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Old 02-06-2016, 11:41 AM   #1
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Class A purchase help

Had to stop fulltiming in Sept 2014 due to health reasons, bought what we hope is our last home in OK and setteled in for the long term, thought our traveling days were probably over. I got a kidney tranplant in Nov 2015 and I am 3 months post transplant and feeling great. Doc says that I can do whatever I want in a couple of months.

Our plans are to keep the house, buy 32-36 ft used class A a smalltoad and travel from 6 9 months a year, primarily going west,

I am looking for recommendations on what Class A's to consider. Estimated annual miles will probably be less than 8K and we plan on doing this as long as our health holds out. We are both in our early 60's. Budget is up to 75K for the RV.

I plan on doing at least the following things to whatever I buy. Full fluid changes, probably new tires and batteries(depending on the age) and anything else that is needed to reduce the possibility of issues while traveling.

  1. Based on what I have read and been told, low mileage on an older diesel something to be avoided. What if the seller has good maint records that indicate annual oil changes and other maint following mfg recommendations. Is there a rule of thumb for avg annual mileage to consider?
  2. What is the minimum/max mileage I should consider on a 6-10 year old diesel. If I consider gassers, I would eliminate anything with more than 40K miles.
  3. Where can I take a diesel to to have it checked out? I would want to have all of the engine/drive train checked and a fluids analysis done prior to finalizing the purchase.
  4. What are the better mid range RV brands to consider? I have looked at several Monacos and Holiday Rambler Knights and Newmar? Others? Any I should avoid?
  5. If I look at gassers what is your opinion of chevy workhorse vs ford? Anything powertrain specific I should avoid?
  6. How much should I plan on spending to get a toad ready to tow if the rv I buy is not already set up to tow.
  7. My gut tells me I should hold out for the right deal on a diesel? Should I focus on later model gassers or older diesels?

Any opinions/recommendations would be appreciated.


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Old 02-06-2016, 11:57 AM   #2
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Good luck on your search, here is my advice

Start looking at as many coaches as you can. Concentrate on the floor plan and narrow down the search to what you like. If you are buying an older coach it may only have 1 or 2 slides, you'll have to decide what you want. If you are flexible on your requirements it will provide of a wider choice.

One word of advice is that a shorter coach may not provide as nice of ride and handling due to the wheel base. If possible take as many coaches for a test drive to see what you like and don't like. Take note as the suspension, whether it is air bags or not and the number of airbags. A full 8 or 10 air bag coach will provide for a really nice ride and in most cases the handling may be better.

We own a 2002 Monaco Windsor 38 PKD. It has 8 air bags, handles really nice and the ride is great, like floating on air. It had 55K miles on it when we bought it in 2008 and it now has 106K miles and still going strong, we planning on keeping it for many more years. We had previously owned a 31' Class C and it just wasn't big enough. The 38' (closer to 40 by spec), has 2 slides which add quite a bit of living space. When we started looking for a coach I knew I wanted a diesel pusher so we could tow a car easier. I pull at 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee, we can't even tell it's back behind us.

My wife's friends own a ~35' Class A gas motorhome, a newer coach then ours. Last time we visited them I took a ride with the husband to fuel up, about a 10 mile round trip, I was simply amazed at how the coach was all over the road, swaying back and forth and the bouncing was terrible. My nerves were gone after that. The next day I followed the coach to the campground we were going to, about a 100 mile trip. My wife rode with her friend (so they could "talk") Again, the coach swayed all over the place & my wife also commented on the bad ride.
Jim J
2002 Monaco Windsor 38 PKD Cummins ISC 250 8.3L
2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee w/5.7 Hemi
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Old 02-06-2016, 12:46 PM   #3
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In MY Opinion: Mechanically, most pre-owned motorhomes are in good shape. The running gear rather gas or diesel is all heavy duty to start with and it takes a lot of hard wear and tear to break it down--most get something closer to TLC. Any major problem should be quite apparent with a good walk around and test drive. To me the two major issues, wither buying used or new are Floorplan (does it fit your need) and Price (does it fit your budget). Happy trails!
Excursion 33D & Vue Toad
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Old 02-06-2016, 04:19 PM   #4
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Congratulations on the transplant. My DW is on the liver transplant list now.

As said above, go looking, find a floor plan you both like (if you can) and go from there. Be sure and drive it enough to see if you like that way it handles. We haven't had a gas rig since 2000 when we bought our first Dutch Star, then in 2002 got another (DW wanted more room). The Magna we got (as we did with the previous two) to go full timing as she had been free of symptoms for over a year.
2009 45' Magna 630 w/Cummins ISX 650 HP/1950 Lbs Ft, HWH Active Air
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RV'ing since 1957, NRA Benefactor Life, towing '14 Jeep JKU Dragon Edition
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Old 02-06-2016, 04:26 PM   #5
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Get the floor plan and amenities you want or think you want. The engine and chassis will come with it.

Do the best due diligence you can to get a unit that is in the best shape for the amount you wish to spend.
Gordon and Janet
Tour 42QD/InTech Stacker
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Old 02-06-2016, 05:50 PM   #6
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frayfl -

1. The issue is not low miles, exactly, it is to buy a coach that has sat for long periods of time without being used. When a coach sits for many months at a time rubber seals dry up, metal can rust, lots of stuff gets stiff. Plus leaks can happen and no one notices. But if you found a coach with the usual miles 6,000-15,000 per year and all that mileage was built up on one summer trip, then it would have set for quite a while.
2. In item one you say you don't want low miles and in item two you say nothing with over 40,000???? So which is it? 40,000 is low miles on a gasser or diesel.
3. Driveline is checked by the maker. Cummins gets checked by them or CAT by them. House is checked by a competent survey place like a large well run RV repair place. Or preferably at the coach factory that made it.
4. There are a couple of RV recommenders. One is the RVCG (RV consumer group) and there are a couple of books out. Google this. In my opinion most makers are pretty good these days. But the big mid level makers are Winnebago, Tiffin, Newmar, and Fleetwood. Any of those are pretty good.
5. If you are getting a newer gasser it will be a Ford. They own the market at this time.
6. I spent about 3 grand to get my Jeep towable. DIY can be cheaper.
7. If you are going to drive/travel a lot as compared to staying on one place for a long time I would look for a diesel. They drive better. Much better. But once you are parked a gasser camps the same as a diesel.

Goog luck.
B Bob
Country Coach 42' Affinity
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
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Old 02-07-2016, 02:19 PM   #7
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Take your time & enjoy the adventure ....
You'll know when you find the right one .......
Hal & Jackie .... 03 TS Select 45DS01
02 Haulmark 20' Edge .... 02 Corvette Rdstr

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Old 02-07-2016, 02:31 PM   #8
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In your price range it's gonna be a hard decision. There are plenty of really nice coaches like this one 2005 Encore Sportscoach 40TS for Sale - D708 - PPL Motor Homes for sale. I'd LOOK AT PPL'S web site to get a good feel of what's available in your price range. Used RVs for Sale - PPL Motor Homes
Pushers are right in the price range and a gasser would be less for the same amenities.
This should be a fun shopping experience for you guys. Welcome back to the mobile world where the Dialysis Clinic isn't a ruling factor.

Good Luck
1999 Tradewinds 7372 Cat 3126
Albuquerque, NM
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Old 02-07-2016, 07:34 PM   #9
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I saw this over on the Yahoo Board. I don't know the guy but he's well known on the National Yahoo Board.

Sorry to say i must "Downsize". I am putting our 2005, Dolphin 5355, up for sale. I am asking $55000. It has just over 26000 mi, If you or know of someone interested, please contact me for details.
Charles Garner
Fort Worth, TX 76133

1999 Tradewinds 7372 Cat 3126
Albuquerque, NM
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Old 04-13-2016, 06:10 PM   #10
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General rv. here in salt lake,does some classes once in awhile. Last week was solar, and a few others. Is ask around at dealerships and see
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Old 04-13-2016, 07:07 PM   #11
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If you have a heavy duty truck may want to check on a 5 wheel. If not I like used motorhomes usually the bugs have been worked out, not older than 10 yrs old DP. But you must realize everything needs maintenance, reguardless of age. I had a 2001 Monaco Diplomat and traded for a 2009 Gufstream Tourmaster 45g. Lazydays in Florida gets to see me every year for a service. So glad all went well with surgery, we are living the dream and so should you.
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Old 04-16-2016, 05:03 PM   #12
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If it is a diesel, do not worry about higher miles. I would make sure that you get a set of maintenance records and then compare them with the recommended maintenance for that coach. Buy the best quality that has had the best care.
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Old 04-16-2016, 05:59 PM   #13
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Only one person has mentioned their cost for setting up a Toad and my experience was similar (and also a Jeep Wrangler), about $3000 depending on what equipment you have.
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