STUDEBRUCER

About To Be A Full Timer

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My wife and I are about to slide into retirement.

Several years ago we got the RV bug, while traveling with a friend. We have never owned an RV before. We are going to buy used, and work out of pocket, so the budget dictates the year we buy.

We are going diesel pusher. I have narrowed down my brands in the following order. Newmar, Tiffin, Winnebago, and Fleetwood.

Would appreciate any pluses or minuses you might know about these manufactures. I have found doing research, that to buy a Tiffin or a Newmar, we will have to buy a coach that is 1 to 2 years older than other brands.

Do you believe that the value of the Tiffin or Newmar, are worth the age trade off? If we buy a Newmar,in our budget, it will most likely have only 2 slides. Do you believe there is a noticeable, difference with 3 or 4 slides veruses 2?  

We are planning to attend the Perry Georgia event, and thought we would wait until after the event to purchase. We are thinking we might get to meet folks who would be able to offer advice about these questions, and possibly there might be some people selling their RVs there?

Lots of questions, greatly appreciate any advice.

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You say you've never owned an RV, have you ever camped in any kind of RV or done any camping?  My suggestion would be to rent a motorhome for a week and see it its something you can live in for a period of time. 

There is a reason Newmar and Tiffins are more expensive, you get what you pay for whether it be quality in the product or customer service.

Floor plan is the key to living happiness.

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FIVE   

I would not rank manufacturers.  All of them have lower priced DPs and higher priced DPs.  All have their share of issues, there is no perfect manufacturer.  Go out and look and see what's out there.  It's easy to do research on line.  When you see one you like, bing it and you'll instantly have many to look at.  That way you can see what everybody has to offer, check them out on line, then go look at them.

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manholt   

Studebrucer.  Welcome to the Forum!

Depending upon how mechanical handy you are, a DP may not be the best fit.  They will outlast a gas coach in most circumstances, but they cost more to buy and maintain.  If your on a tight budget and you can't do most of the maintenance, like changing oil, filters, air dryers, hydraulic fluids, batteries etc.  It's going to run you about a thousand + a year.  Tires are bigger, therefore more expensive, Diesel cost as much or more than regular unleaded and miles per gallon is a lot less with a 36 foot DP vs a 36 foot gasser.  DP's need to be driven more than gas.  A DP older than 15 years is, or can, cost a bunch after you buy it...it depends on how the owner/owners before you drove it and maintained it...Low mileage on a DP is not what you want to see! 

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TBUTLER   

We started with a 1994 Monaco Dynasty, no slides.  Our next and present coach is a Monaco Windsor, 2004, with two slides.  Two slides are better than none!  If you really want to stretch out or you like to dance, four slides are nice.  With four slides you will find yourself working under the slides to get into the storage compartments.  I have a few bruises and cuts from two slides.  I arrange my materials as much as possible to be on the slide-free side.  We're not strangers to older RV parks and have camped in Canada and Alaska extensively.  There are times when two slides limit where we can park, the problem will be greater with four slides.  Our slides have presented few problems in terms of operation.  That isn't true for all coaches.  When you find a coach you like, do some searching for comments from owners of that brand and model.  I believe some slide mechanisms are more likely to cause problems.  Nothing will stop you faster than a slide that won't retract.  It usually happens somewhere other than at home.

Both our coaches have been diesel.  I wouldn't shy from them.  I had never owned a diesel nor do I do my own maintenance.  We usually put 12,000 miles plus on the coach during a summer of travel.  Our current coach has 167,000 miles, all but the delivery mileage are ours.  Yes, maintenance will cost you some $$ but I know that we have a nice ride and we aren't shouting at each other over the engine noise that a gas coach can produce in the cockpit.  Going on 14 years old, we are replacing interior flooring, a few appliances, lighting, water heater, etc.  The air conditioners are original and still working.  Over the years we've had several visits to paint shops for touch ups and accident related repainting. 

RV'ing is not the cheapest way to travel but if you like the lifestyle, there is no better way to travel.  For us it's been worth every penny.

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lmsooter   

Welcome to the forum!

when we decided to full time in 2011, we had a 33 foot gas coach we loved.  But we did not like the amount of storage we had for full time so we started looking.  We developed a list of "must have" and "nice to have" requirements.  Then we spent a year looking at RV shows as well as dealer lots.  We looked at all the brands you mention as well as Thor,  Monaco, Forest River and Foretravel.  We kept coming back to our Alfa because of the large windows and high ceilings.  But that also makes it harder to cool and heat.  We have never regretted our choice.

just find a floor plan you really like and try get as many of your "must haves" as possible.  We have many friends with the coaches you mention and they love them.  Find what you like and go for it.

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Thank you all for your responses. We have not camped much, and I do not believe life in a class A diesel, is camping. We thought about renting, but it is expensive. We are so enamored with the idea of traveling the country, and have spoken extensively with friends who own coaches, we are ready to take the leap.  I am a car guy, I have modified and built many cars over the years. I think I will be able to handle some maintenance, and some , i may just pay others to do. Hopefully I will be able to handle the pesky issues on the road, that might keep us from moving on.

One thing that has not been addressed is the gathering in Perry , in March. Do you think there will be used coaches offered there?  I have heard so much about, how wonderfully and open this RV community is. We will not be there with a coach, but are hoping people will share their recommendations and experiences with us.

One more question, Thoughts on buying from a dealer versus private owner

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Studebrucer,

I understand your concern of the cost of renting an motor home. It is costly, however the cost is low if you don't like Rving. If you do enjoy ut you can make your list of wants and likes. 

Renting and enjoying your self is a lot less than purchasing a motor home and finding out it just isn't for you.

Good and I hope you find what you want.

As far as used coaches go in Perry I will check and let you know.

Herman 

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manholt   

Yea.  Better chance at Summer Rally (Gillette, WY) than Winter (Perry, GA), but you never know and we will have some Seminars in Perry that will give you more in-depth information, than we can do on Forum!

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Studebrucer,

I understand your concern of the cost of renting an motor home. It is costly, however the cost is low if you don't like Rving. If you do enjoy ut you can make your list of wants and likes. 

Renting and enjoying your self is a lot less than purchasing a motor home and finding out it just isn't for you.

Good and I hope you find what you want. 

Herman 

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TBUTLER   

If you are buying a used coach, you are buying it as is, no guarantee of quality or condition.  You are the inspector.  With that caveat, it doesn't make much difference whether you purchase from a dealer or individual.  A dealer may give you a break for a short period of time but that won't last.  Having a dealer does give you someone to go to for repair work.  However, we've had very good luck taking our coach to dealers all over the country.  Some are more helpful than others but we've been refused by very few.  More often, we encounter scheduling problems.  Still, when we really need service, we've been able to get it on short notice. 

Buying from an individual, you get what you drive away with from the sale.  You can eliminate the middle man.  On the other hand you may be dealing with someone who has an exaggerated expectation of the worth of their coach.  Do a lot of comparison pricing to see what coaches of similar age and mileage are selling for. 

In both cases, you will want to give the coach a good personal inspection before completing the deal.  The best time to get repairs made is before the sale.  As an alternative to having repairs done by the owner or dealer, you could negotiate on the price to compensate for needed repairs or damage.  With limited experience with motor homes, you might want to enlist the support of a friend who is familiar with motor homes to help with the pre-purchase inspection.  Another way to go is to hire an RV tech to do the inspection for you.  They could give you a list of things they see as problems with a coach.  By the way, anyone purchasing a new coach is also advised to do this very same thing.

Regarding camping in a diesel motor home, I'll stick by the term.  We stay at RV Parks and in campgrounds.  I've done car camping, river float trip camping, backpacking and youth camping.  To be sure, camping in a motor home is not like being in a tent.  And we do have many of the comforts of home.  When we were parked next to the Matanuska Glacier in Alaska, it sure felt like camping.  Louise says that spending the night at Holiday Inn is roughing it.  I know she thinks of this as camping.  :P 

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A friend and I spent two months trying to talk a mutual friend out of buying a motorhome, but nooooo. He bought a really nice used one and my friend and I went over it with him. It really was a nice pusher. They went on two camping trips and both he and his wife decided it wasn't for them. He got close to what he paid for it but lost the 6.25 sales tax plus it took him almost 4 months to sell it. 

Renting is expensive but losing $5 - 6000 will do a lot of renting.

 

 

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manholt   

Thank you, for staying in touch !  :)

If you come across a coach that you and your wife (especially wife) want, then please list the make, year, model and VIN#.  We have members that can do a background check on any problems, like a accident in the past or engine problems, and give you a feed back.

Good hunting!

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ISPJS   
On ‎9‎/‎21‎/‎2017 at 7:37 AM, studebrucer said:

My wife and I are about to slide into retirement.

Several years ago we got the RV bug, while traveling with a friend. We have never owned an RV before. We are going to buy used, and work out of pocket, so the budget dictates the year we buy.

We are going diesel pusher. I have narrowed down my brands in the following order. Newmar, Tiffin, Winnebago, and Fleetwood.

Would appreciate any pluses or minuses you might know about these manufactures. I have found doing research, that to buy a Tiffin or a Newmar, we will have to buy a coach that is 1 to 2 years older than other brands.

Do you believe that the value of the Tiffin or Newmar, are worth the age trade off? If we buy a Newmar,in our budget, it will most likely have only 2 slides. Do you believe there is a noticeable, difference with 3 or 4 slides veruses 2?  

We are planning to attend the Perry Georgia event, and thought we would wait until after the event to purchase. We are thinking we might get to meet folks who would be able to offer advice about these questions, and possibly there might be some people selling their RVs there?

Lots of questions, greatly appreciate any advice.

We are at about the same point as you folks in our search for a DP.  We did about 3 years full time in a larger fiver and F350 diesel but then went back to having a home and part time travel in a gas coach (38' Thor Challenger).  IMHO if you are full time traveling you want a diesel.  We researched and looked at several brands but have pretty much narrowed our search down to a used Newmar or Tiffin also.   I changed fuel filters in my F350 and I currently do oil changes on my V-10.  I'm not a mechanic but I can do a little general maintenance and am not worried about excessive maintenance costs.   We are extremely excited to be returning to full time RV traveling.

Keep us posted on how your search progresses!

 

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Forgive me, not yet familiar with all the nomenclature. What is a "Fiver" "IMHO" Very much appreciate your input. I found out this weekend, we will not be full timers. We will be on the road 3 to 4 months at a time, followed by a few weeks to a month off the road, and then back on again.

To me, I think the needs will be the same as full time?

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TBUTLER   

I don't know exactly what your off the road demands are.  We always traveled to visit our children when we were full time.  That is still what we do in the summers.  Right now we are with our youngest and her family, two granddaughters and a husband/hunter/fisherman.  So we are parked for a month and then will be back on the road again.  Even if you're off road time is back in your home area, you could do that in the motor home.  When you go full time and give up the fixed home, you simplify your life considerably.  Trying to manage a motor home and keep up with a fixed house doubles your work and some of your expenses.  It requires constant adjustment, moving from the motor home to the fixed house and back.  You will make the decision that fits you best but I can tell you that even if you have to return home periodically, you will experience an amazing freedom having only a mobile lifestyle.

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manholt   

Thank you Tom.  You shed some much needed light on my own situation!  I spend most of my time in the Coach or outside the US, Linda also has a large DP and travel with me !  She has 2 ranches that we both love and I have the large (3,700+ sq. foot) house on Galveston, Island.  Plus a ranch of my own!  The Island house is For Sale, but that still leaves a lot of land and homes in Texas, from Three Rivers to Gilmer!

We have been talking of me selling my ranch and her giving the main residence to her son as a life residence, then it would go to her 3 Grandkids.  That would still leave the Barnominium as a home base!  I have no children.

My cousin say's you can't have to much land...true, but he does not travel by motorhome! :rolleyes: Linda and I love the RV life style...I'm over 50 years, she 34 years off Class A ownership and we are currently looking to getting 2 new ones.  She wants a 43', current 40' and I want a 40', current 45'....NO, I don't want a 2006 Phaeton!  I do think that, like you, if we get everything down to "One Tipi", it will be a lot less stress and a whole lot less expensive!

Is our thinking correct ?

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ISPJS   
21 hours ago, studebrucer said:

Forgive me, not yet familiar with all the nomenclature. What is a "Fiver" "IMHO" Very much appreciate your input. I found out this weekend, we will not be full timers. We will be on the road 3 to 4 months at a time, followed by a few weeks to a month off the road, and then back on again.

To me, I think the needs will be the same as full time?

Looks like Manholt already provided the definitions for you.  As far as considering yourself true "full timers" or "long timers" is doesn't really matter.  Some folks don't have a house (sticksnbricks) and travel full time in their RV.  Generally speaking they are true full timers.  Then there are folks that don't have a house but live in an RV up north for 6 months and move it to a warmer climate for 6 months, with no travel in between, they also will claim they are full timers.   I don't really care what I am considered or called.  We are selling the house and will travel anywhere from 8,000 to 18,000 miles a year depending on where we want to go and how long we want to stay there.   We will probably sit in one location during the winter in Florida for maybe 4 months.  

No matter if you return once and awhile to your home, if you are traveling and pulling a lot of weight IMHO a DP would be the only way for you to go. 

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We are selling our house, but we have an investment property in State College , PA, home of Penn State. I have owned it so long, it is completely depreciated from a tax stand point. That address needs to be our permanent address for 2 years and one day, to satisfy the IRS. Our goal is to spend as little time there as possible during this period. State College is beautiful in the summer, and we think we may summer there. Then based on our experience rv-ing, we will either go full time, or buy a place and use the coach whenever we desire. My wife is a Gardner, that will be her struggle.I am a Car guy with a few builds left in me, and that will be my struggle. What  won't be a struggle , will be traveling these United States, meeting folks such as yourself. That prospect is terribly exciting to us  

We have heard the common story of people starting with a smaller RV and trading up, or realizing they missed a requirement and trading. Our goal is to be one and done. Lot's and Lot's of questions.Our Goal is to own our coach by the end of March. It will be hard for me to wait that long. Will you be at Perry?

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ISPJS   

We won't make it to Perry.  Got a lot going on right now with the house just hitting the market.  Just got lucky today and got a super site in a local campground for the winter months, they had an early cancellation already.  

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TBUTLER   
On 9/26/2017 at 2:09 AM, manholt said:

Thank you Tom.  ...  I do think that, like you, if we get everything down to "One Tipi", it will be a lot less stress and a whole lot less expensive!

Is our thinking correct ?

I would definitely say yes but everyone is different.  Some people simply have to have a house and can never get past that.  I moved a dozen times in the military and later.  I even designed and built our home at one time, thinking we'd stay there forever -- not!  Louise had moved many times as a youngster including some time living in their car.  When I married her she had been in her house for 22 years.  She had a different perspective on leaving the house but she bit the bullet and learned to love full timing.  Ultimately she said she needed a home and I had to respect that.  So now we have our mobile home (right sized for retirees, not a 10 room palace for two).  She is always happy to hit the road in the spring and happy to get back into the house in the fall.  I know the time is coming when I'll have to give up the motor home but until then, I'm enjoying all it's advantages.  Change is inevitable.  My answer is, "Do whatever is right for you at this time".

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