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 > Looking at purchasing a safe and Reliable Motorhome

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South Louisiana

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Posted: 07/10/21 01:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Suggest you call Delta or American. What with your price range and other regiments plus safe and reliable doesn't exist. Your husband is in the ballpark but will still have to compromise on one or two requirements.


No paticular place.

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Posted: 07/10/21 02:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jdc1 wrote:

You might want to compromise wit your husband. A 2 slide diesel pusher, with a Cummins/Allison combo at $25K is going to be hard to find.

Sure you will just cost $50-100k to bring it up to usable condition.

Tammy & Mike
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Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 07/10/21 02:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator


In that price range I'd be looking at a Ford v-10 gas. 27 feet--and no slide if possible.

Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, soon to have SiO2 batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

Rick Jay

Greater Springfield area, MA

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Posted: 07/10/21 05:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sarah Rossi,

Welcome to the Forums! I hope we can give you some decent advice. I agree with most of what's already been said. I think your price is unrealistic ESPECIALLY at this time. RV prices are sky high right now for whatever reason. For some crazy reason post-Covid people think RV'ing is a cheap way of vacationing. THEY are going to be in for a surprise. I think waiting it out a year could be a good strategy. Use that year to do some real research as to what you and your family need right now. We did our research for 2+ years before we purchased our first and current RV way back in 2004. The combined wisdom (and opinions) of the folks on this forum were instrumental in guiding us to the best solution for our needs. (OK, we started out looking at $12k hybrid trailers to tow behind our minivan and ended up with a 36' gas Class A which we use to TOW our minivan. And we looked at every option in between. But the important thing is that in the end, we found the best rig possible within our budget (though stretched a bit! LOL) and met our requirements. So, doing your research is very important. Buy the right rig the first time.)

You mentioned some chassis requirements first (Cummins & Allison). That's fine, but for most of us, the floorplan is THE most important part of the motorhome. Most people are living in their motorhome far more than they're driving it, so that livability is important. Figure out what floor plan will work for you and your family, THEN find the best RV manufacturer who has something like what you need. THEN see if that's on a chassis that you want.

How many of you will be travelling? What ages? Approximately how long will these trips be in duration? Just weekends, or one or two weeks, I'm guessing. At least until you reach retirement. The larger the rig, generally the more storage that will be available allowing you to pack for longer trips. Also, they typically will have larger holding tanks which allows for longer periods of time between dumping the tanks and refilling the fresh water. If you don't have any experience with RV's, read up a bit on proper water conservation techniques to get the most out of capacity in the tanks. We can usually get about 4-5 days on our tanks, depending upon use and if we go out during the day. But I've read stories of people on these forums that would barely get a day out of the same capacity. There IS a mindset you need to adopt to get the maximum flexibility out of an RV. If you know that going it, it can help you choose what is most important to you. On the other hand, if you're always going to be parked/camped in a location with full hook-ups every night, then it's not really an issue. Again, know how you're going to want to use the rig.

Please note that larger rigs, especially for Class A DPs, however, DO NOT necessary mean they are geared to be home for more people. As was mentioned, a large number of DP's are designed for 2 adults. So check things like seatbelt numbers and locations, sleeping accommodations, storage locations for clothes, shoes, towels, etc. to make sure it can work for you. For example, a lot of rigs now have king sized beds. If you don't need a king size bed, then it's probably going to be a waste of valuable space. We don't have one in our sticks & bricks home, why would I want one in my RV? LOL

And while I'd never say DON'T get a diesel pusher, I think you're doing yourself a disservice by not looking at gas units as well. ESPECIALLY if you're not going to be using it much in the near term and you might be purchasing another unit upon retirement. I would have LOVED to have bought a DP, but that was WAY out of price range once we realized what we needed for floorplan & storage space. To be honest, the Workhorse Chassis on our gasser has been quite reliable. A few recalls had to be done in the first couple of years, but overall it's been a good platform. That said, IF we didn't have the right floor plan on it for our needs, it wouldn't have mattered if it was Workhorse, Ford, Cummins, whatever, as wifey would be miserable. And as they say...."If mommy ain't happy, no one is happy!" LOL

You mentioned safety. In my opinion, the most important aspects of safety are proper & regular maintenance in tandem with a defensive driver who understands the limitations of their vehicle and themselves.

Tell us a bit more of your intended use and hopefully we can give you some more advice.

If you haven't figured it out yet, you have a lot to learn, and we're willing to help you where we can. The one thing I can definitely tell you is NOT to believe anything an RV salesperson might say to you without checking with us first. [emoticon]

Good Luck,


On edit: last thing. You mentioned "reliable". That is a word not too frequently used with RV's. At least not those purchased on a budget. But, IF we ever decide to get another motorhome, my plan would be to purchase a gently used 20-25 year old Prevost or similar rig which probably was $750k or more new. That wouldn't be in your price range, but I think that's a way of hedging the reliability issue. There are compromises in between, of course. But it's knowing what to look for and which manufacturers build the highest quality rigs. Good Luck.

* This post was last edited 07/10/21 06:09pm by Rick Jay *   View edit history

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Jacksonville AL

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Posted: 07/10/21 10:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thats a gasoline budget even at 60K. New Class C with sleeping room above the cab is possible. The maintenance on an old diesel pusher is substantial, you gotta be ready to rebuild a 10K plus transmission or loose a 15K plus engine, radiators, intercooler, turbo and just the fuel injectors can cost thousands. The little 275 to 350 hp diesels work hard in those old pushers, condition is very important. The older rigs could be more costly to maintain than a late model gas motorhome.

I prefer 5th wheels or trailers so if the truck dies for whatever reason I can quickly find a replacement or even borrow one on short notice. On the road I can put the truck in a shop for repairs while I have the 5th wheel set up in a good spot and enjoy my time there.

larry cad


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Posted: 07/11/21 05:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sarah, that is quite a list, and difficult to fill. First thing I noticed is that a diesel motor home (DP) typically has air brakes. I would ask you why no air brakes is a requirement.

Almost all DPs with Cummins engines have Allison transmissions, which are very reliable transmissions. Cummins engines are also reliable and long lasting, BUT, repairs are expensive.

Here is a link to a 2005 DP with 37000 miles on it. This one has 4 slides, and a 300HP Cummins and looks to be in very nice condition.

2005 DP with 4 slides

At $42,495 US, this may be a bit too high, but maybe you can negotiate it down.

If you are set on a DP, try to limit your advice to those who have or had a DP and can speak from experience.

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Traveling the US!

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Posted: 07/11/21 07:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For a coach in that price range I would be looking at a gas coach. Especially since you only plan to use it for a short period of time each year, You will be parked way long than you will be driving on your trips so finding a good floor plan in an affordable gasser is likely your best starting point. Oh yeah, and no air brakes necessary!



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Posted: 07/11/21 03:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sarah Rossi wrote:

I really know nothing about motorhomes ... I was hoping to purchase a Cummins with Allison trans without air brakes with hopefully a couple slide outs.

Conflicting specifications, I must say.

Assuming Class-A motorhomes - a Cummins-powered RV will also have an Allison transmission, but air brakes will be part of the package too, as will an air-ride suspension - you won't be able to cherry-pick which of those you want. There are good reasons for air brakes on diesel-powered RVs - they're heavy enough that conventional braking systems wouldn't suffice.

If you want to avoid all that, for whatever reason, the option will be a gas-powered RV, which will NOT have any of those features. Number of slides would depend on make, model, and year of manufacture.

Gas vs Diesel has been debated ad nauseum in forums like this one over the years, and there's no benefit in revisiting it. Just research the pros and cons on your own - there's lots of information available on the internet.


Does anyone know of any good models that will not push me all over the road and go up and down hills with ease. My budget is in and around 25-30k. My hubby wants to spend double. However, we will only be using it a few weeks out of the year, as we are not retired- so spending a lot doesn’t make sense to me. Once retired fair game, but for now I just want something budget friendly, safe and reliable.

The best strategy to use in the decision-making process in choosing a motorhome is to research the market to see what's available at the various price ranges, decide on features, length, floorplan might best suit your needs, and THEN be willing to eliminate your wants until you can find something in your price range.

On the usage issue, when any of us decide to buy an RV, we know that it won't be our daily driver; we know it will be parked the majority of the time. That's part of the game. But we buy them to enjoy them those times we WILL be able to, even if it's not as often as we'd like. If your plan is to buy low for the short term until you both retire, then trade up to something nicer, that's fine, except that for most of us, retirement also means reduced income. Might be a disconnect there.

The terms you've used are quite subjective. What does "push me all over the road" mean? All RVs have large side areas that can be affected by heavy crosswinds. "Go up and down hills with ease" - how much "ease"? Some can do it with more "ease" than others, and obviously, the ones with more power and better braking systems (can you say "diesel pusher" and "air brakes"?) will be the best performers.

Don't fall into the trap of buying a "fixer-upper" on the cheap and immediately wishing for something more. Do your research, decide which features really meet your requirements, shop the internet for price ranges, and then, once you've decided what you want, AND CAN AFFORD, people here can assist with filling in any information gaps.

* This post was last edited 07/11/21 07:42pm by Racklefratz *   View edit history

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North Ridgeville, OH

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Posted: 07/12/21 06:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think that your budget is too low if you want to find something that doesn't need a LOT of work, and more than likely some expensive repairs or upgrades. Back in 2017 to early 2018, we started looking for used gas motorhomes in the $35,000 range which was the price range for circa 2005 motorhomes. After looking at quite a few rigs and seeing how outdated, poorly maintained and in need of many repairs, we reexamined our finances and decided to spend just about twice as much money. Consequently, we found our 2012 Bay Star which was in excellent shape and the only pressing upgrade was to replace the OEM Goodyear tires.

Yes, a gas motorhome will not have the ride of a diesel pusher. But if you are not a full timer and don't plan on trying to drive 500 to 600 miles per day, they can be an affordable way to have a nice rig. Before going that route, read up on aftermarket suspension upgrades that are popular with gas MH owners. Our rig had already been upgraded with Sumo springs, and I added a Roadmaster return center stabilizer that made a big difference in reducing the effects of passing semis.

Consider also the cost of towing a vehicle whether on a dolly or 4 down. It's an added expense with a motorhome, and you need to tow or drive a second vehicle if you want to be able to run errands and do any sight seeing.

More importantly...take your time and look at a lot of rigs. With a limited budget, you may be better off with a truck and a nice used travel trailer of fifth wheel. We owned two travel trailers over 13 years, and purchasing a good used tow vehicle and travel trailer can be a much more budget friendly way to go as the tow vehicle (most likely a pick-up truck) can serve as a daily driver/second vehicle. And, it's more affordable to upgrade either the truck or trailer. We had a 28' Sunline trailer for 10 years, and "living" in that trailer was just as comfortable our Bay Star and we had almost as much living space. The motorhome is more convenient when traveling as you can pull over into a rest area, easily use your own bathroom, access your fridge, fix lunch etc.

So, proceed slowly and explore all your options for RVing. It's better to work within your budget and have $$ to enjoy your rig once you get it.

Good luck in your search and I hope you are enjoying a rig soon!

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dodge guy

Bartlett IL

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Posted: 07/12/21 11:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Your gonna have to start at $60k. And they all will have air brakes.
I would wait till people start selling so the used prices come down.

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