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Old 05-13-2021, 08:25 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2021
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Long time camper, Researching RV's

Greetings all,
My wife and I are looking into getting an RV in the next year or so. I'm doing the due diligence needed to get a travel trailer. There is a ton of useless information on Google. We have some trailers we like that seem to have good reviews, But, I believe that hearing from the owners is a better option. Why is it that the lists of best and worst trailers are the same? Annnyhow, I am happy to be a part of your community and I am looking forward to learning more about the world of RV-ing!
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Old 05-13-2021, 08:44 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2015
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Originally Posted by Will_sVe View Post
Greetings all,
My wife and I are looking into getting an RV in the next year or so. I'm doing the due diligence needed to get a travel trailer. There is a ton of useless information on Google. We have some trailers we like that seem to have good reviews, But, I believe that hearing from the owners is a better option. Why is it that the lists of best and worst trailers are the same? Annnyhow, I am happy to be a part of your community and I am looking forward to learning more about the world of RV-ing!
The reason you get so much conflicting information doing a Google search is called ADVERTIZING revenue. It's not just RV. Almost any product you search will have a ton of information, based on how much advertising, how well the it people set up a website to get the maximum number of hits, etc. etc.

Now to your RV. There are many threads on this about people want to buy "the right one" Well what is right for me may not be for you.

First, decide exactly what type you want. Class A DP, Class A gas, class c, super c, 5th wheel or travel trailer. That decision may be made on what kind of vehicle you have to tow it, or if you are upgrading, how long you will be away from home, do you want to travel or camp.

Once you have made that decision, find a floorplan you like. Rear bed, front bed center kitchen, how many slide outs.

Then budget. Do you want a top of the line or happy with basic. Once you have done that now it's time to look at brands.

Most brands are built pretty much the same, with a few exceptions. And the more you spend on the higher end, the better the quality.

Once you have found what you want, reach out to people who own that brand, compare models and price. You are in a lot better position this year than last as inventory and selection has come up. Prices are also up from pre Covid.

Expect to make compromises. I upgraded last year from a Gas Class A to a DP. Inventory was short. I found 5 that met most of my needs. The first one I made an offer on, the guy turned me down over $2000. So I went to the next on my list, negotiated down $5000 and bought. I'm quite happy with it, but my first choice that turned me down did have a little more of what I wanted. Of course he called me back after I bought to accept my offer, but too late for him. Keep in mind that I am dealing with private parties in a DP that is a decade or more old to stay in my budget. Your situation may be different.

Last thing to say, and this may be controversial. Stay away from Camping World. Search the thread for horror stories.
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Old 05-13-2021, 08:47 AM   #3
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined us!

Get out there and start kicking those tires!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette
Sometimes I sits and thinks, sometimes I just sits.....
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Old 05-13-2021, 09:07 AM   #4
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A whole lot to consider. If you are looking for a travel trailer, they range from a simple popup all the way to those huge 5th wheel house on wheels.

You mentioned travel trailers, so with a trailer comes a requirement for a tow vehicle. If you already have something you plan to tow with, then you need to consider the tow capacity and go from there. If you listen to some folks here, they will tell you outside of a simple popup camper, you need a F350 or C/K3500 to tow any trailer. (Those same people will defend the Honda Ridgeline as a tow vehicle, go figure?)

I went from backpacking tents sleeping on the ground to a cot and then to a popup camper. Wife decided the popup wasn't getting it, couldn't keep it cool in Texas heat, the upgrade started with going from a midsize Canyon truck to a half ton Silverado.

If your plans include purchasing a tow vehicle, go ahead and start with a half ton as opposed to a mid-size, even if you only plan to get a popup. If you enjoy the travel trailer experience, you will ultimately want to go bigger.

Do not listen to sales guys, if the truck has a 10K tow capacity, they will try to sell you a dry weight 9900 pound trailer. Shoot for a dry weight in the 2/3 capacity of the tow vehicle max, figure an additional 1000 pounds of gear, etc. Give yourself some room. While a vehicle may have great "tow capacity," most of the time the loaded up hitch weight along with gear and passengers in the vehicle have you bouncing off the payload limit before you hit the tow capacity number.

You need to define what you plan to do, how many people & pets are going to do it with you, and how long at a time will you be doing it.

My wife will tell you that a slide on the camper is a must. Even on our popup, the dining table slid out. It creates a much larger area in the camper to move around in, to deal with pets, etc.

There is a thread around here on quality that discusses what we are seeing in the industry. Read it, but don't let it scare you off.

Oh, and welcome to our crazy little world.
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Old 05-13-2021, 10:35 AM   #5
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First off I will say that there is no perfect rig for anyone, not you, not me,not the guy behind the tree. As an example, in my particular case I would not compromise on interior color. Dark cabinets seem to be all the rage these days, I wouldn't have them. More importantly my wife wouldn't have them. I also wanted an RV refrigerator and a propane oven. Given that what I wanted was going to be pretty rare I decided that I was not going to worry if I didn't like the exterior color. As it turned out I got exactly what I wanted for the interior appointments and color and exactly what I didn't want for an exterior color. My point being that you are probably not going to find the perfect rig, but you can get close.
Look at a lot of rigs, figure out what you like and what you don't like, or at least what you think you like and what you think you don't like, this may change over time. If you can, and if you're comfortable doing it, get to an RV show where you can look at lots of rigs. Take lots of pictures and notes. Don't take MSRP as the price you will pay, it's probably going to be 70-80% of that price.

After you have looked at lots of RVs make a list of Must Haves, Really Want, and It Would Be Nice. Spend lots of time on this an other forums reading up on the various appliances and systems. Most of the appliances come from a few manufacturers and the quality doesn't change much from coach to coach until you get into some of the really, really high end coaches the multiple hundred thousand dollar range.
You also need to adjust your expectations. These are not cars, they are pretty much a house rolling down the road on a truck chassis that are built in very, very low volumes. None, I repeat, none of them will be perfect right off of the showroom floor. Most RV manufacturers build in a year what car companies build in a day, and with a much, much smaller engineering staff. The major differences between the better coach manufacturers and the lower end manufacturers is their choice of interior materials, press board vs plywood for cabinets and drawers, vinyl coated press board vs hardwood for cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Open the drawers and cabinets to see how they are put together. Look at the fit and finish. I think you get the idea.
Once you have narrowed your choices down to a few coaches look at the various forums and see what folks have to say about them. Every single coach in the world will have very, very vocal critics. Take most of these with a grain of salt. For some reason they were not happy with their coach and the manufacturer could or would not make them happy. For every vocal critic there are probably 10 very happy customers who don't say much.

Start following the coaches you are interested in on RVtrader or RVT and see what they are selling for. What you are trying to do is see if what you want is within your budget and also to know a good deal when you see it. Given the current market when it's time to buy and you see a good deal jump on it with both feet. RVtrader has search functions where you can get an email whenever something you are looking for comes on the market. In my particular case I was looking at the coach I ultimately bought within 48 hours of it coming on the market. Good luck and happy hunting.
An Old Fisherman
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Old 05-13-2021, 12:38 PM   #6
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Welcome to the forum.

You are joining a good group of folks here with good information to share. Read the various threads here and ask questions as they come up or add information if you can.

After seeing many different rigs on the showroom floors go out and rent a few to see what "fits" and what does not. Remember your first one will most likely not be your last.

Good luck and enjoy the adventure!
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Old 05-13-2021, 12:54 PM   #7
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 94

What a great adventure you're starting out on!
You can get lots of great ideas from the folks here on irv2.
I would suggest (before you buy anything) to check out the helpful videos of "The RV Odd Couple". They "tell it like it is" and you'll be glad you don't make the mistakes they did.

Welcome aboard and good luck!
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