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Old 12-29-2013, 04:19 PM   #1
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My First Shopping Experience

My wife and I spent much of yesterday at an RV dealership looking at various motor homes. As this is just the start of the process we still have much to figure out about what we need, what we can afford and what is a fair price. But we did do a test drive on a model that DW absolutely loves. And I do have to say that I could see us traveling in that model quite comfortably.

The unit was an ACE 27.1. It was a new unit, though we are really hoping to buy used when the time comes. After sitting in a C for a few minutes, I think I have to consider a small A because it was SO much more comfortable in the cab. I'm a wide guy and the center console really was very intrusive on my right leg. I would have trouble driving that for eight hours, I think. That C was a Conquest, I think. If someone knows of a C in the 25-30 foot range with plenty of room in the cab please let me know about it.

I was a bit nervous during the test drive because it was the largest vehicle I had ever driven. But making both left and right turns was easier than I expected it to be.

The asking price was so expensive! But of course, since I had no intention of buying anything yesterday I did not make any attempt to negotiate the price down. The offer made by the dealer was at the very tip top of my budget. I'm sure I could negotiate the price down considerably, but it's still a lot compared to what the asking price was on units that were 7-8 years old and in decent, if not great, condition. For the record, the ask on the brand new ACE 27.1 was $70K.

The dealership was very accommodating. They not only let us walk through several different models of both new and used motor homes, they let us bring our two Samoyeds, Kody and Zoe, into them as well. We were hoping that would be the case because seeing how the dogs fit into the space both "open" and closed up will be a big part of the decision on if any particular unit is right for us.

We walked through some used models by other manufacturers - 2003 Winnebago Brave, 2005 River Forest and a 2006 Georgie Boy Landau. We really only looked at one Class C - I think it was a Conquest? Every Class A we looked at, even one that was very used, was a more comfortable fit. Eventually Jeaneen will decide what we end up with, but she will be very hard to budge off of that ACE. That was what she liked even before we actually saw it based on information she gathered on the Internet. I will still want to sit in a variety of Class Cs because there just might be one that has a better cab configuration.

Asking on the 2003 was about $40K and around $60K on the other two As. Again, I didn't bother to negotiate and assume those asks were at least 10-20% too high. What do you more experienced owners think about that?

If you have read this far, thanks so much!
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Old 12-29-2013, 04:36 PM   #2
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If it feels good, do it!

By the way, we found the looking to be fun, the negotiating to be stupid (not a surprise) and the owning/traveling to be REALLY fun.



Best of luck to you.
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Old 12-29-2013, 05:07 PM   #3
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For 70k that is about at lowest you can get into a new class A for. I noticed the fresh water at only 50 gallons, which is small. Gray and Black tanks are also very small (29/44).
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:10 PM   #4
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Negotiating tip to remember:

The best advice regarding negotiations was given to me years ago by a self-made multimillionaire: “He who cares less….wins.” It works with anything you buy/sell where there are negotiations.


Here is an example:



Upon selling a business, the buyer tried to lower the price $10,000 at the closing table! I refused, said I would keep the business and started to leave. The buyer quickly reversed course and wanted to buy at the previously agreed price. I wasn’t having that. Before I sat back down, they had to agree to pay $10,000 MORE. I really did not care and it worked. They paid dearly for their last minute games.


Be ready to walk. If that camper you absolutely love is at a dealer you that won’t give you a deal, remember, there are more dealers out there carrying that exact same unit.


30% off MSRP is a very common number.
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:21 PM   #5
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When I bought my present Class A, I was on a pretty tight budget. I was looking at rigs in the mid 20,000 range. I found a 1999 Winnabago with 2 slides and only 35,000 miles. I looked it over, asking price was 32,000 which was about 4,000 over book. So I looked at the blue book value, found out how long the dealer had it, and made them an offer (close to the end of the year). They didn't accept the offer, so I kept looking and found the one I have now. The day I closed on it, they called accepting my offer. I called and told them they were to late, bought a 2000 with 42 thousand miles on it, but its look new. The salesman was mad, he tried to get the sales mgr to call me the week before. So don't dicker with them, make an offer either in person or email, and let them stew about it. If they want to sell it and the offer is fair, they will deal. I hate pressure sales and will leave if I am feeling any pressure at all.
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:30 PM   #6
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How exciting... Whether it be new or used it's a substantial investment. My DH and I were newbies 2 years ago and upgraded 3 times. We started out with a 31' Class C, traded it for a 33' gasser and then again for a 38' front end diesel.

Here are a few things that I learned along the way...from a woman's perspective that is. #1: Kitchen counter space. Initially I thought I would be doing most of my cooking outdoors and therefore I never really thought about counter space. As time progressed I found myself preparing more and more meals inside. Make sure your wife spends an adequate amount of time investigating the kitchen area and is satisfied with the configuration. #2: We have two grandchildren and wanted to make sure we had adequate sleeping accommodations. We finally realized that the vast percentage of the time it was just the two of us. Our present coach sleeps 4...but we now carry an air mattress in the event my daugher and her family join us. #3: This might sound silly but having a headboard and not a window behind our bed was a deal breaker for me. We like to read and watch tv in bed and the window behind us made it hard for us to prop our pillows. My point is make sure that you spend ample time in the coach. Sit in the living area and pretend you are watching tv. Pretend that you are preparing a meal in the kitchen. Bottom line make sure that you are completely comfortable with the layout.

Of course my husband had a list of his own requirements such as engine, tank sizes, generator sze, inverter, etc. Things that are very important but are beyond my expertise. lol

Kim
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Old 12-30-2013, 09:42 AM   #7
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I would definately think used Diesel Pusher with a minimum of 2 slides. A Pusher from a respected manufacturer. We narrowed our choices to three builders and then REALLY started looking. Floor plan might be the most important thing to consider since that'll be your home. But, and it's a big but, most have pretty much the same pfloor plans. What you have to figure out is which one is better built. For instance are the drawer slides plastic or metal, are the drawers held together by staples. There's so much to consider that it can be overwhelming. But don't give up, just keep using due diligence. And if you do decide on used, maint. records should be at the top of your list. No maint. records....no deal!!! It took us a good two years to find ours, and I think we made a pretty good choice, since we've been on the road for 3 1/2 years now travelling all across the country, even going to Alaska. It hasn't been all blue skies and singing birds. We had to have a fuel pump replaced and we lost a front wheel bearing. But I believe these were out of the normal things to expect. After all your in a traveling earth quake. Don't give up you'll find the one that fits what your significant other wants....after all they seem to make our lifes decisions anyway.
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Old 12-30-2013, 12:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vanbuskirk View Post

Here are a few things that I learned along the way...from a woman's perspective that is. #1: Kitchen counter space. Initially I thought I would be doing most of my cooking outdoors and therefore I never really thought about counter space. As time progressed I found myself preparing more and more meals inside. Make sure your wife spends an adequate amount of time investigating the kitchen area and is satisfied with the configuration. #2: We have two grandchildren and wanted to make sure we had adequate sleeping accommodations. We finally realized that the vast percentage of the time it was just the two of us. Our present coach sleeps 4...but we now carry an air mattress in the event my daugher and her family join us. #3: This might sound silly but having a headboard and not a window behind our bed was a deal breaker for me. We like to read and watch tv in bed and the window behind us made it hard for us to prop our pillows. My point is make sure that you spend ample time in the coach. Sit in the living area and pretend you are watching tv. Pretend that you are preparing a meal in the kitchen. Bottom line make sure that you are completely comfortable with the layout.


Kim
All of this is excellent advice. In addition, pretend that you are showering, brushing teeth and using the commode. We have the ACE 30.1, and love it. However, the commode is very high. We had to get a 4" platform stool for DW. She's 5'6", and her feet didn't touch the floor. Other than that, we have enjoyed every minute spent in our ACE. We took it out Saturday to run the engine and exercise the generator. It made us want to head down the road and just keep going!
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Old 01-02-2014, 04:42 AM   #9
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All of this is excellent advice. In addition, pretend that you are showering, brushing teeth and using the commode. We have the ACE 30.1, and love it. However, the commode is very high. We had to get a 4" platform stool for DW. She's 5'6", and her feet didn't touch the floor. Other than that, we have enjoyed every minute spent in our ACE. We took it out Saturday to run the engine and exercise the generator. It made us want to head down the road and just keep going!

When we were shopping for our mh, two of our "requirements" were: #1 a booth. We hated the table & chairs in the 5th wheel. Every RV we owned prior to that had the booth. #2 was a nightstand of some sort on each side of the bed. The 5th wheel only had one on the right hand side. My wife had no place for a clock, glasses, etc.
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