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Damon Astoria 3772

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

There was a time when making the move from a gas Class A to a
diesel-pusher was akin to leaping from a Ford Escort to a BMW 3-Series.
It wasn’t merely a case of stepping up, it was stepping way up. After
all, a pusher typically had a price tag that started at twice that of a
nice gas unit, then went up from there. But in recent years, something
interesting has happened. Gas customers have been asking for the luxury
features commonly found in diesel-pushers, and diesel enthusiasts have
been asking why it’s necessary to spend $250,000 to get their beloved
“oil burner.”

As a result, the disparity between gas and diesel platforms has shrunk; in many cases, the line has blurred altogether.

Damon Motor Coach is one company that prides itself in breaking
the rules, and its Astoria 3772 Pacific Edition is just the latest
example of such irreverence. Imagine: a 38-foot, triple-slide
diesel-pusher with all the bells and whistles and full-body paint for
around $180,000.

“The Astoria was designed to compete against the current crop
of high-end gas coaches,” explains Dave Miller, vice president of
product development for Damon’s diesel division. “But it’s got all the
features of a diesel product. It’s built on a raised-rail chassis, so
it’s got huge pass-through storage. On the passenger side, we offer
side-hinge baggage doors to make accessing stowed items easier. And it’s
got air ride, air brakes and a 100-gallon fuel tank that can be filled
from either side of the coach.”

And, if you choose the base Astoria, you can get diesel power
for $160,000 — but frankly, it’s hard to pass up the Pacific Edition.
For about $20,000 more, you not only have full-body paint, but niceties
such as ceramic tile flooring, Corian countertops, a surround-sound
system, electric sun visors, 10-gallon water heater, Flexsteel driver
and front passenger seats with Nature’s Choice simulated leather, an
electric awning with wind sensor and last, but not least, a full-length
rear mudflap.

The model 3772 you see here features two opposing slides in the
living area, the streetside housing a sofa and Damon’s “Dream Dinette,”
which can easily be made into a guest bed. In the curbside slide are
the galley and another sofa that’s ideal for viewing the 32-inch LCD TV
located at the rear of the living area. “This was a feature that our
customers requested,” says Miller. “They were tired of straining their
necks to look at a TV above the driver’s area.”

Part of the Astoria’s appeal is that it comes with most
everything you want, standard, but there are some options such as an
8-kW AC generator (instead of 6 kW) and a simulated leather sofa. “The
Astoria fills a vacancy in the entry-level diesel market,” says Miller,
“and we’ve filled it with a product that coincides with our ‘value by
design’ philosophy.”

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