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Topic: Anyone make a mistake buying first MH ?

Posted By: Dollar98 on 04/24/02 12:23pm

Just curious.. No matter how much research you do , it seems there is no substitute for owning and using a MH.. Anyone buy one and then realize you made a mistake on the first one.. If so, how did you rectify it. I haven't felt this way yet and hope I don't.. With all that is involved, I could see it happening.. I believe the best advice I got was to buy an older one and then see what you really want by trial and error..

Posted By: Annie on 04/24/02 12:28pm

The first MH I purchased was just a tad too small - no sofa and kitchen a little pinched. After keeping it 2 yrs, I traded up for a 29 ft model with a sofa and a better kitchen area. I am now a happy camper.
2001 Brave 29A
2001 Saturn SL1
Doggie Dancer 8 yr old chihuahua

Posted By: djevans on 04/24/02 12:43pm

Dollar98 . . . We hit our first one right on the money except for the engine. We feel we need a diesel for a vehicle that large. I just don't like the downshifting and high RPM's, even though it seems to run well. The "apparent" engine strain really bothers me. We are in the process right now, of looking for a replacement for a motorhome we otherwise absolutely love.

Don . . . near 36.171N 086.784W, TN near here
2003 Fleetwood Revolution 40C - HONDA Element
350hp Cummins ISC
2006 GL1800 HONDA GoldWing
- - - P i c t u r e s - - -

"HOPE" is not a strategy . . .

Posted By: Ames on 04/24/02 12:50pm

We have backpacked, had a pop up, a class C, two class A gas and two class A diesel. Our current 40' Slide would have been a mistake 25 years ago because we were not ready for it then but it is ideal for us now. A mistake would be buying a motor home that does not fit your lifestyle or budget. We used to do a lot of state parks and needed a smaller coach. Now we are going to a bit more upscale places and my wife is a 50amp girl.

Richard and Babs and a Bob Tail Cat
97 Beaver Patriot 40 Kitchen Slide
330 HP Member FMCA, BAC, Good Sam, CAT RV Club
Toad 2012 Dodge Durango RT AWD Hemi

Posted By: dbehling on 04/24/02 12:57pm

We haven't purchased our first MH, but are currently in the market to do so. What we did do was purchase a TT (Oct 2000) that works for just our family, but with three kids (17g, 10g, 3b) we have found that we don't have enough room when friends come along -- which is a lot!

We are split between buying new -- knowing that we will take a HUGE depriciation the first couple of years, or buying used -- not knowing if we are buying someone elses lemon.

What we have decided it that we want a diesel pusher (we currently pull our TT with F350 PSD), that it has a minimum of a living area slide, an oven + the microwave/convection, private bath -- we don't want the lav next to the bed!, ample storage, diesel generator, etc.

We don't NEED to buy today or tomorrow, but if we find the right rig, we are in a position to move. We use our current setup no less than once a month, sometimes three weekends out of four.

Back to the question: "Did we make a mistake?" I would have to say no, because we were able to learn what we really wanted. We haven't regretted purchasing the TT, but are looking forward to a DP.

*This Message was edited on 24-Apr-02 12:59 PM by dbehling*

'99 F350 Crew DRW LB PSD Lariat White
'01 Wanderer 255RKELGS

Posted By: Tip on 04/24/02 01:14pm

Yes! Waited to darn long to do it!![emoticon]

Happy Trails.

Tip & Darcy
1965 Travco RMC270D
Class A Diesel
Pics of our rig
90 Geo Metro LSi
Demco KarKaddy3

Posted By: Spirit Deer on 04/24/02 01:22pm

Valid question, in a way. The guy who sold us ours said we'd be back in a year wanting a bigger one. I don't think so, considering the cost of gas and the area we have to park it in and other considerations, but it seems our salesman has had that happen repeatedly.

Like some people pointed out, it's a learning process. Not only that, your needs and wants change over time.

We chose to go the route of buying an older, less expensive coach as an experiment. It's amazing how cheaply you can get into a pretty decent motor home if you look around a bit. And if you decide it's not the right one for you, you can always sell it. With a used one, your loss after a year or two would be much less than a new one, so where's the harm if it turns out not to be exactly what you wanted. And if you happen to find out you like the used one you started with, so much the better. They're all used after the first trip anyway. [emoticon]

Spirit Deer
One husband
Two huskies
Three kitties
1983 Itasca Sunflyer moho (Arvie) (big toy)
2005 Chevy Astro
2005 Palomino Mustang (Sally) (slightly smaller toy)

Posted By: rvten on 04/24/02 01:42pm

Our first was an Allgro 27' and when time came to get a bigger one, we made the mistake of going to Fleewood not once but twice. [emoticon]

Tom & Bonnie
Crossville, TN.
Aspect 29H 2008 Type C
Ford Flex SEL 2010
There is NO B+

Posted By: richmondmj on 04/24/02 02:03pm

Well I did a lot of research and rented first. We looked at several units and then joined RVCG before we bought anything. I'm glad we did that before buying anything and always recommend to others to do the same before they purchase anything. The info they give you helps you make the right decision the first time around. It's more than worth the price of membership.

2001 Lazy Daze 26.5MB

Posted By: msmith1199 on 04/24/02 02:10pm

I didn't make a mistake because I rented first and did a lot of research. One of the things I knew is I didn't want to go too small and then be upset I didn't get a bigger one. I did that with boats. So I went with a 32 foot class A. Some may think that's small, but I still work so we only use it for weekends and maybe a couple of week long trips a year, so it's got plenty of room for what we do with it.

2004 National Tropi-Cal T-350, Class A, Triple slide, 330 HP Cat DP.
2017 Jeep Wrangler Sport

Posted By: diesel Dave on 04/24/02 02:15pm

ya, put too much money into her.

1997 40' American Tradition ( performance modified 300hp Cummins). Semi-fulltime traveler & fulltime adventurer.

Posted By: rvten on 04/24/02 02:38pm

Yes we also rented first. Tried a class C after 2 weeks decided it was going to be a class A or nothing. The 27' Allegro was fine but as we spent more time in the MH decided we needed to go bigger. Thats when I made my mistakes. [emoticon]

Posted By: Peralko on 04/24/02 03:30pm

When we got to the point of wanting to buy a motorhome, we started to look at 24-28-foot models. After we had looked at several floorplans, we decided we needed to move up to a 34-footer, so we would have a bedroom, bath, of course, a kitchen with a dinette, and a couch. By the time we crammed all of that into a floorplan, 34 feet ended up minimum. Scary at first, but we were glad we hadn't gone shorter, or we would have been itching to replace it much sooner.

USAF Retired
2000 Prevost Marathon H3-45
2006 Nissan Maxima

Posted By: cdc on 04/24/02 03:54pm

Did we make a mistake buying our first RV? Yes. I should have listened to advice from all our RV friends and bougth the DP first. We had a TT, bought a 33' HR Vactioner(Gas) and then 6 months later bought the 40' HR Imperial(DP). Didn't listen and it cost a few extra dollars to upgrade.

Corky, Gracie, and the Herd
HR Imperial DP
Jeep Liberty

Posted By: me be Dave on 04/24/02 03:56pm


Posted By: Burfman on 04/24/02 05:32pm

Not sure if I have made a mistake or not as we will take possession on Friday of our first M/H, a '99 CC Allure 36' single slide. I have looked for over 3 1/2 years and moved up and down from a 32' to a 40' and finally bought the 36'. This one has a good floor plan that should work well for my wife and I. Picked up a ton of information from this forum that without it I could not have made the informed decision I did. We will part time now and full time in about 3 years (retirement). I will give you a follow-up after the shakedown cruise to Mexico for "Cinco da Mayo".

Bill & CJ

Posted By: Norm F on 04/24/02 08:48pm

Yup, bought a 1988 Pace Arrow. Two delaminations later, along with absolutely poor or no quality control, I sold it and bought a Holiday Rambler Endeavor ---- what a difference!

98 HR Endeavor 36' Gas
96 Saturn Toad

Posted By: wayhamm on 04/24/02 09:07pm

Didn't do enough research and bought an older DP with an engine that was too small (190hp), 4 speed Allison and no auxillary brakes. It appeared to be in really good condition- including a new paint job, but I also discovered it had a delamination problem. I was able to trade it after only 8 months of ownership for a DP I am very pleased with.

Posted By: bsinmich on 04/24/02 09:17pm

I have found that boats and motorhomes have the same thing in common. The next one will be 2-3 feet longer. If you enjoy the first one with it's minor inconveniences who cares. It isn't a mistake, it's a learning experience where you are having fun while learning. Enjoy whatever you get until you trade for the next one.

1975 GMC Eleganza II & 1995 Roadtrek Versatile. Both old enough to vote and drink (gas)

Posted By: Trektiger on 04/24/02 10:35pm

We bought our first Class A (1997 Safari Trek) a year ago last March after thinking about buying one for a year. The Trek ideally fit our buget, and home storage space. Todate, we have been totally pleased with the purchase. The biggest concern I had--"Would we use the coach enough to justify the purchase and would it be liveable?" Over the 13 months we were able to get out three times. Six thousands miles and four months later I can say we made the right purchase for us.

Posted By: ghostrek on 04/25/02 08:21am

I not sure it was a mistake. The first Class A we purchased was a 1994 Winnebago Adventurer 34RQ Ford gas with no slides or jacks. The price was right. The heat and noise from the motor were a little annoying. We had it for a year as a test. Owning and using this coach helped us to determine what we needed and wanted.

We purchased a 2002 HR Neptune 32PBD last month with double slides, jacks and DP. This one fits the bill for us now. In a few years who knows. We may have another bill to fill at that time.

*This Message was edited on 25-Apr-02 08:22 AM by REK*

Rob & Bert
Mocha Latte, 5 (Chocolate & White Roan Cocker Spaniel)
Freckles, 4 (Red & White Cocker Spaniel)
Wolfie, 3 (Chocolate Merle Cocker Spaniel)

2002 HR Neptune 32PBD
2002 or 2005 Jeep Liberty Toads
Blue OX & Brake Buddy

Posted By: guitarman on 04/25/02 09:50am

We didn't really realize we made a mistake until we purchased our current MH and now wonder why we didn't start this way. We previously had 2 5vers and never realized how much better a MH fit our lifestyle.

Mike and Christine Villano
2008 Toyota Tundra
2013 Palomino SolAire Eclipse 297RLDS
Sheltie, Charlotte
Daschund, Dapple

Posted By: jackie on 04/25/02 11:34am

We did it the right way, or at least we feel like we did. My wife and I started out 3 years ago in a 30 ft. Southwind Storm. We put over 25,000 miles on it in two years and decided we really wanted a Motorhome for good. Two months ago we purchased a great 38' 2000 Monaco Diplomat DP from Holiday World in Houston. I love it. My wife loves it, and Chelsy, our Dachund Hound loves it. I use it mostly to go to Benchrest Shooting Matches all over the South. It is the only way to travel and camp....jackie

Posted By: Ipanema on 04/25/02 02:31pm

Well now, that's hard to say. When we bought our MH, I was warry only about one thing. Sufficient CCC. As it turns out, we have to watch our weight. Since my wife will not reduce the number of shoes she takes with her, I am going on a diet. [emoticon] [emoticon] [emoticon]
Did I say that I have never made a mistake since I got married?[emoticon] [emoticon] [emoticon]

Ed and Lilian

Penn State Class of 1956

Posted By: Unstuck on 04/25/02 05:41pm

Although we did almost six months research and shopping (in a limited RV market) and were able to pay cash for our MH, I now have experienced RV envy, having seen a number of 45 footers (Prevost) I wished I could have saved for a Prevost; but then I would be on a different forum.

[b]Stuck for 15 years--now Unstuck[/b] [b][i]Winnebago Journey DL 2002, 36' LD [lots of stuff in the middle], DataStorm[/i][/b] [img][/img] [URL][/URL]

Note: Due to invalid formatting, all formatting has been ignored.

Posted By: phillyg on 04/26/02 06:52am


If you really love that unit as much as you indicate, have you considered installing the Banks or similar exhaust system instead? We bought a 36S Bounder that is heavy and underpowered, and installation of the Banks, although pricey, considerably lowered the number of annoying downshifts, even here in the hills of VA towing a 3500lb vehicle.

--2005 Ford F350 Lariat Crewcab 6.0, 4x4, 3.73 rear
--2016 Montana 3711FL, 40'
--2014 Wildcat 327CK, 38' SOLD

Posted By: mamcall on 04/26/02 03:12pm

I don't consider that our first MH was a mistake altho we only kept it for 1 1/2 years. We had done absolutely no research on m/h's , we had owned TT's for 20 years. The first MH was a little new 23' class c that we saw advertised for a price we could afford. It was fine until we saw another new 26' class c that had a permanent double bed instead of a 'davenport'. We started going to shows and decided that class A was the way to go with a bed that you could walk around enabling me to change the sheets etc much easier.Also basement storage made sense. So 2 years later, after considerable research and narrowing it down to a 32' Winnebago Chieftain and a 32' Pace Arrow, we bought the Pace Arrow because we got a better deal.(the Winnebago dealer called 2 hours too late with a better price) We kept the 1990 Pace Arrow because we didn't see one we liked better until 1998. Then we found our current 34' Pace Arrow which has excellent storage and tank capacities and just about all the bells and whistles including Electronic Climate Control which allows us to run 2 air conditioners on 30 amp service, among other things. It probably will be our last MH so am looking forward to having it for a long time. So, to sum it up- our first MH wasn't a mistake, it was a stepping stone- just like the tent we started out with in 1967.

Marg and Joe
1998 Pace Arrow 34J
Neon toad,
3 Schnauzers Baron, Steffi and Granddog Gunny

Posted By: MRUSA on 04/27/02 11:32am

You mean a few THOUSAND, don't you?

>>Didn't listen and it cost a few extra dollars to upgrade.

Posted By: HiTech on 04/27/02 04:24pm

Our first MH was in the mid 90's - we bought a 70's Champion Class A on a Dodge M400 chassis I think - 1974 model year or so. Way underpowered. Discontinued rotors. Leaking tranny. We had rented an A and a C before, as well as had a pop up. In a way it was a mistake - did not realize how hard some old MH parts are to find.

But it cost only $1500 I paid like $600 for a pair of highway robber rotors. Recarpeted it. Drove only within a few hundred miles of home, and put it in a cheap campground for one summer. Lots of fun. Had to top off the tranny before each trip, though!

It convinced us we wanted the extra sleeping space of a C. Once the kids grow up, we'll get another A.


Posted By: djevans on 04/29/02 12:01pm

phillyg . . .

Yes, I have considered Banks. I guess I'm so concerned with engine life, the thought of increasing horsepower (from my drag racing days) and the resulting heat and loss of reliability or lifespan bothers me. As engines get more exotic, all other things equal, life expectancy goes down. I know headers are OK, even desired, however, I just don't think it will be enough of a change "torque wise." I will check again, but I think I may not be happy until I get a reliable diesel and have had time to make sure it's going to stay that way. [emoticon]

Thank you for passing on your experience. It helps to know that other options work or might work.

Posted By: djevans on 05/05/02 06:38pm

phillyg . . .

I contacted BANKS and they have already sent me information.

They are suggesting a BANKS "PowerPack" system. They didn't tell me how much is costs, (or I don't remember the discussion) but said that it should run about $750.00 to have installed. Did you install your's yourself? I'm sure I could, but I'm not going to. If I can't find someone I trust to install it, I probably won't do it at all. I really do like the idea of 85 extra HP and 118 lb-ft though. That might make enough of a difference. I thought we were originally talking about the "Stinger." This might be OK, but I'd sure hate to install it and find I'm still not satisfied.

The only thing I'm not sure about is their suggestion of the BANK's TransCommand. I'm not sure of the "return" on this investment. My transmission shifts pretty well as it is. I'm not sure I really want it shifting any harder than it already does. Part of their advertisment (at least a sheet I have) seems to say it's required on the PowerPack system on my engine if I have an E40D/4R100 automatic transmission. I'm checking into which transmission I have.

Again thank you for the information. I really don't want to trade this RV. It has everything I want until I retire except for enough power. This certainly might be an option.

Posted By: mlr on 05/08/02 10:06am

I am glad to have run across your comment. I am considering buying a 99 Fleetwood Discovery. Please let me have the benefit of your experience with Fleetwood. It is not too late for me to say no. Thanks, MLR
If anyone else has experience good or bad with the Fleetwood 37V 275hp Diesel pusher, please let me benefit from your experience. Thanks

M.L. Ranton

Posted By: Wilbur4321 on 05/08/02 11:47am


If you really like your rig that much, why not just keep it and replace the engine/tranny if needed when actually needed? I'm sure that final cost of that would be less than the cost to upgrade to a diesel, no??


1998 Palm Breeze 32.5'
me, wife and 7 little ones! (yes, kids!)
Our pictures

Posted By: TropicalRV on 05/10/02 11:50am

Our first motorhome was a 1997 32 ft Bounder. We enjoyed it for four years and had no trouble with it except for the usual minor stuff. We determined that we wanted a slide, leveling jacks and a fiberglass roof. After two years of research, we bought a 2001 Tropical with the Ford chassis. Again, we ejoy the coach and find little fault in it. Bottom line, is that once you own one, you always look at the newer ones with newer features and your mind says you should trade it in. That's human nature. Did we get shafted with a bad deal or poor quality? Absolutely not, but you had better do your homework on price, features, carrying capacity, construction, and whatever else your needs require. We don't feel we made any mistakes, but there may be a new coach in the distant future with more bells and whistles. Good luck
Paul Stakun
2001 Tropi-cal 6350, Ford V-10
2002 Honda CRX

Posted By: Bill/Diana on 05/10/02 01:55pm

Well, I'll let you know in another5 weeks or so. We just purchased a 1996 Georgie Boy Cruise Master 3190W with 11,600 miles. We take possesion the first of June. Can't wait to get going.

Bill & Diana

Posted By: Dollar98 on 05/11/02 07:03pm

Strange !! Over 3100 people viewed this thread and only 34 replied to it..Don't be shy !!! I don't have anything earth shattering to say but I do anyway..

Posted By: scarpa on 05/11/02 08:51pm

March of 2001 we got into the RV world and purchased a 30 Ft JACO TT. Immediately joined a camping group and had the time of our lives. In Jun, we decided that our Chevy 1500 Silverado just wasn't strong enough to do any serious mountain terrain, etc and bought a new 2500 Silverado HD 8 ft 4x4.

In September (3 months later, we woke up one Saturday morning and decided to peruse our local RV dealer (Leisure Tyme RV). Immediately fell in love with a used (like new) 2000 Dutchstar 35Ft slide, V-10, Ford Chassis. They gave me an excellent trade on the TT and we went home with our first Class-A.

Did we make a mistake. Certainly not! When we purchased the 1500 we really wanted and needed a 2500 8 ft bed and 4x4. Oh, by the way, the truck is the wifes (she uses it for her property business). I drive a 2000 Z-3.

Our Dutchstar has all the bells and whistles we probably would ever need (and some). Plenty of room and it's a dream to drive.

We're looking forward to a long and lasting relationship with our Dutchstar. We both work and probably will for another 8 years or so (both in our low 50's). We try to get out as often as we can (put 8,000 miles since last Sept).


Posted By: kanitster on 05/13/02 07:16pm

after renting motor homes for several yrs we just finally purchased a 35ft 2002 duel slide Condor by Trail-lite. Anyone have anything good or bad to say about them? Anything to watch out for etc? Thanks in advance

Posted By: danbjr on 05/20/02 01:22pm

We bought a 1985 Southwind 27' three years ago. Great learning MH. We will not get a unit with corner bed again. Someone has to climb over someone to get into or out of bed. Not fun at 3 AM. Having fun otherwise. In the middle of complete renovation....removed dinette, overhead bunk, sofa, countertops. Replacing with sofa and chair, new tops, some sort of entertainment center.

Posted By: LVJ58 on 05/20/02 02:40pm

Our first coach was an 84 Airstream 34.5' Classic Limited on the P30 chassis with tags. We did absolutely no research, just looked at a lot of different coaches we could afford and settled on the Airstream. Having 82,300 miles registering on the odometer, I figured we would be spending some monies on repairs down the road, which we did. We were quite happy with the coach, even with all the problems we had to fix. With our present motorhome, perhaps we made a mistake in buying this particular brand as approximately 4 months after we purchased it, the company went out of business. So far the coach has given us good service with little or no problems (knock on wood). Had we known the builder was in financial trouble, perhaps we would have bought a Rexhall which has a similar floor plan and amenities as ours.

Best Regards, C. Jim

Jim & Sherry Seward
Las Vegas, NV
2000 Residency 3790 V-10 w/tags & Banks System
2003 Suzuki XL/7 toad

Posted By: eagle1 on 06/09/02 09:27pm

We brought an old class c that was falling apart, but it worked for a year. We than went to TT from a 22ft to a 30 ft. Then back to a pop up( big mistake). We then thought we would get a truck camper, and hit all the small parks. Well, I lost my job, and had to move to another state. Good news is we found a great home on a lake. We felt we had the best camp site, so we didn't camp for two years. We then went to a 33 ft Winnebage Brave. It is great, and we are always on the move. Maybe a diesel pusher next.

Eagle 1

2002 HR Ambassador(AKA Rosie), 2003 Dodge Dakota, 4 down towing
2 Westies ( The Brothers )

Posted By: Don Barton on 06/10/02 07:16am


Posted By: jimjim on 06/10/02 10:34am

dollar98,yes i made one and it was because i assume to much.when we started to buy our 2nd mh i did all the research and settle on the dutch star3368 with the w22 chassis.well the dealer that's close to me only had the '01 mountain aire with the w22 to test drive,they did have a dutch star but it was on a ford chassis,and wanting the w22 i didn't pay much attention to the dutch star .big mastake because one of the things that i like about the w22 chassis was that it came std.with 22.5 wheels and the michelin xrv tires.the opt. are the 19.5 wheels.on the options that i order on the mh didn't include the smaller wheels i assume that i would be getting the 22.5 with the xrv micheln because the mountain aire had them.wrong ,montana is where i bought the dutch star i live in texas,the first thing that i saw that did'nt look right was the goodyear name on the tires plus they were the 19.5.i am old enough to have known better (59)but i got in a hurry, i couldn't wait to pick up my new there if there is a lesson to learn from all this,is you can never go to slow when buying a mh.all is well with our mh,the good side is i don't have to pay as much money when i buy tires.keep a smile and good luck on your mh.happy rving

2002 dutch star w22 34',2001 chev. tracker conv. 4x4
blux ox tow bar,auto stop

*This Message was edited on 10-Jun-02 10:39 AM by jimjim*

*This Message was edited on 10-Jun-02 10:41 AM by jimjim*

Posted By: BG1811 on 06/10/02 12:14pm

I'm completely happy except for one thing, I wish both of my slide outs were on the driver's side. As it is, my bedroom slide is on the curb side and the living room slide is on the driver's side. Sometimes that arragement takes up extra space.

2004 Monaco Diplomat 40DST (Bath and half) - 2007 Mercury Mariner Hybrid FMCA F288615
AND Our Wonderful Norwegian Forest Cat, Mackenzie

Posted By: Cabspydr on 06/11/02 06:46pm

We shopped for nearly 3 years before buying our first MH. Went to the big RV Show in Pomona, CA 3 times, (eventually buying at the Show). Thought we wanted a D/P, but after a good, hard look at the trade-offs vs. Gas, the gas made more sense for us. I wanted a pulling gorilla, and got it with the 8.1L Vortec on the W22, 30' MH.
Love it... of course we had our shakedown problems, but everybody does... no matter how much, or how big you buy.

My opinion: Unless you buy high (very high end) end, they all have similiar features... and typical problems. We also did not opt for slide-outs...or wide body, so perhaps we minimized our headaches. For our 2-4 week trips, it works for us. Take your best shot and go for it.

Best advice: Buy it at a show, you can save a bundle...

Mike and Pam
"Puff"(the Schnauzer)
'01 30'Sea Breeze w/8.1V
'02 Jeep Wrangler
...been there, done that, bought the T-shirt!

Posted By: Tntman on 06/11/02 07:42pm

My first motorhome was a 1965 Dodge Travco, no mistake. Put 25,000 miles on it with no trouble. Bought a 1986 Pace Arrow, 36 foot, great motorhome. Third coach was a disaster, 1999 Fleetwood Bounder, 36S. Made me decide to never buy Fleetwood again.
Have a National Tropi-Cal, 2001, model 6373 and am really enjoying the life style.
The reason slides are on opposite sides, in gas models, is for road worthiness, you would be over weight and hang left if both slides were on one side.

Mike, Jill and our dog Goshe
Our Booger dog is with us in a custom urn, miss ya Boogs
2003 Tiffin Phaeton, Roadmaster tow products, 2016 Jeep Cherokee
Good Sam, SKP, FMCA F292654

Posted By: me be Dave on 06/11/02 08:39pm

Yes a fleetwood at Mike Thompson two mistakes

Posted By: Dave Bowers on 06/11/02 08:47pm

I wouldn't call it a mistake, however, our 28ft Barth does not have a dinette. It has two barrel chairs and a table that pulls out from the wall. To have a good dinette you need at least 33 feet. so that will be our minimum next time. We are very happy with every think else.

Posted By: Rowlison on 06/12/02 07:43am

We are looking at purchasing a 1996 35' Pace Arrow Vision. It has the Banks exhaust. I too believe the rig is maxed out go through hills. During our daylong test drive, while on hilly state roads at 55 mph I found that if I clicked off the OD just before a hill it did not lug the engine down going up a good-sized hill. It did turn about 3500 rpm at 55 mph with the OD off. Going down the interstate it did not seem to be a problem in OD on those hills at 65 mph. The engine turns about 2500 rpm at 65 mph in OD.

It also has the Steer Safe steering damper on it. This is one size BIG shock. It adds to the amount of effort required to guide the rig and makes turns a little stiffer than I'd like. We both love the floor plan. It's head and shoulders above anything else we seen. We owned a class C with the 460 in it. This is one tough motor. It never uses oil. We made an offer. Now we're waiting on the dealer to come down on the price.

A friend of ours has a Trek with a GM diesel. He hates the diesel. It's under powered and runs hot. He added a chip in the computer and added Jake brakes. He said the diesels are scary coming down the mounts out west without Jake brakes on the exhaust. Good luck with the Banks conversion.


Posted By: Daboo on 06/12/02 08:34am

Think I made a mistake on buying the second motor home...I had a 95 Minnie Class C that we thought was too small...went to the 37 Foot can say what you want, but these buggers are a bit more harder to drive, park, refuel, etc...My rear drags going in and out of some service stations, campgrounds and other places where the Class C was easy to go...Thinking about going back to a Class C with a slide...Just my thoughts,,,,

Happy Camping

Served proudly 1957-1965..U.S. Air Force

Posted By: Trektiger on 06/12/02 11:56am


In your post you indicated to have a good dinette you need at least 33 feet. There are smaller coaches that can provide a good dinette. We have a 26' coach with a 34.5" X 25.5" dinette, two additional 12" leafs and four chairs. We don't use the extra chairs and leafs and keep them stored under one of the sofas for those special occasions. My wife does use one of the leafs from time to time for special projects. The down-side is at bedtime, when the bed has to be lowered out of the living room ceiling.


Your friend may have an engine out spec. We have not experienced overheating & underpowered problems. Our MH engine is stock (unmodified). We use the BrakeBuddy braking system on the toad.

Posted By: Tsalla Apopka on 06/12/02 12:06pm

Was thinking 24' Class C and Karen, the bright one in the family, said let's rent one for a weekend dog agility seminar.
Needless to say, it was just a tad bit too small. A 28' Class A (older but nice)seems like it will be just right for a 1st Motorhome.

Denny & Karen
Florida's Beautiful "Nature Coast"
Brit,TDI,BH & Claire,TDI (Belgian Sheepdogs)
Merlot - Sheltie rescue
Glady(Morgan Mare - retired),Toes & Beemer(Barn Cats-retired)
WA4OMG (Old Mangy Goat)

Posted By: MotorMOON on 02/25/03 08:36pm

After renting several times we opted to purchase a used Coachman Santara 28 footer. It was owned by a couple who took great care and passed it on to us. It has been a terrific size for the wife, dog, and me to cavort around in. Fits well in many environments, ie parks, etc. My uncle, who was an avid RV'er, said "It does not matter how big the d**n thing is, there is only room for two of us and the dog!"

Posted By: timz59 on 02/25/03 09:52pm

1st motorhome 27 years ago was a 21 ft 1976 Western Commander Class C with single soft wide tires in the rear. It was on a Dodge 1 ton van chassis with the 360 engine. Lots of power when I added headers and a 4 barrel carb. Worked well for me, spouse 3 small rug rats and the family dog. Strange things like a single small house battery, about a 30 gallon single holding tank, wooden framing, aluminum siding etc. We had a lot of fun for a couple of years and very few problems. 15 years later my current wife and I purchased an '88 27ft Pace Arrow Eleganza. Looked great but the windows leaked like a sieve. The dealer had it parked inside and nice and dry when we picked it up and headed for the beach in a driving Pacific rainstorm. Apparently the prior owner had kept a dog who used the carpet for his private privy and when the carpet got wet, the smell was so bad we ended up ripping out the carpet and depositing it in the dumpster at the campground. WE WUZ HAD in no uncertain terms. Negotiations with the dealer and my attourney eventually resulted in replacement of the carpet and sealing of the windows but we started looking immediately for another rig. Settled on a new '94 31' bounder on P30 Chassis. Enjoyed 4 trouble free years and 48,000 miles before selling when my tag end female child got heavily involved in high school and club sports. With her graduation from college and retirement rapidly approaching we bought a low mileage well equipped '94 32ft Adventurer (11000 miles) about 18 months ago. This is the one MH purchase I really wish I had done differently. The rig is in great condition with many options - two airs, 5500 generator, 2 big solar panels, jacks, camera, Bilsteins, steer safe and full Banks with K&N Filter. Runs great with lots of power and no problems. We got it at a cheap price but we are not satisfied with it and have been shopping new gas or used late model diesels at least 36' with dual slides as we plan to spend 4 to 6 months a year on the road. We were looking at new Southwinds when the salesman showed us a new 40' Alfa the other day. d**n him anyway! We've been dreaming ever since but it's way out of our price range. ($100K or less) Should have gone with the bigger rig and been done with it before. As it stands now, we will have to negotiate a trade or sell the Winne. Either way, I expect to get beat up financially. Would I do it again? Probably as we like the RV lifestyle. We are really shopping for the next purchase as I want it to be the last and expect to run it at least 10 years. It is only a real mistake if you fail to learn from it and the only time to really regret something is if you intend on doing it again and don't learn anything.

Grandpa Timbo
2003 3778 Mountain Aire on Workhorse W22 (Traded 8/11/04)">
2005 Itasca Meridian 34H (Traded 6/28/05)
2005 Dutch Star 3810 Silver Plum Traded 9/13/07 ">
2007 Phoenix Cruiser on Ford 350 Chassis - V-10 Power">
'02 CRV EX Toad

Posted By: 96Bounder30E on 02/25/03 10:45pm


You have the E4OD

Posted By: PUSHTOY on 02/26/03 11:37am

When you buy a diesal and you will. Dont let the salesmen try to talk you into a smaller motor. You are a drag racer, you know what say, if you dont have you cant use it. nothing beats cubic inches!!! MORE POWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*This Message was edited on 26-Feb-03 11:38 AM by PUSHTOY*

2001 Endeavor 40FT. ISC 330
Dakota Quadcab 4x4 toad
FMCA 200924,GS Lifetime,CB.CH.13
Teamster Local 710 retired ">

Posted By: John Wayne on 02/26/03 12:12pm

Don I put the trans command on my trans and it cut down on the down shifting when hittting grades etc. Also a Ford tech. told me he was seeing less metal in the trans pans he dropped when they had the command. then when they didn't just info.

John & Carol Life members
01 31'Sea View single slide, F53 V-10 with 129,000 miles and counting.
2012 Jeep Liberty Smi brake system
Security by Bentley
God Bless


Posted By: Driving Miss Daisy on 02/26/03 01:50pm

Yep, we made a mistake with our first motorhome, a 24' Fleetwood Searcher, Class C, V-10 Ford. We purchased it when we lived in California. Had a lot of fun with it but soon discovered it was too small for the two of us. After returning to Wisconsin due to a magnet called grandchildren, we deceided we needed a larger unit. The Searcher served us well and was a trouble free unit, just wasn't big enough.

Found a 1993 Pace Arrow 36 DP which we couldn't be more happy with. The workmanship in this older coach is great and we love the room. The Cummins diesel and Allison 6- speed is a great combination. Has all the power we need. Can't wait for the snow and cold to go away so we can get "Miss Daisy" out of storage. We are already starting to plan a spring trip and will be spending the summer at the CORR (Championship Off-Road Racing Series.

Dave & Sue Mason
1993 Pace Arrow DP
Golden Retriever - Fred & Emma Jean (foster Golden)
El Gato (Pudd) - The Cat
1995 Geo Tracker Toad
EMT - Laona Rescue Squad
Off-Road Racer - CORR (Championship Off Road Racing) Series

Posted By: earld2 on 02/26/03 02:24pm

Did you say $750.00 for Banks installed?
More like $750.00 for installation. The unit sells in the thousands, not hundreds.

Posted By: Robbie on 02/26/03 03:04pm

I agree with djevans about having the right RV and wishing it were diesel. I travel in a 36z double slide Southwind 1998 towing a camry with ablue ox tow bar and brake buddy for suplemental brakes and loving it. Wish it had more power and better transmission.

1998 36Z Southwind
Banks Stinger System & Transcom shift module
Davis Tru-Trac and Saf-T-Plus Steering Damper
Blue Ox Tow Bar with Brake Buddy

Posted By: arch on 02/26/03 08:51pm

I am just buying my first one also. I was told most people buy to small first so I just ordered a 2004 42' Monaco Dynasty. I will let you know in May when I get it

Posted By: 96Bounder30E on 02/26/03 09:19pm

No Mistakes here.....owned 2 Fleetwoods on Ford Chassis...1st was a 1984 23' Jamboree...kept it 8 years and sold it for $4,000.00 less than what we paid....Current is a 1996 Bounder 30' with 460 Ford.....runs great....Very few problems.... nothing that I have had to pay to have fixed....We love the Queen Island Bed as compared to the Corner now we have a Dinnete and Couch and the Storage is Awsome!! Thanks to John Crean....We LOVE it.....hope to move up to a Bounder DP in the future...From the Affordability stand point I think Fleetwood Builds a Heck of product....

96 Bounder 30E-F53(460)
stock Ford intake w/K&N air filter
used Thorley headers
new Banks resonator, muffler, tail pipe and 4" polished SS exhaust tip

Posted By: Deen on 02/27/03 12:50am

Of course, first MH (17' Type B) that's why there's a second (29' Type C), third, (35' dual slide Type A) forth (39' DP Type A single slide)and now fifth (41+' triple slide DP)!! This doesn't include the boats, the travel trailers, motorcycles etc!! In fact my first three choices in wives turned out to be wrong!!

Posted By: Mountain Jack on 02/27/03 05:08pm

Howdy, Dollar98;

No Regrets, Here. We have Many Very Happy Memories of the 12 years, Fishin & Campin(mostly boondocking), in our 1978 American Clipper, 21' Class C with Dodge 440,& Generac,4kw. She was a Good Un. [emoticon]

We decided we would like more room, looked for about a year, then bought our present MH. She has everything we wanted, & More. We Love this MH, also, & are Very Happy, with Her. She Runs Like a "Spring Chicken", on the Interstates. [emoticon]
Take Care. Jack&Barb.........

1989 Pace Arrow 37', Ford 460

Take Care.........Drive Safely...........Grizz Jack..........Happy fishin'.....">">">

"Have You Kissed a Bass, Today?"........"> ">

Posted By: uscgcdr on 02/27/03 07:27pm

Bought from a disreputable dealer in Ft. Myers, FL!

Tom & Sandy
TE'A the Wonder Mutt
Retired USCG

Posted By: buchrob on 02/27/03 08:48pm

Bought a 1999 28 ft. Allegro built by Tiffin. Excellent choice for a single person, or a couple with up to 2 small children, Very manoeuvreable. Weighs a lot less than the bigger rigs.

Naturally, after owning it a year it would be nice to have a slightly bigger galley or more storage, but the 10-12 MPG will be hard to beat with a heavier rig.

I was originally in the market for something in the 1992-5 range at a much lower price, but now realize that the 1999 Allegro I bought is a much better deal. I coluld re-sell tomorrow at about the same equivalent "loss" but have had a much more positive experience.

Posted By: burgess001 on 02/27/03 10:09pm

Somebody may have already said it, but, it isn't a mistake unless it didn't serve it's purpose.

In order, we had:

79 Diamond GT an 18 ft pregnant van with a fiberglass body. Great for travel, fishing, weekends and that's what we wanted it for. Actually made money when we sold it.

84 Jamboree 24 ft. Great for short vacations for two. Needed a dinette to make it long term livable. Was great for what we bought it for. Almost broke even on the sale.

91 Jamboree 26 ft. Basically added a dinette to the 24 ft model. Made it much more livable and extended our tolerance to a couple of weeks at a time. But, got too lazy for the overhead bed. Cost us about $1,000 depreciation to own.

96 Southwind 36 ft with 1 slide. We thought we had died and gone to heaven till the first mountain and we almost did die and go to heaven before we got to the bottom. But, in 40,000 miles and 5 years, we were more cautious and loved it and it served its purpose. Cost about 13,000 in depreciation.

98 DSDP 38 ft with 1 slide. Maybe should have extended a little and got the second slide, but it does what we need it to do and after about 6 months and 12,000 miles, we love it too. We'll see how the DS holds it's value in a few years when double slides are less expensive.

So, all in all, through hard shopping, we have only invested about $15,000 depreciation (+ the DS's unknown depreciation) in more than 20 years of motorhoming. No way any of that can be called a mistake (except that mountain in the Southwind) We have loved every minute of it (except that mountain in the Southwind).

Jerry and Katie
More than 20 great years motorhoming and still loving it...
2004 DSDP 3810 (more than I needed...less than I wanted)
2004 Trailblazer (too heavy but well worth dragging)

Posted By: Dirtman on 02/28/03 01:52am

Well, didn't make TOO many mistakes on the first nine RV's, but the tenth one was a real LULU. Got blinded by the two slides, and the brochure telling me how thoroughly researched and designed it was. HAH!!!!!!!, spent most of my 14 months or so of ownership at winnebugger dealers, eastern half of the United States. Finally ended up back at the factory, and ORDERED it fixed THAT DAY, or give me my money back. Happened to be about 20 other customers sitting there sipping coffee, reading papers, waiting on their coaches. Sure got everybodys attention. Tech's and "schmoozers" came running, and FINALLY fixed it, while they suggested I take the factory tour. Darn, should have taken the tour BEFORE I bought the piece of junk, then I wouldn't have touched it with a 10 foot pole.
Got it "fixed", and immediately backtracked to the nearest Newmar dealer, and ordered the new one. Took the hit on the "winnebugger from hell" like a man, and enjoy the Newmar more every day. For my money, they are LIGHT YEARS ahead of winnebugger.

2003 Newmar "D"Star 4050
Freightliner(Neway IFS) 330HP Cat
22'Haulmark V nose hauler
2004 Chev Silverado Z-71, 4X4 toad

Posted By: billyboy on 02/28/03 06:40am

we have had a 13' trailer, 20' trailer , and a 27 coachman "c", and now a 32 gbm. don't have a slide, but would like one , but like the size of unit. it has a pull-down bed over drivers seats, gets 9 to 10 mpg. for our occasional use works great. i was a ford man, until i drove the chevy. smooth and quiet. i like looking at the higher end units, and if i see something i like, i usually will add it. my entry level unit now is like a middle of the line unit. happy for now, and its all paid!

*This Message was edited on 28-Feb-03 06:42 AM by billyboy*

09 winny adventurer 32h 33 ft towing 015 focus

Posted By: slay on 03/05/03 10:11pm

If I made a mistake buying my first MH if would be not taking it for a test drive. You spend so much time ohhing and ahhing at the creature comforts you forget you are buying a motor vehicle. You wouldn't buy a car without a test drive so why do we buy a MH at an RV show or off the dealer lot without taking it on the road first. I like my 1999 Winnebago Brave with the Chevy 454, but next time I am going to pay more attention to the chassis, engine and deive train.


Posted By: PJohnson on 03/06/03 09:28am

Did we make a mistake buying our first motor home? Yes, twice! Our first motorhome was a 24 foot Class C which was great until we invited my sister-in-law on a trip to the ocean. Since she was the dog sitter for our 2 golden retrievers, they also came along (3 aldults and 2 goldens in a 24 footer). It would not have been to bad except my sister-in-law and the dogs became permanent passengers. After 1 year, we traded the 24 footer in for a 30 foot Class C with a slide. The problem with the 30 footer was that we were at the alsolute weight limit and we kept having blowouts when traveling through the southwest in the summer. In addition, we finally realized that we would need a toad which would exceed the weight limits on the 30 footer. After 1 year we traded the 30 footer in for a 32 foot Class A with 1 slide which we like very much. We have enough room (we are not full timers), we can still fit into most national park campgrounds and we are 2500 pounds under the weight limit when fully loaded. We also like the bigger tires, hydraulic levelers, more room in the cab, larger front window, etc.

Posted By: Kajtek1 on 03/06/03 09:37am

You don't mention the $ factor.
I bet, that this 32' cost nice pennies more, than 24' class C ?

Posted By: PJohnson on 03/06/03 10:26am


The 32 footer was about twice the cost of the 24 footer. On a per foot basis, the 32 footer was a much better deal. I also did not mention that I ended slightly upside down on the loan, much less then one would expect (I never paid more then 80% of the MSRP and always got wholesale on the trade).

Posted By: Daboo on 03/06/03 10:34am

We didn't make a mistake on the first was a 31 foot Class C...we thought we needed a bigger unit with a slide, so we bought a 37 footer Class A with a slide...the thing is too big, so guess we made a mistake on the second one we it, but there are places you just can't go with the longer ones.....also, the gas mileage is horrible,,,,oh well..bought it to drive, as long as I can afford it...

Happy trails.

Posted By: rvten on 03/06/03 12:19pm

No first was an Allegro, mistake on #2 & #3 both made by Fleetwood.

Posted By: traveler77632 on 03/06/03 03:44pm

dollar98 ; here are the facts. i have a 99 Pace arrow 35j, no slides,i tow a 99 jeep cherokee 4/4 , the ride would make you seasick on a curvy road, the v-10 had enough power if you were'nt towing, but hook up and tow and it would kick out of o/d on a freeway overpass. in the hills you might as well slow down and lock out the o/d to save your trans. i added the banks power pak, air bags frt. and rear, davis track bar and bilsteins. the ride improved 100% the sway was greatly reduced(just don't pullover on the freeway and try to stand up and use the bathroom.the power was up, i can now run the freeway without the trans kicking down on overpasses. the trans command shortens shift time between shifts, doesn't hit harder though.if i'm not towing i think that my rig would outrun and out manouver my dodge pickup , i installed all parts , not that hard to install.

Posted By: GLBosn on 03/11/03 09:12am

My only mistake in purchasing our first MH was not researching known manufacturers defects ie. firewall leak in Ford E450 chassis. We rented two different size class C's before we bought, so we got the size right. Amazing how much difference 6 feet makes.

I can imagine a no more rewarding career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worth while, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: "I served in the United States Navy." JFK

Posted By: exportman on 03/11/03 01:09pm

We bought our first MH in 1976 after thoroughly enjoying a rental for a 2-week vacation in Western Canada. The used 25-foot mini had 2 problems: 1) it had a black water holding tank but no gray water tank. Had to put a plastic drain bag outside. Thought all MHs came with both. Caveat emptor (that's 'buyer beware' for those of you in Rio Linda.) The 2nd problem was that the chassis wasn't as long as it should've been and because there was so much "overhang" behind the rear axle, the MH bounced a lot and sagged when I hooked up my boat trailer. Got rid of it after one year.
We are now on our 4th MH and each time we buy we get better at knowing what to look for and what to avoid. We love our Bounder. It's far from the best on the market but for the money, it's giving us lots of fun and enjoyment.

Posted By: Sully2 on 03/11/03 02:10pm

I personally never had problems with Fleetwood..although I do think everything they sell is a tad too high compared to other makes. But if I read your post rare GOING to buy a 37 ft DP....with a 5.9 / 275 horse in it/ Id say you are going to be underpowered ! One reason I went with an 8.3 for the extra HP and LOTS more torque.

2002 Jeep Liberty
2016 Ford Escape

Posted By: Kro on 03/14/03 10:40pm

Show me someone who says they didn't make a mistake in buying their first Motorhome, and I'll show you a liar or someone that is out of motorhoming. I've always said, you have to buy your seventh motorhome first!!!! With that, remember, time flies, and manufacturers are always upgrading or making changes that are "needed" or at least desired by us common toads. That's their business, making motorhomes better and more attractive to the buyer! I bought my first motorhome brand new in 1971(?). Did I make a mistake? I'll tell you. It was a 21 foot Winnebago Brave with a small dodge engine, no generator, no nothing compared to today's standard. But, yes! There were bigger, better, and more equipped out there in 1971. But, if you feel you have made a mistake, you are not alone. Also, the banks and all lending institutions knowingly bet you will sell or trade within five years or less for a bigger and "better" coach. They count on it!!! For now, enjoy your coach, you only come around once!

Kro and Dido
2003 Fleetwood Excursion DP
Two Bouviers (one old and fat, like me)

Posted By: Rob36 on 03/15/03 08:51am

Hello all!

No we didn't makle a mistake , however there is a lot to learn in the RV SPORT! And a mistake can easily happen!

We were new at rving in 2002, didnt know a thing! However we both enjoy traveling and are adventurous!
But we didnt know anyone personally that had a coach, so we were on our own!

We looked high and low, in our area, which has a limited number of Rv dealers! We were out each day from dawn to dusk hunting!
The hunt was fun and also a learning experience!

After 3 weeks looking , we decided on a 31 ft, gas, 97 Gulfstream Sun Voyager, that was exceptionally clean! inside and out! The coach was purchased at near Low NADA, from a local Dealer!

And after checking that everything worked, set out on our First Adventure! Drove it 8,500 miles and was out for 2 months, mostly in the North West!
We did have a few incidents, but not enough to wane our interest in RVing!

When we got back we, decided to sell the Coach and buy a New Diesel Pusher! It will be ready the end of March!

By the way due to the Excellent condition of our Gulfsteam we were able to sell it for about what we paid for it!

IMO , If your not sure you will enjoy Camping, like we did, start off with a an inexpensive coach, knowing that you will not be keeeping it, buy it right, buy checking prices out at the NADA site, and hopefully get someone that knows RVs to do a final check with you! Consider buying a Extended Warranty, on the internet, we did!

After 2 months out with your Partner you will know what features are important to you!

I hope this little note will be useful to some NEwbies!

Posted By: Paul W on 03/15/03 05:01pm

I drove a 32' travel trailer four years to long with all that swaying back and forth. Then bought a 2000 Mountain Air 40'DP with a 350 hp and a 6speed trainy. We also tow a 23' boat at 5500 lbs. You talk about a nice ride with power to spare. I wouldn't think of going smaller or with less power. The only over drive problem I have with this rig is that I see the rpm change from 1800 rpms to 2000 rpms every once and awhile, and if I didn't see the tack move, I wouldn't have known that it down shifted. All the jingles and bells the coach has are just great; four coach batteries, 2000 watt inverter, tracking sat., two magic beds for the 2 teens.

Posted By: Kubo on 03/15/03 08:58pm

Dear Dollar, I would like to tell you my story about buying a motorhome. First of all I went from tent camping to a class A motorhome. I went to every RV show on the planet. I collected all the information from fellow RV'ers from all the shows and spent 3 years doing this untill we found our motorhome. The main thing is to get alot of education on motorhomes. Ask CAMPERS alot of questions. They been there, done that, They know what is good and bad. Also what really helped us is we sat and did a day of simulated camping in the motorhome that we liked to see if it meet our needs. That really helped us to see if that motorhome was right for us. We purchased a 2000 Itasca 35 ft suncruiser. We love it, no problems so far.

Posted By: samert on 03/16/03 05:22am

The Banks PowerPak is everything they say it is as far as I'm concerned. I paid around $1700.00 from CW and installed it myself on my mid-1980's 33 ft. Coachman/P30 w/454. Improved the low end performance significantly. I installed it just prior to a trip from MI. to CO. for a ski trip for my sons HS senior year spring break. Had to take the coach over Loveland Pass at almost 12,000 elevation. Going up I was passing new coaches creeping along at 15 mph in first gear while I was running 30-40 in 2nd gear (TH400). My wife said I didn't quit smiling until 2 days later. Only problem was going down the other side with very little engine brake due to the Banks system. Brakes got a little hot.

Installation was pretty easy. I was very impressed with the engineering of the system. I'm also a gearhead and old Bracket racer from my high school days in Tucson in the 70's.

I've had the Banks system for several years now and just this last winter pulled the headers off and sent them to JetHot for their Jethot 2000 Ceramic coating. Goal here is to reduce the engine operating and doghouse temp as much as possible. Also will increase the life of the headers I'm told.

Bonus for us old racers is the low rumble this exhaust sytem put's off. It just sounds nice.

Steve & Judy
1996 American Tradition
Spartan IC 2242 Chassis
C8.3L Cummins w/Banks Stinger, Allison MD3060
Doran 360RV TPMS, Progressive HW50C EMS.
Koni shocks, Safe-T-Plus
2001 Jeep Wrangler toad
ReadyBrute tow bar w/ReadyBrake

Posted By: Agermontt on 03/21/03 04:45am

I would hardly call the first motorhome a mistake. Itis more like the training wheels of the bicycle. Just a bit more costly.

Our progression was as follows in a bit under 5 years from tent camping, to used pop-up, to used 31 foot T.T, to used 2000 26' Georgie Boy, Pursuit and now in 2003 a 32' foot Pursuit. Needless to say there was an adustment from the 31' T.T. to the 26' Motor Home.

The things we learned and learned quickly were more than the 2 of us was a cowd, and on a rainy weekend the 2 of us made a crowd. The motor home's smaller size was great for being on the go and not having to worry about where you were going to park it. All of our excursions simple meant unhooking the water and power and hitting the road. There was no need for a toad. Unfortunately there was'nt a sofa, the booth dinette did not offer comfortable seating, and te dog and cat seemed to be constantly underfoot.

One one particular trip after reaching for something in a lower cabinet my posterior hit the table and my head hit the counter top. Not a large cut but a bump on the head, and I stated it was time for a slide out.

At the local RV show we upgraded to the current 2003 32 foot Georgie Boy Pursuit. We had no prolems with the previous Georgie Boy so decided to stick with what we knew. We now have two slides so the only thing I should be slamming my head on will be the awning posts. The extra space will now be shared with an additional beagle, we adopted Lindsey from a local rescue an have promised the rescue staff she will have a god life.

The first Motor Home was great fun and started many fine memories of camping on this new level of adventure.

The mistake we made with the new Motor Home was picking it up on 02/01/03 and having to take it directly to storage. But soon it will be home and we will be ready to hit the road again.

Happy Traveling to everyone, and hoping we cross some of your paths.


*This Message was edited on 21-Mar-03 02:55 PM by Agermontt*

*This Message was edited on 21-Mar-03 02:58 PM by Agermontt*

Jim and Rich Broadview Hts, OH
Bailey (Traveling 13" Beagle)
Lindsey Hoover Scooter Lilly (Traveling 13 " Beagle)
Avery (Traveling Cat)

2003 Georgie Boy Pursuit 3205 LS
Sterling/Roadmaster Tow Package
2003 CRV Toad "OUR TOAD"
Brake Buddy

Posted By: Capt Vern on 03/21/03 06:04am


Don't know yet?

Bought our first MH last Oct, a 40' National Islander Diesel Pusher with two slides, and wife and I are in our mid 60'. My brohter-in-law, when he found out we were shopping for a MH, told me that we could start small and "work" our way up as he is doing. My response was - that at my age I did not have time for that game.

So far we like the Islander, service by Keysone RV in Greencastle, PA has been excellent.

May have a delamination problem, but Natinal has a 3 year warranty if indeed I am looking at the early stages of delamination.


*This Message was edited on 21-Mar-03 06:07 AM by Capt Vern*

Vern and Skippy
69 41' TC Hatteras Motoryacht,Twin Detroits
03 40' National Islander, 400 ISL Cummins
Saturn Dinghy

Posted By: Bill S. on 03/21/03 04:53pm

My wife and I bought our first motorhome, a 26' class C in 1987 without ever having gone camping before. Oh yes, we were each in the Scouts as kids, if that counts, but not since. She said that we're nuts (actually said I was since it was my idea :-) Anyway, we kept that rig for 11 years and loved every trip we took from an overnighter near home to the longer vacations from Maine to Florida. A mistake? What do you say?

Bill, (aka Capt.Bill)
2002 Horizon 36LD, Cat 330
RVing since 1987
First State

Posted By: dleslie125 on 03/21/03 11:09pm

Questions for Rob and Bert (and others)
I'm a first time buyer who must also head up the procrastinators' club (I'm really concerned about not getting the "right" rig. We have been "thinking" about this for 6 years now bouncing around from a starter 24 ft Class C to a 30 ft Class A to this 34 (frankly, when we see the extras in something like the HR and above we feel they have to be much more liveable) . I've got my eye on a new HR Neptune 34 PBD. The price converted from Cdn$ to US$ would be about $93k (does that sound reasonable or is it too high for a year old unit??). Is the 275HP DP engine adequate? I just found this forum this evening (as I watch F1 qualifying) and didn't realize there would be so many potentially underpowered units out there.

Any comments would be appreciated.

I'm also going to look at a new 2002 Triple E.

I've seen some comments on what to expect for discounts on a new unit without a trade and would be interested in any guidance that can be offered on purchasing a new unit that is the prior year's model. I assume it should be a bigger discount - but how much more?



Posted By: dleslie125 on 03/22/03 12:45am

Well, as someone who just found this forum this evening I must say that I really enjoyed reading this thread. It gave me an awful lot to think about. I may have thought about and forgotten a number of these points over the past few years but this brought them points back and added many more.

A couple of years ago I tried the Usenet forums on RVs and found them to be far from civil and not really useful. I have to congratulate the participants of this forum for being very helpful and most civil. I will certainly look in on a regular basis (might even get my wife to sit at the computer with me since "she who must be obeyed" will really make the final decision on our first MH :-)


Posted By: mombum on 03/22/03 12:42pm

We started with a VW camper for two years, then a C for a year. Found a very nice, low mileage '98 Holiday Rambler from a pvt party and went full time. Like the 454 chevy. Only dislike: the lack of support/response from the mfg, Monaco. If I had a buck for all the "buckpassing" they give I could pay for a service visit.

Read a letter in Motorhome from a very satisfied Fleetwood product owner, praising the factory support he had received. Looks like a mfg to consider the next time.

Time's a wastin'

'00 Winnebago Journey DP
'02 Saturn
'00 Red Dachsie, Molly

Posted By: kinofDroad on 03/24/03 05:58pm

yes with wife not with MH

Posted By: Backman on 06/28/03 01:13pm

I don't think we made a mistake, but we did buy too fast. We did not shop around much which was a mistake. Now, one year later we are looking at a new motorhome with more room, three slides. Had we looked more and read these forums when we first bought we would never have bought what we did. It is not a bad motorhome, just not enought storage and not enough room inside for us. Everyone has their own opinion as to how much room they need. This is just my opinion.

Larry and Debbie
2012 Sanibel 3500

Posted By: eagle1 on 06/28/03 08:16pm

Same advice I got on my first class A. BUy a gas unit, when I wanted a diesel. Well I have a diesel, and lost alot of money on the gas unit.

Posted By: djevans on 06/28/03 08:30pm

To all those who replied to my posts some time ago, in this thread: (1st of all, "Thank you for your comments.")

Also, I mentioned this in another thread, but thought I'd go ahead an post it here too.

We did put the BANKS' Power Pack and Trans Command on our RV.

While not diesel power, it's pretty good now. I'd feel it's adequate for the way we use it. We are no longer looking to trade in the near future.

Our only negative is that it's a bit noisier inside. The main source of the noise that gets our attention in the air intake. (It was changed to K & N (I think) when CW did the install. They did charge us approx: $750.00 to install all of it. (The Power Pack) The whole thing was about $3000.00, parts and installation and one broken stud removed, they broke during the install.

It's also noisier outside, but the exhaust noise isn't that noticeable inside and we are getting used to the air intake noise. (there IS a tube to the air intake collector mounted on the front grill, but it's still louder than the factory air cleaner - again, it's not that bad though)

Posted By: djevans on 06/28/03 08:32pm

Pushtoy . . .

When I do buy a diesel, and I will, [emoticon] I will gladly follow your "orders" to the letter and get a BIG diesel!


Don . . .

Posted By: dleslie125 on 06/28/03 08:57pm

Don, I had to chuckle at this thread. You added the Banks to your signature - and that put it in right from the start of this thread. This evening I started at the front of the thread and found it strange that you were wondering about a Banks system when you already had one. It was only later on that it became clear you added Banks and put it in your signature.

2011 Itasca Impulse 26QP Silver Toad 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited
New W-I Class C Yahoo Group
07 Jayco 32SS Kodiak 8.1 • 06 HR Amb 40PLQ ISC • 04 Winnie Jrny 39W CAT • 2000 Triple E CDR F53
Member Super C RV Group

Posted By: djevans on 06/28/03 10:32pm

dleslie125 . . .

I knew changing the signature would do that, but I hadn't thought about it with regard to this thread. I understand your initial thought. If I had thought about it, I would have put in a note about it. I appreciate your pointing it out though, so I can keep it in mind for the future.

I don't really care about advertising that particular system, but it does get comments and questions, gives others considering the system additional information, and bottom line, is, that it works very well for me.

I appreciate your point Don. (or Bev)

note: Get (tow) the car. It made a heck of a difference for us.

Posted By: GrahamG on 06/29/03 06:26am

In Sept/Oct I start a new assignment in the US. We are seriously thinking about living in an decent size RV 38ft+, most likely a DP. We can spend upto 175k. But I have been looking at a couple of Internet sites on and off since Jan but have become a bit concerned at how quickly the prices seem to drop. For instance, on they have a 43' for sale item D10. In Feb this was 229k, today it is 175k. How do I know how much to pay?, if I went for this unit how much should I offer?, - lots of questions....
If we become an RV owner - how does the running cost compare to buying or renting a house etc?

Posted By: djevans on 06/29/03 07:37am

GrahamG . . .

I feel you really should consider starting a new thread post so you'll get more comments.

Also, do a search using the hour glass above on "buying" and "negotiating" with the various sellers.

Lot's of us start with NADA to get some idea of present value. Still, like you, keep looking at prices and you'll get more ideas.

We absolutely will not be buying a new RV. I just wouldn't be able to "mentally tolerate" the depreciation in the first few years.

Some list the depreciation in the range of 18% the first year, 14% the next, 12% the next, and from there it start to vary less each year, but it surely continues.

I assume you are going to be traveling in your job? I guess I was just wondering. Apartments may not be an option, but in the 43' range it will certainly have to be a diesel. They "can" be better in terms of depreciation, but they go down quickly too in some cases.

If you start a new post, just ask the "group" here what they think you should pay. I know I will post a general "price question" here before we buy our next diesel RV. It's (the feedback)too valuable here. If there were problems with a certain model, someone usually mentions it. Some like RV.ORG for comments about the vehicle's themselves, but, certainly check other sites like RVONLINE.COM (and others) and compare numbers.

It doesn't matter quite as much in diesels, but it does still matter. That one you are looking at certainly has EXTREMELY low mileage. Find out the history on that. That's really low. They also have had that for some time. They may be a motivated seller, take your time in reaching your maximum buying price, whatever that may be. It doesn't seem to be a bad price.

"Cash" on hand usually gets you a better price and it doesn't muddy the price with a trade vehicle.

If you decide to "do something," let us know what happens. Good Luck and "check everything!" (price, vehicle, appliances, "never been wrecked," and the "deal" in general. Get everything in writing. I hate to be so cynical, but if it "ain't" in the contract, the seller isn't bound by it. Everything's in writing and in the contract.

Posted By: djevans on 06/29/03 07:50am

GrahamG . . .

Operating costs vs home

both require:

- Insurance (home might be cheaper) our RV is not a very expensive one, and it costs twice as much as our home to insure nad we have a relatively large home

- both require energy and have associated costs - lots depend on how much you drive

- You have to plan for maintenance on both, but I seem to work on my RV more than my home. The RV may cost next to nothing other than routine maintenance of the fluids and consumables. (brakes, etc.) If the appliances are in good shape (or you are handy enough to repair those) your costs on those should be next to nothing on those items.

POST a note in the "fulltimers" area of this board. A lot of them have first hand experience.

Posted By: MariAnimal on 06/29/03 08:54am

We didn't totally know what we wanted when we bought ours. We knew we wanted a couch and a queen bed, dinette wasn't critical. So the ones with twins or not enough living room were out. We did look at quite a few over many months, all pre owned ones. I'm glad we didn't act quickly on one of the ones that didn't have what we wanted to get a good deal, I see where we could have made a mistake. It helped we rented one for a weekend that was the same size as ours and it gave us a good idea of what we had to have.

I'm really happy with ours with no regrets- but we checked it out completely before buying and also knew what we wanted in general.


Posted By: GrahamG on 06/29/03 10:25am


Thanks for the help. I will start a new thread with similar text. You mentioned to do a search using the hour glass above on "buying" and "negotiating" with the various sellers. Problem is I see no hour glass! I tried the link to and found the price for D10. to be low retail $205, average retail $246k. So maybe they would accept $150k cash ??
But it is probably a bit bigger than we need anyhow. 36,38,40' seem more popular does a few feet make such a big difference? The amount of choice and options seems to be overwhelming though, that is my main problem. But if we rent/buy a home we are tied down, and anyway we would have to buy a bunch of furniture! I appreciate your feedback.

Posted By: djevans on 06/29/03 10:50am

GrahamG . . .

I'm going to blame it on age!

I meant the "magnifying glass" at the top right of the page (it's not an "hour glass," I'm very sorry)

*This Message was edited on 29-Jun-03 10:52 AM by djevans*

Posted By: Hoffman2 on 06/29/03 11:03am

We thought we made a mistake with our first motorhome but after coming back off a 3,000 mile trip, we got 10 mpg with the air on and towing a car including traveling through some hilly country. We had no trouble going up long steep inclines and maintainging at least 50 mph without excessive downshifting or pushing the gas pedal all the way to the floor. We thought we needed a diesel but not sure now.

2005 Itasca Meridian 36G
350 Caterpillar
2004 Honda CRV Toad ">

Posted By: trailertrash on 06/29/03 11:21am

I don't think we made a mistake on the first one. I had an opportunity to purchase ours for 50% of retail, from a guy who as going to lose it to the bank. I think as we started to use it, learn more about the lifestyle and our trips became longer in time and distance, our needs changed as well. Funny thing, we just purchased another one this year and we already have a list started for our next one.

Posted By: GrahamG on 06/29/03 12:06pm

Found it - thanks. No need to be sorry though!
I have also taken a look at RVonline and am astonished by the selection available. Just for kicks I focussed on "London Aires" and found several at or below the PPL price I mentioned. I guess that I need to know (say) the top 5 websites. I am visiting California mid Aug and will have a chance to see some RV's. You mentioned about insurance, maintenance etc, but I thought the biggest cost would be the parking fees? I will try starting a new thread and see what comes. Thanks again. G.

Posted By: ole trucker on 06/29/03 12:34pm

if anyone says they didn't, they be lyin'!!!!!!!!
will and ina
00 38dww HR endeavor
330 cat and 2 dalmations
no toad (yet)

Posted By: PSDExcursion on 06/29/03 01:52pm

Our first motorhome was a used 1985 34' Coachmen President with 208" P30 454 Chevy chassis in Jan 1993. On our first trip to Florida in March 1993 we stopped at Camping World in Myrtle Beach SC because we ran into the "Storm of the Century " and almost got blown off of Rt 17 in NC and had the roof vent in the bathroom ripped off. While at Camping World it was windy and a mild 65° but after getting a new vent we stayed behind the building and camped out there since they had free water and electric back then. Then it dropped below freezing overnight and we drove to St Augustine Beach FL the next day. The first night we ran out of propane at 2AM and our pipes froze when it hit 27° and the weather sucked the whole week we were there.

But the reason I think the MH was a mistake is because we also have two Timeshares and it just wasn't used enough to justify the insurance etc. So since we had a diesel 4x4 Excursion we purchased a 41 ft TT that has much more room and tows like a 5th wheel TT with the optonal torsion axles and Hensley Arrow hitch. I love MH's but the combo we have now just works out better since a diesel MH with the room of our dual slide-out 41 ft TT would cost a few hundred grand and another drivetrain to work on.

*This Message was edited on 29-Jun-03 01:58 PM by PSDExcursion*

2002 Chevy Express 3500 8.1 155" WB passenger van
41 Ft 2003 Thor Citation 41-ZBSR TT w/ Hensley Arrow

Posted By: bagman on 06/29/03 02:58pm

The only mistake that I made on our first MH purchase was paying too much! Probably could have got it for 4-5 thousand dollars less. Bagman.

Posted By: pemery on 06/29/03 06:25pm

Hi Don, We just purchased a 97 Pace Arrow Vision w/slide . It has a Chev 454. I will be going to Texas in 1 wk to drive it home. I hope I didn't make a mistake by not going diesel...Paul

"97" PaceArrow Rockland, MA

Posted By: jrf on 06/29/03 06:39pm

Lot of posts here.

I made a big mistake.

My mistake was not buying my first MH sooner.

Posted By: djevans on 06/29/03 06:59pm

pemery . . .

I love my RV, but I like the "Vision" better. The stock Chevy is about the same as the stock FORD in 1997. I will tell you, (pre-BANKS) we had no trouble leaving Nashville last year, going to VA Beach, then to New England, then to Canada, and back to Nashville. About 3000 miles. It's was just that on some hills, we didn't "do it" very quickly. Now we do "it" quicker "everywhere!" [emoticon]

I hope you enjoy your Pace Arrow as much as we have ours and is as trouble free as ours has been. I've been waiting for two years for something to go wrong. ...Other than very minor issues, nothing.

Good Luck and be careful driving to Texas

Posted By: Buckshot38 on 07/01/03 03:40pm

The wife and I purchased our first RV back in the early 70s and we had a 19' Fan (long gone) a 25'
Prowler and then a 31' Prowler. Then we moved to Ca. and sold the Prowler and bought an Eldorado minnie. What a piece of junk. We had to send it back to the factory and it had to be completely rebuilt. We got rid of it after a few years and moved to Fl. where we got back into my first love, boats. We live in Jacksonville and it really gets hot here in the summertime and when it's that hot boating is no fun. After a couple of years we decided to get another RV and picked a one year old Minnie Winnie. It was a good RV but it had no slide and was too small. Winnebago had just come out with their Vectra and we decided to buy a 33RQ. I spent a lot of money on that coach including the installation of a Banks exhause system. Then I decided to weigh the rig and found out that we were 40 lbs over the capacity of the front axle and we weren't in it. The rear axle was within 300 lbs of being overloaded. Our next motorhome was made by one of the major manufacturers and it turned out to be one huge lemon. Everything that could go wrong did
problem after problem and most of it electrical. After 2 1/2 years the case was finally settled, Attorney fees were $38,000 and we lost out big time. I had a 96 DSDP for a short time and that was the best motorized rig we ever had. Then we started in with a truck and a fifth wheel and then a bigger truck and a bigger fifth wheel and now we have an 01 Dodge dually diesel and a 29' dbl slide HR Alumascape. I am going to have open heart surgery in a few weeks and the wife and I want to get a 34' Newmar after I recuperate and hit the road full time.

Posted By: MotorHomeGuy on 07/01/03 04:28pm

1st MH was a 2001 Bounder, 32' with twin slides on a Ford chasis. If I had to do it over again it would be on a Freightliner chasis and diesel powered. Unfortuniately, fiances do not allow for such so I sold it and purchased the next best thing -

Posted By: GWFULTZ on 12/09/03 01:53pm

We started looking for a truck camper to take to Alaska. Truck dealer asked "how big is your Camper?" Camper dealer asked "How big is your truck?" We found a 21 foot class C which was wonderful sitting on the dealers lot (just the 2 of us and a 5 pound dog and that damn cat). We bought it and found out it wasn't wonderful on anything longer than a weekend. We traded it for a 31 foot class c (after 5 months) which we kept for 2.5 years (This one made the Alaska trip). Great coach but no place to really stretch out in the evenings. We now have a Class A with 2 slides and it is much better. All the comforts of home and mama is happy.

Just the two of us

Posted By: Banandangees on 12/09/03 03:09pm

Being a very conservative person, like my father and his father before him, I very seldom have ever bought anything that I felt I couldn't afford. That includes a used Winchester bike in 1946 up to a pretty well equipt new, off-the-line Dutch Star DP in 2002; and, usually, with a fair amount of research concerning what it was I was about to purchase. Have I ever made a mistake and wish that I had bought something different or nothing at all, you betcha.

Our motorhome selection, the DSDP, we have been very happy with, as I am sure we would have been had we chosen a different but similar model. Being our first ever MH, we have nothing to compare it with. But, so far, no regrets. Financially, we knew that we could afford it going in. Both of us were in agreement with that. That is the big consideration. Can you afford what you are thinking about buying, especially something of this magnitude; knowing that, unlike a home, what you are about to buy will depreciate in value? Also, if you are really into RVing, have you purchased less than you can afford wishing later that you had gone with something "bigger" or more "plush"? I suppose, that is where the research comes in.

So far so good for us. But, like my old Indian friend, Herky Horney, used to say, "you never know what's around the next bend in the river!"


Posted By: joelbaker on 12/09/03 04:16pm

We thought we could get by with one slide but it just doesn't work. Also, 34' turned out a bit small but not altogether undoable. The lack of a second slide kills us. So only three months after our first purchase we are actively looking for a (preferably) triple slide DP for floorplan and length.

Joel & Bonnie
3 boys and 4 dogs
No coach right now ">
Rallies Attended: 8;Gatherings Attended: 3

Posted By: rickb on 12/09/03 09:12pm

Wasn't a mistake, I don't think, but was an interesting learning exercise. I used it for it's intended purpose and still have it, although not using it much, right now (that's the Bounder).

I've got three completely different kinds of units and I like each one for it's unique features. One thing I do is look for reasonable 10year old or so units. The price/feature/maintainability/repairability curves intersect reasonably at that stage (my economic sensibilities).

The Bounder is just huge inside, to me. Lots of space, comfy shower and room for one of us to work and the other to get away and rest. Cabinetry is cheap, but I love the space and I love the fact that everything on it is standard and can be fixed by a Chevy dealer for the running parts and by any RV person for the household parts. I converted the back end into an office with wrap-around counters - it's a great place to work.

The Truck/Camper combo is comfy to drive, separable (giving me a separate vehicle and the ability to tow a boat, to boot). It's liveable inside, but certainly not as spacious. The high bed platform raises some - uh - interesting conjugal possibilities...

Latest has been the class "B" Coachmen. Spacewise, it's really tight, frankly, but I'm getting used to it and, surprisingly, quite enamored with it. I can go anywhere at the drop of a hat, park it anywhere, and it's reasonably economical to run. Complete opposite from the Bounder in all categories. It's pretty good when I'm on my own, running between California and Southern Utah.

So, I dunno. I like them all for different characteristics. I don't think I'd call any of them a "mistake", but perhaps the circumstances under which they were obtained changes, and then I start looking around for another one.


Current stable:
  • '97 F350 CC 4x4 SWD/'97 Coachmen Ranger cabover camper, 11.5'
  • DataStorm Satellite Internet w/ 'a/b' Internal WiFi (I'm here!)
  • '92 Coachmen class 'B', Chevy van chassis.

    In Tow:
  • Folbot Yukon folding kayak.
  • Bike Friday Gnu/Sat-R-Day folding bikes.

  • Posted By: LCook on 12/10/03 05:01am

    Yep! Our first unit was a class C with the bed over the driver's compartment. On our first trip, after the second night, my wife informed me that I would be sleeping alone up there. We kept that unit less than six months. [emoticon]

    2003 Damon Ultrasport w/330 CAT

    Posted By: 3 dog nights on 12/10/03 05:25am

    WOW... form April of 02' till Dec 03' what a thread!

    Posted By: erupert on 12/10/03 06:17am

    Since this topic seemed to get "reactivated" with a couple of posts. I'll add my $.02

    My first unit was an '89 Class C. Similiar to a previous post, I found out quickly that we were in "separate" sleeping quarters as my wife counldn't stand the cabover. But, I bought it used and it was cheap ($15K) at the time so it met my needs as something to "test the water" wtih. The original poster stated that you need to buy one first to realize what mistakes you made. I agree somewhat in that you need to RV before you know what will meet your needs and what you want. Purchasing an older unit first has it's advantages and disadvantages. At least it's inexpensive and probably past the major depreciation curve so you won't lose much selling it. HOWEVER, if it's your first RV, and an older one at that, the fix-it headaches might discourage you from continuing. For us, we moved too quickly into unit #2. A GB Pursuit. Looked awesome when we bought it, but, in truth, it's their cheapest model and it showed quickly. Fortunately, we got a great deal on it and I sold it for only $5K less than I purchased it for after 14 mos. and 20K miles.

    For some, a couple of rentals at $1500 to $2K might be a much more cost effective way to sample RVing before buying a unit, deciding after a year or so that it's not right and taking the deplreciation hit.

    '95 "Free" Fleetwood Rio.

    Posted By: Sorney1 on 12/10/03 06:27am

    The "mistake" was basing my needs on somebody else's needs. My "consultant" said get the couch, not the dinette, in my first Flair 25' Class A. Went to the PA factory to chose one and they had a new 28' model that would have been preferable with both sofa & dinette but was scared of the length.

    Posted By: mrwacky on 12/10/03 08:49am

    Obviously this is a thread that will never grow old as long as the forum last. The 31 ft. Airstream travel trailer I once bought was a mistake. I should have gone with a 5th wheel at the time. For its size and weight it didn't have much living space and hardly any storage. Plus by the time I was hooked up with my truck I was 50 feet long. Oh well.

    2005 Montana Big Sky 3670RL
    In loving memory SIX FERRETS--FUZZY, SILLY, PUMPKY, BABY, RANDY & RUDY (deceased)

    Boo Boo, Yogi, and Sadie our two poms and Papillion rebels

    Posted By: mowermech on 12/10/03 04:22pm

    Our first motor home was fine, until my wife started travel nursing. She works nite shift, and when she went to bed in the morning the bathroom was blocked all day. We traded it for a rear bedroom 32 footer, which was great until we got the 5er. Now we are having a hard time selling the 32 foot rear bedroom motorhome. Oh, well, someday....

    CM1, USN (RET)
    2002 Fleetwood Southwind 32V, Ford V10
    Daily Driver: '06 PT Cruiser Turbo
    Toy: 1999 Dodge QC LWB, Cummins, Automatic, 4X4
    Other toys: a pair of Kawasaki Brute Force 750 ATVs.
    "When seconds count, help is only minutes away!"

    Posted By: Dollar98 on 12/10/03 06:29pm

    Wow this thread sure produced a lot of replies. Thanks guys for some great reads.................

    Posted By: uncle t on 12/10/03 07:49pm

    You are "just curious"?? There are as of this writing over 19,000 folks that have read this thread. It is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!! Our first M/H less than 3 yrs ago was a 78 Sportcoach/Sherman tank/Hummer type steel thing on wheels. It taught us after a few uses that RV ing was the thing to do. We have gone from that to a TT to a 5er to a new Itasca due in at the dealer in 2 or 3 days. Although we have been slammed a little on resale we did it right a little at a time until we feel comfortable. DP is right around thew corner, I guess. Hey. It's only money!!

    06 Monaco Knight 40PLQ

    Posted By: Finally a new one on 12/10/03 08:21pm

    Can't resist weighing in about "you bought one and really hacked the wife off and got another?". True story. I got tired of the endless looking and the wife not wanting to let go of the old one. We had agreed that the Fleetwood Storm or Flair seemed to be palatable to her although I wanted a Class C. So on a Friday I struck a deal to trade in the old and drug home a 2003 Flair (non-slide). Wife didn't speak to me Friday or Saturday. Sunday she calls the dealer asking about the three-day cooling off period (dreamer). The dealer laughed at the "cooling off period comment" but understood her dislike and offered to take the Flair back if we bought up. So she finds an '03 Pace Arrow, double-slide and very nice inside. Dealer says he'll honor the trade-in from Friday and since they hadn't sent the paperwork in he'd give us 100% return on the Flair as a still new, unregistered vehicle. I told the wife she could have the Pace Arrow if she paid the difference.

    So we've enjoyed the Pace Arrow now since early may...true story.

    Regards, CD

    Regards, CD

    Posted By: Craig & Karen on 12/11/03 03:04am

    This is our first and we love it. We thought we did a pretty good job of looking and educating ourselves prior to buying, but after a year we sure have learned a lot more and much of it from this forum. We bought a used 1-owner rig from a dealer. All of the warranty and service records as well as all manuals were intact and passed on to us. The prior owner loved this unit and it showed in looks and maintenance. I will say that we did not truely know what we wanted or needed until we had used the MH for several months and about 5,000 miles. Fortunately, this is a great unit for us and we couldn't love it more. Yes, we sometimes get "new rig fever," but it passes quickly.

    * This post was edited 12/11/03 03:26pm by Craig & Karen *

    1995 Fleetwood Bounder 31K
    Full Timers since 2012
    Craig & Karen

    Posted By: Dashonthedash on 12/11/03 04:49pm

    My personal answer to that is an unqualified NO. My current MH is my first and only, and I hope to get a few more years out of it. My only camping experience prior to 1992 was tents and backpacking, but my neighbor had a 27' Holiday Rambler that I remember as being quite "impressive" but I thought "I could never handle anything that big". A perusal of several newspaper advertising sections for RV shows in February and March of 1992 further piqued my interest, and I visited several RV dealers. I had decided to concentrate on units between 21 and 23 feet, so I checked out several small Class A's, B's and C's in the showroom and lot of the dealer. One of the units that was high on my list was the 23' Winnebago Brave. A walk-through of the 27-footer, highlighted by a lie-down on the sofa, quickly changed my mind and, one test drive and a little negotiation later, I had purchased myself that self-same 27' Winnebago Brave. I never had any major problems with it, just a couple minor warranty items, and I still enjoy it. As it turns out, I wouldn't have been as comfortable in a smaller unit, and a larger one is just a waste. It's just me and my dogs and, for a few trips the first few years, my mom. Perfect? Of course not. Sometimes it seems a bit weak in the power department, it's hard to handle in high winds, and the corner bed is a pain to make up. I do occasionally "check out" the new units when I'm visiting a dealer for service but, so far, I haven't found anything I like as much as my "Ruth". [emoticon]

    Gary Shapiro
    Shadow - 6-year-old Greyhound (aka Shadow Ninja)
    Hannah - 3-year-old GSD rescue (aka the Canine Tornado)
    Col. Dash (GSD) and Spec. Lily (Greyhound) and Spec. Molly (GSD Mix) - DOTL Rainbow Division, in my heart forever
    2011 G'town 280DS Class A

    Posted By: Classagal on 12/11/03 04:51pm

    We first purchased our 1st motor home in Sept and thought that a 32 ft storm with 2 slides would be fine, well we took 3 trips in it small ones and knew what we would want when we get the next one. We went out three week ago just to look and we did even take our check book with us and went back to the same dealer and he showed us the 37 ft three slide southwind and my husband and I jsut looked at each other and said lets do it because we are planning full time in a year. We didlose anything on the deal. He gaves us all back that we paid and we got a good deal on the new 2004 southwind. We were boater for many years and it seemed you aways end up going bigger and this time we just went right to the top of what we could afford because we knew we would be back as we did in less then 2 months.

    2004 Southwind 37FTC Triple Slide
    1 Good husband
    2 Papilion Bandit,Tuffy
    Liberty toad 2004
    How cool ">">

    Posted By: Burfman on 12/11/03 05:41pm

    I had no idea how old this post was. I was reading though and ran across a post from myself when we were taking delivery of our first MH. Well in follow up to the question, no way. We both love this rig and feel like others that did their homework via this forum and kicking a lot of tires that we made the right choice. I initally had a hard time talking the wife into buying prior to retirement but now since we have had it for a year and a half, she would sell me before she would sell the m/h. My only regret is I didn't act sooner when the kids were young. Oh well there are the grand kids! BTW we never made it to Mexico. Got as far as the Shady Dell RV Park in Bisbe, AZ and just stayed there. Great place to hang out. Its old 50's style with restored airstreams that you can rent for the weekend and Dots Diner for a real pattymelt and 50's expereince.

    Bill & CJ
    '99 CC Allure
    Enjoying it while we can!

    Posted By: rickb on 12/12/03 09:19am

    It is interesting how long this thread has lasted. Kind of compelling, really. We want to relate how we got into this and, for most of us, it's ultimately led to greater enjoyment, one way or the other. We all have different journeys that have brought us here.

    I would have to chime in with a lot of posters, here, though: My biggest mistake was not doing it sooner! Should have done this in my thirties (although in my youth I disdained the notion: tent camping/backpacking seemed more "pure" and appealing to my outdoors sensibilites.)

    I've always loved being on the road - being away, living the life of the nomad. Waking up and exploring someplace new every few days. Or every few months, if the place is worth exploring in depth. RV's are the gateway to doing that, hence, I am just fascinated by them. I love going to shows and "ooh-ing" and "aah-ing" and seeing all the different solutions to being on the road the various designers bring to the table.

    I like the historical aspects, too. In the National Car Museum in Reno, there's a "camping car" designed by no less than H. Ford, himself - kind of an early box van with a drop side you could use as a table for cooking. Turned out Henry loved to go camping and picnicking, and did so as often as he could - frequently with contemporary luminary T. Edison (if I remember, correctly).

    Then there's Mae West's House Car - kind of a miniature railroad car with a porch on the back (it's on tour in the National RV History Tour - here's a link: She reportedly loved being in the thing and getting on the road. It had an interesting accessory: a box attached to the exhaust you could put a chicken in - at the end of the day, you had roast chicken all ready to go!

    Wonder what their responses to this thread might have been...


    Posted By: Finally Fulltiming on 12/12/03 09:50am

    Just bought first unit - a 1985 Mallard 26' Class C with 43,000 miles on it last June for $9500. Due to injury, illness, etc., only put about 300 miles on it so far. Mistake? I'll let you know in the fall of 2004 for sure, but I don't think so. We're 2-3 years from retirement and plan on doing weekends and long weekends in the interim. Wanted unit to travel, not to camp. We rented twice, searched for over a year and discussed many things with RV'er friends. Knew we wanted [1]MH vs. TT or 5'er for bathroom convenience, [2]Used vs. new for budget, [3]Smaller vs. larger for convenience and confidence building, [4]Rear twin beds, [5]Fixed dining area (sacrificing living area at this size range]. Got it all. Only disappointment at this point (other than lack of use) was gas mileage was only 6.8 on short trips with very little generator use. Was expecting higher but I've just read forum on mileage and this seems to be right in line and hopefully will improve with longer trips. THANKS to all who contribute to these forums - your advice and hints are a Godsend to us rookies. And I am truly impressed with the high level of the discussions. Even when drastically opposed opinions clash, there is no bitterness or anger evident. A wonderful reflection on the quality of the RV lifestyle! :)

    Note: Due to invalid formatting, all formatting has been ignored.

    Posted By: Former enforcer on 12/27/03 10:07am

    Wow! Lot's of information here! All very educational, especialy on a particular brand that seems to coincide with a bit of history I heard from a sales person whose dealership carries that brand!

    Anyway, thanks to all of you who so willingly share your thoughts and experiences with others.

    From all this info, I feel any "mistake" we make in our shortly upcoming purchase will be minimal. Thanks, again, to all - and, Dollar98, thanks for asking the question.

    Tony Ryan
    No dogs or cats, but a great wife/co-pilot/navigator!
    2004 Winnebago Brave 32V on W20 chassis

    Posted By: Roy J Montgomery on 12/27/03 01:02pm

    After 4 years of driving different motor homes, touring factories, visiting RV parks, talking to people and dealers, I decided to skip all the motor homes people bought before they got the diesel pusher. In late 1999 I bought a new 2000, 37 ft dual slide, diesel with no experiance or camping back ground. We now have 63,000 miles on - not full timing. I am so glad I invested the money right the first time and not lose it all to depreciation on a series of smaller rigs to over come the fear factor. Technology of motor homes have come so far that a 40 foot, 4 slide, is the only way to go right now (for resale reasons). Low interest rates will ensure that you can over come the fear of driving the biggest, best, and it will keep your heart pumping for years to come - saying to yourselve when looking at those other small rigs you almost bought, Goly,gee I'm so glad I am not driving one of those.

    Posted By: vance on 12/27/03 09:31pm

    If there are any out there who didn't, they were lucky.

    2007 Coachman Encore
    330 HP Mercedes
    Honda CRV toad
    "If you see our children, PLEASE don't tell them where we are"

    Posted By: Treefrog on 12/27/03 10:49pm

    Our first was a 1978 Robin Hood Class C on a Dodge chassis; got it on a "family deal" when he decided to stop driving it (at age 82!!). Robin Hoods were great units, but the Dodge has been tempermental. I don't recommend older units to anyone who is not handy. We drove it a year and a half deciding if the "lifestyle" was for us, measuring other units against it.

    We'd do it again. It gave us enough information that we felt comfortable in buying a used 2000 Country Coach Intrigue.

    Posted By: Karen 1031 on 12/28/03 03:11pm

    "Anyone buy one and then realize you made a mistake on the first one.. If so, how did you rectify it."

    don't know yet Don, mulling that precise question over. did do a ton of research (on Bs) and was set on going Used cause i Knew the chances of getting it right as a first-timer were small-to-nil. then :[emoticon]igh:: went to a huge FMCA show, saw a Coach House Platinum ("classy" C without a cab) and thought: Bingo! still fairly small, bigger holding capacities, etc. this is the ticket for me. prior had thought a Chinook my 'dream coach' and the Platy blew it away.

    fast-foward six months: now know i'm a dry-camper and at this point the only thing i care about is: dry-camping capacities. and it's not even close to what i need.

    do i drop yet more into this overpriced absurdity - will the 'aerodynamic' roof even Hold solar panels, is it worth re-working the battery tray for T-105s, better yet 4 or 6 of them, and if so, Where would they go? is it worth having the bed raised for more water..and so on.

    or do i take a bath and try again? at this point, no idea.

    "No matter how much research you do, it seems there is no substitute for owning and using a MH"

    truer words were never spoken. those who rented first, and/or bought used - those are the smart ones imo.

    Karen, who shoulda stuck with her original plan

    Posted By: Cabo Paul on 12/29/03 11:32am

    Great thread, Dollar....

    Started out in the Boy Scouts, then, graduated to my 1963 VW Bus (can still recall sunsets on the rim of the Grand Canyon). Cher and I really got our feet wet by "camping" in the US Army. Started talking a little more seriously about an RV when Paul got reassigned away from Cher. Paul finally retired and outprocessed at Ft Lewis, WA. We rented our first Class C from Cruise America for that trip. We were hooked. February 2003 we went "just to look" at a local RV show. We decided between two Class A's and the Class C - Bigfoot. The Bigfoot won going away because of its quality and the incredibly large basement - Model 29G. We put on 8,000 miles and realized that the next time we do this, we will this, this, and that. "Bigger is better" fever struck this fall. Fortunately for us when we went to sell, Bigfoot's are in high demand. Our 29G went to a loving family and we picked up our 35U just before Thanksgiving. We have already put on 1,000 miles. It's great.

    So, did we make a mistake on the 1st MH? Heavens no!! The worst we can say is that this is our expensive hobby. The best is we are living out our dreams. Hope you decide to live yours!!

    Cher "> and Paul "> our Havanese, Peanut ">, and our Heathen, Lucy">
    Journey 36M "> "> Buick Enclave Toad

    Posted By: RB414921 on 01/04/04 12:51pm

    Well I must say I'm just a little concerned after reading this forum from start to finish. I haven't even taken delivery on our first Class A MH. I'm wondering if I made a mistake! I see quite a few people referencing Fleetwood as a mistake! After checking the 1998 Southwind Storm 30 out as best as I could and test driving it, My wife and I felt this would be a great entry level MH. It is a gasser with a 454 with no slides. Do you all know something about Fleetwood that I don't. Why do some of you feel Fleetwood was a mistake? I really don't want to be one of those who say "It was a bad choice!" I would rather be one of those who say " Why didn't I buy one sooner?"

    2013 Fleetwood Bounder 35K
    Rick and Susan

    Posted By: Larryjann on 01/04/04 03:37pm

    RB, No first MH is a mistake. We have been camping for alot of years in MH's and although our first was small, a 1984 22' Winnie class A, we still remember the good times we had in it.
    We now have a 32' Fourwinds, 454 gas, no slides. (The way we want it).
    Never mind the grumps and grouchs, if you like your Fleetwood Southwind, nobody else matters.
    Hope to see ya on the road or in camp.
    Jann & Larry Evans
    Chantie & Tippy (puppies)
    Waterford, MI.
    1993 Fourwinds
    Class "A"

    Jann & Larry
    Waterford, Michigan
    FMC# 301573
    1993 Fourwinds
    32' Class "A"

    Posted By: Linthead on 01/04/04 04:00pm

    The more I continue to look at prices and features of
    other motorhomes in my price range, the more I think I made a good choice the first time.

    2007 American Coach Tradition 42V
    2008 Hummer H3

    Posted By: 3 Dog on 01/05/04 08:50am

    Yep, we made a mistake the first time out. Bought a 26' class C thinking it would work well for several years and then we could trade up. Took us two trips out - 2 nights each trip - to figure out that trying to climb up into that cab-over bed wasn't going to work with these old bones. Also found that the floor area just wasn't enough with the extra 12 legs that we carry around with us. Went to a few dealer shows and found our current MH about 2 weeks later. We love it. RB414921 - don't let folks badmouth the Fleetwoods and get you too worked up. You will find lemons from every manufacturer and everyone has their own particular likes and dislikes. Fleetwood is on the lower end of the price scale and you have to be careful of the quality but having perused these forums and used the search function a bunch, we knew what to look for. We are tickled pink with our Storm.


    Me, an understanding and extremely tolerant wife and two Yorkies that run things.
    '06 Beaver Patriot Thunder with a 525 CAT (Doghaus)
    '06 Jeep Wrangler (3 Dog)

    "Hey look at that ... 3 Dog's chasin' a CAT!"

    Posted By: first-timer-class-a on 02/21/04 09:42am

    We just took delivery of our very first Class A. It's a 2004 Damon, Challenger 36', with 2 slides. Haven't yet had it out for our first shake down but will shortly. Can't really say if we made a mistake or not, but will know in a few months. Anyone else out here own a similar Class A?

    First-timer-class-a ">
    04 Damon, Challenger 36'

    Posted By: wamesit on 02/21/04 12:20pm

    Bought our first MH about 15 years ago. 1984 Midas 30 ft.All kinds of problems. Dumped it. Then bought a 1987 Coachmen 33 Ft. Had starting problems. Dumped it too. Then bought a 1999 Damon Intruder Model 349 Dumped it too. Needed a transsmision and Rear end with only 2000 miles on it.Good thing for factory warrenties. Then we traded that in for a 1999 damon ultrasport. No real problems with it Just a few little bugs you get on delivery. Then traded that for A 2002 Damon ultrasport new. Except for the stress crack under the Bedroom slide out, dealer fixed, two month repaire, A few other little problems it was Ok Until We were in a colision with a pickup truck towing a car hawler on I-95 north in South Carolina. Totaled the MH. We came out OK with no permanent injuries. Now have ordered a new DSMH with a lot of options and the way we want. We spent nearly 3 months of planning and looking a all features. Looks the right one for us Model 4009 with a spartan chasis. Just make sure you look at all the options you like. Floorplan, size, slideouts, new or used. Make sure you like, I mean love camping. Take youre time until youre sure of what you want Iwould not change anything that I did. Just wanted to upgrade I think I'M all done I expect delivery in Mid March Enjoy the ride Chuck

    Donna and Chuck
    2011 tiffin phaeton model qth 40ft
    03 saturn toad blue ox tow bar
    1998 Hi-Line Park Model trailor up in Maine
    2 chihuahua one female (bambi) one male (Alabama)

    Posted By: Len Souza on 02/21/04 02:26pm


    I Installed the Banks Power System (Tuned torque headers and trans command) on a 97 Fleetwood Southwind with the F 53/ 460 engine.) It made an amzing differece in the performance, especially on grades--10 MPH faster.

    Banks has dyno tuned and designed these headers to provide more torque in the mid range and he claimed 82 more HP at the peak. I would not consider the package to shortned the life of the engine at all. In fact I think that it could extend the life of the engine by: 1 running cooler, 2 having to turn less revs over the course of heavy uphill road loads. And the set up actualy got a 1/2 mile per gallon better fuel mileage.

    Posted By: SRWJR on 02/21/04 02:58pm

    You wont make a mistake with the 99 Discovery with the 275 ISB,
    great coach, we have a 98 36T with the 275 and believe me there
    is no loss of power, we did the Florida thing last year from
    Ohio and the 275 handled the hills and mountain's with ease
    pulling our toad. we have decided to get a new coach this year
    and in fact have one on order. but not because we are unhappy
    with our Discovery. but before you buy just make sure all the
    maintenance has been done since 99, with records to prove it. Scott

    Scott & Kathy & Pebbles our little Dachshund
    2004 Travel Supreme

    Posted By: Finally on 02/21/04 03:14pm

    Wow, wamesit, you have had quite a history of having bad luck with motorhomes! That last incident sounded VERY scary. It doesn't seem often that we hear of motorhomes being totalled. Be careful, and hope your luck changes, and you and your family will now be able to relax and have fun.

    Posted By: grousehunter 61 on 02/21/04 07:11pm

    Our first motor home was a 24' fireball,class C, loved it, but we , like others have said, getting into the bunk was a real pain. We started looking at class A's and found a very nice one. A oldie but a goodie, 1985 Sportcoach/crosscountry,31' 454, turbo 400, 3 speed. After a couple of trips we found that we would like a little longer coach and are now looking at 34' or 36', but want to stay with a gas coach. We are looking at a Southwind, realy like the floor plan, side bath, E.W. bed, nice kitchen, awnings all around. What I am trying to say is each time you use it you will think of something else that you need ( want) Get what you can afford, as close to what you think you want, and go for it. Only time will tell if you are right or wrong, nobody on this or any other forum can tell if its right or wrong, only you......

    Rodger & Teri

    1985 Sportcoach / crosscountry
    1983 Camaro / 1971 Chevy 4x4
    chessie's named sonny & choc and a red setter named star

    Posted By: HurricaneWillie on 02/22/04 09:27am

    Our first MH was a 1993 22' Cobra Class C. We inherited this little gem (21k km) from my father-in-law so we weren't out much money (a few thousand for repairs/needed maintenance). We used it for 2 seasons and nearly doubled the mileage. We enjoyed it very much for driving and sleeping but found the living quarters quite confined during those inevitable rainy days. Storage was also quite limited.

    So we went to the local RV show this year to look for accesories or other ways to improve it and then decided that a new one was the way to go.

    We finally decided on the Hurricane 30Q for many reasons:
    - adequate size for us
    - well designed and efficient living areas (quite comfortable for a 31' with no slides)
    - well equipped (awning, back up camera, generator, vented roof AC)
    - reasonable quality entry level Class A with 2 year bumper-to-bumper warranty

    I know it will be a big improvement over what we had, but there's always a next step and probably something we didn't think of...would have liked those hydraulic levelers...

    Can't wait to get out in it!

    Malcolm, Danielle;
    Macy & Angus, the dynamic Giant Schnauzer duo

    2010 Newmar Canyon Star, Triton V10

    Posted By: Backman on 02/22/04 09:54am

    I think there is a difference between a mistake and not well informed or educated about motorhomes. I was looking for something for my wife to ride in where she could be more comfortable since she is disabled. I started looking for a large SUV, small class C and ended up with a Class A, 2002 Hurricane 29d, no slides two years ago. The price for the Larger SUV and the motorhome were close to our budget. After the past two years of camping (we used to camp when the kids were small some 20 years ago, pop up, 18ft, 21ft and 24ft travel trailer) we decided to move up to a MH that had slideouts and much more room than we had. After a year of homework, we purchased a new MH with three slides and love it. It works perfect for my wife.

    Posted By: Sunny95 on 02/22/04 10:45am

    Knowing what I know now, I would never tell someone to go buy a new class A. When my wife and I decided to go RVing, we bought an older 37' Allegro Bay used. We knew very little about RVs at all. Within months we knew what we liked and disliked. We traded for our second Class A @ Lazy Days and were told by our salesman that we were average. He says that most people trade their first rv after 12 months and every 3 years after. Don't really know if that is right but after watching this web site it sounds about right. I think that I will stop for now and enjoy what we have for quite a while.

    By the way, once you have a slideout, you will never go back!!!

    95 Itasca Suncruiser w/superslide
    Greg (Shrek) & Karin (Fiona)
    3 kids Matt 19, Travis 17, & Kelsey 15

    "For those that have fought for it...Freedom has a taste the protected will never know"

    Is your water really as clean as you think?

    Posted By: Economical Handyman on 02/22/04 02:51pm

    Just take time to check out Fleetwood, never owned one. But several
    I have talk to in the repair business, said stay away. But will be quick to say it is the construction area of MH!
    But ours is not a Blue Bird, either. DeWayne

    DeWayne & Judy
    04 3810 Dutch Star
    ISL 370
    Frank's autoformer
    01 Sahara Jeep-toad
    Blue Ox Aventa II
    F 374382
    This is not the "GOLDEN-YEARS", it is the "RUSTY-YEARS" !

    Posted By: SRT on 02/22/04 03:13pm

    No. Actually our first motor home - 1985 HR Holiday Rambler 27' Imperial class - was bought from a good friend that we regularily camped with our pop-up. We knew the history of the RV. We bought it in 1991 when my friend and his wife bought a new class A. It was nice getting into this motor home as our last vacation trip with the pop-up was a disaster. It rained 90% of the trip out to Oregon and back.

    Our second motor home - 2000 HR 32' Vacationer (no slides), F53/V10 - was bought new in July of 1999 at a motor home rally. They gave us such a deal on a trade-in we couldn't pass it up. We had been researching our next motor home purchase for several years by then. We went with HR again because the quality of the '85 (still squeaky tight after the 35,000 miles we put on it-65,000+ total miles. Plus we had an opportunity to go through HR's factory plus some of the other manufacturers in the Elkhart, IN area.

    We are still very happy with our choice as we can fit into most National forest campgrounds quite well. Of course, had to add the Banks kit to the 275HP motor and a Davis Tru-Trac & Safe-T-Steer to the front. Last year added the Henderson rear stabilzer bar. Also replaced the factory shocks with Monroe RV shocks on all 4 corners. Now it tracks quite well on rutted roads and cross-winds and doesn't "pound" so much on the bumps and pot holes. Just like it should have from the factory.

    Posted By: Sorney1 on 02/22/04 03:53pm

    I know people always say that the best way to determine what you want is to rent one first.
    I sort of think this is hog wash except for considering the basics. Do you want a Class C with the only bed up front overhead. Yes, renting one could convince you that you don't want that, but I think climbing into one at a dealer would convince you of that anyway.
    Most of the rest, you have to live in it a while, travel in it a while to really figure out what you want.
    And you never end up with the perfect motor home. If they made such a thing at the right price, there would not be this thread. Sort of like a boat, they don't make a one size fits all situation, boat either.

    I want one that is about 23 feet long outside, has the space of a 43 foot quadruple slide on the inside, is outfitted in luxury, has at least 500 hp, gets 23 mpg, and sells for $43,000. Let me know who makes it please.

    Posted By: Jloucks on 02/28/04 03:26pm

    ROFL! I think you summed that up perfectly! =)

    too true! A Quantum Camper (bigger on inside then outside) would be perfect!

    Posted By: Dollar98 on 03/31/04 03:47pm

    I can't believe this thread is still going. This is some great reading. There is enough material here for a book. I can't get enough of it. Thanks folks..

    Posted By: butterfly girl on 03/31/04 09:48pm

    we Did in my opinion...we bought from a dealer that is changing hands.....Right now it had been 3 weeks and we still don't have it.....service said that they are waiting on the sales to tell them what they are to fix....sales has no sales-manager at the moment...this change happened between Monday and Wednesday...I am about ready to insist that we get our money back and start over on a different Moterhome....

    "Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart."
    Live life as a gift you unwrap daily

    Poky the Dog...and Ally the Dog.. Both rescued dogs.
    OUR RIG.. 1988 34' Bounder...
    Rincon Beach, Ventura Calif
    Our BLOG
    1 Romantic Wedding

    My Space Page

    Posted By: readytoretire on 04/01/04 07:49am

    Not so much a mistake on the first one itself,, the mistake was not buying one years earlier..

    Good Luck

    Doug & Elysha & All the Boys
    94 Bounder 36'P Diesel Pusher, Cummins 5.9, Osh Kosh Chassis 89'vette, 98'suburban, 04'aveo
    3- Shifter Karts = 125mph Fun.:">

    Posted By: 2Sooners on 04/01/04 07:54am

    We searched for 6 months before buying. We love ours, but if we were buying again I would probably go for the full basement rather than a half. Other than that, we would do the same all over again.

    Foy & Lois Ann
    2004 Monaco Safari Simba 30PDD
    2010 Chevy Equinox toad

    Posted By: howitzer on 04/01/04 01:20pm

    My first motor home was a Coachman 280. It was nice and served us well till my daughter grew the sleeper was getting to short.

    Posted By: AreWeThereYet on 04/01/04 01:31pm

    As the kids grew so did the RV!!!!!
    1st - 13' 1975 Aristocrat Lo-Liner
    2nd - 18' 1980 Class C Tioga
    3rd - 24' 1995 Class C Tioga
    4th - 32' 2000 Skyline Nomad 5th wheel

    Kids are gone. Son in the Navy, Daughter 18 and graduates this year
    Present - 2004 Winnebago Brave 34D
    Future - ????? 10-15 years to retirement before decision.

    2004 Winnebago Brave 34D
    2004 CRV toad

    Posted By: angelino on 04/01/04 07:07pm

    Sure did,
    I bought a used Seabreeze form a private party and the rig looked brand new.
    What i discovered was that the brakes were shot, the shocks were shot and the unit leaked like a siv when it rained.
    Also, I paid for a 1994 and when I checked with the dmv for registering, it was a 1993. Somehow the person who sold it to me was able to register it as a 1994 in Arizona!!! What a scam!!!



    Posted By: Diplomat man 2002 on 04/02/04 04:44am

    If you can afford it go for what you really like the first time, you loose money every time you change MH.

    Paul and Diane with the spoiled traveling dogs, Reedy, Annie, Chloe and Stuff.2002 Diplomat and 2005 Chrysler Town and Country Toad

    Posted By: NEAR SOTA on 04/02/04 06:29am

    I have read through the whole thread and it is scary to consider buying a coach\Rig or whatever you want to call an RV.

    I consider a tractor trailer truck a rig and an RV a Coach.

    Anyway some of the things I am reading are things that could have been addressed before buying. A few people have mentioned the size of the units as being problematic for driving ,refueling etc.. I would go back to the dealer’s you wish to buy from and ask to drive a unit once a week for a month to get the feel of what it will be like after purchase if driving a big unit scares you. Remember you are the one with the $$ and are making a huge investment and if they do not like it walk away and find another dealer. I was lucky enough to drive Jeeps, 6X’s and school Busses when in the service and I hope whatever I might choose will have better andling charctheristics then those units.If not I will research what additions are needed for a more secure ride.That is a reason I want TAG.

    I do not like dealers and will try to find a private owner because dealers tend to distract people from what is important. I cannot believe that people actually tout things like stereo’s and Vacuums as being features. If you want a vacuum or a stereo you can add them in. All electronic items can be bought that are up to date ,use less power and weigh less plus are not used for a not so high price. You can get a SOTA stereo for under $1K and adding a vacuum like a SHARK is well under $100. Prices on TV’s are coming down also along with LCD monitors which are great for several reasons .Mainly they do not weigh much,take up less space and use less amps. None of the TV’s in Coaches are HDTV Ready I think so there is another added cost in a few yrs...Most do not have satellite that is really adequate or SOTA so there is another added cost. None come with GPS which for some is a big issue.

    People buying MH’s should be more involved with the mechanical reliability than Appliance items is my point. Even the cosmetics can be improved upon if they are not exactly what you need or want.

    Plan on spending $5-$10K after purchasing a used MH to do the finishing touches which is what I plan on doing. I would much rather pay $20-$40K for a unit that is mechanically sound then pay $100K for something that has everything one might want for accessories .but be mechanically flawed.

    As far as Manfs. Most all have lemons in their line ups, but some have better reps at customer service than others I have read. One among those that is said to have impeccable service is Tiffin, but they do not have an affordable coach that has a a high CCC rating. National I like ,but they are said to have a few cosmetic flaws. One I had recently read about by a few posters is Cracking in the side panel doors which the Co. gaffed off a customer. Not so good for those looking to buy a used National.

    Other Cos. I have been looking at are:
    Geogie Boy-Cruise Masters
    Winnebago-Vectras,Adventurers & Journeys
    Airstream-Land Yachts

    (although most do not like FW’s Bounders are said to have good reliability and heavy CCC ratings.I saw that one coach has a CCC rating of something like 800lbs.Hope people that buy that coach do not like water and have a family.LOL

    All those are are gas units and I would love to have a diesel,but the cost to benefits ratio does not warrant it for myself. I do not plan on putting more than 6-8Kmiles on the thing for each year I own it.

    I think all have a CCC rating of over 2000Lbs.,all are over 32’ long and all can use a chevy powerplant with workhorse or P-30 chasis.Would like to have TAG if possible.Storage is the first thing to look at and what the CCC rating is.If you cannot brin g what you need then you are stuck.

    For add-ons I am looking at Solar, Steering and Sway bars. Shocks and Tires of needed. Interior additions I will replace the TV’s,Stereo and pull the booth in favor of a Computer Station for business. Furniture is one thing that can be added to the list of things to replace.A lot of the furniture in RV’s is just plain uncomfortable.Another weak area that a lot of people do not show at some used sites are the bathroom. Do you want a full bath or just a shower.

    My point to all this is look for the Mechanical reliability of the coach first then decipher what might be good additions or can be replaced after that. If a salesman tries to tout having a stereo or a vacuum is a major benefit ask him if it breaks ,which it will, will he come over to clean your coach?

    Lastly thanks for the thread as it gives more to think about when buying a coach. Maybe it will help prevent some the pitfalls others have had. Just hope I get an honest deal which in this day and age could be a minor miracle.

    Happy Travels!

    Posted By: doc brown on 04/02/04 10:19am

    After 4 years of looking casually, 1 year of serious homework and shopping we just purchased our first MH, a CC TSDP 40' Inspire. The time is perfect for us. We have 10 years before retirement and our son is off at college. We are glad we started with a 40' and a DP was a must. We will let you know how everything turns out!

    Steve,Kathy and Josh
    Morpheus(Basenji)at Rainbow Bridge
    2004 40' TSDP Country Coach Inspire DaVinci
    350 Cummins, 3000 Allison
    2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport S, Air Force One Braking, Blue Ox

    Posted By: NEAR SOTA on 04/02/04 11:17am

    Doc that sounds more like a dream coach! Happy for you and I hope someday I can buy one to live out of for 5-10yrs. to enjoy the country.

    If memory serves me that is a SOTA coach with all the wmenities one might need.

    The way I am looking at this is like a space shuttle and I need to get all systems to be fully functional with the ability to repair most anything if something goes down when traveling.

    Happy travels!

    Posted By: vacation on wheels on 04/02/04 11:36am

    I also believe we made the right informed decision moving up from a 1999 Coleman Niagara pop-up to a 2003 Dolphin LX 6342 double slide W-22 coach. In one year of ownership we already have 12,000 miles on her. ....Now I still wish for a 39 ft. NRV Tropical triple slide but I realize the pocket book is not ready for the diesel yet. I'll keep dreaming!!!

    2003 National Rv Dolphin Lx 6342 8.1L W-22 w/UltraPower upgrade,
    IPD sway bars,trac bars, Koni shocks & steering stabilizer
    toad 2002 Ford Explorer 4x4 4.0L w/Sterling tow bar and US Gear braking

    Posted By: ArmySFCRet on 04/17/04 11:40pm

    We purchase our '99 Coachmen Mirada 34', single slide, Ford V10 from a private owner in April of 2002. Hadn't done a lot of prior research but found we liked it very much. It turned out to be an excellent coach with everything we would want or need in a MH. At least we thought so at the time. After two years and 18,000 miles finally decided that we needed more storage, more power and knew the Mirada was not going to go up in value. No mistake, just had to learn what we wanted overall and DP would fill the bill. Decided to stay with Coachmen product and just purchased our second coach. 2004 Sportscoach (Coachmen) Cross Country 354mbs, single slide, 300 Cummins on Freightliner Chassis.

    '04 Cross Country 35' w/300 Cummins
    '14 Ford Escape on KarKaddy 460SS
    '09 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 Crew 5.7 Hemi MDS
    '51 & '53 Hudson Hornets 308 6cyl w/TWIN H-POWER
    5 lbs of BG the Yorkie
    Members of:
    Grand Canyon Chapter of Hudson Essex Terraplane Club Inc

    Posted By: manleo on 04/29/04 10:39pm

    just bought a sightseer winnebago 2004 35 ft. and plan to travel back east for a few months.I retired 12/2002 and want to travel now. I have a 8.1 with the 5 speed O/D allison in it. any one know what kind of mileage I can expect with it. my wife loves it because it has 2 slides. we had a 29 ft class c with no slide out for 1 year and hate every second . it had no room in it. we didn't get much for the trade -in and lost money on it. but got the sightseer for $76, was the show sale price. they had a 30ft next to it for $12,000 more. I also hear alot of bad things about la mesa in davis california but with the price and 2.99 interest I bought there.

    Posted By: NEAR SOTA on 04/30/04 01:41am

    I am considering a Sightseer also.

    Funny that the Mirada had power troubles,wonder what engine and chasis it had. Would love to get a DP ,but that is out of my range.

    Hurricanes get good writeups and might get one.

    Posted By: Seedy on 04/30/04 01:11pm

    We feel we made a good decision on our first MH.
    Our financial advisor had a big hand in our decision.
    He work it out that IF we made a mistake our investment was so low that if it were a TOTAL loss; it would not be as much as the depreciation on another model.
    We know that it is not our final MH but now we are much more knowledgeable.

    F336202 Ontario Overlanders
    Lead me not into temptation ---
    I can find the way myself.

    83 Pace Arrow V29 - P30 454 Chevy
    95 Jeep "Rio Grande" Toad

    Posted By: Cookielady on 04/30/04 08:50pm

    Our first motorhome was in 1993 and it was a 93 Dutchmen Class C. I loved it but the bathroom was a bit small and the overhead bunk windows leaked no matter what they did to try to fix it.
    Then we got a 95 Pace Arrow and the windshield kept popping out. Finally got a 98 Fleetwood Discovery and are very content with it.

    here is our Discovery

    Motorhome Mama

    Posted By: Biznaga on 05/01/04 05:23pm

    My mistake is not having enough money to buy any motorhome.[emoticon]

    TV: 2004 Explorer Sport Trac

    Home away from home: 2003 Jayco Eagle 10UD

    Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the hell out of the pig.

    Posted By: carl66vw on 05/02/04 12:43am

    Doller 98. Take some advise from an old man who may never again see the open road..Rent one, go on a trip and see what you think. If you like the experience, rent one twice as large and take a trip. If you are not happy with the second rental, rent one twice as large. If still not happy...Buy the most expensive four-door car or airplane you can afford and book hotel/motels for your trips. With the cost of gas and other fuels, it is cheaper to book hotel rooms. It is not as much fun and you will not meet the wonderful people I have met. It all depends on what you are looking for out of life. Whatever you do, when things don't go the way you expected, don't blame your significant other. Just have fun and enjoy.

    Have worked on cars most of my life but with these new ones I seem to be getting dumber and dumber. The more I learn, the more I need to learn. I was taught old-school tactics and have many stories to tell. I also have what I think are good ideas.

    Posted By: jtanner2003 on 05/02/04 04:02am

    Wow popular topic. We bought a 04 seabreeze last August, because we could afford it and it looked nice. It was a total lemon. I finally bit the bullet, traded the lemon in because it was in the shop so much and bought a new HR 04 Ambassador. We love the dp, it was a lot more money but at least I will have it for a while and its what I really wanted to begin with. I just never thought I could afford one.

    2004 Holiday Rambler Ambassador 38pdq
    4 slides and lots of fun for the family
    See ya out there! JT

    Posted By: Redfox11 on 05/02/04 08:39am

    Buy what you think you want, new or used, but when you think you know what you must have trade-up. I have found that things I thought I could "live with" became a real pain later. When you are spending time in your motorhome, keep a pad of paper handy, write down all the little things that bother you, no matter how small, then when you go looking for at differant MH's take that pad with you and check it aginst the new one... if it bothered on the old one make sure it is taken care of with the new one... and than don't compromise, keep looking till you find the one that meets your needs.

    Dave & Belinda ">"> HR 111460,
    04 H-R Endeavor 40PAQ, BlueOX,
    10 Jeep Liberty
    1 Ragdoll 'Boobookitty', 2 (Evil) Yorkie's 'Dixie' and 'Rio'

    Posted By: Exeter on 05/02/04 03:35pm

    Still shaking!

    I just bought my first MH yesterday, will not be in it for a another couple of weeks, 1995 Winnebago Brave. I'm single, still employed and scared, but....anticipating 'the great adventure'. I'm breaking my lease and moving north in it. I'll work at the job site best I can and live in it. On weekends I'll visit friends who'll let me park the beast in their driveway. I want to pay it off fast, it's a basic unit but oh so comfortable looking, I've alway's loved the motor home for it's effieciant layout and accomidations. Wish me luck all, as soon as I figure out how to do 'internet' in it. I'll be back. But let me
    echo the 'learning experience', for all we's the actual living that is most valuable.



    Posted By: EbonyPriestess on 05/02/04 05:19pm

    We purchased our first Class A in January of this year. It's 2004 Hurricane 30Q. We love the RV lifestyle and the freedom to go when we please, we both work so we take several weekenders. We've driven cross country once (in the winter, January) and that's when we noticed that our MH did not handle very well in windy conditions. We understand that no matter what size or type RV you drive, in windy conditions you have to be ultra careful. However, we felt that the 30Q (which is actually 31.5 feet) was very unstable and we had to deal with the rocking and swerving, even at 30 mph. We had to pull over a lot and just wait it out. We were extremely comfortable while doing so, but I noticed other Class A's our size and bigger still moving comfortably down the highway. Upon return from our trip we called the dealer and told him our concerns. Not one time did anyone ever tell us that the size and weight of the chasis had a lot to do with the stability of the MH. Our chasis is only 15,700 lbs. We had test driven used Class A's with heavier chasis when we were looking to purchase, but the deal on the 2004 was incredible so that's what we purchased. I found out that stablizers might help and I will check that out this week. If stablizers solve the problem, I would definitely want to keep the one we have. But if not, what we have is fine for the time being, but we will trade it in before the year is out.

    Pam Jackson

    Posted By: gunney23 on 05/02/04 05:45pm

    My first motot home was a mistake-a lot of hidden problems such as water leaks, rotten wood, things that didn't work. I have re-done just about everything myself and the motor home is now in pretty good shape. I now know exactly what to look for and believe I won't make the same mistake again. When I bought the MH I didn't do a detail inspection. If you're thinking of buying one spend whatever time it takes or have a reputable dealer go over the MH with a fine tooth comb-it's worth it.

    Posted By: carl66vw on 05/03/04 12:22pm

    If I had it to do over, I would rent one for a trip and see what there is about it that I didn't like. For one, I will never buy another one with a rear side bed. Second, I would take the motorhome, even if I had to put down a non refundable deposit to a mechanic and get their opinion. I decided to remodel my present motorhome beginning with a new engine and then went from there. I am just about done with the interior. No matter how much money I put into this one, I still have a 1984 vehicle and I will never get the money I have invested out of it. Do your research before you plunk your money down.

    Posted By: Byron Unger on 05/03/04 02:26pm

    First purchase, 45'country coach-60 series diesel etc. wonderfull coach glad I purchased what we wanted the first time around.

    Posted By: P3TC on 05/04/04 06:47am

    According to the replies so far, alot of people made at least one mistake. Mine was not driving it enough to pin down the handling problems.

    ">1998 Monaco Diplomat

    Posted By: heavenlyscent on 05/05/04 11:36am

    Are you real happy with the Endeavor? This is the one we have been looking at and it seems it is built well. Which floorplan did you go with?

    Posted By: heavenlyscent on 05/05/04 11:39am

    We have looked at the Ambassador also and liked it and liked the workmanship of HR. Did you get the 4 slide model?

    Posted By: reggie1 on 05/05/04 10:32pm

    rvten, I also made the mistake of buying a Fleetwood product. Not once but twice. I guess you could say that I am a slow learner. I learned the hard way. I don't know anything about other manufacturers but I do know Fleetwood to well. All I can offer on the subject is if you if you have your mind made up on purchasing a Class A, save yourself a lot of headaches and money, and don't buy a Fleetwood product. Also, don't buy a new one. Be patient and the one that you want will come along for the right price. Good Luck.



    Posted By: tuanton on 05/21/04 10:53am

    I made a mistake buying my 2nd MH. It was a Fleetwood Bounder 2004 with 8.1 Workhorse engine. The MH breakdown on my shakedown trip. We camped at a repair shop parking lot for 1 week. finally we had to trade it in for a 2004 Monaco Diplomat because of the above incident and we can,t withstand the roaring sound of this gas engine. We lost 20,000 due to the trade in. We should buy the DP in the first place. What a mistake!


    Posted By: LuvRving on 05/22/04 12:43am

    No mistakes....learning experiences! First mh was a 24' Minnie..liked it fine but eventually it became too small. Moved up to a '97 Winnebago 33RQ Brave with couch slide/Ford 460. Had 6,200 miles on it and the owner had lived in it 'on the job' for 6 months. Don't know that I'd buy another motorhome that someone had lived in full time as we had to replace the toilet, furnace and converter. Other than that it was a great mh (we drove it across the U.S. twice) but it was down to 25 mph. going up some long hills towing a Honda CRV. Recently traded it in on another Brave (2003,34D) with the Vortec 8.1 engine, 5 speed Allison transmission on the Workhorse W20 chassis. Love the floor plan, added power and the transmission. Have 2 concerns however, the 19.5" Michelin XRV tires that I've read a LOT about on this forum and the suspension. Workhorse knows they have had problems in the past as they've put Bilsteins on the 2004's. Have talked with our Workhorse service person and requested that Workhorse put on Bilstein shocks all the way around as I had them installed on the '97 Brave and it made a BIG, wonderful difference. Three different service techs drove it (not on any rough roads you can bet) and couldn't find a problem. That mh bounced up and down going over some rolling roads enough that we were yelling..."Whoa there Big Girl" and "Yahoo". It even 'bottomed out' on our last trip so something isn't right. Guess I'll have to go in again and complain some more. Will probably take off the front tires and replace them with another tire I'll feel more comfortable with as these Michelin XRV's sound like a nightmare just waiting to happen. So, again, no BIG mistakes, just learning experiences!
    Happy and safe travels.

    '03 Winnebago Brave 34D
    2 dogs and one great cat

    Posted By: hairlessinmiami on 05/27/04 09:46am

    my philosophy was to buy the best motorhome i could afford as the first one so that if i don't like motorhomeing it wouldnt be because of the motorhome. it would be the lifestyle.
    after almost 2 years of research and a year of looking i found a 40Ft
    country coach intrigue with 1 large slide. I love the coach and have no rergrets except i wish it had 2 more slides, a flat panel tv, an additional burner on the stove, an in motion dish, etc. I could go on and on but I guess even if you buy a new 05 you will never get all you want. So, I say buy the best you can and enjoy it as mcuh as you can and most of all have fun!! i know I am

    Posted By: Skeptical John on 05/27/04 10:17am

    I will echo the recommendation you join RVCG before you waste a lot of time and money. We almost bought an Alfa DP but were concerned about some evident quality problems and the way it drove. Then we got the RVCG report showing it had one of trhe worst hiway control ratings in the MH industry. Since hiway control was a serious consideration we said "See Ya" to the Alfa and now love our Newmar Dutch Star DP. It has one of the highest hiway control ratings of all, as well as high ratings for reliability and value.

    Good luck in your selection. Do not be misled by sales types or emotion. Decide what you need/want & be objective. If money is an issue (when isn't it?) be sure to calculate your total cost incl taxes, insurance, registration.

    There are many other considerations such as type & frequency of use, family size, travel plans, cooking habits which may be responded to by others.

    Posted By: happyRVer on 05/27/04 11:06am

    We have several camping friends who traded up to new motorhomes without extrensive research. They are already talking about moving on to the next motorhomes (less than 2 years). We took our time and visited several RV shows and waited till we found the floorplan that seemed perfect for us in a used model at a good price. We're still happy and not looking to move on since we still have not seen anything we like more. My suggestion is take your time, buy what you want (don't compromise too much) and buy used!

    Posted By: Gypsy Ginger on 05/27/04 10:50pm

    Mistake? Too soon to tell, but I am beginning to worry a little. I think I bought a home without knowing enough about what may go wrong with the big ticket items, like the engine. Supposed to be an extended warranty, but it reads "Service Contract". Took it for 4 years, but wonder what will happen in four years and two days?

    Anyway, I am having it checked out, after the fact. Good news or bad, at least I'll have a better idea what I am dealing with.

    The dealership had been recommended by people who bought there, but I found out later that they had purchased a one year old model at the time. Mine is at least 5 years old, high mileage, and it had been a rental.

    I have found a number of defects so far, and have given my salesman a list for them to correct when I bring it in. I am sure they will take care of some of it, but I am concerned about the fact that he told me it would take them a week to get it ready for me to pick up, and that they would give it a complete servicing, including all new fluids(oil, trans, lube, etc.) and thoroughly check everything over.

    After 200 miles I filled the tank and checked the oil. Found dried gook on the dipstick, a few inches above the full mark, and the oil is plenty full but does not look clean, by any means. The engine chatters when you apply some throttle, as if the lifters may be sticking from dirty oil or something.

    (I a driving a 6 year old Ranger with 101,000 miles on it and keep my oil clean as a whistle. It still looks pretty good by the next oil change when I do it right on time as I usually do, so that was what I was expecting from this 5 yr old veh).

    Keep your fingers crossed for me, that I may come out of this mess smelling more like a rose than a skunk.

    It's not over til the -at Lady sings. I love the MH, itself. It is very comfortable and so far, plenty or storage.

    gypsy g
    1999 34' Bounder
    Chevy, gasoline

    Posted By: LeviLady on 05/28/04 11:20am

    Bought our first motorhome in 1973, Concord 24 ft. Many many things wrong with the floor plan..but mech. was a breeze..318 eng. got 11.9 per gal pulling my Toyota.. lived in this motorhome for almost 4 years. Traveled 40 of the fifty states and wouldn't give up those years for anything. Second motorhome 1989 problems...better floorplan... third motorhome a 1990 Titan..Junk.. now in the process of purchasing a 1999 Infinity with only 10thousand miles and like new. love the floor plan. No slide out, for we are backroads travelers and camp for the night in strange places.Didn't want to be bothered with extras like that. Now time to visit more states..have 8 more to go..considering Hawaii and Alaska are not choices. Don't believe any of our motorhomes have been a mistake, just a learning process.

    Looking forward to getting out of Florida for the summer*L*

    Posted By: Rbuzz on 05/28/04 06:38pm

    I wanted a 28 ft but found a Winnie Adventurer 34 ft with only 20,114 miles 1995 at the right price and bought it. NOw I glad we got the 34 ft I think it's perfect. BUT the 95 454 Chev is the last throttle body engine one year before the real fuel injection enging and that would be a better choice. When you buy used it's hard to cover all the bases. Everything has been good but I still lust for the real fuel injection.

    Posted By: auntievee on 05/31/04 01:45pm

    been looking to buy my first rv and was wondering why you did not like the rear side bed?

    Posted By: red-d-2-roll on 07/17/04 07:58pm

    I havent made any mistakes yet, (still shopping), but how do you know what to pay?
    I was told early in my shopping that I should offer 80% of the asking price, I see one thread from Raleman that says he would not deal for less than 25% reduction off the retail price......Is this accurate, if so, I am about to spend an extra $7000. I have compared several Class A RV to the NADA book, and they are all well within the "retail" price.

    Posted By: Geezer Apprentice on 07/17/04 08:13pm

    Yes, I've made all of them.

    Geezer 2005 Dodge 5.9 CTD ">

    Posted By: not getting any younger in KY on 08/15/04 01:21pm

    rvten, what did you dislike about Fleetwood? Haven't purchased yet, but have been looking at Tioga and Four Winds.

    Posted By: TMData on 08/15/04 02:34pm

    Moved from a 24' TT to our first 30' MH this spring. Wife has not quite gotten used to the idea of no dinette. She says she preferred having the table and bench arrangement. I disagree but we'll see. The MH has 3 table configurations; small drop down table on the wall between the passenger chair and the swivel chair behind it, a round table and a long table both between the couch and the swivel chair.

    Since it's just the two of us I believe that this arrangement provides more living space.

    '94 Newmar Kountry Star 30' MH
    F53, Ford 460, Banks Power Pak w/K&N
    2005 Dodge Dakota 4x4 Quad Cab Dinghy w/Blue Ox Aventa II & Brake Buddy
    "Live Slow, Sail Fast"

    Posted By: dadd45 on 08/16/04 12:00pm

    Went from 20+ years of popup camping to first MH last March. It was a 28' Coachmen gas. Took it to Colorado for our annual Rockie Mtn vacation. V10 power surprised me but..... Decided on the trip that we wanted DP, more MH length, one slide, bigger shower and air ride. Lost the escape window from bedroom during return trip so returned to dealer to have new one installed. While waiting for repairs made the mistake of "looking around" the lot. Will be returning to dealer this Saturday to pick up new (2004) Coachmen Cross Country DP. Has all the aforementioned "wants" and they gave us back everything we invested in the gasser. Probably shouldn't have BUT hey you only go around once. Enjoy it while you can!!!!

    2004 Cross Country Coachmen
    2001 Wrangler behind

    Posted By: thataway on 08/16/04 12:54pm

    I have made a number of mistakes buying motorhomes--no motorhome is perfect. Mistakes I have made: Too light a chassis--16" wheels on an Allegro 28 footer and kept blowing tires, despite being within weight ratings, proper inflation and increasing load range of tires.
    Too much rear overhang--gives handling problems. Having a bathroom which was too small (did not have full head room for me @ 6'2" and not enough leg room. In fact the floor space of that motor home was too small with our 3 dogs. Purchase of a motorhome which was the first of a model series (Winnabego Adventurer Diesel built in 1991)--multiple problems.

    I think that many folks are taken by the "glitz" of a model--and don't think about the way which they will use the unit. Also if you want to go to remote sites, slides, long length, and height can be a problem.

    Bob and Marie Austin
    Angel miniature poodle
    2007 Holiday Rambler Ambassador 40 PDQ
    Toad 2012 GM Yukon XL 4 x 4

    Posted By: rdavid on 08/16/04 01:18pm

    The only mistake we made was waiting so long

    I am not an expert, I only play one on this forum.

    Roy & Sandra, 1 old Basset and the 3 Macaws.
    2004 Itasca Suncruiser 37B (slightly modified for Zoo)
    2004 Honda CR-V Toad

    Posted By: Ericntia on 08/16/04 06:16pm

    Didn't know we would like it soooooo much. Should probably have gotten a bigger one. Oh well, maybe next time!


    1991 FLAIR FLEETWOOD 26'

    Posted By: norgale on 10/20/04 05:36am

    Hi: How long is your Trek,how many miles did it have and what was the cost (if you don't mind me asking). Also does it have a magic bed? Thanks. Gale in Sebastian, Fl.

    Posted By: MRUSA on 10/21/04 07:10pm

    I made a big mistake on my first MH. Waited about 20 years too long to buy it!

    Posted By: dirtrace25 on 10/21/04 08:48pm

    Figure out what you think is large enough and then go quite a bit larger than that and you will be happy with it.

    Posted By: MACON on 11/20/04 06:19pm

    I bought a 40 ft Used/near new 97 Dynasty in 1999 and as I look back over these years I see I needed a bigger engine to fit our type of trips and style of driving and towing. I am not retired and can only be away from my business just so long. So we rush to our target and and rush back. With the good ol Cummins we always get there but I am pushing and I guess I become stressed trying to keep up with the folks in the left lane. I now see I've always needed more power to cruise up the interstate's hills and pass on two lane roads. Next, we like to watch different satellite TV programs, and I fixed that. And most all other adjustments I fixed them too, but Nothing doing, if you first buy the wrong "Chassis/Engine/Floorplan".
    So you learn and end up with real nice DP that you have maintained and is in perfect condition that you just have to sell and buy another DP with the features or items you now desire.
    Wow! what a expensive learning curve.

    Posted By: gswcgi on 11/21/04 10:56pm

    Yeah !!! It was called a Winnebago!

    '03 Safari, DP, 36" Nissan 4X4 toad

    Posted By: denisondc on 11/25/04 10:26am

    I bought my first motorhome in 91, it was a 72 Winnebago, and it was just right for us. I still use it for vacations, and I like it well enough that I bought another one - almost identical; to restore. I did have a Chevy step van prior to that which I converted to an RV, used it every summer for 10 years till we bought the winny.

    72 Winnebago D22T

    Posted By: HPYHILM on 11/25/04 11:39am

    First MoHo we had was a 23 ft Class C that had a 350 engine that plenty of power. Got about 7 mpg. Problem was only a 15 gallon tank. A 100 mile range was areal pain in the @** . But it got us hooked into RV lifestyle.

    NW Washington
    2008 Monaco Knight 38PDQ

    Posted By: Eric Elliott on 11/25/04 06:02pm

    Yup. My Silverado, on a 10K pound BlueOx towbar, kissed the corner of my Country Coach Inspire. No where, in 2 years reading, did I learn the coach might turn sharp enough to be hit by the truck it tows.
    Must buy extended tow bar tongue plus extended receiver. Those will be cheap compared to repairing vehicle corners.

    Passengers - 3 siamese, Sade, Abby & Emily
    Crew - Eric & Terry
    2005 Country Coach Inspire 330 Genoa.
    2000 Silverado LT K2500 toad

    Posted By: Deen on 11/26/04 01:42am

    Sure, and the second and the third and the....

    Actually we're on our 5th MH and we are getting better at hitting that moving target called "satisfied"!!

    It's just like when I had boats 12', 17' 18' 23'.....

    Or my trailers: 16', 21', 23' 26'....

    Now, if I can win the Lotto and afford that Prevost or Newell conversion!!

    Posted By: tonytong on 01/07/05 07:14pm

    I am interested in a 2005 sightseer with duel pane windows an pleated shades I feel the price is more bang for the buck, how is your rig and how are your travels doing
    tony stef

    Posted By: gr8daysahead on 02/03/05 08:41am

    We bought a 32' with only one slide out. I am a little claustrophobic and the small bedroom made me uncomfortable. We traded it in 2 1/2 months later and bought a 37' with 3 slide outs. Much more comfortable.

    Sonny & Pat
    Molly (miniature schnauzer) Rocky (Maltese)
    2006 Itasca Suncruiser 37B

    Posted By: jboubelik on 02/16/05 07:32am

    We did it! We bought and then 6 months later, bought again.

    As so many do, we thought we should start out small and we did. We bought, at a show in New Orleans, a 21' Gulfstream BTCruiser. We loved it. I carried a 400cc Bergman 'Scooter' on a hitch mounted carrier and it served us well. OK, maybe a little tail heavy with the 374 lb scooter on the back.

    At the end of our first 8000 trip we went to a ralley at Gulfstream just for BTCruisers. It was fantastic, but unfortunately, we made some new friends there. They had a 2 foot longer model with a single slide. We quickly figured out that our adament refusal to have a slide was a mistake. Sooo, with our new friends encouragement, we traded our 2004 in for a 2005--2 feet longer and one slide. We took a hit, but we loved the new one more.

    But the biggest benefit, was the extra 3 feet of wheel base--2 feet more camper, but THREE feet more wheel base. It has made the scooter almost 'disappear' when driving. We also got more head and galley spade.

    All-in-all, we paid for our mistake. But we looked at like this--we could drive the unit we no longer liked for 5 years and then trade it, or we could just take our lumps and get what we wanted.

    By the way, we are completely happy with 23' as we don't ever want to be 'stopped out' of going into some park because of length. We can still pull into a regular parking place in Wal-Mart with this one--although the scooter does make it iffy.

    Posted By: RestlessWheels on 02/16/05 11:21am

    Greetings from Burrr Hampshire !

    We rushed into the purchase of our first escape mobile.

    Our first motorhome was too small and we paid too much money for it. We're currently on "Number 6" after 33 years.

    Best advice ... Determine what are your Wants and Needs first, then do your homework on brand, model and price.


    American Coach "Tradition": 40J

    American Coach "Tradition": 40J
    American Coach "Tradition": 40J


    Posted By: bandjw on 03/30/05 08:47am

    Had a pup tent, large tent, conversion van, small travel trailer, and two class A motor homes. All went well till our present class A. Researched, went to shows, visited many dealers. Bought what we thought was what we wanted at what we thought was a good price. After using it a couple times knew we'd made a mistake. For two years have tried to trade and/or sell it. Nothing wrong with the RV but it isn't what we want and we owe about $10k more on it than we can get for it. One dealer at a show would sell us a new one for $450 per month but when he figured our trade said it would be $650 per month? How is that possible? Anybody got a good idea? bandjw

    Bob Watkins

    Posted By: JTHarley on 03/30/05 09:03am

    What a loaded question.

    We certainly made a mistake with our first AND second coach. Both where in regard to the size. Our first was a 24' B class. Just way too small. Traded that one in for a super C 31' long and realized while on a 2 week vacation that the "wardrobe" area was really not sufficient for the next year when we plan on spending up to 12 weeks on the road. Once again traded in for a class A.

    We love RV'ing but our experience and fear of going straight to a class A made us error on the side of smaller rigs. Finally decided to just take the leap and stretch a bit.

    Jim , MJ & Spirit of Sambuca Bear
    2015 Dynamax DQ320XL
    Jeep Sahara Toad

    Posted By: Bob Dunn on 03/30/05 09:24am

    I purchased a 2003 Fleetwood Flair, 30' - no slides----after putting 5500 miles on it the first year, We trade for a2004 - 34' National Seabreese XL with two slides.
    Now we are happy I have about 8500 miles and expect to put about 6000 -to 8000 more on it this summer.

    2004 Seabreese LX 8341 - 34'11'- Workhorse W22/GM 8.1 /Allison 5 speed
    FalconII/2006 Honda CRV4 SE
    with RoadMaster-BreakMaster 9000 Braking system.
    200 Watts of Solar/Xantrex Prosine 2000
    "Today Is The Tomorrow You worried about Yesterday!"">

    Posted By: Love Boat II on 03/30/05 09:37am

    Ya I did
    Went back to the dealer to get some work done and walked through another rig while I was there (Traded right there on the spot)
    Don't know how much money I lost, but I'm sure some. The new to me one was much better. Had that one for 2 years. Traded it for a 2000 34 foot Bounder I full time in now. [emoticon]

    Posted By: webervn on 03/31/05 06:52am

    We started 37 years ago with a tent, moved up to a bigger tent, then to a pop-up. The next unit was a mini class C which was fine except my 6'2 husband kept hitting his head on the handle for the roof vent. We then moved to a 26' fiver, which we really loved, but after a 3 month trip to Alaska decided it was a little too small. All our friends and relatives told us we needed a Class A. Really easy to set up, can get a drink and use the restroom while on the road, easier to back up, etc. We shopped for a long time and finally found a floor plan in a price range we liked in a 36'. What a mistake. It wasn't long before we discovered, 2 engines to maintain, insurance cost were doubled, taxes and registration were tripled, we still had to tow a car, still got wet unhooking the toad to get the monster parked. Tried to trade back into a fiver and what a beating the dealers were giving us. Thought we were going to be stuck in that thing forever. We finally found a buyer ourselves, took a $10000 loss, but it was worth it. We now have a new 29' fiver and are back in our element. unfortunately we learned the hard way that we are not MH material.

    Posted By: socialstudiesmom on 03/31/05 08:46am

    YES! We did very little research and ended up buying too small. Way too small! In less than a year, we traded our class C in for our current Damon. This was done after quite a bit of research. We're happy campers now!

    2018 Jayco Hummingbird 17RK
    2014 Jayco Greyhawk BH

    Posted By: Wizzard_of_Odds on 04/12/05 01:29am

    Long time reader, first time poster, and thank you all for taking the time to create such a great place for a newbie to learn about the joy (and pain) of RVing.

    We purchased a 1994 23' Jayco Class C last summer, everything looked great initially (I didn't know what to look for) and before we took it out for the first time I had the local Ford dealer do about $3000 worth of maintenance ie. ALL fluids changed, belts & hoses, new brakes, Billstein shocks new tires etc..

    I noticed a minor exhaust tick in the left manifold (Ford 460 with 32K miles) and installed a set of Doug Thorley headers to remedy the problem. We also added K&N filters and used synthetic fluids where possible. My philosophy was really "lets do everything that can be done, so we know it's been done".

    Our first outing was a weeklong trip to Florida for a family wedding. 99 miles short of our destination we noticed smoke from under the MH, long story short the transmission required a complete rebuild (about $3200 with new cooler) and our trip budget was severely surpassed.

    I've had to replace the roof AC unit, repair the reefer, replace the house batteries, repair a minor(thank goodness) roof leak and I upgraded the converter from the Magnatek 6345 to an Intellipower 9300 unit with the charge wizard.

    I thought I had done my homework prior to purchasing, and I thought the seller was pretty solid (service manager at his local Ford dealership). But what really happened was I bought a very poorly maintained MH. When we bought it the cosmetics were great, and we paid about $5000 under book for the thing, but now we're about even as far as what it's worth and what we have in it.

    With all of the improvements and upgrades I think we'll be very happy when we start travelling this year, and after all of the mechanical repairs and upgrades this MH is very solid in performance and economy. But the biggest lesson I learned from the experience is that next time I venture into something new I'll bring someone along with VAST experience in the field. We're looking into purchasing our first boat this summer, and I'm not even going to look without taking a friend who knows a whole lot about boats!


    1994 Jayco 23' E350 7.5
    Thorley headers, Intellipower 9160, Bilsteins, Brembo brakes, K&N filters, Mobil 1, Satellite TV & Internet & WAP, MP3-CD, Generac 5KW, Kipor KGE3500TI, Honda EZ2500

    2005 Four Winns Horizon 190 (fully loaded)

    Posted By: sisodals on 04/12/05 05:43am

    Can't really say we made a mistake, but as time goes bye I do see a need/want/desire/"2 foot itis" requirement for slightly larger with several other features which our current (also our first) motorhome does not have. I believe that we can and will upgrade in the next two years once the DW gets that smile on her face and says I want this one which will have been checked beforehand to ensure it meets our new desires and needs.

    So although I do not feel we made a mistake I do feel that the education of the first one does lead us to the requirement for another one.

    Helen & Ray Siso

    Bounder 38N
    Jeep Grand Cherokee
    Brake Buddy

    Rally's attended: 16 (Four Bounder, 5 FMCA and 7 Samborees)

    Posted By: corgimom on 04/21/05 06:11pm

    After camping in a pop-up and TT for 25 yrs, we decided to look at a used class C. Saw one on a lot with 23K miles on it at a price we could afford. It was only 2 yrs old and we thought the milage was about right. It was trouble from day one. When the title came, we were surprised to see that it actually had 123K miles on it and was a rental. We weren't told that at the dealer, but then we didn't ask. So we traded it (at another dealer) and got a new one. We've traded several times since then but always bought a new one. We learned a valuable lesson.

    Posted By: noRVtoheaven on 04/22/05 03:04am

    Very few people who RV will tell you the truth as they will almost never confess to having made a bad purchase or having an RV that is not as good as their neighbor RVer. It's a pride thing especially for the over 50 crowd. Do not gather info. this way.


    Posted By: GLBosn on 04/22/05 05:45am

    We bought a new 31' class "C" in 2003 with no slides and after two years and 8000 miles finally realized we made a mistake. Not enough storage, refrigerator too small for our extended use, terrible sitting positions for watching TV on rainy days and we are tired of bumping into each other when moving about. The search for its replacement has been well underway and thanks to all the information I have learned here we have narrowed our choice to either a Mountain Aire 3501 or Allegro Bay 34XB. I just hope that we do not take to bad a beating when we trade-in.

    Posted By: OpenRoad on 04/22/05 06:42am

    Yes...we went from a trailer to a Class C in June 2004. It was a 30Jamboree GT. Actually great while camping but on longer trips wore you down. The ride was horrible, poor turning radius, wind sheer from large trucks now parts my hair on the other side. We have scheduled a cross country trip this year. But after several trips of 700-800 miles we decided the class c was not for us. So we ordered and just recd a Class A 2005 35'Dolphin. Love the ride on WH 22. We feel more comfortable taking the larger coach x country. So I owned 2 different MH in 12months. Yes the first was a mistake. But from what I've heard we are not the only ones who went to small early on.

    05 Dolphin 35'
    Workhorse 22
    Ranger in Tow

    Posted By: lovnlife on 04/22/05 05:22pm

    Not counting our 9-1/2ft camper, our first MH was a used 1977 class C on a Dodge 440 chassis. We bought it in 1989. The interior was a major project. Re-finished all the cabinets, rebuilt the genset, re-upholstered the interior, new mattress, bigger tanks for dry camping, etc. On the outside/chassis, the darn thing would do fine until we towed our boat. Then it would vapor lock and get a whopping 4 MPG. We'd have been better off getting something new/newer. Anyway owned it with my dad and we sold it about 5 years later. We did, however, get out money back/out that we put in it.

    2005 Fleetwood Providence 39S

    Posted By: Deen on 04/22/05 10:17pm

    Of course NOT!! We started with a 17' Type B, then the dog decided the couch was all hers!! Now up to 41' and only one dog, and three cats.

    Posted By: Deen on 04/22/05 10:20pm

    corgimom wrote:

    After camping in a pop-up and TT for 25 yrs, we decided to look at a used class C. Saw one on a lot with 23K miles on it at a price we could afford. It was only 2 yrs old and we thought the milage was about right. It was trouble from day one. When the title came, we were surprised to see that it actually had 123K miles on it and was a rental. We weren't told that at the dealer, but then we didn't ask. So we traded it (at another dealer) and got a new one. We've traded several times since then but always bought a new one. We learned a valuable lesson.
    Depending on the year this happened you should have been given a Federal Odometer statement, that would have told you the actual mileage before you signed the papers.

    Posted By: Deen on 04/22/05 10:33pm

    If you look at my sig you will see that I started RV'ing 48 years ago. That was when my parents rented a trailer, the next year they special ordered their first TT. Special built and heavy so it kept blowing out tires till they put mobile home tires under it. Got my first TT in 1968, tried pulling it with my 1967 Camaro 396 CI/4 speed. Plenty of power (factory rated at 375 HP but NHRA factored to 450 HP) but not enough cooling! Finally went to a 26' TT (with several TT's in between) towed by a 3/4 ton Chev P/U.

    Moved to a MH in 1988 and have had several since then, 1988 (17' Type B), 1997 (29' Type C), 1998 (35' double slide Type A), 2000 (39' Single slide Type A DP) and now a 2002 (41' triple slide DP).

    Posted By: theyngones on 05/02/05 08:54am

    We started with a coleman Taos popup (eight footer) weighed 1100# and towed by 2001 Suburu Outback in 2002 at 20 mph. Both paid for Just retired, settled in new home, went camping on the beach. Just right. Then, we got the bug to move up to Class A. Couldn't flat tow the suburu so we traded for a 2002 saturn wagon. Now we have 700/month payments. We freaked with a heavy dose of buyers remorse. Any ideas on how to get over it?

    TheYngOnes - Newbees May 2005
    2000 Thor Infinity
    2002 Saturn LW 300 Toad by Blue Ox Aventa II

    Posted By: millikeg on 05/02/05 09:05am

    theyngones wrote:

    We freaked with a heavy dose of buyers remorse. Any ideas on how to get over it?

    Use your RV sufficiently so you realize the value out of it for the money you're paying into it. [emoticon]

    2004 Coachmen Sportscoach Elite 402 TS

    Posted By: grm77979 on 05/03/05 03:41pm

    I did make a mistake buying my first RV, I should have bought it sooner.


    1997, 40' Mountain Aire DP, one slide
    325 Cummins, 6 speed Allison

    Toad - Jeep Wrangler

    Posted By: wanck on 05/15/05 12:09am

    We did make a mistake. We enjoy camping and taking our Class C places. It is too small. We bought a rental return and we paid too much. We have records of all the maintenance done on it. It was evident on our second trip in it we got taken. The dealer Dan Gamel in Fresno, just took us. The outboard tires on the rear of the coach were all shiny and new, but the inboard tires were old and waiting to fail. When the tire blew out on our second trip we felt we had definately made a mistake. We feel now that for the money we would have been better off with a new travel trailer than a used motorhome. We had to reseal the roof and a couple of windows. The coach battery is already bad. We have already replaced the AC and the refer cover. We have had to work at getting the dealer to make right on the situation. When we went back to trade in our Motorhome, they offered us $18k after charging us $32k. We were really naive shoppers to begin with and it has been a good learning experience. But a very expensive mistake.

    Posted By: RayChez on 05/15/05 02:47am

    Yes! I made a mistake by buying a gasoline coach. The wind bounces them around too much. Traded it in after five thousand miles on it.

    2002 Gulf Stream Scenic Cruiser
    330 HP Caterpillar 3126-E
    3000 Allison Transmission
    Neway Freightliner chassis
    2017 Buick Envision

    Posted By: MuddyDuck on 05/30/05 11:57pm

    I'm new to the board, so if I'm dredging up a topic that's old, sorry, saw it and had to reply.

    We bought our MH three years ago, and it's been a love hate relationship. We made so many mistakes from being uninformed, naive, young, or just plain stupid.

    Pretty much the major mistake was thinking we were getting a great deal on a motorhome that was quite old, but only had 30k miles on it. It has bled money from us to get it to this point of finally being dependable. Gets my eyes all moist thinking about the money we've put into it and how we could have bought a newer more dependable rig with less headache.

    The upshot is we have learned a lot about MHs and have improved our do it ourselves skills. When we buy our next one we'll know so much more. So...considering we bought our first one when we were in our late twenties and just turned thirty, and we'll be working up to our dream luxury class MH for retirement, then it's been a valuable education for our future.

    Posted By: Westenthal on 05/31/05 06:31am

    Our first MH was a 1990 HR 33' with a 454 Chevy engine. The only mistake was the engine, not that the 454 was a bad engine but the only place in my area that I could get service work done was at the local Ford truck delership. That just didn't work out very well. We paid $20K for that rig, drove it all over the place for two years and sold it for $26K. So in retrospect, it turned out to be a pretty wise purchase, not a mistake at all.


    Posted By: mcpdjohn on 05/31/05 07:23pm

    My first RV was an '85 Mallard class C. I didn't have a clue what I was doing when I bought it, but it was a great coach over the 9 years I owned it. That one was just luck. My second coach was an 05 Bounder which I bought in March of this year. This purchase was the result of many, many hours of research on this and similar web sites. This web site is an extremely valuable resource. You learn how to sort out the legitimate posts from the "flamers" and you benefit from the experiences of others. If you spend enough time researching your purchase, I think you can significantly decrease the chance of having buyers remorse with your first coach.

    Posted By: Tracey&theguys on 05/31/05 07:38pm

    I don't know if there is any right answer to what to buy the first time. We were so broke, I just knew that I didn't want to mop up 4" of water at 4 o'clock in the morning from the bottom of a tent and spend the next hot and humid day doing all of the clean laundry over again! (All of this while hubby took the kids out on the lake boating and asked for lunch and dinner!) -(He never got it!)
    We started with a tent and van, then an older class C, two 5th wheels, and are just now selling our bounder and going to a new 06' Challenger! I just love this camping life! As long as you are with friends and family and have great food, what you really want will present itself in time!

    Posted By: RayChez on 05/31/05 09:21pm

    Tracey & the guys! I love your post. That is what RVing is all about. It does not matter whether you have a million dollar coach or a entry level, as long as you are having a good time and enjoying life.

    2002 38' Gulfstream Scenic Cruiser
    Caterpillar 330 hp
    Six speed Allison
    Toad: Ford Ranger

    Posted By: goldye777 on 05/31/05 09:33pm

    hi all.... i just bought my first MH.... on Ebay (laffing)'s a 76 class c itasca....gosh it needs a lot of interior work BUT... my daughter and i (single mom here) have gone on 2 trips in it and have had a great time. I just need to learn how the heck to maintain it...etc... but i can learn and i figure i only invested 2700... to find out if we liked it and to learn...
    i just need to find friends that like doing this too so my little 7.5 year old will have friends to play w.... .. Mom here is happy just being out and if the little kiddo is happy makes mom even happier..
    i'm having fun looking thru the posts.. trying to find 'advice' on things....
    y'all seem great so thanks in advance...i'm a young 48 with my first mh... we call him speedy..... then engine started spurteriing on the way back saturday and the drivers door flew open and we had to bungee it closed but what an adventure.....
    see i didn tknow what the heck i was doing..... lemonaide anyone!!!! goldye

    Posted By: raincity on 05/31/05 10:25pm

    grm77979 wrote:

    I did make a mistake buying my first RV, I should have bought it sooner.

    Same here!! We are still newbies (got our first RV in April) but have 4 trips in so far (long weekends, 400 to 800 miles R/T) and a 5K trip planned in two weeks.

    So, yes: Why didn't I do this sooner ???

    Jeff Meacham
    Camp Host and Computer Geek
    36' 1999 Itasca Sunflyer DP
    1997 Ford Explorer Toad

    Posted By: kirbasauras on 06/17/05 04:52pm

    Rather than waiting till you find friends who have their own MH, take some of your daughter's friends with you on short trips. Once the little ones catch the camping bug, the parents always remember how much fun it is.

    We just purchased our first MH 2 weeks ago, we pick it up tomorrow. It is a '95 El Dorado/Honorbuilt Outdoor Inn 29' Class C. My parents have been full timers for about 4 years now and they love it in their 40' American Eagle DP w/ 1 slide. My boys and I have gone on several trips with them (longest being 3 weeks with G-ma, G-pa, mom, 2yo boy, 2 week old baby and 2 yorkies...boy was it crowded!!) My hubby and I looked for about 6 months before we made our choice. We started looking at pop-ups and then realized that our vehicle was not rated to pull anything more than 2K#. So that put the pop-up and a TT out. Next started looking at CHEAP old MH's and finally decided to dip into savings and pay for a newer one. Still went with a 10 yr old one, but I think we will be happy. Bought it from a Toy Hauler manufacturer who sells bank repos on the side for what is left on the bank note, so we got a REALLY good deal. The Outdoor Inn has the walk around queen in the back, dinette/sleeper, sofa/sleeper and the over-the-cab full size. This will do nicely now that we are up to 3 boys...they will each have their own bed. 6 days after we pick it up, we will set out for our first trip...from San Diego to OKC, OK to visit great g-ma for 2 weeks. I'll post how it went once we get home.


    p.s. we insisted on the extended warranty.

    Posted By: Edouard on 06/17/05 05:45pm

    We had rv'd for 25 years with trailers, great experience when kids were young, has got to be the best upbringing for them.

    Big mistake, we bought a Fleetwood, never again, a 97 Pace Arrow Vision, what a beautiful unit, all the bells and whistles, but in 18 months, it was either at the dealer or the factory with issues for 10 of the months, including sidewall delamination and to numerous to mention other issues. Dealer was useless to fix anything the first time, let alone 2-3 & 4 visits, factory was heartless and uncaring, within 2 months of replacing sidewalls, it had to go back for new delamination. How did we solve it, we traded for what we have now, and will probally go back with Holiday Rambler.

    Eugene & Stella

    Posted By: grm77979 on 06/17/05 06:19pm

    We started wanting an RV after two travel trailers, but we were not sure how we would use it and home much. I still work and I only get two weeks vacation (and sick days etc) a year, so we didn’t think we could use it much. Two years ago we purchased a 1987, 33’ London Aire. Being an older unit we felt we would not be in over our head and we could see how much we liked it.

    Within a year we moved up. I am still happy that we went the route that we did.

    Posted By: RayChez on 06/17/05 07:12pm

    Jenni! That is a beautiful post you wrote. I like to read about people that are just getting into camping and really looking forward to taking their kids out and showing them that there is more in this world then just walking the streets of a big city. I showed my kids all about camping and boating, and they both turned out to be pretty good. Be sure to check your tires before the trip from Cal. to Oklahoma. Have a safe trip and enjoy it. Take your time and enjoy sights along the way. The kids will like that.

    Posted By: Jim Irwin on 06/18/05 01:17am

    Yes, I probably should have shopped around a bit more. We bought a new 2003 BT Cruiser, from Gulfstream. Our prior experience was with travel trailers, so we felt a small motor home was a step up for us. Unfortunately, the 2003 model did not have all it's bugs worked out. Examples being: 1. Television (RCA) quit after two months. The replacement TV is still under warranty, but it quit work also 1 month ago. 2. Lot of noise when driving...rattles and squeaks, most of it from the windows. 3. Water leaks from the roof. 4.leaks from plumbing under shower. 5. interior decorative trim peeling off. 6. Condensation water from AC in cockpit area leaks under firewall, producing wet carpet.

    But I still like the motor home, and it's like anything else, not perfect but you make the 'shoe fit' as best you can. But, would recommend shopping around...getting user reports from websites like this helps.

    My wife and I enjoy taking our little Motor Home to the Texas beach. We have been filling our fresh water tank before driving the 200+ miles. However, we end up having water leakage(while driving) along from side of RV.

    Posted By: Hap Trails on 06/18/05 01:26pm

    Nope. If my TT doesn't work right. I untie it and get a new one. Much less worries. And a whole lot less money.[emoticon] Happy Trails

    Posted By: Yosemitebobr on 06/18/05 10:04pm

    The biggest problem with buying that first "A" was it led to another and another.

    YosemiteBobR (Bob)
    2015 Thor Four Winds 33SW, Super C diesel

    Two Labordoddles one white one brown
    My DW the co-pilot/navigator (the boss)">


    Posted By: kirbasauras on 06/21/05 08:34am

    I am beginning to think we made a mistake with out choice of dealers. When we went to pick up the coach on Sat, it was not ready. They were supposed to do a walk through with us to show us how everything worked, well the generator didn't. They called in the tech and he decided that he needed to replace the voltage regulator? (very few hours on the gen) which meant pulling the gen and replacing the part...if they could get the part...on monday!!! SO here it is Tue, we leave Thurs morning and we are still waiting. They are supposed to bring the coach to us in Vista (they are in Riverside) tomorrow. I have asked for them to reduce the price for the inconvinence of taking 5 days from us, that is still under negeotion. I now will have a very short time to pack, I hope I remember everything I need [emoticon]
    Wish us luck,

    Posted By: carolrich on 07/21/05 06:18pm

    I am curious to know how you finally decided on the Motorhome or 5th wheel that you bought. Was it price? Was it construction? Was it length? Weight? Also how long did you look at RV's before you actually purchased one? Who made the final decision? Husband or wife or did you both agree on the one you bought? Did you consider buying used or did you start out only looking at new? As I'm sitting here in the campground watching one beautiful RV after another come in and park, I can't help but wonder about these questions.

    Posted By: Houndog101 on 07/21/05 06:24pm

    Wife went to see her Brother at work, Brooks Ramsey RV sales..ask about MH for dog showing, just curious.. He showed her around, she called me, I went there and we bought our first MH ever...
    No mistake,,never looked back..

    98 Pace Arrow Vision,F53, 37', 2 slides, Gibson, TransCommand

    Breed, raise, show Bloodhounds

    Posted By: Catdave on 07/21/05 06:25pm

    Question: "Anyone make a mistake buying first MH ?"
    Answer: That's simple- YES! We bought a gasser when we should've bought a DP.


    2006 Fleetwood Excursion 39L

    Posted By: BradShaw75 on 07/21/05 09:22pm

    We bought out of state, saved a good bit and enjoyed the drive back. BUT, getting service here is a nightmare.

    Posted By: Poppa Doc on 07/22/05 02:17pm

    Talked into buying a "new" rig because it was a better deal overall money wise,instead of the 4 year old one I fell in love with, didn't know jack about rvs other than after 25 years tenting the wife said "Im not sleeping on the ground again". On the drive home,in my brand new, !#@#$%$%$%^, the light shining on the table fell off the wall. It was gone in six months because I was headed for my 3rd divorce if I told my DW one more time, "it's covered under the warranty". Truth be told, I should have turned around and told them what I realized on that first night that it was a POS....nice thing is, the dealer agreed after awhile it was a lemon, took it back and put me in a wonderful rig....

    You ain't lived until you go 170+ on two wheels!!! ">DIGITAL CERTIFIED">

    Posted By: HappySimbas on 07/22/05 02:31pm

    We've had Pop-Ups, TT, and MH's. I'll focus on MH's...

    Our first MH was a 37' Class A gasser. It's a beautiful, well constructed, MH with good amenities and living space. The mistake was not the manufacturer or the "house" itself (we loved the floorplan). The mistake was that we purchased a gasser with an inappropriately sized house for the chassis. So the handling and the ride was very sub-par. I ended up spending more money to correct the steering and handling problems. But even with that solved, my CCC went to hell(because of all the after-market add-ons which added more weight to the coach), and the ride quality was stilll like that of a U-Haul moving truck.

    As much as we loved the house itself, I didn't like the fact I didn't have much CCC to spare and the MH still rode like a U-Haul.

    So we moved to our new DP after a year. No regrets what-so-ever.

    Ben, Autumn, Nathan, and Joey
    FMCA F348063
    2005 Holiday Rambler Endeavor 40PDQ
    2008 Honda CR-V EX Toad

    Posted By: Houndog101 on 07/22/05 02:44pm

    Yes! Waited to darn long to do it!!
    No regrets, our Fleetwood, Pace Arrow Vision is perfect for us..Its well built and has plenty CCC for our needs..

    Its a 98 , 36.6 ft, like new condition, in and out..

    Posted By: paemtp on 07/22/05 09:00pm

    Been there...done that! Bought a 2003 HR Admiral 36 WDD on Workhorse Chassis. Now, we are closing a deal on an 05 HR Endeavor 40 DST.

    Should have gone with the DP to begin with, but I (being a typical male) could not wait and do more research. I just had to get into a Class A. After 2 years and 9000 miles the DP is the answer for us. We have a Chevy Tahoe to tow, and there was NO WAY I would even consider doing it with the Workhorse.

    Considering the negative equity position we are in now, it would have made more sense to spend more in the beginning to get what was optimal for our needs.

    Posted By: Ryan87 on 08/04/05 08:19pm

    Our first purchase (Current RV) is a 87 24' class C.
    We've had it for over a year, and used it 7 times. We just got a $900 brake job, and $300 in tune up and head cover gaskets. The size is great for the two of us and our little dog, but seams like any other toys, maintenance is $$. We are thinking of buyin a 20'-24' TT so we don't have the DMV costs, insurance, and maintenance costs. Has been a learning experience, but we are hooked and want to buy something where we do not have to watch the gages when driving. I would recommend buying something a little newer than the 87. Some of the newer model interiors are more functional than the old. We are looking forward to taking out again soon, or buying/trading for a TT.
    Good Luck!

    Posted By: weinturv on 08/05/05 06:01am

    I love this site. We all have such good information to share.

    Just bought our first MH, 7-15-05, upgraded from a TT. This is our fourth RV and upgraded each time. It is at the dealer now for tweaking...and I gave them hell for not doing a complete pre-delivery inspection..come on - brights not working...basement lights not working...and 10 other items.

    I already see some things that we should have gotten perhaps from a different manufacturer, but of course cost was a factor...and we are not full timing...we weighed many things... it meets our needs. And she already has a name...Karen Sue

    Cindy and Company (Na, and constant pals - Lady and Jodie)
    2013 Winnebago Vista 27N
    Blue Ox Aventa II, Brake Buddy
    toad 2011 CRV

    Posted By: theyngones on 08/05/05 06:19am

    Yup, ours was a big time trip to the dark side. We had a small pop-up. Decided we would like to travel more and longer so we got a class a. We found a nice used one. The owner paid 120,000. Five years and six thousand miles later we got it for 53,000. After paying 12,000 in taxes, waranties and insurance we took it out for a trip. Then we needed a vehicle to tow s we could stop for roadside peanuts, another 14,000 for a used car and tow set-up. We got six miles to the gallon. Needed walkie talkies to park it. Of course, we're too big to stay at nice quiet and spacious state parks for 16 dollars a night, We now stay at RV resorts in 20 foot wide parking lots using a discount club card for 30 dollars a night listening to ATV's roaring. Hey, the best part, the screening on the class a lets the no-sums in, so instead of enjoying the sounds and coolness of our night conversations, we're in this box staring at satelite tv with the air conditioning droning all night.

    Well needless to say, the class a feels like a gaudy, ill fitted suit. Sold it finally after two months for 50,000. Got a nice used popper and we're back from the dark side, 32,000 poorer. We may get a little damp now and then but not soaked.

    Posted By: carolrich on 08/05/05 06:30am

    AS I see it, that's why there are so many choices for all of us. Glad you found what suits you best and still have your sense of humor.

    Posted By: bcthunder on 08/06/05 01:08pm

    We upgraded from a 26' trailor to our '99 35' Georgie Boy Cruisemaster gas last year and have been happy with our decision. I think the decision to go MH was definitely the right one for us. We have our own business so long Holidays are tough to do so we committed to go every 2nd or 3rd week for 3-4 days and we have done it! No hitching,cranking etc. is awesome.

    The one previous owner added a lot factory options so we think we got a good deal. After a year of frequent short trips we have had a few minor mechanical issues but nothing serious. We think we will have this MH for a while and just see what happens.

    As others have said, our mistake was not doing it sooner.

    Posted By: garryp on 08/06/05 01:54pm

    Budget/cost I coulda done a lot better.

    Lifestyle I did ok. Solo traveler w/ dog, so I did not need the hassle of slides and their maintenance. I added Datastorm and computers, smaller portable EU2000 to supplement the monster diesel 10,000 watt genset (reasons: noise and efficiency), removed chair to make room for a computer desk, added a Wave6 catalytic heater, since I had electric stove added portable gas stove/broiler for non-electric use, added a Trimetric battery monitor, added XM radio, moved Dish equipment from house, and away I go. Could I have bought the unit with each of those features? Highly unlikely. And each of them is high on my list of needs.

    Moral? Plan ahead of time any budget likely required to upgrade to your detail requirements, then buy the basic platform that matches size and budget of your lifestyle. Do not expect to get one out the shoot exactly as desired.

    Notes for the LookyLou:
    * I put the extra gas stove in the bay if not needed, on the dining table if needed, since there is only me to eat.
    * I knew I would spend the $$$ for Datastorm before I bought.
    * Wav 6 ((Wave 8 is a little too big) works great, much better than the noisy and inefficient furnace. In cool weather I shut door between rear and front, and place the heater where ever I am (back to sleep, front to do otherwise). And if you use the very small vent recommendations of the manufacturer, they are safe. I sleep with mine on.
    * Regarding catalytic heaters, be wary of those with ODS (Oxygen Depletion Sensor). They may not work above 7,000 feet due to the thin air, which rules out the most beautiful parts of the West.
    * I do not know how people survive without a battery monitor like the Trimetric or equivalent.
    * If one is going to do extensive computer work, make necessary changes. Do not try to do it from your lap sitting on a sofa. That will drive you nuts if you are on the road for extended periods.
    * And by all means, if you camp without hookups a lot, buy an enamel kettle to heat water on the gas range instead of the less efficient 10 gal water heater.
    * And finally, do not buy without first checking propane tank capacity. I think that is easy to overlook. I have a 47 gal tank, and it is so nice to not have to search for accessible propane every time I move.

    Darn, I didn't mean to say all that!

    Travel Blog | Current Location | The Barth | Places Visited | 2007 Travels

    "Now, listen, you don't go any one special place. That's cornball style. You just go."
    -- Johnny in the movie The Wild One

    Posted By: garryp on 08/06/05 02:07pm

    "Of course, we're too big to stay at nice quiet and spacious state parks for 16 dollars a night"

    Sometimes I agree with you. But approaching fulltime, I am afraid that a popup would become trying. Again, there are some really nice pop-ups compared to the one I had 30 years ago!

    Size is a problem. Needless to say, I really hate the 20- foot commercial lots. But I have found that by scouting parks I can find drycamping state and Nat. Forest Service parks that I can park in, even when the brochure says 28 ft limit. I scout around, always stop and ask the camp host before daring to drive in. To do otherwise can put you into a very difficult navigation situation. the host sees rigs in and out every day, and knows what is and is not possible.

    Now, the $16.00 (I usually pay $0, $12, or $14) is a little steep. But you have to understand that the Nat. Park Service and the Nat. Forest Service are becoming profit centers instead of protectors of the lands for public use. They like to close campgrounds that are not making a profit, and refuse to spend any money on older campgrounds that are becoming a little ragged on the edges. That is abominable. They have drifted far from their original charter, becoming another greedy government bureaucracy.

    Commentator: garryp now leaves his soapbox.

    * This post was edited 08/06/05 02:14pm by garryp *

    Posted By: BabyBear on 09/20/05 07:30pm

    Hah! New to these boards,and by the time I registered to post I couldn't find this thread.

    Anyhow,I am fairly certain I must have made some mistakes. I just bought my first motor home a couple of days ago,and had never even ridden in one before.I bought a 1984 30 foot Fleetwood Southwind for $4,000. It has 69,000 miles on it and is supposed to be in good overall condition with no known problems other than the two "house batteries"

    I've been reading the forum and learning a lot,but my prime concerns right now are about internet access while on the road,and what to do about getting my mail forwarded. I plan on living in it all spring and summer next year,and believe in planning ahead. I have seen suggestions about WiFi for internet connection,but nobody seems interested in dumbing this down to a level where I understand what the hell they are talking about.

    Posted By: RGordon on 09/20/05 08:38pm

    Yep, should have gotten a diesel rig and at the time thought that it would be no problem to upgrade to a diesel from a gasser. Little did I know that I would have take a tremendous financial loss to accomplish this. I have tried to upgrade but just cannot give away a like new 2002 gasser.

    Ron & Libby Gordon
    07 Ford F350 Dually Tow Boss Diesel
    07 Mobile Suites 38RL3 #3698
    02 Winnebago Adventurer 35U V10 (Former RV)
    Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow

    Posted By: beardog on 09/21/05 06:22am

    The jury is probably still out...bought my first nearly 4 months ago after 6 years of looking and dithering...started looking at ClassB - got to thinking about rainy days in a ClassB with dog and cat I travel with - started looking at ClassC and salesman talked me into taking an A for a test drive - Love! Dithered a few more years and looked at trailers and truck campers. All the time asking - how am I going to use it, what do I really want to do with it, will I like doing something different once I get "into in"? $$$ - yikes! This spring sold my house and a piece of property I had and did not find a house I liked so rented for a year - have a long term consulting contract - time seemed "right" - went browsing and bought nearly the first Class A I saw: Winnebago Adventurer 33V '03, 11K miles. So far - great! I had this summer for shakedown - both me and the coach and plan is an extended land cruise next summer - working 1/2-3/4 time. Scary thing for me - I'm 50 - is putting that much money into a depreciable asset and not having an appreciable one...I'm "rightside-up" on the loan and still have resources to buy home or property but... However, I've given myself 18 months to give this a try on all fronts: enjoyment and financial. Time will tell. Ultimately I'm not sure that you know until you jump in and try and if I have any regrets currently it is not getting "something" sooner!

    Liz and the Boys: Bear & Bob (Karelian Bear Dog & Garfield "wannabe")
    In our hearts always: Karl, Gus and Zack KBD, cat, KBD cross
    '03 Winnebago Adventurer 33V
    '02 Jeep Wrangler

    Posted By: bagman on 09/21/05 06:37am

    Our first MH was a 96 Tioga 31N (good MH), but can't say the same for FW customer service. Second MH is an Allegro Bay 37DB (good MH) and superb customer service! Bagman.

    Land of Opportunity & Liberty 4 ALL!

    Posted By: stephen haley on 11/05/05 03:32am

    well i am a single dad at age 54 and retired this past january.
    it's just me, my dog, my golf clubs and a dingy.
    i'm not going any bigger than a 30 footer and staying with a 454 chevy.
    no slides either.
    windsport and airstream land yachts seem to be have what i want. and are affordable in a used MH.
    i'm gonna travel for 2 or more years and just see the sights then decide what to do.
    i'm going to take the camping world tech school. they teach you everything from a to z about repairing a MH and that's what i need. it'll also come in handy and if i ever need to work and don't desire to return to const. i can hook up with just about any quality RV service center and get some part time work i believe.


    Posted By: Beach Boy on 11/05/05 03:49am

    stephen haley wrote:

    I'm going to take the camping world tech school. they teach you everything from a to z about repairing a MH and that's what I need. it'll also come in handy and if I ever need to work and don't desire to return to const. I can hook up with just about any quality RV service center and get some part time work I believe.


    Stephen, the training school should be a smart decision. I suggest that you attend the training school before you buy your used MH. Buying an used MH is a MUCH better financial decision then purchasing a new MH if you do your homework extensively and leisurely.

    As for if I made a mistake purchasing my first MH, my only regret is that did not do my homework extensively and paid too much for a well maintained, well-built used MH. I should have figured in a 20% safety margin into the price offered for unseen items and changes to the MH to suit me.


    Bill & Laura Blanton
    1999 Coachmen Catalina 34' FW with Two Slides

    Posted By: dlhaynes on 11/05/05 04:18am

    Only in size. I've been pleased and lucky with each one I've owned. A total of 4 so far. Working on the 5th.


    '06 Mountain Aire DP ">
    '06 Jeep Liberty Ltd
    Passport America
    Good Sam's LT
    Kountry Klub; Volunteer Kruisers #72 ">
    Full Timing all over ourselves "> !!!
    Our Website

    Posted By: Houndog101 on 11/05/05 09:42am

    Totally satsified with Ours..

    Posted By: stephen haley on 11/05/05 10:54am

    one other thing pertaining to the purchase of a used MH. i see some diesel pushers that are as old as 1990, maybe even 1989; and they are asking well over $50k for them!?!?!?!?!

    now i am not knowledgeable about MH's in the first place but even after looking into NADA and assuming a discount for haggling i can't imagine they will sell for anywhere near those prices. brand name that i was looking at was a Foretravel.

    i have seen many and even the gas ones are much higher than others of the same year.

    anything special about these Foretravel's?


    Posted By: 2 Retired on 11/05/05 11:45am

    You mean our 'motorhome from hell'????just had to have an old Concord Class A Concord that was owned by a person in our town I had known for many years. He was a successful businessman but I 'knew him when' and saw him as a conniving, scheming cheat.
    My dear spouse said it was a 'great deal' and I couldn't talk him out of it.
    Anyway - anything that could go wrong did. We took our 2 boys on a trip to Myrtle Beach, towing a small compact. We got as far as South of the Border and something 'fell out'. We thought it was fixed by a local mechanic and went on our way. While on Rt 501 going east people were beeping and waving to us - my husband said it was Southern hospitality. No, they were trying to tell us that flames were shooting out from our undercarriage.
    Let's see, what next - oh yeah - the clutch went on our Toad! We had to rent a car to pick up our RV from yet another mechanic. Did I tell you the Fridge went as well and that the AC broke down? One more thing - the starter went on the way home and my husband was shown how to use a screwdriver under the rig to somehow bypass the starter so we could stop on the way home - which we had to do often because we burned so much oil we had to put more in about every 100 miles.
    We pulled into the driveway and I told my husband I would never, never go inside that rig again. I didn't even help clean it out from the trip. I swear all of this is true!!!
    That was about 20 years ago and we are now on our 5th rig, a 30'TT pulled by a Ford F350. We still love camping, just not that abomination! No, it wasn't our first, and certainly not our last, but it is part of our family's book of memories.

    Two young retirees restless to GO!
    Life is too short to wait too long to do all we want to do!!
    Go and enjoy!!

    Posted By: stephen haley on 11/05/05 12:20pm

    Does this mean your's was a Foretravel? If so what year and model?

    Sorry to hear you had an ordeal but i am glad to hear you are back on the RV road, it's a good one.

    As a side bar, don't beat him up too much on buying the MH. Us guys are known to have brain farts time and again so it's an expected problem we have. Genetic.

    Anyway he's learned his lesson and now you folks are back at it in a good way!lol!


    Posted By: wolfe10 on 11/26/05 12:15pm

    stephen haley wrote:

    one other thing pertaining to the purchase of a used MH. i see some diesel pushers that are as old as 1990, maybe even 1989; and they are asking well over $50k for them!?!?!?!?!

    now i am not knowledgeable about MH's in the first place but even after looking into NADA and assuming a discount for haggling i can't imagine they will sell for anywhere near those prices. brand name that i was looking at was a Foretravel.

    i have seen many and even the gas ones are much higher than others of the same year.

    anything special about these Foretravel's?



    Sorry, your post really struck me the wrong way.

    If, as you say you are "unknowledgeable about MH's" what is the basis for your conclusion that you can not "imagine they will sell for anywhere near those prices".

    Have you even been in an older Foretravel? After all, they are built very near you in Nacogdoches, Texas. Look at and drive a 15-20 year old Foretravel DP and get back with us.

    We welcome new members and their questions and comments. But we also respect those who ask questions if they do not know, rather than drawing their own conclusions and TELLING us not based on FACTS.

    And absolutely, there are those who like and dislike most coaches-- no problem. But most have some facts to back up their opinions.

    Brett Wolfe
    2003 Alpine 38'

    FMCA Forum:

    Diesel RV Club:

    Posted By: LACO-1 on 11/26/05 12:45pm

    We rented a number of class A's over the years, and decided when I retired, two weeks away, now, we would buy a MH. We started looking last Spring, and bought one last month. My wife and I both knew we planned to spend at least two to three months a year in it, and didn't want to feel too cramped. I knew I wanted a DP, and IFS, if I was to drive it for long periods of time. We settled on a 40 foot 06 Allegro Bus, which so far does not seem to have been a mistake. Its bigger than any we rented, so wheeling it around small streets and tight fuel stations is taking some getting used to, but so far so good. It sure has everything we both wanted. A year from now I should know if we did make a mistake, but the idea was to buy big so we wouldn't regret feeling cramped in a small MH. We don't so far.

    Posted By: stephen haley on 11/26/05 12:55pm

    wolfe10 wrote:

    stephen haley wrote:

    one other thing pertaining to the purchase of a used MH. i see some diesel pushers that are as old as 1990, maybe even 1989; and they are asking well over $50k for them!?!?!?!?!

    now i am not knowledgeable about MH's in the first place but even after looking into NADA and assuming a discount for haggling i can't imagine they will sell for anywhere near those prices. brand name that i was looking at was a Foretravel.

    i have seen many and even the gas ones are much higher than others of the same year.

    anything special about these Foretravel's?



    Sorry, your post really struck me the wrong way.

    If, as you say you are "unknowledgeable about MH's" what is the basis for your conclusion that you can not "imagine they will sell for anywhere near those prices".

    Have you even been in an older Foretravel? After all, they are built very near you in Nacogdoches, Texas. Look at and drive a 15-20 year old Foretravel DP and get back with us.

    We welcome new members and their questions and comments. But we also respect those who ask questions if they do not know, rather than drawing their own conclusions and TELLING us not based on FACTS.

    And absolutely, there are those who like and dislike most coaches-- no problem. But most have some facts to back up their opinions.

    Posted By: stephen haley on 11/26/05 01:10pm

    My uncle was a mortage broker for the RV industry from 1972 through 1998.
    My posting, i hope, did not come across incorrectly. I was trying to bolster the value of a DP, not talk it down. It historically has a higher resale value than a gas engine. And of course it does cost more. A typical gas unit (maintained properly) will only provide @ 125 to 150k miles of worry free service before it begins to fail in both power and economy. DP's will go 500k (maintained properly)and provide over those 500k miles lower service costs than a gas unit would, when considering it would have to be rebuilt twice to get to the 500k mile range that a DP can reach.
    I've rented coaches and MH for 15 years but never owned one. Always got one from my uncle to travel in so my experience is near zero for ownership but i have ten's of thousands of miles in everything from tents to DP's.
    I certainly did not mean to speak anything that was hurtful to anyone. My apology.
    I just feel a DP for an RV'r that uses it regularly is the best investment.
    I also was told by my uncle to buy used, 2 to 5 years old. His experience in lending showed a minimum of 25% and a more realistic average range of 35% loss in resale value in ALL rv's as soon as they are titled and driven off the lot.

    hope i did not offend you or others, that was not my intent. DP's are just superior in my opinion. And as for Foretravel units they are a perfect example of my feeling. DP Foretravels in the 1989 to 1993 still pull in from $25 to $45k+. The Foretravel gas rigs are half this on the average depending on condition. Foretravel are one of the very best made rigs in the industry and have been since they were founded by the name sake that built his first in his back yard i believe. You can't use Foretravel as the benchmark. It has no real competition with the mass produced rigs out there. They'd all fall apart before the Foretravel would begin to squeak.


    Posted By: stephen haley on 11/26/05 01:18pm

    my uncle said the biggest mistake rv buyers made was having to buy up after buying too small a rig at first.
    i'm going for the 40 footer, if i can. i'm gonna live in it for several years while traveling the states so i feel i need the room.
    sorry again for posting anything received poorly. that was not my intent.
    i was only trying to pass on what i had gotten first hand from an uncle that was in the industry.
    a DP just seems the way to go if you are using the rig regularly and expect to get the best bang for your buck when selling.

    apology again for any problem i have caused.

    Posted By: stephen haley on 11/26/05 01:48pm

    wolfe10 wrote:

    stephen haley wrote:

    one other thing pertaining to the purchase of a used MH. i see some diesel pushers that are as old as 1990, maybe even 1989; and they are asking well over $50k for them!?!?!?!?!

    now i am not knowledgeable about MH's in the first place but even after looking into NADA and assuming a discount for haggling i can't imagine they will sell for anywhere near those prices. brand name that i was looking at was a Foretravel.

    i have seen many and even the gas ones are much higher than others of the same year.

    anything special about these Foretravel's?



    Sorry, your post really struck me the wrong way.

    If, as you say you are "unknowledgeable about MH's" what is the basis for your conclusion that you can not "imagine they will sell for anywhere near those prices".

    Have you even been in an older Foretravel? After all, they are built very near you in Nacogdoches, Texas. Look at and drive a 15-20 year old Foretravel DP and get back with us.

    We welcome new members and their questions and comments. But we also respect those who ask questions if they do not know, rather than drawing their own conclusions and TELLING us not based on FACTS.

    And absolutely, there are those who like and dislike most coaches-- no problem. But most have some facts to back up their opinions.

    Posted By: stephen haley on 11/26/05 01:55pm

    Ok i found out what went wrong here. Within 15 to 20 minutes before the email you replied to hit my inbox, i had just posted a reply to a thread that was not keen on DP's and was attempting to explain how the gas engines were competing equally with the DP's. This is what i thought i was replying to. My mistake.
    It was a reply to another thread.

    This email you are replying to is indeed a very old one. I had many misgivings regarding DP's and Gas rigs and took the time to talk to my uncle, the one that arranged RV's for my familys use over the past 15 or so years and did the same for my parents for nearly 25 years. he put me straight on the DP's and fully explained the vast difference between Foretravels and typical RV's with gas or diesel powerplants.

    Foretravel is more of a coach build compared to the basic gas RV. It's heads and shoulders above the crowd and nears equality to some coach lines.

    now i know where my head is.

    Posted By: dlloyd on 11/26/05 02:07pm

    If you have room to park it whever you anchor, start out with a 40 footer. They are not too big to take most any place you want to go and are not difficult to drive. Used may be OK if you can find out enough about it to be sure you aren't getting someone else's unresolved problems Happy trails.

    Posted By: stephen haley on 11/26/05 03:03pm

    Thanks for the input. I can't afford a heafty 6 figure MH/Coach. I'm limited to @ $70k no matter whether it's a DP or a Gas.
    Most of the ones with the space i need are 37 to 40 foot so i am staying there.
    i am dragging a truck behind me so i don't think i have to worry too much about getting around after setting up camp. i believe i need the DP to be able to pull a PU around the country without wearing out a Gas engine or losing power and speed in the mountain areas. 325+ HP cat is what i am looking for.
    these ar just so FKN big! sheeeeeeeeeeeesh.
    i stand outside one of them and it looks like house!
    anyway, i'm learning more each day and able to connect what i have done in the renting and using arena to the buy side of the process.
    i am looking at several at a place called PPL in houston texas.
    anyone have good or bad feedback on this group.
    they say they are the USA's largest consignment dealer.


    Posted By: wolfe10 on 11/26/05 03:31pm

    PPL IS one of the largest consignment lots in the U.S. They have been around for a long time and also do a large in-person and mail order RV parts business

    As you would expect, they have a complete range of priced units and units in a complete range of conditions. It is indeed a good place for you to start looking, as it is not too far from where you live and you can see a wide variety of coach brands, ages and sizes all in one place. They also do a pretty good job of updating their website:

    It is hard to make HP recommendations, as it is really HP/gross weight that really matters. Most (including me) feel 1 HP/10 pounds of gross weight (coach plus toad) is adequate. So for my 22,000 pound coach with 2,500 pound toad my Cat 250 HP is more than adequate. If this were a coach and toad grossing 37,000 pounds, a 350 HP would not do as well.

    And you will be able to find some nice gas AND some nice DP's in the $70k price range. Certainly with older coaches, how they were maintained is critical. On diesels, do not be very concerned about miles. I would rather see a 12 year old DP with 140,000 miles on it than 14,000. The drivetrains were just not meant to sit idle for months at a time.

    Posted By: stephen haley on 11/26/05 03:49pm

    I will go see their stock after the new year has hit and i agree with your statement of having a DP with average rather than low mileage on it. Sitting around just let them go bad in my opinion. They have some great gas units but i am planning on keeping it for 5 to 7 years if my health remains strong so i'm still pretty much stuck on a DP. Never know though, i might find a 2002 or so with very low miles that would make sense. I'll be certain to look into the GVW and the GCVW (if that's what's it's called with a tow vehicle).

    Posted By: Camelot Mike on 11/26/05 03:58pm

    I made a mistake twice, both of the other motorhomes were beautiful and flawless, they just didn't have the chassis I wanted in the first place. I knew what I wanted and I kept pretending that it didn't matter to me. I know myself better than that [I know my wife knows me better than that too]

    Note: Due to invalid formatting, all formatting has been ignored.

    Mike, Wendy, and our mongrels, Nellie, Sarah, and Tristan.
    2005 Monaco Camelot 38 PDQ, 400 Cummins ISL, 6 speed Allison.
    2006 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited 6 speed.

    Posted By: stephen haley on 11/26/05 04:28pm

    What would you have saved if your first purchase was the right one instead of your 3rd one, if i can ask?

    Thats what my uncle keeps saying, the DP's are on heavy duty freightliner style chassis and won't shake rattle and roll like some of the basic MH's have been said to do.
    I'm trying hard to stick with my goal, a good, used, moderate mileage, 40', mid 90's DP for $60k to $70k drive out. inspected checked out and guaranteed to be road ready. (in writing!lol)

    Posted By: jandcr on 11/26/05 05:14pm

    We did a lot of looking and research within our budget (but not to extremes). We are very happy with our first MH. WE did go to an RV show about 5 months later, looked around (for 4 hours!!) and came away still happy that we purchased the exact right coach for us. (Tiffin Allegro 32BA). Guess we were very lucky and appreciate that.

    Posted By: stephen haley on 11/26/05 06:27pm

    the tiffen allegro is a nice lookin rig. they have a really fine one at PPL but it has twin beds, i need a queen so i can put my tempur pedic set up in it.
    low mileage / 32 footer. otherwise it's a reall good looking rig.

    Posted By: Turtlehouse on 11/26/05 06:44pm

    LACO-1, i hope you are going to truck stops forfuel and not auto places. ihave found getting aroubd truck stops easy. this is especially true around the new ones.

    Posted By: PHE on 11/26/05 07:17pm

    "Anyone make a mistake buying first MH ?"

    Sure - It was a Fleetwood Pace Arrow

    It leaked everywhere, the roof leaked, the sidewalls leaked. the windows leaked, the windshield leaked. If it had been a boat we would have sunk and drowned. But not being a boat it just dry-rotted in the walls, the floor, the roof, etc.


    Posted By: stephen haley on 11/26/05 07:21pm

    yeah i hope to use truck stops exclusively. no city streets for me. got a dingy for that.

    what year was your fleetwood pace arrow! sounds like a nightmare come true!

    anyone else have a leaky raft problem with fleetwood products?


    Posted By: LACO-1 on 11/26/05 07:37pm


    Some of the auto stations are pretty tight to get in and out of. There is one nearby, that is a straight shot in, and has a wide turnout leaving that is no problem. Tree branches around town is another problem. Code says the cities have to maintain 14 feet above street surfaces, but its not happening here. Once on the road, truck stops will be my first choice for access. How do you like your 05 Bus? What kind of mileage are you getting. I have chalked up a couple of 9 +, which for a new coach seems difficult to believe.

    Posted By: stephen haley on 11/26/05 08:21pm

    if you guys are running 65 and 70, you'd be surprised how fast the mpg goes up by dropping down to 55. yeah i know "gee that is slow", but if you are sef contained and don't have the hotel, motel, bathroom and eats problem i kinda figure at 55 i can get 10 or more in almost any rig. what say you?

    i rented a 33 footer with a 360 dodge (don't quote me on the 360 but i do believe it was) and i got 12 mpg from red river new mexico to dallas texas running 55 all the way. 648 miles. filled up in red river at the shell station and drove into irving texas with out a stop except to eat and poop. still had most of a quarter of a tank left. did this in the early fall.
    it was a 5 year old MH and this was back in 2002.

    Posted By: ttll41 on 03/14/06 08:37am

    Hello everyone! I Just joined you all in the RV World Last night when we where giving a 1972 Dodge Avco all I know about it is it needs some work But is running. The wife and I are looking for some info on this RV. I do know the engine is a 413 Dodge.Please Help us!

    Posted By: deuceandddoll on 04/14/06 12:51pm

    We all have to learn and our needs do change over time. We started with a tent, then a popup, then a tag along, then a 5th wheel. This was over a period of 15 years being single, then married, then children.

    We now have a 1995 Fleetwoood Southwind Storm 30' Class A with a 454TBI. Purchased used with 58,000 miles on her. I perform in an Oldies Show Band that plays in the Southwest, so before purchasing a MH I checked with many friends (entertainers) to get their recommendations as we use RVs very differntly from the average consumer.

    I have read a lot of negative feedback about Fleetwood on this site. But some of my friends who own high dollar Winnegabos all the way to Prevost, Blue Bird and other buses all have good and bad things to say about their brands as well.

    All I can say about our Fleetwood is that we checked her maintenance history and current condition before purchasing. We knew that the four dual tires needed to be replaced and budgeted for that expense. In addition, we opted for the $2900 36 month/36,000 mile warranty to cover any unforseen problem that might develop. Total investment with purchase price, TTL, four new tires, and extended warranty was $18,785. My used Suburban cost twice that!

    This coach looks, drives, and performs like new. Our friends cannot believe she is 11 years old. I have all my band equipment including sound and lights, instruments, costumes, etc. stored on board. We have put several thousand trouble free miles on her. We drive 70-75 mph with a full tank of gas, full tank of fresh water, generator and air conditioning running, and average 8-9 miles per gallon. (Know your weight limits and DO NOT exceed them!)

    Deisel has many advantages and we may step up to a larger DP later on. But right now our 30' gas powered RV is perfect for what we are doing. The other band members have their own RVs. The only one who made a mistake is the band leader who bought a 27' Class C with a Ford V-10. His comments are that "it is too small, feels cramped, and lacks the underbody storage of a Class A." So he is shopping for a Class A after owning his Class C for only a month!

    Posted By: FutureSnowbirds on 07/05/06 10:58am

    We went to a couple of RV shows and decided the following: The shower and toilet area had to be separate and we definately wanted a slide out in the living area. We also wanted something that would fit our "family". We can sleep 4 adults (in 2 queen beds) and 3-4 children, depending on age and size. Our rig has everything else we want - plenty of storage (it's a basement model), microwave, fridge and dvd/vcr (we replaced the vcr).

    What we learned: it was our very first motorhome and the dealer was deceitful in explaining the operation of each of the components. We later "lost" our canopy and they refused to replace it. The original one was also loaded with pinholes and there were a couple of stains in the carpeting covering the ceiling. He put the awning up and down so fast that we never noticed the pinholes - we were in awe of the mechanics! The hubcaps on the rear wheels kept falling off and we found out they weren't supposed to be there. Oh well, live and learn.

    Our next purchase will be a Class A with at least 2 slides. Someday!

    Carol & Steve ">

    Posted By: Cowboy Pastor on 07/05/06 03:18pm

    Like Bagman, I think our only mistake was paying about $4000.00, maybe $5000.00, too much. We love our MH and have not had any real problems except having to have it aligned right off the bat. We were totally "green" on the negotiation process and the expectation of 20 - 28% off of MSRP.

    Blessings to All!

    Posted By: dlcole on 07/05/06 03:47pm

    We rented several coaches and did a lot of research on who made good units and the problems in all units. We read a lot of the RV.ORG reviews and took them to heart.

    The first Class C we rented had the bed in the center where I had to climb over my wife to go to the head. The toilet was so small that I had to keep the door open because my knees wouldn't fit inside the toilet.

    We then rented a couple of Class A MHs...32 and 36 ft. Learned a lot about what worked and didn't work for us.

    We went to lot of shows and tramped a lot of carpet. We eventually bought a 1996 36ft Aerbus on a Ford tag chassis. It worked fine for 3 years. We did the whole Banks upgrade and liked the results. Of course, we couldn't do 70mph headed into Knoxville on I40, but then neither could the 18 wheelers... My wife didn't like that toilet and the bath sink were in the same room, so that became a requirement for the new coach. I was still working so we couldn't use the coach as much as we would have liked.

    We got re-energized earlier this year and have put a deposit on a Country Coach 2002 Allure. CC was always my dream coach, but the $$ kept us from seriously considering them. Now that I'm retired, the CC should work great for us. I searched all the internet boards looking for just the right coach for me. I then just flat out asked for the best, no-trade, cash price. It's amazing what some dealers think is a really good price. One dealer made us a really good offer in the first email reply. I think it was his high inventory level that caused him to bust the "asking" price significantly (over $55k). After some calls, pictures, we agreed on a good price and I put down a deposit.

    We head out to Oregon in 2 weeks to go through the coach, drive it, etc and if it's right, we'll do the deal. Shame I have to drive 2200 miles to look at this particular coach. It's 3 days out and 6+ days back...oh well...I'm retired and have lot's of time to get back.

    I just can't see buying new and taking the 30% depreciation off MSRP by driving off the lot. You can also figure an additional 10% a year in depreciation, so don't sink all your retirement $$ into it. You'll be on the street when you are 70...;-0

    Good luck and bargain, bargain, bargain.

    Soon to have 2002 Country Coach Allure, 40ft 2 slides,
    2003 Chev 2500HD, 4x4 as the Harley carrier.

    Posted By: gonesouth on 07/05/06 04:41pm

    I'm sorry i don't have time to read all 16 pages, but the replies were really entertaining and if you read between the lines, educational as well. In our case, I read this forum all last summer, and when we were ready to buy last fall, we had some idea what we were getting into. We bought a 1990 Allegro with extra closets in place of the dinette and lived in it from November to the end of March, when we sold it in Florida. Would I do it again? Not exactly the same, no. We imported it into Canada and registered it here which cost me 15% extra. This year I figure I will get a Florida only driver's license and register and insure the rig in Florida. Also, because we left in the rig from home, we didn't have a toad with us, this year we will drive the toad south, then buy a rig and have the toad with us. May buy a hitch set, or may just rent a dolly from U-Haul, because we will sit in Florida for January, March, and February.

    Our next rig may look a little different from the unit we had, or it may not, but we discovered we don't really care whether you go left or right to get from the kitchen to the living room, just as long as the front door opens to sunshine and 70F or warmer temperatures in January.

    So, our research, which was really inexpensive, taught us
    1.that floor plan doesn't really matter as long as it works for you
    2.the key to happiness is good mechanical condition long as you buy well, you can try a Class A for very little cost.
    4. every motorhome has minor problems to deal with

    Currently planning for retirement.....planning to build a small home in Nova Scotia for summers and someday year-round. Trying to sort out a good way to spend winters in central Florida as I can't drive anymore.

    Posted By: Catdave on 07/05/06 05:02pm

    gonesouth wrote:

    Our next rig may look a little different from the unit we had, or it may not, but we discovered we don't really care whether you go left or right to get from the kitchen to the living room, just as long as the front door opens to sunshine and 70F or warmer temperatures in January.

    Probably one of the best statements ever penned in this forum.

    I'm with you 100% on that one! [emoticon]

    Posted By: old but cute on 10/02/06 07:18pm

    ttll41 wrote:

    Hello everyone! I Just joined you all in the RV World Last night when we where giving a 1972 Dodge Avco all I know about it is it needs some work But is running. The wife and I are looking for some info on this RV. I do know the engine is a 413 Dodge.Please Help us!
    Im in the same pace as you i just got a 1972 dodge also

    Posted By: mrmac on 10/02/06 08:44pm

    No. We had a travel trailer years ago, then a tent and finally a m/h. we were lucky enough to travel with relatives a few days in their m/h and we learned a lot from them. Next we took our time(over 6 months), bought rv trader every week or two, went to a number of different dealers and rv shows. We decided that a used coach would be the best way for us to go and financing it thru a home equity loan was the cheapest way to go. We did such a good job we kept it for 5 yr. before buying a new one in 2002. When we did we walked into the dealership, found a salesman and told him exactly what we wanted.

    Posted By: SCVJeff on 10/03/06 12:41am

    After several years in a tent trailer we bought a 3 year old 85' Pace-Arrow 27Y from a friend (in 1989.. duh). I had only seen them from the outside driving down the freeway and like the look. When this one came avaliable we bought it on the spot. I think it has one of the better layouts for the day and the 454 has plenty of power (for this rig). 17 years later we just replaced it with a Meridian 34H. I hope I can say the same for this one in the future.

    Jeff - WA6EQU
    '06 Itasca Meridian 34H, CAT C7/350

    Posted By: twocruisin on 10/03/06 04:57am

    We bought a new 32 ft. Motorhome at a dealer on Long Island.....The name on the side of the coach was BRAVO.....It was our first motorhome..........We financed about half of the 35 thousand it cost......We left for Florida a week later..........
    We had trouble with the generator and the refrigerator and went into a dealer in Tallahassee, Florida to get the warranty work done........
    The dealer told us that the Motorhome was not a BRAVO and was actually a HONEY..........Since HONEY had gone out of business, he could not honor the warranty.........
    The dealer on Long Island, NY bought up several HONEY motorhomes and changed the name on all of them...........
    I called the bank who financed the unit and they told me no matter what he did with the coach, they had it listed as a Chevrolet Motorhome and they expected me to pay the balance of the money I owed them......
    I told them since I had no warranty at all and the dealer defrauded me, I was going to stop making payments and hire a lawyer......
    By this time the dealer had sold all the other units he had and gone out of business.......
    We used the motorhome for three years without making payments......
    One day a Sheriff pulled up at the lot we own in Florida and repossessed the unit...
    We went to court in Florida to try and get it back, but since we had signed an agreement with the bank, the Judge said we should have made the payments anyway.......Even if the dealer had defrauded us......
    I had filed a Police Report on Long Island claiming that the dealer had actually stolen our money by accepting a down payment..........He never gave the bank the down payment, so they wanted him arrested also..
    Although we lost the motorhome, we did live in it for free for about three and a half years, so we really didn't loose much money..........
    They never found the dealer because he had used a false name.....
    I figured the 15 thousand we put down more than covered what we would have paid anywhere else to rent an apartment for three and a half years, and we got to travel where we wanted, so I wasn't too disappointed when we lost the bus......
    I guess the bank lost a good deal of money on the unit, but they should have checked out the dealer they were doing financing for.........

    We bought a new Bus after we found out that we weren't going to win in court......


    Crystal River
    40 Foot Damon Diesel Bus

    Posted By: AikenRacer on 10/03/06 05:48am

    Our mistake was that we did not do it long ago. We bought an entry level diesel and it just didn't work out. Due to coach problems, we traded it in on a model that was about 50K more and are now much happier. I would suggest to buy what you want first. We probably lost about 5-10K in our trade it situation. Both were 2006 models.

    2012 Tuscany 42RQ tag
    2005 Silverado 2500 w/ piggy back golf cart

    Posted By: Mike B. in SC on 10/03/06 07:54am

    I sure hope not! We just bought our first MH five weeks ago. We have never had any kind of RV before. So after years of looking, one year of seriously looking, we bought a used 2004 Safari Trek 30PBS. We have already put over 1600 miles on it and spent five nights in it at five different places! So far, we love it! Everything works and we have not had any problems. I just hope the good times continue. I am concerned with the tires (Michelin XRV's) after reading some posts on this site. We have a 1400 mile trip planned for the end of the month and I may replace them first. They only have 12,000 miles on them but the chassis is an '03 so they may be almost 4 years old. I need to check the dates.


    2004 Safari Trek 30PBS

    Posted By: tmkilli on 10/03/06 08:21am

    Our first RV was a 29' Jayco TT. We really enjoyed but did have a couple things that irritated me. Of course one was no generator but the other was the fresh water tank was under the sofa at the front of the TT. When I filled the tank, all that weight was added to the tow hitch. Big mistake, couldn't have fresh water until we arrived at our destination.

    Second RV was a 31' National Surf Side Class A MoHo. We purposely did not want slide outs as I felt we would be spending more time on the road that at camp sites. Big mistake, had no room when grandkids traveled with us and knocked my trade-in value way down. It had no leveling jacks. Another big mistake. This coach was nothing but trouble since day one. Could not stop rubber roof leaks and had numerous other mechanical problems. National even flew a factory rep. in to try to fix one problem to no avail.

    Now we have a 33' Winnebago Voyage which has all the bells and whistles we missed on the first two tries. So far, no problems except we can't find enough time to spend in it.


    Posted By: lfeather on 10/03/06 08:55am

    We should have bypassed the gas coach and bought the diesel first!

    Larry, Debbie & Max the Pug
    USAF Retired
    2014 Itasca Reyo P
    2016 Subaru Forester 2.5i 6 speed manual transmission

    Posted By: MHGinTN on 11/28/06 01:31pm

    New to the venue. Bought a '95 Damon Intruder with 43K miles on it (Chevy 454 on a workhorse chasis). Nice unit, 28 or 29 feet long. Found out after I bought it that I couldn't ake a safe bath in it (bad knees and need a stool to shower). Put the unit on the parking lot nearby with a 'House For Sale By Owner' sign while getting the front springs and airbags replaced and the two coach batteries ... wouldn't sell someone something with defects). Sold it for a $2000 loss (the springs and airbags were $1675 installed, so it was as if I rented one to find out what I need to know to get what I truly needed) but immediately bought a 23 ft Winnie Aspect, used 2005, with 6300 miles on it. I tested the shower and toilet before I bought it! Since I travel alone and a lot I'm loving it. Thinking of replacing the jack-knife sofa with a fixed twin bed, for best comfort. Already pulled my hauling trailer with it (6x12 Haulmark) and the Ford V10 doesn't even know the thing is behind it!

    Posted By: wolfman01 on 11/28/06 02:54pm

    I think everybody makes a mistake on their first MH purchase. Some whoops's are just bigger than others. Mine was not noticing the roof leak signs. The cost to repair it properly, carries a 5 figure price tag, so I'm left with finding a means of making it work. I've had it reasealed, as the old ones were going bad, and also had new rooftop A/C gaskets replaced, as those were REALLY bad. Everything that can be done without resorting to a total teardown and rebuild, has been. I'm still trying to chase down some stubborn leak points. I guess I can always hope and pray for a massive hailstorm, so the insurance company will cover the bill right? [emoticon]

    2011 Hyundai Accent SE (8k)
    1996 Tiffin Allegro Bay 31' ga$$er motorhome (42k)
    Bear, my four legged, furry companion.
    RVing is an obsession more expensive than drugs. ">

    Posted By: thebrushman on 11/28/06 05:22pm

    I think in this case mistake is a relative term, Other than buying something that just doesn't fit you at all, many of us buy something, use it for a while and then want something different. I don't think this is a mistake we all like change sometimes and motorhomes are no excepltion. We have had 2 class C's, 3 5th wheels, and 3 class A's.

    Posted By: frankdamp on 11/28/06 08:58pm

    We sure-as-hell did. We decided to buy a low-priced MH to see if we liked the lifestyle. Loved the life-style, hated the MH. It was a 1985 Class C with a Ford 460.

    First lesson was - don't buy a carburator-equipped big V8, particularly one built towards the end of the time when air injection and over-rich mixtures were the means of meeting emission regulations. We were lucky to get 6 mpg ot sea-level and it dropped to less than 5 in the mountains.

    Second lesson was, don't buy from a winter sports nut. PO was a snowmobiler and used the RV to go sledding in the Cascades. Should've caught on to the fact that he and his buddies were shedding their wet snow suits inside the RV. Found major rot in the sidewalls because the inside window-pane drainage system couldn't handle the amount of moisture.

    Third lesson was, don't get a main bed that two people can't get out of independently. Our rig had a corner bed where the person on the left side was trapped by the back wall (pillow end), the right (sidewalk side) wall and the end (wardrobe) wall. You couldn't get out of bed from the sidewalk side without a major disturbance of your partner.

    Fourth lesson, old folks like us have difficulty getting into the over-cab bed of a Class C. If you're the slightest bit claustrophobic, you can't sleep up there anyway.

    Bottom line - if your'e over 50, dont' go for a Class C. No matter your'e age, don't go for antyhing that isn't diesel or fuel injection.

    We'd love to get back into Rv'ing, but are limited by existing vehicle (Kia Sedona) and a paraniod dislike of big trucks as our only vehicle. We can only afford one vehicle as both daily driver and TV and DW will not consider a full-size truck or derivative SUV.

    Maybe a TrailManor is in our future. Personally, if budget permitted (which it doesn't), a mid-1990s 35' DP would be ideal, particularly one on the Gillig chassis which I got to know well as a transit coach driver.

    You can but dream!

    * This post was edited 11/29/06 07:50am by an administrator/moderator *

    Frank Damp, DW - Eileen, pet - female Labrador (9 yrs old), location Anacortes, WA, retired RVers (since Dec 2014)

    Posted By: mslucky on 11/29/06 12:31pm

    No mistakes for us. In February 2005 we purchased a 35 ft, 1997 Allegro Bay. No slides. Less than two years later and over 12,000 miles, we couldn't be happier with our choice. Other than the usual/everyday problems, we've had no worries. We took alot of the advice from this forum and did lots and lots of research, we rented a class C and Class A, both gas. I cannot tell you how many RVs we looked at and inspected. But for the amount of money and time invested I think we made the right choice. Tiffin products are great!

    Posted By: kylesbrown on 11/29/06 12:55pm

    Yes, our first class A was a 94 37' Pace Arrow with a 454 gas engine that could not bare the thought of bypassing a fueling station. We took this thing on one long trip from York South Carolina to Shelbyville TN, about 500 miles one way. Sure was nice but the fuel bill just kept killing up. Going up the mountains of North Carolina being passed by 80k lb trucks I/we decided to be on the lookout for a Diesel Pusher or a 5th wheel.

    After 8 months we traded for a 2005 Fleetwood Pride 395. With a wife that likes to read, and a 100 lb Lab we needed more room. 40' and 5 slides we have all the room we could ask for.

    Now just where to get a larger truck the F350 is just not cutting it up those same NC hills....

    2004 Fleetwood Pride 395RL
    1997 Ford 350 7.3 TD

    Posted By: zoondoggie on 12/09/06 03:05pm

    Yes & No! We purchased a 20 foot trailer from my wife's sister. Good price, very nice. We soon learned with the four of us, with the dog, that this style of camping was way to cramped. We looked and looked and wound up with our current MoHo and have been very pleased so far. Now I am anxious to move up to my ultimate MoHo, the Diesel Pusher. My wife however is not... Yep I will be keeping this one for some time to come.


    "If you don't know where you're going, you'll wind up somewhere else"

    Yogi Berra

    Posted By: bownder will on 12/09/06 07:58pm


    Bottom line - if your'e over 50, dont' go for a Class C. No matter your'e age, don't go for antyhing that isn't diesel or fuel injection.

    We just bought an 03 Minnie 24ft with ford v10 and bedover. We are both well over 50 and we just love it.....traded an 03 36ft bounder for it..... We have a home now and just don't need that big of a MH.

    Back in 97 we bought a 95 Coachmen Class C 22 fter. Used it twice and didn't like it. Had it a year and sold it for same as I payed...
    Bought a 5er......but didn't like driving a big truck around Fl. for the winter....sold it after two years for 1000 less than I paid for it.

    Posted By: J-Rooster on 12/10/06 05:10am

    $-98, First one too small 24 feet! John

    Posted By: just_loafin on 12/12/06 07:42pm

    First one a used class C Lazy Daze...Need I say more? Second one a used 1996DP Holiday Rambler Endeavor 36` 24000 miles cost $50.000.. one slide. 230 Cummins.
    I installed Banks With all appropriate gages. TranSynd,Inmotion,Solar,LDCTV.. G670 tire upgrade. New 10cube Refer..Memory Foam Mattress. Everything in top working order. Thinks its a sports car...10+mpg....I have no intention of ever trading

    Posted By: driveby on 06/24/07 09:34pm

    Well yes. We rented, used and enjoyed Class C. researched, asked questions, researched some more and then went and bought a very nice TT. Turns out we're not TT people. MH suit our life better. Having said that this site allowed us to get exactly what we wanted in a TT and setup. No probs there. Just not for us. NO way I could have know that without buying. Again tho, this site helped on pricing so I didn't take a haircut on teh 28 days of ownership [emoticon] Now my Ford truck OTOH!!! Cheaper to buy a older TJ for a TOAD than trade for an Escape and have one vehicle. Oh well, I just get more toys [emoticon] [emoticon]

    2008 Itasca Sunova 35J Class A
    1997 TJ Sahara, hard and soft tops and AC
    Held together via Roadmaster Falcon 2 tow bar and stopped by US Gear Unified Brake system.

    Posted By: RVBunny on 09/04/07 11:58am

    we have a class A motor 2003 Winnebago Brave, home with only 2 slides, we are going to go full time. we are wondering if we should go to a travel trailer with 3 slides we do have a truck that would pull 8680 dry weight. we don't know if it would be best for us, in storage, the new tt, looks like it has a lot of storage, We do love our motor home, Never been in a ( TT ) before. This is my first time ever writing on a forum , I have enjoyed reading all your info some real good information out there. from RV Bunny

    Posted By: Nerraw and DW on 09/04/07 12:07pm

    RVBunny wrote:

    We do love our motor home

    Keep it [emoticon]

    We started with a travel trailer, traded up to a fifth wheel, and within 4 months of going full time, traded it all in for a motor home. Love it!!

    Two Cockapoo baby girls and their servants
    2013 Heartland Big Country
    2014 Ford F350 Super Duty duelly

    Posted By: moman1 on 11/08/07 04:29pm

    No mistakes, but a couple of regrets. You know how you always end up finding a better deal on a better MH right after your purchase? I always keep an eye out for a better rig. I am satisfied that I got a good deal because I'm selling my MH for sale on the internet with much more miles than mine for $10k more than what I paid. I know I have equity in it right now and that's going to be the end of me. Our limit was $45k when we purchase back in May and the $10k in equity means now we can look at the $55k level. However, that still doesn't get me much newer or into a DP like what I want. And BTW, that is my only regret; not getting a DP. But I just couldn't afford the premium.

    Posted By: rbrogan on 11/08/07 06:20pm

    Heckyes!!! but the biggest was buying the next then the next may soon be rid of the albotross.. cant speel either


    Posted By: StanleyandIris on 11/08/07 10:56pm

    No error. First purchase, 41'DP, Cums 330, Allison, Freightliner, 2 slides, bathtub, 3tv's, outside shower, W/D. Used. Have no desire for another, this one seems made just for us and I love the groovy interior. I hope to still be using this one 25 years from now and then hand it over to my brother's kids for them to use with their families.

    Posted By: StanleyandIris on 11/08/07 11:04pm

    As for the TT versus the MH. I vote for MH and a little Toad.

    Set up is 5 minutes and all automatic as opposed to what looks like hours of pushing, pulling, bending and stooping when I watch TT's set up in a camp ground. I think you will tire of this quickly.

    Not to mention the generator for those times when you are in the middle of nowhere and want to eat or sleep.

    Posted By: RayMag on 11/09/07 06:01am

    My first RV was a 19" Roadtrek. After a few years we found out that it was a little too small for our type of camping.
    So we went looking for a Class A motorhome. Our requirements were dimensions around 30-34 ft, diesel, used, and in very good shape.

    We eventually found our diesel, 30 ft long, aluminium skin, air ride, ceramic floor, excellent Barth motorhome.

    The difference between the two is night and day, and we couldn't be happier about the switch.

    2001 HR Scepter

    Posted By: Rocket_Heart on 11/09/07 08:53am

    Simply put - YES ! To anxious and not wise. Buyer beware. After 3 years, and a lot of repairs, it finally is the coach I thought it was.

    Thomas "Rocket Heart" Emahiser

    2007 Itasca Suncruiser 35L
    8.1 Vortec - 6 speed Allison Trans.
    Workhorse W22 Chassis
    2009 Versa(Toad)

    Waterville, Ohio

    "Go Bucks"

    Posted By: Up N Flames on 11/09/07 08:59am

    My first RV was a 98 Dolphin Class A. My mistake was buying an RV without slides. The slides make the RV so much nicer inside due to the extra space you get. Our new RV has slides and we love it. Now we can have a few friends in the RV and not feel cramped.

    Also the Dolphin had the water pump under the bed. Bad place because when we got up in the middle of the night to use the restroom the water pump would wake us up. I also like the Generator up front so it's not loud in the back if we're watching TV in bed or taking a nap.

    * This post was edited 11/09/07 09:09am by Up N Flames *

    08 Cayman XL 38 PBD.

    Posted By: bobw14612 on 03/03/08 07:04pm

    First, I'm not too good at this so bear with me on this posting for
    info or advice. I have visited many web forums and prefer this one.
    I am not new to camping. When younger the summer months was most enjoyed and camping at the lake was the highlight. My parents had a
    stationary trailer/camper that was on a campground.

    I am at the ripe age of 50 and preplanning retirement. I am an OTR
    truck driver so therefore I do not have a residence. The motor home
    will be my primary/sole residence. When retired I will be in my home
    town area (Upstate New York) during the spring thru fall season. In
    the winter will be down south (Louisiana, Florida or Texas). I will
    not be racking up high miles for all practical purposes. It is my
    intention to purchase and have payed for prior to age 62. I will be
    working fulltime up to age 55. From this point I will only work part
    of the year/seasonal up to age 59 1/2. From this point I will start
    drawing on the retirement accounts.

    I will be getting a used motor home, however, not sure or can't get sufficient advice on whether to get a Class A or C. Which ever class
    I get will most likely be gas powered. I have many questions that
    no one seems to want to answer or not sure:
    1) What are the maintenence intervals; wheel bearings, AC flush, etc.
    2) Owners on a fixed income - which Class is most affordable?
    3) What are the rates for maintenence and repairs typical costs for both classes? What are the maintenence intervals on; furnaces, water
    heaters, etc,?
    4) As a first time buyer - is there a guide or checklist available for the potential buyer of tell-tale signs of abuse or neglect? What
    areas on the motor homes are most likely neglected or face wear and
    tear due to weather?
    5) What is the difference between the Class C that is over 30ft and
    a Class A in reference to:
    a) living space
    b) costs - maintenence, fuel consumption, etc.
    c) storage space
    d) vehicle towing

    Posted By: MHGinTN on 03/03/08 09:33pm

    All great questions, BobW! I'll be trying to follow what may get posted in reply.

    BTW, have you looked at the 28 foot Lexington or Winnebagos ... except for having to empty tanks and do laundry, they are quite nice and with the Ford v-10 engine have the right power to weight ratios.

    Posted By: Final TA on 03/03/08 09:35pm

    YES! Thankfully we'll NEVER make that MISTAKE again!

    BTW, a word to the wise, be very careful posting your thoughts, there are manufacturer trolls out there just waiting to tattle on you... eh, what can I say, they get off on doing it.

    Posted By: mountainkowboy on 03/04/08 12:36pm

    Dont get me wrong, we love our HR and got an awesome deal on it...but. If we had it to do all over we would have gone for a used high-end DP instead. We are not retired yet so its not that big of deal. When we retire we will probably get a DP.

    Chuck & Ruth with 4-legged Hanna...R.I.P. Dixie we miss you
    Tent camping again
    06 Honda CR-V
    11 Ford Ranger
    63 IH Scout 80

    Posted By: jackbuck on 07/01/08 06:24pm

    98% buy a second unit within 2 years,its a fact

    jackbuck ,2016 Arctic Fox 29-5-k ,2004 chev 3500 crew with 8100gas,Virginia.One great wife two trailor dogs,9 boys and 2 of the other kind.,all on their own, empty nest. its hard to see the picture when you are inside the frame.

    Posted By: RayChez on 07/01/08 07:23pm

    This thread has been going on for a long time. And Yes I made the mistake of trading my first coach within six months and lost lots of money by doing that. But I am real happy with the second coach, so I guess it was worth it.

    Posted By: fourfurz on 07/01/08 07:28pm

    We had a great education from this forum and bought our last coach first!

    Then again, I may want to sell this one in three years and have a custom bus conversion done just exactly the way I want it. Lots of bucks there. Best way to go if we're going to keep one for a decade though.

    2007 Mountain Aire 4528
    2006 CRV SE
    Based in Memphis area

    Posted By: HPH on 07/01/08 08:23pm

    We went cross country to get a "better" deal on our 1st new coach. With all the bugs to be worked out I would buy locally next time just to have a closer ally in the dealer to help get the coach in and out of service more quickly. True you can go to the factory for service but it's nice to come back from a trip and be able to get it right into the dealer to get some items fixed by the time your ready to hit the road again. Some dealers only service what they sell. Others have 2-6 wk waiting lists if you didn't buy there. In the end we saved 10 grand or so but I won't do it next time. JMHO

    Posted By: cameoRE7 on 07/02/08 08:15am

    Bought a 1998 Fleetwood Discovery 3 years ago. After putting about $30,000 into it and knowing what I know now after 3 years experience, feel I could have done alot better and looking back would not have purchased it.

    But having said that, I am happy living in it fulltime, hoping the major expenses are behind me and looking to keep it for long time into future.

    Posted By: robert swartz on 03/18/09 05:45am

    We are planning to buy a used MH to live in and retire. Our money is limited and in checking with some RV parks for monthly living we were told that they don't accept MH's that are over 10 years old. Are there sufficient parks that will accept us when or if our MH is 10 years old? Hope some one will help us.

    Posted By: FrontRangeRVer on 03/18/09 05:52am

    Wow! Talk about digging up an OLD THREAD!

    2015 Winnebago Forza 34T
    SOLD 2006 Winnebago Voyage 35A (was a GREAT unit)

    Posted By: marknpat on 03/18/09 06:41am

    richmondmj wrote:

    Well I did a lot of research and rented first. We looked at several units and then joined RVCG before we bought anything. I'm glad we did that before buying anything and always recommend to others to do the same before they purchase anything. The info they give you helps you make the right decision the first time around. It's more than worth the price of membership.

    We posted previously that we'd had several RV's over the years, each to meet the needs of our family. When ready to sell our PUP we researched small TT thinking this would work for just the 2 of us. Made 2 trips with the new 19' TT and then traded it in for our Class C. Was buying the small TT a mistake - Yes! We'd been looking at Class C's for several years, and fear of the big financial commitment clouded our judgement so we went with the small TT. Couldn't be happier now. We, too, joined RVCG, and do agree that the info was worth the price of the membership and helped us with our decision.

    Mark and Pat
    09 Itasca Cambria 28B
    08 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited (TOAD)
    06 Jeep GC Overland 4x4 5.7 Hemi
    "Fun is standard, Pavement is optional" JEEP

    Posted By: mike brez on 03/18/09 06:53am

    Can you say P30

    1998 36 foot Country Coach Magna #5499 Single slide
    Gillig chassis with a series 40
    02 Ford F250 7.3 with a few mods

    Posted By: decan9 on 03/18/09 09:51am

    Is trolling legal in this forum?

    Bonnie and me and Casey makes three!
    Staying warm in Southern California
    FMCA #402157

    Posted By: Mr.Mark on 03/18/09 10:19am

    Lots of posts here....

    Before we bought our motorhome I read just about every forum and magazine I could (over a 7 yr period)...when the time came to purchase, one thing that stuck in my mind. BUY YOUR THIRD MOTORHOME FIRST!

    I took that to heart and we special ordered our coach from the factory. We got it exactly the way we wanted with the right equipment for us (4 slides, tile floors, king bed, dishwasher, washer and dryer, legless dinette, auto sun shades, sofa with 2 recliner combination, outdoor TV, etc.).

    For almost two years, we're pleased as punch with our new coach and have no intention of selling as I really have no 'wants' or 'needs'. So, making the right decision first has probably saved us a pile of dough.

    Happy Camping,


    2015 Prevost Liberty Coach, 45 ft, 500 hp Volvo w/1,750 lb. ft. of torque, 1.5 baths, 4 slides.
    2017 Lincoln MKX AWD V6 335 hp twin turbo.

    Posted By: RayChez on 03/19/09 09:44am

    Only one mistake that I can see is that a lot of us didn't see that far ahead that Monaco would be claiming chapter 11. If a person wants to trade in or sell his/her coach it has lost a lot of its value.

    Posted By: 69RoadRunner on 03/19/09 10:35am

    A little buyer's remorse that I didn't get the All Star with bunks instead of the Ventana.

    09 Newmar Ventana 3942
    Bunkbeds for the munchkins

    Posted By: Korea79 on 03/19/09 11:19am

    Hello everyone. I am new to the forum, however, for the past 2 plus years I have enjoyed reading the many discussions and the magnitude of knowledge displayed as a whole on this forum is amazing! Anyway my answer to your question is: DW and I started our search for that perfect motorcoach June 2004. January 2009 in our opinion, we accomplised that mission. We purchased our Fleetwood Southwind 37C (2008)from Campingworld. The Southwind has tons of space inside the Coach and in the basement as well. A few of its amenities are: Automatic awning, washer and dryer, 4 HDTV's - (3) in-coach and (1) in our exterior entertainment center, all inclusive bath, sofa with footrest and sleep number bed. To date we have been very pleased with our first purchase. Oh, we also purchased Campingworld's extended warranty program.

    Enjoy the USA!

    Posted By: oldcurios on 03/19/09 11:49am

    We read and researched for several years before we bought a 10-yr old 29 foot Allegro Bay Class C. I absolutely loved it - it was great for what we needed but DH thought it was a bit tight on space for us and the two dogs. Unfortunately the refrigerator burned it to the ground after two years. (The insurance company just about made us whole on the unit so we were not out but a few hundred dollars). We looked for about a year at class A's. We wanted an older coach (an interim unit) and preferred Tiffin or Newmar or BlueBird. We went out of state to look at a BlueBird Bus (full of rust) and the consignment shop had an older Safari Ivory DP in just about perfect shape that came with most of the upgrades. It wasn't on our short list, but we fell in love with it and brought it home. So far so good!!!

    Posted By: cobra350 on 03/19/09 11:59am

    I first thought I made a huge mistake but thanks to this forum's help I got everything taken care of and Love our motorhome now. Will probably upgrade to a diesel when we are ready to fulltime but for now we are content.

    Rick & Darlene Carson
    16 Berkshire XLT 43A
    15 Ford Explorer (the toad)
    14 Shelby GT500
    02 Ford Ranger
    08 Honda Goldwing

    Posted By: knotdodger on 03/19/09 04:41pm

    Yes...not buying sooner. We went the used route. Our motor home was about 2 years old and low mileage. The original owner had all the "bugs" worked out and we just enjoy it.

    Larry & Cindy
    Safari Cheetah 38PDQ.
    Towing a Jeep Wrangler.

    Posted By: jimaryw on 03/19/09 05:40pm

    We have been very happy with ours, but wish I hade more CCC.

    Posted By: Paw Paw on 03/19/09 07:45pm

    My mistake was buying one PERIOD. I've had 2 MH's and I wish I had never traded my Pickup and 5er!! My DW is the reason I have a class A MH. Of course, she doesn't drive the piece of junk.

    * This post was edited 03/19/09 09:14pm by an administrator/moderator *

    Posted By: BLUE MARBLE on 03/20/09 12:51pm

    Hardworking and fortunate life so more $ than brains. First RV out of the box was 40'DP. Big mistake...way too big. Second mistake was to be blinded by "glitz" and bought Gulfstream. Shoddy construction, body was junk and abscence of customer support literally a joke. Third mistake was to buy our coach through the Jesse James Gang down at PPL in Houston...but that is another story when I finally calm down.

    Posted By: chuckster11 on 03/20/09 04:19pm

    What a great question! Heck yes--I made so many mistakes in my enthusiasm to buy my unit at what I thought was a great price, I overlooked several serious flaws in the coach. Those flaws have come back to haunt me in the two years I have owned the unit.
    Best advice, shop more and shop, as much as you can, for a well maintained and "healthy" RV. Overlooking obvious flaws is not worth the few thousand dollars you might save.

    Posted By: Count_D_Money on 03/20/09 05:50pm


    Posted By: Loren Ross on 03/20/09 07:51pm

    And I thought WE were the poster children for mistakenly buying the wrong motorhome the first time...

    We went full time about 3 years ago, and moved from a Fleetwood 24 Class C to an Allegro 28 Class A to do it.... Didn't want to go too big, cause DW was against driving anything too big.

    After the first 8 months, we realized just how unconfortable we were and began trying to remodel the interior to make it better. We went to an RV show to get some ideas, and discovered the Southwind 32VS. It had almost everything we had decided we wanted to change in our Allegro. So, the mission to find a 32VS began, and several months later we found the perfect deal in Oregon. Been on the road just 2 years now in the 32VS and NO complaints!!

    It's our understanding that the 32VS has been made for over 15 years with no changes to the basic plan. We sure see a lot of them on the road, so there must be a reason people buy them!!

    Posted By: RayChez on 03/20/09 08:45pm

    Biggest mistake I made was buying a gasoline coach. A 36'Coachmen Aurora 2002. Engine was good, hated the transmission and I hated the overhang. It would drag on every dip seemed the the rear part of the motorhome was going to rip off when it drug. I hated the way it handled with cross winds. I couldn't keep it on the road coming from Utah to Las Vegas.
    Traded it in after just five thousand miles on it. Lost of lot of money by trading in so soon, but I got a coach that has been fantastic. The Gulf Stream Scenic Cruiser has been a trouble free coach. Have had it now for six years and the construction is second to none. A well made coach and you can't even feel the cross winds or on coming traffic like I did on my first class A motorhome.

    Posted By: goreds2 on 03/20/09 09:35pm

    robert swartz wrote:

    We are planning to buy a used MH to live in and retire. Our money is limited and in checking with some RV parks for monthly living we were told that they don't accept MH's that are over 10 years old. Are there sufficient parks that will accept us when or if our MH is 10 years old? Hope some one will help us.

    Since you have not gotten any feed back, I will try to answer. From what I have seen, camp grounds usaually do not post how old your MH has to be. Your best bet (you are from Vegas - LOL) is to call the camp ground. Enjoy your retirement.

    * This post was edited 03/20/09 11:01pm by goreds2 *

    See Picture In My Profile
    I have a 1989 Dodge XPLORER RV Class B - Purchased 10/15/10 IN CASH
    Fiance' purchased a Class C 2002 Dynamax Carri-go on 5/1/15 IN CASH
    We've got the best of both worlds

    Posted By: ramburgy on 03/20/09 10:12pm

    Yes! I can't sell it!

    2011 Ford F350 Diesel Super Duty FX4 Short Bed
    2011 Cameo F37RESLS
    Pullrite 18,000# Superglide

    Posted By: funboaters on 05/16/09 07:41pm

    We are getting ready to buy our first Class A. We are looking at an old (late '80s) used, single owner "Mallard" with 64K miles. Our plan is to buy low, change out the questionable components and drive it into the ground... no resale value expected. The vehicle we are looking at had a single owner, has been well maintained, has good upholstery and bad carpet (pink, to be replaced) and it started on the first try. I have had large boats for the past 15 years and can fix any problem with subsystems (water, gray water, black water, electrical and I even rebuilt a diesel in Mexico) Does anyone have comments, good or bad, on this plan?

    Posted By: GHOST1750 on 05/17/09 05:00am

    Didn't make a mistake other than should have bought a DP to begin with so we could have enjoyed it longer before I lost my wife. Both Motor homes were and are great.

    Just Don and a Chiuahua called Dulce
    2003 39' Tradewinds LE
    2002 Cavalier tow
    Korean Veteran, USAF
    FMCA F357981

    Life is a journey, not a destination !

    Posted By: CurtisG on 05/17/09 07:16am

    jackbuck wrote:

    98% buy a second unit within 2 years,its a fact

    As quoted above---I bought my second coach 17 months after the first & lost money. I made a mistake in buying too small the first time, thought It would be easier to handle and it was much easier to park but didn't have the room we needed (no slides). Found my present one and so far we are very satisfied with it.

    2003 Allegro Bay/WH/GM/Allison

    2003 34' Allegro Bay

    Posted By: Jacon on 05/17/09 07:48am

    Purchased a new Coachman Sportscoach Encore 40' DP in 2007. Should have researched better and not purchased it locally.

    Posted By: vfrmarc on 05/17/09 12:46pm

    Like many I couldn't hold back on this topic. We are two years into our first class A and have some regrets. Mostly the stinky economy making it difficult to move up. We did go small because we wanted to test our desire before spending the big bucks some day. Well we like the lifestyle so we want to go bigger, about 5 feet in length. Bigger slides, bigger bedroom, bigger bath facilities, bigger holding tanks and maybe diesel.

    I'm sure we will eventually trade up, but the deal has to be right for us. Am
    I second guessing my original decision to buy smaller, YES. If I knew what today's market would be would I have waited? Not sure, I needed that first experience as an owner, I just didn't expect things turn upside down the way they have.

    Posted By: ct78barnes on 05/23/09 05:34am

    We are going on 3 years on our 31ft coach. This is our second motorhome and wish we would have went bigger. The next coach will have a bigger shower with a shelf so DW can shave her legs.Bed room slide and jacks for me.I do not think 3 or 4 ft is going to be that bad just wish I had not been so scared of the class A. We had a class C before.Got a Toad and Roadmaster Towing system so got that down . Next a 34 or 35 ft coach.I do not think it was a mistake as we have put 15,000 miles on our coach in 3 years and love our Winnie. We are going to take our time this time because I want the 3rd time to be the charm.

    Posted By: Ob1quixote on 05/23/09 09:15am

    My needs are simple, so I bought a simple MH. My budget is limited, so it was cheap. I've made modifications to suit my needs for carrying capabilities, and a few creature comforts. being handy with tools, the few problems I fixed myself and enjoyed the effort.

    Now I have something to carry me to the races/ride weekends and someplace to sleep. If the weather is nasty, I can duck inside and all my needs are covered, although I'd rather be outside.

    Best of all, it is unique, a '63 Grumman. It is a work in progress, but I have been to 2 events and covered 1000 miles, and I'm tickled! someone's always dropping by for the 50 cent tour. Thinking about charging a dollar, gas prices are rising!

    Only one thing that will be difficult to fix; the differential ratio. Top speed {that I am comfortable running the engine at} is about 57mph. The diff is a 6.17, sure would like to find something with longer legs so 1st gear would be useful and rpm would drop at highway speed. I only use 2nd thru 4th.

    I wouldnt want to go much faster, braking has progressed a long way since '63.

    There is something to be said for a slower pace though, just leave earlier!

    Posted By: MargaretB on 05/23/09 09:27am

    We'll know soon! We bought our first one two weeks ago but haven't had it out on the road yet - that happens next week. We started out looking for a 26'- 28' Class C and wound up with a 30' Class A. We're surprised at how many people consider that to be "small"; having done nothing but tent-camping for years, it seems colossal to us. My only regret is that it lacks sliders, but that obviously wasn't a deal-breaker.

    I don't think I'd want anything bigger than 30' but IF we get anything else, it'll have at least one slider.

    Two retirees. Perpetual newbies. Techno- and mechanophobes.
    2015 Tracer 230
    2014 F-150 XLT EcoBoost

    Posted By: riggarob on 05/23/09 10:45am

    Gear Vendors (over drive units) may be able to solve your gearing problems. Newer type mat'l brake shoes/ pads may help the other. Robbie

    Ob1quixote wrote:

    My needs are simple, so I bought a simple MH. My budget is limited, so it was cheap. I've made modifications to suit my needs for carrying capabilities, and a few creature comforts. being handy with tools, the few problems I fixed myself and enjoyed the effort.

    Now I have something to carry me to the races/ride weekends and someplace to sleep. If the weather is nasty, I can duck inside and all my needs are covered, although I'd rather be outside.

    Best of all, it is unique, a '63 Grumman. It is a work in progress, but I have been to 2 events and covered 1000 miles, and I'm tickled! someone's always dropping by for the 50 cent tour. Thinking about charging a dollar, gas prices are rising!

    Only one thing that will be difficult to fix; the differential ratio. Top speed {that I am comfortable running the engine at} is about 57mph. The diff is a 6.17, sure would like to find something with longer legs so 1st gear would be useful and rpm would drop at highway speed. I only use 2nd thru 4th.

    I wouldnt want to go much faster, braking has progressed a long way since '63.

    There is something to be said for a slower pace though, just leave earlier!

    08 FW Providence 40X
    FL-XCS chassis
    46"LED,Blu-ray 5.1
    Ready Brute tow bar/braking/break away system & wireless light bar
    '11 Ford Edge AWD toad
    2 Honda 2000s for 30 amp dry camp
    &300 watts of solar

    Beware of those who point their finger the LOUDEST !

    Posted By: Ob1quixote on 05/23/09 11:51am

    Yeah, I've heard of that company before, but it just isnt in the cards to put a $3500 part on a $2000 MH

    Now, if I could find a Chevy 14bolt 11Klb+ axle in 4.57...I'd be in business!

    Thanks though!

    riggarob wrote:

    Gear Vendors (over drive units) may be able to solve your gearing problems. Newer type mat'l brake shoes/ pads may help the other. Robbie

    Ob1quixote wrote:

    My needs are simple, so I bought a simple MH. My budget is limited, so it was cheap. I've made modifications to suit my needs for carrying capabilities, and a few creature comforts. being handy with tools, the few problems I fixed myself and enjoyed the effort.

    Now I have something to carry me to the races/ride weekends and someplace to sleep. If the weather is nasty, I can duck inside and all my needs are covered, although I'd rather be outside.

    Best of all, it is unique, a '63 Grumman. It is a work in progress, but I have been to 2 events and covered 1000 miles, and I'm tickled! someone's always dropping by for the 50 cent tour. Thinking about charging a dollar, gas prices are rising!

    Only one thing that will be difficult to fix; the differential ratio. Top speed {that I am comfortable running the engine at} is about 57mph. The diff is a 6.17, sure would like to find something with longer legs so 1st gear would be useful and rpm would drop at highway speed. I only use 2nd thru 4th.

    I wouldnt want to go much faster, braking has progressed a long way since '63.

    There is something to be said for a slower pace though, just leave earlier!

    Posted By: riggarob on 05/23/09 09:36pm

    Just for the Halibat, have you gone to a shop to see what it might cost to change the ring and pinion ? Just wondering, Robbie

    Ob1quixote wrote:

    Yeah, I've heard of that company before, but it just isnt in the cards to put a $3500 part on a $2000 MH

    Now, if I could find a Chevy 14bolt 11Klb+ axle in 4.57...I'd be in business!

    Thanks though!

    riggarob wrote:

    Gear Vendors (over drive units) may be able to solve your gearing problems. Newer type mat'l brake shoes/ pads may help the other. Robbie

    Ob1quixote wrote:

    My needs are simple, so I bought a simple MH. My budget is limited, so it was cheap. I've made modifications to suit my needs for carrying capabilities, and a few creature comforts. being handy with tools, the few problems I fixed myself and enjoyed the effort.

    Now I have something to carry me to the races/ride weekends and someplace to sleep. If the weather is nasty, I can duck inside and all my needs are covered, although I'd rather be outside.

    Best of all, it is unique, a '63 Grumman. It is a work in progress, but I have been to 2 events and covered 1000 miles, and I'm tickled! someone's always dropping by for the 50 cent tour. Thinking about charging a dollar, gas prices are rising!

    Only one thing that will be difficult to fix; the differential ratio. Top speed {that I am comfortable running the engine at} is about 57mph. The diff is a 6.17, sure would like to find something with longer legs so 1st gear would be useful and rpm would drop at highway speed. I only use 2nd thru 4th.

    I wouldnt want to go much faster, braking has progressed a long way since '63.

    There is something to be said for a slower pace though, just leave earlier!

    Posted By: Ob1quixote on 05/24/09 04:59am

    Hadnt done that {yet}

    I'm a DIYer. While I dont think I want to try the ring and pinion job myself, switching out whole axle assy's shouldnt be a big deal. Just hoping to "run into" the part!

    From what I have learned, I need the rear end from a road bus. A little rarer, most busses use the same gearing for picking up school kids intown. I need the one from the activity/sports bus that was geared for the road.

    riggarob wrote:

    Just for the Halibat, have you gone to a shop to see what it might cost to change the ring and pinion ? Just wondering, Robbie

    Ob1quixote wrote:

    Yeah, I've heard of that company before, but it just isnt in the cards to put a $3500 part on a $2000 MH

    Now, if I could find a Chevy 14bolt 11Klb+ axle in 4.57...I'd be in business!

    Thanks though!

    riggarob wrote:

    Gear Vendors (over drive units) may be able to solve your gearing problems. Newer type mat'l brake shoes/ pads may help the other. Robbie

    Ob1quixote wrote:

    My needs are simple, so I bought a simple MH. My budget is limited, so it was cheap. I've made modifications to suit my needs for carrying capabilities, and a few creature comforts. being handy with tools, the few problems I fixed myself and enjoyed the effort.

    Now I have something to carry me to the races/ride weekends and someplace to sleep. If the weather is nasty, I can duck inside and all my needs are covered, although I'd rather be outside.

    Best of all, it is unique, a '63 Grumman. It is a work in progress, but I have been to 2 events and covered 1000 miles, and I'm tickled! someone's always dropping by for the 50 cent tour. Thinking about charging a dollar, gas prices are rising!

    Only one thing that will be difficult to fix; the differential ratio. Top speed {that I am comfortable running the engine at} is about 57mph. The diff is a 6.17, sure would like to find something with longer legs so 1st gear would be useful and rpm would drop at highway speed. I only use 2nd thru 4th.

    I wouldnt want to go much faster, braking has progressed a long way since '63.

    There is something to be said for a slower pace though, just leave earlier!

    Posted By: riggarob on 05/24/09 09:45am

    I'm a DIYer, myself. So I'll just keep throwing things against the wall, until somethin' sticks !! L8R

    Ob1quixote wrote:

    Hadnt done that {yet}

    I'm a DIYer. While I dont think I want to try the ring and pinion job myself, switching out whole axle assy's shouldnt be a big deal. Just hoping to "run into" the part!

    From what I have learned, I need the rear end from a road bus. A little rarer, most busses use the same gearing for picking up school kids intown. I need the one from the activity/sports bus that was geared for the road.

    riggarob wrote:

    Just for the Halibat, have you gone to a shop to see what it might cost to change the ring and pinion ? Just wondering, Robbie

    Ob1quixote wrote:

    Yeah, I've heard of that company before, but it just isnt in the cards to put a $3500 part on a $2000 MH

    Now, if I could find a Chevy 14bolt 11Klb+ axle in 4.57...I'd be in business!

    Thanks though!

    riggarob wrote:

    Gear Vendors (over drive units) may be able to solve your gearing problems. Newer type mat'l brake shoes/ pads may help the other. Robbie

    Ob1quixote wrote:

    My needs are simple, so I bought a simple MH. My budget is limited, so it was cheap. I've made modifications to suit my needs for carrying capabilities, and a few creature comforts. being handy with tools, the few problems I fixed myself and enjoyed the effort.

    Now I have something to carry me to the races/ride weekends and someplace to sleep. If the weather is nasty, I can duck inside and all my needs are covered, although I'd rather be outside.

    Best of all, it is unique, a '63 Grumman. It is a work in progress, but I have been to 2 events and covered 1000 miles, and I'm tickled! someone's always dropping by for the 50 cent tour. Thinking about charging a dollar, gas prices are rising!

    Only one thing that will be difficult to fix; the differential ratio. Top speed {that I am comfortable running the engine at} is about 57mph. The diff is a 6.17, sure would like to find something with longer legs so 1st gear would be useful and rpm would drop at highway speed. I only use 2nd thru 4th.

    I wouldnt want to go much faster, braking has progressed a long way since '63.

    There is something to be said for a slower pace though, just leave earlier!

    Posted By: HughD on 05/25/09 06:33am

    Very interesting thread. Most of the inputs seem to be about moving up through the motorhome chain. Does anyone have any experience on the other end i.e. going straight in as a first timer with the purchase of a 40'+ DP, either used or new, and feel they made a mistake, or conversely not...HughD

    Posted By: bp19 on 05/25/09 03:01pm

    HughD wrote:

    Very interesting thread. Most of the inputs seem to be about moving up through the motorhome chain. Does anyone have any experience on the other end i.e. going straight in as a first timer with the purchase of a 40'+ DP, either used or new, and feel they made a mistake, or conversely not...HughD

    After looking at threads like this one, we decided to buy the last one first. Moved from a travel trailer and have no regrets so far. Our Presidio is not high end (but luxurious) but with proper care, we figure we will keep it through retirement (about 10 years from now). Paint and remodel after the kids leave us should give us a nice new motohome at that time.

    And enjoying the heck out of this on our weekend getaways and 4 weeks of vacation a year. I did not want to buy something that I knew I would be trading several years later.

    The big issues for me at the time were storage, capacity, generator, and 4 slides. A diesel pusher gave me all of the above.


    2006 Presidio 39B
    330 Mercedes

    States traveled in our motorhome

    Posted By: BLUE MARBLE on 05/26/09 01:33pm

    First mistake...Now retired and with fortunate life possessed of more $ than smarts bought a 40'DP. Way too big to enjoy. Second mistake...Trusted PPL as broker fell in love with a truly beautiful and loaded but older coach and relied on PPL's vaunted check-thru ($235.00) and then stupidly relied on PPL's recommendation of INDEPENDENT (ha ha) inspector to COMPLETELY, THOROUGHLY inspect all systems. Off we went...two innocents...then in short order and over $10,000 and many repairs later our "perfect coach" was perfect. Unfortunately and yes our fault the coach was still too big...too old...oh yeah, did I mention that our expert salesman, expert PPL and expert inspector somehow failed to notice that this coach had been in one of those famous Texas floods. My very first service/repair tech at a Cummins dealer told me that in literally two minutes.

    "we are not stopping 'til they come to take us away!"
    all 4 kids grown, healthy and ...gone

    Posted By: patrioticstablist on 07/13/09 08:49am

    Oh my, hate to hear that. I'm in the process of buying one from PPL now. I'm having them check it out and hired an independent mechanic. I already asked him to check it out for flooding, that happens often around Houston.

    I'm nervous anyway. Buying a 40 ft, probably to big for me, but wanted the diesel pusher, has 300hp cummins, allison 6sp transmission, but is older, a 1995. And on top of this I'm a woman, but wanting to travel and going to before I get any older. Hubby is a good man but wants to work till age 70! This one only has 38000 miles on it, so wondering if its a lemon or what, it is gorgeous, the inside looks like its never been used.

    I'm going ahead with it unless its really bad, who knows, guess time will tell. I should hear in the next day or so.

    Posted By: riggarob on 07/13/09 09:12am

    I'd hire as many certified techs as it takes to make sure it's OK. Go to an independent RV guy, w/ a good rep, and have him check it out. Be careful, be very, very careful. Robbie

    patrioticstablist wrote:

    Oh my, hate to hear that. I'm in the process of buying one from PPL now. I'm having them check it out and hired an independent mechanic. I already asked him to check it out for flooding, that happens often around Houston.

    I'm nervous anyway. Buying a 40 ft, probably to big for me, but wanted the diesel pusher, has 300hp cummins, allison 6sp transmission, but is older, a 1995. And on top of this I'm a woman, but wanting to travel and going to before I get any older. Hubby is a good man but wants to work till age 70! This one only has 38000 miles on it, so wondering if its a lemon or what, it is gorgeous, the inside looks like its never been used.

    I'm going ahead with it unless its really bad, who knows, guess time will tell. I should hear in the next day or so.

    Posted By: go-rusty on 07/13/09 01:38pm

    I bought my first coach at 40% under dealer cost. It was a repo from a dealer. Wasn't the greatest (a new Rockwood 33' coach) but for the price I sure can't complain.

    Posted By: SBTrailGuy on 10/28/09 09:22am

    My wife and I recently rented 31' Class C and loved it! Thinking seriously about making 1st RV purchase. Would like a new Winnie Outlook, but too pricey. Dealer says used Chalet would be good 1st rig, but we are now thinking about a '03 Jamboree GT 31 with low miles. With all problems Fleetwood is having, is this a smart choice? Have any members had problems with their '03 GT 31's or recall repairs they could not resolve?

    Posted By: dashdriver on 10/28/09 10:00am

    Just bought my first MH and am still awaiting its delivery, so I can't speak specifically to that, but we did make a mistake when we bought our 5er TH--it's was what we thought we wanted but turns out it didn't suit our needs as well as a MH. Not sure how we could have avoided making the mistake (can't really rent 5ers around here), but my pocket book is telling me it was several thousand dollars worth!

    1999 HR Navigator 42DSS
    2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (4Dr)

    Posted By: kalynzoo on 10/28/09 10:42am

    Sure, mistakes were made on the first MH, and the 2nd, and the 3rd, and the 4th, and I am sure with all my current knowledge and experience, and all my friends to assist I will find hindsight problems with the next MH. Happy Trails.

    Posted By: Wally PW on 10/28/09 07:36pm

    Well, our first rig was a gasser. We learned a lot and enjoyed a lot. After 3 years with the gasser, we upgraded to a diesel pusher. That was a great move. I wish we had had an open mind at the start. If so, we would have bought the DP and lived happily ever after. As it turned out, we spent several thousand dollars to learn that the gasser was not for us, but the DP was perfect for us. I guess we are living happily ever after now.

    Posted By: RoadHound_RVer on 10/29/09 08:59am

    HAd a TT for a few years. Had some good times with family and friends in it but dreaded the sleeping arrangements every time we went out. After looking off and on at 5ers for a couple of years, woke up one day and said I wanted a DP. Within a couple of weeks we found a well kept 2004 Holiday Rambler well within our budget, bought it and took delivery without much research. After reading on this and other forums, I have to say in terms of the capabilities and reliability of this model DP, I have to say I was very fortunate to end up with this unit given the preponderonce of poorer choices I could have made.

    But that's the way I have done my whole life. Decide I want something, do some minimum research, find it and buy it -- BUT I HAVE ALWAYS HAD AN EXIT PLAN. Either cash in the bank or a great purchase price so I could flip it without going broke if it ended up being a big mistake.

    Jody & Sylvia ">
    Smokey and Casper - miniature schnauzers
    2004 Holiday Rambler Endeavor 40PDQ

    Posted By: doc brown on 10/29/09 10:43am

    Wally PW wrote:

    Well, our first rig was a gasser. We learned a lot and enjoyed a lot. After 3 years with the gasser, we upgraded to a diesel pusher. That was a great move. I wish we had had an open mind at the start. If so, we would have bought the DP and lived happily ever after. As it turned out, we spent several thousand dollars to learn that the gasser was not for us, but the DP was perfect for us. I guess we are living happily ever after now.

    This result is exactly why I started with a DP 5 years ago and do not regret anything about it. It's great fun and an amazing ride.

    Posted By: bowalker on 04/25/10 10:25am

    This thread is very interesting.
    For my first motorhome, I traded a re-roof for a class c. I didn't know at the time that it required so much repair. I rolled the top back and replaced rotted roof framing and as well removed paneling and replaced rotted side and cap-over framing. My friend had the cushions reupholstered. She looked good when we finished and was a good coach. We soon traded for a class A. Then in a very few years traded the A for another A.
    I would like to trade my present A for an A diesel pusher to better handle the long steep slopes. But, it isn't worth the trade-up. Because, I usually hit those hills only once a year.

    Posted By: Jacon on 04/25/10 11:43am

    Three years ago bought our first MH. 40' D/P coachman, sportscoach encore. My first mistake in 2007.Will not quote dealers name, but would not purchase again from them.Blame game from the dealer to the manufacture.Wrote to all of them and the quote from coachman still rings in my ear."What do you want us to do about it"? Not unusal to take coach back several times to correct problems.Problems too numerous to put in writing.

    The first three months we had MH it was in the shop 7 times to fix 18 problems. Some coachman's fault and the dealer.

    We enjoy RVing and will continue on, but the next one will be a Tiffin.

    Posted By: knotdodger on 04/25/10 04:28pm

    Our only mistake was waiting too long.

    Posted By: DamonOwner on 04/25/10 06:05pm

    Yep, bought a used one in California that had a previous life in Pennsylvania - If I stared long enough, I could actually see it getting smaller as the rust ate it away...

    Posted By: 427435 on 04/25/10 06:38pm

    Happy with my first purchase-----and, most likely, my last MH purchase.


    2000 Itasca Suncruiser 35U on a Ford chassis, 80,000 miles
    2003 Ford Explorer toad with Ready Brake supplemental brakes,
    Ready Brute tow bar, and Demco base plate.

    Posted By: dieharder on 04/25/10 08:16pm

    I screwed up bad buying my first one... '85 Triple-E Empress.

    When I looked at it, it looked awesome. Really - it wasn't a bad MH. Unfortunately, the roof problems were not evident when I looked over it, and eventually bought it, last spring. Well, during last summers wet weather, it leaked. I repaired all the seams with eternabond... it leaked. I thought I had it solved and brought it in to have all the appliances checked to be in working order. There were a couple of propane things that needed repair, but I was cautioned... "that roof is finished and this motorhome isn't worth putting any money in." I didn't believe it and had the propane issues fixed.

    The rook issues were evident come mid-winter when I went to have a look at it. The roof around the AC was dropping, as was the roof in the bedroom area.

    Needless to say that $10000 hole (including purchase price) is gone. that hurt the wallet a bit, but I guess it could have been worse.

    1999 Itasca Sunrise

    Posted By: Wheelman on 04/25/10 10:06pm

    Some people don't know the right choice when they make it.
    My friend traded his old Beaver and got a brand new very pretty Country Coach. Now he laments the trade, he would like to have old Betsy back.

    Posted By: EndeavorV10 on 07/13/10 12:46pm

    I like my first MH, a few things I would have done different is shop a little longer, I spent 6 months searching, but as always found other options after the purchase. The slope of the windshield forces the cabinets back and the TV to be in the dashboard. Perhaps we'll see a benefit in MPG, we can hope.

    I also bought it because it was 50amp, both AC units could be run at the same time, only to find out after signing and handing over a check that the MH is actually a 30amp. This was probable cause to kill the deal but the wife and I decided running one at a time is fine.

    We were wrong and found this out the first trip out. [emoticon] So, I like my MH a lot, have only been on one trip since it's in the shop still getting a new slide topper and PDI completed so it's going to take a few more trips to see if we made the right or wrong purchase.

    Good thread topic!

    2013 Montana 3725RL Fifth Wheel
    Saving up for F-350 Premium Dually 6.7 Diesel
    My RV Blog

    Posted By: EndeavorV10 on 07/13/10 12:47pm

    mwphoto wrote:

    I have a V10 Ford and I have no idea what oil the last owner used in it.
    Does anyone have any info on switching to synthetic oil at 58000 miles?


    You can switch anytime you like, I would not recommend switching back after going to synthetic unless you use a blend.

    Next oil change my V10 is also getting synthetic. [emoticon]

    Posted By: Altazi on 09/24/10 09:34am

    I just read all 40 pages (as of 9/24/10) and my head is going to explode. And this was just one thread . . . I may not live long enough to read all of the great information on this forum. Still, thank you all for taking the time to tell your stories.

    Posted By: RayChez on 09/24/10 10:01am

    Biggest mistake I made was buying a gasoline coach brand new and only drove it 5K miles and traded for a diesel pusher. I should have spent that money right away on the diesel pusher and saved myself lots of money. Big mistake

    Posted By: Doc15 on 09/24/10 12:11pm

    I learned my lesson about not educating myself before purchase on a house boat.Now there is where you can buy you some education and the tuition isn't cheap. I researched motor homes for 2 full years before buying and made the right choice for us. If I had researched houseboats as thourghly, I would never have bought the first one. A bit off subject but it's my story.


    Posted By: donkeydew on 09/24/10 07:41pm

    the only major mistake was not buying one sooner

    Posted By: J-Rooster on 09/24/10 07:48pm

    Dollar98 wrote:

    Just curious.. No matter how much research you do , it seems there is no substitute for owning and using a MH.. Anyone buy one and then realize you made a mistake on the first one.. If so, how did you rectify it. I haven't felt this way yet and hope I don't.. With all that is involved, I could see it happening.. I believe the best advice I got was to buy an older one and then see what you really want by trial and error..
    Dollar, if I could do it again I would have gone with a DP! John

    Posted By: westpointdad on 04/09/11 09:05am

    My wife and I made our first purchase of a 33' Itasca gas engine at the right price, just to make sure that during our new adventure we would not kill each other. Things worked out fine, so we went ahead and traded in the Itasca for more than what we paid and bought a 38' Fleetwood Bounder diesel pusher and have on the road ever since.

    Posted By: bigred1cav on 04/09/11 10:45am

    The mistake we made was paying cash. We have no government subsidy for second home ownership ie interest deduction on mortgage.

    Posted By: koda55 on 04/09/11 12:47pm

    Before we bought I had read many rv sites and went to many shows. I talked to sales people and asked many questions. Two yeas ago we bought a 35 ft 2005 Georgie Boy Landau with 3 slides on a ford chassis. We had never camped and this was our first rv and we are very happy with it. It has more storage space than what we really need. It would make a great full time coach if we wanted to go full time. As many have said the only mistake was not doing it sooner. As it stands right now this will be our only coach. Thanks to this site and others I have read, helped us make the right choice the first time.

    Posted By: EelKat on 06/13/11 02:30pm

    I've been worrying about this. I've yet to buy mine, but I've been looking at them for about a year now, and I can say that my ideas on which one to buy have changed a lot.

    At first I was planning on a trailer did a lot of online study thought I found the perfect one, a 15' teardrop, but than after looking at them in person, I realized, a trailer, big, small, 5th wheel, or otherwise, just is not going to cut it for me, and I had to rethink my options.

    Next I was looking at a motor home instead, but I started out looking at really big ones - 40'. Read up on them, books, websites, thought I knew what I wanted, finally thinking THIS is the right one, I headed out to a local dealer to see the real thing up close...uhm...yeah...40' and all that living space sounds great on paper, but seeing the real thing, I realized there is no way this is what I need, time to rethink things yet again.

    I than realized, I had to change my way of researching, because I was going about this all wrong. I was looking at the RV from purely an outward appearance value. I didn't realize that's what I was doing, but as it turns out, that is what I was doing. I was looking at it going "Nice paint job" or "Nice shape".

    So I made a list to answer a bunch of practical questions:

    WHY am I getting a motorhome?

    WHAT do I want it for?

    HOW am I going to use it?

    WHEN am I going to use it?

    WHERE am I going to use it?

    WHO will be using it with me?


    Well, I'm not looking for a vacation rv, I'll be living in it full-time, and living in it full-time in an area that routinely gets -30F weather and 9foot blizzards, so that's a major thing to consider right off the bat.

    Ny reason for getting a motorhome is simple, we lost our house to a flood 6 years ago. We lived in a tent for 3 years and have lived in a car ever since. I planned to get/build another house, however, this is not the first time I've lived on the road. I come from a family of Scottish Travelers and was born and raised on the road and was 9 years old before I lived in a house. While living in a house, we went off on long road trips every 2 or 3 months for the next 30 years. Being without a house these past 6 years made me realize I don't really like living in a house to begin with. I've lived in a car more than half my life and I kind of prefer it so why the heck am I trying to get back into a house when I don't want to be in a house to begin with?

    The answer to that question was: I have cats and it's kind of hard to live in a car with cats. I can continue living in a car fine, I need a house for the cats. I have cats because my house had also served as an animal shelter and when the flood took out the house it took out the shelter too and these cats are the last remaining of the shelter animals, and due to their "special needs" they were never adopted out.

    After answering the above questions and about 50 more, I realized what I needed was a bed, a kitchen, a workshop, and a place for the cats. And that's when it hit me: floorplan is the thing I need to focus on.

    So I got brochures from all the motorhome companies and next thing I knew I was crossing out most of them because floorplans were unusable to me. It made my search so much easier because it narrowed down my options. And than it was off to see the real things all over again.

    And than, ready to buy what I thought was the perfect motorhome, something else occurred to me: do I really want to pay $130k for a new motorhome? What if I don't like it? What if it's not what I need? What if....

    So, now I am looking for a used motorhome and living in a resort area walking distance for over a dozen RV Parks, every body and their cousin has a used motorhome sitting in their yard so I can just walk up the street and talk to people about their motorhomes and now looking at all the motorhomes that are sitting around in people's yards I discovered one last thing, something I had never thought of before: I like motorhomes from the 1970s. I prefer motorhomes from the 1970s. I grew up around motorhomes in the 1970s. What a REALLY actually WANT is a 1970s Winnebago.

    So, now I'm looking for a Winnebago from the 1970s to live in full-time.

    Eventually I will get my first motorhome, and when I do I'm sure I'll come up with all sorts of mistakes I made in the choice, but at least I can say it'll be less mistakes than it would have been had I just run out and bought the first one I saw.

    Posted By: Ltcolk on 09/08/11 12:03pm

    All great info. Thanks!

    I just bought our first one after thinking about it for 17 + years. Our four kids are all under 12 and the 28 footer we bought seems like a great balance between size and maneuverability.

    Posted By: lajuene on 09/08/11 12:36pm

    Not a mistake really but my selling dealer did no PDI even though he said he did. There were problems but I took care of most myself. The problem was we live in NY and the dealer is in Florida. We were looking for a specific model and so we had to settle with a long distance sale. Flew to dealer in Florida, No (or at least poor) PDI but what can we do? The rig was what we wanted, the price was good, It's a Camping World so there is a network of dealers for a little extra care as we travel (they treat RV's sold by CW a little better as far as moving you up in line when waiting for service theory anyway).

    It cost me a couple hundred dollars to do some repairs and a rented carpet cleaner and some elbow grease to clean it up and a bunch of phone calls to get some parts mailed to us at their expense. If we had been local I would have said "fix these things and call me when you're done" and I would have driven home and come back when it was ready.

    If I was going to do it again I think I would still have done it the same but would have gotten more verbal assurances that there would be a REAL PDI done. Right coach at the right price is hard to beat even if it is from a sloppy dealer.

    * This post was edited 09/08/11 12:46pm by lajuene *

    2004 Winnebago Vectra 40AD, 350 Cummins ISC
    2012 Jeep Wrangler Sport 6 speed "Dozer" yellow
    Going Full Time Spring 2012

    Posted By: lajuene on 09/08/11 12:49pm

    My signature may still have my travel trailer on it, sold this summer. No mistake on that one except I bought it new and would do used if I did it again

    Posted By: jjammo on 09/08/11 01:36pm

    Our biggest mistake on our first one was not getting a slideout. It lasted less than a year. If you plan on spending much time in it, a slide is a must, even for just two people.

    USAF Retired
    1999 National Tropi-Cal 36'
    03 Ford Ranger,4x4,auto w/Remco, air-lift susp.
    Brake Buddy Classic
    09 Polaris Ranger RZR 800

    Posted By: randco on 09/08/11 01:47pm

    In the mid 90's we bought a 33' Seabreeze. It had no slides but ws big enough for the wife and me and two fur-legged kids. We loved that little coach, but after about 2 years of weekend camping and taking a two week vacation once a year we got burnt out.

    The mistake we made was that we put to much of a demand on ourselves to "use the investment". We sold the coach and didn't do any camping until January of 2011 when we purchased a 40' DP, and love it. Now that we are retired we can go when we want to go, and do.

    Posted By: Goldencrazy on 09/08/11 02:07pm

    I had small motorhomes as in Winn Lasharo and popups for many years. We almost bought a Roadtrek. That would have been a mistake. We bought a BT Cruiser instead and it was fun but I should have bought the 26 ft Winn Sightseer that was sitting next to it. Much more functional and same price. I had an aversion to the class A. That aversion was misplaced.

    Posted By: Greyghost on 09/08/11 06:30pm

    The only mistake I made was that I waited too long to buy the first one.

    Pat & Roger Fisher
    2005 American Tradition 40W
    2012 Honda CRV EX-L 2WD,
    Jewel, Clifford and Thor - Bouvier Des Flandres

    Posted By: Suescasa Mycasa on 09/08/11 06:41pm

    Yes got my first one from a dealer
    It never should have been sold
    Death trap on wheels
    Very irresponsible of dealer to sell.................but I got it at a good price
    No more dealers for me (this was almost 20 years ago)

    Boy this is an old topic [emoticon]

    2003 Travel Supreme Select 45'
    ISM 500 Oh Myyyyyyyyyy
    2003 Yamaha V Star 1100
    Joeylift motorcycle lift
    rollin rollin rollin... keep those doggies rollin

    Posted By: offthewall on 09/08/11 08:12pm

    We are on our 5th RV after several tents. Three travel trailers, a Class C and now a 34' DP. All were right at the time. I also RV'd with my family as a child (tent, popup, TT). Get out there with something, if it's not right, sell it and get something else.

    2010 Itasca Meridian V Class 34Y
    NJ tag: "THE RV"

    2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited Toad
    NJ tag: "BLKJEEP"

    Posted By: jamstoyz on 05/09/12 04:02pm

    We owned 2 tt's in the past and just bought our 1st mh for a great price. Low and behold when we got it home I noticed I missed 1 thing, water damage on the cab over. Really bad one too. Cant believe I missed that. I checked the roof before I bought it but didnt think about seam leaks. Oh well, you live and learn. Plus it gives me a new project to tackle.

    2001 Gulfstream Yellowstone 29'
    1999 Fleetwood Prowler TT 24' (sold)
    2004 Fleetwood Gearbox Toyhauler 28' (sold)

    Posted By: DanTheRVMan on 05/09/12 06:00pm

    Waited to long to buy the 1st MH

    Made mistakes

    The 2nd will be better and the third will be better still.

    Do NOT worry about mistakes. Do the best you can and move forward.

    Tiffin Phaeton
    Allegro Red 36ft Sold

    Posted By: slemnah on 05/09/12 06:59pm

    No matter how much you research, there is always something you missed. We purchased our first RV, a 1997 Imperial, and have had it for 1 1/2 years and if I had to do it again I would have purchased a Navigator with an M11 engine and I would also have some type of hydronic heating system. One day when I replace my MH I will have both of those.

    Posted By: deuceandddoll on 05/09/12 07:58pm

    Over 5 years ago we bought a "mechanics special" at an RV center in Texas. It was a Fleetwood Storm, 1994 on a P30 chassis, with a 454 and no slides. 30' long and it needed some TLC and a new set of tires, it was still running the original Michelins. It had 40,000 miles on it then and now has 80,000 miles.

    During the past 5 years and 40,000 miles we have replaced tires, brakes, batteries, and the Onan 4K generator. I could have saved the original Onan as all that went bad was the rotor, the problem was that Onan no longer made that part and it was going to cost half the price of a new one to buy the parts necessary to upgrade and repair the old one.

    I have a friend that bought a brand new $150,000 Winnebago 34' diesel pusher with two slides and he has spent more money than me and had way more problems with his new coach over the past 5 years compared to my old beater.

    So what is the lesson? It is a gamble no matter what you buy, and you can count on having some maintenance issues used or new. If you are a DIY type of person you can save money and have some extra pride in your coach by doing much of the maintenance yourself.

    We love our coach and will drive it till she drops, and then buy another one. Get out of the house and hit the road!

    Posted By: Shot-N-Az on 05/10/12 01:49am

    It pleases me to no end to be able to say that our first coach has turned out to be everything we wanted and everything we hoped it would be. We couldn't be happier with anything else. I will give credit to reading this board and others, as well as having the patience to wait for the right one to come along. It was a five year journey, but worth every minute of it.

    Posted By: vscoggin on 09/08/12 01:02pm

    My wife and I just went from a hybrid to a Holiday Rambler Vacationer ES- 1996. We only gave 7000.00 for it, and it is great-on our first outing now. Its in great shape, but we are going to have to spend some money on it--thats OK--to us as 1st timers--its better for us than spending tens of thousands or more--but those new ones sure are nice!--Vince

    Posted By: jaswen69 on 09/09/12 11:58am

    I consider our M/H my biggest mistake to date, We camped for years and enjoyed it, Our kids grew up but they are not out of our pockets yet , So we bought what we could afford a 98 Pace Arrow , We love the M/H but never use it, We find ourselves using it just because we are paying for it. I think our camping days are over , We just don't enjoy it without the kids. A lot of Money for something we hardly use, Sure wish I would have kept my mint cond simple travel trailer or sold out all together....

    Posted By: jassrnj on 09/09/12 06:17pm

    Purchased our first MH on Oct 2011. It is a 2000 Fleetwood Southwind Storm 34'.
    The quality is a big step down from the Holiday Rambler TT I had in the past but it has been a good unit with few problems. I am looking at it as a first step in my search for the perfect MH for the two of us. This unit really fits the bill and will serve us well for the next few years as I save up for my next and last MH. I was able to pay cash and that is a big plus.

    Posted By: wa_desert_rat on 09/09/12 07:00pm

    Just one sentence and I win: Winnebago Le Sharo Diesel.


    Posted By: down home on 09/09/12 08:26pm

    I wish you wouldn't ask that. The nightmares just about quit. [emoticon]

    Posted By: bigred1cav on 09/10/12 11:43am

    My biggest mistake was paying cash. Should have kept the money invested and taken income tax deduction.

    Posted By: baileyjmad on 09/10/12 07:11pm

    We bought our first Class A in March 2012, a so-called "entry level" 31'. We are in our 60's. I second guessed myself for several months (5th wheel, better quality, etc.). We have completed one month of a planned 3 month cross-country trip and the second guessing has ceased. We are very happy with our rig. It is exactly what we need at this point. Of course our "desirements" may change in the future.

    Posted By: struluv on 02/28/13 07:45pm

    We just bought our first MH, 36' 2 slides, Allegro. Had one growing up as a kid, talked my husband into buying one, kids gone, hate flying hate airport security more! Want my dogs to be with us to... Want this to be a good experience as newly retired people. Went to pick up our coach in Palm Desert and had cab air conditioning problem and awning "sticking", they had to take it to Colton to fix, supposedly delivering tomorrow.....already having second thoughts, to late though. Now having too much time thinking about how hard this might be to drive!
    Help.......need some positive stories on first timing!

    Posted By: bowalker on 03/01/13 05:29am

    Practice makes learning. If you are a safe 4 wheel driver, you can learn to be safe driving the big thing. Drop the fear and and use those exterior rear-view mirrors.
    Get those wrong things right and go for happy RV travels.

    Posted By: HHg in Austin on 03/01/13 06:51am

    Absolutely, we knew we had bought the wrong RV on the first overnight outing.......we kept it a couple of years and traded up.....


    HHg in Austin
    2013 Tiffin Phaeton 40-QBH
    2010 Honda CRV Toad

    Posted By: RayChez on 03/01/13 03:04pm

    Yes I knew I had bought the wrong type motorhome. The mistake for me was buying a gasoline motor home instead of a diesel right away. I was trading in my new gasoline motor home six months later. You lose some money doing that.

    Posted By: Suescasa Mycasa on 03/01/13 04:44pm

    First motorhome was a DEATH TRAP
    Funny thing it was the only one I bought from a dealer
    Every MH since then was a private owner and no problems

    Posted By: nbargolf on 03/02/13 06:07am

    Bought too small but it was great for the time we had it. The worst mistake was buying new never again took a bath on it when we moved up.

    Posted By: dcbrewer on 03/02/13 11:38am

    Yea, should have went ahead and bought a 40ft DP.

    Posted By: kelmac on 03/02/13 05:28pm

    No regrets on our first MH. We were kind of forced into it. We had a 5er and had to get rid of it because of the town ordinance. We got a 2003 Itasca Suncruiser 37J. 8.1 Vortec with an Allison Automatic. This unit had a bathtub in it and a great floorplan with the Cherry Trim inside. Very comfortable. Seeing as I have been in the automotive trade all my life,I knew what I was looking for. The8.1 and the Allison Trans was the perfect combo. So 2 the rest of you. Good Luck
    Chris,Betty,And the three dogs Libby,Scotty,And Sparky.

    Posted By: mrlightrail on 03/03/13 03:32am

    I can't say I made a mistake the first time around, just made it easier for me to learn about RV'ing faster.

    I bought a 76 Holiday Rambler Class C on a Chevy chassis for 900.00. There began my education. First, discovered that the tires had dry rot, and the size was no longer being made...Much fun trying to replace em.

    Restroom/shower ripped out by a previous owner, so I had to buy a small Thetford toilet so I would not have to go outside and risk getting my weiner bit by a rabid animal at 3 in the morning.

    Getting into deep cleaning, I discovered, Lo, and behold, that one of the previous users was a doper...needles galore!

    No genset, no holding tanks...I could write three pages of what DID NOT work..So, I'll say what did. The fridge (dorm sized 110v held in place by bungee cords, stove and oven, and the light bulbs.

    I camped using this vehicle for two years. Engine/transmission was strong, only hassle was that I had to "prime" the carburetor with a shot of gas down it's throat first start, or it would NEVER start. I called that my Okie theft protection device.

    I started to gut the interior, and planned on doing things right, but a week into the job, a guy saw my RV, and offered to trade me straight across for a 76 Pinto Wagon. Car had low miles, and I jumped at the chance. I figured, I'd probably die of AIDS by getting stuck by a undiscovered needle while refurbing the RV, so why not?

    Well, it's been a year now since that trade,and the RV'ing bug has called me again.

    I'm looking for a older class A RV this time. Too old and stiff to sleep in the overhead of a C, and the wife has threatened to push me over the edge if I snore. (I don't snore, BTW...[emoticon] But, I don't want her to wake herself up by her snores, and blame me.

    Looking at nothing older than a 90, and with my budget, I just miiiight be able to get a 2000 or 01 if I find a motivated seller. Even saw a couple of dp's right at the top end of my budget, but that would leave me with very little in case I had to do any repairs.

    So, I'll update when I find my dream coach! (25 mpg, genset in front of coach, sliders on the dog house so I can increase the noise level, drowning out the dw's grumbling. )

    On a side note, I got a letter from a towing company in OKC about a month ago. Apparently the idiot I traded the RV to did not put the title in his name, and abandoned the RV in OKC, where it was towed, and since I was still the last registered owner,they offered me to buy it out of hock for 1500.00 or they would auction it off.

    I go to the auction, and no one wanted it..They could not start it..
    I bid 20 bucks, and win it back....a shot of gas down the carb, and I drove it out of the salvage yard. Promptly took it to the Salvation Army and donated it to them for a 3000.00 tax write off. [emoticon]

    * This post was edited 03/03/13 03:39am by mrlightrail *

    Posted By: brenda59 on 04/16/13 06:02pm

    We are also considering a motorhome but I have different fears. I don't want to buy diesel but am afraid of gas mileage with gas. We are looking at a 1999 Winnebago Chieftain 36ft with two slides it has a gas engine. Does anyone know what kind of gas mileage it would get. The salesman says 12-15 MPG but I don't put too much stock in him since I'm sure we have rookie wrote all over us. Thanks in advance.

    Posted By: mrlightrail on 04/16/13 08:33pm

    Brenda, That salesman is selling you snake oil. A 36' gasser will get about 9-10 at best, maybe 11 going downhill with a tailwind.

    Fuel mileage between gas and diesel are about the same. Diesel has more torque, and generally is found on heavier chassis.

    Posted By: Just Jeff on 04/16/13 09:04pm

    I have a new V10 in a 31.5 with two slides and I get about 8mpg driving 65.

    An older 36' gasser with two slides getting 12-15mpg? I'd probably laugh at him and walk away. Maybe tell the manager first.

    2013 Jayco Greyhawk 29KS (31.5') - details at

    Posted By: brenda59 on 04/16/13 11:26pm

    Oh my,8-10 mpg!!! I was nervous about a class A to start with, I guess I better scale back "our wants". I love the camping lifestyle and have been camping for 30 yrs in a TT and I see those motorhomes pull into the campgrounds and it makes me want to try one but retirement don't come with everything so I guess we better be thankful that we can camp at all with the cost of gas as it is. We set out on a trip out west pulling a 26 ft TT with a 08 Ford 150 and only got 10 MPG, less mileage than that would scare anyone off from a motorhome. Thanks soooo much for telling us what to expect in MPG. I think I will stick to my TT for local and hit the motels for long distance.Thanks again.

    Posted By: Just Jeff on 04/16/13 11:46pm

    Some get a little higher, but very few get more than 10-12. Checking into a Class B could get you a little bump above that, maybe.

    I'm sure someone will post here soon that they get around 12 in their model...that could narrow your options a bit. I wouldn't expect it to be a 36' gasser with two slides, though.

    Posted By: Mainehawk on 04/17/13 04:04am

    Seems funny to continued a thread that has existed for 11 years [emoticon][emoticon]but......
    We broke into the RV world just shy of 2 years ago with a purchase on eBay of all places. Flew from Maryland to Ohio and drove it home. Bought a 95 Fleetwood Southwind 33L. Was she perfect...not by a longshot, but it was well within our budget so that was the kicker. Our hardest lesson was in finding a place locally that knew what the hell they were talking about or what they were doing. After more than a couple of grand in the inspections and initial manditory "fixes", I was questioning our choice.
    I've put as much into the vehicle getting it back to great (new roof, all new tires, services gen, furnace, heaters, slowly upgrading all lights to LED, etc, etc. We have absolutely no regrets. It's used at a minimum of every three weeks going SOMEWHERE (even though its the DW driving it because I'm deployed). She's already looking at upgrading to a dual slider for more interior room, but she loves "Grandma's Bus" as the kiddies call it.
    If I had to do it again, I would have researched further and gone to look at more of them, but over-all, we did just fine.

    Posted By: shaneperch on 04/17/13 07:22am

    I have made mistakes buying big vehicles. I love buses and have three ex transit buses. One has been converted to a living motorhome needs a new bathroom and Generator. but before my three buses I lost a few and mistakes are great opportunities to learn something. When you have your head in something like a bus or motorhome, your fear factor is lessened and also you have confidence and fortitude to take a vehicle across the country. the more you work on it yourself the more you can get your mind wrapped around the RV. I got my first bus, that huge engine the huge tranny then the air system I wondered why I got a bus, The "what ifs" would enter in then I learned all I could, so if a "What If" came up I would fix it, also the BIG "what ifs" can be totally avoided.

    Posted By: shaneperch on 04/17/13 07:26am

    Just Jeff wrote:

    Some get a little higher, but very few get more than 10-12. Checking into a Class B could get you a little bump above that, maybe.

    I'm sure someone will post here soon that they get around 12 in their model...that could narrow your options a bit. I wouldn't expect it to be a 36' gasser with two slides, though.

    I don't know if there is any class "A" motorhome that can get that high, My buses get around 8 miles per gallon, they are diesel pushers. my two have highway rear ends and get around 8-9 MPG to me that is astounding being so big and heavy. I am sure pushers are as heavy as my buses with all the stuff that is installed on them. buses only have seats.

    Posted By: mrlightrail on 04/17/13 09:18am

    You may consider that the cost of a motel will most likely equal the cost of extra fuel you will use on a Class A. Also, it's nice to have "home away from home" when you are on a long journey, as you won't be on the road ALL of the time, spending time at campgrounds, etc...

    Posted By: Rollnhome on 04/17/13 09:48am

    Hard four me to say cause I never maid a misstake

    2008 Discovery 40X towing a Jeep Grand Cherokee

    Posted By: brenda59 on 04/17/13 09:59am

    Yes, the motels are costly ( ones I would stay in). And you are right the comforts of home is super especially not having to use the nasty restrooms that are out there. I am still wanting one and am on the fence but it is scary with the cost of gas and repairs. Thanks to you all and happy camping.

    Posted By: hipower on 04/17/13 10:46am

    Most of us can't say we bought the exact right coach the first time, but this lifestyle is a constant learning experience.

    Part of the thinking that we erred initially is that often our needs change over the years and move away from what we own at the time. Most of the time changing needs push us to change motorhomes and we encounter the costs of said changes. Part of the deciding factors will always remain our changing needs, the other consistent factors will be availible funds and underestimating what we ultimately need.

    Regardless of the path we travel to reach our perfect rig I believe we can all agree that motorhome ownership is not for the faint of heart. There are many suprises along the way.

    Posted By: brenda59 on 04/17/13 11:37am

    All true hipower, and faint of heart never found such a good home as with me.LOL

    Posted By: CCIntrigue on 04/17/13 02:31pm

    So far we haven't made a mistake buying an RV. Our first unit was an Airstream Argosy. Kept it 20+ years and made a lot of great memories in it. Our second and hopefully final RV is a Country Coach Intrigue. On both units we thoroughly did our homework over several years. We moved at a snail's pace on both units, and our patience paid off big time.

    Country Coach Intrigue
    Miata and golf cart trailered on Featherlite
    1 handsome husband
    Kassie, our Miniature Schnauzer copilot

    Posted By: Just Jeff on 04/17/13 05:35pm

    hipower wrote:

    Most of us can't say we bought the exact right coach the first time, but this lifestyle is a constant learning experience.

    Part of the thinking that we erred initially is that often our needs change over the years and move away from what we own at the time.

    Very good observation. We're really happy with our first RV and think we made the right purchase for this point in our lives, but we know that our needs will change when our youngest graduates so we're already planning our next one. (Smaller, off-road capability, etc.)

    That doesn't mean we made a mistake on this one, even though we're not planning on keeping it forever.

    Approaching it with that attitude, like you mentioned, makes it much easier to enjoy this one as the "right" one for now. And frankly, I think we'll be happy with our current one even if we don't get a new one when he graduates. Time will tell.

    Posted By: Frank0524 on 04/18/13 07:54pm

    Only camped in tents and pop-ups before retirement . My kids wanted to buy a rig for me to explore the U.S A. The more research we did and the more shows and rigs we walked and the more we talked to other rv' ers, we realized that to be happy west of the Mississippi we needed a DP. I was freaked at what they wanted to buy and how much they were willing to spend. I told my oldest I would be elated with a pop- up towed by my civic.She quickly let me know that her daddy was not going to be living in anything too small to hang pictures on the walls. I then tried to move the conversation toward truck campers ( I'm a one step two step kinda guy ) . NOT. Then TT's. nope. 5vers look awesome. Okay, then I got a maybe. Then no. I think they are planning THEIR future RV, not mine [emoticon] . Ended up with an '06 34' Bounder . At first blush, appears awesome, but of course time will tell. I just want to get on the road. I don't care how!

    Posted By: JimM68 on 04/24/13 05:41am

    Wow. Yes I did read every page of this 13 year thread. Some really interesting stories.

    A friend on the west coast wanted to do a shared vacation with us, and he camped in a fifth wheel. The original plan was for us to fly out and rent an RV. When I took full note of the hassle involved, I bought my own, a 99 pace arrow with a v10 and single slide.

    No, not a mistake, a learning experience. 3 years later, having decided we loved the lifestyle, we bought our current Monaco Knight 40skq.
    The Knight has (almost) everything we want. A real bathroom. quiet diesel power. smooth roadmaster chassis. very happy with it.

    Jim M.
    2008 Monaco Knight 40skq, moho #2
    The "68"
    My very own new

    My new blog

    Posted By: MustangGT on 04/24/13 06:42am

    lol...the length of this thread...

    Mark, Jean, Paul & Lizzy (the mutt, RIP)
    1997 Fleetwood Southwind Storm 34LS >
    Thirsty, noisy & clunky. She ain't pretty, but she sure is fun!
    "Aerodynamics are for people who can't build engines." Enzo Ferrari

    Posted By: brenda59 on 04/24/13 12:38pm

    I didn't know there was a shortage of Internet space for threads,maybe people just like to comment on their experience which is what I appreciate and enjoy learning from. Thanks to all those for passing on their story and to the ones that think the thread is too long please don't read. Thanks to all.

    Posted By: Schertz on 05/15/13 10:31pm

    post error

    2013 Holiday Rambler Endeavor
    2010 Cadillac SRX

    Posted By: 1985air345 on 07/10/13 06:25pm

    CCIntrigue wrote:

    So far we haven't made a mistake buying an RV. Our first unit was an Airstream Argosy. Kept it 20+ years and made a lot of great memories in it.

    Our first MH was an Airstream 345 that needed lots of work and I had a loan on it. I ended up selling it to a guy in the UK.

    We now own a 1977 Argosy 20' motorhome and love it.

    Fred H.
    1977 Argosy 20' Motorhome
    Fred's Airstream Archives

    Posted By: Spleenstomper on 07/22/13 10:20am

    Oops, class A forum....

    Jennifer plus Hubby plus 3 teens plus 2 BIG dogs

    2014 Keystone Fuzion 342 toy Hauler (double axle, triple slide)
    2014 Ford F 350 DRW Lariat

    The Toys:
    Old club car golf cart (seats 4),Old Yamaha 4 wheeler,Polaris RZR (seats 2)
    Robalo R 227 dual console

    Posted By: reinolds753 on 04/25/14 03:00pm

    Two years ago I purchased a 2005 Dutchman Express class c 23' coach. When I had the walk-through with the sales person, I noticed a soft spot on the roof, next to the skylight. I asked the salesperson about it and he dismissed it as a non issue. I also noticed the skylight had moisture on the inside(a clear indication of a leak!). I purchased the RV and a few weeks later, It began to delaminate. I went to a local RV repair center and quickly learned that the roof needed replacing due to the leak, the skylight needed replacing, the side laminate needed to be re-glued. All the damages where due to the leak!!! The quote was for 7K. I was furious!!! Three months later, I was camping in Seabring Florida where a nasty storm broke a tree branch, it fell and penetrated the roof of my "new" RV. I was able to see the tree branch on the inside of my RV. My insurance company paid to have the entire roof redone with a new wood laminate and a new rubber roof and I also got a new awning as well.
    Lesson: Don't believe your salesperson. Follow your gut feeling and ask a different person who has knowlege of RVs. Don't rush to purchase the RV. If you are unsure, leave a deposit with 24 hour reservation and ASK A DIFFERENT PERSON ABOUT YOUR GUT FEELING. You could make a $7 Thousand Dollar mistake OR more! Fortunately, I only had to pay my deductible.

    Posted By: DRTDEVL on 04/25/14 07:23pm

    Mistake? Depends on who you ask.

    Our first RV doesn't count... it was given to me. When my grandfather passed away, he left his 1981 Minnie Winnie 20RG to my uncle. My uncle wanted nothing to do with it, as he had little working knowledge of RVs and was in poor health himself. When I found it was going to be hauled off for scrap, I intervened and the paperwork was given to me.

    I put a bit of work into it, but it was obvious it would never be what we wanted out of an RV (no A/C, no generator, and a tiny lavatory for a guy who is 6'5", 230?). We made it livable and left it behind my dad's garage in the same place it has sat stationary for 20+ years; only this time it is suitable to be used as guest quarters in the temperate climate of Santa Monica, Ca.

    Last spring, we decided to get one we could actually use. We set a budget, albeit small, for an older Class A. We fell in love with a 94 Fleetwood Southwind in excellent shape (454/700R4) for under $10K, but it already had a buyer before we got there. After looking around a while, I stumbled upon an ad for an old Class A DP for $14K. I decided it was worth a shot and called the old guy up.

    Turns out, he was a cabinet maker who came to NOLA form Alaska after Katrina to make money. The money was good, so he bought the DP and started traveling around performing his craft while living in it. After a few years, the economy tanked and he put all his stuff in storage in NOLA and returned home, only for "momma" to be upset a few years later when he still had a storage bill in the lower 48. She sent him packing to "take care of it," and he flew south. His truck sold immediately (8 years old with only 40,000 miels on it), and most of his tools sold quickly, too. He was only stuck with the RV, aqnd nobody in LA wanted it.

    He headed west, blowing one of the ORIGINAL tires with 1993 DOT codes in East Texas. He eventually settled in Deming, NM, posting in Craigslist along the way. When I called interested about it, he asked what the ad said, as he had been lowering the price. I asked about the tires and he admitted they were really old, but if I would agree to $6k over the phone, he would come back to El Paso the next day to complete the deal.

    It was a bit more work than we saw in the pics, but we talked him down to $5200, he called his wife who bought him a ticket home for the next evening. He wasn't allowed to return home until everything was gone.

    In the end, we found ourselves in a worn-out 1995 Safari Continental 38' Prestige Edition in need of a lot of TLC on the cheap. We have used the heck out of it, and we still need to replace the roof before too much longer (not too important in the desert, but we wish to see other things). To this day, we are still only about $12K deep in the coach, all the appliances now work, we have remodeled the kitchen and currently remodeling the bath, and we are going to replace the flooring soon as well. Some would say the extend of the work was a mistake, but I call it a learning experience. There is little that can go wrong with the coach now that I won't immediately be able to identify and repair.

    Resurrecting an inherited 1980 Minnie Winnie 20RG from the dead after sitting since 1998..

    Posted By: CRBuck on 04/25/14 07:40pm

    I don't know if my late wife and I made a mistake buying our first motorhome, but 9 years later I have owned 8 of them. Seems that there might be a tad of circumstantial evidence that it can take a few misses before you get the right one. (To be fair, changing circumstances are a major factor in my case, but that's a different thread).

    Posted By: Nutinelse2do on 04/26/14 01:05am

    We bought our first RV in 1993 after borrowing a relatives for a vacation and getting hooked.
    It was a 1972 Winnebago. Ugliest thing we had ever seen, but it was what we could afford at the time.... $2000.00. and it was ours! Got it on the freeway driving it home and the entry door flew off and ran down the freeway! Fixed it up, interior and exterior and sold it for $4500.00 a couple years later.
    Bought a 1978 Pace Arrow with that money, fixed it and sold it for $6403.00 a couple years later. Lol.
    Next coach was a Class C that lasted about 6 months after we realized it had NO storage.
    Then came the other Pace Arrow, 35 footer with no slides. Enjoyed that for a few years and during the crash and auto buy back thing that was happening, we traded for a double slide DP.
    In retirement planning, realized we got more bang for the buck in a fifth wheel ( That we swore we would NEVER have ).
    Three 5r's later, we found one that will work for full timing.
    We do not believe any coach you buy will be a " mistake "
    You will learn what type of layout you need to make you happy, and with each coach you own, you will learn more and more.
    Only mistake is being scared of making a mistake.

    Living Our Dream
    MTHRSHP - KSDP 3912... Cummins 350ISL..Spartan Chassis
    ESC POD - 2008 Chevy Colorado Z71 4x4
    Shredder at the Rainbow Bridge - You Will Always Be With Us

    Posted By: Dryfly01 on 10/01/14 02:56pm

    We didn't make a mistake in what we bought, just a bit impulsive in the way we did it. We were tent campers, through and through, for decades. We have never owned a camper but were thinking it might be something we should consider, since the ground seems a bit harder now that were 62 and 64. "maybe, if the right deal comes along", we said.

    We had a last minute trip planned to tent in the Black Hills over this past Labor Day. We were leaving on Wednesday at around noon. On Tuesday, the day before, we saw a 26' TT and liked everything about it - including the price. It was a1999 Fleetwood Wilderness GL 26H and clean as a whistle. So we bought it. We have a 1999 Yukon, that I really like, to tow it with. Since the TT came with a weight distribution hitch and a stabilizer bar, I figured we were good to go. All I needed was a brake controller and 7-pin connection. Those we're installed on Wednesday AM.

    We left the Arkansas Ozarks at 5 PM Wednesday afternoon. I had no experience pulling a rig like this, so the first few semi's that blew by me on the left side, and sucked me into the left lane, garnered a pucker-factor for this driver. After a couple of hundred miles, though, Iwas getting used to things. We only made it till 10:00 PM that first night, so we pulled into a Pilot truck stop and climbed into the TT for our first night. No frills, just laid on the bed, slept for a few hours and ack on the road at 5:30 AM.

    When we stopped for the night on that second day, we pulled into "On Ur Wa RV Park" at Exit 112, on I-29, in Onawa IA. We were exited to set up and actually use the TT as a camp for the first time, ever. Everlything went rather smoothly, but we couldn't figure out how to get the refrigeratr or water heater to work. The owners of the RV park were wonderful and tried everything they knew to help. (coincidently, that is where, and why we joined Good Sam Club). Finally we conceded to having a technician check it out. There was one just an hour up the road in the same direction we that were headed. Turns out, the gas flow valve for the fridge was turned off. No big deal. The water heater needed a new circuit board. $250 for a new one, or, he had a used one for $100. We chose option 2. He could have ally socked to us, but only charged $100 or the circuit board and an hour labor. Not too bad.

    Back on the road and finally made it to the Black Hill at midnight. This was my first time across the SD prairie. That place redefines the concept of "cross-wind". But, we made it-almost. 30 miles from our destination (Horse Thief Campground in Hill City, SD) we stopped for a final fuel and pee stop. Walking back to the RV I see a flat tire. Couldn't find a jack or a lug wrench (SUV wrench wouldn't fit). No problem- I've been a AAA-Plus member since 1992. Upon calling them, I learned the difference between AAA-Plus ans AAA-Plus/ RV. She said that the driver would call me with a quote. "Oh Boy, this is gonna hurt", I though. Well, he called and quoted me $75." C'mon in", I said. "I don't have a lot of choices". While I was waiting for my conscierge tire changer, I decided to take the spare off the back of the TT and save a few minutes of time. The spare seemed OK but a little low on air. The gas station had an air hose right beside the gas pump, so I pulled it out to top off the tire with air, except when I put that air chuck on the valve stem, the stem broke clean off. "Oh S__t" said I. When the tow truck driver got there, he, of course had no spare valve, but he did say that he wouldn't change me for the call, since he didn't do anything to help me.. He pointed out the Holiday Inn Express across the street and told me of a tire shop a mile away. "They're open til noon, tomorrow (Saturday)." he said. "And there's an RV shop right across the street from them", he added. He was a really nice guy and probably recognized the "deer in the headlights" look on my face. By noon the next day, I had a new tire mounted, a fixed flat on the spare, a jack and a 4-way lug wrench that fit our TT lugs. By 1:00 we were leveling the camper in one of our Great Nations most beautiful places -The Black Hills of South Dakota, Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park and so many other wonderful places.

    The rest of the trip was awesome, beautiful, fun, and worth all of the agrivation of the outbound trip.. We made it home in one piece and fell in love with the RV life.

    Oh ya, the mistake?
    Don't buy a TT with GVWR of 8300 (UVA of 6470) and tow it with. 1/2 ton SUV with max tow capacity of 6500. And if you do, don't take it on a 2200-mile trip without knowing the first thing about towing a TT. They say "Ignorance is bliss" so we didn't know that we should be freaking out the entire time. Now I'm scouting for a 3/4-Ton Diesel tow vehicle hopefully a 2004 Duramax, crew cab, pick up. With that, we can maybe, upgrade to a fifth-wheel and have a vehicle that can handle it. Until I find one, it's local trips to RV parks within 50 miles. Fortunately for us, the are many in the Ozarks where we live. I'm sitting in one right now as I type this, while recovering from oral surgery, yesterday. It's the Sylamore Creek Camp, at the concfluance of Sylamore Creek and the White River, near Mountain View, AR. It sure beats lying on the couch at the stick house, watching Fox News while buzzing on pain meds.

    In retrospect, we should have done this a few times first (sans pain meds), but, we're nothing if not adventurous, aren't we?

    * This post was last edited 10/01/14 03:24pm by Dryfly01 *

    Posted By: jplante4 on 10/01/14 03:20pm

    We realized that we needed to just do it to find out how it worked and what we needed. The trick was to not make it an expensive lesson. Buying an older MH that wouldn't lose a great percentage of it's value seemed like the way to go. I can't say for sure yet because we're just now looking for MH #2 and have yet to sell the Green Machine.

    We now have a fairly short must have list - diesel, levelers, and maybe a slide out (depending on the interior layout), newer and longer.

    Jerry & Jeanne
    1996 Safari Sahara 3530 - 'White Tiger'
    CAT 3126/Allison 6 speed
    2014 Equinox AWD / Blue Ox

    Posted By: RayChez on 10/01/14 04:38pm

    Yes, I made the mistake of buying a gasoline motorhome. I should have bought the diesel right away because six months later I was trading in a brand new motorhome.

    Posted By: Doc15 on 10/02/14 12:20pm

    I almost did but an older friend that had many over the years insisted i wait until I could get a diesel pusher Foretravel... If not for him I would have bought the wrong coach.

    Posted By: offthewall on 10/02/14 12:32pm

    Doc15 wrote:

    I almost did but an older friend that had many over the years insisted i wait until I could get a diesel pusher Foretravel... If not for him I would have bought the wrong coach.


    But I'd still be waiting (40 years later) until I could afford a Foretravel DP. [emoticon]

    Posted By: Doc15 on 10/06/14 12:48pm

    She was used offthewall..I'm not one to shell out big money on any motorized vehicle... Coach is 20 years old... Many folks wouldn't have a motor home that old but this one has proved to be the best choice for me.. Served me well the past 5 years...

    Posted By: RayChez on 10/06/14 03:33pm

    Doc15 wrote:

    She was used offthewall..I'm not one to shell out big money on any motorized vehicle... Coach is 20 years old... Many folks wouldn't have a motor home that old but this one has proved to be the best choice for me.. Served me well the past 5 years...

    If a owner of a motorhome takes good care and changes the oil when it calls for, lubes the chassis and give the general maintenance, they should last you twenty years easy. The secret is MAINTENANCE. Which also includes keeping your coach clean and the outside waxed at least once every six months.

    Posted By: bogeygolfer on 10/06/14 03:47pm

    Doc15 wrote:

    I almost did but an older friend that had many over the years insisted i wait until I could get a diesel pusher Foretravel... If not for him I would have bought the wrong coach.

    Ditto. And, for less than the cost of a new HD pickup.

    2002 KZ Sportsman 2405
    2005 Duramax
    1996 Foretravel U295

    Posted By: Sooner Schooner on 10/07/14 06:39am

    We've been RVing a long time, but bought our first motorhome last year. Ours is a 40' diesel pusher and we love it. I will admit my stomach was in knots with the thought of doing it, but we are full timers and so far are still very happy. It's a great way to travel and see the beautiful USA

    2008 Damon Tuscany 4076 40' Diesel Pusher

    Posted By: Ivylog on 10/07/14 10:07am

    Because of posts on here that. 36' max for SP NP USFS I bought a used. 36' DP. Did not take long to learn that 's not true so went to 40' . Once we became half timers went to 42'. Buy more MH than you think you need ...ONE time.

    This post is my opinion (free advice). It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.

    08 HR Navigator 45'
    Sold 04 Dynasty after 14 great years.
    How I tow.
    Towing a Prius without a dolly
    How I spend the winter.

    Posted By: jwoodie on 11/03/14 06:19pm

    Not so far: We bought a 2005 Itasca Suncruiser 37B about six months ago and haven't seen a floor plan before or since that we like as well. The bedroom is a real room, including a desk and sitting area.

    Posted By: J-Rooster on 11/03/14 11:54pm

    Not yet!

    Posted By: carp65 on 11/04/14 09:16am

    We were very fortunate! Went to one dealer in Indiana, saw the last GeorgieBoy
    Pursuit II LE, 35' with two slides, one on each side. Waited two days, talking
    it over, and went back and purchased brand new in 2005. Have never had a

    Posted By: deandec on 11/04/14 04:28pm

    Yep. Paid too much. Kept it too long (13 years). Lost a lot of value. Now its too cheap to sell.

    * This post was edited 11/04/14 07:49pm by deandec *

    95 CC Magna, Jeep GC

    Posted By: ROYBUCK on 11/04/14 04:49pm

    Yes I have made three mistakes. I have purchased 3 Motor Homes the first a gas. the second a gas the third a 38 FT DP. Should have purchased a 42 ft DP the first time, now due to age it is to late, unless I hit the lottery, just make sure the first one is the right one. Roy

    Roy B Coal Miners Son
    USMC Ret
    Semper Fi

    Posted By: ptburly on 11/04/14 05:58pm

    The 1st rule of being a RV owner is to be a handyman mechanic, because if you don't like fixing things the coach will drive you nuts with repairs, that includes old ones and new ones. For myself buying one I thought was ugly made me want another for 7 years but I enjoyed working on it and improving it, fun.


    Posted By: Grandpere on 11/04/14 08:47pm

    Tip wrote:

    Yes! Waited to darn long to do it!![emoticon]

    X2 should have bought it in 1995

    Berniece & Russell Johnson
    Lil'Bit, a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit
    1987 Southwind
    1995 Ford F150 Supercab

    Life in the fast lane? No thanks, we will stop and smell the flowers at every opportuity

    Posted By: TlovesBinaRV on 11/08/14 06:29pm

    Wish we would have bought it somewhere else

    "Does not work & play well with others!"

    Posted By: Motherfrost on 11/12/14 10:09am

    Hello everyone...I am a new owner of an old class A and I've been reading your replies and decided it's time I join and post.

    I bought a 1987 Coachman classic on a whim at an estate auction after being assured everything worked a couple of months ago. The grandkids and I had longed for but never expected to buy one. I checked the going price before bidding and it appeared I did alright. The inside was in great shape and a new roof had been done 4 years ago. So first time out the fuel filter clogged as I should have expected. That was replaced and she is running fine. I did find out the in dash air doesn't work, the oven has a problem and there is a leak in the fresh water going to the toilet. I will be taking her in for a thorough going over by an rv service place I found before putting a lot of money into the rv.

    So am I sorry I bought it? Not yet but as I read this forum I'm thinking there may be de lamination in one of the sides.

    Posted By: 93mastercraft on 11/12/14 10:25am

    Yes, we purchased a Palazzo. How did we rectify it? We really haven't. It's a mistake I will have to live with for a long time to come. I cannot afford to trade it in or sale it. Dealers know about the slide problems and most informed prospective purchasers now do too.

    Thor motor coach has done a wonderful job at attending to our warranty needs. The Thor techs have been absolutely awesome! Unfortunately, the damage was done in the beginning. I don't feel like there is anything that can be done to provide a permanent fix to the large wall slide Schwintek system.

    * This post was edited 11/12/14 11:13am by 93mastercraft *

    2014.5 Thor Palazzo 35.1
    2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
    Ready Brute Elite Tow Bar with road master base plate
    Safe-T-Plus Steering Stabilizer
    TPMS with toad and MH transmitters

    Posted By: slemnah on 11/12/14 04:58pm

    They say to buy your last motorhome first but I didn't follow that advice. I bought a 97 HR Imperial with one slide and an 8.3l C Cummins engine. I realized very quickly that we needed more slides and a larger engine as well as aqua hot, residential fridge and tag axle. I now have a Safari Panther with a CAT C13 525hp, 4 slides and all the things I found I wanted. I loved my Imperial but I really love my Panther.

    Posted By: dezolen on 11/12/14 07:01pm

    It's referred to as 2' itis or time to upgrade.
    Personnally I am very happy with our first "starter coach"
    Can't imagine needing anything else having moved up from 2 tt, 1 5th wheel.
    This is it ( but who knows in 3-5 years)

    Posted By: rickhise on 06/07/15 08:58pm

    Bought one on line from a dealer 250 miles away mistake one
    Went the cheap O route and I got what I paid for
    A unit of pressed wood an doll house fixtures

    The upside is perhaps what few trips we plan for a few in the spring and a few in the fall long week ends meeting the kids we will get our 10k money's worth. As life time house boaters how could I have settled for less than above average quality?

    Posted By: smacdiesel on 06/07/15 11:42pm

    I would probably buy the exact same unit as I have now. My Winnebago is perfect for my family. I plan on trading up to a DP eventually though, only because I love diesels.

    2015 Winnebago Vista 35B
    1983 Jeep CJ 8 Scrambler

    Posted By: MagillaGorilla on 06/08/15 05:39am

    My first motorhome was an older unit, 12 years old, when we bought it. It fit our price point and had good bones but needed some love. I gave it the love it needed and it served us well for a few years. We had a few minor issues with it when we owned it but all in all it was good to us. So for us it was a good purchase.

    Here is the dilemma when buying your first unit:

    Buy used, save money and see if you like RVing. The down side is that when buying used you could be buying someone else's junk. That may cost you a ton of money and cause you to hate RVing. This is not always the case but it is a risk.

    Buy new and then find out that you don't like it, bought to small, bought to big, did not get the right floor plan and so on. Now if you want to change rigs you will loose your shirt. That could make you hate RVing.

    The correct answer for most people is all about how thick your wallet is. Buy what you can afford, don't stretch your budget and you will be OK.


    2005 Holiday Rambler Admiral 37' Gasser

    Posted By: shaneperch on 06/08/15 10:53am

    My first motorhome was a superior that had a lot wrong with it. I learned a lot. It had a 413 H and needed new points had to boil the radiator and had to replace a lot of hoses and wires. but it ran great great after that It was only a 22 foot class A I have gotten into buses and learned a lot when I got into those a whole other can of worms to deal with diesel engines huge transmissions air systems air brakes etc. then went and got a Holiday rambler. 1984 with a great engine and tranny and a worn out house both ac units shot bad plumbing leaks bad pump bad toilet as the previous owner lived in it with wife and 4 kids for 9 months. fixed a lot of that. I learned a lot about fixing the coach or house whichever you call it. now i have a 1979 Dodge Avcvo that has a great coach everything works . but needs a carb. so I made a lot of mistakes but learned so so so much. my problem is I can't buy a new RV but I still want one and I have to get old used ones. one other thing. I feel if you insist on gas. go with a high end class C these class As are too big for smaller modern gas engines and the v-10 is a guzzler. If you go big go diesel.. if you have a more limited budget, go used. Mistakes are a great teacher make a few it's good for you.

    Posted By: Dutch_12078 on 06/08/15 01:17pm

    Having owned about 20 different RV's over the past 50 years, I can honestly say that not one of them was a "mistake". In all fairness though, I can say that 2 or 3 were certainly "learning experiences".

    2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
    F53 chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
    Bigfoot Automatic Leveling System
    2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
    ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox baseplate

    Posted By: oilcan4 on 06/10/15 06:49pm

    Dollar98, In 2004 DW and I bought a 37' coachman gas Santara class a with two slides, 8.1 Workhorse chassis, soup to nuts rig. walking around the dealers lot 9 months later we looked at a 40' Sportscoach DP with three slides and also every option and a mind blowing foll body paint job. they offered 3.99% for 15 years and a purchase price of $175,00 down from $240,000. Drove it home two days later and never looked back, its still serving us well. DW used to get motion sickness in gasser, never in DP. the biggest concern with a big rig is where are you going to keep it. check your town ordenances.Good luck in your quest, contact us with any questions. Oilcan 6

    Posted By: Band47 on 06/15/15 04:06pm

    Yep. We had a truck and fifth wheel all paid for, but the DW wanted a we have a 34 foot Tiffin and a motorhome payment. We have had the Tiffin for 3 years and the damn thing still leaks. Been to Red Bay 4 times and the dealer a dozen times. Each time they find something else is leaking.......should have kept the truck and the fifth wheel....

    Posted By: Bucky1320 on 06/16/15 06:26am

    It depends on your definition of "mistake". Like someone said, it's all a learning experience. IMO the only mistake is paying way too much. That's a hard mistake to fix.

    1999 Harney Renegade
    Mostly used for overnights at the drag strip.

    Posted By: Branson in Tucson on 06/16/15 06:54am

    Yes. Just forget all the other Gas MH and buy the DP.

    Posted By: mpierce on 06/16/15 07:33am

    Branson in Tucson wrote:

    Yes. Just forget all the other Gas MH and buy the DP.


    Posted By: Michael T on 07/07/15 03:43pm

    Sure did!Sure did! As a first RV owner, I was scared to try and drive something too large. I bought a 24 ft Class C Itasca Navion. I thought it would be perfect for me and my dog! First trip, I had a guest that wanted to come with me. We were OK but the reality was, it was too small. There were many benefits, but the disadvantages were I just couldn't accommodate even a couple to travel with me. (and that is half the fun!) I kept it 6 months and bought a Class A, 34 ft with a pull out bed (and air mattress) in addition to the bedroom. I can easily bring a couple with me now and everyone will be semi-comfy!![emoticon] It is only 10 ft longer, but it has 3 slides and is plenty of room. Now, can I drive it? Guess we will see!

    Michael in Granbury, TX
    2011 Class A Thor Seranno 33A
    "What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us"

    Posted By: 1985air345 on 07/07/15 07:36pm

    My first RV was a money pit and I wasn't financially ready. MHs are costly and complicated beasts. There is a price for all of that convenience!

    My second one is still a money pit but we are in a much better position financially.

    And buying a class A isn't all rainbows and unicorns. You'll need to get your hands dirty fixing any number of things that may break.

    Posted By: 93mastercraft on 07/07/15 07:44pm

    1985air345 wrote:

    My first RV was a money pit and I wasn't financially ready. MHs are costly and complicated beasts. There is a price for all of that convenience!

    My second one is still a money pit but we are in a much better position financially.

    And buying a class A isn't all rainbows and unicorns. You'll need to get your hands dirty fixing any number of things that may break.

    I second that motion and raise you one. Even if you buy a brand new motor home, don't think for one second you will have a trouble free experience. Unless you have plenty of money, learn to fix things on your own. Oh, and what about that warranty? Well, Chances are, you will not be where you need to be for it to be convenient to get to a repair facility. In most cases you will still pay for expenses and fuel to get your motor home to a repair facility. Then you will have to pay for your own lodging if you are not home or full time and can't stay in motor home while it is being repaired.

    Posted By: diveman52 on 07/08/15 08:03am

    2006 Gulf Stream Crescendo.
    What a POS. Had it for 6 year about 5 to many. Moved up to a 2008 Dutch Star can't be happier.

    40+ Years in Electrical construction.
    Retired IBEW Local 595
    Every Days Saturday
    2008 Newmar Dutch Star 4035

    Posted By: GGeorge on 07/08/15 05:30pm

    I have a $100,000 mistake. But I don't want to be reminded.

    Marietta, Ohio
    2014 Coachmen Encounter
    2010 Jeep Liberty

    Posted By: BUTCHPHI on 07/10/15 01:20am

    Bought a 2000 Tropical in July of 1999 after researching and test driving many, many units for over a year in preparation for retirement and going full time. Have full-timed in it from April 2000 until July 2007 (bought a place in Yuma). had 94,455 miles at that time. Since then have put on an additional 36,000 miles. Other than normal maintenance The only repairs I've had were; fantastic fan, rubber spring on tag axle, fuel line to generator, replaced (warranty) six Se-Gi windows because of seal, a new water heater (hole worn through it due to wear from a brace that was not installed properly), a new furnace and a (unnecessary) speed sensor. This coming Monday (13 July 2015 ) I am having the front air conditioner replaced (along with two new control boards and new thermostat - which really were not required but didn't find out until after I ordered them)(because blower motor has frozen). None of the repairs required emergency service or ever interrupted a trip. All I repaired myself except for speed sensor and windows and air conditioner work to be done on Monday. That is it. Everything else is original, including all hoses and serpentine belt and still working (chassis and house items). Took it back to dealer once after purchase for a couple of cosmetic items and to factory for windows. Am on the fourth set of tires (8 per set) and second set of brakes. Have crossed the country 3 times, Canada once, Alaska once, Newfoundland once and back and forth between California and Texas many times. I read on this forum many times from diesel folks not to test drive one or else!!!! Between 2004 - 2007 I test drove about every diesel there was up to about $300K (now would be about $500K). Most did not ride as well or drive as well as my current unit (exceptions were Country Coach and Foretravel). Admittedly the diesels were all quieter on any climbs, only marginally quieter on the flats and all had more power in the hills (some only marginally). On rough and ugly roads most were no better and many were worse than my current rig. The difference in cost between my rig and a comparable diesel at the time I purchased my unit was $40,000. Paid $82,000 in 1999 and it is probably worth about $15,000 now because of mileage. Things seen and experienced = PRICELESS.

    Posted By: NDFightingSioux on 12/30/17 07:54pm

    Wow... I don't think I've ever come across a thread on any RV forum that spanned so much time (April 2002 to July 2015) and generated so many responses! On this Saturday before New Years Day 2018, after spending 4 lazy hours reading all 50 pages of comments, I've come to the conclusion that regardless of how old the comment, the relevance of the advice is timeless. Thanks to all who contributed their "First MH buying mistake stories" for an enjoyable afternoon of RV-related reading. You have reinforced many of the good RV buying tips that I either have been told before, or just instinctively knew to be true.

    * This post was edited 12/31/17 12:06am by NDFightingSioux *

    Posted By: timjet on 12/31/17 05:24am

    I bought a 10 yo DP last year. Had it inspected and within the first 2 months had to service the dash air and replace the inverter. Now 10 months later the aft AC unit keeps popping the circuit breaker. The DW and I are still very happy with our purchase and hoping the expensive maintenance issues are behind us.

    We spent 2 months on our coach last summer and enjoyed every minute of it. I bought it never having driven anything larger than my pickup with 19' bowrider attached. At 40' our DP took a little getting use to and with our tow car we're at 63'.

    I did the research knowing that 40' might be a little big for some of the places we want to visit. But we are very comfortable in it and wouldn't want anything smaller. We visited perhaps 15 different state and county parks last summer but did the research to find the sites that would accommodate our size. We were many times the only Class A in the park and certainly the largest RV. But we did the research and all was fine.

    This is our first and will be our only RV. I can't stomach the cost of selling and buying a different one. We did the research - I think/hope we did it right.

    Tampa Bay
    '07 American Tradition Cummins ISL
    '14 Honda CRV

    Posted By: cjthegrandpa on 12/31/17 08:52am

    Well I know this is a thread about mistakes and we are just getting in and are about to find out. We just bought our first RV and went right to a 2005 40 ft. 4 slide 400 hp DP.I have driven large straight trucks and semi's over the years used to have a CDL. So size doesn't bother me in regard to driving. We are about two years out from full retirement so we are going to spend these two years getting familiar with our rig. I restore cars so the maintenance and things breaking does not concern me. This has been a life long dream and have spent the last three years researching rigs. Paid cash, so never going to be under water. Already know some things we want to change with it and I will do myself. so I guess what I am saying I think I did the upfront work to prevent the mistakes but time will tell and I will keep you all posted as we move forward in the next chapter of our life. See you soon

    Posted By: doc brown on 12/31/17 09:50am

    cjthegrandpa wrote:

    Well I know this is a thread about mistakes and we are just getting in and are about to find out. We just bought our first RV and went right to a 2005 40 ft. 4 slide 400 hp DP.I have driven large straight trucks and semi's over the years used to have a CDL. So size doesn't bother me in regard to driving. We are about two years out from full retirement so we are going to spend these two years getting familiar with our rig. I restore cars so the maintenance and things breaking does not concern me. This has been a life long dream and have spent the last three years researching rigs. Paid cash, so never going to be under water. Already know some things we want to change with it and I will do myself. so I guess what I am saying I think I did the upfront work to prevent the mistakes but time will tell and I will keep you all posted as we move forward in the next chapter of our life. See you soon

    To answer the OP question, no. In response to grandpa Welcome! I started like you 13.5 years ago. Bought a new 2004 40ft three slide Country Coach which I still have. However, I had never driven anything longer than a pickup and had no knowledge about motors and transmissions. I can do electrical, carpentry and plumbing so I was comfortable with the house side. You are in great shape with a solid plan. Enjoy your new life!

    Posted By: Dutch_12078 on 12/31/17 11:30am

    Every RV we've owned over the past 50+ years has taught us something about what we wanted in the next RV so, no, I don't consider any of them a mistake. A couple have been real "learning experiences" though... [emoticon]

    Posted By: tropical36 on 12/31/17 11:50am

    Dollar98 wrote:

    Just curious.. No matter how much research you do , it seems there is no substitute for owning and using a MH.. Anyone buy one and then realize you made a mistake on the first one.. If so, how did you rectify it. I haven't felt this way yet and hope I don't.. With all that is involved, I could see it happening.. I believe the best advice I got was to buy an older one and then see what you really want by trial and error..

    I think you have the right idea and with our first purchase, we spent just $6K and then a few thousand for getting it right. In retrospect, we should have only paid $4K. Alls well that ends well, however and we ended up trading it for a boat, during the recession, worth a whole lot more. With dumping the toys, I guess they needed a home, as well. Anyway, we had already purchased another unit and paid a little more, for upgrading the misgivings of the first one. It was only 9rys old and we toured all of the lower 48 in it, over the next 9yrs.
    Now that we've finally arrived at the finale, I'm just wondering if we'll be able to get the same use from this one and have put 10K miles over the last 1 1/2yrs. It's only 10yrs old, like new and just broke in for the life ahead.
    Story short, if you don't pay the big bucks and buy under low retail, you can't get hurt, no matter.

    "We are often so caught up in our destination that we forget to appreciate the journey."

    07 Revolution LE 40E__Spartan MM_06 400HP C9 CAT_Allison 3000

    Dinghy_2010 Jeep Wrangler JKU ISLANDER.

    1998 36ft. National Tropi-Cal Chevy Model 6350 (Sold)

    Posted By: bobkatmsu on 12/31/17 12:01pm

    In 1996 we purchased a 1990 32' Itasca. Our son played football for the University of Florida and we traveled to all the games, home and away. No slides, no levelers, but we could afford it and it was great. We owned it for 5 years and the only money we put into it was for tires and basic maintenance. The next motorhome we purchased was in 2010. It was a 38' gas Safari Simba, with 3 slides. We were still working and could not justify the money for a DP being weekend warriors. It was a very good coach for us. We are now retired and going full-time starting in April. We just purchased a new to us Newmar Dutch Star DP 43'. Hopefully it is the right choice for us. We will let you know after we get back from Alaska next fall.

    Posted By: Passin Thru on 12/31/17 06:31pm

    Nah! We have downsized. We don't care for upscale, cost's more and the people are snotty in a lot of them. I'm a country boy with cattle and these people don't know me but still look down their noses. i actually retired from McDonell Douglas Flight Test and my wife was a Manager for Verizon but we don't tell them. People won't accept you for what you are. One of my favorite questions is when the guy asked what college I graduated from.I said I didn't, I went to Spartan School of Aeronautics. He couldn't wait to excuse himself.

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