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Old 08-07-2014, 10:43 AM   #1
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Safari Owners

Hello everyone. I have recently sold my Rexhall Rexair and I am now looking to upgrade to a pre-owned diesel pusher in anticipation of retirement. One of the coaches I am considering is an '07 Safari Cheetah. I would really appreciate some input on the product itself. Is it well made? Is it reliable? What is the quality of the product? The coach has low miles and appears to be in awesome shape. Another question I have is with regard to the CAT diesel. I have been told to steer clear and find a coach with a Cummins. I was told that CAT is expensive to maintain and difficult and expensive to repair. This will probably be my last coach and I certainly don't need expensive repair bills in my retirement. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Ron
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Old 08-07-2014, 12:37 PM   #2
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Hello Ron,

I have a 2008 Cheetah 38PDQ and my older brother has a 2007 Cheetah 40SFD.
Pretty decent mid range coaches. No real problems and no gotchas.

Fit and finish on the 2007 is somewhat better than the 2008 model. By 2008 Monaco was having issues and quality did slip some.

Other than general maintenance the only issues we have had were cracked coolant tanks on the 8KW Generator on both coaches, defective volt gauge in the dash on the 2007, Automotion shade motor failed on the 2008, Trumbetta starter solenoid failed on the 2008 and an awning motor repair on the 2008.

Both coaches have the Norcold 1200 refrigerators and have been recalled to add a gas shutoff if the unit overheats. We did add Halon auto fire extinguishers just because of all the horror stories people post.
The refrigerators do work well and do stay cold.

Both coaches had the front wheel bearings converted to Stemco Wet Hubs this summer. They were due for repack anyway (40k miles).

The 2008 is scheduled to have the Sheppard M100 steering gear box converted to a TRW65 052 to remove the play in the steering wheel. There is a discussion group on that going on now. There is also a discussion group on adding cross bars to the rear link suspension. We will be doing that on the 2008 this winter as well. All this to improve the driving quality although I must say the RR8R chassis rides and drives very well in its stock form.

Replaced the shocks on the 2008 with Koni FSD's at 36K miles. Originals were not bad and the ride quality didn't change much. We'll hold off on the 2007 for a couple of years.

As far as the CAT C7 350HP goes. Its a fine engine and will last far longer than we will. Adjusting the valves at 30K miles (and every 100K miles thereafter), inspecting belts and servicing the fluids/filters annually is all that is really required. I would suggest that, since you are considering purchasing this have the oil and coolant analysed. They can tell you if the engine is wearing normally before you commit to anything.

As far as expense to maintain, my previous coach had a Cummins and don't see a great difference in maintenance cost. Major repairs may be different. Haven't had any major repairs so I can't say.

I'm sure others will chime in on their experiences.

Good luck, If you have specific questions PM me directly.
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:11 PM   #3
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It is me again Ron,

As far as quality of the product goes there are some issues but nothing out of the ordinary.

One coach spends a good amount of time in southern Arizona so there are some signs of heat and sun damage on the 2007. There is a small amount of clear coat peeling around the the edge of the roof line. Only on one side due to the direction it is parked (outdoors). The 2008 is garaged and shows no signs of sun damage.

The 2007 needed its exhaust pipe replaced due to a weld crack.

Captains chairs in the 2008 are showing signs of wear. The chairs in the 2007 look new. We believe that due to Monaco financial issues the quality of the material in the 2008 wasn't up to par with previous years. We will have the two chairs recovered this winter.

Both coaches needed batteries replaced after 5 years. In the 2007 we went with flooded 6v Costco Golf Cart and the 2008 got 12v AGM Group 31's from Sams Club.

The 2008 has a couple of cracked ceramic floor tiles. The 2007's are fine.

Both coaches needed their Sani-Con 4 inch hoses replaced. The original equipment hoses are gas permeable and tend to stink.

Undercoating on the 2007 was much better than the 2008. We had the 2008 redone last spring.

But really, No major issues at all. There are obvious differences between the years with the 2007 being slightly better in fit and finish.
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:04 PM   #4
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CAT//Cummins...Ford//Chevy. I ran 155k on my former Safari with that little CAT motor with zero problems...90K on my present Cummins, runs just fine too. I would not listen to those folks. Great product and the comment above about 07 vs 08 are pretty spot on.

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f24/trail...ter-54838.html

Not sure if trailing arm issue applies to the coach you are looking at but if so it is a bargaining point. Totally fixable issue. Friend had his done and never another problem.
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:29 AM   #5
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The 2007 Cheetah is on the 8 bag RR8R chassis and is not subject the the trailing arm cracking issue.
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:02 PM   #6
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Thanks to everyone for you quick responses. The one we are considering is the 2007 40SFD. our other concern is the full wall slide on the driver's side. Our Rexhall had two full wall slides and I was worried every time we put them out. Anything else I should be asking before I buy?

Ron
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Old 08-09-2014, 09:03 AM   #7
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You might check the underside of the slide. The white PVC lining should be intact with no holes or tears. You may see some minor scrape marks but minor scrape marks won't hurt anything and is a reminder to sweep and clean before bringing the slide in. Holes and tears can be repaired with a product called Plast-Aid.

Also one thing to remember is on this coach the jacks need to be retracted and the coach aired up at running height before deploying or retracting the slide.

This is a large slide and requires that the coach batteries be in good shape. Low batteries and the slide moves pretty slowly. Some of us have installed switches to enable the engine to be running at high idle when retracting the slides.

So... If the slide is aligned correctly on the outside and has no damaged tiles or gear teeth I wouldn't worry too much about it.

A small amount of lube on the rack and pinion gears and keeping it clean is all that is really required to maintain it.
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Old 10-13-2015, 09:46 AM   #8
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We have a 2009 Safari Cheetah 42 footer and we love it. We did have some broken tiles that had to be reinstalled. but nothing else. We are planning on becoming full timers and this couch is perfect for us.
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Old 10-13-2015, 01:39 PM   #9
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We love our 05 Cheetah. Comfortable and nice to drive. We spend 6-8 months a year travelling.
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Old 10-16-2015, 12:11 AM   #10
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Couldn't be happier with my 09 Cheetah.

My single complaint is the refer being in the slide. This forces the refer to use side vents rather than a roof vent, air turbulence when traveling prevents the heat from being completely exhausted out the top aide vent. This cause the refer slowly warm up as we travel, after 6 hrs or so it becomes a bit scary on food safety.
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