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Old 07-22-2014, 02:30 PM   #1
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Question Another newbie with buying help request.

I am a newbie both to this forum and also to the world, or soon to world of Motorhome ownership. I am in the ourchasing stage and have been doing pretty much an internet search as I am somewhat physically limited.

I am going to buy used and am going to pay cash for the coach. We will just be vacationers using our coach for several two week trips during the year and maybe some longer occasionally.

As it is just the two of used, I figure we don't need anything over 36ft with 32 to 34 ideal.

Class A, B+ or C?

Gas vs Diesel. I have a preference for diesel if it is the larger coach and may the V10 in smaller ones.

I am 68 now and don't know how long we will be able to RV but it is something I have dreamed about since I was a kid. I did own two small 5th wheels and a couple of pop up's as well as a 25ft. sailboat an 3 boats during my employed time.

There are two coaches that I am seriously considering. One here in Arizona, a dealer and one from a private party in Florida. With the private party there is no sales tax which will save quite a bit. Maybe I can convince the dealer to pay the tax instead of negotiating a better deal.

From the dealer my selection is an 07 Tiffen Open Road 34 TGA Fred triple slide with 38K miles

From the private party an 07 Duramax Isata 280 single slide Ford 450 chassis and V10 with 11K miles.

Can't afford new and at the prices being asked, I will still have money set aside for repairs. By the way, both units were rated highly on RV Consumer Group's Deal Data.

As far as I see it, it's a choice between a little more comfort int the Open Road vs more remote campsite access in the Isata. Any ideas/comments? Your input is appreciated.

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Old 07-22-2014, 02:36 PM   #2
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Welcome to irv2. Good luck with your purchasing decision. I'm sure you'll get some good opinions here.


Cliff,Tallulah and Buddy ( 1999-2012 )
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Old 07-22-2014, 02:57 PM   #3
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We started out with a 26' Class C. Half-way throug our second season. we dumped it. We waited a couple of years and then got our current 32' Class A. From our POV, there's no comparison.

The driving position, visibility and roominess are way better than the C, and you don't have that annoying overhead structure in your field of view out of the windshield. The ride comfort isn't quite as good, but there are all kinds of gadgets you can get to improve it. We decided we'd rather use the money fo gas and CG fees. Sure, it rides like an 11-ton box truck, but that's what's under the skin.

When we started out with the C, gas was about $1.75 and CGs were about $20 a night. Now that gas is $4.00 and CG fees are around $40, we're having to give it up. The MH will be on the market a week or two after Labor Day.
Frank Damp -Anacortes, WA,(DW- Eileen)
ex-pat Brits (1968) and now ex-RVers, as of 08 Dec 14.
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:08 PM   #4
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Glad you're aboard. Best of luck in your decision. Enjoy your adventures and be safe.
Have a wonderful day!
Ken (RVM 87)
FT DP Wanna B The journey is the destination!
Retired & perfecting procrastination!
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:46 PM   #5
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Welcome to IRV2! It's great to have you join the gang!

I would try to get a class A diesel pusher if the budget will allow it, even if you have to take an older model. There will be a HUGE difference in driving comfort and ease of operation. If the Tiffen has a front diesel engine I would avoid it like the plague! I have heard that they are extremely noisy!

One caution about buying from the private party. Most states will require you to pay the sales tax when you try to buy a tag for it.

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

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
Welcome to IRV2! It's great to have you join the gang!

I would try to get a class A diesel pusher if the budget will allow it, even if you have to take an older model. There will be a HUGE difference in driving comfort and ease of operation. If the Tiffen has a front diesel engine I would avoid it like the plague! I have heard that they are extremely noisy!

One caution about buying from the private party. Most states will require you to pay the sales tax when you try to buy a tag for it.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Arizona does not require sales tax on private transactions fortunately. I have bought and sold privately w/o problem. I have my eye on an 03 Alpine 36 DP as well.
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:51 PM   #7
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Welcome and glad to meet you!
FMCA #F431170, GS #822128658, Escapees SKP #112655
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:51 PM   #8
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Welcome to the forum. Your quest is much like what my wife and I went through. We were prior boat owners who stayed on our sailboat for extended periods. We later became interested in testing the RV experience.

Our first coach was a repossessed 2004 gas Itasca with the Ford V10. We didn't pay a lot and had it inspected by a professional before buying from an RV sales place. It was a great first coach. BUT, it was noisy with the motor right under the dog house, and it would try to sail when a truck passed. It was a bit of a chore to drive, but was a struggle with my physical disability of having only one arm.

We sold that coach on eBay and did okay. In the meantime we bought a diesel pusher 2008 Monaco Knight in a distress sale from a private party selling on eBay. That was a good coach and handled several step functions above our Itasca. It was day and night improvement with the diesel. I liked the floor plan on our gasser better but the handling was a lot better on the Monaco.

After a lot of research I decided I wanted the ultimate handling that came with a tag axle diesel. We bought a new one and are now in the process of working the kinks out. (I'll never buy new again BTW.) It does drive like a dream. I really don't mind driving 500 or so miles a day.

So my advice would be to first find out how many hours you want to drive in a day. If it is four hours or so, and you have normal upper body mobility, then a gasser can work great for you.

Next, identify the floor plan layout that meets your needs - especially when camped. It sounds like your vacations are more camping/less driving and if that's the case then she needs to be what you want when opened up.

Lastly, after you find the dream coach, I would recommend adopting a patient attitude and waiting until you can find one you consider a fair deal for the price. Only you can judge that and it is a combination of price, taxes, and distance (cost in fuel) to pick up. I would also recommend a professional surveyor if you buy near a major city. (Mine charged $350 and was well worth it, like a home purchase survey.) If you can't find a professional surveyor, then you might be able to get help by asking on this forum or perhaps asking on FMCA. I'll bet someone will help you look at the coach. I would also recommend using a checklist like you can find on this site to find hidden problems.

You are in for exciting and fun times my friend. I'm happy for you. If there is anything I can do to help you make this more fun and less costly, please don't hesitate to PM me. I've made enough mistakes if I can help anyone avoid even one, it will be good.


Chuck, Sylvia, and our dog Bubbles
2014 Entegra Anthem 42DEQ
Toad 2009 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
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