Jump to content

Favorite RV brands and questions to ask.


Soloqueen

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone.For the past few months I have been in California renting an apartment. I am trying to find an RV to move out here. I have a job I love so I won't be moving much at all. There is an option of a 5th wheel but it is very far away and at the moment I only have a jeep and an old 76 bronco. So I am going to look at used RVs this weekend. I would appreciate your response to a few questions. (1) what are your favorite brands of RV and why? (2) What are some things I need to look at when I view an RV? (3). What are some questions I need to ask the dealer? I really need to land on my feet with this. I prefer quality over fancy but will take both. I have a very small budget to start with .Thank you so much for any help you can give. I will need to make a decision by the end of July.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

(1) what are your favorite brands of RV and why?

This is a very subjective question and impossible to give a good response with this limited amount of information. Based upon what you have said thus far, I would gather that by "RV" you actually mean only those which are not motorized? That narrows it down slightly but even then there are fifth wheel trailers, travel trailers, and several other types of RV which I doubt that you are considering. Since you also state that you have no truck, is it really practical to consider any fifth wheel? Since you state that you have a very small budget, will that budget allow you to buy the RV and something to tow that RV with, since neither of your present vehicles have the ability to tow anything as heavy as most RVs that are large enough for most people to live in all of the time? We recently purchased a 2003, diesel truck that is capable of towing most trailers which are likely to fall into your budget limits and it also has low mileage for a diesel of that age, with only 99,000 miles at purchase and we have about $15,000 invested in that purchase. Does your budget allow you to buy the tow truck and a reasonably sized, age, and quality trailer as well? I'm wondering if you are ready for the expenses that will be required and concerned that you don't realize just what it will cost? Let me suggest that you shop both trucks and RVs for a time, just making note of what each of them will cost in order to prepare a viable budget.

 

As to brands, there are actually many manufacturers who build both high quality units and cheap ones since every price range has it's market. In order to live for a very long time in an RV without it falling apart, you will need to look at the higher end models from the various manufacturers. The Montana line is one which has proven to be popular for giving a reasonably good quality and a moderate price. The Mobile Suites is toward the highest side in terms of quality but it is also very expensive. It is also important to note that the higher quality units also weigh much more than the lowest price units because quality units are heavy.

 

 

(2) What are some things I need to look at when I view an RV?

 

You should look at everything. To do a proper RV inspection will take you several hours but even a superficial one should require a minimum of an hour. You need to carefully examine things for any signs of leaks in roof or plumbing. Check the upholstery for signs of wear, Do all appliances work? Get yourself an inspection guide and use it carefully.(3). What are some questions I need to ask the dealer? I really need to land on my feet with this. I prefer quality over fancy but will take both. I have a very small budget to start with .Thank you so much for any help you can give. I will need to make a decision by the end of July.

 

 

(3). What are some questions I need to ask the dealer? I really need to land on my feet with this. I prefer quality over fancy but will take both. I have a very small budget to start with .Thank you so much for any help you can give. I will need to make a decision by the end of July.

What I believe that you need is someone to help you. It is very dangerous to buy any used RV without the advice of an experienced RV owner and even better is to have a professional check it over for you. You could hire a mobile RV tech to check any that you think you may want, but that will cost you several hundred dollars for each such inspection. I will caution you that used RVs are sold "as is" and that means that if it should fail or fall apart, you will have no recourse but to buy another.

 

You are wise to begin your research well before you plan to actually buy, My best suggestion is that you spend a lot of time looking at both used RVs and used tow vehicles just to educate yourself about both and then return to ask more questions. I'm sure that your request will get some better suggestions of brands and models than I could give because I have not been in the market place for a couple of years. Wishing you the best of success!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Darn near anything can be fixed on an RV of any type. But leaks from the roof can destroy even the best if not repaired quickly. Water finds it's way to places you'd never expect a long way from the leak itself, BAD JUJU ! And considering where you are & the recent rain, watch for units that were partially submerged, running gear ruined.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you do not intend to move the unit or travel consider a park model. These are stationary living units in RV parks. Find local RV parks in the area you want to live and contact the park and ask if they have any used park models for sale. The inspection process is pretty much the same except you need

not be concerned about suspension system. You need to hire a qualified RV inspector

because you are not familiar with RVs and DO NOT TRUST what the RV salesperson tells

you, their job is to only sell and not help you purchase what you need. Greg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will you have hookups available in the long term stay options? What about the sewer/grey water dumps. Your tanks will only hold a few days worth of waste. I think your best option is as someone said. Find a park that has park model (stationary) trailers/rvs and rent or buy one already established at it's location. Inspect for water damage from the roof which mean inside closets, cabinets and corners of the floors/walls. Flooring in front of sinks, shower , toilets. Make sure all appliances work. Test the furnace and A/C by running them. Do you get heat, cold air. Kind of like you are looking at a house.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will you have hookups available in the long term stay options? What about the sewer/grey water dumps. Your tanks will only hold a few days worth of waste. I think your best option is as someone said. Find a park that has park model (stationary) trailers/rvs and rent or buy one already established at it's location. Inspect for water damage from the roof which mean inside closets, cabinets and corners of the floors/walls. Flooring in front of sinks, shower , toilets. Make sure all appliances work. Test the furnace and A/C by running them. Do you get heat, cold air. Kind of like you are looking at a house.

 

The above would be my recommendations. In addition, I've heard it's difficult in Calif to stay permanently in RV park so that should be your first inquiry. You don't necessarily need a truck - you could have it hauled there if you won't be traveling with it.

 

Finding a Park Model or mobile home already on-site would be an excellent choice rather than buying a RV if not traveling.

 

Where will you be in California? Cold winters? Hot summer? These will be added costs to you in terms of propane and electric. Dual pane windows would help a lot.

 

Water leaks will be the main thing to check. If you see any evidence - no matter how small - pass it up. Leaks are hard to trace and could be an ongoing problem. Look for any discoloration inside at the ceiling/wall seams. Windows and slides can also present leaks so check under and around them down to the floor. Also carpet discoloration. Get up on the roof and check caulking and roof condition.

 

Definitely test out all systems. Your plan could work very well but it's going to take a lot of work to find the right one, especially while you're working. Knowing another RVers would help greatly. Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a couple of options on the long term stays.r

You may want to check with the mobile/manufactured home parks as some of them allow living in an RV and usually have better rental rates. While some RV parks are not allowed to let people live there all year, an RV park would. You might even find an RV or park model already on site that is for sale. If you buy an RV not in a park you will have expenses to get it moved to a park and also any time that you wish to change parks. Most parks that do have permanent residents will have some RVs for sale. Ask in the office of these parks and they might be helpful to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am trying to find an RV to move out here.

I have a job I love so I won't be moving much at all.

I will need to make a decision by the end of July.

You have a job you love, so won't be moving for a while? OR, does this mean "you won't be moving from CA?"

You want to find an RV to move out here, OR do you mean you "want to find an RV to live in while you are out here?

You have to make a decision by July? Will this decision determine the type of RV you should get?

 

As you can see from the various responses you received, it might help us if we knew a little more about you future plans, for what your plans are after July could determine the type of RV you get: pull trailer, 5th wheel, motorhome (A, B or C). Of course we don't know if you even need a motorhome? maybe you need one which will stay parked for a long time. Are you planning on going on-the-road in the near future, in 2 to 5 years?

 

I applaud your wanting to do adequate research. But what kind of research do you need to do? For different types of RVs have different features you need to be aware of. If you get a park model, pull-trailer or 5th which will be parked for a year and rarely moved, then the age of your tires is not as important, where as if you get a motorhome the age of your tires is VERY important, for when they are 5-7 years you need to consider getting new ones IMHO (I know the age factor is debatable).

 

You might also google the various subjects you want to learn about: buying an rv, inspecting an rv, rv checklists, dating tires, rv delamination, if getting a motorhome, engine size can be important, etc. It seems you are doing exactly what you need to discover what you end up with.

 

I might even suggest you go to local RV parks (not mobile home parks) and walk around talking to people, letting them know what you are wanting to do. You will receive more love, advise, and suggestions than you can possibly handle. Most will invite you to look at their rig, so you will be able to more easily discover what type and size you want.

 

I might suggest you go to the Escapees Escapades in Tucson this March, where you will get a dirth of info on the RV world, and meet new friends.

 

Below are a few sites you might want to look at. In your research you will find many more links offering valuable information.

http://www.rvingwomen.org/

https://glrvw.wordpress.com/

http://www.rvingwomen.com/

http://rvsingles.org/

 

 

http://www.livingthervdream.com/

Good Sam Singles Full Timers RVers

http://www.everything-about-rving.com/

http://changingears.com/ (for various checklists)

https://rv.org/

search for rv material on youtube

 

Keep posting your progress, as we are all interested in people entering the RV world.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow! Great insight Dan. This is the scoop. I moved from Arkansas to California after a divorce to heal. My plan was to stay no longer than a year. I am renting an apartment from friends but do not want to take advantage and I do well on my own. I found a job I truly love here in California. I will never sell my home in Arkansas as I will retire there some day. I would like to stay here for about two years at least. I have not found any mobile home parks that I favored. I have however found a couple of long term rv I like. There is a 5th wheel in Arkansas that I have the option of buying. But there is the cost involved in moving. That is why I turned to looking into options here. I would keep it in one spot for quite a long time but the option of picking up for a weekend to week long stay somewhere new in the area interests me as well. Good point on the tires I had already planned on that expense. Thanks again guys

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Soloqueen - Some great responses, and plenty of suggested reading material. Unless your in a rush for some other reason, go slow and steady on this decisions. (You commented about landing on your feet...).

 

You like this job, great, but do you see yourself moving around over the next few years? Or wanting to get away for a weekend or week or two vacation in tis unit? If the answer is no, then great idea to look for a park model. And if you are not 100% positive that you'll remain in this area longer term, then renting vs owning would be my suggestion too.

 

If you do feel you will want to use whatever you end up with for get aways, then dig deeper into the research of RV's. I agree with the advise that you do not need a truck to own a trailer or fiver. Many companies will haul you wherever you want to go. So if you relocate once every few years, that would be a great solution, except for the weekend getaways. One thing funny about motorized vehicles, is the old saying 'Use them or lose them!'. Say a Class A, getting them out and driving them for an hour or so every 6-8 weeks, keeps them happy. This includes running the generator too. You have motorized insurance costs, vs a trailer or fiver has less insurance expense. (But then if you get a truck to tow them, that sort of offsets this savings.)

 

You ask for brands. For full time living in a motorized RV, and you mentioned budget as a factor, I like gas powered Class A's. In California, you in the state that built/builds two usually considered petty decent Class A's. National (Dolphin, Tropical, SurfSide, others. and Rexhall - those are brands that I liked when looking at Class A's. Probably Fleetwood (Flair/Bounder/Southwind/Pace Arrow) and Winnebago (Too many over the years for me to remember them all:)!) will have a higher volume of used units, because they sold more units. Monaco/Newmar/Tiffen/Others all also made various levels of gas Class A's.

 

In either case. I'd suggest picking your budget first. Leave a good size 'contingency' bucket in this budget for things that need attention when you get it, and or may pop-up. Then look for private owners. Craigslist and Search Tempest can be a good source, and of course RV Trader and others. (Don't forget to watch this boards for sale area too...). Look for a well cared for, and well documented, older Class A that fits your budget range. (If you say your budget is $25K for purchase, then look at say $35K and under advertised units. As private sellers do sometimes like their RV's more then they should:)! Reserve some funds, and have it inspected by an Independent Inspector - to give you a punch list of the health of the unit.

 

I'd personally only go to an RV Lot, if I had someone with me that really knew RV's well.

 

I'll stop here, and wish you the best. Keep coming back and asking more specifics as this plays out of you:)!

Smitty

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I noticed that you have stated "Airstream" in your profile as your RV. You need to know that they are the most expensive RV for the size that I know of and they have the least storage. Even used they tend to sell very high priced.

 

I'm also wondering if you will be retiring in two years, or finding some other means of income? Will you need to buy health insurance or will you have some from another source or be eligible for Medicare? Those are very important factors in setting a budget. You should take some time to study the various RV choices available and even though you may not buy new, you could learn a great deal by spending time at an RV show because you will be able to see so many types and brands in a short time and get a real feel for what you like and do not like, as well as what is available in RVs. Once you look at a few you can come back with the manufacturers and models that looked good to you and we can give you some information about them. If you have never been to an RV show you probably don't realize just how diverse the choices are.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...