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Class A advice

69hondo

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So we have been rocking our 2000 Itasca 33v for 6 years now. For the most part she has been good to us. Fuel pump has really been the only major issue other than typical shit. We have been wanting to move to a diesel pusher, how ever I keep reading horror stories about them. Seems even the little stuff costs a fortune to fix. So I am hear to ask for real world experience from the fellow inmates.
Little background the 2000 Itasca is rocking the tried and true GM 454 290hp "ohyeah im talking about some fuckin muscle" with 4l80e trans. I am almost always towing weather it be the 27ft Fundeck boat or our 24 enclosed loaded.

Let me hear you recommendations weather it be for diesel or gas. Experience, what to stay away from etc.


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ONE-A-DAY

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Diesel, once you do it you will never look back and be pissed you dealt with gas class A for so long. I have had several gas class A's, bunch of C's, two three super C's and 5 I think pushers. The gas class A's were always the worst, especially in the wind. If I was to go gas I would only go with a C. Trips to glamis on the 10 in the wind were soaking the shirt kind of thing.
 

EmpirE231

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diesel pusher FTW

I had a 34' class A w/ a V10..... actually loved the floorplan and the power was decent (had to rev that mofo) but driving it was a nightmare.......all over the road when it was windy.

I had really good luck with my 07 fleetwood discovery w/ the 330 CAT. Never had a mechanical issue or breakdown. Over the 5 years I owned it, the only issues were fogged windows, replaced the toilet, house batteries, and once had an issue with one slide coming in sideways... ended up just being a gear slipped off the track... easy fix @ the house.

I don't think I could ever go back to a gasser after having air ride, motor in the back, 3 slides and 40'. At first I thought it was overkill and we were being too boojie...... but after a couple weekends, I was loving it lol.
 

ArizonaKevin

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Own a gas class A, agree with above sentiments about drivability. The best way I can explain it is that it feels like the steering shaft is a pool noodle.
 

ONE-A-DAY

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Own a gas class A, agree with above sentiments about drivability. The best way I can explain it is that it feels like the steering shaft is a pool noodle.
LOL, nailed it. I was mentally exhausted when I got to glamis if it was windy along the way. DP, wife making sandwiches, one hand on the wheel.
 

fmo24

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And at minimum get the big block Cummins. 9 liter. Mine is 380 horse but 1150 ft lb torque. Some smaller coaches have the same motor as the pickups 6.7 I think so a lot less torque.
 

zhandfull

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Things I like about my gasser class A.
Less than $50 to change oil and filter.
Has a spare tire and I can actually change a flat myself.
Will actually pass most diesel pushers going up hill.
Like the mid entry door

With that said gassers do drive like shit.
I can’t even imagine driving one cross country.

Like the fact there is no dog house between the front seats on the diesel pusher.
Shop rates are gonna make your butt pucker in a diesel pusher and I don’t think you are getting any good guy discounts if you can afford one. 😁
Don’t care for the front entry door that is typically for most diesel pushers.
 

69hondo

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Thanks guys keep it coming. What chassis is the good one. I definitely want a side radiator and at least two slides. Been looking at tiffin, country coach. And Newmars. I am open to all suggestions.
 

ONE-A-DAY

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Thanks guys keep it coming. What chassis is the good one. I definitely want a side radiator and at least two slides. Been looking at tiffin, country coach. And Newmars. I am open to all suggestions.
Spartan, hands down. If you are going used go with a fleetwood revolution LE, lots of floor plans, 400hp bog block cat, 15k tow rating.

Love our Entegra anthem 42 on a a Spartan chassis with 450 hp, it’s a 2014, a new one is closed to 500k, ridiculous. Older tiffin allegro bus are very nice as well, new ones also ridiculous pricing.

My Wifes requirements were residential fridge in same side as kitchen, camp side dinette and bath and a half, mine were Spartan, tag, big block, all electric / no propane, and some sort of office / workstation. We were set on a 3-5 year old tiffin phaeton or allegro bus but came across the entegra and were very impressed.
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intense

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Spartan, hands down. If you are going used go with a fleetwood revolution LE, lots of floor plans, 400hp bog block cat, 15k tow rating.

Love our Entegra anthem 42 on a a Spartan chassis with 450 hp, it’s a 2014, a new one is closed to 500k, ridiculous. Older tiffin allegro bus are very nice as well, new ones also ridiculous pricing.

My Wifes requirements were residential fridge in same side as kitchen, camp side dinette and bath and a half, mine were Spartan, tag, big block, all electric / no propane, and some sort of office / workstation. We were set on a 3-5 year old tiffin phaeton or allegro bus but came across the entegra and were very impressed.
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that's nice!
 

69hondo

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Spartan, hands down. If you are going used go with a fleetwood revolution LE, lots of floor plans, 400hp bog block cat, 15k tow rating.

Love our Entegra anthem 42 on a a Spartan chassis with 450 hp, it’s a 2014, a new one is closed to 500k, ridiculous. Older tiffin allegro bus are very nice as well, new ones also ridiculous pricing.

My Wifes requirements were residential fridge in same side as kitchen, camp side dinette and bath and a half, mine were Spartan, tag, big block, all electric / no propane, and some sort of office / workstation. We were set on a 3-5 year old tiffin phaeton or allegro bus but came across the entegra and were very impressed.
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Walt, how does the residential fridge work when you are not on hookups like out in Glamis?
 

RCDave

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Tiffin allego bus. They are on an excellent chassis called the power glide. Similar to Spartan chassis. Side radiator. Independent front suspension. Huck bolted chassis. Big block cumimins.

Definitely seek out a side radiator design. It increases the wheelbase and yields a more stable patform
 

LakeMead Boater

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Growing up, we had a 1996 Country Coach 40' Intrigue on a Gillig chassis with a 300hp Cummins. It didn't have any slides and we towed a 28' enclosed with a buggy and 4 quads all over in it. We also went on several motorhome trips for 3-5 weeks in California, Oregon, Washington, pretty much all the west coast states and even up in Canada. The good about that coach is that it never overheated at all..not even close. According to my dad, it was simple to work on and that 300 was pretty bullet proof. It rode great, however, it didn't turn worth a damn. When towing, you'd really have to plan out where you were going to go because you could get in a pickle easily. I would buy one of these with a single slide and update the interior in a heart beat.

We then went to a 2002 Country Coach 40' Intrigue on Dynomax chassis with a 400hp Cummins (ISL). This coach hauled ass, but did tend to overheat on the big grades towing the trailer. The inside was lightyears ahead of the 1996 in the form of creature comforts, but I don't think it rode as nice. I remember my dad having to make some tweaks to it in order to get it to work how he wanted. I forgot what those were. We drove this coach to Florida and back and it was a joy to drive.

I spent a lot of time behind the wheel of my Uncle's 2000 Signature Series with a 500hp Cummins. This coach is probably the best driving coach and has the most power of anything I had driven. It rides really nice as well. It has a ton of room on the inside with the large slide out, but I swear, every time I go to pull it in, I hold my breath because I don't think it'll do it. And I can't tell you the number of times I've had to jump wiring in that coach to get something to work. Drivability is a 10, everything else is a 6-7.

My parents currently have a 2006 CC Intrigue 42' with a 525 Cat. The coach drives really nice, but there is a lot going on inside and a lot to go wrong. My dad is retired so it gives him something to work on lol. I am not a big fan of the Cat. I don't like the powerband at all and it tends to overheat. He took it to Colton RV and they made some tweaks and it's made it better, but we're not sure if it's 100%. I drove it out to Lake Mead for Father's Day without towing. I ended up having to pull over on the side of the Baker Grade to let it cool down. Granted it was 118 out and there's a trick to driving it to keep it from getting so hot and I messed that up. However, my feeling is that if you have 525hp and 1600 ft lbs of torque, you should be able to use it, not nurse it over a grade, especially without towing.

Long story short, I would look at the early 2000's Monaco's and Country Coach's. Depending on price, you can update the interiors and modernize them a bit. The engine packages shouldn't be a concern and I'd consider a 300-400 Cummins without blinking. You won't be the fastest up the hill, but it'll climb without issues and you'll have the stability that comes from a diesel pusher.
 

EmpirE231

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Side radiator for sure on my next one. Side radiator generally means bigger power as well. I have my eyes set on Newmar... but you can’t go wrong with tiffin or country coach.

res fridge will have to run of your inverter... so gotta have good house batteries / bank. Ideally some solar as well for dry camping, or you’ll be running that granny a bit.
 
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ONE-A-DAY

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Walt, how does the residential fridge work when you are not on hookups like out in Glamis?
8 6 volt batteries, separate inverter for the fridge, solar panels on roof, goes on for days. Hour on the gen and your back to full charge and another 24-36 hours
 

Shrub Lurker

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Things I like about my gasser class A.
Less than $50 to change oil and filter.
Has a spare tire and I can actually change a flat myself.
Will actually pass most diesel pushers going up hill.
Like the mid entry door

With that said gassers do drive like shit.
I can’t even imagine driving one cross country.

Like the fact there is no dog house between the front seats on the diesel pusher.
Shop rates are gonna make your butt pucker in a diesel pusher and I don’t think you are getting any good guy discounts if you can afford one. 😁
Don’t care for the front entry door that is typically for most diesel pushers.
and to add- finding a shop that will work on that diesel whatever may prove to be a challenge (read motherfucker), most shops won’t work on em and if they do expect some clean up after pick up.
Those diesel repairs get crazy expensive. Plus since there were few built between 2007- 2012 you will either be buying an older gal or a really expensive newer unit.
The later 2006 and up F53 is a heavy duty gas rig and I have seen older units with almost 200,000 miles on those V10s on them tired but still moving.
the gas units weigh less than a comparable diesel and my scan gauge says the horsepower on my 2006 V10 at times hits over 380.
I did all the cool handling stuff to mine which really helped drivability and it never leaves the house without boat or enclosed trailer in tow.
rarely does a diesel truck pass me on an uphill.
the other things not usually mentioned are with the rear engine the boat your towing is gonna get dusted with the cooling fan blowing around back there and with the AC compressor around 30 plus feet away from the evaporator, my experience indicates that dash may not be as cold as a gasser.

your results may differ, see dealer for more details
 

ONE-A-DAY

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and to add- finding a shop that will work on that diesel whatever may prove to be a challenge (read motherfucker), most shops won’t work on em and if they do expect some clean up after pick up.
Those diesel repairs get crazy expensive. Plus since there were few built between 2007- 2012 you will either be buying an older gal or a really expensive newer unit.
The later 2006 and up F53 is a heavy duty gas rig and I have seen older units with almost 200,000 miles on those V10s on them tired but still moving.
the gas units weigh less than a comparable diesel and my scan gauge says the horsepower on my 2006 V10 at times hits over 380.
I did all the cool handling stuff to mine which really helped drivability and it never leaves the house without boat or enclosed trailer in tow.
rarely does a diesel truck pass me on an uphill.
the other things not usually mentioned are with the rear engine the boat your towing is gonna get dusted with the cooling fan blowing around back there and with the AC compressor around 30 plus feet away from the evaporator, my experience indicates that dash may not be as cold as a gasser.

your results may differ, see dealer for more details
Dash air sucks in a DP, if its 90 out your running your gen and the house a/c
 

LakeMead Boater

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and to add- finding a shop that will work on that diesel whatever may prove to be a challenge (read motherfucker), most shops won’t work on em and if they do expect some clean up after pick up.
Those diesel repairs get crazy expensive. Plus since there were few built between 2007- 2012 you will either be buying an older gal or a really expensive newer unit.
The later 2006 and up F53 is a heavy duty gas rig and I have seen older units with almost 200,000 miles on those V10s on them tired but still moving.
the gas units weigh less than a comparable diesel and my scan gauge says the horsepower on my 2006 V10 at times hits over 380.
I did all the cool handling stuff to mine which really helped drivability and it never leaves the house without boat or enclosed trailer in tow.
rarely does a diesel truck pass me on an uphill.
the other things not usually mentioned are with the rear engine the boat your towing is gonna get dusted with the cooling fan blowing around back there and with the AC compressor around 30 plus feet away from the evaporator, my experience indicates that dash may not be as cold as a gasser.

your results may differ, see dealer for more details
Colton Truck does a lot of repair work and actually does pretty good job
 

Ol Man

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Did you answer the question about budget and I missed? Comments have been up to half a million
 

69hondo

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Lol.. my budget is early too mid 2000s.
 

69hondo

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What you guys think about this. Little older than I would want.

 

69hondo

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Growing up, we had a 1996 Country Coach 40' Intrigue on a Gillig chassis with a 300hp Cummins. It didn't have any slides and we towed a 28' enclosed with a buggy and 4 quads all over in it. We also went on several motorhome trips for 3-5 weeks in California, Oregon, Washington, pretty much all the west coast states and even up in Canada. The good about that coach is that it never overheated at all..not even close. According to my dad, it was simple to work on and that 300 was pretty bullet proof. It rode great, however, it didn't turn worth a damn. When towing, you'd really have to plan out where you were going to go because you could get in a pickle easily. I would buy one of these with a single slide and update the interior in a heart beat.

We then went to a 2002 Country Coach 40' Intrigue on Dynomax chassis with a 400hp Cummins (ISL). This coach hauled ass, but did tend to overheat on the big grades towing the trailer. The inside was lightyears ahead of the 1996 in the form of creature comforts, but I don't think it rode as nice. I remember my dad having to make some tweaks to it in order to get it to work how he wanted. I forgot what those were. We drove this coach to Florida and back and it was a joy to drive.

I spent a lot of time behind the wheel of my Uncle's 2000 Signature Series with a 500hp Cummins. This coach is probably the best driving coach and has the most power of anything I had driven. It rides really nice as well. It has a ton of room on the inside with the large slide out, but I swear, every time I go to pull it in, I hold my breath because I don't think it'll do it. And I can't tell you the number of times I've had to jump wiring in that coach to get something to work. Drivability is a 10, everything else is a 6-7.

My parents currently have a 2006 CC Intrigue 42' with a 525 Cat. The coach drives really nice, but there is a lot going on inside and a lot to go wrong. My dad is retired so it gives him something to work on lol. I am not a big fan of the Cat. I don't like the powerband at all and it tends to overheat. He took it to Colton RV and they made some tweaks and it's made it better, but we're not sure if it's 100%. I drove it out to Lake Mead for Father's Day without towing. I ended up having to pull over on the side of the Baker Grade to let it cool down. Granted it was 118 out and there's a trick to driving it to keep it from getting so hot and I messed that up. However, my feeling is that if you have 525hp and 1600 ft lbs of torque, you should be able to use it, not nurse it over a grade, especially without towing.

Long story short, I would look at the early 2000's Monaco's and Country Coach's. Depending on price, you can update the interiors and modernize them a bit. The engine packages shouldn't be a concern and I'd consider a 300-400 Cummins without blinking. You won't be the fastest up the hill, but it'll climb without issues and you'll have the stability that comes from a diesel pusher.
This is great exactly what I was looking for. Thank you. I think I will be looking at early to mid 2000s
 

LakeMead Boater

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This is great exactly what I was looking for. Thank you. I think I will be looking at early to mid 2000s
I think it’s a smart play. You’re coming from an early 2000’s rig, so you won’t be “taking a step backwards” from the creature comfort standpoint. And honestly, the 300 was a damn good engine. My dad frequently comments how “easy” motorhoming was then.
 

Sportin' Wood

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If I could turn back time.

Analog as much as possible
Pre DPF which means 2007 or earlier.
4 smaller slides.

You gotta be careful with 2006-2007 ISL Cummins engines, a quick search will educate you on the serial numbers for potential WristPin failures.

That being said we love the floor plan of our Fleetwood American Revolution LE 42K. Smog shit on the engine seems to be an Achilles heel. I am now pulling some pretty big grades at 50MPH, not towing, but I am waiting for the check engine light or worst the STOP engine light the whole time.

We could do the dirty fix because we register in Montana, but I am not there yet.

King bed and bath in a half are two things we did not know we needed and like a lot. The full size desk has been awesome for me.

Cross ventilation would be high on my list next time I buy an RV and I would want a light color interior as its like we live in a cave. I may grow a wild hair and cut in a window on the curb side as we have no windows that open Curbside.

We can line dance in our main room, it is massive, but the full wall slide was a bitch, I suspect someday I will need to work on it again.

I was suspect of CAT motors since they only do Offroad engines these days.

I think next go around I will build my own. Ditch all the BS fake high end looking crap and try and build durable light weight finishes. Maybe a International CV 4x4 chassis.
 

01erionracing

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Cummins ISL wrist pin issue between 2005 -2006

CERTAIN ISL CUMMINS CM850 DIESEL ENGINES PRODUCED FOR RECREATIONAL VEHICLE APPLICATIONS BETWEEN OCTOBER 17, 2005, AND APRIL 18, 2006, WITH ENGINE SERIAL NUMBER RANGE FROM 46543077 TO 46603939. THE CONNECTING ROD CONTAINS A MACHINING DEFECT IN THE WRIST PIN BUSHING OF THE ROD THAT COULD CAUSE SEIZURE OF THE PISTON PIN.
 

EmpirE231

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Dash air sucks in a DP, if its 90 out your running your gen and the house a/c
dash AC in my discovery was great...... now dash heat was a total joke! had to run the furnace if it was really cold outside during the drive.
 

fmo24

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dash AC in my discovery was great...... now dash heat was a total joke! had to run the furnace if it was really cold outside during the drive.
I’ve read of people running a small space heater up front while on the road. If it’s cold enough for a heater I’m out of there lol. When my heat pump can’t keep up it’s way to cold.
 

69hondo

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There is an 03 36ft Alpine on a FB diesel pusher page I follow. Says it has the cummins ISC and allison. Side radiator. Looks pretty nice. trying to get more info on it.
 

fmo24

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There is an 03 36ft Alpine on a FB diesel pusher page I follow. Says it has the cummins ISC and allison. Side radiator. Looks pretty nice. trying to get more info on it.
Alpine always had best horsepower in shorter coaches and a mid entry door on most models Steve @2FORCEFUL had one
 

LakeMead Boater

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There is an 03 36ft Alpine on a FB diesel pusher page I follow. Says it has the cummins ISC and allison. Side radiator. Looks pretty nice. trying to get more info on it.
I always forgot about that brand, but they made a nice coach. There’s a sweet spot on years where they aren’t equipped with a ton of electronics which is the biggest issue
 

Thunderhead1

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I would add the Berkshire XLT with the V-Ride. I was all about an Entegra with the Spartan Chassis . I drove them both on the same route on the same day, The V ride was a winner in my opinion.

The 450 Cummins is damn nice and the steerable tag is a real big plus. like other have said.... 1 hand on the wheel blowin down the road, smooth , quiet with plenty of power in reserve.




motorhome and trailer 4.jpg


motorhome and trailer 2.jpg
 

01erionracing

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Mines is an older unit but with 450 Cummins it tows my trailer and the truck up to Mammoth on the Labor Day weekend no problem.
Not a tag but driving very solid when passing the semi.
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ONE-A-DAY

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I would add the Berkshire XLT with the V-Ride. I was all about an Entegra with the Spartan Chassis . I drove them both on the same route on the same day, The V ride was a winner in my opinion.

The 450 Cummins is damn nice and the steerable tag is a real big plus. like other have said.... 1 hand on the wheel blowin down the road, smooth , quiet with plenty of power in reserve.




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Steerable tag? Pretty cool, is it fully automatic, on all the time or manual some how?
 

EmpirE231

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There is an 03 36ft Alpine on a FB diesel pusher page I follow. Says it has the cummins ISC and allison. Side radiator. Looks pretty nice. trying to get more info on it.
Alpines are known for being really well built rigs.... ahead of their time back then.
 

01erionracing

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Alpine - Travel Supreme - ForeTravel - Holday Rambler and Monaco are those names that I looked when hunting for a old 400+ HP DP.
 

69hondo

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Alpine - Travel Supreme - ForeTravel - Holday Rambler and Monaco are those names that I looked when hunting for a old 400+ HP DP.
What engine model is the 400hp? I am assuming its not the ISC but i could be completely wrong. My knowledge is limited but I am trying to learn. Been reading a lot about the ISL and wrist pin issue.
 

Thunderhead1

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Steerable tag? Pretty cool, is it fully automatic, on all the time or manual some how?
It is automatic , under 15mph and in reverse it will "steer" after that it locks in straight. you still have the ability to dump the tag but with the steering I don't because it doesn't scrub.

Funny side story is I almost didn't buy it because I wanted the rear tag to have the deep dish wheel purely because of looks... The reality is I didn't realize what a pleasure the steerable set up is... Funny how that works sometimes...
 

BIGRED9158

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@69hondo check out motorhomes of Californian they are a dealer in Santa Ana lots of used Diesel pushers in a good price range
 

STV_Keith

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What engine model is the 400hp? I am assuming its not the ISC but i could be completely wrong. My knowledge is limited but I am trying to learn. Been reading a lot about the ISL and wrist pin issue.
Typically it's the L10 or ISL engine that's 400hp rated. The M11/ISM is usually 450hp or 500hp. I have the 450hp in a 38' Foretravel U320 with a tag axle. Given the coaches you are looking at, see if any have an Aquahot. I love that thing!
 

01erionracing

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What engine model is the 400hp? I am assuming its not the ISC but i could be completely wrong. My knowledge is limited but I am trying to learn. Been reading a lot about the ISL and wrist pin issue.
Usually Cummins ISL comes with 400 HP 1200 torque and I believe 2011 ISL upgraded to 450 HP, keep in mind Allison 3000 transmission supported up to 450 HP.
I would look into early 2000 Cummins ISM (no EGR issue), Cummins N14 or Detroit Series 60.
 

ONE-A-DAY

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Typically it's the L10 or ISL engine that's 400hp rated. The M11/ISM is usually 450hp or 500hp. I have the 450hp in a 38' Foretravel U320 with a tag axle. Given the coaches you are looking at, see if any have an Aquahot. I love that thing!
Aquahot is nice but I find myself taking showers for too long and using up the water supply, the old hot water heater would run out of hot water and it was time to get out. Our aquahot heats the floors and warms the whole coach so you dont have to turn on the heater which dries you out big time.
 

ONE-A-DAY

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It is automatic , under 15mph and in reverse it will "steer" after that it locks in straight. you still have the ability to dump the tag but with the steering I don't because it doesn't scrub.

Funny side story is I almost didn't buy it because I wanted the rear tag to have the deep dish wheel purely because of looks... The reality is I didn't realize what a pleasure the steerable set up is... Funny how that works sometimes...
So it steers in forward?
 

Thunderhead1

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So it steers in forward?
Yes , up to 15 mph , and then locks in straight so going down the road you don't get a fishtail feeling out of it...it locked in solid.

you can see it working in slow tight turns.... its pretty cool.
 

Thunderhead1

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Aquahot is nice but I find myself taking showers for too long and using up the water supply, the old hot water heater would run out of hot water and it was time to get out. Our aquahot heats the floors and warms the whole coach so you dont have to turn on the heater which dries you out big time.
X2 on the Auqua hot.... the heated floors in the desert is over the top !!!! I set mine on high the fist time out with it.... woke up sweating in DEC in desert...
 
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