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Old 06-15-2013, 01:23 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by jimaxp View Post
We've been passing up the Beavers, Dolphins and other defunct brands when shopping. I know they all use same chassis, but figure proprietary parts are impossible to get. Are we on the right track?
We just purchased out first MH from an private seller. It's a 1999 National Tradewinds. Did not know it is an orphan until trying to learn more about RV's at a big time dealer who's initials are CW. Salesman pointed our to us that being an orphan might be a problem. Yes, his problem because I didn't buy from him.

My point is, I knew the major components are Cat, Allison, Onan, & Freightliner. The appliances are all well known RV brands. As far as I can determine the only proprietary part is the body.

Jack & Beverly
1999 National Tradewinds 7371; Cat 3126; 6 Speed Allison; 7.5 KW Onan; Freedom 20
2012 Nissan Versa on a EZE Tow
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:28 PM   #16
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Check out the National Owners Forum, before National went under they released a listing of their suppliers. I've had mine for 9 years and have not had one problem in locating something if I needed it. As far as the front and end caps Ortega MFG in Southern Calif bought all the molds. If we ever replace our MH, it would more then likely be another National if we liked the floor plan. We've looked at a lot of new/used MH's the past few years and can not find a better or equal floor plan that we would trade our Tradewinds for yet. Not many out there with two huge clothes closets.

Joe & Angie
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2001 Tradewinds 7390 2011 CRV EX-L Navi w/ RoadMaster FuseMaster
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:52 PM   #17
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I wouldn't let an orphan RV stop you. Some of the nicer well built coaches are orphans. They couldn't compete with the cheap brands in a poor economy. There is a reason why there are so many cheap RVs on the market! Most people hang on to their well-builts.
Les (RVM12), Bonnie, Morgan and 4 leggers Bella & Bruce
2010 Forest River Cardinal 3450RL 40' Full Body Paint- 2015 Ram 3500 Laramie 6.7 ltr Turbo Diesel, 68RFE Trans. 4x4 SRW SB Pullrite 2900 18K FMCA-420438 Good Sam
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Old 06-15-2013, 02:34 PM   #18
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Wouldn't give it a moments thought .

These guys out-source so much stuff..... in or outta business makes little difference. The flange on one of our storage bins cracked...called the still in-business manufacturer....who advised that the flange supplier was now outta-busines...... so they had changed the design....in other words - good luck!

Found a metal fabricator and fixed the flange.... if you understand and accept that the day you drive off the lot you are pretty much on your own...life with an RV ( repair vehicle) will be far less stressful.
Jack & Maggie
04-Rexhall Roseair (37)
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Old 06-15-2013, 03:20 PM   #19
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The only items that might be a problem getting replacements is the front or rear caps and a few trim or molding pieces. Don't pass up a well cared for coach just because the original builder is no longer in business. A well maintained orphan coach is a much better buy than storage lot queen with OEM support.
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:08 PM   #20
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I own 1996 Odessa Overland - out of business in 2000.

I have repaired about everything you can think of. Nothing as been specific to Odessa. No problems getting parts.

This is a high end motor home.
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:30 PM   #21
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We just recently traded up to an orphan brand. We loved the coach when we first saw it but I was hesitant. I called County Coach and, even though they are not building coaches now, they have parts unique to the coach and a factory service center. As others have stated, many of the components on the coach are made by other companies who continue to support those items. I also knew of their reputation for building quality, high end coaches while they were in business.

After having the coach for 2 months and seeing how well it is made, we have no regrets. I have called Country Coach for technical support as I learn the systems and they have been very helpful.
'07 Country Coach Allure 470 Siskiyou Summit #31578, Cummins ISL 425; 2014 Ford F150 toad; Air Force One Toad Brake.
Glen Allen, VA; Smith Mountain Lake, VA.
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:31 PM   #22
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We have owned our orphaned Beaver for nearly two years now. Like any other coach out it's had it's share of repairs but nothing that has been insurmountable. One of the Aladdin modules (AC Electrical Monitoring System) burned out and I was able to find a replacement within a few days just doing a little detective work.

The best advice I've seen in this thread is to shop for a used high end unit that fits your budget and has been well cared for. Don't give up quality in order to have a newer unit. A high quality older unit will beat a poor quality newer unit every time.
Craig & Donna
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Old 06-19-2013, 02:01 PM   #23
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Thanks folks. Good stuff. The only problem is that we don't know what orphans are high quality and those that aren't. It's been confusing enough to learn which current marques are better than others. We were all set on Tiffen "they are the BEST!" until we read the owner's forum and learned of all the wet area and roof issues. A salesman who also sells Tiffin said, "Just ask a Tiffen owner if he's met Bob Tiffen. He'll say, "Yeah, he's such a great guy!". Then you'll know he's been to the factory for repairs... He sells Wennies and said he prefers them for a new coach right now.. Oh well...you know the drill
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Old 06-19-2013, 02:13 PM   #24
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RV Parts that can are no longer made can be found used or fabricated, just like they do in restoring old cars and historic homes.
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Old 06-19-2013, 02:57 PM   #25
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Generally the only brand specific stuff in a motor home is the walls.. And those are easily fixed in most cases. though compartment doors if you loose one, or fenders and such, could be an issue.

Appliances (Air Conditioner, Furnace and everything inbetween) is 3rd party. Likewise doors, mirrors, windshileds, windows, lights, televisions, microwaves (They are between furnace and A/C after all) even the power distribution center.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:17 PM   #26
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I read a lot of the posts on here and just smile...I have owned six motorhomes, two of them "Orphans". I had many problems getting owners manuals and other manuals. I had lots of problems obtaining information about my particular coach. I went back to Winnebago and feel like I'm back in a family again.
06' Itasca Meridian 36g with CAT 350
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:34 PM   #27
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While we recently traded our Winnebago for an 'orphan,' the CC we got came with about 20lbs of manuals, wiring/plumbing diagrams, and other schematics. Also, other CC owners and CC Corp tech support have been helpful and I suspect owners of other orphan brands would do the same.

That said, I will agree no one provides better and more comprehensive technical info on their coaches than Winnebago. I will miss that but I hope it does not create unsolvable problems with the coach we now have.
'07 Country Coach Allure 470 Siskiyou Summit #31578, Cummins ISL 425; 2014 Ford F150 toad; Air Force One Toad Brake.
Glen Allen, VA; Smith Mountain Lake, VA.
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:41 PM   #28
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A starting list for well built high end coachs would be

Country Coach
Travel Supreme
Holiday Rambler, as well as others I may have missed.

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