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Old 11-15-2018, 01:34 PM   #1
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Class A RV in the very near future

We currently don't own an RV but will buy one when I retire in April 19. We have been wanting one for a while but being in the military makes life a little unpredicted at times as far as planning goes.

I was going to start out with an older 90's Class A but after doing a lot of research my wife and I decided to buy new or near new. We looked at a lot of different RVs and always come back to the Vegas or Axis and our favorite is the 25.2 floor plan because it has a queen bed, a sofa and the biggest shower. And, me being the technical guy, I like the longer wheelbase it has and it has only a relatively small slide in the back.

The small size Class A should work well since it will be only the two of us and our Dobie. The only other RV we like is the 2015-2017 Winnebago Brave Retro which cost (used) as much as a Thor Vegas or Axis. I does have levelers and GPS though but doesn't come with a sofa if you want the true queen bed.

I have been a mechanic by trade all my working life, although not by any means a RV expert. I did acquire a whole lot of theoretical RV knowledge by reading a lot and then some more about RV specific issues. And, like any other forum I am a member of it is a mixed bag of either liking or disliking a certain product.

I am sure I will have some question later as we get closer to and after our purchase. And yes, I do use the search function to see if there are similar questions already that have been answered.

Hans & Peggy
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Old 11-15-2018, 03:48 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard, and some early "Congratulations!": for winning the rat-race!
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Old 11-15-2018, 04:19 PM   #3
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Welcome to the site. Sounds like you're well prepared for your journey (and I bet you even found the Axis/Vegas crowd sourced owner's manual in the tech forum).
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Old 11-15-2018, 04:32 PM   #4
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I think the Winnebago will be better quality. I looked at a lot of RVs when we were shopping, and the Winnebagos were designed and built significantly better than the Thors. They also have a fiberglass roof instead of rubber, so less likely to have future issues and less maintenance.


We preferred the interior design and look of the Thor, compared to the dated campy look in the Winnebago, which is why we got a Thor, but as far as quality I think Winnebago is better.


We bought ours new, but I think getting a 2-3 year old RV might be a better way to go. The initial bugs should be worked out, and the huge initial depreciation has already happened.


Good luck with whatever choice you make!
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Old 11-15-2018, 05:17 PM   #5
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Buy as new as you can...all of them are GREAT!!! Nothing like living on wheels and picking your neighbors on a daily basis!!
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Old 11-15-2018, 05:23 PM   #6
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Welcome. What part of MO are you from? I live down in AR.

We love our 2017 Axis 25.4. I think its the perfect size for us (right now).

I search on this forum for over a year before I pulled the trigger last year and purchased my 2017 new and I dont regret anything.
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Old 11-15-2018, 06:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabrabu View Post
I think the Winnebago will be better quality. I looked at a lot of RVs when we were shopping, and the Winnebagos were designed and built significantly better than the Thors. They also have a fiberglass roof instead of rubber, so less likely to have future issues and less maintenance.


We preferred the interior design and look of the Thor, compared to the dated campy look in the Winnebago, which is why we got a Thor, but as far as quality I think Winnebago is better.


We bought ours new, but I think getting a 2-3 year old RV might be a better way to go. The initial bugs should be worked out, and the huge initial depreciation has already happened.

Good luck with whatever choice you make!
Don't think the quality is really any better in the Winnebago. I camped across from a guy in my Miramar this past spring. It was his first trip out and his jacks were leaking and wouldn't retract. His water pump also failed so he had to be hooked up to water. The mistake he made was making his first trip out after purchase 500 miles from the dealer. He was stuck in the campground waiting for service.

Most of the people on the forum are writing in for help with a problem. It's easy to think "everyone" is having "major" problems. Not say I haven't had a few but overall I'm very happy with the build quality of my Miramar.
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Old 11-15-2018, 06:15 PM   #8
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I live right outside Ft. Leonard Wood, MO where I work; we will stay here as well since we own a house.


In reply to some other remarks:


I did read about the comprehensive owner's manual one of the members put together and he emailed it to me in PDF format.........very nice folks around. I have been reading a lot and haven't found any negativity or bashing like you see on most forums.


Yes, the Brave might have better initial quality but they are no longer available new. On top of that, if I buy a new Axis/Vegas I get the full warranty and my wife likes the look of the Thor much better. I just hope we can find a new 25.2 (left over 2018) next year because we like the floor plan and the fact that is has a really long wheelbase for it's size.


I am sure that I can work out most of the fit and finish shortcomings myself to satisfy my OCD. Other than that I will look it over really good before signing any papers. This site is really helpful in creating my own PDI list (i.e. caulking issues, window leaks, etc.). If the dealer doesn't like it I go somewhere else as they are several within a 150 miles of us.


Question for the Vegas owners. Are those small headlights HID or LED projectors or just the cheap old projectors with halogen bulbs?
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Old 11-15-2018, 06:58 PM   #9
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Yep, take your time and pick the best one you find and qoute them $10,000+ less than what they offer.

On my Axis (2017 - last year with my front end) they are halogen. Im thinking of replacing with LED or HID bulbs.

I think all 2018+ Axis/Vegas are LED? Some else im sure will confirm this.
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Old 11-16-2018, 07:55 PM   #10
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Model: 2016 Vegas 25.2
State: Florida
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Hans and Peggy-
Welcome to the forum and congrats on your coming retirement! We have family in your area and have been through your SW MO area many times. Pretty part of the country.

We bought a new 2016 Vegas 25.2 in 2015, and have been mostly happy with it. I really wanted a Winnie, but the floorplan in our 25.2 fits us much better. We looked at the Brave, but wasn't impressed with the retro styling and the interior design. Liked the Travato, but too limited on storage. When I catch myself whining about Thor quality, I have to remind myself that it cost me less than any of the Winnies.

I agree with earlier poster that you might fare better with a slightly used rig versus a new one with a factory warranty. An alignment is almost always required, and many Vegas and Axis owners spend for suspension enhancements. But the same is true for Class A's on the F-53 chassis. Since you have the luxury of time to shop, you should find the unit and the price you want.
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Old 11-16-2018, 09:10 PM   #11
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71_340 - before you buy look, look and then look some more. Now sit down and make a list of the features that are 'got have', 'nice to have' and then
'wish to have'. Now make an informed decision based on your list and $s. I always worry about slightly used. Some folks will tell you after a year all the problems will have been worked out. Well that is only true if the first owner got the problems fixed. What happens if the owners traded it because it was a hassle getting it fixed. Use the internet to buy at the best price. Talk with other RVers to find reputable service centers in your area. We bought once based on proximity to our brick and mortar - even though the price wasn't the best. The next time bought based on price. Best decision we've made.
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Old 11-16-2018, 11:07 PM   #12
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Model: ACE 29.4
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Congrats on your retirement and thank you for your service. I retired from the USAF in 2007 with a similar plan. After a year of looking and looking we decided on a 5th Wheel (Alpine 3010) since I already owned a Chevy 3500 DRW to drag it around with. Used it often for 4 years; our last big trip (Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Tetons, Rushmore, etc) wife and I both agreed we would be happier with something smaller. So we started looking again and stumbled on the ACE (29.4, 30' long) Got much more than I expected in trade and made the deal. It's working great for the two of us, much easier to maneuver in tight spaces and plenty of power to drag around my jeep. Did a bunch of research prior to purchase ,diesel vs gas, and for our use gas made since. Be sure to match your lifestyle with your rig (Plan to spend more time in State and National Parks or at large rallies, etc...). As far a quality goes, they are all RVs and built as inexpensively as possible. Some seem to roll out better than others. The issues I have had have all been resolved under warranty so far.

I read somewhere that the first RV you buy is seldom the one you end up with, so if I were starting again I would by a used RV to start. Let someone else fight the initial problems and warranty (and depreciation) and use it to figure out what you want. Maybe you get lucky and get it right the first time. If not you have a much better idea of what you want when you replace it.

Best of luck with your decision, get out and enjoy. Safe travels.
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Old 11-17-2018, 01:49 AM   #13
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We still doing research as well (especially me, trying to learn what I can to make an informed decision) but Class A is a given since my wife says the C's are ugly and her "boy" our Doberman has more room and can sit next to her on the sofa while I am driving. We tossed the trailer thing around for a little while since I have a tow vehicle (2017 GMC Denali 1500 with the 6.2L) but it is not for us.


I looked up the ACE, they are nice and I like the standard leveling system and the GPS, the 27.1 would fit well for us.
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Old 11-17-2018, 04:56 PM   #14
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State: Florida
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Itís good that you have mechanical skills. If you read only a few of the feeds here youíll soon discover there is usually always something to fix, replace or upgrade, regardless of how new your rig is. Although you pay more for new, you have the opportunity to utilize the warranty within the first year to address any issues or concerns. If itís used youíll be paying out of pocket and it can get expensive quickly. Congrats on retiring!
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Old 11-17-2018, 08:47 PM   #15
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Keep in mind..
Your 1st coach is a learning tool..
When You tour/view "In Person" any perspective coach..
View it First with all slides retracted,
If the coach is fully usable without the slides extended, then give it a second look.
(Think wally-docking,rest areas,truckstops...any where that you cannot/do not have room for the slides to be extended)

BUY USED! & buy one with everything you "think" you want and will need..
(If it seems a bit small but still do-able....
It will become excruciatingly Tiny after a week or three being "coop'd up" due to weather....

As You will make mistakes and have booboo's We all have.....(sometimes more than twice..)
Within a year or two you will discover..about the RV

What you love about the RV...
What you can kinda-sorta tolerate with the RV..
And what you absolutely hate about that !@#$%^%$#@! RV.
Then you can go get what you should have gotten in the first place..
Happy Hunting

Remember!!!!
Every day you "put off" retiring...is just one LESS day you have remaining to enjoy being RETIRED !!!
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Old 11-18-2018, 01:56 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saddlesore View Post
Keep in mind..
Your 1st coach is a learning tool..
When You tour/view "In Person" any perspective coach..
View it First with all slides retracted,
If the coach is fully usable without the slides extended, then give it a second look.
(Think wally-docking,rest areas,truckstops...any where that you cannot/do not have room for the slides to be extended)

BUY USED! & buy one with everything you "think" you want and will need..
(If it seems a bit small but still do-able....
It will become excruciatingly Tiny after a week or three being "coop'd up" due to weather....

As You will make mistakes and have booboo's We all have.....(sometimes more than twice..)
Within a year or two you will discover..about the RV

What you love about the RV...
What you can kinda-sorta tolerate with the RV..
And what you absolutely hate about that !@#$%^%$#@! RV.
Then you can go get what you should have gotten in the first place..
Happy Hunting

Remember!!!!
Every day you "put off" retiring...is just one LESS day you have remaining to enjoy being RETIRED !!!
All good advice just as it is from everybody else. You are absolutely correct about the slides. I would really prefer not to have one at all and looking at floor plans I am trying to figure out what will work best with the slide(s) retracted.

Appears to me that if I want room without slides I would have to go late 90s or early 2000s and at least 30', Then the choices are limited because a lot of them have the GM Workhorse chassis which I don't want. According from what I read the Ford platform is a better choice.
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Old 11-18-2018, 02:47 AM   #17
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Model: 2016 Vegas 25.2
State: Florida
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Think real hard about a 20 or 30 year old coach. I considered an older American Eagle. Even though they were built really well, things deteriorate over time.

There have been very few issues reported on this forum of problems with the Vegas/Axis slide systems. Some things I like about our Vegas 25.2 include the rear slide can be opened at WMrt or any other parking lot, that slide is light which means less stress on the slide apparatus, the steps are inside and not the power type, and it has a decent sized shower. I also like the smaller footprint and the smaller tail swing of the Vegas, and that it is capable of towing a vehicle.

Saddlesore's comments today are right on target. The size of your choice will depend heavily on how the inhabitants handle being in a small space. (I once met a couple who stayed "together" by having separate houses!) Before you pull the trigger, spend some extended time (hours) in the coach you are interested in, right in the dealer's lot. That's how we decided against a Winnie Travato. It looked great on paper, but the longer we sat in it the more uncomfortable we were.

We traded our 35' fifth wheel for a 33' Class A with two slides. At that time, we thought we needed the space and storage it had. After a few years and many trips, we felt we could get by with less space and less storage. Three years and many nights in our Vegas have proven that we made the right choice for us and the way we travel now. We know the situation could change in a heartbeat.

It's usually smart to rent and spend some time in a comparably sized coach before you sign on the line. Although it seems expensive, it will be cheaper than buying the wrong thing and trading it for something more to your liking.

Happy hunting!
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Old 11-18-2018, 03:04 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 71_340 View Post
All good advice just as it is from everybody else. You are absolutely correct about the slides. I would really prefer not to have one at all and looking at floor plans I am trying to figure out what will work best with the slide(s) retracted.

Appears to me that if I want room without slides I would have to go late 90s or early 2000s and at least 30', Then the choices are limited because a lot of them have the GM Workhorse chassis which I don't want. According from what I read the Ford platform is a better choice.
I will not get into the Ford/GM/Dodge/Mercedes debate on which chassis is better... And do not get locked into the gas vs diesel vs cost to maintain/fuel mileage/depreciation/ debate...Buy what you can afford.. AND as I stated...Your first (and sometimes second/third) RV is just a Learning Tool.
Look at those coaches/floor plans that do not have opposing slides and bedroom slides that only "move the closets", not the bed...
As a "for instance".... this is our coach with the living room slide retracted and when extended..
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Old 11-24-2018, 08:05 PM   #19
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I would recommend buying a used model at least 2-3 years old. A lot of us bought new RV's and the first year and a half, the Motorhome was in the shop because of manufacture defects. My first motorhome was a Winnebago bought used 2 years old. Owned it for 6 years and never had it in the shop. I bought a new 2013 Thor Daybreak and it spent the first 24 months in and out of the shop, had so many manufactures defects my repair folder is an inch thick. Needless to say I still have it but I really don't think Thor quality is any where near as good as Winnebago, By the way the Daybreak was so bad they discontinued it the next year.
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Old 11-24-2018, 08:36 PM   #20
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Model: Vegas 24.1
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Buy Used

Agree with a previous comment. Buy used for two reasons. One clearly you get a better price (in our case I estimate about 35% less) and as important if you are buying from someone that looked after the unit all the bugs will have been worked out. It always amazes me how many issues a new unit has and you have to work with Thor and the dealer which, as you will see from some posts, not exactly fun. Good luck and welcome to the fold.
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