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Old 01-01-2015, 02:01 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by GaryKD View Post
Hi fred061164,
Please consider you may be approaching the next coach from the wrong direction. For me, the three most important items are:
1. Floor Plan - Usually the wife's choice. If she does not like it, do not buy it.
2. Will the coach carry you, all your people and all your stuff? This is CCC or NCC depending on the Brand. (GVWR minus UVW)
3. Will the coach tow what you want to tow? GCWR minus GVWR and the receiver weight rating.

Once the above mentioned items are good, one can make the decision as complicated as one wants to make it. Notice the fuel used is not on the top 3 list of things to be sure about. I am in the process of getting the exterior (2015) and interior (2016) of our coach refurbished.
I would add #4 ride you can have all the above and ride like a truck TEST DRIVE.

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Old 01-01-2015, 02:19 PM   #16
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I bought an entry level diesel for the engine mostly and a few more things that our gasser did not have. We travel through the Virginia mountain s frequently and I hated the gas engine for this kind of driving. Also the exhaust brake added enormous safety in braking. No regrets. And our coach does not have ( or need) air brakes. Air ride would be nice but im not complaining....our ride is good enough.

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Old 01-01-2015, 03:03 PM   #17
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Sort of a repeat of others, but a few comments:

If you really want to pull a heavier toad, then also consider braking capability too.

Drop years to remain within budget range, and buy the best quality rig that you can.

Choose one with a BIG BLOCK engine, with either the transmission Retarder (Foretravel), or a true Jake Compression Brakes. Many of the BIG BLOCKS, have 3 Stage Jakes. Why big block? It provides you with much enhanced braking capability. And usually will yield as high, or higher, MPG then a small or mid size block engine.

Waiting until about two-three years ahead of your expanded usage, and retaining some budget cushion to fund modifications of the rig, will allow you to set this up for how you both like it. A good quality coach, provides the foundation that is worthie of upgrading for the long haul.

I wish you the best of luck on your search ahead,
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Old 01-01-2015, 03:34 PM   #18
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The Red and the LE both have 5000# hitches I saw a coach just like mine towing a full size pickup with a golf cart in the back of the truck I think I heard the Transmission is what limits you to 5000#
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:02 AM   #19
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Thanks for all of the feedback. That's really interesting view from those in entry-level DP. As I research for example Newmar, there are huge differences in even the weight in the same lineup. For example, from the lightest to heaviest Dutch Star, there is an 8,000 difference yet the engine is the exact same. That's a lot of weight - I'm sure that really affects the driveability. I've got plenty of research to do! :-)
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Old 01-02-2015, 10:41 AM   #20
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You will be taking a bath on your 2014 trade in. Already owning a more or less entry level Monaco DP, if I were in your position I would look for a used luxury DP. I can recommend a Diplomat/Ambassador and above on the Monaco/Holiday Rambler line from perhaps 2002 up to and including 09. That includes Safari and those beautiful Beaver coaches, too. There are other great coach manufacturers. Good luck.
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Old 01-02-2015, 10:56 AM   #21
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We had a similar problem. We need to tow a Tahoe (5,500#) which is over the 5,000# rating of all gas coaches on the F53 chassis. That meant that we had to go to a DP or a Super C. We also dry camp a lot so that means we needed to carry more water. Bottom line we purchased a Thor Palazzo 33.3 bunkhouse. It has over 3K of CCC after we have full water and fuel. Obviously the Palazzo is an entry level DP. Cheap cabinets, vinyl flooring, modified sine wave inverter rather than true sine wave, generator isn't on a slide out tray no heat pump. The higher end DP units have tile flooring and some other bells and whistles. I don't need the bells and whistles I need a coach I can use with the family which includes pulling the Tahoe or our 7K cargo trailer.
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Old 01-02-2015, 04:34 PM   #22
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your coach is a Spartan???
Nope - mine is based on Freightliner mechanicals. American builds their own Liberty chassis, but gets the front and rear portions pre-assembled. In 2004 and 2005 they offered a choice of Spartan or Freightliner, but then went to Spartan only when relatively few ordered FTL. Now they have gone back to FTL and dropped Spartan from most models.

Prior to 2004 they used a Spartan complete chassis, and before that, in the 90's, the Gillig bus chassis.
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Old 01-02-2015, 07:15 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Smitty77 View Post

Choose one with a BIG BLOCK engine, with either the transmission Retarder (Foretravel), or a true Jake Compression Brakes. Many of the BIG BLOCKS, have 3 Stage Jakes. Why big block? It provides you with much enhanced braking capability. And usually will yield as high, or higher, MPG then a small or mid size block engine.
Very few people seem to appreciate the advantages of having a big block diesel. IMHO nothing beats cruising along with an engine that's loafing along at ~1300 rpm with a real compression brake for slowing down. My 12-liter CAT accelerates off the line nearly as fast as a car. You can squeeze 300+HP out of a 6.7 liter engine, but it's nothing like having a big, heavy duty one.
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Old 01-02-2015, 09:51 PM   #24
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Fred, we went from an entry level gasser to an entry level diesel 12 years ago. Still in the entry level diesel. The difference back then was unbelievable. The fit, finish and materials were a tremendous difference between the gas rig and diesel rig. So was the ride. Nowadays with the improvements in the materials used by the higher end manufacturers I don't know if there is that much difference between the high end gas rig and an entry level diesel rig in the wow factor, but the difference in chassis and ride comfort is still unbelievable IMHO.The air ride suspension on a diesel, is to me, is incomparable to a leaf spring suspension in a gas rig with ability to deflate the airbags lowering the chassis closer to the ground. Along with the increased cargo carrying capacity and storage capacity a diesel rig has over gas rigs, diesel is the best way to go for extended use, again IMO.

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Old 01-02-2015, 11:50 PM   #25
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We almost bought a gas 32sa, really nice RV. But in the end, after driving a diesel and a gas back to back, we realized the biggest reason we were jumping to a new, larger RV was for comfort. Less noise, soft ride, no whining engine (some amount of climbing no matter which direction we drive), peaceful conversations, better sounding music, less vibration and bouncing around were all important issues for a the comforts of travel.

At that point I pointed out I'd rather be on an airplane than deal with discomforts. But a lot of factors to consider, distance of trips, how long you will be parked, mostly flat road driving? You might not mind sticking to gas, depending on the type of travel involved.

It must be late, I hope I'm making sense.... lol

Go check out a few diesels and drive them. I don't mind the 10.3 mpg also!
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Old 01-03-2015, 01:05 AM   #26
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Great feedback on those entry level DP units. Our 40 ft Canyon Star gasser gets between 5-9 mpg so far. I'm sure when we add a 4,000 lb toad that mileage wont get any better - but that's OK.

I think the biggest WOW DP feature for me will not be power & quietness of the engine but more ride & braking. I can handle taking it slow but I've hit some rough roads and the old fashion leaf springs really right rough - ugh.

I still have 5 years to use my gasser, but it sounds like I have real good stuff waiting for me in a DP.
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Old 01-03-2015, 07:57 AM   #27
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Fred,you will certainly get a better ride with diesel but gas is fine,I cannot justify in my mind cost of diesel.ihave a 38 ft Tiffin w/ford v10 and am extremely pleased,my dinghy is flat towed,i have been out west thru mountains and valleys and have had no problem.Yes a diesel gets to the top faster than i do but i get there a lot cheaper.just my opinion.

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