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Old 06-28-2011, 11:49 PM   #15
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In my experience, I wouldn't go older than 2000-2001. Unless you're a good mechanic, and enjoy fixing things. Then, you could go all the way back to say, a 1953 Flxible. Really cool coach. If you don't want to work on it a LOT, and want a few modern amenities like two or more slides, six speed transmission, etc, then stay 2000 or newer...
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:52 PM   #16
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We ordered ours in 2002, still going great even if I did have to spend some $$ on maintenance late last year (new tires $3,200) and Alcoa wheels (another $1,000) and this year. Coolant change, coolant filter change, hydraulic fluid and filters (3 of them), oil and filter, air filter for the gen, coolant change for the gen, grease job, change setting on the front KONI shocks and new Amish cooling unit for the refer. Next will be the covers over the slides as they're looking pretty bad and will tear soon.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:54 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankdamp View Post
Slide-outs are a good thing unless you go really long. I'm not sure when they started to show up - maybe 1997 or so? Our 32-footer has a bedroom slide and a dining room slide and we figure we could full-time in it without a lot of grief, particularly if our nearly 14-year-old lab wasn't with us any more.

It's a front-engined gasser - we couldn't find a DP we could afford!
Newmar had the first patented slide out in a Type A MH and it was in '91.
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:21 AM   #18
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my wife and I had the same questions and I can tell you that a nicely cared for older DP coach can be an incredible bargain. Ours is a 96 and was bought for about 18 cents on the dollar of its original MSRP. The engine will outlive the coach (and probably us) and the quality of the interior is far superior to the newer coaches we looked at. (solid wood, granite counter tops, full size double door refer, etc,etc,.) Ours was built before Monaco bought Safari and from what I have learned, the quality was better then. The luxury and ride of the older DP's are hard to beat. I think you are wise to be looking at 38' or longer and I would recommend an engine of at least 300 HP if I were you. Obviously the transmission should be an Allison 6 speed and I would not go too old because the older year Allisons were only 4 speed I believe. Good luck and save some $$ for upgrades no matter what year you end up with. Mine had nice looking tires with 70% tread but had sat for 2 years and needed new skins-a price of $2,100) Have fun with the search and good luck!
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:29 AM   #19
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I think buying a well cared for/maintained rv is a smart buy. Most of the problems have been worked out and you literally save thousands of dollars. If you look at used rvs you can readily see the ones that have been maintained and those that have not.
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:51 AM   #20
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Just sold a2000 mt. Aire and purchased a 2005 MADP. Nice coach and will last me for years until I get the ITCH again.!!!
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:45 PM   #21
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my wife and I had the same questions and I can tell you that a nicely cared for older DP coach can be an incredible bargain. Ours is a 96 and was bought for about 18 cents on the dollar of its original MSRP.


Jon, a couple quick questions if I may.
We looked at a few older Safari's, as they tend to be somewhat cheaper than similar age coaches. Looked at a 2000 Serengeti, a 1999 Serengeti, and a 2001 Cheetah. What I didn't like was they all had rear mounted generators, and the elastomeric suspension. We tow a trailer as well, and the front end is already light on the coaches due to the gen in the back versus in front. Add a few hundred pounds levered way back on a trailer hitch, and the front end gets even lighter. Also seemed like a lot of folks spent quite a lot "fixing" the Safari suspension to bring it up to a decent level. What has been your experience with the coach? Has it had suspension modifications? I still think Safari's are a good deal, especially if it drives better than the ones we drove. The Safari's in my opinion have nicer interiors than many coaches; cleaner design, better materials. Even with a goofy animal etched on the shower door!
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:08 PM   #22
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Looks like your getting all the advice and oppinions you can handle. I'll throw this in ; If your going full time ( 12/12/12 ) make sure your payments aren't due till 1/12/13.
Worth a try !
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Old 06-30-2011, 11:55 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Jon from WI View Post
my wife and I had the same questions and I can tell you that a nicely cared for older DP coach can be an incredible bargain. Ours is a 96 and was bought for about 18 cents on the dollar of its original MSRP. The engine will outlive the coach (and probably us) and the quality of the interior is far superior to the newer coaches we looked at. (solid wood, granite counter tops, full size double door refer, etc,etc,.) Ours was built before Monaco bought Safari and from what I have learned, the quality was better then. The luxury and ride of the older DP's are hard to beat. I think you are wise to be looking at 38' or longer and I would recommend an engine of at least 300 HP if I were you. Obviously the transmission should be an Allison 6 speed and I would not go too old because the older year Allisons were only 4 speed I believe. Good luck and save some $$ for upgrades no matter what year you end up with. Mine had nice looking tires with 70% tread but had sat for 2 years and needed new skins-a price of $2,100) Have fun with the search and good luck!
I have to agree. Age doesn't necessarily define the coach. I perfectly happy with our '97 American Dream (minus some 'wandering' I'm working on). I purchased it from my father-in-law who kept it stored inside when not in use. It has 46,000 miles, 450 hours on gen, and has been serviced regularly. The workmanship on that year of the American Coach rigs was great. It still looks and runs virtually like new.

I think you be patient and search for what 'best fits' you.
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Old 06-30-2011, 01:32 PM   #24
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You get more house for your money in an older coach. I have freinds that drive 25 year old Bluebirds and would give up their kids first. If you are the least bit mechanically inclined, you can do most of the maintenance yourself. Check out this forum Wanderlodge Owners Group - Powered by vBulletin
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:20 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Automobilist View Post
In my experience, I wouldn't go older than 2000-2001. Unless you're a good mechanic, and enjoy fixing things. Then, you could go all the way back to say, a 1953 Flxible. Really cool coach. If you don't want to work on it a LOT, and want a few modern amenities like two or more slides, six speed transmission, etc, then stay 2000 or newer...

I do agree. We brought a 2006 Fleetwood Discovery. We went to a company called Motorhomes of Texas. They specialize in consignments. They go through and check out motorhomes from front to back. They also change all fluids. I recommend someone to inspect the coach that knows them. We opted for the better looking rig and the most in style over a Foretravel that was older and dated. I knew the Foretravel was a better made motorhome but the looks were better on the FLeetwood. We like the inside hardware and fabrics. That was important to us since I am a homebuilder and build upper end homes. The foretravel cost about 40K more and was 4 years older and also just had one slide where the Discovery has 3 slides. I think the slides are very important and will help it when you resale. That is my 2 cents worth. Good luck looking.

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Old 06-30-2011, 07:55 PM   #26
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When you start looking around, you may change your mind a few dozen times like we did... Last year we were looking to upgrade from a 1995 Newmar gasser. We considered a diesel but honestly thought that we could not afford one and would probably purchase a 2005-2008 gas model. As we looked and looked and thought about our future needs we leaned more toward a diesel and finally found the perfect coach for us. It is a 2005 Fleetwood Revolution LE and I have not stopped smiling since picking it up in April. I am glad that we kept looking until we found the one that just screamed..."Pick Me...Pick Me..!!!" Our Rev has four slides for me, and a 400 HP Cat for hubby. Everyone is happy.

You will walk into that perfect coach one day and then you will know. We upgraded our budget because we knew that this coach was well-cared for and will last us for a long while...God Willing.

As many people on this site advised me...enjoy the hunt and you will find your dream coach.

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Old 06-30-2011, 08:07 PM   #27
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Really you need money or skills to own any MH. They all have problems from the time they are built until you sell them. You are always doing something to them. Some people are luckier than others. Me, I have skills and I've been lucky, no engines blown, no trannies died. Only two blowouts, one u-joint and a clogged fuel filter in 20+ years. Since I've been on MH forums I've read some real horror stories. None of my MH's have been new or anywhere up to date and I go anywhere I want. Re-sale value, good luck, you think you're getting a good deal. Add everything up, just an expensive hobby. The fun associated with RVing is priceless, so buy what you like and ride. Just don't leave your tool box at home.
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:05 PM   #28
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I guess a bit depends on your ability and/or willingness to fix stuff. If you have no mechanical aptitude, and you can't fix anything except your dinner, then I guess you need to ride in something fairly new.

We own our coach. Bought it cheap, renovated it ourselves, and lots of folks think it's a new coach. At 140,000 miles, the Cummins 8.3 Diesel and the Allison automatic are barely broken in. The brakes show almost no sign of wear. The rest of the stuff I can fix as it breaks. Stuff like toilets and furnaces and light switches are common to every coach out there regardless of age.
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