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Old 02-18-2019, 06:49 AM   #1
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Question Next Motorhome - Another CC or Newmar or old Conversion bus?

So my husband and I have decided to cut loose the CC we bought last year. Too much to mention here but delamination is one of the problems. We will lose $ either way so we’ve decided to start over. Took awhile to come to that conclusion but we are solid on that decision.

We are very fearful of repeating our mistake. We are considering a CC Magna or Affinity in the years 2002 to 2005, Newmar Mountain Aire 2004-2006; Newmar Dutch Star 2005-2008, and we have a 40’ 88 MCI bus conversion suggested to us with very low mileage, good layout (no slides), good condition but no chance of delam. We owned a 2004 Dutch Star for 10 years and sold it last year and feel we should have stuck with Newmar. I really cannot buy newer due to the financial losses from the current CC.

We want this Motorhome to last 8 years or so post purchase and will plan to store this one inside. Will a fiberglass Motorhome of this vintage last another 8 years or are we kidding ourselves? We are not full time - this is trips 2-3 weeks at a time, long weekends, towing race car, vintage cars, and race weekends. So need 10000 lb tow capacity. Just 2 people no kids in tow.

Would love to hear from folks with the older fiberglass Motorhomes and how they’re holding up to water damage/leaks. We will be looking for RVs not exposed to salt / minimal no rust (not driven in the east in winter).
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Old 02-18-2019, 08:39 AM   #2
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We have a 2001 Tiffin Allegro Bus on a Freightliner chassis. It has a fiberglass body and roof. There are no body problems except for the small area near the rear wheel where I miscalculated and took out a retaining wall. It has 160,000 miles and we expect it to last over 500,000. We have owned the coach for 5 years and had minor problems, tires, loose manifold bolts, and one major problem with a failed injector pump. Other than that I only do the annual maintenance. I spent $750 extra this year to get the roof seam resealed. All appliances are original and work properly. We will be putting about 10,000 miles on the coach this year towing a Jeep Grand Cherokee and expect no problems.

It took us almost a year to find a unit that had been treated well and had all the records. I started looking for something on a Freightliner chassis. My wife saw the cabinets in the Tiffin so we narrowed our search to the Tiffin brand. After looking at many units that had been trashed, we found this one and have been very pleased. If we ever upgrade (Unlikely) we will be looking for another Tiffin because of body and cabinet construction.

I suggest looking for the chassis first. Pay careful attention to the Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC). The rigs build on a low CCC chassis necessarily have lighter weight and in my view more flimsy components. The chassis with larger CCC will have more sturdy construction overall.

All the manufacturers you listed build quality units, but they still let a poor one out the door on occasion like all other builders and depending on the chassis they select for a particular unit they build lighter or more sturdy units to meet the needs they see in the market.

I would bet that your experience has showed you what to look for so you are not likely to make those mistakes again, but don't worry, there are will be different "Learning opportunities" in your next rig. Fortunately, there will also be miles and miles of fun time and pleasure which is the reason we all continue to RV.

Hope you find the perfect unit.
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Old 02-18-2019, 09:41 AM   #3
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I would contact some of the better repair shops before giving up on a nice coach like yours. Talk to Oregon Motorcoach and get their opinion on the delamination. They are very good at what they do.
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:05 AM   #4
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Yes we have spoken to OMC and we used a very reputable shop for a lot of work done to date. I wish I could say it’s simple. Thank you.
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:07 AM   #5
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Thank you. I should have said Tiffin Allegro bus (similar years) is on our short list as well. Thank you for sharing! Appreciate it!
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:24 AM   #6
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No delam on our rig.

But it is older than your target group.
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:31 AM   #7
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We traded our very nice '02 Dutch Star in on the present '09 Magna with the 650 hp ISX. If it weren't for the very expensive problems with that engine I'd be perfectly happy with it. Had I had more info on the engine problems that have surfaced we'd still have the DSDP.
This spending $20,000 - $30,000 a year on maintenance/repairs is getting old!
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:37 AM   #8
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I think I would either consider talking to Extreme Paint & Graphic's in Nacogdoces Tx. (IF there are no other major faults with your coach), or seriously look at the Foretravel/Newell/Prevost conversions.
The reason I suggest this is .The major mass produced RV's in the later (read newer) years lack the assembly quality (both component and build) you have now..
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:49 AM   #9
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I have a 2004 Newmar and I have not had any issues with leaks and delam BUT many coaches from different manufacturers in those years have an issue with paint checking. Even though we kept the motorhome under cover when not in use, the paint checking constantly got worse, especially in the dark areas, and the clear coat was lifting off. This is a defect in the manufacture of the sidewalls and repainting will probably not fix it. I brought my coach back to Newmar to have the sidewalls replaced and the coach repainted. This is easier with a Newmar because of the hung wall construction.

If we would have know what paint checking was before we bought the coach, we would have looked for one without this issue. Even though Newmar did the work at a MUCH better price than you could get anywhere else, it was still an expensive fix.
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:53 AM   #10
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Others may know exact years but the range of 2004-2008 is a period when a lot of delamination issues exist for all manufacturers.

Newmar offered repairs to owners during those years so if you find a newmar, call with the serial number to see if the sidewalls have been replaced already by the factory. That is the only proper fix, and as you well know, a very expensive option.
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Old 02-18-2019, 12:09 PM   #11
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When you are buying a 10-15 year-old coach, there are no guarantees! And, the time period you are considering had some issues regarding fiberglass and paint.

As much as I like Newmar products and feel good about how the company supports its products, I think you might be better off spending the money to have your existing coach repaired. You appear to like the coach, except for the delamination issues.

I'd find a quality shop that can fully recondition the fiberglass on your coach and repaint it. That looks to me to be the best "bang for your buck" in your circumstances.

Now, if you can find your way clear to move up to a post-2012 Dutch Star, then that would probably be a good alternative.

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Old 02-18-2019, 01:21 PM   #12
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Understood and thanks for all the feedback. Due to delam worries we are considering a well maintained conversion bus that I noted in original post. No slides no laminated walls. Can continue to upgrade etc. We will see it in a couple weeks and that will tell us if we are up for that.
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Old 02-18-2019, 01:52 PM   #13
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If you consider the bus conversion, examine the hitch supports carefully.
Busses were not designed to tow anything, and pulling a 10000 lb trailer will necessitate some stout modifications.
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Old 02-18-2019, 01:57 PM   #14
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Quite a few years ago, we had...and, lived in full-time for a year-plus...a converted bus. It was a very nice conversion, with beautiful woodwork inside. That said, the lack of slide-outs (unheard of at the time) made the interior pretty confining. If you have spent much time in a coach with slides, you may find it a difficult adjustment.

And, just because the exterior is not fiberglass does not mean it is without problems. Corrosion can be as big an issue...or bigger...than delaminated fiberglass. We know that from first-hand experience.

As an aside, our bus conversion started life as Gene Autry's band bus. It was thoroughly refurbished, including a new Detroit Diesel 6V53 engine. While a nice coach at the time (1980s), we would not want to go back to it.

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