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Old 10-06-2018, 03:23 PM   #1
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All the things I wish I’d known before buying a Class A Motorhome

Im a newbie considering a Class A RV for full time living For the last six months, I’ve read and researched, browsed and walked through dozens of different RVs. I’ve watched several Youtube channels on RVlife and I follow several blogs.

I think i know a good amount (probably still not enough) but some knowledge just comes from lessons learned.

Tell me, more seasoned RVers, what is something you wish you had known before purchasing your Class A (gas or diesel).
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Old 10-06-2018, 03:30 PM   #2
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Don't by new ......ever......buy 2 year old RV
Better chance all the stuff has been fixed and it won't spend 6 months in shop getting everything working properly. Let the first owner do all that work , second ......you let the other guy eat the 36 % depreciation on you RV ( 26% 1 st year 10% next year ).........does not matter if you spend 1 million dollars or $250,000 it will be in the shop getting all the warranty work done.
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Old 10-06-2018, 03:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mapnerd View Post
Im a newbie considering a Class A RV for full time living For the last six months, I’ve read and researched, browsed and walked through dozens of different RVs. I’ve watched several Youtube channels on RVlife and I follow several blogs.

I think i know a good amount (probably still not enough) but some knowledge just comes from lessons learned.

Tell me, more seasoned RVers, what is something you wish you had known before purchasing your Class A (gas or diesel).
Good reads - https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/f...d/13792144.cfm

Currant post - http://www.irv2.com/forums/f258/how-...-a-407961.html

Look through these two and start working on Wants and Needs list - get a good notebook as it can get big and take volumes to decide. -

Best of Luck,

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Old 10-06-2018, 03:41 PM   #4
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Many things..... hence My continual posting(s) for those just starting out RV'n..


Check out and google research what each poster to your queries has for an RV....This will give you insight on what they are basing their opinions on..


If it seems "Rather Small here and there" when you view an RV.... BUT You "think" that it is still "Do-Able..............." REMEMBER!......What is "Small" now will become excruciatingly TINY and unsatisfactory after a week or three of confined/indoor usage due to inclement weather...



Keep in mind..
Your 1st coach is a learning tool..
When You tour/view "In Person" any perspective coach..
View it First with all slides retracted,
If the coach is fully usable without the slides extended, then give it a second look.
(Think wally-docking,rest areas,truckstops...any where that you cannot/do not have room for the slides to be extended)

BUY USED! & buy one with everything you "think" you want and will need..
As You will make mistakes and have booboo's We all have.....(sometimes more than twice..)
Within a year or two you will discover..about the RV

What you love about the RV...
What you can kinda-sorta tolerate with the RV..
And what you absolutely hate about that !@#$%^%$#@! RV.
Then you can go get what you should have gotten in the first place..
Happy Hunting

Remember!!!!
Every day you "put off" retiring...is just one LESS day you have remaining to enjoy being RETIRED !!!
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Old 10-06-2018, 04:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saddlesore View Post
Many things..... hence My continual posting(s) for those just starting out RV'n..


Check out and google research what each poster to your queries has for an RV....This will give you insight on what they are basing their opinions on..


If it seems "Rather Small here and there" when you view an RV.... BUT You "think" that it is still "Do-Able..............." REMEMBER!......What is "Small" now will become excruciatingly TINY and unsatisfactory after a week or three of confined/indoor usage due to inclement weather...



Keep in mind..
Your 1st coach is a learning tool..
When You tour/view "In Person" any perspective coach..
View it First with all slides retracted,
If the coach is fully usable without the slides extended, then give it a second look.
(Think wally-docking,rest areas,truckstops...any where that you cannot/do not have room for the slides to be extended)

BUY USED! & buy one with everything you "think" you want and will need..
As You will make mistakes and have booboo's We all have.....(sometimes more than twice..)
Within a year or two you will discover..about the RV

What you love about the RV...
What you can kinda-sorta tolerate with the RV..
And what you absolutely hate about that !@#$%^%$#@! RV.
Then you can go get what you should have gotten in the first place..
Happy Hunting

Remember!!!!
Every day you "put off" retiring...is just one LESS day you have remaining to enjoy being RETIRED !!!
This is true. Our RV literally fell into our laps. Only 1 owner, less than 10,000 miles. Looked at it with slides closed. We could access everything. With slides open even better. When we got it original owner had put new tires, new house batteries etc. Now we have fun..
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Old 10-06-2018, 04:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saddlesore View Post
Many things..... hence My continual posting(s) for those just starting out RV'n..


Check out and google research what each poster to your queries has for an RV....This will give you insight on what they are basing their opinions on..


If it seems "Rather Small here and there" when you view an RV.... BUT You "think" that it is still "Do-Able..............." REMEMBER!......What is "Small" now will become excruciatingly TINY and unsatisfactory after a week or three of confined/indoor usage due to inclement weather...



Keep in mind..
Your 1st coach is a learning tool..
When You tour/view "In Person" any perspective coach..
View it First with all slides retracted,
If the coach is fully usable without the slides extended, then give it a second look.
(Think wally-docking,rest areas,truckstops...any where that you cannot/do not have room for the slides to be extended)

BUY USED! & buy one with everything you "think" you want and will need..
As You will make mistakes and have booboo's We all have.....(sometimes more than twice..)
Within a year or two you will discover..about the RV

What you love about the RV...
What you can kinda-sorta tolerate with the RV..
And what you absolutely hate about that !@#$%^%$#@! RV.
Then you can go get what you should have gotten in the first place..
Happy Hunting

Remember!!!!
Every day you "put off" retiring...is just one LESS day you have remaining to enjoy being RETIRED !!!
60-75 y/o are the Go-Go years. 75-85 y/o are the Slow-Go years. 85-100 y/o are the No-Go years. Get out there and enjoy while you can!
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Old 10-06-2018, 06:07 PM   #7
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Might be the biggest cliche on this forum but..

Buy your last coach first.

Most people do it the opposite and wind up taking 2-3 hits on depreciation through upgrading multiple times.

Buy as much as you can afford in your comfort zone..
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Old 10-06-2018, 08:06 PM   #8
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All the things I wish I’d known before buying a Class A Motorhome

I bought a new one. Very very unlikely mine will depreciate the said “26%” the first year and unlikely it will depreciate even 10%. Yes I’ll lose the taxes but that’s not “depreciation”. Do your own research that has statistically proven data. I was dead set on a used coach. Even 3 year old coaches I was looking at hadn’t depreciated 25%...

Also, my new coach has been in the shop a total of a mere week for minor cosmetic warranty issues and service items before a big 3 month trip.

I have another week “in the shop” for warranty work in December and service items already scheduled...

Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. Do your homework and pay for quality and buy a brand known for exceptional customer service, be nice to service advisors and techs, and do preventative maintenance.
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Old 10-06-2018, 09:40 PM   #9
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I bought a new one. Very very unlikely mine will depreciate the said “26%” the first year and unlikely it will depreciate even 10%. Yes I’ll lose the taxes but that’s not “depreciation”. Do your own research that has statistically proven data. I was dead set on a used coach. Even 3 year old coaches I was looking at hadn’t depreciated 25%...

Also, my new coach has been in the shop a total of a mere week for minor cosmetic warranty issues and service items before a big 3 month trip.

I have another week “in the shop” for warranty work in December and service items already scheduled...

Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. Do your homework and pay for quality and buy a brand known for exceptional customer service, be nice to service advisors and techs, and do preventative maintenance.
+1 do your own due diligence. If you lose 26% year one you paid MSRP; paying too much is not depreciation. We are on our third new unit no regrets. Last two never returned to the shop for any warranty issues. This one a few minor issues but nothing too troublesome.

And the chorus will tell you to pay cash. Don't do that unless you cannot borrow money at lower rates than investments earn. Cashing out earning or appreciating assets to purchase a depreciating asset is not smart money management.
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Old 10-06-2018, 09:59 PM   #10
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We bought new twice

First was a class C that we had lots of problems with and spent time in various RV repair shops but all done right and finally everything worked fine. WE sold it after 18 months for 1K less than what we had bought it for.

Second is our current coach and we could sell in now for more that what we paid.
A lot depends on effort and tons of looking on your part.

Good luck
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Old 10-06-2018, 10:01 PM   #11
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As with some of the above posts, I bought new with zero problems, nothing went wrong, so nothing to have fixed. I personally would not shy away from new if you check everything out, which BTW is NOT what I did. I literally bought sight unseen, but it was a great experience. I probably would not do it that way again though (drop cash on something 1,200 mi away).

But, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy new again (if I was of a mind to get something else), and that leads me to my next point - in my opinion “depreciation” only matters if you need to convert your purchase back into cash for some reason. Then you may be bummed at what your big bucks purchase brings a few years later. We bought new to have new, period. I was happy with what I got for what I paid, so that’s all that mattered on purchase day. 13 years later, and we are looking fwd to the next 13 years. So much for taking a hit on depreciation.

Point being, if you think you will step up every so often to bigger/better/badder, or will cease the activity, then used may be a better plan for that.

You said you plan to full time, so if it was me, I’d be mostly interested in the comments from those that also note how they spend long periods of time living in their coaches. I’m a vaca only guy, so I’m not going to opine on “get this, or have that” type stuff.
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Old 10-07-2018, 07:23 AM   #12
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If purchasing used, only purchase one with complete maintenance records and make sure those mantenance records are complete. An oil change once per year is not complete maintenance.

Purchase quality even if you have to go used.

Maintaining a diesel cost more than we thought it would. There are a lot of good threads on how much it may cost.

No matter how much you research, there will be surprises.

If you are going full time, you will want space and the ability to hold and pull a lot of weight. Make sure your coach is rated for it.
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Old 10-07-2018, 07:28 AM   #13
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A lot depends on how you intend and eventually actually do use your RV (full time, long trips around the country, short seasonal get-always, pre-positioned ‘second home’ near beach or out West). Interests can shift over time, especially when external factors change (pre/ post retirement, health). All that said... and maybe because I tend to over analyze BIG life altering decisions, I When with a very well maintained once high end ‘04 Monaco LaPalma gaser with just 31,000 miles and 50 hours generator hours. Two slides. Never had any issues other than had to replace chassis AC compressor while on our 3 yr 17,000 mi zig-zag tour of US National Parks and other interesting points along the way. Might still have it but unfortunately, it was hit and totaled on I-95 by a driver that had a seizure going 80 mph! Why such an ‘old’ starter unit? As much as I though we would like RVing (we have been long time sailboat cruisers which has many similarities (small space, skinny energy,...) there was still a risk we wouldn’t like RVing and I felt confident we could sell the Monica for what we had paid ($30,000). Turns out we love RVing. The insurance paid us for what we paid and my upgrades (3,000w inverter/ AGM batteries, roof solar panels, all LED lights (was fluorescents interior lights and now confident about enjoying RVing we upgrade to slightly shorter (35 vs 37’) Winnebago ‘09 Journey DP with 27,000 mi. Reduced length to 35’ because many Nat’l Parks and State Parks can’t accommodate longer than 35’. We’re put on 3,000 miles so far with zig-zag tour of New England states and on into Canada. But we are noticing that our trip habits are changing from ‘near full time/ very long trips of 9+ months to shorted 60 day trips. Because I am aware that I have less interest in repeating seeing same things, and with the trend for shorter trips... what happens when we have milked everything around us? Well also noticed while on our trips we have gone from only staying at a site for a day or two... to staying an average of 3-4 days and we just booked a stay in NC in Feb for 3 weeks. So... we are slowly shifting from adventures to avoiding our coldest/ hottest periods. If this trend continues... a 5th wheel/ pull behind really would be a better match. Why have expensive diesel/ transmission sitting unused most of the time? I purchased a Class A initially because of the comfort and ease of set up/ get moving again given out traveling lifestyle.

I go through all this to show that it’s hard to second guess how you might use your RV. Like us maybe there are two of you and either or both can change interests a bit after checking off their initial big bucket list items. So my advise is do the best you can to ID how you will use you RV for the next 2-3 yrs... that might be pretty safe... then before you make a purchase decision try to anticipate any ‘life changing’ events that may be coming (retirement, aging parent care/ moving in ,...) and based on both take your best stab at what style RV, size, fuel, age. If the here and now is close to the next phase... go a little bigger. If there is a big change coming... might go lighter/ less expensive/ easier to sell trade-in.
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Old 10-07-2018, 08:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mapnerd View Post
I'm a newbie considering a Class A RV for full time living For the last six months, I’ve read and researched, browsed and walked through dozens of different RVs. I’ve watched several Youtube channels on RV life and I follow several blogs.

I think i know a good amount (probably still not enough) but some knowledge just comes from lessons learned.

Tell me, more seasoned RVers, what is something you wish you had known before purchasing your Class A (gas or diesel).
Let's dig deeper into the "Mission" for You - With the Handle "MapNerd" I'd venture the Guess that this will be for Travel - a lot of Travel - , with specific areas, locations that you have in mind.

So that opens up a few Questions on Type and Size? Both of which are restricted by Budget - so need to sort of get these issues on the Table early in the Process, as they will IMHO be critical to most as you go forward.

Look to this post - http://www.irv2.com/forums/f258/why-...-407509-8.html - for info on why many of us RV - I'm post number 106, if you need to see where I'm coming from - Had My first "Camper" in 1964.

Your RV LifeStyle is dictated by Mission and Budget - so again IMHO you need to spend some time on those then start to Build/Select the RV that works for you.

So is this to be used to Drive 10's of thousands of Miles or will you drive to a location spend 1-4 weeks or 2-6 months? - Will this location be in the Warmer Summer locations across the Country, or will you be in the Mountains at elevations that tend to get Cooler at night? Or Both? Basically is it A/C or heat that is Critical? Generator or Solar - Hooked up or Boondocking - ............

When you go to a Restaurant, do you sit at a Table or a Booth? - do you sit and Read/Watch TV in the Chair or the Sofa? Do you always take your shoes off before you come in?(Carpet of Tile) Do you need things? (Storage) Do you want to used a "Community" Laundry or Bath?................

Last, but certainly far from Least - Have you done this RVing thing Before? If you have much of this is already known.

So you asked what did I wish I knew - Wish I knew how much Fun it is to just Go - to be in the Wild and Beautiful areas of the Country - to live and enjoy living in less than 500 sq ft of space - to be able to just, hike, photograph, explore, learn, enjoy this Great Country and the People, as we are truly Lucky to be living in this time. So for me it was critical to be able to spend a good deal of time off the Grid - Boondocking, which requires some thought on the systems you have built into the Coach.

Will enjoy following you and your Quest for that Perfect RV, if I can be of any help feel free to reach out.

Best of Luck,

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