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Old 12-04-2019, 03:13 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 1
Which year Fleetwood Discovery fits our needs best?

New here. Thanks for having this forum.

Just about to retire and looking for a class a upgrade within my budget.

Quick background. 18 yrs ago I bought a 1978 mci 7 motor coach (40í) and converted it into a MotorHome. Nothing to fancy, just a practical unit with full kitchen, bath, heat/air laundry and very large water capacity. We have 15 kids (most adopted) and building our own rig was the only option to have something we could fit in to travel. Canít complain about the old bus.!been coast to coast and Up and down the country more than a few times, but we are now down to our last 2 kids in school (graduate in 2021) and are looking for a different class a that will fit our desires from here on.

Please reply to my following thoughts and weigh in to let me know if my thinking is logical, what additional information I should consider, or if Iím simply on the wrong track. I will appreciate all responses as we more toward making a final choice. I will also number the following thoughts so it will be easier to reply if you just want to let me know the item number you are responding to.

#1. At this point Iíve narrowed down my search to an older Fleetwood Discovery. Because of the following reasons.
- budget, I would like to spend around 20k, no more than 35k.
- looking for something 34-37í for a little more fuel economy and because I like the Diesel engine options. I want smaller, more fuel efficient, my wife wants big, lots of space. This rig provides what my wife wants and gives me a little of the fuel economy Iíd like.
- I like the Cummins 5.9, pre DEF
- Freightliner chases
- MotorHome and chassis companies are still in service
- Discovery owner forum for future questions as I am a DIY guy
- open layout floor plan

choosing a generation - taking into consideration the engine, transmission, and coach. Please correct or fill in the blanks on the following information Iíve gathered so far.

#2 choosing the engine. Priorities. Dependability, economy (Iím tired of 6 mpg in the old mci bus) ease of working on it.
- 12 valve 5.9 Cummins has less power, less torque but seams to have enough to satisfy most. Iím sure it canít be worse than my old 6v92 Detroit that jugs up the mountains at 30 mph while on the edge of overheating and shutting down on a 75 degree day. The only reported problem Iíve found on the 12 valve is the pin that can slide out and destroy gears, but it looks like there is an easy, inexpensive preventative fix. 1995 to the bogging of 1998 seam to be the best years due to an improved fuel inj Pump. It is the simplest Cummins to work on.

- 24 valve 275 hp 5.9 Cummins. 1998.5 -2002. Units will obviously cost much more. Does the 24 valve or 12 valve provide better fuel economy? This has more power/torque.. Engine no longer has the ďpinĒ problem, but there is the dreaded ď53Ē block issue during this time. Is it difficult to find a non 53 block Discovery? There are a lot of 53 blocks out there with no problems but is it worth the risk?

- 24 valve 300 hp 5.9 Cummins. 2003- 2005 ( newer than that is out of my budget) now reaching to the top end of my budget and have to work harder to find a good price. this does not have the ďpinĒ issue or the ď53 blockĒ risk. It again has more power/ torque but I read most donít notice the small amount of extra power over the 275 hp. correct or not? I also assume fuel economy drops off with this motor. At this level, would it just be better to move to the bigger 8.3 300 hp and accept what I think is probably a drop off of up to 2 mpg? I would assume the mpg in each 300 hp option is about the same. Correct or wrong? Which engine eould be easier to work on?

Please reply with engine thoughts.

#3 Transmission.
- 4 speed Allison
- 6 speed Allison
Please help me understand , 1,000 / 2,000 etc, models, the differences, and what yrs they were matched to the 5.9 Cummins. And please help me clarify the same with the 4 speed vs the 6 speed.
I assume the 6 speed helps with torque and economy. It also has a way to help with breaking coming down mountains. My old bus has no such help. Please help me understand the pro and cons, as well as the years used with the 5.9 of my transmission options.

#4 chassis
I know nothing about the different changes in the Freightliner chassis from 1995 - 2005. Are there years that I should avoid? Other years worth paying extra for because of new features?

Thanks again for sharing any of your experience/knowledge.

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Old 12-04-2019, 06:43 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 288
I have had 2 Fleetwood Discovery's . A 1998 and my present one is a 2007. Both coaches seem to be quite solid for the money. We have very few problems with coach itself. But I had a bad experience with the 98 which had the 5.9 Cummins with the famous #53 block which cracked and required a new engine which give me a bitter taste on the small block Cummins. We wanted for living space so in 2008 we bought a 2007 with the full slide. The coach itself has been quite good. Mine came with the dreaded electric jacks which we troublesome, but I installed the new seal kits and exercise them every 30 days and they have not given me any more trouble. Being they are rear radiator corrosion has been a problem with the exhaust system and we did a deep maintenance this summer as the CAC intercooler was corroded which began to leak. When pulling the radiator out we found it also was corroded. So we put in a new radiator in also also everything that turns on the engine. The 2007 has a CAT 330. I like the 6 speed transmission. I think the later ones all had the CAT engine which is an upgrade over the 5.9 Cummins, but it is more thirsty for fuel, Just sharing my experience.
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