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Old 01-24-2014, 07:00 PM   #15
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Good advice Thank you This may sound basic to experienced owners but I have no idea how to go about finding an experienced mh mechanic. Any ideas?
If there is a Cummins Coach Care center in your area, you might be able to see if one of their mechanics would check the coaches for you on their own time. Or, find a shop that services commercial trucks.....often they also service motorhomes and will check the mechanicals on the coaches. For example, there is a fleet center in my area that sells big truck tires, does all forms of mechanical work on truck, buses, motorhomes and fire trucks. If you can find that sort of place, that is a possibility.
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Old 01-25-2014, 07:16 AM   #16
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Thanks for the ideas. I will start looking around & talk to some local folks.One coach I am looking at is from a private owner & I can take that to a dealer. The other is from a dealer & I will look for an individual mechanic. I guess the more you get involved with mhs the more you get to know where such people are - which is why this forum is so valuable. Thanks for you help.
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Old 01-25-2014, 08:21 AM   #17
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Thanks for the ideas. I will start looking around & talk to some local folks.One coach I am looking at is from a private owner & I can take that to a dealer. The other is from a dealer & I will look for an individual mechanic. I guess the more you get involved with mhs the more you get to know where such people are - which is why this forum is so valuable. Thanks for you help.
Chuck, just another suggestion. I would highly recommend you have whomever checks the two rigs pull an engine oil sample for analysis. Oil analysis can tell you a lot about the overall health of the engine. Only costs $20-$25 and well worth it. Most any CAT or Cummins dealer in your area can tell you where to send the sample and some of the larger dealers have their own labs.
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:52 AM   #18
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Chuck - I'm also from the Pittsburgh area (McKeesport). If you google rv parts or dealers western pa, you'll find a few around here.
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:03 AM   #19
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There is a Speedco in Girard, Oh. Perfect for your test drive and they do onsite oil analysis. You will have to take it to an allison service center to get an oil sample from the tranny. If you can do these your self then Buy an Engine Oil Analysis Kit Today | Engine Oil Analysis Service will sell you the kits. If both of the MH have floorplan to suit you then the one with the best mechanical condition will save you most money in the one run. Don't forget the generator condition, they both probably have the QD7500.
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:02 AM   #20
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There is a Speedco in Girard, Oh. Perfect for your test drive and they do onsite oil analysis. You will have to take it to an allison service center to get an oil sample from the tranny. If you can do these your self then Buy an Engine Oil Analysis Kit Today | Engine Oil Analysis Service will sell you the kits. If both of the MH have floorplan to suit you then the one with the best mechanical condition will save you most money in the one run. Don't forget the generator condition, they both probably have the QD7500.
I agree completely with getting oil/fluid testing. If you get a transmission test kit from JG Lube Services, you can post the results over on Tom Johnson's thread in the Allison forum. Tom is a retired Allison engineer and he wrote the spec for Allison's current fluid recommendations. He is very helpful to owners and will answer any questions. There is also a retired Fleetguard field engineer who post on the Cummins forum who is also very helpful on engine oil, coolant, filter questions.
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:33 PM   #21
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Chuck, just another suggestion. I would highly recommend you have whomever checks the two rigs pull an engine oil sample for analysis. Oil analysis can tell you a lot about the overall health of the engine. Only costs $20-$25 and well worth it. Most any CAT or Cummins dealer in your area can tell you where to send the sample and some of the larger dealers have their own labs.
Thank you. Good suggestion & I appreciate it.
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:35 PM   #22
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There is a Speedco in Girard, Oh. Perfect for your test drive and they do onsite oil analysis. You will have to take it to an allison service center to get an oil sample from the tranny. If you can do these your self then Buy an Engine Oil Analysis Kit Today | Engine Oil Analysis Service will sell you the kits. If both of the MH have floorplan to suit you then the one with the best mechanical condition will save you most money in the one run. Don't forget the generator condition, they both probably have the QD7500.
Thank you. I didn't even know what a Speedco was - that's how green I am but with the help of you experienced folks I will learn.
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:42 PM   #23
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I agree completely with getting oil/fluid testing. If you get a transmission test kit from JG Lube Services, you can post the results over on Tom Johnson's thread in the Allison forum. Tom is a retired Allison engineer and he wrote the spec for Allison's current fluid recommendations. He is very helpful to owners and will answer any questions. There is also a retired Fleetguard field engineer who post on the Cummins forum who is also very helpful on engine oil, coolant, filter questions.
Thank you for the reply. I haven't got to those forums yet. Busy still working full time & trying to make it in this cold''. lost a sick horse this weekend.
I did find a diesel mechanic. That's some progress. Thanks for your help.
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:19 AM   #24
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Chuck,
I'm in the same boat. I'm looking at late 90's American Eagles, Allegro Bus, Holiday Rambler, Monaco's.
I'm down to a 96 Eagle. I just looked at a 98 Holiday Endeavor last weekend.
Out of all the coaches listed above, I found the American Eagle to be the best featured, highest quality and held up the best over the years. I crawled under, over and inside of all these coaches. Some of the differences were subtle, like clean wiring or convenience features. The Eagle has 110,000 miles on it but with a diesel that's not an issue, my diesel mechanic friends have told me this so the care during those miles is important.
I've looked from California to Texas and I'm sold on the Eagle, your mileage may vary, good luck!
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:20 AM   #25
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You'll find the folks at Fleetwood customer relations are above expectations. Personally I've never encountered any major leaks with FW class A MH,s. I've owned several and presently own a 42M. Plumbing and wiring diagrams are easily obtainable thru FW in PDF form. Above all FW/AC focus on RIVA electrical standards in their manufacturing process. The suggestions as to tranny and engine oil analysis are a must. Personally I would not take the privately owned MH to a dealer for survey. Most times they will bad mouth the product and try to work you into a MH on the lot. That's how they make a living! Find the Cummins Care Center or a Freightliner chassis shop, not all shops are equal so check their reviews and speak with MH owners in your area or heavy equipment operators to get their opinions where to have your survey and evaluation completed. Above all practice extreme due diligence or as in my case not following this practice will certainly drain your wallet! Best of luck the search is fun.
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:33 AM   #26
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Ihave had four American Coach's, the Factory support at the Rally's is incredible. This is very important. No matter how old the coach is the labor is free! Special rates on parts also. This is only at the rally's. The Tech line is very helpful as well and also free.
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Old 01-31-2014, 05:10 PM   #27
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I had a '99 Eagle, mine was a Spartan Chassis with a 350hp Cummins. American Coach within Fleetwood has it's own support group that is the best customer service I have seen from any manufacturer. I have never owned an Allegro Bus so I can not speak to their customer support or quality.

I haven't had any water issues on my '99 or '09, my brother owns a '01 Eagle and hasn't had any water issues.

The other comments on thorough examination, floor plan, overall condition are very important considerations. Even if both are on Freightliner chassis, I would confirm which Freighliner chassis, as they may have had different model chassis available.

I would also look to see if refrigerators have been replaced or recalls have been completed as that is a big issue on any of these coach's. Date stamp on tires also should be a consideration as one may have newer tires etc.

Per your original post you state the Dream has a 310 hp, I believe it actually has a 330 hp (NADA also shows a 330 hp and mine Eagle had a 350 hp) and I think it is on a Spartan Chassis, NADA is $44,650. The Allegro NADA is $36,670.

I would read more on the forum and monitor your posts as there is a wealth of great information to learn from others. There are many good coach's out there, so stay patient and you will find a suitable one for your needs. Good Luck and keep us posted!
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Old 02-02-2014, 05:49 PM   #28
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Kiethco, Thanks for the reply. Good luck to you as well.
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