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 > Advice and experience with older DP Class A's

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floid

Florida

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Posted: 01/30/21 04:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My wife and I are researching our first RV purchase. We are debating between Class A's and Class C's. After reading the other thread about this topic "Let's beat this horse again", I like the idea of buying an older DP that might be higher quality than new rigs. The downside seems to be updating to newer technology and updating the decor. We'd also like to have our kids families join us now and again, and the newer Type C's and smaller A's seem to be better suited for this.

Searching our local area, I see two interesting sales: a 1999 American Eagle 40 and 2001 Holiday Rambler 40ft. Both low miles and garage kept. Both say they have recent maintenance. Both selling for about book value.

* What are your thoughts about the quality of these? Is one manufacturer known to be better than the other?
* We want to primarily visit state/national parks and boon dock on both coasts. Are these too big? Practically speaking, what will the limitations be?
* Where do you store these when not using them? We'll likely travel for 4-6 months then return to home base.

Thanks!

CA Traveler

The Western States

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Posted: 01/30/21 04:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

floid wrote:

Searching our local area, I see two interesting sales: a 1999 American Eagle 40 and 2001 Holiday Rambler 40ft. Both low miles and garage kept. Both say they have recent maintenance. Both selling for about book value.

* What are your thoughts about the quality of these? Is one manufacturer known to be better than the other? Quality for a 20 year old RV isn't as important as the current condition IMHO.

* We want to primarily visit state/national parks and boon dock on both coasts. Are these too big? Practically speaking, what will the limitations be?
Less spaces available in state/national parks due to size. Weight and size limit boon docking.
* Where do you store these when not using them?
We rent year round storage. We'll likely travel for 4-6 months then return to home base.

Thanks!



2009 Holiday Rambler 42' Scepter with ISL 400 Cummins
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Bob


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Posted: 01/30/21 04:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

floid wrote:

We'd also like to have our kids families join us now and again, and the newer Type C's and smaller A's seem to be better suited for this.


Visiting family is fine but there is a saying: "6 for cocktails, 4 for dinner and 2 for sleeping."

We survived for a week with 4 family members in Alaska. Good weather and a fantastic adventure certainly helped. Suggestion: Take the GCs and a tent while the parents get some free time.

Rick Jay

Greater Springfield area, MA

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Posted: 01/30/21 05:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

floid wrote:

We'd also like to have our kids families join us now and again, and the newer Type C's and smaller A's seem to be better suited for this.


If you look at the early to mid 2000's DPs, you'll probably find a good selection which had two sofas AND a dinette. That's the floorplan we have in our gasser, which is pretty rare for a gasser. BUT...it's worked out GREAT for us and we've been using the rig since before our youngest was 1 year old. He's 17 now, and we still make it work.

You might even find a bath-and-a-half model with that floorplan which would be even better.

I've begun casually doing the same type of searching, even though I've got a couple of years to go before I'd make a switch from our gasser. Be patient, take your time, and find a floorplan that will work for your needs.

Good Luck in your search.

~Rick


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Rick, Gail, 1 girl (24-Angel since 2008), 1 girl (20), 2 boys (21 & 18).
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Lwiddis

Near DVNP, California

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Posted: 01/30/21 05:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Those are two OLD motorhomes...but with a chassis and house inspection might be a good deal. Any maintenance records?


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watt solar-Lossigy 200 AMP Lithium battery. TALL flag pole. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist 14 yr. Army -11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


ferndaleflyer

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Posted: 01/30/21 07:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That Eagle has the most sleeping room with the 2 couch’s up front. Hard to beat if the price is right.

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Posted: 01/30/21 11:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Remember too, mileage on a DP is irrelevant and may be a deterrent. Low mileage means the coach hasn't been driven. Diesels are meant to be driven and thrive on being run. Most recommend driving at least 45 minutes every month. I realize these are recommendations. thanks. Anyway, IMO, the condition of the coach should be looked at closely. If the coach was lived in 24/7, parked somewhere, it will have low miles but could be compromised. Parking near either ocean is a negative due to salt air. Same with a coach that is parked in say, New York year round. Snow/ice/salt are not friends to any coach. Look first at the interior lay out. Will either/both work for you. Then look closely at the condition of the interior. Does it look used/worn etc. Was the coach lived in or simply parked in a storage lot most of it's life? What about maintenance records. Most dealers throw away any information left with the coach. I traded my 96 Dynasty with every dime ever spent on it documented in a notebook with receipts etc. The dealer tossed it and the new owner had to rely on the "truth" of the salesman. The new owner found out too late I was not a little old lady from Pasadena as the salesman had told them. Either of the coaches you listed were quality coaches. I'm a bit partial to Monaco but the Eagle was a very close second. If they have a Cummins engine, all the service information is stored in their computers and can be pulled at any Cummins shop. I'd demand those before making a firm offer. Post what engine/tranny combo each have and we can offer suggestions on their reliability history. Some of the older coaches were underpowered. Finally, drive them both off and on the freeways. I think you'll enjoy the rides.....Dennis


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FormerBoater

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Posted: 01/31/21 07:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The 99 Eagle will have the Cummins ISC engine married to an Allison 3060 6 speed transmission. You will have plenty of power/torque with this combo.

40 Feet has never been a problem for us...and we camp most often at state, county and local parks.

The Eagle is fine for sleeping an adult on one couch and a child on the J-Lounger. Our grandson prefers the floor under the couch when it is pulled out for his dad to sleep on.

The Eagle is a very good dry camping coach as it has 105 gallon fresh water tank, 60 gallons of grey and 40 gallons of black. We have camped with another couple at a music festival for 5 days....all of us showered daily and we were able to make it through without emptying or completely filling any of the tanks.
These showers were all "Navy" showers but we were able to cope!

Eagle will be on a Spartan Chassis with Independent Front Suspension. Set-up correctly (tire air pressure, alignment, ride heigth etc.) she should be a dream to drive.

Eagle has plenty of Cargo Carrying Capacity which is also a plus. Likely will have cargo trays that make loading and un-loading a breeze.

With vintage coaches it is pretty easy to see if they were "well looked after". I agree with Dennis that maintenance records are a big plus. I so not know if Cummins would have all of the maintenance details if the owners did their own work or went to a non-Cummins Service Center (ours is a mechanical diesel so no computer to store maintenance records).

Low mileage may or may not be an issue. Garage kept is a big plus!

Check the condition of the ball joints on the Eagle. Most vintage Eagles will have replaced the ball joints unless the owner knew how to maintain them.

Also check the frames around the luggage compartments. Should be rust free!

We have owned our Eagle for 12 years and 67,000 miles. It has been a very reliable unit.

Likely someone with Monaco experience will chime in here as well.


Dave
1998 American Eagle 40EVS

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Posted: 01/31/21 08:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

FormerBoater wrote:

Eagle will be on a Spartan Chassis with Independent Front Suspension. Set-up correctly (tire air pressure, alignment, ride heigth etc.) she should be a dream to drive.

Eagle has plenty of Cargo Carrying Capacity which is also a plus. Likely will have cargo trays that make loading and un-loading a breeze.
I was not aware of this for the Eagle but they are huge advantages IMHO as a Monaco owner.

Monaco's old Chrysler never updated suspension is a significant disadvantage. The H frame adds significant weight for the suspension and it's design has stability problems. Some owners have added the Watts system and other equipment to improve the ride. I recently spent $4K for new shocks, alignment and steering stability which were an improvement especially my worn shocks. My Scepter has a tag axle which adds greatly to stability so I don't need the Watts system. Non tag Monacos can be a different story. BTW That's 10 shocks, 10 air bags and 8 tires.

The Scepter has very low clearance. I believe this was due to increasing the interior height so something else had to change and it wasn't overall height.

I'm not suggesting Monaco is a bad unit but any future RV will be IFS.

We carry extra stuff as we travel for months during the summer. And extra space and storage slide outs make content access much easier. Check storage access when the living area slides are out for restrictions. Even though my storage slides are dual acting and extend 5' to either side there is still restricted access when the front living area slides are out.

* This post was edited 01/31/21 08:32am by CA Traveler *

ferndaleflyer

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Posted: 01/31/21 08:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have had 2 Monacos, a 45ft Dynasty, and my current 36ft one and never realized they had a suspension problem. Got rid of the 45ft at 27000mi (to big) and have about 80,000mi on this one. I have had very few problems with either but the 36 is kind of short on storage for long trips. We don't live in it and only 2 of us. I have had the slide out trays on both. This thing drives like a car as long as you stay on top of maintenance. Shocks don't last 50,000 or 10 years for instance. Good luck on your search.

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