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Old 02-05-2015, 08:03 PM   #1
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1992 American Coach versus 1995 Coachmen Destiny

Gentlemen my misses and I are looking at purchasing our first motorhome.
We are looking at 2 units...
1) 1992 American Eagle (Fleetwood), very well equipped, hardwood floor, 300HP 8.3 Cummins, 5 spd Allison, 22.5 rubber on Alcoa, spartan chassis, 10 new batteries, roof resealed, new sky lights, Onan 8.0 gen, propane rectified, engine & genie work, excellent service records & fully loaded, washer/dryer, counter tops, heated basement...
2) Coachmen Destiny, 4000HP (I can not find 400HP in that year, think its a 300HP) 8.3ltr Cummins, 6 spd Allison, 24.5 rubber (new Michelin), new batteries, good service records, 7.5 Onan, freightliner chassis...
both pretty much same money....
reading info I could find, American Eagle seems like a very well built motorhome...
I welcome any and all comments. I am very mechanical (have built some cars) but do not know a lot about motorhomes...
thank you in advance to anyone that can help...
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Old 02-05-2015, 10:33 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 71gto View Post
Gentlemen my misses and I are looking at purchasing our first motorhome.
We are looking at 2 units...
1) 1992 American Eagle (Fleetwood), very well equipped, hardwood floor, 300HP 8.3 Cummins, 5 spd Allison, 22.5 rubber on Alcoa, spartan chassis, 10 new batteries, roof resealed, new sky lights, Onan 8.0 gen, propane rectified, engine & genie work, excellent service records & fully loaded, washer/dryer, counter tops, heated basement...
2) Coachmen Destiny, 4000HP (I can not find 400HP in that year, think its a 300HP) 8.3ltr Cummins, 6 spd Allison, 24.5 rubber (new Michelin), new batteries, good service records, 7.5 Onan, freightliner chassis...
both pretty much same money....
reading info I could find, American Eagle seems like a very well built motorhome...
I welcome any and all comments. I am very mechanical (have built some cars) but do not know a lot about motorhomes...
thank you in advance to anyone that can help...
You would be very happy with the quality of the build of the Eagle. That is a higher model than my dream and has some nice extras. I particularly like the pantograph hinges on the compartment doors. Some of the Eagles also have a slide out generator for service


I have built a number of cars myself (70 SS El Camino, 78 Trans Am, Front Engine Dragster), I didn't know much about MH when I purchased ours, and now know more than I wish I did.
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Old 02-06-2015, 02:01 AM   #3
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71GTO, I answered on your other thread, so see it! Rail!
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Old 02-06-2015, 07:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennLever View Post
You would be very happy with the quality of the build of the Eagle. That is a higher model than my dream and has some nice extras. I particularly like the pantograph hinges on the compartment doors. Some of the Eagles also have a slide out generator for service


I have built a number of cars myself (70 SS El Camino, 78 Trans Am, Front Engine Dragster), I didn't know much about MH when I purchased ours, and now know more than I wish I did.
awhhh a another good old gear head... I notice you have a car trailer behind your Dream...what was towing capacity on your Dream? The American Eagle has a 5K (seems like all older Coaches do) does it handle it well?
I have a few toys in my collection, 71 GTO Judge, 68 New Yorker, 94 BMW with a chevy 350..
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Old 02-06-2015, 09:15 AM   #5
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awhhh a another good old gear head... I notice you have a car trailer behind your Dream...what was towing capacity on your Dream? The American Eagle has a 5K (seems like all older Coaches do) does it handle it well?
I have a few toys in my collection, 71 GTO Judge, 68 New Yorker, 94 BMW with a chevy 350..
The hitch was rated at 5,000 pounds, I called Fleetwood to see about increasing it, they stated it could not be done.

My Dream is on a Gillig chassis, I called Gillig. They were very helpful. Stated the chassis was designed to hand way more that and that that there is a double u channel frame in the rear.

They have an off the shelf 10,000 hitch as a part for that frame. They call it a "fabricated part" which means they build them as they are ordered. They sent me the plans for it I have attached them.

I used the mounting plates, made them heavier and purchased a 16,000 pound hitch and bolted it up. I have had zero problems.

I called Fleetwood back about Gillig's purchasable 10,000 hitch to try and get the coach recertified for 10,000 pounds but they will not do anything for a coach prior to the new companies purchase after the old Fleetwood went bankrupt. This is even thought the company that built the chassis for them states (in writing) that the chassis is designed for the 10,000 pound hitch.

People here really like Fleetwoods customer service I am not so hot on it, but I guess there really isn't such a thing as customer service these days, so it is all relative.

I think you would be happy with the quality of the older America Coach
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 10k hitch 1.pdf (506.8 KB, 64 views)
File Type: pdf 10k hitch 2.pdf (385.7 KB, 20 views)
File Type: pdf 40-33891.pdf (26.7 KB, 22 views)
File Type: pdf 40-33892.pdf (26.2 KB, 17 views)
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Old 02-06-2015, 10:22 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by GlennLever View Post
The hitch was rated at 5,000 pounds, I called Fleetwood to see about increasing it, they stated it could not be done.

My Dream is on a Gillig chassis, I called Gillig. They were very helpful. Stated the chassis was designed to hand way more that and that that there is a double u channel frame in the rear.

They have an off the shelf 10,000 hitch as a part for that frame. They call it a "fabricated part" which means they build them as they are ordered. They sent me the plans for it I have attached them.

I used the mounting plates, made them heavier and purchased a 16,000 pound hitch and bolted it up. I have had zero problems.

I called Fleetwood back about Gillig's purchasable 10,000 hitch to try and get the coach recertified for 10,000 pounds but they will not do anything for a coach prior to the new companies purchase after the old Fleetwood went bankrupt. This is even thought the company that built the chassis for them states (in writing) that the chassis is designed for the 10,000 pound hitch.

People here really like Fleetwoods customer service I am not so hot on it, but I guess there really isn't such a thing as customer service these days, so it is all relative.

I think you would be happy with the quality of the older America Coach
thanks a million for the diagrams, ya I think it would not take much to get to make it a 10K hitch, my goat in my trailer comes in around 6K (aluminum trailer)
I am leaning towards the American Eagle...looks like a good build.
I called spartan and they told me no old coaches would do a 10K hitch...
its a 300HP 8.3 ltr with a PAC brake, so sometimes its common sense driving....
I'm pretty sure my buddy and I can fab a hitch...
once again thanks for those drawings...gives me specs I need for plates and such...
SO...
there's a goat in my trailer....
whats in yours?
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Old 02-06-2015, 10:35 AM   #7
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Part of the limit is not structural but totals...

Our CC is on Gillig and has a 3500 pound rating sticker at the hitch...

Structure is about 5 times (looks that way) heavier than 12.5 k hitch on f250 so a call to gillig was in order.

They stated that the chassis could pull a house and not care a bit but the hitch was set by the builder.

CC simply stated they rated it for that and for $$$ we could have it recertified for more or seek local engineer to do so but total vehicle limits were likely issue.

Ours was before rules requiring all of the new terms and gillig did not have them as they syated the builder has those and they did not.

If you got a drawing for a 10K factory hitch great but check the weight ratings for total weights as the GCVW may be the issue.

Which chassis do you have?
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Old 02-06-2015, 11:53 AM   #8
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Part of the limit is not structural but totals...

Our CC is on Gillig and has a 3500 pound rating sticker at the hitch...

Structure is about 5 times (looks that way) heavier than 12.5 k hitch on f250 so a call to gillig was in order.

They stated that the chassis could pull a house and not care a bit but the hitch was set by the builder.

CC simply stated they rated it for that and for $$$ we could have it recertified for more or seek local engineer to do so but total vehicle limits were likely issue.

Ours was before rules requiring all of the new terms and gillig did not have them as they syated the builder has those and they did not.

If you got a drawing for a 10K factory hitch great but check the weight ratings for total weights as the GCVW may be the issue.

Which chassis do you have?
Okay guys update here...
to be honest I am shocked, I phoned Spartan yesterday in regards to the American Eagle, they hitches were rated at 5K... it was relative to Engine HP, for cooling capacity, brakes ect...GCWR on American Eagle was GCWR 36K, GCWR 31K & dry weight around 26K
I also called Coachmen in regards to the Destiny, they returned my call today and I am shocked, the GCWR on the Coachmen is 40K (he even sent me brochure), GVWR is 26K and dry weight is 21.3K....
Both MH's have spartan chassis....
like what the heck, I would have thought the American Eagle would have been heavier GCWR....
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Old 02-06-2015, 01:44 PM   #9
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okay well just talked to spartan again....
given the Coachmen has 24.5 rubber they have never built a chassis especially mid 90's with 24.5 rubber....
so have to get the VIN# for the Coachmen and verify this....
talk about doing due diligence ...lol
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Old 02-06-2015, 10:35 PM   #10
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Just a comment on HP.

I drove Gas Tankers for a living. What I drove was called a supper tanker, permitted for 107,000 pounds. It was pulled by a Mack with 307 HP engine.

Don't be fooled by the need for a lot of HP to pull a trailer. You may not go up a hill at 65 MPH but 300 HP is more than enough to motor a MH and a 10,000 pound trailer up a hill. Stopping is the key, do you have the brakes.

A trailer set up correctly should do most of it's own braking.

I pull my 10,000 pound trailer up and down hills faster than most tractor trailers, and more than happy to cruise at 65MPH, and do so effortlessly with 325 HP.

I have had to make several panic stops because of idiots doing stupid things in front of me. MHs do not stop on a dime and you have to drive that way. Leave plenty of room to stop.

You asked what was in the trailer, here you go, this is just after a launch, take a look at the back tire.
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Old 02-07-2015, 09:56 AM   #11
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Oh I totally hear you...
I drove a ole Peterbilt hauling cattle all over US...and super B's grossing 140,000lbs...
The American Eagle also has a PAC brake, so with 300HP & some common sense I don't see a problem...
My car trailer would come in at a total of 6500 to 7000 (tops) with tongue weight about 750...it has brakes so to me its a no brainer...
spartan on the other hand (I talked to them twice yesterday)...so otherwise...
I struggle that 1500lbs is going to destroy the backend of the motorhome....
I see a lot of gas MH's at the track, when you look at there wheel base to total length ratio...I am shocked...my buddy has one and in 3 years no problems...
I also see the American Eagle has a much higher GVWR then the Coachmen...
so I really don't see a problem...
here is what is in my trailer..
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:34 AM   #12
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Oh I totally hear you...
I drove a ole Peterbilt hauling cattle all over US...and super B's grossing 140,000lbs...
The American Eagle also has a PAC brake, so with 300HP & some common sense I don't see a problem...
My car trailer would come in at a total of 6500 to 7000 (tops) with tongue weight about 750...it has brakes so to me its a no brainer...
spartan on the other hand (I talked to them twice yesterday)...so otherwise...
I struggle that 1500lbs is going to destroy the backend of the motorhome....
I see a lot of gas MH's at the track, when you look at there wheel base to total length ratio...I am shocked...my buddy has one and in 3 years no problems...
I also see the American Eagle has a much higher GVWR then the Coachmen...
so I really don't see a problem...
here is what is in my trailer..
Very Nice!

My first race car was a 78 Trans Am with a Pontiac Ram Air III, that engine has made it's way in the Dragster, yes a Pontiac in a dragster. The only original part now is the block. which is still the cast iron Ram Air III block. It is now a 462 (bored and stroked) and makes 813 HP. I want to go faster but common wisdom says Stock blocks are good to 850 HP and then they split down the middle.

Here is a pass with the Trans Am
http://youtu.be/guRUv9tZu6s
.
.
.
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:39 AM   #13
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that is awesome....
mines a pontiac block too, bored & stroked to a 468...
she's doing 600HP on pump gas...
I know what you mean about the 850 & block splitting...
keeping mine at the 600... I also street drive it...
don't see a lot of true pontiac motors and the track anymore...
most pontiac are sodimized with chevy engines...
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Old 02-07-2015, 01:55 PM   #14
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that is awesome....
mines a pontiac block too, bored & stroked to a 468...
she's doing 600HP on pump gas...
I know what you mean about the 850 & block splitting...
keeping mine at the 600... I also street drive it...
don't see a lot of true pontiac motors and the track anymore...
most pontiac are sodimized with chevy engines...
Yes, very true, Chevy parts are so easy to come by and inexpensive.


I'm running alcohol and mechanical injection with a blower
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