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Old 09-30-2010, 05:18 PM   #1
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Smile New to RVing

Hi, eveyone,
My wife and I are new to the Rv world, unless you count my experiences with my parents and their 33?ft Airstream back in the late 60's.
We plan to purchase a CLass A RV in November and then take our "children"- 3 golden rescue dogs and our 2 cats- to sunny Florida.
My questions are: which is better-diesel front engine or pusher?
We plan to use it sparingly- more in 2011. We have been looking at 35 to 37 ft rvs. What are the most important questions for us to ask regarding the purchase of our home on the road?
Thanks,
Paul
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Old 09-30-2010, 07:04 PM   #2
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First off...

I'm sure you'll get a lot of opinions on this. I'll just throw out a couple things.

Front engine: Noise is right under you, driveshaft is very long (and limits basement storage), and is probably a lower powered rig.

Rear engine: Noise is several yards behind you. Lots of storage. Will cost more, but also enjoys better resale.

Access can be challenging in either, assuming a class A.

This will just get this thread started. I suspect there will be a lot of posts to follow.

Good luck!
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:07 PM   #3
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Welcome Paul,
A couple of questions. Are you talking gas or diesel front engine? If you're thinking gas, the cost of normal maintenance (oil change, lub, etc.) is much lower. Front engine diesel (FRED) will be overall cheaper to maintain than rear engine diesel since it has standard spring chassis construction rather than air ride. The rear engine diesel (diesel pusher - DP) is quiet of front while your driving and/or riding up toward the front. If you're sleeping in the rear and have the generator running it is quiet in bedroom because the generator is up front. Most critical question - which floor plan best suites your needs and that you like best?
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Old 10-02-2010, 02:53 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. We believe that a diesel pusher is the correct choice. We know that we need to construct a special access ramp for our kids. We have looked at the Itasca line of class A's.
Any recommendations on this brand? Also, can the diesel be run on bio diesel?
Are there traction problems in snow?
We hope to leave by early November, but plans are always subject to change!
Again, thanks to everyone.
Paul
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Old 10-02-2010, 03:09 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum Paul! Sounds like you're in for an adventure.

There are countless opinions on the gas vs diesel you can find here on the forum but it sounds like you've already answered that question.

We have an Itasca Ellipse 40FD. We full time in it with our three dogs and love it. I don't know about biodiesel and hope I NEVER know about how good its traction is in the snow.

Good Luck,

Rick
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Old 10-02-2010, 03:44 PM   #6
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We really like our Itasca...

Our coach...see signature...is very nice. It has the mid entrance, but a front entrance would be OK too. We have the California King bed and it is longer than our king bed at home. This gives our pooch a place to sleep without bothering us. The rear diesel is really quiet when the coach is driven. We used to have (years ago) a front gasser and that engine would scream when going up hills. It was hard to talk over. When I start the rear diesel I have to check the tachometer to see that it is running and we can listen to the radio and talk as if the engine was not there. Quiet is the key word here. I think that Winnebago/Itasca coaches are built well and we really enjoy it. We have added two ride enhancements that made a good ride even better and nothing more is needed. We bought it used with 7,000 miles and felt that we saved $ by doing so. Take your time looking for the right coach at the right price...it's out there! Happy travels, Joe
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Old 10-02-2010, 07:20 PM   #7
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One additioal thing to consider is where are you typically going to be using your coach. A "northern" coach has thicker walls, more inslation and will withstand the extreme temps better. If you're staying in moderate climates, it doesn't matter. If not, a couple examples of "northern" coaches are Newmar and Tiffin. Enjoy.
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Old 10-02-2010, 07:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SherynWard View Post
One additioal thing to consider is where are you typically going to be using your coach. A "northern" coach has thicker walls, more inslation and will withstand the extreme temps better. If you're staying in moderate climates, it doesn't matter. If not, a couple examples of "northern" coaches are Newmar and Tiffin. Enjoy.


you might need to explain that one a bit more jim
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:37 AM   #9
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Northern Coach explanation...We're from Iowa where it gets cold in the evenings regardless of the snow. We're now on our 3rd coach (different brands) and we've discovered that all coaches are not created equal. Winnebagos/Itascas are made in Iowa, so we're familiar with them. They're great coaches, however, their side walls (as are other brands) are thinner with less insulation than the Newmars and the Tiffin coaches. If planning to camp in cooler climates, you might want to consider thicker walled coaches for your comfort and your furnace bills. And yes, I too, recommend a diesel pusher. Above all, buy what makes you happy because you'll be living with it for a long time.
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