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Old 06-09-2020, 12:47 PM   #1
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Hunting for a new (used) rig!

I've been holding off posting anything about looking for a new rig specifically until we had done enough of our homework to know 'somewhat' what we're looking for.

Background: We currently are full-timing (but not retired yet, that'll happen in December) and have been living off and on in our 32' NO SLIDE Class A RV since August 30th of last year.

We moved into the RV permanently this past May 30th and while overall we are very happy, it's become clear to us an RV with slides is a MUST!

Search: We have been looking online for the past year or so and I've built quite a spreadsheet with multiple tabs for all sorts of amenities, and here's what we've come up with for must haves.

Must haves:
King bed: This is not negotiable, AND, the used RV HAS to have been built with a king bed installed. Retrofitting a king into a queen space just doesn't work.

Opposing Slides: We've looked at enough rigs to know we want the extra room on both sides of the living room & kitchen area as well as in the bedroom.

Since this will be our home for the next 5 to 10 years (More?) having extra room in both the bedroom and the front is the most important.

High Priority List: While the following might not be show stoppers, they are high on the priority list of wants.
Tile floors: Would prefer tile front to back, although the bedroom could be carpet.
One piece windshield with the wipers stored horizontally at the bottom. Not a fan of the split windshield and the wipers sticking straight up.
Large Shower: Hard to quantify this, but just one that's large enough for us typically overweight Americans to fit into and shower without pushing our butts up against the glass...YUCK! TMI? sorry....
Bathroom sink counter space: Not sure why this is important to me, but our current rig has literally NO counter space to put down the toothpaste after you squeeze it out..crazy.

So the rest is somewhat negotiable:
42 Feet - In another post I mentioned our experience about looking at a 40' rig with a rear bathroom and how squished everything felt up front. So we've dropped the idea of a rear bath and like the idea of a 42' with a king that has a true walk around ability. A 45' might not fit in our space down in Florida, so probably not going to go that big...probably.

We know the "perfect" rig isn't out there and are willing to adjust the new one to fit our desires. The desires are to remove the 2nd couch and put in recliners and behind the couch that has the blowup bed I want to install a pop-up TV. The one over the front seats will be removed and the space filled in.

DW really wants a dinette both that turns into a bed, but I gently suggest to her the grand-kid can sleep in a blowup bed on the floor.

Rigs we're considering:
2006 AMERICAN COACH AMERICAN TRADITION 42R
2005 FLEETWOOD AMERICAN EAGLE 42R

If I knew for certain a 45' would fit our site in Florida I might consider this:
2006 NEWMAR ESSEX 4508

Thanks in advance for your input on anything I've said and rigs I've presented. And willing to listen to any advise about going to a longer rig. I know that will limit us in some places, but the type of full-timing we'll be doing requires the extra room.
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Old 06-09-2020, 01:04 PM   #2
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What you described is a Tuscany 42GX with the dinette option, however you might need to add about 100K on the budget

Buyers market for a while longer on newer coaches at least, lots of nice inventory out there for the moment

Going to be interesting how the RV life style ramps back up but so far it is off to a very fast start with reservations filling up as they are opened up in many areas
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Old 06-09-2020, 02:06 PM   #3
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Your list isn't impossible to find. It seems pretty reasonable.

Most "42 foot" models are 42' 9" and 45's are mostly 44'11", so you're not talking about a lot of extra length in the 45'. Last year my wife and I went from a 39'6" to a 42'6" and while we're not full time, it would be easy to full time in this length. That amount of extra length allowed us to get the bath-and-a-half without feeling scrunched. We have the four slides, a king bed, two opposing couches (but many out there have one couch and two euro-recliners w/footstools opposing.) We looked at a number of Tiffin Allegro Bus models as well that fit what you're looking for...we saw more of those than other brands with the dinette option...the kind that is almost "integrated" with the sofa in one flowing mass of seating (if that's what makes the DW happy :-). I wouldn't count that brand out.

I noticed in your three rigs that the American coaches both had "No-Cold" refrigerators installed. That near 47 degrees they show in the picture for the Tradition might just be as cold as that thing gets!!! We are SO happy having a residential refrigerator! Personally, I'd never get another coach without one.

The Essex looks very nice. Newmar builds a great coach.

One thing you did not delve into is what Chassis you want under it or if you have a minimum engine size requirement. These units are generally heavy. All I can say is I'm happy to have the 450 ISL and not less. Net, don't forget what's under the box in your decision making. Is the chassis easy to have serviced (convenient service locations and parts availability?) Even for the box...is the manufacturer still in business and supporting it? Newmar will work on anything they sold....even their old 5th wheel line! Maybe none of these things are that important on your list, but just thought I'd mention it because one thing is for certain...ALL of these coaches break...having service and support availability should be paramount in a decision, IMO.

Best wishes in your selection.
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Old 06-09-2020, 02:25 PM   #4
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Just to add my nickels worth. That is 2 cents adjusted for inflation.

I can't see the attraction of a rear bathroom. Fine if it is just the two of you but if the grandkids etc are with you they have to pass through your bedroom to wash and shower. It does however give you an extra toilet.

The other thing I am not keen on is the full wall slide. I would be worried about that being stuck open.

Washer and drier would be near the top of our list as well.
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Old 06-09-2020, 02:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xmcdog View Post
I can't see the attraction of a rear bathroom... It does however give you an extra toilet.
And another sink. When 1 1/2 baths started coming out, my wife and I couldn't see the attraction either. After having this in the floorplan, we love it. If traveling with others you don't' have to worry about stumbling half asleep at night into the center bath and finding someone else already using it. When getting ready in the morning, other than showering, both can be getting ready at the same time. And then, with age, comes "holding it" when someone else is using the toilet.

Agree on the washer/dryer....especially if full timing or spending a lot of time out. And make that a washer AND dryer...not the combo units.
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Old 06-09-2020, 02:42 PM   #6
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A side radiator would be important to me since we have one now. I think all your choices have one.
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Old 06-10-2020, 05:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCC-1701A View Post
One thing you did not delve into is what Chassis you want under it or if you have a minimum engine size requirement. These units are generally heavy. All I can say is I'm happy to have the 450 ISL and not less. Net, don't forget what's under the box in your decision making. Is the chassis easy to have serviced (convenient service locations and parts availability?) Even for the box...is the manufacturer still in business and supporting it? Newmar will work on anything they sold....even their old 5th wheel line! Maybe none of these things are that important on your list, but just thought I'd mention it because one thing is for certain...ALL of these coaches break...having service and support availability should be paramount in a decision, IMO.
.
Yes, diesel chassis are new to me so I honestly don't know anything about them, other than raised rail with shocks and air bags are the thing to get, at least that's what I hear.

As far as the engine, yes, I'm using the 10 HP per 1000 pounds rule. If a rig weighs 35000 pounds then you should at least have a 350 HP engine. Is that true, or is that only a rule of thumb and you should have more? Most of the rigs I'm looking at have at least a Cummins 400 HP so sort of hopping that's enough.

Any recommendations on chassis is appreciated as I am ignorant in that area...well...ALL areas in regards to Diesels!
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Old 06-10-2020, 05:35 PM   #8
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A side radiator would be important to me since we have one now. I think all your choices have one.
Yes, it's on our high priority part of the list. Thanks!
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Old 06-10-2020, 05:40 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by NCC-1701A View Post
And another sink. When 1 1/2 baths started coming out, my wife and I couldn't see the attraction either. After having this in the floorplan, we love it. If traveling with others you don't' have to worry about stumbling half asleep at night into the center bath and finding someone else already using it. When getting ready in the morning, other than showering, both can be getting ready at the same time. And then, with age, comes "holding it" when someone else is using the toilet.

Agree on the washer/dryer....especially if full timing or spending a lot of time out. And make that a washer AND dryer...not the combo units.
Absolutely, has to have a W/D.

As far as the baths, I'm getting to the point where it's not as important as just having extra room not only in the bedroom but also the living and kitchen areas.

We looked at a 2007 Monaco Camelot 42DSQ which had the rear bath and while the bedroom felt much more roomy due to the extra length, the couches in the front seemed a bit squished. I'd have to go find my notes, but when measuring them they were under 72...76??? inches...can't quite recall. The 42 footers with no rear bath were larger and just feels larger.

Thanks.
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Old 06-10-2020, 05:45 PM   #10
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...

I noticed in your three rigs that the American coaches both had "No-Cold" refrigerators installed. That near 47 degrees they show in the picture for the Tradition might just be as cold as that thing gets!!! We are SO happy having a residential refrigerator! Personally, I'd never get another coach without one.
I meant to address this on my other reply.

Yes...I'm concerned about the "No-Cold' refrigerators as well as I've heard that comment over and over here. But we do like to boon dock and hope to again even in a bigger rig, so I'm concerned about having to keep running the generator with having a residential fridge.

I've read how folks manage that but darn...I do like simple. KISS right? When we're traveling along with our current rig I never have to worry about the frig, other than making sure the pilot light didn't go out while traveling down the road.

So I was just hoping that I could do all the upgrades to the Nor-cold and not have any concerns with them....possible?
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Old 06-10-2020, 05:55 PM   #11
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You are asking a lot of a RV. Are you sure you don't need a 2000 sq' house w/2 car attached garage?

Living in any RV is all about compromise.
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Old 06-10-2020, 07:56 PM   #12
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Your list isn't unusual or difficult to meet, but there will be some give and take. For me, any coach without a residential refer would be a no go. The idea that a propane refer is simple to operate, really isn't true. You're constantly managing them, especially in hot weather, as they barely keep up. Before someone says different, remember that most of us with big coaches suffered through the propane refer problems.

Your must haves will mean a tag axle coach. Once you start getting into tag axle coaches (required by the length and weight) you want the power to move it. Anything less than a 400/450 ILS/L9 would be a no go. Even that motor struggles with 42' - 45' coaches.

I agree with the opposing slides in the living room, but a large slide in the bedroom will give you plenty of space.

A stacked washer/dryer would also be a must have.

In the years that you're looking, you'll find a mixture of bath configurations. As you move toward newer coaches, the rear bath starts to dominate because of the additional space it provides, that people are demanding. Remember, a half bath comes with most rear bath coaches because you can't access a rear bath while driving.
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Old 06-10-2020, 08:22 PM   #13
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Guess it's my turn for the 2 cents worth. The OP said he "had to have" a king-sized bed. That's OK.... but... King beds in a MH often do not come with side tables. Often, one can't walk around them... at least some of them. Makes making up the bed a hassle. The side tables are important for me because I need a place to put my CPAP machine. And if no walk around, where do I put my O2 concentrator which I use in conjunction with the CPAP? I like the idea of a double-side LR. My DS has just one slide, but it goes from just behind the driver's seat all the way to the end of the kitchen where the bathroom wall begins. Since the coach is a 1998, and since it has functioned flawlessly all those years, I'm not too concerned.
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Old 06-10-2020, 08:37 PM   #14
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Forgot to mention fridges. While the Dometicside-by-side in my coach is still going strong, the ice maker quit before I bought it. We're using a countertop ice maker which makes ice like gangbusters! However, if the Dometic quit, I'd most likely would go with a residential unit. Boondocking with a res unit is easy enough; just have a large enough bank of house batteries coupled with a dedicated 300W pure sine wave inverter and you're in business. While underway, the engine's alternator will keep the batteries topped off and when boondocking, most likely you can run the res fridge for at least 2 days before needing to charge the batteries. In the summer, you'll find you will need the generator anyway for A/C when boondocking. When it's in the 90s, like here in Texas, I can't handle being in suffocating heat. Speaking of heat... I'd make sure you have 3 heat pump A/C units with 15,000 btu each because anything less, you'll be sorry if you're at a campsite with no shade. My 38' rig is barely adequate to keep cool in 95 degree weather with 2 13.5 units. In the winter, the heat pumps will be enough in most situations unless you go north. There's options abound for newer rigs re: heat with Oasis and Aquahot.
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