New & Confused

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Britali

Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Posts
14
Location
Oklahoma
I have been lurking & reading great information from this rv fam but definitely have not read every post hehe. I would like to have an rv by midsummer so coming down to where I need to decide and need some advice on reputable brands and models.

I understand nothing is perfect & stuff happens but I feel like it is a good start to begin with something that has a good reputation & not known for cutting corners or shoddy craftsmanship. I can deal with mistakes happen, nothing is perfect but do not want to deal with that on top of poor craftsmanship & not reputable. I have not owned an RV so I cannot go off of experience, nor do any of my family or friends own an RV so cannot go by rl recommendations and we all know just because it is on the internet does not make it true. So I need you all with your experience & wisdom. I understand we all have different preferences & opinions but I believe good products & companies that back them up surpasses that so I need to start there & then refine it to my wants. Internet research is a good base but not a catch all (just because it is on the net does not mean it is so), I would like rl experiences & recommendations.

I prefer to buy new and am not worried about depreciation. I tend to do a lot of research & try to buy to keep because that has more value to me. I know the history, what it has been through, & how well taken care of. I buy my vehicles new (after research & not whim) and they have value hard to measure (less repairs, less crazy wear & tear, no hidden dmg, and years with no payments to make up for depreciation). I get more than what I spent out of what I buy despite depreciation because I do not trade in & they last me years without payments. If I desired something different every few years that would not work. So I am looking for longevity and that requires "good bones".

Basic details of what I am looking for

1. Class C because we have pets & want to bring them with us hence tow trailer not ideal. And want to keep the cost ideally below $150k which makes super C's & class A's not a reasonable expectation if I want quality.

2. Enough sleeping for me, hubby, son without major set-up each night and comfortable. Extra sleeping great if we have guest not worried about guest set-up.

3. Comfortable living area, kitchen with frig.stove, oven, microwave, & pantry. And comfortable means being able to see TV without cramping something up.

4. Bathroom & separate shower that my 6'3" hubby can live through.

5. Main bedroom separated from rest of living space meaning pocket door or conventional door. Curtain not private enough & fabric accordion door's my big dog will tear through.

6. At least one storage area that can hold bigger items.

7. Read about amps concerning ac & tv's...but just mentioned not explained why...please educate me.

8. Know enough to know I want powered/auto levelers & powered awnings.

9. Outdoor kitchen & entertainment would be nice but realize we are pushing it.

10. Can toad tow a Ram TRX.
 

SeilerBird

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Posts
15,561
Location
St Cloud Florida USA
You really need to rent a class C for a weekend camping trip. You will discover most of what you want does not exist in a single RV. Pets in C is not a good idea, too small.
 

Rene T

Site Team
Joined
May 20, 2011
Posts
16,762
Location
Farmington NH
Welcome to the forum.
Many members here will say to buy used first because of depreciation but that’s not a issue for you.
Another reason to buy used is the first owner has already been through the process of getting warrantee repairs done which could mean a brand new RV spending weeks at the dealership waiting for parts or whatever.
Where this is your first RV, the odds are the first RV you buy will not work for you just like many other people find out after it’s too late and have to trade for another one.
All I can tell you is to go look at many RV‘s. Sit in them, lay on the bed, make believe making up the bed. Envision what it would be like spending 4 or 5 days cooped up in it if it’s raining and it will happen.
Last and but not least, leave your wallet at home when shopping. If you find something you like, go home and sleep on it. It will still be there in A couple of days. And don’t believe everything a salesman tells you. He’ll tell you anything you want to hear just to make a deal. Come back here and ask questions.
Good luck in your search.
 

Britali

Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Posts
14
Location
Oklahoma
I have seen a couple class C's that meet a lot of the wants like Coachman Leprechaun & Thor Quatum as examples that can toad tow TRX but not sure of the build quality in real life. So is build quality what I am overshooting going for $150k (have room to move but the higher it goes the more quality matters).
 

Britali

Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Posts
14
Location
Oklahoma
If Coachman Leprechaun or Thor Quantum have reputable builds without cutting corners or being shoddy...then I can progress. BUT even though they have the majority of what I want if they cut corners, are shoddy, bad service...I will pass. If they are good and standby thier products in real life not just talk for sales then I can progress.
 

Mark_K5LXP

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Posts
885
Location
Albuquerque, NM
What is your definition of "quality"? Generally, short of custom coach builds, commodity RV's are all made the same way out of the same components. My analogy for that is they're a crappy house built onto a delivery truck. Subtle differences and appointments here and there but there's only so many ways you can slap this stuff together and at $150K new, you're going to get the same crapola that comes off of every line. I watched a video on the Thor and while there were some nice features here and there to me it was the SOS you see in most any RV. So it comes down to just what you're trying to do and what you're willing to put up with to make that happen. In this world the equipment is marginal and service is variable and expensive. It is what it is if you want to play in this sandbox.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

Britali

Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Posts
14
Location
Oklahoma
K just looking which ones back up their SOS. By quality I mean "back your shiz up". It may be all the same materials but who is willing to back it up on failure? I agree service Mathers & is what I am looking for.
 

Britali

Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Posts
14
Location
Oklahoma
Why I am asking for rl experiences on who backs their stuff up with service in real life.
 

Britali

Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Posts
14
Location
Oklahoma
I have no issues paying for service & maintenance IF they back it up & live up to it. And there are many shady "say" but "don't do"...why I am looking for real life experiences.
 

Britali

Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Posts
14
Location
Oklahoma
I am not looking for a salesman...I want someone who wants me as a customer for life & will want me to recommend them
 

Rob&Deryl

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Posts
1,082
Location
Eastern Massachusetts
One thing that surprises people is that class C MH (motor home) often have very little cargo capacity. There are folks here who are right at the max and are traveling solo. One person noted (after buying) that the empty MH was over weight when it left the factory.

As said above, buy used for your first. A 30’ class A has more usable room and storage space than a similar length class C.

Rent a class C for a weekend (or week) and you will learn lots about limitations.

One member here bought a brand new unit in the spring and it then spent 10 weeks at the dealer waiting on warranty repairs, ie, the whole summer. Once the dealer has your money, they don’t care and you have no recourse.

I just bought a 3 year old 5th wheel at just a bit over half the original cost.

oh, and welcome to the forum
 

Nels

New member
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Posts
3
Location
Action, California
My 2 cent for you depending what length you looking for 35' to 40' maybe. The problem is anything over 35' will not fit in most US camp grounds. Some do have room for larger or longer RV's. I have a 37' with 3 slides and 2 baths. Wanted to go to a couple of State beaches but they max out at 35'. Good Luck and have fun shopping
 

Britali

Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Posts
14
Location
Oklahoma
Thank you are for the welcome.

Thanks for pointing out that the Class C’s cannot carry much due to weight even if they have space. If the used class A’s are under that price range I fear that they will be older than 10 years & that is about when stuff starts to fail especially rubber parts & we definitely do not have the experience to look for them let alone repair them. And it would seem that I would inherit replacement costs even for appliances a lot earlier than I would in a new or newer one.

Would still appreciate any recommendations on brands that people have good experiences with. And would love any recommendation on decent dealers (if they exist hehe) near SW OK that have good customer service when it comes to warranty & repairs.

Again thank you all for the welcome and advice.
 

Britali

Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Posts
14
Location
Oklahoma
Was trying to keep it under 35’ closer to 30’. Is that reasonable? Does the less feet you have mean more cargo you can carry...aka is it less weight on the same chassis? If so, would under 30’ solve the cargo weight issue class C’s seem to have?
 

Britali

Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Posts
14
Location
Oklahoma
So it comes down to just what you're trying to do and what you're willing to put up with to make that happen. In this world the equipment is marginal and service is variable and expensive. It is what it is if you want to play in this sandbox.
I tried to put together wants to help narrow down what I was looking for but it seems it may not be reasonable. I have no experience, so no clue what I would have to put up with. I would love to know what I would have to put up with though before I jump in. It sounds like in the real world repairs can take months and that is definitely a concern. If I am not a handy person it & repairs take months...ouchies. Definitely want something useable vs an expensive rock lol. I understand rv’ing is not an investment but it sure would be nice to use it & enjoy it for that money lol, I do not think it will be good decoration for driveway.
 

Dreamsend

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Posts
538
If Coachman Leprechaun or Thor Quantum have reputable builds without cutting corners or being shoddy...then I can progress. BUT even though they have the majority of what I want if they cut corners, are shoddy, bad service...I will pass. If they are good and standby thier products in real life not just talk for sales then I can progress.

I don't think anyone can generalize for you that any one brand of RV - meaning the dealer - has bad or good service. The RV industry just doesn't work that way - it's not like automobiles, or appliance outlets, etc. In terms of build quality, you get what you pay for. The RV industry is VERY competitive, and the larger manufacturers will build to "price points" - basically an entry level, mid-level, and more upper end level. Appliances are made by 3rd parties and are pretty much the same across most all manufacturers - Dometic, Norcold, Suburban, HotPoint, Jensen TV, Coleman furnace and AC, etc. The engines and chassis are also made by 3rd parties. Things like frame, tire size and rating, window fit, insulation, furnishings, flooring, etc. will vary with the price point.

No one can tell you if Coachman or Thor cut corners - or if a particular unit went out the door with shoddy workmanship. It happens. But, there are plenty of these Class Cs on the road, so they must have something going for them. No one can tell you what dealer will meet your expectations for service - but IN GENERAL, dealers have notoriously bad reputations for getting repairs done in a timely manner. Again, the RV industry does not compare to auto dealerships that have learned that "maintenance service" will bring customers back. Secondly, are repairs done correctly? And again, no one can say that this dealer is better than that dealer because none of us has enough experience across the whole gamut of dealers to compare.

One thing is true however. If you own an RV, you need to accept that there likely will be times your rig will be in the shop - for repairs, or plain maintenance. It will be a hassle probably. Or you will need to hire a mobile technician. RV labor rates are outrageous, so plan on it unless you DIY. One great thing would be IF you could buy a unit by a manufacturer that allows warranty repairs be done at ANY RV repair center, not just dealerships. I have found that independent shops are much easier to deal with and do superior work. After the warranty period is up ("stand by their product") - typically a year, you can take your unit anywhere for service or repairs and not depend on dealers. Most of us have found independent shops we like. So essentially, you are only looking at trying to find good dealer service during the 1 year warranty period - not a long time. Sadly, you will likely have a few, or several, or many warranty issues as that's just part of owning an RV. But I don't think anyone can point to a brand or a dealer that you're looking for. Most everyone has horror stories - even with the MOST expensive Class A's out there.

I'd say go for it and get the unit you like best with a floor plan and features that meet your needs. Enjoy it, and take any hardships as they come.

Linda
 

Rob&Deryl

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Posts
1,082
Location
Eastern Massachusetts
Look at RVTrader and look at lots of units.
first most important thing is Floor plan. If the floor plan is not right for you, then you will hate it.
once you find some floor plans you like, you can create a search for units of those models.
We spent a long time before we found the model we wanted. Then we only searched for that model. Several months of looking got us tuned in to what various years were selling for. We made a list of what features each year had and decided on the must haves (for us, it meant 2016 or newer) and the would really like to have (2018 or newer). In the end we found an ‘18 at a great price and only 8hrs away.
 

SeilerBird

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Posts
15,561
Location
St Cloud Florida USA
The big problem is buying an RV is nothing like buying a car or a house. We cannot recommend brands or dealers. For example, in the 80s and early 90s Beaver made one of the highest rated RVs in the market. Then they went bankrupt and was sold to another company. They went bankrupt again and were not in production. Then in 2009 they were bought again and resurrected. So they are just one example of the way this industry goes. Service is overall horrid in the RV industry. I never take my RVs into a shop for any work. I hire a mobile mechanic to come to me and fit it at my site. It is much cheaper and more satisfactory since I can watch them work. If they have to order a part I don't lose my house for three months.

You really should be looking at an entry level RV because virtually no one gets it right the first time. Most all new RVers don't know what they want in an RV until they have a few months of camping experience. Then it is time to trade it in and if it was new you will take a massive hit. I suggest buying a gently used RV 5 to 15 years old or so. Something along the lines like this:


After a year or two of camping you will know exactly what you want and don't want and you will be in a much better position to buy your ultimate RV.
 

Ex-Calif

Well-known member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Posts
1,262
Based on your first post it seems you'd like a turnkey solution that meets 90% of your desires.

For me the research goes something like this.

1 - Look at some new class As, Class Cs and Super Cs - Definitely decide what you are after. If I don't narrow it down I will get stuck with too many variables.
2 - Pay attention to floor plan, floor plan, floor plan - Take the kids, sit inside them, imagine being stuck inside in the rain for 5 days... How hard is it to set up the kids for bed. When the kids are in bed do om and dad have "private" space or will they keep the kids up when they watch tv etc. Especially for whomever cooks, imagine making dinner, albeit there are compromises and short cuts to cooking in an RV.
3 - If I decide on a vehicle type then I research the chassis - that's the underlying vehicle type. Rsearch the chassis type and understand what else it's used for - Like the E450 chassis is used on a lot of commercial vehicles. Widely used and reliable chassis are what I am looking for.
4 - After that the RV builder doesn't much matter to me - except that it is really nice if they have been in business a long time and have a lot of coaches on the road. Winnebago, Itasca etc. would be desireable. But understand they all have warts.
5 - Once I narrow it down I read as many reviews as possible. I go to the "users" forums if any and read the kind of issues people have with them. Decide if I can live with that.

I could go on but my final advice is this. Especially if it is your first RV, I would not buy new. I would let someone else take the first hit on depreciation. Then if you did pick wrong and want something else you have a much better chance of getting out of it by selling it on and taking a smaller loss.

If you are rich and sure of what you want, I can see the compelling thought to buy brand new. Lots of people do that.

I don't. I never buy new. I also pay cash for any toys. But that's just my debt aversion.

Bottom line for you is probably a 3-5 year old super C. But that's just an opinion.
 
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