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Kicking around a live-in Coach


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All of us know life is full of curves. We love our Dip, and will keep it as a camping motorhome. We are thinking of adding a "live in" coach for a few years as things unfold in our biz and life. 

We currently reside in a Alpine 5th wheel and feel the floor plan while great when we were vacationing in it, is cramped for everyday living.

We are looking at a 2005 Beaver Patriot Thunder Monday to just get a feel for it.

Anything to look for? It has a Roadmaster s chassis, so kinda same issues as my Dip? Will benefit from Watts set up?

 

Thanks in advance for any info

 

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Should be a nice coach and upgrade from the Dip.  One of the main positives is the side radiator which makes rear engine access and maintenance easier.  Both are on Roadmaster chassis’s, and the Watts setup might be needed.  If it has a TRW steering gear, that’s a big positive since slack can be adjusted out, which assists driving comfort.

It likely has a 400 (or 525 upgrade )Cat engine rather than Cummins and I can’t comment on the brand issue, which likely will have different options.

Edited by David White
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Posted (edited)

Would the 400 cat be a bit underpowered for this size coach? It’s 42’ with a tag. 
 

And is this an EGR motor? I know 03 Fords went to EGR. But also know Cat got out of the over the road engine biz because of emissions 

Edited by JDCrow
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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, vito.a said:

A 2005 Patriot Thunder should be a 525HP Cat C13.  Lots of power.   The only criticism may be low fuel mileage.  

Yeah brochure says base is 400 C-9 but “thunder” package is a 525 C-12. Most seem to have the bigger engine, this one isn’t listed so won’t know till I look. 
 

http://library.rvusa.com/brochure/2005_patriot.pdf

Edited by JDCrow
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The C-12 Cat is a great motor. Also, considering that it is a tag axle Coach you won’t have to worry about the handling issues that can plague non-tag coaches.  The only possible upgrade that may be needed is the TRW steering box if it doesn’t already have one. 

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I’ve put 120+K miles on the S-10 chassis  and describe it as rock solid handling. Multiple 750+ mile days are a pleasure… had to adjust the TRW in the Navigator after the first 200 miles as it had 2” of slop. I question how a tag axle 44” behind the drive can solve all the “handling problems” of the none tag rigs, but it does.

The Cat engine is not noted of great mpg but a 05 is before even more restrictive pollution stuff.

Beavers are noted for their woodwork…some day that’s why Monaco bought them.

We are only half timers but have some definite ideas on what works for longer usage. Fortunately the bath and half fad had not started in 2005. What floor plan is it?

Edited by Ivylog
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2 hours ago, Chuck B said:

There use to be a used motorhome or coach check list on this site.  I posted it a few years ago.  Hope it has not disappeared.  Frank M should know where it is.

Chuck B 2004 Windsor

Chuck, is this it?

UsedMHCheckList.pdf

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, Ivylog said:

I’ve put 120+K miles on the S-10 chassis  and describe it as rock solid handling. Multiple 750+ mile days are a pleasure… had to adjust the TRW in the Navigator after the first 200 miles as it had 2” of slop. I question how a tag axle 44” behind the drive can solve all the “handling problems” of the none tag rigs, but it does.

The Cat engine is not noted of great mpg but a 05 is before even more restrictive pollution stuff.

Beavers are noted for their woodwork…some day that’s why Monaco bought them.

We are only half timers but have some definite ideas on what works for longer usage. Fortunately the bath and half fad had not started in 2005. What floor plan is it?

It’s a Vicksburg 4

 

https://www.beavercoachsales.com/Pre-owned-Inventory-2005-Beaver-Motorhome-Patriot-Thunder-Vicksburg-IV-Beaver-Patriot-Thunder-10414367?ref=list

Edited by JDCrow
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We almost bought a 04 Patriot…bought a 04 Dynasty instead which we sold to our son after 14 great years so it’s still in the family for many more years. 
Brochure says “Roadmaster M10S–Series Chassis” and the only difference from a S-10 I can see is the house structure is aluminum bolted to the chassis… not as strong in a rollover. A S-10 rig will show the all steel framing in the brochures. I would rate the aluminum house a negative but not a deal breaker.

While on negatives but not deal breakers , the Emergency Window over the head of the bed is colder and noisy than one without a window. In the Dynasty I added a hinged metal grate over the window so we could recline against it to read and watch TV.

I like that the bedroom is more open…. extra cabinet next to the bed and double sliding doors into the bath area making the bedroom more open feeling. I rarely used the bedroom during the day with our Dynasty and currently I’m typing this in the bed (it’s 7:30 here) as the Nav BR is very open with a larger cabinet and the 2nd sink in the BR area.

In the current inflated market it’s hard to say what it’s worth. Helped our daughter buy a 06 45’ Navigator, couple months ago with a DD60 engine, 45K miles for $110K. Been a good rig with no major $$$ problems…put two 315 tires on the front. Had fairly new batteries, new carpet, a new 600D AquaHot and it was only 100 miles away. Fortunately put a deposit on it on the 2nd day it was listed as if they didn’t buy it I would and flip it. 
I like the big windows Monaco used in these years… makes dry camping easier as you get good airflow. Not sure the tall windows in the LR open 50% and if the awning is big enough to shade the bottoms?

Good luck and a 05 doesn’t have the multiplex system…a goog thing.

3DF3F57F-81C3-4E6A-AC67-42EC303EA383.png

Edited by Ivylog
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I spent the better part of a year between 02-03 researching for a diesel coach to live in Full-Time. I read a lot, went to RV shows and walked through hundreds of coaches, went to RV sales lots to look at all brands and models. I also set a price window of what I could afford.

After doing all of that I had narrowed it down to a 2002 Monaco Windsor due to the chassis (Semi-Monocoque) , amount of inside and outside storage plus the price point. However I wasn't set on a specific floor-plan. I then got on the Internet to search all over the country for what was available. Found a PST floor-plan in Tampa FL and after striking a deal the owner sent me an email that he had sold it over the weekend locally. Got back on the Internet and immediately found one in Dinuba CA which was only a 3 hour drive from where I was living at the time. After viewing it and driving it I knew that this was the one. The rest is history!

I lived Full-Time in that coach for almost 14 years and traveled around the country 7 of those years towing a 30 foot Pace Cargo trailer behind us with everything we owned. Still own the coach with no plans to change or upgrade for now. We are now Part-Time RVer's but could easily go back to Full-Time RVing in THIS coach if we had to as I really like the RV lifestyle. We now spend 6 months in Florida at our winter beach house then another 5-6 months in the coach up north someplace Workamping or traveling around the country or spending the summer in Alaska with my kids and grand-kids.

Moral of this story, try to choose your last coach FIRST otherwise you will be spending TONS of money trying to find the "right" one for you.

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  • Scotty Hutto changed the title to Kicking around a live-in Coach
2 hours ago, Ivylog said:

We almost bought a 04 Patriot…bought a 04 Dynasty instead which we sold to our son after 14 great years so it’s still in the family for many more years. 
Brochure says “Roadmaster M10S–Series Chassis” and the only difference from a S-10 I can see is the house structure is aluminum bolted to the chassis… not as strong in a rollover. A S-10 rig will show the all steel framing in the brochures. I would rate the aluminum house a negative but not a deal breaker.

While on negatives but not deal breakers , the Emergency Window over the head of the bed is colder and noisy than one without a window. In the Dynasty I added a hinged metal grate over the window so we could recline against it to read and watch TV.

I like that the bedroom is more open…. extra cabinet next to the bed and double sliding doors into the bath area making the bedroom more open feeling. I rarely used the bedroom during the day with our Dynasty and currently I’m typing this in the bed (it’s 7:30 here) as the Nav BR is very open with a larger cabinet and the 2nd sink in the BR area.

In the current inflated market it’s hard to say what it’s worth. Helped our daughter buy a 06 45’ Navigator, couple months ago with a DD60 engine, 45K miles for $110K. Been a good rig with no major $$$ problems…put two 315 tires on the front. Had fairly new batteries, new carpet, a new 600D AquaHot and it was only 100 miles away. Fortunately put a deposit on it on the 2nd day it was listed as if they didn’t buy it I would and flip it. 
I like the big windows Monaco used in these years… makes dry camping easier as you get good airflow. Not sure the tall windows in the LR open 50% and if the awning is big enough to shade the bottoms?

Good luck and a 05 doesn’t have the multiplex system…a goog thing.

3DF3F57F-81C3-4E6A-AC67-42EC303EA383.png

I appreciate your post. When I first started the thread I could only find an 2006 Patriot brochure, I found the 2005 30 mins later. So I misquoted the S10. The 2006 differs from the 2005 in the structure, like you mentioned.

I might hold off Then on this one and shoot for a year or 2 newer to get the steel semi-monocoque chassis. I’ve also really been looking at country coach for the live-in (thanks Scotty). And they are still in play. We group up here where Beavers are made and always dreamed of owning one, so I have a soft spot for them. 

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JD ^^^ said what I was implying… the all steel S-10 has to be more ridged and safer, even in a head on accident. May also be why the S-10 doesn’t need any handling improvements.

We actually owned 2 Beavers, briefly before buying a 04 42’ Dynasty to get 4 slides, for half timing. Made the mistake of buying into 36’ was the max public CGs… didn’t take long to figure out that’s BS. During the summer we stay mainly in Public CGs that do not take reservations.

Currently in  a Private CG parked next to our daughter that has not figured out the dry camping thing although there are 4 of them that take longer showers than what a 100 gallon tank will support for 5-7 days that we normally go before resupplying.

We have stayed a couple miles up the road in a Forest Service CG that surprisingly, has several sites we could get into even on this Friday afternoon…rarely do we try finding a site on Friday. Couple summers ago we went into S Lake Tahoe on Labor Day, without reservations, getting into our first choice of CGs. NO, not on Friday but on Monday when the working folks have to go home.

My point for FT (or half T) a big rig does dry camping well, without paying $50+ for a spot to park.

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21 hours ago, JDCrow said:

We currently reside in a Alpine 5th wheel and feel the floor plan while great when we were vacationing in it, is cramped for everyday living

For the price of an 05 Patriot that may sit stationary, couldn't you get a really nice and roomy 5th wheel?     Or do you need 2 motor homes?    His & hers?

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Ray Davis said:

For the price of an 05 Patriot that may sit stationary, couldn't you get a really nice and roomy 5th wheel?     Or do you need 2 motor homes?    His & hers?

This is a good question, and we are kicking a 5vr as well.

Biggest things is quality, and resale. The 5ver we live in now “looks” good, but nowhere near the quality of a coach. Rubber roof, questionable wiring, etc. Storage is horrible and we have a basement model. 
 

I believe a 5th wheel would be harder to sell, and depreciation would be high. I kinda think a 15-20 year coach is pretty depreciated out. And might sell faster? But you never know where the bottom is. 
 

And then the truck. My current truck will not pull a 5th wheel the wife wants. I can probably get the same payment trading in as my truck is desirable and has value more than I owe, but payments for another 5 years when this one has 1.5 years and paid off. 
 

All maybe moot. Might try another winter. Master plan is to have RV garage  with apartment here, and a winter home in AZ. We are in our late 40s parents early 70s, so we figure 10-12 years of time to ourselves before we need to build a home on our current acreage here in Oregon  that will accommodate aging parents correctly. (Wide hallways, single level no stairs inside/outside). 
 

Our business will be sellable in 5 years, either with the building/property or lease it and just sell the biz. Either way all this is just planning. The big coach is a stop gap till home prices find a down trending level in AZ (Havasu)  So a big coach lets us go south for a month or two. 

 

So there is master plan, and it’s just a plan as life is fastballs and curveballs. Lots of swings, misses, base hits, and the proverbial home run That allows us to retire. Who knows. 
 

Thanks for everyone’s input. It’s greatly appreciated here and in my other threads 

Edited by JDCrow
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JD. our daughter, slightly older, was about to buy a new diesel truck ($80+K) and a new 5er ($100K) to replace their 20 year old truck and 5er…not willing to trust them for a trip out West. This summer is probably the last time their college age kids will be home so it was now or probably never.

Granted they had the advantage of knowing how much we have liked our big Monaco’s and how trouble free they have been…dad can you help us buy a big rig. Had to be another big Monaco as the learning curve is steep and you need to be handy to own one…son-in-law is but when something doesn’t work, guess who he calls for the fix.

Once you’ve owned a big DP, it’s hard to go back to anything else, but it needs to be used. Partly to justify the cost and sitting isn’t good on them. Good luck on your choices.

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JD,

I see BCS listing an '07 PT.  Obviously not the same as ours as we have the full wall slide and office area in the back (ours is Winchester III floor plan, 45').  C-13 seems to pass anything but a gas station 😉, & no DEF nor DPF, NOT multiplex chassis, office desk in back gives us effectively 2 "work" areas with DW claiming dining living and dash for sewing & embroidery machines (flat dash works great for an embroidery machine) while I can spread out at the rear desk, two double sliding door closets, lots of storage inside and out, mid bath totally on one side is perfect as we feel 1/2 bath is a waste of space for us, etc etc etc Wouldn't trade for any floorplan I've seen and don't think we could find anything with as much storage.  We did remove one couch (jack knife) and use two lazy boys instead. We aren't full time but often 6-7 months in a row plus other short rallies so maybe 9-10 months out of a year.  Have had some "normal" problems over 130k miles but not really major. Can get behind to access and work on wet bay stuff (water pump, accumulator, cord  & hose reels, etc) from adjacent bay ... tight but workable.  Anyway, each needs to evaluate their own situation/wants but I would vote for an '07-'08 PT Winchester III as being pretty livable. No idea what they are going for these days.

FWIW,

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Good morning JD,   I can see you are both thinking and planning.  I like to see young people looking ahead,   so many just coast along with no plan.

Thinking of your parents shows they did a good job too.  The good book says to honor thy father & mother 👍

The country is changing so fast who knows what the future holds.  Hopefully sanity will return and we'll get past this covid and gov insanity.

We have a real estate bubble of sorts here in north Tx prices are sky high, but I'm sure it will burst eventually.     I just hope I'm still around so I can buy something.  🤑

Tons of Californians are moving here and everything looks cheap to them.   I just hope they leave their Ca. politics back there.👎🏼

Back to the subject at hand,   you give valid reasons and as long as both of you are in agreement you can absolutely make it work.  

I bet after driving the Patriot Thunder, that's the one you'll be traveling in.

 

BTW really enjoy your posts

 

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FWIW, at 80 years of age, I can say I have been there and done that.  Both husband and wife need to be in sync about what their future plans are.  When life goes good, there are now no complaints or I told you so.  Life will deal you some bad times.  When it does, no matter the fault, both of you need to take the hit and move on.  That is easier for the male than the female.  Men tend to take the hit and put it behind him.  Women tend to be historical because they have the ability to remember what someone wore 20 years ago.  Planning for the future is good, but what about the quality of life you have getting to the future.  

When you arrive in the future, are you going to say the trip was great, or we wish we could had enjoyed the trip more?  For me, half the fun was getting there.  

Chuck B 2004 Windsor

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5 hours ago, Ray Davis said:

Good morning JD,   I can see you are both thinking and planning.  I like to see young people looking ahead,   so many just coast along with no plan.

Thinking of your parents shows they did a good job too.  The good book says to honor thy father & mother 👍

We oThe country is changing so fast who knows what the future holds.  Hopefully sanity will return and we'll get past this covid and gov insanity.

We have a real estate bubble of sorts here in north Tx prices are sky high, but I'm sure it will burst eventually.     I just hope I'm still around so I can buy something.  🤑

Tons of Californians are moving here and everything looks cheap to them.   I just hope they leave their Ca. politics back there.👎🏼

Back to the subject at hand,   you give valid reasons and as long as both of you are in agreement you can absolutely make it work.  

I bet after driving the Patriot Thunder, that's the one you'll be traveling in.

 

BTW really enjoy your posts

 

Thanks very much. My wife is an only child and she is very close to her folks. I never was close to mine. We just have always had the understanding to call when help is needed. This last winter I went to check on my folks and they had no heat for 3 days! Said they had a company come out and it was $3-$5 to fix their furnace. I was disgusted as we put the ohms meter on and had it figured out in about 30 mins, but my folks were insisting a tech come out again. For that kinda of money a whole new unit should have gone in and not a repair. I called a buddy and he had a tech friend and for $100 had it diagnosed. For $1500 we had it all fixed. Moral was, I need to check on my folks more and make sure who they are dealing with so they don’t get taken advantage of. 
 

They also tried to by a Truck in Maine of Craigslist way below wholesale. Woman wanted a “small” deposit in EBay escrow (no such thing) to ship it out and let them try it out. Stepped in on that one in time as well.

We have watched grandparents in homes, and been depressed. We will do our best to care for our parents, but knowing our limits. My Step dad wants the old Indian way out with a bottle of Jack left to die in a snow storm, uggg. 
 

We don’t have 401, Roth whatever. I’ve invested the best way I know, in myself. Our biz has grown, and will sell for retirement barring any big catastrophe. 
 

But again, just a plan. 
 

 

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Well, checked over the 05 Patriot, and wow, just wow. The poor coach is on life support. Slides leak, Aqua hot is a mess, paint peeling, cabinets a wreak and on and on. Needs so much work. 
 

We really liked the 06 Marquis, but even then new flooring, updating appliances, lack of cabinet space and the very dated 1/4” lacquer fogged cabinets. 
 

We looked at a Riverstone 5th wheel, while 3” walls and 5” ceiling insulation was nice, the fit, finish, and quality was way lacking.

Then we saw…. It. And it’s ours 

 

 

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