Greetings, Salutations and all that jazz!
Hi my name is Jerry and this is my third motorhome but first diesel. Back in the 77 bought a Titan at an RV show, had no clue what to look for but bought it anyway. Found out right away that a M500 chassis was a truck chassis and the rear bed was fun for the kids (loved bumping up and down) but not ideal otherwise. Still all in all the fam and I traveled the states, all except Hawaii and Alaska putting 55K miles on it.
Then traded it in on an Apollo on an M600 chassis and we all really loved it. Kept it till 1994 with well over 100k very enjoyable miles. Then as all things do, kids grew up and moved on, Dawn passed away in 93 and sold the MH.
Moving forward to 2015 and in a business where I could sure use a motorhome (controls engineer) where I now park on project sites, plug in and no more loss time from and to Hotels. As motel prices increased the smarter the move was back to an RV.
Shopped around in Texas, MO, Illinois, Ohio and parts east. Had better idea of what I wanted and took my time, actually over two years. Visited many consignment dealers but all too often found too many problems with the listed MH. At 73 not looking forward to a lot of troubles, while handy, its not how I want to spend my time away from work.
Wasn't too sure what my business partner would think of a motorhome instead of a hotel but as it turned out he was the one pushing me to buy one. Gave him the back bedroom as he has need for a sleep apnea machine and I am very comfortable with the converted couch beds in the front.
Found two 2000 Damon Escapers for sale, one for 28k and the other 40k. Gotta give credit to the sales person regarding the 28k unit. He stated that it needed some work as the air bags leaked and would have to be replaced. Also suggested that if the 40k unit from a private seller was as good as advertised it would be a much better buy that the one he had.
Fast forward to check out the 40k unit which so happened to be good as advertised. Seller was not motivated so was not ready to deal and held firm on this price. Took it for a drive and have to admit, even though was an experienced MH owner/driver this baby was a little intimidating at first. This wide body diesel pusher with front wheels behind me was a little adjustment. Had pretty much driven the first tow MH's much like a car. Not so with this one. After about 30 miles I began to feel comfortable with the jake brake, air suspension and wide body. Put on 3600 miles so far from Oklahoma to New Jersey and back home, where I was really tested with low overheads, narrow lanes, jug ear turn lanes, etc. Survived it all, but had to invest in a Garmin RV LMT760 GPS to avoid non friendly MH routes.
The Damon Escaper only had one problem, the ice maker didn't make ice as water was restricted from storage. BTW this MH was kept in a comfort storage garage. While I was expecting some problems with a 15 yr old unit have to admit this one really surpassed all expectations.
Going in to freightliner for service. Discovered while the speedometer was accurate the odometer was off quite a bit. A 622 mile trip was recorded as 1058 miles. At 60 gallons of fuel that would have been 17 mpg. Found the odometer to be off by 1.6.
All in all happy to be RVing again. Only experienced 3 RV camps, two were fine, but the one in Jersey City was a little challenging.