First motorhome advice needed

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Joined
Jan 1, 2021
Messages
1
I have been camping all my life, but have only owned trailers. For the last 6 months I have been looking to move to a Class A and have been back and forth with what to look at, what to stay away from and what would be the best choice. I know to stay away from Thor and Jayco, but I have not found clear data on others like, Winnebago, Fleetwood, Forest River or Coachman. My top choice would be a Tiffin or Newmar, however that means I will be in a 2014 or older. If I were to go with one of these other brands I could get into a 2016 or newer with models like the Winnebago Vista. The max length I am looking for would be 36', but that would only be to get a bath and a half. I would prefer to be under 34'.

Is there any reason to stay away from Winnebago, Fleetwood, Forest River or Coachman? Are some models okay and others are big NO's?

If looking at a Newmar Canyon star or Tiffin Breeze, what would be better? Other than diesel vs gas.

What is the benefit of 21" tires over 19"? This is something I keep seeing mentioned, but cannot find a decisive answer.

Another thing I have noticed is, it appears you can save 10-15% buying in Texas instead of Florida. Why is this?
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2019
Messages
1,159
Location
No Where In Particular
RV Year
2020
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Dutch Star 4369
RV Length
43’ 9”
TOW/TOAD
2016 Colorado
Fulltimer
Yes
I can’t answer all your questions but I start with brands. I think you will find overall quality better in Newmar and Tiffin. I would not be concerned that they might be older than what you can buy a Forest River, Winnie etc. Generally speaking larger tires will give you a better ride, diesel pusher will be a quieter ride.
Interesting what your finding reference TX vs FL, I’d be curious what others think.
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
3,622
Location
WA, MT or somewhere else!
RV Year
2018
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Mountain Aire 4047
RV Length
40'
TOW/TOAD
2020 Lincoln Nautilus or 2014 Honda CR-V
Welcome to RVF, @mhab11; glad to have you here with us. You question regarding motorhome brands is sure to bring out a variety of opinions. Here's my take.

First, ALL motorhomes will have issues; some minor and some major. It is just a fact of life. How the manufacturer deals with them is the key. The top-tier manufacturers do a pretty good job; the others not always so good.

Then, there is build quality. Much (but not all) of that is apparent if you look for it, just like in any other product. If you see things that look shoddy, you know the workmanship in other areas is probably similar.

As for older vs newer, I would much prefer a 2014 Newmar or Tiffin over a 2016+ any other brand. The overall product is simply better in my view.

Bigger tires carry more weight and ride smoother. For that reason, they are probably safer as well. And, diesel usually provides better pulling power in the mountains than gas, with significantly less engine noise.

Good luck in your search

TJ
 
Joined
Dec 27, 2019
Messages
654
Location
Fredericksburg, VA
RV Year
2021
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
DSDP 4326
RV Length
43
Of the brands you mention (other than Newmar and Tiffin), I would prefer a Winnebago. Every manufacturer has its quality issues to varying degrees. You should also be looking at how customers are treated after the sale. This is huge in the business of owning motorhomes. There are companies out there that flat out don’t care and don’t do a whole lot to hide that fact, and others that will. Personally, I would stay away from anything manufactured under the REV umbrella. When you have a couple of hours to kill, check out the youtube channel “Irritated Traveler”. They went thru two American Coach (supposedly flagship) motorhomes in the span of a few months and were treated like absolute dung by REV.

Winnebago’s big sell is that they manufacture and fabricate all of their own parts, from chassis to house, thereby providing more control on parts quality. That should be true, but I have seen instances where they did not apply those parts correctly, resulting in unnecessary grief for owners who ended up with leaking roofs, etc. But on the whole, I would not be afraid of a Winnie.

Just my humble opinions and worth what you paid for them.
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2020
Messages
1,659
Location
AZ
RV Year
1983
RV Make
Alpinelite
RV Length
26'
TOW/TOAD
2016 Ram 1500
Fulltimer
Yes
I have been camping all my life, but have only owned trailers. For the last 6 months I have been looking to move to a Class A and have been back and forth with what to look at, what to stay away from and what would be the best choice. I know to stay away from Thor and Jayco, but I have not found clear data on others like, Winnebago, Fleetwood, Forest River or Coachman. My top choice would be a Tiffin or Newmar, however that means I will be in a 2014 or older. If I were to go with one of these other brands I could get into a 2016 or newer with models like the Winnebago Vista. The max length I am looking for would be 36', but that would only be to get a bath and a half. I would prefer to be under 34'.

Is there any reason to stay away from Winnebago, Fleetwood, Forest River or Coachman? Are some models okay and others are big NO's?

If looking at a Newmar Canyon star or Tiffin Breeze, what would be better? Other than diesel vs gas.

What is the benefit of 21" tires over 19"? This is something I keep seeing mentioned, but cannot find a decisive answer.

Another thing I have noticed is, it appears you can save 10-15% buying in Texas instead of Florida. Why is this?
19.5 tires are RV tires of the past. Many tire suppliers like Discount tire will not mount them. Further Discount has to order them for you to have you mount them elsewhere.
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2021
Messages
2
I wouldn’t get so hung up on brand since there are really only three company’s left in the class A business. Look at maintenance history, condition, floor plan etc. The gas vs diesel question is the hardest one and comes down to budget. IMO
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2020
Messages
31
Location
Florida
RV Year
2019
RV Make
Thor
RV Model
Outlaw 38MB
RV Length
39' 6"
Fulltimer
No
I have owned two Class A's which were purchased new at dealerships. Brand reputation, manufacturer warranty, recall and maintenance history, and dealership reputation all played a part in my decision as did whether to buy new or used, gas or diesel, length of chassis, etc. I required a toy hauler, so at the time the field of manufacturers to choose from was Newmar or Thor. In addition to the fine recommendations given in the previous replies I wanted to share some other things that I have learned along the way. 1) It benefited me to purchase from a dealer close to home or where I stored the vehicle if it needed to go in for service. If you buy it there you stand a chance of getting better service. Also, you can keep the miles down going back and forth. 2) Avoid sacrificing on floorplan if you can help it. One of the leading reasons why folks grow unhappy with their RV soon after a purchase is, they get out in it only to find that they are lacking something that they really would like or could use, and they do not have it. 3) Whether buying used or new in my opinion it is sensible to spend the extra money on additional service contracts over and above the manufacturer warranty and the same goes for road hazard coverages. 4) Drivability is key. If it does not feel right when you are driving it, you may end up spending a lot of money to meet your expectations after the sale. Make sure to conduct a thorough test drive on both interstate and secondary roads. Even some parking maneuvers in an open lot. And do not forget to check noise levels while driving.

My latest new Thor Class A acquisition does not necessarily have the greatest brand reputation. By the same token I read stories from owners of alternate brands with some 4 or 5 times the cost of mine that were absolute lemons. I knew what I wanted and what I was getting into so I prepared myself accordingly by making sure to do a very, very through PDI and to budget for any upgrades that I felt necessary to accomplish after I took her home. After 3 months in service at different intervals to get the bugs out under warranty and after $6,000 in chassis and engine upgrades of my choice I have what I would consider a reliable coach that serves my purposes well. It was still less expensive in the long run and in my opinion more unique than the competitors offering. Good luck in your search and have fun shopping for your next RV!
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2020
Messages
22
Location
Brandon, Florida
RV Year
2016
RV Make
Winnebago
RV Model
Adventurer 37F
RV Length
38'
TOW/TOAD
2018 Ford Explorer Platinum 4x4
Fulltimer
No
I have owned a Forest River Georgetown and currently a Winnebago Adventurer 37F (bath and a half as you want!). I believe the quality of the Winnebago to be much better than the Georgetown I traded. The Winnebago just gives me the feeling it is better built! Having said that, as a previous poster pointed out, every coach is going to have some kind of problem. I strongly advise you to get a good extended warranty repair policy to cover everything in the coach. I did on both coaches I have owned, and have used the extended warranty to get things repaired/replaced.
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2020
Messages
10
I have an '07 Fleetwood Bounder. I tell people it's an 07 and they think it's new.
I know it's considered an "entry-level" DP coach, but I think it's built really well.
When we were looking at DPs we were at PPL in Houston, it was pouring down rain. We went inside a bunch of DPs, this Bounder was the ONLY one that was wasn't leaking water around something, be it the windshield, a/c, or anything else. EVERY one of the others, ie New Mars, Winnies, you name it was leaking somewhere. I'm VERY satisfied with the Fleetwood. The woodwork in it is unbelievable, it's beautiful........and real.
I've done all the maintenance on it myself. Working under the bed, in the closet, inside the cabinets and such, the quality of workmanship is really good. As well as the quality of the materials used by the factory/builder.
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2020
Messages
61
Location
Vero Beach, FL
RV Year
2021
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40"
TOW/TOAD
2018 Jeep Wrangler Sahara
Fulltimer
No
Brand is important. Our first MC was a 2005 Winnebago Adventurer 33V. Had for 5 years & great memories, Did we have problems - of course, but our dealer and Winnebago was quick to correct. Fast forward 15 years and we just got back into the RV world with a 2021 Newmar Ventana 4037. So far (knock on wood) only small issues. Again dealer and mfg. are giving great support. Interesting sort of full circle as Winnebago now owns Newmar.

Good luck!
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2020
Messages
1,370
Location
Ringgold, GA.
RV Year
2006
RV Make
Holiday Rambler
RV Model
Ambassador
RV Length
40'
TOW/TOAD
2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee
I have an '07 Fleetwood Bounder. I tell people it's an 07 and they think it's new.
I know it's considered an "entry-level" DP coach, but I think it's built really well.
When we were looking at DPs we were at PPL in Houston, it was pouring down rain. We went inside a bunch of DPs, this Bounder was the ONLY one that was wasn't leaking water around something, be it the windshield, a/c, or anything else. EVERY one of the others, ie New Mars, Winnies, you name it was leaking somewhere. I'm VERY satisfied with the Fleetwood. The woodwork in it is unbelievable, it's beautiful........and real.
I've done all the maintenance on it myself. Working under the bed, in the closet, inside the cabinets and such, the quality of workmanship is really good. As well as the quality of the materials used by the factory/builder.
Our 2006 Holiday Rambler Ambassador is a well built coach as well. The wood is beautiful, the cabinets don't squeak or rattle, nothing leaks. We've not had anything major happen except one of the A/C units went out. I decided to replace both units and upgrade to 15k btu units with the digital thermostat. Of course the off white carpet started looking rough but that's not a brand specific issue. I'm very happy with our coach. Holiday Rambler and Fleetwood are now built by REV so I have no idea what the quality is like but I've looked in some new units and really like them a lot.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2021
Messages
5
Location
White City Oregon
RV Year
2012
RV Make
Itaska
RV Model
Sunstar
RV Length
30
TOW/TOAD
Xyerra
Fulltimer
No
We went with an Itaska Sunstar 2012 30’ (Winnebago) and have had very few problems for our first motor home. It fits our needs perfectly and has been a very reliable unit. I think that floor plan should be the first priority and after that decide how much you are going to use the coach. If you aren’t traveling 20-30k miles a year, diesel becomes less of a concern other than torque on the hills.
 
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