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Author Topic: What older motor homes are the best?  (Read 1750 times)

OverTheHill

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What older motor homes are the best?
« on: May 31, 2017, 08:51:59 PM »
I'm looking at Prevost 1999 thru 2006 motor homes. What other brands should I be looking at. I understand that Prevost is a chassis and multiple manufacturers buy the Prevost.

scottydl

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2017, 09:50:18 PM »
Look at the brand that meets your budget, has the floorplan you like, the options you want, and is in the best used condition.  ;)  Seriously those aspects are often more important than year/make/model.

Don't get me wrong, Prevost is among the best in terms of diesel pushers... if that's what you are specifically looking at.  Tell us more about your wants/needs and we can get you pointed in the right direction.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

Chet18013

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2017, 06:51:49 AM »
If you can afford to look at the Prevost, also look at the Newells. If I had the choice, I look at Newells first.

Chet18013
Full time in a 45' '04 Monaco Signature
towing a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel

OverTheHill

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2017, 07:26:42 AM »
I really like the modern look of the Newells--many of the Prevost for the same reason . Very few of the Newells on the market. Trying to keep under 200k. From a practical aspect, I'd like to keep the fuel economy at least 6-8 mpg range. Is there anyway of telling ahead of time?

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2017, 08:25:49 AM »
In that class & years of coach you should also be looking at Newells, MCI bus conversions (MCI is another bus chassis maker), Foretravels, and older Bluebird Wanderlodges, say pre-2004. Wanderlodge had financial difficulties toward its end and produced some mediocre models that I would avoid.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Isaac-1

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2017, 02:33:50 PM »
While not exactly an answer, in that age range I would watch out for any high tech bells and whistles items as they are likely no longer supported.     Thankfully though a lot of the craze in things like color changing remote controlled lighting did not take off until after those years.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

OverTheHill

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2017, 09:50:25 PM »
One of the biggest issues I see with older motor homes is many of them do not have slides. I see this as being a big issue. If you do not have a slide, why not?

OverTheHill

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2017, 10:00:01 PM »
Before posting this thread, I looked at this one and liked the modern look. What corners were they cutting? What problems would result? https://www.rvtrader.com/listing/2007-Blue-Bird-WANDERLODGE-450LXI-121929922

Ernie Ekberg

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2017, 06:01:16 AM »
The 450s, if the recalls have been done are a nice coach. I have had 4 Wanderlodges and currently have a 97 Prevost Liberty XL
Ernie Ekberg, Weatherford, Tx
Prevost Liberty Classic XL
www.ernieekbergflooring.net

OverTheHill

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2017, 07:00:26 AM »
And what do you think about slides vs non slides?

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2017, 09:24:41 AM »
Slides really open up the interior space, avoiding the tunnel-like mid aisle of the non-slide models.  You can move around without tripping over the feet of other passengers (or the dog). The drawback, of course, is that it's just one more piece of mechanical gear that can break.

I would think that any coach in the era you are looking at will likely have at least one slide, but Prevost conversions were among the last to embrace slide technology. Now Prevost builds a bus shell with the slide(s) already in place.

As Ernie says, a late model Wanderlodge that has had all the problems corrected is probably as good as any.  Caveat Emptor.   A war story:  We worked in a Maine campground in 2005 and a fellow arrived in a new Wanderlodge 450 Lxi, about 4 months old. A truly gorgeous coach, but a real lemon, he said, having spent most of the previous months in one shop or another.  He took his site but couldn't get one of the slides open. Then his power failed, followed by the hot water system. He was on the phone to Bluebird constantly and they told him to bring it to a dealer. Then the coach wouldn't start, and he through up his hands in despair and abandoned it there. Just got in his Lexus (with his wife) and drove away. A week later Bluebird sent a tech to get it going but he could not, so it ended up being towed away. Never heard the final results, though. Typical or just one bad apple? I can't say.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2017, 09:36:49 AM by Gary RVer Emeritus »
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Chet18013

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2017, 01:51:57 PM »
You might also look at the higher end Monacos (Signature, Executive, & Dynasty) and Beavers (Marquis and Patriots) that were built earlier than 2007. There are a number of them around that are selling in the range of 80-240K. We have a 2004 Signature that we live in full time and really like the coach.
Chet18013
Full time in a 45' '04 Monaco Signature
towing a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel

Ernie Ekberg

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2017, 04:37:58 PM »
I believe a friend is going to sell her Monaco Signature Limited edition soon. This has the kitchen right behind the captains chairs
Ernie Ekberg, Weatherford, Tx
Prevost Liberty Classic XL
www.ernieekbergflooring.net

Mile High

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2017, 06:25:21 PM »
We have slides on both sides and it really opens it up...........however, its not the same on the road for the kids like our old 84 Holiday Rambler was, or like they appear in the movies.  When our slides are in, it's not real walk around friendly.    There was something cool about the old coach moving down the road in the same configuration as it was parked.

But....Kids have their own RVs now :)

 
Brad and Dory
2013 Winnebago Itasca Meridian 42E (new to us 2016)
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
FMCA 457993 / WIT W170238
Denver, CO

OverTheHill

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2017, 07:51:59 PM »
Slides really open up the interior space, avoiding the tunnel-like mid aisle of the non-slide models.  You can move around without tripping over the feet of other passengers (or the dog). The drawback, of course, is that it's just one more piece of mechanical gear that can break.

I would think that any coach in the era you are looking at will likely have at least one slide, but Prevost conversions were among the last to embrace slide technology. Now Prevost builds a bus shell with the slide(s) already in place.

As Ernie says, a late model Wanderlodge that has had all the problems corrected is probably as good as any.  Caveat Emptor.   A war story:  We worked in a Maine campground in 2005 and a fellow arrived in a new Wanderlodge 450 Lxi, about 4 months old. A truly gorgeous coach, but a real lemon, he said, having spent most of the previous months in one shop or another.  He took his site but couldn't get one of the slides open. Then his power failed, followed by the hot water system. He was on the phone to Bluebird constantly and they told him to bring it to a dealer. Then the coach wouldn't start, and he through up his hands in despair and abandoned it there. Just got in his Lexus (with his wife) and drove away. A week later Bluebird sent a tech to get it going but he could not, so it ended up being towed away. Never heard the final results, though. Typical or just one bad apple? I can't say.

That would be horrible!

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2017, 08:25:39 AM »
As Chet says, there are several models of high end coaches that are quite splendid but do not use a bus chassis (Prevost, MCI, etc). They are still built on robust, purpose built motorhome chassis and have oodles of amenities, fine cabinetry, etc.  American Coach Heritage/Eagle/Tradition/Dream, Monaco Signature & Dynasty, Holiday Imperial, Beaver Marquis & Patriot, and Newmar Essex and Mountain Aire would all qualify as luxury-class coaches.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

ArdraF

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2017, 03:18:10 PM »
Maybe add Country Coach as well?

ArdraF
ArdraF
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2017, 09:43:11 AM »
Definitely add Country Coach, and also Travel Supreme in that era.

Over The Hill didn't cite the reasons he is focused on Prevost-type coaches, so I'm not sure if any of those are worth his consideration.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

OverTheHill

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2017, 06:55:04 PM »
I like the more modern look of the Prevost and Newell. Looking to get the most bang for the buck. First and foremost the coach should have been well maintained and serviced. I won't know what my budget is until the house is sold. I also like the Foretravel Phenix and U320 which are more traditional. The Monaco's are also very nice. Lots of very nice coaches--just not very many with interiors that are more modern themes.

Isaac-1

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2017, 01:06:38 AM »
Let me offer a counter part against slides, my wife and I bought a small class A (2002 Safari Trek 28 ft) motorhome last year to travel in, not to just go to one place and park it for weeks or more at a time.  Without slides to worry about, we can stop in a camp ground for the night, plug the electric cord, lower the leveling jacks if needed and be set up for the night in 5 minutes, the next morning reverse the process and be on the road, dumping and refilling tanks every 2-3 days as needed.  Also on almost every layout I have seen slides either must be out for the the floorplan to function, I have seen layouts where it is even impossible to get into the bathroom with the slides in, as well as many where the mattress on the bed must fold in half for the slide come in.  So much for pulling off at a picturesque roadside pullout overlooking a river for a bite of lunch and maybe a short afternoon nap in one of these, before hitting the road for the last 150 miles of the day.  Alternatively there are the slide models that are functional with the slides in, and what you get with the slides out is just more floor space.  Then there are the very few allow function with the slides in, and gain more than just floor space with the slides out, these tend to have seating or counters that can extend when the slides are open, and fold in on themselves when the slides are in, but again even this increases the time it takes to break camp.  Being only 28 feet long we can easily fit into places where we can find a pair of 2 parking spaces end to end, and with a 178 inch wheel base we can even back into some standard parking spaces and let the tail overhang the curb.  Now sure we can't fit in everywhere, we are certainly not going to try to go through the drive thru at a McDonalds, but when traveling along and we see a sign with claims of having the best food in the state 4 miles ahead, there is a fair chance we could stop in and give it a try, try doing that in a 45 ft diesel pusher pulling a toad.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

scottydl

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2017, 02:37:02 AM »
^^ To counter your counter... ;)

While many slide floorplans may not be fully functional with slides retracted (in)... on many models you may only need to bump out the slide a small amount for something like a quick bathroom trip or dinette access while stopped.  Even if I do want to fully extend slides, it takes about 30 seconds and operates on battery (no shore power needed).  It's the most minor part of our setting up & breaking camp.

I used to be ambivalent about slides until I owned an RV that has them.  Now I can't imagine going back.  But I can understand all of your points as well... that's why it's nice that there are so many styles of used models out there on the market!
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

kdbgoat

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2017, 08:45:00 AM »
My first trailer had no slides. My second had opposing slides. On that one, I could access the bathroom and bedroom, but nothing else. On the class C I have now, everything is usable with the slides in, but can only walk around the curb side of the bed, but it is still completely usable.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

mystro544

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2017, 02:37:20 PM »
One of the biggest issues I see with older motor homes is many of them do not have slides. I see this as being a big issue. If you do not have a slide, why not?

IMO, unless your living in a coach, slides are not needed, a queen bed works just right without slides same same living room has plenty of space for a couple without a slide.
91 34' Beaver Contessa 3208
1999 Jeep Wrangler 5.3 chevy

ArdraF

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2017, 04:03:53 PM »
We've owned both without slides (3) and with slides (2).  Now that we've had slides we'd never go back to no slides.  You don't trip over one another as much and it doesn't appear as cramped looking.  It's definitely more comfortable to have more spreading-out room!  We know some people who refuse to have slides (they've never had them so don't know what they're missing) and their motorhome seems very cramped and closed in when we go inside it even though it's a very high end coach.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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SissyBoyFloyd

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #24 on: June 11, 2017, 04:27:49 AM »
One opposing view I would be an example of.  I am in pain with every step.  So with no slides, I can reach things easy and don't have to take needless extra steps moving around the coach.
Pawnee,
Buffalo Hunter

OverTheHill

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2017, 02:38:55 PM »
This one caught my eye. Are there problems getting parts? https://www.rvtrader.com/listing/2007-Blue-Bird-WANDERLODGE-450LXI-121929922

Isaac-1

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2017, 05:09:42 PM »
Personally I think it looks good, but you should be aware that CAT is no longer building engines for onroad application, in fact they pulled out of that market almost 10 years ago.  As a result some people are reporting that it is starting to be difficult to find CAT certified diesel mechanics to do service on their diesel pushers, as fewer and fewer big trucks with CAT engines are left on the roads every year.  This of course is a situation that will only get worse as time passes, having said that there are plenty of people still running old orphaned Detroit Diesel engines, and they manage to get them serviced.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

Mile High

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2017, 08:45:12 AM »
This one caught my eye. Are there problems getting parts? https://www.rvtrader.com/listing/2007-Blue-Bird-WANDERLODGE-450LXI-121929922

Wow - Dick Van Dyke beds.  I haven't seen that for a few decades.
Brad and Dory
2013 Winnebago Itasca Meridian 42E (new to us 2016)
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
FMCA 457993 / WIT W170238
Denver, CO

OverTheHill

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #28 on: June 14, 2017, 10:41:28 PM »
The bed would be any easy thing to fix. This is the only MH I've seen with twin beds.

I have no concerns about CAT engines. 100's of thousands of them out there.


GnS

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #29 on: June 22, 2017, 10:51:51 AM »
My first trailer had no slides. My second had opposing slides. On that one, I could access the bathroom and bedroom, but nothing else. On the class C I have now, everything is usable with the slides in, but can only walk around the curb side of the bed, but it is still completely usable.

Same MH here, just a year earlier model. We also lose access to one of the closets next to the bed, but the main closet and other side remain accessible. Everything else is accessible and I have no problem taking a bathroom break while going down the road while the DW is driving.

The 319DS has an excellent floor plan IMHO for the size rig that it is. It's our first MH and we love it!

And the Schwintek(?) slide mechanisms are much better than the earlier types.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2017, 10:54:05 AM by GnS »
2015 Coachmen Leprechaun 319DS

Peggyy

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #30 on: June 22, 2017, 12:27:23 PM »
I heard that slides leak and/or bring water into the camper.  Is this true?
GMC Sierra 2012
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sweet home Alabama

kdbgoat

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #31 on: June 22, 2017, 01:01:14 PM »
Yes, when they aren't properly maintained. The same for any other penetration into the RV, whether in the roof or sidewall.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

Mile High

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #32 on: June 23, 2017, 09:13:46 AM »
I heard that slides leak and/or bring water into the camper.  Is this true?
I've heard roofs leak too, skylights, vents, antenna's, etc.   I wouldn't call it a maintenance issue on the slides or the roof as the rule, rather more the exception.  Almost all the issues I have heard were from brand new units that have factory design or assembly issues. 

With that, you only hear of the failures, not the successes.  We have had 4 rigs with slides and never had a leak from a slide or a roof.  2 slides, 4 slides, full wall slides, toppers, no toppers, etc.  We have even owned some of the same models that others have had trouble with.   In general, slides are a great feature for those that like the expansive space and chance are good you won't have trouble with them.  If you do, get on the issue quick with the manufacturer.
Brad and Dory
2013 Winnebago Itasca Meridian 42E (new to us 2016)
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
FMCA 457993 / WIT W170238
Denver, CO

slcinwa

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #33 on: July 30, 2017, 09:48:02 AM »
And what do you think about slides vs non slides?

Since I don't plan to live in it full time, I am specifically NOT interested in a Class A with slides - especially after reading this article I linked at the end of my post.

There's enough to maintain on an older Class A - I just don't want to worry about leaks and safety. 

https://axleaddict.com/rvs/RV-Slide-Out-Dangers

Kevin Means

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #34 on: July 30, 2017, 10:52:49 AM »
Everyone certainly has the right to prioritize what's most important to them when selecting an RV, however after owning motorhomes with and without slides, we wouldn't be without them. I detected a fair amount of a Chicken Little mentality in that article, and I'm quite sure that the sky isn't falling as much as the author would like others to believe.

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ or an Acura MDX
RVI Brake 2, Minder TM-66 TPMS, 970 watts of solar
(Can't wait to spend more time RVing)
Lakeside, California

slcinwa

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #35 on: July 30, 2017, 10:56:54 AM »
Everyone certainly has the right to prioritize what's most important to them when selecting an RV, however after owning motorhomes with and without slides, we wouldn't be without them. I detected a fair amount of a Chicken Little mentality in that article, and I'm quite sure that the sky isn't falling as much as the author would like others to believe.

Kev

To each their own.

As a single woman who will be traveling alone most of the time (hopefully one of my adult sons or my best friend who wants to get time away from hubby) will join me occassionally, I don't want to worry about anything I don't have to.  And I'm focused on finding a very high end, older motorhome without slides. 


scottydl

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #36 on: July 30, 2017, 11:25:47 AM »
As a single woman who will be traveling alone most of the time (hopefully one of my adult sons or my best friend who wants to get time away from hubby) will join me occassionally, I don't want to worry about anything I don't have to.

If you don't want to worry, then perhaps you want to re-think RVing... these things are wrought with maintenance projects, tire issues requiring constant inspection, wiring that can corrode/malfunction, appliances that can quit working, roof inspections and other potential leak areas, etc.

I'm being a bit sarcastic in that I don't think you should abandon the idea of RV'ing.  Just understand that everything has risks, and consider how likely those "worst case scenario" slide situations are to happen.  Since being crushed by a forward-moving slide in a 60mph front-end crash is probably the most serious, I'll address that with the following points:

- Driving a motorhome, you are quite unlikely to be involved in a serious crash.  Several factors reduce this risk (read on).
- RV's are driven much less than cars, to/from a destination and then you park there for days/weeks at a time.
- RV's are driven recreationally, often by folks who are retired or on vacation (or both).  Not as daily drivers.  "Hurry" is not usually a factor, which can cause vehicle crashes.
- RV's are driven more on highways/interstates (versus city traffic situations), where crashes are much less likely.
- RV's are driven most during the daytime hours in light traffic, not often during bad weather conditions or at night when visibility or impaired drivers are a risk.
- On average, RV's are driven slower than cars and with more space between vehicles.  If a crash risk does exist, you have more time to respond & avoid it.
- Even if you DO hit something head-on (such as a vehicle in traffic), you will be substantially higher, heavier, and moving slower.  I.E. you will "win" the crash battle.  Similar to how school buses are one of the safest vehicles to ride in.
- About the only roadside item that would cause a sudden 60mph stoppage would be slamming into a bridge abutment or similar.  Pretty unlikely unless you are impaired or asleep.

As Kevin mentioned, that article is quite fatalistic without sourcing a lot of data or discussing anything I mentioned.  Visit & inspect lots of RV's and talk with some more veteran RV'ers before you make a purchase decision.  If a non-slide RV is right for you, then go for it!  Even though it's got a 2013 date, that article sounds as if it was written 20 years ago when slides were not all that common and not well understood/used.

Learning how to inspect any used RV prior to purchasing, and educating yourself on care/maintenance of these rigs (as well as being a part of a forum like this for constant access to information/sharing) will greatly decrease your stress and increase your enjoyment of the RV lifestyle!  ;D
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

slcinwa

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #37 on: July 30, 2017, 01:46:36 PM »
Thank you!

I bought a very old, remodeled used Apollo and drove it across country (after replacing the trans) while towing a little Nissan in 2000.  It was not without it's challenges, but it was a very memorable trip. 

I'm pretty handy myself (built my own garden shed and deck at my house) so am not afraid of tackling things. 

I appreciate the insight and knowledge of everyone here and am looking forward to learning lots more.

 :)

PS - I still don't want anything to do with a motorhome with a slide.  :P

Mile High

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #38 on: July 30, 2017, 02:40:12 PM »
Going old to avoid reliability issues without slides is like buying a 68 Buick and expecting it to be trouble free because it doesn't have fuel injection and you read an article that fuel injection has issues and is expensive to repair.  You face more reliability issues with age than complicated technology.

That article just proves anybody can get published on the internet.  There are benefits to not having slides if you like your coach to be more usable while underway, but don't fear the slide.  They can make for a very pleasurable floor plan when parked.

Brad and Dory
2013 Winnebago Itasca Meridian 42E (new to us 2016)
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
FMCA 457993 / WIT W170238
Denver, CO

slcinwa

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #39 on: July 30, 2017, 04:46:54 PM »
I understand your opinion. 

I just disagree that buying a very high end older Class A is like buying an old Buick to avoid fuel injection.

  ::)

Safe travels!

kdbgoat

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #40 on: July 30, 2017, 05:48:13 PM »

That article just proves anybody can get published on the internet.  There are benefits to not having slides if you like your coach to be more usable while underway, but don't fear the slide.  They can make for a very pleasurable floor plan when parked.


And the site that the author referenced leaves a lot to be desired too.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

catblaster

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Re: What older motor homes are the best?
« Reply #41 on: July 30, 2017, 07:10:05 PM »
We have an older 1995 Winnebago Luxor, you might give one of them a look if you can find one. 37' dp with no slides. we didnt see the need for slides or the extra maintenance that accompanies them since there are only two of us, At the time these were made they were among the high end A's.  If you google them I think there is a sales brochure on line somewhere with a great description.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2017, 07:13:07 PM by catblaster »
Will and Jane
95 Winnebago Luxor

 

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