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Old 09-25-2011, 10:57 AM   #1
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Thinking of buying a 2000 Alpine Coach 36FDS LE

My wife and I are looking (long distance) at a 2000 Alpine Coach 36FDS LE, it's being inspected on Monday and if it passes we'll make an offer. It looks like it will fit our needs but I'm having a heck of a time finding specific information on that model.

Main questions are
Tow capacity, will be towing a jeep on a trailer (can't flat tow, aftermarket transfer case) I can't find a darn thing on the difference between GVWR and GCVWR on this rig and the consignment dealer is no help at all.

Brakes, from what searching I've done Alpine uses hydraulic brakes with some really interesting threads on air vs. hydraulic and the stopping power of the early coaches. I have no problem with hydraulic discs if they will stop the coach well in the mountains but:

1.It seems this year was affected by the same Bosch brake bungle that affected Workhorse, true? Should I ask the inspector to verify the recall has been done 'cause I'm sure since the coach is an orphan I would be on the hook for it now if needed.

2.I was planning on using an AirForce toad brake on the other Jeep which I will be flat towing on occasion. it looks like I should start looking for other options, true?

Any help on finding a spec' sheet online would be very much appreciated, Google brings up hundreds of for sale listings but nothing helpful when I type in "2000 Alpine Coach specifications"

I'm in Durango CO and most driving will be in the Rockies so a 36' coach with an 8.3 is on my short list and this one looks perfect. Sadly Durango is also a class A desert which makes any purchase a long distance affair.

Thanks in advance for any input/suggestions/help.
Dave and Jay Shannon
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:15 AM   #2
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Here is my take. If the consignment dealer won't get the info you need from owner ,then tell them you are walking. That's just me.


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Old 09-25-2011, 12:07 PM   #3
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Our 36 FDS (Front Door Single slide) built in 10/99 has a GVW of 28K and a GCVW of 33K giving us a tow capacity of 5K.

We just recently had to do brake work after 11 years and that was most likely due to my lack of maintenance. There are numerous brake threads here on the Alpine forum.

Net carrying capacity is over 4K lbs., not including fuel water ect. In other words we carry all we want and more.:-)

Certainly you will want to see all of the maintenance records and have a non biased out side inspection.

Hang tight you will get more responses.
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Old 09-25-2011, 12:34 PM   #4
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Thanks Tom,

Yea, I've read brake threads here 'till I'm cross-eyed, saw a couple of your posts in them, gave me hope. That's a little less towing capacity than I hoped for in a 36' with an 8.3 but I have no issues pushing it a bit as I'll be traveling lightly loaded when towing the trailer/wrangler and it's only about 5500lbs and the trailer has good brakes and I have a WD hitch I can use.

Ed from RVSurvey.com is doing an inspection for us on Monday A.M. can't say enough good things about his willingness to answer questions and look at specific things I requested.


Mike,
Believe me we're tempted to tell PPL to go pound sand, the communication has been nonexistent other than a promise to answer a very short list of questions 8 days ago, with no response to a couple of calls (message left on voice mail) and emails since then. Thanks to the delay the coach my wife preferred ('01 Monaco Diplomat) just went "sale pending", I liked the Alpine features better but I'm bummed for her. Haven't been pushy or obnoxious, figured during a slow market we had time, I just left a message every few days and 2 follow up emails. Probably should have bee more pushy.


This is about the only time I wished we didn't live in a small town far away from a larger market. Sure would make the search easier.

Dave and Jay Shannon
Durango CO
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Old 09-25-2011, 01:12 PM   #5
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If they want more than $70K, look elsewhere
There are real deals to be had...

Read this post..
2003 Alpine

1998--$47K
1998 Alpine Motorhome | eBay

2005--$67K
Western Alpine Triple Slide 400HP Diesel NO RESERVE | eBay

JMHO
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Old 09-25-2011, 01:42 PM   #6
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You can go to the Alpine Coach Association Tech Library page & download the sales brochure which has chassis specs, tankage, blah, blah, blah.

I have paper copies of the chassis electrical schematics which are very handy if you are trying to diagnose a problem.

As to brakes, you should change brake fluid on that rig every 2 years, and lube the pin slides on calipers every year. In those voluminous early year brake threads you'll find discussion of the maintenance, and see that several owners do the pin slide lube themselves. Folks who attend to those two points don't seem to have brake issues, folks that don't have stuck-brake problems.

Have Ed operate the PacBrake (apply 12v to the solenoid to see the butterfly shuts freely and reopens reliably. If the coach has sat for a long time the "axle" for the butterfly may be rusted; if never lubed it may be sticky also.

Then install strict nanny controls on your wife's internet access so she can't see the threads on interior remodel results.
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Old 09-25-2011, 01:49 PM   #7
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Dave and Jay,

2001 added a 10k hitch and upped towing capacity to 10 K. I don't know what other mods were done to achieve that increased GVCW.
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Old 09-25-2011, 02:56 PM   #8
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Looking at the y2K brochure on the Tech Library, if you bought a '00-40' you got a 31k GVWR coach, w/higher rated axles, same w/a 38' rig. Shorter coaches had lower rated axles for 28k GVWR.

Eventually all sizes had 13k/20k rated axles for 33k GVWR, not to mention simpler inventory for WRV.

Personally I wouldn't have any issue towing 5.5k on an underladen 33k GVCWR w/a 5k hitch, but wouldn't be caught dead recommending such a crazy thing on the internet.
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Old 09-25-2011, 06:40 PM   #9
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I had a 2000 36' built in Oct 99. I towed for 10 years with no problem, with brakes on the toad. I towed heavy vehicles, 2007 4-runner or a 2007 Toyota Tundra, which weighs 6000 pounds.

I sold it in Dec 09 with 47,000 miles, new tires, garaged, excel. cond for $70,000.

Yes it does have the Bosch brakes and it does stop well. You can read all the posts about the recall. Even if the recall hasn't been done don't expect any help from Bosch. Either way you are own. Have an inspector check the rotors for any lining transfer to the rotor and use a mirror to check the outside of the rotor. That was the way mine was checked.
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Old 09-25-2011, 06:42 PM   #10
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Daveshan - first I know of a 2005 36 foot model which has 5K miles and is in excellent shape. The family selling it has not gotten to price point yet, but the coach is in top shape. It's located in West Monroe, LA, I will check with the lady and hook you both up if she is willing.

Second, don't know enough about the brakes in a 2000 model to give you advice. Make sure they inspect the shoes, slide pin calipers and have them power flush the brake fluid before you take delivery. In some (maybe all) models the rear wheels have to come off for the brake fluid flush, watch em do it, or find reputable shop.

Have them load check the chassis/house batteries, and if one of the house batteries is bad, have them change all of them, one will cause the charger to overcharge the rest of them weakening the batteries as a whole. This assumes lead acid/wet cells.

If you buy the alpine this is the place to be for informative stuff.
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:08 PM   #11
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Thanks for the input, I've been trying to download the manuals from the tech library for the last 2 weeks, all I got was a hung browser 'till today. Got the owner's manual and brochure. Interesting reading, I'm really liking this coach.

The brochure shows a 10k rated hitch on all models for '00 but only 5k left over for towing if fully loaded so I'll be fine traveling light. I can live with the pricing so we'll see.

Especially thanks for the tips on what to have looked at more closely.

Old Rv'er I'll think about that one if this one falls through, the more I read about the Alpine line the better it looks.
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:19 PM   #12
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Not sure what your "pricing" limits are but you can probably get an 03 or 04 Alpine for between $70-100k--you will get a lot of coach for not much money. Nothing wrong with a 2000 but many us will [probably] agree the 03s and 04s were some of the best/most simple to maintain coaches that WRV ever built--yup--we own an 03.....
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:31 PM   #13
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We have towed a Jeep Commander with our 38 foot 2000 alpine for a couple of years with no problems. If you would like to see pictures and information look at Craig's list, Spokane Wa.
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Old 09-25-2011, 08:27 PM   #14
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Dave, the lady/husband who have that 05 are looking to get out of it, they purchased it new from the factory, so it's in 110% shape. Like I mentioned, they have only used it one or two times, short runs, as he is afraid to drive it. It's been in covered storage, and only comes out to have maintenance work done on it. The owners are now doing a little more cabinet work on it to get it looking niceer. You won't find a better coach anywhere. Send me a Personal message with your e-mail, I will forward to you the original factory invoice so you can see what it has, I think I might have some pictures as well.

Oh we tow a Jeep Wrangler, and it weight is around 4700 lbs. Don't know it's back there unless I turn on the camera and watch it, jeeps tow better than lots of other vehicles four wheels down, which reduces the weight you are towing.

FWIW - Make sure the coolant, transmission fluid and oil have been changed recently, if not have that done prior to purchase.
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