Once we made our decision to become full-timers, we knew that our coach would not be enough. So, we started looking to see what we considered important (or not) and began making a list. Actually, we made several lists. These included features we wanted, ranked in order of preference. We listed some as absolutes, things we could not do without. Others we listed as options that would be nice, depending on price, availability, compatibility with other systems.
We also discussed the new vs. used quandary. New means untested. Although it is nice to have a unit that has never been used, driven, slept in, etc, that also means that it has not been fully tested yet. Although factory tests and dealer tests and post delivery inspections are nice, you really don’t undercover problems until you fully use the unit. In our first coach, we uncovered 8 or 9 problems that we needed the dealer to fix under warranty. We actually had trouble getting our dealer to fix everything and while thoroughly frustrating, we decided to seek help elsewhere. After talking to one of our RV mentors, we went to Little Rock Arkansas and had a dealer there fix everything. That was a very positive experience and they were great to deal with and they really did fix everything. While we were there, they just wanted us to test drive a diesel pusher coach. We sort of laughed because we were there to get things fixed on our new coach and they wanted to sell us a newer coach. But we went along and fell in love with the diesel pusher. While we were not ready to buy at that time, we knew that if we did move forward with this dream, a diesel pusher would be in our future.
The coach they had us drive was an Itasca Meridian. It was a 36 foot unit and while we were going to use the coach to escape from Meridian MS, the seats of the coach had MERIDIAN embroidered in them. Somewhat ironic!
Moving forward, as we were looking for what we wanted, we both always compared any unit we looked at to the Meridian. After looking at hundreds of coaches on the Internet, we thought it would be good to go to an RV show and see some in person. An RV show was upcoming in Atlanta during the second weekend of October. After making plans to go, we thought it would be a good idea to stop at several RV dealers on the way and see what they had on their lot. One such dealer was in Anniston Alabama. As we looked through their inventory, there it was!
A brand new 2014 Tiffin Phaeton 36gh. After looking through the photos, we could tell that it had everything we wanted and even a few things that we had on our ‘nice to have but not necessary’ list. So, visit our new coach…
More photos will be coming soon with plenty of outside pics in our camping sites.
We had looked at Tiffin coaches and just didn’t think we could afford one not only because it would be beyond our means, but beyond our needs. But now that we have it, we love it!