We would go to the shows when looking. As stated, a great place to see a lot of rigs and compare them and floor plans.
However, you can also get as good, if not better deals away from the show.
Too much high pressure "show price only and incentives" to get your name on the dotted line!
You will always find at least as good a deal, if not better away from a show.
You are in the same position that we were in 2003-4 when we decided to sell our beloved sailboat and jump into a RV to fulltime. We traveled fulltime for close to 6 years. Here is my advice that seemed to have worked well for us - a lot of it came from these forums!
1. Kick LOTS of tires and don't rush or get stampeded into a "deal of a lifetime"! Go through MANY different makes, sizes and types of rigs. I spent 6-9 months very actively driving the I-5 corridor out here from Bellingham to Eugene Oregon looking at units, both dealers and private sellers. I would make that trip about every 4-6 weeks. I got to know the dealers inventory better than their salespeople and that proved valuable when they attempted to show me the "newest & best" rig to come in for a "long time"! Don't feel afraid to spend a long time in each unit, sitting in the chairs, sofas and even laying on the bed. Remember, you will need to be comfortable.
2. I know that salespeople are only attempting to make a living, but they will say anything to sell you a rig! Some people will say that as soon as they open their mouth, they are lying! Most of the time I call it "creative bs"! Many/most of them have no idea what you need for full timing.
3. You will need a lot of carrying capacity - weight of the "stuff" you load on after fuel, water and you. The more the better. One of the most common comments from sales people on this is "oh, this will carry everything you need"! See #2 comment!
4. Remember, there are more sellers than buyers out there. It is still a buyers market.
5. Ask LOTS of questions, both here and with the sales people. Your bs detector will soon kick in when you hear them flying by the seat of their pants to answer your questions!
6. Oh, did I mention to take your time and kick a lot of tires?!?
For your price range you should be able to find a very clean, low mileage unit in the 2005-2008 or 9 range, and maybe even newer.
I would try and stay with one of the main manufacturers that survived the downturn - Winnebago, Tiffin or Newell.
BTW - we ended finding a very clean Winnebago 33' from a private party in Eugene OR that has served us very well.
Also - Saturns are very popular to tow, even though they are no longer made.
Good luck and keep us posted!
Some great suggestions already given. I would say that it really depends upon the type of destinations and areas you like to stay at. Sounds like you want water access.
If you want to spend time in national parks, many of them are a long distance from car rental areas. I only throw that in because we use NP campgrounds whenever we can. Not sure how close a car rental agency is to Yellowstone, Bryce Canyon, etc.!! :B
The one suggestion I would make is to fire up the generator and the roof AC's BEFORE the coach starts to really heat up. It always seems easier to keep it cooler that way than to wait for it to heat up too much.
It also depends upon how hot it is outside. If your in the desert in the middle of the summer, start with everything on. Remember, your AC will only cool your coach down to about 20 degrees or so cooler than it is outside.
When heading north last month, we lost one of the chrome wheel covers off of our Winnibago Class A front wheel. It's a Workhorse chassis with 19.5" wheels. Is there a source for just 1 wheel or just the covers for the front wheels? Or do I have to buy all 4? Any suggestions for sources appreciated.
Agree with the OP. My better half has always said that Class A kitchen areas are designed by men!! We have seen many Class A's with very little counter space and only one or two small drawers with no room for pots or pans. When we were looking, we had more than one salesperson say that most/many people with Class A's did very little cooking onboard!
We do have a Class A - 33' - with fair to adequate counter space and kitchen storage drawers. We cook in 90+% of the time, however, we also bbq outside a lot of the time. We traveled fulltime for 5 years and the cooking/counter layout was important to us.
I need some advice about Grayland SP! Looking at making reservations there on our way south in Sept. Is left and right beach the closest to the beach? Any suggestions?
Like the choice of next years rally and may be able to actually make it on our way north. At least its on the sunny side of the mountains!! :B Have the dates marked down but will sit tight until after the first of the year to make a reservation.
Bob - how is the rehabilitation going? Carolyn reminds you to be sure to do everything your PT tells you too!!:B
Here's my 2 cents worth - remember, you get what you pay for!!:B
We bought our first and so far only RV from a private party. We took close to 9 months of chasing down a unit that had the layout that we wanted and the price range we were willing to stay in. This was after we had spent about 2 years kicking the idea around and casually looking at various rigs.
First - kick LOTS of tires. Go through every kind of the type/class of RV that you are considering, both on sales lots and private sellers. There are always more sellers than buyers out there.
Second - post your questions here, but always remember what your paying for the advice!!:B Seriously though, you will get good information from here.
Third - keep your BS detector turned on around salespeople. Some/most are lying when they open their mouth, or at least making it up on the fly!
Figure out what features are important to you and keep looking. Take your time and don't let a salesperson stampede you into any "once in a lifetime - lowest price possible today only - another buyer is coming in an hour to look at it" bs!!
Yes, the unit itself has to be below head level. In the instruction book for my CPAP unit, it also warns against using an extension cord. Will go back and review that condition as well. Taking it in today to my sleep specialist, so will try to remember to ask about that as well!
I will take a closer look for outlets the next time we look at one.
Thanks for the comments. Finding them informative. We have seen the 24J and feel that the floor plan would be adequate with our 2 terriers. However, I am on a CPAP machine and there is no place for it with that corner bed configuration and no plug-in back there for it. We did see how someone had addressed the plug-in problem in a used one that we looked at, but the placement is still a problem. It has to be lower than my head.
The Via is also very intriguing to us and would like to several more of those.
We saw a very clean 2010 Via but it has 100k miles on it! I know, I know, its a diesel!! I'm assuming that is about 1/5 or less of its life expectancy?!?
Well, we got back to Federal Way in time for me to go out shrimping with my son-in-law last Sat. Great day back out on the water, sunny and we limited out with 6 pot sets.
Bob - I haven't seen an update on your medical condition! How are the shoulders? Are both of your arms strapped down and Sue has to feed you? :B:B That could lead to other problems concerning your upkeep as well! :B Maybe she can now slap some sense into you!! :B
We are busy getting the house and yard ready for Carolyn's big Medicare BD party next Sunday. It will still take a lot of work getting it back to where she wants it after having it leased out for 7 years, but will keep plugging away on that.
Hope the weather is good for all of you at the rally.
We are downsizing from a 38 Monaco to a Via 25R, we pick up the coach at Lichstinn in Iowa next month, stickered at 139 paying 104 and having HWH put the jacks on on the way home. Have driven a bunch of coaches in selecting this one and it will be our 4th diesel MH. Definitely not underpowered looking forward to packing the new coach.
Can not say enough about Lichstinn, Jason did great job of getting just what we wanted and Hannah the finance manager found incredible loan rates and insurance too
Hope you are still monitoring this thread. We just looked at a 2010 Via today and have some of the same questions that previous poster had.
How is your MPG so far? No issues yet of being underpowered? Do you tow and if so, what? Any problems with carrying capacity?
We are looking at downsizing from our 33' that we full timed in for 5 years. Now have a winter base in AZ and thinking of something smaller for the shoulder seasons.
Thanks for any comments from anyone on the Via.
Not sure if this should go here or in the B+ category, because still not sure if this model is a B+ or C!!
Anyway, we are starting to think about downsizing, now that we are no longer full timing. We winter in AZ but still want to do extended traveling during the shoulder seasons as we move north and south.
We say a very clean 2012 24' View with a MB Diesel today. Would like to hear from other View owners with similar setups. MPG? Do you tow and if so, what? Problems with storage and weight capacity for extended travel? By that I mean up to 3 months of travel time.
What about looking for an older 5 cylinder MB rig? Too under-powered for towing and the mountains?
24' is as small as we want to go, just because of the floor plans and traveling with 2 terriers. Still need to haul a few toys as well!!
Thanks for any comments and feed back.
If MPG is a big concern, there are Sprinter diesels which can get upwards of 18 MPG. However, if given the choice between a Sprinter versus a Ford E-450 of the same floor plan, I'd go for the Ford, as the $15k difference in chassis would buy about 40,000 miles worth of gasoline. On a class B, it is a different story, since the whole B market is going through a major shakeup this and next year due to the new van chassis (Ford's Transit and the Fiat Ducato.)
Interesting comments. We are starting to think about downsizing since we aren't traveling fulltime anymore and have a winter base in AZ. We have kicked a few tires of B+ I guess is what they are called. The thing that I seem to notice is that those smaller units - 24'-25' seem to just have the MB diesels in them. It seems that you don't get the big Ford engine until you get into at least 28'+. Am I over-generalizing?
It doesn't seem like we would gain that much in mpg from our 33' by just going to a 24-28' gas. Again, is that a fair assumption? Our 33' Brave gets anywhere from 7-just under 9 unless a nice tail wind, then we have hit 9+ a handful of times over the years.
Certainly not interested in a B type.
Thanks for any comments.
We laid over an extra day here in Boulder City at the Elks Club. WAY too much wind today to travel. The Elks here have a great little RV , area, on the outer perimeter of their back parking lot with full hookups @ $20/night. What a deal!
Had 2 great days at Grand Canyon and spent several hours in Seligman AZ and visited the barber shop and gift shop of Angel & Vilma Delgadillo. He is the gentleman, just turned 86, that worked tirelessly to resurrect the historical aspect of Route 66 back to what it is today. Just missed him in his barber shop, but talked with his son-in-law.
Wind has dropped down and looks good to head for Death Valley tomorrow.
Wow, Bigdog - driving a motor home in 50 mph winds? Why?? :@:?:h Aren't you retired now? Had some great sails in those kind of winds, but not interested in driving the rig in them!
David - just called the RV park for the rally and canceled our reservations. Couldn't get the kids and grandkids onto another weekend for Carolyn's birthday party!
Upper 80's and maybe several days at 90 or 91. Have the rig parked outside the house and starting to load up. Really don't want to leave this early! Will be pulling out Thursday morning after our last water fitness class. Going all the way up to Cottonwood to stay 2 nights at Dead Horse Ranch SP for 2 nights. UNLESS THE WIND IS BLOWING!!! :B:B
Sorry to hear about your problems. However, WHY would you keep heading into a small town when there was such a specialty item like a motor home windshield to deal with?!? :@
Sounds like you were able to at least get a temporary fix at Flagstaff. You should be able to find a real windshield in ABQ when you get there, if your not on your usual "truck driver schedule"!! :B ie - highballing it cross country!
Sounds like you missed our wicked wind storm that hit especially northern AZ. earlier this week. It hit 50-60 mph up there around Flagstaff and we had a LOT of dust down here in the valley.
Safer travels for the rest of your trip.