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Old 06-14-2013, 07:47 PM   #15
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In my humble opinion, you are listing the wrong priorities. I bet most of the motorhome owners do not do most of their own maintenace. I know I don't.

The first prioity is attitude and common sense. Most MH/s have power steering and power brakes and once you figure out just how big your vehicle is you can handle it. An hour in a parking lot will get you going.
Next is size vs. cost. Go used, cause if you decide in a year if you decide that this is not your thing you will not have spent a fortune for something you dump, just to get rid of it.
Get the dealer to have it weighed and save the results. That will determine the tire pounds.
Take you and your friend to a dealer, get in the rig and see if you can reside confortably in it. Little things like the size of the bathroom, sleeping accomadations.
Space for clothes and stuff, etc.

Driving comfort-- can I see and sit?

If you intend to tow something, do your homework. If you buy it new, get it in writing that it is towable. Not just a salesman word.

Last but not least, the RV market is really down now, try and get the dealer to throw in something like new tires and a warentey.

Another last but not least. Do now drive it off his lot without signing up with someone like Good Sam- basically the towing insurance.
That is it for now.
Keep following this news group, one of the best.
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:31 PM   #16
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When deciding gas or diesel, may want to consider refueling situations. Fueling on one side only or both sides?
Whether towing or not, but in particular with towing, need to consider jockeying the rig at fuel pumps. In gas lanes at most fuel stops this can be a pain. At truck stops, with a diesel rig, you can pull into the semi truck lanes & fuel up from either side, a lot less hassle.
Generally, a diesel will have more torque than a gasser with the same HP. This would be useful in the climbing grades in hills & mountains. Additionally the engine compression brake helps lessen wear & tear on the wheel brakes on down grades.
Generally, diesels have 100K mile or 5 year engine manufacturer warranty
Also, gassers are less expensive to buy vs. a diesel of same size.
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:56 PM   #17
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For me the choice came down to cash flow. It's much easier for me to come up with the smaller costs of gas engine maintenance a couple of times a year than it would have been to come up with thousands at one time.

I am a 62 year old widow and have been living in my 2005 36' Gulf Stream Independence motor home since December of 2011. I tow a 2008 Honda Element.

In November of 2012 I took off on a 6 month trip out to Morro Bay, CA from Central Florida. Mountains, deserts, snow storms, torrential rains, gales, sand storms.... I ran into just about everything on this trip. I have been back in FL since the end of May and am looking forward to doing another trip out west in the spring of 2014.

The only problems I had were ones I created myself by misjudging distances, and I got over that pretty quickly. Now I can thread a needle with this thing .

I love every minute of it and can't imagine going back to a house and land and stuff.

Susan
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:04 PM   #18
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As others have said, gas vs diesel is less important than floor plan and how comfortable you are living in the unit. For example, diesels (class A's) tend to have a single dedicated sleeping area, with supplemental sleeping being on a hide-a-bed type sofa. Might not be the best for long term traveling. Class C's (gas) tend to have a bunk over the cab which doesn't require a lot of conversion to use.

That said, you might want to look at a Thor ACE which should be within your budget. It's a class A with a fold down 'bunk' over the drivers area.

Good luck.
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:13 PM   #19
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Gas or Diesel

One thing to consider. You can replace a complete engine for what it costs to replace an injector pump.
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:59 PM   #20
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One thing to consider. You can replace a complete engine for what it costs to replace an injector pump.
Ummmm.....replaced two injector pumps in both rigs with over 240,000 miles on each. I would guess you have already gone through 4 gas engines??...And at $2500 for an injector pump installed what kind of complete gas engine are you purchasing for less?...or equal?? This gas vs. diesel conversation goes on and on but there's a definite reason diesel rigs cost more.....they last. So if your going to be a short timer then go gas. If your in it for the long haul...go diesel.
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Old 06-15-2013, 12:39 AM   #21
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Extended warranties

Mine has not been useless at all. The first repair almost paid for a years coverage. And that repair was not something diesel specific, it was a slide mechanism.

Oh, only diesels have jake brakes and retarders. Makes going downhill a lot less scary.
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Old 06-15-2013, 04:31 PM   #22
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Choosing a coach

If it were me and I was doing a lot of varied terrain driving I would go with a 34 Journey with 2 slides. Easy to maneuver and a well built coach. Will give you plenty of hill torque for the toad. You can pick up some decent used ones in your price range with lower miles. Many people are selling these to move up to the big 40ft jobs. Stay away from rubber roofs the sun eats them up.
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Old 06-15-2013, 04:39 PM   #23
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With a diesel you will have Speedco's available to you for all of your annual servicing and generator servicing (every 150 hours).

Inexpensive, no appointment required....no stress.

Then you just need to have your transmission serviced (lots of Allison shops), air dryer serviced and your air filter changed (about every 3 years). Most truck shops will be happy to do that for you.

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Old 06-15-2013, 05:17 PM   #24
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If it were me and I was doing a lot of varied terrain driving I would go with a 34 Journey with 2 slides. Easy to maneuver and a well built coach. Will give you plenty of hill torque for the toad. You can pick up some decent used ones in your price range with lower miles. Many people are selling these to move up to the big 40ft jobs. Stay away from rubber roofs the sun eats them up.
My wife and I have been living full time in out DP for 6 years now. I do all my routine maintenance and I'm an old fat guy so I'm sure it's within your ability if that's what you choose. I copied the above post because for a specific brand/ model suggestion, it's a really good one. I encourage you to consider as long a coach as you feel practical as the longer DPs handle better due to the dynamics of the length behind the drive axle. The Journey has been around for many years and there are lots of them available in the used market. The Tiffin Phaeton and Newmar Dutchstar are also good candidates. The Monaco/Holiday Rambler brands have the Diplomat/Endeavor models which are excellent coaches with a very strong chassis.

You need to go to RV shows and rallies and big dealerships and start getting a comfort level and a feel for the direction you might want to take.

I salute your spirit of independence.
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:34 PM   #25
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As others have said, floor plan is first. Can you live in it with the slides in during bad weather?

Newer gassers with a Ford tow/haul transmission engine brake just fine going down hill. So it is back to floor plan.

Read the owners manual on your Ford Escape. It should say if and how it can be towed. Some AWD Escapes can not be towed. Also ask your trusted Ford dealer. I know on my AWD Escape there is a TSB on what to change so it can be towed with four wheels down.
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:49 PM   #26
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Ok I will add my two cents. If you do not have a problem driving your livingroom power train is not the big issue. If you are going to the mountains pulling a ford you might enjoy the torque of a cummins, but it costs more for fuel, oil changes, service etc. My class A pusher has all the room in the bays we need for stuff... My friends just sold a 40' pusher and found a nice 30' class C ford 350 V10 with slide out that has about same living space and lots less expense to operate. Go visit campgounds and ask folks who are sitting out what the like about theirs. good luck....
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Old 07-13-2013, 02:27 PM   #27
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What I worry about most is being able to go cross country pulling my toad and not overheating or burning up the engine on the grades.
then buy yourself a 36ft 350 isc or 400HP isl cummins DPMH preferabley Side cooling.Easy to drive and plenty of room for two to live in.Very quite unlike Noisy gassers, ride 3 times as good as any gasser made and about 8MPG average.will have air brakes that virtually never need service and never wear out plus will have exhust brake helper.way way better basement storage plus other stuff
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Old 07-13-2013, 02:30 PM   #28
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For me the choice came down to cash flow. It's much easier for me to come up with the smaller costs of gas engine maintenance a couple of times a year than it would have been to come up with thousands at one time.


Susan
Thousands each time? Really? Only once in 7 years have we spent more than $500 for a service and that was when we had the differential, transmission, etc., all done at the same time as the regular oil/filters/lube. As someone mentioned, Speedco does routine service and I've seen $250 or so as the price people are paying for oil/filters/lube.

We have a 36' diesel and I do about 1/2 of the driving. Dave threw his back out last year and it was very easy for me to do everything, including hooking up the toad, and move us down the road to our next stop. I love the exhaust brakes for coming down mountain passes - especially in the west where there are REAL mountains () and several miles of 6% or greater grades coming down.

Seriously look at used diesels (often better maintained than used gassers), you can get some very good buys on them.

I would also suggest that you consider where you will be traveling and when - we've found that state and national parks aren't always that available during the summer months because reservations can be made 6 months or more in advance and a lot of people make reservations for sites for every summer weekend, then cancel (or some never cancel) at the last minute if it rains. We've have great luck with county/city parks, as well as saving a lot of money with membership parks. Lots to consider.

Barb
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