We recently sold our 2002 Country Coach motorhome after owning it for 12 years. There were a number of reasons, but basically it boiled down to we had her and used her extensively for those 12 years and it was time to do something different.
Selling our motorhome is really going against the trend. The last year or so any kind of RV has been a hot seller for both motorhomes and trailers. But for my wife and I it was just time to sell. Here are some of the reasons.
- My right knee which I injured when I was a teen ager in a bike accident finally just wore out and needed to be replaced. So I figured we would not be able to do a summer trip this year.
- Before this motorhome we had a smaller one of 26′ for four years. So for 16 years we were very active RVers.
- Our coach was a 2002 and it just needed more repairs than it did a few years ago. And this is combined that most work on it I don’t want to do, so I have to hire it out, which costs a lot. At 19 years old our coach should be owned by someone who wants to do most of the repairs on it by themselves in my opinion.
- We want to go outside the USA to see some places that you need to take a plane to get to. Our budget and time did not allow to do both RVing and extensive long distance travel.
- By 2020 we had been to most of the places we wanted to go in the motorhome at least once. In many cases we had been to some places many times.
- And here is a big one, my wife did not want to drive the coach. So I was the only driver. Long trips were too tiring for me. When my wife and I travel by car we split driving duties.
I still liked the motorhome we owned and overall it worked out well. When we were looking for a coach back in 2009 my goal was to find a coach that had everything we wanted and we would be happy with for a long time. We looked almost exclusively at high end coaches that were very well made and were not too old. I did lots of research to find out which coaches had the best reputations for build quality, good design, quality assembly, drove well, and had high quality components. Back then the top models with these characteristics were Country Coach, Foretravel, Travel Supreme, Bluebird, and some Monaco’s and Beavers and Alpines. At the time all these people made production coaches and not only special order builds. We also looked at a few new coaches but since I was in the used industrial machinery business I decided used was the way to go.
When we bought our coach she was 7 years old with 85,000 miles on her. We bought her from a private party and got a high end extended maintenance insurance that we split the cost of with the seller. The insurance we got paid for itself several times over. We tried to renew it after three years but at that time nobody would give insurance to a coach over ten years old and over 100,000 miles.
What are some of the things we learned
- The very first thing on the list and in my mind is the most important is – Make sure the coach that you buy is stable and steers well so you feel comfortable driving it at freeway speeds (58-62mph). What ever you do, do not buy a coach that does not handle well before you buy it. Do not buy anything you plan to add stuff to so that it steers OK later. Good handling means it goes down the road straight with little input and it does not “ramble” around going down the high way.
- If you plan to drive longer distances and are a couple both people should be OK driving the rig. If you partner does not like driving the coach then keep looking till you find one they do like.
- Heavier coaches with heavier duty components and motors are usually better. My experience is that there is very little mpg penalty with a heavier coach as long as it has a newer post year 2000 main motor. If you have a big coach you need a big motor. Do not go cheap and get a too small base motor. Larger higher torque motors are better.
- Be sure to get a well insulated coach with double pane windows.
- Bigger coaches 40′ and over need three top air conditioners to cool properly in warm places.
- The biggest problem we had with our coach was maintaining the two slides. Most coaches today have 4 slides. So double the problems we had. Be sure to lube your slide seals with spray lube as often as needed. If it rains hard with wind it is likely rain will accumulate on top of the slides. When you bring in the slides if the water is still there it can come in the coach. This is common to most coaches.
I have been motor homing since 1980 and have mostly loved doing it. I don’t see any way that you can explore the US better than with a motorhome or towable. I have always preferred motorhomes because we tend not to stay in one place too long. My motto was alway that if you motor more than you home then you should buy a motorhome, and if you home more than you motor a 5th wheel or trailer is better.