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Mt. Shasta, from I-5 as we drove north to Oregon, April 2017

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

National Tropi-Cal

Does anyone have or know much about the National brand of motorhomes?


I'm going to test drive one on Wednesday.


I called the La Mesa Dealership today because I wanted some information about the Itasca brand and they were listed as the local Itasca dealer.


After talking to a salesman for a bit and explaining what I was looking for he told me they had a 2007 National 35' on the lot and suggested I come look at it.  I told him I would, but only if I got to drive it.  I told him that the deal is that I have to be able to drive any motor home we buy.


I know he would like it better if both Craig and I went up to look at it, but I explained that I was doing the researcher, and if I like it I would bring Craig up over the weekend. Salesmen might want to work with a single woman, but they often give less than their all to a wife alone.  I hope this guy realizes he has to work with me if he want a possible sale either for this or for a future rig.  La Mesa is one of the few dealer in the area that has good reviews, so I hope we connect.


I told him I was primarily interested in Winnebago, Itasca and Tiffin because they were still in business and have good reviews.


I can't find anything objectionable about National online, but I don't feel comfortable buying a motor home made by a company that went bankrupt and is gone.  


We talked a bit about the shorter Tiffin "FRED"s.  I mentioned that they seemed to have more basement than other shorter rigs.  He explained that was because they had a front diesel engine and did not have air ride.  He said they were terrible to drive.


I don't know if that is because he has this National to sell.  Would his thoughts be different if he had a Tiffin FRED on the lot?


Any input is appreciated.  No offer will be tendered tomorrow, but from the pictures it does have a nice kitchen.



13 comments:

  1. no thoughts on Tropi-cal!..sorry..have fun with the test drive tomorrow!!!

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  2. Enjoy your drive Merikay. I'm sure they know how important the scout is.

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  3. Good luck! I bought The Palms from La Mesa RV in San Diego, and could not have been happier with them. If you DO buy there, I hope you have the same experience. :)

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  4. My husband and I are also in the shopping phase for going fulltime. One of our best purchases was the RV ratings guide from the RV consumer group. It has helped our search tremendously. You can look each RV up by make, model and year and find very detailed information and ratings about any RV you are considering.

    Now, about National RV. That has become one of our top choices along with Winnebago and some Tiffins. From my research I have found them to be a very good motorhome. They are usually fairly highly rated in the RV guide plus I have read many glowing reports by National owners. They are not a high end luxury motorhome but are considered to be among the best built motorhomes in the moderate price range. Most of my research has been on the gas models but it should apply to the diesels as well.

    I am slightly concerned about their orphan status but we are looking at motorhomes in the 3-7 year old age range and most of them are no longer under warranty anyway. Still, it is a concern, just not a dealbreaker for us if we find a really good deal on one.

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  5. Hi again,
    I looked up the 2007 National Tropical for you. They are rated at 3 out 4 stars which is pretty good. They are also rated for full-timing which generally means it is well made and can handle long-term use. The biggest concern they raised was with highway control. That was the lowest rating it received. The general comments about National were very good-basically what I said in the previous post-that they were very well made and at the higher end of the moderately priced motorhomes. Hope this helps.

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  6. If you feel like this salesperson is blowing you off, can you ask to speak to someone else?

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  7. "Salesmen might want to work with a single woman, "

    It has been my experience that it is just as difficult for a single woman to be taken seriously by an RV salesman. :(

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  8. I bet Rv dealers would be surprise on how connected we all are...everyone sharing advice. They should think about that if they knew what was good for them...their reputation is everything.

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  9. Well, I don't know a thing about National motorhomes but I know a lot about sexist behavior.

    Try telling the salesman that you only want to deal with a female salesperson.

    Failing that, find some statistics about solo women RVers. What percentage of each dollar in the RV industry goes to that customer base? I'm guessing more than people think.

    Maybe HE can learn something from YOU.

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  10. Don't know a thing about National, but you might check out the National Owners Forum on irv2.com.

    http://www.irv2.com/forums/f105/

    We have found the Winnebago Owners Forum there to be most helpful. You can ask if anyone has the model you're looking at, and chances are very good someone will respond.

    Enjoy your test drive!

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  11. I'm sure you are researching like crazy. just keep reading and reading and checking out all kinds of forums about these RV's. Getting things replaced inside, they use the same parts and replacements everybody else does. As far as sidewalls, roofs, etc. it would be much more difficult to fix should something go wrong with that because they are out of business. Too bad they don't' have Car-X for RV's like they do for cars!

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  12. We don't have any experience with National. We owned an Allegro Bay (Tiffin), Endeavor (Holiday Rambler) and the best of all....Dutch Star!
    Wish we could help! Good luck on your search!

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  13. They are also rated for full-timing which generally means it is well made and can handle long-term use. The biggest concern they raised was with highway control. That was the lowest rating it received. The general comments about National were very good-basically what I said in the previous post-that they were very well made and at the higher end of the moderately priced motorhomes.

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