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Old 10-01-2012, 10:13 AM   #1
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Buying first motorhome DP

Hello. We are looking around at motorhomes and have decided to get a diesel pusher. We have a boat which is 6500lbs so a Gas motorhome just won't cut it for us. I don't want to exceed weight limits and be unsafe.

I have found two motorhomes, both the same year, same mileage and they are within $5000 of each other and appear to be quite similar. They are as follows:

2006 Holiday Rambler Amvassador 38PDQ
-Cummins ISC 330
-Roadmaster raised rail chassis
-18000 miles
-4 slides
-Sleeps 4(stand alone dinette)

2006 Encore 380DS made by Sportscoach (never heard of them)
-Caterpillar C7 (don't know the HP)
-Freightliner chassis
-19000 miles
-2 slides
-sleeps 6 (fixed dinette)

Both Motorhomes appear to have full body paint, 10000 pound towing capacities, pass through storage etc etc. Both are optioned fairly similar. I have never heard of Sportscoach. So I would like some opinions, which coach is better, why and do you have any personal experience? Thanks
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:31 AM   #2
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Check the Ambassador to see if it has the trailing arm problem (Search the Monaco forum and you'll learn all you need to know). that's not a fatal defect but if the repair has not been done you will need it before relying on the coach.

Personally I would stick w/a Cummins engine. Waaaaaay more in service units in motorhomes so waaaaay more valuable feedback & answers on forums like this if you have an issue. Cat made good stuff, but they are out of the over-the-road engine market for a few years now, and clearly overpowered by numbers vs the Cummins. Many more dealer service locations w/tech's familiar w/Cummins.
Cat owners now- ataaaaack!!!!!

Sporstcoach was a higher end gas rig years ago, some older units still on the road. It was reborn w/the DP config. Not large numbers vs the Monaco for sure, but the fit & finish looked fine to me. Never spent much time in one.
As to the Monaco idiosyncrasies, by sheer volume you'll have lots of company here on iRV2.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:58 PM   #3
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Would check the actual weights against the capacity of each vehicle because options can reduce the weight carrying and the towing capacity depending on how the manufacturer calculated things. Just because the hitch is 10K lbs does not guarantee the capacity.

Another consideration would be to get a trailer tongue extender that way you won't end up floating your diesel pusher into the lake, down the river or off into the sea!
Given that the engine is in the back, immersing some heated items into cold water may put too much stress on things and cause warping and or cracking.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel-Lover View Post
Another consideration would be to get a trailer tongue extender that way you won't end up floating your diesel pusher into the lake, down the river or off into the sea!
Using an extension is a sure way to reduce the towing capacity.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:32 AM   #5
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tongue extension for boat trailer

The boat trailer extension is called extend a hitch and you implement its usage only when preparing to launch the boat at the dock. It stows away parallel to the coupler bar and only gets pulled out at the dock and locked in place. This new coupler is then used to re-hitch the boat trailer to the towing vehicle.
You can stay 7, 9, 10 and 12 feet further up the ramp when you have the extension. Frankly I feel any one who launches into the sea or down the river or into the lake should have one. My boat trailer has a built in one which is only four feet but even that is heaven sent, wish it had a longer one. A friend of mine fried his real break rotors when launching his boat! Not to mention the risk of traction loss on a mossy slimy steep boat ramp.

During normal operation the towing is not affected at all because the extension is not in use and stowed away. Oh it will add a few pounds to the trailer weight but that is about all. Here is a link to the specifications. I am not involved with this company or distributor or the product in any way other than an avid customer and supporter. Had a near mishap while launching at a river but the next time was a charm with their product.

http://www.xtend-a-hitchnorthwest.co...ifications.htm
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:52 AM   #6
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It might be worth weighing the rear axle on both coaches to determine how much weight is left before it is overloaded. Also determine how much tongue weight your boat will apply to the hitch. Add the two to make sure your not over weight. If everything is ok, then it is just a matter of which one you like to drive the best and floor plan.

Both engines are good. There is more Cummings than Cat, but most truck stops can work on either engine, but might have more Cummings parts on hand. Most likely you will not need any major service work. On the chassis, there are more Freightliner service centers than Roadmaster. Most likely you will not need any chassis work either. (I like to look on the bright side of everything).

Peace
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:23 AM   #7
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I'm just guessing that you haven't actually looked at both of them? That's where I would start. You may find your decisions much easier to make?

I would hesitate to recommend one over the other for the simple fact condition is such a huge part of this - and the ONLY way you'll get a feel for that is first hand.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:54 AM   #8
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FYI, Sportscoach is a Forest River product. Prior to 2008 they were built by Coachmen. I own one and love mine. It's a nice unit, but mine has the Cummins.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:10 AM   #9
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look at them for sure...
The ambassador is equivalent to a monaco knight. They went to the 8 air bag raised rail chassis in the early 2000's, no trailing arm problems with this one. Any HR (or monaco) is a bunch of steps up the foodchain from a sportscoach.
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:54 PM   #10
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Well we actually looked at them in person a couple days ago. I really liked the Monaco(a lot because of the name). My wife really liked the Encore. It was nicer colors both in and out and it had the fixed dinette. My wife doesn't think about the running gear or name of a coach. She goes strictly on whether she likes the colors, the decor and how many people it can sleep. We have two daughters(17 &6) and they don't like to sleep together...lol. So it becomes a tough decision...lol. What's that saying, "happy wife, happy life"? Oh and by the way, what the heck does "DW" stand for???
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:21 PM   #11
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It is my understanding that DW stands for Dear, or Darling, Wife.

You wife does have a point about the interior. We looked at several coaches, and most were rejected on the decor alone by mine. Once that a coach we rejected on interior colors, I did not try and argue. Just have to find the same coach in a color that she liked.

Make sure you take them for a test drive to compare.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:25 PM   #12
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No no DW in many cases privately stands for Darn Wife or Dang Wife and well it goes further south from there.
Choosing a rig with the DW involved is like having all your teeth pulled out at once. Some times trying to use simple logic is just difficult.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:12 PM   #13
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:53 PM   #14
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Before buying I would have the company run a printout from the engine computer to show how the engine and tranny are setup. Also run an engine diagnostic printour to show the engine condition.

If buying from an individual have a friend with a diagnostic device do it. My VMSpc tells me most everything.

Just a thought.

Watch the hitch. You may be at the limit of the spec.
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