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jMacrvn 05-05-2013 02:04 PM

Researching Class A's
 
Hello RVers,
I am new to this site and new into researching Class A motor homes. I am a single women (with my little doggie) and looking at purchasing a used Motor home. I will be going full time as I will be working in various locations (state to state) as a travel nurse. With that said I will be in one location for at least 14 weeks at a time. I have thus far decided that I should go with a Diesel, yet needing to know what would be the most durable, dependable to go with. I am looking to stay with a used under $100,000. Any advise is welcome!!

Thanks for any input,
jMacrvn:cool:

Steve Ownby 05-05-2013 02:36 PM

My wife and I with our two Little dogs and their sister the cat have been full timers for 6 years now. We have an '03 40' diesel motorhome with 3 slides.

You need to make a few very basic decisions and then go looking.

1. How much room do you need. Both length and how many slides. I can tell you after 6 years that I would not go below 40'.
2. How old are you comfortable going. Since you are going diesel I can tell you that there is no problem with 10 years if the normal maintenance has not been neglected. In any used coach of over 5 years the audio/visual systems will need up grading.

I recommend a weeks trip to the Tampa area and spend time at Lazy Days. No matter who you buy from there is no better place on the planet to see a lot of motorhomes, both new and used.

I live in, drive and maintain a 10 year old Monaco so I know that brand well. I will not expound on that here but if you would like to discuss specifics feel free to PM me.

MSHappyCampers 05-05-2013 02:57 PM

Like Steve, I too highly recommend Monaco. We have been very happy with our 2002 Windsor and you can find coaches like ours WELL under $100,000.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless! :thumb::D

amanda_h 05-05-2013 03:06 PM

Hi jMacrvn, just curious, what was it that made you decide on a diesel?

If it's the durability of the "house" portion, a gas-engined unit would be just as durable and well built as some of the entry level diesel units. The reason I mention a gasoline powered motorhome is that if you are sitting more than you are on the road, I believe your money will go further buying a used gasoline Class A. By choosing a gas unit, you'll essentially be getting more features in the house portion as the added cost of a diesel pusher is the chassis; that's what you're paying the premium price for.

A diesel isn't necessarily more comfortable to live in than a gas coach. Where a diesel will shine is the comfort it gives while on the road as you drive it. I'm kind of thinking that it may be more important for you to be more comfortable living in the motorhome than driving it? Not that a gas motorhome will be terrible when driving but you'll get more house features and amenities for the buck in a gas unit as, again, the money you're spending for a diesel is going more towards the chassis features.

-harry

jMacrvn 05-05-2013 04:15 PM

Thank you for your reply. Valuable information. I do know that I will need to get the most out of living space since I will be full time. I will not be towing initially. Most of my time will be parked. So many decisions to make and so much to learn. If serviced well and routinely, how many miles is to be expected (on average) with gas motors? What horsepower is best? I have noticed such a large difference in cost between diesel and gas motors?

Thanks,
jMacrvn

coupevilleDF 05-05-2013 04:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jMacrvn (Post 1557069)
Thank you for your reply. Valuable information. I do know that I will need to get the most out of living space since I will be full time. I will not be towing initially. Most of my time will be parked. So many decisions to make and so much to learn. If serviced well and routinely, how many miles is to be expected (on average) with gas motors? What horsepower is best? I have noticed such a large difference in cost between diesel and gas motors?

Thanks,
jMacrvn

We recently bought a 2004 35' Georgetown with 60,000 miles. We got a Car Fax report on it so we know that we are the second owners and that it was well maintained. It is gas with a Workforce chassis (Chevy). We feel like we can drive it anywhere as long as we continue the maintenance intervals.

One interesting note on miles: When I was checking values online at NADA, they don,p't even ask the miles for diesel like on gas. We chose gas because we were more familiar with those systems. Also, we do not like the entry door ahead of the wheels like on many DP.

It sounds like you probably won't cover too many miles.

charlie 62 05-05-2013 06:33 PM

Since you will be full time will you be in colder climates? If so I would recomend a hydo hot heater system.

Skip426 05-05-2013 06:46 PM

I hope you get all the info your looking for , but I'll throw in a kink, something you have to look into, many states and provences have weight restrictions on regular drivers licenses and require special training for the air brakes on most diesel M/Hs. Something else that you need to know before you buy, to keep yourself legal.

amanda_h 05-05-2013 07:23 PM

Yes, there is a substantial price difference between a gas and a diesel Class A. That's why I was curious why you had decided on a diesel. Unless you are towing a heavy load and need that torque a diesel provides, you are getting a bigger bang for you buck by going with a gas unit.

As you know, a diesel engine by default is designated not only for heavy service but for longevity. However, a RVer will very seldom (if ever) use a diesel engine to its life expectancy. A diesel will go over a half-million miles if maintained well before it needs to be rebuilt. A gas engine can get at least 200,000 miles of life according to Workhorse. Both those mileage figures for diesel or gas are way above what an RVer will ever put on a unit ...sure, there may be exceptions but the vast majority of RVers will never put that many miles on their motorhome.

Since you say that you will be in one location for 14-weeks at a time, I'm assuming that you will not be putting any more than 20,000 miles per year, if that, even if going back and forth from New York to California during each of those times between those 14-week periods. So even if you purchase a brand new gas Class A, the engine alone will last at least ten years if well maintained. At ten years, you might want a new mothorhome anyway. BTW, you might be able to buy a brand new gas unit for that $100,000 or one that is almost new. A diesel for that price will probably be at least four or five years old.

But again, let's say you are comparing a gas unit and a diesel unit of the exact same price. You will be getting many more "house" features with the gas unit as like we said before, you are paying extra money for that diesel chassis which you may not need at all.

You'll see many threads here and on other forums about gas vs. diesel but if you are not spending the majority of the time on the road, you may want to put more emphasis on getting the features you want in the house section of the unit where it would make you more comfortable while living in it rather than when driving it. Yes, diesels will be more pleasant to drive but what is that worth to you. They are generally more expensive to repair and to maintain so again, you'll have "extra" money to do "house" things to make yourself more comfortable living in the unit.

The consensus seems to be that most men want diesels because they do most of the driving and most women want nice "house" features. For us, we both have driven trucks and buses professionally so we share the driving and DW is one of the few females who insist on having a diesel pusher. Since you are going to be doing all the driving in addition to living in the unit, you'll have to determine if the extra money spent on a diesel will be worth it to you. I'm kind of thinking not but be sure to test drive both and see how important it is to you.

Best of luck!

-harry



eta: skip426 makes a good point. From your profile, it appears that you are in Alabama which is not a state that requires a special drivers' license but if you go full-time and change your state of domicile, you will have to keep that in mind. For instance, in Texas, a popular state for full-timers, you will have to have a special drivers' license for a diesel pusher (vehicles over 26,000 GVWR) but if South Dakota (another popular state for full-timers), then you will not have to be tested for a special license. If you choose a gas unit, most are under 26,000 GVWR so you will not have to worry about it at all ...which is skip's point.

joes2901 05-05-2013 07:53 PM

The maintenance will cost less with a gas RV than a diesel pusher, tires etc. will also cost less.

chboone 05-06-2013 12:37 AM

No matter what you buy, and depending the age, it is very important to check the age of the tires. If they are approaching 10 years have them replaced before you close the deal. There are other things to check but the tires are very important. Lazy days is a good place to look. Here is another to give you an idea what you can get comparing diesel and gas MH's Class A Motorhomes for Sale - PPL Motor Homes It is a link to their gas class A MH's. When you click on the picture of the MH another widow will popup with pictures of the interior.

Chuck

Steve Ownby 05-06-2013 05:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skip426 (Post 1557253)
I hope you get all the info your looking for , but I'll throw in a kink, something you have to look into, many states and provences have weight restrictions on regular drivers licenses and require special training for the air brakes on most diesel M/Hs. Something else that you need to know before you buy, to keep yourself legal.

Here is a link giving the DL requirements for all the states. If you maintain your legal residence and keep your DL and vehicle registration in Alabama. Then your standard DL is ok for a motorhome regardless of weight. The DL requirements of your state of residence are accepted in all other states.

https://changingears.com/rv-sec-state-rv-license.shtml

It's interesting that you listed "diesel" as a decision you have already made and immediately posters started trying to talk you out of it.

kchadw1944 05-06-2013 06:33 AM

I too, would recommend " Lazy Days " near Tampa, Florida...they have many, many models, new and used at their location...Also, have a hotel right outside their property...
They have several classes there that are given free on driving motor homes, air brake systems, and people there from the manufacturers of many of the motor homes they sell...also, a very nice campground on the property.

I would also recommend salesperson Joanne Heppe. She has several years of experience there along with her husband...I'm sure you could catch a ride to and from Tampa International from them, if necessary too...

Their service dept. at Lazy Days has had problems in the past getting things done on time...but last I heard, they were working on that situation..but on the sales end everyone is great to work with and maintain a very comfortable atmosphere with potential customers...

Showkey 05-06-2013 07:30 AM

Research.........drive many different RV's........driving 40' DP is way different an a 26' gas class A that can be purchased new for $69,000.

The handlling and thus comfort level while driving varies widely between chassis versions and size.

Are you pulling a car?


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