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Old 11-22-2023, 01:47 AM   #1
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Opinion needed on Class C purchase

Hello All ! Me and my family are looking at buying a RV the two we are looking at are the following ..We will be Noobie RV Owners ..We have a 13yo special needs son in a wheel chair and we travel using our Handicap minivan and looking 👀 for a motorhome with kids and grandkids scattered in 4 different directions of the US ..Will be driven weekends in summer and Chicago , Wyoming & South Texas ..I would truly love your opinions on these two Class C units or which other Class C to look at ..Thanks in advance

2015 Forest River Forester 3171ds
Class C 65k miles

2014 Thor Motor Coach Four Winds (31a) only 6,175 miles Class C

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Old 11-22-2023, 02:21 AM   #2
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Opinions on what?

We can't see the ads so we can't judge the conditions.
We can lookup the floorplans but we don't know which one would fit your needs better.

If you're looking for experience in the Forest River you're in the wrong Forum.

Really not sure what kind of answer would help you in your case.
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Old 11-22-2023, 02:26 AM   #3
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Low mileage is always a selling point when buying a used car, but on a motorhome, it may be a detriment.
Lack of use on the generator, fridge, furnace etc. can be a problem. On the low mileage unit are the tires original? If they are that's 6 tires that should go bye bye before anything more than a drive home.
Gotta ask yourself why didn't the original owners use the 2014?
On the flip side the 2015 with 65,000 miles is well used. At over 8000 miles a year that's doing some traveling. Could it have been a rental?
We have had several motorhomes over the last 25+ years and I have been thinking about how many miles we put on a year. I would say we average maybe 3000 per year. (Since retirement a bit more.)
If you have never owned an RV getting a professional to evaluate what you are buying would be money well spent IMO.
Good luck with your search and enjoy the journey
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Old 11-22-2023, 02:33 AM   #4
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I had a 2014 Sunseeker which is the sister to the Forester. The Forester should have Firestone Ride Rite air helpers on the rear so the ride should be better. Overall our Sunseeker was very reliable and the only issue we had was a awning which extended while driving 55 on I95.
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Old 11-22-2023, 03:13 AM   #5
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If I assume that both fit the needs of your son to your personal satisfaction, I would say buy the 2014 Thor. Why? I like fewer miles, and because you already have membership to a Thor Forum.

Note: I assume you have had both checked and you have personally verified that everything works? If not, spend the rest of your time learning about PDI and verify everything on the RV works. Assume NOTHING, check every switch, door, drawer, knob, roof leaks, AC / Heat, faucet etc. Check everything. It is okay to buy something if something doesn't work, but make sure you know what does not work 1st.
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Old 11-22-2023, 01:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by dkoldman View Post
If I assume that both fit the needs of your son to your personal satisfaction, I would say buy the 2014 Thor. Why? I like fewer miles, and because you already have membership to a Thor Forum.

Ö
If you want to base this on a forum. From experience with both Thor and Forest River, go with the Forester. Forest River engineers and Customer Support reps constantly monitored and provided input and answered questions and concerns on owner issues. Far superior to Thorís participation in anything. Since these are used units warranty is not an issue. I would say that the edge in build quality and attention to detail goes to Forest River.

Again I have experience with both Forest River and Thor.
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Old 11-22-2023, 02:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJC62 View Post
Low mileage is always a selling point when buying a used car, but on a motorhome, it may be a detriment.
Lack of use on the generator, fridge, furnace etc. can be a problem. On the low mileage unit are the tires original? If they are that's 6 tires that should go bye bye before anything more than a drive home.
Gotta ask yourself why didn't the original owners use the 2014?
On the flip side the 2015 with 65,000 miles is well used. At over 8000 miles a year that's doing some traveling. Could it have been a rental?
We have had several motorhomes over the last 25+ years and I have been thinking about how many miles we put on a year. I would say we average maybe 3000 per year. (Since retirement a bit more.)
If you have never owned an RV getting a professional to evaluate what you are buying would be money well spent IMO.
Good luck with your search and enjoy the journey
While "low Miles" might be a selling point, that fact really is a red flag of neglect for me. Consider this, has the oil ever been changed in the engine or generator, have the battery's been replaced, Has the chassis ever been lubed, have the tires been replaced? My 2018 Thor ACE had only 3900 miles when I purchased it last year. When I took it in to have the alignment checked they found that the poorly lubricated king pin bushings were so badly worn that it could not be aligned. King pins were not properly lubed at the factory or by the OO dealer or the OO. You need to consider that you may need to spend 10 to 15 thousand dollars just to get it road worthy.

In addition, I expect that you will want to install a wheelchair lift, do you really want to spend thousands of dollars doing that only to have the rest of the coach fall apart around you.
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Old 11-22-2023, 03:12 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by EA37TS View Post
If you want to base this on a forum. From experience with both Thor and Forest River, go with the Forester. Forest River engineers and Customer Support reps constantly monitored and provided input and answered questions and concerns on owner issues. Far superior to Thor’s participation in anything. Since these are used units warranty is not an issue. I would say that the edge in build quality and attention to detail goes to Forest River.

Again I have experience with both Forest River and Thor.
Duly noted. I have never been on a Forest River forum, but if you say it is better than this one it has my attention and command my respect.

I can honestly say I have experience with Forest River, Thor & WBGO. Before buying our RV, we rented the same 38" Diesel Forest River twice. It was just too big ( long) for me and the 3.75 miles per gallon was not something I could afford on a permanent basis. Even though that Forest River was fairly new at the time; 2017 or so, it had a bad habit of tripping breakers with Generator on and ACs would not run. A few times we had to pull it over as it was too hot. Breaker would magically reset after some time.

My experience with Thor is well documented. I don't agree with the view to find a heavily used unit to buy as it is better than a new unit or one with low miles. To me buying newer or heavily used should be the same, make sure it works the way you want BEFORE you buy. I don't want 70% of the Mods I read about. When you buy it, you own it and no whining

My SOB fell in my lap, I remember in the days before buying it, I had two options of coach that were about 95% identical. One brand new with about 800 miles, and the other used with about 30,000 miles and $10,000 more. A lot of people on this forum advised me to buy the Used one. I went with the new unit and really glad that I did.

I am gonna say it for the OP one more time, check EVERYTHING out BEFORE you buy. Nothing is NOT Everything in this case. Check EVERYTHING or do not buy a RV (New or Used)
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Old 11-22-2023, 03:48 PM   #9
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Since you are new to the RV life and probably don't know what you don't know, I would urge you to get an independent RV inspection done by a certified inspector on the RV you decide on. Do not rely on a dealer's PDI or the word of a private seller.
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Old 11-22-2023, 03:51 PM   #10
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This quickly turned into a quality/condition reflex but the main factor for me seems...which one gives you easiest access to getting your son in and out. Can he maneuver a little without the wheelchair? If not, will the wheelchair fit in the door and make the turns you need? Which floor plan give him the most freedom to move around underway with the slides in? Can he access the bathroom underway with the slides in? Not pushing my model on you but, there are coaches out there with no slides. The elimination of slides gives you more open width inside while driving. We had a 35' Super C with a bath and a half. Downsized tremendously to a 25', no-slide Jayco. Sure, there's big features we miss but the actual maneuvering space inside while underway is amazingly larger. The rear, L-shaped lounge with seat belts will seat 4 adults comfortably and the seating base is much larger than the "picnic style" bench sofas in most coaches. Your plan sounds like most of your use with him will be on the road. Go for the biggest interior space, while underway, that you can find.
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Old 11-29-2023, 08:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by dkoldman View Post
Duly noted. I have never been on a Forest River forum, but if you say it is better than this one it has my attention and command my respect.

I can honestly say I have experience with Forest River, Thor & WBGO. Before buying our RV, we rented the same 38" Diesel Forest River twice. It was just too big ( long) for me and the 3.75 miles per gallon was not something I could afford on a permanent basis. Even though that Forest River was fairly new at the time; 2017 or so, it had a bad habit of tripping breakers with Generator on and ACs would not run. A few times we had to pull it over as it was too hot. Breaker would magically reset after some time.

My experience with Thor is well documented. I don't agree with the view to find a heavily used unit to buy as it is better than a new unit or one with low miles. To me buying newer or heavily used should be the same, make sure it works the way you want BEFORE you buy. I don't want 70% of the Mods I read about. When you buy it, you own it and no whining

My SOB fell in my lap, I remember in the days before buying it, I had two options of coach that were about 95% identical. One brand new with about 800 miles, and the other used with about 30,000 miles and $10,000 more. A lot of people on this forum advised me to buy the Used one. I went with the new unit and really glad that I did.

I am gonna say it for the OP one more time, check EVERYTHING out BEFORE you buy. Nothing is NOT Everything in this case. Check EVERYTHING or do not buy a RV (New or Used)

Yikes! A Forest River diesel got 3.75 MPG? We get close to 13 mpg with our 2017 Thor Palazzo (36 feet).
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Old 11-29-2023, 11:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inrelentlesspursuit View Post
Hello All ! Me and my family are looking at buying a RV the two we are looking at are the following ..We will be Noobie RV Owners ..We have a 13yo special needs son in a wheel chair and we travel using our Handicap minivan and looking 👀 for a motorhome with kids and grandkids scattered in 4 different directions of the US ..Will be driven weekends in summer and Chicago , Wyoming & South Texas ..I would truly love your opinions on these two Class C units or which other Class C to look at ..Thanks in advance

2015 Forest River Forester 3171ds
Class C 65k miles

2014 Thor Motor Coach Four Winds (31a) only 6,175 miles Class C
Both coaches will be close on amenities and value. Best advice I can give is "Don't pay asking price". Not everyone is a wheeler dealer when it comes to buying a high value item. I have seen far too many people throw money away on RV's by paying way too much. If you buy from a dealer never pay more than $10,000 less than what they are asking, always make them give you a free warranty, and try out everything including spending the night in it before you give them any money (not even a down payment). On a used coach you might consider paying a professional RV inspector to look it all over first. If you follow this advice you're less likely to get hosed by the dealer.
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Old 11-29-2023, 11:26 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by NordicVetMBA View Post
Yikes! A Forest River diesel got 3.75 MPG? We get close to 13 mpg with our 2017 Thor Palazzo (36 feet).
Heck we only get about 8 or 9 miles per gallon with our SOB Gas v10. I took one trip with everything empty and as light a load possible and we were still 8.5 miles/gallon. I think the the type of roads ( hills versus flat) make the most difference.

I was being generous saying the Forest River got 3.75mpg. Having to run Genny & all 3 ACs didn't help. 30 feet is perfect for us.
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Old 12-31-2023, 08:44 PM   #14
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Give it a test drive First before hand over the check.
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