Buying a MH for full-time

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cheezehed

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Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Posts
7
We'll be heading out as full-timers in a few months and are doing our homework on what we want to purchase.  We were thinking of buying used because of the depreciation factor, and simply the fact that if there are options we would rather have...we would be more easily able to trade without taking a bath.

I've read some info in the library, but am looking for advice from full-timers on a few things we are considering:

1. Gas or diesel?  It does seem to me that the diesel's are better mechanically speaking, and certainly have a nicer interior.  With a budget of around 120K it's doable financially, but is it money well spent?

2. Size and slides - Should we look for something with as much room as possible since we'll be in it all the time?

3.  Booth or table?  Don't laugh, this is something we're argueing about.  Some that come with tables also have extra cabinetry/storage.  I myself would think it better to be able to move your chair around, plus I haven't found alot of MH booths that were comfy. 

I'll post more as I think of it :)

 

Shayne

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Jan 22, 2006
Posts
4,324
If I where buying in the immediate future, I would settle for nothing less than Allegro Bay or American Tradition and probably 2000 or newer.  Myself I wopuld prefer booth, cuz someone can sit at the booth while traveling should you like.  Free standing you can't do that. Also if is an extra bed for Grandkids should you need it.  Country Coach as well as kountry Stars also are quality units.  Go for at least 37' (40) with washer/dryer and no less than 1 slide  (2)  the nos. in () are preferred.    JMHO  Go for the Quality
 

Wendy

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May 14, 2005
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Colorado
Dinette: I like the booth because of the storage. My books and hobbies are under one side, Mike's hobbies and the dogs treats, etc., are under the other side. Others like the table because it's more like you'd have in a stick house.

Slides: I kept saying I didn't care if we had a slide or not. Now, having a MH with a slide, I would never buy anything, any size, without a slide. The additional room is amazing.

Size: We're quite happy with a 28-foot motorhome. And I've seen people full-timing in smaller units. It all depends on the people, their likes and dislikes, where they like to camp, how much storage they need.

Enjoy the search. It's half the fun.
Wendy
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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At our Silver Springs FL home
After a year or so you always wish you had more room (except maybe for Wendy - she 's happy!), so you can cut out a couple trade-up cycles by getting a larger rig to begin with. They all look huge when visiting them, but little things tend to be irritating over time and you wish for a bit more space in the shower or toilet, a bit bigger closet or more counter space in the galley or maybe some space so the computer doesn't have to sit on the dining table.

We finally opted for a free standing table in the 04 Tradition we just bought - always went with dinette before (5 previous rigs). Loved the extra storage space and in a rig under 36 feet you will need it. Better quality rigs have better cushions and backs in their dinettes, but you still might want to go to an upholstery shop and have them put in top quality foam and maybe re-cover with furniture grade materials.  But the free table is nicer looking, the chairs are convenient and can be used elsewhere in a pinch. Some of the chairs are comfortable and some are not - it all depends on what you like.

Diesel? Tough call. You will like a diesel for the power and better miles per gallon and it is definitely much quieter in the driving area. The downside is initial cost and ongoing maintenance costs. And these days, fuel seems to be more expensive too.  A high end gas rig will perform well and you can get one with a 22,000-26,000 lb GVWR, which will handle a very nice motorhome with aplomb. 

Slides? Buy all you can afford - they really enhance the livability. The major downside of slides is that they make access to the storage bays more difficult. That can be a real pain at times.  Some makes have some storage bays that move with the slide, so they are not underneath. That is a joy for accessibility but you give up some space with that design.

I would recommend looking at used, mid-high end rigs. There are a lot of excellent ones around and you get a lot more in a high line rig (gas or diesel) than a lower priced one. It's generally worth going a year or two older and getting the higher grade RV.

We just swapped a 2002, 36 foot, double slide gas rig for a 2004, 40 foot diesel with three slides. I guess that sums up what we think about all these questions, eh? We spend about 6 months/year in the coach.
 

cheezehed

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Posts
7
Wonderful advise so far!  Shayne, just one fyi.. I know the dinette folds down to a nice little place for the grandkids to sleep, but they won't be living with us...and they sleep on the floor just as well :)

One of our dearest friends said to us lately, that their MH capacity is:

Drinks = 6
Eats = 4
Sleeps = 2

 

localnet

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Joined
Jul 2, 2006
Posts
68
And I would make sure that you can see the television without breaking your neck. You know, a comfortable viewing position to watch Johnny Carson.
 

Shayne

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Jan 22, 2006
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4,324
My wife often sits in the booth and reads the paper and books, cuz lots of room tto spread out,  No matter what you decide on table make sure the wife has the decision on the kitchen, unless you do ALL the cooking, Dishes, and storing.  Take away her storage space and you are the one that might be sleeping on the floor.
 

ArdraF

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Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Posts
10,674
3.  Booth or table?

We had a booth in our first 18-foot RV and now prefer a table and chairs.  We both have "funny" backs and the booth is just too uncomfortable for us.  The storage was nice, but as we progressed upward in length that problem resolved itself.  ;)

I'll second the comments of those who said to take your time and look at a lot of plans.  If you can attend an RV show, that's a good way to view many layouts without a lot of pressure.

ArdraF
 

Shayne

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Jan 22, 2006
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4,324
Gary  that formula doen't work in ours,  neither of us drink.    It's all a matter of perferance.
 

Shayne

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Jan 22, 2006
Posts
4,324
Just plain ole Mississippi Hi-ball, H2O    Besides  I'm a  really cheap date.
 
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