New to the site, looking at used diesel motorhomes.

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ronhix

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Hello Everyone.  What a great site, I'll get right to the point.

I am avid motorcycle road racer (think crotch rocket, leather suit, knee on the ground).  I do "track days" all over the Midwest and southeast from March through November.  I need a motor home that will tow a 10,000lb trailer easily through the mountains around Atlanta / B'ham and Utah (it's a 32' trailer with 6 bikes in it).  I would also like it to get reasonable fuel economy.  Therefore I am thinking diesel.  BUT, I need to purchase it on a budget of < $50K.  Therefore, I am thinking a 7 - 15 year old class A diesel pusher. 
I am new to the RV scene, but I have been doing my homework and I think I am on the right track.

What do you guys think?
 

Shayne

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Welcome to the forum and you came to the right place for info.  These guys and gals are up to date and up to snuff on what it takes. You need to shop around to some of the Sales websites and take a gander at some.  Id suggest something around 34' with as 350 HP or larger.  Make sure you have enough hitch, to start with.  Karl, Carl, Gary and the gang will assist you on your weights.  Good Luck
 

ronhix

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Chicagoland
Thanks Shayne. 

I have a Monico RV dealership close to my home and I have spoken with their Service department manager.  I have my eye on a couple different Monico models:

38' 1999 Monaco DIPLOMAT (275HP Cummins)
40' 1993 Monaco Crown Royale (300hp Cummins)
38' 1993 MONACO DYNASTY (250HP Cummins)

He tells me that any of these will do the job.  Of course, I'd like to get the newest year model that I can afford. 

Luxury interiors are nice (gotta keep the wife smiling), but my primary concern is overall construction quality / durability AND finding one I can afford.
 

Tom

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Ron,

Since the dealership is close by, take a look inside those coaches for a weight placard near the driver's seat &/or a weight label inside one of the cabinets (mine is in the bathroom cabinet). Then plug the numbers into the example I gave in this Weight capacity calculations file in our forum library.

Without seeing the numbers, the engines in the Crown Royal and Dynasty seem a tad small for the size of coach and what you're hoping to tow. But, of course, the towing capacity is based on a lot more than just the engine (e.g. the stopping power of the brakes).

Feel free to ask more questions when you have the numbers at hand.

FYI we're averaging around 8.8 mpg on our Monaco Camelot with the Cummins ISC 350 engine and towing a Suburban (weighs 7,000 lbs). My driver has a lead foot.
 

ronhix

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Chicagoland
Hey Tom,

Thanks for the response.  Those RV's are actually scattered all over the country, I found them posted at various web sites.  I have a Monaco dealer close to me so if I buy a Monaco I should be able to get it serviced pretty easily.  I also like this shop, they are very helpful...unfortunately they don't really have any used inventory.

Are there any brands / models that I should steer clear of?  Again, quality and durability is the main goal.  I also want something that will be easy to sell when that time comes.

Is buying a 10 - 15 yr old class A diesel a bad idea if it is from a quality manufacturer?
 

Tom

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Ron,

I wouldn't venture to suggest any brands to avoid, although others might be able to offer a more informed opinion.

Assuming that the scheduled maintenance has been done regularly, there's no reason to be too concerned about an older diesel. Mileage usually won't be an issue. However, irrespective of brand or diesel vs gas, you need to be awake for any signs of water leaks and a few other things. Click the Library button above, select Checklists and do some reading - you might find some useful tips on what to look for.

Another issue to be concerned with, irrespective of mileage, is the age of the tires. Check the date code on the tires and plan on replacing them if they're 5 or more years old. Check here for an explanation of tire manufacturing date codes.
 

Shayne

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As I stated previously  Look at something with 350HP or better if you are going to pull that much  less than 325 HP and you are going to have trouble meeting your ewight factors.  You also are going to need maybe a 10K hitch.  Nothing wrong with the Monaco units except they are underpowered.  Monaco makes a fine unit.  Also don't forget the Tiffin Allegro Bay line and Newmars.  Weight on a Mountaineer line might be a weight problems.  Same with the Coachman Sportrscoach line.    Heavy units for the HP.  American Tradition and Dream are just 2 more in a line of fine coaches.  Just be very selective and chek back with these guys when you have some facts on certain coaches before plunking down the $ and they possibly won't do the job.  A salesman will tell you that if it's a diesel it's big enough to do the job.  BS  Run from that guy.  Let Karl, Carl, and Gary assist you once you've landed on a unit.  That's the best advise I can offer you.  JMHO
 

teofff

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Jan 23, 2007
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Arizona
I agree....with the weight your going to be towing, I would not look at anything less than the 350HP.....you will be very unhappy with anything less while towing your bikes.
 

Alaskansnowbirds

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ronhix said:
I need a motor home that will tow a 10,000lb trailer easily through the mountains around Atlanta / B'ham and Utah (it's a 32' trailer with 6 bikes in it).

Ron,

With a 32' trailer, I'll add about 6' for the hitch, you are talking about a 38' total length trailer. With that in mind, the MAXIMUM length MH you could tow with is 27'. There are only 11 states that allow a 2-vehicle combination over 65' and most of them are out west. I don't think you'll find a 27' MH that can pull a 10,000lb trailer.

Of the states you mentioned Georgia only allows 60', Alabama is 65' and Utah only allows 61'.

Have you considered a fifth wheel toy hauler with a medium duty truck?
 

ronhix

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Chicagoland
Alaskansnowbirds said:
Ron,

With a 32' trailer, I'll add about 6' for the hitch, you are talking about a 38' total length trailer. With that in mind, the MAXIMUM length MH you could tow with is 27'. There are only 11 states that allow a 2-vehicle combination over 65' and most of them are out west. I don't think you'll find a 27' MH that can pull a 10,000lb trailer.

Of the states you mentioned Georgia only allows 60', Alabama is 65' and Utah only allows 61'.

Have you considered a fifth wheel toy hauler with a medium duty truck?

I was told that there are no length limits on or within 5 miles of any and all Interstates nationwide.  Did I get bad info?

I have considered a fifth wheel toy hauler and Truck, but I already have the 32' trailer and the wife is not a fan of playing "James Bond" to get from the truck to living quarters in the toy hauler while rolling down I-65.  :-D

 

ronhix

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Chicagoland
I am told the RV association tables say 60-65 feet max but those are for driving ANYWHERE in the state.  I'll try to attach the Illinois DMV .pdf that was sent to me. 

From this .pdf,  it appears that there are NO LENGTH limitations on Class I & Class II highways. California is the only state that limits total length on those highways, and they have an EXCEPTION for car and motorcycle racers.

(The .pdf is too large to attach)  :-(
 

Tom

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Could you post a link to the pdf file? Thanks.
 

Ron

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Home is where we park it
I strongly suggest you purchase a truckers road atlas available at most any truck stop.  You will find the allowable lengths for each state.  some states allow as low as 60 feet, others 65 ft awhile some allow 80 ft.  Get caught over length and it can be a very expensive experience.
 

motojavaphil

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Rio Rancho, New Mexico
I will be hauling almost 10,000lbs in the form of a pickup with my bikes in its bed.  Research I have done indicates a 300hp, (esp in the 5.9L cummins and motors that size), motor is not recommended and that a 330 to 350 and up would be better.  The longer the bus and the more ponies/cc's the more $'s.  Length is an issue, be careful.  There are some wonderful used rigs that are capable of doing what you ask in the$70-90K range with many of the modern updates. 
Are you running a track school or are you racing?  Have done a little of that myself.
A toyhauler would be an easy answer but is not as much fun to live in.  I know as I have one.  You would have no length issues with the a toyhauler, just wife issues.  Generally speaking you can get into a toyhauler far cheaper esp., if you go to the used market.

Hope this helps and good luck on your search.  Phil       
 

ronhix

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Chicagoland
Tom said:
Could you post a link to the pdf file? Thanks.

Alrighty, I put the file up on my band's website (www.tonedeft.org).  Here's the link:
http://www.tonedeft.org/dsd_x14210.pdf

There are quite a few RV's and trailers that did track days all last year and operated under the understanding that as long as they stuck to the Interstate there was no length concerns.  To my knowledge, none of them had issues. 

In addition, I spoke to 3 different owners of used Monaco Diesel pushers about purchasing their rigs and all 3 were hauling 30'+ trailers with 36'+ pushers.  Of course, I don't really trust them too much since they are trying to sell me stuff.

Wow, I hope I am not wrong on this.  If I am, then I don't think I will be able to go the RV route.  :-(

What do you guys think?  Are we just misreading the PDF? 
 

ronhix

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Chicagoland
motojavaphil said:
Are you running a track school or are you racing?  Have done a little of that myself.     

Hi Phil,

Thanks for your response.  It is difficult to find older diesel pushers with that much power in my price range, but I'm looking!

To answer your question, I am a control rider with NESBA (www.nesba.com).  We are basically track coaches.  I love it.  Do you still do track stuff?
 

Alaskansnowbirds

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Ron,

The states you talked about driving through were Georgia, Alabama and Utah. The PDF in your link is from Illinois. Which state is your driver license from?

I noticed that Illinois has driver license requirements depending on the weight of the vehicle you're driving. Over 16K lbs you need a Class C license and over 26K lbs you need a class B license.

In any event, you must comply with the laws of the state that you are driving in. The ONLY thing that states have reciprocity agreements is the driver license.
 

Ned

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Illinois specifically excludes motorhomes from the CDL requirement.  But Don is correct, the length limits are not reciprocal between states.
 
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