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Old 07-19-2012, 08:07 AM   #1
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Country Coach anyone?

I can't help it. I'm just smitten by these things...i believe some of the best class A values out there are 02-05 affinity's, allures, or even a lexa! Wow, such construction and amenities...heated seats for long trips, aqua hot endless hot water for long showers and heated floors for warm feet, large capacities for boondocking...powerful diesels for easy highway, mountains and hi ccw and towing capacities...hi quality interiors materials, construction...what's not to like? For fulltiming motorhome is there anything better? My biggest hurdle is fitting my wife and kids in it as they typically are designed for wealthy retired couples.

The question is what is the worst, most expensive problem you could have with one of these older high end coaches...and, what's the optimal length for roomy comfort yet still be able to stay at beautiful state and fed parks?
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:12 AM   #2
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The worst and most expensive problem???? The power plant that's pushing that rig.
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:06 AM   #3
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I agree with the above answer. However, the CC is a wonderful coach and most new coaches only have a 1 year warranty so it's a fairly short time to see if "things" will last. If you find a well maintained coach with the service records available, can get it inspected, and buy it for a reasonable/fair price, I'd jump at a used CC. We've owned 3 DP'ers, 1 used and 2 brand new. It took about a year to get the new units sorted out and the depreciation was horrific. Buying a high end used coach should make your first year of ownership less stressful, your depreciation curve mush more to you liking and the quality of a CC cannot be denied. As I said, don't be afraid of a GOOD used high end CC, you'll have a smile on your face every time you pull out to take a trip! Good Luck.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:13 PM   #4
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The most expensive things are the engine and transmission. If either of those fail, it is not the fault of any coach manufacturer.

At 40ft, you would be pushing the length limit on staying in state and federal parks as most of them were built way back when a 27 footer was huge.

I would not consider a Lexa or the Rhapsody when looking for a Country Coach.

I'll keep our special ordered '02 40ft Intrigue.
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Old 07-19-2012, 01:37 PM   #5
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Our 17 year old Magna has served us well for over 10 years. The body style and interior was utilized for at least 1994 to 2002 with a bunch of improvements and upgrades as the years passed.

A 2005 Affinity/Magna was the first in a body style change over I think. I am always reserved on first year vehicles, but 7 years is plenty of time for problems to be visible to the next buyer.

I agree that the Lexa and Rhapsody did not stay in the lineup very long for good reasons.
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:45 AM   #6
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We have a 2002 36' Intrigue and love it and are starting our 3rd year full timing. We bought it used with 56k on and now have 77k on it. Here's the list of things we have had to have fixed or replaced. Front passenger seat (wife couldn't stand the old one) Batteries, Starter, tires (they were original), radiator (rebuilt pretty common I guess use the right anti freeze for big diesel engines) 2 air leveling valves, inverter (upgraded to a 2500 if you do it get a pure sign wave inverter), various hydraulic hoses (not a bad idea to figure on replacement cost for all hoses in purchase price and deduct what you'll have to pay) slide seal, generator sensor repair (cheap part but they had to pull the generator out of the rig to get to it $$$) seal on toilet, awnings (replaced 3) plus annual service on motor, transmission, and generator (more often if you use it a lot follow manufactures recommendations) Note on service I always try to have Cummings do the service on the the drive train and generator. Their shop rates are very competitive and they do it right the first time. The only exception was the radiator and if I had to do it over I would have taken it to Cummings. Total cost spent on parts, labor and service since we got it 24.5k (note 1k was for body work but that's another story) Another choice if this scares you off is to consider a Foretravel. They probably would have the similar issues but they are still in business. Good luck
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:15 PM   #7
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Thank you for the insightful, thoughtful responses. Pumper, those details, although i need to hear about it, are abit daunting. Thank you so much for sharing. The 03 allure cascade 37 first avenue is a bank short sale. it needs tires so i offered 65k...still waiting to hear
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:39 PM   #8
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You are on the right track.They are very well put together and ours drives great. We have the Allure sunset bay model. We take two grandkids in it and dont have any problems. Good luck
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:07 PM   #9
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We have a 2002 Affinity. We are in it right now on a two month trip. IMHO Country Coach was the best used value available three years ago when we bought ours. We have driven ours about 18,000 miles in three years. CC and Foretravel are likely the best made production type coaches from the years you mention. There are major differences between and Allure and Affinity. New the price on the Affinity would likely be double that of an Allure. In my opinion both coaches are made to very high standards. The basic running gear will be some what similar. However, some of the lower end CC's have rear radiators. I would avoid those. Don't forget Intrigue. That is a model between Allure and Magna.

I bought our coach for 30,000 under wholesale NADA. But the previous owner was a jerk. I don't think he ever repaired anything. So it has taken me three years to get everything right. And I have given back much of the 30 grand. My suggestion unless you love to work on motor homes is you avoid bank repos and buy a coach from an owner who has taken really good care of it and can prove that with records. If you do buy a bank repo or short sale. Consider extended warranty. We got one and it has saved us a ton of money.

We have had mostly fru fru go out. The really fancy stuff that comes with high end coaches. The running gear has not caused problems except last summer we blew a turbo. Our extended warranty paid for all of the replacement except 300 bucks.
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:12 PM   #10
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Spartan coach (2001) New radiator $5000
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:10 PM   #11
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IMO, the sweet spot is in the 2004/2005 Allure/Intrigue with ISL400. A foot note on the 2004, be sure to validate the ISL is the Common Rail fuel supply sytem, vs the older CAPS. (Our 2004 is the older CAPS, and I thought it was the Common Rail.)

If you bump up to the Magna/Affinity line, you also bump up into the Big Cat or possubly ISM Cummins in those years. The Intrigue can be found with optional Big Cats sometimes too.

Two key things to look for above and beyound normal condition of rig and maintenance records, are to see if they have dry PTO's (If so, has it been retro to Wet PTO? That is good), and also look for the Aluminum Radiator in many of these coaches. If it is, vs Steel, has it been replaced yet?

Other then that, the CC's are a find coach, and a good value.

If looking, I would also toss in Foretravel, Travel Supreme from that era - as they too are very good caches.

Size? Well we went with 40' because we wanted the extra CCC and stabilty that Tag's bring to the rig. In 2 1/2 years, we've never been turned away from a park. Including Calif State Parks that said max 36'. But if you want to hit 100% of the parks, then your best bet is 36' and under. CC and Foretravel make between 32-38' rigs. A few 38' include Tag's, but are a bit tight on basement space. That is why we went 40'. We find that with the drive axle so far forward, we can turn and manuever in very tight spaces with this 40'. Better then my friend with a 36' DP.

Great values available in this era coach.

Best of luck on your search!
Smitty
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