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Old 11-01-2018, 01:45 PM   #1
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One of the Pre-Purchase General Questions Posts

We've been shopping for a used/affordable Diesel Pusher for a couple weeks. Seems most in our price range seem to be in the 2000-2004 model year.

RV in question is a 2001 National Marlin M370..
- 35,365miles on the coach
- 115 hrs on the Generator

So far I've learned that National RV went out of business. However build quality on national RV's is favorable, as is the Spartan Chassis. This particular model has the Drivetrain I want.

The anomaly would be a Generac Generator? This coach has the LP version. Is the generator a deal breaker? Will I need to replace it right after purchase.. I need a reliable Generator for sure. Most of the coaches I've looked at have the Onan brand.

Also does this coach have basement mounted A/C... If so I'm not sure that favorable? Been searching the net can't seem to find an owners manual for the coach.

Are there any other things I should look for specific to this coach? Thanks advance for any help!
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Old 11-01-2018, 01:53 PM   #2
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The low hours on the gen are not necessarily a good thing. Do you have reason to believe the genset is not working properly? Other than being expensive to run (propane) I personally wouldn't mind trying a Generac after having two Onan's go bad.
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Old 11-01-2018, 02:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by okcnewbie View Post
The low hours on the gen are not necessarily a good thing. Do you have reason to believe the genset is not working properly? Other than being expensive to run (propane) I personally wouldn't mind trying a Generac after having two Onan's go bad.
No I have no reason to believe it's not working properly. I'm just asking in general if it favorable to have an LP gen.. I know they are likely louder than Diesel.. and fuel is a little more of a pain to get but..

I've not gone to look at the coach yet. Just trying to do my homework before I do. Thanks
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Old 11-01-2018, 02:11 PM   #4
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I would go look at it if it's not too far. Many, many coaches are eliminated with our eyes, or noses when we actually get to look at them. Plus, it's fun to look.
Good luck
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Old 11-01-2018, 03:37 PM   #5
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lostbuckaroo-

The drawback to a propane-powered generator is its propane consumption. If you run for an extended period, it will run out of propane. Refilling may require moving the coach. No propane for the furnace or refrigerator in the meantime.

A coach's fuel tank is much larger than its propane tank, and gas or diesel costs less than propane to generate the same kWh.

Not a deal-breaker, but as my momma said (about other things than RVs): "There's plenty of fish in the sea."

In the pictures of a candidate coach, if no A/Cs on the roof, then there's probably some in the basement. I'd consider a Winnebago with basement air (plenty of nice coaches with it, and the Winnie basement A/C design seems to be widely understood). Not sure about a National with it, though, what with them out of business.
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Old 11-01-2018, 03:59 PM   #6
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lostbuckaroo-

The drawback to a propane-powered generator is its propane consumption. If you run for an extended period, it will run out of propane. Refilling may require moving the coach. No propane for the furnace or refrigerator in the meantime.

A coach's fuel tank is much larger than its propane tank, and gas or diesel costs less than propane to generate the same kWh.

Not a deal-breaker, but as my momma said (about other things than RVs): "There's plenty of fish in the sea."

In the pictures of a candidate coach, if no A/Cs on the roof, then there's probably some in the basement. I'd consider a Winnebago with basement air (plenty of nice coaches with it, and the Winnie basement A/C design seems to be widely understood). Not sure about a National with it, though, what with them out of business.
Understand thank you for your input!!
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Old 11-02-2018, 05:36 PM   #7
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We have a Generac lp genny and it is fine. No worries about gumming up over time due to no carb. It uses about 1/2 gal per hour so costs $1 per hour at current prices. We have a 69 gal tank that we have filled 2 times in the 1.5 years we have had it.
We don't really full time, but do extended trips. We have went 9k mi. and spent around 4+mos in the coach so far.
I am currently between breaking down and installing my solar, or getting a small generator just for charging batteries until I install the solar. For just charging batteries I can spend under $500 and use a couple of gallons of gasoline a week to keep batteries up while boondocking and deciding how much solar I want to put on the roof.
I have went through this coach from top to bottom and build quality is amazing. I had to drill a hole through the floor this week and it even has around 1" of foam insulation sandwiched between the plywood subfloor! National really didn't cut corners from what I have seen so far.
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Old 11-02-2018, 10:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostbuckaroo View Post
We've been shopping for a used/affordable Diesel Pusher for a couple weeks. Seems most in our price range seem to be in the 2000-2004 model year.

RV in question is a 2001 National Marlin M370..
- 35,365miles on the coach
- 115 hrs on the Generator

So far I've learned that National RV went out of business. However build quality on national RV's is favorable, as is the Spartan Chassis. This particular model has the Drivetrain I want.

The anomaly would be a Generac Generator? This coach has the LP version. Is the generator a deal breaker? Will I need to replace it right after purchase.. I need a reliable Generator for sure. Most of the coaches I've looked at have the Onan brand.

Also does this coach have basement mounted A/C... If so I'm not sure that favorable? Been searching the net can't seem to find an owners manual for the coach.

Are there any other things I should look for specific to this coach? Thanks advance for any help!

We had an 01 Marlin with an LP generator. Not a big deal unless you do a lot of dry camping. NRV installed large propane tanks in their coaches of this vintage so we never had a concern about running out of propane and still never came close to running low on propane. It should have 2 A/Cs on the roof as opposed to a basement unit.
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Old 11-04-2018, 12:18 AM   #9
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It comes down to how you plan to use the coach, if you plan to stay in full hookup campgrounds the majority of the time then it is not a big deal. If you plan to dry camp, then it may be an issue, the problem with these propane generators is they consume roughly 1/2 gallon of propane per hour when running at half load. Combine this with the relative difficulty of getting propane tank refilled (vs gasoline or diesel) and it may be an issue. It just all comes down to how you plan to use the coach, with 115 hours of run time in the last 17 years my bet is the previous owners never dry camped with it.
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Old 11-14-2018, 08:22 PM   #10
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I bought a 1999 Tradewinds in 2015 with the Generac LP generator. At that time it had 91.5 hours showing. We live in Texas and accordingly run both A/C units while driving during the summer months. Today the hobbs meter reads 438.5 hours. We've not had any problems whatsoever with the generator and have boondocked with it running continuous for as long as 48 hours. I have complete records on our use and get right at 1 GPH. Typically I've filled the tank only twice a year with the average purchase being 45.1 gallons. I was disappointed that I didn't get the diesel Onan, but now I'm not unhappy at all. It's not noisy and the exhaust is less offensive than the diesel and the oil and spark plugs stay clean.
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Old 11-15-2018, 06:26 AM   #11
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I have the same gennie. Have replaced the voltage regular twice. Had an issue with it shutting down for no known reason. Found loose ground (fielding) and no issue since. Shutting down under load is not recommended (per manual). The Marlin should have at least a 38 gallon LP tank dedicated the gennie and use around 1gph.
Thinking the Marlin had the 300hp isb and 2500 six speed. Not a race horse but will get the job done. Look at the window seals and for foggy glass. Can be costly.
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Old 11-15-2018, 06:56 AM   #12
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As stated prior, higher fuel usage with propane vrs gasoline or diesel. With the years you are looking at, the pool of available units shrinks with every year. For me, I would not actively search out a coach with a propane genny, but if the coach I was looking at was superior in all other respects, and the floorplan I liked, I wouldn't let a propane genny stop me.



On roof vrs basement AC units. Roof AC units are generally easier to access and work on. And let's assume the worst, if an AC unit goes bad, or lets say BOTH units go bad and aren't economically repairable, replacement of BOTH rooftop AC units, including a replacement thermostat will run around $2,000.00 if you can do the removal/install yourself. A complete failure of your AC units, regardless of which type, especially with a unit of that age, is a definite possibility. I can easily see repair of a basement unit costing over $2k, IF you can find a competent mechanic. Replacement cost of a basement AC unit I don't even want to contemplate!


Good luck in your search!


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Old 11-21-2018, 09:15 PM   #13
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We hadn't had a lick of problem with our Generac 55G. It has almost 850 Hrs and the only maintenance we do is oil (Synthetic of course) and filter. I'm a little cautious and change the oil every 50 Hrs just to be sure. Every other oil change gets a fresh fuel filter and air cleaner too. No one needs a problem with the power source.
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