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Old 01-28-2023, 01:55 PM   #1
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Hi everybody:
After reading a number of threads about older diesel pushers and some of the advantages they still have now that is what Iíve been looking at.
They seem to have retained their quality and look better than most new coaches.
Iím looking at Country Coach, Holiday Rambler, Fleetwood, Winnebago and Foretravel. Mid sized.
My question has been stimulated by a local RV sales location.
Salesman said: ďI donít want t sound like used car salesman, but those old coaches are unicornsĒ. In the sense of breakdown, equipment failure and being in the shop for months waiting on parts.
So, Iíd like your take on the validity of his statement.

Thanks, Doug
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Old 01-28-2023, 02:00 PM   #2
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It depends on the coach. Mine was orphaned in 2008 but there are still a lot of parts available. If it isn't it can be converted to something more current. Because of the lack of technology I think the older coaches are easier to repair. Besides due to supply chain issues brand new coaches can take weeks to repair also.
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Old 01-28-2023, 02:28 PM   #3
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Many here have experienced their brand new coaches sitting in the shop for months on end awaiting warranty repairs, so there’s that.
Find a properly loved affordable coach on your short list and you’ll probably thank yourself later. I would add older Tiffin, Newmar (Dutch Star) Monaco, Beaver and Alpine to your list. And, about the salesman’s advice, well anytime their lips are moving your probably getting bad information.
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Old 01-28-2023, 02:51 PM   #4
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In that context, nearly all RVs are unicorns. Some parts are all but impossible to source on even year-old rigs, and lengthy delays are common even when availability is promised.



On the opposite side of the coin, most diesel chassis components are generally available simply because they are standard trucking industry components, e.g. engine, transmission, suspensions, etc. And the trucking industry expects & needs faster turnaround than typical with RVs.


So if you need a replacement body part or interior furnishing, they are all unicorns. If you need an axle or a fuel injection pump, the old ones aren't any worse than new ones. Sometime better.


I will agree that some things can be problematic if the chassis builder is defunct, e.g. Roadmaster or Overland. Those builders used more than the usual amount of unique parts, plus many shops are reluctant to work on a specialty chassis where they lack experience and worry that they can't get either tech advice or parts if they run into something oddball.
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Old 01-28-2023, 05:56 PM   #5
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I have a 98 Overland 42í diesel pusher that I bought at 87,000 miles in 2011. It is built on a Freightliner chassis with Cummins 8.3L diesel (fully mechanical) and Allison 6-speed tranny.
The ďRvĒ components are the same as every other coach. Stove, fridge, ac, heat, etc are all by the major players and still available.
Suspension parts are still available, but sometimes you have to order them. Engine parts are pretty standard, as well as tranny parts. Brakes, air system, lighting, all standard. Body panels are another story, but a lot are the same, and there are Rv salvage yards out there.
We have been full time in the road since 2014. Have put just over 46,000 miles on it, solo and towing a Jeep toad. Coast to coast, northwest to southeast.
Have rebuilt the brakes air dryer, replaced shocks, air pump regulator, furnace fan, re-rubbered the roof and sanded/painted the entire coach.
Only tricky issue was a rear track bar that came loose (nut fell off of the axel end) on the road. Rear end got really loose and sloppy. Could not source a new one in under a month, so I cleaned up the mangled threads and put a new nut on. Yes, Iím I did it myself. That was 20,000 miles ago.

Donít be scared of an older Rv or an orphaned brand. Research their dependability on several Rv forums.

Mike
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Old 01-28-2023, 06:39 PM   #6
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Knock on wood but so far I've been able to keep mine running, 2002 Monaco. Still a good coach and overall looks pretty good considering it's +20 years old.

RV's are made up of common components. Diesel Pushers may have different chassis's but they share common axles and drive components. Some of the components may be getting harder to find but in most cases are still out there.

Probably the biggest risk is the electrical components. The older rigs that don't have the fancy "stuff" may be easier to fix then the new ones.



In 2021 I made the decision to just invest in my 20 year old rig, spent ~$10K on it. New Tires, AC's, Batteries, added a second inverter, FASS fuel transfer pump and a bunch of other stuff. Luckily I was able to do the work myself. If I had to pay for all the work I wouldn't be able to afford my rig.
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Old 01-28-2023, 09:54 PM   #7
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A couple years ago I was looking at an '08 Country Coach. As part of my due diligence I contacted the CC parts center to ask about availability of chassis components since the chassis was their own proprietary design/build. They told me that many components used were industry standard like shocks, air system parts, and braking so no issues with stuff like that. However some of the components were only made for CC, not stocked, and if needed may take several months to acquire or have machined and might therefore be very expensive. I appreciated their honesty! Because of that I adjusted an offer on the rig and was not able to close on the price with the dealer.

There is always some kind of fix, but your salesman is not completely off base. Some companies went bankrupt and used proprietary chassis. Monaco, HR, and CC. In addition I hear it is more frequently a case where some shops will not work on > 10 year old rigs. If you don't do your own repairs this may be a factor in your final decision.

For me it's low risk because I do my own work and have a diesel mechanic and air systems certified SIL who, after spending 20 years in the OTR trucking industry can fix virtually anything. For someone else who doesn't have those skills or resources, dealing with older units may not be for them.

I agree you should add Newmar and Tiffin. When it comes to the coach part, Newmar will work on any coach they ever produced. They always used commercially available chassis as well.

Good luck in your search!
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Old 01-28-2023, 10:45 PM   #8
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Look hard at the Newmar Dutch Star I just sold a2002 Dutch Star & bought a 2018 Allegro bus IMHO Dutch Star is some what better quality over all but I needed the 450 HP & torque in the Tiffin Bus. Good luck on your search.
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