RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×
RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Class A Motorhome Discussions
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-29-2020, 04:32 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 7
2006 National Tropical--Good or Bad

Hi everyone,
New to the camping world and am looking into buying a 06 National Tropical, Freightliner chassis, 36FT, C7 cat 350hp ,70K miles. Whereas National RVs are no longer produced, is this a model I should stay away from due to parts availability. Any opinions, personal experiences or headsup to inspect would be appreciated.

Thanks, Bob
BobbyT49 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-29-2020, 06:02 PM   #2
Senior Member
MoCoTom's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Pa
Posts: 528
The National Rv brand was considered to be a very good quality manufacturer, so if in good condition I believe you would be happy with how well it is built. I would think the problem of finding some parts would be centered around body panels specific to that particular model if needed. The chassis and drive train will probably be Freightliner and appliance will be name brand so replacement parts should be doable. Most of us that own older coaches face this same problem because even if your manufacturer is still in business the probability of them having a part for your 15-20 year old coach is slim. Winnebago however is the exception to this rule
2004 Coachman Santara 3480DS Workhorse w-22
Retired OTR driver ATA 5 million mile safety award
USMC Vet 1968-1972
MoCoTom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2020, 06:37 PM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 7
Hi Tom,
Thanks for your quick reply. Being new to the RV world I'm apprehensive about what to look for when I go to inspect this coach. Being a retired driver myself, congrats on your 5 million mile safety award. That's certainly something to be proud of on today's highways and thank you for your service. Bob
BobbyT49 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2020, 10:02 PM   #4
Senior Member
dons2346's Avatar
Country Coach Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 6,228
I would have the coach weighed. The early diesel Tropi Cals had very little CCC.
No problem on parts other than body panels and most of those can be crafted
2002 Country Coach Intrigue
dons2346 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2020, 10:17 PM   #5
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 7
thanks Don,

As I stated, I'm new at this. Without coming off as a total idiot, does CCC stand for combined cargo capacity? Bob
BobbyT49 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2020, 11:20 PM   #6
"Formerly Diplomat Don"
Dutch Star Don's Avatar
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Moorpark, Ca.
Posts: 16,295
Bob.....The Tropicals and their sister coaches have held their value and still look contemporary. If you like the coach and it's in good shape, I would grab it before someone else does.
Don & Mary
2019 Newmar Dutch Star 4018 (Freightliner)
2019 Ford Raptor
Dutch Star Don is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2020, 11:51 PM   #7
Senior Member
Smitty77's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Over the next hill, around the next curve...
Posts: 4,898
Great caution on the specifics of the unit your looking at CCC's capabilities...

I respect National. I liked their higher end gas Dolphin models on Workhorse and Ford F53 chassis's. I also feel they made a great 'Meat & Potatoes' series of DP's (A complement!), at the price points the different models were selling in.

If this coach checks out well, and if needed - obtain an independent inspection - and most important you like the layout, and it has good maintenance records - no concern whatsoever!!

I personally respected National. One of the contributing factors to them not being around today, was they did 'The Right Thing' for their customers. Some bad materials were provided, and National I believe brought many coaches back and removed and rebuilt the sidewalls - not an inexpensive thing to do. (And I believe, even on RV's beyond warranty period.). This costs lots of money to the bank account, which probably contributed to National not serving the down turn in the economy from the 2007/2008 crash.

So they did the right thing for their customers, and may have spent the funds in the bank that could have carried them thru this period... (But who knows!!).

Best of luck to you, and have fun if this is 'the one',
07 Country Coach Magna Rembrandt 45' ISX600
Roo II was our 04 Country Coach Allure 40'
OnDRoad for The JRNY! Enjoy life...
Smitty77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2020, 10:59 AM   #8
Senior Member
Ljwt330's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Capistrano Beach, California
Posts: 2,411
My first DP was a 2007 National TropiCal 33' (note the last four characters of my screen name.) Agree with the others regarding quality of build and holding value. Well constructed and the floor plan of our 33T was ideal, especially the side hall to the bedroom and ample kitchen counter space. I would never discourage anyone from buying a National coach.

Some things to note. My coach had a few bulges along the sidewall. This was not delamination, but rather rust that had formed on the steel frames near the belt line, probably from moisture entering from the compartment door hinges. I knew this when I bought the coach, and it did not bother me. The bulges are rock hard, unlike a delam. They are repairable, but expensive to do so and they did not get worse during my ownership.

Someone bought the molds for the body panels and a bit of research may uncover who, but as others have said, nearly all damage can be repaired through fabrication.

Why did we sell? We wanted a little larger coach, a little better quality cabinetry, and a bit more power. Overall, however, the National is a quality coach for the money, IMO.
Larry, Eileen, and Finley
2004 Alpine 36FDDS
Third motor home, first Alpine, no need for another.
Ljwt330 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2020, 10:50 PM   #9
Senior Member
dons2346's Avatar
Country Coach Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 6,228
Smitty, I have to disagree that National did the right thing. Our first coach was a '99 Tradewinds. It was a POS right from the git go. I had the coach weighed and the weights were crazy. The left front and the right rear weighed 1,000 more than the other side. We lived close to the factory so away we went. The drunk factory manager's answer to the problem was that they were within limits.

Granted the gassers were great coaches but when the company ran into money problems, they would bring out a new model. At a factory rally, I bet one of their reps that I could blindfold him and take him inside a coach and he wouldn't be able to tell me what model he was in. If he could, I'd buy a new coach. He would not take me up on the bet.

Needless to say, we bought a Country Coach, which at time was owned by National RV Holdings, Inc. Luckily, National had not sunk their teeth into the CC brand and they were still making quality coaches.
2002 Country Coach Intrigue
dons2346 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2020, 10:28 AM   #10
Moderator Emeritus
Gary RVRoamer's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Silver Springs, FL. USA
Posts: 23,293
Without coming off as a total idiot, does CCC stand for combined cargo capacity?
Cargo Carrying Capacity, the amount of goods and gear it can carry and stay within its max weight rating (GVWR).

CCC often gets used to generically refer to cargo weight, but there are very specific definitions that are used in official RV specs and standardized weight placards. You will encounter NCC, CCC, and OCCC on the official forms and they are rather different. This article summarizes the key terms:


Back in 2006 CCC was the official cargo measurement, per RVIA standards, and that is what will show on the official placards on this coach. It separates gear weight from people and water weight, which is helpful in some ways but confusing in others. CCC makes assumes that the maximum water & people weight will be onboard, so it's a "worst case" number. Many coaches carry less than max, and thus extra capacity is available for use with other cargo.
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition and several other RVs
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
Summers in Black Mountain, NC
Gary RVRoamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2020, 07:20 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 273
We had our 2001 Tropical gasser for 15 years and was very pleased with it. We were sorry they went out of business as we would have bought another. They still have a strong following. Because it is an out of production coach, you should be able to negotiate a better deal on it. Dealers are kinda sneaky if you haven't figured that out yet.
jpstakun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2020, 08:24 PM   #12
Senior Member
CamJam1's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Arizona
Posts: 741
That coach has a GVWR of 28,000 lbs. If you can get it weighed on a truck scale, the difference between the two will tell you how much cargo you can carry. If the tanks are empty you'll have to allow for the weight when they're full. From the brochure it appears that this coach has the following capacities:

Fresh water: 105 gal
Gray tank: 60 gal
Black tank: 40 gal
Water heater: 10 gal

Here's a link to the 2006 brochure:


Though ours is a Dolphin gasser, many of the construction methods and materials used were the same throughout the National line. We're very happy with ours.
2004 National Dolphin LX 6320, W-22, 8.1, Allison 1000, Front/rear Trac Bars, Hellwig Rear Anti-sway Bar, Sumo Springs, Roadmaster Reflex Steering Stabilizer, 2005 PT Cruiser Toad
CamJam1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2020, 07:26 AM   #13
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 7
Thanks to all for your input. As it turned out, I did not go thru with the purchase for several reasons, but am learning more about the process . The search continues. Again, thanks to all that responded. Bob
BobbyT49 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2020, 07:51 AM   #14
Senior Member
Plasticman's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Madison, AL
Posts: 267
We bought a 2003 NationalRV Tradewinds 375 in 2016 that had a leaking roof. I repaired the leak (old caulk had dried up) and we've been living in it full time ever since. The only major repair we've had is the power control board was miss-wired at the factory. We had a shop rewire it per the manufacturer's specification and we've had no power charging/distribution issues since.

Most of the parts/pieces you would worry about wearing out/breaking are made by companies that still exist. These RVs are pieced together with many manufacturers parts, so finding what you may need is relatively easy. If you're not a mechanic, find a honest/reliable RV repair service.

+1 on the overall build quality of our coach. We're just now (2020) making changes to make this RV more like what we'd want by making interior color/fabric/accessory changes.

We did upgrade the double door RV fridge with a residential Whirlpool refrigerator. Best upgrade we ever made. Our next upgrade is solar panels, as the existing one was destroyed by a hail storm many years ago.

2003 National Tradewinds 375 LE
Plasticman is offline   Reply With Quote


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
national tropical 396 :: 2005 national tropical 396 cricket2386 iRV2 Owners Registry 0 09-07-2020 06:12 PM
Good SAM...Bad Sam Bad Bad Bad! STLNLUV iRV2.com General Discussion 43 12-17-2018 08:49 AM
Bad, bad, bad - bad vibrations.... Doc Vegas Ford Motorhome Chassis Forum 21 11-30-2014 06:56 PM

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:12 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.