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Old 08-02-2019, 01:08 PM   #1
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Used Class A Cost


I an planning on upgrading to a Class A Diesel pusher in the next 18 months and will likely buy used. What do I need to prepare myself for as far as costs?

Maintenance roughly? Do you have more drivetrain or mechanical system issues? I am probably going to be looking at a 8-10 year old Expedition.

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Old 08-02-2019, 01:29 PM   #2
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PPL Used Diesels

2001 Mountain Aire DP 4095 & 2008 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
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Old 08-02-2019, 01:48 PM   #3
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You may get a wide variety of cost and opinions on this. So take my input as one persons opinion.
Buying an 8-10 year old coach can be a great if you know what you may be in for.
1. Systems, decor will be dated
- Budget some money to make updates to systems and decor
2. Yearly chassis\Engine maintenance is a little higher than gas coaches but this is a minor expense in the total cost.
3. As with any coach new or used there will be things that need fixed. If you are a DIY person then this is not a huge issue and lowers the cost drastically.

Below is my rough cost in 5 years of ownership of a 2002 Newmar MADP.
Total Cost in 5 years was right at $29,000. Yes that is ~$6,000 per year.
This is upgrades and maintenance combined, this includes almost all the expenses including some items for setting up the toad.

Below image shows all expenses over $500. This accounts for $18,000 and shows where the big hitters were.
Click image for larger version

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I track all the expenses and also put a conservative estimate on what a dealer might have charged for the same work I did my self. My estimates that doing DIY where I could has saved me roughly $30,000 in 6 years.

As a side note to the above expenses we almost purchased a 2006 coach for $30,000 more but it would have required considerably more work and looked in rough shape compared to the 2002 coach we purchased. This $30,000 "savings" has funded our coach for 5 years now.

Full Maintenance Log Here. 2002 MADP Cost.pdf
2002 Newmar Mountain Aire 4095
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Old 08-02-2019, 04:57 PM   #4
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Class A DP's are not for the faint of heart, if your not mechanical or a 4K repair bill puts you into shock you may want to look at travel trailers, IMHO.
2002 Monaco Executive 500 ISM
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Old 08-02-2019, 05:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Outbound View Post
Class A DP's are not for the faint of heart, if your not mechanical or a 4K repair bill puts you into shock you may want to look at travel trailers, IMHO.

What Outbound said
2007 HR Navigator 40 PBQ - Detroit Series 60
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Old 08-02-2019, 05:33 PM   #6
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I purchased a 19-year-old Monaco Dynasty 9 months and 10,000 miles ago. It had 69,000 miles on it, I was assured everything worked, and I’m mechanically astute enough to have not been put off by a test drive and tire-kicking. But I really had no idea what I was doing, knew it, and didn’t care. I got that I was taking a dive in the deep end and did so voluntarily.

It’s a higher-end coach, with diesel furnace, diesel generator, two slides (one HUGE), electric wheelchair winch, etc. Bells, whistles, gongs. Didn’t matter to me if some of them were touchy; the thing was drivable, usable, campable and cosmetically in decent shape - except for the wall-to-wall carpet. Yuck!

Limped through a Colorado winter on the diesel furnace, but one zone is out and it blows black soot. Air conditioners and heat pumps work great.

A few lower body panels had thrown bolts and flapped in the breeze. Nothing a few drywall anchors and some JB Weld couldn’t fix.

House battery drawer liked to open on the road. Wire brush, baking soda, and a door shim.

Couple of heavy sisal area rugs over the carpet, replace a few drawer latches, tighten up all the loose window valence frames, switch running and interior lights to LEDs...

New front tires, $1,000. Engine and generator oil change and chassis lube, $1,000. Carefully-applied Gorilla tape over the scrapes and gouges on the passenger-side lowers, adjust a dozen hatch dogs, emery cloth all of the 12-volt fuses.

New engine battery, $300. Still doesn’t charge correctly from shore power. Until I figure that out, throw the kill switch when parked. No sweat.

First vehicle I’ve owned bigger than a station wagon. I love driving it, wife loves camping in it. $50,000 to purchase, a few grand and tens of hours so far, a few grand and more hours to get her “perfect”, a couple of grand a year to keep her that way.

She was almost $400,000 new. I have no regrets getting what I’ve got for about $60,000, and enjoy knowing what makes her tick (and cough up a hair ball now and then).

If that sounds like an approach and experience you’d appreciate, I highly recommend it.
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Old 08-02-2019, 05:44 PM   #7
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Old 08-02-2019, 06:16 PM   #8
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I have had travel trailers and 5th wheels for about 15 years now. I wish I had gone DP Class A from the start. I bought a 2006 Fleetwood Discovery 39S for 53k. The owner had already upgraded all the TVs to smart TVs and added sound bars. New dash radio with bluetooth and Sirius XM and new speakers. The tires were less than a year old. Service records from a freightliner dealer every year for general servicing and random repairs. Regular oil and fuel filter changes. Very well taken care of. I've put 5,000 miles on it in the last 3 months and just done oil and fuel filter change.

Is it possible you could have a 5000 engine repair bill the first month you own it...you bet. But it's not likely. It is much more common to have nothing but regular maintenance bills for a decade or more before your first really big diesel engine issue. Regular engine maintenance is more expensive than the gassers. But it's not triple or quadruple like people would have you believe. The only other system to maintain that a gasser doesnt have is the air suspension and air brakes...that I can think of. Everything else is pretty much comparable.

The only upgrades I've added are a residential refer for about 600 bux. LED headlights for 150. And a Tire pressure monitor system for 400.

I'll never have any coach that doesnt ride smooth and quiet like this, and mine is really only middle quality. There are much much higher quality coaches out there...and I think mine is pretty awesome! (So does wife and 4 kids!)

-Eric E. 2006 Fleetwood Discovery 39S, Cat C7, Allison 6 speed, Freightliner. CFII/MEI Beechcraft Specialty. Gulfstream Contract Pilot.
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Old 08-02-2019, 06:21 PM   #9
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Three years ago we got a used, higher end Newmar Mountain Aire DP that was well maintained by the previous owner from whom we purchased it. Besides normal chassis maintenance, our only expenses have basically been elective upgrades of working things that I have done myself, except replacing a failed Norcold refrigerator with a $900 residential refrigerator that I installed myself. The key to getting an older, higher is being resourceful and handy.
'04 Newmar Mountain Aire 4016
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Old 08-02-2019, 06:21 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jarata View Post
Thatís not even a word.
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Old 08-02-2019, 06:28 PM   #11
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$125k buy in, $30k per year.
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Old 08-02-2019, 06:37 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by diginomad View Post
$125k buy in, $30k per year.
Replacing diamonds rattling out of your mirror frames?
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Old 08-02-2019, 06:50 PM   #13
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Could you fix any of the following?
1. Leveling jacks and/or hyd system
2. Slide mechanisms
3. A gas absorption refer such as the notorious Norcold
4. Power steps

Of course, there are many more that could be added to this list as a DP is a collection of many separate subsystems resulting in a complex "little bundle." Notice that I haven't mentioned the engine, transmission, air brakes, generator, etc.

Would you be able to change the oil and filters & grease the chassis? How about applying Dicor when and where needed to maintain your roof?

Are you able to maintain a $5,000 cash reserve against unanticipated repairs?

Just want you to go into this with both eyes open. Whatever you decide, best of luck in your adventure.
2005 Beaver Monterey 36' 400 hp Cat C9
2004 Newmar DS 4009 DP Sold 8/18
2008 Chev Trailblazer toad
Delaware beaches ----- DW & Kip the Wonder Dog
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Old 08-02-2019, 06:59 PM   #14
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You guys post like if the thing doesn’t run your livelihoods are lost.

It’s a freakin’ RV, not your independently-owned Peterbilt!

Ooh, broke down and had to spend the night at a Marriott...

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