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Old 11-13-2015, 08:49 PM   #1
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Hello all, I have been lurking and learning from this site for a while, but this is my first post (sorry up front for the length). We have been RVing for several years in 3 different fifth wheels (the last two being a 36 foot and 40 foot Montana). We started talking about getting a class A about a year ago and with all of the research we conducted the Berkshire really stood out to us for a lot of reasons. We camp about twice a month from about March until September each year and also take a couple week RV trip every summer. My wife (Darcy) tends to like the "inside stuff" and I tend to like the "outside stuff" (to include the cockpit and power plant). I must admit that I really don't know a lot about class As, but we both did a lot of research walked through a lot of different models and talked to a lot of folks. Today we agreed to purchase a Berkshire (haven't actually signed anything yet). I did find it interesting that lightly used Berkshires are hard to find as compared to other brands, but I took that as good news because folks are buying them and keeping them. We live up near Seattle and the coach we found is down in Kentucky. It is a 2013 390RB with the 340 horse motor (don't know if they had the 360 yet in 2013). All of the pictures look great and the dealership has been good to work with thus far through all the questions and finance stuff. I have purchased a couple cars unseen, but never anything that cost quite this much. I believe it should still have about 2 years of power train warranty left, but I still have to ask about any other warranty that might still be in effect. They are going to drive it up here to me and take my truck and fifth wheel back to Kentucky (I had the transport put into the deal). So...here's the question- I know all the stuff about buyer beware and such, but how concerned should I be about a 2013 coach with a little under 8K miles on the clock? I did a VIN check and did not find anything (didn't expect to), but I am thinking about finding a certified inspector down there to give it the once over before I sign anything. The dealer is doing a full service (they are certified for the Forest River work) and the service will include the generator. I don't know anyone in Kentucky that I could ask to go look at it for me. Any thoughts from those of you that have been around these things for a while? Any recommendations for inspection companies? Anything I should be concerned about or that I should definitely ask about or have checked out? Thanks in advance for anything you might provide. Looking forward to many years of learning from the forum and fun with the family in the new Berkshire. -Glenn
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Old 11-13-2015, 11:44 PM   #2
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First of all, congrats on your pending purchase. You will find that most of the Berk owners are happy with their coaches. That is not to say that they don't have issues, but that's the nature of the beast with these homes on wheels. 340 or 360hp is a very debated topic. From what I have read by other posters, the biggest advantage to the 360 is a greater carrying capacity and heavier duty transmission. (5000 lb towing vs 10000) Doesn't seem to be an issue with fuel mileage or hill climbing power. I have a 360, so can't give a personal opinion about anything else.

You may want to consider hiring an inspection service to check out the coach before you make a long trip out. They will check slides, systems, tires, etc. There are some companies listed for Kentucky on google. Also, you may want to name the dealership that your purchasing from to the forum members and ask for any personal experiences. Some people may post or others may prefer to PM you that information. This isn't a forum to slander/slam a business, but personal experiences may make you feel better about a purchase or make you more cautious. This is a major purchase, so you want to get it right. Good luck, and don't be shy with the questions....people love to help here!


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Old 11-14-2015, 06:53 AM   #3
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Thanks Rick, great info. The name of the dealership is "Day Bros" in London, KY. I have done some research on their background and did not find much positive or negative. They appear to be a pretty small dealership and have treated me right thus far. Any opinions or other info is welcome. You are right about the major purchase thing. Biggest thing I have purchased outside of my homes. -Glenn
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Old 11-14-2015, 07:53 AM   #4
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Glenn I checked out their site and looked at the coach they have ( 2013 Berk ), looks nice. Work them over on the price the best you can. Welcome to the site. Lot's of info to learn here !
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Old 11-14-2015, 08:05 AM   #5
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Thanks Joe. The price you see on the site is not what I am paying and they did me right on my trade ins (truck and fifth wheel). The coach does appear to be in really good condition, but the dealership does not have (or will not share, not sure which) any history on it. I am wondering if I call FR or Freightliner with the VIN if I can learn anything. -Glenn
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Old 11-14-2015, 08:18 AM   #6
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Thanks Joe. The price you see on the site is not what I am paying and they did me right on my trade ins (truck and fifth wheel). The coach does appear to be in really good condition, but the dealership does not have (or will not share, not sure which) any history on it. I am wondering if I call FR or Freightliner with the VIN if I can learn anything. -Glenn
I bought mine with 40hrs. on the genny and 4400 miles on the odometer. Didn't look like the stove was ever used.

Dealer wasn't to forward about giving out info on why it was traded but glad I bought it. Now if I could just get it out of my driveway !
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Old 11-14-2015, 08:34 AM   #7
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Hi Subsailer
I have a 2012BH, 340hp since new. From loads of real experience from the great members of this forum, most are well satisfied with their Berskshire; however there is two major problems that are consistent and stick out well above the many other random problems.

First is the tankless water heater. It sort of works and is difficult to use; however many have gotten to live and learn its quirks. Your prospective Berk will probably have the Girard Gen I. Later Berks have the Girard Gen II and the latest Berks have an Atwood. Many have changed out their Gen I for a Gen II, which is much better. Unfortunately, Girard has just came out (too late) with a Gen III, which looks to be a winner.

The most major problem is with the 340hp; which has great cargo carrying volume capacity, but cannot carry or pull much weight. FR has recognized this and has been upgrading the tires from 255 to 275 and changing the airbags of the front axle. This up's its rating from 10,400 to 12,000 lbs. See this recent thread:
http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...art-96287.html

I made a vow to myself, that I would never again purchase a RV without first weighing it. I would suggest that you get your dealer to get a CAT certified weight of the RV and email it to you with the amount of diesel and water that was aboard. The RV manufacturers give the weight limits, but not necessarily the empty weight of the unit (don't go by the yellow sticker on the door). Once you get the actual weight, look up the Berk's gross weight ratings, add water and remainder of fuel and see if there is any capacity left for you to be comfortable with. Ask the dealer for the tire size; this will tell if the unit has gotten the mod. Lot of people including myself (and Phil57) live with the 340's weight limitation. You might too, but this is a most serious dilemma

Good luck to you.
Hank.
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Old 11-14-2015, 08:40 AM   #8
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Welcome and congratulations!

Berkshire is a fine coach. We love ours.
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Old 11-14-2015, 08:58 AM   #9
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As I-RV says get it weighed. It should be weighed with full fuel and propane empty fresh water, gray and black tanks empty coach. The 390 rb-40 is the most affected. If it is over weight Forest River will probably upgrade the airbags and put upgrade the 22.5 255 tires to 22.5 275 80 tires to raise the front axle carry capacity to 12000 lbs for you. Find out from the dealer what size tires are on the unit. I know Forest River Berkshire will do the upgrade for the original owners so they should probably do it for the second as well. We love they layout of the bath and a half. The 340 with the Allison 2500 transmission have been fine.We tow a 2012 jeep wrangler sport and two Honda dual sport motorcycles across the continental divide a dozen times no problems yes it slows down but we were still passing other vehicles.
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Old 11-14-2015, 09:00 AM   #10
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Subsailor, welcome to the Berkshire family!
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Old 11-14-2015, 09:03 AM   #11
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Old 11-14-2015, 10:30 AM   #12
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Glenn I checked out their site and looked at the coach they have ( 2013 Berk ), looks nice. Work them over on the price the best you can. Welcome to the site. Lot's of info to learn here !
Glenn, I agree with Joe on the price thing. I have a '14 with a lot of pricey add ons and would sell it for that price. But in saying that I must also say that asking price doesn't always tell the whole story. They seem to be willing to go that extra mile by transporting the coach to you and picking up your trade. If the total numbers look good to you, then that is great. Also, since you are having someone else transport to you, a professional inspection of the coach before transport may help to clarify responsibility if there is any damage during transport as well as assure you the coach is in good working order. I also went to the site and the coach is great looking and appears to be in great shape. At that mileage, she's just starting to be broken in. Just for the heck of it I checked MHSRV and they have a '16 XL40 RB-360 for 195K for comparison sake. Lots of info, hope your head isn't swimming, but with a big purchase like this, feeling comfortable when you sign the deal makes you feel a whole lot better after you sign.


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Old 11-14-2015, 10:37 AM   #13
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Thanks Rich. They have been really good to work with and I had also checked the MHSRV price (used to help negotiate). I am definitely leaning towards an inspection if I can find a reputable one down there. I didn't think about it in regards to transport, but that is a great point you made. -Glenn
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Old 11-14-2015, 07:13 PM   #14
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Wow, I checked the coach on their website also. Similar comments as others on the price.

Their asking price is more than MHSRV was selling NEW ones for in 2013.
Here are a few MHSRV sold NEW in 2013.
https://www.bing.com/search?q=site%3...ire%20390rb-40

But, you have a trade you worked into the deal and delivery, so I'm sure you worked out a good deal with them.

Good luck on your purchase. You will like a Berkshire.
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Old 11-14-2015, 07:59 PM   #15
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Sound like a good deal for that kind of money but not seeing the unit and not takeing a test ride I think for less then 500 bucks round trip . Buy a plane ticket go down there and at lest kick the tires
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Old 11-15-2015, 05:21 AM   #16
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Congratulations and welcome to the forum.

We have a 2013 390RB-60 and love it. We had the airbag/tire upgrade done by Freightliner in Gaffney SC at Forest River's expense. Dramatically improves ride and handling when the tire pressures can be reduced.
We also had the hot water heater upgraded to a Gen II (done by FR in Elkhart). Works much better.

Would do it all over again if I had a second chance. Best coach out there for the money in my opinion.
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Old 11-15-2015, 07:14 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subsailor View Post
Hello all, I have been lurking and learning from this site for a while, but this is my first post (sorry up front for the length). We have been RVing for several years in 3 different fifth wheels (the last two being a 36 foot and 40 foot Montana). We started talking about getting a class A about a year ago and with all of the research we conducted the Berkshire really stood out to us for a lot of reasons. We camp about twice a month from about March until September each year and also take a couple week RV trip every summer. My wife (Darcy) tends to like the "inside stuff" and I tend to like the "outside stuff" (to include the cockpit and power plant). I must admit that I really don't know a lot about class As, but we both did a lot of research walked through a lot of different models and talked to a lot of folks. Today we agreed to purchase a Berkshire (haven't actually signed anything yet). I did find it interesting that lightly used Berkshires are hard to find as compared to other brands, but I took that as good news because folks are buying them and keeping them. We live up near Seattle and the coach we found is down in Kentucky. It is a 2013 390RB with the 340 horse motor (don't know if they had the 360 yet in 2013). All of the pictures look great and the dealership has been good to work with thus far through all the questions and finance stuff. I have purchased a couple cars unseen, but never anything that cost quite this much. I believe it should still have about 2 years of power train warranty left, but I still have to ask about any other warranty that might still be in effect. They are going to drive it up here to me and take my truck and fifth wheel back to Kentucky (I had the transport put into the deal). So...here's the question- I know all the stuff about buyer beware and such, but how concerned should I be about a 2013 coach with a little under 8K miles on the clock? I did a VIN check and did not find anything (didn't expect to), but I am thinking about finding a certified inspector down there to give it the once over before I sign anything. The dealer is doing a full service (they are certified for the Forest River work) and the service will include the generator. I don't know anyone in Kentucky that I could ask to go look at it for me. Any thoughts from those of you that have been around these things for a while? Any recommendations for inspection companies? Anything I should be concerned about or that I should definitely ask about or have checked out? Thanks in advance for anything you might provide. Looking forward to many years of learning from the forum and fun with the family in the new Berkshire. -Glenn
I have had 390rb with 340 now have 390rb with 360 ck weight before buying on axle
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Old 11-15-2015, 09:12 AM   #18
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I have had 390rb with 340 now have 390rb with 360 ck weight before buying on axle
Good info from a person that has owned both. Don't want to find out it needs an axle/air bag update after you have bought it....unless you can get the dealer to handle that before you buy.


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Old 11-15-2015, 09:27 AM   #19
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I have had 390rb with 340 now have 390rb with 360 ck weight before buying on axle

Bud I'd be interested in hearing what you think of the comparison between the performance / handling between the two.
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Old 11-15-2015, 10:15 AM   #20
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Wow, I checked the coach on their website also. Similar comments as others on the price.

Their asking price is more than MHSRV was selling NEW ones for in 2013.
Here are a few MHSRV sold NEW in 2013.
https://www.bing.com/search?q=site%3...ire%20390rb-40

But, you have a trade you worked into the deal and delivery, so I'm sure you worked out a good deal with them.

Good luck on your purchase. You will like a Berkshire.
Thanks Dan, yep...I am not paying what they are asking and they did well on my trade. The delivery would actually be about another $3500 and that is "thrown in".
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