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Anyone make a mistake buying first MH ?

Just curious.. No matter how much research you do , it seems there is no substitute for owning and using a MH.. Anyone buy one and then realize you made a mistake on the first one.. If so, how did you rectify it. I haven't felt this way yet and hope I don't.. With all that is involved, I could see it happening.. I believe the best advice I got was to buy an older one and then see what you really want by trial and error..
507 REPLIES 507

Questions for Rob and Bert (and others)
I'm a first time buyer who must also head up the procrastinators' club (I'm really concerned about not getting the "right" rig. We have been "thinking" about this for 6 years now bouncing around from a starter 24 ft Class C to a 30 ft Class A to this 34 (frankly, when we see the extras in something like the HR and above we feel they have to be much more liveable) . I've got my eye on a new HR Neptune 34 PBD. The price converted from Cdn$ to US$ would be about $93k (does that sound reasonable or is it too high for a year old unit??). Is the 275HP DP engine adequate? I just found this forum this evening (as I watch F1 qualifying) and didn't realize there would be so many potentially underpowered units out there.

Any comments would be appreciated.

I'm also going to look at a new 2002 Triple E.

I've seen some comments on what to expect for discounts on a new unit without a trade and would be interested in any guidance that can be offered on purchasing a new unit that is the prior year's model. I assume it should be a bigger discount - but how much more?


2011 Itasca Impulse 26QP Silver Toad 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited
New W-I Class C Yahoo Group
07 Jayco 32SS Kodiak 8.1 • 06 HR Amb 40PLQ ISC • 04 Winnie Jrny 39W CAT • 2000 Triple E CDR F53
Member Super C RV Group

My wife and I bought our first motorhome, a 26' class C in 1987 without ever having gone camping before. Oh yes, we were each in the Scouts as kids, if that counts, but not since. She said that we're nuts (actually said I was since it was my idea 🙂 Anyway, we kept that rig for 11 years and loved every trip we took from an overnighter near home to the longer vacations from Maine to Florida. A mistake? What do you say?
Bill, (aka Capt.Bill)
2002 Horizon 36LD, Cat 330
RVing since 1987
First State


Don't know yet?

Bought our first MH last Oct, a 40' National Islander Diesel Pusher with two slides, and wife and I are in our mid 60'. My brohter-in-law, when he found out we were shopping for a MH, told me that we could start small and "work" our way up as he is doing. My response was - that at my age I did not have time for that game.

So far we like the Islander, service by Keysone RV in Greencastle, PA has been excellent.

May have a delamination problem, but Natinal has a 3 year warranty if indeed I am looking at the early stages of delamination.


*This Message was edited on 21-Mar-03 06:07 AM by Capt Vern*
Vern and Skippy
69 41' TC Hatteras Motoryacht,Twin Detroits
03 40' National Islander, 400 ISL Cummins
Saturn Dinghy

I would hardly call the first motorhome a mistake. Itis more like the training wheels of the bicycle. Just a bit more costly.

Our progression was as follows in a bit under 5 years from tent camping, to used pop-up, to used 31 foot T.T, to used 2000 26' Georgie Boy, Pursuit and now in 2003 a 32' foot Pursuit. Needless to say there was an adustment from the 31' T.T. to the 26' Motor Home.

The things we learned and learned quickly were more than the 2 of us was a cowd, and on a rainy weekend the 2 of us made a crowd. The motor home's smaller size was great for being on the go and not having to worry about where you were going to park it. All of our excursions simple meant unhooking the water and power and hitting the road. There was no need for a toad. Unfortunately there was'nt a sofa, the booth dinette did not offer comfortable seating, and te dog and cat seemed to be constantly underfoot.

One one particular trip after reaching for something in a lower cabinet my posterior hit the table and my head hit the counter top. Not a large cut but a bump on the head, and I stated it was time for a slide out.

At the local RV show we upgraded to the current 2003 32 foot Georgie Boy Pursuit. We had no prolems with the previous Georgie Boy so decided to stick with what we knew. We now have two slides so the only thing I should be slamming my head on will be the awning posts. The extra space will now be shared with an additional beagle, we adopted Lindsey from a local rescue an have promised the rescue staff she will have a god life.

The first Motor Home was great fun and started many fine memories of camping on this new level of adventure.

The mistake we made with the new Motor Home was picking it up on 02/01/03 and having to take it directly to storage. But soon it will be home and we will be ready to hit the road again.

Happy Traveling to everyone, and hoping we cross some of your paths.


*This Message was edited on 21-Mar-03 02:55 PM by Agermontt*

*This Message was edited on 21-Mar-03 02:58 PM by Agermontt*
Jim and Rich Broadview Hts, OH
Bailey (Traveling 13" Beagle)
Lindsey Hoover Scooter Lilly (Traveling 13 " Beagle)
Avery (Traveling Cat)

2003 Georgie Boy Pursuit 3205 LS
Sterling/Roadmaster Tow Package
2003 CRV Toad "OUR TOAD"
Brake Buddy

The Banks PowerPak is everything they say it is as far as I'm concerned. I paid around $1700.00 from CW and installed it myself on my mid-1980's 33 ft. Coachman/P30 w/454. Improved the low end performance significantly. I installed it just prior to a trip from MI. to CO. for a ski trip for my sons HS senior year spring break. Had to take the coach over Loveland Pass at almost 12,000 elevation. Going up I was passing new coaches creeping along at 15 mph in first gear while I was running 30-40 in 2nd gear (TH400). My wife said I didn't quit smiling until 2 days later. Only problem was going down the other side with very little engine brake due to the Banks system. Brakes got a little hot.

Installation was pretty easy. I was very impressed with the engineering of the system. I'm also a gearhead and old Bracket racer from my high school days in Tucson in the 70's.

I've had the Banks system for several years now and just this last winter pulled the headers off and sent them to JetHot for their Jethot 2000 Ceramic coating. Goal here is to reduce the engine operating and doghouse temp as much as possible. Also will increase the life of the headers I'm told.

Bonus for us old racers is the low rumble this exhaust sytem put's off. It just sounds nice.
Steve & Judy
1996 American Tradition
Spartan IC 2242 Chassis
C8.3L Cummins w/Banks Stinger, Allison MD3060
Doran 360RV TPMS, Progressive HW50C EMS.
Koni shocks, Safe-T-Plus
2001 Jeep Wrangler toad
ReadyBrute tow bar w/ReadyBrake

Dear Dollar, I would like to tell you my story about buying a motorhome. First of all I went from tent camping to a class A motorhome. I went to every RV show on the planet. I collected all the information from fellow RV'ers from all the shows and spent 3 years doing this untill we found our motorhome. The main thing is to get alot of education on motorhomes. Ask CAMPERS alot of questions. They been there, done that, They know what is good and bad. Also what really helped us is we sat and did a day of simulated camping in the motorhome that we liked to see if it meet our needs. That really helped us to see if that motorhome was right for us. We purchased a 2000 Itasca 35 ft suncruiser. We love it, no problems so far.

I drove a 32' travel trailer four years to long with all that swaying back and forth. Then bought a 2000 Mountain Air 40'DP with a 350 hp and a 6speed trainy. We also tow a 23' boat at 5500 lbs. You talk about a nice ride with power to spare. I wouldn't think of going smaller or with less power. The only over drive problem I have with this rig is that I see the rpm change from 1800 rpms to 2000 rpms every once and awhile, and if I didn't see the tack move, I wouldn't have known that it down shifted. All the jingles and bells the coach has are just great; four coach batteries, 2000 watt inverter, tracking sat., two magic beds for the 2 teens.
Paul W
2000 Mountain Aire DP
Toad 2001 Mastercraft 23' Ski, Wakeboarding, Fishing, Dive Boat

Hello all!

No we didn't makle a mistake , however there is a lot to learn in the RV SPORT! And a mistake can easily happen!

We were new at rving in 2002, didnt know a thing! However we both enjoy traveling and are adventurous!
But we didnt know anyone personally that had a coach, so we were on our own!

We looked high and low, in our area, which has a limited number of Rv dealers! We were out each day from dawn to dusk hunting!
The hunt was fun and also a learning experience!

After 3 weeks looking , we decided on a 31 ft, gas, 97 Gulfstream Sun Voyager, that was exceptionally clean! inside and out! The coach was purchased at near Low NADA, from a local Dealer!

And after checking that everything worked, set out on our First Adventure! Drove it 8,500 miles and was out for 2 months, mostly in the North West!
We did have a few incidents, but not enough to wane our interest in RVing!

When we got back we, decided to sell the Coach and buy a New Diesel Pusher! It will be ready the end of March!

By the way due to the Excellent condition of our Gulfsteam we were able to sell it for about what we paid for it!

IMO , If your not sure you will enjoy Camping, like we did, start off with a an inexpensive coach, knowing that you will not be keeeping it, buy it right, buy checking prices out at the NADA site, and hopefully get someone that knows RVs to do a final check with you! Consider buying a Extended Warranty, on the internet, we did!

After 2 months out with your Partner you will know what features are important to you!

I hope this little note will be useful to some NEwbies!

Rob N8RT and Peg WB4LRD
Maggie Sue Papillion

Show me someone who says they didn't make a mistake in buying their first Motorhome, and I'll show you a liar or someone that is out of motorhoming. I've always said, you have to buy your seventh motorhome first!!!! With that, remember, time flies, and manufacturers are always upgrading or making changes that are "needed" or at least desired by us common toads. That's their business, making motorhomes better and more attractive to the buyer! I bought my first motorhome brand new in 1971(?). Did I make a mistake? I'll tell you. It was a 21 foot Winnebago Brave with a small dodge engine, no generator, no nothing compared to today's standard. But, yes! There were bigger, better, and more equipped out there in 1971. But, if you feel you have made a mistake, you are not alone. Also, the banks and all lending institutions knowingly bet you will sell or trade within five years or less for a bigger and "better" coach. They count on it!!! For now, enjoy your coach, you only come around once!

Kro and Dido
2003 Fleetwood Excursion DP
Two Bouviers (one old and fat, like me)

I personally never had problems with Fleetwood..although I do think everything they sell is a tad too high compared to other makes. But if I read your post rare GOING to buy a 37 ft DP....with a 5.9 / 275 horse in it/ Id say you are going to be underpowered ! One reason I went with an 8.3 for the extra HP and LOTS more torque.
2002 Jeep Liberty
2016 Ford Escape

We bought our first MH in 1976 after thoroughly enjoying a rental for a 2-week vacation in Western Canada. The used 25-foot mini had 2 problems: 1) it had a black water holding tank but no gray water tank. Had to put a plastic drain bag outside. Thought all MHs came with both. Caveat emptor (that's 'buyer beware' for those of you in Rio Linda.) The 2nd problem was that the chassis wasn't as long as it should've been and because there was so much "overhang" behind the rear axle, the MH bounced a lot and sagged when I hooked up my boat trailer. Got rid of it after one year.
We are now on our 4th MH and each time we buy we get better at knowing what to look for and what to avoid. We love our Bounder. It's far from the best on the market but for the money, it's giving us lots of fun and enjoyment.

My only mistake in purchasing our first MH was not researching known manufacturers defects ie. firewall leak in Ford E450 chassis. We rented two different size class C's before we bought, so we got the size right. Amazing how much difference 6 feet makes.
I can imagine a no more rewarding career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worth while, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: "I served in the United States Navy." JFK

dollar98 ; here are the facts. i have a 99 Pace arrow 35j, no slides,i tow a 99 jeep cherokee 4/4 , the ride would make you seasick on a curvy road, the v-10 had enough power if you were'nt towing, but hook up and tow and it would kick out of o/d on a freeway overpass. in the hills you might as well slow down and lock out the o/d to save your trans. i added the banks power pak, air bags frt. and rear, davis track bar and bilsteins. the ride improved 100% the sway was greatly reduced(just don't pullover on the freeway and try to stand up and use the bathroom.the power was up, i can now run the freeway without the trans kicking down on overpasses. the trans command shortens shift time between shifts, doesn't hit harder though.if i'm not towing i think that my rig would outrun and out manouver my dodge pickup , i installed all parts , not that hard to install.
William ,Kay and Jena Brown
"04" Diplomat, "99"cherokee 4x4:

No first was an Allegro, mistake on #2 & #3 both made by Fleetwood.
Tom & Bonnie
Crossville, TN.
Aspect 29H 2008 Type C
Ford Flex SEL 2010
There is NO B+

We didn't make a mistake on the first was a 31 foot Class C...we thought we needed a bigger unit with a slide, so we bought a 37 footer Class A with a slide...the thing is too big, so guess we made a mistake on the second one we it, but there are places you just can't go with the longer ones.....also, the gas mileage is horrible,,,,oh well..bought it to drive, as long as I can afford it...

Happy trails.
Served proudly 1957-1965..U.S. Air Force