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Buying a Wanderlodge, a Bluebird or any RV Ready to take the plunge or looking to upgrade and you have questions? Folks are standing by ready to help.

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  #1  
Old 4 Days Ago
Pkrface Pkrface is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Enon
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Default New Member Purchase Advice

Hello everyone! Looks like you all have a wonderful community here!

I've been hanging out and reading for about 6 weeks, so I'll sketch out the basics of what I am focusing on and let members correct any assumptions I've made or what I think I've learned.

I'm looking for a bus hopefully sometime in the first half of 2021, but if it takes a bit longer no big deal. I have the benefit of having been around the heavy truck industry for 20+ years. I'm fairly handy and do the majority of maintenance and repairs on my vehicles and home, though no doubt buses include some systems that will involve a learning curve. I'm no stranger to buying vehicles with age and miles on them and I've had really good luck paying close attention to history on them, both basic platform reliability and maintenance performed to date, and ending up with something very reliable and serviceable going forward. Seems like that is a strategy that is recommended here as well.

My goal is to blend getting the most modern bus I can along with the most trouble free. Annual expense isn't a concern as $5-10K a year plus operating expense isn't troublesome. I started my search knowing I wanted to avoid 2008+ diesel engine emissions and greatly prefer a DD60 as they have a great rep from that era. As I understand it that pretty much puts me into a 1998-2003 LXi. Any wisdom to the idea of avoiding first year or two of that window? I have often chosen to do that with cars avoiding the first year of a new model to let the manufacturer work out the bugs. Am I over-thinking that?

Any other input welcome. My usage will likely be several 2-4 week trips a year for 2 of us. Thanks for any advice in advance!

PS - I forgot to mention I am big on pre-purchase inspection and of getting a professional opinion on something of this nature. I have already bookmarked John Mcginnis' All Wheel Appraisals, though will definitely post here any bus I am interested in looking closer at. Would start by getting a local member to lay eyes on then proceeding to paid appraisal if it passes that stage before seeing the bus in person unless it happened to be in my backyard to begin with.
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Old 4 Days Ago
dan1000 dan1000 is offline
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Hi Gene, and welcome to WOG. One question that comes to mind is: Do you have any prior experience with RVing? The reason I ask is that whatever you buy, it will likely take you a year or two to get it set up truly the way you want it to be (RVs can take that long to reveal their secrets). If you don't have much RV experience, I'd suggest renting a few different units to see what you like / don't like about them. Can start of with a company such as cruiseamerica.com, for example. Or with something like RVshare.com which lets you rent other people's RVs directly from them.

In my view, by far the most important decision to make is the selection of a floor-plan the works for you. If the floor plan is wrong, or just "not optimal", you won't be happy (either directly, or due to spouse being unhappy). So trying out a few different kinds is worthwhile.

Being unhappy for a long weekend in the "wrong" rented RV sure beats being unhappy after the first weekend out in one you bought

Just one point of view. I'm sure there will be others.

Dan
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  #3  
Old 4 Days Ago
fastdancin fastdancin is offline
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Let your gut lead the way. First impressions are valuable, but only if you gather a bunch of 'em. Look at buses 'til one speaks to you. These rigs are way, WAY too much trouble to have one you don't REALLY like.
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  #4  
Old 4 Days Ago
Pkrface Pkrface is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan1000 View Post
Hi Gene, and welcome to WOG. One question that comes to mind is: Do you have any prior experience with RVing? The reason I ask is that whatever you buy, it will likely take you a year or two to get it set up truly the way you want it to be (RVs can take that long to reveal their secrets). If you don't have much RV experience, I'd suggest renting a few different units to see what you like / don't like about them. Can start of with a company such as cruiseamerica.com, for example. Or with something like RVshare.com which lets you rent other people's RVs directly from them.

In my view, by far the most important decision to make is the selection of a floor-plan the works for you. If the floor plan is wrong, or just "not optimal", you won't be happy (either directly, or due to spouse being unhappy). So trying out a few different kinds is worthwhile.

Being unhappy for a long weekend in the "wrong" rented RV sure beats being unhappy after the first weekend out in one you bought

Just one point of view. I'm sure there will be others.

Dan
Thanks Dan! It is really difficult to lay out all pertinent information in a single post and until someone brings it up hard to think of what all one has left out.

I grew up in northern Indiana surrounded by RV manufacturers and have a BIL that works at Jayco. I grew up traveling all over the east coast and eastern Canada in a pick up camper then we upgraded to a class C MH when I was 10 and took a 30 day trip to the west coast and back in 1978. Next was a 30' class A. We currently own a large pop up that hasn't been used in several years which I realize is completely different in some ways. In other ways all RVs and campers are similar in that there is always tinkering to do and preventative upkeep to make sure is done if you want the best chance for a successful trip, but it's your ability to think on the fly and roll with what comes at you that will frequently make or break your trip. Yes, a bus is quite different. A change in personal circumstances is playing into the ability to make the dream come true. The biggest attraction to a bus is the safety factor of the shell. These wood and fiberglass RVs that look like they exploded all over the highway are disconcerting to say the least even though that is what I grew up in. I have enough experience with large vehicles that a bus is not intimidating. In fact, one of my semi-retirement concepts involves driving tour bus seasonally.

Floor plan is definitely important though I wouldn't be beyond modding something that was close. Much prefer a booth dinette. I have a really good relationship with a custom coach shop in Columbus, OH if I want something that gets outside my wheelhouse.
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Last edited by Pkrface; 4 Days Ago at 07:53 PM.
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Old 4 Days Ago
Pkrface Pkrface is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastdancin View Post
Let your gut lead the way. First impressions are valuable, but only if you gather a bunch of 'em. Look at buses 'til one speaks to you. These rigs are way, WAY too much trouble to have one you don't REALLY like.
Agreed Carmine, and thanks for the notes! That is why I am posting this a good 6 months in advance. If it takes longer it just takes longer. I very much take pride in anything I drive and don't have the tolerance for something that needs to rescued from the scrap yard, instead looking for something that has been babied it's whole life.
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Old 4 Days Ago
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Captain Fred Captain Fred is offline
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Welcome and good luck in your search. A couple of things that I would mention.
When you find a Bird that interests you you need to move quickly. A really good one with a documented history sometimes won't last a full day. Find out what you really want and contact Randy to watch for one.
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  #7  
Old 4 Days Ago
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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And,you can get an S60 in 9,96 and 97.
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  #8  
Old 4 Days Ago
Pkrface Pkrface is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Dupree View Post
And,you can get an S60 in 9,96 and 97.
Any advantages to the '95-'97? I forgot to mention I am looking for a front slide unit.

I've seen several 2003 LXis that are/were pretty sharp and as I mentioned trying to get a modern as I can. Looking for this to likely be a 20+ year relationship and trying to buy my last one first as they say.
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  #9  
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isp2952 isp2952 is offline
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Welcome to the group Gene. I guess I never thought you would consider yourself a NW Ohio resident but if your brother lives and works up my way then I guess you spend a lot of time up in the NW part of Ohio

Anyway, feel free to stop by anytime if you head up to visit your brother. I'm pretty much on the way. As far as the S60 I think you should look at anything from '95 and up because that is when they were first put into a Wanderlodge. 3 years added to your list of potential buses will greatly improve your odds of finding what you want.

Not that the S60 isn't a great engine but don't overlook the Cummins. They are also considered an excellent motor by the guys on this forum. My M-11 seems to be a pretty good motor as do the others that are known to be in the other buses in this group. Just mentioning that to again expand you ability to find something that you may really like. I think Carmine used the words "let it speak to you." Not accusing him of plagory but I have said that same thing for nearly the last 13 years I have been on this forum. There are a lot of things that can be acceptable to you, if you just fall in love with it and know that it is the right coach for you. For many years I have read posts about people that wanted a certain color or floor plan or engine etc. etc. Well most anything can be put up with if you just fall in love with it. One last piece of advice. Let you wife be as involved in this process as she can possibly be. I bought my first coach when my wife and I were just dating. I came home one day and said, "Look what I bought." Don't get me wrong she liked it, but she always called it "My Bus". She enjoyed our trips and we always had fun but it was "My Bus" and I could feel she didn't feel like in was "Our Bus". So when we finally switched to a newer bus I told my wife, "Since the '93 was 'My Bus' you will pick this one. I don't care what engine it has, I don't care what color it is, I only care about one thing. Can we afford it." So she saw our current bus and just went totally nuts over it and we bought it. It was one of the best decisions of my life, next to picking her to be my wife. Her enjoyment with this bus has been a 180° over the other bus. That one thing, in and of itself, has made my enjoyment of the bus much more enjoyable, compared to the '93. So take it from a old geezer, the more you get your wife involved in this project the more you might like it. If I am speaking out of turn then excuse me, I just made note that you were talking about the "2 of us" so I assumed a wife may be involved. But should that not be the case then just keep this post in you memory bank for future reference.
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  #10  
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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Slides started in 98,so forget about the 95-96-97
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