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Old 10-13-2010, 04:21 PM   #29
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The short lived Avalanche had the air brake option of air drum brakes. The air option was even slightly less.
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:31 PM   #30
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Do not want to high jack the OP thread.
I owned a drilling company for 30 years, had both air and Hydraulic brake vehicles. Hydraulic brakes seem better suited for sitting idle a lot. Also no special permit here in Canada is required. All the drill trucks, very heavy units seem to favour air with the maxy brake to help hold them in position. Class Z is then required to drive air brake vehicles. I have owned 3 RV units one with hydraulic, 2 with air, my choice is the air. Hope what you chose works for you.
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Old 10-14-2010, 02:55 PM   #31
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I have a 34' '01. It has Dayton brakes, which are 4-piston calipers so there's no sticking issue. When bleeding them (to avoid "honey") you'll probably have to pull the wheels to get the outer pistons. We've had no troubles with our brakes and they stop the coach just fine.
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:35 AM   #32
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I have a 34' '01. It has Dayton brakes, which are 4-piston calipers so there's no sticking issue. When bleeding them (to avoid "honey") you'll probably have to pull the wheels to get the outer pistons. We've had no troubles with our brakes and they stop the coach just fine.

Thanks Franklin and Dessa..I was wondering what was involved in bleeding the system.

I ran a cross a real nice sales brochure on a 2005 model..but can't find a brochure on the 2001 model...

Does anyoine know where I can find that info..

Thanks...Stan...
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:59 AM   #33
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Thanks Franklin and Dessa..I was wondering what was involved in bleeding the system.

I ran a cross a real nice sales brochure on a 2005 model..but can't find a brochure on the 2001 model...

Does anyoine know where I can find that info..

Thanks...Stan...
Here ya go:

Alpine Coach - Technical Information
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:33 AM   #34
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Stan,
We bought our 2000 new in 2000 (I think they're very similar to the 2001s) & we love it! Have 78000 miles on it, never had to take it back to the factory, one trip slightly interrupted due to alternator! Hope all this doesn't jinx me for the next 10 years but you are going to love it, we predict.

Not putting any Alpines down, since I think they are great coaches but from reading this forum it seems the pre 2004s have had fewer problems. (this is not from a scientific study just my perception).

Good luck & join our associations!
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:09 PM   #35
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Thanks Rich and Cork..

That was just what I was hoping for...great site.

Best regards..Stan..
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:15 PM   #36
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Stan,
We bought our 2000 new in 2000 (I think they're very similar to the 2001s) & we love it! Have 78000 miles on it, never had to take it back to the factory, one trip slightly interrupted due to alternator! Hope all this doesn't jinx me for the next 10 years but you are going to love it, we predict.

Not putting any Alpines down, since I think they are great coaches but from reading this forum it seems the pre 2004s have had fewer problems. (this is not from a scientific study just my perception).

Good luck & join our associations!
I kinda got that feeling too, from what little I know and searching I have done in the last few days. However all the coach owners regardless of the model seem to love them..so the problems on any models don't seem to have been much out of the ordinary on any coach. Maybe a few more issues with brakes ...that's all I have noted anyway..

I was looking at the site that Rich and Cork gave me the link to, and the standard equipment list included an electric step cover.

This one 'm looking at has a manual bifold cover. Does anyone else's have that...??

Thanks..Stan

PS..it's a 2001
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:45 PM   #37
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IThis one 'm looking at has a manual bifold cover. Does anyone else's have that...??

Thanks..Stan

PS..it's a 2001
Ours has electric.
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Old 10-15-2010, 07:28 PM   #38
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Ours has electric.

10-4, supposed to be factory standard equipment according to the 2001 sales brochure...

I wonder what's up with that?? It looks like a factory made cover...not jicky or anything, just a bifold with a snap to hold it up when not in use.

Of course I guess a really talented fellow could have made it look that way...but why would they want to?

Stan...
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Old 10-15-2010, 07:51 PM   #39
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I had placed a down payment on an Alpine last spring, but backed out. They have an outstanding rep and look terrific. What ended up being my biggest worry, and decision maker, was the ability to get proprietary parts. Alpine hired a designer to build their chasis. It was well designed and constructed, however as they built their own, there were no suppliers for some parts. Thus, they had proprietary control of the chasis and some parts. Since they have gone out of business, I was told it may be possible that if you have a proprietary part fail, you will have no supplier to contact for a replacement.

I don't know how difficult, or how big of a concern this is, but with my lack of coach knowledge, and concern about a breakdown miles from anywhere, I decided to seek another coach. You may find that this is not a large concern for you, but do your research so you are safe and satisfied with your final decision.

Either way, welcome to the site, and have a great time on the road.
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:05 PM   #40
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I had placed a down payment on an Alpine last spring, but backed out. They have an outstanding rep and look terrific. What ended up being my biggest worry, and decision maker, was the ability to get proprietary parts. Alpine hired a designer to build their chasis. It was well designed and constructed, however as they built their own, there were no suppliers for some parts. Thus, they had proprietary control of the chasis and some parts. Since they have gone out of business, I was told it may be possible that if you have a proprietary part fail, you will have no supplier to contact for a replacement.

I don't know how difficult, or how big of a concern this is, but with my lack of coach knowledge, and concern about a breakdown miles from anywhere, I decided to seek another coach. You may find that this is not a large concern for you, but do your research so you are safe and satisfied with your final decision.

Either way, welcome to the site, and have a great time on the road.
Thanks very much for the welcome..
Do you remember any specific parts that were proprietary. I would have thought that the major frame parts/construction was in house manufactured. But the smaller parts...brake calipers and the like would have come from and outside manufacturer/vendor.

Just guessing...but fabrication of major chassis parts...and having a facility to manufactuer smaller items would be a very complicated set up. The volume would be very low ....hardly worth the tool up cost, unless you had a outside market for the smaller parts as well. Then do that about a 100 times for all the other small stuff..

I sure don't know ...but that seems unlikely to me.

Any input from those that have some greater detailed knowledge of the Alpine manufacturing process?

Best regards..Stan
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:08 PM   #41
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Stan,

From what I remember from the factory tours, the chassis itself is indeed of their own design. But those parts were still fabricated by an outside source and delivered to the factory for assembly. The pieces were cut, drilled, etc. elsewhere. In the unlikely event you need to replace one of those parts, it probably will be expensive to replace them. Its a matter of finding who made them. And yes, building one piece will cost some bucks.

Those parts are unlikely to "fail" on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, stranding you. They are far more likely to be damaged in an accident. What is more likely to fail is suspension parts, all of which are common parts made by other companies, and used on many other chassis. Like the brakes, air bags, etc. With no factory support, this forum, ACA, and our local Alpine SoCal club can usually steer you to the source for all items, including body panels.

We were told that the owner of WRV wanted a coach that drove like his BMW. They went with hydraulic brakes because of the car-like feel. Mine have not caused any problem to date. And 80% of the pad is still there after 60K+ miles. Brakes are not a concern to me. They are not inferior to air brakes for the application.

What is more important to me is the quality of the cabinets and the systems in the coach. The quality of the cabinets is good. Many other coaches we looked at were crap inside. Looked good, but not the same quality as the Alpine.

But it all depends on your priority. The manufacturer being out of business does not bother me at this point. If I had a brand new coach with no factory warranty, I might be concerned. With a used coach like you are looking for, it may not matter to you.
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Old 10-16-2010, 04:21 AM   #42
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What I have learned about Motorhomes and Alpines.

WRV Used the high end of the parts bucket, by high end they purchased the best parts for the coach and the target market they were trying to sell too. On many coaches, and I have seen a few, they only use 3 point leveling jack systems, but we have the 4 point system.
Although we have our share of the hydraulic hose failures, our hydraulic slide mechanisms and the jacks systems are made by a reputable company, although now all RV Parts suppliers are having some trouble. HWH is not immune to the economy; I just hope they make it. They do need to improve their customer service in a huge way.

Usually in our coaches are suburban furnaces and water heaters, which are superior to other models. When ordered and installed we got the higher end of the residential refrigerator market as well. Our rig has an Amana which is a good brand. On those coaches equipped, there are the Aqua/Hydro Hot diesel heater systems, which are also a good brand, unlike some 500K and up coaches which only had a burner arrangement and no hot water as part of the heating. And our GE Advantium Microwave/Convection over is one of the top rated appliances out their and lots of folks put the same thing in their house. It also cooks in three ways, many other brands only do two ways.

Yes Alpines have some issues, but the layout is generally easy to get too many of the sub-systems to work on them, unlike some motorhomes I have been crawling around in lately. Our tank flush equipment is straight forward, and easily identified, unlike the coach I worked on today, where what appears to be a fresh water fill, is really the tank flush system. To fill the fresh water tank, you use the city water fill, and then turn a valve 90 degrees so the water flow is directed from the house plumbing into the fresh water tank, that little project took an hour to figure out, because the manual did not address this particular option.

Speaking about manuals, ours is written fairly clearly, and has illustrations showing things in their true form. And unlike many coaches, we have wiring, plumbing, HH, and other diagrams in the back to assist us in seeing how the thing is put together. Many other coaches don't even provide wiring diagrams, and the manuals they do provide are a total joke.

My biggest complaint is the quality of the wiring done on my coach, yours may be better. Mine has lots of lose connections, which I am constantly tightening up or replacing the connector because the wrong size was used.

This Alpine Coach Forum has been my saving grace, because “my problems” are problems someone else has had before, so the “way to fix it” is already written down, and all I have to do is follow someone else’s directions. If I have a new issue, I post it and someone knows what I am talking about, and ways to make it work until we can come up with a fix. So although they seem to have things go wrong with them, in retrospect, and after looking at various other coaches and how they seem to stand up to abuse, ours are not so bad.

Our Alpines have some things other coaches don’t have and will never have. One of the things I really like is the huge holding tanks we have, what a wonderful thing those are. Our electrical system, although sometimes giving me fits, is laid out fairly simply, the only other better ones I have seen was Monaco and the High Dollar units, were everything is laid down, and marked with a label. Every coach has different ways things are done, but if you think about it, ours are very much similar in a lot of ways. For instance the rear two door on the passenger side give access to the batteries and some of the engine stuff, and this is consistent on every coach alpine made. The propane tank is in the same place on every model I also believe, and the gas piping is the same on most of them. They all came with Onan generators between the 7.5 & 8.0KW output, so those are very much the same.

So as much as this thing makes me want to beat it up, after looking around at a lot of other units, I quit some of my complaining, because even with its issues, it’s better than a whole bunch of the other motorhomes out there.

Now the brakes is another issue altogether. After reading the referenced quote of the other post on the discussion between air and hydraulic, I am changing my tune and liking the Hydraulic brakes better than I did. Also with the type we have, hooking up a toad is cheaper I think. Yeah there might be more maintenance on the HYd type, at least having the fluid power flushed each year is a good idea, but the longevity of the calipers and pads is very good. And the more you drive it, the less often you will have brake issues because the water in the fluid is being heated out at least I hope it is. Having a cheap and easy way to flush the fluid would be a nice thing to have.

And I guess the best part is most of the stuff we can fix ourselves, and get the parts mostly off the shelf, and only in special circumstances will we need to by a special part from someplace. Alpines used easy plumbing connections, and the PEX plumbing will last longer than many of us will live. Another nice touch quality plumbing stuff, and knock on wood, only one leak since we owned it, and I was able to tighten up that connection and it has not leaked since.

So remind me in the future when I complain how crappy I think it is that I put these words up on this site. After looking at a Dutch Star and a Tiffin Allegro today, the little lady is not so down on the alpine as she was either, our wood work, and materials used in the chairs, couches, etc is much tougher than those other two brands it seems, and some of us have own for a long time. She is not as displeased as she was, and I keep telling her, you take 33,000 lbs and throw it down the road in a controlled ride, and things are going to shake lose, break, and need to be tightened. So I guess she feels a little better about it now. As we have owned now for two years and it still looks brand new.

It does sort of madden me to have to change the alternator at only 21K miles, but, life is a crap shoot, and I never the right number when playing anyway, so I will change it and buy a good one when I do. Doing the repair work myself and it should not be too difficult.

So, we really don’t have too much to complain about, and when you want too, look around at what the other folks are driving, and the count your blessings, our aint so bad after all. Don’t get me wrong, if I hit the big one, I will trade the alpine in on a Marathon or Newell, but I am not counting on that.

Oh, I did forget to mention, it really is the best driving Motorhome on the road, it's 50 degree turning radius is wonderful when you need to really get that thing turned, and they all drive that way. Oh don't complain about the headlights because some Monacos have the exact same light/lens combination we have. Without the toad, it really does remind me of a sports car, lots of power, and it turns on a dime!!!
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