Coast Resorts Open Roads Forum: Class A Motorhomes: First Time Buyer...Updated 03/06/2006
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 > First Time Buyer...Updated 03/06/2006

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bertnspike

e central fl

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Posted: 07/07/13 09:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sondra wrote:

Hello, first time buyer here with my husband. Floor plan is very important to us, we plan on driving down to Florida for 4-5 months out of the year from Illinois.Thank you, Sondra


Sondra, you really should look at used motor homes. First, because this IS your first one, you may decide after just a few months that it's just not the right one for you, or you may find yourself wishing you'd gotten a fifth-wheel, or you wish you'd gotten a condo in Florida instead. Trade it in on a new one in a year or so, if you still want to.

Second, because ALL motor homes have problems, by the time someone puts several thousand miles on it they've worked out most of the bugs. A new motor home very often spends its first few MONTHS in and out of the shop to bring everything up to snuff. There are hundreds of different systems and thousands of separate parts in an RV. It is simply not possible for an RV to come right off the production line at 100% and very few dealers will go over it with a fine-toothed comb before it hits the lot. Also, with many things, it's impossible to know whether it's working right or not until you go out and use it on the road. If you buy used someone ELSE had to go through all that crap.

Third, because for half the money you can get twice the coach. You can then afford to have modifications done to suit you and make it into a custom coach. Suppose you discover that the sofa is the most uncomfortable thing you've ever been on (and you couldn't tell until you'd used it a few times)? How would you feel about having to replace a brand new sofa? Modifications to something that's not new are easier to stomach! And just imagine what the depreciation would be on a new RV.

A lot of people use their coaches very gently - especially when you're talking about a luxury 40 footer. I would expect that to be fairly easy to find in excellent condition with low mileage, due to the fact that it was probably used just as you intend to use it. The idea that a used motor home was someone else's headache is seldom true and having a knowledgeable independent RV service person thoroughly check everything out BEFORE you sign anything will go a long way toward assuring you of that.

Take all that money you'll save and spend it on Coach Net emergency roadside coverage and safety additions and upgrade the televisions and buy a portable dish and other things like that. The useability, convenience, and personal comfort of your RV is far more important than the age of it. A lot of those things you'll buy will transfer to a new coach when the time comes too.

rdcsjc

Fresno

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Posted: 08/21/13 07:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That was some great info. My wife are signing papers tomorrow so was very helpful. Our plan is to be full time RVers. I'm retiring in 3 years and will use the time to learn how to adjust to the new life style. You offered up some great advice. Can you direct me to any books that might help me out? There is just so much to try to understand and learn. How about clubs or memberships to join. Thanks for any help you can offer.

vito98103

Seattle

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Posted: 08/31/13 12:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

1- Never pay close to retail for a new unit. 75% of window sticker is a good starting point as the dealer generally pays about 70%. 5% on a $300,000 sale is $15,000 - a very reasonable profit.

2- Used is often a good deal as quality and build issues have generally been identified and fixed. But those who paid too much when they bought it new (see #1) are often upside down and trying to get out from under the bank loan. I've seen many used motorhomes with asking price higher than a smart buyer would pay for a new one - seller is hoping to find another chump.

3- Some brands are better quality than others. And some were made better in the past than they are now. Most manufacturers make noise about their quality control, but for some it's just noise.

4- Lemon laws don't apply to RVs in most states, so that's not an option if there are problems.

5- A factory tour can be useful in determining build quality. Talk to the people who build them.

6- Before buying, take a serious road test (up and down big hills/mountain passes, corners and high-speed hands-off-the-wheel panic stops). Include a trip to the truck scales & weigh all 4 corners. If the dealer resists, run! You always sea-trial a boat before buying and the crappier the weather the better - any boat looks good on a calm sunny day; some boats are designed to appeal to novices at the boat show. Better to find out now that it performs poorly when things get dicey - those boats become 'dock queens'.

7- Some RV dealers started as used car lots (like some camera stores that started as pawn shops) and have little service & repair capability. Investigate/see for yourself.

8- Before buying, show yourself to be a serious buyer (you can afford this unit) and then run everything. If something needs fixing, replacing or adjusting, you'll be back when the work is complete and retested; promises are meaningless.

9- No deal is so good that you can't walk away.

BobOB1775

Gig Harbor

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Posted: 09/12/13 11:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've just started researching RV's and trying to justify the expenditure, weighing overall cost, how much it will get used, etc. I found this thread out of all the forums to be incredibly insightful.

I can tell by reading the original threads that there are many people like me who've gone through the same exercise. More than likely, my wife and I will purchase a Class A within the next two years. We are both retired and our property has a nice RV garage just waiting for something to put into it other than clutter.

We are a Sheltie breeder and want to take our guys on trips rather than have a house sitter watch them while we travel. The tough part will be deciding on a floor plan that we can make room for their crates, yet still have enough room for us. I know three will want to sleep on a bed at night too!

I'm currently on several forums and hope to find additional resources on line where I can get good advice from people like you. Thank all of you for providing such good information.

RJ Miles

arizona

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Posted: 09/18/13 11:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

buying first motorhome 98, pace arrow with 7.4L chevy engine, price is good but have no experience chevy 7.4L engine, seems light to me. any advice is appreciated. thanks

setraveler

SE usa

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Posted: 09/19/13 07:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Always, always insist, demand, assure, OWNER and operating manuals on ALL the Hardware, to include wiring diagrams of unit and hardware. You must have them if anything goes wrong, if not there assure you can get them. I turned down one unit as NO manuals of any kind, All you need is one unit needing repairs and no manual and misery, same for ALL units model and serial numbers, often you can find more data to help on www, but get the numbers NOW, record them in log or such. Saves grubbing about, probably in miserable weather trying to find the hard data that is core to any repairs or maintenance. A few hours now getting data and recording it will save much grief latter on, and some day you will need it, even for all the filters etc.

Note Gig Harbor, miss the place as had sailboat moored at end of water by restaurant, lovely place then as was there before it got "discovered by Tacoma" now is?

BobOB1775

Gig Harbor

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Posted: 09/19/13 07:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You know I think the bridge toll tends to keep a lot of riff-raff out of the area which is fine by me. We live outside the town and love it. The big concern is all the trees a developer just removed by the COSTCO. Their are building hundreds of apartments and zero lot line homes. No thank you...we'll be staying out that part of the city.

Good scoop on your comments. Thank you.

breenw

Indianapolis, IN

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Posted: 09/26/13 11:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As I was reading through this post, I thought there was alot of great information and opinions for this first time buyer. I would love suggestions from any of you on where you would recommend listing our Class A motorhome for sale. I don't know if there is a preferred website for this or not. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Jeff Canuck

Holland,Tx

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Posted: 10/01/13 12:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very useful thread.
We are looking at buying our first RV.
So Thanks!

CountryCoachrv

Niceville, Fl

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Posted: 10/01/13 01:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RJ Miles wrote:

buying first motorhome 98, pace arrow with 7.4L chevy engine, price is good but have no experience chevy 7.4L engine, seems light to me. any advice is appreciated. thanks



Yahoo has group sites where members discuss problems with their units. Suggest you go to Yahoo groups and search their site for a Pace Arrow group.

Ray

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