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Old 08-14-2012, 06:11 PM   #1
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Question buying first Class C RV

Hey all,

I'm looking to buy a Class C RV (used) and was wondering what the majority of you think is the best brands out there for quality and reliability. I know nothing when it comes to RV's. I went to a dealer today and looked at a Forrester and a Winnebago both 30 foot range and 2007's.

Any help or input in what are must have options etc and what you think are some of the better brands out there would be extremely helpful.

Thanks in advance
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:10 PM   #2
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In the class C's, (when we had one) the better names were Winnebago and Jayco. we looked at a bunch and Winnebago came out tops for quality, but not the cheapest.

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Old 08-14-2012, 08:54 PM   #3
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Score one for the 'bagos. (not that I'm biased or anything)
But we bought ours used, with 50,000 miles on it, and it has been very reliable.
Now I've done it......
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:23 AM   #4
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We purchased a 2008 Winnebago 31c Outlook with 32,000 miles on it in March. We too looked at the Jayco and Forrest River. We found the Winnebago to be of higher quality and finish.

All three were within $10,000 from high to low and similar miles. The Outlook has many improvements over the Jayco and Forrest River that we liked. Cleaner, sleek interior. More storage in and out and higher quality doors and latches. The exterior bins are all carpeted and the ones under the slide out are attached to the slide so you don't have to climb under the slide out to access.

Bottom line is what floor plan works for you and how much do you want to spend? We feel we got a great deal paying less than half of what the coach sold for new. We also had the dealer put a new set of tires on and replace the awning that was torn. We did purchase a service policy that covers drive train and coach interior appliances and slide (not cheap).

Good luck with your search. We love ours and plan on using it as often as possible. We are newly retired and free to go anytime.
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tacomaker View Post
Hey all,

I'm looking to buy a Class C RV (used) and was wondering what the majority of you think is the best brands out there for quality and reliability. I know nothing when it comes to RV's. I went to a dealer today and looked at a Forrester and a Winnebago both 30 foot range and 2007's.

Any help or input in what are must have options etc and what you think are some of the better brands out there would be extremely helpful.

Thanks in advance
Hi tacomaker,
When we were doing our research before we bought we found that the top two were Jayco and Winnebago/Itasca. Our first choice was the Jayco Melbourne 29D. The only reason we did not get it was it is a bit narrower than the Itasca Cambria 30C that we did buy. We wanted a full RV sized queen bed pull out in the living area couch and the Melbourne was not wide enough to accommodate one. Quality and reputation we found to be equal on both brands. We looked at all the other brands available to us and none of them were at the same quality level (in my opinion) .
Todd
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tacomaker View Post
Hey all,

I'm looking to buy a Class C RV (used) and was wondering what the majority of you think is the best brands out there for quality and reliability. I know nothing when it comes to RV's. I went to a dealer today and looked at a Forrester and a Winnebago both 30 foot range and 2007's.

Any help or input in what are must have options etc and what you think are some of the better brands out there would be extremely helpful.

Thanks in advance
Forgot to mention that since our search and purchase a new brand has come out. Nexus RV was founded by two former execs from Gulfstream. I have never seen one in person but everyone I know who has one loves it.
Todd
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:07 AM   #7
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Welcome to the forum...
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:09 AM   #8
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Also forgot to say
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:39 AM   #9
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Thanks for the input all. The one thing I really like about the Winnebago is all the outside storage in the back and the layout inside. I'm glad to know that most all of you feel it's a superior RV as well. Makes me a little more confident going in, especially considering this is my first RV purchase ever. I have a feeling this might just be a stepping stone lol

Thanks again
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:24 AM   #10
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Don't forget Fleetwood Jamboree and Fleetwood Tioga, good floor plans, plenty storage, large fresh water tank and one of the nicest looking in the class.
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:00 PM   #11
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We were just in your shoes so I will offer my perspective.

We spent a full year looking at used class C's. We couldn't find anything acceptable. So we ultimately decided on a new class C (it'll be 2 weeks old tomorrow in fact!).

Here's what I would do if I had it all to do over again:

- Decide on the minimum acceptable criteria (how far are you willing to travel to find "the one", budget, ideal length, slides or not, bed or entertainment center in the cabover, etc).

- Go look at all that meet your criteria.

- Look closely for three things first: Leaks, delam, & any significant functional problems.

- Consider brand last. I say this because we vetoe'd every class C we looked at over the course of a year (except for one but it was overpriced) due to the line above (i.e., leaks, delam, or other bigger functional problems).

Said another way, give me a less desirable brand if it doesn't have any leaks, delam, or significant functional problems.

One thing to remember is that the majority of class C components are from the same suppliers (i.e., Chevy or Ford chassis, Dometic or Norcold fridge, etc).

Two last pieces of advice:

- If you stumble across one that was stored indoors, drop everything to see it ASAP.

- If / when you find a good one, make an offer ASAP.

For what it's worth, the new class C we bought was a Forest River Sunseeker. I think some of their older units are junk. I think their newer units are very good. Good ole Warren Buffet / Berkshire Hathaway bought Forest River in July 2005 & he cleaned them up very nicely since. They all have fiberglass roofs. They all have Azdel walls which virtually eliminates the chance of delam down the road. We didn't even consider another brand because none of the mainstream brands had both a fiberglass roof & Azdel walls (Nexus mentioned in a post above does). Also, there are a lot of features that are standard on their units that are options with other brands. Lastly, RVDirect sells them which forces lower prices in the marketplace.

Good luck. It was both a fun & tiring process.
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Old 08-15-2012, 04:15 PM   #12
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Yes it is a tiring process. Is there an easy way to find if it leaks? Where and what to look for? I guess I didn't notice any delam ( I assume you are talking about lamination on the outside of coach or what).

I'd love to get a brand new one but damn the depreciation hit is so high. Also, I'm pretty much using this for a football tailgate vehicle for 7 home games a season (240 miles round trip) and 1 road trip game a year then in storage most of the year. We may camp with it 2 or 3 times during the summer but mainly for football use. So I hate to wrap up $70,000 and up. However I said stepping stone because if we camp with it once we might love it and next thing you know we are going bigger lol
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:49 PM   #13
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Yes it is a tiring process. Is there an easy way to find if it leaks? Where and what to look for? I guess I didn't notice any delam ( I assume you are talking about lamination on the outside of coach or what).

I'd love to get a brand new one but damn the depreciation hit is so high. Also, I'm pretty much using this for a football tailgate vehicle for 7 home games a season (240 miles round trip) and 1 road trip game a year then in storage most of the year. We may camp with it 2 or 3 times during the summer but mainly for football use. So I hate to wrap up $70,000 and up. However I said stepping stone because if we camp with it once we might love it and next thing you know we are going bigger lol
We looked for delam & leaks this way...

Delam first. Walk around the coach on the outside. The easy way to find any is to run your hand along the surface. You need to make a few passes up higher, in the middle, & down lower. You will feel a bump, ripple, or wavy area. Particular areas to check especially closely is the cabover (especially on the side at the bottom where it meets the seam), on the side nearby the shower skylight, on the side nearby the range hood exhaust fan, & under any windows.

Leaks second. Go inside. Take a good sniff & try to smell any dampness, mold, or mildew. Start in the cabover area. Tear it apart. And I do mean apart. Move the bunk cushions. Open any cubbies. Slide any curtains or window coverings. Look for moisture damage (you know, wavy lines where it looks like water was). Feel with your hands for any moisture. Pay especially close attention around any corners or edges. Then go to the shower skylight, roof vents, & around the entire roof opening cupboards as needed. Same drill of looking & feeling. I reco bringing along a flashlight to help. Conventional wisdom on the internet is that a window on the front of the cabover is a potential leaky spot although some with windows report they don't have any problems.

It's your choice whether your usage justifies new vs used. For reference, the one we got was a 32 footer & it was less than $60 k. But there is still depreciation there for sure. The used ones we were looking at were around $45 k - $50 k. For the extra $10 k - $15 k, we got the construction materials we wanted (fiberglass roof, azdel walls), a warranty on the chassis / coach, & we didn't need to plow a few thousand into new tires / oil changes / generator services / etc right out of the gate.
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:22 PM   #14
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The advise listed above is really what will help you avoid a lot of problems down the road :-) The extra time and effort you put into your research now will give you a much better time out on the road. We love our Class C and travel almost 10 months out of every year. The great family memories we have created are the reason we are sooooo in to it.
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