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Potential FMCA Member -- I Don't Have A Coach Yet!

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I think my wife and I are going to jump into the motor coach ownership. We are looking at a 2006 Tiffin Phaeton at our local dealership. I have been looking and thinking about this for a couple of months now. I tried to talk myself out of it, but find it to be very interesting and exciting to think of traveling in a class a coach. We have never been camping but like the idea of traveling for the weekends now while I'm still working. I plan to retire in the next 2 years. We have owned boats and a condo at the jersey shore, but this will be our first coach experience. Should we make this move? Is it a much fun as I think it is? I Iove the looks of the nice RV parks on the East Coast. Is there anything i should consider to add to my coach or plans? Thanks for your help.

Joe and Pat

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Welcome to the FMCA Forum.

While I am sure most everyone here will laud the RV lifestyle that we enjoy so much, there is one minor "timing" issue.

To be an FMCA member, one must already own a motorhome.

You are certainly welcome to explore the lifestyle here on the forum before you buy and look forward to your becoming an FMCA member once you have a motorhome.

Hope to meet you on the road/CG one day.

Brett

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Guest BillAdams

Only you can answer the "should we make the move" question. However, I would say ABSOLUTELY! I bought a coach in 1995 brand new and used it for weekend trips and then some 1-3 week trips and now I have another coach in which I live full time. It's a great life and you have picked an excellent manufacturer's coach. Tiffin has an excellent reputation for supporting their coach and their customers. If it has not been done already, your 2006 coach would likely have had the older analog TV's so these would need (need?) to be updated to digital/HD.

You will find that some things the factory liked and some things the former owner liked don't work for you. Be it decor or hardware, these things can be replaced, recovered or redone. The "skeleton" should be good and you should have an excellent experience.

In a coach like that you really won't be "camping" but rather RVing. You have all of the excellence of camping with the added convenience and luxury not available without this type of transportation to get you there. The "nicer" the RV park the less likely that the experience will be camping like. We like to really get away from those parks so we can be by the beach or where we can light a fire or where the desert meets the mountains. That's when you know you are having fun!

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Guest BillAdams

Brett,

Is that true? Does anyone see any supidity in that rule? FMCA is in financial trouble and they won't let anyone join if they don't own a coach today? What if I have a trailer and I am thinking of moving up? I can't give FMCA any money until I actually sign the papers?

If true, I might better understand why FMCA is having issues.

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Welcome to the FMCA Forum.

While I am sure most everyone here will laud the RV lifestyle that we enjoy so much, there is one minor "timing" issue.

To be an FMCA member, one must already own a motorhome.

You are certainly welcome to explore the lifestyle here on the forum before you buy and look forward to your becoming an FMCA member once you have a motorhome.

Hope to meet you on the road/CG one day.

Brett

Sorry for the bad info on the membership..if its possible to edit the title I will.

Thanks for your help.

Joe

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Joe,

I edited your title-- if you want it changed from what it is, just send me a PM (Private Message).

Bill, et al;

From FMCA Membership Application:

Membership is

conditional on ownership

of a Type/Class A, B, or

C motorhome, or a bus

conversion, that contains

all of the conveniences of

home (including cooking,

sleeping, and permanent

sanitary facilities).

Do I agree with this policy? No. But not sure this is the place to address the merits of modifying the FMCA By Laws to allow those with "AN INTEREST IN...." to become members.

But, that might be a reasonable topic for another discussion.

Brett Wolfe

Moderator

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I think my wife and I are going to jump into the motor coach ownership. We are looking at a 2006 Tiffin Phaeton at our local dealership. I have been looking and thinking about this for a couple of months now. I tried to talk myself out of it, but fine it to be very interesting and exciting to think of traveling in a class a coach.

jsplia,

Here is the advice I give to any one that has never had a RV. Rent one. Yes it is costly to rent one ofr a short trip. However if you like it, now you can decide what you want in your own coach. However if it turns out you do not like it, then it is a lot less costly then buying one. Buying a Motor Home is like signing up for military service. Once you sign there is no turning back.

Hope you and yours find that you do enjoy the lifestyle, join FMCA and seek out a chapter that you like.

Good Luck

Herman

( the comments made here are solely Herman's and not those of the Forum.) :lol: :lol:

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Interesting, You know that it might be a good issue to be brought up on the floor in August.

One would think with just a little planing we could call prospective owners. Friends of FMCA.

Thanks for shining some light on the question.

Rich.

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Guest BillAdams

I guess I would have to ask the question.......What difference does it make whether I own one, want to own one, am a 20 year old who may own one someday, a little old guy who used to own one for a visitor from the planet Mars?

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Guest BillAdams

I see things differently. If you see stupid rules, vote out the rule makers!

As a point of clarification, I see almost all things differently. My opinion should be considered mine and mine alone and may or may not have any value to anyone anywhere!

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I would not go without a Turbo Flush, for Black and Grey tanks cleanings; Lastly, some sort of surge protector, in todays time that is an essential if not already a permanet inline attached... Jr

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We went from renting, to buying and doing 2 week vacations, to 2 month vacations and so on. We are now full timers and loving it. Our newest coach is a Newmar Dutch Star, but it was a tough choice between the Phaeton and this coach. Tiffin puts out a great product. RVing is a wonderful life style, although it is not a good fit for everyone. There is always a new adventure waiting around the corner, literally. We couldn't want to meet nicer people on the road and FMCA is a must.

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My wife and I had never camped or RV'd. I plan on retiring in a few years. With the used RV market the way it was, we purchased an older motorhome with only 8,000 miles for under 25K. Our philosophy was if we don't like it we're not out much. Because of my work schedule (shift work) and many many overtime hours we use the MH maybe once a month when we go to campouts with our local RV club. We absolutely love it. We plan on upgrading to a newer coach upon retirement.

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Herman's advice is spot on! ( and I love the analogy to the military! :) ) Renting will tell you if you really do enjoy the lifestyle. Of course everyone here will say got for it... WE DID and love it. But like all things it's not a one size fits all. I hope you find your answer and do truely enjoy the lifestyle. I have a Tiffin Open Road that I bought new in 2008 and love it. Lots of good used rigs out there epecially some from people who bought and then found out that they really don't like it or health issues forces a sale. Best wishes with your search. If you do decide on a Tiffin i would suggest joining the Tiffinrvnetwork. A group of tiffin owners that help each other out. I learned alot there about my unit.

Dan

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Thanks to everyone for all the replies on my post. Just thought I would update..we haven't purchased the coach as of yet. The Phaeton will be on the dealer site this week. We are going to look at it in person then. I have been doing my home work to answer some of my own questions. The one thing that keeps coming up is the size of it. Not sure I need a 40' motor home. I really like the 33' to 38' size category, mainly because of fuel consumption reasons. But I don't know if that would make much of a difference. Since the next couple of years I plan on taking short trips on weekends (local - 50 to 100 miles) and a couple longer trips a year ( 500 to 600 miles), the one thing I have found is the 33' to 38' range units (diesel pushers) I like are new.. price range between $130,000 and $150,000. This would cost to much for me. There are some great used units out there but most seem to be in the 40' plus range. Are owners moving down in size because of fuel cost? And, will I be wishing I bought a bigger coach once i have the smaller one? I have owned 5 boats up and down the size chart and half the fun was getting more space and the other half was the smaller boats were easier to take care of and cost less. Either way, this has been fun so far. I will update after I see this Phaeton.

Thanks for your time and help,

Joe

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I totally agree on renting one first. After years in the Boy Scouts and sleeping in tents......

We rented a 38 footer this past spring and traveled to Ohio Amish country and Gettysburg. We went for an entire week to see if we liked this upgraded "tent", and being that close together.

We loved it and started an earnest search for our future MH. Last month we purchased our 36.5 foot, 2006, Winnebago, Itasca Ellipse. As I write, we are on our first trip and loving it.

Yes, it was expensive to rent for a week, but a whole lot less than purchasing and then finding out you dislike the experience.

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For anyone who is not a motorhome owner, you should consider Associate membership. I'm Ralph Baker A1519, member of FMCA and the Northeast Chapter from 1972 through 1979, never had a motorhome due to economics always being too tight, finally retired from worklife and yesterday just returned to the FMCA. Now I'm hoping to find whoever of my FMCA acquaintances are still in the FMCA locally or around the country.

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I did things a little differently rather than renting one. We bought an older coach to determine how we'd enjoy it (we had previously owned a travel trailer and new we didn't want to go that route again).

It was one without slides and after the first outing, we knew we'd be looking to upgrade to a roomier coach. We did enjoy the lifestyle. We were able to sell the existing coach for about what we had paid for it and bought a super C coach. Loved it except for the cab noise while driving (front end diesel).

Well........shortly after that, we found a coach we liked (floorplan) and traded the 08 Seneca in for our current coach (40 foot Country Coach Inspire). In just over a year, we had purchased 3 motorhomes.

The other day, we were at an RV show and really liked the 2016 Newmar Ventana 40 foot. Test drove it, even though we knew we were not in the market (the salesman kept pushing to test drive, so why not...).

Long story short, we did not purchase another RV ... LOL.

We know another is in our future at some point, but not likely anytime soon unless the lottery decides to rule in our favor. We like our Country Coach and are not "real" serious about a new one. Crazy way to get into the lifestyle, but it worked for us. In retrospect, it would have been nice to follow the old adage of "buy your last coach first"....

Welcome to the forum and, by all means, when you do get your motorhome, join FMCA --- it's well worth the price!

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Here is the advice I give to any one that has never had a RV. Rent one. Yes it is costly to rent one ofr a short trip. However if you like it, now you can decide what you want in your own coach. However if it turns out you do not like it, then it is a lot less costly then buying one. Buying a Motor Home is like signing up for military service. Once you sign there is no turning back.

We agree with Herman. Our past infrequent use just didn't justify ownership but demonstrated what we liked and didn't like about the various units we rented. When the time came to buy we were certain about the features and equipment were important to us.

I believe you said that you've owned a boat in the past. So have I. There's a lot in common with a MH. Maintenance needs and costs as well as that of storage are a reality of ownership and need to be a serious consideration IMHO.

My advice is take your time, do your homework, rent first if you can, and find owners of the same coach you're focused on and ask them lots and lots of questions about their experience. Good Luck!

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Hi Ralph, welcome (back) to the FMCA. Although I don't think we ever met, we're from the same Era of the club. My parents were members from 1968 until my dad passed two years ago. I've been a member off and on since 1997.

If you ever want to talk about FMCA of the 1970s drop me a personal message.

Chris guenther

F3508s

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If you have owned a boat and loved it, you are in the same boat now, it really isn't that much different. One works in water, the other works on land. The same thing you said about boats, small is easier to care for, large is nicer to live in, applies to motor homes. The old saying, a boat is a hole in the water that you pour money into also applies to motor homes, call them a land yacht on the road! Pilots say that there is lots of money in aviation, they know because they put it there. The truth is that any complex vehicle, boat, motor home or airplane has a high cost of operation and maintenance. Owning a motor home is a pleasure but it never stops taking your money!

We've had two motor homes in 15 years, full timed for 10 years and that was, without a doubt, the best of all times. We bought our first, a 38 foot 1994 Dynasty, in 2001. We full timed in it for 3 years and then bought our present coach as a brand new coach. We parked her at our winter home this season with 150,000 miles on the odometer. We bought it November 2003 so it is 12 years old this year. I like having tried things out with a used coach (minimum investment while learning) and then moving to a new coach for the long run if the lifestyle suits. Find a good used coach and give it a whirl. Do your best to ensure it is in good condition. You don't want to end up with something that is in the shop just when you want to take it on a special trip.

For my money there is just no better way to travel on land. When it is your home you can travel with "no worries." Wherever you are is home and you deal with the rest from there. Your choices are... Do I like it here? [stay] Do I think the grass is greener over there? [go]. If it is too hot, go north. If it is too cool, go south. Sea and mountains are also alternatives for adjusting climate to suit. Wherever you go you will find as many friends as you want. It is called the Family Motor Coach Association for a reason.

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