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Old 08-13-2022, 08:10 AM   #1
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Advice on Used class C purchase (our first RV!)

Hello all!

I have lurked in these forums for many years and my wife and I are finally in a position to buy a used Class C before the end of the year

About us: 2 kids (11 and 8 yo) and 2 great Danes that would come too
Budget 60-70,000 with a 10-15% down payment
Looking for 2017 and newer
Live near Pittsburgh and interested in state and national parks (along kid friendly campgrounds as well) and planning a 2 week trip to Zion etc.
We have a flexible schedule so I imagine we can use it a lot
Dolly towing a prius C when needed

Looking for around 25-30 foot range. I'd like to keep it as simple as possible with less things to go wrong. I'm a simple man and come from a tent camping background but I love the idea of having my own toilet and shower(and the wife even more so!) So I really look at is as a hard tent that has a bathroom. My wife is looking at it from a slightly opposite perspective. We both are definitely willing to compromise.

We sat in a Thor freedom elite 24' with no slides and it felt more roomy than I imagined with all 4 of us hanging out. They do have a model with a bedroom slide that also looks nice. We have looked on RV trader a lot and the same models always seem to pop up. Interested in everyone's thoughts on these models as far as quality and longevity.

I have already contacted a local inspector and plan on doing that for sure.

2019 Winnebago outlook 27D was our favorite also minnie winnie show up a lot too
Jayco Red/grey hawk
Coachmen leprechaun
Thor freedom elite
Forest River (least favorite only because they pop up on bad brand lists)

I keep reading that condition and upkeep outweighs brand, just wondering how much of that is true with these models.

Thank you everyone!
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Old 08-13-2022, 09:38 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum!!

Advice on Used class C purchase (our first RV!)......some thoughts to help you:

good to line up an inspector
good to consider your bathroom requirements
make a table with cost, key specs and features, pros and cons of each
test drive
envision how the family and dogs will use/enjoy the space, incluing during a rainstorm
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Old 08-13-2022, 09:41 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by DarthTater62 View Post
Hello all!

I have lurked in these forums for many years and my wife and I are finally in a position to buy a used Class C before the end of the year

About us: 2 kids (11 and 8 yo) and 2 great Danes that would come too
Budget 60-70,000 with a 10-15% down payment
Looking for 2017 and newer
Live near Pittsburgh and interested in state and national parks (along kid friendly campgrounds as well) and planning a 2 week trip to Zion etc.
We have a flexible schedule so I imagine we can use it a lot
Dolly towing a prius C when needed

Looking for around 25-30 foot range. I'd like to keep it as simple as possible with less things to go wrong. I'm a simple man and come from a tent camping background but I love the idea of having my own toilet and shower(and the wife even more so!) So I really look at is as a hard tent that has a bathroom. My wife is looking at it from a slightly opposite perspective. We both are definitely willing to compromise.

We sat in a Thor freedom elite 24' with no slides and it felt more roomy than I imagined with all 4 of us hanging out. They do have a model with a bedroom slide that also looks nice. We have looked on RV trader a lot and the same models always seem to pop up. Interested in everyone's thoughts on these models as far as quality and longevity.

I have already contacted a local inspector and plan on doing that for sure.

2019 Winnebago outlook 27D was our favorite also minnie winnie show up a lot too
Jayco Red/grey hawk
Coachmen leprechaun
Thor freedom elite
Forest River (least favorite only because they pop up on bad brand lists)

I keep reading that condition and upkeep outweighs brand, just wondering how much of that is true with these models.

Thank you everyone!
If only weekending a smaller unit can suffice. But a month in cramped quarters will be claustrophobic. The great danes are going to be underfoot in almost anything.
But, the auxiliaries is what needs your attention when buying. Good luck and happy trails!
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Old 08-13-2022, 11:00 AM   #4
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Advice on Used class C purchase (our first RV!)

Definitely use the inspector. They know what to look for and especially talk to them about checking for water leaks. Nothing ruins an RV, or your RV ownership experience more than water damage.

Definitely consider something with a slide if itís in the budget. The extra room is a must on those rainy days, but make sure the necessities are accessible when the slides are in. Items like the bathroom and refrigerator.

Think about bunks for the kids. Will making the couch or dinette into a bed everyday get old. Maybe the kids are young enough now so the overhead will work today, but how about 2 years from now.

Also, have the inspector check the age of the tires. There are various recommendations on when to replace tires on a motorhome, but itís generally between 7-10 years if they arenít worn out due to mileage (rarely happens) or other reasons such as sidewall cracking.

Iím not a fan of Thor. Low quality in my opinion. Winnebago makes quality units. Itís been a while since Iíve been in a Coachman, but they were a good unit back in the day. Jayco is a big manufacturer and been in the business a long time as well so Iíd consider either of them before Thor.

Now, this can get confusing. Thor is a huge company that also builds RVís under the Thor name. The also own Jayco, but Jayco operates as their own company under the Thor organization.

Forest River is the second largest RV conglomerate behind Thor. They own Coachman, but they operate as their own company under the Forest River umbrella.

Winnebago, now owns Newmar and Grand Design. However, they only build Class Cís under their Winnebago brand.

Good luck finding your new to you rig. We owned a two slide 29í Winnebago for 3 years and have many fond memories of that rig and had no issues with it during our ownership.
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Old 08-13-2022, 12:04 PM   #5
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FWIW: For about three years, I've been doing about 60-70% FT'ing in my slideless 28' Class C, solo. (Meaning, I'm at home 30-40% of the time.) So, I've had time to think about this issue of space.

The only real change I would make were I to buy another Class C would be to add a slide (or two.) Without a slide it's like living in a submarine (which is fine for me, as a solo.) With a slide, you get the feeling of a room instead of a corridor.
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Old 08-13-2022, 12:10 PM   #6
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Once you check out RV's and narrow it down to what you want, I would check out PopRVs.com and put in your criteria you want by name and model and see what is out there. I got my 2018 Gulfstream Conquest through them and it was totally painless.
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Old 08-13-2022, 01:41 PM   #7
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Before you jump off the dock, I would suggest renting a unit similar to the one you think you want for a few days and see how it works with family and pets. It may be more crowded than you think after a couple of days.

And definitely use a certified RV inspector to go over the unit and check the operation of all systems.

Personally, I would look at Winnebago and Jayco over the others you listed.

Class C units are prone to leaks in the front overhead area so check that area very closely.

Ken
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Old 08-13-2022, 01:56 PM   #8
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Before you jump off the dock, I would suggest renting a unit similar to the one you think you want for a few days and see how it works with family and pets. It may be more crowded than you think after a couple of days.

And definitely use a certified RV inspector to go over the unit and check the operation of all systems.

Personally, I would look at Winnebago and Jayco over the others you listed.

Class C units are prone to leaks in the front overhead area so check that area very closely.

Ken

Rental with pets may be an issue , but even if you have to get out for a weekend without the dogs , it will be an eyeopener , as far as space is concerned .

Even if you have a class C inspected , take the mattress out of the overhead bunk YOURSELF to check for water leaks ( mold ) you'd be shocked to know what some professional inspectors won't do.
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Old 08-13-2022, 02:22 PM   #9
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If the coach you are looking at has a window in the front of the overhead bunk, check very thoroughly up inside for water leaks. There will be water stain marks on the ceiling or walls. The floor wood could be soft from water too.
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Old 08-13-2022, 02:59 PM   #10
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Even if you have a class C inspected , take the mattress out of the overhead bunk YOURSELF to check for water leaks ( mold ) you'd be shocked to know what some professional inspectors won't do.
I know it's a common recommendation, but is hiring an inspector all it's cracked up to be? From the standpoint of someone who has had RV's since 1976 and have helped friends work on their RV's and worked all my working years in the auto/truck repair field what would they know or look for that I wouldn't? I seriously doubt some of these inspectors would know a waste gate valve from a toilet valve. Are they going to crawl the whole length of the underside of an RV and look for defects, rust or prior damage? I'm sure some are more thorough than others but how do you find out who is credible and who is not?
There are so many variations of things like slide mechanisms, heating and cooling systems, generators and other electrical equipment should we expect to get a solid opinion of the integrity of these systems?
Lately it seems like I have seen reports where some inspectors don't even use a pass or fail criteria when doing a checklist. Should I put my faith in someone who can't decide whether something deserves a clear pass or fail mark?
There are a lot of systems on these RV's and many variations of each system. How does someone get the training to aquire expertise enough to satisfactorily do a rock solid inspection?
Most of all how do you know you will get all that you paid for?
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Old 08-13-2022, 03:13 PM   #11
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Are class A's prone to leaking less than class C's? I'm definitely open to class A's, I know my wife loved the few that we looked at. I just felt they were more complicated with things that can go wrong, and more expensive to maintain over the years. Thank you everyone for the replies so far!
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Old 08-13-2022, 05:09 PM   #12
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For a used RV, condition is definitely more important than brand. They all use the same components (appliances, etc.). I don't think there is any significant difference in systems between Class A and Class C. I also don't think either is more or less likely to have water damage. I'd say to choose whichever meets your needs best.

When choosing an RV, I think that floor plan is the most important thing. Look at a lot of different ones and choose the one that best fits your family. Sit in it and envision living in it. Where will everyone (including the dogs) sleep? How much trouble is it to configure it for sleeping each night? Where will everyone sit during meals and in the evenings? Think about how it will be to live in for four days of non-stop rain. Personally, I'm a big believer in slides and wouldn't buy an RV without one or two. But make sure that all the functions of the RV are usable with the slides in, since there may be times/places when you can't get them out.

After you've picked a good floor plan, search for that model online until you find the right one. Good luck!
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Old 08-13-2022, 05:21 PM   #13
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I disagree with much of what DVSPL said, there are differences, at least in some models. Class C's tend to be built from lighter materials as they are more limited by their 12,500-14,500 GVWR chassis than similar length class A's are which are typically built on 16,000 - 21,000 GVWR chassis. In short some materials hold up better than others, plastic sinks, shower surrounds, etc. don't hold up long term as well as fiberglass or solid surface. The same goes for EPDM rubber roofs vs Fiberglass that some better class A's have, etc.
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Old 08-13-2022, 05:37 PM   #14
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There is a ton of research in finding the right class and floor plan RV. One thing is to go to an RV show to see touch and feel the different models. Also you can visit a few large RV dealers to see different styles and models.

Try to take your time, research, and even then chances are, the first RV you buy will not be the one you keep forever. There will be things you never thought about that you will learn after using one for a year or two. Then you can make a better choice for the next one because of the experience from the first one.
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