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Old 09-05-2010, 05:00 PM   #71
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jmonroe - thanks...lol

cd - very true.
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Old 09-06-2010, 11:58 PM   #72
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Smile diesel or gas???

I can tell you from having 2 class A gas before my 350hp cummins that the brakes alone, being air brakes with the diesel is worth it. Coming down a hill with 4 wheel disc brakes and pulling a car just DOES NOT work for stopping!!!!!!!!!!!! The air brakes with the jake is truly a gift. And DO NOT buy a new diesel because everything is WAY overpriced. A 5 year old or even older are very nice, especially if they were cared for. I own a HR Imperial by Monaco with a 350 hp cummins, getting between 8-10 mpg, dpending on the speed? Remember if you are full timing you will need space, that requires some storage and length. Any 38-40 foot diesels will give plenty of storage. If i was to go again i would buy a used American Coach because their factory service is outstanding, this coming from talking to American owners. The factory is based in Illinois and i was also told that they fix things that wasnt even on the list!!!!!!!! Try that with other companies????? You can buy a very nice coach between 100-130000, being around $300000 new. RV Trader, RV Search, RV Classified etc. all have nice units for sale. And remember even the new ones have to have the bugs worked out for a few years, enjoy!!!
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:51 AM   #73
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If i was to go again i would buy a used American Coach because their factory service is outstanding, this coming from talking to American owners. The factory is based in Illinois...

One state to the right (in more than one sense). The Fleetwood / American Coach plant is in Decatur Indiana. We were just there, doing research prior to ordering our Revolution LE. Hey, if someone didn't buy new, there wouldn't be any used!!
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:42 AM   #74
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I have owned two diesel rigs, the first I bought was a 36' DP that was sitting on a dealer's lot as a consignment unit. The original owner was a pilot and had bought the unit new at the dealership and had kept detailed maintenance records and kept the coach stored indoors when not in use. The coach had an exhaust brake and it helped slow the coach and conserve the service brakes. In April 2009 we traded it in and bought a new 2008 Winnebago Tour 40TD with 400 ISL engine and a two stage compression/jake brake. The difference in braking power is amazing. My manual states that the compression brake in low is rated at 130 horsepower and in high 300 horsepower. It really makes a huge difference in hill country. Generally you have to go to the ISL 400 to get a true jake brake up until that level they are pretty much all exhaust brakes. Be careful as some people call theirs a jake brake but really have an exhaust brake. Good luck.
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Old 09-07-2010, 01:22 PM   #75
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Be careful as some people call theirs a jake brake but really have an exhaust brake. Good luck.
Jake is short for Jacobs, they make both the exhaust and engine brake.
See their website. Jacobs Vehicle Systems - Home
I have the real Jacobs exhaust brake on my Dodge Cummins 1-ton dually, it works great in that application.
J
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:42 PM   #76
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Thanks...wow...so much to check on.
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:42 PM   #77
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leafs - so you like the Fleetwood American Coach?
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Old 09-08-2010, 02:48 AM   #78
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Yes Sherri Im a fan of American because of the feedback i received from owners about the company truly taking care of them and their issues. I have a HR Imperial which is a Monaco product but since Im in Ohio i would have to drive out to Oregon for any fixits? Luckily I have a great local mechanic and a small RVdealer who also has a great fixit person for other things. You surely will have to have a decent mechanic who you can trust, near your HOMEbase.If you are fulltiming then the simple oil changes can be done at a reputable truck stop. My other choice is Country Coach but they are out of business, so you would definitely have to have a good place to take care of it. I have seen some gorgeous American Eagles for sale under $140000, which is a abargain being over $350000 new, 2002-2005. You just have to look around and you will findone. But then again it is a personel preference when you go to a dealer and drive a few, you might like something else? Take your time because it is a buyers market, good luck!!!!
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:06 PM   #79
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Thank you.
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Old 09-13-2010, 05:44 AM   #80
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Question Annual service in Gaffney ?

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Annual service in Gaffney (Freightliner chassis home) can run $1,200-1,500, depending on whether it is the "heavy" year (with the air brake filter cannister and the power steering fluid change) or not. There is a differential oil change, too.
CHASFM, I was following you pretty well until you got to, " Annual service in Gaffney..." .What all does an "annual service " entail, how necessary is it, doesn't mileage factor in and what the devil is Gaffney ?
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:33 AM   #81
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leafs, your advice of taking your time are words to live by AND your comment regarding an older coach having the bugs worked is VERY well taken.

At the very least, looking at used coaches will give one an idea of just how well they are made-if everything is still tight and together at 10k plus miles I think you will have an idea of the overall quality of the manufacturer.

But I would add that while taking your time is critical, taking your time while having SOME ONE ELSE (knowledgeable) along side is essential to making certain a purely emotional decision is not made.

By the way, those wonderful receptacle checkers should be in the pocket of everyone looking at any motorhome, trailer-new or used.

Remember the words by betsy/tom 'please don't end up like us'
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:40 AM   #82
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Sherri,

A couple of things that I have learned in owning our 98 American Eagle for 18 months and 20,000 miles.

-You can get a whole lot of coach for much less than your budget if you are willing to be patient and look for a "vintage" coach that was the flagship for the manufacturer at the time of production. Our American Eagle is an example of such a coach.

-DP maintenance need not be extraordinarily expensive. When you read about people spending large dollars to have their oil bathed front axles serviced you need to know that there is another way to get the basics covered and covered well at a reasonable cost. As you will be traveling you can route your trips when lube, oil, filter and genny service are required by a Speedco location that will take good care of your unit.

-Just had my Eagle serviced at Speedco's Brunswick Georgia location (on your way to the Keys). Chasis lube, Engine Oil Change (21 quarts of Rotella T), Oil Filter, Primary Fuel Filter,Secondary Fuel Filter, Coolant Filter, Front axle oil check, Rear differential oil check, SCA check, Engine Oil Analysis, Generator Oil Change (3.6 quarts of Rotella T), Genny Fuel and Air Filter change.

-Total cost and 1 hour in and out(no appointment required) was $252. I supplied the Primary Fuel Filter and Generator Air Filter as I knew from prior experience Speedco does not stock those items. My costs were around $35 for those filters so the total spend was $287. Not bad for the items that are required once per year.

-The other Preventive Maintenance that will be required in alternating years are the transmission, coolant change and hydraulic system oil and filter changes. As I will not have these done until 2011 when they are due, I do not have a cost for you on those.

A vintage flagship Diesel Pusher should give you the following positives:

-Independent front suspension. You want a coach that is a pleasure, not a chore to operate

-Range between fuel stops. Look for fuel tanks holding 150 gallons

-Large tankage for fresh, grey and black water...gives you flexibility on your travels

-Large CCC and storage space so that you can live comfortably

-Excellent thermal and acoustical insulation---double pane windows are a must!

-Large capacity battery banks and higher wattage inverter/converter.

-Redundant heating and cooling sources (2 A/C's and 2 furnaces).

-Heated tanks for winter camping

-A very logical design that makes all of your actions one big "Easy Button"... tank filling, dumping, tank flushing for grey and black will make it easy for you to single hand the unit without a lot of hassle

-Continued support from your coach and chassis manufacturer. When I call either American Coach or Spartan you would think I just bought a new Eagle instead of a product they built in 1998

Regarding operation down steep grades, with a DP and an Allison 3000 series transmission you can safely manage all grades with minimal use of your service brakes and your engine brake. Simply put the Allison in 4th gear as you start down the mountain...use your engine brake (most will be a Pac Brake versus a Jake) and service brakes to get your speed down to your comfort level. The Allison Transmission will not allow your engine to over-rev coming down the mountain and will hold your comfort speed in most situations.

Last but not least, try to make your first coach your last coach. Our Eagle is our first RV and it has been a pleasure to own and we will not have to take the depreciation hits that many folks experience as they upgrade. Depreciation is the biggest expensive of ownership...you can minimize this by buying the vintage coach and not having to buy the next one!

Good luck and have fun!!!
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Old 09-15-2010, 06:51 AM   #83
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FormerBoater-two hundred eighty seven dollars for an oil change, well that is simply outrageous-I'll bet that you could have this done on a gasser A for, well, about the same price-see how 'silly' it is going diesel, plus you have to contend with those pesky extra miles per gallon and all those smiling polar bears, I understand that they can scratch a diesel coach when they go up to one and hug it.................

I hope that Sherri prints out your excellent post.
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:17 AM   #84
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Just as an aside. The 'Fleetwood' Revolution, has now been officially brought under the 'American Coach' umbrella. My understanding is, this is 'retroactive'. Any calls to Fleetwood from Revolution owners have been handled by the American division for some time. It was designed by the American engineering group, and is even built on the same line. It has all the features recommended in FormerBoater's post, except the independant front suspesion. Would I have liked IFS, yes. Will I miss it, I doubt it. The only DP I've driven was a beam axle, and I intentionally sought out a very rough section of highway to take it over, at highway speed. I found it very acceptable in its performance; I'm not loosing any sleep over it.

One advantage to a beam axle, it's dirt simple, far fewer bushings and joints to be serviced and eventually needing replacement. The king pin's can last virtually forever, given proper service.
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