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Old 10-28-2014, 12:54 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 30
Newbie what to know before buying

Hi all,
I am new and from the Netherlands (Europe).
Last couple of years we have made road trips through the US and CND first by car and hotel, the last two by rented RV. We are hooked and like to buy an RV.
Question :
Next years we will make 1 month trips (we still work).
In 5 years we will retire and wil also stay the winter months.
1. Class A or 5-Wheel
2. Gas or Diesel

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Old 10-28-2014, 01:02 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome to the forum Hans,

Go with the floorplan you like. Doesn't matter Gas-Diesel-A or 5er. All here will have there personal opinions but ultimately it is what ever you like and are comfortable in

Ted E
2013 Thor ACE 29.2
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Old 10-28-2014, 01:30 PM   #3
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To some degree Ted is correct that floor plan will be the most important criteria. Hopefully since you have rented RV's twice, you have some idea of what you liked and didn't like about the units you rented. Were they spacious enough? Did they have enough storage? Did you like the arrangement of the living room area? Was the kitchen big enough and equipped enough for your cooking style? If you plan to winter in US, you need to extrapolate being in the unit or 3 or 4 months.

In terms of 5er vs MH, it is somewhat personal preference. For me, if you plan to move relatively frequently then the MH is more convenient. If you plan to stay put for months at a time, the spaciousness of the 5ers may be nice.

Another consideration will be budget - what can you afford or what you are willing to pay. That along with your preferences for new vs. used may dictate the gasser vs. diesel decision.

I am also a newbie RVer. When we first started contemplating a purchase, we thought we wanted to buy a new 5er, then migrated towards a new 36ft range gas class A, then ended up buying a slightly used 40 ft. diesel pusher.

Right now we both work (teachers so have the summers off). When we retire in a few years we plan to be on the road for 6 - 7 months per year. So I investigated aspects of units desired for full-timers. We decided we needed:
- bath and half unit (for when we have guests staying over with us)
- TV in living area had to be across from the sofa, didn't want to look sideways
- wanted Class A for ease of setup and access while traveling
- a kitchen with adequate counter and storage space since we both like to cook
- a residential refrigerator
- wanted at least 39 - 40 feet - that drove us towards diesel and with our budget drove us to used vs. new. (Historically all my cars are purchased new, so that was my inclination. However, by buying slightly used we got so much more coach for our budget and have not had any maintenance issues)

We are very happy with our decision which has been best for us. Our changing views came from looking at lots of units at RV shows and dealerships and from reading the input and opinions of the contributors on this forum.

Best of luck (an sorry for the rambling response)
Randy & Ella (terrier mix rescue)
2020 Winnebago View 24J
Downsized from 2013 Tiffin Phaeton 40QBH
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Old 10-29-2014, 04:22 AM   #4
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Ted and Mricet1005 thanks for your input.
I hope to read more from others how their quest, start, and RV life developed.
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:18 AM   #5
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I agree with all those that talk about floorpan and how you will use the RV. One of the main differences in a 5er and a MH is that set up is easier in a MH, however setup of a 5er has been made much easier with the 6pt leveling system that is available on some newer models. A MH with a toad cannot be backed up and has to be hitched and unhitched. Bottom line, I am not sure the work involved in setting up or hitching up of the MH and 5er is much different when it comes to work or time.

If you are just planning to use your RV for a couple of months a year, pretty much anything will work. If you are going to live in the RV for extended periods of time in all kinds of weather then many things become a big deal.

We live in our RV the majority of the time (18 out of 24 months). We have just purchased our second 5er. Things that were high on our list when purchasing our second RV were: floorplan, large exterior storage bays, insulation, and overall quality, an electric awning, a solar panel large enough to charge batteries when we are not using the RV, 6pt leveling system, TV that is easy to see from the couch and recliners, kitchen storage, a bathroom that is separate from the bedroom & hallway. After looking at many RVs, we purchased a Forest River Cedar Creek and had a solar panel and large batteries installed.

Good luck in finding the RV that is right for you.
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Old 10-29-2014, 07:09 AM   #6
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Great advice so far!

You have been given some great advice so far, I will only add to be sure you can keep the slides in during freezing or inclement weather and still be able to live in it. I am speaking as the owner of a class-A, not sure if it matters to the 5er owners.

Bruce & Judy, living the dream in Salida, CO!
2005 Nat'l Dolphin W22 Chassis, 2004 Jeep Liberty
"Let's Roll 'em, Let's Roll 'em!"
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Old 10-30-2014, 05:54 AM   #7
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Starting with the floorplan.
Rented we had I think what you call a 'traditional' floorplan.
driver and passenger seats
entree door and couch or bed
dinette and kitchen
What we did not have slides.
During our trips we visited a few RV Stores.
For a motorhome we like inside space so slide(s) would be a must.
And a traditional floorplan is fine.

I also 'found' RVTrader, Craigslist and EBay
What is the (dis)advantage buying from privat person or dealer.
I my opinion a dealer is more expensive and afterwards for every repair you also have to pay.

Diesel / Gas
Diesel is much more expensive, is more powerful, but do you need the power.
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Old 10-30-2014, 07:01 AM   #8
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Units with slides make all the difference no matter if it is a MH or 5er. Over the last 5 year with the design of "full wall" slides that offers even more options. Yes, most rental RVs are going to be "slide-less" or far more bare-bones than the average persons RV. With full-timing or extended stay RVing also watch out for the size of available storage space and fresh water tank size.

You need to take a trip to the USA at a time and place to one of the larger RV shows. The one in Cleveland (Ohio) in early Jan. will have 600 RV's indoors. I think the big RV shows are: Harrisburg PA. , Louisville KY.. Here is a list of the up coming shows Late 2014 & 2015 RV shows
Jim & Robert ~ NE. OH.
2018 Outdoors RV Timber Ridge 24 RKS
2014 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7L
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:01 AM   #9
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Unless you really know what you are doing and have a vast understanding of RV components and appliances, I suggest buying from a reputable dealer who will check out all those things for you and make sure everything is in working order. There are so many things that can be wrong with an RV that you cannot see just by looking at it. As far as the dealers being expensive when service is needed that is true no matter where you purchase the RV.
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Old 10-31-2014, 09:48 AM   #10
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Thanks for your reply's. It does not make it easier for me.
I am working full time, my wife parttime to go in January to the US for a RV show will not be possible.
We are coming back in April (Tucson) for a next trip and will try to visit several dealers and hope to get a lot of new/extra information.
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Old 10-31-2014, 10:58 AM   #11
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Hans, remember that no matter what type of RV one RV's in, they have to tow something. 5er's are great with the amount of interior space and floor plans available, but are you a pick-up truck type of guy when not towing the rig? Same with travel trailers. In an motorhome you will be towing some kind of vehicle, most a small car, either four wheels down or on a tow dolly so you are not restricted to types of vehicles. As was posted above, you can't back up when towing with a motor home and that can add to some tense moments if you miss a turn on a two lane highway out in the countryside (I know this lesson well!). Gas rigs will get you anywhere diesel rigs will with less expense, especially on purchase. However, diesel rigs can carry a whole lot more "sfuff" and tow heavier vehicles or trailers with multiple vehicles (driver car and atv's or motorcycle as an example). Diesels will provide a superior ride and often better accompaniments of furnishing's, hardware and fixtures than most, not all, gas rigs. Also, on brand new rigs this gap has narrowed too. Good Luck on your decision and Welcome to the U.S.A.!
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Old 11-02-2014, 10:50 AM   #12
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All in all I searched several websites. I hop I compare apples with apples.
For exemple 70.000 I can buy a
2004 Fleetwood Revolution 39 or 2005 Fleetwood Discovery 39
2008 Fleetwood Bounder 35 or 2009 Fleetwood Southwind 32
Is is wise to buy an older diesel or better a jonger gas
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Old 11-02-2014, 11:03 AM   #13
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Hans, first off Welcome to the Community, and welcome to visiting the USA.

Secondly, with regard to your last question regards Diesel or Gas, the main thing to remember is that a diesel engine is designed to last a LOT longer than a gas engine - many can go 750,000+ miles (or nearly a million KMs, for your reference). A gas engine is pretty worn by 200,000 miles, if it lasts that long. The other side of the coin is, diesel is more expensive to maintain. They are worth it, if the costs can be spread over a million miles - but not if you try to compare them at 50,000 or 100,000 miles.

A diesel pusher tends to be quieter than a traditional gas MH, since the engine is way in the back.

50,000 to 150,000 miles on a diesel ENGINE is nothing, but the surrounding MH might be starting to wear thin, if you understand my nuance. If you find a decent-looking MH, don't let the mileage act TOO much in your decision. Look more at the care the previous owner(s) took, and the maintenance. I would rather buy a 10 year old MH with 80-100K miles that was cared for and driven, than a 5-year old MH with only 2000 miles on it. Being a "lawn ornament" or a "garage queen" is BAD NEWS for mechanical devices.

Good luck, have fun, and don't obsess too much over it.
Always remember, you're a unique individual - just like the other 7 billion people on the planet...
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Old 11-02-2014, 11:22 AM   #14
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Hi Hans, and welcome. If I understand correctly, for the next five or so years you plan on RV touring for one month and then store the RV for 11 months? If that is the case, I think you will run into a lot of problems. First, the expense of storage, insurance, etc for 11 months; second, your tires will probably age out with only about 6 months use over five years; third, no vehicle is going to fare well being stored for those long periods, especially a diesel. I understand that you love RV'ing, but if it were me I'd continue to rent until I was going to spend significantly more time in the U.S.A. In five years, when you are ready for 4-6 months then is the time to think about buying.

P.S. I love the Netherlands!
2005 HR Admiral 30PDD
Tampa Bay FL
Life is Good, Do It on Wheels
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