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Old 07-10-2014, 12:09 PM   #85
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Now as tot he helium fridge, I am not all that familiar ... this is different than the current norcold's you find yes?
The Norcold and Dometics are, I believe hydrogen. Atwood makes several helium absorption models. There has been some discussion of it lately in one of the threads on the Foretravel forum.
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:17 PM   #86
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We just went thru this whole process and even though i had a budget of 300k the list included
King bed ( high priority )
bath and half ( also high on the list)
full slide ( not a deal breaker )
Ended up finding a 2008 American Tradition 42f
it had all the above and under 200k was a bonus
we bought it, packed and headed on a 6000 mile trip with fingers crossed.
all in all it worked out great,
the 425hp didn't have the power i thought it would have on hills, so i had to down shift a lot so as not to set off the engine alarm ( driving a 60-65mph may have been to slow)
mileage best was 8 worst was 5
It drove great even in big winds. just wish it had more go to it. ( even though it had just been serviced i am going to take it in and see if something isn't quite right)
i had never slept in a sleep number bed before and now am thinking about getting one at home.
Full wall slide really makes it nice. glad we went this route.
The bath and a half also just makes camping better.
dash air didn't work very well so had to run generator most of the time to run the coach air, the whole trip it seemed that is was at least 90 out.
but overall am very happy with the coach and hope to get many years of fun out of it.
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:27 PM   #87
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:48 PM   #88
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Agreed, that rig right there is certainly in my short list.

With out 400 on steep grades we will slow to about 40 45, if the grade isn't too bad we can accelerate up. I think this is pretty much how almost all coaches are going to be short of a massive engine.

Congrats on your find!! You got a good one for sure! American makes a stout coach, and their customer service folks are awesome, amazing, cherry, helpful - really love this brand.
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:59 PM   #89
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We FT for almost 3yrs in a 38' rig and for two people + 2dogs we wouldn't need or want anything bigger. Our dream rig would NOT have a tag axle or a full wall slide.....too much unnecessary complexity and weight & $$$$......and "yes" it would have restricted or at least made access to any number of places uncomfortable.

I would love a 38' Dutch Star with 4 slides & Comfort Drive. The power to weight ratio of 83lbs/hp & 8000lb CCC is way more attractive to us than 44'....100lbs/hp & 8,700 CCC. We live and RV in the West where mountain passes and steep/long inclines are the norm and struggling to eeek-out the summit in an under-powered 44' coach would not add to our RV experience. The tag brakes going down would be nice, but with less weight & a 2stage compression brake is this really necessary? Our Rexhall was a single axle on a Spartan MM and I could drive it in the Coachella Valley cross winds with very little drama .....so I'm pretty sure the Comfort Drive would more than compensate for the tag.

I'm also sold on Newmars' build quality and particularly their INSULATION. Having lived in Mexico we appreciate the value of insulation for "heat" as well as for cold. At 38' with Newmar's insulation.... 2 AC units would easily cool the space and negate the need for a third AC unit even in +40C temps. I'd also avoid aqua-hot (weight/complexity/$$) as even in our poorly insulated Rexhall, (lots of time in the mountains, early spring & late fall in Canada & cold desert Arizona in the winter) our electric fireplace and down quilt meant we seldom fired-up the propane furnace.....we never intended to take our RV skiing or felt the need for endless showers!

I'd also avoid the added weight & $$$ of a larger generator, a 6-8 battery bank, multiple inverters and anything else associated with an all-electric coach. I'd rather have a helium absorption fridge than a residential and we could go days on 4 batteries so the need for a complex solar system would also unnecessary for us. Can't think of any reason we'd ever need 2 bathrooms and my worst nightmare would be an electric macerating toilet in a Slide .....pumping to the discharge wet bay. We also can 't understand why big 40+ rigs have such inadequate kitchens.....two burners, no oven, no counter space and a dishwasher....really ? ..... we have a dishwasher in our house and with the 2 of us we only run it once a month (like a generator) to keep the seals and motor lubricated!

Clearly your needs are much different than ours, but if you start by recognizing the things you NEED from the those you DON'T and the $$$ & compromises that are inevitable.....then I am sure you could cut your short-list of desirable Coaches down to no more than a dozen. BTW I would never consider NEW and would try for something between 4-6yrs old at around 50% of what the original buyer paid .....as a result....with our modest wish list we couldn't even begin to spend $250K for our dream rig or contemplate loosing 2-3K p/mo. to depreciation. On the other hand, if you're prepared to spend $250K ....prepared to maintain & repair an expensive/complex machine.....and live with some serious depreciation down the road.....then you should get a pretty awesome unit..... Good luck.
Wow, Your my exact opposite !

Everything you would'nt want, I have, and would'nt want to be without !!
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Old 07-10-2014, 04:54 PM   #90
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Wow, Your my exact opposite ! Everything you would'nt want, I have, and would'nt want to be without !!
I hear ya....if I was in charge of new product design & development at any of the big diesel pusher companies, I'd be listening to you...not me. I image the market for +40 outsells the sub-40 by 10-1 in the premium diesel pusher category. In addition, I would expect that........(1) all electric, (2) full wall slide, (3) bath & half, (4) agua hot, (5) call out for dinner kitchens.....are a must have.

We're just at a point in our lives where we no longer want a .......6 bedroom, 5.5 bath, media room, wine cellar, restaurant grade kitchen, 4 car garage .....home..... either. Pretty unlikely that we'll be getting an invite to the next open house in the premium sub-division down the street. On the other hand, I do kinda have my eye on that new Taylor Made Driver that is guaranteed to get me an additional 15yrds!
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Old 07-10-2014, 05:28 PM   #91
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And there you have it folks. Two different takes thus, making the world go around.
What a country.
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:44 PM   #92
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Jay,
Your rev all ready to trade/sell? Wall all finished up?

BTW, got an AGS off ebay for $75, going to wire it up when I next have my rig.

Also, did yall decide to sell the S&B? I know you were contemplating. Also, going to make this a commercially licensed rig?

Chris
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:26 PM   #93
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I hear ya....if I was in charge of new product design & development at any of the big diesel pusher companies, I'd be listening to you...not me. I image the market for +40 outsells the sub-40 by 10-1 in the premium diesel pusher category. In addition, I would expect that........(1) all electric, (2) full wall slide, (3) bath & half, (4) agua hot, (5) call out for dinner kitchens.....are a must have.

We're just at a point in our lives where we no longer want a .......6 bedroom, 5.5 bath, media room, wine cellar, restaurant grade kitchen, 4 car garage .....home..... either. Pretty unlikely that we'll be getting an invite to the next open house in the premium sub-division down the street. On the other hand, I do kinda have my eye on that new Taylor Made Driver that is guaranteed to get me an additional 15yrds!
Jack, without even addressing your 2nd paragraph, I know where your coming from. It's true, the more hi-teck gizmos, the more to go wrong!
Im still young enough, too crawl around under my coach, and fix problems.
Otherwise, your probably right, keep things simple.
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:49 PM   #94
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Jack, without even addressing your 2nd paragraph, I know where your coming from. It's true, the more hi-teck gizmos, the more to go wrong!
Im still young enough, too crawl around under my coach, and fix problems.
Otherwise, your probably right, keep things simple.
Don't forget from the Red Green anthology "if it moves and shouldn't use duct tape, if it doesn't move and it should use WD40".

Unfortunately today everything made will deteriorate. If it moves it will deteriorate faster. It is a matter of choosing the conveniences and luxuries you want to enjoy. If you want more space you must go longer or wider (or both). If you want to watch different TV shows at the same time you need two tv's. . . . . . . fill in the blanks.

All in all we will purchase what fits us and fortunately there is enough difference so everyone has a choice when they start looking for a unit.
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:05 AM   #95
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Like most on this forum I've read the threads on the fire dangers of the amonia/hydrogen adsorption refrigerators commonly used in RVs. I've also read that residential freon fridges are also far from foolproof and can also pose a potential fire hazard...and do not offer the advantages of the 2 way (gas/electric)

WHO or WHAT do you believe?

We had a Dometic that performed flawlessly and gave us the gas/electric option. As a result, if I was looking for a NEW rig I'd specify/option one of the new "helium" absorption models....helium being an inert nonflammable gas....why not? Seems to me to be one way to exit this entire debate...sleep at night...and just worry about my inverter/batteries/or propane system exploding and bar-be-queing us in our sleep!

The only problem is I would prefer a Used rig so this would have to be a retro-fit and I believe the largest helium fridge is 8c/ft.... which might make the whole exercise pointless if it didn't fit the existing spot or was tooooo small to be practical.

Anyway....starting to see the helium fridges showing-up more regularly on New stuff.....hopefully a step in the right direction for safety.
We had the helium fridge in the travel trailer that we owned before moving up to the Tour MH, which has the residential fridge. Would never go back. The residential fridge has it hands down for convenience. Lots of room, ice maker, etc. Also we had to keep the propane on while traveling for the helium fridge to work. To me this poses a far greater hazard than any that could occur from the residential fridge. You can also use a lot of propane. Finally note that in some states its illegal to travel with the propane tank on. At a minimum you cannot go through a tunnel anywhere like this.
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Old 07-11-2014, 01:39 PM   #96
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Jay,
Your rev all ready to trade/sell? Wall all finished up?

BTW, got an AGS off ebay for $75, going to wire it up when I next have my rig.

Also, did yall decide to sell the S&B? I know you were contemplating. Also, going to make this a commercially licensed rig?

Chris
Man I have no idea what to do But I know 1000% more than I ever did now.

The REV is super nice, and I can keep her going for years to come. It's just a couple of things we realize after spending 4 months straight + a couple of more weeks long outtings in her that we might like differently.

That king bed would be an amazing change! Adding an A/C would help for sure during the summer. And somehow squeeking out a TV in the living area opposite the couch would rock.

Now I know for sure, almost any bus could be modified to place a pop up tv behind a couch, in a desk / table combo, or on a piece of new furniture. Modifications can make that happen. And folks like bradd and hall are really doing some cool stuff with these new concepts.

Adding an A/C on the other hand is way more involved, but can be done.

And now I'm really in a pickle because.... with the amount of miles we clock, I know in my heart of hearts that the tag would make the driving more stable.

However, once you go to the 42 foot or bigger, our favorite hidey hole type spots are now more difficult or impossible. I find myself a fan of the secluded state park / COE over the grand rv resort with units packed in side by side and someone's dog that barks at 6am. Although occasionally I like those too for the company they provide when one is in the mood to be around people.

That's what lead me to the concept of a shorter unit, which is great in some ways... it's lighter, more nimble, more maneuverable.

The space in the floorplan is really not all that different, and for the two of us is just fine, and it allows me to go anywhere I want....... but how does it behave on a 2200 mile trek. Just walk inside a tiffin 33aa and it's like... almost heaven! The entry to the bedroom is AWESOME and it feels just as spacious from the living area as the rev does. When you think about it, the 40' rev living area stops where the hallway begins, about the same length as the living space up front in the 33aa. The L-shaped couch is a joke, just remove it, place a straight couch in place of it. forget the booth dinette opposite and do the computer desk / table. Modify the back side of it to hide a tv. BAM done.

It's interesting when you compare floorplans side by side... a few feet isn't a huge loss. And my ego doesn't "need" bigger, badder, better... this is more about livable utility to me.

And I also want to pay as little as possible to safely and properly accomplish my goals (as would anyone I suspect) If I can find the right combo of floorplan + reliability + price, I could gut the furniture and tweak it to my liking.

But how do you know what works and doesn't?
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:03 PM   #97
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What I've begun to notice in my searches is that there are a lot of nice buses in the 160k to 199k range. I mean heck, if 250 is my max, why should I have to spend it all.
plasma800

Believe me whether you spend $160k or $250k you can/will easily spend another 50k on maintenance, repairs, tires, batteries, etc, over the next 10 years, (105k miles).
IMO, a good plan is to spend much less on the initial purchase than you can afford, (then you will have money to fix the things you need to fix in the future).
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:45 PM   #98
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Also we had to keep the propane on while traveling for the helium fridge to work. To me this poses a far greater hazard than any that could occur from the residential fridge. You can also use a lot of propane. Finally note that in some states its illegal to travel with the propane tank on. At a minimum you cannot go through a tunnel anywhere like this.
Understand your preference for a residential fridge, but a traditional 2way/gas absorption RV fridge in a MH is perfectly capable of operating exclusively on electricity as you drive down the road (batteries/inverter/alternator) ... in the same way that your compressor driven residential fridge keeps things cool as you drive. I think you are indicating a preference for a MH vrs. a travel trailer....and perhaps a preference for an "all-electric" vrs, a gas/electric MH.

For us....the gas option is important from an electric management point of view. While we do very little boondocking, we do frequent many, many RV Parks where 50amp power is not available. Having the option of switching our fridge & hot water heater to gas...having a gas cooktop & oven....and having a propane furnace....is an important feature when on the limits imposed by 30 amp power or off-the-power-grid. The other advantage to helium & residential units vrs ammonia hydrogen is that they are not as sensitive to being out-of-level. The big disadvantage for helium seems to be size (8c/FT) vrs. 12c/FT or larger in a residential compressor driven unit.

At the end of the day however.....whether you do or do not have propane there is always the risk of fire. I guess we're just partial to the drama of going-up in a propane fireball vrs becoming crispy citters in an electrical fire. In either case they both pretty much lead to cashing-in either the RV Insurance or the Life Insurance!
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