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Old 09-22-2018, 05:14 PM   #1
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RVless Newbies ready for our First RV

Hi Folks,
We're new and are very excited about this Forum, it is a universe of useful information. With that said we wish to tap into it.
We are very interested in a 2007 Kountry Star 3912 with a Spartan Chassis and Cummins 400 hp. We were expecting the standard Cummins 350 but found this instead. The dealer starting spounting all the advantages of this 400 hp engine including "true engine break" not exhaust break, and that the extra fuel consumption that terrified us would be insignificant.
So I'm asking for a little advice here. What do you folks think about the Spartan Chasis (with independent front suspension) and do you see a real advantage in having the 400 hp engine ? Oh and it also has side cooling and the entire engine is available from the rear, must be a mechanic's dream. I've never seen that before.
Thank you for your help good people.
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Old 09-22-2018, 05:16 PM   #2
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Sorry but I'm not familiar with that rig.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 09-22-2018, 05:59 PM   #3
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Fuel consumption depends on how much power you use, not how much you have. Difference will be nil and even potentially better in some cases with more power because of fewer downshifts. As newbies, what I recommend is a professional third party inspector unless you have capable friends. There are many ways to go wrong with a motorcoach and you should not depend on the seller to disclose. Treat it like a home purchase.
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Old 09-22-2018, 11:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drigz View Post
Hi Folks,
We're new and are very excited about this Forum, it is a universe of useful information. With that said we wish to tap into it.
We are very interested in a 2007 Kountry Star 3912 with a Spartan Chassis and Cummins 400 hp. We were expecting the standard Cummins 350 but found this instead. The dealer starting spounting all the advantages of this 400 hp engine including "true engine break" not exhaust break, and that the extra fuel consumption that terrified us would be insignificant.
So I'm asking for a little advice here. What do you folks think about the Spartan Chasis (with independent front suspension) and do you see a real advantage in having the 400 hp engine ? Oh and it also has side cooling and the entire engine is available from the rear, must be a mechanic's dream. I've never seen that before.
Thank you for your help good people.
Ignore the salesman.
Ignore the dealership service personnel.
Find a floorplan you want.
Everything else is secondary...

Yes, the Spartan Chassis is fine - independent front suspension is better than solid front axle.
You are not buying a racing car - you will learn to drive at about 62-65 mph so you can get your best mileage -you will learn to go up hills as fast as your transmission and engine will let you (down to 40). You will learn to turn on your flashers when you are crawling up steep grades - the same as every other truck on the road. Therefore, 350 vs. 400 is of little concern unless you want to tow something very/very heavy. Side radiator is very convenient.

When you are on level highways, the 400 hp will most likely burn diesel a little faster - maybe .3 mpg. However, that should not be a show stopper.

Do not buy the rig because of the motor - you will be parked most of the time living inside the MH. Get a floor plan that works for you.
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Old 09-23-2018, 05:29 AM   #5
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Congratulations on moving up in size in only a couple months, you are headed in the right direction. Most of what the Palm salesman said is correct...your R foot determines mpg, not the size of the engine. Besides being a little overpriced you need to get the serial number of the ISL engine to make sure it is NOT within the wrist pin failure serial numbers. Click on RV forums at the top of the page and then Cummings and you will find the affected serial numbers at the top of that page. Until recently I did not think this would be a problem this many years after and with 42,000 miles on the rig but I recently talked with an owner who's 06 ISL engine had a big hole in the side of it at 49K miles and it took four years to finally get Cummings to help pay for a new engine.

Hopefully it is not within the affected serial numbers as it looks like a pretty decent motorhome other than the purple recliner. I would say it’s $10,000 overpriced assuming it has fairly new tires and batteries.

I am not a floor plan, floor plan, floor plan person. Yes, it’s important but if it doesn’t handle well and you have to fight it down the road you are not going to keep it, even if it has the perfect floor plan. From what I’ve read I would say the Spartan chassis should handle well although I am not an IFS person because of all the additional moving parts.

Without a trade it’s a buyers market so don’t get fixated on just one unit as there are thousands of diesel pushers for sale in Florida. Having made the mistake many years ago of starting at 36 feet I now say buy more motorhome than you think you need, ONE TIME. Now you know the rest of my story and during the summer we boondock most of the time in USFS CGs as finding sites for a big rig is not that hard.
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Old 09-23-2018, 06:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Domo View Post
Ignore the salesman.
Ignore the dealership service personnel.
Find a floorplan you want.
Everything else is secondary...

Yes, the Spartan Chassis is fine - independent front suspension is better than solid front axle.
You are not buying a racing car - you will learn to drive at about 62-65 mph so you can get your best mileage -you will learn to go up hills as fast as your transmission and engine will let you (down to 40). You will learn to turn on your flashers when you are crawling up steep grades - the same as every other truck on the road. Therefore, 350 vs. 400 is of little concern unless you want to tow something very/very heavy. Side radiator is very convenient.

When you are on level highways, the 400 hp will most likely burn diesel a little faster - maybe .3 mpg. However, that should not be a show stopper.

Do not buy the rig because of the motor - you will be parked most of the time living inside the MH. Get a floor plan that works for you.
One of the best replies I've seen in a long time. It took me three rigs to figure this out
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Old 09-23-2018, 08:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Domo View Post
Ignore the salesman.
Ignore the dealership service personnel.
Find a floorplan you want.
Everything else is secondary...

Yes, the Spartan Chassis is fine - independent front suspension is better than solid front axle.
You are not buying a racing car - you will learn to drive at about 62-65 mph so you can get your best mileage -you will learn to go up hills as fast as your transmission and engine will let you (down to 40). You will learn to turn on your flashers when you are crawling up steep grades - the same as every other truck on the road. Therefore, 350 vs. 400 is of little concern unless you want to tow something very/very heavy. Side radiator is very convenient.

When you are on level highways, the 400 hp will most likely burn diesel a little faster - maybe .3 mpg. However, that should not be a show stopper.

Do not buy the rig because of the motor - you will be parked most of the time living inside the MH. Get a floor plan that works for you.
I agree. Floor plan is sooooooo important. Especially if you are going to spend lots of time in the rig.

Also get an independent inspection!

Last … welcome to the forum and enjoy the adventure.
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Old 09-24-2018, 01:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivylog View Post
Congratulations on moving up in size in only a couple months, you are headed in the right direction. Most of what the Palm salesman said is correct...your R foot determines mpg, not the size of the engine. Besides being a little overpriced you need to get the serial number of the ISL engine to make sure it is NOT within the wrist pin failure serial numbers. Click on RV forums at the top of the page and then Cummings and you will find the affected serial numbers at the top of that page. Until recently I did not think this would be a problem this many years after and with 42,000 miles on the rig but I recently talked with an owner who's 06 ISL engine had a big hole in the side of it at 49K miles and it took four years to finally get Cummings to help pay for a new engine.

Hopefully it is not within the affected serial numbers as it looks like a pretty decent motorhome other than the purple recliner. I would say it’s $10,000 overpriced assuming it has fairly new tires and batteries.

I am not a floor plan, floor plan, floor plan person. Yes, it’s important but if it doesn’t handle well and you have to fight it down the road you are not going to keep it, even if it has the perfect floor plan. From what I’ve read I would say the Spartan chassis should handle well although I am not an IFS person because of all the additional moving parts.

Without a trade it’s a buyers market so don’t get fixated on just one unit as there are thousands of diesel pushers for sale in Florida. Having made the mistake many years ago of starting at 36 feet I now say buy more motorhome than you think you need, ONE TIME. Now you know the rest of my story and during the summer we boondock most of the time in USFS CGs as finding sites for a big rig is not that hard.
Appreciate your thoughts very much and will check the engine's SN for sure. But got ask how did you know about that purple recliner ? It's one of those that's plugged in and will lift you up from it. I feel I'm missing a couch !
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Old 09-24-2018, 01:47 PM   #9
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Newmars with Spartan IFS chassis from around that vintage had problems with the ball joints. The boots would disintegrate and both entire ball joints would have to be replaced (expensive). Verify that either that chassis did not have the problem, or if it did, that it was repaired properly.
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Old 09-24-2018, 02:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drigz View Post
Appreciate your thoughts very much and will check the engine's SN for sure. But got ask how did you know about that purple recliner ? It's one of those that's plugged in and will lift you up from it. I feel I'm missing a couch !
Mr Google knows everything. Actually it was fairly easy...you live in Cape Coral and there is only one dealer on the west coast (of Fla) with that year Kountry Star and it had the optional ISL 400.
Had I not recently talked to a 06 ISL owner that had a rod come through the side of his engine and took years and a lawyer to finally get Cummins to help I might not have looked for the unit and suggest you need to check the serial # and if in the affected range I would pass on it.
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