We are from the UK and wish to buy a used A class RVnext year, we would like to buy a well known and reliable make but the names I am not familiar with, can anyone help us. We would be looking for a 28-34 foot with one or two slides up to $50k
Welcome to the RV Forum, John. Your research into learning about brands before buying will pay off because there are some good a some bad.
Our experience with Fleetwood has been good and from personal experience would caution against any used motorhome under the brand name Safari, SMC, Harney or Beaver.
There may be some apparent good deals around from the Safari collection, but their product was consistently palgued with irreversible engineering problems and many were dumped as trade ins by disgruntled owners.
You may get other points of view, but I feel you may have to revise your price expectation upward for a relatively recent Class A in good working order umder $50,000.
Did you have something specific in mind that you have seen thus far?
I suspect that Steve may be thinking about diesel models when he talked about the price issue. You could probably get a half decent used gas (petrol) model for somewhere near your price range. Try looking at the Fleetwood line, which includes Pace Arrow. Also check out Winnebago.
A good source for used RV prices is the NADA price guides (click on the Recreation vehicles tab.) If you find something in your price range, please come back and ask if anyone has experience with that make/model.
You can certainly get a decent gas-powered Class A for that price - I am about to list a 2002 36 footer for for $58,000 myself. You can probably get a 1999 34 footer for right around $50,000 at a dealer and somewhat less in a private transaction. Most of the major brands are decent but there are two tiers based on price and anticapated use. Lower priced, vacation-class rigs have lesser quality cabinetry, furniture, insulation, etc., while the higher priced tier adds more quality to the product. A couple of manufactuers straddle the two tiers, with prices generally above the low end but not running as high as the luxury models. Appliances, engines, transmissions, etc. are pretty much the same across the board because every coach builder buys them from the same component suppliers. Assembly quality is usually better in the higher priced tier, but there is a lot of variation from example to example. Usually that sort of problem has already been corrected in used rigs, though.
The Beaver/Safari diesel brands did have some quality problems in the time frame your price target dictates. Newer ones, roughly 2002 and newer, are much improved since the company changed owners in 2000.
Some of the higher-priced tier: Monaco, Holiday Rambler, Newmar, Alpine (Western RV), Travel Supreme, Country Coach, Fleetwood- American Coach, National RV-Dolphin & Tradewinds & Islander, Winnebago Ultimate models, and late model Beaver & Safari
Mid-range: National RV Sea Breeze & Sea View, most Winnebago/Itasca, Fleetwood mid line, etc.
There can be quite a difference between the entry-level models and higher end units from the same nmanufacturer, so all of this is very much "broad brush" and not. There are also brand names that have come and gone in fairly short time frames (e.g. Harney) that are not necessarily bad but failed in the market for whatever reasons. Since these units mostly use commonly available components from 3rd party suppliers, buying an orphan is not as risky as it would be if the manufacturer was the only parts source.
Be sure to stay in touch with the forum. Folks here will be glad to help you through the selection/purchase process when the time comes.
Meanwhile, be sure to check our library for some useful tips and to read about the experiences of other Brits who have done what you're planning to do. Just click the Library button above and select one of the categories.
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