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Old 11-12-2016, 10:15 PM   #1
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Best DP between $20,000 and $50,000 ?

Hi everyone, just recently re-joined after about a 10 year lapse so I had to register over again. I am not new to RV's or camping, in the past I have owned trailers, toy haulers, an early 90's gas Winnebago, and a GMC 4106 bus conversion. I searched the archives and spent 4 hours looking for an answer but could not find anything definitive.

USE:
My wife and I will be retiring soon so we want something to take us out of Wisconsin during the winters and allow us to be snow birds, so it has to be sound mechanically in order to make the 3-4,000 mile trips annually.
A 35 to 40 foot rig would be best, a slide would help, but is not mandatory.

Also, we will be towing a heavy trailer of about 7,000 pounds. From what I have found researching, that means a coach with a full frame. Which older ones are full frame?

I am looking to buy an older Class A diesel pusher, ideally I would like to be under $30,000, more for a cream puff, but that would hurt the bank account because we are not willing to take out a loan.

I know what I am looking for is out there, I am just hoping for some hints on what to look for and what brands will give me the best chance of a coach that will be in decent shape mechanically.

I am not worried about remodeling the inside as I realize that something in my price range will not be perfect. I am also not worried about minor repair issues, heaters, air conditioners, plumbing etc.

What I am worried about is major issues with the drive line. I would have a hard time financially if I had to replace major drive line items like the diesel motor, or a HD Allison trans.

I realize with a coach in my price range and age, prior maintenance is THE key, but I also understand that there are certain makes and models that are better than others and have held the test of time.

Right now I am leaning toward the American Dream or Eagle if I can find one in my price range. Are there any others that are made as well or similar?

I am not familiar with the older diesel motorhomes that is why I have come here to ask those that have been there and done that. One thing I have learned by playing with classic cars and hot rods for 40 years is to ask someone that has experienced it before, that way I do not have to learn the hard way.

Also, How much HP do I need to push a 40 footer and tow 7,000lbs without major issues?

Cat or Cummins for longevity?

Thanks,
Jim
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Old 11-12-2016, 11:31 PM   #2
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Mid 90's or newer Beaver, Country Coach, Foretravel or Monaco are all great rigs in this price range. Have them checked out, chassis, engine and house. My CC has the mechanical Cummins 8.3 liter engine. No electronics. It just works and burns NO oil. Solid engine... Good luck 😜👍🏻


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Old 11-12-2016, 11:40 PM   #3
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Newmar's from the early 2000's would fit the bill.
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Old 11-13-2016, 01:13 AM   #4
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X2 on pre 2000 Monaco 350 ISC Cummins. That will be a heavy trailer. Monaco Class A - Diesel - New & Used RVs for Sale on RVT.com - Page 1 of 1=
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Old 11-13-2016, 01:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleBilly View Post
Mid 90's or newer Beaver, Country Coach, Foretravel or Monaco are all great rigs in this price range. Have them checked out, chassis, engine and house. My CC has the mechanical Cummins 8.3 liter engine. No electronics. It just works and burns NO oil. Solid engine... Good luck ������


1996 Country Coach Intrigue ��
X-2,,, Mid to late 90's, all of the above, and don't be afraid to look nationwide, and travel to find the right one! If you want to pull a 7K trailer, you will be looking at tag axel MH's with a 10K hitch! Mine, a 1996 38' Monaco Windsor has a 5K hitch, and the mechanical 8.3 Cummins, and it does a fine job! If you do find one that has the 5K hitch, you can have them upgraded, but have it done right! Keep looking till you find "The One" and don't be afraid to have it checked out by a certified inspector, if you are not comfortable with doing it yourself! Oil samples will give you peace of mind and tell you of any hidden problems! Do the big motor, transmission, and generator! And, JMHO, a diesel generator is a sign of a quality built coach! If they skimped on a propane converted gas generator, what else did they skimp on? Also, a side radiator, and not a rear! Again, JMHO!
Also, FWIW, all DP MH's in this range have full frames! Enjoy the hunt! You will know when you find "the one" that fit's your needs! Rail!
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Old 11-13-2016, 05:39 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone for the info so far.

I take it that the Holiday Ramblers are also a full frame? Is there a reason that no one has mentioned them yet? Are there problems with them or just not mentioned because no one thought of them.

What HP would should I shoot for? I am guessing that 300 or better for the towing situation?

Thanks, Jim
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Old 11-13-2016, 06:10 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jlckmj View Post
Thanks everyone for the info so far.

I take it that the Holiday Ramblers are also a full frame? Is there a reason that no one has mentioned them yet? Are there problems with them or just not mentioned because no one thought of them.

What HP would should I shoot for? I am guessing that 300 or better for the towing situation?

Thanks, Jim

I'm not sure about your term "full frame" but I suspect it's a term from the practice of extending the frame members on gas chassis. That contributes to the very long rear wheel "overhang" you sometimes see. You are safe from that with a DP. I'm guessing that a 7000 pound trailer will have between 700-1000 pounds tongue weight & use a weight distributing hitch. You will need to be sure there is adequate cargo capacity for that as well as your household cargo.

Here is an example of a high quality coach which might be kind of a benchmark for you in your search:

http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/diesel/...asty-33851.htm

http://www.monacocoach.com/resources...11_brc_pdf.pdf
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Old 11-13-2016, 06:33 PM   #8
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Monaco = Holiday Rambler. I think at least for the purposes if this discussion.
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Old 11-13-2016, 07:11 PM   #9
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Ours has a full frame, and plenty of capacity to be rated for a much sturdier hitch than the one that comes with it - IF you were just looking at the numbers. The fact is though, that it's rated for only 4K, which is not at all unusual for coaches of that era.

For somebody looking to pull 7K regularly, I'd be VERY careful in how you proceed.

If you look at all the bracketry in the area of the hitch, with the rear bumper extensions, rear cross member carrying the back of the engine, the radiator/CAC supports, etc, etc, etc, it's not too hard for me to see how they come up with the conservative rating that they come up with. That's a VERY busy area on our coach....

As you know, it's not just about the hitch. What the hitch is bolted/welded to just as, or possibly more important.
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Old 11-13-2016, 07:14 PM   #10
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I would look at late 90s early 2000s Monaco and Holiday rambler. Stick with the mid-range of their coaches. We had a 2002 Monaco Windsor 38', and it was fine. In some ways, the fewer features and gadgets it has, the better, since those are generally the things that fail first. Plus, unless it has recently been upgraded, you won't want the TVs and other electronics, so don't get trapped into paying for things that you will discard (CRT televisions, cassette tape recorders, etc.)
For two of you, a coach with no slides will be fine -- prior to about 1999 that was our only choice, and few complained. Step one -- decide on a list of "must haves." My wife goes to bed early and I stay up and watch television or read, so we need two separate areas. Step two -- decide on a list of deal breakers -- could be general run down nature, inadequate storage, lack of service records -- there are many possibles.
I don't know how many coaches are out there which you would find acceptable -- hundreds for sure.
Good luck, and enjoy the hunt.
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Old 11-14-2016, 04:50 AM   #11
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My wife and I really like the older Foretravels, strongly considered going that route before deciding to go new. It's at the upper limit of your range, but it might fit your definition of cream puff...fits my definition of a beast.

1997 Foretravel U320, Carrollton GA - - RVtrader.com
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Old 11-14-2016, 01:45 PM   #12
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i think the 10k hitch is very common on the freightliner chassis. at least ones i looked at. and no tag.. i had a '97 london aire with one slide and payed i ;think $35 with tax had spider cracks on outside but worked and inside very nice..now that had sparton chassis an most of those were 5k hitch then... try other or all brands that look well taken care of..if it all systems works i think there all pretty good
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Old 11-14-2016, 02:20 PM   #13
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There is a dealer in piedmont s.c. Called karolina koaches he has all kinds he deals with repos and he makes sure drive train is in working order but the inside stuff is up to you to get working but at a real good price. Wife and I bought a 96 safari sarengetti 40 ft and we just love it for $15000 I had to put tires on it and do a little work to the generator but everything else is working great, this is not for everyone but if you are good at fixing things you can save a lot of money. Look them up on the web and they advertise on ebay
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Old 11-14-2016, 03:46 PM   #14
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Alfa Class A For Sale - Alfa Class A RVs - RVTrader.com
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