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Old 01-20-2016, 11:03 AM   #1
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Lifespan of Freightliner Chassis

I've ran across several used class a with Freightliner chassis. After owning and driving many tour busses, Prevost, Eagle and MCI, I am curious as to what kind
of lifespan in miles to expect out of the chassis and particularly the Newmar line.

Thanks
Dan
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Old 01-20-2016, 11:15 AM   #2
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Welcome to the Forum!!!

With normal maintenance, the chassis will outlive the coach. Newmar's DP usually had mid to high end DP's. Vs some manufactures that have a entry level DP on up. So Newmar's usually spec'd a mid level to higher level quality spec'd chassis when ordering. Usually the higher end models of Newmar, will have a Spartan chassis. The mid level models could have either a mid level Spartan or Freightliner, depending upon the year of the coach, and again the model.

The only chassis I'm aware of that has had a design related problem, were some of the earlier Spartans and their ball joint that may need to be replaced. (This Forums Chassis sections will provide you the specific Chassis irregularities of both of these chassis manufactures.).

And coming from a bus chassis, you would probably be more comfortable in one of the higher end chassis available in RV's. I always use the line 'Drop years to remain within budget, and buy the highest quality coach that you can find.' That 'Quality lasts.', and becomes a 'Good foundation.' to modify an older coach to your own specific interior likes. Of course, the coach first has to meet what you're looking for.

Country Coach, Foretravel, Alpine, higher end Monaco's are example of coaches that also have higher quality chassis and drivetrains.

Opinions will vary on this subject!

Welcome again Dan. And have fun along your search!
Smitty
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Old 01-20-2016, 11:20 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustenor View Post
I've ran across several used class a with Freightliner chassis. After owning and driving many tour busses, Prevost, Eagle and MCI, I am curious as to what kind
of lifespan in miles to expect out of the chassis and particularly the Newmar line.
Thanks
Dan
I can't answer your Freightliner question but I hope my now 20 year old Magnum chassis lives until I get home to WI in April.
Mel
'96 Safari, 145k miles (currently in MS... heading for FL on Jan. 28)
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Old 01-20-2016, 11:21 AM   #4
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Miles or years?

While the ones you mentioned are considered million-mile chassis (and probably more), the Freightliner & Spartan & Roadmaster RV chassis may not be quite that robust. Still, the engine, transmission, rear axles, front suspension & steering, etc. or all standard components from the trucking industry and there is no reason to say they are any less rugged or dependable. However, private coaches typically do not get the regular preventive maintenance that commercial trucks get.

Also consider that Freightliner Custom Chassis makes several chassis models, each with dozens of configuration options chosen by the coach builder when he orders the chassis. If the coach builder selects the cheapest components and/or undersizes them for the body weight and balance, it is probably going to have a higher failure rate than a Prevost or one of FCCC's higher end model or configurations.
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Old 01-20-2016, 04:17 PM   #5
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I would think that it is all about the maintenance. Spartan and Freightliner
are both good, however, neither would be in the league of a "bus" chassis.
Freightliner is a Daimler-Mercedes company, Spartan is equally renowned
for their quality and attention to detail.
I think that when buying a used coach it is critical to
have documented, proven, professional maintenance records.
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Old 01-20-2016, 04:59 PM   #6
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My guess is 40+ years
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Old 01-20-2016, 05:06 PM   #7
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There are hundreds of individual components on the chassis, some will wear out in 3,5,10,20 yrs.
Assuming you take care of maintaining/replacing the wear items like filters, shocks, bearings, tires, etc; and you don't spend a lot of time in a salty environment, the chassis itself should last forever. Maybe we're misunderstanding the question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustenor View Post
I've ran across several used class a with Freightliner chassis. ..., I am curious as to what kind
of lifespan in miles to expect out of the chassis
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Old 01-20-2016, 05:30 PM   #8
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Thanks guys,

I really do appreciate your input. Ok let's play specifics. I have narrowed down my search to a 2002-2004 Newmar. My research in RV construction (walls, cabinets, floors and ceiling) has been leaning hard toward the Newmar as the best built.

Being I am experienced at larger format diesel pushers 😉, looking at a 2002 Dutch Star 40 foot. Asking $52,000, tho it has about the most miles I've seen in a class A Newmar at 140,000 miles.

Am I asking too much for another 200,000 miles out of it?

Or should I raise the budget a little and go newer?

Dan
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Old 01-20-2016, 06:09 PM   #9
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To me, its kind of like the "pay me now or pay me later" scenario. You could get another 200,000 miles out of any vehicle. The question is how many dollars are you willing to put into maint, repairs, replacements, to get there. As long as you don't crash it or let it sit in a salty environment where it may rust apart, you can keep it running forever by replacing the components, engine, transmission, walls, roof, etc.
If you're asking whether a 2002 MH with 140,000 miles on it will go another 200,000 miles without any major repairs, my answer would be no. regardless of the brand
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Old 01-20-2016, 09:08 PM   #10
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I would not have an issue with a 2002 with those miles. You are worried about the chassis - what about the engine and the transmission? Are the maintenance records available? Have all the recommended chassis, engine and transmission maintenance items been done?
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Old 01-21-2016, 11:37 AM   #11
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If you drive the rig in Rust Belt conditions it may have a shorter chassis life than if it is in the desert!
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