bbnuttmann

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About bbnuttmann

  • Birthday 09/24/47

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    Hiking, history, photography, animals, sailing, machines, national parks, dogs
  • I travel
    With Pets
  1. Newmar Comfort Drive

    rrlowther - You need to drive a couple of coaches with Comfort Drive and decide for yourself if is what you want. We have had our current motorhome for nine years now, bought it used, and we (wife and I) went to test out a number of rigs. There were significant differences in the way they handled. We bought the one that drove the best. When we were looking 9 years ago I got a CD from the RV Consumer group that had all the coaches they had rated for about a ten year period. One of the things they rated was handling. Most of the coaches we test drove that they said would drive well did. One of our close friends has a 2013 Newmar 38' with comfort drive he likes it. But we have an older higher end coach than my friend and I like the way ours drives too. We also have a tag and he does not. That is a big deal. And we weigh 10,000 more lbs. I have not driven a coach with comfort drive and so cannot comment on how good it is. However, it is worth noting that a few very high end car makers like BMW have in the past ten years come out with electronic steering assist and almost to a man all the auto journalists who have driven it do not like it. If it was an actual sensor system that sensed the lines in the road or worked to center your vehicle in the lane like Tesla does that would be another matter. I think those auto centering systems are coming very quickly now and have seen a few of the high end motorhomes offer some of them. I have owned a car with adaptive cruise control and however and in the end did not use it but used standard cruise as the computer brain kept getting confused. To me steering is best if precise and you can feel this precision through the wheel and "sense" the road. Your brain learns to work with your other senses to keep the bus where it should be. To put something artificial between the wheels of the coach and the wheel in your hands might make it worse and not better depending on the system. To really know if it is right for you drive a couple close to the time you drive a couple without. That should be the proof.
  2. Depreciation

    Depreciation is not one of the fun things you get from RVing. I love RVing but hate wasting money. The way you buy a coach greatly affects how much depreciation will cost you. I went out and bought our rig at the bottom of the financial meltdown in 2009 from a formerly rich person who was near broke. I also was very careful to get a coach that almost everyone that posted on several forums said good things about. And I read and re-read through hundreds of listing in the RVCG information on what was a good coach and what was not. I paid under 30% of new price on a 6 1/2 year old coach. So our depreciation on our rig is not so much. People that go out today without doing their homework and buy a brand new rig from an unreliable maker might suffer lots. There is no substitute for learning before you buy. There are huge huge differences in motorhomes.
  3. Thor Palazzo 36.1 Review Before Buying

    All coaches have problems. The key is to try and get one that has less than average. After reading this short thread I would be scared to death buying a Thor Palazzo. I spent a couple of years reading thousands of posts on several RV forums before I bought the coach in our signature line. I also bought many many information disks and books from the RVCG on what they recommend. By the time we finally bought a coach I was very good at spotting quality RV construction on my own. I would research your possible Palazzo purchase before doing it by reading as much as you can about it. If our coach burned to the ground today I would go out and look for a coach like the one we have used to replace it. Maybe a few years newer.
  4. Financing in Retirement

    Rewillia, It all depends on the numbers. Here is what I did. Bought a used Country Coach Affinity in 2009 when the coach was almost 7 years old. When we bought it I put about 30% down and financed it with a simple interest bank loan and no early payment penalties. The loan at that time was 7%. A year later I refinanced our house at 3.25% interest and paid off the 7% loan. I had/have the cash to pay off the loan, but my estimate of earnings from leaving my money invested was more than the 3.25%. And of course the 3.25% was interest I could deduct from our taxes. Things have gotten much worse since 2009 for investors who want bonds or other fixed income investments. Today you are lucky to get bonds of good quality that pay over 2% unless you pay a big premium. The only market paying much is equities. But of course equities can go down and so that comes into play. In my humble opinion, and this is a personal opinion, I am not a qualified investment person, today you would be better off to either 1. Pay cash. 2. Refinance your house or get a house credit line to pay for the motorhome. You should be able to get a house refinance for 4%. If it were me, I would pay cash.
  5. Front Or Mid-Entry

    Speck, When we were looking at motorhomes 6 1/2 years ago my wife and I both liked mid entry. We ended up with front entry. Basically we just bought the coach both of us loved, but I still see some benefits from mid entry. The main one being that you can go directly to the middle part of the coach where the kitchen usually is or to the bathroom and that way not track dirt and so on into the coach. The biggest downside we saw was that you give up some space and access to the basement storage. When we were looking at coaches (2009) ones we liked with mid entries were Bluebird SP36, Beaver Contessa, Alpine 40'. Many of our friends still have 34' 36' mid entry coaches that are gas and made by Fleetwood and National. But you said you wanted diesel. Good luck with your looking. BTW this is a good time of the year to look at used coaches in AZ. Lots of snowbirds headed home and people selling coaches to move into condos and so on in AZ. So lots of used coaches there in April. Also if you buy used from a private party in AZ there is no sales tax. Of course if you register in CO you will have to go by their rules.
  6. 2010 Tiffin Zephyr

    Zepher is a high end coach from a maker that is one of the biggest makers of motorhomes. I have watched this and other forums for years. Tiffin had a spike of issues back a couple of years ago, but that has died down. 2010 might be one of the first motors with the new smog control features. So you may have to add urea. If it were me doing the looking I would get the RVCG to send me their evaluation of this make, model, year, coach. I suppose if I were looking to change coaches this might be a model I would consider, but I am quite happy with what I have.
  7. Tire Search

    In my humble opinion Michelin has been and is now the benchmark standard for tires on motor homes, RVs, and cars. If Michelin tires are the same price I am always going to take them. That said, I think that there are a number of good makers of tires for our rigs. I have not purchased any Hankooks, but have had good luck with BF Goodrich, Firestone, Good Year, Michelin, and Dunlop tires for motor homes that I have owned. What I do pay attention to is when the tires are made - newer is better, and I also only buy tires made in the USA. They are better. And even if they are only as good I have helped keep people in this country working.
  8. RV.org JD Gallant RV Consumer Group

    I bought the "bible" from the RVCG group 3 years ago when I was looking for a motor home. I had belonged to the group for 6-7 years prior to that. I wrote to them a number of times by email and always had a prompt answer. I consider the information I got from them over the 7 years I belonged to the group the best information available and helped me tremendously when I was looking. I still have my 3 year old disks and have loaned them to two of my friends. The disks worked on both their computers. I suspect the issue is MAC compatibility. I still use Windows computers because a lot of software does not work on MACs, that I use. That does not excuse the fact they told you it would work. But I have to tell you I am irritated when I see the words "scam" written on this forum. The RVCG is not a scam. To say so is ill considered. RVers, especially members of the FMCA are supposed to be good natured and friendly. This is not the sort of language I expect to see on this forum unless true.
  9. Country Coach Must Be IT!

    I replied to the other similar topic. I wrote down why I think CC's are a great coach. You can read what I wrote at this link on our blog http://bbbrving.blogspot.com/2012/03/10-reasons-why-i-think-our-country.html
  10. We have a 2002 Country Coach Affinity. It is 42' with tag. 505 hp Cat. We bought it three years ago. I bought it after several years of study and would make the same choice if I had to do it again today. The original Country Coach founded by the Lee family of Junction City OR did sell to National RV in the early 2000's. National then sold to investors a few years later. For whatever reason they closed in 2010. The Lee family bought the Intellectual property at auction. They still owned the buildings CC's were built in and so began working on existing coaches in those facilities. The Lee Brother's went their separate ways and now there are two companies in the Eugene area of Oregon you can call for help or go to for work. I have personally been to the Country Coach Inc facility and had work done. I ordered a part from them in the last couple of weeks. They have said they are going to begin building coaches again. Whatever happens I think Country Coaches are a very well engineered product. High quality components are used. And I have had very good luck with service. We like our Affinity. It is like a Ritz Carlton suite rolling down the road. However, IMHO all CC's are great coaches. If it were not for the difficulties they have had you would pay a lot more for the used ones. We have close friends that have a Foretravel. Of the coaches I have seen I think only Foretravel is in the same class as Country Coach. I am talking about production coaches here not limited build coaches like Newell, Liberty, and so on. Monaco coaches are very similar to Country Coaches. Not surprising since they were built down the street from CC. From the information I have seen CC has a better repair record than Monaco.
  11. Everything else being equal a longer wheelbase vehicle of any type, car, truck, motor home will handle more "easily" on a freeway. What I mean by "easily" is that hour after hour of driving will tend to be less work on the longer wheelbase chassis. Of course there are variations depending on how a coach is engineered. The bottom line is how it feels to you when you are driving. If you like the handling and are happy, then your set. When I was shopping 2 1/2 years ago I found 40-42' coaches to be a "sweat spot" and drove several that handled well. I would recommend you go for the longer coach.
  12. Looking For A Newer Rig

    The Safari Simba is made by the same folks, now, that also own your HR brand. A whole bunch were sold early on and then the brand bought Beaver, and subsequently Monaco bought them, Monaco reorganized, and so on. When I was really active looking at coaches about 2 1/2 years ago Safari Simabas were maybe a notch below your current Holiday Rambler. As I remember some models had good chassis length and weight capacity and some did not. If it were me I would check with the RVCG to easily get a rating on the one you are interested in. And I guess if it were me I would stick with HR. We have several friends with HR's and they are quite good coaches. Some very close RV friends of ours just bought a Monaco Kinght 2005 40'. This is a close relative of HR and Safari. They bought an extremely nice rig at a good price. And that is my 2 cents worth.
  13. Which Repair Insurance?

    We have XtraRide extended warranty. We have been very happy with them.
  14. Owning A Motorhome: Depreciation vs. Appreciation

    I RV because it is in my blood. I have wanted to own and travel in motor homes since I was a young adult. I have owned two motor homes so far. One was cheap and lots of fun. Our 1975 GMC. And our current one is expensive and lots of fun. My point here is that for me RVing in a motor home is fun if I spent a little or a lot. My only regret is that I did not keep the GMC I had fixed up. I sold it about three years ago and sorely would like it back. So then I would have two.
  15. Owning A Motorhome: Depreciation vs. Appreciation

    I personally, and my family in general seem bitten by the travel bug. RVing is one type of travel. By the time I had taken my first long motor home trip in 1980 I had already spent 18 months living in Australia. My first motor home trip in 1980 was for 5,000 miles. A very good maiden voyage. And we have made many many motor home trips over the years in some rented and some purchased motor homes. The RV trip were intermingled with over 3,000,000 miles of business air travel. When I go back over the last 32 years and think of the highlights of my life a number of them have been enjoyed making RV trips. Many of the best vacations included other family. Either visiting family or meeting up somewhere at a campground. But a number of the vacation highlights included other types of travel besides RVing. Some places it is just more appropriate to fly, rent car, hotel than motor home. Or even drive car, hotel trips. For example. The first time my wife and I went to Glacier National Park we flew, went on Red Bus Tour, and stayed in antique hotels in park. Without a doubt this is one of our travel highlights of the last 20 years. We have been back to the area by RV since. But one does not replace the other. And of course there is travel to way far away places like Europe and Australia. Better to make these trips by air. The other pleasure involved in motor homing is the "machine" aspect of it. I like machines / vehicles. I enjoy tinkering with the motor home and figuring out it's illnesses and resolving them or living with them. I owned a GMC before my Country Coach. I worked on and fixed it up for four years. Much of the pleasure I got out of it was the fixing and getter the old thing to work. Now I greatly wish I had kept her. I spent $35,000 on the GMC and fixing it up. I only sold it for $17,000. I should have kept it. Our Country Coach was a rich man's play toy when I bought her 2 1/2 years ago. After all that time and much money she now operates pretty well. She is a complex beast and there are always fiddles to keep everything running right. But with this coach the basics were so well done that I feel like I am buffing a gem when dealing with the problems on our motor home as opposed to duct tapping design flaw chronic errors from the maker. We bought our current coach from a rich guy who got burned in the bust. He paid over half a million. We paid him $135,000 for the coach when she was about 7 years old. We got a bargain. But we have had to through about 20 grand at her plus the extended warranty people another 20. Now she operates like a well oiled machine. As long as I can afford her she is priceless to me. The fact that any time my wife and I want to we can jump into her and take off for an extended time and have every thing you need. It is much much harder to do that on a fly, hotel, rental car type trip. Nuff said. I am writing this from our RV comfortabley sitting in bed sipping morning coffee. Ahhhhh life is good.