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Old 03-13-2014, 09:00 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2014
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2007 Vista Cruiser Purchase Question

Hello, I am new to the forum and looking to buy my first RV. I found a 2007 Vista Cruiser Mini with low miles and in good condition for a 'reasonable' (ie still pretty expensive) price. The size and layout seems good for my wife and our 5 year old. Also, the Vista Cruisers are a bit less expensive than the Winnebago View or Itasca Navion.
My question is, am I making a mistake going with a Vista Cruiser? I just had a dealer tell me the difference between Winnebago and Gulfstream is like BMW to Nissan. Now I'm feeling a bit nervous.
Any advice would be appreciated!

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Old 03-13-2014, 03:55 PM   #2
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Location: Orange County CA
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Welcome to IRV2!

I had to go look up what that was...a sprinter van conversion. Is it a van conversion or a motorhome on a sprinter cab and chassis?

First of all, winnebago isn't panacea...I know I have one. They have pretty good components but seem to be assembled by monkey's. LOL. There are lots of little issues when they are new, so by now an '07 should have those kinks worked out.

While I love the idea of a sprinter van and think they make terrific travel rigs, I have come to the conclusion that they are necessarily small while costing a lot of money. The fuel savings really doesn't amount to much in the big picture. If you're going to be traveling a LOT and your budget is so tight that fuel cost is an issue then perhaps it can make sense. Otherwise you give up so much space to pick up a few mpg's.

Consider how much you'll drive it. For example our coach is ten years old this year - it has 30K miles on it. Would we have used it more if it got 5 more miles per gallon? No. Would we have been wishing all along that we had more space and slide-outs? Yes.

So perhaps you've got your heart set on a micro coach, but if not consider a class-A but of smaller size. That's what we did and just love it. It can pretty much go where a truck and camper can go, and has lots of living space, great tankage and storage, many of the ammenities of much larger motorhomes, and excellent driving performance because the chassis isn't maxed out. A regular motorhome isn't really any more difficult to drive than a van or a truck. It's just bigger, you get used to it. My b-in-law now drives a forty five footer...who'da thunk?

Class-A motorhomes in this age and 28-32' size are in the 40's and 50's thousands which I'm guessing isn't far off what you're looking at for a van type RV.

Just something to consider while you do your shopping and learning.

Also consider renting a variety of rigs to get a better feel for what and how you'll use one, features you like, space, driveability, etc.

Chris & Sherry Brown - 2014 Anza Borrego Weekend Trip Report
2005 Itasca Sunrise 31W - W20 and 8.1
2015 Chevy Colorado 4X4 Toad
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Old 03-13-2014, 04:49 PM   #3
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All I can tell you is what I was told when we purchased our 2008 Gulf Stream Independence. Back in the day Gulf Stream produced high end coaches but priced themselves out of the market. They eventually discontinued making coaches and entered into the market of more moderately priced rv's. We have nothing but compliments about our unit and have not encountered any major problems to date.

But I also agree with the previous post in that I would highly consider a small Class A if you have the place to store it. You won't regret the extra floor and storage space that you will gain.
Brian and Kim VanBuskirk
2008 Damon Tuscany 40 DP
Tow: 20" Trailer with Classic C3 Corvettes
Car Dolly: Mini Cooper Clubman
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Old 03-13-2014, 05:21 PM   #4
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Location: Middle Tennessee
Posts: 111
We owned a 2005 Vista Cruiser for many years. We put over 70000 miles on it and enjoyed the 22mpg. Last year we traded it for a larger class c since we are retired now and traveling slower and spending more time inside the RV.

As for the vista cruiser, it was great. We had very few problems. But, like other diesel vehicles, you must do the oil and fuel filter changes. We once tried to push the fuel filter a bit longer and wound up having to be towed. The sprinters are more popular now so finding a mechanic is not as difficult as it was a few years ago.

If you want a good vehicle for "touring" this would be great. Not so much for full-time RV.
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