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Old 06-19-2013, 09:38 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2013
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Deciding on a 2005 Mandalay

Would like some opinions on a 2005 Mandalay 40B. Have had class C and 5th wheel in the past and now am looking into the class A upgrade. Know the seller through a mutual friend which gives me a beter comfort level of accurate information provided. How about reliability, quality of these units from current / past owners? Thanks. R F S

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Old 06-19-2013, 05:36 PM   #2
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Tiffin Owners Club
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Can't help you with the Madalay but word to the wise: have the MH inspected by a independent service. Ask for all service documents from the owner. Operate ALL systems to make sure everything works. Keep it as impartial as possible because friendships have been lost over things like this and this is not chunk change you are spending.

Mel (Melanie) and Harry
2009 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH
2014 Jeep Wrangler Sport
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:48 AM   #3
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2005 was the last year of the "old" Mandalay design. By "old" I mean the 2-piece windshield and a couple other minor items. In 2006 they went to a 1-piece windshield, which just looks "newer" to my eye.

We own a 2006 Mandalay 40E and love it. The Cummins ISL and Freightliner chassis are a great combination. 400 hp is plenty and the 2-stage Jake Brake easily controls the speed on long downgrades without using the service brakes.

The interior appointments are fine and everything on our coach works - all the time. (I am furiously knocking on wood right now!) We purchased ours from a private owner who was very meticulous about preventive maintenance. As with any coach, how it was cared for in the past has a huge influence on how good the coach will serve you in the future.

I think you would be very pleased with a Mandalay, with the usual caveats...REVIEW THE SERVICE RECORDS.
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:08 AM   #4
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Thanks for response

Thanks for this info. Have heard via internet squable about windshield issues with these units. Do you know of this? On 1 or 2 piece windshields? Also , 350hp. might be undersized for 40 footer?
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:22 AM   #5
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Had a CAT C7 with 330 HP on a 37'MH,good power,no problems.
Uphill keep the RPM @ about 2000!
Siggy & Ursula.
2011 Newmar DSDP 4020 (no Tag, no DEF, 07 emission),
FTL XCR ,ISL 400,2015 Jeep Cherokee Limited, 4x4, V6, Active Drive II, BrakeBuddy
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:00 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by R F S View Post
Thanks for this info. Have heard via internet squable about windshield issues with these units. Do you know of this? On 1 or 2 piece windshields? Also , 350hp. might be undersized for 40 footer?
There were no windshield issues that I am aware of on a 2005. When they went to the 1-piece windshield in 2006 they found that the wiper motor and transmission were not up to the task. Thor/Four Winds has an upgrade for that, and it is free. However, you will not have this issue with a 2005 model. We have not had any windshield issues with our 2006.

The 350 hp Cat C7 was the standard engine on the Mandalay, but the vast majority of owners chose the optional engine, which is the 400 hp Cummins ISL. The ISL has a true "Jake Brake" (a compression brake) which is capable of generating far more braking power than the exhaust brake on the Cat. I can come down 6% grades on the Interstate and not touch my service brakes at all. To me, that is just as important important as the 50 additional horsepower.
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Old 06-23-2013, 12:47 PM   #7
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We drive a 2008 Mandalay 43A -- significantly different from what you're looking at (tag axle, Cummins ISL 425, etc.), but we can vouch for Mandalay's quality.

On the windshield issue, my understanding is that some of the earlier models with 2-piece windshields had issues with glass popping out of the frame, because of excessive flex in the front cap. The factory came up with what they called the "halo fix" -- I believe it involved putting a more rigid frame around the entire windshield. If you call Thor Motorized Services with the Mandalay serial number (not the chassis VIN) starting with "MDD," they could check whether yours was subject to that fix, and whether it was performed. (I doubt they would do anything about it now, though, as the coach is long out of warranty.)

Good luck -

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