spending a lot of money to watch it sit in driveway or storage lot is not to appealing. My reason for going diesel was a lot of mountain traveling. Welcome and good luck.
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Old 01-01-2016, 12:18 PM   #10
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Welcome from East Moline, IL.
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Old 01-01-2016, 07:05 PM   #11
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First... Happy New Year all!!! Great suggestion re more info!! The other half and I (I use other rather than better ) right now do weekends but have a couple of longer week plus on the board for this summer. She is a teacher, and I have already geared down to part-time. Our budget is up to $150K maybe a little more. We can't afford a big D. Am hesitant re used as I am not automotive inclined or am a mr. fix-it. Know my way around a car engine, snowblower etc. but that is it. Vee has a specific floorplan in mind as the TV seems to be the big point. Wants lots of light, no TV in dinette or over kitchen area. She is a cook and will putz in there constantly while I want to watch games. Full rear bed with room for another couple on occasion - kinda elderly, not certain over cab would work (in early 70s). Planning on increasingly long trips and more frequent long weekends when she retires in a year or two, with ultimate goal of cross usa trip, Canadian cross into Alaska. We are east coasters.
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Old 01-02-2016, 06:00 AM   #12
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Old 01-02-2016, 06:27 AM   #13
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Well my friend here is my advice. TRY to think ahead and how you will be using the coach. IF you are going to be traveling around kind of people, I suggest a diesel pusher as new and big as you can handle. Stretch to get the one you think you really want and avoid wasting money on "working up to it" if you can. On the other hand if you are traveling 20-50 miles to a weekend kind of destination for the most part, I would think a gas class A or even C might save you some money and suit your needs. JMO. The diesels are quiet and smooth over the road but if you are taking mainly short trips, then that isn't so much a priority.

Just read your background> Now I would highly suggest a two or three year old Diesel pusher. You will learn all about these rigs, like it or not!, whether you buy new or used and your budget sounds like you could slide into a pretty nice used one. Use this forum when issues come up and talk to your neighbors at campgrounds - they will be a wealth of information when problems come up. Don't trust anyone to give you good backing directions or turning radius eyes - get out and check things out numerous times before you ding your rig (hard learned lessons here...).
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Old 01-02-2016, 09:56 AM   #14
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Hi Nervy,

We werewhere you are a year ago. You have a bigger budget. We also weren't sure about gasser or diesel. We bought a gasser. Here is why but keep in mind your needs might be different than ours.

My husband is good with cars, trucks, and motor type things. I am not saying he could replace an engine, but he can tinker and fix problems. A diesel he did not understand. I got some good advice here. What type of traveling are you going to do. Drive a lot? Drive to a destination and park a lot for months? Planning a lot of mountain trips where you will need the power of a diesel to get the rig and toad up the mountain? Things to consider.

We bought a Winnebago Itasca 33 ft. We will live in this coach when I retire in 18 months and we travel out of MI for the winters. Meanwhile we do weekend and longer week trips.

We liked the Winnebago floorplan. One slide which worked for us and plenty of storage. We have spent a few days in rain and were comfortable together inside the coach. This is important as you won't always spend your time outside due to weather.

I had to have an oven. Wanted a washer but decided to go without. Wanted a bathroom that was big enough to turn around in the shower. Plenty of windows but not too many. Floorplan is very important. It has to work for you both or it works against you.

With your budget, you could buy a used gasser or DP and spend say $100,000 on it and keep the extra for repairs or upgrades if you need them. We spent part of our budget and still have about $15,000 for repairs and or upgrades. This worked for us.

I kept seeing this Winnie and I just kept catching my attention. We knew nothing about MH's. We had to learn everything from the bottom up. We came here and the people here were an amazing help! I have made friends here and you will too.

Some of the advice I got here was invaluable. Go to RV shows and walk around RVs and sit a while. Go to a dealership and tell them you want to spend time sitting in the rig. Open cupboards, think about how much you could put in there. GO into the shower and turn around, put your arms up like you are showering, are you bumping the walls.

Outside, where would you put your chairs, grill, tools, leveling blocks. Basically, is there enough outside storage. You can put extra paper products in plastic bins out here, soap, cleaning products and so on. We have yet to fill our compartments but figure this will change when we winter fulltime. Our couch is our extra bed.

Take your time, there is no hurry. Look at PPL Motorhomes online. You'll get the idea of prices and floorplans, Craigslist is another good spot to look. Make sure you have the owner, dealer show you everything works including jacks, stove, fridge, generator. If you buy from a private owner, have them show you where everything is.

Good luck and keep asking on here, there is a lot of knowledge. Lynne

Love the sunshine and warmer weather!
Lynne and Jerry RVM 105
2004 Winnebago Itasca Sunova / 2012 Toyota Prius / 2016 ACME EZE-Tow Dolly
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