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Old 01-02-2016, 12:39 PM   #1
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Considering buying a 2011 3170DS

Hello all,

My family is in the market to purchased a used class C with bunks. For the last several years we have had a hybrid TT but decided to sell our trailer last year with the plans for purchasing a class C this year. I have been eyeing the Winnebago Access 31J for the past year because it as the floorplan we wanted. I just recently stumbled across the Forest River Sunseeker 3170DS. Same floorplan at the Access 31J but the bunks have the convertible couch option. I am in California and these floorplans are not too common on the used market out here.

I found a 2011 3170DS for sale near me that I think we are going to check out today or tomorrow. Here are my questions:

The 2011 has the above the cab front window and I notice the later years do not, does that window tend to leak? Any cons to that window?

How are the size of the bunk slideouts for teens? Looks like the Sunseeker bunks are slightly smaller than the Winnebago bunks. How about the kids sofa sleeper, can a teen sleep in it?

The particular unit I am looking at, the gas stove starter and the furnace is not working. That is a little concerning for a vehicle with only 15,0000 miles and 5 years old. Has this been a common problem?

Thanks so much for the help. I will be looking at other reviews and opinions of the 3170DS in this forum as well. Right now I really like what I am reading.

Oh, we are a family of 5 with 3 kids ages 13, 11, 8. We want an RV that will last us at least 10 years and the kids are out of the house.
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Old 01-02-2016, 06:16 PM   #2
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We looked for several months for a used 3170DS before I bought new. Most used ones I found were ex rentals (2012-2014) and most were treated rough and it showed.

If your looking at the one on RV Trader for $53500 keep in mind I paid 10K over that
for a brand new 2015 3170DS loaded (except exterior paint) in April.

The pictures look great of that 2011, but I wouldn't pay within 10K of that asking price.

Best of luck, our 4 kids really enjoy ours. My kids are 15,14,6,5 and they have all done great with the bunks. My boys prefer the bed in the cab and the girls usually go with the bunks.
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Old 01-02-2016, 06:58 PM   #3
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In the Spring of 2014 we bought a used 2011 TT (3 years old) for 25% less than the best new wholesaler/sale price we could find nationally. We bought it from a dealer 10 minutes from work who also threw-in a lot of extras like a free WDH, free pressurized leak test & re-caulking, free adjustment of all slides & awning, new battery, new CO2 detector, free store credit, 2.5 hour PDI, etc. IMO it was a solid deal because we camped the next 2 years without a single problem - whereas friends who bought new spent their first year running-around having warranty work done...

However, now a 2011 is 5+ years-old, so IMO you need to land around 40% OFF the best wholesale/sale price nationwide provided you are getting it from a reputable dealer who can provide the same type of presale adjustments & PDI we received. If you are buying it from a Private Seller, I would shoot for at least 50% OFF or walk-away.

Quote:
we are a family of 5 with 3 kids ages 13, 11, 8. We want an RV that will last us at least 10 years...
We also have 3 kids about the same ages as yours and are so glad we made the decision to start camping/traveling together. We use our TT as "base camp" for outdoor activities like fishing, hiking & biking but plan-in amusement parks & other activities we can't do around home. Makes for nice trips that everyone enjoys.

EDIT: For $55K I would look into getting a used Georgetown with 2-3 slides & bunks...
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Old 01-02-2016, 08:30 PM   #4
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We got a 2013 3170DS, with 18K on it, lots of extras. There is no window on the front, the salesman said that it had been a leak issue, so FR changed the design.
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:23 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone for your replies. Your comments and advice is much appreciated.

6inthefamily, yes that one on RV trader is the one we looked at.

We went today and took at look at it. The inside is in great shape, but there are some issues that need to be addressed. Needs all new tires, furnace needs to be fixed, and the bunk, master slide sticks a bit. Also it does have out of state plates and registering vehicles in CA is pretty expensive. I totally agree that a 5+ year MH from a private seller should be at least 50% off new MSRP.

We have not made a decision, still doing research. These floorplans used on the West Coast are hard to come by. It is pretty desirable that this one is located relatively close to home.

Any other suggestions of where to look on the used market? Looking on RVTrader, Craigs list and local dealerships.
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Old 01-03-2016, 10:18 AM   #6
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DW spent weeks scouring the web, Craig's List, on line lists, local dealers, etc. Put it all in a spreadsheet, made numerous inquires, some people answered, some ads were obviously scams, old MH's, high mileage, $$$$. Not knowing a great deal about RV's and what's good or not, made me leary of private deals. I didn't want to get stuck with a lemon and a legal battle. We decided to stay with main dealers with warranty packages. We did get a great deal, on our MH, right place at right time. We were a bit lucky. Our MH literally drove in as a trade from another owner as we were standing at the dealer. Lucky...:-)
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Old 01-03-2016, 12:32 PM   #7
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The front window over the cab is an option with the basic front cap. A single piece fiberglass cap is standard on the Forester and optional on the Sunseeker. You can't get the front window with the fiberglass cap. And yes, some front windows leak.

If you are new to the market, you should be aware that the Sunseeker and the Forester are twins, with the Forester having some upscale trim that the Sunseeker does not have, although many of those items are available as options on the Sunseeker. They have the same construction and appliances.
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Old 01-06-2016, 08:00 PM   #8
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I wouldn't be scared of the rentals if you can find a clean one. We bought a 2013, 3170ds. Plain Jane. No upgrades for $35K with 20+K miles on it. I has been flawless except the shower rollers which would be the same as a new one. Also got the tires replaced under the recall. Being a rental it seems to have all the little problems fix already. Has a few dents and scratches. But for our first RV we don't feel we are out much if we don't use it a lot . We also go to the sand dunes and it is hard on them.
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Old 01-06-2016, 08:11 PM   #9
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I wish I could find that deal Fozzy. I am not afraid of purchasing a rental if it is not too beat up. I know it is the time of year and not many people are buying or selling their MH's in early January. However, I am coming up with nothing. The 2011 we looked at the owner would not come down to what we were willing to pay. We are not really in a hurry and we can afford to be picky until the right one comes our way. I really do like the couch/bunk option on the FR.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:47 PM   #10
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Secret is keep looking and be ready to buy when you see the deal. The good deals go fast. We missed a ton of deals because we where still window shopping. My wife and I almost bought new because we got so frustrated shopping used. Good luck.
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