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Old 06-09-2005, 10:53 AM   #1
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2008 27' International FB
1964 19' Globetrotter
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Thumbs up 31' 2004 Land Yacht

Howdy folks,

Normally I'm on the "rivited" side of the forums, but now I need some input fom rht MH side of the house...

I currently have a 2005 19' CCD, which I have found to be too small for us. So, I began to look at larger units. During my search, I came across a 2004 Land Yacht MH 31' gas (no slide) for a very reasonable price.

Now my may concerns are as follows, and I hope some of you with experience with any of these can chime in and tell me what you think.
  1. SIZE!! 31' is huge cmpared to my tow vehicle and trailer. Will Learning curve on this unit be an issue?
  2. Towing capacity for a dinghy. Seems that 2004 has a 4000lb limit for towing, which limits the vehicle I want to pull (Jeep Liberty @ 4033lbs). Pushing the limit, even with a brake buddy type device scares me. The other threads about possibly damaging the frame scare me even more.
  3. Driving Stability - My understanding from folks who also have HMs built on workhorse chassis is that the rig can be like a sail in the wind. One of my friends wants me to look at a diesel pusher with an airbag suspension just for this, but now we are looking at rigs that start at $130K used, way over what I want to spend for a weekend unit. (we are casual campers, not full timers)
  4. Heated tanks - Does anyone know are these units electrically heated or forced air from the furnace? If I spend the $$ for a MH coach, I want it to be a 4 season, not 3.
  5. Price / Depreciation - Now that AS will officially discontinue this model due to the replacement of the workhorse chassis and come up with a new MH design, I fear that the the fiberglass land Yacht models may take a steep dive in value after 2006.
Does anyone have comments they would share with me? I need to make a decsion soon, and with all these thoughts, I'm loosing sleep!

Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks

Kevin
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Old 06-09-2005, 03:11 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bambi_Bandit
During my search, I came across a 2004 Land Yacht MH 31' gas (no slide) for a very reasonable price.

Now my may concerns are as follows, and I hope some of you with experience with any of these can chime in and tell me what you think.
  1. SIZE!! 31' is huge cmpared to my tow vehicle and trailer. Will Learning curve on this unit be an issue?
  2. Towing capacity for a dinghy. Seems that 2004 has a 4000lb limit for towing, which limits the vehicle I want to pull (Jeep Liberty @ 4033lbs). Pushing the limit, even with a brake buddy type device scares me. The other threads about possibly damaging the frame scare me even more.
  3. Driving Stability - My understanding from folks who also have HMs built on workhorse chassis is that the rig can be like a sail in the wind. One of my friends wants me to look at a diesel pusher with an airbag suspension just for this, but now we are looking at rigs that start at $130K used, way over what I want to spend for a weekend unit. (we are casual campers, not full timers)
  4. Heated tanks - Does anyone know are these units electrically heated or forced air from the furnace? If I spend the $$ for a MH coach, I want it to be a 4 season, not 3.
  5. Price / Depreciation - Now that AS will officially discontinue this model due to the replacement of the workhorse chassis and come up with a new MH design, I fear that the the fiberglass land Yacht models may take a steep dive in value after 2006.
Does anyone have comments they would share with me? I need to make a decsion soon, and with all these thoughts, I'm loosing sleep!

Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks

Kevin
Kevin, I will try to give you the info I can, maybe others can chime in.
Size. Your trailer is 19', your tow vehicle is most likely 16', you already have a rig with 35' total length. It is more manueverable with two parts, but once you get used to allowing for the added turning area, and gas station canopy clearance, you will think you are driving a large van.
Towing capacity. A 4000 lb Liberty is not that far over your tow rating, although most folks say the smaller dinghy you have the better. You may want to think about picking up an older Saturn for a toad.
Driving stability. They do tend to wander a bit in the wind, but there is always the option of slowing down if you notice wind-induced sway. It will only takew a little more time to get there, and remember, getting there is half the fun.
Heated tanks. I have never had to deal with this, so I can offer no opinion or observations.
Resale value. In the short term, probably not. In the long term, as parts start to become scarce, you may notice a dip in resalability, but that should be years in the future. This is just a guess, based on past performance of vehicles that have been discontinued. This is really something no one can tell for sure, without a crystal ball.
My advice, such as it is: If you want the MoHO, and it suits your needs, why not get it?
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Old 06-09-2005, 06:09 PM   #3
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Hi Kevin,

I have a 28', and I sweat rivets the first time I drove it, for about two miles. Then I felt like it was just a bus, and I became comfortable very quickly.
I drove it from WA State to N. Calif. in 2 days. 31' wouldn't be much different after the eebie jeebies disappear.

Mine had a 2000 lb tow rating, and since I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee (4000lb), I had the hitch rebuilt at a fab shop and now I CAN tow 5K, but let me tell you, I can feel it in the back...it's heavy! I would rather tow a Toyota Prius but I LOVE my Jeep.

Wind sway is minimal unless going over 70 mph (John will probably say something about this), but one can slow down if sweat starts to spurt from forehead.

I heard these units have rubber roofs? They LEAK!!! ALOT!!!!

Nonetheless, if the price is right as you say, I would not pass on a good deal. Just be aware that you WILL spend $ on upgrades and repairs at some point. Make sure everything works, b ut mainly check for leaks...everywhere!
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Old 06-09-2005, 11:18 PM   #4
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Louisville , Kentucky
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Kevin,

I've looked at a number of LY MoHo's and always felt like they tended to stand up to time better than most SOB MoHo's Been in several mid-90s models and the interiors still looked new.

Regarding your questions:


1. You will get used to the size. You start out driving in too far to the right and going slowly, but it comes pretty quickly. I actually prefer driving our motorhome over the car on long trips as I'm up high, have great visibility, sitting upright in a comfortable and very adjustable chair. Ours is 34.5 feet and other than planning your stops and making WIDE right hand turns it's like a big van.


2. 4000# for the pre P22/24 Workhorse is a good weight rating. I doubt you would want more back there anyway. Definitely look at supplemental breaking for the TOAD. I think the curb weight on the 2WD Liberty is more like 3600# and 3800# for the 4WD. Smaller is definitely better for a TOAD...but things like seating and comfort are important too.


3. Regarding driving stability - it's a square box going down the road and all rigs (DPs and even Tractor Trailers) are susceptible to side loads from wind and passing trucks. There is no doubt the DPs on air give you the best ride and hardly any sway....but they do it with weight. I've driven everything from overweight straight sprung gassers on P30s to Ford C's to 500 horse 45' DPs. Pushers are the best….but they cost a fortune, drink a lot of fuel and when things break they are expensive.

If the LY is like the Classic then it has supplemental air bag on all four corners in addition to the springs. Additionally, it's a [relatively] low profile box and has a slopped nose when compared to other brands. All of which should reduce side load and forward guest issues. Now - I have not driven a LY. But our classic, with good bags and shocks is pretty close to a modern gasser. It tracks well and only the harshest (30 knot cross winds) blow me around a foot or two. Some other P30s I’ve driven I would park them in anything above 15 knots. Our P30 is certainly better than an older A on springs but not a DP ride either. I don't think the 31 has Tags so less to worry about there.

Pretty sure the fresh water tank is under the bed (heated). If the waste tanks are not heated (ducted) then you can easily add heating strips for 4 season operation. I've used our 345 in the 32 degree weather in upstate NY for a week at a time and not had an issue with freezing tanks.

5. Price. If you buy it right (below ACV and not getting upside down on financing) then terrific. If you are worried about depreciation on a motorhome....then buy Thor stock instead . Seriously, an 04 is still pretty new and loosing value quickly. Motorized units tend to loose quickly in the first few years (as much as 50% off MSRP) then they slow down from there. Additionally, units without a slide are harder to sell on the open market.

On the upside, operational costs and maintenance should be lower since it's newer. Warrantees and service contract may still be in effect on it as well. One more advantage on the workhorse or a dp here.....much cheaper on the parts and any auto store will have what you need in stock (no need to buy everything from the dealer).

Back to your original reasons for considering a MoHo. I recommend to anyone who asks me to find the floorplan and features that meet their needs before deciding on a unit. Obviously, in you case bigger is better. Don't forget that the first four feet of so of that 31 feet is taken up by nose and cockpit. But beyond size, think about your camping needs. Do you take month long or weekend trips. Is it just the two of you or do kids (or grandkids), friends go with you? Any Pets? Do you want to haul toys with you? Do you want to boon dock often? Do you mostly travel and stay in a house/B&B/hotel or is the MoHo the hotel? All of these will help you answer the "what class & floorplan" question in your mind. Then if the LY fits and the price is right - do it.

A few other [my opinion] advantages for a MoHo would include; longer distances covered in one sitting. Since the bathroom, fridge, kitchen are all right there and the fuel tank is HUGE [painful to fill - believe me] you can really cover some ground in a days travel. Additionally setup and take down is pretty easy, pull in shut off, flip the jack switch on and level the coach. You'll also have an onboard generator capable of powering the entire coach and extending your boondocking options. Storage should be better [square lockers and some basement storage].

We started looking at trailers. Then C's then As then DPs, renting in between looking. We then looked at Airstream trailers (and fell in love) then small AS MoHo's and finally found our "big" 345. For our family of five it's perfect. Something smaller or bigger might be better for a couple or different size family.

We love it and are very happy with the larger than planned unit. It's our "Maxi-Van", base camp, clubhouse, hotel room, personal airline, hobby and passion. Can't imagine not owning one now.

Good luck with your decision and let us all know how this turns out. Lastly, even though the LY doesn't have rivets - it's still an AIRSTREAM!
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