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I have been reading the posts here for sometime now. What a wealth of info. This is fantastic. I have looked through previous posts looking for the answer to my question with no luck.
My chassis question is; what are the pluses and minuses of the P-30 and John Deere? Is one substantially better than the other? I was just looking at a 1990 Barth, 27', 460 ford on a John Deere. What can you all tell me about this combo?
"The Moose Is Loose"
|First Month Member|
I would not let the chassis influence me very much. There are many happy owners of each.
Condition and layout are much more important.
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The John Deere, Oshkosh, chassis were some of the first basement model chassis available. So you will find that you will have more storage space. Bill H. has one of the few basement model P-30's.
The John Deere's have a straight leaf spring front suspension while the P-30 has an independent spring front end. Some say that the JD runs hard because of this, however, with the new Bilstein shocks and new tires availabe I don't think this is very true anymore. And, some people like a little stiffer ride especially around corners. I do.
Of course the JD usually has the Ford 460 and the P-30 has the Chevy 454.
There were a ton of motorhomes built on the JD. Fleetwood Bounders, Pace Arrows, Foretravels, Overlands, Winnebagos, Allegros so every RV supplier has immediate parts availability. The JD, Oshkosh and International Harvester all made similar chassis, comparable to the (someone tell me if I am wrong) the Ford F-53 chassis which was used on commercial vehicles and RV. All of these chassis are supported by Freightliner now.
Parts availability, IMHO, is probably better with the P30. John Deere was a victim of corporate takeover mania, and ever evolving business plans. They built a good chassis, but I guess they realized their strengths were in their core products, tractors and the like. Like so many others, they decided, for better or for worse, to shed a product line... like Dave said, JD's are now supported by Freightliner. The local Freightliner dealer is probably not going to stock everything you need for every different model (because Freightliner gobbled up a number of Chassis makes too, like Oshkosh, I think), but there were a TON of them built and used by everybody, so, parts availability will not really be an issue, just that your typical Freightliner shop is not going to stock stuff for the family of "orphan" chassis that now make up the Freightliner stable.
What makes matters a bit more difficult is that you have a big corporation absorbing the parts, supply, manufacturing, and engineering work from the "new product line", and the facts are that it can be a nightmare. Manufacturing schedules run by, say, an efficient John Deere, will come screeching to a halt as Freightliner management tries to figure out where to put all that stuff, etc. True, they'll get you the part... eventually. That's a common situation, though, and FedEx and UPS make that situation less a problem.
The P30, however, was used not just for MotorHomes, but Bread Trucks, Step-Vans, Laundry haulers... you name it. Most everything you need is available cheap at your local NAPA.
It's probably true that you want to shop for features... twin beds vs. queen, dinette vs. table & chairs, etc.
billh, Dave and duteman,
Thanks for all the info guys!! Bill H., yes indeed layout and condition is #1 & 2. I was just curious about handling. There has been alot of suspension talk about the P-30's in the past, but nothing that I could find regarding the JD. Just was woundering if there was a significant difference in handling between the two. Bill, You and others have beefed up your P-30's to address handling deficiencies,is the same true for the JD's.
I kinda suspected the P-30's would be a little less expensive to maintain, being there are more readily available parts because of the vast numbers of these chassis running around.
Dave, I detect a soft spot in your heart for Chevy's. I understand, I have been a Chevy man forever. Say hi to Deb for me, our paths don't cross here at the Strib as much as they used to. She is a "Great Gal" and a pleasure to work with.
Thanks again for all the info, the wife and I will be passing on this coach because of layout mainly. I'm still trying to determine what size bed was in it. It seemed to be inbetween a twin and double. It was in the rear along with the bathroom. Overall the coach looked good and cared for.
Very low milage, 24,490 mi. It is located at Shorewood RV, Anoka, Minnesota. They are asking $25,900.
"The Moose Is Loose"
|First Month Member|
I would say that the P30 needs some work to be decent handling. The shorter it is, the less it would seem to need. Even Workhorse thought it needed some help, as they widened the front suspension in the late 90's. Some folks think it is fine, though. The absence of aftermarket improvements for the JD chassis would seem to indicate few owners are unhappy with it.
As to the corner bed, we had a 27 ft Southwind with that layout, and it was very space-efficient. My wife and I are very tiny people, so there was quite enough room. One drawback of that setup is that the person sleeping next to the outside wall may have to climb over the other's legs to get out of bed. And, as with twin beds, sleeping next to an outside wall can be colder in winter. The bed layout was not the reason we went larger, though.
I am a long time Chevy man, too. I have a rump-rump 502 in my boat and an LT-1 in a Jag. But the Ford drivetrain is good, too. I have never heard a Ford MH owner say he wished he had a Chevy. Now, the Workhorse W series is another matter.
We just purchased an Oshkosh John Deere circa 1989. It was a Dynacoach conversion which is evidently rare. I found all of you while trying to research this odd duck, and you know more than anyone else. I just wanted to share our find, because you know what it is.
much like BARTH police and medical specialty vehicles....
sold $7,500 Sept 2011
Year Make/Brand Model VIN/Serial Miles Title Restriction 1989 John Deere Type A 17N64012XKW004126 16,322 No Title Restriction Condition Category Inventory ID See Description Motor Homes / Travel Trailers 1989 Dynacoach RV PV271
1989 DYNACOACH RV – PV271 • 472 CUBIC INCH FORD GAS ENGINE WAS REPLACED IN 2005 WITH A REMANUFACTURED LONG BLOCK ASSEMBLY. ENGINE HESITATES AND HAS A ROUGH IDLE. • C-6 FORD AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION • CHASSIS IS MANUFACTURED BY JOHN DEERE AND COACH IS MANUFACTURED BY DYNACOACH. 2 SETS OF REMOVEABLE ALUMINUM ENTRANCE STEPS ARE INCLUDED. • GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT IS 18000 LBS • HYDRAULIC LEVELING LEGS • GENERAC 25KW GENERATOR-120/240 VOLTS AND 208/104 AMPS AT 1800 RPM. FOUR CYLINDER GASOLINE WATER COOLED ENGINE TO POWER GENERATOR. WATER PUMP FOR ENGINE IS STARTING TO LEAK. • VEHICLE HAS 2 OVERHEAD A/C UNITS • COACH HAS A SEPARATE HEATING SYSTEM • SMALL REFRIGERATOR • SOUND DESIGN AM/FM STEREO WITH DOUBLE CASSETTE DECK • POWER STEERING, POWER BRAKES, A/C.
Whoa, a 25KW generator! That is one generous generator!
"98" Monarch 37
Spartan MM, 6 spd Allison
Cummins 8.3 300 hp
The JD started life as the Dodge M600 chassis. After JD it became the Oshkosh. Big advantage over the P30 was gross weight. It was an 18000 lb chassis so no tag need to carry the larger gas MHs. Also once the 460 Ford went to direct port fuel injection, it was no longer the gas hog of earlier years. So Ford fixed the 460 and then came out with the V10. I hope my memory has not failed me here.
'92 Barth Breakaway - 30'
5.9 Cummins (6B) 300+ HP
NAB Not A Barth This Dynacoach belongs in the forum called MAHEM. I have started a file for your SOB, as we call it Some Other Brand
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