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Old 04-22-2015, 07:41 AM   #1
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Used DP, on the side or in the rear.

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
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:52 AM   #2
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Quote:
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
I would recommend the side radiator, if as you say, you are a do it yourselfer. Some maintenance issues will be resolved whole lot easier.
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:12 AM   #3
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Hi Lloyd if I was in your shoes about 3 yrs ago. I wish I knew then what I know now! Be careful and do your due diligence on any unit you find you may be interested in.Don't trust the sales people! They may not be dishonest but many times they just give wrong info that may apply to a different coach.
A side radiator is a plus and they will be found on the higher priced coaches in each manufactures line-up. Don't be afraid of an older coach and in your budget I would look at 2006 and older and you will avoid a lot of engines that are burdened down with EPA required afterburner issues and such.
Caterpillar no longer makes a highway engine and support is nonexistent, I would stick with Cummins engines.
I would look at Tiffin,Newmar, Monaco,American Coach,these all made great coaches and you should be able to find a really nice well-mantained coach in your price range.A private seller is also a real possibility.
Look for models you like and then try to find that model where someone has maintained it and improved it like newer technology such as flat screen TV.
You may have to travel farther away from home to see a variety.
Lazy Days down in Tampa would be a great place to look at different models.
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:39 AM   #4
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I also am a DIY type and when first searching for a DP I did not think side or rear was a deal breaker. Ended up finding a well maintained 2002 Newmar MA that was a side radiator. Going a little older also let me look at higher end models in their day with more features. These features I have grown to appreciate the more we use them.
Side radiator allows much easier access to engine and I am always popping the hood looking things over for leaks etc.
Also on the air brakes mine has a normal brake pedal but has the parking brake knob. I suspect the majority of diesel pushers would have air brakes.
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:44 AM   #5
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Side radiator if doing your own maint as I do. Look for a coach from a high end builder. Country Coach, Monoco, Travel Supreme, American Coach, and Holiday Rambler just to name a few.
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Old 04-22-2015, 09:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lloyd in S.C. View Post
how hard should we try to find a side radiator unit? Will O totally regret not getting one later?
In my very limited experience, the side radiator is a wonderful thing. It makes basic maintenance and visual inspections much, much easier. When something isn't easy, we tend not to do it. You probably know all of that already so I guess I'm just registering a 'yes' vote.
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Old 04-22-2015, 09:19 AM   #7
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Side radiator allows easier access to rear of engine for things like serpentine belt etc. Other than that there is no performance advantage to either. You lose some basement storage with side radiator. Side radiators typically come on the higher end coaches.
My personal view. If your going just do your own routine maintenance then either will do just fine. If your serious about doing all your maintenance and minor repair the side radiator might be better.
I would be more concerned with things like maintenance records, floor plan, amenities, latest technology (things like flat screen TV, entertainment system, etc.)
refrigerator, tire age.
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Old 04-22-2015, 09:07 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 04-22-2015, 09:17 PM   #9
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Side radiator for us although with the Magna the engine is so large and the coolant overflow tank is there too that there really isn't much access to the engine itself. The belts and dipsticks are right out in the open though.
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:27 AM   #10
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I have a 2003 revoltion and it has air brakes
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:40 AM   #11
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Shopping for a coach 3-4 states away is never going to pay well in my book, but if I know exactly what I'm looking for, I would not be a bit shy of traveling much further to get one/consummate a purchase.

While I'm here, I'll also add I do my own work, and my rear radiator has not kept me from doing anything I've needed to do, including belt changes (45 minutes) and changing an alternator. It's also a Cat, and the fact there is no support available is news to me....
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:49 AM   #12
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Even some of the new semis are coming out with "standard" brake pedals, instead of the treadle type.

I think the reason why is so many are familiar with the "standard".

I LOVE the treadle type, as a long time semi driver. It is at the same level as the fuel treadle, and allows one to just slide your foot over to the brake. The "normal" type require you to lift your foot to find the brake pedal.

I got a 1990 Bluebird Wanderlodge. In your price range, you can go up to 2000 or so in Bluebirds. They are built sooooooo much better than most of the others. Look into them. Go to WOG, Wanderlodge Owners Group forums, and read. Coaches for sale there too.
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:20 AM   #13
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When we were looking to replace our Class C for a DP I didn't have a clue as the pro's and con's of rear versus side radiator. We got lucky and ended up buying a 2002 Monaco Windsor in 2008 with a side radiator. Since the purchase I have been spent a lot of time researching how to maintain the coach.

I am now convinced that the side radiator is the way to go. With the back hatch door you have full access to the back of the engine to do maintenance and inspections. I usually inspect the engine and check oil and belts every other day on a long trip.

The side radiator does not get as dirty either. Usually when washing the coach I will hose out the radiator, usually not getting much dirt out of it. Last year I took the time to clean using a cleaner and spraying both from the inside out and then outside in multiple times. Still not much dirt. On a daily basis on IRV2 there is a post concerning a rear radiator coach running hot, in some cases the radiator has to be removed and cleaned to solve the problem.

Our coach also has the air brakes coupled with an exhaust brake. I have +100K miles on the coach and the brakes show little sign of wear, I'm guessing I still have lots of life left. Braking performance is also good, I can't compare to a hydraulic system since I haven't driven but I know my brakes stop my coach and toad (jeep grand Cherokee) in a very short distance.

You will have to research each coach you are interested in to see if it has air brakes, or do what I do >>> Just ask the question
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
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
Hi Lloyd! I think you will definitely regret not getting a side radiator! It makes working on the engine so much easier!

I don't know about the brake pedal thingy.

Good luck, with your decision!
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