Want to buy but need info on used diesels

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maustin

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May 20, 2006
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Our family of 4, two adults, a 4 year old and a 1 year old, are looking to buy our first motorhome. We live in Eastern Oregon and want to see it all! Alaska to Walt Disney World and everything in between. We want to create life long memories for our children.

Our budget is in the 40 to 45K range for the initial purchase. We would prefer to have a diesel, a rear queen bed, and as many amenities as possible. From what I've seen advertised, there are many low mileage, older, premium diesels available. Foretravels, Monacos, Safaris, Vogues, Coachman's, etc.

We'd appreciate input, by those with experience, on the direction we are looking to go. We will use it for many long weekend trips and at least 1 three week plus cross country trip per year (20,000 mi/year)

Here's our concerns/thoughts at this point:
We would like to see 10 + mpg, may be dreaming here.
No wood frame walls/ceilings
We want to be able to traverse some good unpaved roads
We don't want any slides
We want to buy one coach to last for many years but don't have the resources for a new one
We would like to find specs on older model RV's (construction, power train)
We'd like input on engine/ transmission combinations to look for and avoid
We are aware that maintenance records are worth their weight in gold
We are very mechanically inclined and can perform most maintenance and repairs
LP vs. Diesel generator

Bottom line is that we are considering an early/mid 90's diesel pusher and would appreciate any input you may have, whether it be positive or negative.


Thanks in advance for your help
 

Tom

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Welcome to our forum.

What you are looking for is very doable, although I question the decision to not have slideouts with kids on board. Slideouts provide so much more room and they're something you'll appreciate on those rainy days when the kids are "stuck inside".

Diesel is a good choice, but 10mpg is probably a little unrealistic.
 

Jim Godward

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We have friends that did the same thing.  They got a 1992 Newmar Dutch Star but I don't remember the engine, the Tran is an Allison.  They get about 8 mpg which is about average for a 38 foot.

Newmar used an aluminum framing and are well made.  Check them out.

I am biased as I do have a Dutch star,  a 2001 though.
 

Steve CDN

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I'm with Karl on the diesel genset.  propane gensets are trouble prone, become clogged and fouled up and consume way too much propane for the amount of output.  Diesel gensets produces hours per gallon and require virtually no maintenance.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Definitely go with the diesel genset.

You can get 10 mpg in a smaller motorhome, maybe up to about 32 feet, with something like the 5.9L Cummins diesel and a 6 speed Allison.  But with two adults and two kids, you may find the space cramped.  Even a 40 foot motorhome with slides offers only about 325 sq ft of usable floor space.

I think your estimate of 20,000 miles/year is high for the type of usage you describe, unless you expect to be driving many, many hours per day. And that's not the way to enjoy RVing - especially with children.  Driving all the time is not the objective!  We drove from Florida to Alaska and took numerous side trips, spending a full 7 months on the road and still only put 17,000 miles on that year.

You are right that there are many high line motorhomes available at reasonable prices, as long as you stick to non-slide models.  What you are planning should be doable.
 

maustin

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May 20, 2006
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Thanks for all of the input. Are older units with slides likely to suffer from leaks? How about the GM 6.5 diesel that I see in a few models?

If all of this is in another thread, I'm sure I'll come across it sooner or later.

Thanks
 

Steve CDN

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How about the GM 6.5 diesel that I see in a few models?

Stay away from any motorhome built with a chassis containing that engine!

I speak from personal first hand experience with a Safari that used a GM P72 Chassis.  That chassis originated with Oshkosh, then made by Spartan and eventually by GM.  Motorhomes using that chassis and engine combination were mostly all forced to be bought back by GM under lemon law suits and those that are on the road either were in a jurisdiction with no lemon law or the owners did not know about the ability to win their case.

The engine is underpowered to support a motorhome chassis, and in fact GM misrepresented the specs of their engine/ transmission/ chassis/ suspension package.

Motorhomes with that engine vaporize the oil due to overheating and consume a quart of oil for 300 miles in a sump that holds 6 quarts.

Those chassis has a four speed Allison which was under-rated  and if it's a P-72 chassis or equivalent, the suspension cannot support the GVWR of the motorhomes built on them.

 

maustin

New member
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May 20, 2006
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I'll cross those off the list and consider anymore we find as "boat anchors".

We appreciate the input.

Thanks again!!!
 

Ron

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Jan 29, 2005
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Home is where we park it
Howdy,

Welcome to the RV Forum.  Please join in on any of the ongoing discussions, start new discussions, or ask questions.  Glad you found us.  I see you already have received some good information. 
 
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