Best Value for a Class A Diesel under $60K?

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

packfill

Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2005
Posts
15
Okay, Let me just apologize in advance if this topic has been done over and over, but I couldn't find it in a search.  My wife and I have decided to buy a Motorhome, THIS summer... (next 30 days or so...)  Typically, I would research and research, but just don't have the time.....  I am very mechanically inclined, having race cars, and boats, etc...  but know nothing of Motorhomes...  I would like as much input as you all are willing to give.....

I would like to know what you think the best choice is matching our requirements...

Small...probably 36 or less, but needs to sleep 4 people...(two couples)
Diesel.. I will use the MH to pull my race car (5000lb) to the track (200miles each way)  for the weekend twice a month and for two 10 day vacations with the family per year.
DEPENDABLE!!  I cannot afford to spend my family vacations on the side of the road.
Don't care about pop-outs if NOT having them creates a better value.
Great Resale...  I intend to use the heck out of it for three years and resell it.  I hear too many stories about stored, unused RVs.
Here is the tough part......sorry.
Under $60K

Is it possible to get a nice coach matching this description?  Please offer year range, and model....and if possible the best places to look...

Thanks in advance for your ideas....I really am lost!!!
 

BernieD

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 1, 2005
Posts
5,876
Location
Goodyear, AZ
Packfill

You may be able to find a 1998-2000 circa non-slide lower end model in that price range. Make sure the engine is a CAT 31226 or Cummins ISC, not ISB. We had a 36' Damon UltraSport with the CAT engine and pulled our race car and trailer cross country a couple of times. You may find a 36' non-slide very tight for 4 adults, 38' wouldn't cost that much more, if anything. That old of a coach should have most of the "kinks" worked out by now as long as the owner took reasonable care of it.
 

Smoky

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 11, 2005
Posts
3,589
Location
wherever we are parked
Packfill:

I wish I could talk you out of a quick purchase.  All the unhappy purchasers I have personally run across purchased their MH with less than 3 months of research.

That said, is it safe to assume you are looking at used?  That is the only way, of course, you are going to match your price.

Slideouts add significant value to a used home if you are planning to resell it.  Homes with no slides are getting tougher to sell with each passing year.  I would get at least one slide on the street side in the salon area.

Go to as many dealers as you can before you are forced to buy.  Also test drive as many as you can in your short time frame.  No matter how good a deal you think you are looking at, don't allow anyone to pressure you into a quick sale.  There are PLENTY of good deals out there and you will need to take whatever extra time you can to insure you don't get fooled into a premature decision.

I took 2 years to make my final decision.

If a dealer tells you why a certain feature is a must have, go to another dealer and see why they think it is not a must have.  Then give the first dealer the other dealer's answer.  You can learn much from pitting dealers against each other.  One dealer will never give you ALL the info you need to make an informed decision.

That is my 2 cents.  Good luck on your search.  A diesel, IMO, is certainly worth holding out for.
 

packfill

Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2005
Posts
15
BernieD,

Thanks.... could you or anyone else give me some specific make/models to start my search?  I could go to 38 if that makes more sense....... and very late 90s, early 2000s is great if it fits in our budget....  Thanks for the help!!
 

BernieD

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 1, 2005
Posts
5,876
Location
Goodyear, AZ
packfill said:
BernieD,

Thanks.... could you or anyone else give me some specific make/models to start my search?  I could go to 38 if that makes more sense....... and very late 90s, early 2000s is great if it fits in our budget....  Thanks for the help!!

The only suggestion I could make would be a '98-2000 Damon Ultrasport. I have no knowledge or experience with other coaches that would be in your price range. It will take a lot of searching to find a non-slide model tho.
 

palmetto

Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Posts
14
Location
Catawba, SC
pack...check on e-bay. Search e-bay motor for diesel pusher. You can find some pretty good deals on there. I bought my Harney from an e-bay dealer, got a good coach at a good price.  ;)
 

packfill

Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2005
Posts
15
Okay, heres another question..... IF you had my budget, (60k...) would you buy a (newer) 1997-2000 Mid-level coach (like a Damon, or a Fleetwood Bounder) or an Older High end Coach, like a 1988-1992 Prevost or 1995ish COuntry Coach....
 

Jackliz

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Posts
1,287
Location
Hondo, TX
packfill said:
Okay, heres another question..... IF you had my budget, (60k...) would you buy a (newer) 1997-2000 Mid-level coach (like a Damon, or a Fleetwood Bounder) or an Older High end Coach, like a 1988-1992 Prevost or 1995ish COuntry Coach....

We went for the older high end coach. We upgraded from a 1995 Safari Serengeti to a 1993 Bluebird Wanderlodge. But that was somewhat higher than your budget of $60K. For that budget, check out Monaco, Beaver Patriot or Marquis, or Allegro. I went to that eBay site that you posted but I don't like Gulfstream products. Heard too many bad stories about them.  I also echo what Gary said, check your engine and and powertrain. Shop, shop, shop and shop some more. Good luck.  :)

Jack
 

Jim Dick

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Posts
7,651
Location
Titusville, FL
Packfill,

That's a tall order! :) You must remember one thing, a motor coach will only sleep two comfortably. The other couple will have to use the pull out sofa. Without a slide it will be short and not very comfortable. Some newer coaches with slides are using regular pull out sofa beds which are more comfortable though not as much as the regular bed.

Slideouts today are much more reliable than earlier units and do add to the resale value. Non slide units are much more difficult to sell.

One older coach that is really welll built is the 90-92 Beaver Marquis. I doubt you will find one for $60K but a well kept Marquis would be a great used coach. Chet Parks owns one and he can give you more info on those coaches. Prevosts are no more reliable than any other motorcoach. They also cost a lot more for any given year.

 

palmetto

Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Posts
14
Location
Catawba, SC
pack:
Check out this Santara, 98 model. Looks like Buyitnow is $64,000 but I bought my coach from this dealer. I called him on the phone and negotiated a better price and I know him to be reputable. Got a good deal from him.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=50056&item=4559853634&rd=1
 

packfill

Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2005
Posts
15
I thought the Gas Gen in a Diesel was a bit strange....  Don't most RV generators run off the main fuel tank??

Here is the biggest problem, however...  I see a deal like this and have NO idea who Santara is and what type of quality/resale this coach will have....  Is there a list, somewhere that states, these manufacturers are HIGH END, these are MIDDLE and These are "budget.  IT seems like with a New Retail of $135K, that this would be a Middle end coach?  You know, I consider myself a pretty smart guy.... but this is damn confusing.  WE are off to three Retail Lots this weekend to turn on the charm and get some "straight" answers...

All info is welcome!! Thanks!!
 

Woody

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Posts
917
$135,000 retail for a new diesel motorhome is very low end IMO. Middle (Monaco, American Eagle, etc.)would be in the high $100,000 to middle $300,00 and high end (Prevost models) can be as much as 1 mil.

Woody
 

palmetto

Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Posts
14
Location
Catawba, SC
I believe that Santara is a Coachmen product? Yep, your right about the genset..I just looked at it general and didn't see that. A gasoline generator sucks, very noisy, and if not feeding off the main fuel tank, even worse. Wonder why they did that? However, if your like me, I use the generator very little, I have LP gas type which I have seen a lot of negative comments about, but I have found it serves my needs pretty well. I suppose their might be some advantage to a stand alone gas genset though, as gas, in a boondocking situation might easier to find. Said it was 12 gallons, which would probably run about 24hrs??
 

Ron

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Posts
18,082
Location
Home is where we park it
This is a bit of a puzzle since per the Coachman web site the Santra is only available in gas on a workhorse chassis with a V-8/8.1 l engine.

Check this out at http://www.coachmenrv.com/products/santara_a/santara_a.htm

Could it be that this is really a gas powered rig and not diesel powered.  I would sure check it out.
 

Ron from Big D

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Jan 30, 2005
Posts
1,777
Location
Dallas, Texas
packfill said:
Okay, heres another question..... IF you had my budget, (60k...) would you buy a (newer) 1997-2000 Mid-level coach (like a Damon, or a Fleetwood Bounder) or an Older High end Coach, like a 1988-1992 Prevost or 1995ish COuntry Coach....

    Unfortuanately, you won't find a high end Prevost or Wanderlodge 88 to 92 in that price range, unless there is something wrong with it.

 

palmetto

Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Posts
14
Location
Catawba, SC
Ron:
The coach on Ebay is definitely a diesel, stated to have a 275 Cummins. I bought my coach from that dealer and I know him to be a straight shooter. Could it be that Coachmen did make that coach in a dp then stopped and went to gas only, it's a 98? Don't know much about Coachmen, but I see a lot of their products on the road. However, to stay on topic..for $60K your going to have to give up some things and I don't think even an older Prevost etc is in the cards, unless, something is bad wrong with it. I have to say, that Santara looks pretty darn good to me for the money. It's on a Workhorse chassis and Cummins is a great engine. The other stuff can be tweaked to get it where you want it, if you got a good engine, chassis, and the house is sound, you can make a dandy coach out of it without a huge investment.
 
Top Bottom