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Old 04-23-2015, 09:01 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Lloyd in S.C. View Post
Greetings all! Been awhile since I posted here, started off a couple years ago on a mission to move to a DP, got sidetracked built a house, a new reitement place in the country etc etc.. Anyway,,,, back to our next RV.

We are long time RV'ers, both our families had travel trailers, we met in a campground in Mystic Seaport Conn.. We bought our first RV a 13' TT in 1974. Towed it with a Mustang II. LOL

We are getting serious about moving from our 5th wheel Toy Hauler to a DP. Looking at used in the $75k to $125k range. I am a pretty handy guy, will do all the maint/repairs myself except for the really big stuff.

In our price range there appears to be many units available within a 200 mile range. Of course with used units, many are in dirty condition, not well taken care of, and of no interest to us. I thought I should focus on side radiator units, however if we do that, we go from 10 to look at, to 2-3. Unless we look further from home.

We looking at 6 to 10 year old units that probably will need maint and care, and as previuosly said will do most of that myself, how hard should we try to find a side radiator unit? Will O totally regret not getting one later?

Second question.... We will tow a trailer with my vintage bikes to events. I like air brakes. Ad's don't seem to give a lot of stats on the drivetrains, but via the pics I can of course spot the traditional air brake peddal. However, i see many with a "normal" brake pedal. Are those hydraulic brake untis? An example of this is the Fleetwood Revolutions.

Thanks for your time, Lloyd

Lloyd,

Good luck in your search. Look at lots of coaches. Go to big dealerships (Lazy Days is example) and spend time. RV shows and rallies are good too.

Specifically your questions.

1. Since you will do some maintainance yourself a side radiator is great for access to the engine. Side radiators are more complex which is not great and you lose a basement compartment but they stay much cleaner for much longer.

2. The only DP builder who used hydraulic brakes was Western RV with their Alpine Coach brand. A few entry level DPs have air over hydraulic systems but they aren't particularly common. You will find a mix of brake peddle types. 15 years ago many coach builders started using automotive type "hung" brake peddles. The thinking was & still is, that most owners are familiar with that configuration. The treadle type works equally well. Look for the big parking brake knob close to the driver. If you pull it out & hear the 18 wheeler "Pssshhhh", you know you are dealing with air brakes.


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Old 04-23-2015, 12:29 PM   #16
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A lot of coaches have adjustable pedals that move in or out according to driver preference. You pretty much need the "hung" style of pedal with these, as trying to move a floor mounted treadle valve is more complicated. The pedal style is not an indicator of brake type, but the parking brake knob is a dead giveaway.
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Old 04-23-2015, 09:55 PM   #17
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Super stuff everyone! Thanks!

Now I know I am getting into brand preference,,,,,, I found a 08 Mandalay Pesidio 400, 25,000 miles, very clean, 400 Cummings, side rad, w/ a 30 day warrantee, $105k.......

Oh, on a freightliner....

Thor Mandalay good quality?

L.
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Old 04-23-2015, 10:04 PM   #18
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Thanks everyone! Great input!

And you have me sold. I was looking at newer units, that were in my price range that of course then were rear radiator units. I think I will take your advice, gonna find a side radiator unit.

I see lots of the CAT engine units. I did not have it on my list of avoids, knew they got out of the business but thought I heard parts and service are still good? I do prefer a cummings, and we live about 25 miles from the Freightliner chasis plant so I prefer a FL chasis.

Appreciate all the educted advise!

L.
No problem getting a Cat worked on. Many of them still on the road. Parts are readily available.
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Old 04-24-2015, 02:11 AM   #19
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Hands down, a side radiator is the ticket. Look at older Newmars. They are built on Spartan Chassis with front independent air suspension. They ride like a big Detroit built boat going down the road but handle very well. I can drive with one finger on the wheel and don't get fatigued on long runs when I have to do one.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:54 AM   #20
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No problem getting a Cat worked on. Many of them still on the road. Parts are readily available.
HoleInOne

I see you live in central Indiana, where do you go for service or do you do your own?
We have tried several shops including MacAlister Cat and we have not been happy with the service or the knowledge base.They like to fix them by throwing new parts at the problem.And that can get very expensive!

It just seems that since Caterpillar has left the OTR market it doesn't make sense to buy a Cat engine if you have the choice and you are an informed buyer.I know there are parts and I know there are mechanics but some of these C9,C13,and C15 engines have problems with the DPF system and the afterburner assembly.

I really believe it is an engineering problem on a number of coaches and why risk it? I was just trying to help by advising to look at Cummins perhaps instead of Cat.
I bought a motorhome with a Cat engine because I didn't know any better and my wife fell in love with the coach and I had a slick salesman.

There are so many nice older coaches out there that have been well cared for that if I was looking again I would definitely stay away from a post-2007 Cat C9 engine and look to Cummins if Im looking at a newer model used coach. If Im looking at pre-2007 I might not care so much.

Hey--I love my 425 hp Cat when it is running fine. It is a beast!
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Old 04-25-2015, 06:14 AM   #21
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HoleInOne

I see you live in central Indiana, where do you go for service or do you do your own?
We have tried several shops including MacAlister Cat and we have not been happy with the service or the knowledge base.They like to fix them by throwing new parts at the problem.And that can get very expensive!

It just seems that since Caterpillar has left the OTR market it doesn't make sense to buy a Cat engine if you have the choice and you are an informed buyer.I know there are parts and I know there are mechanics but some of these C9,C13,and C15 engines have problems with the DPF system and the afterburner assembly.

I really believe it is an engineering problem on a number of coaches and why risk it? I was just trying to help by advising to look at Cummins perhaps instead of Cat.
I bought a motorhome with a Cat engine because I didn't know any better and my wife fell in love with the coach and I had a slick salesman.

There are so many nice older coaches out there that have been well cared for that if I was looking again I would definitely stay away from a post-2007 Cat C9 engine and look to Cummins if Im looking at a newer model used coach. If Im looking at pre-2007 I might not care so much.

Hey--I love my 425 hp Cat when it is running fine. It is a beast!
I definitely would stay away from post 2007 Cats.They never did get the DEF system figured out and that was the main reason they got out of the over the road diesel systems IMO. Not a big fan of McAllister but that's another story. I have found a small shop that works primarily on dump trucks and have been very pleased with their work. I was looking for a Cummins when we bought but liked the coach and have not been disappointed with the Cat.
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Old 04-25-2015, 07:54 AM   #22
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I definitely would stay away from post 2007 Cats.They never did get the DEF system figured out
I thought particulate filters were introduced in 2007, and DEF wasn't until 2010?
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:07 AM   #23
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Besides having easier access for doing specific chores on a side-radiator coach, the condenser stack stays cleaner versus a rear-radiator coach PLUS they are less susceptible to rock and stone damage from debris kicked up by the rear dually wheels.

Frankly I would not own a rear radiator coach but that is just me. I am not putting down the rear radiator coach owners as everyone has a right to choose whatever they want for THEIR coach. I am simply pointing out what was important for me when I went searching for my coach.

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Old 04-25-2015, 08:14 AM   #24
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I thought particulate filters were introduced in 2007, and DEF wasn't until 2010?
In 2007 Caterpillar introduced the Acert engine with a DPF or Diesel Particulate Filter to burn off the exhaust and theoretically exhaust clean air out of the engine per the EPA requirements.These engines need to be paired with a proper air supply system and that is usually the problem as the coach manufacturers and Cat didn't seem to be on the same page.So you have a "software vs hardware" problem that no longer has anybody trying to figure it out since Cat doesn't care.-IMHO>

The DEF or Diesel Exhaust Fluid WAS introduced in 2010 and became the norm. By this time Caterpillar had decided to abandon the road engine market all together That is why I think you get very little support from Caterpillar these days and probably even less in years to come. Sure you may find a mechanic to work on it but I would stay away from those Acert engines.

I have one and it is a constant worry!
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Old 04-25-2015, 06:37 PM   #25
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Lloyd
We have a 2008 Mandalay 40G and love it. Our Cummins ISL 400 engine was built in December 2006. We average 7.6 MPG. We do not have the pdf of def system on ours. The PDF engines started being built in January 2007. We love our Mandalay. Every person I have talked to that have the Mandalay are very happy with them. What year was the engine manufactured in the one you are looking at? Also vote for the side radiator.
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Old 04-25-2015, 06:46 PM   #26
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IMO - getting a floorplan your wife is happy with is more important than where the radiator is located.
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Old 04-25-2015, 07:22 PM   #27
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IMO - getting a floorplan your wife is happy with is more important than where the radiator is located.
I agree. While easy access to my side-rad. engine is welcome, it is not as important as the quality of life living in the MH with DW.
Sure, a rear-rad coach is more expensive to have worked on, but the initial cost is less, so I assume it all evens out.
The side-radiators hydraulic-driven fan can consume up to 70HP at times.
Everything is a trade-off.
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:03 PM   #28
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Hi Lloyd,
I agree with getting the floor plan you and the wife like. We bought a 2008 Beaver with a side rad and the 400hp C-9 Cat. It purrs like a kitten and I get it serviced at the local Finning Truck Centre. Have a look at Beavers when you are shopping....I didn't realize they were that high end when we were looking. This one is loaded to the nuts and that's the way I like it. If something breaks, I fix it if I can. If I can't, I will find somebody that can. They all have their quirks, even Cummins vs. Caterpiller. BTW, I was more concerned with the amount of engine torque (1250 in ours). Some were rated as low as 700.....I wanted to go over the mountains, not have to drive around....

I am by no means a veteran of driving a DP but there is nothing like learning on the job....good luck with your search.

Just my $.02 worth,
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