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Old 04-29-2013, 12:41 PM   #15
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I don't disagree with this advise, just remember that the ratings of RV.org are just one tool. It's pretty easy to get focused on these ratings but please remember that the ratings are derived from printed literature only. There is no driving or physical inspection. The founder of RV.org has some very specific beliefs that you may or may not share.

I do agree that it is a worthwhile resource.
You are absolutely correct Steve. But for someone with no knowledge of these things, it really helps to sort out the ones a person should stay away from.
It is a very good tool but definitely not the only one.
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:27 PM   #16
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First, Welcome!

If you do it yourself an oil change should run about $70-100 for oil plus filter. Annual Fuel filters, two, $50-70.

The house stuff is cheap compared to the drive train. Average use is 5-7k miles per year. Be wary of one that has sat unused. Consider a maintenance/extended warranty for a year or two to give you some peace of mind.
Hey Steve,

Thanks for the welcome.

Your comments are the kind of education we are seeking. I have owned diesel powered sail boats for many years and have always done my own periodic engine service, all my electronic installation and trouble shooting. So I think I am not over estimating my abilities when I assume I can handle a pretty good amount of the house side maintenance and up keep.

I am very impressed by what I see and read about Monaco Signature, Executive and Camelot coaches. I like features like anti-lock brakes, traction control and engine compression braking....but how important in an RV are these features? I've been known to always buy the DVD with all the bells and whistles but use only a few.

Wingrider07, no RV yet
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:42 PM   #17
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If you have not owned a DP before, here is a site that you will find very helpful. I used it to buy my 03 and it was the best $150 I have spent in a while. It will help you to understand the differences in the makes/models giving you the tools to help make an informed decision. There are some in this forum that do not agree but as a newbie that a had no clue where to start, I found it an excellent source and in the end we are very happy with our final choice.
My word of advice, you should be at least somewhat mechanically inclined to own one of these or it can get expensive.

RV Consumer Group - We Rate RVs

Good Luck on your search.
P/S, bought ours private. Got it at a good price after some tough negotiation. It needed some work which I did most of it myself. IMHO, if you find a Newmar in decent shape, you will be happy. These things are built to last.
I totally agree with Dennis, we bought a used Newmar and have been totally happy with it. No surprises, all the wiring diagrams, plumbing diagrams and electrical system diagrams for the coach are accurate. Our CAT 330 engine purrs like a kitten and pushes us down the road for about .40 cents a mile. Good luck in your search....
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:44 PM   #18
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Wingrider, from your description of yourself, you are not unlike many of us here in the "been there, done that" category. Having owned a boat you are well prepared for the routine maintenance on an RV. Catastrophic failures in a previously well maintained coach are very, very rare, but any mechanical failure can end up being expensive.

Simple advice from someone who has owned a Foretravel and a Prevost/Marathon and my current unit which suits my needs very well; after due diligence, buy the biggest and the most high end unit you like and can afford, the FIRST time as taking baby steps can get real expensive. You seem like a heads up guy but as in any other high dollar purchase, watch for smoke and mirrors and don't buy anything you can't touch and feel. Best of luck to you.
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:06 PM   #19
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Coaster1, thanks for the candid and well received advise. Travel safe my friend.
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:09 PM   #20
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For those RV owners with a tag axle, what's the good, the bad and the urgly on tags?
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:29 PM   #21
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For those RV owners with a tag axle, what's the good, the bad and the urgly on tags?
They give you a generous amount of CCC. They make a positive contribution to handling and stability. Gusty side winds or passing trucks will not push you around. You can vary the down pressure on the tag to shift weight between axles to fine tune balance. You have two more tires to buy and maintain. They take up the space of a compartment.
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:15 PM   #22
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The tag also gives you another axle with brakes and we feel they ride better. Wingrider you asked me what we had bought used and if from a dealer or individual. All four are American Coach's. Factory support is great, the multiplex wiring is a nice plus also. Three were traded for at dealers and the present one was bought from a friend that bought it new and is in a club we are in.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:13 AM   #23
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I had pretty much concluded the tag contributed pretty much the same as a tag on a tractor...weight balance, another set of brakes, pressure regulated, and more tire bucks. I hadn't thought about the wind stability factor.

Thanks guys
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:32 AM   #24
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Used RV recommendations

WingRider07

Without getting into a discussion of brands, here's some things I'd look for in a used coach besides the obvious parts of liking the interior, layout, engine and condition...

1. Look for a brand name that did not "dissappear" in 2007-2008. A brand that is still produced probably has parts and support.
2. Look for one with air ride (bags vs springs) and air brakes. Some RVs have air over hydraulic brakes or just boosted hydraulic brakes.
3. A side radiator coach is probably a higher end RV. Nothing wrong with rear radiator except they are a little harded to service.
4. Be careful if the RV has a Norcold 1200 frig. There is some serious safety recalls on that model and it has experienced numerous fires. Make sure the recalls we're complied with. I'd prefer a residential frig but those are pretty new to RVs. Some people who dry camp more prefer the absorption frig.
5. I would want leveling jacks. Auto or manual control are fine.
6. Look for corrosion in the storage bay supports.
7. Look for corrosion around windshield (leaking)
8. Make sure the windshield is fully seated. Some RVs had poor frame design and would pop the windshield.
9. I'd prefer a diesel generator vs LP. Generally they are better built and have less trouble.
10. Look and smell for mold inside. Mold indicates leaks.
11. Look at the roof. A lot of RVs have a rubber or fabric roof and they break down over time. Even aluminum roofs have sealant that needs replacing.

All I can think of for now. It would be real helpfull if you knew someone who owned an RV that could go with you and advise you when you went to inspect one. Buying a buddy lunch could save you a lot later on.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:06 AM   #25
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WingRider07

Without getting into a discussion of brands, here's some things I'd look for in a used coach besides the obvious parts of liking the interior, layout, engine and condition...

1. Look for a brand name that did not "dissappear" in 2007-2008. A brand that is still produced probably has parts and support.
2. Look for one with air ride (bags vs springs) and air brakes. Some RVs have air over hydraulic brakes or just boosted hydraulic brakes.
3. A side radiator coach is probably a higher end RV. Nothing wrong with rear radiator except they are a little harded to service.
4. Be careful if the RV has a Norcold 1200 frig. There is some serious safety recalls on that model and it has experienced numerous fires. Make sure the recalls we're complied with. I'd prefer a residential frig but those are pretty new to RVs. Some people who dry camp more prefer the absorption frig.
5. I would want leveling jacks. Auto or manual control are fine.
6. Look for corrosion in the storage bay supports.
7. Look for corrosion around windshield (leaking)
8. Make sure the windshield is fully seated. Some RVs had poor frame design and would pop the windshield.
9. I'd prefer a diesel generator vs LP. Generally they are better built and have less trouble.
10. Look and smell for mold inside. Mold indicates leaks.
11. Look at the roof. A lot of RVs have a rubber or fabric roof and they break down over time. Even aluminum roofs have sealant that needs replacing.

All I can think of for now. It would be real helpfull if you knew someone who owned an RV that could go with you and advise you when you went to inspect one. Buying a buddy lunch could save you a lot later on.
Many good points in this post. I would modify number one however. A few of the manufacturers that disappeared or changed ownership in that period built coaches that are an excellent buy today. These coaches were generally well Designed and built, have a strong, knowledgeable owner base and generally utilized components still available today. I would include the following in no particular Order:
1. Country Coach
2. Alpine Coach by Western RV
3. Monaco/Holiday Rambler/Beaver/Safari. Still in production with tech support as Navistar RV.
4. Travel Supreme with good knowledge base and some tech support by Entegra RV.
5. Fleetwood/American Coach. In production under new ownership.

I believe coaches by the above represent great value if they meet you specific needs. I did not include the following:
1. Alfa Coach
2. National RV. National has a following but their build quality varied widely as they were not in good financial health even in good times. They owned CC for a few years and CC's built quality suffered.
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:25 AM   #26
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Steve, sincere thanks for your valued comments!
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:30 AM   #27
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Dave, can't thank you enough. Your comments are and will be very helpful.

Travel safe,

JQ aka Wingrider07
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:20 AM   #28
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Many good points in this post. I would modify number one however. A few of the manufacturers that disappeared or changed ownership in that period built coaches that are an excellent buy today. These coaches were generally well Designed and built, have a strong, knowledgeable owner base and generally utilized components still available today. I would include the following in no particular Order:
1. Country Coach
2. Alpine Coach by Western RV
3. Monaco/Holiday Rambler/Beaver/Safari. Still in production with tech support as Navistar RV.
4. Travel Supreme with good knowledge base and some tech support by Entegra RV.
5. Fleetwood/American Coach. In production under new ownership.

I believe coaches by the above represent great value if they meet you specific needs. I did not include the following:
1. Alfa Coach
2. National RV. National has a following but their build quality varied widely as they were not in good financial health even in good times. They owned CC for a few years and CC's built quality suffered.
I would also add Tiffin to Steve's list. Good quality coaches...I own a 2002 Phaeton
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