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Old 03-20-2013, 08:47 AM   #1
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RV Rookies looking to make first Class A gas purchase

Good Morning!

Nearing retirement and looking to make our first motorhome purchase. We want something new(er) in the 30 to 33 foot area. Looking for the best built, most reliable RVs. Planning to do about 5,000 miles a year prior to retirement to get started. Will most like be destination rving.

Based on dealer visits and personal research, we're leaning toward Winnebago, Itasca and Tiffin. Any thoughts for you experienced RV'ers would be most appreciated!

Thank you!

Calvin & Puja
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:39 AM   #2
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Welcome to the board! And congrats on prep work for retirement.

Of course, everyone has a high opinion of the RV they are driving! (Though some make the mistake of not have the F53 in their rigs, so you also get some Chevy vs Ford, or in this case Workhorse/Chevy vs Ford!)

If you are early in the research phase, I suggest the investment in looking at RV Consumer Groups. They have some reports that are supposed to be independent, on quality and other good information.

Fleetwood, Monaco, Winnie, Newmar are the big four when it comes to Class A builders. You will find different model levels within each of these, and learning what these are is part of the fun.

Other makers to consider, quite often overlooked, are Rexhall (one of the safest built coaches on the road), Tripple E (Good quality, better then average insualtion values). These coaches are worth researching, to see if they meet your needs. I also would not be concerned with buying an orphan coach, such as National.

General advice:

> Come up with a lsit between you, on what is important to you. Interior features, number of slides, mechanical items, tank sizes, battery bank size, etc... Then go pick manufacturers and specific models that match what is important to you.

> Pick your budget range, and reserve some funds to 'baseline' anything that is not how you want it, or needs maintenance, to give you a soid start.

> If buying used, which is a good idea IMO, do hire someone to give you an independent inspection of the full coach and mechanical condition. When buying used, I feel you have a better chance of getting a solid rig from purhasing from the owner. Owner, or RV Dealer, be sure you see and review documentation. (Trust no one. Documentation, documentation, documentaion...)

> If the rig you are looking at has Ford F53, try to buy a rig new enough to have the newer 5spd Auto Transmission. It has a solid V10, and the new transmission is worth moving up a few years. I think the started in the 2005, 2006 model years.

> As you narrow down your choices of what seems to fit what you both want, drop in for specific searches and ask more questions, on the appropriate IRV2 owners forum.

I wish you the best of luck on your search. Have fun, and take your time. Last opinion. If you find a coach that meets your wants, and it has outstanding documentation and is in bristol condition - do not let it get away for a few thousand dollars. Good, clean, documented and well maintained coaches - I feel are worth paying up a bit to get into.

Have fun,
07 Country Coach Magna Rembrandt 45' ISX600
Roo II was our 04 Country Coach Allure 40'
OnDRoad for The JRNY! Enjoy life...
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:02 AM   #3
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I agree with the above on I have found that the information they had was priceless and will be the best rv investment you make. Read all the material. As far as their evaluations I have found them to be pretty much right on the money. I base this opinion on going to rv shows, rallies and looking and talking to coach owners from around the country. Another good source to go to after you have decided on some coaches to look at is It searches all over the web for what you're looking for and sends you daily updates if you checked the right boxes.
Good luck, have fun and happy hunting
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:07 PM   #4
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The F53 is not the only good choice.

If you cruise the Owners Corner you will get more informed.
Dave and Nola, RVM1
The Journey is Our Destination!
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:27 PM   #5
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just don't make the same mistake i did. we had a class c winny and went to a class a itasca sunstar, their bottom of the line a. it was terrible only had one ac unit which would not keep it cool, the electrics were terrible as it had a load shedding device instead of a 50 amp service so everytime the ac came on the tv's would go off. i traded it in 4 months later at a 20,000 loss to get a tiffin 32ca which is built so much better and doesn't cost that much more. do your homework and check around so you won't have to buy another one .
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:58 AM   #6
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Hey Raja, don't know where you are, location, but here's a link to PPL motorhomes located in Houston they have a lot of motorhomes that will fit your requirements.
I have owned both a Ford Chassis and a Workhorse chassis, I liked the Workhorse chassis much better.
The workhorse had a big Chevy V8 8.1L and the Ford had a V-10 only 6.8L. Also the Ford has a higher rev engine and was a lot louder under load. The big Chevy was a lot quieter running down the road.
Class A Motorhomes for Sale - PPL Motor Homes
A lot of people use a fly and drive method, I believe PPL will pick you up at the airport and take you to their lot.
Anyhoo, Welcome to the forum and hope you enjoy your retirement and your new lifestyle, we certainly do
Happy Trails
MGySgt USMC(R) 1961-1991
2004 Winnebago Brave 34D
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:26 AM   #7
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Welcome to IRV2.


Cliff,Tallulah and Buddy ( 1999-2012 )
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:14 AM   #8
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I have a 2012 Georgetown 350XL with 11,000 miles for sale
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:57 PM   #9
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Your three best tools for purchasing:

1. Cash
2. Cash
3. Cash

A huge stack of $100 bills means the same thing no matter the circumstances.
US Army Capt. // 2009 Gulf Stream
Pro Patria // Strike Hold //
Lo Que Sea, Donde Sea, Cuando Sea
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:00 PM   #10
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It's definitely a learning process of finding the right RV. Our first experience was renting a brand new 2011 34 ft Class A gas. A lot of dealers rent this same rig for relatively in-expensive rates to get people into RVing. We had a great experience and learned lots about what we could live with and without. Not going to mention the brand but this rental unit cost about $85K new. Although a decent RV, at this price point some things are lacking.

We finally chose the Newmar Canyon Star. The ride and drive-ability were so much better. Due to larger tires, heavier chassis (26,000 lbs) and overall better suspension accessories. Not going to say it drives like a car but many times better than the less expensive model. Fit and finish inside and out (paint job) were also better. Storage inside and out was night and day better. The inside storage was key for the wife and outside was key for me. Nothing worse than not being able to get to your stuff quickly and easily.

Anyway, for us it was comfortable driving, overall quality and storage.
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:33 PM   #11
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The two better RV builders are Winnebago and Newmar. Winnebago builds an Adventurer 32A. Newmar builds their Bay Star line in that size but I would check to see what Canyon Stars are that short. I think the smallest Canyon Star might be 34' or 35'.

Try to get one with 22.5" wheels as it will ride better.

Tiffin - probably ok, I heard they will fix rigs w/o any hassle. But if it is done right in the 1st place they would have less to fix.
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