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Old 04-03-2016, 09:42 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by FormerBoater View Post

Build quality and owner care and p.m. trump almost everything else when you are looking at the 12-15 year old used market IMHO.

A very well looked after coach that was the builder's flagship at the time would not detract me due to the age of the unit.

Ditto! Quality over glitz!

Get the highest quality coach you can afford. Don't limit yourself to under 65,000 miles. You'll pass up a lot of great coaches if you do. Ours is 16 years old and has better bones than a lot of newer coaches. Do a lot of homework and you will be ok. Good luck n your search

Bruce & Teresa
2000 Foretravel U320 4010
Cummins ISM 450hp
Allison HD4060R 6 Spd W/Retarder

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Old 04-03-2016, 09:43 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by OB-One View Post
Many of the engines used in the larger class A coaches can easily exceed 750,000 miles between overhauls with reasonably maintenance. Allison 3000 and 4000 series transmissions will also exceed 750,000 miles between overhauls with reasonably maintenance. Diesel generators will typically run 20,000 - 30,000 hours with reasonable care.
Well said. It's amusing hearing people talk about DPs with 50-60k miles on them as "having a few years left". Those drive lines will outlive any of their RV owners if properly cared for. Heck, even standard 4 cylinder gasoline engines these days run ~200k miles before they die. Get out of the mindset that a vehicle with 100,000 miles is ready for the scrap heap.

Our Beaver had 55,000 miles on it when we bought it 5+ years ago. It now has 105,000 and I'm convinced it runs smoother now than it did when we first got it. We have it serviced in accordance with the CAT and Allison service schedule and we don't cut corners with it. Fluids get changed on an age basis even if they haven't been driven the miles limit. I also do fluid sampling once a year of both the engine and transmission.

Yes, we've replaced appliances and had the Hurricane rebuilt, but other than the replacement last year of the hydraulic pump that runs the main slide and jacks there hasn't been any major equipment failure and even that pump was replaced for <$1.5k parts and labor. The appliances we replaced because we wanted a residential fridge and a better microwave/convection oven, not because they had failed.

I think CAT still gives out hats if you can show that you have logged a million miles on a CAT engine. I figure that gives me something to live for. At the rate we log miles each year, I think I'll get my hat just before my 150th birthday!

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Old 04-03-2016, 10:27 PM   #17
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2001 Monaco Dynasty 48,000 mi, no major issues per records. I do my own maint and repairs. Fixed the 59 sec Sharps Convection Micro issue my self. Dealer wanted $95,000 because of excellent condition inside and out, always stored inside and Calif rig. No rust or paint fade or cracks in fiberglass. It was built/ordered with all upgrades available per build sheet. I offered $70,000 cash contingent on inspection. Dealer accepted. I insisted on new tires and all major systems in working order. Dealer replaced the not working NeverCold with a new Pine Tree system from Indiana. I still have the original 4 dr NorCold refrig with all new mechanicals. Makes ice in two hours and ice cream stays frozen. We have had it 17 months now and no major issues that I couldn't fix. Some will tell you that we older rig owners bought older because we had to but not so in my case. I am a firm believer in value for dollars. The older rigs on your list are good candidates. Get what you want and don't settle for less.
Full time since Nov 2012 RVM#41 Gary and Marian Hill 2001 Monaco Dynasty Jack 38' 370 hp ....If it ain't broke I can still fix it.
Like putting shoes on an octopuss, so are the days of our lives....
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Old 04-03-2016, 11:05 PM   #18
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In a quality diesel pusher motorhome with regular maintenance there is no reason the engne, chassis and drive train shouldn't last 1/2 million miles. Over the road trucks do it all the time. I would be more concerned with all the auxiliary systems like alternator, generator, ACs, Heaters, etc, which can break or expire much sooner. Get any and all maintenance records if you can. Talk to the previous owner and get a list of all things that have been replaced.
Once you have found a coach you like start a thread on this forum asking for input from other owners of the same make, model of motorhome for problems they have had.
Also, go with your gut feel. If it doesn't feel right, run.
Best of luck on your search and hope to hear more from you.
2004 DutchStar DSDP3812, Cummins ISL 370Hp, Spartan MM Chassis, 2012 Jeep Liberty toad, Blue Ox Aladdin Tow Bar, FMCA #F451747
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Old 04-04-2016, 04:29 PM   #19
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You've already gotten a lot of positive responses to buying an older coach, and I'd like to add mine as well.

Buying our 2004 Newmar Mountain Aire last year was one of the best decisions we've ever made. We considered buying something as new as 2010 or so, but balancing out cost vs. what you actually get for the money convinced us that earlier models just made more sense, and we've never regretted it for even a minute. Yes, we've had to put a few thousand dollars into it to repair the generator and the Hydro Hot, but we're still so far ahead of the game that it's a non-issue.

The bottom line is that a quality coach is built to last at least a lifetime (and probably longer) if properly maintained, so find one that fits your lifestyle and your budget and don't worry about what the model year is. Tiffin, Monaco, Country Coach, Newmar, Holiday Rambler... they were all at the top of our list of manufacturers when we were still looking and you likely wouldn't go wrong with any of them.

In ten years or so we'll maybe trade up to another 10-year old coach... likely our last. Then again, if this one is still going as strong as it is now it would take a lot for me to want to get rid of her. Find one you love that was well loved by the previous owner and it'll love you back for a long, long time

Good luck!
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pulling a 2013 Ford Edge Limited

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Old 04-04-2016, 04:39 PM   #20
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We have owned our now 13 year old Foretravel for 12 years. It still puts many newer coaches to shame in terms of handling, ride, durability, etc. With the great chassis/bones, we've opted to remodel it along the way - new flooring, furniture covering, residential fridge, TVs/AV equipment, some exterior upgrades to make it look like a newer model, etc.

A decent, well-maintained diesel chassis/drivetrain is good for hundreds of thousands of miles, so as others have said, don't be hung up on the mileage.

2017 LTV Unity U24CB
2003 Foretravel U320
1999 Lazy Daze 30IB
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Old 04-04-2016, 04:55 PM   #21
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Our short list was Newmar, Monaco, and Tiffin. We ended up finding the coach we bought less than 50 miles from our home after spending two winters in Florida looking at coaches!

Ours was a little different situation, because the previous (original) owners live in it full time since they bought it in 2002 . . . . We almost didn't look at it, which apparently was what everyone else thought that called on it. We were the first people to look at it after 4 months of advertisement. They said once we told people we had lived in it for 14 years they ran!

Anyway, we looked at it finally, and my only question is How can ANYONE with a coach with light brown, original carpeting in the front live in it and STILL have the carpeting look NEW?!? The entire coach was in PRISTINE condition. The tires were 3 months on the coach, 6 months since manufacture. Repainted two years prior (rock chips from Alaska trip). New room by Newmar in 2010, three binders of receipts/maintenance records, upgrades galore, new washer and dryer less than 8 months old (the original one had been replaced when they found this new one scratch and dent and decided to replace the original still working washer/dryer). New residential fridge 7 months before we purchased. They replaced the original Dometic exploding refrigerator when the 5th wheel parked next to them in an RV park went up in flames, yep, you guessed it, Dometic fridge!

Anyway, then 14 year old coach, with 113k miles, cat diesel, meticulous maintenance records, pride of ownership galore, fantastic people. We bought, have put 11k miles on it in 9 months, some small repairs, the most serious being new antifreeze expansion tank (replaced cracked plastic tank with metal aftermarket tank), and closet mirror door now in the shop to replace mirror . . . I broke it adjusting it Can't blame THAT on the coach.

We did upgrade the TV's to flat screen TV's, add a Roadmaster spare tire carrier, and have made some personal changes to the interior to better suit our needs, but I full expect this coach to make 250K miles EASY with proper maintenance!

Bottom line, if you are handy tools, or smart enough to learn, and don't have to have the latest greatest head turning model year 3019 motor coach, than go older early! (to paraphrase). Let's face it, the latest, greatest 2017 will be last years model in 2018!

Hope you find the perfect coach for you soon!
Scot & Laura Kellersberger
Newmar 4 wheel drive Dutch Star 3891, 2005 GMC Canyon. Demco Tow Bar & Baseplate U.S.Army (ret)
1985 - 2006
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Old 04-04-2016, 07:14 PM   #22
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Good timing for his thread

I just saw a coach at ppl which is a 2004 or 2005 Fleetwood Discovery 39S with 155k miles, listed as in excellent condition and it has a few updates done.
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Old 04-04-2016, 07:26 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by OB-One View Post
Many of the engines used in the larger class A coaches can easily exceed 750,000 miles between overhauls with reasonably maintenance.
That SHOULD be the case, but not always. Check the Cummins section on the forum here.
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Old 04-04-2016, 07:40 PM   #24
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I would only be concerned about the DP engine if it sat unused for extended periods of time. I made the mistake of assuming the engine should be the least of my worries but ended up having to to a complete in-frame overhaul because of prior neglect and lack of use. In my case, a simple oil analysis would have saved me a ton of money. I would suggest that a well-maintained higher mileage DP may be a safer bet than one with below average mileage. My two cents that would have saved me a lot more than two cents.

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Old 04-05-2016, 06:17 AM   #25
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If well-cared-for, a 12-15 year old coach should be fine, and not notably riskier than a 3-5 year old model. If not cared for, anything is possible.
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition
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Old 04-05-2016, 07:00 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by NC25T View Post
Good timing for his thread

I just saw a coach at ppl which is a 2004 or 2005 Fleetwood Discovery 39S with 155k miles, listed as in excellent condition and it has a few updates done.

Although I personally wouldn't have a problem purchasing a coach with 155k miles, assuming maintenance records, inspection and oil analysis confirms good condition, I definitely WOULD make it an issue when it comes to negotiating!

Not necessarily because I thought it was worn out, but because a LOT of people think it may be, and you will face some steep prejudices when it comes time to sell at 200k miles!
Scot & Laura Kellersberger
Newmar 4 wheel drive Dutch Star 3891, 2005 GMC Canyon. Demco Tow Bar & Baseplate U.S.Army (ret)
1985 - 2006
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Old 04-05-2016, 08:00 AM   #27
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This is an interesting topic to me. Wife and I LOVE vintage "stuff" (cars, motorcycles, furniture........stuff). But,......it all has to be in "like new" condition, or completely restored.

Wife was an avid camper in her previous life (with a 5er), and after I took the uniform off, I swore I'll never camp again,....but I digress (as usual).

We were looking for a "high end", vintage diesel coach, and it had to meet "like new" criteria (we just love vintage workmanship). To make it short,.......two coaches made it to the finals,......1985 Prevost (mint, and then some more!), and 1995 Vogue (mint, mint ++). Prevost had 85K on the clock, and the Vogue 100K. Vogue was also 50K cheaper (we are cash buyers, and the loans don't interest us).

You can see from my avatar what we purchased.

IF one is considering an older coach, one should carefully/honestly examine his/her own capabilities in terms of maintenance, upkeep, and NEEDS (vs. wants).

In my case,.....VERY mechanically capable (with a complete repair/manufacturing shop at my disposal), "hobby mechanic", love to tinker/restore cars, bikes, guns.......THAT kind of person. The coach has 3176 CAT (350HP), Alison World 6 speed, and Isuzu 10KW diesel genset. It's built on the custom Mitchell chassis, rides on six Alcoas, and has six airbags. It's in the condition that shows the pride of ownership at every nook and cranny. No worries! The engine/tranny combo WILL outlive me. Aquahot was fixed/replaced prior to the purchase. Webasto works without the glitch, and Isuzu genset has 2400 hours on it.

So what am I to be scared off? Fridge doesn't show any problems (but it's getting replaced by residential anyway), stove came out (propane), and was replaced by induction cooktop, TVs came out and were replaced by LCDs, .......everything inside is in 'like new" condition.

A/Cs work as they should, and I don't see them going bad any time soon (when they do, they will be cheap to replace). The difference of 50K (between that Prevost we LOVED, and this one) is earning interest as we speak, and will take care of ANY potential issues that arise. The interest alone on that 50K is actually providing FREE maintenance for the Vogue (parts/supplies only, labor is all mine)!

This was our "sensible" decision (in choosing this one over Prevost). IF we opted for Prevost, we would have to liquidate some assets, and lost income from those would make the bus even more costly. This made more sense because it was purchased for cash on hand ("non earning money" as we call it).

So,.......each person's situation is different. Some are afraid of older coaches, some people have no mechanical knowledge, some people "like" to make loan payments, some need to have "the latest and the greatest".......we do what we want, and what we know we are capable off.

In my situation.......CAT3176 and Alison World are barely broken in at 100K miles, all the rest (chassis parts, and coach equipment) is easy to replace, and relatively cheap (to me).

I understand this is not "everyone's cup of tea", but WE love the vintage look of our coach (have not seen another one like it in all the travels!), and it looks/drives like new (no parenthesis on new!).

Close friend's daughter purchased brand new high end DP back in June (payments galore!!). Took it on the maiden voyage from NorCal to CHI. Made it as far as Vegas. Broke down, spent a week in the hotel in Vegas, thing was still not done, flew back to SFO, lost her vacation spot (her and her husband), and went to pick up their high end DP three weeks later. Brought it home, and loved looking at it. Started on another trip over X-mass (this time going south). Made it to L.A. and broke down. Left it at the dealer, and rented the car to come visit her dad in my neighborhood. Stayed here a week, DP was not done, flew back to SFO............I think DP is back in SFO by now, but I'm not sure. I'm reluctant to ask my friend how did the saga end, or if it's over yet.

"Momma Gump" said it right......."life is a box of chawklet....."

Edit to add: Just saw the post above....."when it comes time to sell at 200K miles"! LOL I'll be 61 this year. There is NO WAY I will be able to put another 100K on MY coach before I die (I'll kick the bucket way before that). Who will inherit it, and what they will do with it is the least of my concerns. AFAIK,.....they can put me in it, and set it on fire (Viking funeral!).
1995 Vogue Prima Vista
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Old 04-05-2016, 11:26 AM   #28
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We bought our 2004 Newmar 10 yrs old with 30K miles from the original owner. This coach had new tires and batteries. It had always been stored indoors when not on the road which is the way I store it as well.

This is only way I would buy a MH, that is, used from the owner and not from a dealer. In my view, you have to talk to the guy that owned and maintained it. You won't get that from a dealer (or its very unlikely).

It has been a great coach and it drives just like the new Newmars I have driven. I would like to have Comfort Drive though. I am in the Newmar, Spartan, Cummins ISL camp and would recommend you consider the same.

Rick and Lynda Smith
2004 NEWMAR DSDP M-4011-SPTN 8.9 Liter Cummins
2018 RAM 1500 4WD Laramie CREW toad
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