Class A Epiphanies

They said…

A couple weeks back we stopped by La Mesa RV in Albuquerque on our way to Santa Fe (you can see Mariel’s blog about that trip).

He said…

Our previous salesman, Stacey, was working and we got our window shopping started off in a friendly manner. Thanks again Stacey.

She said…

Stacey greeted us with a big smile and hugs and took us out to the yard.  He spent a little time with us answering our questions, and then cut us loose among all of those big beautiful RVs and asked us to stop and see him before we left.

He said…

What’s interesting to note about this trip is that Mariel and I had an epiphany of sorts two to three weeks earlier.

A little background information might be in order… We are looking at buying our RV in a different way. We aren’t buying new. And we aren’t going to have a loan on the RV; once our house sells, the RV becomes paid for. For that reason, we have a fixed amount that we will spend – $100,000.  Since the diesel and gas motorhomes have a huge price difference we’re looking at how old the RV will be before we can buy it for that price.

From the beginning Mariel and I had been pretty adamant about getting a diesel pusher (Class A Motorhome with a diesel engine in back) for all the obvious reasons: they last longer, have more power, are quieter while driving, have the generator in front (farther from the bed), get better fuel mileage,

She said…

more storage too,

He continued…

etc.  We also recognized that this was going to come with a much higher cost – which, in our terms, meant buying an older RV.

Back to the epiphany… We figured out that we would be living in the RV much more than we’d be driving the RV.  For example, if we traveled 400 miles in a week (a travel time of about seven hours) only 4% of our time would be on the road (7 out of 168 hours). Do we want to spend all that extra money for that weekly seven hours? Wouldn’t it be better to buy a home that had an engine on it instead of buying an engine with a home attached?  In other words, do we get a newer top of the line gas motorhome or an older high end diesel motorhome?

On our way to Albuquerque I found out that Mariel and I had different reasons for the trip.  She wanted to check out a specific set of RV models (she even had a list of them) while I wanted to just compare the quality and age of a $100G diesel and $100G gas RV.

She said…

Since we have widened our search criteria to include gas engines, I wanted to check out the 2015-16 Tiffin Allegros and Winnebago Adventurer and Sightseer.  As well as anything Tiffin, I am particularly interested in the Adventurer 33C and the Sightseer 35G. Although I had checked ahead and knew they didn’t have either model in stock, I wanted to get a feel for the quality that you can’t get by doing anything else but standing in the RV, opening the cabinets, sliding doors and shower doors, and sitting on the furniture. Shannon likes to do this too.

He said…

Yeah, I do.

She said…

We seem to be getting better at this.  We can just bypass the makes and models we know aren’t on our list, and usually one look inside will tell us if the RV is even worth considering.  We know that certain things we may not like are easy enough to change out, but I don’t want to spend this much money on the coach only to have to immediately switch into remodel mode.

He said…

Yeah, no remodeling.

She said…

We really liked the Winnebago Adventurer, and the floorplan Shannon liked the best was the 37F with the televator coming up behind the dinette.  I thought the TV screen was huge…

Winnebago Adventurer 37F
Winnebago Adventurer 37F
He said…

It isn’t.

She continued…

and sort of took over the whole space, and the buffet where the TV is stored is so big that you lose the wide open feel of the double LR slides.  Plus, it is a little over our length goals.  If this is our biggest disagreement we are in good shape.  In the used section of the RV lot there was a 2014 Adventurer with the same floor plan that had a much smaller TV screen that I liked a little better.  A 60” screen viewed from across the width of an RV sort of takes all of the air out of the room!

Winnebago Sightseer 35G
Winnebago Sightseer 35G – this is Mariel’s current favorite
He said…

It turns out that we can buy a 2014 top of the line Winnebago Adventurer  or Tiffin Allegro for our price or we can get a 2008 Tiffin Phaeton diesel pusher. And, I didn’t see a huge difference in quality between any of these models.

So, depending on how well maintained the RV was, I could go with either one.  However, my only concerns are that an older RV is likely to be more “used” or run down with less of the technological advances/options which means I’m leaning more towards the newer gas model.

She said…

I think the main thing we discovered on this trip is that we are both looking at completely different things when shopping for our next home, but that’s a good thing.  This way we are more likely to cover all of the bases!

9 thoughts on “Class A Epiphanies

    1. That’s become a standard feature now; as a matter of fact, for the last several years, they also come with side cameras which show on the monitor automatically when you use the turn signal.

    1. At one point we did have both (for weekend trips); but sold them to help us get out of our first debt pit. I’d rather not go back to that (I’m not a very good backer upper) and it seems that buying both will still cost about the same (or more).

  1. Your story reminds me of what we were going through about a year ago! After a couple years of shopping we finally bought our diesel pusher–an Allegro Red 33AA last October. If you want to read about our journey to buy it, you can check out our blog at whisw.blogspot.com Let us know if you have any questions.

    1. Hi Denisa, Our story is paralleling yours in so many ways, including trying to keep God in the middle of this most important decision in our life together. The Allegro Red 33AA is on the top of our diesel list. I’ll keep reading. . .

      1. We are 8 months into our adventure, and having a great time! We highly recommend it! Just like you, I read blogs almost daily before we retired. That gave me real-to-life exposure to what our life might be like, and what kind of RV would be best for us. We try to include the good and the bad in our blog, as every day isn’t a fairy tale. But life in the motor home has been better than we thought it would be. We found your blog in a google search, as we are heading to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta this fall!

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