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Author Topic: Help to narrow down options  (Read 1575 times)

bghouse

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Help to narrow down options
« on: April 16, 2015, 07:54:39 PM »
Hi Everyone,

So reading, studying, learning, looking at things.  There are so many many options, and the advice to figure out what kind of traveling you want and to find the right floorplan is fantastic.  And yet, there are still too many choices and i feel like I'm swimming.

While one side of my brain tells me that a FW might be the pragmatic choice, the other side years for a MH with a toad.  So I'm trying to look more at MH rigs now, and I'm stuck..

First - definitely full-timing.  Second, right now I primarily see myself wanting to stay in the West - still many more places to explore for me in WA, OR & CA - I really still have a dream to explore Alaska and I'd like to explore around in Canada.  I also have a few must-do things on my bucket list like the Grand Canyon, Glacier National Park, etc.

Do these places pretty much say "diesel pusher"?  I currently have a completely paid for Chrysler Crossfire that might look ridiculous being a toad, but somewhere I saw a link (I've lost it now) where I could check if it could be towed and the site said yes.  So much as I'd like to have a new car with better gas mileage, it is paid for and saves me money.

Ideally, I'd like to make my way around and park for a bit in different places.  Use my toad to explore, get the feel for a place, experience things, etc.  But then there are threads up here that say Diesel's dont like to sit.

I'm also having problems figuring out when looking at floorplans when I might be just completely out of luck for a feature, or just more an after-market thing.  In particular, washer / dryer is a must-have priority for me.  I can make the all in one work, it dont have to be stackable, but it must be there.  So does the floor plan have to say "washer / dryer prep"?  If that is missing from the floorplan does that means there is no way a washer / dryer will go in there?

Okay, eek - that's rambling a bit, let me try to clear it up:

1.) With where I want to travel, does that lean toward a Diesel Pusher instead of Gas ?
2.) How long can a DP MH "sit" in one place while I explore?  1 month, 3 months, 6 months?
3.) Does anyone know where that site is to lookup the towability of my car again?
4.) Do I eliminate any floor plan without the washer / dryer prep area, or are there still options?

I really want to try and get at least this diesel / gas figured out as well as the washer / dryer -  so I can then find the right models / manufacturers to research for full time.  Budget is a bit of a concern for me in the initial purchase - so if I really must have a DP, then I might have to adjust my feature list more to stay inline...  I also have to start learning more about engines and maintenance - and would be nice to not feel like I have to learn EVERYTHING :-)

Thanks in advance!
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Barbara
current location:  Baja California, Mexico
RV status: Still trying to launch!

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Help to narrow down options
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2015, 08:21:23 PM »
You don't require a diesel pusher to go anywhere, but they are nice. We toured Alaska for 4 months in a gas chassis coach, and hundreds of others do it every year. Ditto for most any other region I can think of.

Don't strip down your wish list to make the budget - just buy a few year older rig. Nothing wrong with a 10 year old coach if in decent condition.

A coach can easily sit for several months - people do it all the time. Especially snowbirds, workcampers, etc.

A washer/dryer is an option. Some people prefer laundromats, others love the convenience of onboard laundry.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

bghouse

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Re: Help to narrow down options
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2015, 08:31:54 PM »
Thanks Gary.  I'm very firmly in the must have for the washer / dryer.  I just cant tell what I'm seeing all the time on floorplans.  For instance, I followed a link in another gas / diesel thread for the Rexhall site, and the floorplan didn't show anyplace for washer / dryer - yet they list it in the options.

Other sites I've been to sometimes have it shown on the floorplan, sometimes not in the features list.  I'm awfully confused on that.

My preference would mostly like be a gas Class A, and I really dont need a cavernous amount of space.  But it feels like the only time I see a washer / dryer is when I get to 35 - 40.  Would that be a fair assessment?

I'm just trying to find some sort of parameters to narrow down with.  I dont really want to spend the next decade attempting to see and review every possible option.  I think I need to start with a smaller subset...somehow... lol
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Barbara
current location:  Baja California, Mexico
RV status: Still trying to launch!

bghouse

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Re: Help to narrow down options
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2015, 08:59:03 PM »
Update:  there is so much great information in these forums, I can barely stand it.   in one of the posts about brands, I followed the link to the Thor Miramar and I think I'm in love.  Look ma, no carpet! :-)

Currently smiling over the mental image of my car behind that motorhome (see below and imagine those images merged)
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Barbara
current location:  Baja California, Mexico
RV status: Still trying to launch!

ArdraF

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Re: Help to narrow down options
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2015, 04:00:49 PM »
Quote
I'm very firmly in the must have for the washer/dryer.  I just cant tell what I'm seeing all the time on floorplans.  For instance, I followed a link in another gas/diesel thread for the Rexhall site, and the floorplan didn't show anyplace for washer/dryer - yet they list it in the options.  Other sites I've been to sometimes have it shown on the floorplan, sometimes not in the features list.  I'm awfully confused on that.

Many motorhomes are prewired for a washer/dryer but the unit itself is optional.  So if it's optional it's probably prewired.  If it's not mentioned at all then you'll have to ask if it's prewired.  Some floor plans just aren't conducive to a washer/dryer which needs both water and power to operate.

Don't worry about the diesel engine sitting for a few months.  Those of us who are long-timers let it sit in between trips which might be weeks or months depending on when we want to go where.  Parking for a while to explore an area isn't going to be a problem.

We live in the west and have had three gas Class Cs and two diesel Class As.  The only disadvantage to the gas engine is in places like the Rockies where you tend to slow down more at high altitude (I-70 west of Denver is over 11,000 feet).  But any engine, whether gas or diesel, will lose power at altitude so it really isn't that much of an issue.  I'd say floor plan is much more important because you want to live in it full time and you want to be comfortable, especially if you're cooped up inside for a week of rain.  An A tends to have more storage which can be important for fulltimers because you have to take everything with you, whether hobby stuff, tax receipts, clothes for various climates, or whatever.  It's my observation over the years that many fulltimers start out with some kind of trailer or Class C and then switch to a Class A later when they find out what they really like and dislike about the RV.  You can't really know what you're going love or hate until you actually live in an RV so think about how you plan to live in it and do the best to get something that suits your needs - but also recognize that you might change your mind later.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

bghouse

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Re: Help to narrow down options
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2015, 03:53:54 PM »
Thanks ArdraF, that was really helpful.  I spent more hours yesterday at different dealers looking at brands and floorplans.  One dealership was really pushy and uptight, telling me silly things like "only the Newmar has the quality for full timing" and "only disels will have floorplans with washer / dryer".  I really should have known when I pulled in and all these men were driving around in golf carts.  Now mind you, I walked the entire perimeter of the lot myself in 3 minutes, so the golf carts were kinda overkill :-)

Needless to say, I left as soon as I could politely get away and went to the other dealership up the road and they were awesome.  Low pressure, let me wander through everything I wanted.

Of course in typical fashion for me, the floorplan I truly love is on a 2016 model Winnebago Vista (the new 36Y) although there are a few more brands still that I've seen online but haven't yet tracked down in person.  But of course I have to be drawn to the one that can only be purchased new - typical hahaha
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Barbara
current location:  Baja California, Mexico
RV status: Still trying to launch!

pfhays

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Re: Help to narrow down options
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2015, 10:26:17 PM »
I've got a w/d in my coach but never use it unless I have full hookup.  Trying to boondock and using a washer dryer only fills up your gray tank so you have to go find a place to dump.  If you do have a full hookup then you are usually in a campground with laundry facilities.  So, a w/d is nice to have but I find I use the laundry at the campground or nearby in the community more often than the one in my motor home.

I would try to figure out just how big a rig you would like to have.  Consider the type of campgrounds you plan on staying in.  There are many nice gas and diesel rigs with floor plans and space that may suit you.  One piece of advice I got was look at floor plan first.  You will have to live everyday in the floor plan you choose.  Oh, and look at lots of rigs.

The advantages of diesel, that's what I have, usually include a larger cargo carrying capacity and the ability to go to much larger coaches.  I'll probably get trashed for this but I believe maintenance on a diesel will be greater than for a gas coach.  But, I can easily go a year before changing oil (36 qts)  in my diesel rig.  I'm not sure you could do that in a gas coach.

I'm also a firm believer in buying used.  There are lots of stories about new motor homes requiring a year or so getting all the things fixed.  Not to say that there won't be things to fix on a used motor home.  But, there is a lot of depreciation to absorb when buying new and hopefully the previous owners fixed all those small things..  In my experience with buying the two motor homes I bought, it is easy to find a minimally used motor home.

Keep looking.  It is fun and exciting to look at rv's and imagine how we will travel and live in them.  Best of all is once you buy you can hit the road

Pete
2000 Country Coach
2006 Jeep Liberty

bghouse

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Re: Help to narrow down options
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2015, 04:20:55 PM »
Thanks pfhays - all good advice.  Some things, like the washer / dryer are non-negotiable.  At this point in my life, I truly do understand my needs.  I have "free" laundry here in my apartment because for the first time in 25 years I dont have my own.  And every time I have to go down there and put my clothes in there after some inconsiderate jerk didn't clean up - my blood pressure climbs.  So not an option...

I'm also not really interested in boondocking.  For me, full-timing is a way for me to indulge my wanderlust and need to experience new things.  But I like my creature comforts and will be seeking out full hookups 90-95% of the time.

One of the things I think is so awesome is how there are so many folks doing their own thing in this lifestyle - with no apologies, just living life their way on their terms.  So dang inspiring!  :-)
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Barbara
current location:  Baja California, Mexico
RV status: Still trying to launch!

ArdraF

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Re: Help to narrow down options
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2015, 05:35:58 PM »
BG, I'm with you on the washer/dryer.  In fact when we bought our current motorhome it was my husband who insisted on one - not that I objected!  It just surprised me.  But he hated waiting for me all the time while I was doing laundry.  And I hated using some of the filthy laundry equipment I encountered.  Yuck!  I LOVE having my own Splendide!  And, yes, it does require hookups.  Some people use their washer while running down the road, but Splendide does not recommend doing that because of balance issues during the spins.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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bucks2

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Re: Help to narrow down options
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2015, 07:56:10 PM »
You're doing well so far. You've asked the right questions and you're headed down the path correctly, IMHO. For us a W/D was and is a must. I've never waited in line in our bedroom to use a dirty washer or dryer. We did have a sock go missing once which was unbelievable. Socks were put on and taken off within a 5 foot area. How could one get lost. It's not like I took off my clothes anywhere else like I did when I worked.  (I'll just leave that statement here. Those who know what I did understand it, those who don't might have good imaginations. Let's just say my clothes came off at work at least once a day and several more times on some days)

The diesel engine likes to run. He's just fine sitting for a few months too. He doesn't necessarily like having 2500 miles in 5 years like another poster is looking at unless well cared for. We put 3-7,000 miles on our MH per year and don't expect any problems. By contrast we put about 200 hours per year on our boats diesel engine. At 35 years old, it still runs like a top. (200 hours X 60 mph = 12,000 miles) People would go crazy if you told them you were buying a 35 year old motorhome with only 12,000 miles on it. It gets annual maintenance similar to what the MH gets. Maintenance is important.

Nothing beats walking thru different floorplans. We made 3 ring binders and took lot's of pictures. We could put the sales sheet/brochure in the binder, all our notes of what we liked and disliked about each rig, and reference the computer file with the pictures. Then a year later we could review exactly what we liked or didn't on specific rigs. As we learned more, we could go back and make other notes too.

Eventually you'll need to pull the trigger and buy one. With all your notes you'll make a better decision.

Ken


bghouse

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Re: Help to narrow down options
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2015, 12:20:55 PM »
@ardraf - been reading good things up here from folks that do love the Spendide.  I also walked the Winnebago 36Y a couple of days ago that had a fantastic stacked whirlpool in the bathroom area - which was awesome because it didn't lose any of the wardrobe in the bedroom.  I really, really, really liked that layout - lol

@ken - thanks for the tip on the binders.  so darn many choices here for sure..

I'm also really trying to look at all my options on how I would fit into this lifestyle.  Since I still must work 40 to 50 hours a week, I'm leaning toward making all my stops a minimum of 1 month.  That gives me time to actually explore and experience a place, as well as keeping costs down.  But that also means I will probably put less miles on the RV and more on the daily vehicle.  With this kind of style, I could still go either way - MH or FW.   choices, choices... :-)
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Barbara
current location:  Baja California, Mexico
RV status: Still trying to launch!

bghouse

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Re: Help to narrow down options
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2015, 03:21:20 PM »
One more question -  what happens to these New models at the dealerships when the next year's model comes out?  For instance, if I really love this Winne 36Y, would those prices drop when the 2016 models come out?  And is there a standard time of year that the new models arrive?   I remember when I bought my 2004 car, it was actually late Sept 2013 - so wondering if there is something similar with RV releases.
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Barbara
current location:  Baja California, Mexico
RV status: Still trying to launch!

ArdraF

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Re: Help to narrow down options
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2015, 04:18:20 PM »
Stackable vs. combination washer/dryers.  Everyone has an opinion.  The tradeoffs are the stackable enables two loads at a time, one in the washer and one in the dryer; whereas the combo is more of a "serial" operation so it takes longer.  To me, I wouldn't want to give up the HUGE storage area I have above the combo unit.  That's where I store all the laundry "stuff" and large items like coffee cans and paper atlases on one shelf and all the paper goods (paper towels, toilet paper, paper plates, bags and boxes of things like potato chips) on the upper shelf.  I don't have anywhere else to put those things so I'd rather have the combo than stackable.

ArdraF

ArdraF
:D :D

 

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