Picking a brand of motorhome

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westminster

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I am looking to buy a new gas class A motorhome.
I probably want to spend 80k or so.
From all the reading I have done here, there does not seem to be a brand that you can drive off the lot and expect perfection. I have heard many different opinions on the Thor Hurricane. The local dealer has a great reputation for service, which I value. The floorplan is nice. The fit and finish seem better than some of the other comparably priced units.
My goal is to keep this motorhome at least 10 years. It will see 5k-8k mileage a year as a vacation unit.
Am I OK with this brand?
Do certain brands age any better?
Or am I understanding that the support from the dealer is actually more important than the brand?
I am also considering a Georgie Boy Pursuit or Landau
I should tell you that I am 38, happily married, and have 4 kids from 4-14. We have truly taken to the rv lifestyle, but with the children most trips will be 4 weeks max.
Currently own a 93 Tioga 28f and am looking to upgrade.
Wisdom please...
 

Ron

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I have not heard much good about Thor products.  After hearing one of our members experience recently just trying to test drive one I cannot give them any kind of favoerable recommendation.  IMHO it would probably be best to walk away and look at a Fleetwood, Newmar, Monaco, or some other manufacturers products.
 

Smoky

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Like Ron, I have heard bad things about Thor products in general, and what is worse had personal bad experiences driving the Thor Mandalay.

Which brings me to my main advice.

Go to as many shows as you can, as many dealers as you can, and test drive as many different coaches as you can.

I think it is a big mistake to start out looking at a single brand or manufacturer.  I think it is a smart move to have no opinion at all, at the beginning, and just look at as many coaches as you can and test drive as many as you can.  After a while it will become obvious that certain ones merit a second look.  It simply amazes me how many people do not approach such a major purchase in this fashion.  I have even seen people go to one show and drive a motorhome home. :eek:

I spent 2 years researching my first motorhome.  A little excessive perhaps, but I am glad I was not in a rush.  Many of my early thoughts turned out to be terrible.

SKP 89237  FMCA F362184
2005 Newmar Kountry Star 3910 Pusher
Ford Taurus Wagon Toad
Fulltiming out of Kalispell MT
Parked in Granite Hills CG, Gettysburg PA

Smoky - currently parked at Granite Hills CG, Gettysburg PA and enjoying the hell out of the 4th week of fulltiming.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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In the $80K range you are looking at very low end new Class A motorhomes, so construction and materials are going to be on the "light" side. Not having heard much of any good about Thor's products, I would probably lean more toward the Georgie Boy line if they have something suitable for your family. Fleetwood also has some decent coaches in that price range - check their web site for the brand names.

You will get a lot more value for your money in a used motohome and someone else will have fought through the teething problems.  If you can find a late model used rig that meets your floor plan needs, I would recommend that alternative over a low-end used model. There are many excellent used RVs available because people frequently trade up or for different floor plans, more slides, etc.

The most inhibiting factor you face in a used rig will be finding one that sleeps your whole gang. Most Class A's are designed to sleep only 2-4 people.  Large Class C's are more often equipped with more bunk space and they run in the same price range.
 

John From Detroit

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Ron said:
I have not heard much good about Thor products.  After hearing one of our members experience recently just trying to test drive one I cannot give them any kind of favoerable recommendation.  IMHO it would probably be best to walk away and look at a Fleetwood, Newmar, Monaco, or some other manufacturers products.

Just to let you know Ron, On my DAMON, which I understand is not a THOR product, I have the following "Complaints" (In quots because they are not really worthy of a complaint)

1: Steering wheel just plain the wrong size: Solution: 4 sale, one 18" DELUX leather wrapped Steering wheel for a WORKHORSE
    Asking 125 plus shipping,  Workhorse sells for 347

2: Assorted screws come loose (Kind of an expected thing with most any motor home I suspect)

3: Television (Specfically DVD) viewing not as per manual,,, Solution, not worth correcting, just watch chan 3/4 instead of AV-in

4: I have yet to find the spare tire, I don't think there is one.. This one I may complain about, I think there should be a spare

Other issues with the rig are not Damon or Thor's fault, things like a very intermettent problem with both the microwave and hot water heaters,  The microwave problem can be ignored and the hot water heater fixes itself after 20 minutes of AC power (Flame sensor seems a bit senestive to weather and the like) I wil have these looked at under warranty.

All in all, I'm very happy with it
 

Ron

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If you only have 4 complaints then you are doing very well.  We don't have a spare tire either and many of the newer coaches do not come with one.  Besides will you be carring the tools needed to change a tire including the torque wrench capable of 450 FT lbs and an impact wrence to get the lug nuts off.  Where would you store a spare tire?


From what I have heard about THor products yours is obviously not one. ;D
 

BernieD

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John In Detroit said:
Just to let you know Ron, On my DAMON, which I understand is not a THOR product, I have the following "Complaints" (In quots because they are not really worthy of a complaint)
I'm very happy with it

John

Our first coach was a Damon and we were very happy with it and have followed the brand from afar. It is my understanding that Thor did buy the company.
 

Ron

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BernieD said:
John

Our first coach was a Damon and we were very happy with it and have followed the brand from afar. It is my understanding that Thor did buy the company.

If Thor bought Damon then Damon qulity may just go down hill.
 

John From Detroit

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Ron said:
If you only have 4 complaints then you are doing very well.? We don't have a spare tire either and many of the newer coaches do not come with one.? Besides will you be carring the tools needed to change a tire including the torque wrench capable of 450 FT lbs and an impact wrence to get the lug nuts off.? Where would you store a spare tire?


From what I have heard about THor products yours is obviously not one. ;D

I meant to say I understood Damon was NOW a Thor (i typed NOT)

and yes, when I go full time a torque wrench up to the job will be in one of the compartments. However that's not why I'm going to have it (I already own the wrench, I just can not find it this week)

As for a spare... They do warn that I should not try to change it myself due to the weight of the tires

And though I have changed tires on trucks in the past... I do agree.  Still would be nice to have a spare for the professional to slap on should it be needed.

Thankfully.. I do have a couple of 1-800 numbers lying about... and two or three of them are nationwide truck tire mobile service numbers
 

Smoky

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Westminster:

By Labor day we will be likely leaving Montana and heading down the west coast and then on to Arizona.  We leave Granite Hills in PA on Thursday and begin heading west.

John:

In all the coaches I looked at over the last two years I never saw a single one with a spare tire.  It would be most unusual for a class A to provide one as standard, I think.  To carry a spare or not to carry one?  That question has been debated long and hard on many RV forums.  It is a tough call with opinions pretty much split down the middle.  I opted for the side that relies on good insurance rather than take up much needed space and weight with a spare.  I guess a lot of my opinion has been based on my full timing needs.  Space and weight are so precious and I fear I am already overloaded without a spare.

Smoky - currently parked at Granite Hills CG, Gettysburg PA and enjoying the hell out of the 4th week of fulltiming.
 

westminster

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Jul 18, 2005
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I found a 99 Holiday Rambler Endeavor Diesel 34wds at Endless Summer RV in Frederick Maryland and bought it.
I took everyone's advice and bought used. It had 25,000 miles on it and cost me 66k. I bought it last September. Everyone is right that you can get a great deal if you buy a slightly used motorhome.
Thanks for asking.
 

Tom

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Congratulations. Holiday Rambler is a good coach, now under Monaco ownership and supported by Monaco.
 

Smoky

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Excellent choice.  You bought just a mile or so south of my dealer "Beckley's".  Number two on our short list was the Endeavor.  Actually we were looking at the Beaver Santiam which is identical to the Endeavor and also to the Monaco Diplomat.  All three coaches are identical in every way, except for cosmetics.  And the Diplomat is the largest selling Monaco pusher.  Obviously there is a reason these coaches are so popular.  Enjoy!
 

JerArdra

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Westminster,

The following will help you decide which features you may want in your new MH.  The features you choose may or may not eliminate a manufacturer.

Click the Library button above, select Checklists, then click on Motorhome Delivery Checklist.

JerryF
 

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