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Old 10-16-2010, 05:57 AM   #43
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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.
Good morning Jim and thanks for your input.

This has been my take on the orphan coach concerns all along. A 10 year old coach wouldn't have any warranty anyway (usually....extended warranty maybe.)

I have considered the complications of frame damage in an accident. That would fall under the protection of coach insurance. If the frame couldn't be repaired...then it would be totaled and the insurance would pay for the motorhome and I'd just buy another one.

Were you told that the owner of WRV wanted a coach that drove like a BMW at the factory? ..or did you hear that somewhere else?

I was told that these coaches and Foretravels had a very similar frame/suspension etc., by an independent dealer. (..he used to sell the Alpine line of motorhomes when they first came out). He still likes them...and claims they are the best driving coach there is. I am repeating hearsay of course...but it is at least one more positive comment from someone in the industry.

This is what really is good to hear:
" 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."

I'm surprised that body panels could be found. That takes care of my only other issue...because having been a mechanic during the early part of my life, I was pretty confident that most mechanical parts could be found somewhere.

I still restore antique cars for a hobby. Now there is a "real"parts issue that is difficult sometimes. Custom fabrication comes in to play quite often on these cars.

I have looked at/owned many gas rigs thru the years...but am new in the diesel pusher field. Lots of similar things to look at and consider, but a lot of things are not even remotely similar. I really like the overall quality and design of what I see on the Alpine. I got interested in Alpines a couple of years ago, after I drove one that belongs to a relative. That was he first DP I had the opportunity to drive. (bad mistake...wanted a DP ever since, ha!) I have driven several since that first one...but nothing I liked as well as his Alpine. Sooo..when I ran across this beauty...I perked up immediately.

In fact ...I finally made the commitment and put a deposit on it. The loan has been approved with a 6.375 % interest rate, etc. Should pick it up next Wednesday or so after some minor repairs are made...

I'm even reluctant to talk about it tooo much ...because it still isn't a done deal. The dealer has to fix the dash A/C (not cooling), and the ABS light is on. Likely sensors... If the repairs were $3,000 for instance...we would have to negotiate further. Likely it willl be an A/C compressor at most, or may just need a leak fixed, evacuate and recharge.

He thinks the ABS sensors are just dirty or something simple, and says it is a very common issue on many RV's not just Alpines. Said he has to deal with it quite often. The coach stops drives and stops very well, so I don't expect much there....but you never know.

Going to be a long weekend...we are hoping all goes well, and there are no complications. It's absolutely beautiful, looks like a 2 year old coach..and only has 46,000 miles with 396 hours on the gen set...so maybe everything else will be easy to remedy. We are very excited...and keeping our fingers crossed, like two kids before Christmas..! We know/think Santa is bringing what we want...but not absolutely, 100% positive, if you remember the feeling..

Thanks again for all the help..
Best regards..Stan
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Old 10-16-2010, 11:15 AM   #44
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Good morning Jim and thanks for your input.

Were you told that the owner of WRV wanted a coach that drove like a BMW at the factory? ..or did you hear that somewhere else?
It was definitely not at the factory or at the dealership that suckered me into buying it. I believe it was at a rally. It might have been Ron Doyle himself, as he attended many of the ACA rallies. (Ask any ACA member about the Alpine Coach drag races.) Many of us met and talked to Ron personally. He seemed proud of the coaches his company built.
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Old 10-16-2010, 11:32 AM   #45
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So remind me in the future when I complain how crappy I think it is that I put these words up on this site.
Monty,

I bookmarked this post so I can quote you on this in the future!

Nice meeting you a few months ago.
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Old 10-16-2010, 11:33 AM   #46
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It was definitely not at the factory or at the dealership that suckered me into buying it. I believe it was at a rally. It might have been Ron Doyle himself, as he attended many of the ACA rallies. (Ask any ACA member about the Alpine Coach drag races.) Many of us met and talked to Ron personally. He seemed proud of the coaches his company built.
Thanks for the quick reply Jim..

....suckered you into buying it? You are happy with the choice or..?

My quotes also come from someone other than the salesman I'm dealing with.

Okaay, let me see...you're a member arn't you. What about the Alpine Coach Drag races ? Ha ha.. That sounds like a hoot.

Always good when someone is proud of what they build...

Stan......
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:01 PM   #47
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Happy with the choice. Just obnoxious to the dealer. He's out of business now anyway.

Every year the ACA holds a "heritage" rally, and every other year it was held near the factory in Yakima. When held near the factory, the owner of WRV would rent out the local NHRA drag strip, and bring out 4 brand new coaches, and let us members drag race them against each other. Husbands against wives, etc. Christmas tree starting line, electronic scoring system, and everything. And gave out trophies. It took up a good part of the day.

It sounds like fun, but was a lot more fun that it sounds. The year we were there it was won by a lady who had never driven a coach before, who beat a guy in the finals who was a racer.
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:35 PM   #48
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Happy with the choice. Just obnoxious to the dealer. He's out of business now anyway.

Every year the ACA holds a "heritage" rally, and every other year it was held near the factory in Yakima. When held near the factory, the owner of WRV would rent out the local NHRA drag strip, and bring out 4 brand new coaches, and let us members drag race them against each other. Husbands against wives, etc. Christmas tree starting line, electronic scoring system, and everything. And gave out trophies. It took up a good part of the day.

It sounds like fun, but was a lot more fun that it sounds. The year we were there it was won by a lady who had never driven a coach before, who beat a guy in the finals who was a racer.

Wow...thats a heck of a dealer. Shows confidence that his merchandise was troublefree too..

Now how did the lady beat a racer...was she 3 seconds faster out off the line or something. I bet the ET's were 45 seconds or something. What fun..I'd love to have been there.

Thanks..Stan
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Old 10-16-2010, 01:38 PM   #49
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You're not even close!! ET's were something in the range of 18-20 seconds for the 1/4 mile. Top speeds in the low 60's. Not bad for something that size. The coaches were not perfectly matched in speed.

And the hydraulic brakes were sufficient for stopping. No parachutes.

Heck of a company owner, not dealer.
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Old 10-16-2010, 02:05 PM   #50
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You're not even close!! ET's were something in the range of 18-20 seconds for the 1/4 mile. Top speeds in the low 60's. Not bad for something that size. The coaches were not perfectly matched in speed.

And the hydraulic brakes were sufficient for stopping. No parachutes.

Heck of a company owner, not dealer.

Ah yes..my bad I meant owner.

I broke my race car gear set back in the 70's at Penwell outside the Odessa Texas area. Decided to run our family sedan thru the traps out of boredom. 318, 2bbl. Fury 4 door, highway gears. Crawled thru at 19 seconds if I remember right.

Slow for sure..but I expected it to be faster than a 25,000 lb. motorhome. Guess I have just forgotten ...been a long time. That's quick for a motorhome at any rate. What hp. were the Rv's?

I bet that was fun...loved to have been there.

Stan...
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Old 10-16-2010, 07:34 PM   #51
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They would have been the 400 hp Cummins. I think that by '06 the standard engine was the 400 hp. The 350 hp was dropped by then. Most were ordering the then optional 400 in '04.

If I am wrong about the ET's, it is only by a couple of seconds.

I compared notes with a friend of mine who had a Porsche Turbo Carrera. We figured we both had turbocharged 400 hp engines. He also commented that the fuel mileage was about the same, ~9 mpg.
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Old 10-16-2010, 08:49 PM   #52
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I am wondering if 2001 coaches could have been late in getting the latest standard option upgrades...for instance:

At the first of the model year could a 2001 have the steering wheel of a 2000 model, instead of the smart wheel which was standard on the 2001's (according to the Alpine web site). Same question regarding the electric step cover which was standard in 2001 but not 2000..

This 2001 I'm buying has neither the smart wheel or the electric step cover.

But it does have the 2001 kitchen sink and stove top which is considerably different than the 2000 model..

Seems like maybe the chassis is a 2000 and the coach is a 2001. Is that a possibility?

Not that it is a deal breaker as long as the title says 2001.... the coach is still beautiful... I don't have the VIN yet..to see if it is titled as a 2001 like it's floorplan, and like it is supposed to be.

Thanks..Stan

Also...can the accelerator pedal be moved closer to the driver, it seemed to set back a little more than is comfortable, in relation to the brake pedal.
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Old 10-16-2010, 08:55 PM   #53
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Stan - Check the local credit union in your area, they will beat that interest rate I would bet. That sounds way too high in the current market for an RV loan. I think if you call mine, they would even beat it. I am paying 5.49, and I have seen car loans (yeah different bread of cat) for 1.9%, so before you put down the ink pin check on better rates. Brakes most likely the ABS Sensor has worked its way out of the grommet on one of the front wheels, simple little fix to push it back into the hole. Mine comes out all the time, and if I wait long enough it goes back in on its own.

The A/C is a different matter, going to assume it's an ACME Compressor, they are Out of business, so if the compressor is shot, don't rightly know if another brand will work. If it needs refrigerant make sure they also add the proper amount of compressor oil in as well. The best way would be to totally drain the system, vacuum it down and hold it down for 4 hours, then refill with the correct amount of Freon and oil, which will be on the data plate of the compressor. If they won't do that the correct way, don't buy it from them, or get a better price since the A/C repair could cost 1-2K in labor to have it done correctly. That number might be high, but better safe than sorry.

Stan - I would like a 40 Ford Pickup Truck send me a PM so we can discuss where to get one which is still stock please.

Jim A - Thank you, I hope you do. Even the little lady today says she likes our alpine better than any other motorhomes we have seen and we went looking today and last evening for her brother and another friend who is looking. Nothing comes close to the alpine. Plus and it's taken me a while to appreciate it, things and the way they work on it, just make sense like where they are, etc as well. Not to say that some of it could not be improved on, but for the most part it is laid out very well.
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Old 10-16-2010, 09:09 PM   #54
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Stan - Check the local credit union in your area, they will beat that interest rate I would bet. That sounds way too high in the current market for an RV loan. I think if you call mine, they would even beat it. I am paying 5.49, and I have seen car loans (yeah different bread of cat) for 1.9%, so before you put down the ink pin check on better rates.

Jim A - Thank you, I hope you do. Even the little lady today says she like our alpine better than any other motorhomes we have seen and we went looking today and last evening, nothing comes close to the alpine. Plus and it's taken me a while to appreciate it, things and the way they work on it, just make sense. Where they are, etc as well. Not to say that some of it could not be improved on, but for the most part it is laid out very well.

Stan - I would like a 40 Ford Pickup Truck send me a PM so we can discuss where to get one which is still stock please.

Thanks Monty..

The term of the note has lot to do with it..I can get 5.375% on a 5 year note, 1% more for a 10 year. May I ask what term a 5.49 % rate is for..

I asked around and thought 6.375% was about as good as I could get in DFW, Texas. Didn't try credit unions though...most of them here you have to have been a member for a while (I think).

I'd be happy to call yours or any other credit union that would save money...I know they would accept me, unless they want customers to be member for a while, before taking out a loan.

Best regards..Stan
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Old 10-16-2010, 09:12 PM   #55
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Stan #2 - the difference in the sink, not having smartwheel, etc was some stuff in the 2000 model year was still available for use, so they used it, since most likely the one you are buying was not "Special Ordered", just a spec unit to meed dealer demand. I bet, the wiring for the smart wheel is under the dash, and then all you would need is the controller, but don't hold me to that. I don't know about the step cover since we have a mid-door coach and that is not an issue for us.

EM- Do you know if the step cover can be made electric? And am I wrong on the Smartwheel?
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Old 10-16-2010, 09:13 PM   #56
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Stan please send me a personal message so I can get your e-mail address. I will reply with mine, and we can take the financing stuff offline. It is easy to send PM's.
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