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Old 10-11-2016, 05:58 AM   #15
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I am doing the same kind of looking, yet am at a lower price point. But the list of brands are pretty good, I made my list with help of iRV2 Owners groups. I added Monaco and Alpine, but mostly added the Monaco Dynasty because I met three couples out of FL who were talking and the Wives said Dynasty. The guys told me they were 400 to 500 hp.
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Old 10-11-2016, 09:42 AM   #16
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Newmar

You are smart looking for a used MH rather than new. You stand to get more value for less money. After owning 5 MH's over the last 40 yrs, I would encourage you to consider the Newmar DSDP.

I recommend you consider the following:
1. Buy from the owner (hopefully original owner) and NOT a dealer. Talk to the guy that has driven and maintained the MH.
2. Go for the Spartan chassis w/side rad. It is the superior chassis.
3. Go for the pre emission Cummins diesel if you can. I have the ISL and it has plenty of power. No chip mod required. We tow a full size 1/2 ton crew cab PU and have no problems with any mountain pass in Colorado.
4. Look for a used coach with new batteries and new (or low time) tires.
5. Go with full body paint.

Good luck with your search.
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Old 10-11-2016, 10:02 PM   #17
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I would encourage you to consider the Newmar DSDP.
Had to smile at your picture. Ours was the same year and paint color. Thanks for bringing back good memories of an excellent motorhome.
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Old 10-12-2016, 09:13 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
Had to smile at your picture. Ours was the same year and paint color. Thanks for bringing back good memories of an excellent motorhome.
You are more than welcome. Owners of these Newmar MH's are proud of their ride!!
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Old 10-12-2016, 10:28 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Clayhammer View Post
My wife and I are planning on going nearly full time starting late spring or early summer of next year. We do have about 4 years of limited RV experience in a large bumper pull trailer. This time however, we will be traveling about 9 months of every year with our mobile business. I've spent quite a bit of time looking through a great deal of info from this and other forums and think I've identified most of our requirements. I'd like to get your opinions based on the following:

1. We've decided to purchase a used unit. Our budget will be somewhere around $175-$225k. We want to keep the unit for a long time. Should we be looking to buy something fairly new (2-4 years old) or spend the same money on a higher end unit but older (5-10 years old)? For instance, we could get into a newer Entegra Aspire (maybe Anthem) or comparable versus say a '07-'08 Country Coach.

2. We'll be pulling an enclosed trailer that's 24.5' tip to tail and around 6k lbs. I'm somewhat concerned about getting over 65' total length due to the towing laws in some states. However, my research has shown that this is rarely enforced. Should I be concerned?

3. How much engine? The Cummins ISL seems to be the most popular in this range but, I've seen HP rating from 380-450. Is this done through programming and, if so, how does that impact reliability? I don't think I've seen anything in this range with an ISX. Some of the older units have the big CAT 525 though.

4. We'll be traveling with 2 dogs and 2 cats...

5. Reliability. As well be traveling for business, we can't really afford to be parked for days or weeks at a service center or at the manufacturer's facility. Part of this question goes back to question #1, newer vs older.

Coaches that seem to fit the bill so far are:
Entegra Aspire or Anthem
Tiffin Allegro Bus
Newmar Dutch Star or Mountain Aire
Country Coach

I've also looked into the Super C Dynamax DX3 and Force HD units. These were recommended by a friend for ease of engine/chassis maintenance and front collision safety.

Any insights and experiences you all may have would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance everyone
1. We recently acquired an '06 Country Coach, plus a towed and the tow package, for less than your low budget. We purchased from a dealer in Junction City, OR, and delivery was wonderful. The tires and batteries are a year old. The foggy windows have all been repaired. The coach has the Cat C-13 525 hp 1650lb torque engine. All filters and fluids were changed. After using it for over 2 weeks two water leaks were discovered and a quick trip back to the dealer and they were resolved. "Quick Trip" is a 7hour drive each way, but well worth it. The competence and experience in Junction City is amazing. They know all the systems, and they sell and service all the major upscale brands, even if they are no longer made.

We started out looking at actual bus conversions, such as Prevost and Bluebird Wanderlodge for the structural integrity, and liked the CC semi-monocoque shell as it is very close to the Prevost, and different in a good way from the box on rails approach. We also liked the pre-emissions engines, and the fact that the builders were still profitable in 2006 and had not started on cost reductions yet. Also, the overall design looks quite similar to the current models.

All the makes you listed are respected names. I am partial for the above reasons. Perhaps the most critical item is deciding who to buy from in terms of long term support and service. If your business will require travel, consider returning to the original or a trusted dealer/servicer once a year for any needed service and repair

2. Get a Motor Carrier Atlas, which shows where large rigs can go. Rand McNally publishes them. If you proposed route is not shown in enhanced red, there is a reason and you need to avoid it. Overlength is not usually an issue unless you did something else to trigger a stop.

3. The bigger issue is Torque in my opinion. Over the road commercial trucks usually start at around 1400lbs and go up from there. I had a truck and trailer combo the weighed 32,000lbs and at 800lbs torque was a dog on the hills. My simple rule is 400hp/1400lb torque is a minimum, 500+hp and 1600lb torque is ideal.

4. Critter comfort is important. If they are happy, so are you. Be sure they like the ride.

5. Reilability is a guessing game, new or used. Most coaches seem to be at the 5,000 mile a year useage level. That is sort of the minimum, as seals and such don't like to sit unused. The diesel engines in these coaches are generally rated at around 1 million miles mean time before failure, meaning about equal numbers are more that that and less than that, so call it 750,000 miles for possible problems. An RV will not hit those numbers.

Change all the fluids and filters annually or at 15,000 miles and things should last a very long time.

Best wishes.
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Old 10-13-2016, 09:20 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Jay View Post
1. We recently acquired an '06 Country Coach, plus a towed and the tow package, for less than your low budget. We purchased from a dealer in Junction City, OR, and delivery was wonderful. The tires and batteries are a year old. The foggy windows have all been repaired. The coach has the Cat C-13 525 hp 1650lb torque engine. All filters and fluids were changed. After using it for over 2 weeks two water leaks were discovered and a quick trip back to the dealer and they were resolved. "Quick Trip" is a 7hour drive each way, but well worth it. The competence and experience in Junction City is amazing. They know all the systems, and they sell and service all the major upscale brands, even if they are no longer made.

We started out looking at actual bus conversions, such as Prevost and Bluebird Wanderlodge for the structural integrity, and liked the CC semi-monocoque shell as it is very close to the Prevost, and different in a good way from the box on rails approach. We also liked the pre-emissions engines, and the fact that the builders were still profitable in 2006 and had not started on cost reductions yet. Also, the overall design looks quite similar to the current models.

All the makes you listed are respected names. I am partial for the above reasons. Perhaps the most critical item is deciding who to buy from in terms of long term support and service. If your business will require travel, consider returning to the original or a trusted dealer/servicer once a year for any needed service and repair

2. Get a Motor Carrier Atlas, which shows where large rigs can go. Rand McNally publishes them. If you proposed route is not shown in enhanced red, there is a reason and you need to avoid it. Overlength is not usually an issue unless you did something else to trigger a stop.

3. The bigger issue is Torque in my opinion. Over the road commercial trucks usually start at around 1400lbs and go up from there. I had a truck and trailer combo the weighed 32,000lbs and at 800lbs torque was a dog on the hills. My simple rule is 400hp/1400lb torque is a minimum, 500+hp and 1600lb torque is ideal.

4. Critter comfort is important. If they are happy, so are you. Be sure they like the ride.

5. Reilability is a guessing game, new or used. Most coaches seem to be at the 5,000 mile a year useage level. That is sort of the minimum, as seals and such don't like to sit unused. The diesel engines in these coaches are generally rated at around 1 million miles mean time before failure, meaning about equal numbers are more that that and less than that, so call it 750,000 miles for possible problems. An RV will not hit those numbers.

Change all the fluids and filters annually or at 15,000 miles and things should last a very long time.

Best wishes.
What is the name of the RV dealer in Grand junction? I will be going through there in a new or two and need some minor work done.
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:15 PM   #21
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Well, it is Junction City, OR, and Grand Junction is in CO. In OR, try Oregon Motor Coach, Premier RV, or Country Coach/Winnebago. All are excellent, I used Premier.
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Old 10-14-2016, 09:36 AM   #22
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We just went through this. After a lot of research and looking, we bought a '04 Newmar Mountain Aire 4016 with the 400ISL and IFS Freightliner XC chassis. The three slide floor plan is perfect for two full-timing.

I got it from the second owner and all maintenance was complete and up to date. Both he and the first owner were meticulous about maintenance. Included was a 30" tall stack of 3 ring binders with all of the maintenance records since new, factory manuals and manuals for every system in the coach. 6 new batteries, new 37" Samsung front TV, satellite dish, it runs and drives like a dream. I did put 6 new Toyo tires on it so everything is good to go.

It was 1300 miles from us but since it was exactly what we wanted I drove down to see it and negotiated the purchase then flew down and drove it back. We could not be happier with it. It is a used, well built upper level coach made by a quality company, still in business, that is in excellent condition for a very reasonable cost.
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Old 10-29-2016, 10:05 PM   #23
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Thanks everyone for all the great insight and suggestions. Our near term plans have changed a little. We've decided to part time it for the next couple of years which changed our coach budget and requirements for the time being.

We ended up making an offer on a '03 Tiffin Allegro Bus with the Cummins ISL 400hp. We really like the floor plan, has some nice upgrades, service records, newer tires all around and new batteries (house and chassis). We should be taking delivery early next week assuming the pre-purchase inspection doesn't turn up any bad stuff.

Thanks again and see you on the road!
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Old 11-19-2016, 01:33 AM   #24
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We have the ISL 400. Good torque and power. You won't "normally" need more than 1/2 throttle. Good engine. Have fun out there!
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