DP is number one most expensive form of RV there is. They take lots of cash to keep operational. If you have never owned an RV before that is the last thing I would suggest. If you have not lived minimalist life style I woyld suggest trying to live in 350 square feet for a month. If you have not killed each other by then then maybe. Since RVs are a depreciating asset there is no way anyone in their right mind would consider selling a house to buy one. Just not smart.
Start used and cheap. Guaranteed you will always find dislikes in every RV. So use the first couple as a learning experience. Be sure to keep well within your vehicles towing capacity. Otherwise you will wind up as a very unhappy camper.
BTW they are all RV's. There are different types but all RV'.
Price point? I suppose all of the floor plans meet your needs/wants? Personally i am not a fan of Thor products, but someone likes them. There are lots of decebt brands on the market, so it all boils down to dealer support if your buying new. But after the warranty expires it is more of a concern about factory support for parts etc.
In 2001 Alpenlite was probably the Cadillac of the RV world. Sadly the company sank into mediocrity by the end due to a lot of circumstances, mostly disinterested family. If it is in good shape and the price was right I would jump on it in a heart beat
Close both tank valves wait 5 minutes and vety slowly open the valves one at a time. Go inside and turn on one burner and try lighting it with a gas match. If it acts the same it is then quite possible you have a bad hose somewhere. Start with new hoses from tank to regulator and go from there.
Come on down 97 to Redmond. Head west thru Sisters to Salem on 22 and on to the coast. If you really want a nice drive take 99W south and pick up 20 at Corvallis. This way you avoid the Portlans mess and avoid all most all freeway hassles.
BTW there are two ways south. 97 all the was or head east toward Grand Coulee. Which IMHO is a better drive.