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Old 01-11-2013, 02:47 PM   #1
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Apples vs Apples

Not trying to start anything and understand that we all have our preferences but I'm looking for advise.

I'm so new to RVing that I don't have an RV yet. Im looking for 2000-2003 to meet my budget demands. I want a Class A DP, 34-40'. planning on a 15,000 mile trip this summer.

So far I like the Tiffin Allegro bus or Phaeton, (Tiffin's plant is 100 miles away), Monaco Diplomat or Newmar Mountain Aire.

Am I comparing units of similar quality & value? I realize that each manufacturer has unique options but I'm looking for info that will help my wife & I narrow our choices. Once I've done that, my wife can pick the one with the layout & options she likes best.

There is a RV show next weekend & one in Atlanta the following weekend. Since these are exclusively new units that are more than I can afford and the units I'm looking at are at least 10 years older, what can I learn at these shows?

So far I've read many responses, on many topics with great advise. Thanks in advance.

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Old 01-11-2013, 03:07 PM   #2
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Don't count out the Newmar Kountry Star DP line. I own one and find it to be a very well built and equipped motorhome. Mine is on a Freightliner chassis and rides perfectly down the road with its air suspension. Model year 2000-2004 are very good values if you can find one. Keep looking and asking questions. good luck with your search for the perfect match for you and your family.

2003 Newmar Kountry Star 3905, Freightliner XC chassis with CAT 330. Winnie the black lab, pretty Airbus captain wife, retired airline pilot with 11 grandkids. UH-1 pilot (Huey) U.S. Army 1967-1983. RVN 68-69. Northern Idaho my summer home.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:38 PM   #3
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You won't go wrong with any of those you mentioned.

As long as the floor plan fits you, any of those 3 will make you happy.
2013 DSDP 4347, all electric, 450 H.P. ISL
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:23 PM   #4
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Hi RiverStone,
I am also partial to Newmar. However, to answer your question about what can you learn from the show is to make contacts with sales people you are comfortable with, sell the brands you are interested in. Let them know what you are interested in and how much you have to spend. Let them do the work to find you the coach that meets your needs.

Too bad you are not going to the Tampa Super Show. I know a sales person that I could highly recommend.

Not knowing your budget, I do know of an 04 Mountain Aire, now located in Florida. The coach is a 40 footer and has Comfort Drive! For those of you who are about to post that CD was not installed on the MADP until later model years, this was one of the two prototype coaches that got CD.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by RiverStone View Post
Im looking for 2000-2003 to meet my budget demands. I want a Class A DP, 34-40'. planning on a 15,000 mile trip this summer.
I bought a used Newmar, but you should also look at Country Coaches.

Also check out the used RVs on eBay and PPL Motorhomes (www.pplmotorhomes.com).
2001 Mountain Aire DP 4095
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:44 PM   #6
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go to rv.org pay the money, it will be the best money you spend on your rv. Then go to oodle.com plug in what you're looking for. Check the right box and they will email you daily updates. Covers all sites except craigslist.
Good Luck and happy hunting
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:04 PM   #7
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What is important is what the best coaches were in the 2000-2003 time period. Seems like the Phaeton was introduced about then. There have been serious upgrades and If I were looking to go Tiffin I would look towards the Allegro bus in the 2000-2003 era. Make SURE that you make sure the SPECIFIC bus you look at has the CCC's you need. To do that easily you can get the info from the RVCG (rv consumer group) as a previous poster said. If I were looking 2000-2003 Newmar I would look to Dutch Stars. They got very nice in the 2003 year. I would go up the Monaco food chain to at least the Windsor in the 2000-2003 time frame. Or Monaco has several models above Windsor.

In my humble opinion the best coaches from the years you specified would be Foretravel, Country Coach, Beaver, Monaco, American Coach, Alpine, Travel Supreme, Holiday Rambler. Since you are so close to Red Bay though the best move for you is to find a well seasoned Tiffin Bus.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:25 PM   #8
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Bu a Used RV for first time

I have bought three RVs new, increasing in size and alas in price. I used to work on RVs years ago.

I would say don't be afraid of used RVs and your best deal is directly from the previous owner, not using a dealer unless you really know them well. I just couldn't find the used one I liked. My opinion on most RVs is after the 12-24 mo warranty expires you are paying to fix everything anyway. Unless the previous guy was a knucklehead it's hard to damage the motor/Trans/suspension in 24 months. So it boils down to the appearance, layout and RV systems. One of the hardest issues is if the previous owners neglect to care for the interior, had bad pets or were smokers....a bad smelling coach is nearly impossible to make smell again.

Like you are doing listen to forum members about types and model years. almost of us have learned the hard way. Most coach owners either looking to upgrade or quit RV-ing would much rather sell their RV to someone who will enjoy it.
Dave & Debbie
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:00 AM   #9
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My advise is to go to the RV show and look at ALL RVs. Imagine you and your wife actually living in them. Lay on the beds, sit on the couches, pretend to cook in it. You may find that you actually like something better. We thought we wanted a toyhauler but ended up with a DP that has no slides and a side aisle that we got used in AZ from a private seller on our way to TX to look at others at a dealer.
The other piece of advise is if you are going to finance that you get pre-approved FIRST. That will give you a much better idea of what you can really afford. If you are a member of a credit union I would get the loan thru them as they usually have way better loan rates. Mine is 3% while a bank would have charged at least 2x's that.
If you end up not liking the floor plan you will not like being in it no matter who made it.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:55 AM   #10
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We attended several RV shows to look at Motorhomes before buying our rig 11 years ago.

We then bought our used rig from a vendor at the show. We told them what we were looking for. They brought it to the show from Eugene, Oregon to Sacramento, and we viewed, drove and bought it.

It turned out pretty good as we still have that rig.

So tell the show vendors what you are trying to accomplish. You might get lucky.
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:31 AM   #11
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Looking used, don't be afraid to travel. After asking a lot of questions a trip to look can be well worth it. I have bought used in FL,AZ,ND and OH. I live in MI.
Ask for detailed help from others. Stop in at your local RV park and approach any MH and knock on the door 95% of us love to talk RV's.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:38 PM   #12
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Hi RiverStone
I'm doing the same as you and the above information is great and on target, this is a great site for information.
When I get close to purchase I will have an oil anylist of the eng/trans. I have chatted with Cat Equipment dealers and can get the sample anywhere that the RV is located, electing them to do it as that I know from experiance a sample has to be pulled correctly if not its just a ball park reading. does not matter on eng type, just brand and type of oil, and engine make. (this is a must for me)

Also looking into a side mount radiator RVs as I want to see the engine on dailey pre-checks, some rear mounts the eng is very hard to see

As above a direct buy can work good, but depends integrety of the seller. Any Rv with good maint record and repciets is an asset and a great selling point. Also check for rust and Im finding a few RV that have been submurged due to past heavy storms.

You can also run the Vechicle ID as like a car, for its history.

An independent inspection can also save you $$$$$ in the long run, or sug-jest when to run LOL . Also check if the year of the rig will be elegible for a drive train, coach service plan, some are 10 to 13 years from date of mfg.

Good luck....John
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:46 PM   #13
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I bought a 2001 diplomat 38A in May 2012.with 93K miles on it. I put 12K miles on it already. Getting it ready for our spring trip out west from FL. We will be gone about 7 months.
I think the units you are looking at are all good models. Floor plan is the most important. We looked for 6 months to find our perfect rig in our price range. I didn't have any maintenance records with the unit. I did have it checked out by a shop and they gave the thumbs up. I found that if the older unit is in good shape on the outside, they seem to be taken care of on the maintenance side. There is a lot of junk out there. Good luck in your search. Great travels
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:15 AM   #14
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We love our Monaco Windsor!

Joe & Annette

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