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Old 10-24-2020, 09:00 AM   #21
Winnebago Owner
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: St Louis , Mo.
Posts: 56
Donít give up your dream

I agree with everything John said.
I would emphasize these points:
1. Research
3. Rent and Rent again
3.Buy Used
4. Take short trips first
5. Donít drive more than 200 miles/ day, stop every 2 hrs. and camp at least 2 nights at one place. (Donít stress out)

Having a RV is not to save money. The experience of freedom, travel, and the beautiful vast American landscapes, the amazing parks and the natural beauty is priceless. You canít get that experience in any hotels or resorts.
It is a hobby like any hobbies you have to enjoy it and enjoy learning the nitty gritty as time goes on. You will learn how to handle the issues on every trip and about how to use your RV. You will enjoy the RV experience more and more each year.
We have a 2011 VP for 6 years and thatís my recommendations to first buyers/users.
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Old 10-26-2020, 07:56 AM   #22
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Location: Western North Carolina
Posts: 28
When my friends ask about buying a an rv I tell them to first dig a big hole and throw a bunch of money into it. That's what owning an rv is like.

I wholly agree that if you only vacation a few times a year or only take short trips or weekend trips you will come out much better by staying in a hotel or cabin etc. I have explained this to my wife numerous times and even done the math for her. However, the response I always get is "but it's my stuff".

As a side note the cost of a pull behind is a lot cheaper. Everything from initial cost to maintenance is less. A motorhome is a much more complicated beast.
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Old 10-26-2020, 09:30 AM   #23
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Pflugerville/Austin, Tx
Posts: 7,838
Originally Posted by TJFogelberg View Post
Investors - pay attention:

Buy hotel stocks and short WBO.

Just kidding of course, for many the decision to buy an RV has little to do with spreadsheets and thoughtful analysis. Nonetheless, there is lots of truth in the post.
This is an example of what we have found on RV!!!
Man, has the world changed since this post in 2019? Before the total screwup on the virus, hotel stocks were hot, now the RV industry can't build them fast enough and hotels are just trying to get by and hoping to last a few years until we begin to get things back in order.
All of that brings up what we have found over the years. There is no one firm answer for an RV that fits for all the life changes many of us will go through!
We started with one of the little "canned ham" tow behind trailers when first married and with two kids, moved to a popup tent camper for more space for three kids, A truck camper when the kids went to college for ease of moving, back to a big bus when we found lots more time to go long term, Sole it when we got tired of going places and finding not enough interest to get out and look, and now back to shorter motorhome for better choice in what we like for campgrounds!
My advice is to go low and slow on buying what you think you want, don't pay new, both for price and letting somebody else figure out the "new car" bugs and be ready for change. Life is not a stable thing!
Why no RV year, make and floorplan on MY signature as we suggest for others?
I currently DO NOT have one!
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Old 10-26-2020, 01:03 PM   #24
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Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 2
I found the replies and advice interesting and helpful in just this thread. My wife and I have been considering an RV for probably 10 years. After 5 years of retirement and the loss of our beloved dog in June who needed much care, we are ready to get out of the house.

We considered trailers, but I am not sure I want to tow one (22 feet would be my max) now. We like the Winnebago Vita with a slide out. But, The more I read about maintenance and problems, I am growing weary. The closest dealer is at least 4 hours away.

My body is not as flexible as it was while keeping my 1978 MGB running a few years ago (sold it as it was it was getting difficult to get in and out). Thus, I'm not sure I can do the maintenance.

I'll keep reading, researching, and thinking as there is nothing else to do!


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Old 11-07-2020, 03:03 PM   #25
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: California
Posts: 470
I had a 16 foot travel trailer that I pulled with a half-ton pickup and then a slide-in camper with no bathroom and no fridge, also on a half-ton pickup, and then a full size slide-in with a fridge, wet bath, LPG furnace, and fresh, gray, and black tanks and had it on a 1-ton 4WD diesel pickup. Now we have bought a new Class C Navion on a Mercedes Sprinter chassis.

Friends have gone from motorhomes to 5th wheel trailers to smaller motorhomes or to small travel trailers. Some stayed with the same RV for years and others made changes after only a couple years or less. As their needs changed they changed RV rigs.

One thing I have recommended but that people nearly always ignore is to go to RV parks and campgrounds and look at what people are using and ask them what they used before and if they are happy and if so why with regard to their RV and if they have plans on making a change in the near future and if so to what. It provides a great deal of information about the actual use of the RV's as compared to what one is going to learn from a sales person or a brochure.

With our purchase of the Navion in October I first became aware that a 2020 RV is going to be on a 2019 chassis and so it will have the problems of a 2019 model. To get the new for 2019 Mercedes Sprinter chassis I knew I had to buy a 2020 or 2021 RV.

We spent $25,000 on overseas travel in 2019 and planned to spend $25,000 in 2020 on air travel, car rentals, guides, and lodging, until the panedemic arrived. Now we could wait and resume travel in 2022 or we could decide on how best to safely travel in the USA at the present time.

So we decided to buy a new RV that will cost us $185,000 in total. It will cost us up to $60,000 to use it for the next several years and we are OK with that. We have no guaranty that we will be alive in 3 years so we are not going to put our travel on hold and 2020 is already effectively gone.
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Old 11-15-2020, 09:02 AM   #26
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(I haven't bought my TT yet). Buying used can be a great way to go most of the time, but right now I'm looking at new for two reasons: 1- The used market is overpriced right now, at least for late model units. 2- Micro Minnies have had lots of improvements the last two years, improvements that I want.
It's interesting that Winnebago silently slips in these improvements with no fanfare, even mid-year. Maybe that's so that the dealers can sell what they have on the lot, but it does pay to pay attention. Winnie could be shipping a better model than what your local dealer has on the lot.
Maybe next year the used market will loosen up a bit. We'll see. It's an expensive hobby if all you're going to do is take it out a half dozen weekends a year, as many newbies are just finding out. Some of them may want to cut their losses.
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Old 11-15-2020, 01:37 PM   #27
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: California
Posts: 470
Something that I did not anticipate is that at least in Oregon the RV dealers and service centers will not provide a written quote for anything. We tried for two weeks to get the final price and noted additions that the salesman promised at Guaranty RV in Junction City and we were ignored.

I bought the suspension upgrades myself and had them shipped to the dealer as they could not assure me that they could get them and put them on before we picked up the Navion.

As it turned out the salesman lied about their adding the solar panels and the service manager likewise ignored my many emails asking about them and we were stiffed by Guaranty as it turned out.

We wanted a 2021 Navion 24D and there were and are very few available in the USA. As it was we flew to Oregon to buy one that was still for sale as it had arrived the day before at Guaranty RV. If I had it to do over I would have bought the RV in California from a reputable dealer even if it meant placing an order and waiting for 4-6 months (with Leisure Travel Vans the wait is 18 months or more and very few of their RV's for sale on the used market in the country).

What is very bothersome is that Winnebago makes changes that are not minor and makes no mention of what is different year to year or even later in a model year. The window went from a slider to a popout on the late 2020 Navion models and in 2020 the fridge went from a electric or propane fridge to a compressor electric only model. Interior trim and color schemes were changed and not updated online at least for the 24D. With the compressor fridge I need to add more solar panels to be able to dry camp for any period of time as the 200W provides is needed for the fridge.
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Old 11-15-2020, 03:04 PM   #28
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Location: Spring Branch, TX
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Those of us on the forums that have a decent amount of RV experience try to walk a line between telling everyone to not trust the dealer's promises and at the same time try not to discourage new RV buyers.

It's a shame. And, this tight seller's market only makes it worse.

As far as changes to models mid-year this common with all brands. RVs are generally updated between Spring and Fall. However, as you found out, getting a heads up about what changes are being made is quite difficult. And, dealers would be the very last to know what the changes are even with the new version of the RV model sitting on their lot.

The one dealer that I'd trust with Winnebago info would be Lichtsinn RV a few miles from the factory. They sell enough of them, have early access to all the models and details and pride themselves in knowing the line.

The only thing I've ever heard of Guaranty RV is to beware of them and especially their service dept. I have no experience if that's really true - it's just what I've seen others say on the internet.

I get messages from users saying "I get all my info from Lichtsinn RV and then look for the lowest price anywhere in the US." I try to gently suggest that paying the absolute lowest price is not as important and getting the straight info and support from a superior dealer.
2017 Winnebago Adventurer 37F
2016 Lincoln MKX Toad
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Old 11-17-2020, 08:43 PM   #29
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Join Date: Nov 2020
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Advice for new buyers.

Do your homework and dont buy based on emotions. Combine all the advice given on forums and then throw out the majority of it.

By far the most important is shop for a floorplan that fits you.

Going the cheapest route may not be the best route. I ended up spending almost 1k more on my original purchase going with a local dealership that has a good service department instead of going to a non local volume dealership. I believe that choice has helped me. When I bought my second RV two short years later I got a price better than the other places.....but the big benefit has been service. There is a "did you buy it here" tax when trying to get service. I have never had an issue getting in for any service or upgrade. I have some friends that didnt buy there and they always tell me they cant get their unit in due to "wait list".

Buy what you can afford knowing that you will be throwing more money at it.

Have a plan on how you plan to use it. Will you be sitting in RV parks like KOA's or will you be in State/National Parks, or will you be boondocking? How far do you typically plan on travelling and for how long?

I started with a minnie winnie 25b. When we bought that unit we wanted to start easy. It was smaller, it had less moving parts (no slides) and my kids were smaller. I wasnt sure if my kids would like RVing as much as I did when I was a kid, and that was another reason I started with a smaller less expensive (in the grand scheme of things) RV. Fast forward 2 years and my family was hooked.

We learned a few things during those 2 years. First is that my kids are picky with bathrooms, so our little 25b had tanks fill up quick which limited us on how long we could go somewhere without dumping within a few days. The second thing I learned is that my kids grew and having a slide would keep my wife and I sane during days with bad weather. We traded in our 25b for a Class A Vista 31BE. It gave us a floorplan that fit our lifestyle with room to grow. Buying used wasnt much of an option since the floorplan had only been around since 2015 plus the 17 model had fixed alot of the strange quirks we saw back with the 15 and 16.

Which leads me to another piece of advice. There is usually a good difference between first half and second half model years. The second half typically has minor adjustments in trim or tech that make it just a little bit better than the first half of the year models. So if there is something you dont like....there is a strong chance it will be adjusted 6 months later.

....When I bought the second RV we knew exactly what we wanted to do to it. Which brings me to the last tip.

Beat the crap out of your RV during the warranty period. What I mean is use everything, drive on rough roads, slam doors, use anything that can possibly fail. The rule is usually it will fail within the first few trips or it will fail 1 week after your warranty is over. We won the RV lottery with our 25b. I had one warranty claim for a fit/finish thing. Nothing else over the next two years gave me any issues. My Vista has been a little different. We had a few fit issues, along with things like the tv's in the bunks died, and on our shakedown trip one of the hydraulic jacks failed.......and this is where the benefit of buying it at the local reputable place kicked in. They were able to get me in and fix everything each time something happened without issue.

Their good customer service led to me buying upgrades ranging from sway bars to solar system. Having good service department is nice for dealing with issues I cant do while the RV is home from storage parked on the street outside the house.

I also there is one more piece of advice. Do what you can do. We are extended weekend commandos. We only get to use it about 4-5 months a year...usually weekends but we do take extended month long trips in the summer....on the plus side the pandemic has allowed me to work remote more which means I also get to spend more time working from campgrounds. An RV is not an investment, it is a toy for most and home for others.
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Old 11-17-2020, 11:36 PM   #30
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Location: Deming, NM
Posts: 587
As I have said many times, we bought our Minnie Winnie from a Winnebago dealer's rental fleet. Short story, we got a hell of a good deal in both cost and quality of the rig.

What I have not mentioned before, and this may be of interest to those who are interested in buying a used motorhome, is that the dealer we bought from runs their sales of units from the rental fleet primarily in the fall when the rental season winds up. (Here in Alaska that is roughly Aug to Oct.)

If those units are not all sold in the Fall, they keep them on site and run the sale again in the Spring (Apr - May, just before the summer rental season starts.)

So, the upshot is that if you want to consider buying a used motorhome from a dealer's rental fleet, you may get the best deal in the Fall or Spring.
2016 Minnie Winnie 27Q on a 2015 Ford E450 chassis. Retired U.S. Air Force. Lived in Anchorage, Alaska for 30+ years. Now Living in Deming, NM.
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