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Old 07-20-2022, 12:09 PM   #1
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Short diesel pusher

Our two gas motorhomes have been great from a mechanical point. Bought used and put about 30,000 miles on each. For me, the big downside is noise and power. Our current 8.1 Chevy with the Ultra Power chip is great at highway speed. But on the grades, it struggles on the long stretches. It's also way too noisy when it downshifts and the fan kicks on. The grade brake works well but on long grades, it still requires a fair amount of brake peddle to keep it from exceeding safe speeds. So with that in mind and because our space at the stick built is limited, I'm looking for a diesel pusher that is no more than 37 feet long.

Budget is $100,000 +/- and I'm interested in a high end, 2 or 3 slide, pre-Def pusher. Mfgs I'll consider are Country Coach, Monaco, American, Newmar and similar. I'd like a tag if possible and recall some older coaches like Monaco have one that's not too long. I'd like an ISL or comparable but would consider an ISC. Ride comfort is a major consideration. I have limited mechanical ability but with google, I've done a few things since I bought the gassers that I never would have undertaken before. I can afford the higher cost of maintenance just don't like to pay for anything I can do myself.

Would appreciate comments thoughts from those familiar with coaches that fall within the parameters mentioned.
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Old 07-20-2022, 12:27 PM   #2
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The biggest mistake people make in purchasing a diesel pusher is restricting the length. Been there done that. I would not own a diesel pusher less than 38'. The reason is they have a very heavy diesel engine and transmission hanging off the back side of the rear axle. They tend to drive like the tail wagging the dog.

A agree with a tag axle. But I think the shortest coach you will find with a tag is 38'.
If you open your search up to 40' it will greatly increase the number of coaches available.

I also agree with Country Coach, Alpine, or Monaco. They built quality coaches that are now affordable. Stay in the 2002 to 2008 model year. Many 2008 coaches will have 2006 engines and are pref-DEF.

Look for a 40' Monaco Dynasty with an ISL. A Monaco Executive will be identical but come with the larger Cummins ISM engine.
If you can live without the tag, a 38' Monaco Windsor with an ISL is a great coach.
You should be able to find a Country Coach Intrigue under 40' but the Magna and Affinity coaches are going to be longer.
Beaver Coach and American Eagle coaches in that same year group are very nice. But you will have a tough time finding one less than 40'.
Travel Supreme (now Entegra) made a very nice coach.
Best of luck!
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Old 07-20-2022, 12:28 PM   #3
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Im pretty sure youre not going to find a tag axle coach under 40.
Beware of pushers under 34 , all the weight of the engine and transmission behind the axle made them light on the front axle, that led to handling issues.
Good luck in your search.
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Old 07-20-2022, 02:21 PM   #4
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I have a tag Dynasty 38' but it is 39'7" overall length. my 36' was 37' Plus in overall length.
The longer they are the better they drive. Foretravel build a lot of 36' coaches that are very nice but I have never driven one of them. Country coach is the other brand with some shorter than 40 builds.
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Old 07-20-2022, 02:26 PM   #5
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It IS possible to somewhat overcome the physics of a short wheelbase DP with $$$.


Foretravel does make a 34' that drives pretty well. But, 8 outboard air bags, 8 Koni shocks, transmission retarder, etc.
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Old 07-20-2022, 02:49 PM   #6
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Country Coach once had a 36' Magna with a tag.

I'll see if I can find some description of one.





eta:

Here is what I was referring to as it is 36' long but with a CAT C-12 425HP

I have no idea if this is still for sale or not but it pretty much meets a lot of what you'd be looking for and listed at $120k but that is or was the asking price. You could most likely negotiate to get the price closer to that $100k goal.

I've walked through their lot many years ago (they are relatively well-known in our area as they consistently have a good inventory of higher-end used motorhomes and will go looking for the unit that you might desire ...or that is what they told me at the time.

2002 Country Coach Magna - Maple Grove RV Sales, Everett WA







2nd eta: Oh sorry, here is their web page: Maple Grove RV Sales

I don't see it listed on their site so that must be an old listing. But what you're looking for does exist, kind of. If you read the description of the listing, it's not only interesting but even though in the title it says 36' they keep referring to it as 37' as they describe it.
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Old 07-20-2022, 02:49 PM   #7
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For short DPs:
IMO, the 36ft Beaver Monterey circa 1995 drove great. Nice paint and interior.
Also, Safari Serengeti 34ft circa 1995 handled surprisingly well.
I sold new Beavers and Country Coach for a few years, and took some of these in trade.
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Old 07-20-2022, 02:50 PM   #8
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tag axle

I dont think Monaco built tag axle coaches that short. I believe Country Coach did. If i remember they built a Sunset model that was around a 38 ft tag with side radiator but a lot have Cat engines. Good luck in your search.
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Old 07-20-2022, 03:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vito.a View Post
The biggest mistake people make in purchasing a diesel pusher is restricting the length. Been there done that. I would not own a diesel pusher less than 38'. The reason is they have a very heavy diesel engine and transmission hanging off the back side of the rear axle. They tend to drive like the tail wagging the dog.

A agree with a tag axle. But I think the shortest coach you will find with a tag is 38'.
If you open your search up to 40' it will greatly increase the number of coaches available.

I also agree with Country Coach, Alpine, or Monaco. They built quality coaches that are now affordable. Stay in the 2002 to 2008 model year. Many 2008 coaches will have 2006 engines and are pref-DEF.

Look for a 40' Monaco Dynasty with an ISL. A Monaco Executive will be identical but come with the larger Cummins ISM engine.
If you can live without the tag, a 38' Monaco Windsor with an ISL is a great coach.
You should be able to find a Country Coach Intrigue under 40' but the Magna and Affinity coaches are going to be longer.
Beaver Coach and American Eagle coaches in that same year group are very nice. But you will have a tough time finding one less than 40'.
Travel Supreme (now Entegra) made a very nice coach.
Best of luck!
I agree with almost everything here as well as the brands you list.

I own an Alpine 36' coach and wouldn't hesitate at all on this one. Alpine was strategic with their layout and my 36 has the same wheelbase as most of the 40' pushers out there and I can tell you that it drives like a dream, 4 wheel ABS disc brakes and tracks down the road like it's on rails, one of the only "Short" DPs out there that you can drive with one hand.

You should have no issues finding a quality unit for $~50 - 80K depending on upgrades, miles etc.. and should have many years of quality travel in your future.....good luck with your search!!
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Old 07-20-2022, 03:49 PM   #10
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In addition to drastically limiting your options, a tag is going to eat into basement storage space. Shorter DP’’s tend to weigh less which makes the need for a load supporting, 3rd axle unnecessary. I’d scratch it off the list.

I generally try to avoid recommending what I have to others, in this case however, I’ll make an exception. Our 2 slide 36’ Alpine, actually 37’, is a pleasure to drive. It has nearly 6000lbs of CCC and fully loaded is about 3000lbs under GVWR. Pre-def ISL 400 with 2 stage Jake.

WRV made the 36’ with either a forward entry door or mid-ship entry door. The front door models have up to 3 slides, the mid-door has 2 on the drivers side. A specimen in excellent condition should fall within your budget. The other coaches mentioned are also excellent choices.

WRV also made a 34’ model, actual length is 35’.
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Old 07-20-2022, 04:07 PM   #11
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I have a 2003 Monaco Dynasty Jack 39' with a tag axle. It has a 400hp Cummins ISL. Roadmaster chassis with 10 air bags and 10 shocks. Only 2 slides - less room than the 3 or 4 slide models, but we like having no slides on the entry (passenger) awning side.

Jim and Sue
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Old 07-20-2022, 04:40 PM   #12
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Hi Garyb1st;Here is info from my own experience! As Vito. a mentioned in the first response to your question, a short diesel pusher can be some what of a challenge to drive at first. Our first DP was a 2000 Monaco Windsor 32' no slides. Yes, you have to get used to the short wheel base as the big rigs like to push you around when they pass on the highway. I got used to it. It was a great coach and owned it for 8 plus years with just normal maintenance. Had it sold 2 years before we decided to sell it. Theses coaches are rare to find.

Missed having a coach to trave so started looking for a 34' Windsor. Took over a year to find but located one in Canada. It is a 34' PBS model, one kitchen slide. The wheel base is only 20" longer than my previous 32' Windsor, but there sure is a difference in the handling! Hard to think 20" could make that much difference but is does. It's easy to understand why owners like the longer coaches. We spend a lot of time here on the west coast in the Cascade Mountains and something longer than 34' can be a challenge to get into a spot.

In your shopping watch what is advertised in model length. Certain manufactures apply a model number, like a 34' PBS but that is not the length of the coach. My 32' Windsor was 32'10" and my 34' Windsor is 34'10". Make sure you can find a factory brochure or other info to find the real length. For Monaco's you can go to their web site and look at brochure's for many different models and in the coaches specs. it will show the complete length. Lots of good info posted here. Hope it helps with your shopping. My wife and I love our 34' Windsor and get asked all the time if we want to sell it. Sorry, not for sale. Have fun shopping!
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Old 07-20-2022, 06:06 PM   #13
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My DP is 32’ with an LOA of 33’.6”. I am constricted by wheelbase at my house. My driveway has a bend at the top and I can barely get my 32’ up there. I would love a 45’, but sometimes things aren’t in the cards.

For my needs the 32’ is perfect. Tows the CRV just fine, sleeps 8 kids if needed, lots of storage, and plenty of power. We travel as a family of 4 with a dog and cat. We don’t feel cramped although another bathroom would be nice.
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Old 07-20-2022, 06:33 PM   #14
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A thumbs up for tag axles if you can find one. Tag axle motorhomes are probably the only RV that drives better than a dually truck towing a 5th wheel. I would drive my dually truck towing a 5th wheel at 72 mph and have my doors blown off by a tag axle motorhome.

What years are pre DEF? Pre 2012 (ish). Tag axle motorhomes are at the top of a luxury RV. Your budget seems about right so good luck again.
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