How To Buy A Diesel Pusher Motorhome For Less Than $100K

This article will explain how you can buy a luxury diesel pusher motorhome for less than $100K.

Now that may sound pretty crazy. Because diesel pushers really are the luxury kings of the RV world.

And if you’re thinking about a new Class A diesel pusher or gas powered RV, I first of all recommend that you get my Class A Motorhome Buying Guidebook.

Because if you want to know what brands, manufacturers and models are building the best quality today, that’s where you’re going to find that information. So be sure to check that guidebook out.

Click here to download my Newer Class A Motorhomes Buying Guide

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Is A Diesel Pusher Motorhome Unaffordable?

But if you want to buy a new or slightly used diesel pusher, you’re probably going to start around $300,000. And the price goes up from there. So that makes them kind of unaffordable for many RVers.

So then, how can you get a diesel pusher motorhome that’s really affordable? For let’s say under a hundred thousand dollars? Well here’s the secret… you need to buy a used one.

Watch my video on how to buy a luxury motorhome for under $100K

And my personal recommendation is to actually buy one 15 years old or more. Because here’s an interesting point that a lot of people don’t know.

Between the year 2000 and 2007 some of the best quality diesel pusher motorhomes that have ever been made were produced. They were really making good quality in those years.

But the economic crash of 2008 changed everything. And RV manufacturers cheapened up their product. The unfortunate truth is that it’s never really gone back to where it was before the crash.

We don’t see the same kind of quality materials and building methods anymore now.

Quality Built Diesel Pusher Motorhomes

But here’s the good news. We have several of these older great RV’s out there that were made so well. And they’re still viable choices for an RVer to choose from.

In fact, they can be a great choice for RVers who can’t afford a new diesel pusher today. But would like to be able to enjoy the luxuries and comforts that diesel pusher motorhomes offer.

So the question is what brands should you be looking for back there in say 2000 to 2007? Well, let me give you some suggestions.

I can’t cover them all in this article. But I’ll give you five brands and some models that they make that you should really focus on.

Click here for a list of all of my recommended older Class A RVs

An Older Diesel Pusher Motorhome – My First Choice

Number one is Newmar. And Newmar makes the Dutch Star, the Kountry Star, and the Mountain Aire. These are all fantastic diesel pusher motorhomes from those years.

Newmar Dutch Star diesel pusher motorhome
Newmar Dutch Star

And if you have followed me on YouTube much, you know that I’m a big Newmar fan. I believe that they put out some really good quality coaches. So you can’t go wrong with those three models from Newmar.

4 More Great Older Diesel Pusher Motorhomes

Now the second one I’m going to suggest is Tiffin. Once again Tiffin is really high on my list of manufacturers that use good quality methods and materials. So if you can find an Allegro Bus during those years, that’s a really good candidate for purchase.

Tiffin Allegro Bus
Tiffin Allegro Bus

The third manufacturer is Country Coach. Country Coach was building some fantastic RV’s during that period of time. So look for the models of Allure, Intrigue and Affinity. They would be very good choices.

Country Coach Intrigue
Country Coach Intrigue

Next up is American Coach. Now American Coach was actually kind of the luxury division for Fleetwood RV. But they sort of became their own entity in the minds of many people.

And they built some very luxurious RV’s with a lot of really nice features. The models that you can look for is the American Dream, American Eagle, and American Tradition. Look for those and you’ll find that you’ll get a very good RV.

Now the fifth diesel pusher manufacturer I can recommend is Monaco. Monaco built a lot of RVs during that period of time. In fact, they were buying up other RV manufacturers too in those years. So the models of Dynasty, Windsor, and Executive could be very good choices for you.

Monaco Dynasty diesel pusher motorhome
Monaco Dynasty

Are These Older RVs Really Affordable?

Now as you can see, just with these five manufacturers, we’ve got a lot of models that we could choose from to get a really nice diesel pusher motorhome that’s built with very high quality.

And here’s the great thing. You can buy these great older coaches for pennies on the dollar compared to what they sold for new. And that’s a great thing!

You’re still going to be able to enjoy all the quality, all the amenities, and all the luxuries. But you get it at a much lower price. And way lower than newer diesel pushers these days.

Make Sure The RV Is In Great Shape

So what do you want to look for? Well here’s my suggestion. Number one, try to find one of these older coaches that has all of its repair records intact.

In other words, someone has maintained them very well. And they kept really good records of all the maintenance they did to that coach That indicates that somebody’s really taken care of that motorhome.

Number two, before you buy anything that goes back in those years, get an RV inspection by a certified NRVIA inspector. Because yes, there could be hidden problems and issues in motorhomes that are that old.

But if you have an inspector go through it, he’s not going to be just looking at how nice it is. He’s going to tell you what the issues are, what the problems are.

And you’ll know what you’re buying then. If there are issues and problems, you very often can get those resolved by working with the seller. And very often you can also get a better price as a result of that.

So be sure to get an RV inspection by a certified NRVIA inspector on those older coaches.

Why Fluid Analysis Will Be Needed

Finally my next recommendation is something a lot of people don’t do and they really should. And that is you should get a fluid analysis performed on the engine. Also the radiator, the transmission, and on the generator.

Especially if it has one of those diesel generators, get a fluid analysis done.

Why? Because the fluid analysis will tell you what’s going on inside that engine. Or inside that radiator, or transmission or generator. And much better than almost anything else that you can do.

Even better than a mechanic. A mechanic can tell you a lot from looking at the outside. But this actually tells you what’s going on inside when you get a fluid analysis.

So if you’re buying something that old, then you really need to know what shape the engine, drivetrain, and generator is in.

Conclusion

Now if you’ll follow those three suggestions, then most likely you should be in good shape if you buy an older diesel pusher motorhome.

In fact, I did those things and I have a 2004 Newmar Kountry Star diesel pusher. And I am very happy with it. I love it, and there’s a lot of other folks like me.

So lets recap what we have covered in this article. Some of the best older diesel pusher brands of motorhomes are:

  • Newmar – Dutch Star, Kountry Star, Mountain Aire
  • Tiffin – Allegro Bus
  • Country Coach – Allue, Affinity
  • American Coach – Dream, Eagle, Tradition
  • Monaco – Dynasty, Windsor, Executive

I know several people who have older coaches. And they love them!

In fact many of us prefer these older coaches and the quality that’s built into them. Especially compared to what we see being rolled off the assembly line today.

So it’s really a viable consideration to buy these older coaches. And you get the advantage of getting them at much less. And being able to also have quality at the same time.

So this is a way to enjoy RV travel at its finest. With all the luxuries you want. And for so much less than what you would spend today.

Well that’s it for now. Have safe and happy travels my friends.

RV House Batteries – Comparing The Top 3 Choices

RV house batteries are a major power source for your RV living space.

If you have a motorhome, you probably have another set of batteries. They start the engine and run all kinds of chassis related items. And they are usually called the chassis batteries.

But the batteries that power your living space are designed to provide steady 12 volt power for a long time. They are not usually used for cranking an engine.

So what are your choices for RV house batteries? Let’s take a look at them now.

Watch my video about the top 3 choices for RV batteries

Disclosure: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. This means – at no additional cost to you – I earn a commission if you make a purchase using our affiliate links. I only link to products and companies I use and feel comfortable recommending. The income goes toward supporting the free content on this website

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Lead Acid RV House Batteries

Many RVs come with 12-volt lead acid house batteries when they are new. But RV owners often replace them with golf cart batteries instead. Especially if they plan on doing much boondocking.

Golf cart batteries are designed to provide a lot of power for a long time. So that makes them an ideal choice for RVs as well.

But they usually come in 6 volt versions instead of 12-volts. So it takes two 6-volt golf cart batteries to replace one 12-volt battery.

And they are very heavy because they have much thicker lead plates than 12-volt batteries. So you have to be able accommodate the extra size and weight.

Now let’s talk about the pros and cons of golf cart 6-volt lead acid batteries.

Watch my Youtube video on RV house batteries

Lead Acid Battery Advantages

  1. They are usually the lowest cost battery that you can use for your house battery bank.
  2. They are easy to find. You can get lead acid batteries in lots of places. Auto parts stores, Walmart, Sam’s, Costco, and other stores often carry them.
  3. The technology is old but it is also very reliable if you care for them. Do the regular maintenance on these batteries and they will reward you for it.

Lead Acid Battery Disadvantages

  1. They are very heavy. You will need a stout storage area for them. And the weight becomes more of an issue with every battery that you add.
  2. You can only regularly discharge a lead acid battery safely to about 50%. You may occasionally discharge them to as low as 20%, but don’t do it often. This means that you only have about half the stored power of the battery available to you.
  3. They require regular monthly attention to replace the water that has evaporated in the charging process. And always use only distilled water in lead acid batteries. This keeps the impurities in tap water from attaching to the lead plates. If they do, they can lower the battery efficiency quite a bit.
  4. Lead acid batteries produce toxic gasses during the charging process. So this means that they must be well vented. Storing them inside the RV is NOT a good idea.

Absorbed Glass Mat RV House Batteries

Absorbed Glass Mat or AGM batteries solve some of the negative issues with lead acid batteries.

These batteries are not filled with a water and acid solution. Instead, each cell uses a solid glass mat that is absorbed with the proper solution to charge the battery plates.

So let’s start with the pros of AGM batteries when they are used for RV house batteries.

Click here for AGM RV house batteries

AGM Battery Advantages

  1. No water in each battery cell means much less maintenance.
  2. Not nearly as much toxic gassing takes place with an AGM battery. But it’s still enough to prevent them from being used safely inside the RV.
  3. You can mount them in almost any position because there is no liquid solution to leak out.
  4. They charge faster than regular lead acid batteries in most cases.
  5. They can be discharged to 20% of battery capacity more often. I wouldn’t do it on a regular basis, but they can take more deep discharges more easily.
  6. Low self-discharge rate while in storage and not being used.

AGM Battery Disadvantages

  1. They can cost nearly twice as much as most lead acid batteries.
  2. The battery charger used for charging must be able to be used for AGM batteries.
  3. They are sensitive to being overcharged. So make sure you have a good quality battery charger for AGMs.
  4. They also must be installed in a vented exterior compartment. Even though off-gassing is lower than with lead acid batteries, it still exists with AGMs.

Lithium RV House Batteries

RV Lithium batteries are getting more popular in RVing circles by the day.

They are especially in favor with RVers who like to dry camp or boondock.

They do have a lot of advantages on their side. And they actually are practically the perfect RV house batteries. But they have just one big disadvantage that we will cover.

So let’s start with the positives about RV lithium batteries.

Click here for RV lithium batteries

RV Lithium Battery Advantages

  1. They are much lighter than any other kind of RV house batteries. Much lighter!
  2. There is pretty much no maintenance need as they are in use.
  3. They can be installed in any position. There is no liquid to leak out, so no need to be placed upright.
  4. No off-gassing. This means that they may be stored inside the RV and many RVers use them that way. Of course, that opens up a lot more options for battery storage.
  5. They last a very long time. Usually 3 – 5 times as long as other types of batteries, or even more.
  6. They charge up to four times faster than other types of RV house batteries.
  7. You can discharge them up to almost 100% repeatedly without damage to the battery. This means that you get the full use of the rated power for each battery.
  8. Very low self-discharge rate when not in use.

The RV Lithium Battery Disadvantages

  1. There is one big disadvantage of RV lithium batteries at this time. And that is the cost. They often cost 8 – 10 times what a lead acid battery costs to buy. So buying a full bank of lithium batteries is very expensive.
  2. Usually can’t be charged while the temperature around the battery is below freezing. Of course, if they are stored inside, that’s usually not a problem.

RV House Batteries Comparison Conclusions

So having covered the pros and cons of the three most popular types of RV house batteries, what can we say?

Generally speaking, lead acid RV house batteries are great for RVers that spend most of their time in campgrounds. They also are good choices for those who are RVing on a budget as they are much cheaper than other battery types.

But you have to be willing to do regular maintenance on both them and the battery cables to keep them in shape.

AGM batteries are very good choices for full-time RVers and those who like to boondock a lot. They are a great choice for a solar panel systems too. You just have to be able to afford the extra initial cost.

RV lithium batteries answer almost all of the disadvantages of the other two battery types, but they are very expensive. The good news is that the costs seem to be lowering as they become more accepted. So hopefully, they will eventually become much more affordable for most RVers.

They are very good choices for full-time RVers and boondockers who have a large budget to work with. And they are practically made for use in RV solar systems.

A couple of very important extra points need to be made here.

First, don’t mix and match battery types. That’s a big no-no!

And make sure that you get a high quality multi-stage RV battery charger for charging. Doing so, will reward you with a long and productive battery life.

I hope this information on RV house batteries helps you understand your choices better.

Have safe and happy travels my friends!

The Top 10 RV Tools That Are Must-Haves For Every RVer

All experienced RV travelers know that having the right RV tools on hand is essential. That’s because RVs constantly need minor repairs.

It’s not hard to understand why when you realize that an RV is a home that is driven down the road. And that means that it’s being shaken and jostled as it goes.

So RVs are subjected to stresses that stationary homes never experience.

That means that screws and bolts often get loose. And sometimes things break. But if you have the right basic tools on hand, you can handle most of these repairs yourself.

So this article is about the kind of tools every RVer should have readily at hand for minor repairs. Let’s get started on the top ten list of RV tools that will be needed.

(Watch my video on this subject by clicking on the image above)

Disclosure: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. This means – at no additional cost to you – I earn a commission if you make a purchase using our affiliate links. I only link to products and companies I use and feel comfortable recommending. The income goes toward supporting the free content on this website

Table of Contents

#1 – Cordless Drill/Driver

There are lots of screws that are used in the construction of an RV. In fact, that is the one fastener that you will most likely encounter in any repair project.

Of course, you can choose the more labor intensive way and just use a set of screwdrivers if you wish. But having a good cordless drill/driver will make your life so much easier.

And you could just choose a corded one instead. But my experience has been that although it works just fine, it’s more of a hassle to use.

That cord is always getting in the way it seems. And usually it happens at the worst times. So not having to think about managing an electrical cord as you work is great.

It may seem obvious, but don’t forget that you will also need a good assortment of drill and driver bits. The drill/driver is no real help unless it has the bits that go with it.

And finally, there is no need to overbuy this kind of tool. Expensive drill/driver sets are mainly for heavy duty use by professionals. So getting a lower cost quality unit will be just fine for your needs on minor RV repairs.

Cordless drill/driver I recommend

RV tools #2 – Drill/Driver hand tool

You may be wondering why I also recommend having a manual drill/driver after singing the praises of a powered one in the section above.

The main reason it’s a good idea to have one of these tools is to avoid over-tightening screws and fasteners. One of the last things you want to do is strip out a hole where the fastener goes.

And powered drill/drivers can do this very quickly if you aren’t careful.

So I often use the cordless drill/driver to screw in the fastener most of the way. Then I use the hand tool to finish it off.

That’s because you can feel when the fastener is getting tight by hand and then stop. But the powered tool can easily go too far before you know it.

Multi-use hand drill/driver I recommend

#3 – Claw Hammer

Almost any construction or repair project can benefit from having a hammer handy.

And one of the most versatile hammers available is the good old-fashioned claw hammer.

The hammer part of the head is useful for nailing things as well as taking things apart in demolition. It also can be useful for driving stakes in the ground.

The claw part of the hammer is great for removing things that are fastened down.

All in all, it’s a really useful and versatile tool that any RVer should have on hand.

Claw hammer I recommend

#4 – Utility Knife

There are all sorts of minor repairs and projects around an RV that can benefit from using a utility knife.

And there are several kinds of utility knives to be had. But I personally recommend using one that has snap-off blades.

I find that it works well for almost any project around the RV and allows you to have a sharp blade all the time.

Utility knife with snap-off blades I recommend

RV tools #5 – Multi-Tester

If you have any kind of electrical problem or issue on your RV, you will be glad to have an electrical multi-tester to use on it.

A multi-tester is one of the RV tools that proves it’s value over and over again.

It’s not uncommon to have electrical circuit issues on RVs. And diagnosing that kind of problem to find the source can be problematic.

But it’s almost impossible to diagnose these kind of issues without the help of a good electrical multi-tester.

Again, there is no need for a really expensive model if you aren’t a repair expert. And a good, useful multi-tester can often be had for under $75.

Electrical multi-tester I recommend

#6 – Gorilla Tape

Of all the RV tools that you really should have on hand, gorilla tape or duct tape whould be high on the list.

This stuff is so useful for so many kinds of projects around the RV, it’s hard to list them all. In fact, you may find yourself using it more than almost anything else to solve some RV issues.

Even if the RV repair is a temporary one, it usually buys you enough time to arrange for a more permanent repair later on.

So be sure to have a couple of rolls of this kind of tape in your RV tool bag.

Gorilla tape I recommend

Duct tape I recommend

RV Tools #7 – Tape Measure

It seems that I am constantly using a tape measure to find out how much room I have in the RV for something I need.

In fact, a tape measure is useful in almost any project or repair you encounter on an RV.

And it’s a good idea to have them in different sizes. I often keep a smaller 10 foot tape measure inside the RV.

Then for larger projects I have a 25 foot and a 50 foot tape measure in my RV tool bag as well.

25 foot tape measure I recommend

#8 – LED Flashlight

RVs are filled with small, dark places that are hard to see into easily.

So having a good LED flashlight that is small and yet powerful is one of your most valuable RV tools.

I also have different kinds of flashlights too, and I keep them in various places throughout the RV.

That’s because it’s important to have one handy for all sorts of things you do in the RV.

Some of my flashlights have a normal shape, but some are also flat or can be hung up as you use it. Just make sure that one is readily available when you need it.

LED flashlight I recommend

#9 – Ladder

Getting up to the top of an RV is going to be vital. So a good ladder is one of your most valuable RV tools.

Here again, I have more than one kind of ladder for my own use.

I have a very small single step ladder that comes in handy when getting to something just outside my reach.

Then I have a 6 foot step ladder that allows me to access almost any area on the sides of my motorhome.

And then I have a foldable ladder that can be converted from a step ladder into a straight ladder. And it is long enough that I can even use it to get on the roof of my RV if needed.

The key to buying a ladder for use around an RV is to get one that is as light as possible. Usually this means either a fiberglass or aluminum ladder.

Aluminum ladder I recommend

RV Tools #10 – Socket and Wrench Set

Just as there are all kinds of screws used as fasteners around an RV, you will also encounter lots of bolts and nuts too.

This means that you must have a good socket and wrench set to handle these kind of fasteners.

These days it is a good idea to have both SAE and metric sockets and wrenches to be sure that you have the right tool on hand.

Of course, then you need to choose the size of the socket set too. The main choices are 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 inch drive sets.

1/4 inch drive sockets can work for many small RV projects. But if you want a good overall size, 3/8 inch sets are probably the most useful for RV projects.

And 1/2 inch drive is usually too bulky for most standard repairs on an RV.

I know that a lot of RVers just grab an adjustable wrench when they encounter a nut or bolt. But an adjustable wrench can easily round off the heads of the nuts if you aren’t very careful.

So it’s better to take the time to find the correct size socket or wrench and do the job right.

Socket and combination wrench set I recommend

(These are affiliate links for the product on Amazon. It does not cost you any extra to buy the product using my affiliate link if you choose to do so)

Conclusion

The list of RV tools that I just provided in this article is by no means an exhaustive list.

But it is the list of tools that I find myself using more often than most other tools.

So if you feel that you want to try to handle most small and minor RV repair projects on your rig, this list is a good place to start.

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