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Barth Reliability
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"5+ Years of Active Membership"
posted
Well - I took the plunge and purchased the 88 regal I was looking at ... but after reading all the posts about all the breakdowns when on a simple 100 mile trip, I'm starting to worry if maybe I didn't make such a wise choice ... Is there anyone out there that takes 100-1000 mile trips that are sucessful? Maybe people have a tendency to post issues only when failures occur -- Help ! put my mind at ease........... Has anyone taken a trip without a breakdown???
 
Posts: 156 | Location: overland park,ks,usa | Member Since: 08-20-2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
"First Year of Inception" Membership Club
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KC, We have gone on many trips without a breakdown. We have leaks and stuff. But, I am confident that once we have the little stuff out of the way we will have trouble free trips. Eric Herrle, a fellow that frequents the website periodically has a 1970 something and he took his family from Maine to Washington state without any big problems. Here's a picture he sent me of his Barth in the Redwoods of far nothern California.



As long as you maintain your vehicle, you should not have too many problems. But remember you just bought a 13 year old vehicle that has about as many components as your home. So just as some times it seems like the things at home seem like they go out all at once. Same with the motorhome.

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Shortcuts Always Take Longer

 
Posts: 1985 | Location: Eden Prairie, MN 55346 USA | Member Since: 01-01-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
<Kajtek1>
posted
Things breaks, and wore-out, and I know, because I make partial living out of it . If the Barths stories worry you - read the stories about BMW flagship 750 at http://my750.com/ and tell me what you driving every day and I'll find some horror stories about it
Coming back to Barth I made 2000 miles trip this summer with only 1 burn-out relay (1 out of 20 isn�t that bad) and even driving over Sierras at 100' (with boat) wasn't a problem. (just some inconvenience)
Now .... how do I paste a picture here ?
 
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First Month Member
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 11/13
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Congratulations! That is a nice looking coach.
Barth built the shells (and very well) on a Chevy chassis and installed the appliances. Any reliability issues are the same as any other Chevy coach with the same appliances. As Barths were more expensive, and often custom built, they were likely to be appreciated and receive better care, at least early in their life.

[This message has been edited by bill h (edited September 18, 2002).]
 
Posts: 7397 | Location: AZ Central Highlands | Member Since: 01-09-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
<Kajtek1>
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That's true bill, but Barth also has more appliances, than most of the motorhomes - 2 furnaces may give more worry, than 1. I have more than 200 light bulbs in mine>>> Try to keep up with it!!!!
 
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Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 03/08
"First Year of Inception" Membership Club
Picture of Eric Herrle
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Lets see, we went 9500 miles in 5 weeks and the only mechanical problem I encountered were two bad universal joints that I had to replace in Rapid City S.D. And oh yes a new rear window but that was a freak accident (If anyone uses a tow dolly on gravel roads watch out). Oops and one flat tire in British Columbia, remember to pack an extra tube!

Maintenance on these rigs is about the same as a boat (when you want to use it, it's broke). Routine and regular maintenance on these vehicles results in many miles of driving with little or no problems. I've driven extreme lengths in New Foundland, Labrador, British Columbia, etc, etc, with no problems and up to 24 hrs at a time. Yes I'm also nuts.

My rig is a 1977 27'er with a 454 and 400 hydromatic transmission with 88k. It's just know showing signs of age on the drive train. Proper maintenance results in uneventful trips.

Also Bill H. has been invaluable with his tips on these gas rigs as well as Dave's WONDERFUL! Website.
 
Posts: 243 | Location: Kailua Kona, HI & E. Waterboro, ME | Member Since: 06-27-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hey Eric,

Ya' wanna know one big negative to having a motorhome. After your first long trip, (ours was two weeks around Lake Superior). You have this imprisoned feeling when you are back home.

I have told Deb about your trip. She just shrinks in her chair and the lower lip pouts and she says, "I wanna go!!" I show her your picture and she says "I wanna be there!!"

I remind her of where we have been:



However her response is, "Well we've been THERE".

Before we had the motorhome we didn't know what we were missing.

One statement I made on another website is this. We spent $15K for our Barth 3 years ago. We have put around $10-$15K into it. This includes redoing the area above the dash for a much larger TV as well as Tow bar and all that stuff which was probably $2K right there. However, when I go to the RV places and look at a 32ft Winneabago for $80K, with plastic cabinets and plastic walls and plastic roof. I don't think I could ever justify in my mind the cost difference.

Now when we retire in 5-6 years we may decide to sell the house and buy a bigger coach that we could spend monthes in. And, I don't know if I just may go for a 1996 Monarch like this one: (By the way this 37 foot Monarch with 29K miles and a 330 Cummins sold for $62,000.00)







(This is a perfect example of runaway posting)



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Shortcuts Always Take Longer

 
Posts: 1985 | Location: Eden Prairie, MN 55346 USA | Member Since: 01-01-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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KC- get to know your coach from top to bottom, spend time with it and you will develop an love affair unsurpassed with that coach over the years. you will learn her pluses and her faults. fix the problem areas as you go and do not neglect even the most minor of issues. she will reward you for it. YES you are going to break things now and then, usually when you aren't expecting it. but if you care for the coach as you go, they will be minimal. we have had our coach (83 regency 35') almost 2 years now. been to northwest (5000 miles) texas (3000 plus) michigan,indiana and illinois (2000)and a couple thousand miles in our iowa area. will leave for arizona this fall. our coach had been neglected when we bought it but the price reflected it and we decided it was worth putting money into (about $20,000 so far)over our purchase price. we blew an air brake line in wyoming (minor) and developed an electric short in texas. radiator blew sitting in the driveway, $1200 to fix that. the rest of our expenses have been for new trace,new furniture, wallpaper, carpet,exhust, glassmat batteries and relocate start battery. when we got it we checked and replaced as needed all drivetrain areas. IE...new belts,new brake pads,all oil and filters,fuel preporator (8.2 detroit)new speedometer,tack and added a king criuse control. many of these things we did not have to do but wanted either for safety or convience. point is DON"T be afraid of the barth. i know i could have gotten a newer unit for the money, but i don't think i could have gotten the quality.
enjoy!

mike

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Posts: 187 | Location: earlham,iowa-usa | Member Since: 01-08-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
<Kajtek1>
posted
I am jealous about eric's luck. When I did similar trip years ago it took one Pace Arrow, one minivan and one Bounder to finish. And even rented new minivan had some electrical problems.
Thanks dave for help with pic. .. Here it goes
 
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<Kajtek1>
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Another try
 
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"5+ Years of Active Membership"
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First - thanks for all the replies. I probably read too much into the failures and breakdowns everyone experienced. We're really looking forward to our first outing in Oct. (short one - 100 miles) I have a list started of items to check and perform preventative maintenance on. We should take delivery next week and the trip from its present owner to its new home (~350 miles) will be a good shakedown trip. Again thanks for the responses....
 
Posts: 156 | Location: overland park,ks,usa | Member Since: 08-20-2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I know the feeling Dave. I can't walk by a map and not think about where do we go next. Like you I have about 5 years to go to retire (that's dependant on where my daughter goes to collage ). My wife Diane is already figuring on where we can get jobs as park hosts so we can wander at will.

She just went out and bought a new(ish) Honda CRV to drag around behind the rig. What kind of towbar do you recommend?

And yes, we too look at the bigger rigs with envy BUT I realize that the type of places we like to camp limit the maximum size to about 30'. I suspect at some point I will be looking for a 30' Barth hull to customize to fit our needs. I'll just add this to my project list and drive my wife even more nuts.

We spent $9,500 on the 77 when we bought it and have put about $8,000 in it. We don't regret the investment one little bit. I'm taking it to Cape Cod next week for a place to stay while I'm away on business. What Fun!
 
Posts: 243 | Location: Kailua Kona, HI & E. Waterboro, ME | Member Since: 06-27-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 11/13
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Eric, you mention looking for a 30 foot Barth. I agree with you on the length vs campsite sizes. We found 30 feet to be the max for many sites. And, even in non-restricted campgrounds, there are more available spots for a shorter coach.
I strongly recommend you hold out for a tag axle 30, if you are buying a Chevy chassis Barth. And pay a little more if you have to. The difference in straight line stability is ASTOUNDING. I went from a low mileage 27 foot P30 to a 73000 mile 30 foot tag. Absolutely no comparison. On the test ride, my wife was sitting in the dinette and noticed it immediately. BTW, both had Michelins and stock shocks.
As to size, larger is not necessarily better. Our 30t came with a dinette and one chair. We removed the dinette and put in a couch/bed and two swivel tub chairs with a fold down table (home made) in between. Just like Rusty's, except our table top reaches all the way to the floor when folded down. That way it is larger when we eat or entertain. The only difference we see in larger coaches is the addition of a small dinette or small breakfast table. "The "living room" is where we spend most of our inside time, and a couch and two chairs is about it for any coach. A slide out (to us) would only mean more room for the dog to lie down. And he would be underfoot in a 747 hangar. And, of course, The larger coaches have slightly larger kitchen, bath, etc. Ours has rear twin beds which will soon be replaced with one double bed. The water tank and associated plumbing will be more hassle than the bed itself. We found the rear bath Barths unacceptable, but that is personal. We love going to RV shows and gloating over how much we like our Barth. Although we always get ideas for improvements.
 
Posts: 7397 | Location: AZ Central Highlands | Member Since: 01-09-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
<Kajtek1>
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Maybe this is start of "favorite design" topic, but most of manufactures forget about 2-nd row passengers. In the slide-outs the guy behind driver see the wall, most motorhomes have big step up in front and raised windshield, making children in the back playing Nintendo, or sleeping, because they don�t see much.
I found the 35� (actual length) quite manageable almost everywhere, but when towing a boat (almost 65� total) had to ask about drive thru sites. Tag axle may benefit stability a bit (not a problem on my 2 axle Barth) but also brings lot of maintenance worries.
 
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Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 11/13
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Kajtek, my observations on stability are based on experience on Chevy chassis only. I have added that to the post. What I know about diesels or Fords fits in a thimble.
Is yours a DP? Most DPs drive MUCH better. If I could have found the right 30 foot Barth, Newell or Bluebird DP I would have gone in hock to buy it.
 
Posts: 7397 | Location: AZ Central Highlands | Member Since: 01-09-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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