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Old 08-26-2018, 11:25 AM   #1
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Best Years and Models??

Looking for opinions on what the best years and models are for Full Timers, hate carpet, and need slides for more living space.
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Old 08-26-2018, 11:46 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gc241 View Post
Looking for opinions on what the best years and models are for Full Timers, hate carpet, and need slides for more living space.

Motor home or 5'er? Budget?
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Old 08-26-2018, 12:38 PM   #3
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Sorry, Motorhome. No budget.
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Old 08-26-2018, 02:58 PM   #4
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Didn't know Foretravel made a 5th wheel. I am talking about Foretravel.
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Old 08-26-2018, 06:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by gc241 View Post
Looking for opinions on what the best years and models are for Full Timers, hate carpet, and need slides for more living space.
It depends on your budget and your ability to do your own repairs/maintenance. There are folks fulltiming in anywhere from a 1985-ish GV up to newer models.
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Old 08-26-2018, 07:45 PM   #6
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I've been told that 1998-2001 are the best years?
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Old 08-26-2018, 08:11 PM   #7
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I've been told that 1998-2001 are the best years?
That's all a matter of personal preference. Certainly through 2003 are great years; whether a 98-01 is better than a 02 or 03 depends on what you own

Keep in mind slides didn't show up until the early end of your years; it took several iterations to get them right. When you need to have a slide seal replaced, at least '01 and earlier need to have the entire slide removed using a forklift.... most '02's and early '03's had a one-year version of the slide mechanism than only a handful of folks are familiar with.

For a bedroom slide in a 40 ft-er you'll want to make sure it's got a tag axle. The weight of the drivetrain plus the slide, especially if you're looking at a tile floor, will leave you with challenging CCC for a fulltimer if you don't have a tag.
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Old 08-26-2018, 11:30 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by gc241 View Post
Looking for opinions on what the best years and models are for Full Timers, hate carpet, and need slides for more living space.
Always enjoy helping other's spend their money. But not enough info to really provide much input.

-Do you want 45', or will 40' support your needs?
-Do you need to tow a heavy toad or trailer, or a lighter toad?
-You say 'no budget' range, well that's a pretty big range. Is their a top range?

I like Foretravel's in many ways. U295-320's were on our short list when we started our research 7-9 years ago now. But, we found while I loved the mechanical's of coaches within our buget range - well, my DW and I felt the interior designs cosmetically, and floor layout's, were not what we were looking for. (Especially the galley space. Many of the 40-42' Foretravel's we looked at, had galleys that were very small. The DW, had a priority on an adequate size galley for her zest of cooking. (So being a smart man, we looked for coaches with large galley's!).

But flashing forward today, you have used Nimbus and Phenix's in the mix of used Foretravel's.

And if you want to write a big check, and get what looks to be a very unique and good bang for the buck higher end coach - Realm's are very intriguing (Hard for me to say 'intriguing', as the Country Coach Intrigue, was my preference in the Country Coach line up!, and as you can see my posts, we ended up with an Allure. (GALLEY WAS LARGER THEN MOST's 45' coaches, and this is in a 40' coach!) But they also have the IH platform, and many of those can be found used in good price points.

So OP, if I were to swag price points. Used U320's, say 2005 or so - can be found at the low end of the price point, low to mid $100K range. But even used higher up the food chain FT's - can still cost over a million dollars.

-What size engine do you feel you want. Do you want to avoid DEF? What size coach, 40', 42' or 45'?
-Do want to find and older IH at a lower price point, then have it remodeled to what you want?
-Do you want to just go to FT, and order a new rig?

Very, very difficult to give you informative feedback, on such a wide open question... (At least for me, as I'm a fan of FT's - but have not kept up on them as close as I was when researching specific model's.)

I will add, if looking for older budget fitting FT's - I'm a fan of the ISM engine. I find that many FT's with the ISL's, were I felt adequately/marginally powered. More important, the smaller displacement engine had much lower Braking Horsepower via the Retarder Transmissions - then the bigger block M11 or later ISM's. If I found say U320, with ISM, mechanically well maintained. I'd reserve $30-45K of that 'no budget', to take it to a company (Perhaps in Texas!), and have the interior redone to whatever I desired...

Opinions will vary! If you provide more specific's, suspect other's more versed on the Foretravel line - can provide better responses...

Best of luck to you,
Smitty
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Old 08-27-2018, 02:23 AM   #9
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Old 08-27-2018, 11:58 AM   #10
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Right, I would say a 40-45, tag axle would be better of course. I have been told to avoid the DEF. A larger galley would be great and larger living space. Don't need the 2 couch thing, wasted space.
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Old 08-27-2018, 11:59 AM   #11
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Which company do you suggest for a remodel?
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Old 08-27-2018, 03:10 PM   #12
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Go to Foreforums.com and register, in the classified's there is 2000 U320 42 ft. with slide and lifting tag axel, for a very fair price, this coach was maintained by a long time Foretravel owner and mechanic.
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Old 08-27-2018, 03:16 PM   #13
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Which company do you suggest for a remodel?
See your a Southern California neighbor, we're in San Diego area.

Well if buying in the Texas area, hard to beat the reputation of the Mother Ship of Foretravel, as the Foretravel factory will do refurbishments/remodels of coaches. As well as Motor Homes of Texas. They both know Foretravel well.

If you don't mind traveling, lots of great shops in Oregon (No sales tax.) and Washington area. Eugene/Junction City areas has Oregon Motor Coach, Davis Cabinets, Innovative CoachWorks and many others too. In Washington State, I've read positive responses bu those that have had Dave & LJ's, and I believe Infinity too, to name a few.

I've had good quality woodworking from Oregon Motor Coach.

Their's also closer to home to you, the travelers that come from Oregon/Washington to work with the Snowbrids in Palm Springs/Indigo area. I believe both Bob Vinson and Davis Cabinets, to name a few, send staff down to the region. So that could be viable option.

If larger galley's are a feature, take a close look at the layouts of Foretravel's. Even in 45' length, many times my wife found the galleys too small in counter top space for her to consider a coach. (We were targeting 40-42' range, and we were looking for pre 2006 smog controls for engines, back when we were shopping. And I admit I have not stayed real close to the Foretrave line as far as their current galley size offerings. I have noted, that compared to the U295/320's we went thru, that seemed to have interior designs and fabric choices from the early 90's carried over (Not a bad thing if that is what someone is looking for, and well built for sure. But, we were looking for a more modern design. We also preferred less, what we call 'glitter' - and more simple designs. (No disco lights of mirrors on the ceiling, etc., ! And of course, all very personal and what one person does not like, is often perfect for antoher!).

I do like what I see, and read about the Realm. For mere mortals, and non Prevost based or Newell like coaches - it has one of the most sophisticated suspensions on the market today.

I also still like Newmar's Mountain Aire up thru King Aire's. Old Monaco's Executives/Signatures, preferably with a Detroit or ISM. The Holiday Rambler equivalent of the Executives and Signature are also higher end coaches, well built. Beaver Patriot Thunder/Marquis - well thought of coaches too. Travel Supreme Elite, believe it was Elite, but their top model, also had a bigger block engine, and were well built. (They did have some chassis stiffening required in some years, but once the are in place, a fine coach.). And I'm obviously a fan of Country Coaches too. Intrigue's/Magna's/Affiniity's are all well built and thought out coaches.

In any coach, 40-45', and especially with an open budget, I'd move high enough up in teh food chain of a manufacturer to get a Bigger Block engine. CAT C12-15, Detroit, Cummins ISM/ISX (Research ISX #6 Valve failures closely. Not a deal breaker, but negotiate about $25K off of the purchase price, to have Cummins do their upgrade to fix their design problem. (New heads, and more.) (And yes, as many have said on other threads. Shame on Cummins for not stepping up to the plate and recalling these engines and fixing their design problems... Not the Cummins of old, and that is a mistake in my opinion. Reputation is everything, and with more engines becoming available to choose from in the years ahead, IMO, Cummins is making a mistake by not maintaining their heritage over the decades of 'Doing the right thing.' for their customers. All in my humble opinion.)

For sure not a complete listing, but ones that we had on our short list when shopping, along with Foretravel. I mentioned Big Blocks. Reserve power, many times with gearing these bigger block engines provide the same, or better, MPG then mid block engines (ISC/ISL or CAT C7/C9's) - as the engines are just loafing along unless you have your pedal to the metal. And I believe an often overlooked safety consideration for these bigger, heavier coaches - is Braking Horsepower. The Big Blocks have more displacement, thus much higher Braking Horsepower. Retarder via Foretravel, 2 or 3 Stage Jake Compression in others.

All of the ones mentinioned above, have good chassis and build structures. Using a housing term, they provide a 'good foundation' to modify into whatever kind of coach you want!

Again, best of luck to you on your search... Be intersting to hear what you end up with.

Smitty

(By the way, if looking newer, besides the ones still being built above. Many find the Entegra line Cornerstone to be a good bang for the buck in higher end coaches. Not around when we were shopping... Wanderloge's also had some great coaches, with Detroits in them, believe they were the LXi model in the last few years of building. A very solid and respected coach...)
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:56 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Smitty77 View Post
See your a Southern California neighbor, we're in San Diego area.



Well if buying in the Texas area, hard to beat the reputation of the Mother Ship of Foretravel, as the Foretravel factory will do refurbishments/remodels of coaches. As well as Motor Homes of Texas. They both know Foretravel well.



If you don't mind traveling, lots of great shops in Oregon (No sales tax.) and Washington area. Eugene/Junction City areas has Oregon Motor Coach, Davis Cabinets, Innovative CoachWorks and many others too. In Washington State, I've read positive responses bu those that have had Dave & LJ's, and I believe Infinity too, to name a few.



I've had good quality woodworking from Oregon Motor Coach.



Their's also closer to home to you, the travelers that come from Oregon/Washington to work with the Snowbrids in Palm Springs/Indigo area. I believe both Bob Vinson and Davis Cabinets, to name a few, send staff down to the region. So that could be viable option.



If larger galley's are a feature, take a close look at the layouts of Foretravel's. Even in 45' length, many times my wife found the galleys too small in counter top space for her to consider a coach. (We were targeting 40-42' range, and we were looking for pre 2006 smog controls for engines, back when we were shopping. And I admit I have not stayed real close to the Foretrave line as far as their current galley size offerings. I have noted, that compared to the U295/320's we went thru, that seemed to have interior designs and fabric choices from the early 90's carried over (Not a bad thing if that is what someone is looking for, and well built for sure. But, we were looking for a more modern design. We also preferred less, what we call 'glitter' - and more simple designs. (No disco lights of mirrors on the ceiling, etc., ! And of course, all very personal and what one person does not like, is often perfect for antoher!).



I do like what I see, and read about the Realm. For mere mortals, and non Prevost based or Newell like coaches - it has one of the most sophisticated suspensions on the market today.



I also still like Newmar's Mountain Aire up thru King Aire's. Old Monaco's Executives/Signatures, preferably with a Detroit or ISM. The Holiday Rambler equivalent of the Executives and Signature are also higher end coaches, well built. Beaver Patriot Thunder/Marquis - well thought of coaches too. Travel Supreme Elite, believe it was Elite, but their top model, also had a bigger block engine, and were well built. (They did have some chassis stiffening required in some years, but once the are in place, a fine coach.). And I'm obviously a fan of Country Coaches too. Intrigue's/Magna's/Affiniity's are all well built and thought out coaches.



In any coach, 40-45', and especially with an open budget, I'd move high enough up in teh food chain of a manufacturer to get a Bigger Block engine. CAT C12-15, Detroit, Cummins ISM/ISX (Research ISX #6 Valve failures closely. Not a deal breaker, but negotiate about $25K off of the purchase price, to have Cummins do their upgrade to fix their design problem. (New heads, and more.) (And yes, as many have said on other threads. Shame on Cummins for not stepping up to the plate and recalling these engines and fixing their design problems... Not the Cummins of old, and that is a mistake in my opinion. Reputation is everything, and with more engines becoming available to choose from in the years ahead, IMO, Cummins is making a mistake by not maintaining their heritage over the decades of 'Doing the right thing.' for their customers. All in my humble opinion.)



For sure not a complete listing, but ones that we had on our short list when shopping, along with Foretravel. I mentioned Big Blocks. Reserve power, many times with gearing these bigger block engines provide the same, or better, MPG then mid block engines (ISC/ISL or CAT C7/C9's) - as the engines are just loafing along unless you have your pedal to the metal. And I believe an often overlooked safety consideration for these bigger, heavier coaches - is Braking Horsepower. The Big Blocks have more displacement, thus much higher Braking Horsepower. Retarder via Foretravel, 2 or 3 Stage Jake Compression in others.



All of the ones mentinioned above, have good chassis and build structures. Using a housing term, they provide a 'good foundation' to modify into whatever kind of coach you want!



Again, best of luck to you on your search... Be intersting to hear what you end up with.



Smitty



(By the way, if looking newer, besides the ones still being built above. Many find the Entegra line Cornerstone to be a good bang for the buck in higher end coaches. Not around when we were shopping... Wanderloge's also had some great coaches, with Detroits in them, believe they were the LXi model in the last few years of building. A very solid and respected coach...)


Well written. Thanks for the input. You have opened my eyes for our next coach upgrade.
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