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Old 04-25-2019, 05:40 PM   #29
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So with that all said I have a question about the most dependable, well built brands from let's call it 1988-2000 in a diesel pusher.



How are the Holiday Ramblers, I've seen a lot of those at pretty fair prices.


I would assume Tiffin, Prevost, Country Coach, American Eagle are all good, any others to look for or avoid?
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Old 04-25-2019, 07:37 PM   #30
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Iím not one to rain on a parade, but I also feel the reason we follow these forums is to learn...

I did a LOT of research before we bought our coach. I do the majority of my own maintenance, but the costs are still there. I started putting together a plan to do all the things you would want/need to do to a 13-15 year old coach. I feel I came into a diesel pusher rather educated.

A year in, I have:
-Replaced Tires @ $3K (Planned)
-Roof ACs @ $2.5K (Not Planned)
-Radiator @ $5K (Not Planned)
-TV and A/V @ $600 (Planned)
-Fluids/Scheduled Maintenance Twice @ $400 per (Planned)
-Water Pump @ $200 (Unplanned)
-Toilet Base @ $300 (Unplanned)
-Roof Reseal & Coating @ $350 (Planned)
-New Faucets @ $200 (Unplanned)

Still to do:
-Airbags
-Shocks
-HWH Springs
-Interior Remodel

I add all of this detail to illustrate not to underestimate what maintenance and replacements are going to cost. Thatís over $8000 that I didnít plan for, which is 40-50% of your total budget for a coach.

In my opinion, itís all worth it to be in a quality diesel pusher, but I could be in a much newer gas coach for the same money...
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Old 04-26-2019, 01:57 PM   #31
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I would assume Tiffin, Prevost, Country Coach, American Eagle are all good, any others to look for or avoid?
If you find a Prevost for $20k, post the ad link so you can get feedback on it
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Old 04-26-2019, 02:11 PM   #32
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I think I'd buy a big compressor and a good set of tools - then start looking for a MH after I was well equipped to work on it.

<$20K can be a tough thing to find.

However, you're young and can work hard - so look for a good chassis, suspension and motor/tranny combination - I'd think Freightliner/Cummins/Allison. Make sure if it's on a REAL truck chassis that the rig has been used at least 5K miles per year - don't be afraid of high mileage as you can have the oil and other fluids tested to see if there is marked degradation of the engine/etc. A diesel that has sit in someone's backyard for 10 years is probably a rat/wiring/infested un-maintained problem.

When you have the chassis and drivetrain figured out - go for a roof that is not prone to leaking - such as fiberglass vs aging rubber.

Next is to make sure the MH has no history of the walls delaminating (not a DIY repair job, in general).

With good chassis/drive/suspension and roof - you're ready to rip out ANYTHING on the interior you don't care for at your leisure.
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Old 04-26-2019, 04:34 PM   #33
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I think I'd buy a big compressor and a good set of tools - then start looking for a MH after I was well equipped to work on it.

<$20K can be a tough thing to find.

However, you're young and can work hard - so look for a good chassis, suspension and motor/tranny combination - I'd think Freightliner/Cummins/Allison. Make sure if it's on a REAL truck chassis that the rig has been used at least 5K miles per year - don't be afraid of high mileage as you can have the oil and other fluids tested to see if there is marked degradation of the engine/etc. A diesel that has sit in someone's backyard for 10 years is probably a rat/wiring/infested un-maintained problem.

When you have the chassis and drivetrain figured out - go for a roof that is not prone to leaking - such as fiberglass vs aging rubber.

Next is to make sure the MH has no history of the walls delaminating (not a DIY repair job, in general).

With good chassis/drive/suspension and roof - you're ready to rip out ANYTHING on the interior you don't care for at your leisure.

In my years of messing with these things these are many of the lessons I've learned as well. The leaking and roof issue is a huge one for me which is why I've been leaning towards making versus buying but I just don't have it in me this year so I'll save that as a different project for a different time.



As for compressor and a good set of tools, I had to laugh, I'm fairly covered. I have three welders alone, more than one compressor, I have pretty much any and all tools you could imagine in any variation you can think of. I'm building a shed at the moment and was trying to cut some metal, my Dewalt metal shears weren't handling the contours well so I got my air nibbler which also wasn't handling them well so I grabbed my electric Dewalt nibbler which finally did a good job.



I just had to laugh because on this end my girlfriend is more like "sell some of your compressors and sets of tools and then we'll start looking for a motorhome after we don't have so many tools".
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Old 04-26-2019, 05:23 PM   #34
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If you extend your budget to $25-30k you can have a very nice coach that will meet your goals. You are still going to have to perform work on it, but when done you can even make a few dollars. I've had very good luck with Monaco Windsors and Dynasty's. There are lots of them out there and they are excellent coaches. The ad is incorrect. They are built on a Roadmaster Chassis with 8 outboard airbags and 8 shocks. Both of these coaches will have a Cummins ISC 8.3L engine and an Allison MH3000 6 speed transmission (an excellent combination).

https://www.rvtrader.com/listing/200...BSS-5007221818

https://www.rvtrader.com/listing/200...PDQ-5007260395

There are lots more out there but you are going to have to travel.
Best of luck!
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Old 04-26-2019, 07:52 PM   #35
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If you extend your budget to $25-30k you can have a very nice coach that will meet your goals. You are still going to have to perform work on it, but when done you can even make a few dollars. I've had very good luck with Monaco Windsors and Dynasty's. There are lots of them out there and they are excellent coaches. The ad is incorrect. They are built on a Roadmaster Chassis with 8 outboard airbags and 8 shocks. Both of these coaches will have a Cummins ISC 8.3L engine and an Allison MH3000 6 speed transmission (an excellent combination).

https://www.rvtrader.com/listing/200...BSS-5007221818

https://www.rvtrader.com/listing/200...PDQ-5007260395

There are lots more out there but you are going to have to travel.
Best of luck!

These posts are always tough because it's hard to actually get the information you're looking for. I'm very mechanical and well versed in RV and travel just not with pushers. My budget is really $15k and I'm willing to REALLY push to $20k if needed but it would take a lot to get me there. That's just where things are for now and if I had $30k honestly I would build a house for that as I can do everything myself and I like small spaces so I could build an amazing house with that kind of money. But like I said, that's just not where things are at right now so I'm trying to find the best option I can with what I have.
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Old 04-28-2019, 02:36 AM   #36
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A year in, I have:
-Replaced Tires @ $3K (Planned)
-Roof ACs @ $2.5K (Not Planned)
-Radiator @ $5K (Not Planned)
-TV and A/V @ $600 (Planned)
-Fluids/Scheduled Maintenance Twice @ $400 per (Planned)
-Water Pump @ $200 (Unplanned)
-Toilet Base @ $300 (Unplanned)
-Roof Reseal & Coating @ $350 (Planned)
-New Faucets @ $200 (Unplanned)



There is one thing here I totally can't stop thinking about, $5k for a radiator?! What am I missing here? I agree on the rest, I always check date codes and negotiate accordingly. TVs are of very use to me so that isn't much of a thought, the rest I understand and it all seems withing reason but $5,000 on a radiator?!
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Old 04-28-2019, 09:11 AM   #37
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There is one thing here I totally can't stop thinking about, $5k for a radiator?! What am I missing here? I agree on the rest, I always check date codes and negotiate accordingly. TVs are of very use to me so that isn't much of a thought, the rest I understand and it all seems withing reason but $5,000 on a radiator?!


Well the radiator itself was $3,600. Add $300 in freight. Add 11 hours of labor (Iím not equipped to do this at the house, not too mention the radiator weighs 200 lbs.) at $115 per hour (which surprisingly is a really good price for a reputable repair facility; Cummins wants $190 per hour). Add new hoses, sand blasting and some powder coating of a rigid pipe involved in the install and you have another $300. Add 12 gallons of coolant at $14 per. So I was lowballing at $5,000.

Iím sure youíre extremely handy, but if youíre looking at a diesel pusher, I would caution you to really think about these things, especially at your budget. One of the issues Iíve had would put you down hard, making your RV a fancy lawn decoration. IMHO, diesel is the way to go, but with everything, there are pros and cons.

I promise you, on a coach in the age range youíre talking, things are definitely going to break. Some are cheap/easy fixes, some are not. So my question to you would be... If you had a radiator failure like I did, how long would your RV have to be down for you to afford getting it back in operation?

You seem to have your mind made up. Hindsight being 20/20, a gas coach would have probably been better suited for our needs. Notice, I said our needs for a RV, not our wants. I am very happy with my older, quality-built diesel pusher. On the same note, I would probably be better off in the wallet had I gone gas.
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Old 04-28-2019, 10:09 AM   #38
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I just went through this in your market (PHX). My method was to setup a search on CL that would email me any time something listed with my selections. My budget was just a bit over yours. I found a 42k monaco local that was for sale by a flipper. He told me everything I wanted to hear. Anything that was questionable was "not sure on that". It was actually 8k under my budget, but it needed tires and some other odd ball items. Had everything I wanted as I do mostly dry camping for 3-4 day periods.

8.3 cummins with the 3000 Alison and Monaco is a great combo.

Major was tires. I do not do long trips and it might see 3-5k per year so buying $3000 worth of tires that will never expire before they wear out is stupid. I purchased the tires and had them sent to my house for $1400 and will install them myself. I like you have every tool on the planet. I have a fleet of trucks and trailers, so this is nothing new. I also travel to Mexico so calling road side assistance is not an option. You learn to change a tire or you're SOL.

I also ordered new shocks (8) Bilstiens. $600.

The 1998 sony dash tape deck did not work. That was swapped out with a new CarPlay deck so I am now current and have great sound. $400

The Dash ac didnt work. The AC compressor was brand new though as it was an AZ coach. So I figured it was just a fuse. Turns out is was the blower motor in the dash. It required me to cut a hole in it to get to it. With the help of an IRV2 post I was able to fix it with an $18 napa motor and now I have ice cold air.

Dash buzzer did not work. I noticed this when I started it and it was low air but no sound. $6 off Amazon.

Leveling jacks worked great, but again no buzzer to let you know they were down. This was because either he or the previous owner did not know how they worked. He cut the wire to buzzer because the low fluid sensor was going off. You cant turn it off unless you add fluid (go figure) or kill power to it. Connected wires back up. Filled the reservoir until the alarm went off. $.01 for the connector and $3 for the Trans fluid I already had.

Anyways long and short of it is you can find one. Just be ready to jump on it. I looked for 6 months. Bought my 5th wheel before this one 5 years prior. Sold it for more than I paid. If you stick with a common coach this site is a wealth of info.
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Old 04-28-2019, 11:21 AM   #39
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My previous rv was a 2000 Winnebago 37g gasser. I bought it for well under your budget. The previous owner was a rookie driver, as he had jackknifed his trailer into both rear corners, and side swiped a couple of the side door panels. I had it for five years. I did a bit of straightening on the door panels, and a bit of body work on the rear end. It wasn't perfect, but I had no mechanical trouble with it. I put approx. 12000 miles on it, and sold it for the same amount I paid for it. The v 10 ford platform is very dependable. One advantage of going to the 2000 ish gassers, is you are going to get at least one slide. Living full time in an rv would be better with at least one bigger slide up front. My winni had a 14 ft slide up front. It was an Adventurer, which had a lot of the higher end monitoring systems and stuff on it. I wouldn't rule out a gas unit with a lower end budget. The ride isn't as nice as a pusher, but you eliminate a lot of potential problems with the gasser. No air bags, compressor, turbos, and other complicated and expensive parts on a diesel. The v10 did all right dragging 37 ft of rv around. It was no speed demon, but it got me from point A to point B. What you lose in the motor and power department, you will gain in the house quality department for the price point you want. Good luck. Those deals are out there. You just got to find them. Lots of rookie drivers dinging up good rvs if you are decent at body work.
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Old 04-28-2019, 04:52 PM   #40
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I'm realizing that we're all working with different skill sets, level of comfort doing our own repairs, budgets, and not only different priorities in a motorhome but also different levels of perfection and what we'll find acceptable in terms of damage to the interior and exterior of a coach.



It makes it much harder to gather information due to how subjective the terms being used are.



One of my main motives for a pusher versus a gasser is I LOATH the interiors of the gas units, the fake wood, the carpeting, the trim, all of it, I absolutely hate it! After 3 motherhomes, 3 5ers, and a bumper pull that had those interiors I've had enough of them for 10 lifetimes. The same goes for the EPDM roofing, I never want to see that again!


So, I feel like that pretty much leaves me with a dp as I haven't seen many gas units that don't have that look I find to be horrific.



As for all the comments, thank you all a lot, it's given me a TON to think about. I have some health issues which in part play into my choices and wanting something a little older with hopefully better indoor air quality than some of the other units I've had.
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Old 04-29-2019, 03:55 PM   #41
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In my years of messing with these things these are many of the lessons I've learned as well. The leaking and roof issue is a huge one for me which is why I've been leaning towards making versus buying but I just don't have it in me this year so I'll save that as a different project for a different time.



As for compressor and a good set of tools, I had to laugh, I'm fairly covered. I have three welders alone, more than one compressor, I have pretty much any and all tools you could imagine in any variation you can think of. I'm building a shed at the moment and was trying to cut some metal, my Dewalt metal shears weren't handling the contours well so I got my air nibbler which also wasn't handling them well so I grabbed my electric Dewalt nibbler which finally did a good job.



I just had to laugh because on this end my girlfriend is more like "sell some of your compressors and sets of tools and then we'll start looking for a motorhome after we don't have so many tools".
Hey, if you have all those shop tools and a girlfriend that says to sell SOME (not ALL!!) of your tools then, shucks - can my wife and I hang around with you guys?
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Old 04-29-2019, 05:39 PM   #42
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My 2000 Adventurer 37g had real wood trim and cabinets. It also had a one piece fiberglass roof. It did have carpet except in the entry and kitchen area. My current rv is a 2000 diesel pusher, and I seem to keep having to fix more stuff related to the motor than my previous rv. I have repaired a cracked exhaust manifold, now the rad needs replaced. I was having some trouble with the fuel pump, but I think we have that sorted out. The parts for these things are expensive. The air filter for the motor is something like $180 CDN. I like the pusher, but unless Im traveling extensively, I am not ruling out a gas rv next time. Having a slide is a must for me. Finding a high quality diesel pusher with a slide on a low budget can be a challenge. It can be done, just don't get in a hurry to buy. Ones without slides put you back into the mid nineties. Shop, shop, shop.
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