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Old 08-22-2013, 04:59 PM   #1
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Class A questions

My wife and I have decided we are ready to move to a used Diesel pusher class A motorhome.
We now have a 2008 32' travel trailer. From what little info. I have gathered I think I would be interested in an American Coach or Newmar unit. I prefer the Cummins engine/Spartan chasse set up. I understand the 2006 AC only came out with Cat engines. So we are looking for anything from 2003-2008 yr. models, except for the 2006 AC units.
What should I be looking for, pros and cons, in a used MH?. Any and all info. would be appreciated. I have enjoyed the forums and look forward to the expansive knowledge I can glean from them.


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Old 08-22-2013, 05:03 PM   #2
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Old 08-22-2013, 05:12 PM   #3
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WELCOME to the forum!!
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:17 PM   #4
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Welcome to IRV2. Hope you get as much enjoyment, knowledge, and sound advice I have. I catch myself checking the forum most every day. There are just so many individuals that are "in the know" about so many different gagets, situations, etc. Enjoy. Bill
competitive shooter RVer
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:30 PM   #5
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Not much help...

Hi and welcome to IRV2!
I have a Holiday Rambler with a CAT and Freightliner chasis! (I would find it hard to give up any one of the three....but understand to each his own).

Everything I read stressed to make sure you bought the floorplan you liked. I never undertood the advice....how can you know what you like if you haven't lived in one? In your case, you may truly be able to figure out which floorplan you and the DW like and buy it, and then NOT have to buy another coach a couple years later to get the floorplan you should have bought!

There is pre-buy checklists on this sight and lots of advice on what to look for. Most everyone wants to tow a car so make sure you get enough horsepower. Obviously if you are going to full-time you will need plenty of storage (and the coach has to have the capacity to handle the weight of fulltiming storage and the toad).

I think the key is to buy the best quality coach you can afford...and older coach will give you a lot for you money over the same priced newer coach and you will be glad you got all the amenities a top quality coach offers. The better the coach the better it is built and the better the amenities (a bigger generator, etc, etc, etc). We only got the one super slide and while I think we have plenty of room, my DW sure wishes we had a slide in the bedroom, too. She says she is cramped walking around the bed. I'm convinced a second slide isn't worth trading up at a cost of about $60K, so I just chase her around the bed and make her forget how tight it is!

Just remember, the hunt is FUN, and once you buy, the fun is over (but the real fun starts!).
Good luck!
'07 Holiday Rambler Endeavor PRQ ("Elvis"), and our 2012 CRV toad
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:04 AM   #6
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I spent a good year and a half looking for our coach. I looked through all the web sites, did all the reading I could find, talked with numerous owners trying to read between the lines to get the straight skinny. Not everyone wants to admit they might have made a mistake in buying the coach they did. I'll probably get flamed for this, but here goes. I was leaning toward a TIffin until I started reading about all the owners taking there yearly trek to Red Bay, AL, that's where there built, to get things fixed. Now I do know they have a great reputation taking care of owners, but I didn't want to travel there to find out. I have other places I want to go. I'm sure there are Tiffin owners who love what they have. My concern was that we we're going full time, and I wanted to have a coach I could depend on. That's not to say we haven't had a couple of problems in our 3 1/2 yrs. on the road, but nothing too major. What ever you decide, YOU have to be comfortable with your decision. You probably won't go wrong with the two choices you've decided on. I like you wanted a Cummins, mines on a Spartan chassis. One word of advice when you find what you want, get an independent RV tech to check it out thoroughly(Not the selling dealer), and if you can a diesel shop to check engine and chassis. Good luck on whatever you decide. Oh, one other thing, early Spartan chassis's had a problem with the ball joint boots dry rotting leading to crud getting into the ball joints. I didn't let that stop me. When I found our coach(Newmar Dutch Star) it needed knew ball joints/boots. I used that in my negotiation. It's about a $2000 fix.
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:51 AM   #7
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Either choice would be excellent. We have a 2007 Dutch Star 4320 and are happy with it. The Cummins ISL is an excellent choice. Two important points with Cummins and Newmar. Absolutely have a computer diagnostics ran to see active and latent faults. The cost is good insurance. Some Newmars and other mid-range motor homes have Aqua-hot systems. These are excellent systems for coach and water heating. I have met owners who have had to replace the tanks on those units. That requires either a new or rebuilt system costing over $6,000. Extended warranties will not cover that if the tanks is rusted out. If your choice has that system, pay a tech to check it out! I love our system, but I keep on top of the required service for it. Another consideration-my Dutch Star came with Diamond Shield cover for the front. I will always deteriorate and begin to look like Florida swamp water has gotten under it. That will cost more than $2.98 to fix. It will not buff out, as some sales reps claim. Good luck.
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Old 08-24-2013, 07:15 AM   #8
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If I were looking for a used DP today along the lines of what you are looking for, I would seriously look a year or two older and look for a Foretravel. Extremely well built coaches. Motorhomes of Texas is a good dealer for older Foretravels - really should look at one.

Barbara & David O'Keeffe
Figment II (Alpine 2002 36 MDDS)
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Old 08-24-2013, 07:27 AM   #9
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Dustdevil, welcome.

If you would like to have some first-hand inside info on older Foretravel units, I can give you the phone number of a man who worked in the factory for many years. He knows the years and models that are the best built and most reliable. He operates a big rig painting company now, and paints many Foretravels, as well as doing restoration on delaminated sides.
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Old 08-24-2013, 07:44 AM   #10
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Welcome to the forum!! We had a 30 foot TT, then a class C. We had a lot of enjoyment out of both. Since we wanted to go full time, A class A was the choice. We made a list with 2 columns on a spread sheet. List 1 was "must haves" list 2 was "nice to have" Then we started our research, took about 2 years. Only looked at high end coaches with the floor plan that would suit us best. Just the two of us, most of all we wanted room and storage. One thing that is important to us is service records and owners manuals. I was suprised to find out how many dealers and owners don't have either. We looked at many high end coaches in our price range. We found our Zephyr, it has most of the items on the "must have List". We usually tow a toad and not the trailer. We have our own climate controlled building for in-between trips. You have much information here already, i'm sure more to come. If you need financing, I suggest you find your own and not let a dealer find it for you. Most of all, take your time, research and take your list with you when you look at the coaches. Have fun and enjoy.
Karl and Janet
Tiffin Zephyr 45QDZ
Owens-Classic Trailer, with elevator and air ride
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:06 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Barbaraok View Post
If I were looking for a used DP today along the lines of what you are looking for, I would seriously look a year or two older and look for a Foretravel. Extremely well built coaches. Motorhomes of Texas is a good dealer for older Foretravels - really should look at one.

I certainly agree. I am on their e-mail list to "drull" at some coachs they have to offer from time to time. I am always looking. Just this past week a beautiful '99 was introduced. Not sure if this was good or bad year and floorplan was not really one we would have wanted but it sure looked nice, bet it is not available long. bill
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:55 AM   #12
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Hi Dustdevil,
Three things will determine your future with a coach:

1. floor plan - Yes you can determine a floor plan that is right for you. The wife will, most likely, take the lead on this item. Look at the coach in 3 configurations:
1a. travel - slides closed, will the coach be okay in this position. Can you get to what you need without opening a slide or crawling over furniture?
1b. entertaining - slides open, will the coach be okay for any entertaining you do? Is the seating good for conversation, game playing, etc.?
1c. sleeping - slides open, can all beds be used at the same time?

2. Will the coach carry all your stuff and you? (GVWR, CCC or NCC)

3. Will the coach tow what you want to tow? (GCWR and hitch rating)
Have the coach inspected by a:
certified RVIA technician - for the coach
certified (by the manufacturer) for the chassis
certified (by the manufacturer for the engine/transmission)

There are many adventures waiting for you.
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The Avatar Is Many Times Around The USA
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Old 08-25-2013, 04:31 PM   #13
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We have the Cummins/Spartan combination and it is fine. However, the most important feature is the floor plan. Any combination of Cummins/Cat/DD or Spartan/Freightliner will work fine, but the floor plan is what you live with every day.
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:09 PM   #14
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To us one of the most important parts of the floor plan is bathrooms - where and how many. We overlooked it on our search . . . but I always do get the #1 in line waiting position!

Richard and Mary Lou
2007 HR Scepter, 42PLQ
Supply Corps, USN Retired
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