Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Help Switching to 40' Pusher
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 > Help Switching to 40' Pusher

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rwess

Georgia

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Joined: 12/30/2006

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Posted: 10/08/19 03:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would look at the BlueBird Wanderlodges. They were really well built and have Cat engines. There are always several for sale on RV Trader.


rwess
USN Ret.
2017 Open Range 216RBS
2010 Chevy 2500HD Z71 4x4 LT

wa8yxm

Wherever I happen to park

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Posted: 10/08/19 03:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I drive a 38' class a Gasser front engine.

As others have said Larger.. May take you a day to get used to driving and cornering..> Though I fit on 28' sites in some cases (That's my wheel base) the diesel will have the rear axle farther back.. it can likely tow up to 10,000 pounds so a nice Jeep 4x4 is in order But Jeeps can have issues with electronic steering assist or so I'm told (Death wobble) You can also tow many pickups.

Though 4 Down towing is my choice with a DP you can tow a portable garage (Enclosed car trailer) and that too has it's attractions

Backing up may take you a bit.. and I'd go for the optional 360 camera system (In fact since I just heard about those the other day I think that's on my Upgrade list)


Home is where I park it.
Kenwood TS-2000 housed in a 2005 Damon Intruder 377


Smitty77

OnDRoad

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Posted: 10/09/19 10:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some food for thought. 1) The ISL, or CAT C9, will many times get you 2 Stage Jake Compression. vs Exhaust;
2) The ISL vs ISC gets you the mentioned 1200 LBS Torque, and depending upon specific coach and year, should be between 400-450HP; 3) Tag vs Non Tag searches are worth reading. Yes, they do add weight to the coach (Which should also get you the ISL or C9.). The key thing Tag's do for a 40' DP is more CCC, higher stability while driving, especially in windy conditions, and the Drive Axle is closer to the Steers - so much more maneuverable when moving around and into a space in say a campground. (Our 40' Tag, turns tighter then our 28' Bounder without IFS. Sure, you have to be aware of tail swing... But much easier to maneuver and park in tight areas.).

Another benefit of going to a Tag, is usually (NO, not ALWAYS) it gets you higher up in the food chain of a manufacturers coaches. This usually yields better chassis, and better built houses.

Last comment is on the years you're considering, 2008-2012, understand the shifts in smog levels on the engines. An earlier smog level engine, sometimes is an easier engine to maintain thru the years.

My general advice to someone starting the journey for a DP, is to:

Determine a budget range, set aside $10-15K for Post Purchase expenses. (Catch-up on any deferred maintenance items, to establish a solid baseline for you to maintain from that point forward. As well as minor interior mod's to make it 'your coach'.) Go out and kick many tires, sit in many coaches (Slides out and in) and visualize livability. Narrow down to a list of Manufactures and Models and years that you like, then start the search. In general, I always recommend dropping years to remain within budget, and buy the highest quality model coach that meets your needs and that you like. Quality lasts. And the higher quality models, usually had superior chassis and engine/trans combinations - and these make a good foundation to carry the house forward over the years.

Last list of suggestions, is continue to research some of these features, to determine which are, or are not, important to you:
-Side vs Rear Radiator
-Tag vs Non Tag
-Drums all around vs at least Disc on Steers
-CCC
-Aqua/Hydro/Oasis heating vs Propane Water and Furnace heating
-Heated tile floors vs none
-Raised Rail chassis construction
-Slide out generator vs non slide out
-Xs 2 AC vs X's 3 AC
-Jake vs Exhaust
-3 Way Fridge vs Residential Fridge
-Tank capacity (Grey/Black tanks sizes - can often dictate how long you can boon dock - if important to you.)
-Slides qty. (Each slide adds additional weight, and weakens the house structure. Each slide can take about 6" on each of the slide (1') of wall cabinet space. Each slide can also lower upper cabinet space by 6-8". Each slide adds complexity.)
-Leveling Air vs Jacks vs Both
-Front Entry door vs Mid Entry Door (Majority of DP's are Front, but some Mid exist.)

Only you two can decide what is, or is not, important to the two of you... But I'll share that I'd rather have an older higher quality DP with larger block engine (C12, C13, DD Series 60, ISM), Tag, Rear Radiator coach - then a newer entry to mid level/tier quality coach.

Opinions vary and the most important thing is for the two of you to do what you feel is right for you...

Happy hunting, and best to you and all,
Smitty

CA Traveler

The Western States

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Posted: 10/09/19 10:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good post. With the slides in check what can/can't be accessed. Consider parking in front of someone's house and only the curb side slides can be out. Some areas do not allow reverse parking.

Do your own and complete PDI, never just accept a dealers PDI. Take multiple days as needed and if the dealer pushes back then walk.

My current rig was 2 years old when purchased. My PDI resulted in parts that had to be ordered and stretched to 3 weeks. Dometic dragged their feet on A/C replacement and finally revealed there was a recall. Commitments were firm and the replacement occurred 4 months later near my home. So there are some good dealers. 3 weeks after taking delivery the hydraulic slide pump failed. Lipper finally agreed to a replacement after I documented the 5 design flaws. And guess what? Yup the new pump was redesigned and no problems in 8 years. Wish I could say the same for the cheap Lipper hydraulic hoses which I replaced.


2009 Holiday Rambler 42' Scepter with ISL 400 Cummins
750 Watts Solar Morningstar MPPT 60 Controller
2014 Grand Cherokee Overland

Bob


blownstang01

Upstate NY

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Posted: 10/09/19 12:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks Smitty77 and CA Traveler good posts and what I was looking for.
A few things I am kinda set on. Realize, I do all my own maintenance.
- I like the idea of a side radiator for engine access alone.
- Propane/Electric water heater is fine as that's what we've had and make it work
fine. Aqua-hot sounds interesting, but sounds like more to break.
-Definitely want a 3-way fridge, I know residential units work better, but again,
we are used to propane and it's drawbacks and I don't have to worry about always
having electric. We do boondock some.
-Large propane supply, due to above two reasons.
-definitely experience inside with slides in, with our current RV there is almost
the same maneuverability with the slide in, we learned that real early on when
looking at C's.
-Raises Rail / Full basement is basically a must have.
-We actually like a mid-entry door, but coaches that have them are few and far
between.
- Don't have much an opinion on air vs hydraulic leveling, tell me your
experience. I'm aware on how both work....just not pro's and con's.
-NEVER Heated floors....the wife would expect them at home. [emoticon]
-Jake Brake preferred, but not a deal killer if exhaust brake.
-Larger tanks the better, we stay at a lot of State parks that have electric
only.With larger tanks we can avoid the line at the dump station and just head
home. We have a county dump station at our local fairgrounds for free 2 miles
from our house.

Smitty77

OnDRoad

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Posted: 10/09/19 03:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Alpines have I believe 36-40' Mid Entry Door coaches. I prefer Tag's for 40', but the Peak Chassis is known as one of the better handling Chassis on the market - so if not pulling a heavy trailer and or lots of CCC needed, would be trade off a bit less tight cornering maneuverability for better handling. Especially if looking for Mid Entry Doors. One other uniqueness to the Alpine Peak Chassis, is Hydraulic Over Air Brakes. And this ISL should be a Jake Compression. And Apline's usually have all axle Disc Brakes... (On Disc brakes. IMO, identical coaches with identical weights and going identical speeds - a Disc Brake (At least on the Steers.) will stop shorter in an emergency stop, then all axle Drums. At highway speeds, and based upon many variables, 10-20' shorter stopping would not surprise me.).

Here is one example of a 40' (Actually looks like well cared for (As much as pictures can tell...), and lots of storage, well appointed. :

https://www.rvt.com/Western-RV-Alpine-Coach-40-Mid-Door-Triple-Slide-2007-Little-Falls-MN-ID8794932-UX142448


On Air vs Jack Leveling. Pro's and Con's (As with all things in RV's[emoticon]!) Just a few comments, and for sure not a complete comparison: No need to put out pads or blocks with Air Leveling; No stuck in the mud Jack Feet with Air Leveling; Air Leveling can have less range, in difficult leveling contains (But, you can put blocks under tires.); Air Leveling can give you some rocking when walking and or in strong winds; And a final comment on this brief info - Some coaches had both Air Leveling and Jacks available... So more weight, but also more options...

Happy hunting,
Smitty

wolfe10

Texas

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Posted: 10/09/19 04:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Slight correction-- Alpine brakes are all wheel HYDRAULIC over hydraulic disk brakes. Beginning in the 2001 model year 4 piston, fixed caliper disk brakes.

Agree- very good handling chassis.

Their ISL's were equipped with engine compression brakes. Many coaches with ISL's had exhaust brakes. The engine compression brake was an up-charge option.


Brett Wolfe
Ex: 2003 Alpine 38'FDDS
Ex: 1997 Safari 35'
Ex: 1993 Foretravel U240


FMCA Forum: www.community.fmca.com/index

Diesel RV Club:http://www.dieselrvclub.org/

Smitty77

OnDRoad

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Posted: 10/09/19 05:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wolfe10 wrote:

Slight correction-- Alpine brakes are all wheel HYDRAULIC over hydraulic disk brakes. Beginning in the 2001 model year 4 piston, fixed caliper disk brakes.

Agree- very good handling chassis.

Their ISL's were equipped with engine compression brakes. Many coaches with ISL's had exhaust brakes. The engine compression brake was an up-charge option.


Bret - Thanks for the correction on the Brakes... (I should stop trying to do two things at the same time - have trouble doing one correctly now a days[emoticon]! And also confirming the Jake in the Alpine... Was pretty sure it did (And when I went back to close of the link, I took the time to go read the add vs just looking at the pictures... Yep, Jake it said[emoticon]!).

Any opinion on my opinion that Disk Brakes should yield shorter stopping distances, all things being equal except Disk vs Drums?

Best to you, and all,
Smitty

blownstang01

Upstate NY

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Posted: 10/22/19 05:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, it looks like things happened waaayyyy sooner than I ever thought they would. We are now owners of a 1999 American Dream ! I never thought I would buy one this old, but I am very impressed with the build quality of this coach. Spartan Mountain Master chassis, 330hp Cummins ISC, Allison MD3060 trans. I'm actually quite excited about upgrading the minor things we would like to change, like TV's etc. Also has 6 Michelin's with 2 year old date codes. Coach was a 1 owner and it shows that they took care of it. It drives very nice and handles like a dream (pun intended, lol). I'm sure there will be some mechanical gremlins that creep up on a 20 year coach, but hopefully they will be minor and I do all my own work so...fingers crossed !

Ivylog

Blairsville, GA and WPB, FL.

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Posted: 10/23/19 06:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Having looked at the new junk you made a good choice. LED Smart TVs are so thin that you can mount them on the face of the cabinet.


This post is my opinion (free advice). It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.

08 HR Navigator 45'
Sold 04 Dynasty after 14 great years.
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