Looking to buy a RV. Looking for advice from everyone about everything...

Discussion in 'Beginning RVing' started by newguy, May 6, 2012.

  1. newguy

    newguy Junior Member

    Hello everyone,
    I am new to RVing and using a forum. Its my 1st time for both. I will start by saying thank you all for any help you may offer. My wife and I love to travel. Most of the time we find ourselves camping when we travel if its were we can. We do have a 13 month old son now so life has changed for us in many ways. I am a hot rodder so we travel to a lot of car shows for long weekend trips. We have been talking about buying an RV for about a year now. I am 34 and she is 28. We plan to retire in 15 years if everything goes as planned. We will not retire with a huge bank account so we need to make buying a RV as mistake free as possible. I have started reading about different things on the internet and realized I have a lot to learn before I am ready to buy.

    I am a do it myself kind of guy. I restore old cars as a hobby. We just bought a deal on a foreclosed house about a year ago and I did the remodel myself. It put us ahead enough to were we can retire early without any debt. My problem is I need to find the right RV in the next year or so I can pay for it before we retire. If anyone has anything to share, any advise, or links please send me in the right direction. What I dont know is what brand to look at or what all to consider for the long haul. Our 1st RV will be our last RV if everything works out and we find the right RV. We are not the luxury kind of people but we will be spending a lot of time in the RV once we do retire. We will be taking several long weekend trips a year and a couple week long trips a year until we retire. Then we plan to spend the rest of our days on the road. Please help us make the right decision on the right RV if you can. We need a great starting piont to start the search for our RV.
  2. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

    Do a lot of looking at floor plans and think ahead to the spending a lot of time in the RV. Decide on 5th wheel, tow trailer or Motorhome. I will let others comment on 5th wheels and tow trailers. I choose MH for several reasons, power, ride, size, storage. The diesels come for the most part with upgrades and amenities. And with the time you wish to use the RV, diesel is the only way to go. If I were you considering your age I would go for an older Blue Bird for a cheaper price then as you will know all the systems of the RV trade up in 5-10 years IF THE RV LIFE IS STILL FOR YOU. As you look around come back with question and we will be able to respond.

  3. newguy

    newguy Junior Member

    thank you for your help. We have owed a 5th wheel until this summer. We chose to sale it because i was going to have to upgrade my truck if we were going to keep pulling it. Instead of spending thousands on a truck we sold the camper and started saving for the mh. I should have included that in my post. We are deffinetly interested in the diesel version. I want the life span of the diesel. We had rather take a mh and pull a car and bike with us than have to keep a full size truck around. We do know we want to consider the right floor plan and bath room. That is a much as we do know at this point. I am hoping for some good advise on were to go from here. we really enjoy sitting around the camp without anything to do. We work long and hard on our jobs so we love just to sit around away from home every chance we get. If we stay home there is always something that has to be done.
  4. Clay L

    Clay L Senior Member

    One thing full timers need to be aware of is CCC. That is the extra weight you can carry. Most of of us full timers have found that we need at least 1500 pounds per person. We have 2800 and would like to have 3600.

    I have seen a number of motor homes (including some diesel pushers) that have as little as 360 pounds of CCC. That is hardly enough for a weekend much less full timing. For more info on CCC and the newer rating OCCC see:

    HERE and

    New OCCC

    To get CCC from OCCC subtract the weight of the water and the people on board from the OCCC. That leaves you with the amount of cargo you can safely carry.

    On motor homes the gas engines almost always last longer than the house part. For example the Chevy 8.1 liter is designed to last 200,000 miles and few people put that many miles on a motor home.
    So I wouldn't discount gas power right off the bat. For most people either a diesel or gas engine will probably outlast the house.

    !5 years is pretty old for the house part of a motor home and I would save and wait as long as possible to buy so I could start my full timing life with as new a coach as possible.

    In any case as a DIY guy I suspect you will be making changes, repairing and remodeling as you go along. I have pages of things I have done to our coach and it is "only" 8 1/2 years old.
    A few examples are laminate flooring, MCD shades, 32 inch LCD TV, additional medicine cabinet in the bathroom and a Winegard Traveler automatic satellite dish on the roof.

    That is another reason to have a lot of CCC. Tools weigh a lot. I carry enough to pretty much overhaul the engine and do quite a bit of wood butchering. You sound like the kind of guy that will want a lot of tools also.
  5. newguy

    newguy Junior Member

    thanks for that reply. That is something i have considered. I am learning more and more everyday. What is the average life span and mileage of a mh gas and diesel? I am prone to diesel because I have always had them and worked on them. I just want to make the right choice when I buy. I am leaning towards buying a good used mh to use for the next 10-12 yrs and then upgrading just before we become fulltimers. Even if i do buy and then upgrade i still need to know what to look for. I really do appreciate the help everyone is offering.
  6. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    I agree with Clay on not ruling out a gasser. there are plenty of gas models with all the goodies. I also agree with Clay on the CCC. I looked at a diesel pusher that only had 500 pounds of CCC. Salesman told us that would be all we needed LOL. Alegro makes a good rv IMO. We have a HR Vacationer with Ford power and like it fine. Diesel will have more torque and if it has proper suspension will ride and handle better. i also like the idea of a newer model to retire with. Who wants to retire and then work on a rv. You may but I had rather spend the time by a campfire or fishing.
  7. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Well you answered one of my thoughts while I was typing. Knowledge of diesels will help. With proper care a gas engine will now go 200K IMO.
  8. newguy

    newguy Junior Member

    What is a good "starter" mh?(brand, oldest year i should consider, miles) I would expect to put 10000 miles a yr at most on it. We will spend most of our summers in it on the tn river and 2-3 weeks a year on the road and 5-7 long wkend trips a year. I will be towing one of my hot rods most of the long weekend trips heading to car shows.
  9. Clay L

    Clay L Senior Member

    Chevy said the 8.1 liter Vortec gas engine was designed to last 200,000 miles. Years ago the industry was saying diesel truck engines would easily go 500,000 miles.

    I like Winnebago for several reasons. I have toured the factory 4 times with one of the times being a VIP tour that is much more extensive than the standard tour.
    Their engineering is better than many manufacturers and they make many of the house parts themselves. Aluminum extrusions, rotomolded polyethylene tanks, furniture, fiberglass caps and cabinets are examples. They keep tank and cap molds for many years so you can get replacements.
    I was able to easily get things like wood trim pieces a couple of years ago.

    You can download a parts list for your specific size/model/year. You can download wiring diagrams, plumbing diagrams, paint call outs and sealant call outs. You can call and talk to techs if you need help.

    Tiffin has a very good reputation for customer service but the build quality is average in my opinion.

    A lot of people like Newmar but i don't know much about them personally. I do recall problems with overhead TVs falling out back in the early 2000 model years.

    I have not been impressed with Fleetwood products because of problems a couple of friends have had and the lack of customer support. Based on what I am hearing that may be better now since they went bankrupt, were bought and are back in business.
    In general Thor and Forest River products don't seem to have good reputations.
    Of course keep in mind that most people like whatever they have and think it is the best brand to buy and I suppose I am no exception.

    In my opinion in general the motor home industry is lacking in quality control and is many years behind most other manufacturing companies in the US in that regard. That means you can get a lemon no matter what brand you buy.

    But once you have one on the road and get the bugs worked out, they hold up pretty well considering that you have a house moving and bouncing down the road at 60 mph.

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