Hello IRV2 members
I have never owned a Motor-coach, but i'm in the market for one. I race Superbikes across the USA/ Canada, and starting teaching Rider Training a couple years ago, which takes advantage of my expertise.
Rent is becoming very expensive in Kelowna BC (my hometown), so i'm looking at a new lifestyle without rent. I can't get a mortgage with my low income, as I have been racing motorcycles for 9 years, where sponsors pay my way. My fans think i'm living the dream, but truth be told, I just made extreme decisions in my life to spend all my time and money to achieve my racing goals. Now i'm stuck with tough decisions. Pay $20,000 a year on rent (essentially working to pay rent/bills), or put that money towards a Motor coach. On a 3-5 year plan, that's 60,000 to 100,000 of wasted money on rent. With a coach, I will loose with fast depreciation, and estimated 1500$ a year on maintenance/ repairs, but I still come out ahead. The question is, can I enjoy the lifestyle at 32 years old, and make it work for my racing/ teaching business?
I am looking to become a full timer with my first and possibly only Motor-coach, so I want to make the most informed/correct purchase only once. My budget is around 100,000 CDN, but if possible i'd rather spend less. I'm currently liquidating, so hopefully I can get there.
To become a full timer, with extra space to accommodate my GF and her Cat, I have been looking at 40' and larger coaches. Considering I want to live full time, I also want to feel at home with beautiful interiors, and luxury amenities. I plan to pull my 16' (5500lbs) enclosed trailer with racebikes to race/teach, and streetbikes to enjoy the adventures and use as a "car" to get to the gym, food, friends places, etc.
With my initial research I looked heavily into the 40' single axle in my Canadian used market. (With low Canadian dollar, I must buy in Canada).
I first came across these options I liked, in a budget around 70-80,000 Canadian.
2005 Alfa Gold
2001 Mountain Aire
2003 Fleetwood Revolution 40c
2002 American Tradition
After checking out the Mountain Aire in person, I realized I need to look harder, as I really want a tall ceiling, as i'm 6'1". Most coaches like the 2001 Mountain Aire are 78", while some are up to 84", which would be great. This is a big plus with the Alfa, but I also don't like the possible resale/ house problems with the Alfa exterior pitting. After much reading, I also feel a Aqua / Thermal hot system would be preferred, but not necessary.
As a Motorsport fan, i'm always about big power, which makes me question getting a 350 Cummins ISC to pull my 5500lbs trailer. 350hp would be the minimum with this weight class of 40' pusher. (around 27,000lbs empty)
To this day, I have only driven a very short distance (around Thunderhill Raceway) a 2008 Monaco 40' Diplomat my friend owns with a ISL 400. A great motorcoach, but out of my price range considering what you get for 120k, and I want to stay away from EGR anywho.
Now I start to dream, and my budget widens!
I come across a 2004 Newmar Essex listing for 160k CDN. (Maybe he will take 130k? It's a tough market flooded with coaches) Cummings ISX 500, beautiful interior/ exterior and at 45'. I'm afraid of driving a 45' coach, and even a 40'. lol Not on the HWY, but getting in an about neighborhoods, the Pacific Coast HWY 1 in California, and everywhere I want to "Free RVcamp," and pulling my trailer.
All this time, I also saw an ad for a 2003 Safari Panther 4213 asking 119k CDN, but didn't consider it seriously till now. I had been trying to stay away from CAT engines, for fear of higher maintenance/ repair costs. But upon further research I learned the C12 weighs a mere 2500lbs (
compared to the ISX at 3000+lbs, while putting out similar power. Both these engines should outlast the coach.
I now read about the Roadmaster series S chassis, and starting thinking about the benefits to the 2003 Panther vs 2004 Essex on a Spartan chassis.
What are your thoughts everybody?
The year is 2016, and there are a lot of RV options. If you were to travel across the Country hitting race after race track, free rv parking everything possible, on a 3-5 year plan, what coaches would you consider the best options with a budget in mind of-course.
If I want luxury, power, price and avoid EGR, I believe my best year options are between 2000 and 2007, correct? If I go older, we loose power, no slides and the list of repairs go higher with the chassis?
If I purchase any of the coaches from a 2001 Mountain Aire to a 2004 Essex/ Panther, would it be wise to install new shocks all around, as one example of additional cost, besides tires, installing AMSOIL, etc? What else should I consider to avoid headaches, and have a smooth 50,000 miles ahead?
BTW, i'm currently driving a 1999 F350 7.3 with a Northern Lite 8.5 Camper, pulling a 16' Royal Cargo Trailer. Made it just under the rear axle weight limit thanks to a equalizer hitch. I find the vehicle tiring to drive, but great for "free RVing" along the PCH 1 in California.
Found a private free driveway with a cliff view.
Working on my bike in the outside track parking lot!