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Old 05-14-2015, 07:15 AM   #1
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Thinking about a change

I currently have a 2000 Fleetwood southwind 35S with only 39K miles and in very good shape and good condition.
Thinking about upgrading to a DP no larger than 35'.
Am I crazy or is this a smart move? what are the pros & cons.
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Old 05-14-2015, 07:34 AM   #2
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Can't give much advice as we are new to the rv scene. We just bought a 98 Dynasty ( DP ) with 63,000 miles and in excellent condition. It has no slides but many extras we like. Have done alot of reading on this forum to gain experience of what is good and bad.

So with that what are you wanting to do ? Going out west to the mountains...DP are better in going through the mountains. Do you need more room and thinking a slideout will help ? I do think the DP give you a much better ride and comfort going down the road. Tires do cost more and some things might require you to go to a diesel engine repair shop. Do you have grandkids or is it just you and the DW.

If your happy with what you got...keep it. Best bet would be to go and test drive a few DP to get a feeling of what they are like compared to a gasser !

Happy Travels
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Old 05-14-2015, 07:38 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scooterbob View Post
I currently have a 2000 Fleetwood southwind 35S with only 39K miles and in very good shape and good condition.
Thinking about upgrading to a DP no larger than 35'.
Am I crazy or is this a smart move? what are the pros & cons.

Totally depends on your need to upgrade. There are certainly comfort differences between gas and diesel chassis but the major diesel advantage is the much higher ability to move weight. Diesels have a much longer life span also but that's not as important to most motorhome owners.

Gas chassis are currently built for vehicles weighting up to 24-26k pounds. Diesels mostly start there and go up to over 50k pounds. In modern motorhomes this translates to a length of about 36' with 3-4 slides for gas. A diesel will be up to 45'.

It really boils down to your needs, desires and expectations.


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Old 05-14-2015, 07:44 AM   #4
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Really good points by Migkiller. The best feature of all is if it is paid for! Diesels are expensive to work on and service compared to gas, but give the benefits mentioned above. You could do a lot of upgrades to your existing ride for a fraction of the cost of a new MH.
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Old 05-14-2015, 07:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Migkiller View Post
Can't give much advice as we are new to the rv scene. We just bought a 98 Dynasty ( DP ) with 63,000 miles and in excellent condition. It has no slides but many extras we like. Have done alot of reading on this forum to gain experience of what is good and bad.

So with that what are you wanting to do ? Going out west to the mountains...DP are better in going through the mountains. Do you need more room and thinking a slideout will help ? I do think the DP give you a much better ride and comfort going down the road. Tires do cost more and some things might require you to go to a diesel engine repair shop. Do you have grandkids or is it just you and the DW.

If your happy with what you got...keep it. Best bet would be to go and test drive a few DP to get a feeling of what they are like compared to a gasser !

Happy Travels
Yes it is paid for. It has 1 slide. and many extras and great condition.
I would like to carry more weight and possibly full time RVing out west.
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Old 05-14-2015, 08:04 AM   #6
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Consider checking out this recent thread.

Should I stay under 35'?
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Old 05-14-2015, 08:14 AM   #7
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Bob
How long have you RV'd? If you really like the lifestyle and have been active for more than a couple years, then perhaps you know enough to know what you really want. Choosing quality from glitz is lots easier once the coach is old enough for the glitzy coaches to dull--often doesn't take that long. There were some really great DP coaches made during the golden years before the financial crunch--assuming you don't want to spend a minimum of $300k for a new coach. Look to the proven brand names. I am partial to the Monacos built by MCC thru 2009. That includes Holiday Rambler, Beaver and Safari. Stick to the 8 or 10 bag chassis. Lots of other great brands, too in about the same model years. The new Entegra coaches have caused some excitement because of their quality components, but even with their 'no customizing' approach, lots of money. And a quality coach will last many years. You can upgrade a good used coach so its important to get a solid/proven chassis. Good luck!
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Old 05-14-2015, 08:37 AM   #8
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You can search for some used models, but also some economical new DP's, such as the Thor Palazzo, and the ForestRiver Legacy - almost identical floor plans and coaches, with both brands offering several at the 34'-35' length - probably not too much different from your Southwind, but the DP offers a better ride, more economical fuel mileage, and maybe even better long-term value... : )
Our previous FR Georgetown was a good build and value, but the DP Palazzo is just much better on the ride, more power, pulls effortlessly our toad(and a 4bike rake), rides and sits much lower than gassers, and is actually easy to maneuver because of the 35' length.
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Old 05-14-2015, 09:47 AM   #9
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If you're gonna go to a DP I would recommend going to a 40'. You'll love the extra room and much better ride!
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Old 05-14-2015, 11:33 AM   #10
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I know you said diesel but what about a newer gas model with the 26K chassis? The new gas models have more power/torque than you current model and there will be more of a selection in that your size your looking for. I am all for a DP, thats what I want one day but I would look at all floor plans first and even drive a new gas and diesel to see what suits you the best. Good luck with your search, I hope you find the coach that fits your needs the best.
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Old 05-14-2015, 12:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scooterbob View Post
I currently have a 2000 Fleetwood southwind 35S with only 39K miles and in very good shape and good condition.
Thinking about upgrading to a DP no larger than 35'.
Am I crazy or is this a smart move? what are the pros & cons.
Are you looking to get a late model DP or go with an older model? I had an older gas Pace Arrow (no slides, around 33 ft if I remember correctly) I now have a 2014 Fleetwood 35 C DP with many of the modern amenities you'd expect even though like the Palazos it's more of an entry level DP.

While we live the coach, it fits our lifestyle which is mainly couple of day to 1 week trips, generally under 200 miles. Storage wise it has more room both inside and outside than we've been able to fill. However, if you're thinking of going FT you may want to go larger (40') because you'll be packing everything in.

We don't anticipate ever FTing. Maybe a 2-3 week trip out west next year. If we ever change our mind about FT, I'd definitely be looking longer and possibly going TAG axel.
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Old 05-14-2015, 04:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scooterbob View Post
I currently have a 2000 Fleetwood southwind 35S with only 39K miles and in very good shape and good condition.
Thinking about upgrading to a DP no larger than 35'.
Am I crazy or is this a smart move? what are the pros & cons.
Sounds like you don't drive the miles, require or want a large coach to warrant a DP from a practical standpoint, but then most of us aren't too practical about things, anyway. In fact, if I ever write a book, it'll be titled ....The Impractical American....
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