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Old 06-16-2013, 11:11 AM   #1
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New or Used? Private or Dealer?

We are recently retired and will turn 65 in September. We want to purchase a Model C and have done some research and visited a couple of local RV dealers.

Our planned yearly use is for 5 to 10 short (2-5 days) regional trips and one or two extended trips of 1 to 3 months. Depending on how that first year goes we might hit the road even longer.

We are in relatively good health and plan to keep exercising on our trips - walking and cycling.

Reading the "for sale" ads has me a bit confused. I can same money buying used but what about warranties? What newer features (e.g., levelers, backup camera) are critical?

What do we need to think about in terms of buying new verses used and from a dealer verses private. Thanks in advance for any advice you can give us.
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:38 AM   #2
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Welcome to IRV2

All RVs will need some fixin! New or used. How handy are you? A new unit will put a bigger dent in the wallet
The savings on a 4-5 year unit will pay for a lot of repairs and upgrades.
Do your research on eBay, craigslist, dealers, IRV2, RV trader, and others.
Find the size and floorplans you like, then shop for brands and models.
There are only a few chassis choice for the type "C" with Ford, Chev for most newer rigs and Dodge for older.

Enjoy the search, and the ride.
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Old 06-16-2013, 12:07 PM   #3
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If you're new to RV'ing you may not even like the lifestyle. So, a used unit would be the way to start out. Carry a few tools, check the ages of the tires and replace if necessary and get a good ERS (Emergency Roadside Service) policy. Like Coach-Net. Enjoy!
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Old 06-16-2013, 12:26 PM   #4
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Rent a few. Go camping. See what neighbors have. Ask questions. :-)
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Old 06-16-2013, 12:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by CampDaven View Post
Rent a few. Go camping. See what neighbors have. Ask questions. :-)
Agree

Then buy used, from a private party, and consider a third party service agreement for one year with a high deductible as a mitigation against major latent issues.
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Old 06-16-2013, 12:46 PM   #6
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Rent first. Rental had is own hassles but you are paying a bit extra for the education.
Then buy your first rig used and plan on owning it at least two years. If by that time you are inconsolably in love with the life style and gotta have your own rig your way, order one new or buy a new one of the lot.
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Old 06-16-2013, 03:21 PM   #7
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This what answered our same question when we were shopping, go and sit in the drivers seat of both a class a and c and see what you're looking at out the front window! Made all the difference to us!
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Old 06-16-2013, 03:43 PM   #8
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Rent first. Rental had is own hassles but you are paying a bit extra for the education.
Then buy your first rig used and plan on owning it at least two years. If by that time you are inconsolably in love with the life style and gotta have your own rig your way, order one new or buy a new one of the lot.
That's exactly the way we started out. We didn't know if we would like the lifestyle, or whether the dogs could handle being on the road for days or weeks at a time. We rented both class A's and class C's before we made any decision. We already had 10,000 miles of driving different RV's before we bought one.
We learned a lot from renting. Some of the things missing on the rental RV's were definately on our "must have " list when we purchased. We kept our first RV over 12 years and 100,000 miles. It worked out great. I'm not sure we would have made the same decisions if we hadn't rented first.
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:37 PM   #9
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All good advice above. I'd add - new vs. used is simply a matter of what you can afford. New is nice. Used can be fine too. Don't assume that buying a new rig is exactly like buying a new car. New RV's can have more teething pains than new cars - after all they are a house on wheels. Used ones, if well cared for by a conscientious owner, will have those issues well addressed already. If used, I think I'd go private party. When we were looking used, I was astounded at the markups on used rigs at dealers vs. private prices for similar (or better) units.
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:25 AM   #10
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Would definetly look around and educate yourself on what do you want in a MH. We bought ours without much searching and I think we got a decent deal and we will drive it for many years, but there is always something you will want or wish you had. My top ten list for my next camper is this:

1. Bigger fresh water tank-40 gallons is not enough for a family-2 days tops if you are taking showers in it
2. Leveling jacks-put these on already but it was something after the fact we decided we wanted
3. More storage space inside the MH for food and clothes
4. Weight limits on our current MH we are always right at or over our weight limits
5. More than 1 slide-it would be really nice to have a slide in the back bedroom
6. Bunks-for a family it would be really nice to have bunks for our kids so they can have their own sleeping space and we are not constantly tearing the table down or the couch apart so they all have their own sleeping spot
7. Better bed in the back-this can be easily changed, but it also costs more money and it is next on the list of things that is going to get done in our MH
8. Washer and dryer-not to go through and wash all of the clothes, but it would be nice to have fresh towels every now and than
9. Bigger couch/lazy boy recliner-not sure if you can find a lazy boy recliner in a class c, but boy it would sure be nice to kick up when it is raining outside and ZZZ the day away
10. Dishwasher-this would be my wife's desire, who wants to do dishes when your on vacation and than I get roped into doing them, because it is 'my turn'!!!

Now there are may amenties that we have already that we wouldn't do without, but those are some things that I would be looking for in a coach if I was to go out and buy one brand new. Some of them are luxury items and we don't need to have them, but hey a guy can always dream...
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:30 PM   #11
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beeker6, I hear ya on #4. Our 32' Jayco is pretty much at the chassis limits - especially the rear axle with the long overhang. I did a lot of self-educating prior to our purchase, but this was a detail I missed. If / when we ever replace it, if we want something equally big I would probably look at a class A instead... mainly to get a more HD chassis with better balance & handling.
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:11 PM   #12
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You are better off going with a nice used higher end Rv than a new entry level. Let someone else take the big depreciation.

But do rent first so you can get an idea of what works for you and what is a deal killer.

On any larger class C, weigh the unit first to see how much room you have for you cargo. Many larger class C's are close to the GVWR before you add your clothes and supplies. We had a 31' Minnie Winnie DL, no slides and with full fuel, empty waste tanks, 1/4 tank of fresh water, supplies for a 2 week trip and 2 adults on board, we weighed 13,950#....only 100# away from the 14,050# GVWR. If we had carried the water tank full, the rear axle would be over weight and be well over the GVWR.

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Old 06-19-2013, 07:49 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the good advice. Weight is something several mentioned but was not on our list. Also, several people have told us to take another look at Class A. We have put it off our list after reading an article calling them dangerous - rollover, no motor in front of you, and no air bags. Some also say they are more difficult to drive.

Love the fact that so many are taking the time to give us advice.

Sam
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:34 PM   #14
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Nothing wrong with a Class A. We had a 2007 Winnibago Sightseer 30' before we bought our new C. We wanted the cab doors. I hated walking through the coach just to get out. Otherwise we liked the A. I do miss the bigger tanks.
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