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Old 12-18-2016, 03:20 PM   #15
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Yep - I've looked at most of the threads. Contributed a great deal to a number of them. I wanted a fairly direct answer - without starting the gas vs diesel food fight - about routine maintenance and unplanned/emergency repairs experienced coming from a gasser. The idea of being in the middle of nowhere is a bit daunting to me with the DP platform. Like I say, very comfortable with the F53 but a bit intimidated by the DP air suspension/diesel.

I've looked at the Coachmen coaches but I really want to keep the drop down bunk. With all the time our grandkids spend with us, we like not contending with the folding up of sofa beds or dinettes.

Thanks again all.
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Old 12-18-2016, 04:07 PM   #16
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Not much to worry about. As far as i know in 15 1/2 years and 78,000miles my ISC 330 was driven to Cummins once for a sensor replacement. Other than that nothing but maintenance. My buddys 2002 Am Eagle had the starter replaced( by he and I) and never had a another problem. Three other owners I know have not had any issues in the 5 years i have known them. Talking about the engine trans combo only.
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Old 12-18-2016, 04:22 PM   #17
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Thanks eddie. How about the suspension - any issues? Is it tough to maintain and or repair?

Feeling much more comfortable.
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Old 12-18-2016, 04:24 PM   #18
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We really enjoy our coach - a Thor Challenger 37TB. We spend more time in it than we do in our brick and mortar home - often with our kids and grandkids. Only thing on our wish list is more room in the front living area without giving away room in the rear or the available bunks (i.e., drop down front bunk and stacked bunk beds). There are some coaches that fulfill this checklist but not many. The Winnebago 38W and the Tiffin 36UA are the only ones found so far.

We have traveled a LOT in our Challenger. I am very comfortable with maintaining or repairing issues that appear when you take your home down the road at 65 mph - either automotive or household issues. Things just naturally need maintaining or fixing. Things like loosened screws, generator maintenance (plugs, oil and air filters, etc), electrical issues, etc.

Now for my question: we travel a great deal around the country. We have logged 28,000 miles in 20 months. We have faced issues but have always kept on keeping on. If we move to a diesel coach, my confidence level to maintain and fix our coach goes from 98% to 50% - just not sure of the automotive subsystems for diesels. I have a strong background in automotive and home repairs but virtually none with diesels. Does anyone else have personal experience with this transition?

Not interested in starting a thorny, spirited and emotional discussion about gassers vs diesels. I get the pluses and minuses of each. Staying in a gasser doesn't bother us - we truly enjoy the freedom of our coach. Just wanted some data points with others that have experienced this sort of transition.

Thanks.

In terms of maintenance, not really a lot of difference. You have an air dryer to service every 2-3 years and air filter replacement is more sensitive. Other wise just bigger filters and more volume of fluids. Speedco is a great resource when you don't feel like doing it.
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Old 12-18-2016, 04:56 PM   #19
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Bigben,
Thanks for starting this thread. We are in a similar situation to you. We have a 2010 Fleetwood Encounter 32 bh that has the midship bunks and drop-down bed up front. We love the set-up, but wish for a little more room throughout the coach. It can get a little tight with 2 adults, 4 kids, and a medium-sized dog.

We have been looking at several DP models with bunks, but the one common thing with most DP coaches is that most have the door all the way forward. There are a couple that have a door amidships, but you give up 2 full slide-outs up front. Like you we are not big on the idea of making-up the sofa and dinette twice a day.

Three of the ones I've liked Tiffin Allegro 38QBA, Monaco Knight 40PBT, and the Forest River Berkshire 390BH. I'm trying to figure out a way to add a set of bunks to these similar to the salon bunk found in a Sportscoach Cross Country 404RB.

There is one that I have heard of that also has a drop-down bed up front, but it also has the front entry door. You have to duck under the bed in order enter or exit while the bed is lowered. Not very safe if you ask me.

Good luck in your search! Keep the responses coming, I need the reassurance also.
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Old 12-18-2016, 06:44 PM   #20
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Percival6 - yep the feature of the bunks and drop down front bunk are great. Only DP with this configuration and the 1.5 bath is the Forza 38W (a 1.5 bath is important feature for a couple of senior citizens and even more important with 4 visiting grandkids).
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Old 12-18-2016, 06:47 PM   #21
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The Forza 38W has two full baths! The SportsCoach 408 also has two full baths but you lose the bunks. Although you can get the drop down bunks over the couch and dinette.

Another bath and a half with bunk beds is the Forest River 38A.
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Old 12-18-2016, 07:08 PM   #22
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Saw the 408 and liked the layout. Liked the 404 also. The issue for us is getting the bunkbeds + the drop down. And yep - misspoke - the 38W does have 2 full baths.
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Old 12-18-2016, 07:24 PM   #23
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Thor Aria 3901 sleeps 8 with the bunk over the cockpit but no dedicated bunks. You're back to making up couches and dinette again.
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Old 12-19-2016, 11:03 AM   #24
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You and I are a lot alike. I'm a gear head with an engineering background and I was a commercial building construction superintendent for 35 years. You'll be just fine. You can research anything you want to know on the net. I've owned 3 MHs, 2 gas now a DP. I've enjoyed the challenge of learning new things.
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Old 12-19-2016, 02:42 PM   #25
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Thanks eddie. How about the suspension - any issues? Is it tough to maintain and or repair?

Feeling much more comfortable.
Nothing on mine but my friends Am Eagle he had to replace one air bag. I know that reading on forums it seems as the class a diesels have a lot of issues But this is a very small sampling compared to the thousands that are on the road happily rolling along. The systems can be somewhat daunting but if you are like me you can figure them out. I have done my all own repairs. Never been in a shop since I have owned it. Cummins considers 50,000 mi as the break in period.
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