Is It Time For A New Ride?

Time for a new coach? It could be another form of buyer’s remorse. You love the RV lifestyle. You are unhappy with your coach.

Perhaps this is unique to the Class A motorhome community. We constantly meet people that repeatedly and frequently trade their coaches for a new one. In some cases, trading coaches every year or two.

We liken a coach to a house. You buy one or build one and live in it for a period of time, hopefully for many years. The cost and inconvenience of having to sell and move every year or two is something to avoid if possible.

What causes a person to ditch their current ride and go for something else?

Would you like to know my theory as to why this happens within the motorhome community?

Here goes. The seven reasons why people switch coaches.

Floor plan. If you ever solicit opinions on what to look for when you are buying a motorhome, finding the right floor plan comes up again and again, especially if you are intending to live out of your coach for extended periods of time. If the floor plan isn’t working, you will know it. And you will likely decide that you need a different coach.

Size. Too big. Too small. Downsizing. Upsizing. You get the idea. One size does not fit all. And what you need in a coach may change over time. We were debating between a 37-foot and 40-foot coach when we first bought three years ago. We should have gone bigger. I constantly bump up against the limited size of the storage bays in our 40-foot coach. Size makes you think about getting a new coach.

Gassers. Gas-powered coaches are generally smaller, lighter and cheaper than diesel coaches. The ride is different. A bit harsher. A bit louder. Not as much power. Diesel pushers become more compelling the longer you drive a gasser. The debates on gassers versus diesel pushers rage on in the motorhome forums. One reason people switch coaches is to move from gas to diesel. I do not encounter many owners going from a diesel pusher to a gasser.

Status. Sadly this one lives on. Must keep up with the Joneses. Status plays on the fine line between your sense of identity and self worth and the impressions that your coach might create with other people. The automotive industry knows this trick very well. In the old days, it was Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick, Oldsmobile, Cadillac. Each model implied a certain status in life. Today it is the difference between luxury models and whatever passes for a non-luxury model. I see this at play in the RV world. Newmar might as well have lifted their model playbook directly from General Motors:

  • Bay Star Sport
  • Bay Star
  • Canyon Star
  • Country Star
  • Ventana
  • Dutch Star
  • New Aire
  • Mountaine Aire
  • London Aire
  • Essex
  • King Aire

11 models from entry level to luxury. Coaches that run from $150,000 all the way up to $1.5 million.

If you go to certain Class A motorcoach resorts and everywhere you look you see million dollar plus coaches, you might start thinking that maybe, just maybe, you need to trade up. A less expensive option might be to stay somewhere else. Pick a campground in Canada. With pretty much any Class A motorhome, you will stand out above the crowd.

Quality. Owning a coach means dealing with issues. Moving up to a newer or better coach seems like a reasonable approach in dealing with what might be a lemon. I’ve met many owners that changed their coach because of quality issues. Enjoy the lemonade. Every coach offers an ample supply.

Novelty. Coaches get old. Some age faster than others. Newmar deliberately creates tension between their eleven (!) models of coaches. Every year, they revamp their products to make you think about trading in for a new(er) model. The objective is to make you think that your coach is too old and you must replace it. Newer is always better.

Lifestyle. Things do change over time. The coach you bought a few years ago may not fit your lifestyle today. And, assuming that your finances are not a concern, well, you only live once. Get that coach of your dreams. Just keep in mind that you might be changing it again a few years down the road.

I’ve likely missed a few reasons. The psychology of why we consume is a complex area of study.

We love our coach and even though we have been subject to the same influences listed above, we have chosen to be content with what we have.

At least for now.

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