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Old 11-28-2019, 05:15 AM   #29
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I look for evidence of quality maintenance. If the previous owner took care of the little things, he likely took care of the big things, too.


Look for signs that this unit was well cared for. That's about all you got. I change my own oil religiously, but I never get a receipt from myself, so maintenance receipts will not tell the whole story.

I do all my own maintenance as well. When I buy the oil and filter I record the mileage on the receipt and put the receipt into my maintenance folder.
I know my oil is changed each spring after I pull my MH out of storage but if I ever wanted to sell my MH I have some proof that I actually did. I keep receipts for anything I buy for my MH except for gasoline.
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Old 11-28-2019, 06:02 AM   #30
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In your price range I would seriously consider a gas model. You will get one several years newer and the drive train will be MUCH cheaper to maintain and fix. Less items to fix too as there is no air system on a gasser. Many of the house items are the same on a gasser and DP so buying newer will give you a break on those maintenance issues at least for awhile.

Diesel engines last a good while but not so much the starter, water pump, air compressor or gaskets, all can be very expensive to repair.
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Old 11-28-2019, 07:32 AM   #31
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The Windsor you are looking at is a good prospect.
Some general thoughts.
Newmar has an excellent reputation and as a result used coaches usually bring a premium. You will pay more for a Newmar than a comparable coach of that year range.
Country Coach built some very nice coaches.
Travel Supreme is a hidden gem. They made great coaches and became today's Entegra coach. I like the Travel Supreme Select.
American Coach made some very nice diesel pushers. I think used American Eagles can be a great prospect.
Some of the Tiffen coaches can be nice.
Monaco was the largest RV manufacturer in that era. They owned Holiday Rambler, Beaver, and Safari. As you have seen, a used Windsor can be a great buy. I would also consider the Dynasty, Camelot, and Executive. In the Holiday Rambler line I would focus on the Imperial and Navigator. In the Beaver line i would look at the Patriot.

Try to find a side radiator coach with good "bones". Some folks will tell you to focus on floor plan, but the chassis and engine on these older diesel coaches are the key to survival.
Make your searches nation wide. An airline ticket is cheap compared to the money you will spend.
Allow 6 months to a year to find the right coach. Take a camera, a notebook, and an inspection mirror with you. Make lots of notes and take lots of pictures. You will slowly form an ideal coach in your mind. Start a list of must haves and nice to haves. Investigate some of the options like Aqua hot. It provides unlimited hot water and hydronic heat. Consider some of the 40' coaches with a tag axle, (like the Dynasty). You would be hard pressed to find a nicer driving coach today.
Enjoy the search!
The above is real good advice.

Here's our experience...

When we first started looking for a MH, I (DH) was bent on getting a diesel. It also would have to be in the year and price range that you're looking so we could afford it. The more we looked the more we were convinced this was a bad idea for us.

Way old and out dated, the floor plans practically all looked the same. Felt like we were walking into an old log cabin or something. Almost everyone one of them had the TV up front over the dash which made watching TV very strange and had to turn side ways to view. Plus as I became more educated on caring for a DP and related costs with the entire drive train, chassis, air bags etc., I quickly realized we wouldn't have the proper budget to fix it if something big went out, like a turbo or low/hi pressure pump just to mention a couple of things. Tires are bigger and cost more as will insurance.

I too am a good repair person/DIY guy and a fairly good mechanic.

If you're going to buy a DP, do yourself a big favor and go into it with eyes wide open and understand what it will take to care for it and be sure to have a good emergency fund JIC. I also wouldn't get anything under 330 or 350hp. I drove a 300hp unit and it was way under powered. It was a dog.

In addition to a thorough pre purchase inspection, I'd also do a comprehensive battery of lab work on all fluids.

We ended up buying a gas coach and are very happy we did.
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Old 11-28-2019, 08:57 AM   #32
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Thank you for the advice and concerns. I will take that information in account. I am looking at a 2003 Monaco Windsor 40PST tomorrow for a pretty good price and no major issues from initial inspection. I have taken in account for annual maintenance and emergency repairs so budgeting for that was not a concern. Only concern was budget on price....
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Old 11-28-2019, 11:34 AM   #33
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RX7

According to Rv.org, a 2003 Windsor 40 PST is rated as a Snowbird with 3.5 out of 5 stars. Snowbird is the middle of 3 rating with Full timer being the highest and Vacationer being the lowest. Depreciation bring the fair price down to $56 - 54K. You can do your research now or live and learn. RV.org rates RVs and provides selection and negotiating a good deal advice along with a rating database where you can look up every model you find before you buy. Good RV hunting.
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Old 11-28-2019, 11:46 AM   #34
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RX7

According to Rv.org, a 2003 Windsor 40 PST is rated as a Snowbird with 3.5 out of 5 stars. Snowbird is the middle of 3 rating with Full timer being the highest and Vacationer being the lowest. Depreciation bring the fair price down to $56 - 54K. You can do your research now or live and learn. RV.org rates RVs and provides selection and negotiating a good deal advice along with a rating database where you can look up every model you find before you buy. Good RV hunting.
Copy that.....I think I got lucky here. The RV is reserved for me for 39K....I know these models are going for mid 50s at least. This one if it is advertised right. Will have very little issues to deal with. I am already expecting to put in another few thousand in replacement tires and some other issues I have seen from inspection. Let's see.....Final decision tomorrow when I get to the coach in person.
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Old 11-28-2019, 12:09 PM   #35
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If your leaning for side radiator a couple years older.I would keep American Eagle or Dream or tradition on my list ,might be at 40' though. Their IFS can need ball joints due to poor rubber cups. I can't remember what year each went to full fiberglass roof
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Old 11-28-2019, 08:29 PM   #36
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We found a 2000 Newmar 38 DP for 30K. Everything works. Plenty of power. Looked at a few dogs before we found one that was as good as was claimed in the ad. Some are afraid of DPs and others embrace them. There are good and bad with DPs and gassers. DPs such as Newmar are basically a million mile engine/transmission combination so you are not likely to ever wear it out. DPs ride better (air ride), have more towing and load capacity, are quieter (motor in rear for driving, generator up front for sleeping), generally FAR more storage capacity, and with Newmars there is a superb build quality. Maintenance is more expensive. Oil changes with our involves 22 quarts. Equivalent size gassers have lower retail price and lower retail sales value. Lower buy in, lower maintenance costs for drive train. Maintenance for everything else is the same. Our Newmar is near the bottom of the depreciation curve, so when we sell it, we won't take much of a bath. Your mileage may vary, but if you like DP, I say go get a DP.
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Old 11-28-2019, 08:36 PM   #37
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We found a 2000 Newmar 38 DP for 30K. Everything works. Plenty of power. Looked at a few dogs before we found one that was as good as was claimed in the ad. Some are afraid of DPs and others embrace them. There are good and bad with DPs and gassers. DPs such as Newmar are basically a million mile engine/transmission combination so you are not likely to ever wear it out. DPs ride better (air ride), have more towing and load capacity, are quieter (motor in rear for driving, generator up front for sleeping), generally FAR more storage capacity, and with Newmars there is a superb build quality. Maintenance is more expensive. Oil changes with our involves 22 quarts. Equivalent size gassers have lower retail price and lower retail sales value. Lower buy in, lower maintenance costs for drive train. Maintenance for everything else is the same. Our Newmar is near the bottom of the depreciation curve, so when we sell it, we won't take much of a bath. Your mileage may vary, but if you like DP, I say go get a DP.
I have the same thoughts of yours between DP and gassers. I guess it is personal preference. I do know buying a DP will cost for operating and they are not investment coaches. I have read a lot and a lot of Windsor owner forum posts and they tend to love them more than hate them.
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Old 11-28-2019, 08:55 PM   #38
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I did find a 2003 Monaco Windsor 40PST with 131,000 miles in excellent condition for 39K. The dealer said it has 2019 tires and batteries, stored inside and previous owner was an RV dealer. So I am sure possibly the maintenance was done properly. I am getting a third party inspector to check it out this week, so hopefully not many issues.
Make sure your inspector goes on the roof !!! We love our 2005 Fleetwood Providence/Discovery 350 Cat. it only had 18k miles on it and was very unused inside. Had some issues from not being used much.
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Old 11-29-2019, 06:40 AM   #39
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I am also going to add to my thoughts. I considered the Roadmaster Chassis but the fact is is no longer made also the engine combination often was and odd combo at times. I made a final decision that i did not want a road master because of the fact it was not made or supported officially.

The prices and quality i always thought were good but having to hunt to find things just sounded like a hassle and the thought they they simply may not be able to get a part like steering or suspension having to go to junk yards and other locations to locate was not something i wanted to do.

I personally would not consider anything that was not on a freightliner or Spartan chassis and the motors i would look at are CAT and Cummins. My 2002 has the 3126e and the new to me has a cummins ISL9 both common and readily available parts and support. Both on Freightliner chassis and both with Allison transmissions again the same.

I am not trying to degrade RM i am just saying something that was a big part of my recent decision.
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Old 11-29-2019, 07:02 AM   #40
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Our decision making process...

Like most on here my wife and I just went through the same process. The advice here is spot on.


My father owned several coaches in his lifetime starting out with non slide gassers. I think the total was 7 since he started at an early age. His last 4 were diesel pushers with the last 2 being American Eagles.


Based on what I knew at the time my checklist included the same as yours. I specifically wanted IFS, side radiator, and a tag axle. Brand was not important. Layout and more importantly service records were paramount. Even finding a well sorted out motor coach in this configuration will required a lot of maintenance. Our eyes were wide open.


We had set a budget of 50 to 80 thousand for this decision and were looking at 15 year old coaches. Wanted to stay in the 2000 to 2006 year range with at least 1 front slide and hopefully 2.


We were able to find a well maintained 06 Wanderlodge for more than our budget but lower than market value. The previous owner had a 2" ring binder full of receipts documenting repairs and upgrades made to the coach. Yes we spent more than we planned. The records and documentation sold us on the coach.


Keep us posted on your decision and good luck.
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Old 12-01-2019, 12:05 AM   #41
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I considered the Roadmaster Chassis but the fact is is no longer made also the engine combination often was and odd combo at times. I made a final decision that i did not want a road master because of the fact it was not made or supported officially.

The prices and quality i always thought were good but having to hunt to find things just sounded like a hassle and the thought they they simply may not be able to get a part like steering or suspension having to go to junk yards and other locations to locate was not something i wanted to do.
I disagree. (Of course I disagree as I've owned three Monaco coaches).
All chassis (just like the coach) are manufactured from parts commonly available in the heavy truck industry. Parts that wear are shocks (Bilstein, Monroe, or Koni), brakes (Arvin Meritor), suspension bushings (also readily available), rear differential (Eaton), wheel bearings (Dana Spicer), U-joints (Dana Spicer), and air bag springs (Firestone).
Actually, it would be very nice to be able to call Monaco (which is now owned by Rev Group) and just order the parts, but I've found you can save as much as 50% by "tracking down" the part directly. This forum has been a great help anytime I've needed a part. This will also work for your Freightliner.

The Roadmaster chassis was developed from a Chrysler military vehicle design. The S series chassis has 10 outboard airbags and 10 shocks. It's only fault is it's a bit heavier than the newest chassis.
All the best!
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Old 12-01-2019, 11:38 AM   #42
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Most likely right out of the lot you will need to change Lube Oil, filters and Fuel filters in engine and generator. that'll run ya $300 as a DYI. or $600 at a shop. windshield wiper blades another $60 DYI. water filter . maybe tires at $600 each and a total chassis lube job. . Don't forget the cost of a Pull Thru camp site with full hook ups is equal to a Holiday Inn.at most RV resorts. We have the 2018 Fleetwood 38B DP and glad we have it. Have Fun.
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