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Old 06-23-2012, 07:44 PM   #1
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Vintage Beaver Contessa 36' yes or no

Hello All - We have come across a 1992 Beaver Contessa 36, one owner, always covered, 55,000 miles, mint condition. Power is Cat 3116 250hp paired with Allison 4-speed. Anyone with experience with this setup? What's the good and bad? Is it underpowered? Is the tranny inadequate? We tow a 2003 Wrangler. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
Carol and Linda

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Old 06-23-2012, 11:54 PM   #2
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Old 06-24-2012, 08:49 AM   #3
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Location: Ulster Park, NY
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We bought a 1988 Beaver 3 yrs ago from its second owner. It has a Detroit Diesel w/ the 4 speed Allison. To date, we have had no issues with the engine and drivetrain. If I had my way, I would prefer a 6 speed but considering what we paid for it, we could not match the quality of this coach. It is on a Gillig chassis. We have updated some things but they have all been relatively minor and things you would expect will need attention. As I am writing this, it is in the shop being serviced and having new tires installed. We look at it in the same way you would look at a house that needs periodic maintenance.

This question often comes up on this forum regarding the age of a motorhome and what issues you might encounter as a result. People are wary of something old as a potential moneypit. But if you read enough posts you will find numerous problems with rvs in general, age notwithstanding. I would rather have a quality built vehicle that is older than something newer of lesser quality. It's a choice you have to make for yourself based on your needs and budget.
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:54 PM   #4
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'92 Beaver Contessa

Thanks for the replies. The age doesn't bother me so much as the underpowered diesel paired with a 4-speed transmission. Plus, I understand the Gillig chassis does not have IFS so the turning radius is greater than the ubiquitous Freightliner of late '90s and up.I think we might regret that older combo down the road, so we are going to pass on what otherwise is a beautiful older coach. Looking now for a 1998-2000 National Tradewinds 7370 with walnut interior (and Linda wants a side-by-side fridge - she's sick and tired of our small little Dometic in our old 1991 Lazy Daze C). Thanks again, folks.
Carol (and Linda)
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beaver, vintage

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