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Old 01-21-2011, 08:27 PM   #1
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Question missionary new 2 RV life! please help w/ ....

Hello iRV2 family: I have been reading your letters and building our understanding of what to expect as we transiton. Thank you for the wealth of experience you share, My wife, Eunice and I are currently packing to leave a 10 year tour as missionaries in S.E. Asia, Based in S. Korea, and I am retiring...Praise to the Lord I can. We will be arriving in Kansas early in march and will be looking for a class A, ~ 31-33 ft. unit as fulltimers and work campers.
I believe a lot will fall into place once we arrive and can see and touch our new home, but; Question 1: I can't seem to find any hard statements as to what are the most durable and best RV's for extensive/ mountain travel, w/out diesel?, We can't afford a new unit but from what I see there is a good market from 1999 tp 2005 units we can choose from. Question 2; I've read many stories of how to manage colder weather, especially for the basement; are there some older units better suited with insulation / heated basements? Looking foreward to a great life on the road ...and to have all the comforts in cold and warm weather? By cold ...I don't mean more than 10 or 20 below freezing, Thank you for any information you can provide. Hope to meet you in the near future...
In His Care..GnE on the Road

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Old 01-21-2011, 08:58 PM   #2
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Your question #1...........I think you are asking a question that the answers will only be opinions. It's doubtful that you will find any factual evaluation of various units resulting in the best one available. It's going to be finding what suits you at a price you can afford. You said "w/out diesel?"..........in my opinion you should reevaluate this as for fulltiming a diesel coach can offer more comforts. Most older diesel motorhomes are a minimum of 36 feet. You will find more storage for your gear also. With diligent shopping I think you could find, for example, a 1997 - 2000 range of diesel coach at a price similar to a newer gas unit. Diesel is the best way to go for "extensive/ mountain travel". You will have much more torque and power to negotiate the mountains.

You question #2.......... Again, just my opinion, but I think you should plan on moving along with the weather. Motorhomes are not especially designed for extended cold weather living. For one thing humidity inside the coach is an issue in cold weather. Another issue is heat pumps are not usable at less than about 40* so a propane furnace is one option......another is space heaters but, the best heating option IMHO is a hydrohot system that basically heats the coach with hot water from an onboard boiler. Any method you choose is either not going to be comfortable or expensive or maybe even both. Moving with the temperatures solves this issue.

All the above are just my opinions after living in our coach during summers and winters in both cold and warmer climates. Good luck to you.

'02 Ultimate Advantage 40J Spartan MM - Cummins ISC
2013 Jeep Rubicon JK Unlimited
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Old 01-22-2011, 02:35 AM   #3
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Hello Garold and . We are glad to have you join us and we look forward to reading of you adventures and experiences. Congratulations on your retirement. Good luck, stay safe and keep us posted. I am sure you will enjoy the website and forums.
You will want to plan how you will use a motorhome; hobbies, places to see, what you want to take and get an idea as to what you need to look for. When you get the chance to go to places where there are a lot of units to look at, take notes, even pictures as the more you look at the more you will get confused as to which one had what. Take your time, stand in the shower, lay on the bed, sit in the seats, recliner(s), sofa. Make more notes as to what you like and dislike. Don't subdue to any pressure from any safe persons and keep doing your homework. When you find the floor plan and storage arrangements you are looking for the next step sill be to make sure the coach as the necessary weight carrying capacity (the more the better). Once you have a list of acceptable coaches you can bring that list to the forums and as those that have these for their opinions of what they like, dislike or would change about the coaches you are considering. I too would recommend a diesel for full timing but it is an opinion and many use gas coaches just fine for their full timing needs.
We look forward to helping you find the right coach for you; so give us as much detail as you can to get the best opinions and results.
Mike, RVIA & RVSA Certified Master RV Technician
Amy, Dr. Assistant - Roxie & Mei Ling, four legs each
2000 Gulf Stream Scenic Cruiser 450 hp & 1330# torque
06 Saturn Vue, 06 Chevy Z71 4x4 & 2014 Corvette Z51 M7
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:09 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by RV Wizard View Post
... stand in the shower...
Sit on the toilet!! I know that sounds weird but we looked at several used RV that had the toilets set in a bad bad place. No "elbow" room. BTW, look for a minimum of 18 to 24 inches (per person) hanging space for clothes.
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:15 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Lorna View Post
Sit on the toilet!! I know that sounds weird but we looked at several used RV that had the toilets set in a bad bad place. No "elbow" room. BTW, look for a minimum of 18 to 24 inches (per person) hanging space for clothes.
X2. It makes all the difference
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:53 PM   #6
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I second the opinion to consider a diesel pusher and for full-timing there is no reason not to consider something in the 36-40 foot range.

Our 1998 American Eagle was the flagship of the American Coach and Fleetwood line when it was built. We have owned it for 2 years.

These are the what we have found to be the most important features of this older motorhome:

-Good thermal and acoustical insulation

-Heated basement for cold weather operations---tanks will not freeze etc.

-Large tankage (150 gallons fuel, 100 gallons fresh water, 60 gallons grey, 40 gallons black, 40 gallons of propane)

-Cummins C8.3 engine 325 HP and 950 lbs of torque. Climbs the hills very well and has an engine brake that allows you to use the brakes minimally when going down the mountains.

-Allison 3060 Six Speed Transmission that helps you climb the mountains without overheating and helps in speed control coming down the hill

-2 A/C's and 2 furnaces gives you redundant and robust cooling and heating capability.

-Very well constructed with good design and fit/finish. It is easy to do everything on the coach

-Diesel generator is on a hydraulic slide to it is easy to check fluids and service

-Side radiator allows easy access to the engine for checking fluids and servicing

-50 Amp Electrical systems allows you to run both A/C's and not sacrifice power to your other electrical needs

-Single living room/kitchen slide gives a roomy feel when parked but only one slide to maintain or potentially fix (no problems so far)

-Large cargo bays with pantograph doors (tour bus style) and sliding cargo trays which make it easy to load and unload

-Large Cargo Carrying Capacity so you can basically travel with everything that you need

I am not saying that you should only look at American Eagles, just saying that motorhomes with features similar to the older Eagle will be appreciated and add to your quality of life on the road.

Due to the economy there are plenty of older diesel pushers on the market that are attractively priced. You will be doing yourself a favor if you consider some of these versus newer gas powered motorhomes as you make your decision.

Congratulations on your retirement and welcome back to the USA

1998 American Eagle EVS

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