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Old 07-01-2015, 09:49 PM   #1
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Looking for our first motorhome

Our budget is in the $40k range. We want a diesel pusher so this puts us in the 1999-2002 category. We've located two Holiday Ramblers, an endeavor and a ambassador. Also, a '99 Coachmen Sportscoach with a 275 HP engine. The Endeavor has a 330HP Cummins turbo. The Ambassador has a Cummins also but don't know HP. Since I'm not planning on doing any drag racing my only concern is getting up a 6-8% mountain pass. How important are exhaust brakes, and are there true "Jake" brakes in this price range? What are the simple answers on the differences between the Endeavor and Ambassador? ANY advice or suggestions would be appreciated. I'm an old man I'm running out of energy and patience. Oh, we also looked at an 1999 Fleetwood Bounder that has been setting for a couple of years but started and driven on the property every week or so. Priced right but new tires would be necessary and I worry about old diesel fuel. Thoughts?
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Old 07-02-2015, 06:49 AM   #2
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If you haven't done a lot of searching a site to look at would be www.pplmotorhomes.com You'll see what used are going for, and they have a place on the web site where you can see what coach's have actually sold for. It's good info to know. Not what's being asked, but the actual price they went for. I would think you should be able to find quite a few quality used diesels in your price range. Just make sure you can get the maint. records, and an independent inspection. Besides the names you mentioned, I think you should be able to add Newmar, Tiffin, and Monaco to the list.
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Old 07-02-2015, 06:54 AM   #3
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Good luck with your search and welcome to the forum....
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Old 07-02-2015, 07:46 AM   #4
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Do not get impatient! It could cost you! Research every rig you are interested as there will always be variables. Start with a choice of an acceptable floorplan, then motor and tranny combo, Builder(s). When you narrow your search, that's where your due diligence is important. My hot button has always been low mileage with bunches of maintenance records. Do not get stuck on price, save a dollar, lose $1000's.
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Old 07-02-2015, 07:51 AM   #5
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After finding we really like RV'g we should have bought our 3rd RV first saving over $60 grand in trade-ins. No real estate taxes, no utilities, no upkeep, no grass cutting, no shoveling snow, way less barking dogs & bad neighbors. We see family way more now too.
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Old 07-02-2015, 04:39 PM   #6
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Endeavor is a higher model in the older Monaco scheme of things than an Ambassador.

I do not know the differences specifically, but have had friends who owned a 2002 and a 2005 40' Endeavor, both with 330hp Cummins. Both were reliable and performed well. Both went up all the grades on the West Coast just fine with CRV and Jeep in tow.

Exhaust brakes are not essential, except to me in a 30,000 # rig..... Engine brakes would be great to have, but you would need to move to bigger engines in older model rigs to get one in your price range.

Diesel fuel does not get old, but can develop algae.

Do not run out of patience. Have the target rig mechanically inspected and RV inspected unless you already have that expertise, before paying the purchase price.
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Old 07-02-2015, 06:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Txice View Post
Our budget is in the $40k range. We want a diesel pusher so this puts us in the 1999-2002 category. We've located two Holiday Ramblers, an endeavor and a ambassador. Also, a '99 Coachmen Sportscoach with a 275 HP engine. The Endeavor has a 330HP Cummins turbo. The Ambassador has a Cummins also but don't know HP. Since I'm not planning on doing any drag racing my only concern is getting up a 6-8% mountain pass. How important are exhaust brakes, and are there true "Jake" brakes in this price range? What are the simple answers on the differences between the Endeavor and Ambassador? ANY advice or suggestions would be appreciated. I'm an old man I'm running out of energy and patience. Oh, we also looked at an 1999 Fleetwood Bounder that has been setting for a couple of years but started and driven on the property every week or so. Priced right but new tires would be necessary and I worry about old diesel fuel. Thoughts?

The Endeavor is a very solid, well built coach on the Roadmaster RR8R chassis. Generally equipped with the Cummins ISC. It will have an exhaust brake and a 7.5KW Onan generator. You should find '02-'03s in your price range.

If you run across a Monaco Diplomat, it's pretty much the same coach.

The Ambassador and Knight were on the RR4R chassis until '05 when they were moved to the 8 airbag chassis. The 4 bag had some structural issues.


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Old 07-02-2015, 06:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
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The 4 bag had some structural issues.
Now there's an understatement!
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Old 07-02-2015, 07:51 PM   #9
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Thanks Dean. Those are the answers I'm looking to find.
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Old 07-02-2015, 08:05 PM   #10
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Now there's an understatement!
Mr. D please share your knowledge re: RR4R chassis. We are planning on making an 300 mile round trip to look and drive the Ambassador. Your "understatement" gives me pause. Please elaborate. Mike
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Old 07-02-2015, 08:40 PM   #11
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We recently purchased our 2001 Dutch Star 3891 diesel pusher by Newmar in that price range. Immaculate condition, maintenance records galore, recent paint job, new roof by the Newmar factory, brand new tires . . list goes on and on. We looked for two years, including two winter trips to Florida. Found this one 30 miles from our house by a private party! We're tickled pink. I would personally rate the Dutch Star a little higher than the Holiday Rambler, but we looked at some of those we liked as well. Also Winnebago's were on our short list. FLOORPLAN . . FLOORPLAN . . FLOORPLAN, then condition was our mantra! Good luck in your search. This forum is a great place to gain info for your decision. I will second what others have said though, definitely get a professional to look at the chassis, whatever you are looking at. If buying from a dealer, get SOMEONE ELSE
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Old 07-02-2015, 08:42 PM   #12
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Sorry, sent by accident. Get someone else to look it over, pull scans, do at least an indepth DOT inspection, check AGE (not just condition) of tires, try EVERYTHING, EVERY system, and component. Put the slides in and out at least a half dozen time EACH. Take care and good luck!
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Old 07-03-2015, 06:05 AM   #13
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TXice,
I tried to answer your private message but something isn't working right. Anyway try this www.pplmotorhomes.com/sold/diesel-motor-homes.html
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Old 07-03-2015, 06:16 AM   #14
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Not only can't I reply to a private message, now I can't edit my post. I don't know what's goin' on. Anyway drop the "L" at the end of the e-mail address. It should be www.pplmotorhomes.com/sold/diesel-motor-homes-htm
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