Sunday, August 7, 2011

Craig looked too ...

We went up to the La Mesa parking lot show this afternoon and Craig looked at the National Tropi-Cal.  He said he liked  it, but not enough to want to take a test drive.

We also looked at a 2007 Itasca Meridian 36', and took it out for a drive.  The breaks were horrible.  They squeaked and made a loud "clunking' noise.  Of course the salesman said they just needed to be adjusted.

 It also made a lot of rattling noises. The salesman said it was because the road was rough.  It was a normal city street.   Craig did not like that.  So he did not drive it.

The salesman did most of the driving, except at the end when I drove it around the parking lot a little.

I told the salesman that we felt we had to drive several different models before we could make a decision.  He said they all drove pretty much the same.  I don't agree.  The National was  smoother.

I like the Meridian interior, and they have a lot of basement space. But now that this one sounded so bad inside I don't know what to think.

The National would be great for "any timing" and would be a nice traveling coach, but the Meridian would be so much better for full timing.  (Craig says that is the goal, but I won't hold my breath on getting the house sold.)

Time to step back and just work on the house for a while.  No rush.

I don't think Craig and the salesman  hit it off very well.  As we took a second walk around the outside of the Tropi-Cal I said I thought the price was a bit high.  (Karen sent me some information on a similar coach at Lazy Days that could be had for $5000 less, and was a little bigger.)  The salesman acted like I was insulting his mother.

So, I don't know if he will follow up on my request to let me know if anything else comes in our size and price range.  He would be foolish if he doesn't.  He knows we are getting closer to being "ready" and we have no need for financing.  He seemed so much nicer on Wednesday.  Maybe he was just tired of people by late Sunday afternoon.  I know I would be.

But, it is a buyers market, and we are  qualified, motivated buyers.  I do expect to be able to get a very good buy.

He kept telling us that because we are looking for a diesel that is 35' or less we just don't have many choices.  Well fine.  What we do have is plenty of time.

Now I have to find a 35'  Tiffin to drive, and maybe another Meridian.

The day was not a total disappointment.  We got to stop at the Berkeley Bowl and bought tons of produce.  We will eat healthy this week that's for sure.


  1. you aren't going to know until you drive the 'right one'!!

  2. I think your salesman must have been having an off day! To tell you they all drive the same and try to pass off brake noises as "just needs an adjustment" is blarney!! I have no doubt you won't be bullied or pressured so just hang in there. The right one will come along and you'll know it! Glad you are not in a hurry because that's when mistakes are often made.

  3. Have to admit that salesmen are not my favorite types of people. I'm sure lots of them are nice people but it's the nature of their business that can distort their personalities. Those answers he gave you were a good example of that. Stay the course & be firm.

  4. When we first started researching full timing, we went to several dealers. We 'lied' at the time and told the salesmen that we were only 1 year away from retiring (now it's true!). Some salesmen treated us like we were buying that very day, some couldn't care less. Some were very knowledgeable about ALL RV's, some weren't. You gotta do your homework and supplement with the salesmens, AND owners comments.

  5. hard to find any diesels in 35' as we looked real hard since we had narrowed our search to winnebago and tiffin (newmar's as the third choice) we finally bought our 37' diesel FRED and love it - the extra two feet have not been too much of a problem in state parks so far...

  6. I'm with Al on the salesmen thing. I'm pretty sure they can sense my disdain. I like to go with the "three questions" ploy. I'll ask two questions (maybe even the third) to which I ALREADY know the answer. Then, judging by the answer(s) I get, I'll know whether the salesman is a lying scum bag, or someone I'd like to do business with. This applies equally to "Salesladies" too, by the way. I'd sooner hear, "I don't know but I'll find out", over any "blarney".
    I've walked out of many a dealership after the first two questions. Never even got a test drive. Oh dear!
    It's even more fun when you drive the new vehicle (purchased elsewhere) BACK to that dealership for that first free oil change. I'm not talking about RVs here of course. I just love pointing to the brand new vehicle that they DIDN'T get to sell to me.
    I'm kinda mean that way I guess, but it makes for great sport.
    You'll find something you like. The best part is you're in this together. Teamwork is good. But always be prepared to walk away.

  7. You truly can't listen to salesmen!! They will tell you pretty much anything to make a sale. I would think the 35' diesel might be a little bit of a challenge to locate but they ARE out there. You also can't judge all Meridians by this one. It could have been abused...good idea to drive another.
    I think you will like the Tiffin! Have you looked into the Newmar yet?

  8. "They all drive the same". OMG!!!

  9. Any day that includes a stop at Berkeley Bowl is a good day, indeed.

    One thought about brake noise. The "Freightliner Squeal" is a trademark of MHs built on the FTL chassis. You'll usually hear it when you touch the brakes as you first start out, but it goes away after you get going. It's nothing to be concerned about. But, that "clunk" doesn't sound so good.

    Regarding RV salespeople: Don't believe a word they say; and don't worry about insulting them. It can't be done. They have one agenda: sell an RV today.

    Have fun shopping. You'll know your rig when you find it.

    Meanwhile, enjoy that luscious produce!

  10. that "insulting your mother' thing is such a pain. They do that a lot, it seems. Mo picked the MoHo from the internet, but when we got to New Braunfels, Texas, where the MoHo was located, the salesman there was really great. She knew what she wanted though, so maybe that made it a bit easier. Good luck on your hunt!

  11. Never trust those salesman types!



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