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Old 08-14-2004, 08:57 PM   #1
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.....Drove an M-2 today at Freightliner as I was wainting for parts to be found....If you are even thinking of a Coach/Hauler-check out the M2....handles like a pickup-interior plastic but very well done-quiet-good vision all around....geof
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Old 08-15-2004, 02:05 PM   #2
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I drove a M2 about 3 weeks ago. The same day I also drove a new International, I believe it was a 4300.

The International was just a cab and chassis, 32,000 lb, air suspension. Engine was I believe 285 hp. Allison 6 speed.

The M2 had a Mercedes, I suppose about 210 hp with a column shifter Allison 5 speed. It was leaf spring with a 24 foot dry van box.

Both of then would be worth looking at again. Not an equal comparison since they were not equal in setup and the Int'l had a higher level of finish and the air suspension, even without a body, seemed to ride better.

Does anyone know much about the International. I remember when the new body style came out some comments about electrical problems. Anyone know much about their engines?
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Old 08-19-2004, 09:25 AM   #3
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Glad to here some positive feedback on the M2. If you remember this is something I am considering this winter. Our last trip is in late November and I will probably put the rig up forsale after I get everything spit shined up.

If you remember from a previous post, I am looking to go to something that fits the campgrounds in this area which we visit 90% of the time. They are much smaller and have access roads that are very narrow with tight corners. We have always been able to get around, but it just makes sense to get a rig that is setup for the majority of our usage. My only concern is on the long trips we take. My current rig is setup up for running the highways. With it's long wheel base, air ride on the front and back axle, 280 gallon fuel capacity, this thing is easy to drive 1800 miles in a weekend. So it's gonna be a trade-off and hopefully one I can live with.

Last weekend we pulled into a campground around dusk and I had all my LED marker lights lite up. To get to my site I had to basically make a tour of the whole campground and man did I feel like a rock star. We had the whole campground check'en us out, with thumbs up all over the place. I was sitting right at the exit/entrance and I had easily a hundred people stop by to either just say that is awesome or to ask a question or two. This thing with it's chrome accents, mean looking front end just has the look of cool. Not sure I could achieve that with a M2.

Bill
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Old 08-20-2004, 08:35 PM   #4
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warpath. Some of these things have been mentioned before but perhaps repeating them again will help.

The front bumper to back of cab (BBC) distance on the basic M2 is about 8 1/2 feet. On a Freightliner Columbia chassis (frequently used with the truck conversions) the BBC is 10 feet plus. I am not sure what is on your FLD 120 but with the long hood it might be longer.

If I recall you have said that your rig is 40 ft long. With the same 28 foot MH box on a M2 chassis it would be about 36.5 feet.

The cab is lower so the overhead bunk has more vertical room. With a Columbia the bunk is virtually not usable in vertical height. To be useable you must have a body built with at least 6" of extra height and then it still has less vertical room than a M2. The extra height might cause some problems in campgrounds and costs more.

The M2 is easier to get into the cab. Bigger steps and easier steps than the larger chassis. The basic under cab fuel capacity is 50 gal per side/100 gal total. The tanks end at the back of the cab. Larger tanks are available. I believe the 60 gallon are the same length but deeper. 75 gal/150 total tanks are available but these extend past the cab about 18 to 24 inches. So these would take away some of the storage compartments of the MH body.

The biggest engine choice is limited to the CAT at 300 hp and 860 lb of torque. That is why most of the racers are using the Freightliner Columbia or some other class 8 chassis. 450 hp and 1400 lbs of torque is a common engine in the Columbia chassis motorhomes. One advantage to the Columbia chassis is the availability of the Meritor Freedom fully automatic 12 speed transmission. If not heavily loaded it will skip gears so you do not have to go through every gear every time.

If you went with a smaller MH box, 24 feet, and the M2 chassis you would have a total length of 32.5 feet. That would be a lot easier to use in campgrounds.

As a side note I visited all 5 truck conversions companies in the Elkhart area in late May. Many of the rigs under construction were very large. Many with full class 8 chassis including tamden rear axles. 32 foot MH boxes and then towing large race trailers. A lot of these rigs are close to or at 80 feet total length. Ok at a race track but not very handy at a campground.
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Old 08-21-2004, 05:14 PM   #5
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When I talked with the Freightliner dealer I mentioned that Detroit Diesel (parent company or somehow affliated with Mercedes) lists the MBE 926 with 330 HP and 1000 lb-ft on their web site. The dealer indicated that this engine should be available in the M2 for the 2005 model year -- in fact, he said it was on his order sheets now.

More info on this engine is here: Detroit Diesel

Has anyone heard anything about this engine in the M2? Any recommendations?
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Old 08-22-2004, 12:13 AM   #6
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......the more I look at the M2's-the more I like them!....I wonder what the fuel mileage is for our usage?....not that it matters-as we save on everything else....and when things start circling the drain-we can pack and be on the road in a matter of hours.....EI: Hurricane Charley comes to mind....geof
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Old 08-25-2004, 09:07 PM   #7
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....while I was out screwing around today I stopped by FYDA FREIGHTLINER IN CINCINNATI to see my buddy "Freightliner Frank"[who was in a good mood cuz the has sold 7 this month so it's big bonus time again] anyway....A new M-2 has a MSRP of $82,643.00 loaded they are selling for about $59,000 plus FET but the dealers cost is around $46,000[cheaper than a new Dodge p/u]....does this help anyone with pricing issues....Also if you want to get a M-2 get a local quote form your local dealer and call Frank at 1-800-582-5807 and fax him the quote for some comparisum shopping......HTH.....geof- Bet you a dinner at a local restraunt he will make it worth your while to come to Cincinnati......[and NO! I don't get a kickback]
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Old 08-26-2004, 08:50 AM   #8
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Well we made a final decision and a M2 Show Hauler it is. We spent the past 1/2 a summer looking and what we where using our motorhome for and what our future needs are going to be and a smaller rig with shorter wheel base, better turning radius is going to make a whole lot more sense. My kids are about at the age now where we can get out and do some Quad trips and not having a way to bring a toad, we will need to use the motorhome to tow to trail heads and getting around town if needed. I know I am going to miss my current rig on the long trips, but that is only a few times a year. Anyway, we have not even started working on box size and interior details, first order of business is selling the current rig. When we do get to the point of working on the details for the new one, I will be doing another "coach in the making" series.

Here are details on the current rig forsale --> http://truckconversion.net/forsale

Bill
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Old 08-26-2004, 05:00 PM   #9
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warpath. I don't know if you have considered any type of garage unit since you mentioned the Quads. When I was at Showhauler at the end of May Lonnie took me to the back storage lot and showed me a unit being built with a dropped floor to the garage. The area above the garage was a bedroom, somewhat similar to a cabover bed.

The garage unit was completly separate from the regular coach with a side entrance door and the tailgate door. This gives you the best of both worlds. A cabover bunk and a rear bedroom area. By having the garage separate you did have problems with smells , etc. from what is stored in the garage unit.

You might want to contact Lonnie for more details.
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Old 08-26-2004, 07:53 PM   #10
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....how about a romantic evening smelling gasoline instead of perfume......I'm not that much of a gear head!....OY....geof ;&gt
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