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Thoughts on what you are looking for

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31 minutes ago, WILDEBILL308 said:

Give us your thoughts on what you are looking for and you will get lots of ideas and suggestions. We love telling people how to spend their money.:lol:

Bill

Bill I am putting this here.  So you all can have some fun..  Keep in mind my timeline is years from now.  It takes me that long to learn.😎

Well so far I have thoughts on a 

Diesel 35 to 40 foot Class A 

Buy Used

    Although I was thinking about a few years old like 2015 or so

    But now after reading some posts seems like I should go older? 2009 - 2012

Get it inspected. 

Get the oil/fluids tested.

Seems like Brand is not to important. Although seems some are not to good these days 2019.

So far Newmar, Tiffen, Fleetwood, Holiday Rambler all seem to be good names.   I think there might be some more.

Lets start there.

Be Warned I am not a One post kind of Guy.....😁 Church is tomorrow so it might be 1400 before I can reply..

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Hi Factor.

Few things come to mind.  $$$? How handy are you in regards to mechanical, electrical (AC & DC), plumbing, fabrication and analytical?  Any coach, with a diesel engine, made prior to 2006 would be my choice.  Mandatory EPA mandate, started in 2007 with Particulate filter for lower emission, in 2010 they added DEF, who knows whats next.

My coach is a 2009 engine on a 2010 American Coach, with 107,673 miles. I have had no problems with my engine or transmission & I consider myself lucky. Replacement cost of the P filter is not cheap, with labor about $5,000+!

DP...Fleetwood, HR, Monaco, Country Coach, Beaver, Foretravel, Alpine, Safari, Tiffin Phaeton...All good coaches, pre 2006.   Most of the very good manufacturers went BK in one form or another, due to Sub Prime lending 2007-2010. 

I've had class "A's" since 1967...12 of 17 coaches were gas, last 4 diesel.

Carl C.

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Carl

Thanks for all the detail.  Let’s see here. 
several hundreds of thousands. But no more than I really need to spend. 
Very handy. I could build or repair most anything. 

So I have to ask what make you own a 2010 if 2006 is best?

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Pre to 2006.  Brain Fart...I had a 2011, bought new, Allegro Bus..total Lemon & Bob Tiffen said he want'd it back..go see the dealer...$57,000 including Tax, I got this!  We're looking for another coach...small problem, my Fiance has her own DP to sell, a 2006 Tiffin Phaeton 40. If it was up to me, I would keep hers and sell mine, but she wan'ts a 42 to 45' coach! :blink:  

I'll be 77 in Feb & she's 71...If you look at any of the newer coaches & get past the useless Bling, you'll find that the interior/floor-plans are all the same!  The difference to justify cost, is size of engine/transmission!  All furniture is modular & you can buy them for 75/80% less, than manufacturer will charge you...so, get a used coach for $70k to $120,k with most of what your wife want's and replace the rest.  "Leather" is Faux and we use Windex to clean...try that with Cow Hide! Ugh.

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So in an older coach. What about other mechanical items like slides, and doors windows (mostly stuff other than engine and drivetrain.). Seems like that stuff would all be hard to fix. In a older coach.  Also hasn’t the technology changed in 13 years?  In short aren’t the slides of today better than the slides of 13 years ago?  I just want to be sure there isn’t other reasons to buy say a 4 or 5 yo coach. 

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In my opinion, if only two people will be traveling, why on earth would anyone need a slide? Just more to break. My coach is 42 feet long, has no slides, and there is more than enough room for the two of us and the four of the four legged critters.

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40 minutes ago, kaypsmith said:

In my opinion, if only two people will be traveling, why on earth would anyone need a slide? Just more to break. My coach is 42 feet long, has no slides, and there is more than enough room for the two of us and the four of the four legged critters.

I was thinking the same thing. There are some really nice professionally done bus conversions out there right now at great prices. If you want a 40-foot coach, there are both MCI and Prevost models out there. Same applies to these as any RV - get it inspected by someone knowledgeable so you know what you're buying. You might find a really nice coach for a price that still gives you enough left in your budget to do pretty extensive upgrades.

The road-worthiness of a bus chassis is hard to beat in a motor home unless you buy a top-tier brand, and some of the conversions have interior finish quality as good as you'll find anywhere. You can find some conversions with slides, but if you don't need them you'll avoid lots of possible issues.

This may not be for you, but it is certainly something to consider.

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18 minutes ago, richard5933 said:

bus conversions

Didn't really know they were a thing..  

 

18 minutes ago, richard5933 said:

Prevost models

Aren't these like Millions of dollars

 

18 minutes ago, richard5933 said:

top-tier brand

What is a top tier brand?

 

Topic derailment ahead...

1974 GMC P8M4108a-125 Custom Coach Land Cruiser conversion

1988 MCI 102A3 Detroit 6V92 DDEC3 335HP

Now just wondering as I realize you both have bus conversions.  I love a good ole Hot Rod and History is this the reason you choose a bus vs just getting a "rv"?  What made you go and buy a bus from 1974 or 84 and use that?  Are you a handy person a hot rodder of sorts?  Since emotion can't be conveyed in posts I mean no bad thought or feeling.  I would really love to have a 1953 Pontiac Chieftain as my toad, so i get the tinkering part if that is it.

PS Mason Crosby has Ice water in his veins...

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2 hours ago, jbell said:

As far as slides are concerned, in my opinion slides on older coaches pre 06 are more robust and dependable especially on a Tiffin. Thats just my 2 cents worth.

Interesting so it's a bit like houses older bones are better?

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1 hour ago, kaypsmith said:

In my opinion, if only two people will be traveling, why on earth would anyone need a slide? Just more to break. My coach is 42 feet long, has no slides, and there is more than enough room for the two of us and the four of the four legged critters.

In general for me it would be the openness or the wider space..

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Factor, older coach slides were built much more robust. You would think Technology would have advanced in a good way, it didn’t. When the economy tanked many manufacturers went belly up, their names were bought up by the big guys. That eliminated competition and they found ways to make things cheaper for increased profits. This is the case with almost everything that builds a current RV. That’s were the quality began to decline was also around 2007.

Manholt already covered the emissions technology disaster of 2007. 
I have to agree with Kay, if we had it our way a NO slide coach would be in our driveway now. Before slides manufacturers got good at making things fit for space savings, when slides came along they got careless. Great example, quite a few coaches when closed up you cannot access the bathroom or the kitchen. We pull off quite often to cook a meal and stretch out, bathroom breaks etc. if I had to open my slides to access stuff I wouldn’t have bought this one! I also don’t appreciate banging my head or crawling on my hands and knees to remove items from the basement storage when set up. That’s one reason this coach is only equipped with slides on the drivers side, that also gives me a huge awning to relax under.

 

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New Prevost conversion is a couple of million.  Good used one, say 2002 is around $250k with 2 slides, generally both on driver side..google Legacy Coach or Bus-Stuff.

High End Coach = Newell, Newmark King Air, Tiffin Zephyr, American Coach Eagle or Heritage, Foretravel....All over $750k new!

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18 minutes ago, Factor said:

Didn't really know they were a thing..  

They are a big thing. Many of the founding members of FMCA owned bus conversions, and one of the first (maybe the first) commercial member was a co-founder of Custom Coach. Custom Coach was a trail blazer in the early years of the luxury motor home industry. You can read about the early days of Custom Coach here: https://www.farberspecialty.com/custom-luxury-vehicles/history

21 minutes ago, Factor said:

Aren't these like Millions of dollars

You'd think so, but you can usually find well-kept 15-20 year old Prevost coaches at decent prices. A couple of really nice Prevost conversions from the 90s recently sold for $50 or less, and they had many useful years left. But you are correct - new these things cost high dollars. Our 1974 coach cost around $225K when it was built, the equivalent of nearly a million today. Obviously we paid less, MUCH less.

27 minutes ago, Factor said:

What is a top tier brand?

You get what you pay for in motor homes. The higher-end (top tier) brands like Newmar, Tiffin, and many of the brands mentioned by the others above are built on heavy-duty chassis, often built by companies like Freightiner. They will handle well on the road and have good road manners. Then there are the less expensive models built on lighter-weight chassis, many of which are near or at their weight capacity when they leave the showroom. This is where the research comes in, so you can learn which brands and which models have the heavy-duty chassis and which don't.

34 minutes ago, Factor said:

Topic derailment ahead...

1974 GMC P8M4108a-125 Custom Coach Land Cruiser conversion

1988 MCI 102A3 Detroit 6V92 DDEC3 335HP

Now just wondering as I realize you both have bus conversions...

Our bus was converted in 1974 by Custom Coach on a brand-new chassis. Custom Coach was the premier conversion company in its day. This is our second bus conversion, and we bought it with only about 40K miles. We chose an older bus conversion for a few reasons... I like old vehicles and enjoy being able to work on them myself. I can't do as much on the bus as I did on the vintage cars that I've owned, I enjoy working on it. Everything on the bus side is purely mechanical, easy to understand, and doesn't require a computer lab. Then there's the styling and the retro look, which speaks for itself. And largely we chose a bus conversion because of the style of travel we do - we are on the road much more than we're parked in a campground, and we felt a bus chassis provided a high degree of road worthiness and safety.

I can't speak for Kay's MCI, but we both have drive trains which have proven themselves for millions of miles of commercial service over decades. Both GM and MCI focused on building a bus which could be on the road day in and day out, so they over designed every system on these things. We have really stable platforms under our motor homes.

All that said, bus conversions have their downsides too. They are not for everyone, and I've got nothing bad to say about the various options others have mentioned above.

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Factor.

I had to go back to your original Post.  You asked for 35' to 40' DP information and have gotten mainly 45+ foot info.  In regards to Bus Conversion, Prevost made the XL 40 until 2005. All others from 2006 are 45+ foot. You'll have to ask Kay about the MCI.  Newell used to make 38, 40, 42 & 45+, now it's 42 & 47 foot.  What I wrote about the pre 2006, most where up to 42' with some in 45' & most have 0 to 4 slideouts.

You understand computers & electronics that serve the computer that runs everything on a new coach...some of the 2020 are partial autonomous, I like hands on!

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3 hours ago, Factor said:

1988 MCI 102A3 Detroit 6V92 DDEC3 335HP

I've owned motorhomes since the early 90's, all before the MCI coach were fiberglass skinned over luan plywood with which delamination was a terrible problem especially since I was not able to garage them for many reasons. By the way, I was then and still am capable of reskinning the coaches, and have done that to several over the years. But after doing much research about upkeep of a bus, I decided on the MCI brand for the conversion because of the availability of parts, and the monocoque design, there is no linear frame which means no twists and no cracking of the granite floors. I spent four years doing the conversion in it's entirety myself while still working full time on a regular job. Now  we have what we consider a top of the line motorhome, inside and out, just the way we wanted it. :) and yes you can use emotions within the subject on this forum. Good luck finding your dream MH, and hope you enjoy RV'ing as much as we do. I forgot to add that several of my kin drove for Greyhound, and I rode with them in my younger years, they drove both GM and MCI, GM was a great coach in those days, but MCI was actually owned by Greyhound and built to last since it was. Needless to say that Greyhound does not still own MCI, but due to a near bankruptcy by Greyhound, the company was purchased by MCI/Greyhound employees and have maintained integrity since that time. My coach is a 1988 model and I still order replacement parts directly from MCI, with a 24 hour watchline. Bet several Alfa owners could say that.

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See I told you you would get lots of "help" picking a coach. 

I have had a couple of "no slide" coaches and will not do it again. Joe L, does bring up a critically important point. You always want to see a coach with the slides in before you buy. You want to be able to get to and use all the critical systems without opening a slide. Think about if you pull over and you need to use the bathroom "NOW", do you want to wait to level and open the slide, I don't think so.;) I have an older 2003 coach (see signature) I can live in it without opening the slides. Ok I have a couple drawers I can't open in the bedroom and I would need to cross the bead to get to the rear closet. But I can cook on the stove/microwave sit in the dinnet open the refrigerator etc. 

I do think some of the older coaches have better slides, mostly because they were smaller. I  had one problem when I first got my coach but I changed the relay and it was fixed. We see a fair number of people having problems with newer slides, especially the full wall slides because they are more complex. Most are fairly easily fixed (mostly a synchronization problem, they have multiple motors that have to turn the same amount) once you learn how to reset it it is just a minor item. 

22 hours ago, Factor said:

So far Newmar, Tiffen, Fleetwood, Holiday Rambler all seem to be good names.   I think there might be some more.

I think you have a good basic idea and understanding. It is good you can do some of the basic maintenance/repairs yourself. Now here is anouther maker for your list.Foretravel in my opinion fits above Newmar and next to Newell. Where  you are getting into the realm of when you buy new you have a personal design team to help you. This coach was over $531,367 base with no options. Today under $105.000. I just through this out as an example of anouther quality coach maker. https://www.pplmotorhomes.com/used-rvs-for-sale/diesel-motorhomes/2005-foretravel-u295_rv-43070

8 hours ago, Factor said:

So in an older coach. What about other mechanical items like slides, and doors windows (mostly stuff other than engine and drivetrain.). Seems like that stuff would all be hard to fix. In a older coach.  Also hasn’t the technology changed in 13 years?

I wanted to go back and touch on this. Most all the stuff used to build RVs is off the shelf. They build very little themselves. Yes the technology has changed in 13+ years but not as much as you would think. Mostly it is the TVs and you can easily upgrade. Lots of things you can add cheaper yourself. I did see some 2019 Newmar King Airs on line for under $995.000 That has some neat teckey things.

One last thing tonight. I consider the break point in quality or better coaches to be some of the amenities. Does it have a tag? does it have hydronic heat? is the generator on a slide? Side radiator? Heated floors? 

Ok enough for tonight

Bill

 

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10 minutes ago, WILDEBILL308 said:

would get lots of "help"

Never doubted you..  Thanks.

 

12 minutes ago, WILDEBILL308 said:

Foretravel

I had heard of them just wasn't sure if good or not.  I assume Monaco is good too.  Had not heard of Newell either.

I noticed some of you all post https://www.pplmotorhomes.com a lot.  Are they good?  I have been using RV trader to just look around

17 minutes ago, WILDEBILL308 said:

Most all the stuff used to build RVs is off the shelf.

This is what I meant when I said brands might not matter to much.

19 minutes ago, WILDEBILL308 said:

tag

Tag Axel?  Not sure what that is good for..  I assume weight distribution?

 

20 minutes ago, WILDEBILL308 said:

Side radiator? Heated floors? 

Side is better design I read somewhere.

The wife would love heated floor.😎

 

I can see I made the right choice like I said I learned more today than in the few weeks I have been just researching on my own.

 

Rest easy..

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1 hour ago, kaypsmith said:

hope you enjoy RV'ing as much as we do.

I hope to.  I have lots of work ahead.  I have been watching Bus monkey videos 😁just for fun.  I love to tinker.  I would love nothing more to pull an old Cumins out an tear it down and rebuild it for sure.  I had 77 camaro with headers and corvette 350 in it at 16...  what fun..

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Another thing to start looking at when you are browsing through all the sites looking at different makes/models is what you can't see. Is the construction of the motor home strong enough to withstand road travel over the long-run, and God forbid an accident.

Some (older and newer) were built with sticks and staples, covered on the outside by a sheet of laminating material and on the inside by paper-thin wallboards. They are essentially boxes bolted (screwed) to the top of the chassis' platform. These may look good for a few years, but problems will develop. Not much left of them after an accident. Once you've spent time inside a quality coach, you will feel the difference as soon as you step inside one of these.

The better coaches are built with a metal substructure, integrated wall panels, and much more structural integrity all around. A few of the higher-end coaches come pretty close to the construction of a bus and use a welded frame around the entire structure. Newell is probably the only motor home that builds essentially a bus chassis under their motorhomes, but others are getting close.

Nearly all of the motor home companies allow you to download copies of their sales brochures going back many years. This is a great way to see what they were portraying as the selling points when the coach was new, and many will include cutaway views of things like the wall structure. If the chassis is one of the better ones, you'll see that touted as well. Never believe anything in an online ad for a used coach - go pull the brochure and confirm for yourself. I've seen listings with the wrong engines, transmissions, and capacities listed. Not everyone is trying to deceive, some just don't know what they are looking at when they open the engine bay, and some may just be errors. Either way, best to confirm for yourself. On the flip side, you've got to double check brochures sometimes - they were printed during pre-production, and at times changes are made once production begins due to design changes and parts availability, as well as custom orders.

Tag axle is for weight. Once the coach gets above a certain GVWR six tires just isn't enough. Most coaches in the 35-foot range won't have them, and every coach at 42-45 feet will. There is some variance on what the cutoff is for adding them between brands and price points.

Do you have an RV show near you? This is the time of year for them in many areas. Not that you're buying a new one, but RV shows are a great way to see the varieties of construction used and the different levels of build quality.

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12 hours ago, Factor said:

I had heard of them just wasn't sure if good or not.  I assume Monaco is good too.  Had not heard of Newell either.

Foretravel is a upper level quality builder. They tend to be a little more conservative in the bling department compared to Newell or some of the Prevost converters. I did hear they are going to start doing Prevost conversions to. 

My opinion is Monaco may not have the build quality they had before the downturn.

12 hours ago, Factor said:

I noticed some of you all post https://www.pplmotorhomes.com a lot.  Are they good?  I have been using RV trader to just look around

PPLMotorhomes is a big consignment dealer with 3 major lots in Texas. I am fairly close to the Cleburne location and have gone there because they have a good parts department. They sell lots of inventory and you can get  a idea of real pricing.

Here are a couple outher places to look at.  

https://www.motorhomesoftexas.com/

https://www.mhsrv.com/

12 hours ago, Factor said:

Tag Axel?  Not sure what that is good for..  I assume weight distribution?

Yes, it does help with the weight distribution and stability going down the road. 

Just a comet about the difference between Bus RVs and purpose built RVs. They started from different concepts back in the beginning of the RV industry. Bus based RVs can trace their heritage back to the guys converting old busses to camp in. They still do.:D The outher branch started more with towable trailers that were deliberately made light weight and low cost. Some of that thinking carried over to today. That is why I only recommend certain brands. If you get a chance and go to a big rv show and look. You have a interest in and experience in  repairing or fixing things and should be able to see the difference in construction. There are several "factory tours on Youtube Here is just one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-uwJoABQ6M&t=16s

Sadley the quality is linked pretty close to the sticker price. That is why I advocate buying a little older quality coach and if needed do some upgrades, you get better bones.

Bill

 

 

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A note on consignment lots, including PPL:  Quality and maintenance histories are all over the place, since the units are on consignment (vs owned by the dealership and PERHAPS  having been reconditions by them).  So, some really nice units and some neglected ones. But, an excellent place to start ruling in/out particular makes, models, floorplans.  Being able to walk PPL's lot where there are over 100 RV's for sale with out being hassled by salespeople is a tremendous learning experience.  If you find a particular kind you like, but not that particular one, you can then widen your search area for that specific coach.

 

A note on Monaco quality:  Monaco has made a  wide range of RV's from entry level gas to high end diesel.  So, it is not reasonable to say high or low.  Kind of like looking at a Ford Escort vs Lincoln, both Ford Motor Company products.

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41 minutes ago, WILDEBILL308 said:

consignment dealer

Had not heard of this consignment of RV's.  Thanks

42 minutes ago, WILDEBILL308 said:

There are several "factory tours on Youtube Here is just one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-uwJoABQ6M&t=16s

This video is funny to watch.  Since you can look at his son and tell he didn't want to be there.  it so obvious in his look and body language.  Now the company is sold.  

 

44 minutes ago, WILDEBILL308 said:

you get better bones.

I think I am with you.  Pre 2006 is best.

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17 minutes ago, wolfe10 said:

on consignment (vs owned by the dealership

So consignment is better?

 

18 minutes ago, wolfe10 said:

without being hassled by salespeople

For sure.

18 minutes ago, wolfe10 said:

A note on Monaco quality:

So in a 2006 or before you would not buy a Monaco?

 

Also Brett everyone has been great here.  BTW..

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