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Old 06-28-2014, 02:31 PM   #15
Join Date: Mar 2013
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You are smart to be looking at units with aqua hot or oasis hydronic heating. Winter capability was very high on my list too and I bought an american coach revolution with aqua hot. It's great in the cold and a million times better than propane heat.

A couple things.

Most coaches with aqua hot tend to be higher on the price scale. Even more so a few years back. That also means that they will typically be over 40ft as well. Good luck getting 8-10 MPG. I get 6.5 with my 42ft.

Only the very expensive aqua hot 675 units will be able to heat electric only when parked. They have 6000+watts of electric elements. Think Prevost and Newell level coaches. The others only have 1650w, which means you will be using the diesel burner for heat and hot water. The electric is not enough to take a decent shower in the summer, let alone heat the coach when it's cold. It's not a big thing, but the diesel is the primary heat source for heat and hot water.

Most of the coaches have the 400 level aqua hot and that does not exchange heat with engine which means diesel burner running when driving too. On 450 and up, they can have a engine loop hooked up. I am not sure how well that works driving in cold as I don't have one. Personally I don't see the engine loop as a huge thing since the diesel works fine and fuel consumption is irrelevant in the grand scheme of operating a diesel pusher.

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Old 06-28-2014, 03:57 PM   #16
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Snow or Freezeing Weather

Remember that then it snows or freezes you will have to bring the slides in, if not then you may not be able to when you want to. Make sure you can live with the floor plan with the slide in!

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Old 06-28-2014, 04:02 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by derba View Post
I have been lurking around and am getting close to buying a used Class A diesel. We've owned a Sprinter based 2010 Airstream Class B that we loved, but now we have 3 children, plus wife plus small dog and there were some things that were less than ideal in the class B.

Winter heat was inadequate in the back of the Airstream. All we had was a non ducted propane furnace that didn't spread heat around well.

Rear suspension would send passengers flying (literally) on large bumps. (Schoolbus ride in the back.)

Very little to no storage room for stroller, suitcases etc for little kids and all their accoutrements.... (stuff)

So, we're jumping into Class A diesel pusher.

We cover a lot of miles annually and we are always driving to either Manitoba or Ontario Canada from Chicago due to our families being there.

So, we need good winter heat. This coach could be used in 0 fahrenheit or even lower temps. We're fine with not using water during those temps, but I would like to use water in as low as maybe 20 degrees fahrenheit.

What I can tell is that I think I really want the Aqua Hot system. I think I also want a Monaco, or Tiffin Allegro, or Beaver, or American Coach etc to have better insulation, the Aqua hot hydronic system, dual pane glass and just tighter seals and insulation in general.

My questions are:

- What brands/models are the best for our type of use?

- Is the Aqua Hot system going to be beneficial? Better than dual propane furnaces?

My understanding of the Aqua Hot is that while the engine is on, it heat exchanges with the coolant of the engine to provide ducted forced air coach heat. When plugged into shore, it can heat it's coolant electrically. When underway, or when there's no shore power, it also had its own diesel fired burner to do the same. I think this exactly what we want.

Here's our typical usage.

Drive for 14-18 hours straight with all slides in. Periodically we will camp, but mostly it's just used as a point A - B transport. We are not fulltimers... not even close.

Kids are still small. infant, 4 and 6 years old now.

We've ruled OUT a bunkhouse.

We need a floorplan that will allow us to move around while underway somewhat. We're all in good shape so we can fit through the small aisles.

Fuel economy doesn't really matter. Don't get me wrong, I care a bit I guess, but obviously we wouldn't be doing this if it really mattered. If it's 8, so be it, if it's 10, that's fine too. If it's 6 MPG and really fits the bill for us for 4 seasons usability and floor plan, sign us up. No sense in getting one that gets 10 MPG, but leaves us uncomfortable and freezing, or isn't usable for Christmas, Thanksgiving etc.

I'm all ears and really would like to hear your opinions.

I have narrowed down (I think) to;

All with only Aqua Hot


Tiffin Allegro Bus

Fleetwood Providence

I prefer strongly to only getting Cummins power. Same as in my truck.

Please tell me what I'm missing, or what is right about what I'm thinking.


My wife and I are full timers in an '03 Monaco Signature. Due to some dental work, we spend last winter in the mountains of East Tennessee. We had a number of nights at zero. I had purchased one of the heated hoses for our shore water and I put heat tape and insulation on the water riser.

Long story short, we stayed toasty all winter. The AquaHot easily kept up with the temps. The electric element was not enough & the diesel burner was required. Coach is very well insulated and I had no freeze up occur in any area of the coach.

The AquaHot didn't like the Bio diesel I had gotten and I had to use a triple dose of anti gell.

If it were me I would be looking at a Monaco Signature, Executive or Dynasty in a year between '03-'05. Great coaches & will do what you need.

Steve Ownby
Full time since '07
Steve Ownby
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2003 Monaco Signature
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Old 06-28-2014, 05:12 PM   #18
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My Entegra has the best insulation of any coach I have ever seen. I have toured the factories of Monaco, Country Coach, Beaver, American Coach/Fleetwood, Newmar and Entegra. In my mind Entegra has the best insulated coach, followed closely by Newmar.
Marc and Jill, Wellington FL
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Old 06-28-2014, 06:41 PM   #19
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Check out a Foretravel
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Old 06-28-2014, 09:09 PM   #20
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As noted above Travel Supreme was also a well built and well insulated coach along with Monoco and Country Coach, and others mentioned above.
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:12 PM   #21
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We own a Country Coach Affinity. Our coach has very good insulation for hot or cold weather. The roof is rated R20. We have an Aqua Hot style diesel boiler with two furnace zones in the living area, and a third for the basement. You can set the basement temp. We also have three heat pumps that work well in not so cold weather. All of our glass is double pane except for the windshield.

I cannot personally tell you from experience if our coach is better than the ones you have listed, but can tell you that the RVCG which does rate motorhomes lists County Coach and Foretravel higher than any other production coach up until Country Coach stopped making new units in 2010.

Many motorhomes have cold weather packages. Make sure you get one of those. I would also look at Triple E which is made in Canada and specifically made for the cold. Also Bluebird Wanderlodges many times had cold weather packages.

If it were me with your specific need I would take the time to call the factory who made the coach and ask them if they had any cold weather packages. If yes then look for those when considering used coaches. Many motorhomes like to stay in weather between 30-90F make sure you don't get one of those.
B Bob
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Old 06-29-2014, 01:53 AM   #22
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At that budget range, you have great options, many fine coaches suggested. A few random thoughts:
-if you will have reliable 50amp power while parked, look for radiant floor tile heat too. (I know the Cc's tha Dean and Bob mentioned have this. But sure that others do too.
-Evan though we have floor heat, and a single element HydroHot (Note: Many higher end units have dual elements. Again, I know CC does. And I like the engine loop, as you have hot water all the time you are traveling, without needing to run the Aqua/Hydro Hots.), we still use supplement electric heaters when plugged in.
-You can also add extra propane heaters, to supplement the Aqua/Hydro Hot heating. We use Heat Buddy, but with small kids, I'd add a built in extra heater for redundancy.

Sue, I'm partial to Country Coach, but all of the coaches mentioned by others are fine coaches. The higher end of Monaco/Newmar are good coaches. Tripple E are few and far apart. And though well insulated, they are not in the upper end of the coaches mentioned - but, sure worth a look if they meet your interior needs.

If not ordering new, and at this high up the food chain, you will be looking at used. Suggest dropping down in years to buy in the $120K range, then modify a solid coach to what you want with the other $20K.

And, I did not leave Travel Supreme and American Coaches off of the above on purpose, they are fine coaches. Lots of options, shop for what you like interior wise, and most of these will take good care of you.

Great caution about slides out in real cold weather. Snow/ice covered sleds don't come in without manual work. (We travel with a paint stripper heat gun, in case we get surprised... And extension cord, and needed it two times now.),

Happy hunting,

Roo II is our 04 Country Coach Allure 40'
OnDRoad for The JRNY! Enjoy life...
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class a, diesel, winter

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