This all started one day when we were driving on I-95 in Florida. While watching
the RV's moving into Florida for the winter one of us mentioned that they had
dreamed about traveling the United States The other agreed that they had
wanted to do that also. So after a bunch of are you serious and are you sure it
was okay lets crunch some numbers and do some investigating.
Well, as it turns out the cost of living on the road should be less costly. So the
search begins for our new home.
First order of business is what do we want. TT is out as we are in the middle of a
car lease. Off to a dealership to get a start our quest. Class A, B or C are our
choices. Class B crossed off right away as too small. Class A's look great, but with
the investigating we did the prices seem way to high. That leaves us looking at
After discussing what we were looking to do the salesperson showed us a class C
in the 20 foot category. Sharon stepped into the bathroom and it was instantly
decided it was too small. OK, lets look at something bigger. Well, as we know as
the length gets longer the price gets higher. We voiced our opinion that it seemed
a lot for what a class C gives, but price is a large factor.
The salesperson then directed us toward class A motor homes and informed us he
could put us in a class A for about the price of a larger class C. After looking a
couple class A's I wondered why someone would go for a C class instead of an A.
Seems a lot of people are scared off by the size. That in turn makes C's more
popular then class C's, or so we were told. Well after seeing the difference we
were sold on a class A. Now comes the fun, what make, how big, what features do
you want, how much they cost, which dealer, etc. Etc.
General consensus by experienced RVers is look at as many makes and floor
plans as you can. Off to dealerships, shows and checking on line to see what's
After looking a dozens of RV's from 20 something feet to 45 feet we decided 35 to
40 would be what we would need to live in full time. We looked at everything from
1 slide to 4 slides. Drop down queen beds over the cabin, bunk beds, one bath,
bath and a half, full paint or decals. Than there is TV placement, Televators,
fireplace and how about the discount they will give. Found out that 30 to 35 % off
the sticker is normal for the more reputable deanships on a new unit.
We looked at new coaches, used coaches, older ones and newer used coaches.
Checked the Internet for dealerships and private sales. Considered if we wanted
to have a payment for a new or newer coach or get an older one and pay cash.
Talked to RVers in person and checked RV face book sites. Many people said buy
used and the original owner will have found all the problems of a new coach. We
got advice to buy an older unit and see what we like and don't like in a coach and
what we can't live without and what we only thought we couldn't live without.
When all was said and done after months looking and considering we decided
older used coach of one of the high end coaches.
OK, now we get serious about finding a coach we like and getting on the road.
We check dealers within 500 mile to see if we can find a good deal. Check on line
private listings from all over. Found one that really sounded good on Craig's list
locally. Called the number and the guy tell us he only posted the ad that his
sister was selling the coach. We can reach her by email. We contact her and she
tell us she is in the service and is being sent over seas. The coach is at an Amazon
shipping center and that we should send payment to Amazon and when she was
notified that the payment was there she would have the coach delivered to our
address. If we were happy with the coach and notified Amazon they would release
the payment. We told her we would like to see it before making any payment. She
then informs us she is stationed in South Dakota. Now we start smelling fish if
you know what I mean. Hello Goggle, what can you tell us? Sure enough
scamsville. Well I email her back and tell her we will be in SD and would like to
see the unit in person. Needless to say we heard no more from them. As if that
wasn't bad enough we ran into 3 more scams. Can't people earn a real living
instead of trying to rip off people?
Trying to find an older coach at a reasonable price at a dealer is a real treat.
Between their listing price and NADA price book we started looking for something
that we might be able to get within reason. We went to one dealer to look at a
diesel pusher that looked promising. The coach looked pretty nice, interior wasn't
the best but had possibilities. We decided it was worth taking out for a test drive.
So the salesman says we'll go out on I-4 in FL to see how she handles on a
freeway. Well the power seems good on the short distance to 4 so this should be
alright. We get on the ramp and hit the gas and accelerates really nice right up to
34 MPH and it's like she has a governor on her. Petal on the floor and will not go
over 34 MPH. Needless to say there were a whole lot of people that were not at all
happy being behind us. Horns and fingers were coming our way big time. Most
interesting 10 minute ride I've been on. Can you say lets get outta here now. Bye,
bye we're moving on.
Then we have the consignment dealers. Now I know they have to make a profit,
but who knows how much the owner will settle for. With the help of NADA we
start looking for something close to what we are willing to pay. We figure if the
asking is close to our figure we'll go look at them. Never know where the right
coach will be and if they will come down in price. When you rule out any without
at least one slide your options are very limited in older coaches. We went here, we
went there, we went all over central FL from east coast to west coast. Drove one
that shook and shimmed so bad I thought one of the front wheels were going to
fall off. I couldn't wait to get it back and outta of it. There answer to that was the
tires were flat spotted from sitting. This was after it was driven like 30 miles from
one dealership to another. Yea well I wasn't buying that one. We decided to give
up on that route and go for private sale.
After all we looked at and talked about we decided that a top line older coach
was best. Newmar, Tiffin and Thor moved to the top of the list. Back to Craig's list,
see what might show up on a Google search. So let's expand our search to other
states and see what we come up with. So we are looking from Texas to Tenn to
Virginia and every where in between. Nothing is looking promising for what we
have in mind.
Sharon finds an add of one on the west coast of FL, 2&1/2 hour drive. Pictures
look promising. I call the guy to see if it was still available and if there was any
wiggle room in the price. It was and there is wiggle room. We finally find the place
and it would appear that the picture was misleading. Outside looked much worse
that the picture showed. Well we came this far let's see what the inside looks like.
I opened the door and first thing I see is floor damage behind the drivers seat.
One step up and no way is this the one. Floor and sub floor is rotted from leaks.
The guy says just put some vinyl over it. Yeah that would solve the problem. That
was a waste of a tank of gas and a day wasted.
Since we were getting really serious about getting out of the sticks and bricks
we started listing our belongings on Craig's list and Ebay. Wanted to be as close
to ready to move into our new home when we found it.
Too shorten things up we found on Craig's list an older Newmar with low
millage up toward Daytona. Went to look at it ad inside was in great shape for it's
age, outside needed some TLC. Guy starts telling us minor things wrong with it,
needs to have air conditioner gasket replaces in neat future, Light cover broken
front bumper damage, etc. also told us they had just recently replaced the
mattress. Turns out that should have been a warning signal. Remember that if
you run into someone like that and learn from our mistake. Also saw that there
was a tire with low pressure. Guy said he would take care of it. Anyway we agreed
on a price and put down money on her and agreed to a date to pick her up. When
we picked her up we were told that the air conditioner gasket was replaced and
the tire was fixed that it needed a new valve stem. Wow, way cool that we didn't
have to worry about that. I made arrangements with our mechanic to check her
out for any problems. We pulled into the garage and the first thing he said was
wow that's a beast. Ergo, she just got her name.
This deal was made on a Thursday or Friday and that weekend we started
getting calls for our household ads. OK, so this must mean that we are on the
right track and things are coming together. Things are going out the door, The
Beast got serviced and checked out. Only needed some windshield washer hoses
and a light bulb, everything else was in good shape.
The first problem is where are we going to put it until we're ready to take off.
We knew we needed to find somewhere that we could get her detailed because
she was in dire need of some polishing and waxing. Couldn't decide how long it
would take to get ready. After checking prices and what was available with all the
snowbirds in Florida site were not easy to find. After many phone calls and
Internet searches we decided to rent a site for a month since it would assure us
enough time and made the cost more logical.