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Old 03-22-2019, 01:47 PM   #1
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New guy buying first RV

Hi all,

Just posting to intro myself. I'm new to RV'ing, but being an older guy (just retired) I don't want to make every mistake in the book when it comes to buying our first rig... So i'm here to learn as much as I fast as I can!

We are looking for a smaller rig under 30ft... and when I say "rig" I mean the exterior length of either a TT, 5er, or MH. Actually considering all three despite the big differences... when you add a 3/4 ton truck for TV, not too much difference in total cost.

Since I have so little towing / driving experiences with RVs, I'm wondering which forum would be best to post a few questions on how these rigs drive? For example, how does a 16,000 GVW class C compare with a similar weight class A?

Looking forward to a whole other phase in life... after working the 8 to 6 for 40 years! Thanks again for all this valuable info on this wonderful site!
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Old 03-22-2019, 02:13 PM   #2
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My advice is to start reading this forum and its sister, Winnieowners.com religiously every day, concentrating on the Recent Discussions box on the right hand part of the page. In a couple of months, you should have assimilated a reasonable knowledge base to start a informed search.

In searching for information, the Google search box near the top of the page does a lot better job than the "search this forum" tab.

Unless you're dealing with a firm restriction such as driveway length, I wouldn't be too religious in setting a total overall length target covering the different types of rigs. The 30' limit is going to result in a pretty small TT that will be in a completely different class than a 30' Class C. My 35' MH is huge in terms of living space compared to my previous 25' TT (no slides) but significantly shorter (maybe 10') in overall length including my truck.

Look at as many different rigs as you can so you can sort out the very real living space differences between a TT, 5th wheel, Class C, Class A, etc. This will be instrumental in deciding which type is best for you.

Good luck.
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Old 03-22-2019, 02:15 PM   #3
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Welcome and good luck on your search! I drove class C's and "A"'s. I owned a 25' Sprinter, loved the fuel mileage and torque, just too small for my liking. Did get blown around a bit, I added Timbren cushions and Helwig sway bar and it did help. I drove Ford class c's and they can be a handful. I own a class A diesel pusher now and really enjoy the ride and comfort. Best thing to do is get out and look to see what suits your needs.We researched for quite a while and attended the Hershey RV show, that really helped.
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Old 03-22-2019, 07:24 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum and welcome to the life of the RV'er.

You are joining a good group of folks with good info to share. Read the various threads here and ask questions as they come up. Visit as many dealers and RV shows as you can to get an idea of what is out there and what is possible. Also a good way to see what the various floor plans look like (a most important point when making your decision). You might also want to rent a couple of different units for a weekend "try out"

Good luck and enjoy the adventure!
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Old 03-22-2019, 07:46 PM   #5
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Welcome on board...

People go about buying their RVs very differently. Partly because we use them very differently and place very different values on what's important to us. Some people trade in their RV very couple of years and some of us keep them forever. Some folks can and enjoy doing their own service and maintenance work while others use their credit card as their only tool. Some want lots of blitz while some place more value on quality construction. Price always weighs in as a big factor. Some folks always want to have a warranty or extended service plan while others don't care. So it all just depends.

If you stay only in full service campgrounds vs time in the true boon docks will make a big difference. Some places like National Parks frequently have smaller camp sites and large rigs can be an issue. Likewise traveling in shorter rigs makes life easier in some cases. Somewhere along the way you need to decide if you a toad (a runabout car) after you get somewhere, unless you go with a trailer then the truck is your runabout vehicle. If you'll going to tow a car, study carefully what can be towed and how. There can be many hidden issues with some models when towed.

Think about the kinds of places you want to visit and how long you think you'll stay in one place. All of this makes a difference in what you buy.

Spend lots and lots of time reading these forums as stated above and do as much research as possible both on-line and in many different dealer lots. Never, never fall in love with a single unit thinking you must have that RV. Always be ready and willing to walk away from a deal if things are not looking right. Also research the dealers along with the RV. There are very good dealers and some very bad dealers out there.

In the end have fun and be safe....
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Old 03-22-2019, 07:59 PM   #6
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While ypu may find purchase price of a MH attractive, remember a MH is the number one most expensive form of RV. A 30 foot MH will usually give you around 25 feet of actual living space. Where a 30 foot actual length TT will give you 30 feet of living space. To get around with a MH your gping to need a toad. That means extra cost, extra drive train to maintain. Dont get me wrong a motor home for a lot of folks is the ideal RV. From 35 years of RV experience I see folks with motor homes, especially the more luxury ones pull in, setup and go sit inside while trailer RVers tend to be more oitdoors folks. Just an observation.
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Old 03-22-2019, 08:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 450Donn View Post
While ypu may find purchase price of a MH attractive, remember a MH is the number one most expensive form of RV. A 30 foot MH will usually give you around 25 feet of actual living space. Where a 30 foot actual length TT will give you 30 feet of living space. To get around with a MH your gping to need a toad. That means extra cost, extra drive train to maintain. Dont get me wrong a motor home for a lot of folks is the ideal RV. From 35 years of RV experience I see folks with motor homes, especially the more luxury ones pull in, setup and go sit inside while trailer RVers tend to be more oitdoors folks. Just an observation.
Here's my two cents worth: since i didn't already owned and did not want a pick-up truck, i quickly eliminated tt, 5th wheels and towables...
That left me with the choice of class a vs class c.
Considering my needs, budget and a familly of two adults, toddler daughter and rather large dog, i decided on a used 30 ish foot C...
With a large slide its got all the room we need and mecanicals are easy to work on and quite affordable!

foorplan is really important!
do some research and the answer will become clear at some point!
Good luck!
Happy trails!
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Old 03-22-2019, 08:31 PM   #8
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welcome to irv2
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Old 03-22-2019, 09:00 PM   #9
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You have come to the right place. I have learned so much from this site! My husband and I purchased our first RV last week. We were wanting a smaller Class A. We decided on the Thor Vegas 24.1. We pick it up from the dealer next week. I can’t say yet that we made the right decision, but we took our time and did a lot of research. I am hopeful. You will be well served by reading everything you can on this forum.
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Old 03-22-2019, 09:17 PM   #10
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1st.. View the "tag" lines at the bottom of the responding posters..
To give you an Idea of where they are coming from and the equipment they have.

Keep in mind..
Your 1st coach is a learning tool..
When You tour/view "In Person" any perspective coach..
View it First with all slides retracted,
If the coach is fully usable without the slides extended, then give it a second look.
(Think wally-docking,rest areas,truckstops...any where that you cannot/do not have room for the slides to be extended)

BUY USED! & buy one with everything you "think" you want and will need..
IF the perspective coach seems a bit small but still "DO-Able" .......REMEMBER!!!
What seemed small... becomes unbearably TINY after being Coop'd up" for a week or more due to weather...
(AKA.....Cabin Fever)
And.... You WILL make mistakes and have booboo's We all have.....(sometimes more than twice..)
Within a year or two you will discover..about the RV

What you love about the RV...
What you can kinda-sorta tolerate with the RV..
And what you absolutely hate about that !@#$%^%$#@! RV.
Then you can go get what you should have gotten in the first place..
Happy Hunting

Remember!!!!
Every day you "put off" retiring...is just one LESS day you have remaining to enjoy being RETIRED !!!
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Old 03-22-2019, 11:36 PM   #11
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Wow... thanks for all the quick replies! I'm looking forward to having a lot of fun learning all the ropes... and i have to say this seems to one of the friendliest forums I've ever posted on!

In regards to how I plan to use my RV... honest answer is I don't really know yet. My wife wants to mostly camp in one place with her family to get out the summer heat (we live in high desert area, just outside of Yucca Valley, CA). I'm just getting started thinking about more interesting adventures, doing some boondocking and visiting more rural areas that I've never seen.

Anyway looking forward to the journey.. thanks again.
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cedwards View Post
My wife wants to mostly camp in one place with her family to get out the summer heat (we live in high desert area, just outside of Yucca Valley, CA). I'm just getting started thinking about more interesting adventures, doing some boondocking and visiting more rural areas that I've never seen.

Anyway looking forward to the journey.. thanks again.
Based on this, a couple of things come to mind:

How long would you plan on staying in one place while escaping the summer heat and, will it be just you and your wife staying in the rig? And what does "with her family" mean? If you're considering an extended stay (more than a week or so), and/or more than two people, the 30' overall limit could be too cramped. Plus you'll definitely need a drive-around vehicle, either a tow vehicle or a toad.

In terms of your "more interesting adventures" pretty much anything will work, including a Class B or Sprinter van conversion. And, if boondocking is on the agenda, things like residential refrigerators and electric cooktops are pretty much out of the question unless you want to run a generator for several hours a day. This, IMHO, defeats the purpose of boondocking. Others will disagree.

And, based on your overall uncertainty, I suspect your first RV will be a learning experience so I'd stick with a well-maintained, used RV that you can sell in a couple of years without too much of a loss in value. The last thing you want to do is to have a dealer talk you into a "great deal" on a new rig that turns out to be unsuitable for your needs.

After you've read a few posts about dealerships, I think you'll conclude that there's little or no value added by purchasing from a dealer as opposed to a private party.

One nice thing about a towable is, once you have suitable tow vehicle, you can switch RVs more inexpensively than with a motorhome. This means that you shouldn't skimp on its towing capability so you don't have to buy a new tow vehicle when you get a bigger TT or 5th wheel. This means you should probably forget about compact or midsize SUVs and trucks.
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Old 03-23-2019, 10:04 AM   #13
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About a year ago a person new to RVing wanted to learn all he could abaout RVs and what to look for on IRV2. His first handle name was "Manwithnorv" now since he's bought a 5th his handle name is "Roadeyepie". He asked many, many detailed questions and got lots of good replies. Included within the thread was how to buy an RV and avoid many of the costly mistakes people frequently make. I'd recommend you spend some time starting at the top and moving through the thread as you'll learn about things you likely don't know to ask yet.

Whereas, I think forum members try to give good advice, always remember some folks have a fairly narrow experience base and may be biased to what they have done and bought. That's human nature and is fine. Just be ready to think replies through and sort out what applies to you. There are so many brand names and models of RVs your head will swim. This is partly due to the RVs industry's attempt fill the many different customer needs and wants.

One other thought is to make a detailed list of features and functionalities that you consider required vs desired or wanted to fit your possible use pattern.
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Old 03-23-2019, 11:22 AM   #14
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Better get busy, you've got a lot of tire kicking to do!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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