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Old 09-07-2013, 08:06 PM   #1
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considering a diesel pusher

I currently pull a 32' drv 2006 and live in it full time. We want to upgrade to larger unit and had't considered Class A diesels before. We don't want to spend over 80,000 so used would be what we seek. Really have never researched them before so know little about them. What units would hold up to full time usage in the 40' range. Don't want to start a war on brands but some units are likely not suited for full time. I don't snow which ones.
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:26 PM   #2
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Everyone's going to recommend what they have as the best, but any major brand should serve you well. I can recommend a Newmar as I can speak for the quality.
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:46 PM   #3
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There are many fine, lightly used DPs in your price range if you shop carefully and wisely. You do need to do some research on what to look for and how to buy. I suggest that when you think you have the right one, find an independent inspector to look things over for you.

I think the other post is correct in saying most major manufacturers can or will meet your needs, but some makes, models and years have had more problems than others. Before you worry about all that, figure out your needs - floor plan that suits you is a big one. Then as you narrow your search - look into the specifics.

Once you get into the Class A DP lines you generally find most if not all can support full time. Just make sure you get the carrying capacity you need support the lifestyle you need. It is true some are built better than others, but most are built well enough. After a point - $ values go up and lots of it is for things you may not want or need. Many of those things are nice for some folks - others don't care to pay for fuel to move marble showers - heated tile floors for example down the road.

Happy hunting.
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:07 AM   #4
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That interesting. I from the world of 5th wheels and lots of them are not suited for full time use. didn't know this wasn't true of motorhomes. Was noticing chassis, drive train mostly same across brands.
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:34 AM   #5
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That interesting. I from the world of 5th wheels and lots of them are not suited for full time use. didn't know this wasn't true of motorhomes. Was noticing chassis, drive train mostly same across brands.
That's about where the similarity stops (chassis). Although, even here, a 300hp engine is not as powerful as a 350 hp and may be a problem for you depending on your needs.

When it comes to fit and finish and coach design, that's where doing your homework comes into play. An example would be cabinetry. Most upper end coaches use real wood ply veneer boxes and solid raised panel doors. Other cheaper brands will use a particle board with a photo finish vinyl wood grain. There are many other materials that are sub standard like vinyl board walls with batons instead of full vinyl papered walls , hollow core doors instead of solid wood paneled doors, neoprene shower surrounds instead of full one piece fiberglass walls, vinyl floors instead of ceramic tile, rubber roof instead of 1 piece fiberglass, etc. Most of the other components are standard items.

There are a lot of cheaply made newer coaches that look good and are priced below what a quality manufactured older coach goes for. It's all a matter of choice, but you get what you pay for.

You need to do your homework and compare! The right coach for you is out there!
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:58 AM   #6
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There are a lot of cheaply made newer coaches that look good and are priced below what a quality manufactured older coach goes for. It's all a matter of choice, but you get what you pay for.
X2; before owning our Beaver we had owned a brand new, rather expensive Class C, a Coach House, because we had thought it was well built. But we were very disappointed with its interior finishing details. All the cabinetry was vinyl or laminate over particle board.

Our Beaver's cabinets are solid wood; if you accidentally scratch something it is easily re-stained. Ours happen to be real walnut solids and veneers. At the current price of walnut I would hate to think what it would cost to reproduce them.
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:12 AM   #7
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We recently traded in our 2005 Holiday Rambler Endeaver with 25,000 miles on it for a new Itasca Ellipse. Sometimes I wonder why we traded it in other than the DW's desire for a change of scenery, as we had almost zero problems with it and it served us well for the trips we went on, including several trips to Baja CA. I'm sure this type of Coach would be in the price range you have, and it would be a comfortable full timer. In shopping around before we bought the Itasca, we saw many attractive lightly used coaches with very reasonable pricing which is of course negotiable. In buying any new or used vehicle there is always the chance of problems, but that is the risk we all take.
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:14 AM   #8
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The rule of thumb for a motor coach power to weight ratio is 1 HP per 100lbs. minimum for acceptable mountain driving, more HP is better IMO.
When we began used MH shopping we were advised by many to look at the top manufacturers like, Monaco, Tiffin, Foretravel, Newmar, etc, in other words high-quality units. However, we finally decided on a Winnebago Ultimate Freedom built on a Spartan chassis, which was that mfgrs. top of the line MH. The Spartan chassis is considered to be the best chassis available for firetrucks and emergency vehicles, bus's, and MH's, although owners of different chassis will/might differ.
The powerplant is a toss-up, Caterpillar and Cummins are quality-built and are designed to last for hundreds of thousands of miles before requiring an overhaul. Caterpillar no longer sells their engines for on-road use.
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:39 AM   #9
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. The Spartan chassis is considered to be the best chassis available for firetrucks and emergency vehicles, bus's, and MH's, although owners of different chassis will/might differ.
The Spartan is a fine chassis, but IMHO your statement is too great a generalization. Many high-end manufacturers don't use either Spartan or Freightliner chassis and simply build their own. To stretch your generalization a bit, I doubt you would argue that the Spartan chassis is better than the Prevost for buses, for example.
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:54 AM   #10
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Generalizations abound! I don't believe that in order to be suitable for full time - hard wood or tile is required or all they are "cracked up" to be. I don't believe that someone that spends 10% or less of their time in mountains needs the rule of thumb 1hp/1k pounds (although there are underpowered rigs for even the flats) to be suitable for full time. Not all vinyl is poor quality - not all wrapped wood is crumble board. If you are looking for a DP in the 5 - 10 year old range that is rightly valued at $85k you may not have the finest of everything - but I still feel most can take full time living. Something is guaranteed to go wrong with everyone of them somewhere down the line. All generally speaking of course. Like I said, find what like, do your homework and have fun.
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Old 09-08-2013, 02:36 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by glennwest View Post
I currently pull a 32' drv 2006 and live in it full time. We want to upgrade to larger unit and had't considered Class A diesels before. We don't want to spend over 80,000 so used would be what we seek. Really have never researched them before so know little about them. What units would hold up to full time usage in the 40' range. Don't want to start a war on brands but some units are likely not suited for full time. I don't snow which ones.
In your price range there are many high quality DP units on the market. Do your homework, go look at units, drive them, have the DW look the inside over. You should have no problem finding something you like that fits the bill. We did and never have looked back. Good luck.
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Old 09-08-2013, 02:41 PM   #12
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Hi glennwest,
Consider the following as your top three things to get right first (before you purchase):
1. Floor plan sells the coach.
2. Can the coach carry all your stuff and you? (CCC or NCC)
3. Can the coach tow what you want to tow? (GCWR and hitch rating).

After that one can make the decision as complicated as one wants.
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Old 09-08-2013, 03:25 PM   #13
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In your price range there are many high quality DP units on the market. Do your homework, go look at units, drive them, have the DW look the inside over. You should have no problem finding something you like that fits the bill. We did and never have looked back. Good luck.
Are you satisfied with the power of the 350hp motor in your unit? I assume you are 39' in length.
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Old 09-08-2013, 05:38 PM   #14
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Are you satisfied with the power of the 350hp motor in your unit? I assume you are 39' in length.
I have a 8.3 ltr 350 hp Cummins Turbo Diesel in my 2000 Monaco Dynasty 40'. Just recently, filled up coach so it was full of fuel and I towed my 4x4 back through the Rocky Mountains behind the coach.
On small regular grades, it didn't even wince, but on a long steep grade up to the summit of Rogers Pass, she dropped to about 42 mph and held. I can easily live with that. Temp gauge only came up about 5 degrees through the long climb with Turbo gauge between 20 - 25. Temp dropped back to normal as soon as I was over the pass.

They say once you've had a diesel, you never go back to gas. I know I wouldn't.
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