Tuesday, August 9, 2016

What Type And Class RV Will You Choose? - We've decided on a Class A - How To Narrow Your Search

Please feel free to post comments and questions at the bottom of this post. 
To subscribe, see our favorite RV Vlogs or add +1 see the right sidebar

The search begins

After weeks of painstaking decision making we decided we need a "Class A" RV.  Now to get down to the heart of it. We need to find that RV. You can use what you like from the following information, I am aware that this information will be specific to each potential owners requirements.

We have been to Springfield, Mo., Tulsa, Oklahoma and Fayetteville, Arkansas looking at Class A RV's. I have driven a used 40' footer and have educated myself on what to look for in a diesel rig. At this point I have a good feel for the engine and transmission and the type of chassis.

The engine, transmission and chassis

I've settled on search for a coach with at least a 330 hp ISC engine and a 6 speed Allison transmission on a (preferably) Freightliner chassis.

If you research the differences between and ISB and a ISC engines will find that an ISB engine can make 200-325 HP depending on the application while an ISC engine will make between 260-350 HP depending on the application.

The ISC is most often used in buses and motorhomes because they produce more torque while the ISB is most often used in Dodge Trucks (2500, 3500 etc).

Therefore my preference will be a ISC engine.

What year coach can we afford?

To meet our budget of $40-$50K we've necessarily narrowed the search down to 2003 - 2005 coaches.

What kind of mileage is on 2003-2005 coaches?

Mileage totals on these coaches vary widely. We've seen coaches that range from as low as 25,000 miles to as high as 175,000 miles. The differences are quite a lot. I am guessing that the lower mileage units were used by snowbirds who left their coaches stored in their winter locations while the higher mileage coaches were used by people like us who want to travel.

What am I looking for as far as systems maintenance in these coaches?

In either case there are pros and cons. For instance, if the coach set static for large periods of time I would be worried about engine seals, gaskets, tires and belts drying out an in need of replacement. I would also be concerned about batteries being at the end of their useful lives due to lack of proper maintenance.

On the flip side, the high mileage vehicle may have the same issues from constant use. However, batteries and coach systems may be in better working order due the necessity of daily use.

When inspecting the inside of the coach what are we looking for?

Lets go for the obvious first, we need to insure the coach is water tight and not water damaged

1. No sign of previous or present leaks - Inspect for wall or ceiling discoloration in the entire coach
2. Look for interior de-lamination of wall panels or ceilings throughout.
3. Walk the entire coach and make a point of trying to find a springy spot in the floors.
4. Make sure you look for springy floors at each slide out where the slide outs meets the stationary walls
5. Look for water damaged floors near showers, washer/dryers (hookup leaks)
6. Look inside the coach where you see vents on the outside of the coach. These frequently leak.

Inspect for the not so obvious

1. Look inside the coaches electrical breaker box. Insure that it is the amperage listed on the advertisement ie: 30 or 50 Amp. Also inspect for cobbled up wiring entering the box.
2. Insist that the sales person run the slides in and out (all of them). Look for misaligned slides (look at them slid in and slid out to insure there is a proper seal in both positions and that the slide isn't crooked in either position (think sliding the room out and hitting a tree or moving the RV and without retracting the slide).
3. Try the vent fans insure they work
4. Try the AC units insure they work.
5. Try the water pump insure it works
6. Try the heater and insure it works.

Inspect the coach to insure that the floor plan meets your personal criteria

Living in an RV is going to be less spacious. Make sure you try to hit about 75-80% of your must haves in a coach.

No compromise items

Leather furniture in good shape
Above average counter space
Refrigerator with ice maker
Stove with oven or microwave with convection oven
At least one recliner
Large bath (I'm large) Split bath a +
Opposing slides in the living space to create a feeling of spaciousness
NO FREAKING DINETTE table and chairs only.
No previous owners smells, no smoking, no pets, no mold, no musty smells.
Electric steps
Large basement storage
Good canvas on all awnings
New or newer tires all around

Flexible items

TV placed in a logical position instead of having to break your neck to watch it.
Carpet but we prefer hard surfaces
King bed but we would adjust to Queen
A dedicated space to work from (preferred for Martha)
If necessary a dinette will be accepted but torn out for replacement table and chairs
Older batteries if the price is right
Canvas can be old with UV damage to be replaced later
Older tires that are unchecked from UV

Our preferred Motor Coaches in order

1. SeeYa by Alpha (We've eliminated this RV from our list due to lack of manufacturers support)
2. Latitude by Winnebago
3. Journey by Winnebago
4. Ambassador by Holiday Rambler
5. Allegro by Tiffin

The above coaches meet our personal criteria for layout and amenities. Our search will continue with the above list as our targets.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are encouraged. Please let us know how we are doing.

Our most recent blog

"Stick Em Up" - Old Tucson Studio and Theme Park

High Chapparral Ranch Set Admittedly I'm old. How old? Let's just say I hold the patent on dirt. I grew up in the 50's whe...