We’re often asked “What’s the very best-possible RV-buying situation?” We always answer that a 1-owner used rig, with good maintenance records, used full-time, purchased directly from a meticulous, original owner, is the best scenario.

[box type=”shadow”]UPDATE: Nina & Paul were able to sell their RV in time for their European departure… so “the Beast” is no longer available![/box]

It just so happens that a very special rig, well-known to the RV community, has just come on the market. Since this RV is owned by dear personal friends of ours, and someone is going to get their hands on this unique rig, we wanted to make our viewers aware of it.

Congratulations to Nina & Paul of WheelingIt on their exciting decision to move to Europe! Even though their home is on wheels, they can’t take it with them, as the infrastructure there isn’t designed to handle a 40′ rig. But their loss will be someone else’s gain.

We’ve talked about the following RV-buying benefits many times:

A used rig has already gone through its steepest depreciation, and long since had its “punch list” items addressed. Paul & Nina’s 2008 Holiday Rambler is now right in that “sweet spot” age-wise… old enough to be done with major depreciation, but young enough to have many years of quality life left.

A private sale not only eliminates dealer mark-up, but also puts the buyer in direct touch with the person who knows more about the rig than anyone else (ditto the “one owner” benefit, since only the original owner knows EVERYTHING that’s ever been done to the rig).

And the benefit of buying from a full-timer is the lack of “lot rot” that can plague rigs that sit for too long. That’s especially true when the owner knows to exercise the chassis and generator on a regular basis, as Nina & Paul do.

When you toss in an RV that’s been highly upgraded with a stellar solar array & lithium battery bank (we’re seriously jealous of their setup), and lots of other goodies that only an experienced full-timer would likely recognize as “must-have” features, you’ve got the potential for a real “cherry” (the opposite of a “lemon” in used car parlance).

Now add in one final almost-impossible-to-find factor: the rig is owned, featured and publicly used and maintained by a well- known and well-respected couple who have shared every intimate detail of that RV’s life and times… and you have what might just be one of the most desirable used rigs ever to come on the market. The only one that might equal it, for many of the same reasons, is our own 2005 Newmar Mountain Aire. But that one’s not for sale (yet!), so some lucky person had better grab this amazing Holiday Rambler fast!

Of course we can’t personally vouch for the condition of “The Beast” (Paul & Nina’s name for their rig), but what we can vouch for is their integrity. If you’ve followed their blog for long, you’ve surely picked up on their attention to detail and their candor. We can tell you that behind the scenes, when they’re not blogging or on YouTube, they’re the same marvelous people, as honorable as the day is long.

So if you’re in the market for a motorhome (or if you weren’t, but now realize that sometimes opportunity knocks unexpectedly), now might be the time to make your move. View all the details, including several videos, on Nina & Paul’s website: Our Holiday Rambler 2008 40PDQ Is For Sale!

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  1. My wife and I have done our homework on Class As. We have narrowed it down to the 40′ Tiffen Phaeton or the newest floor plan of the 40′ Newmar MountainAire. We plan to live in it full time. I am writing today to ask your general opinion of the two coaches. In light of all of your experience we value your opinion and will be watching for your response and the comments of others.
    Thank you, Steve and Candi Jo

    1. Hi Steve & Candi Jo! We are going to do something here that may be controversial, and not appreciated by everyone… we are going to tell you our honest opinion and not hedge! When we were first on the road, learning about possible choices to replace our first rig (a Fleetwood Bounder Diesel, which we were very happy with), several brand names continued to float to the top. Newmar and Tiffin were always in the top three or four names. Then we bought our Newmar, not only because it was consistently the #1 brand on our list, but even more because they had a floorplan that we absolutely loved (and still do). As time passed in our new Mountain Aire (13+ years now), we were able to look back on our decision with the benefit of first-hand experience with Newmar. We still say it every time the subject comes up: If we were to buy new again today, we would buy a Newmar. It has just been that good a product. It’s not that nothing has ever gone wrong (no such thing of course)! It’s that we can see how the materials have held up over time, and we’ve been very impressed with that.

      Now obviously we can’t speak about any other brand with first-hand knowledge, because we haven’t owned one. But as avid RVers, always with an eye out for “what if” we were to buy a new one, we’re pretty plugged into the market. That’s where our opinion of Tiffin comes in. One of the big selling points we heard about Tiffin is that you can come to the factory for service and they’ll take great care of you. Our attitude is that we don’t want to have to go to any one place for service, especially if it’s not on our regular path of travel, which Red Bay, AL is not. A better selling point for us would be a great dealer network. We’ve also heard and read an awful lot of stories about Tiffin supposedly having a noticeable drop in quality, including long waits to get appointments at the factory.. and long waits once there. Although anecdotal stories from friends of friends about the endless problems they have with their Tiffin is just that…. anecdotal, it reinforces things we’d already heard, and for that reason, we would not currently consider buying a Tiffin. There are surely many satisfied Tiffin owners out there, but we’ve seen a steady increase over the years in gripes about the brand.

      So while we could never guarantee that every Newmar buyer will be happy (of course there are dissatisfied buyers of every brand), if you’re asking our personal opinion/impression of the decision between Newmar & Tiffin…. it’s a no-brainer for us. Newmar is awesome and Tiffin leaves much to be desired. But that’s our opinion. Get lots of them. And floorplan is so important, too! Happy shopping, and hope this helps a bit.

  2. Hi, We are Paul & Susan (&Charlie the Schnauzer).

    Absolutely elated to be sent your details by my cousin, who’s rv-ing at Quartzite, AZ right now. I only just got started, but everything you have put on your website just answers all the questions I ever had so far, thank you. She sent me the link to your rig, which is awesome, thinking it may do all we want, but we have just been to the Tampa RV show and decided (as you already confirmed in one of your blogs) that 35′ max is where we need to be.

    We, as I mentioned, live in the uk and want to come over and do what you guys do/did (though we will only be able to stay for a max of 180 days) We have been to the USA over 40 times so we know we will love it. We have a Mercedes van/ rv which we would ship over but feel it’s just not big enough to live in full time, so we know we like camping. Because of the limited time we can stay in the US. we figured we’d keep one at my cousins farm and use it for six months, then do Europe for six months over here, unless we can go into Canada or Mexico for a few months then maybe get another 6 moths pass to the USA, we are just trying to work out the legalities and possible pitfalls of that one.

    Have you looked at shipping your rv over to Europe? as you will pay dearly over here in the uk, to get what you already have now. I have shipped a vehicle over to the uk and it’s not as expensive as you may think, though Europe is not as A class friendly as the US.

    We’d be interested to hear your thoughts or recommendations , and if there’s anything we can help with from our side of the pond regards your move, let me know.  

    1. Hi Paul & Susan! Thanks for the nice note. We just want to be sure that you know that the RV for sale isn’t ours, but our friends Nina & Paul’s. We’ve never considered shipping an RV overseas, but that may be because we’ve never planned a long enough RV trip to warrant even looking into it. The only overseas RV trip we’ve done (so far!) is three weeks in Australia, for which we of course rented a campervan. We do know a couple of people who live overseas, and purchased motorhomes in the States to use during extended visits. We’d think that buying a rig in the intended country where it will be used has some advantages, including saving on shipping costs, and ensuring that the systems are compatible (mostly electric & plumbing).

  3. We’re can I check out Johns solar setup? I’m in the beginning of I staling solar on my Tiffin with a resedential fridge.

    1. Steven or RVGeeks, I’d appreciate any tips you have for installing solar on a Tiffin, or contact info. I’m picking up a 32SA in May or June with factory solar pre-wiring but no panels or charge controller. Curious about how to attach panelsto the roof so they are secure but without drilling into internal wiring.

      1. Hey Madcam. We can’t speak specifically to the Tiffin, but we’d be surprised if you’d have an issue screwing the panels to the roof causing trouble with any wiring in the roof. You can certainly call Tiffin and see if they can provide schematics of the wiring in the roof, so you know where it runs. But we screwed our panels directly to the roof… and we’d be surprised if the screws extended much beyond the wood substrate in the roof… so no issue penetrating wiring, etc.

        We’ve heard of people using 3M VHB tape to secure solar panels to the roof… but you would have to fabricate a different mounting system than the standard four feet used in the corners of the panels. We wouldn’t think those small feet would provide a large enough surface area to ensure the VHB could withstand the forces of 60+ mph winds. Some people have attached angle iron the length of the panel on both sides… and then used long strips (or many strips) of VHB to adhere the angle iron to the roof.

        Just be aware that you don’t want to use VHB to secure solar panels to a rubber/TPO/EPDM membrane roof. You HAVE to screw them down in that scenario. If you VHB the panels to a membrane roof, you’re relying on the adhesive that holds the membrane to the roof to withstand the forces on the panels… and you’re more than likely to cause the membrane to separate. You can only VHB something that large to a fiberglass roof.

        Hope this info helps! And congratulations on your new coach!

  4. So kind and thoughtful of you to lend your following to help Paul and Nina! Just one more example of how the RV community operates!

    1. For sure! Someone is going to be the very lucky new owner of The Beast, and it might as well be one of our viewers! If so, you’re keeping the finders fee to buy us all wine in Europe. ;-)

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We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

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