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Old 08-12-2015, 11:56 PM   #1
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Regrets? Wisdom for New Buyers?

As I read these threads, my heart goes out to a few types, mostly new buyers. They fall into a few categories, such as:
1. My dealer didn't tell me anything - how to turn on the water heater, what works on battery, and what works on 120VAC, etc. A little time in the campground and on these boards will fix these.
2. I can't tow my 32 ft trailer with my Chevy S-10/Ford Ranger.
3. Problems with slides. These are sad, because they are outside the ability of most RVers to fix, and can immobilize a trailer in the campground, and condemn them to long wait times at the dealer for repairs.
(IMHO) This is just my thought about #3: If you are going to activate your TT once in May, and bring it to the campground of your choice until October, then get one with slides. If (like us) you're not going to stay in a site more than 3 days, and want to get on/off the road quickly, then find a TT without slides. Yes, I get envious seeing the additional interior of a unit with slides. But I think all should have their "eyes wide open" when they consider slides, especially first time buyers, or those with limited abilities. Don't believe the salesperson when he/she tells you, "no problem, you can do it!"
Sadly, most buyers don't come to this board until after they've brought their new RV home. And that's why we're here. But for those few who do some research, every level of addition/luxury is a potential for regret. I wish you all well!
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Old 08-13-2015, 07:56 AM   #2
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While I agree with most of what you say...Traditionally MOST RV owners belong to 2 groups...First group are those who's parents owned RV's and they have grown up RVing...Second group are those who have started out with small campers like pop-ups and through the years have graduated to larger campers...

I think what you are seeing more now are people like myself who did several years of research and then bought larger campers right from the get-go...Our first camper was a 5th wheel...The problems you point out as far as I am concerned are two fold...First some people just do NOT do enough research on their own, and are willing to take a salesman word...As in the #2 statement in your post...Second there are a lot of people that have NO knowledge of electrical, plumbing, or mechanical systems, and thus they have to rely on this forum or dealers for help...

After all is said and done, all of us that are members of this forum have asked for help at some time or another...
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Old 08-13-2015, 04:11 PM   #3
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Buying an RV is a major purchase. I suggest that anyone purchasing one should do a lot of research prior to the purchase. They need to research the unit they are interested in as well as the dealer.
In regards to sales people they have numerous units on their lots and it's been my experience that they are generally not experts on all units. Most I have dealt with have a decent general idea of RV units. But they do not know all the details of each specific brand and unit. So find the info you need in writing, don't just take their word on it.
Prior to taking the keys they need a thorough PDI. Do not wimp out, you are putting down a lot of money. DEMAND a thorough PDI.
Be ready to do some repairs to the unit it comes with the territory.
Having a unit without slides is an option and you do take a headache out of the equation. But also think long and hard about the length as well. If you like state parks and want more camping options you may not want a unit that is too long.
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Old 08-13-2015, 08:04 PM   #4
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I agree with all to an extent, but Bert brought up a good point about length. We do a lot of state campgrounds. Sometimes I have had to un hook and park truck "crooked" in the site in order to fit. Space between sites is often roomy but overall length not always.
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Old 08-14-2015, 06:02 AM   #5
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I love my trailer, but I have had a few problems with the slide out. It got stuck on the vent cover on the floor and went sideways. It then started rubbing hard on the floor actually tearing the linoleum. I was lucky no more damage was done, but I agree with the post about short term state park camping. I wish I had not gotten the slide out. It makes set-up and tear-down so much more complicated. I doubt I'll ever convince my wife to go back to a non-slide model though. She loves the extra space. Also, some of the best state park and national park sites are just too short and narrow for a long and wide camper. That's something I wish I'd thought more about before my purchase.
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Old 08-14-2015, 06:22 AM   #6
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That is slowly changing with the state & national parks...They are realizing, just like many private campgrounds, that RV's are getting longer and wider, and more and more of their owners want full hook up's as opposed to just water and electric...
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Old 08-14-2015, 04:58 PM   #7
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The PDI cannot be emphasized enough. Another piece of wisdom...do not believe the sales people when they tell you "it's 1/2 ton towable". This is nothing more than a sales pitch. In some cases, it is criminal.

Do I have any regrets? Not yet. We jumped right in with the travel trailer. It would have been a 5th wheel if we had only found a floor plan that we liked.
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Old 08-15-2015, 12:45 PM   #8
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What's the old saying about balance? With every good, there's a bad. It's all about weighing both and living with the consequences.
I think most rvers have a sense of adventure...which includes adventuring into, and how to fix issues, when they occur.
I don't ever remembering a fellow camper that didn't come camping with a basic set of tools, gadgets, etc to fix minor problems when they needed a fix.
I'll live with slider issues to ensure I have a happy wife.
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Old 08-15-2015, 01:21 PM   #9
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If I had to give up my sliders, I don't know if I would survive. Passing by each other in a non slide rv is not my cup of tea. I'll do my best to maintain the sliders to enjoy the openness the sliders give to an rv. I have no problems suggesting slides to a first time buyer. My best suggestion is to do your homework first, visit various dealers often, sit in the rv for periods of time and ask questions. If the dealer does not have the answer to your questions, find another dealer. Like Marty said, do your research, the internet and computer is great for preliminary research...AND like stated, forums are a good thing to view. But remember one thing: more people complain about their issues than those who post how good their rv is.
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Old 08-15-2015, 07:01 PM   #10
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My experience with state campgrounds is more of a length issue than width. I would go with a slide out.
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