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Old 01-18-2015, 12:36 PM   #1
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Usual SUSPECTS in 2003/2004 Alpines?

Since I was vigorously steered to safety about Avalanche models, my sights are on either a 38 or 40 with the 400 Cummins. Are there an inherent issues with these model years (engine, steering, frame, radiator, etc) that I should be aware of, and ask about?
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Old 01-18-2015, 03:20 PM   #2
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40 views with no responses....could that be a good, no...a great thing because there are no skeletons in the closet for those model years?

How about this: what years affected steering brackets, what about engine recalls, radiators? Have any of you that own these model years come up with some surprises?
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Old 01-18-2015, 05:30 PM   #3
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I have had no major problems with my 2001 38ft Alpine since I purchased it 1-2001. I have some of the usual problems, like cracked exhaust manifold, which was the worst problem I have had. The biggest problems I had been with the selling dealer who had a terrible service center who cheated WRV on warranty repair and tried to cheat me but that is another story.


I recently replaced a missing manifold bolt, broken valve cover bolt, the slide topers (14 years old), Inverter, two transfer switches, a couple of HWH hoses and one HWH cylinder. Most of the repairs I did in the back yard but nothing major and some items were replaced because of normal wear and tear. Overall, I have had very few problems with the Alpine.
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Old 01-18-2015, 05:55 PM   #4
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Factors that lead to our purchase of a 2003 38' with ISL 400 after looking at both older and newer Alpines:

ISL prior to wrist pin issue: Recalls - Search Results | Safercar.gov | NHTSA

No steering box bracket issue.

Before the redesign of the service brake linkage with its issues.

Before multiplex wiring and its issues.

But, after fit and finish were improved, upgraded interiors, full body paint, 4 piston brake calipers instead of 2, etc.

Brett
2003 Alpine 38'
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Old 01-18-2015, 05:59 PM   #5
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I know you specifically asked about the 400 Cummins but though I'd respond with a 2001 Cummins ISC...350. Only thing other than standard routine maintenance I have had to do is replace exhaust 4 port manifold, replace alternator, replace HWH hydraulic pump, and replace one HWH hose. I have had this on some of the worst roads imaginable in the lower 48 and even travelled the Top of the World Highway in AK. I bought it used but have had it 13 years. Am currently in the process of resealing all roof vents etc. to eliminate a couple leaks recently discovered. Oh yeah, had to install a new A/C cover after my last trip due to high winds driving through NM ripping the original one off.
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Old 01-18-2015, 09:22 PM   #6
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I have a 2004 34', 400 hp. bought new. The only problem I have had in the engine compartment (non engine related) was the bedroom slide hoses failed, twice. I had royal brass in California build the third set of hoses. Been 4 years with out failure.
I did lose power on a trip. Found it was a clogged fuel filter. Now I keep a spare on board along with a half gallon of fuel to prime the new filter. I recommend changing at least every other year regardless of model year.
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Old 01-19-2015, 07:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfe10 View Post

Before multiplex wiring and its issues.

But, after fit and finish were improved, upgraded interiors, full body paint, 4 piston brake calipers instead of 2, etc.

Brett
2003 Alpine 38'
What could happen with multiplex wiring, and is there a permanent fix?

Are: fit and finish were improved, upgraded interiors, full body paint, 4 piston brake calipers instead of 2, etc. not found on 2003 models?
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Old 01-19-2015, 01:19 PM   #8
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Just for clarification the four piston Brake Caliber on the Alpine Motorhome was introduced on the 2001-model year. Prior year Alpines were equipped with a floating two-piston caliper. Although there were a couple of 2001-model year Alpines, which were equipped with the floating two-piston caliper.
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Old 01-19-2015, 05:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Fernandez View Post
Just for clarification the four piston Brake Caliber on the Alpine Motorhome was introduced on the 2001-model year. Prior year Alpines were equipped with a floating two-piston caliper. Although there were a couple of 2001-model year Alpines, which were equipped with the floating two-piston caliper.
...and these were hydraulic, right?

Is there a school of thought about whether hydraulic or air brakes were the better choice, or are they just what they are, with no problems either way?
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Old 01-19-2015, 05:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bamaboy473 View Post
...and these were hydraulic, right?

Is there a school of thought about whether hydraulic or air brakes were the better choice, or are they just what they are, with no problems either way?
No clear "one is better"-- could easily turn into a "Chevy" vs "Ford" debate.

The reason most DP's have air brakes has nothing to do with their superiority/inferiority. The axles under most DP's are pretty much "off the shelf" truck components. Trucks use air brakes because it a LOT easier to connect/disconnect air lines from truck to trailer than to connect/disconnect and them bleed the air out of the connection on a hydraulic system.

Air brakes are used on vehicles over 100,000 pounds. But, hydraulic brakes are used on jets weighing in just under 1 MILLION pounds (and going a LOT faster).

There are some better designed air brakes vs standard-- same for hydraulic. The best hydraulic use 4 piston fixed calipers, so the pads are pressed against the disk evenly and are much better at retracting than floating caliper designs where the "lazy side" often hangs up, particularly on RV applications where rust can build up in the slide area.

Hydraulic brakes need slightly different "care and feeding" than air brakes. Main Preventive Maintenance is to change the brake fluid every couple of years-- no big deal.

I have had coaches with both, and would not use it as a criteria for ruling in/out a coach. Others may have stronger feelings.

Brett
2003 Alpine 2003
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