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Old 05-08-2010, 06:09 PM   #1
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Replacing our current RV Questions

Hello - maybe I can get some opinions from those with more experience: We currently have a Fleetwood Tioga 26F, year 2000, that we've had for about 5 years - only has about 30k on it, just had the moreride suspension fixed and other stuff, but realize that it's just too small for 2 adults, 2 pre-teens, and 2 large dogs. So, we're looking at some used motorhomes, class A and C - there's one place that has a 2007 damon challenger Class A (37') , with short miles and has a 2009 Gulfstream Conquest Class C (31') with almost no miles. Both are relatively in the same price range. First Question - Is it hard to drive larger sizes? Second question: Would you move to Class A or stay with Class C (the conquest is loaded), Third: What about Damon v. Gulfstream? Or avoid both companies? So confusing! Any input greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 05-08-2010, 06:25 PM   #2
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Hi Purplefans & Harvey,
For me, I started with a 26' class A and now have a 40' DP. Driving is the same for both. One must watch the turns. As to which coach to buy, floor plan sells the coach. Consider going for the most interior space you can afford. For additional creature comforts, that is what the after market vendors are for. Watch out for the towing capacity. Make sure the coach can tow what you need.
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Old 05-08-2010, 06:25 PM   #3
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We moved from a class C to a class A in 2003 when our boys outgrew the 29- foot Itasca Spirit. Moved to a 35' Class A Suncruiser that had much more room for the 3 sons, dog and 2 nephews.

Driving-wise, no problem moving up to the bigger class A, just you had to be aware of higher clearance and low bridges.

The two floorplans should be compared for you to decide between the C and the A. Our C had no slideouts so going to the A was a no-brainer.

I always owned Winnebago's so I can't give you any advice on Gulfstream or Damon.

Good luck!
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Old 05-08-2010, 06:33 PM   #4
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Lots of answers ...

First Question - Is it hard to drive larger sizes?
Personally I think the longer the unit the easier they are to drive (except in horrific side winds) on the highway ... around town longer is sometimes a problem ... we have gone from 24' C (gas) to 35' A (gas) to 40' A (diesel) ... this rig is much easier to drive on the highway
Second question: Would you move to Class A or stay with Class C (the conquest is loaded),
Your offspring are now 7 and 10 ... I think you need to think about living considerations and travel seating when they get to be 12 and 15 ... where will they sleep, stow their stuff, sit so they can see the sights, what kinds of trips are you likely to take between now and then, etc. ...

Third: What about Damon v. Gulfstream? Or avoid both companies?
Sorry I am no help here ... I have owned neither ...
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Old 05-08-2010, 06:55 PM   #5
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Kids, etc.

Thanks for the reply! The kids are actulaly older now (8 and 11-1/2), and the older one is getting way too big to share the up bunk, so that's why we
are looking at bigger.

Our issue with 40' is how it might get out of the driveway - we've got a tight
turn - and we definately want to keep it in the driveway, we use it all summer long as CAMP WOOD for the boys.

I went into an Allegro 32' Class A and loved the setup (2003), but they are so expensive! As I babble on, we don't know whether the kids will want to keep going after 4 or more years, do we need something that big, wishy washy, that's me!

We did our first water cruise this february and realized that we are truly land cruisers, so definately want to upgrade. But do we upgrade for the long haul, and by a DP that lasts forever and ever, or a gas? We've put on almost 20,000 miles in 5 years, will that change? Who knows? We are planning on a 2 week long trip in June which is the longest we've been away, and tha'ts why I'm thinking of the space!
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Old 05-08-2010, 07:53 PM   #6
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When you start boys young with RV vacations, they NEVER stop wanting to go on adventures.

My boys started when they were 9, 7 and 5. Now they are 21, 19 and 15 and are still itching to go with us. They bring buddies, girlfriends, etc. along for the trip too so you will DEFINITELY need the room.

Only your destinations will change. Instead of going to Disney, they'll want to go to the football hall of fame. We give them input on the trips and then my wife and I make it happen. I do the driving and they serve as the 'pit crew' doing all the campground hookups. Soon, they will take over the driving...
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Old 05-08-2010, 08:15 PM   #7
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40 Diesel

Thank for the reply! I think we are tending to the Class A but I'm just a little scared of the lengths!

I have to get over it, I know! ANd the Diesels have so much more room. There's a 2007 Damon Daybreak 3274 (gas) with 4970 miles available close by, and also a 2000 Fleetwood Discovery 37' with 73,000 miles (diesel pusher). Both are approx. the same price. What to do what to do!
And then there's do you buy from vendor, or private? We bought
private last time.
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Old 05-09-2010, 08:21 AM   #8
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20,000 miles in 5 years isn't a lot of travel. Economically, you will be much better off with a gas engine coach.

A 30+ foot Class C costs as much as a 30+ foot Class A with similar equipment. For example, the 35 foot Jayco Seneca Class C is $170k,and the Tiffin Allegro RED 34' Class A is about the same.
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Old 05-09-2010, 10:27 AM   #9
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true the longer the vehical the "wider" the turn is needed, as a professional truck driver that does over size loads, from flat beds to 20 foot sea containers its differnt driving because there are two units in the "semi" but a MH is one unit, if you make wide turns you will have no problems driving the longer rig, also there is a hook turn, this is when you come up to a turn that you know is there, start preparring your turn by going into the right lane then at the cornor and no autos in the left lane, take the front of the coach and put it in the left lane with the rear in the right lane, this will prevent any vehicals going into the unsighted side,when turning around the cornor just take your time, and stay to the far left side of the road so you won't jump the curb where the lights may be located or some other sign.Or put the vehical in the middle of the lane blocking the unsighted side so no vehicals can get there . also in the left turns if there are two left turns be sure to be on the outside turn lane, this holds true for the right turn too, as for your driveway, park close to one side, EX: park extremly close to the right side of the driveway, but pulling out turn to the left, watch for the house gutters, the overhang from the house/garages or trees.. as for heights, most roads are made for semi's and bridge height is not to much a problem but there are cautions to be concern of, city driving mostly, most of all the east cost areas and some cities like Chicago., as well as others We use to do the sea containers out of the rail road yards of Chicago and seen so many times a bridge was 13'6" but yet Semi's hit the bridge , in our trade its called delvering a bridge, so evan if the signs tell you its safe do not trust it.learn how to judge height, and don't be afraid to stop and look, its better to do this then buying a new bridge,as well as for backing up a large vehical, use your mirrors and back up camera, and regardless how good you are driving forward its the backing up that makes the driver,( in truck stops you see drivers backing up in hard places to get into, yet you don't see anyone, this is where the CB comes in and you will hear the drivers on either side inform the driver backing up to keep coming back, or to stop and pull forward.)as you know there kids in the camp grounds, i just install back up camera, and almost 2 millons under my belt of professional driving no accidents no tickets one over weight ticket, I still have my wife go out and watch the back using two way radios ( FRS) unless of course you can just drive through it. You will be fine with a little pratice and find a corner where semi's makes a turn and see how they do it.(just remeber there two units, tractor & trailer and your one unit) in a few "short hours" you to can be a pro, you just need to judge the distance for stopping because of the extra weight, judge your turns because of the extra lenth, and watch your height, pratice a little in a parking lot on your turns, just relax and go for it. Its not to much of a differnce when you from a car to a class C, now your going from a class c to a class A, you will be fine, just think B-4 doing it and use your judgement. relax, don't white knuckle it.
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Old 05-09-2010, 07:09 PM   #10
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Turning info

That's great information - thank you.

We are definately going for a Class A - now it's a question
of which one.

We'll be shopping starting this weekend - and spending the
week emptying the Class C for trade-in!
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Old 05-09-2010, 07:43 PM   #11
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HI,
Class A's are no problem to drive and when in doubt take your time. I have a 33 footer and tow a car with a tow dolly and have no problems. I went from a Class C 31' to a Class A of 33' but have no children or dog with us.

The 35' seems to be a good size for a family of your size. I happen to like the Workhorse chassis over the Ford mainly for the transmission which is an Alison. A friend of mine had a Damon on a Ford Chassis, 35' and didn't like it because it didn't climb hills.

One thing is that you have to check on service facilities for any particular Rv you purchase. Don't just look at money but there are a number of things to consider.

I have to like Winnebagos as the 2004 I have now is my 3rd Winnebago. I have been to the factory a number of times and purchased this RV up in Forest City and it only had 35 miles on it. The dealer was Lichtsinn Motors and I highly recomend him. I have had a few problems with mine but they were repairable.

When you invest the kind of money you are talking about into a used RV or a leftover have it checked thouroughly.

You have come to the right place to ask questions and I'm sure you will get a lot of answers. Good Luck!
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Old 05-09-2010, 08:00 PM   #12
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Workhorse

Thanks for the reply! So our local RV dealership (we don't have many in Mass) has a Fleetwood Bounder with a M-35E workhorse.

OK, stupid question, but who's the manufacturer of the M-35E? We have
a Ford Truck repair facility which we've used with our current RV and have
been very happy with them.
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Old 05-09-2010, 10:14 PM   #13
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Posted last night on this but was lost.
I have a 2000 Discovery 38' and have been very happy with it. Got it for under 40 k, new XRV's, very clean. All leather, 2 sofa sleepers, wood floors with booth settee ,laundry. 59 k miles and 12mpg at 75 mph on rolling terrain. Discovery is not fancy/loaded as others but roomy and comfy and built well, I have no major issues with chassis or coach. Almost bought a Bounder 39Z but it sold before I could secure financing. Like Gary, Tom, skigramp, swamphog and others said longer is ok and better except on turns. It has held up well to my family of 4, kids 4 and 12, and we are hard on stuff.
Looked at a lot of DP and GP and would have been happy with any but the Discovery price was great and I got a MH that has held up. Pros and cons with gas and diesel but the diesel gen is IMHO a plus cause I run mine alot and need all the juice it puts out. i would take the Discovery over the Damon, Damons are very nice, if given the choice.
Getting geared up for 3 week trip from S.A Tex to broinlaw in Newton and back when kids out of school. Plenty of storage, even taking moinlaw.
Post if still confused. Lots of really good buys out there but some are trouble too.
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:02 PM   #14
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Are you headed to Newton, MA? Where are your storing your moinlaw?

(kidding, really!)

I'd love to find something with wood floors - the kids and dogs are trashing the carpet!


We're definately looking for well-built rather than fancy, so will look again at the discovery. Thanks!
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