Push It!


By Kristopher Bunker
April 20, 2015
Filed under Feature Stories, Motorhomes, Top Stories


These Entry Level Class A Diesel Pushers Pack In the Amenities Without Breaking the Bank

Mention “diesel pusher” to a fellow RVer and you’re likely to get a predictable, old-fashioned response: He/she will laud the diesel’s muscle, long-term durability, relatively quiet ride and improved fuel economy, while at the same time lamenting the extra cost and lack of comparable standard features to a typical gasser. And though some of these sentiments may be true — diesels are more expensive — the gap between gas-engine-driven coaches and affordable pushers is closing fast. True, a comparably equipped pusher may in some cases double your cost up front, but in the long run, purchasing a diesel pusher may save you some dough due to improved longevity, and may even save your marriage by allowing your in-cab conversations to resume at a reasonable, shout-free level that’s so hard to attain in a noisy gas-driver.
And you’ll be surprised when you do a bit of research: Entry-level (and we use the term loosely) diesels aren’t what they used to be. In fact, we know you’ll be pleased to see that many of the affordable pushers out there not only exceed their gas-driven counterparts in ride quality and durability, but the livability and amenities can match those of the higher-end gas-driven Class A’s as well.
To prove our theory, we offer Exhibit A: The following pages list some diesel-pusher bargains that are available today. We tried to keep the prices near the $220,000 mark, though a bit of exploring the Internet can likely yield even more affordable results.


Forest River

fleetwood-2 forest-river-2
Like all new Fleetwood RVs, the Excursion 35E features what the manufacturer calls F-21 construction, a designation that means Fleetwood utilizes the latest in manufacturing methods and materials. Welded-aluminum interlocking frames replace the standard bolts and screws, bus-style doors replace standard entries and aluminum slideout room ramps replace wood slideout room ramps, to name a few. Inside, a centralized control panel, crown molding, an impressive 7-foot ceiling height and raised-panel hardwood cabinet doors and drawers are sure to please at this price point. The dual-slide 35E also offers plenty of storage in the master, with three wardrobes and a bench seat with a compartment below. There are also options for an exterior entertainment center, washer-dryer, drop-down queen bed and a residential refrigerator. The Legacy SR 340 is Forest River’s pusher line, available in three floorplans: the 340BH, 340KP and the all-new 360RB. Although the names may be a bit confusing (Legacy SR 340 360RB doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue), the list of appointments isn’t: All Legacy coaches boast a Cummins ISB 340-horsepower diesel and 2500MH Allison transmission on a Freightliner chassis. The 340BH is a bunkhouse model and also offers a power cockpit bunk option that ups the sleeping capacity to nine svelte RVers. And, if you don’t need the bunks, the 340KP replaces them with a pantry, stackable washer-dryer prep and additional wardrobe space. The 360RB shown here is a bath-and-a-half model that changes the regular bathroom into a powder room, and adds a master bathroom suite with dual sinks along the rear wall, offering the ultimate in privacy for mom and dad.
fleetwood-1 forest-river-1
Excursion35Einfo Legacy-SR-340info
Fleetwood RV | 800-854-1344 www.fleetwoodrv.com Forest River Inc. | 574-389-4600 www.forestriverinc.com

Holiday Rambler


holiday-rambler-2 itasca-2
Available in three eye-catching color schemes (Gateway Gray, Downtown Brown and the Cappuccino seen here) and standard with 22.5-inch aluminum wheels, the Ambassador 38DBT pusher is an impressive sight on the road and in camp. LED lighting, four-point hydraulic leveling jacks, seamless side walls and a one-piece panoramic windshield are all nice additions to the platform, which is powered by a 6.7-liter Cummins diesel. The triple-slide, bath-and-a-half 38DBT offers distinct living zones and the opportunity for occupants to get away from each other while getting away from it all, which can be a great option after a long day of adventure. The half-bath is located amidships for easy access from the living area (aft of the well-appointed galley), while the rear bathroom is accessible only through the master and features plenty of storage and a large shower. Winnebago’s Itasca Solei diesel pusher is a luxury-oriented coach that offers an impressive amount of living space and posh residential comfort that belies the strength of the 340-horsepower Cummins diesel that powers it. Outside, a fiberglass roof, thermopanel side walls, aluminum framing and interlocking joints help with vehicle longevity. Inside, the dual-slide 38R shown here features a residential refrigerator, convertible dinette and sofa bed, plus an available fireplace. The Multi-Purpose room located amidships can be converted from a dual-bunk sleeping area to a kid-friendly dinette during the day. Plus it’s situated across from a half bathroom, minimizing traffic into the main, rear bathroom. That bath spans the entire rear of the coach and features a large shower, washer, dryer, sink and toilet, all in a roomy area. It’s connected to the private rear bedroom with a wardrobe slide, dual nightstands and a location for the available flip-down TV.
holiday-rambler-1 itasca-1
Ambassador-38DBTinfo Itasca-Soleiinfo

Holiday Rambler | 800-648-6582 www.holidayrambler.com

Itasca | 641-585-3535


Nexus RV

newmar-2 nexus-2
The new Ventana LE 3812 is a bath-and-a-half pusher with an impressive array of residential features. Among the home-like appointments are a roomy bedroom suite that houses a king bed and full master bathroom at the rear of the coach. Exterior enhancements for 2015 include new graphics, colors and chrome logos; frameless windows; a power side awning, power entry-door awning and slideout awnings; and an entry door with a longer hinge for added strength. Inside, changes from previous models include upgraded laminate material and carpeting, 12-by-24-inch vinyl tile, newly styled furniture and additional solid-surface countertops. The half-bath features a vessel sink to provide more useable counterspace. LED lights are standard and more plentiful than ever. The 3812 shown here offers opposing sofas for entertaining in the living area, a large pantry in the fully equipped galley and a comfy king bed in the spacious master suite. In the automotive world, the name Bentley is synonymous with opulence. Nexus has done its best to continue that tradition in the RV industry minus the exorbitant price tag. The Bentley pusher (available factory direct only) is built utilizing all steel-cage framing throughout, which Nexus claims improves the overall strength of the motorhome by 72 percent. The manufacturer only uses Azdel substrate, thus eliminating any wood products in the side walls and roof, which is meant to improve R-factor insulation and reduce the weight. Livability features include a multiplex electric system — a feature usually found exclusively in upscale coaches — that gives owners dimming and other electric control over the lighting. The 34B coach features four slideouts, a number of sleeping positions and plenty of storage. An available chrome package including mirrors, handles, exhaust pipe for the engine and generator and front applique, offers the touch of class a vehicle with the Bentley name calls for.
newmar-1 nexus-1
Ventana-LE-3812_info Bentley_info
Newmar Corp. | 800-852-1731 www.newmarcorp.com Nexus RV | 855-786-3987

Thor Motor Coach


thor-2 forest-river-2
Available in four head-turning full-body paint colors, the Thor Palazzo offers a host of amenities generally reserved for much more expensive diesels. Large pass-through storage, side-vision cameras, frameless windows and a power patio awning with integrated LED lighting adorn the exterior and complement each of the head-turning paint jobs (Black Canyon, Boardwalk, Park Avenue and Ridgewood), while handy conveniences like a step-up mid entry with mudroom section, a second slideout in the bedroom and a residential laundry suite with included washer and dryer inside. The galley features a residential fridge and cooktop, while the bedroom offers a king-size bed, integrated headboard and wall-mounted sconce lighting for a true residential feel. Add to that a massive streetside slideout to open up the living area, an oversize Dream dinette booth and a dash-mounted PC workstation with 120-volt AC and 12-volt DC outlets, and it’s clear the Palazzo 36.2 is a smartly appointed motorhome that has it all; in fact, everything is standard, no options are available. The dual-slide Forza diesel pusher features a forward galley, two separate bathroom areas and a nifty flexible bunk-bed system, making it one of the more luxurious kid-friendly coaches available. With a coach full of kids, you’ll need a great area for meal prep, so the Forza offers a large pantry, dual-basin sink, three-burner stove and residential refrigerator, in addition to a good amount of space on the solid-surface countertops. When the sun goes down, the 38R shown here offers plenty of sleeping options, from the aforementioned bunks (which fold up to make a dinette area by day) to a sleeper sofa to the convertible dinette, the latter two of which offer great views of the living-area LED TV and optional fireplace. Mom and dad are treated to a master retreat toward the rear, where a plush queen mattress is across from a large wardrobe and between dual nightstands. But perhaps the most appreciated feature for the grown-ups is the rear bathroom; it offers a large shower, sink, separate washer and dryer, and plenty of bath-toy-free real estate.
thor-3 winnebago-1
Thor-Palazzo_info Forza_info
Thor Motor Coach | 800-860-5658 www.thormotorcoach.com Winnebago | 641-585-3535  www.winnebagoind.com


Print Friendly

Related Content

Last 5 stories in Feature Stories

Other stories that might interest you...


Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

Get a FREE issue of Motor Home Magazine

Sign up for your trial subscription and you'll receive a FREE issue. If you like Motor Home, pay just $19.97 for 11 more issues (12 in all). Otherwise, write "cancel" on the invoice, return it and owe nothing.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

© 2016 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved.