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Old 02-14-2012, 12:18 PM   #1
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Need Opinion on Purchase

2004 National Dolphin 36' vs 2003 Holiday Rambler Vacationer 34'

We have sold our RV and am looking at a couple of different RV's. Both have the 8.1 ltr with 5 speed Allison.

04 National has 90,000 kms and is $39,500 and 03 HR has 21,000 kms for $44,500.

Both have 2 slides and in great condition.

Which is the better unit both from a quality and reliability stand point?

I'd greatly appreciate your valued opinions as always!!!
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:26 PM   #2
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IMHO, Holiday Rambler made a very very good coach. We had an 04 and really liked it. We have very little trouble, it had plenty of power and was an all around nice coach. Have never owned a national so can not comment on them but if the HR is in good shape and been taken care of it should make you a great coach.
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:34 PM   #3
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Personally I would opt for the HR. How about the floorplans? Which one would work best for you?? FIL owned a National but I think the HR would have a better build quality. JMHO
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:51 PM   #4
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Be sure the brake caliper/rotor issue was fixed. Hire a mobile RV repair person to meet you at the dealer and check out everything before signing any papers.
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:57 PM   #5
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Also check the refrigerator to make certain that all re-call-changes have been applied.
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:01 PM   #6
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We have an 05 national and love it. The HR would have to have a better floor-plan to make me want to switch. The quality of cabnitry, fit & finish in the National is top notch in our coach - makes me wonder if high quality and low price point was the reason for Nationa'sl demise. (IMHO)
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Old 02-14-2012, 02:25 PM   #7
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We have a 2000 National Sea View, just purchased in Nov. so we haven't had her out on the road yet, but we do love the floor plan and it was in perfect condition. I haven't had any first hand knowledge with Holiday Rambler, so I can't offer any comparison. We had looked at many MH's before picking the National, and we are happy with it.
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:38 AM   #8
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We are on our second National coach and build quality is not a problem. I doubt that the HR would be any better. National gassers also have good floorplans. Not familier with many HR plans, but look both over for layout as that may be the biggest decicing difference.

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Old 02-15-2012, 03:14 PM   #9
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We have a HR with the W-22 which I think is a great platform. I changed out the shocks with Konis and added a rear trac bar and I am very please with the handling. The past two summers we've put on close to 28K miles with no chassis problems. The coach with it's bath and a half is quite livable. Can't speak to the National, but with the 8.1 and the Allison, floor plan would probably be the deciding factor for me. Good luck with the choice. Bob
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:33 PM   #10
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I had a 2004 Dolphin 5342 and it was a terrific gas coach. I had very few problems but did replace the shocks w/Koni's. I thought National made a pretty good product & value, to bad they're gone.
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:54 PM   #11
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We have an 03 Dolphin LX and love it. I think my opinion, all things being equal, you may have a tie here---pick the best flooorplan to make you happy.

We looked at HR when we shopping for our rig ten years ago. All I remember (except thinking they were nice and seemed a comparable quality) was a conversation about the walls being thicker than most RV's therefore more insullation. I discounted it reasoning that it had aluminum studs through the walls a great conductor of heat and cold negating any insullation value from thicker walls.
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooter View Post
Be sure the brake caliper/rotor issue was fixed. Hire a mobile RV repair person to meet you at the dealer and check out e
verything before signing any papers.
you can look under the hood/grille for the WH recall stickers to see what services have been done.
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:08 PM   #13
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I looked at another National Dolphin LX today. An 02'. I have to say that I wasn't too impressed with the quality of build. The vinyl covered mouldings throughout were pealing at the edges. REALLY thin vinyl vineer. Also a full plastic dash. My older Winnebago was better built. Hope I don't regret selling it!
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