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Old 09-27-2010, 02:25 PM   #1
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Would this MH do the job?

I am new to the MH world, and trying to decide what used MH to buy for as little cost as possible!

We do not plan to become snow birds, but would want to drive at least twice or three time a year across the Rockies into CA. We would liek to tow a jeep Grand cherokee behind the rig.

I am currently looking at a 1994 Gulfstream Sunvoyager 102 that is 34 ft long. I can purchase this MH for a very good price!!

The unit is propelled by a 230 hp Cummins diesel and a six speed Allison transmission.

Would this unit handle my need OK, or would it be better to look for a Chevy or Ford gas engine unit?


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Old 09-27-2010, 02:39 PM   #2
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It sums up as: Get the biggest baddest, most powerful thing you can afford and one you like.

I have never heard the complaint: It's just waaaaay toooo powerful. Oversize can be an issue, but there are more complaints: 5:1 the MH/RV is too small over it's too big.

Just for fun

Let's do a poll and see what others think are most important:
Length? Power? Gas? Diesel? Name Brand? Chassis? Coach Body? Price?

I will open a new thread for this poll.
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Old 09-27-2010, 03:21 PM   #3
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The answer might lie in how heavy your target rig is. I have 120 lbs of rig per 1 hp when towing a JGC.

On 6% grades I only do about 35 mph.

Otherwise I keep up with traffic quite well.

Your Jeep will probably weigh about 4,800 lbs.
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deandec View Post
The answer might lie in how heavy your target rig is. I have 120 lbs of rig per 1 hp when towing a JGC.

On 6% grades I only do about 35 mph.

Otherwise I keep up with traffic quite well.

Your Jeep will probably weigh about 4,800 lbs.
Do you have a gas or a diesel engine?
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Old 09-28-2010, 05:55 AM   #5
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Hi Hudsoner,
Where are you starting the westward trips from? How many miles per per year will you drive the coach? How many nights per year will you spend in the coach? Floor plan sells the coach. Determine how much weight the hitch and coach can handle. These numbers should be available somewhere on the hitch and coach. When going up hill, with a coach, most of us need patience. When going down hill, with a coach, one needs a good exhaust brake.
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Old 09-28-2010, 06:53 AM   #6
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Hi Hudsoner,
Where are you starting the westward trips from? How many miles per per year will you drive the coach? How many nights per year will you spend in the coach? Floor plan sells the coach. Determine how much weight the hitch and coach can handle. These numbers should be available somewhere on the hitch and coach. When going up hill, with a coach, most of us need patience. When going down hill, with a coach, one needs a good exhaust brake.
I have not seen the coach in person (it is about 100 miles away from us). I want to gather as much knowledge as possible, to be armed when I look at it!

I would start out at the Wisconsin - Minnesota border, and would take I 35 South to I 80 West, and drive most of the time on I 80 to end up close to Sacramento. According to the Dealer info, the coach has a tow rating of 10 k pounds.

We would probably use the unit for about 10 k miles a year with a max of about 60 nights in it. However, we might not use the kitchen at all. We are mostly interested in the sleeping facilities and the bathroom/shower. We do not have any grandchildren, it would be the two of us using the thing.
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Old 09-28-2010, 10:34 AM   #7
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IMHO, that might be a little short in horse power. We had a 32 foot Coachman as out first coach with the 220 Cummins. Towing a dollied Camry, it was weak and in hilly or mountainous country, you had to keep it wound up tight all the time. Look around, there is a plethora of coaches out there now, at some good prices.
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Old 09-28-2010, 12:45 PM   #8
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"Do you have a gas or a diesel engine?"

Diesel, Cummins 8.3L 300 HP mechanical.
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudsoner View Post
I am new to the MH world, and trying to decide what used MH to buy for as little cost as possible!

We do not plan to become snow birds, but would want to drive at least twice or three time a year across the Rockies into CA. We would liek to tow a jeep Grand cherokee behind the rig.

I am currently looking at a 1994 Gulfstream Sunvoyager 102 that is 34 ft long. I can purchase this MH for a very good price!!

The unit is propelled by a 230 hp Cummins diesel and a six speed Allison transmission.


Would this unit handle my need OK, or would it be better to look for a Chevy or Ford gas engine unit?

Almost any rig, gas or diesel, will get you from Wisconsin to Sacramento (I just returned from Chetek, Wi on a 6 week trip). People tow cars behind Class C gas motorhomes.

The Jeep is rather heavy and may require more towing capacity rating than your target rig may have.

Some Class A rigs are rated by the manufacturer for only 3-4,000 lbs towing.

My recollection is that there are fewer steep grades on I90 than on I80. The few extra miles also provide better scenery.

If you are going to make the trip 3 times per year that would be about 13,000 miles per year without any other MH travel.

I would vote diesel with 1 hp for every 100 lbs or at least 860 ft lbs of torque, and 36 - 38 feet for best road manners, engine durability, and comfort. My fuel cost is about 40 cents per mile.
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:18 AM   #10
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Hi Hudsoner,
Thanks for the updated information. The weight of the coach and towed car are very important to your driving satisfaction. Understand how much the coach and towed car weigh. Divide that by the engine horse power. My coach and toad combination is 114 lbs of weight for each engine horse power. I am satisfied with my coach's performance, but that is me. Everyone is different. The Rocky Mountains do pose the most serious challenge to my patience. I am not the fastest vehicle up the mountain, but I am not the slowest. Once momentum is lost, one just gets in the slow lane and let the coach tell you how fast you will go up the mountain, and in which gear.

All that being said, floor plan sells the coach. If the floor plan meets your needs and the coach has its' maintenance records (pay close attention to fluid and filter replacements for the engine and tranny) then this may be the coach for you. For me, I'd:
1. drive the coach over different kinds of roads
2. check the automotive records for routine maintenance and what has been replaced. Only on classic cars is original equipment a +.
3. check the coach for leaks. Look at the ceiling for water marks. This includes in the closets and cup boards.
4. are there any "aromas" in the coach
5. does everything work? coach and auto A/C, furnace, coach water pump, etc.
6. how old are the tires
7. how old are the batteries, engine and coach batteries. Look at the battery compartment. Are the batteries clean or is there residue all around?
8. If you purchase the coach, consider a service contract for the first year of ownership. I'm not sure one can be purchased for a 1994, but it is worth looking into.
9. Set aside $3k for repairs and maintenance for the first year. Because you do not have a personal history with the coach, no matter how good it looks or performs, one never knows what is lurking around the corner.
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:24 AM   #11
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I gathered a few more infos. The tires are 70% left, the coach has a tow rating of 10 k lbs. it has a rubber rock guard skirt in the back.

It has a salvage title (was side swiped by a semi in 2000), but was repaired and got new furniture at that time. The want $12995 for the rig.

I will try to deal them down a little more and use that money for possible repairs. Would you guys feel that this is a good buy?
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudsoner View Post
I gathered a few more infos. The tires are 70% left, the coach has a tow rating of 10 k lbs. it has a rubber rock guard skirt in the back.

It has a salvage title (was side swiped by a semi in 2000), but was repaired and got new furniture at that time. The want $12995 for the rig.

I will try to deal them down a little more and use that money for possible repairs. Would you guys feel that this is a good buy?
A couple things, even if the tires have 70% tread left, you need to check the date codes on them. Chances are they are over 6-7 years old and need to be replaced. Don't let the dealer tell you they are ok, that's the rule-over 6 years old-replace for safety sake. 2nd, check with the DMV where you are going to title and register the coach, make sure they will accept a salvage title. Have an independant diesel mechanic check out the drive train. Having to rebuild the engine or transmission would be expensive. Don't trust the dealer to tell you if anything is wrong.
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Old 09-29-2010, 12:17 PM   #13
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A couple things, even if the tires have 70% tread left, you need to check the date codes on them. Chances are they are over 6-7 years old and need to be replaced. Don't let the dealer tell you they are ok, that's the rule-over 6 years old-replace for safety sake. 2nd, check with the DMV where you are going to title and register the coach, make sure they will accept a salvage title. Have an independant diesel mechanic check out the drive train. Having to rebuild the engine or transmission would be expensive. Don't trust the dealer to tell you if anything is wrong.
Thanks for the extra info! I have my own diesel mechanic. My son is a ASE certified master mechanic and has a diesel certification (he used to work for a Chrysler/Dodge dealer )
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Old 09-29-2010, 02:33 PM   #14
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For me, $13K for a 16 year old coach with a salvage title is too much. The coach may have retailed for around $50K or less when new.
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