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Old 02-02-2015, 06:14 AM   #15
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National Gassers are nice too. They had the Workhorse Chassis with the Allison Transmission , and they had big tires and wheels (great ride). Really a quality build, so they are capable of holding together
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:09 AM   #16
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Don't have any comparison of the Cat vs. Cummins on repair costs. I have a local shop that I trust, take care of mine and that's most likely the most efficient. If you take it to the Cat dealer, it would probably be more. When I purchased it, it had 11000 miles on it in 10 years, because I equated low mileage with better. With the diesel I now know you are better off getting one that has been driven regularly and has a few miles on it. I ended up spending some repairs later on that could most likely have been prevented if it had not set around so much. Just an FYI. Now my 3126B purrs, plenty of power and I love the engine! Averages 8.1 mpg pulling my jeep.
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Old 02-04-2015, 09:39 AM   #17
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Cat engine maintenance

I have performed most of the routine service on the 3126 Cat in my National Tradewinds. The cost of oil, filters, etc is virtually the same as for a Cummins. Only professional service has been fan belts and valve adjust at what I felt was a reasonable cost and I have no cost comparison with Cummins service. Living in an RV community here in Polk City I have a number of neighbors with Cummins engines and the frequency of problems needing professional service appears higher on the Cummins engines. This could just be due to the fact that there are many more Cummins engines, especially since Caterpiller pulled out of the RV market several years ago. I have had excellent service from my Cat and hope for many more trouble free miles. I do agree that performance and mileage improve as the miles pile up.
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Old 02-04-2015, 11:24 AM   #18
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Can anyone give me their opinion on National RV's in the 2002 vintage? I'm assuming they are not in production anymore.
We purchased our 2002 Dolphin 5355 36'er w/ Workhorse Chassis in June of 2013 with 90000 miles on the coach. Everything in great shape and working order except for tranny. Complex electrical problem, not mechanical, but got the grade brake upgrade and synthetic fluid in the Allison now. Getting 7 to 8mpg towing the Jeep at 62mph with a smooth ride! We plan on getting many years of travel from our '02 Dolphin!
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Old 02-05-2015, 12:30 PM   #19
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National made fine motorhomes. We have a 2001 Tropical gasser that we really like. We've gone to shows year after year looking at others, but have decided to keep this one because it has upscale features and a floorplan that we are well satisifed with. After 15 years of ownership, we finally decided to replace it with and Allegro 32SA. The Tiffin Allegros are the only new coaches that tripped our trigger. If they weren't on the market, then we'd keep the Trop and refurbish it.
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Old 02-05-2015, 05:05 PM   #20
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Quote:
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We purchased our 2002 Dolphin 5355 36'er w/ Workhorse Chassis in June of 2013 with 90000 miles on the coach. Everything in great shape and working order except for tranny. Complex electrical problem, not mechanical, but got the grade brake upgrade and synthetic fluid in the Allison now. Getting 7 to 8mpg towing the Jeep at 62mph with a smooth ride! We plan on getting many years of travel from our '02 Dolphin!

What tranny model and what was the electrical problem causing? Thanks.
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Old 02-06-2015, 07:19 AM   #21
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BTW, our 2001 Tropical has a Ford chassis that has been trouble free for 62K miles. No problems with brakes, spark plugs, transmissions etc. I've kept records on fuel consumption and it has averaged 7.7 mpg the whole time. We tow a 2002 Honda CRV. It doesn't matter whether you go 55 MPH or 65 MPH, with or without the toad, it's still the same. I normally drive about 62 MPH which seems to be a sweet spot on the torque curve.
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Old 02-08-2015, 09:14 AM   #22
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Just traded our Monaco on a 2006 National Tradewinds, good high quality in design, layout and most construction. Complaints are few and are mostly about the fit n finish but I may be too critical. Many standard feature found only in very high end coaches.

Be wary of Monacos... they did have some proprietary hardware that is near impossible to find and when you do find it, very expensive. The National uses near all generic components that are readily available today.

Not enough miles on the Tradewinds to have any qualified opinion but initial 500 miles are .... WOW! Have the Freightliner XC-R chassis independent front, drives like a dream and rides smooth, much better than the Monaco Windsor. Plan on a long n happy relationship with the National..
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Old 02-08-2015, 09:20 AM   #23
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What tranny model and what was the electrical problem causing? Thanks.
It has the 5 speed 1000 series. Electrical was a short in some wiring that a mechanic installed before we owned the coach. It took out the tranny computer, so I upgraded to the grade brake system.
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Old 02-09-2015, 12:16 PM   #24
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Hi, I have a 2000 Tradewinds 7373 w/ 3126 cat. I do the service myself, so the cost is no more than any other diesel engine.
The motorhome, I'm very pleased with. The layout, cabinetry and construction are good quality.
Knocking on wood...... very pleased.
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Old 02-09-2015, 12:37 PM   #25
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I will chime in that National did make a good product. I have a 1999 Tropical and am very happy with the layout and features. It is a v-10 gasser (Ford). I have had some issues that turned out to be costly. I went through 2 transmissions. (40000 miles). The original may have been misused (failed just after I had fluids replaced). The second was probably just misplaced trust in a RV repair facility that did the replacement (used a cheap rebuilder it would seem). That stung but it really was more about Ford than National. The other issue which may be a bit more relevant is that my slides appear to be sagging ever so slightly in the middle. This is causing some rubbing at the bottom of the slides right in the middle. The sides areas are fine. Have tried getting adjusted but basically have been told the best fix is to rebuild the slide. Not a procedure that I am anxious to pay for. It doesn't really affect much so I tolerate it but it is one of those things that plays on my mind. I like it when things work completely as they should. Other than that, it has been a very good RV and I wouldn't hesitate in recommending.
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Old 02-09-2015, 04:09 PM   #26
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If you find a nice clean well kept National product, you'll be happy with the coach. They're still in demand because of contemporary styling and a quality build. It was too bad when they went out of business.
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