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Old 11-30-2012, 02:14 PM   #1
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Question Class A DP questions

Do all Class A Diesel Pushers have air ride suspension? Air Brakes? Jake Brake?
If some do and some don't, then how can I tell if they do or don't?

What are the mid to better quality (structure and mechanical) DP MH's?
What is best, Fiberglass or rubber roof?

Thanks for answering rookie questions
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:57 PM   #2
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Most DP's have air ride, but not all.

Most have air brakes, but not all. (Alpine is DP that has no air brakes.)

Three kinds of braking, IMO, from least effective: Exhuast; Compression 2 stage and 3 stage; Trans Retarder.

Mid to high quality is soo hard, as some manufacturers have entery level all the way to the top of the line... I'll do a sample of 'IMO', and point out that the age makes a difference, as some High Quality coaches are not made now. (Understand that this is not intended to be a complete list, and is very subjective based upon what a buyer is looking for...)

On my hunt list:
-Travel Supreme (all models), Country Coach Allure/Intrigue/Magna, Alpine, Dynasty/Executive/Signature, Mountain Aire/Essex, Bluebird/Wanderlodge, Foretravel, Integra, American Coaches (all), Fleetwood Revlolution (built on the American Coach line)....

I also like and respect Rexhall and think they are a very safe and good bang for the buck. Also not seen often, were the Tripple E's... As I said, more solid coaches exist in the mid level. Note that Tiffen/Winne were not in my hunt list, and many many owners are passionate about them... Just was not what I was looking for.

Roofs? Fiberglass are preferred, but it would be a minor point vs major point when shopping. Rubber or EPDM(SP?) makes a difference.

I suggest you keep surfing this board, RV.Net, etc. And then make a list of what is important to you. A 'Must Have' and a 'Nice to Have' list. On our list, we provided a 1 point for yes, and allowed up to a 5 points if it was an important item. (DW wanted a big galley=5 points; I wanted Side Radiator=5 points.)

Some areas to research, and determine what is important to you:
-Side Radiator or not
-Tag or not
-IFS or not
-CCC high enough
-Galley and interior layout
-Auto air leveling or not
-Engine Size robust enough (IMO, bigger = better. Buy as much engine as you can.
-Braking Compression vs Retarder. Two stage vs Three stage
-King vs Queen bed
-Galley in slide or not
-Number of slides
-Tang sizes (Water/Grey/Black)

Etc., etc.

One last opinion. If buying used. Pick your budget range. Drop years to remain within budget while buying the highest quality rig that you can. Take quality over newer. Retain a fund within your budget, to do baseline maintenance, and make the coach yours, so that you know where you are on maintenance. When shopping, private owner with documentation, documentation, documentation - beats the dealers and word of mouth. Pay for a full PDI, oil analysis, and trans fluid analysis. When determining offer price, factor age of tires, batteries, and missing non documented maintenance.

Best of luck on your search, some great coaches exist!
Smitty
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:09 PM   #3
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A good list...less known but coming on fast as a great coach line at great price points are the Entegra line (a Jayco company).
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:59 PM   #4
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I drove a 2012 Phaeton that had air ride, air brakes and some sort of "jake brake", that thing drove like a dream, it was so easy........just toooo out of my budget I'm in the no more than 100K budget but really like to come out in the 70-80K range.

I have seen several DP's that have what looks like two accelerator pedals. The shinny pedal on the left, would that be air brakes? I know that sounds so dumb, sorry

I've built and drove race cars, but don't know nuttin' about big rigs, we always pulled with pickups, lol

I found a nice Tropical at a good price but its got a rubber roof! I don't know if it has air ride and air brakes. The roof to me might be a game breaker. I haven't actually looked at it yet. I have also found a nice 2000 Fleetwood Revolution.
I can see it's gona' take me months to look and learn before I really know what I'm looking at, if you know what I mean (they all just look like big motorhomes right now).

Thanks guys for all the info, I've got a lot to learn!
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:13 PM   #5
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Excellent response, Smuitty77!

DPs have an accelerator pedal and a brake pedal, like any other automatic transmission vehicle. However, the brake pedal may be large and in some may look more like an accelerator pedal than a car-like brake pedal. No different in what it does, though. Just a difference in style.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:35 PM   #6
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Dave - I blew it... you know how us CC owners think!! I had meant Entegra, but typed Integra... Concur it is a coach getting good reviews, and so far hats off to the company for going the extra mile... Many do, but not all will work with changing things for the owner from the 'standard options' list...

Thanks for making sure they were mentioned, they deserve it.

I also want to add a comment about Winnie and Tiffen. I did look at the Alegro Bus, the Ultima and Vectra- the units we went thru were doing well, and had happy, happy owners. In the mid level, the Journey and Meridian are respected coaches, and have 34-38' (I think options) most the Cat C7 is a workhorse for these models, and proivde good power to weight ratio. Does not seem to matter if it is 330 or 350... It just comes down to what it is that you are looking for...

I also did not mention National, a company that might have made it thru the tough times, if they had not stepped up to do the right thing and reapaired hundred of coaches that had a problem due to a supplier's material problems. They had the Islander, on a Country Coach Dynomax chassis, that was a dang nice coach. The Dolphin and Tropical DP's are also well liked by their owners.

I left off of my list of things to research, chassis. Spartan, Freightliner, Peak, Roadmaster, to name a few. Some only available in one specific line, like Roadmaster is Monaco, or some available on many builders, like Freightliner is available in Fleetwood, Winnie, etc. As with coaches, a chassis builder can have different levels of chassis too. Spartan has the old Mountain Master, and now the K2, as an example.

Enough rambling... Soo many good coaches, soo many good builders - the fun is in getting out and using whatever you end up with.

Best to all,
Smitty
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:43 PM   #7
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My advice... drive, drive and drive some more.
You need to drive enough coaches that you figure out what is important to you. In your price range you can look at entry level DPs with three or four slides or 20 year old coaches built on a bus chassis with no slides. Some folks are a lot more concerned with the number of slides and cosmetics, than the ride and drive or mechanical aspects of a coach. Nothing wrong with either one, you just need to figure out what is important to you. I tend to agree with Smitty, i like the mid-level, early to mid 2000s coaches that were in the 250-325k range when new over the entry level later model coaches. My Windsor has an 370hp ISL which I love but the Roadmaster chassis I would gladly trade for an Spartan or Freightliner IFS chassis.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:54 PM   #8
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I was looking at another rv before I went this one that was dp and no air brakes!
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:31 PM   #9
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I have been to RV shows where they will have a naked chassis on display
A DP chassis is really beefy compared to a gasser. I thought the Winnebago Maxxum Chassis was a good one. For the $ you want to spend the Maxxum chassis is still out of reach. I saw Spartan, base Freightliner, Maxxum and the Ford gas chassis (22,000lb). Winnebago used their Evolution Chassis prior to 2008. I drove 3 DP motorhomes but was focused 100% on things like am I going off the road or not, so can not tell you how they handled. None was the Maxxum chassis. So now you need to match a floor plan with an engine with a chassis for the money you want to spend. Ugh...good luck
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckstand View Post
Do all Class A Diesel Pushers have air ride suspension? Air Brakes? Jake Brake?
If some do and some don't, then how can I tell if they do or don't?

What are the mid to better quality (structure and mechanical) DP MH's?
What is best, Fiberglass or rubber roof?

Thanks for answering rookie questions
no long winded post.here,s my take
Current era 95% of DP have air ride,air brakes and either exhaust brake or engine brake.I think solid fibre glass roof is better in the long run
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:29 PM   #11
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My Safari has eliptical spring suspension and hydraulic disc brakes on all 4 corners.
The best way to find what equipment a particular coach has is to ask!
Mel
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:34 PM   #12
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I really thought the highest end coaches in late '90's were my choice...so i wanted a London Aire...best i could find was right at my local dealer..a '97 and to my liking the best price i could find..and they really do check and fix all systems and chassis maintenence before delivery.....jeff
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:13 AM   #13
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As stated above,, Smitty77 has given excellent advice, and I agree with every word he has written. Set your budget, and then buy one of the well built coaches from the choices noted above. That is exactly what we did and could not be happier. We now have a quality built coach that we were able to buy at a great price point. Had every bit of service you could do to the coach from top to bottom done, and it now feels like we are driving a brand new coach down the road. Good luck in your search.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckstand View Post
Do all Class A Diesel Pushers have air ride suspension? Air Brakes? Jake Brake?
If some do and some don't, then how can I tell if they do or don't?

What are the mid to better quality (structure and mechanical) DP MH's?
What is best, Fiberglass or rubber roof?

Thanks for answering rookie questions
Beaver,newmar,allegro,CC,monaco,winnibego,TS,some fleetwoods.
are the most popular used mid to better coaches to look at
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