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We've decided to stay on the road full time for a few more years. That will include a two-year swing out west. Part of that process will be getting a new (to us) RV. Since 2017 in a 37' fiver that is 16 years old; one year part time and the rest full time. It is reasonably solid, but maintenance is increasing and will likely get higher with longer trips. Carriage went out of business in 2011, so parts are getting harder to find. I do not relish the idea of sitting for weeks outside of Boise or Nogales, waiting for parts. We are also under the impression that a newish and somewhat smaller Class A will involve less work setting up and tearing down (auto leveling, power awnings, hoses on reels, etc) and still provide nice living space. We want to boondock some of the time so a generator or solar would be very helpful. My area of knowledge is mostly limited to what I have learned about fivers in the last few years. I am going to have lots of questions. Here is a start. I need to figure out what to to buy.

We want to stay under 35', not counting the toad. I am partial to diesel having towed with one since 2017. Budget is under 160k. The captain's and navigator's chairs should swivel (and recline?) so that the cab area is not dead space when stopped. A queen bed or bigger is a must. NO DINETTE is a high priority. Counter space in the kitchen that doesn't involve the need to cover the stove and sink to chop veggies would be nice. Tanks that will support more than a week of boondocking with reasonable water conservation are necessary.

We've been looking at the Tiffin Breeze 31 BR. If you have comments on that model, suggestions for other models or brands, questions or any other input, it is welcome. If you have ideas for boondocking (batteries, charging systems, etc) is is particularly welcome.

Wayne & Jinx
2017 F-350 diesel, dually
2006 Carriage Carri-Lite 36KSQ

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I have a couple of thoughts for you. We lived in a 36' motorhome for almost 12 years and we loved it.  The first is to spend time in anything you consider doing the pentaamine of your normal daily activities, including the shower and toilet. Have the wife do her meal preparation while you do the sort of things that you would typically do. Take a very long test drive and try and arrange to do so experiencing more than the typical routes most salesmen want you to. Driving a motorhome isn't difficult but it is different. Even better, get a friend who has a coach to let you drive his for a good distance. In general a motorhome will park more easily than any type of trailer, but there are those who prefer trailers so take the time to park and to back if you can. In general, smaller RVs also have smaller tanks and the reverse is also true so verify what you are considering. In place of a dinette, are you thinking of a table and chairs? A built-in generator is pretty common in motorhomes so that should be easy and very handy to have. Solar is improving and coming down in cost and is going to be much more convenient if you are at all serious about camping off grid for more than a few nights at a time. We used to often spend several days dry camping and use the generator but with fuel prices increasing that is getting to be more expensive, but the big advantage to the generator is the ability to use your air conditioner(s). With our coach we once were 4 nights with a/c running 24 hours a day. If you shop diesel coaches, be sure that it has a diesel generator if you expect to do that as propane generators are fairly common because they cost less but the propane tanks will not last for 4 days since most generators burn about 1/2 gallon of fuel per hour.

There are some major conveniences to a motorhome that is not available in any type of trailer such as the ease of use while traveling. We were once stopped in traffic for a major accident and so used the generator to microwave lunch while sitting stopped in traffic for about 2 hours. Many times if a sudden storm came up we would pull into the nearest parking lot and sit it out, watching TV or even spending the night if things took too long to clear up. 

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We had a 2010 Winnebago 34Y and loved the dinette with chairs and buffet option. Those chairs could be moved for guest seating when entertaining. We used our laptops at the table then moved them to the buffet during meals--very convenient.

I didn't find anything on the Tiffin description that said the driver/passenger seats swivel and I would want that for watching TV since the other seating would cause a crick in the neck. (I also didn't read every word so maybe that was listed somewhere.)

I would be concerned about the washer/dryer location in the Tiffin if you want that as there is little room between those and the bed for access. I like that there is plenty of room in front of the toilet for my Dave's long legs. I'm short so I would look at the height of the microwave; they tend to be placed higher in motorhomes than in 5th wheels. I also like the tank sizes in the Tiffin as they appears to be big enough to not prohibit regular use.

I would choose the grey/white paint scheme as black tends to collect heat requiring more use of air conditioning.

These are MY opinions so you are allowed to have different ones. :)

Linda

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I think I read that the bedroom slide didn't come out until 2017 so you'd probably have to go above your price range for that.  That may also be when the washer/dryer became available.

This may be sold but to give you an idea here's a 2012 for $140,000.  For full-timing keep in mind the amount of storage space available. (not much)  You're used to a 5th wheel's storage.

https://www.rvtrader.com/listing/2012-Tiffin+Motorhomes-ALLEGRO+BREEZE+32BR-5019761358

Here's an owner's forum that may help you:  https://www.google.com/search?q=breeze+31+br&x=0&y=0&sitesearch=irv2.com

Edited by 2gypsies
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2gypsies, What RV are you talking about that didn't have slides till 2017? My last RV a a 38N Bounder had 3 slides and one was in the bead room and it was 2003.

Jinx & Wayne, You are going to be full timing and have some things you are looking for. You said "The captain's and navigator's chairs should swivel (and recline?) so that the cab area is not dead space when stopped. A queen bed or bigger is a must. NO DINETTE is a high priority. Counter space in the kitchen that doesn't involve the need to cover the stove and sink to chop veggies would be nice. Tanks that will support more than a week of boondocking with reasonable water conservation are necessary."

I don't know  of a diesel pusher that the front seats don't pivot.

If you like the rest of the coach the dinette can be changed. I have a drop leaf table instead  of a dinette. If you don't want to do the work I know people who can do it.

You said "We want to stay under 35'" Why when you are full time? All  the things you are looking for are what you give up in a short coach. There are maney more used 38-40 foot coaches out there. Explain to me how 5' makes a big difference? You can't tell when you are driving it. When looking look at angle of wheel cut and wheel base they make more difference. 

Just so you know I have ben traveling in a RV full time and part time since before Y2K.

I was in all the lower 48 states more than 2 times (some many more than that), in my last 38' coach and never had a time I couldn't find a place to park. I have been to most of the National parks and a bunch of state parks. We upgraded to a 45' coach and last year was in 21 states (you only count a state the first time you enter) We stayed in 51 campgrounds. drove 11,600 miles. Just a fun fact. I was doing some research on the new to me 45' coach and discovered the wheel base is 6" shorter than the 38'. 

Some outher things to look for. I like a side radiator for ease of acess to the engine. I also like my generator on a slide out. I also like a tag axle coach for the stable ride/drive. Your wife would like a coach with a Oasis system for the unlimited hot water. 

Heare are a couple to look at.

 https://www.motorhomesoftexas.com/--xInventoryDetail?id=11230424

If you want power to get over the mountains this is 600 hp coach.

https://www.motorhomesoftexas.com/--xInventoryDetail?id=11406066

Next

https://www.pplmotorhomes.com/used-rvs-for-sale/diesel-motorhomes/2004-monaco-executive_rv-48778

If you get the chance I encourage you to drive a Newmar with "Comfort Drive" It automatically compensates for cross winds and passing traffic turbulence.

Let me know what you think.

Bill

 

 

 

 

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I have a 2015 Itasca (Winnebago) Elippse 42 QD, same as the Winnebago Tour. It's 42 feet, tag axel, Freightliner, Cummings 450HP, Allison transmission, Aqua Hot 450D. I have a king bed, capt chairs that swivel, residential refer, large kitchen counter, and pull out table and chairs, 1 and 1 1/2 bath.  Same floor plan as a Tiffin 45 LP. Prices for 2012 to 2015 models range in the $150,00]0 to $190,000 range.

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Thanks to all who have responded. I'm sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. We went the the Armadillo Races as the Swamp Cabbage festival on Saturday and were wiped out yesterday.

You've given us things to think about and consider. We will look at longer rigs and reconsider the dinette.

Wayne & Jinx
2017 F-350 diesel, dually
2006 Carriage Carri-Lite 36KSQ

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  • 2 weeks later...
3 hours ago, WILDEBILL308 said:

Looking for a update.

Sure thing! We've decided to look beyond the length limits we discussed. We will be more open minded about the dinette. We particularly like the 2004 Monaco you posted. We made a list of things to look for (tag axle, kitchen space, diesel, floorplan, etc.) Now Jinx is looking at RV's for models and years that she likes. She shows me an occasional picture or floor plan. Once her initial list is compiled we will go over them together, I will start researching those models, we will talk about them some more, and then we will start looking. She likes the culling process and her judgment is usually pretty sound. I expect we will have more questions to post here as that process evolves.

Right now we are getting ready to get on the road for the travel season. Both the truck and RV need some work and we are coordinating that. Travel begins at the end of this month. I will start my personal education on the care and feeding of Class A's at the Escapade.

Thank you for your help and to others for theirs. I will be back for more.

Your tag line triggered tickled me.. I once was called upon to get a cat down from a tree. Having read "Tom Sawyer Abroad" I was mindful of Tom's uncle's advice that "a person that started in to carry a cat home by the tail was gitting knowledge that was always going to be useful to him, and warn't ever going to grow dim or doubtful." What I learned initially was that welding gloves are several inches too short. Had I thought more about it beforehand I would have realized that the lack of cat skeletons in trees indicates that they are quite capable of getting down under their own power. That insight would have saved me from a large number of perforations that occurred when I became a ladder. Wisdom is the product of experience. Experience is the product of exercising poor judgment.

Wayne & Jinx
2017 F-350 diesel, dually
2006 Carriage Carri-Lite 36KSQ

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Keep an eye on the sites I linked to. Personally the best place to buy is NIRVC.

When you are looking at a RV don't just walk through. Stop sit down see how it feels, think how it would be doing the basic things. 

Let me know if you have any questions.

Bill

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9 hours ago, WILDEBILL308 said:

Keep an eye on the sites I linked to. Personally the best place to buy is NIRVC.

When you are looking at a RV don't just walk through. Stop sit down see how it feels, think how it would be doing the basic things. 

Unfortunately, these two themes things are incompatible.  That location is about a thousand miles away. While I could arrange to buy from them, doing my usual RV testing (get in the shower, "preparing" a meal, sitting and imagining, and other daily activities) is unlikely to be feasible.

Thank you. I will definitely keep you and others here in mind as this process wends its way to a new home.

Wayne & Jinx
2017 F-350 diesel, dually
2006 Carriage Carri-Lite 36KSQ

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50 minutes ago, Jinx & Wayne said:

I will definitely keep you and others here in mind as this process wends its way to a new home.

In my limited experience, there is no 1 best place to shop for an RV. I have not shopped the entire country and it has been 10 years since my last RV purchase, but I do and have observed the RV market fairly closely for many years and it would be a really dramatic change if there were 1 dealer who was clearly above all others. As I am most familiar with the TX market, there are a few who seem to have good reputations that are well earned with much longer track records than National Indoor has here. For example, both PPL and Motorhome Specialists have been mentioned on these forums repeatedly by members from outside the US as well as inside. If you happen to pass through the Ft Worth area I would also take a look at Vogt RV as I had excellent dealings with them, but sometime ago. 

Since you already own an RV and travel in it, my first advice would be to take your time and not let anyone's opinions or recommendations rush you into anything, which seems to already be the case. Having worked in a service organization that supported a commissioned sales system, I can tell you that the salesperson who never distorts the truth to make a sale is extremely rare, if they even exist. The commission system is designed to pressure those who have slow sales and to reward those with many sales with little regard for honesty and ethics. As part of the service department expected to cover the lies to customers, I have had that fight many times. Never trust a statement from salespeople unless you verify it's truth and if a promise, get it in writing and signed by the sales manager or above. 

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1 hour ago, Kirk W said:

Having worked in a service organization that supported a commissioned sales system, I can tell you that the salesperson who never distorts the truth to make a sale is extremely rare, if they even exist. The commission system is designed to pressure those who have slow sales and to reward those with many sales with little regard for honesty and ethics. As part of the service department expected to cover the lies to customers, I have had that fight many times. Never trust a statement from salespeople unless you verify it's truth and if a promise, get it in writing and signed by the sales manager or above. 

That is a lesson I learned many years ago buying cars. It was reinforced when we went looking for RV's starting in 2015. We looked at several dozens of RV's before buying this one in 2016. I was amazed at the foolishness some salespeople spouted. "No problem hauling this (16K+ lbs) RV with a F-250," is one statement that comes to mind. The Ford salesperson spouted the same nonsense - also on commission. I bought the truck and RV elsewhere. I would be happy to get recommendations for dealers in FL. My eldest child's recent experience with Lazydays did not inspire confidence in that organization. Of course, the other part of the equation is that you buy where they have the model you want - particularly when it is used

Wayne & Jinx
2017 F-350 diesel, dually
2006 Carriage Carri-Lite 36KSQ

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29 minutes ago, Jinx & Wayne said:

My eldest child's recent experience with Lazydays did not inspire confidence in that organization.

I have spoken with several people who were promised a particular used RV, usually claiming that it was a trade-in just arriving, then after the people send in a deposit for it they arrive to find that no such RV is on the lot but the salespeople do an awesome dance to convince you not to get your money back but to buy something that they do have on the lot. From the numbers that I have seen they are also very talented at massaging and moving numbers around to get more money than the customer thought that he was paying. They are very good at taking care of their boss and themselves! 

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My favorite trip to a dealer was when we got a young salesman who followed Dave and I around while we discussed the RVs we were seeing. He said he learned a lot from us that day. :)

Another favorite trip was when three people at a dealership refused our invitation to look inside our trade-in then they complained after the sale closed that we had modified our rig. Obviously, they already knew everything they needed to know about our trade-in--a mistake they complained would cost them $1700. I do not feel sorry for them.

Linda

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9 hours ago, Kirk W said:

but the salespeople do an awesome dance to convince you not to get your money back but to buy something that they do have on the lot. From the numbers that I have seen they are also very talented at massaging and moving numbers around to get more money than the customer thought that he was paying. They are very good at taking care of their boss and themselves! 

How true.  Our son-in-law makes a very good living doing just that for a car dealer.  He's also the guy who handles the financing for those who can't really afford the car.

When I order a truck from him, he takes bets with his underlings whether they can talk me into any "extras", like extended warranties.  He wins every time.

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It seems very rare but there are some sales people that are good and will offer upgrades or choice but not push you or try to fool and manipulate you. I even lean slightly toward one that is is willing to just say they don't know an answer but will find it out. That young one listening seems like he has promise.  

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