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View Full Version : Going shopping for a New RV this weekend..to look anyway!!


CruisingCamper
07-30-2009, 06:41 AM
We still haven't decided which kind of RV to get... lots of decisions, but we hope to have one for our 2nd Annual trip to Fort Wilderness.

We have a 5th wheel now..switching to RV is a big deal for us...we travel alot, so we THINK we'll like the RV better for our 2 yr old.

Do we get gas or diesel? Short one or go for long one? Booth or table? How many slides? Lots to decide...

DaveInTN
07-30-2009, 07:12 AM
Traveling in a motorhome is great, especially with kids. The pros compared to a trailer or 5th wheel, are being able to get up and use the bathroom or get a drink or snack without stopping. Well, probably not a good idea for the driver to do that, but others can! And camp set up is a snap. Pull in, hit the levelers, and hookup utilities. Overnight stops are a breeze. The cons...well, I really miss my truck! I have a gas MH, so pulling a full size truck would be too heavy, so I now have a smaller vehicle to pull. Also, the motorhome has significantly higher insurance and maintenance costs compared to a trailer. And I recommend have a vehicle you can pull behind (a toad), so you don't have to break camp and drive the motorhome to sightsee. There is additional cost in setting that up, and only certain vehicles can be pulled four wheels down.

We have a gas class A. I would have loved a diesel, but upfront costs were a lot more, maintenance is apparently a lot more...you get the idea. The diesel was a lot more money! For me, the gasser gives us everything we really wanted, and we could afford it (barely!). But diesels give you more power, so if you plan on pulling a truck with a golf cart in the back, you may be able to do that with a diesel. Most gassers are limited to towing 5000 lbs.

As for length, ours is 35'. It works for us. It is maneuverable, yet gives us enough space and storage. What length works for you depends most I think on floorplan. Look at lots of units (you can start online), and focus on floorplans that you think would work for your family. I think the majority of gas A's are in the 32-35' range. Diesels start from there and go up to 45' I think. If I had a diesel I'd want to limit it to 40', just to not be too limited on what campgrounds I could fit in.

Finally, I'd go for the booth dinette. My kids love sitting at the dinette while traveling to color and write. I'm not sure, but I don't think you can sit at a table and chairs in that way...as I don't think they are secured. I could be wrong about that!

Have fun shopping! Lots of deals out there right now.

pjhootch
07-30-2009, 08:11 AM
We went from a pop-up to a Class C motorhome, and it makes a world of difference. The pop-up was great for camping but didn't work for the type of long road trips we need to take to get anywhere.

Slides make it very roomy when you are set up, but add weight (not a big deal for a diesel pusher but important if you are getting a Class C or gas Class A). We prefer to have a slide out and just watch how much stuff we pack in.

We intended to pull a car behind us, but never got around to setting it up. The prep work for my car would have been about $1500, so instead we just rent a car if we go someplace and can't get by without another vehicle. We've discovered that works out just fine for us and car rentals have been few and far between.

With a small child, I would be looking for a model that has a generator, so you have the television/dvd/microwave/ac accessible while you're on the road. If you're riding in a living room you might as well be able to use it!

CruisingCamper
07-30-2009, 12:48 PM
Traveling in a motorhome is great, especially with kids. The pros compared to a trailer or 5th wheel, are being able to get up and use the bathroom or get a drink or snack without stopping. Well, probably not a good idea for the driver to do that, but others can! And camp set up is a snap. Pull in, hit the levelers, and hookup utilities. Overnight stops are a breeze. The cons...well, I really miss my truck! I have a gas MH, so pulling a full size truck would be too heavy, so I now have a smaller vehicle to pull. Also, the motorhome has significantly higher insurance and maintenance costs compared to a trailer. And I recommend have a vehicle you can pull behind (a toad), so you don't have to break camp and drive the motorhome to sightsee. There is additional cost in setting that up, and only certain vehicles can be pulled four wheels down.

We have a gas class A. I would have loved a diesel, but upfront costs were a lot more, maintenance is apparently a lot more...you get the idea. The diesel was a lot more money! For me, the gasser gives us everything we really wanted, and we could afford it (barely!). But diesels give you more power, so if you plan on pulling a truck with a golf cart in the back, you may be able to do that with a diesel. Most gassers are limited to towing 5000 lbs.

As for length, ours is 35'. It works for us. It is maneuverable, yet gives us enough space and storage. What length works for you depends most I think on floorplan. Look at lots of units (you can start online), and focus on floorplans that you think would work for your family. I think the majority of gas A's are in the 32-35' range. Diesels start from there and go up to 45' I think. If I had a diesel I'd want to limit it to 40', just to not be too limited on what campgrounds I could fit in.

Finally, I'd go for the booth dinette. My kids love sitting at the dinette while traveling to color and write. I'm not sure, but I don't think you can sit at a table and chairs in that way...as I don't think they are secured. I could be wrong about that!

Have fun shopping! Lots of deals out there right now.


Thanks so much for all the great info!!! I sure have lots to think about. I knew I could count on the DIS folks to help me out!!:thumbsup2

CruisingCamper
07-30-2009, 12:54 PM
We went from a pop-up to a Class C motorhome, and it makes a world of difference. The pop-up was great for camping but didn't work for the type of long road trips we need to take to get anywhere.

Slides make it very roomy when you are set up, but add weight (not a big deal for a diesel pusher but important if you are getting a Class C or gas Class A). We prefer to have a slide out and just watch how much stuff we pack in.

We intended to pull a car behind us, but never got around to setting it up. The prep work for my car would have been about $1500, so instead we just rent a car if we go someplace and can't get by without another vehicle. We've discovered that works out just fine for us and car rentals have been few and far between.

With a small child, I would be looking for a model that has a generator, so you have the television/dvd/microwave/ac accessible while you're on the road. If you're riding in a living room you might as well be able to use it!


More great info!! Thanks!!:thumbsup2

We would love to have a diesel for the power aspect and towing capabilites. I love the idea of having a golf cart with us too! But, man those diesels are high!! We stared looking at MH's about 2 months ago, but only went in maybe 10. But, this weekend, we are headed to Dallas and Fort Worth to look, since they have so many dealers with nice used and new rigs.

I would love one of those huge ones...with everything!

My DH has picked out a 2007 Sportman Pathfiner that he likes, he taked to the dealer about trading in the 5th wheel...but they are being very difficult...

HdnOut2WDW
07-30-2009, 01:26 PM
We have a 43' motorhome diesel pusher with 4 slides. In my opinion a motorhome is the way to go with little children. We have a DD4 and DD2. The oldest DD gets to roam pretty freely in the motorhome but DD2 is still in her car seat. I would absolutely keep your 2 year old strapped down, you never know when you will need to hit the brakes.

We went more slides so we would have the extra room with the two girls.

Having the motorhome for potty training was also great, you didn't have to find a place to stop.

I would go with a booth(we have table and chairs and they do not secure down. The booth would be great for being able to color and doing activities.

We went with the diesel pusher for the power.(what man doesn't like power)
We pull a trailer that holds our suburban.


We also have a satellite that works while going down the road plus we also have a portable DVD player. Those are also great, we can travel a long time
and never hear a peep out of neither one.

Anyway have a good time looking and I hope your purchase will be great.



princess:Sydney princess:samantha

Going to the Fort in April 2010

John VN
07-31-2009, 05:58 AM
Do lots of research and tire kicking.

Just because there is a diesel engine in the rig does not ensure an acceptable cargo carrying capacity, i.e. all the stuff you load in the RV. I have seen newer 38 foot multi slide diesel pushers where 500 pounds would put the weight over the rating for the MH. Not really safe.

You can also purchase a gasser that is longer than 38 feet. With the upgraded frames, the length is not restricted to 36' or less.

The ability to use facilities while underway is great to have but remember that anyone or thing that is not fastened down can become a missile in the event of a tire blowout, evasive maneuver or accident.


Have fun looking and work those numbers over and over. Dealers are not doing too well right now no matter what they say.

mouseketeer_mom
07-31-2009, 06:44 AM
Congrats!

I think you will find that there has never been an easier way to travel, especially with kids, than in a motorhome. We have 3 kids and just went from a Class A to a TT. I can only offer one piece of advice. Really consider the fact that with a class A, your child or children live in the living space. There is no place for them to sleep or keep their stuff except the living space. With one small child, the couch will suffice but as they grow or your family grows, it can be a bit frustrating. Although DH would argue that the class A is a more comfortable ride, I think a class C, with the overhead bunk is a more comfortable living arrangement. (with parents bedroom in the back)

I'm not looking forward to the 14 plus hours drive to the Fort in Feb with the three kids (9, 7, and 7) in the truck. But the 9 days we are staying there will be sooooo much more comfortable.

des1954
07-31-2009, 07:50 AM
We've had gas & diesel MH's. Personally, I like the layouts offered in the gas versions because most of them have a center entry door that puts you right in the kitchen when you enter, instead of entering thru the cab. DH prefers diesel because of the power aspect & the fact the motor is in the back which is quieter for travel. An oil change in a diesel cost us $860 last year - just so you have an idea of one maintenance cost.

One thing I DON'T recommend spending $$$ on is the combination washer/dryer. They don't accomodate more than about 4-5 item (say 2 pairs of jeans & 3 t-shirts) & takes forever to do a load. My current MH does not have W/D & I don't miss it at all. Even when we full-timed for 2 years, I went to the laundromat instead of using the W/D in the coach because I wanted to get the laundry done in the least amount of time. The dry cycle takes forever because it's 110 instead of 220.

I've had both dinette booth & table/chairs. I prefer the booth.

There are so many choices available now. With the kids, you might wish to consider the floorplans that offer the bunk beds so you don't need to break down the kitchen table or couch to put them "nighty-night". Then the adults can still enjoy the living room area in the evening.

Our Class A's have ranged in length from 28' to 45'. While I loved the extra space offered in the 45', a lot of campgrounds can not accomodate the big rigs.

If I may offer a brand, I would check out the Winnebago/Itasca brand. They're not the fanciest as far as decor, but they are very well made and the 3 we've owned have been reliable as all get out. We've owned a Southwind, Dutch Star, Travel Supreme, and 3 Winnie products. IMHO, the Winnie products have passed all mine & the DH's tests. Also, if you're considering a used one, make sure the particular brand you're considering is still in business. A lot of manufacturers have bitten the dust these past 2 years and others are on the brink of closing their doors.

Sorry this is so long. Good luck on your search & ultimate purchase.

Disneylitch
07-31-2009, 07:58 AM
We love traveling in our motorhome. Ours is a 1983 that we have completely renovated inside and out. We have an 18 hour drive and it's fine in a motorhome. I too would recommend a dinnette. Ours did not have one and when we did the renovations we put one it. My husband also prefers a Class A and since he does the driving, I don't complain. If you are concerned about a seperate area for kids, the Georgetown by Forest River has a really neat floor plan. I don't know what your price range is, but this one has a seperate bedroom with bunk beds just off the living area. We actually thought is was the door to the bathroom. I've seen this one anywhere between 75,000 and 100,000. I think it depends on how hard up the dealer is. My kids are older now, but the first trip was in my parents Class A and they were 5,3 and 18 months. It was a lot of fun. We go to Fort Wilderness every year and since the kids are now 25, 23, and 21, only the 21 year old goes with us. She always brings a friend. The bottom line is, whatever you can afford, you will make it work for you. Sometimes you just get creatitive in the storage area. You also realize how much you don't need compared to what is needed in your house. I should be as organized in my house as my motorhome.
Hope this helps:tigger::tigger:

mouseketeer_mom
07-31-2009, 10:46 AM
i should be as organized in my house as my motorhome.
Hope this helps:tigger::tigger:


amen!!

tlh0726
07-31-2009, 01:35 PM
With kids my recommendation is to search for either a Class A bunk model or go with a class C.

Class A without bunks is not very family friendly. You are constantly setting up or tearing down beds. Once the kids are put to bed, there goes your entire living area in the coach.

Class C's will give you more sleeping areas without having to touch the couch or dinette. The ride is not as good as a Class A.

If you are going to be in the unit a majority of the time, then a slide is a must for more than 2 people to move around comfortably.

As for gas or diesel, how much are you really going to use the unit. When we were looking, we were told if you are driving under 5000 miles a year than having a diesel would not be cost effective.

It is a hard decision, take your time, make sure the floor plan is exactly what you want. Think long term, not short term. Everytime you switch units, it costs you money.

good luck!

CruisingCamper
08-03-2009, 08:26 AM
Thanks to all of you for all the GREAT Advice!!!

We are back from shopping for MH's this weekend, and we found several that we just loved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, the space those units have...

Our favorite so far was a Coachmen Sportscoach Elite, but it's a pretty steep price. We also found a Coachmen Sportscoach Encore and Pathfinder. All of these were diesel.

I think we would prefer the bunks, but we did not find not one unit to look at with bunks. I guess the may be a special kind.

Also, we seen a Fleetwood Discovery that was really nice.

All used models... I think we'll get a used, around a 2006 or 2007. I hate to get a new, then we don't like it..we'll just loose more money.

Minnie&Mickey
08-03-2009, 04:22 PM
Thanks to all of you for all the GREAT Advice!!!

We are back from shopping for MH's this weekend, and we found several that we just loved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, the space those units have...

Our favorite so far was a Coachmen Sportscoach Elite, but it's a pretty steep price. We also found a Coachmen Sportscoach Encore and Pathfinder. All of these were diesel.

I think we would prefer the bunks, but we did not find not one unit to look at with bunks. I guess the may be a special kind.

Also, we seen a Fleetwood Discovery that was really nice.

All used models... I think we'll get a used, around a 2006 or 2007. I hate to get a new, then we don't like it..we'll just loose more money.

I would love to have a Fleetwood Discovery 40x! I want that to be my next motorhome, but I think I have to stick with what I have for awhile. Have you checked out some of the private sellers online? We were able to find a 2006 Fleetwood Providence on RV Trader Online at a much lower price than the dealerships were selling it for. Not only that, we didn't have to pay sales tax (however I think that varies from state to state).

donatalie
08-04-2009, 09:19 PM
We still haven't decided which kind of RV to get... lots of decisions, but we hope to have one for our 2nd Annual trip to Fort Wilderness.

We have a 5th wheel now..switching to RV is a big deal for us...we travel alot, so we THINK we'll like the RV better for our 2 yr old.

Do we get gas or diesel? Short one or go for long one? Booth or table? How many slides? Lots to decide...

Do you live anywhere close to PA? There is a massive RV show the 2nd week in September in Hershey.......the prices are fabulous.

http://www.prvca.org/Default.aspx?tabid=59

tlh0726
08-05-2009, 04:33 PM
Thanks to all of you for all the GREAT Advice!!!

We are back from shopping for MH's this weekend, and we found several that we just loved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, the space those units have...

Our favorite so far was a Coachmen Sportscoach Elite, but it's a pretty steep price. We also found a Coachmen Sportscoach Encore and Pathfinder. All of these were diesel.

I think we would prefer the bunks, but we did not find not one unit to look at with bunks. I guess the may be a special kind.

Also, we seen a Fleetwood Discovery that was really nice.

All used models... I think we'll get a used, around a 2006 or 2007. I hate to get a new, then we don't like it..we'll just loose more money.


We purchased a 2009 Sportscoach CrossCountry 385DS in January. We paid way less than what some of the used diesel units were being sold at.
It is hard to find a used class A with bunks.
Take your time and shop around.

Donatalie is correct, try to get to a local RV show. It will save you alot of time going from dealership to dealership. Take your camera and a note pad. Write down what you like and dislike on the unit, prices, etc.
We were at the Hershey show last year, it is a great show. Really helped us as to which manufacturer was offering what. I then started researching the web for prices. A dealer 2 hours from us, priced match and added in a bunch of extras to get us to purchase from them instead of dealer in Texas.

We have had some issues on our new coach. So far Coachmen (recently bought out by Forest River) have been great to deal with. Cannot say to much about a dealership in GA that handled a few of the problems, thier work had to be redone by the dealership we purchased it from.