Almost New/Selling House to buy RV Coach

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izzybbar

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Hi,
  My husband and I are in the process of selling our home and becoming full time RV'ers.  We are still in the looking stage, but have looked.  I am kinda keen on the 2006 Fleetwood Bounder w/3 slides, he thinks we should go all out and get a used Dutch Star.  I've looked them both over, and my heart keeps going back to the Bounder.  Any thoughts out there??  Are the Fleetwoods good, or not.  How about the Dutch Stars?  Expensive, but are that they good?
Connie
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Tom

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Connie

Welcome to our forum and congratulations on having made the decision to fulltime.

We have forum members who fulltime in a Bounder and members who fulltime in a Dutch Star. Both are good products, although the respective owners might share some insights with you. The only comment I'd make is that you'd find a diesel pusher such as the Dutch Star quieter when driving down the road than a gas powered motorhome such as the Bounder. If you haven't already done so, take a test drive in both so you can compare.

Whichever you choose, good luck with the purchase and please let us know the outcome. Try to stay in touch with folks here - we have a great circle of friends who meet up at various places along the road in addition to attending RV Forum rallies.
 

Jim Dick

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Hi Connie,

Welcome to the forum and the RV lifestyle. We have been full timing since 1996. We started in a Bounder and now own a 2000 American Dream.

The Bounders are nice coaches for the money but the Dutch Star seems to be a little better in quality. Since you are going full time be sure there is enough pay load available to carry everything you might need. I'd say 3000lbs would be the minimum required. You might not use it all but I'd bet you'll be close.

As Tom pointed out, a diesel pusher is much quieter going down the road and the drive train should last longer without major repairs providing it is maintained properly. Also the chassis tend to have a longer wheel base which makes driving them a lot more enjoyable. A short wheelbase can be a source of poor handling in windy situations or when 18 wheelers pass. Bounder does have models on the Freightliner chassis and I have driven a couple. Nice ride and handling.

 

Gary RV_Wizard

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The 2005-2006 Bounder Diesels are pretty nice coaches - I was checking one out a couple weeks ago. Not shopping - just looking at a new one that came into the RV park here.  The Dutchstar will be a bit more upscale and more money, but you probably get extra value too. Nicer cabinetry for one thing, and probably many small touches here and there.  But you can equip a Bounder Diesel pretty much the same as a Dutchstar these days, so there may be little practical difference.

Whichever you like the best, I would really suggest you start with a used rig.  At this point, you don't know what layout and features will be really important to you in the long run.  Some of what you know think is a "must have" will turn out to be unimportant and other things will move way up in priority.  In other words, after a year or two you will really want a different rig. If you have sunk major $$ into a new rig, the early depreciation will make it impossibe for you to trade.  Bottom line: don't try to buy your "dream rig" the first time out.
 

Tom

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RV Roamer said:
The 2005-2006 Bounder Diesels are pretty nice coaches

I guess I haven't been paying attention. Didn't realize the new Bounders are deisel powered.
 

Ron

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Hi Connie,

Welcome to the RV Forum.  This is the place to ask questions and get excellent advice regarding the RVing lifestyle.

We had a 88 gas Bounder and a 93 Bounder Diesels before we bought the Eagle.  Had very good experience with both the Bounders.  Several of the Framily have the Newmar Dutch Star and they like them too.  Gary has given some excellent advise in suggesting buying used first giving yourself a chance to get a feel for what is best for you.  I would suggest that you test drive several coaches and see which you like driving the best.

Glad you found us.


 

Jim Dick

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Tom said:
I guess I haven't been paying attention. Didn't realize the new Bounders are deisel powered.

Tom,

As in previous years some are and some aren't. :) We had a '95 gas and '96 diesel.

 

Tom

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Thanks Jim. I really haven't been following the Bounder since it first came out.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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It's worthwhile to note that Dutch Stars previoulsy came in both gas and diesel models as well, though in 2006 all Dutch Stars are diesels. Mountainaires were and still are available as gas or diesel.  Kountry Stars are predominantly gas chassis, but Smoky has a diesel model (2005, I think). For 2006, Newmar says Kountry Stars are gas chassis only.  Ya gotta have a scorecard to keep track of the players!  ;)

 

Ned

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The Holiday Rambler Endeavors also came in both gas and diesel models.
 

izzybbar

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;D? Guess I should of clarified the type of motor coach.? It is a 2006 Diesel, 38 foot with 3 slides, ultra leather on all chairs (except dinette), w/d, sofa sleeper w/air, queen bed with dual air, electric awning, front pro mask, remote keyless entry, 84" headroom, vinyl ceiling, remote gen start in bedroom, all the alarms systems, full body paint, 10000lb weight distributing hitch rec w/7point elec hookup, Air Suspension, 5.5kw Onan Diesel Gen, 3 water pump switches, the vents for AC/heating not on floor but in bottom of cabinets, sofa, etc.? It is on a Freightliner chassis with 252 wheel base, 28000 GVWR, Fuel 90 gal, with a Cat Cy 300HP, allison 3000 MH 6 speed w/elec shifter tranny, and the holding and fresh water tanks are in the middle of the chassis.? Too many options and standards to really mention but all this for @ 140000.? Why buy used when you pay that much for a good used machine.? I would rather have the warranties and such.? Plus, like I know, buy used, but I have camped out and I am ready to part with everything :'( that we have except dishes, books, and a few odds and ends.? Nothing matters that much and I guess when that happens, it is time to downsize and move on.? I'm ready to go right now!! 8) Thanks for all the advice, and keep it coming.? Your never to old to take advice.
Connie
Some horses come into our lives and quickly go, others stay awhile, make hoofprints on our hearts, and never never go away.
 

Jeff

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izzybbar said:
;D  Too many options and standards to really mention but all this for @ 140000.  Connie



Connie:

I assume the $140,000 you mentioned is list price for a bounder? Make sure you do some haggling before buying, 25% is a typical discount on that type motorhome.

Good luck
 

Smoky

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Izzy:

We researched coaches for two years before buying.  Also test drove 15 of them.  I realize you cannot wait two years, but be sure to take time on this.  We also sold our house and went full time and have no regrets at all.

You are off to a good start.  Both the Dutch Star and the Bounder we looked at and liked.  You are wise to stick with diesel, despite the increased cost.

May i suggest a compromise, which is the Kountry Star?

First of all let me correct a misconception stated earlier.  The 2006 Kountry Star comes in both gasoline and diesel pusher versions.  And with the introduction of the Newmar Ventana as the entry level pusher, the newmar Kountry Star has been elevated to mid priced luxury.  This process began in 2005 when the KS was completely revised and upgraded.  There is some discussion that in the future gas might be eliminated from the KS, with the Scottsdale taking over most gas.

At any rate, the KS diesel is identical to the DS (Dutch Star) diesel, albeit with a slightly smaller and more economical engine, and some standard items on the DS are options on the KS.  The KS goes up to 39 feet and a fraction, while the DS goes up to 43 feet.  We purchased the KS3910.

You can save money by going the KS route and get basically a Dutch Star.  I would highly recommend the Spartan chassis over the Freightliner, as the Spartan comes with independent front suspension (IFS) and the Freightliner does not.  I sort of pooh poohed IFS originally when close friends here on the forum suggested it.  After taking some test drives, I decided I would not want to be without it.  My friends here were on the money.  A 38 thousand pound machine needs all the handling help it can get.

Whatever you do, take LOTS of test drives.  Let the dealers know you are a SERIOUS buyer and INSIST on numerous test drives.

And if you buy from Newmar, I strongly suggest you have the patience to order from the factory and not buy off the lot.  Newmar is one of the few companies that gives a wide latitude to custom orders on coaches in this price range.  We were very impatient about waiting for delivery (7 to 9 weeks) but it was worth every minute of the wait when the coach arrived.

Take LOTS of test drives before you buy!! :D  I also recommend BUT ONLY IF YOU DO YOUR RESEARCH WELL AND TAKE YOUR TIME that you buy as much as you can afford rather than working your way up.  You lose a LOT of money working your way up.  However if you are in a rush to buy, then ignore this advice.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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First of all let me correct a misconception stated earlier.  The 2006 Kountry Star comes in both gasoline and diesel pusher versions.  And with the introduction of the Newmar Ventana as the entry level pusher, the newmar Kountry Star has been elevated to mid priced luxury.  This process began in 2005 when the KS was completely revised and upgraded.  There is some discussion that in the future gas might be eliminated from the KS, with the Scottsdale taking over most gas

The Kountry Star info was taken direct from the current Newmar web site, which says KS is gas and lists only the Workhorse gas chassis. But it is not unusual for the web site to be ahead or behind of marketing plans either, and the KS has added and then deleted a diesel option more than opnce in recent history. It's a heck of nice rig in either form.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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There is no question, Connie, that the 2006 Bounder Diesel is a nicely equipped machine at a reasonable price. And the warranty is indeed worth something and has to be figured in any comparison.  You can get an good extended warranty on a late model used rig, though, so a specific dollar amount can be assigned to the warranty.

I'm guessing the $140,000 you quoted was the negotiated discount price, since a fully equipped Bounder 38 runs about $170,000 MSRP.
 

izzybbar

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Thanks Smokey for that bit of advice.  We never thought of buying straight from the company.  That is worth a lot of looking into.  I did like the Dutch Star and Kountry Star, but thought they were far out of our price range--maybe now they are not. 
The list on the Bounder was 179,000 with just about all the options.
Yeah, we are going to go test driving this week and weekend.  I know I can drive one cause I worked for Coca Cola when they went on strike and we had to drive those big side loaders.  Talk about a blast.  Ever try backing one of those down those enclosed trailer stalls.  I did, am proud and didn't leave a mark.  So I don't have any qualms about tackling one of those Class C's.  But keep the advice coming, it's helping my husband out alot.  It's a big step, and he is a little worried that he won't like it, but I know he will.  You see, he has never been anywhere--except MT to see the grand babies, Texas, to see a niece get married and to MO and KS, where I used to live.  Me on the otherhand have seen everything except the far NW corner, SE corner and the NE states.  I want to travel and see the sites again, he, on the otherhand I think is afraid of "stepping out".  I'm real social, he's not, I really outgoing, he's kinda shy, I can talk your leg off, he puts it back on.  So keep it coming, anything helps and I'm feel like I'm getting the best advice I could possible get (aside from my RV 5th wheel dad).
Connie :-*
 

Jim Dick

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Connie,

Your husband will do fine. I, too was very shy and kept to myself for many years. RVing has changed all that. I'm still not as outgoing as my wife but I am a lot better than I used to be. :) You can't help but be friendly when RVing. It's the natural thing to do.

Take a trip to Utah around Moab and your husband won't want to stay home! It has to be the most beautiful state we have seen.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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So I don't have any qualms about tackling one of those Class C's.

Just a minor correction: the rigs you are discussing are Class A's, not Class C's.  There are class c's in your size range, though.  Take a look at the Gulfstream Endura diesel, which is available in lengths to 37 feet with triple slides.  Personally, though, I'd take the Bounder over the Endura.

I'm glad to hear you will be driving the motorhome.  Too many women won't even try, but those that do often find they love it.
 
A

Albslb2

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IZZ  I don't know about the other people talking and giving advise to you, but in my HO, I'd stop and take a good look at the situation. 1st  Why would you jump to a new Bounder when you're not sure what you want. Especially if this is your 1st venture into this type of living.  Should you purchase this unit and not be satisfied, you've just blown a good chunk of change for an entry class unit. My advise is the same given to me years ago, Buy something less expensive and used to make sure this is the way you want to go.  It's easier selling a 40 or 50G unit then taking the big tap on a 140G unit.  I'm still experimenting with a 98 Pace ARRow 37ft with W/D and Slide and Sat and after this being my 4th unit, I'm certain I need at least a 40 ft with 4 slides and the works on it.  Yes I can afford to buy it, but, oh me, the nice used units out their rank in the thousands or dissatified owners or either they can't afford them and you can reap the benifits. It's the same as an auto.  I'd rather buy and drive a used 2 yr old Lincoln Town Car then any of the small new cars on the road.  That would save about 25G on a Car  Look what you can save on an RV.  I live in comfort with our Cheaper 25,000 mile unit and 2001 Lincoln that I haul in an enclosed trailer along with our other good junk.  Mind you I'm not trying to tell you what to do, cause everyone has to do their own thing, but it is food for thought.  You can purchase a much better used unit for less bucks and just a couple of years old then the Bounder.  Good luck no matter which way you go and what you buy.
 

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