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Old 03-16-2018, 02:24 AM   #1
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Spartan Chassis
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Buying a DP; What should we want?

My wife and I are looking at getting a DP to travel FT in. We have a 29 foot class A now but only travel relatively within a set area. We plan to travel as much of North America as possible for the next 3 to 6 years and then settle down and put up our feet.

We have some ideas of what we want but feel and fear we may be overlooking something important. We are both retired and want to see all we can before we can't. If you have some suggestions for us please post here.
Dennis & Denise Full Time RV Mutants #40
"Duchess" a 40 foot Newmar Dutch Star + "Duke" a GMC Terrain Towed
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Old 03-16-2018, 03:43 AM   #2
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What are your fears?

In essence check your state drivers license requirement for over 26,000 lb motor homes. Understand the costs and find a floor plan you can be content with. Understand how big you want to go. You already have experience in an A so most of the house will be similar. Unless you have experience driving diesel trucks find one of the classes offered for MH owners on how to drive and maintain a diesel. They are different relative to a gas engine drive train. Even if you drove trucks the class might be useful as a way of learning the chassis used.

FWIW I would get the NE off your bucket list with the gas MH. I'm not saying you cannot do it with a 40 ft DP as buses are a similar size. I am saying you will find it a lot easier in the shorter unit if you are not dedicated to superslabs.
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Old 03-16-2018, 05:45 AM   #3
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Hi Eez,
Here's a little jewel to mull over. Assuming you have a Ford V10 in your current rig going to a DP in the 36-38 ft range with a Cummins ISB motor (6.7L) will give you about the same performance envelop. Your fuel economy will go up but cost of fuel and maintenance will also increase.
Steve & Margo
Bonaire, Georgia
2018 Fleetwood Discovery 40D LXE "Alice"
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Old 03-16-2018, 06:04 AM   #4
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King size bed, washer dryer, counter top space to actually prepare a meal, storage, propane heater to compensate for the heat pumps that don't work in really cold temps.....that's what we have in our DP that are must haves.

We have a Aria 3401. Big enough to get the diesel yet small enough to get into the small parks and cruise the back roads of America which we love. So far so good, we have had it almost a year and have 6000 miles on it.

Of course we are STILL dealing with the quality issues and I think that it will never end sometime. When you get yours hold out on the $$ and don't take the unit until every little thing works to your satisfaction....go over it with a fine tooth comb. It's a real nightmare
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Old 03-16-2018, 06:43 AM   #5
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New or used? Budget?

It would be advantageous to get:

1. Side radiator
2. Jake Bake (engine compression) vs Exhaust Brake.
3. King-size bed if you have a furry friend who likes to sleep with you.
4. Dining table and two chairs + two folding chairs vs a room-hogging dinette booth.
5. Access to refrig, toilet, and bed when driving (slides in).

Unless you see yourselves boondocking a lot, there really is no need for a washer & dryer. Yes, they are handy if you run out of clean undies, but that is about the most you will get in one in a single load. Most campgrounds have laundries with commercial machines. Even small towns usually have a laundromat.
2005 Beaver Monterey 36' 400 hp Cat C9 Sold 9/20
2004 Newmar DS 4009 DP Sold 8/18
Delaware beaches ----- DW & Kip the Wonder Dog
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Old 03-16-2018, 07:57 AM   #6
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Do you like full hook up resorts, or national forest? Will you move often or stay in one place for days or weeks?
Been through all the continental states and provinces. Loving life on the road.
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Old 03-16-2018, 08:15 AM   #7
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A washer and dryer is a must have for us in our next motorhome. No sitting around the laundromat in a dirty plastic chair reading 3 year old magazines waiting for the clothes to dry. And who knows what was in that washer just before you got there. There's a thread on here about reusable toilet paper. Think about it. You have to do laundry more often due to smaller capacities but you can do it while driving down the road too or sitting in your own comfy chair.

We had a Splendide in our previous motorhome and did a load just about every day. Easy enough, just put clothes in W/D and push a button. We don't have one in our present rig but sure wish we had it back. There will definitely be one in our next unit. I wouldn't consider FT without a W/D.
When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.
2019 Newmar Canyon Star 3627 on a 2018 F-53 26K chassis w/6 speed transmission
2017 Jeep Wrangler JKU with Ready Brute tow system w/Currie Tow Plate
Titusville, FL when not on the road
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Old 03-16-2018, 08:18 AM   #8
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I have owned 3 Class A motorhomes over a period of 15 years. My first one had the small (5.9L) Cummins and was terribly under powered. The second, a Monaco Dynasty had the 350HP Cummins, the last unit, a Tiffin Allegro Bus had the 400HP Cummins. My first recommendation is to NOT buy a Class A that is underpowered. A few miles less per gal of diesel does not override the disappointment of a large underpowered motorhome. As I've always said---if you need to worry about fuel milage costs, maybe you shouldn't own the vehicle!!
My second recommendation is---- totally understand the costs to maintain a diesel engined motorhome. Oil changes requiring expensive oil filters and 20-24 quarts of oil can be a shock if you don't expect it. Air filters can run $150-$200, a set of 6 tires can cost $3,000-$4,000 if you buy the best (and you should).
Saying all this, I would buy a Class A again in a heartbeat. We enjoyed every second, other than some unexpected issues/breakdowns which simply "goes with the territory".
2016 Wildcat MAXX 28RKX (33' TT), 2007 13' Scamp
30 years RV'ing
12 different RV's
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Old 03-16-2018, 08:37 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Eez Moose View Post
My wife and I are looking at getting a DP to travel FT in. We have a 29 foot class A now but only travel relatively within a set area. We plan to travel as much of North America as possible for the next 3 to 6 years and then settle down and put up our feet.

We have some ideas of what we want but feel and fear we may be overlooking something important. We are both retired and want to see all we can before we can't. If you have some suggestions for us please post here.
Only you know what you want.
A second toilet could be a handy item.
I believe Canada requires a special license endorsement for vehicles with air brakes.
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Old 03-16-2018, 09:38 AM   #10
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Since you have a Class A now, you already know most of what you need. I would say you should decide what kind of campgrounds you want to use and size accordingly. We are limited to where we can stay in our 45' coach especially in National and many State Parks. We generally have to stay in more expensive places that can accommodate us. As someone else said - be sure you learn the maintenance needs of a diesel chassis - I went to Freightliner school.
Larry, Beverly & Pat
Pups - Romeo, Teddy Bear, Frankie
2013 Thor Tuscany, 45', Freightliner chassis, Cummins ISL10, towing a Buick Enclave
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Old 03-16-2018, 09:55 AM   #11
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No early-DEF-era engines was high on my list, and I ended up pre-DEF. And mid entry was a wish, but I didn't think I'd find one. The interior was up to my beautiful half, she gets 80% of the vote there.
2006 Monaco Safari Cheetah 40PMT
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Old 03-16-2018, 10:47 AM   #12
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Hi Dennis & Irene! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

I would go with a 38-40' DP a few years old, depending on your budget. I much prefer air leveling, NO hydraulic jacks! A washer/drying is a must! I did not want a tag axle because of extra tire cost and potential maintenance problems.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette
Sometimes I sits and thinks, sometimes I just sits.....
2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 03-16-2018, 11:07 AM   #13
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A couple items important to us most folks don't think about is which side is the kitchen on, and size of Windows.
We want the kitchen on the drivers side so the dinette is on the passenger side.
It puts the table looking at our camp, if we're camping, not the neighbors.
We like big windows.
Too many coaches for us are cave like in the living area.
Hope that helps, just things important to us.
2007 Alpine Limited SE
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Old 03-16-2018, 11:23 AM   #14
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We ordered a 2000 38' DSDP double slide as our retirement rig.
Then in 2002 we ordered a 40' DSDP triple slide as our final retirement rig.
Then in 2015 we bought a 45' quad slide as our very last retirement rig. Then the DW died in Aug 2016 and here I am with a huge rig for the six cats and I.
No matter what you buy your plans may change!
2009 45' Magna 630 w/Cummins ISX 650 HP/1950 Lbs Ft, HWH Active Air
Charter Good Sam Lifetime Member, FMCA,
RV'ing since 1957, NRA Benefactor Life, towing '21 Jeep JLU Rubicon Ecodiesel
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