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Author Topic: Overwhelmed newbie  (Read 1278 times)

LOUANDMEL

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Overwhelmed newbie
« on: July 05, 2017, 12:09:56 PM »
We're just about ready to buy our 1st RV. I'm thinking about 22-27 foot-ish. I'm not sure where to start. We will probably by a used truck also as the vehicles that we have will only pull a smaller trailer than I think I can be happy with.all I know so far is that I want kitchen counter space, a queen bed that at least can be curtained off from the rest of the living space and a decent size refrigerator. Any advice on where to start? Ask me questions and I'll give you more info to go on. I can't get started looking when there is so much to choose from.

NY_Dutch

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Re: Overwhelmed newbie
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2017, 12:23:01 PM »
Start checking the RV dealer's lots in your area where you can see first hand what the various sizes and floorplans offer. You'll also get an idea of pricing then as well. Personally, I would look for used units 2-3 years old where the previous owner has already taken the brunt of the initial depreciation and had the typical "new RV defects" fixed. That will also keep your investment down, since as a newbie, you'll likely be looking for a different RV or looking to get out of RV'ing entirely in just a few years.
Dutch
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Sun2Retire

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Re: Overwhelmed newbie
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2017, 12:35:10 PM »
I can't get started looking when there is so much to choose from.

Actually, you have to, there is no shortcut to the process. As NY_Dutch suggests, start spending a lot of time on dealer's lots, going through every unit that is even close to what you think you might want. DO NOT LET A SALESMAN TALK YOU INTO BUYING ANYTHING!! Sit in each unit, think about what you like and don't like. Open every drawer, sit on the toilet, stand in the shower, imagine it's yours. You will have to do this for hours, looking at many, MANY units. Make it fun, and do not rush the process or you will likely make a decision you will regret in the near future.

Then, after you know exactly what you want, as Dutch suggests, buy a gently used rig. Your wallet will thank you
Scott
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kdbgoat

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Re: Overwhelmed newbie
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2017, 01:42:39 PM »
And after you've looked a a bunch of them, start making 3 lists, (1) features that you MUST have, (2) features you DO NOT want, and (3) features that may not be there, but can be added later without costing a fortune.
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


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prfcdoc

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Re: Overwhelmed newbie
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2017, 04:20:18 PM »
If you're anywhere near one, an RV show is a good place to learn about your possibilities. You can look at multiple dealers, giving you different makes as well as floorplans. The only problem is that around here they're all in the winter so, if you've got a short timeline that wouldn't work.
Bob.
Bob & Kathy
Saving and researching for our future extended road trip.
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5th wheel TBD

Patnsuzanne

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Re: Overwhelmed newbie
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2017, 05:07:45 PM »
It's kind of a "chicken or the egg" thing, but I would suggest that you find a truck you are happy with, then look for a trailer it will safely pull. That will narrow your search down considerably. Plus, when you do find the perfect trailer, you'll be ready to haul it off right away rather than having to start a search for a proper tow vehicle. A 3/4 vs 1/2 ton truck will give you more options as far as trailer size and weight, but there are plenty of trailers a 1/2 ton will pull with no problem. Good luck with your search and don't hesitate to get back on the forum with questions.
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ArdraF

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Re: Overwhelmed newbie
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2017, 05:38:10 PM »
Although we always say floor plan is most important, finding a good trailer vs truck match is one of the most important issues faced by those who are new to RVing.  You need to find a trailer that suits your style and needs but it also has to have enough get-up-and-go to do the job, especially if you're in the mountainous west where we have very long uphill grades (think 10-15 miles in length).  We've had too many people who didn't make a good match on trailer vs. truck and ended up buying another new truck soon after their first major trip.  You want to avoid that trap.  My advice is to look at both simultaneously so you can make that good weight vs. horsepower matchup.  Remember that the trailer will have a lot of "stuff" put into it which brings up the weight.  Things like tools and canned foods weigh more than most of us realize!

The advice to do lots of looking on lots and RV shows is excellent.  That's how you learn.  Take your time and do your research before taking your checkbook with you!  And, yes, it can feel very overwhelming but that's why you need to do comparison shopping.  As you compile those lists your needs and wants and dislikes will begin to help narrow the choices.  Please do have fun during this process!

ArdraF
ArdraF
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Overwhelmed newbie
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2017, 08:58:07 AM »
Agree with the others - you need to do a lot of window shopping before you buy. Both on dealer lots and surfing the RV company websites for floor plans and models.  See what is available and suits your wants and needs.   Do NOT buy the truck until you have established the size/weight of the RV you want!  Newcomers typically badly underestimate size and weight.

An RV is first and foremost a house, so you need to develop your list of living space wants and needs and avoid getting too immersed in the tech stuff. Think about galley counter space, where to store pots & pans, a trash can, where to put clean & dirty clothes, etc. Need a comfortable tv watching area? How about a place for a computer or charging phones? And so on...
Gary
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Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

kportra

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Re: Overwhelmed newbie
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2017, 11:13:29 AM »
We had a trailers years ago when the kids were little and just recently purchased another one for just us.  Just a weekend camping unit.  From our first experience our list of must haves was a bed that we could walk on each side (we're older now), air conditioning (and generators), and a double sink - it's tough to wash and rinse dishes in a single bowl.  Other things to consider are the size of the outside storage (pass through).  The actual deal-maker between the two small units we were finally torn between was that one of them had a dinette table that is free standing and the other didn't.  We like the free-standing one so that we could take it outside and have one less thing to pack.  Good luck.
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99dart

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Re: Overwhelmed newbie
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2017, 06:10:50 PM »
I stumbled onto this rvusa.com page while we were searching earlier this year.
 https://www.rvusa.com/rv-guide/specs-guide
 It really lets you see floor plans for what they are. We narrowed down to exactly what we wanted. Then, didn't limit ourselves to staying close to home to purchase.
Welcome and good hunting!
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JudyJB

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Re: Overwhelmed newbie
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2017, 06:50:12 PM »
And, MOST IMPORTANTLY, leave your credit cards and checkbook at home.  That will prevent you from making a hasty decision when that salesman tries to convince you that you have to buy right now, immediately, right away, etc.  He or she will give you a dozen reasons to buy immediately, none of which will be valid.
Full-timing for over five years in a
2012 Fleetwood Tioga Ranger 31N

H5-Phil

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Re: Overwhelmed newbie
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2017, 07:07:09 PM »
Check out floorplans on the web - most if not all manufacturers of RVs will have them on their websites. 

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Urban Hillbilly

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Re: Overwhelmed newbie
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2017, 08:22:46 PM »
Hi all! I am new here and was inspired to join because of your question. My wife and I have been in the same boat. Never mind we got rid of the boat and are getting a travel trailer. We have been looking and learning for almost a year and a half. I was going around in circles to keep and repair my old '96 F-150 or get a new truck. Last Wednesday we ran into a great deal on an '07 Toyota Tundra with all the trailer bells and whistles. Low mileage and seems it was used for RVing. I had to take it back to the dealer the next day for a warranty inspection. My wife picked me up, and in all her wisdom, said "let's go to Camping World and look around to kill time". So we did and found a trailer that fit our specs, which seem a lot like yours. So I will recommend looking at, if you can find one, the one we ran into. Don't lose hope, sometimes things just "jump out atcha". It's a 2014 Lance 2385. They don't make this model anymore. Lance seems to make a great product and wasn't even on our radar. Front kitchen with large counter and full (RV) fridge. queen bed (east/west facing in the slide) with tons of room in the bedroom. Ours has lots of extras, even a solar panel! We take possession next Thursday. I think I might spend the night (and day) in it in the driveway for fun. Hope you find your dream wheels soon. Sorry to be so long, it's my first blog.
Barry & Bobbie L.
Pikes Peak Area, CO
2014 Lance 2385 Travel Trailer
2007 Toyota Tundra SR 5
Piano (digital) on board

LOUANDMEL

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Re: Overwhelmed newbie
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2017, 08:58:51 AM »
Thanks everyone for the advice and support. I'm on a mission. 👍

BaylissMason

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Re: Overwhelmed newbie
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2017, 06:29:15 PM »
We looked for 2 years. When I stepped into the one we purchased I knew it was perfect for us. We are pretty much empty nesters now so we only needed one bed (queen) with the option of additional beds (dinette, sofa). Our dealer asked what were must haves (full bathroom & full refrigerator were our deal breakers). We ended up with an amazing camper that we can enjoy for years. While I lost counter space, I preferred the double sink. Didn't require an oven but I have one now. Our salesman really listened to what we had to have and what would be nice, and the second one we looked at that day was the one we bought. It was about $1000 more than the first but he kept us in our payment range.

Best of luck as you continue looking!
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VA

NancyM333

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Re: Overwhelmed newbie
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2017, 06:21:22 PM »
We felt the same way.  We began at an RV show, talked to multiple dealers and owners, read up a lot here and elsewhere, then rented for a weekend what we thought was a good model for us (it wasn't).  After more research we finally settled on a model and looked around the country for the best deal on it.  It was critical to get inside a bunch of RVs because we found that my husband's height (6-4) was a huge problem in models with low doorways, handle cranks hanging down and HVAC that cut into headroom.  We bought it 800 miles away and paid an inspector to go look at it for us. 

We had a few features we really wanted and were conservative on the weight so we made sure our truck could tow it comfortably.  We still feel overwhelmed, but it's amazing how helpful people are and how much you can learn when you need to!


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Nancy & Steve
Roswell, Georgia

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H5-Phil

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Re: Overwhelmed newbie
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2017, 08:15:56 AM »
I can relate to the height dilemma.  At 6'5" I was constantly bumping my head into things on the ceiling of our first TT (we bought it used from a relative, sight unseen). Then back in '04 we were at a RV show and walked in to a 31' Alumasape TT - ceilings were 7' - we bought it.  I believe many TT now are coming with higher ceilings but back then it was slim pickings.

One thing we quickly found out was the two dealers that were closer to us WOULD NOT do any of the warranty work - they told us to "take it back to were you bought it".  We complained to the manufacturer but that didn't do a bit of good.  So, make sure if you buy new that you can have it serviced at the dealer of your choice.

It was critical to get inside a bunch of RVs because we found that my husband's height (6-4) was a huge problem in models with low doorways, handle cranks hanging down and HVAC that cut into headroom.  We bought it 800 miles away and paid an inspector to go look at it for us.
Phil & Karen with Crash, our 'guard' Dachshund
KE6HUL / KE6NYJ
2014 F-350 Diesel XLT. with Leer shell
2004 31' Alumascape TT

Oldgator73

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Re: Overwhelmed newbie
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2017, 10:13:01 AM »
One thing we quickly found out was the two dealers that were closer to us WOULD NOT do any of the warranty work - they told us to "take it back to were you bought it".  We complained to the manufacturer but that didn't do a bit of good.  So, make sure if you buy new that you can have it serviced at the dealer of your choice.

That's what we are going through now. We bought ours in Michigan but live in Delaware. Nobody but the dealer we bought from will touch it for warranty work. We are headed to the factory in Indiana tomorrow.
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It's not the weight of the load, it's how you carry it.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Overwhelmed newbie
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2017, 11:58:54 AM »
The warranty work problem is sad, but Rv dealer franchises aren't like car dealers. They are NOT required to service anything they did not sell, and too many dealers have a "service only what we sell" policy. What happens if you are traveling elsewhere when the failure occurs? 

A lot of dealers are in business only to sell Rvs and they do no more service than they must. Their shops are undermanned and undertrained (another huge problem for owners) and they consider service work to be a burden rather than a profit center. Despite charging outrageous labor rates.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Oldgator73

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Re: Overwhelmed newbie
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2017, 12:28:39 PM »
Another problem is the company does not want to pay the dealerships for warranty work performed. I did find a dealership in Maryland that agreed to do the work. When I picked up our trailer the service mgr told me he would no longer be working on units not purchased from him. He said he spent 4 hours on our trailer and Winnebago only paid him for 30 minutes labor. I have an appointment at the Winnebago factory in Indiana. I asked how long it would take to fix the window leak-4 hours! You gotta love it. Takes the factory 4 hours but they only pay the dealer for 30 minutes.
2016 Winnebago Winnie Drop
2016 Nissan Frontier 4x4 Crew Cab
Air Force Retired
It's not the weight of the load, it's how you carry it.

Eagle 92

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Re: Overwhelmed newbie
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2017, 10:56:58 PM »
I have read time and again on this and other forums about initial/typical RV problems and then I see that most dealers won't touch them for warranty work unless you bought it from them? Surely this is a joke right?

1. Why buy something as costly as an RV that you know has defects right off the line?
2. Why buy from a manufacturer that won't force their dealers to do warranty work on one of their products?

We are contemplating a purchase but the more I read the more I am concerned about buying a money pit that most manufacturers and dealers won't stand behind. Seems irrational and a terrible waste of time and money. We have looked at different models of TT for nearly two years now and are finally comfortable with our choice and the ability of our TV to tow it.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Overwhelmed newbie
« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2017, 10:44:35 AM »
I could give explanations (largely based on the economics of the business) as to why the situation exists as it does, but it doesn't help. It is what it is and unlikely  to change soon.

The higher priced brands are generally less of a problem getting dealer service, and larger dealerships are more likely to be operating their service area as its own business rather than merely an adjunct to the salesman. They take on all business and are happy to get it.  That's not a guarantee that you won't encounter the problem, though.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

scottydl

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Re: Overwhelmed newbie
« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2017, 03:23:26 PM »
My wife and I researched for a solid year before buying our first RV, so DO NOT be in a hurry.  It'll be a very expensive mistake, and if you buy too quick you might end up realizing a few months in that you want a different style/design of RV.  Even if you think you find the perfect rig next week, but aren't quite ready to buy... don't worry, something very similar is out there and you'll find it if you look long enough.

Start combing through Craigslist ads in your area to see what's out there, and visit large dealership or an RV show as mentioned (with NO INTENT of buying!) to see as many rigs in person as possible.  There's really no comparison to the in-person inspection, but the internet is a great source of information to start.

Get used to NADAguides.com to research price ranges for used RV's.  It's not gospel (as far as pricing goes) but can definitely give you some ranges.  Do not add in "Options" whenever you are pricing something used.

Most importantly... stick around here and keep asking questions!!!  ;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

Oldgator73

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Re: Overwhelmed newbie
« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2017, 08:30:01 AM »
Learn how to do most work yourself. I had two dealerships work on a leaking window (one was the dealer I purchased from, the other was a dealer close to us that was willing to do the warranty work). Neither fixed it. I am sitting in Elkhart, IN now having just dropped our unit at the factory in Middlebury. We drove 700 miles to get here so are staying in a hotel till Wednesday hoping it will be ready.
2016 Winnebago Winnie Drop
2016 Nissan Frontier 4x4 Crew Cab
Air Force Retired
It's not the weight of the load, it's how you carry it.

 

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