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Old 12-25-2013, 09:53 PM   #15
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Fleetwood Owners Club
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Location: Chicago's South Suburbs
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Hi Dave! We're fairly new to this whole RV thing ourselves. We jumped in with both feet and bought a motor home a year ago this past summer-- and we've had a fabulous time! Met some wonderful new friends along the way as well as learning a lot about the vehicle and about traveling. So much so, in fact, that we've already made the leap to our second MH! We're not that far from you (just a quick trip down the Tri-State) so feel free to drop us a line if you might want to hear about any of our experiences in person...

Stay warm,
Tim and Liz Colburn
'04 Fleetwood Revolution 40C
Park Forest, Illinois
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:04 PM   #16
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By the way, you can set up your signature by going to "User CP" at the left end of the blue bar near the top of the screen...

Tim and Liz Colburn
'04 Fleetwood Revolution 40C
Park Forest, Illinois
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:55 PM   #17
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Rent something

Rent something that you think you might like. At least a week is minimal. If it is just for the weekend, you won't get a feel for it. You should experience all of the fill the water, dump the tanks, fill the propane, all of those things to see how well it will work for you.

The 4-8 years old idea is a good one. I have seen people buy brand new, thinking they everything is covered under warranty, and they won't have to spend any more money. But they forget that they have to take it back to the dealer for warranty repairs and they are still without their unit. If it is used, most of those warranty bugs are already worked out, and if something needs fixed you can take it any where or fix it yourself.

As others have said, floor plan is number one. Number two in my book is buying something that has a manufacturer that is still in business. Number three, an old friend that had an rv of some sort his whole life advised me that there are only three things you can do with an rv, 1) drive it, 2) sleep in it, and 3) WORK ON IT.
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Old 12-25-2013, 11:11 PM   #18
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Tip #1

Carefully "fact check" ANYTHING any dealer tells you about a coach you might be interested in. Their lack of specific information/knowledge is astounding, and they have very active imaginations bordering on wishful thinking?

If something they say doesn't sound just right, and you're having a tough time "fact checking", ask here!

Taking the time to educate yourself as best possible prior to the sale will pay off in spades - you'll be less likely to be second guessing yourself after the sale, and you'll be walking into a dealership armed with the right questions.

Happy hunting!

P.S. If thinking used, start preparing yourself now for the fact you'll likely make a few "road trips" to check out coaches on the other side of the state, or a few states away?

Oh, and if thinking MH, look into toads, whether you think you'll want one, what it might look like, and if you'll be able to pull it?
1997 37' HR Endeavor, 275hp Cat, Freightliner
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Old 12-25-2013, 11:14 PM   #19
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Started out in tents, then tent trailers, class c motorhome, then an older 30 Class A with no slides. The 30 footer seemed to do everything we needed and had all the bells and whistles. First longer trip south, we spent approx 35 days in it with two small dogs. We found that we personally needed a bit more space so upgraded to a 35' with two slides. Just about double the room in the bedroom with changing area and make up area and storage. The living room slide made life quite a bit more enjoyable for the longer trips. I found it much better to drive the Class A for vision and ease of getting into living area. Set up with a Class A with hydraulic levelers is great. As others have suggested, go to shows and dealers and rent if it seems feasible. (not cheap anymore). Make sure your better half is happy with the floor plan. Happy wife/happy life.
Good luck, it is all interesting and part of the fun of RV'ing
Steve and Sheri with Archie (and Hiro, R.I.P.)
2000 Winnebago 35U, Ford F53/6.8l V10
F150 Ford and Vintage Aspencade.
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Old 12-26-2013, 06:33 AM   #20
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Welcome to the forum, there is a lot of info here, good luck...
Terry & Brenda - From the Iowa Banks of the Mighty Mississippi
2011 Winnie Journey 34y, Freightliner / Cummins , 2012 Chevy Colorado Toad

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Old 12-26-2013, 07:28 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by RVNeophytes2 View Post
You're in a good place, Dave. Already on Step Two, but you have nine remaining...

Hit the shows, the dealers. Set foot in everything you see, imagine yourselves making dinner, using the bathroom, going to bed. My wife climbed into every shower, fully clothed, closed the door and did her

In my humble opinion, smart money never buys new. You can afford twice the RV, if you target the 4-8 year old units. Ones that have been smoked in, lived in, or have no miles should be tossed aside. Indoor-stored rigs that have received steady maintenance are best. Remember to check the age of the tires: the DOT code is week and year, eg 0709 means the seventh week of 2009. Front tires should be less than five years old. Use your nose, turn away if it smells musty. Look for traces of leaking water, from the roof, around windows, under sinks/showers/toilets.

That's just the rough screening. You can attend to the details once you've picked out five or six candidates!
That's a lot of great information here! Thanks. The amount of space with slides all in is one of our concerns. We have two Samoyeds who will need to lay about and be comfortable while we are in motion. Plus my wife will likely want to move from front to back frequently.

I really like your plan for checking out the shower and toilet space. I'll definitely add that to the list. We are not smokers and definitely sensitive to owners, so any odd smells on a used unit would be non-starters for us. Do dealers try to do anything to mask mold odors? I'm sure some of the less reputable might, but the big dealers? Or can I expect them to be up-front about issues with a unit? Is there anything similar to CarFax for RVs?

Thanks to all who have been so gracious welcoming me here.
Dave Berkowitz
Schaumburg, IL
Just Starting a Search for the Right RV
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Old 12-26-2013, 08:04 AM   #22
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Another Welcome Dave.

There is a lot of RV savvy available here. Good advice has already been given. I have been RVing for longer than most but not longer than all I suspect. (I am not an octogenarian yet but closing in on that life milestone). Suffice to say after more than 50 years of owning an RV of some sort starting with a POP up I am still learning and get a lot of info from this site.

Have had small and large TT's, Class C's, Class A's (DP's) and now scaled back to a B+. Each one met our need (often being affordable wants) at the time. I have bought new and used and I agree one can save big $$$ by buying used and there are so many good rigs out there all one has to do is cast a wider net if you can't find what you want once you determine what that want is.

The rig selection will depend on what you want to do with the RV. Full time likely drives one to a larger unit, but just touring, well our preference is now smaller but needs/wants do change. It is often said that the only constant is change.

I would never go back to towing my home versus living in my home while I drive. But that is just me.

Good luck. And indeed ask questions.
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Old 12-26-2013, 09:50 AM   #23
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Smile Welcome

Welcome Dave:

We have not had a RV for long either (3 years). We bought a 1999 Winnebago V-10 and brought it home and did a few improvements like a Banks Performance System, new tires, new shocks and added air bags. We then left SC and spent 6 weeks on the road. It was the best vacation we had ever taken and now we are hooked. We took another trip this fall for 5 weeks which was also wonderful. Not long after we got home (the weekend of Thanksgiving) we traded the Winne for a Overland Lorado DP (diesel pusher). I must admit the ride and power will make future trips more enjoyable. We agree the smart thing to do is buy used. 100K miles on a dp is barely broken in according to my truck driving

Good luck with your search. Those with more experience than us have already given you some good information and I am sure this forum will be a great help to you.
George & Kathryn Phillips
1999 Overland Lorado
2007 Jeep Sahara Dinghy
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Old 12-26-2013, 10:08 AM   #24
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Hi Dave! Welcome to IRV2! It's great to have you join the bunch!

You've definitely found the right place to get answers to any RV'ing questions you may have. The folks here are great to help others, especially newbies. I have learned so much here! Enjoy!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!

Joe & Annette
Sometimes I sits and thinks, sometimes I just sits.....
2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 12-31-2013, 09:34 AM   #25
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Welcome, what everyone else said plus I'll add this, if you really have a tough question just ask me, DW #1 says I know it all! Or maybe that was DW #4. Alwell doesn't matter!

Just kidding, welcome!
Tim & Mary Discovery 40X. Jeep GCL RVM32
"I've been lost now, days uncounted..."GFR"
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:40 AM   #26
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You have already received some great advice. IMHO, for other then full timing, we like a 30-32 used, well cared for class A with slides and no toad. Have had a C, an A with no slides and currently an A with slides. And the part about the wife being happy is the first consideration in any major expenditure.
Neal and Deb + Mya and Gizmo, the pup's
2003 Winnebago Sightseer 30B

May the roads rise up to meet you, May the winds be always at your back...
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:07 AM   #27
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Some general tips for buying:

One item: Be debt free when you start to full time!!
We have never been real “responsible” with our money. We spent what we made. Too many toys. It is the best advice ever.
We bought a less expensive camper than we wanted, and a late model used truck rather than new, but we were debt free when we started. We are still debt free. That is not to say we don't have bills, but a no installment loans, no credit card debt.

We don't have much, but what we have, is paid for. This was the best advice we ever received and for once, I was smart enough to take it.

Tip 2:

The best advice regarding negotiations was given to me years ago by a self-made multi-millionaire: “He who cares less….wins.” It works with anything you buy/sell where there are negotiations.

Here is an example:
Upon selling a business, the buyer tried to lower the price $10,000 at the closing! I refused, said I would keep the business and started to leave. The buyer quickly reversed course and wanted to buy at the previously agreed price. I wasn’t having that. Before I sat back down, they had to agree to pay $10,000 MORE. I really did not care and it worked. They paid dearly for their last minute games.

Be ready to walk. If that camper you absolutely love is at a dealer you that won’t give you a deal, remember, there are more dealers out there carrying that exact same unit.

Good Luck in your search.

Camping Rig: 2006 Outback 27 RSDS--
2005 Dodge 3500 - Dually- Cummins
Full time since June 2006
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Old 01-01-2014, 10:46 AM   #28
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I attended a seminar once on "The are of successful Negotiation" and the most single point of advice I got from that instruction was "Never go into a negotiation if you are not prepared to walk away". This applies to any negotiation. How does the song go "know when to hold and know when to fold". Make a deal when you have a strong hand.

The second point was, "park emotion at the door before you enter the negotion room". When emotion is applied often the best business deal is not made.

Knowledge is a powerful negotiation tool. Knowing the market and what the other guy is holding in his hand of course makes a winning hand for you more probable. But any deal must also be fair so it is still a win-win for it to work best for the most part. Especially if you are expecting follow-on support from the person you are dealing with. He might get revenge during a servicing visit.

But I think everyone really knows this anyway but sometimes reminders help but often people do make decisions based on emotions or without knowing everything they should before signing the bottom line.

So while I trust most people I verify anyway. This avoids surprises down the road. And of course the seller is willing to put everything in writing and is able to back up the committment with adequate financial resources or is willing to allow payment holdback until all committments are made. This is SOP for me.

Soooo many times people are taken at thier word, but then have a "memory lapse" after the deal is done.

Good luck with the new purchase whatever it is.
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