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Old 01-26-2022, 10:59 AM   #1
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Is it a good or bad idea to buy an older diesel pusher?

Is it a good or bad idea to buy an older diesel pusher?

On the pro side: lower initial cost, many of the bugs should have been worked out, problem areas for original owners should have already been addressed, diesel engines are older with less electronics.

Cons: Wear primarily on interior of coach. Engine and chassis with any maintenance at all should be pretty good because normally mileage isn't too high. However, maintenance is expensive if hired and probably only minimal maintenance has been done.

I think older units are ok if they have good, ample maintenance records, been in no accidents, and interior detail is satisfactory.

What is your oppinion?
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Old 01-26-2022, 11:11 AM   #2
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What is your idea of “older” ? 2000 - 2006 ? 2006 - 2012 ?
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Old 01-26-2022, 11:18 AM   #3
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LOL I bought a 97, so I guess you know my answer!
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Old 01-26-2022, 11:59 AM   #4
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It's worked out well for us.
Condition and maintenance history mean everything.
I can't tell you how many we looked at for one minute and ran.
Passing the DWs "sniff test" upon entry was inspection #1. My advice, be patient and look for a unit that hasn't been lived in...good luck in your search.
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Old 01-27-2022, 01:05 PM   #5
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What is your idea of “older” ? 2000 - 2006 ? 2006 - 2012 ?
Yes to all the above or evan older.
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Old 01-27-2022, 01:29 PM   #6
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I think it depends on a case by case scenario vs. a blanket of old vs. new.

Older mid to upper end will generally hold up better than an older entry level DP. However, I have seen quite a rash of people buying early to mid-2000 Monaco and Country Coach units this past year and I am dumbfounded by the poor condition they are in and the lack of knowledge of the new buyers. I cannot believe someone would have an older coach of these levels and not maintain them but I see a lot of new buyers asking questions about items like rooftop A/C's, Aqua-Hot and general items that are not functioning on a new to them coach. So I am assuming these items were overlooked by an unsuspecting new buyer who didn't know what they were looking at due to lack of research.

Then there are items pertaining to the chassis and powertrain that have been neglected as well which can add up quickly in costs. This is where a well maintained coach WITH documentation could (and should) cost more than a comparable make/model that has been neglected. It would also be a better deal in the long run than a similar make/model that has been neglected or let go but have a lesser price tag.

Our first two coaches were purchased both older and orphaned at the time of us purchasing and although neither had much documentation I did thorough inspections and were able to bring both back to pristine condition and enjoy them up to the point we sold each of them.

Our current coach was only four years old when we purchased it, so not old by any means, however, it was neglected in those four years and I purchased it "as is" knowing it had a few issues. Again I brought it back to pristine condition and my wife and I have continued to enjoy it for the past 15 years now. It turns 20 years old in a few weeks and I have not really seen anything that I would trade it for so we will continue to enjoy it.

That being said, a lot of it will depend on what items and how much of the work you can do yourself. If not you may want to have deep pockets if you have to take it to a shop to have the work performed and even then you may have a hard time finding a shop to perform the work to your standards.

Personally, I would rather have a bit older higher level coach than a new one with bells & whistles (fluff) but lesser of a chassis/powertrain and overall construction. There are still a LOT of really nice older coaches out there that have been well maintained and still have a lot of life left in them.

The fact that you are here asking before the purchase is a big first step so you can make better and more informed decisions when the time comes. There is a wealth of knowledge out there by many forum members on about every make and model so doing research now will save you time and money later.
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Old 01-27-2022, 01:34 PM   #7
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Just took delivery of our "new to us" 1998 Prevost last week.... Two to three months ago, we sold our 2019 Fleetwood that was purchased brand new. This is my 5th RV... and the Prevost is oldest and longest (40') we have owned.

We have purchased new and used.... gas and diesel. By far we are the most excited with this one over any of the previous purchases.

I was tired of fixing our 2019, it had been back to the factory... TWICE. I wasn't going to buy another new one with all the complaining I'm reading daily on here, no matter the brand, fuel, or type.

This Prevost is no def or other emission headaches, side radiator, tag axle, 500HP Detroit Deisel, IFS.... and cost around $800k when it was new. We feel like we made the "BEST CHOICE EVER!"

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Old 01-27-2022, 01:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ RV'r View Post
Just took delivery of our "new to us" 1998 Prevost last week.... Two to three months ago, we sold our 2019 Fleetwood that was purchased brand new. This is my 5th RV... and it is the Prevost is oldest and longest (40') we have owned.

We have purchased new and used.... gas and diesel. By far we are the most excited with this one over any of the previous purchases.

I was tired of fixing our 2019, it had been back to the factory... TWICE. I wasn't going to buy another new one with all the complaining I'm reading daily on here, no matter the brand, fuel, or type.

This Prevost is no def or other emission headaches, side radiator, tag axle, 500HP Detroit Deisel, IFS.... and cost around $800k when it was new. We feel like we made the "BEST CHOICE EVER!"

(Click to enlarge)
Very nice.

I keep looking towards a 2006-2008 pre-emissions Prevost conversion as a possible next coach.
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Old 01-27-2022, 01:46 PM   #9
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That is one good looking coach. Congrats.
It says RIVETED in your signature. I can guess, but please explain. Thank you.
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Old 01-27-2022, 01:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edge68474 View Post
That is one good looking coach. Congrats.
It says RIVETED in your signature. I can guess, but please explain. Thank you.
Older Prevost XL chassis were riveted stainless steel side panels whereas the newer XLII chassis use a glued or adhesive held stainless panels. Some converters or restorers can create issues if they polish too aggressively as it can create too much heat and the adhesive can begin to let go creating a delamination issue. It can be repaired by Prevost but can get expensive so it is advisable to inspect thoroughly before purchasing an XLII coach. Not that they are bad, just need to pay attention. This is also why some purists prefer the older XL chassis so they don't have to worry about the delam issues.
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Old 01-27-2022, 02:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edge68474 View Post
That is one good looking coach. Congrats.
It says RIVETED in your signature. I can guess, but please explain. Thank you.
It is built with rivets.

The last year Prevost used rivets was 2000. It was an expensive way to assemble but nearly indestructible as far as construction with ZERO possibility of delamination. Nobody does it anymore because of the extreme labor costs.

Second I built an RV garage at my home and did something stupid.... I said "I'll never get an RV bigger than 40'...(had a 36' at that time)" so I built it 42 1/2 ft long. Prevost stopped making a 40' chassis in 2004/5. Everything newer is 45ft long. So I wanted the rivets, and it needed to be 40ft, so that's the reason I bought a 1998. New 2022 conversions on the Prevost chassis are selling over $2M. Also to purchase the "shell" from Prevost is around +$700k before you even start building it out.

By the way.... units like mine and others, are available way under $200k... mine was less than $150k

Below is a link to a video I found on the Marathon Coach website that I feel explains a lot of stuff better than I can.

https://youtu.be/D3Nxn5Eg0ns


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Old 01-28-2022, 08:38 AM   #12
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Thanks AZ. I watched the video and another one about Prevost. Interesting. They build airplanes with rivets or at least they did when I worked at Boeing many years ago and they hold up REAL well.
Again, that sure is a beautiful coach. May I drive it?? I'm an excellent driver.
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Old 01-30-2022, 02:57 PM   #13
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For what it's worth, I had been looking for an older diesel pusher for about two years. Did a lot of looking and research on the upper echelon models and focused on the Beaver Marquis, mostly due to the 6' 8" ceiling height since I am two inches shorter than that. It is my first coach, I am a technically astute tradesman and honestly after I bought it and started to go through it I was terrified of it. It is a '95 with a mechanical Cummins which was only offered for a few years. My take is that even if the coach is 'perfect' expect to commit a lot of money / time on it. The small items that I thought were minor, usually take me from twice to ten times the time and money that I originally thought. I am doing most of the work by myself, but even getting the coach on supports to work under it safely took a lot of doing. I love the coach, solid cherry cabinets, everything was first class and can be brought back to like new with some effort. The electronics on these older coaches are obsolete, so if they have not been changed already, plan on that. It will consume your life for a while.

John Fitzgerald
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Old 01-30-2022, 06:50 PM   #14
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Our '98 Safari Serengeti has been good for us. Yes, I've put some work into it but the majority of the work was my choice, not because of failures. Small things have failed - had to replace a leaky oil seal on the front hub. Had the step controller fail, and the voltage regulator on the generator went bad. I fixed all but the generator myself, well, I did fix the generator after a shop diagnosed the issue. In my mind it's all within what I expect with a 25 year old rig.

We had friend who bought new and they were always complaining it had to go back to the dealer to get something fixed. That's not so say older rigs are better, just that to a point age isn't an issue as long as it's been maintained.
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