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Old 12-08-2009, 07:10 PM   #1
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Advice on purchase '04 American Eagle 42'

Looking for information on the '04 American Eagle 42' pusher. I am considering purchasing one and would like to hear from those that have this or a similar coach. The one that I am looking at has the 500HP Cummins. Would like to know about reliability, fuel consuption, braking etc. Thanks in advance.

Jim & Vicki
Klamath Falls, OR
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Old 12-09-2009, 03:03 PM   #2
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I have an American Tradition 40V with the Cummins 370ISL. The Eagle 42 is longer, a bit heavier and of course has the larger engine to match. We get 7.2-8.2 mpg and I would expect the 42 Eagle to be less, maybe 7.2 tops. Functionally these are great coaches, but with so many gadgets and high tech stuff, it seems like something electronic is breaking down all the time. Probably true of any high tech rig.

Brakes on mine are excellent, as is suspension and all mechanicals. I have a Freightliner chassis under mine, but the majority are Spartans. Both are excellent. And you can't beat American Coach customer service - the factory is always helpful and you are always welcome to go there (Decatur, IN) for service. They don't do oil changes, but they will fix anything that is wrong with the coach at reasonable rates.

There is a terrific American Coach Owners Group on Yahoo.
American_Coach : American Coach Group

You can download the 2004 Eagle brochure from the American Coach site. Select "American Eagle" and "Download current and past brochures (pdf)" and the next page will let you select the 2004 Eagle.
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:44 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. My wife and I currently have a 5ver and this will be our first motorhome. Although used, it is still a major purchase for us. Thanks again.

Jim
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Old 12-10-2009, 11:17 AM   #4
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Straight from a fiver to a 42' American Eagle is quite a step - we had two other motorhomes and 7 years between our last fifth wheel and the Tradition. You are going to love it, though.

You can contact American Coach with the FIN (Fleetwood ID Number) of the coach and they can tell you everything that has been done it by a dealer or the factory, including any recalls that apply. The FIN is on a sticker on the outside left front corner. Should also be on a sticker by the driver seat, if I remember correctly.
1-800-435-7345
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Old 01-30-2010, 02:43 PM   #5
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Hi Jim,

I just saw your post. So, you may have already bought the 04. Ours is a 03 Eagle 42F. We went from a 5th wheel (39 foot) to the 42. Actually, I think it is easier to manuver, stop, and rides 10x better. Overall it is shorter.

As Gary said, you will be happy with the American coach. I suggest you join the FMCA. They seem to have more clout with Fleetwood and they do a lot of good things.

The quality of workmanship is what won us over. We looked at a number of top end coaches.

Ours has the 500hp engine too. You may not believe this, but we keep the cruise on 62-64 and get 8.2 on flat roads in a no wind condition. We went from NC to CA last March and got no worse than 7.0 mpg going and coming. Of course, I've also gone down as low as 6.0.

The 42' 04 will likely have the tag axle too. You'll love that. It adds to the ride and weight you can carry.

Best wishes, maybe we'll see you at one of the Fleetwood rallies.
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:10 AM   #6
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Better yet, join the American Coach Owners Group on Yahoo and the American Coach Association. Both are very active and well-respected by American Coach.
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Old 03-13-2010, 07:30 PM   #7
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Jim,
We recently bought a 2005 American Heritage coach, with the 500 hp Cummins... very similar to the Eagle you like. If you have already bought it, then congratulations! It is a very fine coach to own and one you will most likely never leave you wanting for more!
Our American Heritage has about 30,000 miles on it, and is, of course, on the Spartan Chassis.
As was stated earlier in this thread, we too, had a 37 ft. Carriage 5th wheel (2 actually), with a Dodge Ram 3500 Cummins powered truck to pull it with. It was the finest truck I have ever owned, and I am completely sold on the Cummins engine! To me, that was a huge plus in the American Coach.
We bought a used American Heritage instead of a new Fleetwood Revolution LE 42 because of a couple of things: 1. The Spartan Chassis has independent front suspension. 2. The Fleetwood Revolution has a solid beam axle up front (similar to older style trucks), and while the Fleetwood will give you many years of great service, I really enjoyed the comfort and feeling of sure footedness on bumpy and pot-holed roads that the Spartan Chassis delivers. Test drive both and you will see what I am talking about!
The other advantage you have in buying a Fleetwood Product, is their air suspension and the size of the air bags they use (in comparison to a Monaco product). The ride in the Fleetwood product is far superior to most any other product out there!
The Cummins 500 hp ISX gives you great performance on many levels. It is a hard working, no nonsense engine that just does not skip a beat. Our Heritage, fully loaded, weighs just over 50,000 lbs. We tow a Jeep Wrangler behind us. Two days ago, I drove from Jacksonville, Florida back to Wisconsin. I set the cruise control to be at the speed limit all the way home. In Florida, Georgia and Tennessee, I literally did not drop a single mile per hour from the cruise control set speed. One thing to note: In the blog above, David states he sets his cruise at 62 to 64 mph. I don't. I drive the speed limit all the time as I am still working, and am required at job sites across the country. This, in turn, requires higher cruising speeds and longer driving hours. Overall, in the 1200 ish miles from Florida to Wisconsin, I got 7.6 miles per gallon at cruise speed. To me, phenomenal performance for a monster working engine!
And lastly... if you are looking at a coach that has been stored or has been sitting on a lot or campsite plugged in for a long time, know ahead of time that you are going to spend a few weeks and a few thousand dollars doing some maintenance and repair work. When we bought ours, it had been pretty much sitting idle on a camp site for about a year and a half... except for an occasional drive about 1 hour every two weeks. This is what happened with us: 1. From being plugged in contantly, the house and chassis batteries needed replacement. 2. There were some water leaks from the front marker lights above the windwhield. Just take them off, clean them up, use a good 100% silicone caulk/adhesive under them and put them back on. 3. Oil and filter changes (read Complete Engine Service) is a must. Just do it. The technician will tell you if anything is at all amiss, as well. 4. Our alternator went out in the first thousand miles. The technician stated it was from sitting so long, and because of its age. 5. Our Aqua Hot computer board went out 3 days after we bought our coach. It was due to power surges and the alternator problem, apparently. 6. It needed new windshield wiper blades.
That said, the other thing that happened was we fell instantly and completely in love with this coach. Yes, it had some issues. Yes, it cost us a few thousand more than we had expected to pay for repairs, but we were prepared for that... knowing full well in advance we are buying a USED coach.
One technician told me: "The one thing you need when owning a coach is "PATIENCE! It is a rolling house. It weighs 50,000 pounds and moves and shakes. Things will happen. Period... and remember... IT WANTS TO BE USED!"
There. I have now unloaded. I hope this helps in your quest... or helps you in your search for the ultimate machine.
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:12 AM   #8
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Paulgt,
I've seen a few 05 Heritage coaches. With 30K it needs to be exercised. Sounds like your work will do just that. Have you joined any other American Coach groups? Do you have a preference? I'm thinking about joining the one Gary referenced in his post.

We have a lot near Wauchula, FL and rent it out some when we're not using it. Since your work takes you there, if you need a place to park it and it is close to your work, let us know.

On our trip to CA in 09 we pulled a Chevy Impala on a tow dolly. That 500hp Cummings/4000 Allison didn't down shift any lower than 5th gear going ove the CA mountains on I 8 between Yuma & SD.

We are contemplating going full time this year and are considering another American coach with the full wall slide. We have only two slides on the 03. I'm wondering if anyone on this site has experience with the 06 to 08 full wall?

Dave
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Old 03-15-2010, 04:04 PM   #9
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Hey Dave,

I am so impressed with our Heritage. Although I am sitting in a repair garage in Indianapolis (Crosspoint Cummins... Great People... Great Facility) due to a bad alternator, I am still impressed.
That is a pretty treacherous drive sometimes between Yuma and San Diego. Love the west coast though!!! I am glad to hear the coach did well in the mountains. We just love this one!!
Yes, she needs exercise, and is getting some now. We have been gone from Wisconsin for about 8 weeks now, and I will be back there this evening. Most of our travels for the next two months will be Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota. Not long legs, but good legs to keep her humming along and well lubricated!! The next big one is possibly in May to Arizona, but surely in July and August we will be in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Iowa and all points in between!!
Thanks for the offer of the lot! If we get in that area, I will surely email you and connect from there. Very nice!!
It is interesting you talked about the full wall slide. I recently spent almost 3 weeks at Lazy Days in Seffner (Tampa) Florida, and while there, I was fortunate to talk at length to a couple of technicians. My most pointed questions were about 1. Does he think the power flush toilets are good toilets, and 2. "Tell me about the full wall slide... both good and bad." ...and that he did. He said he felt after working on them all since the beginning of full wall slides, he has only had two come in that were having any issues at all, and that was for faulty motors on the drives. Other than that, he said he has not really had any issues with full wall slides at all. Some people talk about the middle of the coach not being supported enough to hold that center section up fully. I say nonsense. Look at the inside of a semi trailer that is 53 feet long, carrying more weight, and they don't seem to buckle at all. The technicians both said they have plenty of strength and support there. There is also rumor about the corners cracking at the opening for the slide. Again, nonsense. We also talked about the good and bad of all coach manufacturers... Monaco, Winnebago, etc. American Coach and Fleetwood came out on top for the techs as for getting replacement parts under warranty. Monaco and Winnebago were tied, and Tiffin came in a distant last for providing parts under warranty. However they did say that Tiffin will take the best care of you if you go to their facility for repairs... even after the warranty.

There. I have exhausted my conversive side once again... Let me know what you think!!!
Paul
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Old 03-25-2010, 01:04 PM   #10
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How About an 04' American Eagle?

Hi Everybody, We are looking for a new coach as well. Originally only Monaco and HR's. But now I've found what may be a good deal on a 04' American Eagle 40V with the ISL400 and Spartan Liberty chassis. It has almost 17K miles.

Is there anything I should be aware of with this model? It has most of the bells and whistles that we are after. It's on a lot in Mesa, AZ.

Thanks Mike Kauffman, Issaquah, WA.
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Old 03-30-2010, 08:18 PM   #11
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Hi Mike,
As you can see, my reply was the last one prior to yours on this blog. However, being so new to our coach... which was stored for quite some time in the sun, I felt compelled to educate you as to what to watch for.
Mike, your coach hasn't hardly been used in 6 years. Not with 17,000 miles on it! It will need lots of maintenance on it... even if it's been sitting for 6 months.
Watch for tires and sidewall cracking. It probably has the Goodyear RV/Coach tires on it, but even with the added ability to sit, use a very sharp eye looking for sidewall cracks. Sidewalls hate sun and heat.
Just put new windshield wipers and washer fluid hoses on it. It needs it by now.
Walk the roof. Any cracked caulk from heat and drying? Buy several tubes of the self leveling caulk and spend time on the roof cleaning the cracks and putting the new caulk on.
Be prepared to replace the house batteries. Don't skimp. AGM 8D's are probably standard. Put them in again and you will be happy.
Develop a lot of patience! While the coach has incredible bones, and will last you for a very long time if taken care of, your coach will need a lot of TLC!
I didn't tell you the above to scare you off... but rather to be realistic. We are still working on ours... and it was only sitting for several months!
Remember... the larger the coach, the more patience required, and the larger the toolbox you will need!!!
Please feel free to write with any questions!
Paul
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