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Old 07-29-2021, 09:20 PM   #1
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Quality Used DP Opinion

I'm starting to do some research to possibly move from my gas Class A to a used diesel class A.
Would appreciate any suggestions or warnings on particular brands or models based on the below criteria.
1) good build quality mechanically and interior house
2) year built between 2005 to 2015 or there abouts
3) not more than 40 feet long
4) must ride smooth (major complaint with gas Class A is rough ride)
Personally I would look at pre-def years, but my wife thinks that is too old, but I do not want to get involved in the "def head" issues I read about in the forum.
If I can narrow my research down to a few brands/models I'll be able to do better research.
Thanks,
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:27 PM   #2
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You cannot go wrong with a later model of Tiffin Phaeton. Mine is great.
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wog099 View Post
I'm starting to do some research to possibly move from my gas Class A to a used diesel class A.
Would appreciate any suggestions or warnings on particular brands or models based on the below criteria.
1) good build quality mechanically and interior house
2) year built between 2005 to 2015 or there abouts
3) not more than 40 feet long
4) must ride smooth (major complaint with gas Class A is rough ride)
Personally I would look at pre-def years, but my wife thinks that is too old, but I do not want to get involved in the "def head" issues I read about in the forum.
If I can narrow my research down to a few brands/models I'll be able to do better research.
Thanks,
Model Year would not be my major concern, budget is key, and needs... if you are in a gas now HIGH HP and pulling power I assume are not top of the list so under 400hp should do, There are deals out there and if it is in the older range of your years wanted (i'd look for no def) they are cheaper yet in some cases better... BUT one reason they are cheaper is because you need to buy them with cash vs getting a loan in most cases, many very good brands and quality, it's easy to find a 10yo coach with less than 50k miles, pretty easy to spot anything that has been well maintained and cared for... in the end it's whatever she likes took me about 6mo to find what i wanted at the price point I was willing to pay... zero trade offs except one recliner where i'd rather have a J sofa...
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wog099 View Post
I'm starting to do some research to possibly move from my gas Class A to a used diesel class A.
Would appreciate any suggestions or warnings on particular brands or models based on the below criteria.
1) good build quality mechanically and interior house
2) year built between 2005 to 2015 or there abouts
3) not more than 40 feet long
4) must ride smooth (major complaint with gas Class A is rough ride)
Personally I would look at pre-def years, but my wife thinks that is too old, but I do not want to get involved in the "def head" issues I read about in the forum.
If I can narrow my research down to a few brands/models I'll be able to do better research.
Thanks,
I agree. Try and stay with the pre emissions engines. Depends on your budget. I upgraded to a 2006 Winnebago DP with a C7 Cat am very pleased with it. Couple things I don't like. The storage compartments come out with the slides, which means no crawling under the slides to get at storage, but it also eliminates pass through storage, which I had on my HR gasser.

The build quality is very good. It has the basement AC which I love, and as a 16 year old coach a few problems. Had to replace the ball in the toilet, the inverter died, charger still works so I have a new Victron on order.

IF you can find a nice Newmar in that age they are great. Tiffen and Country Coach I think are over rated. I missed a 2007 Holiday Rambler Endeavor 4 slider with pas through storage and head bumping slide out. Made the guy and offer $3,000 less than asking and he turned me down, so went and bought the Winnie. Called a couple days later and decided he'd take my offer but was too late.

As for your wife thinking to old. Read the post about the 2015-16-17-18-19 models that are having same problems as the 2006-7. Plus no DEF issues on the older. Also the difference in price. Save that extra $100,000, for repairs and upgrade, plus you can probably buy a better quality older coach than a lower quality quality newer coach in the same budget. Also if you are handy, older coaches have a lot less gadgets and you can fix most of what the older ones have yourself.

If cared for and maintained a 2006-7-8 chassis will outlive the coach itself.
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:49 PM   #5
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IMHO
Year models 200O.. to 2006/7 That way you dodge all or at least most of the environmental control engine BS..
Don't go chintzy on engine size.. 400hp or larger.. AND an Allison 4000 series transmission is a Big Plus.
Full air ride with disc brakes all around
Minimum of 10k hitch
Don't go overboard with the number of slides, or amount of electronic "Bling"
Full fiberglass roof
dual pane glass thruout
AquaHot or Oasis diesel heat for heat and hot water
Minimum of 2 15k A/C units
Unit MUST IMHO be fully usable with slides retracted..

Check out Motorhomes of TX.. they may have something within Your budget..

The brands I would seriously look at are [in no particular order]

Country Coach
Monaco [Top of the line only]
Newmar [upper level models]
Tiffin [Upper level models]
American Eagle

And.. If You desire "Air Bladder" slide seals, instead of the over-lap compression seals common on most all mass produced RV's...
Foretravel
Newell
Prevost Conversions

ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS Get a Full pre purchase in depth inspection before You put down any funds that are not refundable if inspection fails the coach..

Have a whole bunch of patience during Your search..
Happy Hunting
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:04 PM   #6
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Quality Used DP Opinion

Quote:
Originally Posted by wog099 View Post
I'm starting to do some research to possibly move from my gas Class A to a used diesel class A.

Would appreciate any suggestions or warnings on particular brands or models based on the below criteria.

1) good build quality mechanically and interior house

2) year built between 2005 to 2015 or there abouts

3) not more than 40 feet long

4) must ride smooth (major complaint with gas Class A is rough ride)

Personally I would look at pre-def years, but my wife thinks that is too old, but I do not want to get involved in the "def head" issues I read about in the forum.

If I can narrow my research down to a few brands/models I'll be able to do better research.

Thanks,


Donít limit yourself to just 40 feet.

Weíve been looking for almost 2 years and in those two years our must-have buttons have changed.

About a month ago we flew to North Carolina and bought a 2005 Newmar Essex 4502 diesel pusher rig that we absolutely love!!

Was I looking for a 45 footer? No not really, we had looked at 40 and 42 footers but when this came on the market we knew from the start this was the one for us.

We hopped in it and drove 2500 miles back to Spokane Washington and by the time I pulled into my RV spot I felt very comfortable not only driving it but parking it.

Having independent front suspension is a must!! The turning radius is so much greater and makes parking and maneuvering so much easier.

Case in point, we drove into downtown Sheridan Wyoming and parallel parked on Main Street and it was probably the easiest parking job Iíve ever done.

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And the room in a 45 footer is amazing! One of the couches is 92 inches long and it makes into a queen bed!

The 500 hp Cummins engine makes climbing hills very easy, and the two stage Jake break makes coming down hills easy with no stress.

Smooth ride? 100% better than my 32 foot Ford F53 chassis. Like riding on air....oh wait... I am!! 12 Air bags to be clear!

Our 2005 looks brand new inside as it was never use for full-time use only weekend warriors.

So yes I would look at the high-end rigs as the fit and finish is way beyond with the lower end rigs have to offer.

So good luck to you and let us know what you wind up with.
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Old 07-30-2021, 06:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wog099 View Post
I'm starting to do some research to possibly move from my gas Class A to a used diesel class A.
Would appreciate any suggestions or warnings on particular brands or models based on the below criteria.
1) good build quality mechanically and interior house
2) year built between 2005 to 2015 or there abouts
3) not more than 40 feet long
4) must ride smooth (major complaint with gas Class A is rough ride)
Personally I would look at pre-def years, but my wife thinks that is too old, but I do not want to get involved in the "def head" issues I read about in the forum.
If I can narrow my research down to a few brands/models I'll be able to do better research.
Thanks,
Make sure you test drive some, as the ride isnít as drastic of a difference as people make it out to be. Especially in the lower priced diesel models.
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Old 07-30-2021, 08:56 AM   #8
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LOTS of good info above, but IF you are not in a big rush to upgrade, now isnít the best time to be a buyer. Yes, you will get a great price for your gasser BUT demand for quality DPs is also sky high and you will likely pay even more for one of them than you will gain on yours. IF $$ isnít a concern, happy shopping!
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Old 07-30-2021, 09:03 AM   #9
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We have been studying this for a couple of years here are some of our conclusions:

2006 was the golden year for quality and features for most brands. Earlier you lose some features, in some brands lose some ceiling height. Later years quality degrades quickly. Quality gets exchanged for bling.

Detroit Diesel engine with an Allison transmission - why settle for anything less? This was the best engine ever put into RVs. Virtually any diesel shop in the country is familiar with them. Parts are readily available. They are prized by trucking fleets. It is hard to find except in Prevost and bluebirds, but you can find them in some other brands (Monaco,Beaver, and maybe HR - and some others).

Never consider anything from a cmpany bought out by Thor, at least not beyond the first year or two after the buyout.

Fully accessible with slides in.

Look for a great chasis, drivetrain and body. Nice woodwork is semi important anything else can be upgraded over time (toilets, fixtures, stove, driving seats, furniture, televisions, sound system, solar, flooring, bed, exterior camera system. Most of these things I will probably want to upgrade anyway. If they were recently upgraded that is a plus.

Wood cabinetry and wall trim, not plastic or chrome.

Clearly delineated living areas (Kitchn, Saloon, bedroom).

Lots of windows (double pane, also we hate the surface mount windows common on many RVs.)

Windows that open. (Not a fan of Ac - only use it when necessary).

Good quality large awnings the droop low enough to actually shade the area below. Awnings can be replaced/added but they are expensive.


Furniture can add up, so if it has furniture we like - that is a plus. We prefer a table and chairs to a booth for dining. We prefer cloth to pleather upholstry. Jackknife couches seem stupid. Waste of space.


Residential electric fridge or enough of a discount to replace the firdge.

Engine, transmission Generator and aquahot need to be checked out/tested to be safe. You never know when they may have been abused.

Mileage under 300,000 but not less than 5000 miles per year on average.

Tag axle (preferably not steerable).

Air bag suspension. (Get it checked out).

No sign of water leaks ever. tis is a deal breaker. Will not even consider anything that has had a water leak, unless it is cheap enough to completely gut it and redo everything. Just not worth the risk.

Full electric. However it is nto that hard to convert and remove propane.

The less electronic gadgetry and motors the better.

New tires or enough of a discount to replace them.

For Prevost make sure delamination of SS exterior panels has been properly completed. If they have not had any delam yet, it is coming.

Large pass through storage areas. Slide out trays ae a plus, electric slide out trays are a minus unless they can also be operated manually.

Autoleveling.
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Old 07-30-2021, 06:33 PM   #10
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Don't box yourself in by ruling out certain items. DEF coaches are fine, all the truckers now use DEF. The transmission you get will be based on the engine and it's HP and torque. Over 40' will get you a tag and normally a bigger engine/trans. Depending on what you want to spend, an older "luxury" coach is worth looking at.
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Old 07-31-2021, 07:28 AM   #11
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Everyone has an opinion. The most popular one is to pick a coach made before the big DEF conspiracy came along. We purchased out current coach new. In 78,000 miles and eight years, I had one sensor fail that reduced the power to 75%. Parts and labor came to $468. Virtually no diesel exhaust smell or smoke. It's not much, but I'm doing my small part for the environment with clean exhaust. The floor plan, condition, maintenance history and how it drives is far more important than DEF or no DEF. But what do I know. I'm just one more opinion.

Edit: As for the Detroit vs Cummins debate, Detroit chose not to clean up their exhaust to meet EPA standards and left the OTR market. I've only owned a couple of Detroits in my business. They were good engines, but tended to slobber a bit out the breather tube. All of my Cummins engines have been reliable and clean running.
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Old 07-31-2021, 07:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Edit: As for the Detroit vs Cummins debate, Detroit chose not to clean up their exhaust to meet EPA standards and left the OTR market. I've only owned a couple of Detroits in my business. They were good engines, but tended to slobber a bit out the breather tube. All of my Cummins engines have been reliable and clean running.
I think you are confusing Detroit with Cat. Detroit is still very much in the OTR (highway) diesel business. It's Caterpillar that left the on-highway market rather than meet EPA standards.
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Old 07-31-2021, 07:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wog099 View Post
I'm starting to do some research to possibly move from my gas Class A to a used diesel class A.
Would appreciate any suggestions or warnings on particular brands or models based on the below criteria.
1) good build quality mechanically and interior house
2) year built between 2005 to 2015 or there abouts
3) not more than 40 feet long
4) must ride smooth (major complaint with gas Class A is rough ride)
Personally I would look at pre-def years, but my wife thinks that is too old, but I do not want to get involved in the "def head" issues I read about in the forum.
If I can narrow my research down to a few brands/models I'll be able to do better research.
Thanks,

I'd look for a mid or upper tier model and go old enough so that it fit my budget. My list would be similar to saddlesores, but would include all American Coach models (Tradition, Dream, Allegiance, Eagle). I think 2000-2006 are some of the best years, but that doesn't mean I would avoid latter models if I found one that otherwise matched my wants & needs.

Nor am I convinced that a Detroit engine is superior to a Cummins or Cat. Engine service is readily available on all of them and there are probably more Cummins on the road than Detroits these days. Cummins & Cat also have their own dealer & service network and Cummins has shops qualifies specifically for motorhome services (and more than just engine work). That alone would make me lean toward Cummins engines.

As for your wife's year preference, condition is far, far more important than year. It's a house, not a car. Just find one that is well-maintained and suits your needs for size, layout & amenities.


Any of the mid-upper tier diesel pushers will ride much smoother and quieter than a gas chassis coach. They are also more robust, have a larger GVWR, and hitches rated 10k-15k or even higher sometimes.
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Old 07-31-2021, 08:33 AM   #14
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I would only add that you try and find something that they made a lot of. You'll need to find parts from time to time that are not made any longer. Salvage yards may be your only source for some of these items. For example, the puck lights in the ceilings, they have a frosted glass lenses and are hard to find. Second, are some of the original techs/mechanics still around that built these coaches. With an older coach be prepared to be treated as step children when you have to deal with the new corporate owners of these RV companies. I have an older Monaco, which finally ended up in the REV Group before they killed them. REV is useless when it comes to needing anything from them for these older coaches. But, there are some old techs that did work for Monaco back in the day that now work for REV, their knowledge is priceless. If I was in the market again, I would put the air bladder slide seals on my must have list. But I'm not ready to give up my older Monaco just yet.

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