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Old 03-21-2016, 06:38 PM   #11
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I thought I couldn't afford a new Solera but then I found RV Direct.com and was able to save 38% and buy a new one. I love it. I haven't bothered towing with it because I find it easy to drive and find parking (1 1/2 spaces) even in big cities. It's small enough that I can be spontaneous, which is how I love to travel.
What are your thoughts about buying a new one vs. used with regards to someone else dealing with all of the little issues? I read all over about these things needing to go back to the dealer multiple times for what seems like endless nonsense little fixes. My thoughts are if I buy a used one with just a few miles on it and have most of the nonsense stuff already taken care of I would be ahead.
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Old 03-21-2016, 07:47 PM   #12
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I have a 2013 24R Solera and love it. I tow a 2011 Ford Fiesta automatic and like other posters I cannot tell it's back there so I use the MH rear camera going down the road to make sure it's still back there. The Fiesta weighs <2,700#s. Maximum tow vehicle weight for my Solera as I understand it is 3,500#s, that is why I don't tow a jeep. A stripped down Jeep Wrangler is >3,700.
As far as suspension goes I had Upscale Auto in Tualatin Oregon install there own load assist system on the rear and Koni shocks all around. Last suspension mod was a Helwig rear sway bar. I could not be happier with this set-up. It cost a few dollars to do but the improvement in ride quality is worth every penny and then some. I now get no sway from passing semi's and can take 35 mph turns at 45. YeeHa!
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Old 03-21-2016, 07:48 PM   #13
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What you are suggesting, I did last year

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What are your thoughts about buying a new one vs. used with regards to someone else dealing with all of the little issues? I read all over about these things needing to go back to the dealer multiple times for what seems like endless nonsense little fixes. My thoughts are if I buy a used one with just a few miles on it and have most of the nonsense stuff already taken care of I would be ahead.
What I discovered quickly was RV's 3-4 years old were selling for within $10k of new, so I started to look for something 'almost new'. I got lucky and found a 2015 24R with 13,000 miles for around $14k off the price the original owner paid, at the end of the season (September) - definitely the best time to buy. The first owner went through all the repairs already, so when we took ownership, everything was in working order, and it had some miles on it - so it was also broken-in.
There were certainly things I wanted to upgrade, but nothing I had to repair or replace.

To us, there were two ways to go - 1) buy a FR MB Chassis with a floor plan we liked a lot but needed some upgrades, or 2) buy a Winniebago for a good bit more money, with not as good a floor plan, but had all the upgraded components. We really loved the FR floorplans, and I'm handy and enjoy doing the upgrades. There was only one Winniebago floorplan that we liked, but it was more money than we wanted to spend.

Hope that helps !
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:11 PM   #14
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deadshort: I personally only had one minor issue with some trim just needing to be nailed down after my purchase. What I did did spend considerable time on was customizing it with the things it didn't come with; auto leveling jacks, rear stabilizer bar for heavy winds, satelitte dish, cup holder next to bed, magazine rack, cabinet,medicine cabinet and frig extension rods( to keep things from falling out), memory foam topper, etc, etc...I wanted the warranty and peace of mind that everything was new and hadn't been dinked with. I'm also not a mechanic and didn't want to be repairing things. 17,000 mi. in less than two years & so far so good on the coach/ Forest River end. (Except for the blown engine because of a faulty very first oil change; the after market filter was put in wrong- I will use ONLY MBZ dealerships in the future after that nightmare.)
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:23 PM   #15
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I agree, I preferred the Forest River floor plan and storage better than Winnebago. I bought the 2014- 24S. I wish they offered the W then, or I would have purchased that model. Anyways, I was able to save $35,000. off the retail price by traveling a little. I couldn't believe The great deal I got, after the local dealers wouldn't budge.
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:49 PM   #16
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This is all good stuff! It is nice to run into such a friendly community. It's really helping with our decision. We also have looked at Winnebago's and I'm not sure about their space age looking cabinets.

Someone tell me about the rear sway bars please. Is there no sway bar on them at all when they come from the factory? What is the cost of such item? I am handy and a shade-tree mechanic and can do the work myself. I want to be able to race the sports car around the corners, yeehaw!

Thanks everybody for your help.
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Old 03-22-2016, 01:24 AM   #17
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They came with sway bars, the new ones come with the upgraded helwig anti sway bars. I would recommend adding sumo springs. Stiffens up suspension . If you buy an older one, it's pretty easy to install a helwig and rear sumos yourself. I also changed out rear shocks to heavy duty bilsteins. Handles more like a van now than a motor home. Wife says I go too fast around corners now
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Old 03-23-2016, 07:43 AM   #18
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Now that I have done some of the rear-end stabilization mods to our 2015 FR, it is clear that the house weight is more than the rear stock suspension can handle. 2-way shocks, sumo springs, and upgraded anti-sway fix the problems of rocking, blowing, bouncing, and make it more stable when stationary. $167 shocks + $178 helwig + $245 sumos = $590 + LABOR if you can't do it yourself !
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Old 03-23-2016, 08:25 AM   #19
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You are absolutely right

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Now that I have done some of the rear-end stabilization mods to our 2015 FR, it is clear that the house weight is more than the rear stock suspension can handle. 2-way shocks, sumo springs, and upgraded anti-sway fix the problems of rocking, blowing, bouncing, and make it more stable when stationary. $167 shocks + $178 helwig + $245 sumos = $590 + LABOR if you can't do it yourself !
Just ordered the Sumo's last night from Amazon - to be added to the already installed Bilsteins and Helwig. Like I said before, everything you do to your Solera costs me money!
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Old 03-23-2016, 08:59 AM   #20
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Now that I have done some of the rear-end stabilization mods to our 2015 FR, it is clear that the house weight is more than the rear stock suspension can handle. 2-way shocks, sumo springs, and upgraded anti-sway fix the problems of rocking, blowing, bouncing, and make it more stable when stationary. $167 shocks + $178 helwig + $245 sumos = $590 + LABOR if you can't do it yourself !
It seems like a reasonable cost for fair amount of parts. I have done all of this stuff to the various pickups I have had over the years. It is a little easier to tolerate having to add this stuff to a truck though. When they build and engineer the trucks they have no idea how the end user is going to use it. However these motorhomes are built and engineered to do one thing. Its hard to peel out greenbacks to do what the factory should have done.

How are the factory tires on these units? Are they rated to carry the weight of the unit? I have had several various types of campers over the years that the tires were to light duty to carry the unloaded weight of the camper. It would be different if these units were cheap!

Are the Sumos just a stiffer rate spring or more progressive?
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