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Old 12-01-2019, 04:36 PM   #43
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Donít leave out the older Safari. We love ours. Yes we have costs as all do. I am physically not able to do my own maintenance. Got an excellent tech here in town and he keeps up with my coach. Have issues repaired and we are now maintaining. This forum and certain individuals have saved us many $. You know who you are. We love our coach. Next project is to remove coach and install two wall hugger swivel recliners. Donít limit yourself. Many good deals out there.

John & Martha Rowin
2000 Safari Continental Panther 40í

John & Martha Rowin
2000 Safari Continental Panther 42í
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Old 12-01-2019, 04:38 PM   #44
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Location: Mooresville Indiana
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Newmar Dutchstar

I love your thoughtful approach. Because youíre looking for an older model I suggest the Newmar Dutchstar for 2 reasons and a story😊.
1: newmar guarantees theyíll work on the coach forever.... so whatever troubles you may have they will be committed to helping you fix.
2: older Dutchstar Diesel pushers have Comfort Drive which is unique to Newmar and makes driving so much more enjoyable.

My folks bought a 2005 gas Dutchstar in 2009. Theyíve remodeled the entire interior. Itís beautiful and it runs like a dream. The newmar quality in the long haul is hard to beat over the years which I guess makes reason #3

Their 2005 with Comfort Drive drove better than our 2014 Baystar without CD.

Be patient... keep looking... check the service records and have an appraiser give you a fair market value assessment. Enjoy

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Old 12-01-2019, 04:48 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by followingsea View Post
Based on this list, a Newmar should be avoided.

RX7 do not take the last statement seriously but you can find a MH you will be able to find a MH on your budget that you will enjoy.

First advice is pay cash.

Second as been stated if the roof leaks, do not buy. Look for a fiberglass roof.

Third check that things work.

First MH was a vintage HR Endeavor gasser for $9k. When the Onan would not start knocked off a thousand. Fixed it with $10 of carb cleaner.

Upgraded to our current HR Endeavor DP after it was damaged by a tow truck. Under $30k with 140k miles. Engine is just getting broken in. There are things you should expect to fix. I have replaced the lift pump and water pump. It would not surprise me if a starter or alternator would go out either.

One thing I have noticed RV and boats is that people are always spending money on them. They will tell you with a big smile. 'That is really nice Greg' I reply. If my friend had told me before he did I would have advised against it but since he has spent the money I just smile.

This site is a valuable resource. As you have just found out, as a question and you will get lots of answers.
With respect.... Newmar has a long history of quality and cutting edge technology. They guarantee to work on the coach forever which is huge since some companies went out of business and leave folks with coaches stuck. Newmar is now backed with Winnebago so the brand isnít going anywhere. My folks have the 2005 Dutchstar... weíve owned a 2014 Baystar gas and have. 2020 Dutchstar DP on order. Take a trip to Newmar to see how itís built and the quality of the folks who do. If itís been well maintained a Newmar will serve you well for years to come
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Old 12-01-2019, 04:52 PM   #46
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In my opinion, for that amount you want to spend, a gasser would be cheaper, but for the miles that will be on that engine, you may have a lot of repairs. Remember, the gassers are being run at very high rpms going up the hills. A diesel engine runs that a lot lower RPM, and is made to pull you up those big hills. True, a diesel engine cost a lot more, but will run for a lot longer than a gas motor. Even if you buy a diesel pusher with over 100,000 miles on it, if it has been well taken care of, it will go another 400,000 miles or more. I donít want to start a big caterpillar versus Cummins fight here, but Cummins engines are a lot cheaper to fix as well as a lot more reliable. I know there will be diehard cat owners that will chime in and say there is nothing better than a caterpillar engine. My father-in-law has been RVing since the early 70s, and said whenever you see a DP broken down along the side of the road, itís probably a caterpillar. heís not saying that because he has a Cummins engine, his Prevo has a jimmy in it. Itís just what he has observed over the 40+ years of RVing. Another thing to think about is the generator. Everyone raves about a generator that has very little time on it. Especially in an older coach it is not good to have a generator with no time on it. The Armature in the generator needs to be spun and used periodically. There again, with a Diesel pusher, you will most likely have a diesel generator that will run for thousands and thousands of hours if taken care of.

Good documentation from previous owners is priceless! I was fortunate when buying my 2001 dynasty. I am the third Owner with the documentation from both previous owners. The person I Purchased from was a retired airline pilot, so he documented everything. Including the temperature it was when he stopped to get fuel at each stop. Thatís a little bit extreme, but I do have every receipt for everything that has ever been done to it.
Ready to retire and get out of Oregon
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Old 12-01-2019, 04:54 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by jaearhart View Post
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.
I donít think I would stay at a $50 motel
Ready to retire and get out of Oregon
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Old 12-01-2019, 05:00 PM   #48
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Anything over 5 years old, condition is more important then age. There are older units that surpass the newer ones due there upkeep and condition.
I found a '98 Safari Sahara with 24k miles that was stored indoors. The quality surpasses the newer units. Solid wood cabinets, no plastic, etc.
It is not under powered, nor do I have to be concerned with overloading it.
If you what to look for, buy a plane ticket and inspect it yourself. It probably will cost you less then having someone else do it, and you will have first hand knowledge.
If you don't know what to look for, and need someone else to do it, then you shouldn't be looking in the first place.
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Old 12-01-2019, 05:01 PM   #49
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I have an older DP with caterpillar engine one without all the frills & has never let me down, if you can take to Cat, Cummins or similar & get them to run a diagnostic on engine. If engine has had regular oil & filter changes & run regularly should be least of your worries. As one reply stated look for roof leaks or soft spots on roof as these can be major issues.
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Old 12-01-2019, 05:07 PM   #50
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There are a lot of units listed here for sale
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Old 12-01-2019, 05:30 PM   #51
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Monaco and Safari had a few issues in those years primarily with their Roadmaster Chassis. The REAR trailing Control arms were manufactured to wimpy failed (CRACKED) and were a recall they were the RR4R with the 4 air bag setup there is a fix and a much beefier control arm replacement parts available that is a permanent fix but if not previously replaced can be a expense and a safety concern. I wouldn't shy away from this chassis but would investigate if it was previously complied with recall if not pin on $3-5K for parts and labor. Personally have an RR8R Chassis and in my opinion the smoothest ride of a class A for this era. Look at recalls and do your homework it will pay off. Good Luck.
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Old 12-01-2019, 06:07 PM   #52
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I think you are getting a lot of solid advice here. I would add that once you have narrowed down your search to a particular make and model, then start searching forums for reviews, issues, problems, fixes etc. That will help you ask a seller more informed questions and youíll have a better idea of what to look for. You can also search for threads that are specific to your desired new to you coach. Our 1996 HR 400 is old and solid built on a Spartan chassis. I highly recommend Spartan chassisís. It sounds like you are a handyman type so I think youíll be fine. Just learn as much as you possibly can about the particular coach you want BEFORE you go to look at one. And donít let emotion cloud your judgement come purchase time. Good luck!!! Welcome to the club assuming you buy one!
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Old 12-01-2019, 06:08 PM   #53
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Buying a used Class A DP

We bought our 2000 Alpine Coach LE 36FDS with a 330 HP Cummins and Allison trans. with 60K miles.
Not rich, 2 retired incomes, very handy with lots of tools, have mechanic friends too that are $20-30 an hour vs say $120. Was very well maintained, but coolant is very old as tested by JG labs.
Got a long trip and maintenance logbook, I believe all original manuals.
We bought it 2 years ago for $43K and have no regrets. Wife has real bad back so airlines or long car travel is out. We had a 1990 Ford F350 1 ton dually crew cab with a huge 1990 Lance camper for 10 years.
Have several vehicles that are older but we'll maintained, wax at least 2x a year and most covered to protect from high desert sun.
I wish you luck and hope you find your "peace of mind" like we did.
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Old 12-01-2019, 06:17 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by okcnewbie View Post
This is the million dollar question really. The problem IMO is that you are going to spend 200-700 dollars and not get any guarantees. If you could work out a way to at least get the engine looked over and have an experienced mechanic give you a general feeling on how well the motor was maintained I'd be for that. Maybe something like Oil/filter change and an inspection by chassis shop with the agreement to pay half and buy the MH if no major problems. I'm trying to come up with my plan right now.
Get an oil sample from the engine and get it analyzed.
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Old 12-01-2019, 06:31 PM   #55
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Look at enough of them and you'll know the right one when you find it.
I think you're getting a lot of good advice from experienced DP owners here. Smart move buying something that's already depreciated out to the point of maintaining it properly will be a good investment down the road. (well, is any Rv a "good investment?" Use it enough and I say yes!)
Of course the maintenance is rather high on any RV, but if your handy it's fairly affordable if you have good bones to start with. Good luck with your search. I think the hunt is half the fun...
2000 Alpine 36 FDS #74058
"On the road to find out..."
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Old 12-01-2019, 06:48 PM   #56
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1999 to 2008. After that they are junk in most cases. I just bought a 1996 Foretravel. Very unknown superior coach. Stay away from a cummins 5.9. It's to small of a truck engine and will blow up. Mine has 8.3 and is fine

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