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Old 07-20-2015, 06:27 AM   #1
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Freightliner Chassis

Hello,
My wife and I are looking into purchasing a Winnebago/Itasca Diesel RV on a Freightliner Chassis. I have a few questions regarding the chassis.

However, could you assist in answering my question? My questions are we have been told that the raised rail chassis is the best to get, do you know when Winnebago/Itasca started using raised rail chassis? Are they all considered raised rail? Is there anything in particular to look for when purchasing? We are looking into 2004 and new Journey(itasca model too) & 2004-2006 Vectra/Horizon. is the diesel destinatin built on a Freightliner raised rail chassis? Should we take the new, old diesel to a freightliner/CAT/Cummins dealership to be sure that all non-coach systems are functioning properly? Is this possible?

Thanks,
bfrtech
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Old 07-20-2015, 07:19 AM   #2
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Old 07-20-2015, 08:28 AM   #3
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Firs off, welcome to the forum! Here you will find lots of answers to question that you didn't even know that you have!

For the specific differences between the different Freightliner Chassis, I would suggest asking your question on the "Freightliner" specific forum (under the "RV Forums" pulldown at the top). The experts on it will probably be better at answering your specific issues.

Here in the Denver area, we have both a Freightliner service center and a different Cummins service center. Either will do the specific review and any needed repairs on your chassis.

Good luck!
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Old 07-20-2015, 08:48 AM   #4
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Raised rail chassis usually means that the coach has pass thru storage bays. In other words the storage bay is the entire width of the coach. My coach is not a raised rail and the only thing that was hard to store was the ladder.

Current service should be part of the deal. You should have the belts changed, air dryers serviced, oil changed (Gen and engine), no water leaks, Tires will need to be changed unless they are new, and fuel filters. It is more than likely due for shock replacement also.

Sounds like a lot of stuff, but they are just routine items that need to be considered.
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Old 07-20-2015, 08:54 AM   #5
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" My questions are we have been told that the raised rail chassis is the best to get, do you know when Winnebago/Itasca started using raised rail chassis? Are they all considered raised rail? "

I don't agree that the raised rail is the "best", it was simply one of the options for the XC chassis. The raised rail had all the same benefits of any XC chassis, it simply raised the frame rail slightly to allow for more height in the outside storage bins, allow space for a larger engine, and allowed for independent front suspension. However, there was a big IF. Those allowable options were only provided if the coach manufacturer elected to utilize them. So you could have a raised rail chassis, but none of the benefits it allowed for since the coach mfg didn't spec them.
Having said that, the Freightliner XC chassis was a very good and very popular chassis back then. Whether those specific models had the raised rail option XC-R or the basic XC is the same chassis in my opinion. Whats more important is which engine did Winnebago spec to be used in those models, out of the many engine options they had available back then.

A 10 min test drive will confirm if all the chassis/engine systems are working. The real question is what kind of condition are they in.
As far as taking it to a Freightliner or Cat or Cummins shop for inspection; I think you'd have better success hiring an independent diesel mechanic to inspect it. Those branded truck shops are very busy, primarily interested in commercial truckers and you usually will be required to leave the rig and they will get to it when they can. But truthfully looking at the engine externals tells very little about whats going on inside the engine. To me its more important to get the previous owners maintenance records and to have oil and coolant samples sent off for lab tests. That's going to tell you more than a mechanics 5 min visual inspection.
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Old 07-20-2015, 09:57 AM   #6
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Freightliner OASIS dealers and Cummins COACHCARE dealers both cater to motorhomes, often having parking and hook-ups. While I agree going to a basic Freightliner or Cummins dealer is not ideal, the Oasis and Coachcare folks are a different breed and a very good option )and possibly better than an independent mechanic). They are accustomed to working on engines "installed backwards" and from underneath. In many cases, the techs are separate from the "truck-side" of the house and have had special training specific to RVs. Also, from personal experience, my Oasis dealer was VERY particular about cleanliness when they had to enter my motorhome.

If you are uncertain as to the real differences in the chassis, this would be a good place to look at:

http://freightlinerchassis.com/RV-Ch...nu-id-150.html


Oil and transmission oil samples are a good idea. A 10 minute drive won't tell you if you have cooling problems i.e. clogged radiator/CAC or fan issues unless you can find a good steep grade to go up. A good Oasis dealer can and will check for clogged radiator/CAC, proper operation of the fan, etc. I only mention the fan because I did have a fan fail which prevented it from going into lock-up mode and consequent high temps.

I personally, even as a full-timer, don't carry an excessive amount of stuff so the straight rail chassis I have is fine. I really can't address the differences between a raised rail and a straight rail, as all three motorhomes I have owned used a straight rail. One was a "custom" Holiday Rambler chassis, one a Chevy, and the current a Freightliner, I like the FL best.
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Old 07-20-2015, 02:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfrtech View Post
Hello,
My wife and I are looking into purchasing a Winnebago/Itasca Diesel RV on a Freightliner Chassis. I have a few questions regarding the chassis.

is the diesel destinatin built on a Freightliner raised rail chassis? Thanks,
bfrtech
Yes, the "diesel destinatin" was built on a FCCC chassis, but I'm not sure it has a raised rail. Only the gasser Destination was built on WCC chassis.

OBTW, there were a few hundred WBGO diesel pushers built on the WCC RDP chassis in those years, but FCCC signed WBGO to an exclusive DP chassis supplier agreement shortly thereafter, so ALL the WBGO DPs have been on FCCC ever since.

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Old 07-20-2015, 04:47 PM   #8
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My 2009 Destination 37G is on a standard Freightliner XC (Non-Raised Rail). I don't think any of the Diesel Destinations were. Of course they were only built in 2008 and 2009. I have a Cummins 340HP ISB. While not a rocket and not the hare (as opposed to a tortoise) going up a steep grade it does a good job.
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Old 07-20-2015, 06:46 PM   #9
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I don't know which year the raised rail chassis became available. But I have an XCS raised rail. The only thing I notice is the bedroom floor is flat, no engine hump to trip over. I would much prefer to have the Maxum chassis. It is a lowered rail which is what really gives the huge storage area with pass-through in your basement.

You can find current and previous brochures at winnebagoind.COM.
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Old 07-31-2015, 08:47 AM   #10
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another question came to mind, which is better a Diesel with higher mileage or lower mileage, someone said to me the other day that you really don't want a diesel that is older model (2007) with low miles, is this an accurate statement?

Thanks,
Bfrtech
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Old 08-02-2015, 06:27 PM   #11
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another question came to mind, which is better a Diesel with higher mileage or lower mileage, someone said to me the other day that you really don't want a diesel that is older model (2007) with low miles, is this an accurate statement?

Thanks,
Bfrtech
"Someone said......." Someone who? Someone who's clueless. There is absolutely nothing wrong with "older" diesel units. There are zillions of really nicer OLDER diesel powered coaches out there for the taking. Diesel engines have been around for decades and decades. Obviously they, like their counterparts GASOLINE engines, have been improved over the years for cleaner operations and, obtaining higher MPG.

But, for SOMEONE to claim that one older than '07 is something to stay away from, well, I'd get second, third, fourth ..... opinion on that. Our coach, an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT, is a fantastic coach. It has a real nice floor plan and, runs like a top. It's not a rocket ship by any means but, it does quite well, even towing 6500 lbs. worth of 2011 GMC Sierra Extended Cab 1500 4x4 which, is carrying a 2008 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing in it's bed, lifted into it by a Rampage motorcycle lift.

We hover around 7-8 mpg, plus or minus. I run down the road at 62 mph and that engine is humming at a mere 1650 rpms. The technology that was available in those era engines was up to par, for then. The later diesels have added quite a bit of tech-no-geek stuff for smog compliance. DEF and DPF units have quite a bit more complicated operating systems but, are cleaner burning diesels.

They still get the same mileage though. Most hover around 7-9 mpg.
Scott
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Old 08-02-2015, 06:46 PM   #12
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"Someone said......." Someone who? Someone who's clueless. There is absolutely nothing wrong with "older" diesel units. There are zillions of really nicer OLDER diesel powered coaches out there for the taking. Diesel engines have been around for decades and decades. Obviously they, like their counterparts GASOLINE engines, have been improved over the years for cleaner operations and, obtaining higher MPG.

But, for SOMEONE to claim that one older than '07 is something to stay away from, well, I'd get second, third, fourth ..... opinion on that. Our coach, an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT, is a fantastic coach. It has a real nice floor plan and, runs like a top. It's not a rocket ship by any means but, it does quite well, even towing 6500 lbs. worth of 2011 GMC Sierra Extended Cab 1500 4x4 which, is carrying a 2008 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing in it's bed, lifted into it by a Rampage motorcycle lift.

We hover around 7-8 mpg, plus or minus. I run down the road at 62 mph and that engine is humming at a mere 1650 rpms. The technology that was available in those era engines was up to par, for then. The later diesels have added quite a bit of tech-no-geek stuff for smog compliance. DEF and DPF units have quite a bit more complicated operating systems but, are cleaner burning diesels.

They still get the same mileage though. Most hover around 7-9 mpg.
Scott
Actually I think the point of the post was whether higher or lower mileage on a coach made before 2007 was better. The poster was told by someone that an older (pre-2007) coach with LOW mileage was to be avoided.

If that was indeed the question, my answer would be that maintenance is more important than mileage or age! Ask for records proving regular oil changes, air cleaners, fuel filter changes etc. Make a decision based on that, and visual and PROFESSIONAL inspection of the coach.
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Old 08-03-2015, 05:50 AM   #13
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@FireUp-I apprecieate your comments and I totally agree with them.
@Hit the Rhod- you are correct, my question was is it better to have more miles instead of Low miles on a diesel? I'll look at the maintenance & have a professional look at the rig before we purchase.
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Old 08-03-2015, 06:24 AM   #14
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We have the "raised rail" Freightliner chassis under our Winnebago. After a blow out we ended up with a recap tire just to get us home that we changed to a new one when we did. To give you and idea how much room the through compartment has the recap is now in there for a spare. We put in on a plastic tarp so it will slide in and out easily but not leave black marks on the carpet. Now it is filled with "just in case" type stuff that you might never use but is nice to have since it is not that simple to get to.

If you have long, large items to bring with you it is very handy. We also had a 30HP outboard motor and 14' inflatable (Zodiac) boat in there at one time.

I tried to search to see what years they were made but since they are custom made for RV manufacturers the years are all over depending on the brand.

Cummins ISC 350HP in our coach.
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