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Old 04-15-2013, 10:27 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by ahicks View Post
I wouldn't want to spend much time in a coach without a slide. Doing what you're describing, comfort would be at/near the top of my list. The Diplomat/Endeavor system pretty reliable in my experience. Should be attainable in your price range without too much difficulty?

Internet through a mobile hot spot (which amounts to a cell phone without a keyboard) works great in almost all campgrounds We've been using one for 2 years now. Awesome.

Dp is the plan for heavier chassis components used, more deluxe appliances, air suspension, real braking power, exhaust brakes, and a lot of other reasons. Rad. location not that big a deal 99.99% of the time. I can change the serpentine belt on our rear rad. in half an hour or less. Of course cleaning myself up afterward takes nearly as long!

Diesel genny a must if you plan on using it much - and you likely will traveling when it's warm. Many use them to run roof AC's when on the road in warmer temps.
After further discussion we have decided we need at least one slide.

My concern for Cell internet and campground wifi is that at large events in small community’s my experience is cell service can be spotty at best (Oshkosh, Sturgis). I would guess that campground wifi if the campground was mostly full would be slow and maybe spotty as well.
It is very likely that in the spring and summer months we will be at several large events with the job I do. We may have to try it and see but I suspect we will end up with Hugesnet or some other Sat service.
I like the idea of the Wifi Ranger Gorlininc mentioned.

Every time I have this discussion it always comes up DP so definitely still looking at higher end DP rigs. but side cooling is not a deal breaker.

I think you and the rest are right. Diesel Generator is the way to go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by datrbone8 View Post
Friends just shopped for an RV at Lazy Days in Tucson and couldn't say enough good things about how they were treated there.
I have heard good things about Lazy Days in Tucson from a few people, and even looked at some RV’s advertised in our price range from them. We have been thinking of paying them a visit.
Downside of buying from a dealer is the sales tax. Living in Nevada we don’t pay sales tax on private sales.
Of course if I register the MH in South Dakota like we plan I understand we will have to pay 3% tax if we didn’t pay at time of purchase.

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Originally Posted by Davdeb1 View Post
I have to concur with ahicks. We have a 40 ft endeavor with 2 slides, and weighs out about 24,200 with a a half a tank of fuel, 1/3 tank of water. I sure wouldn't even consider selling anywhere near 30k. I bought mine for 48k with 37k miles on it over a year and half ago.
Yes there are deals out there now, but the diplomat/endeavor chassis is just a solid chassis. There is nothing wrong with a 36-38 ft mid to late 90's model, and if you want slides you will probably have to go higher mileage, and the mid range or more of 30k. And, yes 500k is reasonable, with normal maintenance. I'm sure you can tell I'm not exactly objective about these rigs.
I agree with you and ahicks, a higher end DP will be best for our needs.
I will add Monoco-Diplomat/Endeavor to our search list of, Newmar/Dutchstar, and HR/Imperial.

We have been planning and working on the details for a while. We are nearly debt free. Have been doing everything we can to lower expenses, building a budget with a large enough safety net (we hope).
Selling 75% of what we own (Car motorcycle, furniture,…) pulling savings.
Keeping paid off Grand CHerokee for Toad
We are not going to get a loan for an RV. Being mostly debt free is a big key to making this work for us.

We have a fixed amount we can spend which leaves a cushion for maintenance, repair,… prepping the RV for full timing.
Our budget going forward allows for saving for RV maintenance and repairs. Which like Ed I can perform most of myself. We considered Extended Warranty like Good Sam but haven't had the best luck with such things in the past, have heard bad things about them, and unless we stumble into the right deal on a newer home won't qualify for anyway. So we have decided we will just try to keep a big enough maintenance fund to cover a major component failure.

Current plan is to buy the RV in June. I’m a very patience buyer normally and will wait for the right deal

I really appreciate everyone’s input. I can't tell you how much help you all are in this endeavor of ours.
Maybe we will get to meet some of you at the IRV2 forums rally in September which if all goes as planned we should be able to attend.

Thanks,
Mike and Elisabeth
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Old 04-15-2013, 10:47 AM   #44
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Just a thought- Our friends who bought here in Tucson were Canadian. They arranged to take delivery in California so they didn't have to pay the AZ sales tax. They were also offered the chance to have it delivered to New Mexico prior to taking delivery but California was in the direction they were travelling. Just a thought.

Our Dutch Star has one large slide in the living room/kitchen area. We spend winters living in the thing in Mexico and a motor home without a slide wouldn't work for us.
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:15 PM   #45
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check on Ebay and other reputable sites. I have bought three Diesel Pushers on Ebay and have made money selling each one. The key thing is to inspect the coach before you buy. Lots of things can be repaired or replaced but can you do it yourself? If you are not "handy", you can hire someone to do it, but be prepared to pay at least double the cost of doing it yourself.
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:40 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Ed-Sommers View Post

My 1967 MCI Bus has cost me almost nothing in the way of expenses (comparably) as I employ the KISS method of RVing, and find the, what I call "glitter box" type of RV unbearable.

Ed
I tend to feel the same ... if I want a house full of stuff and complexity I'll stay home. How many TVs do we really "need"? Nearly every day someone is asking "why doesn't my BIRD/Salesman Switch/Satellite System/Surround Sound work"? ... in comparison, fewer are asking "is there a scenic lake nearby"? I just watched the HGTV Smart Home show ... beautiful home and all I could think about was one lightning strike and the whole home will be someone's worst nightmare.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:05 AM   #47
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I will say this about diesels... they have their good and bad points. One bad point... they can and will be expensive to repair when things go wrong. Second... those claiming "diesels will last 1,000,000 miles" have never spent the fuel $$ to run 100,000 miles.
If youre crisscrossing the country and climbing high elevation grades... no doubt there isnt a tool better for the job than a diesel chassis. $30k will buy at least a 5-7yr old/2 slide 35' gas home that rivals a diesel in build quality and finish.
I put the last 300K on my 89 ford diesel tow truck. It had 105K when i bought it. I'd went broke if It had been a gas unit. It now needs a little work and while it will cost double the same work on a gas engine it has lasted more double as long and the fuel savings (gas tow truck 7MPG vs Dsl getting 10-11MPG)will more than pay for it. Diesels don't have to cost a lot of money to maintain or repair. The 98 and newer (some older) generally have computers on them and those are the ones that have the expensive Higher pressure pumps and injectors. Generally the more miles put on a diesel per day the less often it will need maintenance.
I'd much rather have a 95 diesel with 80K than a 2000 model anything with half the miles.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:49 AM   #48
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I didn't take time to read all replies so if I am repeating something I apologize. I found mine on craigs list and another on ebay then got them into a bidding war. Worked out pretty good for me. If you aren't set on a dp a gasser is a little cheaper and you can get a later model for the money. They generally have less expensive upkeep and gas is cheaper than diesel. Not trying to sway you just pointing out your options. Good luck.
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:14 AM   #49
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I didn't take time to read all replies so if I am repeating something I apologize. I found mine on craigs list and another on ebay then got them into a bidding war. Worked out pretty good for me. If you aren't set on a dp a gasser is a little cheaper and you can get a later model for the money. They generally have less expensive upkeep and gas is cheaper than diesel. Not trying to sway you just pointing out your options. Good luck.
Thanks for the advice.
With the miles we will be driving (mountains to) and the weight I think diesel will be better.

Mike
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:15 AM   #50
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Ok, we are ready to buy.

Saturday we are looking at a Holiday Rambler LE for 26,000. Details are sketchy on it. Local private party hasn't been much help in providing information on the rig. Just wants us to come and see it.
Not sure if its side cooling or not yet, but cheaper asking price than rig below.


Also we have exchanged several emails with a dealer 300 miles away about a 1998 Newmar Dutch Star. To my amazement they promptly answered all my questions, even sending an email saying they didn't know but would go look at the coach and answer them. They sent extra pictures and pointed out all the things that were wrong and offered to fix some of them, slide out topper, Tires, Service.
Said they would pick us up at the airport, give the through walk through/operations review and test drive
.

Nice dealer however they are right at are budget limit, not sure we can cover the sales tax. Also from what they show it needs side window seals replaced and the door seal is yellowing. In our price rand we expect to have to do some maintenance. Not sure how much work these items are.
Anyone have advice on window seals? A couple look like this in the photos.

No washer/dryer but plumbed for one. We can add it later so not a total deal breaker, but more expense.

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:20 AM   #51
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The HR you're looking at appears to be an Endeavor, I'm guessing a 96? Very similar to our '97. The grille you see on the side in back is the engine air intake. It's a rear rad. design.

Endeavor's claim to fame is an all alum framework above the floor, reducing GVW about 20-25% over some of it's higher end brothers and sisters (our is 23k loaded). It's a sister ship to the Monaco Diplomat. They have kind of a unique top. Each side is one piece of alum. with a single raised seam in the middle, then one more side to side seam where the roof metal meets the front and rear caps. Metal wraps around down to the side so there are no side seams or obstructions to water runoff. Pretty sturdy design holds up well with a minimum of maintenance. Alum wheels would generally mean it's fairly well equipped as they were an expensive option - but that's a guess obviously.

Good luck on your hunt!
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:08 PM   #52
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As many have said here, you probably should expect to spend at LEAST $10K - $12K in “personalizing” your coach, and repairing/updating things. I went through all that on the first diesel pusher I ever owned, a 93 Monaco 36’. In my case, I am a competent mechanic/electrician/plumber/painter, etc. I spent almost every spare minute of two years upgrading my coach. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I repaired/renewed many things that perhaps did not need it, but much of it was for the purposes of reliability. I was very concerned about roadside breakdowns. I never had one.

Some things you may want to change for personal reasons—for me, two important things were a residential fridge and new Michelin tires. For my wife it was reupholstery and appearance items. If you have to pay someone to do most of those things, the cost can get out of control quickly and anything you save on purchase price is lost. If you read a lot of posts pertaining to the model that you settle on, you can determine the things you may want to do PREVENTIVE maintenance on, so they do not cause you unexpected trouble.

Even if you are capable of doing a great deal yourself, you might want to think about how much time you can devote to your reworking of your coach. It can be really time-consuming.

I do think there are some popular items that were very trouble-prone in their early years, and although I liked them, I decided it was something I should steer clear of as a newbie DP owner. Two of those things were slides and Aqua-Hot. For a very long time, one could never read a day’s posts without reading about problems with those two systems, and the repairs were frequently very expensive. Both those systems appear to have matured and gotten better in recent years.

I always expected my 93 Dynasty, which we loved, to be our last coach. Not so. A friend “hung up the keys” due to health problems and made us an “offer we could not refuse”, so we now have a 2000 Dynasty 36. He bought it new and had the same feelings I did when he bought it. He purposely decided against slides and Aqua-Hot for the same reasons I did, so I am really happy with his choices. So, our beloved 93 Dynasty will soon be for sale, but we have loved every minute of our DP experience. Shop carefully and I’m sure your experience will be the same. No need to be scared of an older coach.

Van W. 2000 Dynasty 36 pulling one Harley. 93 Dynasty 36 (seeking new home) that handles like a dream.
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:29 PM   #53
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We have a 98 Dutch Star that we bought from a dealer last year for just under $ 30K. It's our first motor home. Defying all common sense we bought it from a dealer 2,000 miles away based upon his representations and pictures. It has the 3126B Caterpillar engine on a Freightliner chassis. We've since travelled around 7,000 miles including a winter in Mexico. The chassis/engine combination seems about as close to being bomb-proof as you can get (a big consideration for us as a catastrophic failure in the drivetrain is very expensive on these things). There are a goodly number of these units around and still piling on the miles. I think that's a good indication as to their quality. We're planning on driving it down to Puerto Vallarta for 6 months later this year.

We focused on the "bones" of the unit. Things like window gaskets are easily dealt with while you're enjoying the unit. We liked the idea of not having a ton of money tied up in the thing and probably wouldn't own a newer one. We brought it in for a chassis service/oil & filters change and replaced 2 tires once we got it home. If we watched TV we'd replace the original TV but other than that the only other thing it's needed was a water heater element.

I don't know anything about HR but I would inspect and drive both.

Someone told me there is an old Arabic saying - When you buy a camel look to the seller as much as to the camel.

Good luck in whatever you chose
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:30 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahicks View Post
The HR you're looking at appears to be an Endeavor, I'm guessing a 96? Very similar to our '97. The grille you see on the side in back is the engine air intake. It's a rear rad. design.

Endeavor's claim to fame is an all alum framework above the floor, reducing GVW about 20-25% over some of it's higher end brothers and sisters (our is 23k loaded). It's a sister ship to the Monaco Diplomat. They have kind of a unique top. Each side is one piece of alum. with a single raised seam in the middle, then one more side to side seam where the roof metal meets the front and rear caps. Metal wraps around down to the side so there are no side seams or obstructions to water runoff. Pretty sturdy design holds up well with a minimum of maintenance. Alum wheels would generally mean it's fairly well equipped as they were an expensive option - but that's a guess obviously.

Good luck on your hunt!
I really like the roofs on HRs for this reason. Might especially be helpful with the Fitness pole I plane to mount.
See my other post.
Really hoping for side cool.

With any Luck we will have a motorhome to prep for full time by the end of next week. However I am a patient buyer. (Normally)

Thanks
Mike
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:41 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Vanwill View Post
As many have said here, you probably should expect to spend at LEAST $10K - $12K in “personalizing” your coach, and repairing/updating things. I went through all that on the first diesel pusher I ever owned, a 93 Monaco 36’. In my case, I am a competent mechanic/electrician/plumber/painter, etc. I spent almost every spare minute of two years upgrading my coach. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I repaired/renewed many things that perhaps did not need it, but much of it was for the purposes of reliability. I was very concerned about roadside breakdowns. I never had one.

Some things you may want to change for personal reasons—for me, two important things were a residential fridge and new Michelin tires. For my wife it was reupholstery and appearance items. If you have to pay someone to do most of those things, the cost can get out of control quickly and anything you save on purchase price is lost. If you read a lot of posts pertaining to the model that you settle on, you can determine the things you may want to do PREVENTIVE maintenance on, so they do not cause you unexpected trouble.

Even if you are capable of doing a great deal yourself, you might want to think about how much time you can devote to your reworking of your coach. It can be really time-consuming.

I do think there are some popular items that were very trouble-prone in their early years, and although I liked them, I decided it was something I should steer clear of as a newbie DP owner. Two of those things were slides and Aqua-Hot. For a very long time, one could never read a day’s posts without reading about problems with those two systems, and the repairs were frequently very expensive. Both those systems appear to have matured and gotten better in recent years.

I always expected my 93 Dynasty, which we loved, to be our last coach. Not so. A friend “hung up the keys” due to health problems and made us an “offer we could not refuse”, so we now have a 2000 Dynasty 36. He bought it new and had the same feelings I did when he bought it. He purposely decided against slides and Aqua-Hot for the same reasons I did, so I am really happy with his choices. So, our beloved 93 Dynasty will soon be for sale, but we have loved every minute of our DP experience. Shop carefully and I’m sure your experience will be the same. No need to be scared of an older coach.

Van W. 2000 Dynasty 36 pulling one Harley. 93 Dynasty 36 (seeking new home) that handles like a dream.
I appreciate your input and as we have been discussing We have what we feel is enough to cover upgrades and unforeseen expenses.
I agree with numbers you mentioned.

We also have a couple months to prep and do maintenance. I guess some upgrades may have to be done on the road if they don't before we leave. Are are planning on this being a long continuing project.

Pretty sure I won't have much trouble performing most maintenance/repair/upgrade task.
Very mechanical and experienced with access to most any tools and equipment.

Sorry for the long quotes, miss spellings or incorrect words randomly inserted
Doing this on my phone at lunch

Thanks
Mike
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:50 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by datrbone8 View Post
We have a 98 Dutch Star that we bought from a dealer last year for just under $ 30K. It's our first motor home. Defying all common sense we bought it from a dealer 2,000 miles away based upon his representations and pictures. It has the 3126B Caterpillar engine on a Freightliner chassis. We've since travelled around 7,000 miles including a winter in Mexico. The chassis/engine combination seems about as close to being bomb-proof as you can get (a big consideration for us as a catastrophic failure in the drivetrain is very expensive on these things). There are a goodly number of these units around and still piling on the miles. I think that's a good indication as to their quality. We're planning on driving it down to Puerto Vallarta for 6 months later this year.

We focused on the "bones" of the unit. Things like window gaskets are easily dealt with while you're enjoying the unit. We liked the idea of not having a ton of money tied up in the thing and probably wouldn't own a newer one. We brought it in for a chassis service/oil & filters change and replaced 2 tires once we got it home. If we watched TV we'd replace the original TV but other than that the only other thing it's needed was a water heater element.

I don't know anything about HR but I would inspect and drive both.

Someone told me there is an old Arabic saying - When you buy a camel look to the seller as much as to the camel.

Good luck in whatever you chose
Thanks for the advice.
We are feeling good about the dealer.
They have told us things wrong with it with out even asking. Even taking good photos to show what they were. Tiny cracks on the counter...

I feel they have gone above and beyond and have made an great effort to show us the bad as well as the good.

Doesn't mean I won't give it a close inspection but there some comfort in dealing what appears to be an honest dealer and thinking they have gone over the coach and will take a day to show you the ins and outs of how everything works.

Thanks for your input.

I will keep everyone posted and hope to meet some of you on the road... Maybe the IRV2 rally


Thanks,
Mike
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