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Old 09-08-2012, 07:28 PM   #1
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Considering a 1995 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE 36WB

Hello Forum,
I am considering a 1995 1995 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE 36WB that I found on the market priced considerably below market value. My plans to look at it today had to be cancelled by the seller, but we will try again soon. In the mean time, I though that perhaps some of you could offer insight into the Holiday Rambler brand in particular the Pre-Monaco Holiday Ramblers. Also, if any of you who own or have owned the same year Endeavors could offer any advice on what to look for or look out for, I would really appreciate it.

I found a brochure for the 1995 model year Endeavor, and found it very informative on the differences between the standard and the LE option packages, as well as offering floor plans for the various models, including the 36WB.

The 36WB is built on the Ford chassis, and features the extra tag axle. Does this offer benefits? Or is it just more tires to buy? I often tow a boat, so perhaps the extra weight capacity of the tag is a benefit.

Anyway, thanks in advance for any words of wisdom or opinion you can offer.

Cheers,

Rick
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Old 09-08-2012, 10:22 PM   #2
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I can provide a little general information. First of all, you need to know that I've never seen a model like the one you're considering.

The quality of my 2000 HR Endeavor DP has been very good, and I would expect the same on a 95 model.

The Ford Chassis will be the F-53 chassis. I had a 96 Newmar Dutch Star for a while with the F-53 chassis. It had a tag axle. The tax axle is added to add capacity for more weight, and is normally because the motorhome manufacturer has extended the chassis length. The tag axle will add some stability to the handling. The tag axle will have it's own braking system, so be sure that parts are still available from the manufacturer of the tag axle.

The brakes on the F-53 chassis stop the vehicle well, but require annual maintenance to lube the caliper slides, and the brake fluid should be flushed and replaced every two years. The original calipers had a tendency for the pistons to swell and stick, causing excessive heat on the wheel.

My Dutch Star (37 ft) had above average handling in crosswinds, but was great after I added a rear trac bar.

The Ford 460 engine has a tendency to crack the exhaust manifolds, and a lot of folks replace them with headers to solve that problem.

Hopefully, some other folks that are more familiar with the model you're considering will post some info.

Fred
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:01 AM   #3
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Delam. of course, would be my first concern. Inside and outside.

The tag axle, if it's the same they used in 94 on the Chev. P30 chassis, is supplied by MorRyde. The rubber spring blocks, if they haven't been replaced yet, are past due. Will likely be sagging and cracked.

Headliner may be drooping due to the foam backing starting to break down. I was able to repair the 94 using some pretty HD contact cement.

The basement doors on ours were made of some type of FRP. One of them appeared to have corrosion (?) near the top of it. Repairing that caused us to have to repaint the lower half of the coach.

We had a cracked exhaust manifold, and while fixing that a pin hole in the center of the radiator was found.

All that fixed, it was a pretty nice coach. We liked it - but sold it the following season - at quite a loss, to go DP w/slide. -Al
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:42 AM   #4
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I bought a 1996 36' LE Endeavor last fall. Mine's a diesel sitting on a Freightliner chassis so I can't say much to your drivetrain, but I imagine the house itself is of similar quality, fit and finish - which I've found to be exceptional. The hardwood flooring, cabinetry, hard surfaces, appliances etc. all are still looking/working like new. Outside of a strange expansion joint seperating above the front passenger top corner (which AHicks and I have explored in detail over the last week or two :-), the body, basement doors, roof etc. all seem to hold up well.

As with any coach this old, delam is a deal killer. Check the born-on dates of the tires, run a check on the VIN for prior accidents, climb the ladder and take a good look at the roof seams and openings, check the inside ceiling and especially inside all the upper cabinets for stains or tell-tale signs of leaks.

The Endeavor was never an entry level coach and the LE was a step up from the base model even back then. All in all I'm pretty happy with ours, expecially considering its now going on 16 years old.

Good luck!
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:26 AM   #5
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Thanks for all of your feedback.

I have come from a 1992 Fleetwood Flair, which uses much plywood and particleboard in it's house construction. In the Flair, delamination would have indicated potential wood rot behind the fiberglass sheeted exterior siding.

The Holiday Rambler has aluminum sheeted sides. Does it have wood underneath? I was under the impression the HR's did not use wood in their house construction. Can anyone clarify or confirm?

According to the brochure, the tag axle is indeed a Mor/Ryde, which apparently has rubber blocks instead of airbags. Ahicks suggested something I hadn't thought of: that the rubber blocks would wear out. Is replacing these a big deal? Expensive?

I am a FAA certified aircraft mechanic, and do as much of my own maintenance as possible. I am only limited by heavy lifts and expensive specialized tools etc. I haven't laid eyes on the Mor/ryde setup other than an illustration on the Mor/Ryde website, so I can't tell if the rubber blocks are somthing that just bolt in.

My Flair had the Firestone airbags in the back, which of course were adjustable. Is the Mor/ryde system adjustable? My 30' Flair had a large overhang, and tended to become tail heavy, so it was nice to be able to raise the rear end by inflating the bags. Can I do this with mor/ride? Or perhaps the Mor/Ryde adjusts itself, and simply will not get low in back with tail weight?

Another question: In my old Flair, I have had to change blown tires several times on the road side. Not too big of a deal, it takes about 30 minutes. The Flair wasn't equipped with leveling jacks. I always wondered if leveling jacks could be used to raise a tire off the ground for changing? Anyone know if this is possible or appropriate for the HR Endeavor's jack system?

Cheers,
Rick
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:10 PM   #6
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MorRyde ride height is not adjustable. You could use air bags, but the MorRyde system might complicate that installation.

With determination you should be able to swap out the blocks. Relying on memory, thinking it was about 700. for the required 4 blocks. They do have some pretty comprehensive .pdf manuals on line?

My 94 HR had jacks that would easily lift a tire off the ground. The 97, I wouldn't trust, but it's much heavier. I'm calling somebody if I need anything like that done on the road...

Yes, there's luan under the fiberglass or alum. siding (not sure when they switched? the 94 was alum, the 97 is glass sides/alum roof) The siding is bonded to the luan, then both are riveted and bonded to the alum framework. Fleetwood uses steel framework, so you need to throw in rust figuring the equation there. And of course there's no rivets. The Fleetwood is much more likely to delaminate, but at this age the HR will be more dependant on how well it's been maintained. They can/will delaminate if not cared for.
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rludtke View Post
Another question: In my old Flair, I have had to change blown tires several times on the road side. Not too big of a deal, it takes about 30 minutes. The Flair wasn't equipped with leveling jacks. I always wondered if leveling jacks could be used to raise a tire off the ground for changing? Anyone know if this is possible or appropriate for the HR Endeavor's jack system?

Cheers,
Rick
I don't know what brand of levelers are on the HR, but according to the Power Gear manual, levelers should not be used to raise the tire off the ground for changing. Their manual is explicit in this.
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rludtke View Post
Thanks for all of your feedback.
.....some text deleted.....

Another question: In my old Flair, I have had to change blown tires several times on the road side. Not too big of a deal, it takes about 30 minutes. The Flair wasn't equipped with leveling jacks. I always wondered if leveling jacks could be used to raise a tire off the ground for changing? Anyone know if this is possible or appropriate for the HR Endeavor's jack system?

Cheers,
Rick
Even though the power gear manual warns against doing this, I have done this several times. I never get under the coach without heavy duty jack stands in place, however. If you're not on level ground with wheels chocked, don't raise the rear tires off the ground due to parking brake being applied to those wheels.

Fred
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:32 PM   #9
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I may be able to help you some. I owned a 1995 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE 36WB exactly as you've described. Mine had a 460 Ford with the E40D transmission, Mor-Ryde tag.

First, it is aluminum construction and there is no wood underneath that I'm aware of. Holiday's of that vintage cannot delaminate. However, check for electrolysys issues. I've seen a few (although mine did not suffer from this) that had perforated holes in the outer skin. It also has a one piece aluminum roof, which is highly desirable.

The Mor-Ryde suspension is a reliable tag assembly and IS adjustable. There are different ride heights that can be selected, but there's some disassembly required. The only reason you'd ever want to touch that would be if you weren't riding level.

As far as reliability, mine had 102,000 miles on it when I sold it earlier this year. It was a very reliable unit that took me across the country several times. The ride was very good and I never had any problems to speak of mechanically. HR are very well built units.

The biggest things to watch for would be leaks in the roof. There is a seal at the front and rear that needs attention yearly. I would put Eternabond on both of those seals and be done with it.

If there's anything else specific you want to know, I can try and assist. I owned it for 7 years so I know these rather well. You didn't mention the price, but I sold mine for $15,000 earlier this year. I hated to let it go, but we moved to a DP with slides.
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:36 PM   #10
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A couple of questions come to mind. How heavy is the boat and trailer. You will find that the HR has a tow limit that may be from 3500-5000#. Gas MHs don't go over the 5000# limit on any I know of. If you had that many blowouts on MH tires I wouldwonder if they were old or underinflated. They just don't blow that easy or often.
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:12 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by topdownman View Post
If there's anything else specific you want to know, I can try and assist. I owned it for 7 years so I know these rather well. You didn't mention the price, but I sold mine for $15,000 earlier this year. I hated to let it go, but we moved to a DP with slides.
Thanks Topdown, I may have more questions for you.

The HR I am considering has 53,000 miles, and is advertised at $9,500. I am hopeful that there is nothing wrong with it, as this price is between $7,000 - $11,000 below the advertised prices of comparable HR Endeavors in my market area. I have only seen a few pictures in the ad, so have very little to go on at this time. I have been trying to learn as much as I can about the HR Endeavors, and have started to limit my searches to used HR's as I have become very impressed with the brand, and I haven't even laids eyes on one yet.

bsinmich, The boat I tow is a 1987 Supra Comp TS6M, a tournament ski tow boat. It probably weighs 3000 - 3500 lbs with the trailer.

Judging from the brochure data for the 36WB, a 3500 lb boat should fall comfortably within its tow limits.

Cheers,
Rick
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:22 AM   #12
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The boat will not be a problem. I towed a Jeep Grand Cherokee behind mine for years that was a comparable weight.
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Old 09-10-2012, 07:18 PM   #13
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I had the very same coach in fact it was the very last Endeavor produced before Harley Davidson sold the company. Awesome coach and you can email me with any questions
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:50 PM   #14
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Well, I finished early with business near the town were the Endeavor was located, so arranged to view it this afternoon. I was disapointed. I literally rejected it at 20' away, due the considerable corrosion and pitting on both sides of the coach. It did not appear to have any delamination issues, but the corrosion, worn fabric on the bucket chair, a wiggly drivers chair, and 1500 hours on the generator generally turned me off.

I was surprised by the high generator time for a motohome with only 53,000 miles. or is it high time? I think about how I used my generator, which is principly on the road in hot climates to run the roof air conditioning. I might use it for 6-7 hours a day while driving about 500 miles. I sold my old coach with a generator that had 2400 hours, and about 145,000 miles. I have seen many ads for motorhomes of this vintage that advertise only sevral hundred hours on their generators, so I presumed that 1500 is extravagantly large. So what is considered excessivly high time for a generator? Should I be concerned about 1500 hrs on a generator? I have ruled out this coach, but for future reference, it would be good to know.

It was nice to finally see a HR Endeavor up close. There is indeed a lot to like. I like the walk-thru bathroom, this one had the optional ice maker, which I am sure would be appreciated. I also liked all of the internal and external storage. This motorhome is large. After my Flair, this thing is a little intimidating from a maintenance point of view. I worry that I will need to invest in larger jacks! It's length and height makes it look big and heavy to me.

There is a 1994 Endeavor now advertisedin my area, also with 53,000 miles, for $10,000. I may arrange to go look at it. It is not an LE, and it is advertised as a 34', but it looks like it is 36' feet to me, and it features a tag axle (which I think all but confirms it to be 36' long). The ad doesnt say, but it looks like it is on a Chevrolet chassis, because it has the distinct Chevrolet stearing wheel. Did the 36' Endeavor come on a Chev chassis with tag axle in 1994?

As I parked in the ferry holding lot, waiting for my ferry ride back home to my island, I wondered about the turning radius and manuverability of the 36' endeavor with a tag axle. My Flair was relativly nimble, and easy enough to negotiate tight turns getting onto and off of the ferry, even with a 20 foot boat (my overall length with trailer was 55 feet). Would the Endeavor be noticably less manuverable?

Thanks for following along my little soap opera, and also thanks again for all of your replies and feedback.

Cheers,
Rick
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