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Old 10-13-2015, 06:20 PM   #15
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Diesel smchmeezle. My 37' 2006 F-53 drives like a caddy. I mean it, the ride is great. I did put on a rear track bar and lately, a safe-t-plus but it did fine without that last mod. I had the "cheap handling fix" at one point but went back to stock as I didn't really see any benefit. These guys that tell you the diesel ride is much better just want you to join the club so they don't feel so bad about spending so much money needlessly.
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Old 10-13-2015, 06:30 PM   #16
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Our present DP weighs 50,000#'s. has a tag axle and 650 HP. NONE of the handling problems the OP mentioned apply to ours. But it's not a "beginners" or inexpensive coach either.
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Old 10-13-2015, 06:33 PM   #17
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Our present DP weighs 50,000#'s. has a tag axle and 650 HP. NONE of the handling problems the OP mentioned apply to ours. But it's not a "beginners" or inexpensive coach either.
So exactly what is a "beginners" coach? Who decides how much money must be spent to say when a coach is the final coach or just the beginning?
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Old 10-13-2015, 07:00 PM   #18
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Our 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow would be very similar to the coach you rented. When we got it the handling was petty poor. Which U.S. Typical for this era / type of coach. A few aftermarket additions and a couple fixes and it then handles well.

We just bought a 2011 40' diesel pusher on a Freightliner chassis. It is of course much better handling, rides better, and Is Quieter than our pace arrow.
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Old 10-13-2015, 11:43 PM   #19
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Diesel smchmeezle. My 37' 2006 F-53 drives like a caddy. I mean it, the ride is great. I did put on a rear track bar and lately, a safe-t-plus but it did fine without that last mod. I had the "cheap handling fix" at one point but went back to stock as I didn't really see any benefit. These guys that tell you the diesel ride is much better just want you to join the club so they don't feel so bad about spending so much money needlessly.

Pirate, it makes no difference to me what someone purchases whether it is gas or diesel. I have worked in the automotive / truck business all my life and have driven everything from the smallest Honda Cvcc with 12" tires to the largest tractor trailer and everything in between. I chose a diesel because I wanted the heavier chassis, these air brake system and all the parts and pieces that make my Panther exactly what I am looking for. I am happy to give my opinion if someone wants it and if they'd don't it won't hurt my feelings. I would be willing to bet that if you drove a high end diesel around for a while you would be hooked on how quiet they are, how smooth the ride is and how much better they'd handle than you F53. Until you do that (and I don't know if you have) it's hard to understand why us diesel guys are so adamant about touting the qualities of the diesel experience. By there way, many years ago many tractor trailers were gas engines and changing over to diesel made all the difference in the world.


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Old 10-14-2015, 05:31 AM   #20
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We hae found that the Mh steering is a bit sloppy compared to our CRV. We will be getting a Steer Safe in a few weeks and hope that tightens it up a bit. Sloppy means that we wander a little bit in our lane, nothing like you describe.
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Old 10-14-2015, 06:09 AM   #21
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We've had both and our 34' DP handles much better than our former gasser. I have no doubt adding a tag and more length would make it even better. As far as maintaining highway speed on hills....probably not going to happen. You're trying to pushing a lot of weight uphill!
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:44 AM   #22
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We purchased a 15 Winnebago Vista 35F in the spring and used it 6-7 times. I race MX and we pulled my 16' trailer 3 of those times and the Vista pulled the trailer fine except up the long hills where it would drop down to 45mph and would be revving too high for my liking. It wandered all over the road with or without the trailer. I checked and reset the tire pressures and installed a Super steer rear trac bar. Both mods helped but it still had handling issues. My wife would never leave the passenger seat until we arrived at our destination. We live in Ma and plan on traveling to Fort Benning in GA to see our son who is in the Army and then to Florida to see my mom and sister who live there and then to CA to see one of my other sons who lives there and we both agreed that we didn't want to doing that type of traveling in the Vista so we traded it on for a new 15 Itasca Solei 36G DP and it was the best trade ever. I'm not trying to justify the money difference here either because you just can't compare the 2 coaches and you can't put a price on piece of mind either. The DP drives like a car in comparison, goes straight as an arrow down the highway and pulls my trailer like it's not there. It only downshifts from 6th to 5th on the hills and it does it super smooth and still goes an 60-65mph uphill & the Vista would downshift very hard and for some reason would go right from 5th to 3rd and it would lose momentum fast on the hills. The Vista was loud and had a rough ride. The Solei is super quiet and has a very smooth ride and is very easy to drive. You can drive it with one hand and have a sandwich in the other :-) We've used the new DP coach 5-6 times and in our humble it was worth every penny. It's a piece of mind thing and my wife just was very uncomfortable each time we took the Vista out (until we got there) and she loves the new coach and will actually leave her seat and make a sandwich or go to the bathroom or whatever. The DP coach handles awesome and is just a pleasure to drive. We've had two 15 coaches this year and one was a gasser and the new one is diesel pusher so I feel that it's fair comparison because they were both brand new so take it for what it's worth... :-)
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:08 AM   #23
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Over the weekend our family went to Tennessee, we rented a 2001 fleetwood bounder that was 37ft long with a triton v10. Driving it seemed like it was grossly over weight and very under powered. It rolled and swayed terribly and couldnt maintain highway speeds up most hills, not to mention mountains. Wind and Semi trucks blew the thing all over the road also.

I am VERY interested in purchasing an RV and would like to know if there will be a night and day difference between a 2002-2007 larger tag axle diesel pusher. I have been looking at possibly a beaver/monaco 42ft with a cummins ism or cat c12.

Are there any larger MH's that are built from aluminum/steel/stainless (sidewalls and roof) besides the more expensive prevosts and bluebirds?
I've owned 4 gassers and 1 DP. I my opinion, there is no gasser made that will perform like a DP, especially the Newmar/Spartan/Cummings RV. You don't need a new one and you don't need a tag axle in my view, as 40' is plenty.

Do yourself a favor and rent an early 2000 Newmar DP. The torque of a diesel engine compared to a gasser will impress you, not to mention the handling advantage of a Spartan chassis. I have the Cummins ISL engine in my coach. I am impressed with the 370 HP and 1200 (+) lb ft of torque every time I drive it. There is no comparison to the 8.1 liter GM engines I have owned in the past.
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Old 10-14-2015, 04:26 PM   #24
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I encourage you to join the RV Consumer group. It is a great organization that rates RVs. I think what you experienced could be because of the wheelbase to total length of coach ratio. I joined when I bought my Dutch Star 16 years ago and have recently joined again because I am thinking of replacing it. Lots of great information!
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Old 10-14-2015, 04:52 PM   #25
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I've owned 4 gassers and 1 DP. I my opinion, there is no gasser made that will perform like a DP, especially the Newmar/Spartan/Cummings RV. You don't need a new one and you don't need a tag axle in my view, as 40' is plenty.

Do yourself a favor and rent an early 2000 Newmar DP. The torque of a diesel engine compared to a gasser will impress you, not to mention the handling advantage of a Spartan chassis. I have the Cummins ISL engine in my coach. I am impressed with the 370 HP and 1200 (+) lb ft of torque every time I drive it. There is no comparison to the 8.1 liter GM engines I have owned in the past.
LOL you only had GM engine gassers. Too bad you did not try a new Ford powered gasser. I would not trade my 2013 gasser for a 2000 DP with dusty rose, brass fittings, crt tube TV's. What only 370hp? The new DP's are now 500 hp plus. I have read on these forums one must have a tag axle dp for the ultimate handling and luxury ride as the single rear axles don't cut it. All kidding aside these forums are getting to be gas vs dp. Guess one must justify 2x the outlay somehow.
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Old 10-14-2015, 05:46 PM   #26
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Hidalgo,
As you can read you've stirred up a hornets nest. There really are two different schools (Gas/Diesel) when it comes to choices. We made the choice for a gas because we didn't have the funds to buy a DP. My background is in teaching automotive service and repair at the HS level. Fixing or improving things is my forte. So I enjoyed the challenge to make our coach ride and handle well and it does.

Consider three things, your budget, your plans/intentions for the coach and perhaps most importantly the mechanical ability of the primary repair person.

1. Yes the DP will usually give you a better ride but that is subject to your opinion and the coach. A gas coach can and does ride OK. Just guessing here but your DP will easily add an additional 20-40-K to the price. That also depends on if you want to buy used or new.

2. If you are close to retirement and plan on eventually traveling a lot the DP will be a good choice but you can also do that in a gas coach. If you are planning short week-end trips because you are still working well that's a bit different. Why spend upwards of $200,000 for something you use just on weekends??? Maybe $$$$ is no object. That's why I made budget the first consideration. Your budget will definitely have a lot to do with your choices.

3. Mechanical abilities is critical. I've read about many, many coach owners who can't even change a door hinge and they become slaves to the MH dealer repair facility. Even on a new unit I try to fix everything I can myself. It's always done as well or better than what they will do and it will be it done much faster with a lot less effort.

We live 10 miles from a dealer. If I need something done that I can't do it's not a big deal. Many times an owner is 100, 500, or even 1,000 miles from their dealer or a qualified repair center. Sometimes your selling dealer is far away but there is one closer. Most RV repair facilities will put you at the back of their list for repairs because you did not buy from them. That does not happen in car dealerships to much but it does with RV's. That can be awful. Do some serious reading on these threads and you will read the horror stories.

We bought a TT from a dealer 125 miles away. Then we found a dealer 20 miles from us. The day we stopped at their place their units were at an RV show so we didn't realize they carried the one we eventually bought.

As far as us. I can fix just about anything. If I can't fix it I can at least diagnose what is wrong. Then take it to a qualified shop and oversee from a distance the actual repair. Once they are done I can and will evaluate the work myself and make darn sure they did it correctly. We are fortunate but not everybody can do that. So depending on your abilities you will be at their mercy and that is not always a good place to be.

Find the thread, "Worn King pins" It's a good read of a repair story that is still unfolding as we write/read. David-Oh (started the thread) began his repair journey about 4-5 months ago and is still working on getting it finished. That was also a brand new unit.

In regards to your first experience with the Bounder. That was an early F-53 chassis. After 2006 they went to a 3-valve engine with much more HP. In 2016 they switched to a 6 speed transmission. There are some threads concerning that transmission. Most are saying that it is a much better driving and shifting machine with some marked improvement in fuel mileage for a MH. Some early reports are in the 8+ range. That's good this early in the life of the engine. One could hope for some improvement over that eventually. No you won't see double digits but maybe in the upper 8's. The ford V-10 is an EXCELLENT power plant and has been for over 10 years.

Another consideration is on engine maintenance. A gas engine requires, chassis lube, battery service annually, air filter and an oil change every 6,000 or so miles. That's a cheap set of services that can be done at home. A diesel is less forgiving and more costly and not as easy to do at home. The oil has to be changed regularly and some of those will take 30 or so quarts of oil and can be upwards of $400-500 to have it done. I'm not certain on that but i know it's a lot more expensive and then you have 30 quarts of oil to dispose of.

Once you make some decisions on gas VS diesel, new or used then a make or model there are specific owner forums right here on iRV2 for all makes of MH's. Just look at the top of this page. You will be able to converse with owners of the coach you think you want to buy. Most here are very helpful and willing to share all the good and the bad with you.

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Old 10-14-2015, 06:34 PM   #27
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Over the weekend our family went to Tennessee, we rented a 2001 fleetwood bounder that was 37ft long with a triton v10. Driving it seemed like it was grossly over weight and very under powered. It rolled and swayed terribly and couldnt maintain highway speeds up most hills, not to mention mountains. Wind and Semi trucks blew the thing all over the road also.

I am VERY interested in purchasing an RV and would like to know if there will be a night and day difference between a 2002-2007 larger tag axle diesel pusher. I have been looking at possibly a beaver/monaco 42ft with a cummins ism or cat c12.

Are there any larger MH's that are built from aluminum/steel/stainless (sidewalls and roof) besides the more expensive prevosts and bluebirds?
My Beaver drives almost like a huge Limo going down the Interstate. Coming off bridges may be one or 1.5 bounces but thats it. Very nice riding coaches!
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:49 PM   #28
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It's not the power in HP you should be concerned with. There are sedans out there with nearly as much HP as my 350 Cat - heck, my 15 year old Caddy has 300. It's the TORQUE that moves your coach down the road, or more importantly, UP the hills. Most < 15 year old DPs have engines that generates 700+ lb/ft of torque. At 1800 rpm.

Once you take a 36+ foot DP out for a spin, you'll see the difference. It is noticeable.

No, it is NOT torque that gets you up a hill. It is HORSEPOWER.

Diesels make lots of torque at low RPM because that's the nature of a large Diesel engine. But a 362 HP V-10 Ford will get a coach up a grade just as fast as a 360 HP diesel, provided they weigh the same, of course. The difference is that the gas engine has to spin at 4,000 RPM to make that HP while the diesel does it at 2,000 RPM.

If the RPM is lower but the HP is the same, the torque of the diesel has to be higher in order to make that same HP at a lower RPM. But HP is HP no matter what kind of engine makes it.


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