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Author Topic: Class A MH s to avoid?  (Read 289 times)

ETinMass

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Class A MH s to avoid?
« on: October 17, 2018, 09:05:04 AM »
Hi - for my first MH, I'll likely look for a used Class A that's say, under 50k.  I have read that some of the brands that get good customer ratings are Monaco, Tiffin etc and Thor is always near the bottom.  Does that mean I should not consider a Thor, or is this really based on initial build quality?  Would I expect an 8 year old Thor to have its kinks ironed out?  I know the higher priced brands will have nicer components, but I am considering the overall lasting ability of the unit once a few years goes by and the value for the price.  What about servicing?  Would I expect the local Camper's World  technicians to handle any brand?  Thanks!

Alfa38User

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Re: Class A MH s to avoid?
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2018, 09:23:38 AM »
You left out Winnebago!! Thor does not come out very high on the durability lists for good reason!! Most RV's use the same components like fridges, heaters, water heaters, stoves, etc. There are many models, only a few manufacturers.  Based on my reading, I would not expect most Campers World outlet Techs to be able to handle anything well, just based on  CW's reputation around here, but your local one might be different.
Stu
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docj

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Re: Class A MH s to avoid?
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2018, 09:41:27 AM »
My personal opinion is that the problem may not be so much with Camping World, specifically, as it is with the fact that RV dealers don't see themselves as having the same after-market responsibility for service that car dealers have.  This seems to be particularly true with motorhomes where the relatively small numbers sold (~10-15% of the total RV market) make it impractical for most dealers to maintain staffs trained to deal with engine and chassis issues. To put it another way, if a mechanic is good he can probably earn a lot more money than an RV dealership can afford to pay him. 

This isn't to dissuade you from buying a motorhome but, rather, to help you be realistic as to where you can get it serviced.  There was a recent thread on this forum on a related topic (where to get your DP serviced) and the majority of posters agreed that RV dealerships were not where they go!
Sandie & Joel

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Cooperhawk

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Re: Class A MH s to avoid?
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2018, 09:47:06 AM »
In my estimation Winnebago is a pretty good quality coach.  There are some features that they have that impress me.  For instance: the frame is extruded steel or aluminum and every component from frig to micro is physically attached to the metal frame.  They manufacture all their own cushions, drapes, ect.  Winnebago is the largest RV producer in the world as they have multiple plants including one in Australia. 

At the home plant they start at seven in the morning and close for business at five in the afternoon five days a week.  They turn our from forty to fifty MHs a day.  They employ a large part of the population of Forest City and the surrounding localities.  All their employees seem upbeat and happy to be there.

They built the airport, sewer plant, and power plant for the city.

But......they have  new CEO and no one knows where he is going to take them.  I heard they just purchased Chris Craft and they already have Country Coach.
Jim and Carol Cooper with Oreo the Kitty
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Isaac-1

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Re: Class A MH s to avoid?
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2018, 11:45:48 AM »
When looking at used RV's (sometimes even new RV's) condition should be a primary concern, most RV"s die from rot caused by water intrusion, unfortunately signs of this rot are not always easily visible.  For example from a cursory examination a rotted roof which has been cleaned may look like a good roof, though the wood underneath is rotted and the roof may be soft if you crawl on it.

Beyond condition, initial build quality and built materials matter, as some age better than others.  For example plastic sinks and shower surrounds are prone to becoming brittle with age, so it is better to look for coaches with fiberglass showers, and either solid surface or metal sinks.  The same can be said for particle board cabinets held together with staples, vs real wood cabinets held together with screws, as well as vinyl graphics vs full body paint.  Roof materials also matter, EPDM and TPO rubber roofs tend to require the most maintenance, where fiberglass and Aluminum roofs tend to require the least, though in this case as long as they are functional it is not as much of an issue.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

timjet

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Re: Class A MH s to avoid?
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2018, 06:48:02 AM »
Buying a used "quality" MH, (opinions on quality vary) will get you off to a good start. But any coach that isn't maintained, quality or not, can be a money pit. Thor which I believe is considered the largest RV manufacturer admittedly does not have a good reputation on some forums. But there are only a handful of chassis manufacturers and those manufacturers build chassis for Newmar (considered a quality builder) as well as Thor.
And has been mentioned all the MH manufactures use the same house components though the quality of components can vary depending on how much the builder wants to spend.

So bottom line a quality used coach whose owner did not maintain the chassis and drive train, and who allowed leaks to go un-repaired can be a money pit compared to a builder who's reputation may be of a lower quality but who's owner has maintained his coach and has records to prove it.

My personal experience was to buy a used 10 yo quality coach (in my opinion) and have it rigorously inspected before purchase. Even still I've had to repair or replace several house items due to age some of which are, furnace computer board, step motor, awning motor, replace most of the dash air components, and windshield washer pump.
The point being in your price range you will be buying used and regardless of the quality of the coach you buy, or even if you have it inspected, you will still have maintenance issues that can be costly, especially if you hire most maintenance issues out.  However a good pre-purchase drive train inspection will go a long way in avoiding expensive drive train repairs.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 06:57:10 AM by timjet »
Tim
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Class A MH s to avoid?
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2018, 08:29:16 AM »
All good advice above, so I won't belabor it further.
Gary
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