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Old 07-09-2013, 10:32 AM   #1
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choices and more choices

We apparently are champion shoppers. We've basically seen quite a few.
But we're sticking to a budget - hopefully not letting the shiny objects get us into too much debt.
Our list includes a 400hp motor (want to tow a truck/atv)
SO...from the obviously less expensive to our limit... the winners are:

2000 American Heritage (500hp. But this sucker is tag axle and basically a beast. While we LOVE the construction, it's might be just a bit big for newbees.. and it's got 109k. And DH would need a special license.)

2003 Islander - (needs new TVs..and we're checking on tires/batteries, has 36k) Like the interior alot. Not that much kitchen storage however.

2005 Safari Gazzele (has 40k and four slides)

AND the final choice purely because we like the TV arrangement... a 2008 Discovery 40X. But it's only got a 350 cummings and the workmanship isn't quite as good. And it's the most expensive of the group.

Oh... and we liked a 2007 Newmar Allstar. But it has a mid-engine and 350 hp... Nice interior...


Decisions. These are all dealers of course, since we would have to trade our Alpie which we owe on...

Opinions?
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:43 AM   #2
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Hi Campingkris,
I'm not sure why you say 400 HP minimum. I have a Cummins ISC 330 HP. Tow a 5.3K toad and a total of 37.5K lbs. The Cummins does just fine. One needs patience in the mountains, but so will the 400 require patience. The Newmar AllStar mentioned in your post should do just fine.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:51 AM   #3
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If, I remember the Allstar , has extra stairs and is higher overall , only produced a few years, and engine access could be a real issue. If I remember the floor plan the kitchen floor has to come out for any real engine work.

JMHO. Look into the drivers license and obtain it , widens your choices and provides good training no matter what unit you decide on.
I went from a 43' truck and 5er, to 58' MH and toad , took just a few hours on the road to fully adapt.
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:47 PM   #4
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Floor plan is the most important factor in determining which is the best for you. TV's can be replaced or relocated as is with most things. But, if the floor plan is not what you want that will not be changeable. IMHO I don't care for front of mid engine coaches. They are noisy and can transfer a lot of heat into the coach.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:23 AM   #5
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Campingkhris, I would suggest you look at Premiere RV in Junction City Oregon. They are doing business at the old Country Coach factory there. They have a couple 36' Intrigues and a few other coaches you may be interested in. A friend just purchased an 06 Magna from them and had a good experience with them.
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:40 AM   #6
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Don't get hung up on a fixed horsepower number, but do consider the horsepower to weight ratio if you are performance-minded. 1:100 is kind of the benchmark, but that is just adequate for coach & toad and doesn't give you the power to race up hills.

My 370 hp coach is moving 33,000 lbs of coach and another 5000 lbs of toad. I would like to have some more hp on the steeper hills, but there is never a concern that it isn't sufficient to move them both up any grade.

That Heritage is in an entirely different class than the other three coaches, sort of like comparing a Rolls with Chevy's and Dodges. Even though it is older.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
Don't get hung up on a fixed horsepower number, but do consider the horsepower to weight ratio if you are performance-minded. 1:100 is kind of the benchmark, but that is just adequate for coach & toad and doesn't give you the power to race up hills.

My 370 hp coach is moving 33,000 lbs of coach and another 5000 lbs of toad. I would like to have some more hp on the steeper hills, but there is never a concern that it isn't sufficient to move them both up any grade.

That Heritage is in an entirely different class than the other three coaches, sort of like comparing a Rolls with Chevy's and Dodges. Even though it is older.
Gary said it all in this last statement. That American coach with a Cummins ISM/Allison 4000 is the quality choice here. If however, the slides, floor plan, other stuff don't suit you then it's a non issue.

If you require a special license in your state for the American then any coach with a GVWR of 26,000 pounds or greater will require the same special license.
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:14 PM   #8
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Looked at the country coach place online. They have some nice used ones. Also, there is a beaver dealer in Bend, Oregon.

We are thinking that just maybe the best course of action would be to sell our Alpie our selves and then decide what we want..rather than trade it in. Even though that's the easiest thing to do.. We'll have to pay the balance, but then we won't have a trade in to deal with that we owe more than the market value..

But that would require patience... We generally don't have a lot of that.
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:39 PM   #9
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Dunno what your budget is, but I agree that the American coach is the rolls royce on the list. We recently bought a Fleetwood/American Revolution LE used. Would do it all over again. Have the C9 400HP for towing and such and a 49000lb gcvw.

Find the coach/floorplan you want then consider traveling to find it. To me that is much more effective in getting exactly what you want. We ended up with a 4 slide spartan Liberty Chassis coach that only needed a few TV's replaced to feel nearly new. PM me and I can share what we paid and what the market for Revolutions are in terms of paid price. One difficulty in shopping used coaches is a lot of private party sellers ask unreasonable prices based on what they owe. They will never actually sell at that price.

The difference in workmanship of a luxury used coach is critical IMHO. When buying used you can leverage the fact that the solid wood cabinets, for example, will be as good as new. Or that is it full body paint and doesn't have faded vinyl graphics.

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Old 07-11-2013, 01:38 PM   #10
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My preference would be to sell privately, if the timing will allow it. You then open more purchase avenues as well, not just dealer inventory. As to HP, I'll echo what's been said-- 400+ is nice, but not always necessary. I'm moving about 35K lbs with 330 hp. While I lose a bit of speed on longer/steeper upgrades, its not a problem. When I'm in a hurry, I take an airplane.

One factor I did notice is that you haven't clearly stated your intended use. Will you be fulltiming, or perhaps just taking a few trips each year? If fulltiming is your goal, then you want a coach made well enough that it will stand up to daily use over the long term. If you plan to spend a lot of your time actually travelling, --as opposed to 6 months here and 6 months there-- then the chassis and suspension of your coach will be more important factors to you as well.

At the risk of reopening Pandora's box, I recommend to you that you look into the RV Consumers Group [ www.rv.org ] for their ratings and evaluations of virtually every make and model of coach available. My experience with their data has been excellent across the board. I'll say no more than that here, because opinions on this forum differ strongly and it is not my wish to hijack the thread.

Good Luck with your search!!
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:11 AM   #11
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We are becoming familiar with the salemen. This may not be a good thing.

But we have another one in the running now... If it's legit that is...
1998 Country Coach Affinity, 8000 miles, complete records... stored inside and hardly ever used... new tires, new batteries. One slide..

Looks fabulous in the photos, but I'm kinda concerned that it hasn't been sold yet. Unless they are unwilling to budge on the price 74k - which is a bit high - even though it's low mileage.

Our problem is.. if we are going to do this, we are picky.. Really like the quality of the older coaches. And we might be able to get this all done with little debt - always a good thing when considering purchasing a "depreciating asset."
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