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Old 10-13-2018, 08:25 PM   #1
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Help me, please: Class A DP Advice

I'm sure it's been discussed before somewhere in this forum, but I have not been able to find it after an hour+ of searching; we are in the serious hunt stage for a DP motorhome, probably in the 2000-05 age range. I think we have a pretty good handle on the floor plans & features we would want, but without bad-mouthing anyone, is there a brand or model that you would avoid? Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 10-13-2018, 08:33 PM   #2
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I'm sure it's been discussed before somewhere in this forum, but I have not been able to find it after an hour+ of searching; we are in the serious hunt stage for a DP motorhome, probably in the 2000-05 age range. I think we have a pretty good handle on the floor plans & features we would want, but without bad-mouthing anyone, is there a brand or model that you would avoid? Thanks in advance for your help.
I personally would avoid a brand that is no longer in business even though there are good ones. That's just me however. I like having the company to contact for support.
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Old 10-13-2018, 08:38 PM   #3
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You will have a problem with factory support for anything that old. Given that I would be more interested in a solid unit with maintenance records. I'd also want around a $15-30,000 repair stash because there are a lot of parts that will age out and be expensive to replace. Some of those parts can cause catastrophic failures that cost on the high end.
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Old 10-13-2018, 10:49 PM   #4
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I have a 2004 Itasca Horizon 40AD and have had absolutely no problem with customer support or parts availability. Build quality ten to fifteen years ago was excellent not like my 2016 that was falling apart after it left the dealer. A good exclusionary Service Contract will reduce your fear of a large repair bill
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Old 10-13-2018, 11:01 PM   #5
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I have a 2006 Monaco. Pre DEF, YEA!! I broke a swivel lever on the copilot seat. Monaco has them brand new in the bag, $100 with the cable. Verinks has them off a wrecked rig, $40. Parts are available, you just have to know how and where to look. You started off well joining iRV2, whatever it is, someone on here has already done it -- twice -- and would be so happy to walk you thru it.
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Old 10-13-2018, 11:12 PM   #6
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You will have a problem with factory support for anything that old. I'd also want around a $15-30,000 repair stash because there are a lot of parts that will age out and be expensive to replace. Some of those parts can cause catastrophic failures that cost on the high end.
As for age of coach and not having factory support....NOT necessarily true..There is full factory support and parts available with several of the high(er) end/low volume manufacturers......

And having $10/$20/$30k set aside... I do agree...FOR ANY well used Coach whether DP or a Gasser.......... if not needed............ then buy more fishing worms and beer....
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Old 10-14-2018, 05:23 AM   #7
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I wouldnt worry about factory support too much. The knowledge base here is fantastic. As far as issues. I do know that Alfa had some delamination issues
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Old 10-14-2018, 05:52 AM   #8
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Here's a reading list that should keep you busy for awhile.
https://www.google.com/search?q=used...earch=irv2.com
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Old 10-14-2018, 06:12 AM   #9
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OP, it would help to know your budget and how you will use the MH. Using Google will give you better results than this site’s search.

As you can see below, I recently upgraded and stayed with another Monaco (H R is a Monaco) because parts and support (not from REV) are not a problem. I looked at a bunch of new rigs before deciding they had nothing other than more complexity and weight over a top of the line 10 year old rig. Would have gone even older except for a dumb 10 year rule at our snowbird Park...once in it can be 25 years old.
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Old 10-14-2018, 07:33 AM   #10
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I wouldnt worry about factory support too much. The knowledge base here is fantastic. As far as issues. I do know that Alfa had some delamination issues
Yes, when I first discovered Alfa, we liked the floor plans & a lot of the amenities, but as I looked into further, I found the exterior finish issues & some other mechanical issues. Like I've said before, if I see ANYTHING suspect, I walk away from it.
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:11 AM   #11
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Not being an owner yet but having done a TON of research, mostly here, I can tell you that no matter what manufacturer you look at, you will find a chronic problem with any one of them. I am learning that the best avenue is to do your research, select carefully, have inspections done and take your time. There are literally thousands of RVs for sale so don't settle for a questionable unit. Good luck to you (and me).
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:22 AM   #12
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What I have discovered is the parts for a coach are hard to find after a couple years old. Small things like latches or trim. It seems like the manufacturer no longer handles trim, gaskets, or other coach items after a couple years. The chassis is a different story. They remain well supported for parts. When you take your unit to a shop that's when you find out. Even Thor a major manufacturer of RVs is terrible for replacement parts.
With all that said you will find this out sometimes the hard way when purchasing an older unit.
I cannot find a small piece of body trim on my coach and it's less than 10 years old.. Go figure.
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:57 AM   #13
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We have a 2000 Beaver Patriot Thunder which we bought in 2011 from an owner who provided detailed maintenance records. It had 55,000 miles then and now has ~110k. We love the coach and its huge CAT engine. It's a dream to drive on the highway. We've done lots of updates and upgrades but we still love the cabinetry which Beaver was known for.

Our coach was built by SMC which was bought by Monaco in ~2001. Monaco provided little to no support for SMC-era Beavers and then it went out of business in ~2009. But that's really not been nearly the problem people seem to think it is. These DP's are just "heavy trucks" and they are pretty much built up using standard truck parts.

Some particular parts may get harder to find as the MH gets older, but not having the manufacturer around isn't that big a deal. Sure, if we needed body parts, such as storage compartment doors, they would have to be fabricated but that would be the case for any brand. Even Winnebago, which keeps all its blueprints, has to custom fabricate parts for older MH's.

My personal opinion is that the people who think that it's important to have a coach made by a currently in-business manufacturer are those who think that buying a MH is like buying a car. You buy it at a dealership and then you take it to that place or the same brand of dealership to get it fixed. These days most RV dealerships are ill-equipped to service and repair DPs, even those that they sell. There was a recent thread on one of the RV forums about "where do you take your DP for service?" and the consensus was that most people avoid RV dealers, if at all possible. Even if there are a few capable dealerships, if you really like to travel you almost assuredly won't be near one when you break down and need service!!

Our coach is old enough that it is pre-computerized, so it's interior lights and other interior stuff are simple and easy to maintain. No we don't have fancy controls that can dim all the lights, but neither do we need to figure out what went wrong when they don't work. We have a shop near us in San Antonio that only repairs RVs and doesn't sell them. They can fix just about anything and we rely on them for routine service. repairs and upgrades we can't do ourselves. When we're on the road and need service we've always been able to get it from places and people who service heavy trucks.

Lastly, as someone in this thread has already implied, you have to assume that many (most?) coaches have a few quirks (design flaws) because they were limited-production items and never achieved the volume of automobile production which tends to ensure that design issues eventually get resolved. Ours did have such an issue and we probably ended up spending ~$10k to fully resolve it, but that was a small sum compared to what it would have cost us to purchase another MH of equal quality and update it, etc.

My suggestion is to find one you like and evaluate it thoroughly. Expect to find some issues you didn't know about and have the $$ budget to deal with them. And then be prepared to tour the country in a magnificent machine!

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Old 10-14-2018, 11:15 AM   #14
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^^^ Well said.
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