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AttilaKara72 03-24-2013 11:52 AM

American Dream Disconnect
My Name is Attila. My wife and I looking to upgrade from our class C to a Diesel Pusher. We have been looking at used 1994 to 1999 American Dream coaches. I run the information thru NADA guides and the numbers are much lower than, and in some cases half of what people are asking for these coaches.
Am I missing something????
In the NADA guides it says that certain items are standard and are figured into the value of the coach already, so I don't enter them into the guide. Then I go thru the listings and add in the things that are not listed as standard and still come up with a staggering difference in the value that NADA Guides is saying and what the Coach owner or dealer is asking.
I totally understand that these coaches once cost $200,000. and where expensive, but they are 18 to tweenty years old.
Could someone please enlighten me? Am I just not seeing the big picture?
I am truly looking forward to what you all have to say.:banghead:

BFlinn181 03-24-2013 12:14 PM


I've tried using the NADA guide on eBay and dealer listings and find them to be way out of line with reality. I think that condition and owner maintenance can really make a difference that NADA can't calculate. When I found a coach I was interested in, I found googling the same model gave me the evidence that the one I was interested in was a good price. Also be aware that a listing is often 20% or more over the actual sale price.

AttilaKara72 03-24-2013 02:16 PM

It's kind of strange. I use the Nada guide for other makes and models of coaches that I have been interested in and found the numbers to be in the same ballpark as the asking price. Things just seem to be way off with the American Coaches.
I understand that how a coach was maintained will definitely make it more valuable than one that was not. That is why NADA Guides offers a high, average and low retail, to compensate for that and other issues to give you some type of an Idea.
I just don't understand if nada guides is saying $20,000 how do you justify $45,000 or $50,000 for that same unit?
Again am I missing something?

beaverfever 03-24-2013 02:34 PM

nada is guide line not a fact. i would not be as concerned with it as i would the shape of the coach and the suitability of the floor plan.
American other higher end coaches such as country coach and beaver you will find they hold their value much better than a entry level coach.

Tha_Rooster 03-24-2013 03:49 PM

One issue with the nada is banks us them for loans which means someone would have to put more money down. Look up a upper priced MH around 6 years old and it will be less than half of the sticker price but that doesn't mean someone will sell it to you for that.

FormerBoater 03-24-2013 05:32 PM

Why are you looking at just American Dreams? They are great units, but the Eagles should also be on your short list IMHO

The Eagles of the years you list have quite a few very excellent features that the Dreams do not have even though the exterior appearance the the floor plans are the same.

Major differences:

-Eagle has a Fiberglass roof, Dreams pre-99 do not

-Eagle has the generator on a hydraulic slide out of the front of the bus. Makes servicing very easy.

-Eagle has pantograph cargo doors (a la Prevost or a Greyhound bus). Makes opening in tight quarters very easy.

-Most Eagles have the slide out cargo trays....loading and unloading is really easy.

-Eagles generally have the same engine (C8.3 or ISC for the 99's), but the HP was tweaked to be 25 more than the Dream's.

-The Eagles were the flagship of the American Coach line at the time, so more of them were ordered with upgrades (leather couches for example).

As far as NADA, I agree with the other posters here. If you can find an older Dream or Eagle that has been well looked after, you are getting an excellent coach that should give you many years of service.

But then again, I am not objective!

1998 American Eagle 40EVS

vito.a 03-24-2013 05:53 PM

Dave is right about adding the American Eagle to your list. They are great coaches and there are lots of them out there. There is a 2003 American Eagle on eBay now for $89K.

NADA RV price guide: The NADA RV price guides are close. What has happened is the entire RV world has moved on to coaches with slideouts. Early coaches without slideouts have taken a huge drop in value. Many of these sellers don't even check the bluebook value, but rely on some internal gut feel for pricing that is not attached to reality. Others still have a lien left to pay as they financed it for 15 years and they owe more than it's worth so they are forced to raise the price. Still others look at the inflated prices dealers are asking and think "mine" is better than that one and I'm going to ask a higher price. What they don't realize is the dealer is inflating the price to allow a higher trade in value to the buyer. You are also correct about many people mistakenly adding standard equipment as options and inflating the value. NADA also says not to include mileage in diesel values, but I guarantee you a dealer will deduct 50% off a coach with 100k miles if you were trading it in.

Stick to your guns and point out to the seller they need to check NADA bluebook. I was looking at Monaco Dynasty's and found a 2002 model for $89K and right next to it was one for $219K. I ran the bluebook values and emailed them to the seller and they dropped the price $100k.

Best of luck!

AttilaKara72 03-25-2013 05:14 AM

THANK YOU VITO!!!!! So I'm not so delusional or disconnected!
Thank You Dave!!
I have looked at one American Eagle and that is what started my whole search for an American Coach. I did not know that there where that many differences between the two because I have not seen the Dream yet in person. The only reason I put the Dream in this post is that is what I am going to look at today.
I will let you all know how that turns out.
Thank You All

FormerBoater 03-25-2013 05:56 AM


If you can find a 97 or 98 Eagle with the 40EVS floorplan you get a slide where you need it the most (living room/galley). These units have a higher NADA value than the no slide floorplans and should have a smaller difference between the NADA value and the asking price.

The pre-99 Eagles and Dreams will have the mechanical diesel C8.3 engines- no electronics and extremely reliable. The 99's will have the first year of the electronic ISC 8.3 liter engines. A very good engine but a little more complex.

Happy Hunting!

Papa_Jim 03-25-2013 07:51 PM

IMHO, a 15 to 20 year old coach that has never been remodeled, never had any systems upgrades, etc. is probably worth NADA book value. Go ahead and buy it for that, and then start spending real money.

Gary RVRoamer 03-26-2013 09:41 AM

The online NADA guide is based on average depreciation, not actual market values. The numbers can get way out of whack for popular models, especially as they get older. A popular model will hold value, but the guide keeps on depreciating it at about 6% per year. I suspect Dreams and Eagles pretty much stop depreciating after about 12-15 years.

JoeMoe 04-03-2013 08:56 PM

98 American Dream
Hi, I just purchase a 98 American Dream, 65,000 miles with a 325 Cummins semi electronic. Purchase in Mississippi for 41,000.$ Drove it 2000 miles home to N.B Canada, drive like a dream and run like the day it was build. Now I feel I got a good deal, however it still 15 years old and there a few things that have to be repair or replace. As for the drive train and the Spartan chassis it in very good condition, 7500 Onan Generator with 225 hrs run good, however fix on the front frame and a bit harder to work on. One problem I do have is the Model 20 Heart Interface is not working and was wondering if after 15 years is it worth getting it repair or just replacing it with a new model? Would like to get feed back on that problem. Moe

JMonroe 04-04-2013 08:38 AM


Originally Posted by JoeMoe (Post 1518851)
.. One problem I do have is the Model 20 Heart Interface is not working and was wondering if after 15 years is it worth getting it repair or just replacing it with a new model? Would like to get feed back on that problem. Moe

Technology has advanced light years since that unit was new. I'd replace it with a new unit. You, your batteries and your electronics will all be much happier for having done so. I assume you'll be updating your TV(s) with new digital models? They'll be much happier with a new pure sine wave unit too.

JoeMoe 04-05-2013 05:58 AM

Thanks Jay, I was thinking that very same way, just needed someone make me realize that todays electronics need todays new power source with Pure Sine Wave technology. Any subjection what model and size I should go with?

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