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Old 01-01-2012, 05:05 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by GaryKD View Post
Hi AloraDanin,
Forgive me for being bold, but you are stuck on the wrong points. Forget the chassis and the motor. For the engine (whatever fuel) the maximum weight you want the engine pulling is 100 lbs per HP. The lower pounds per HP the better.

The bottom line is floor plan sells the coach. That is the show stopper. All the other items may irritate from time to time, but if the floor plan does not match your RVing life, it will be the coach from hell every day.

If you can, the Tampa RV Super Show is from January 11-15 in Tampa, Florida. If you come, book time to stay the entire show. This is the larges RV show in the USA. I go every year. Go to Florida RV Trade Association - 2012 Florida RV SuperShow for details. I highly recommend this show for those considering buying a coach. Every coach maker is there with plenty to show. To give you an idea, Newmar had 48 coaches there last year. They sold over 30!
Unfortunately we can't make the Florida Show...and we are only looking used...because of cost. We already know the type of floorplan that we like, so now we need to figure out which chassis and engine type go get it in.

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Old 01-01-2012, 05:07 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Barbaraok View Post
Where are you going to be traveling and how much time will you spend, part-timers or fulltimers? If you are going to be doing 5K or less per year, mainly in the east, then a gasser will be fine. 10K or more and in the west fulltiming, pulling a car, then I'd say a DP is the way to go.

Why are you limiting yourself to that length? If it is because of state/national parks, first most have sites that will take bigger coaches and 2nd, most state parks are becoming too expensive for fulltimers. We thought we would be spending time in state parks - haven't been in one in years. We do like Corps of Engineers parks (which are well built and accommodate big rigs with ease), and once in a while a national park.

For fulltiming you need to think about CCC (Cargo Carrying Capacity) of about 1500# PER PERSON. It can be done on less, but the extra capacity will be appreciated if you are fulltiming.

Also do you want a w/d onboard or not. Personally that was one of my must haves - - I hate schlepping to laundromats - - and have the DP means that we have the space and carrying capacity for it.

We're going to be full-timers...at least we're going to give it a go and see if we like it. As for where we'll be travelling...we'd like to go all over the US and Canada eventually. Unfortunately being Canadian we are limited to how much time we are allowed to spend in the US, so we'll probably just do parts of the country each year.
I would love a washer/dryer onboard...but haven't put it as a must-have...just a would like.

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Old 01-01-2012, 05:10 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by distaff View Post
The comment about big vs small block diesel is confusing. In the size range you are considering most are gas powered front engine designs. There are a small number of "FRED" or front engine diesels out there, but not many used as they are a relatively recent development. Most rear engine diesels are powered by Cummins diesels, with Caterpillar, Detroit Diesel, and more recently Navistar engines making up the rest. The FREDs I know of use the smaller Cummins, either a 300 or 340hp version.

Given a choice with no costs attached I'd always take the diesel, but having said that the premium is about $8,000 over the gas engine. Diesels use less fuel, but in the US diesel is more expensive, diesels produce more torque, which helps if you are pulling a vehicle behind you, and they have longer service intervals, but diesels tend to cost more per service.

If you were looking at one of the super class C motor homes you would be looking at a Duramax in the Seneca or an International Diesel in the Nova. These could be called "small block" but to say that these are not exceptional powerplants is silly.

I will say that if I was looking in the lengths you are considering I think I would probably go the Super C route over a small A.
Yes, I guess the DP that we have looked at have been 37'+...but we're confused on the difference between the diesel engine sizes. For example...2005 Fleetwood Expedition, 37ft, Diesel Pusher, 300hp Cat, 6spd Allison...we've been told that that is a small-block diesel and that is won't have as much power as a gas-powered...so confused. When do diesel engines become big-block...and which is better?
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:17 PM   #18
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Heres a nice diesel unit

Similar manufacturer in gas

thats a quick search.
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:29 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by RVNeophytes2 View Post
Unless you're parking it for long periods; then, I'd look at gassers, more tolerant of extended periods of no driving.
I don't know where you pulled that from but diesel fuel doesn't deteriorate over time like gas does. Farmers regularly leave their diesel powered equipment when not in use till the next season with no problems. No plugs or plug wires to deteriorate.
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RV'ing since 1957, NRA Benefactor Life, towing '05 Odyssey
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:31 PM   #20
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My opinion is if money is tight and you can do your own work, an older gas is the ticket. I retire in September and we did buy a 1997 Dolphin 36', it had very low miles and in wonderful condition. I like the older Ford 460, not the best mileage around 7.3 so far, but good power with the Banks system. If after a few years we like to travel we could move up? I love to study all the other rigs and if I had a lot of money ? But for now I could not be happier.
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:49 PM   #21
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Welcome to the forums. As mentioned you will get a lot of advice as we are all different and have different wants and needs. A few facts that I have learned in the 7 years we have been fulltimers. We started out with a 38’ gas motorhome and it worked well for us. Since it was our first I thought it performed well and was easy to drive. We had the opportunity to upgrade last year to a DP. I was absolutely amazed at the difference in the gas 38’er and the DP 38’er. The way the DP handles the hills is amazing. The wheel stance of the two is different The DP has a much wider stance, the DP has 22.5 wheels and it gives it a much smoother ride. The DP has air ride and air brakes so it handles the rough road like riding on a cloud and talk about stopping WHOW!!! With the 235 --22.5 tires you can get into those brakes and stop in less than the distance if you need to, and I have needed to on a couple of occasions.
As much as I thought of our Beautiful Bounder We will “NEVER” go back to a gas coach. The very best advice I could suggest to you is get to a dealer and drive both. Not out on the highway. Take it down a secondary road that is not in pristine condition and throw it into a stop. Then if you can get it to a hill, I am sure you can find one around Alberta, start up the hill at about 60mph and see which one gets you over the top without having your foot pushing through the firewall.
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:59 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by RVNeophytes2 View Post
Ditto, 'cept we are celebrating our first year, out RV'ing with friends! In fact, I'm fireside right now

If there were a Consumer Reports for used RVs, no doubt this year's Best Buy would be the 2001-2004 DP for $40-50K. In other words, a $200-230K MSRP for a fifth its original price.

We've owned a variety of RV's, and have settled on a diesel pusher as best. Actually, we're on our second diesel, as the first one, a Forest River was mediocre.

Last year, we bought a 2002 Winnebago Journey DL 36'. 330 hp CAT, absolutely loaded with good features, options, etc. 49k miles, we paid $48,900. It has originally sold new for $168,000. One owner, garage kept, service records.

Once you've done some traveling in both a gas & a diesel, I can't imagine buying a gas model. Diesel's are also fairly inexpensive to maintain. Oil & filter changes, and not much more routine service. Brakes should last up to 100k miles. Generally, a very easy chassis to own. Of course, you also have the torque factor. It's not horsepower that climbs the mountains, it's torque. Turbodiesels are basically unmatched in torque, with the exception of many older Cummins 5.9 liter models. Many of them are limited to 520-550 lb ft of torque, which is fairly marginal when you're hauling 20,000+ lb around. Still better than most gas models though. Unfortunately, many of those older Cummins 5.9 motors are mated to Allison 1000 five speed transmissions, which are quite inferior in performance to the Allison 3000 six speed. So, I personally would not buy a Cummins 5.9 with Allison 1000 five speed trans, as our prior motorhome had.

These observations are based on our own experience, not a broad based empirical data study. Strictly anecdotal, as virtually all opinion here is.

P.S; RVNeophytes: Don't count on Horton et al to do any favors for APA members... EED; 092378
2012 Montana 3582RL
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:41 PM   #23
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What part of Kanukistan do you call home?

We missed out buying a 28 foot Tioga running on a Ford chassis with a IH diesel providing power. The RV dealer we were dealing with proved to be a dink and we just walked away and bought a C Class Diplomat Model out of Lethbridge Industries from Alberta.

The 400 CID engine we got powering our current unit gives us about 16 MPG on the highway if I remember to keep it under 85K (60MPH) and it runs very well and has power to pull a small toad without losing too many miles per.
Denise and Dennis Dalla-Vicenza Co-pilot Mizzie
Gracie a Winnebago 29 RQ +
George a Suzuki Toad
(Co-pilots emeritus Furb, Izzy & Mikkael)
Cherry Creek British Columbia
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:32 AM   #24
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Lots of choices available.

I bought a 1996 35' DP in 2007.

It's quite comfortable for us, wide-body, 6' of clothes hanging space, lots of storage, as luxurious as we need, plenty of power and dependability from out CAT 300hp engine, still looks good and drives well.

Best part was that this gently used, well-maintained, coach cost under $40K. Picture link in my signature.

You may want something entirely different.

Ken 1996 Safari Sahara- 3530, 35', CAT 300
Pictures of my coach:
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