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Old 06-09-2012, 06:25 AM   #15
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I echo Chasfm I call Freightliner and give them the last 6 of my vin and they will tell me anything I need to know about the chassis.
Had a problem with the Dash AC. They sent me the Denso Dash AC PDF for the entire system. Fixed the problem by replacing a 10amp fuse that was NOT on a fuse panel, but located on a wire that controlled the magnetic clutch on the compressor.

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Old 06-09-2012, 06:41 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruzer View Post
...My lastest experience was at American Coach while doing road tests and reviews on two different units for RV Magazine and FMCA magazine ... During my tests one coach was fitted with the new FL chassis with a 450 ISL while the other still had the Spartan MM-GT chassis with the same 450 ISL engine...
I felt this was especially valuable since both of these units were made by the same Manufacturer, and you were able to compare them against each other right then, not one several months later as you "remembered" the pros and cons and feel of the other.

Thx again.
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:41 AM   #17
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very interesting info and discussions here, especially for a gasser like me. I'm wondering how much difference there really is between the two for those coaches which actually only use the front and rear "clips" from the "chassis supplier" and then build all the stuff in-between themselves. Isn't that what AC and Entegra do now? Ed
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:33 AM   #18
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Chassis

We are traveling in our Freightliner chassis motorhome as we speak.
I have found that most of the Freightliner dealers do not like to work on motorhomes, there are a few exceptions.
When I make an appointment at most Freightliner dealers they either cancel the appointment or won't make an appointment or tell me to leave the coach with them. Hard to do when it is our home.
I have had Freightliner issues for 8 months and been to 5 dealers, only 2 tried to fix the problems.
I am now in CA and had a liaison person at Freightliner Corporate not stepped in nothing would have been fixed.
I still have to go to another dealer to have my steering boot replaced because the LA dealer didn't bother to fix it.
Time will tell if the repairs that were done will work.
As far as ride and handling I have not complaints.
No experience with Spartan.
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:46 AM   #19
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I do not own a MH, but 30 year in the fire service specing and operating fires trucks, Startan gets my vote handsdown.
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:53 AM   #20
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very interesting info and discussions here, especially for a gasser like me. I'm wondering how much difference there really is between the two for those coaches which actually only use the front and rear "clips" from the "chassis supplier" and then build all the stuff in-between themselves. Isn't that what AC and Entegra do now? Ed
hmmmm ... is that so?
AND ... another one in the mix ... looking at Monaco/Holiday Rambler, I see they are using a Workhorse chassis. Is that their own in-house chassis? I have not seen that referenced anywhere else, that I can remember.

I'm talking hi-end ... 2012 Holiday Rambler Ambassador and Monaco Diplomat. Their 40PDQ model. I know both brands have fairly good reputations, but it's tough to find some of the info buried in their site. I THINK they have a rear radiator, and I see nothing at all about IFS. Does that chassis use something else that fulfills the same function as IFS? Am I missing it, or is it missing?! LOL.
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Old 06-09-2012, 03:54 PM   #21
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mmmmmmm ... comparing a low-end against a hi-end might not be "fair", but I want to START with the "better" chassis, not be wondering which "version" the dealer used that day on the production line.
If you buy a better coach, it will have one of the better chassis under it, whether made by Spartan or Freightliner. But its true you won't find any inexpensive coaches with Spartan chassis because they don't make an inexpensive chassis. Still, a motorhome manufacturer can overload a Spartan chassis just as easily as any other brand. Or mess up the dashboard or the wiring just as easily.

And if you buy a Monaco Coach it won't have either Freightliner or Spartan - they use their own Roadmaster chassis. Ditto for Holiday Rambler, which has been built on Roadmasters for the past dozen years.

Rather than rely on brand names, why not think about what attributes you want in the chassis? IFS versus straight axle? Side radiator instead of rear? Hitch rating of at east 10k? GVWR at least x thousand lbs above the actual coach weight (large carrying capacity)? Things like that will be a better yardstick than who built it.
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Old 06-09-2012, 07:19 PM   #22
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...Rather than rely on brand names, why not think about what attributes you want in the chassis? IFS versus straight axle? Side radiator instead of rear? Hitch rating of at east 10k? GVWR at least x thousand lbs above the actual coach weight (large carrying capacity)? Things like that will be a better yardstick than who built it.
Thanks Gary. I am trying to do that, and your list is right on the mark. I look for IFS, side radiator, Hitch rating of at least 7.5k, GCWR at least 10k over GVWR, which Cummins, what xmission, what kind and size tires, what inverters, batteries and gen, etc.

Then, once things are as evenly matched as possible - THAT is where I am looking for opinions and experiences about possible pitfalls. That is why I felt Mark's (Cruzer) comments were so valuable the time he was comparing his experience when he reviewed the 2 units by the same builder, same engine, different chassis.

I am also sticking with diesel simply because I need the larger size since I will be living in it full time, and I need the load/towing capacity for the toad and all my stuff.

But this is ALL super helpful (not to mention fascinating reading!), and lets me look at a wider variety of coaches, just keeping all this in mind. Lets me make an informed decision on which things I am willing to compromise and which are pretty much set in stone (IFS, GVWR vs GCWR ...)(for me).

Ya'll keep it comin'. I'm learning something from each post!

Kathryn
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:09 AM   #23
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hmmmm ... is that so?
AND ... another one in the mix ... looking at Monaco/Holiday Rambler, I see they are using a Workhorse chassis. Is that their own in-house chassis? I have not seen that referenced anywhere else, that I can remember.

I'm talking hi-end ... 2012 Holiday Rambler Ambassador and Monaco Diplomat.....
Short answer, NO. Workhorse is NOT the chassis Monaco used for the diesel pushers. Their ROADMASTER brand "in house" chassis is under ALL the modern era Monaco products.

Workhorse WAS primarily a front engine GASSER, but they did make a rear engine gas chassis and also a front engine diesel. The few true RDP branded Workhorse were NEVER used by Monaco.
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:15 AM   #24
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Thanks Gary. I am trying to do that, and your list is right on the mark.......
But this is ALL super helpful (not to mention fascinating reading!), and lets me look at a wider variety of coaches, just keeping all this in mind. Lets me make an informed decision on which things I am willing to compromise and which are pretty much set in stone (IFS, GVWR vs GCWR ...)(for me).

Ya'll keep it comin'. I'm learning something from each post!

Kathryn
Most of us are glad to "help", but keep in mind there is downside to continous research.........it is called "Paralysis by Analysis", and has been known to result in a non-functioning trigger finger!
Ed
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:15 AM   #25
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Does Navistar still offer the Workhorse chassis?

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Old 06-10-2012, 08:23 AM   #26
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Does Navistar still offer the Workhorse chassis?

Dave
NOPE. The Workhorse brand is being "mothballed". WCC RV chassis assembly is already finished, and the facility in Union City will be shuttered when the current COMMERCIAL chassis order is completed this fall.
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:33 AM   #27
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Most of us are glad to "help", but keep in mind there is downside to continous research.........it is called "Paralysis by Analysis", and has been known to result in a non-functioning trigger finger!
Ed
LOL! I hear ya. But since I won't be making a final decision and purchase until end of year, figured now was the time to get as much info as possible.

Kathryn
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:39 AM   #28
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For several years Monaco and HR used the Workhorse chassis for their gas-powered coaches but never for their diesels. The Workhorse chassis is no longer available (mostly because GM ceased production of the 8.1L gas engine that it used) so Monaco/HR gas coaches use a Ford motorhome chassis.

Neither the Ford or Workhorse chassis was/is used in diesel models.
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