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Old 07-30-2012, 08:34 PM   #1
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newbie with some questions

Hi, just starting to look for my home on wheels!!! Looking at a 2006 forester. I cant seem to find it on the nada site. I havent seen it yet but the ad states its a 2006, doesnt list a model number, 31 ft with one slide, ford v-10, with 40,000 mi....priced at $34,900. Can someone steer me in the right direction on the nada site or give me a ball park figure on what to offer? Thanks~
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:00 PM   #2
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If you are new to this you should RENT for at least a year.

IMO, whether you buy new and jump right in camping (most do, though a few have issues; no lie) or buy used and spend a small fortune getting it ready to camp this is an expensive hobby.

Buying used has FAR more pitfalls than new. Unless you know EXACTLY what you are looking at, take a long time camper with you to look at the roof and walls and a GOOD mechanic to look at the motivation part of the camper.

While you can spend several thousand repairing appliances, a leak that has escaped treatment can turn your 35,000 into junk.
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:46 PM   #3
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I think that model is a Class C on a fairly short wheelbase E450. Before you take the plunge. I'd strongly recommend taking it to a weigh station and finding out how close to the max capacity of the rear axle it is.

When we were shopping three years ago, we were favorably impressed by the features. The one we looked at had the entertainment center where most Class C's have an overhead bed.

I managed to get the salesman to let us do a test drive by ourselves and I went to a weighbridge. I was concerned about what negative effect the long tail overhang would have on a toad and how the weight distribution would work out.

What I found, after doing the research, is that the excessive tail overhang when combined with the location of the gas, fresh water, grey water and black water tanks all aft of the rear axle could result in a rear axle overload before you add your stuff for a trip.

I still haven't figured out how a toad would handle that amount of lateral movement, but we decided not to pursue it further, despite it being a very attractive deal. Our reluctance was based mostly on the weight distribution issue.

We went Class A in the end, a private sale about 30 miles away, advertised in our local paper. At least the back wheels on a 32-footer on the F53 chassis are fairly close to the back!
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:42 AM   #4
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We have been towing with our Sunseeker going on 4 years, a E450 chassis does not move! It would have no problem towing a toad, you wouldn't even know its back there!


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6000 pound trailer with, depending on the trip, 6 to 800 pounds of tongue weight. After the trailer is hooked up the rv only sinks a 1/4 of an inch and it still rides 2 inches high in the rear. Used every weekend from march to November, so it has logged a lot of miles. I wont go into the "being over weight" stuff because these things are so under rated it's ridiculous.
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:54 AM   #5
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Also so you have an idea, I paid $29,000 for mine. It is 28' not 31'. Has 2 slides, brand new tires, brand new batteries, 9000 miles on engine, 8 hours on generator, and nothing had to be fixed after I bought it, it was in showroom floor shape.
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Old 07-31-2012, 12:22 PM   #6
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Thanks to everyone for their thoughts. Although I still would like some guidance on the nada site.
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:44 AM   #7
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It sounds like a 3101 Forester. 31' with what we call a "Super Slide" that is the sofa and dinette side by side in the same single slide out. Back bed will be an island queen.
Floor plan attached so you can compare.
NADA GUIDE
2006 Forester M-3101S Standard Equipment, Prices & Specs - NADAguides
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:45 AM   #8
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PS. That was with no options selected.
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:58 PM   #9
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What people have been telling you in this thread is some good advice. What Herk says about having it properly inspected is really true, especially when you add a motor and transmission to an RV.

I would also say you need to decide what the mission is for this RV. You have said "this is going to be your home on wheels." If that is literally true, and you are new to RVing, I would rent for a while.

That accomplishes many things. One will be whether you truly like RVing or not. Second, you will begin to learn what is important to make RV traveling fun, comfortable, and affordable to you.

Among the other things you will need to determine, and probably why Herk tells you to rent, is just how much internal/external storage do you require. Is the galley nice enough? What about the bathroom; too small/too large? Dump system not what you thought? How much fresh, grey, blackwater storage do you need? Where do you plan to stay? Does the powerplant tolerate ethanol? Will the engine handle the rumored new ethanol blends slated for 2013-14? Do you like driving such a big rig?

Having rented a Class A once it can be a very interesting experience. It certainly is nice to hit a few switches and start rolling. However, I did quickly discover the basement storage on the Class A we rented would not be what I would have liked long term. The bunks would have been great for the grands, dogs, and our "toys." Though the way we typically camped this "smallish" Class A did not have the water capacity we desired (though we had trailer already and it only had 20 gallon fresh water capacity!) As bad as the fuel bite was on that Class A, the prospect of having to drag a toad was not all that appealing.

If we hadn't rented we might never had know we weren't that type of RV persons. You certainly don't want to make that mi$take becau$e it can be a very expen$ive le$$on.

If I were buying used, I would also consider buying from an RV dealer. Most the better RV dealers value their reputation and if you ask them straight questions about condition or quality they will answer you honestly.
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