Hi From Brian and Megan

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bparkerdmd

New member
Joined
Dec 6, 2022
Posts
1
Location
Florida
I wanted to introduce myself. My name is Brian, and I am a father with three kids (Kinsley, Keylin, and Bryson) and my wife (Megan). Growing up in Florida, I have many great memories of motor home adventures with my parents. I would like to carry on that same tradition with my family, so we are currently searching for a gently used Class A motorhome.

We are hoping to attend the Tampa RV show next month to explore the best floor plan options for our family.

Please feel free to chime in If anyone has any words of wisdom for purchasing their first RV to use on family vacations.
 

Dan_Frisbie

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 2, 2022
Posts
117
Location
Pensacola, FL
Beware of the 2021-2022 models. Often noted as “Covid Campers”, they seem to be much higher on the problem spectrum than older campers.

It seems to me that new campers are a colossal PITA for most new owners, or maybe people that buy new campers are impossible to please, not sure.

After deciding that an upgrade was our desire, we began looking at sizes and floor plan ideas on RV Trader and other websites. We also made a friend at a local dealership (not a chain). Once we had an idea what we wanted, we took a two day motorcycle trip and hit a bunch of dealerships within about 150 miles of us to both look at RVs and see how dealerships were willing to work with us.

We narrowed our choices down to a few brands and learned that chain dealerships will promise the world until you FIRMLY express that you will not be signing today, then they couldn’t give less of a damn about you. Some chains and local sales people looked at two bikers and decided that we were unworthy of their time (we’re both retired, she is a doctor and I retired twice from technical careers).
Our local dealer was great, called us when a potential used RV arrived and we’d come check it out. We looked at 3 or 4 on his lot then purchased a very nice used rig from him.

Where in Florida? We live in Pensacola And Carpenters Campers is our dealer/service center.
 

Isaac-1

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2016
Posts
6,721
Location
SW Louisiana
I don't mean to discourage you here, but I suggest since you have kids, to do a realistic evaluation of how much you would use a motorhome, as it might turn out to be cheaper to rent one once you figure in cost of ownership (insurance, storage, maintenance, etc.) and depreciation on whatever used RV you might buy. There are some big variables here including purchase price, and amount of depreciation while owned here, but if you are going to spend less than about 2-3 weeks using the motorhome during the year it will likely be cheaper to rent. I know at first glance those RV rental rates seem insane, but RV cost of ownership items do add up, and depreciation rate on any motorhome under about 12-13 years old is fairly hefty, often loosing over $10,000 per year in value each year in those first few years..
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
78,181
Location
West Palm Beach, FL
Use the RV show to sample available styles and floor plans. LEAVE YOUR CHECKBOOK HOME! Don't fall for the one-time-only deal sales patter - they will gladly sell it to you next week at the same price. A "gently used" motorhome is almost surely the better financial choice.

As for what best suits your needs, that depends on a variety of factors, e.g. frequency of use, duration of trips, finances, the sorts of camping expereinces you prefer (wilderness, amenities, etc), and how much living space your family needs to be comfortable. Remember that kids need a place to play & eat as well as a place to sleep, and a place for clothing and their entertainment toys. Especially on rainy days...
 

Old_Crow

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Posts
3,986
Location
Arkansas
I never realized how easy my dad had it in terms of RV size because I was an only child until my wife and I got our RV and invited our 5 grown children on a camping trip. :rolleyes:
 

Matt_C

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 4, 2019
Posts
851
Location
SE - Mich
Brian,
You came to the correct place for advice.
Rule 1 - Read what Gary wrote twice.....
Look at the show, but then try to find used. A lot of people bought in during the plague and now want out from under the cost of it.
Why?
Now they aren't using it as they dreamed...
Because it cost them XX$ a month just to store it and then there are the payments.
Will you have a place to store it once it is yours? Think about that.
This is one of the reasons that renting is attractive to many.

If you do buy, start two notebooks. One is to record the places you go. The other is to record the maintenance both regular periodic and the unexpected. If you do this right, in a short time, this will all be a blur.

The kid in back is taller than Mom. Include in your plans what change that may bring sooner than you expect.

Matt
 
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