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Old 06-27-2014, 06:38 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2014
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Best Winter Class A Diesel Pusher RV that's around $140,000 or so.

I have been lurking around and am getting close to buying a used Class A diesel. We've owned a Sprinter based 2010 Airstream Class B that we loved, but now we have 3 children, plus wife plus small dog and there were some things that were less than ideal in the class B.

Winter heat was inadequate in the back of the Airstream. All we had was a non ducted propane furnace that didn't spread heat around well.

Rear suspension would send passengers flying (literally) on large bumps. (Schoolbus ride in the back.)

Very little to no storage room for stroller, suitcases etc for little kids and all their accoutrements.... (stuff)

So, we're jumping into Class A diesel pusher.

We cover a lot of miles annually and we are always driving to either Manitoba or Ontario Canada from Chicago due to our families being there.

So, we need good winter heat. This coach could be used in 0 fahrenheit or even lower temps. We're fine with not using water during those temps, but I would like to use water in as low as maybe 20 degrees fahrenheit.

What I can tell is that I think I really want the Aqua Hot system. I think I also want a Monaco, or Tiffin Allegro, or Beaver, or American Coach etc to have better insulation, the Aqua hot hydronic system, dual pane glass and just tighter seals and insulation in general.

My questions are:

- What brands/models are the best for our type of use?

- Is the Aqua Hot system going to be beneficial? Better than dual propane furnaces?

My understanding of the Aqua Hot is that while the engine is on, it heat exchanges with the coolant of the engine to provide ducted forced air coach heat. When plugged into shore, it can heat it's coolant electrically. When underway, or when there's no shore power, it also had its own diesel fired burner to do the same. I think this exactly what we want.

Here's our typical usage.

Drive for 14-18 hours straight with all slides in. Periodically we will camp, but mostly it's just used as a point A - B transport. We are not fulltimers... not even close.

Kids are still small. infant, 4 and 6 years old now.

We've ruled OUT a bunkhouse.

We need a floorplan that will allow us to move around while underway somewhat. We're all in good shape so we can fit through the small aisles.

Fuel economy doesn't really matter. Don't get me wrong, I care a bit I guess, but obviously we wouldn't be doing this if it really mattered. If it's 8, so be it, if it's 10, that's fine too. If it's 6 MPG and really fits the bill for us for 4 seasons usability and floor plan, sign us up. No sense in getting one that gets 10 MPG, but leaves us uncomfortable and freezing, or isn't usable for Christmas, Thanksgiving etc.

I'm all ears and really would like to hear your opinions.

I have narrowed down (I think) to;

All with only Aqua Hot

Tiffin Allegro Bus
Fleetwood Providence

I prefer strongly to only getting Cummins power. Same as in my truck.

Please tell me what I'm missing, or what is right about what I'm thinking.

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Old 06-27-2014, 07:11 PM   #2
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I would think a 2003 or newer Country Coach Intrigue/Magna/Affinity would work well.

They usually have the Aqua Hot and are well insulated. Some had heated floors also. Built in Oregon when the factory was producing.

The higher cost models of the Manufacturers you listed should be a fit also.
1995 38' CC Magna #5280
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Old 06-27-2014, 07:27 PM   #3
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I will guess that RVing in winter in those areas would make not freezing some important stuff a severe challenge. The temps often have a large minus sign.

Who has done such weather, and in what rig?
Dave and Nola, RVM1
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Old 06-27-2014, 07:38 PM   #4
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Here are some good choices

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Old 06-27-2014, 07:40 PM   #5
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More good choices

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Old 06-27-2014, 07:45 PM   #6
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Howdy and welcome to the forum! I hope some of our Canadian members and other far north campers can chime in about their rigs. Good luck to you.
.2012 Fleetwood Bounder 33C
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Old 06-27-2014, 07:55 PM   #7
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Welcome to iRV2; I've dry camped with water on board ; in my Newmar, single ducted furnace ; and been comfortable at 20f. On the road at those temps had to use the furnace while mobile to heat the whole rig, and get heat to the water bay.
JMHO: With the problems I've heard about here in the forums , with the aqua-hot , if I was shopping for an all season coach I'd look for the dual furnace. At least if one furnace gives trouble , you still have some heat.
99DSDP 3884, Freightliner, XC, CAT 3126B, 300 HP /ALLISON 3060
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Old 06-27-2014, 08:23 PM   #8
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The top 2 insulators in the new market are Newmar and Entegra.

Used will be Newmar, Entegra, Travel Supreme and Triple R.

we've been in our Newmar down to zero and we had been in our '03 Fleetwood Providence down to -7.

The Fleetwood didn't have basement insulation and only used passive heat to keep warm. I had to do a lot of work to keep everything from freezing, but I could do it.

In our Newmar, I don't do anything. The basement is insulated and heated by it's own heat exchanger off the Oasis system. The Oasis also has 2 electric elements vs the aqua hot having only 1 electric element.

We had our coach built for 2, so we have plenty of space when the slides are in. In fact we can walk by each other without bumping into each other.
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Old 06-27-2014, 08:28 PM   #9
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Thanks very much for the quick replies. The listings that were posted are some that I have already narrowed it down to. This is confirmation for me.

I forgot about Newmars, but have been looking those as well. I think I'm going down the right path. I will continue to narrow this down.

New names to me are Triple R and Travel Supreme. I can't believe there are so many players in this market.

It was so much easier when selecting our Class B Mercedes Sprinter Airstream. It was Roadtrek, Airstream and Winnebago ERA.

Now it seems that there are certainly into the multiple tens of mfgs and then models and then floorplans. it's a little overwhelming. Couple that with speaking with dealers and sales reps and no doubt, whatever they have on the lot is the best and they don't seem to really know much about the competing lines out there. The internet and these forums really are an invaluable resource.

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Old 06-27-2014, 09:57 PM   #10
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I believe that ; Triple R was a typo , should be Triple E , Canadian firm still in business but no longer making Class As.
My last 5er was Triple E and best insulated of the 4 I owned , boon docked at -22c and was comfortable.
Last Triple E class A's would have been 2009. still a class MH.
99DSDP 3884, Freightliner, XC, CAT 3126B, 300 HP /ALLISON 3060
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Old 06-27-2014, 10:04 PM   #11
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While you're looking around might want to look at Foretravel. Search for Foretravel or Motorhomes of Texas and look around. Foretravel survived the recessions, are still in business and makes a quality coach. We sat thru four days of snow a couple of months ago in Colorado and the Aquahot a kept us toasty warm. The bays are heated and it was as if you had heated floors inside. Another note, Foretravel mounts their airbags outside the frame rails which leads to a very stable ride. I could give many more reason why we like our Foretravel but it is just one of many good brands out there so be diligent in you search. Good luck!
Bruce & Teresa
2000 Foretravel
U320 4010
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Old 06-28-2014, 04:22 AM   #12
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Aha! Being orginally from Canada myself, I definitely recognize the Triple E brand. It's definitely known there. I didn't know about 'Triple R'. I will investigate the Foretravel as well. Getting some great insight here. I found an Entegra with the 'Polar Package.' I like the sound of that. I think that's the type of idea we need. I'd rather be too warm and open windows than cold and just running propane nonstop. That was kind was it was like in the rear of the Class B. I was dying of heat exposure from the engine heat at the front at full fan speed, while the people in the back were dying from hypothermia under a blanket at the same time. It wasn't great.

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Old 06-28-2014, 07:27 AM   #13
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My bad, I meant Triple E. Oops, long day a work.

Thanks for the correction.
2011 MVP Tahoe 230 QB on Ford E350 Chassis
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Old 06-28-2014, 12:38 PM   #14
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with your budget, i will echo dean's suggestion recommending country coach. it has exactly what you want. i might be in bias but owning one for years i do believe it's definitely in premium grade. when stopping at travel centers or in parking lots, i always looked around seeing all makes and felt cc's just had better overall looking (that was bias ). although it went out of business, the new corp in junction city is no shy of providing excellent services. i have never run into an issue that i couldn't find parts/advices from them.

nevertheless, other top tier makes will fit your shoes too. good luck.
Steven & Polly
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class a, diesel, winter

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