rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Fridge Defend
RV Life Magazine RV Park Reviews RV Trip Wizard

Author Topic: Newbie wants a RV  (Read 750 times)


  • Posts: 4
Newbie wants a RV
« on: June 13, 2020, 03:47:52 PM »
Hello all.  I am new to RVs but I would like to take the plunge.  I need advice badly as I have confused myself.  I am looking for an rv to pull a 26ft aluminum enclosed trailer with a car in it.  Combined trailer and car weight is about 7,000 lbs.  I am looking at 2000-2008 diesel pushers.  I have found two that I am interested in but I cannot really understand the pros and cons of each.   One is a 2004 Holiday Rambler Endeavor 38ft long with cummins engine (69K mi) that looks pretty well taken care of being offered by owner.  The other is a 2007 Itasca Meridian 34H CAT engine (80K mi) at a dealer (has been there over a year) that has had a turbo, water heater, microwave, and lots of other things replaced as well as some rear corner body work.   The endeavor is being offered at 47,500 which is slightly above NADA and the Meridian is being offered at 49,000 which is like 10,000 below NADA.  I would prefer the shorter one because of the trailer length but it concerns me that a dealer has had a the Meridian for such a long length of time and offering it well below book price and still no takers.  Also, we are a family of five that will be travelling in it.  I am asking for any and all advice and comments.  Thanks all.


  • ---
  • Posts: 681
Re: Newbie wants a RV
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2020, 04:29:12 PM »

I would suggest if you have the trailer and car now, go and get them weighed so you are sure of what you plan to tow.

My opinion is for such a long trailer, I would want the tv (tow vehicle) to not have a long overhang behind the rear axle.

As far as the RV itself?... floor plan, floor plan, floor plan. Look at lots of floor plans before choosing good deals. In my profession we have a saying... “The wrong piece of gear at the right price is still the wrong piece of gear”.
Rob & Deryl, Nettle & Tigger
Clyde, a 2015 RAM 3500 Cummins Longhorn SRW w/ARE cap
14’ V nose utility trailer as mini toy hauler (for now)
A Grand Design 337RLS in the future.
N1ICB (Nursing 1 Ice Cold Beer)
N1SPA (up to my neck in hot water, as always)


  • ---
  • Posts: 1106
  • 2017 Winnebago Aspect 30J/ 2013 Jeep
Re: Newbie wants a RV
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2020, 05:16:23 PM »
Welcome. I have read thru your post and you stated that one coach had some rear end damage.

If you decide to go that route, invest in a 5 dollar Tyvex suit from Amazon and slither up under and look to see if there is any damage to the frame. Who knows what engine part may have cracked on impact also? For me if there is rear damage on a rear diesel engine coach. I would be ULTRA Leary of taking the plunge on that purchase and I would have to have a professional mechanic Green Light the condition of the engine but that is just me.

I would recommend signing up for a (Free) RV trader account. Set filters to the floor plan (s), model (s), option (s), and price range you are willing to pay. Once they hit the market you will get a email. We did a Fly and buy (private seller) last year and could not be happier.

Gently used and well cared for and highly upgraded coaches are out there by private sellers.

Don't Rush to Failure.

Just my $0.02.

Hope you find that cream puff you're looking for.


I am going to come back and offer that $0.03 opinion. Does not always hold true to well cared for upgraded coaches, but

Run on NADA with No Options. The price you get back for pricing you should be in the middle range for what you should actually pay.

Mid being the higher end of the spectrum, but not true with rigs where owners have added Solar. Residential Refridges and other various improvements. Quality and well taken care rigs you might creep towards blue book actual pricing. At the end of the day it is about fair priced negotiations.

RV pricing is crazy, but the strategy I laid out, was developed thru posts here on this Forum, and it worked for me. I got a rig with 2000 miles that was 2 years for a hair under mid price (No Options Selected)on NADA. Rig had OEM Solar, Hydraulic Leveling, Rear and side Cameras, 15K A/C when Purchased by original owner.

« Last Edit: June 13, 2020, 05:52:27 PM by X-Roughneck »
2017 Winnebago Aspect 30J
2013 Jeep
M&G Air Over Hydraulic Brake on Jeep
Air Tank Adapter for braking on RV

Certified Oil Field Trash / Roughneck (5 yr)
Retired Army (20 yr)
Retired Army Civilian (10 yr)

Only Lessons I never forgot, Were taught by my parents, or a Dog.



  • Posts: 4
Re: Newbie wants a RV
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2020, 05:42:36 PM »
Great advice. I want to make sure I am not towing at the max limit of the tow vehicle.  I would like the tv to have a 10K towing capacity that I know I will not be that close to.

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 71191
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: Newbie wants a RV
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2020, 06:56:52 PM »
Most diesel pushers are rated for at least 10k towing and higher end models are often 15k. I'm confident the two you are looking at are both in the 10k category.

Indeed you should be concerned about the 2007 Itasca.  There must be something apparent to other buyers that you are missing.  Since you lack RV experience and probably diesel coach & truck experience as well, you would be wise to hire professional inspections of both the RV body (the "house") and the motorhome chassis.

The 2004 Endeavor is a pretty good model of coach, but that vintage is known for water leaks where the front cap joins the main roof and along the roof-sidewall seams up front. There is enough twisting of the front of the body when in motion to cause leaks at the seams. Check carefully for signs of water intrusion.
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL


  • Posts: 4
Re: Newbie wants a RV
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2020, 07:40:25 PM »
That's what I am afraid of with the Itsaca.  It is listed on every rv site and still sitting on the lot.  Something don't add up.

Thanks for your input.


  • ---
  • Posts: 3689
Re: Newbie wants a RV
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2020, 09:04:27 PM »
Just be aware that some diesel pushers in that age range only had 5,000 pound towing capacity.  This includes some nice upper end models, particularly in the 2000-2004 models
2002 Safari Trek 2830


  • ---
  • Posts: 653
  • Dan from Dayton...
Re: Newbie wants a RV
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2020, 07:23:11 AM »
Your concern among the two appears to be total rig length. If I am understanding it the other rig is 4 feet longer - My newbie impression is that you'll get used to 4 extra feet and and end up with more room for your family of 5.

Out of the mouths of babes mode here having never driven a rig that length... Others will have better insight to the driving of it.

OTOH - I am confident as a lifelong mechanic and buyer of vehicles the Itasca is shouting at you with a lot of red flags. Accident history, long time on the lot and well reduced price - Dealers are always way smarter than buyers on how to move stuff off the lot - one way is to add some new gizmos and bling... You are wise to be skeptical. Unless you personally know what you are doing I would not buy it even if a tech looks it over - he's only human too...

I am also generally a "black & white" kinda guy but I do believe that vehicles will "speak" to you. I don't mean put your blinders on (never fall in love with a vehicle or boat until after you buy it - LOL) but my best vehicle purchases were almost instant. It's a combination of the vehicle condition and a vibe you get fro the owner or seller - like the honesty flows out and you know there is a little "remorse" like they don't really want to sell it so you know it's been loved and cared for. I've even had sellers call me a few weeks later offering to send me something they forgot to include with a little, "How are you enjoying it?" like they care that I am taking care of it.

That's what I am afraid of with the Itsaca.  It is listed on every rv site and still sitting on the lot.  Something don't add up.

Thanks for your input.
"Marvin" - 1997 Georgie Boy Pursuit 3150 - P30 Chev 454
Various classic MGBs
Ex-liveaboard boater - Class A newbie in sponge mode


  • ---
  • Posts: 3917
Re: Newbie wants a RV
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2020, 09:35:28 AM »
With that trailer in mind I would pick the MH with the biggest motor, shortest rear overhang as a starti point.  Then its about floor plan and what is most comfortable for your situation.  Then overall condition.


  • Posts: 4
Re: Newbie wants a RV
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2020, 05:38:27 PM »
I agree and with that thinking I may need to pass on both  :-\  Looks like I may be using pickup as tv and renting hotel on next months trip.  I have seen a couple of conversion toterhomes but I think that is overkill for 7.5K lbs and with eaton manual 10spds, I won't  get any help on the driving part.


  • ---
  • Posts: 3689
Re: Newbie wants a RV
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2020, 06:42:46 PM »
I agree this should be a warning sign, but sometimes vehicles sit on dealer lots for lots of reasons, until they are eventually sold at a big discount.  My brother in law worked as a new car salesman for a few years, he is now a sales rep for a hardware store supplier.  He primarily sold Cadillac, at a dealership that sold several brands of cars, both domestic and import.  While he was there (5-10 years ago) they had one upper end fully loaded Cadillac (XTS?) that they just could not sell, I think it may have had white leather interior,  they still had it when he left there, when it was 2 model years old.  The issue was at the time Cadillac had all sorts of incentives on selling the current model year and the previous model year cars, but none on the 2 year old model that was still sitting new on the lot and the owners of the dealership would not discount it enough to make people interested in it, so it just sat there not selling.  Until eventually they discounted it enough that someone bought it a couple of months after my brother in law left that job.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2020, 06:44:30 PM by Isaac-1 »
2002 Safari Trek 2830


  • ---
  • Posts: 189
  • 2008 Tiffin 36QSH - Jeep Cherokee TrailHawk
Re: Newbie wants a RV
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2020, 10:58:02 AM »
#1 verify the towing capacity.
#2 get the floor plan that suits your living style/requirements
#3 get the one your wife (or partner) likes.
#4 see #3
#5 repeat #4
2008 Tiffin 36QSH
2017 Jeep Cherokee TrailHawk
BlueOx tow bar and base plate
Roadmaster Brakemaster

Light travels faster than sound...
                                     that's why some people seem so bright before they open their mouths!


  • ---
  • Posts: 368
Re: Newbie wants a RV
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2020, 06:51:03 AM »
« Last Edit: June 17, 2020, 06:55:47 AM by cavie »
Retired Licensed Master Electrician/Electric inspector
All Motor Homes are RV's. All RV's are not Motor Homes.