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gschwob 02-02-2012 07:15 PM

New member looking for guidance

My wife and I have decided that we'd like to become RVers. We've given it a great deal of thought over the last few years, so its not a snap decision. Anyway, we've begun going to RV sales lots just so we can get an idea of exactly what we want in an RV.

We live in southern NV and expect to be doing a fair amount of travel at higher elevations. We think that we'd like a used Class A, diesel pusher motorhome between 38-40 feet. Beyond that, we know little about what we should be looking for. We don't know the difference between the "Kia" and the "Cadillac" motorhomes. They're all shiny...and thats what we know.

Logically, it seems appropriate to prioritize our purchase, first, on the best chassis we can afford, secondly, quality of build and then lastly on floor plans.

Any recommendations would be very welcome. Thanks.

Mr_D 02-02-2012 07:37 PM

Better concentrate on floor plan in the MH you can afford. We ended up going with Newmars because of their quality construction that we could afford. My parents had Airstream TT's and a Foretravel MH so we kind of looked for a quality built rig.

You'll need to pull drawers out and look at the cabinet construction too. We had a Santara 35' MH that we had LOTS of problems with screws pulling out. Turned out the frames were pressed cardboard and screws wouldn't hold.

SarahW 02-02-2012 08:21 PM

Howdy and welcome. I agree with Mr. D....the floorplan should be the first consideration. You will spend a lot more time "living" in the moho, so it needs to be liveable. Most newer chassis are dependable. Good luck.

historyljc 02-02-2012 09:37 PM

Hello gschwob, welcome to the forum. Take the advice given above. You can see the difference in quality. Kinda like the difference in closing the door on a Cadillac and and Kia.

RickO 02-02-2012 10:02 PM

Howdy and :welcome:

Absolutely give the advice above serious consideration. I understand the logic of your stated priorities but at the end of the day it's going to be the floor plan that you live with so make it something that works for you.

Best of luck.


njs42 02-02-2012 10:14 PM

Floorplan---it does not take a lot of looking to get a feel for quality and you have decided D-pusher so chasis will fall in line easy enough. It is very true however that once you have narrowed your choices to two or three then do the intensive look by opening drawers and looking behind in the cabinets to see how they are made---see how the welds are done in the basement area things like that---it will begin to tell you the story.

steelheadbluesman 02-02-2012 10:50 PM

Welcome to the forum, a very good choice for getting advice. My 2 cents - FLOORPLAN AND DECOR YOU CAN LIVE WITH, because as stated above, you will be spending a lot of time inside while traveling, weather, etc., and you need to be comfy. You might think about what kinds of activities you will be doing inside - for example, if you love to cook make sure the kitchen works for you. If you are a painter, where will you lay out all your paints and place your easel.... If you're a movie buff, you'll want a great entertainment system, if you enjoy card games with company, you might prefer dinette chairs rather than a booth, and so on.... Best of luck :dance:

ka7suz 02-02-2012 11:25 PM

and when you are through inspecting drawers, closets and cabinets, look outside check the DOT # on tires, ask for maintenance records from previous owner/s, pull dipsticks, etc. If you don't have strong mechanical skills bring a friend who does, or ask your trusted mechanic have a look. (Especially if you are buying from a private party), check all running gear. No matter how lovely and livable it is, it is no fun living on the shoulder of the highway waiting for a tow truck. (Voice of experience).

Please do not let me discourage you. You can't be fussy enough when making this sort of purchase. Looking forward to seeing more from you, what you chose to buy and where you travel.

sdennislee 02-03-2012 12:50 AM

Hi and :welcome:

Floor plan is king. MH is no fun if you hate living with the floor plan.

MSHappyCampers 02-03-2012 10:03 AM

Hi folks! Welcome to IRV2! Can't help on the MH question but you'll find all the answers you need on this site. Good luck & God bless! :thumb::D

ralphie 02-03-2012 10:21 AM

Welcome. Narrow down your choices to three or so. Sit in each unit for a while and visualize how you're going to use it. Is it comfortable, convenient and easy to use? Do you fit in the shower and toilet area? Bed comfortable? Adequate storage? Good tires less than five years old (6-7 years and you'll be putting new ones on, soon)? Reasonable mileage?

Both Newmar and Tiffin products appear to be good, although I've started to see some negative comments about Newmar lately. Ask for maintenance records. Lastly, don't be afraid to make a ridicuously low offer, either with a dealer or private seller. The market stinks. Don't worry about insulting the seller. Unless the seller throws a fit and walks away, you can always negotiate upward. Some private sellers are way underwater, just like in the housing industry, so they are probably trying to hit their payoff, which may very well be more than the unit is worth. Enjoy the hunt!

John H... 02-03-2012 10:31 AM

Welcome to the forum and I too agree. Floorplan...Then go from there.

gfs1943 02-03-2012 10:31 AM

You've probably seen this advice before, but most of us feel that it is important that you be able to function in the coach with the slides in. You don't want to have to crawl across a bed to get to the bathroom on a quick roadside stop.

HeapBigEngin 02-03-2012 02:05 PM

Great advice above, especially re LOOKING behind things for real quality. You will know it when you see it....and vice versa.

One other thing I would mention....adequate counter space. I am amazed at how so many highend DP's ($$$$'s) have every conceivable comfort known to man packed into their coach....and yet consider 18" of counter space as adequate. Lights in the floor and mirrors galore...but only enough counter space to accomodate two cereal bowls, a coffee cup and one fork. Suggest you pull off the sink and stove top covers....and see what you are left with. In way too many cases, you will be disappointed.

Not sure if you will be full-timing....we do not. Our coach, like many, was built prepped for washer/dryer installation. The original owner, however, ordered the coach with a second full sink/vanity/medicine cabinet/etc. in the shower area in place of the w/d setup. Of all the great "touches" on our coach, this feature is by far our favorite. I'll let the readers decide why. But if you can find a coach with the two sinks,etc., and it meets your other requirements, you will soon love this feature as well.

Like you, we also live out West with grades, hills and mountains. On top of all the other things you are looking for, you might want to also consider adequate engine power...especially with a toad behind you. Pulling the Sierra's at 25-30 mph on any given weekend just ain't fun....and can be dangerous.

There is a ton of good info on this forum re most of the thoughts posted so far. Good luck...hope this is of value.

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