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Old 08-29-2006, 03:56 PM   #1
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Hello All,

Hubby and I are looking for our first RV. We have looked at several motor coaches (new and used) and have decided that used is the way to go for us at this time. We are seriously considering a 2003 Alpine 40 FDTS 400 hp with about 21,000 miles on it. Anyone have anything good or bad to say about this particular model year? We will be fulltiming in the coach and don't want to get into something we will regret. Thanks to you all!
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Old 08-29-2006, 03:56 PM   #2
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Hello All,

Hubby and I are looking for our first RV. We have looked at several motor coaches (new and used) and have decided that used is the way to go for us at this time. We are seriously considering a 2003 Alpine 40 FDTS 400 hp with about 21,000 miles on it. Anyone have anything good or bad to say about this particular model year? We will be fulltiming in the coach and don't want to get into something we will regret. Thanks to you all!
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Old 08-29-2006, 05:23 PM   #3
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Welcome to our forum. I'm sure you will get the answers you need here.

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Old 08-29-2006, 06:30 PM   #4
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Great Coach, great floor plan. We just attended a Alpine Coach Association rally (FMCA pre rally) and noted alot of ACA members with this floor plan.
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Old 08-30-2006, 03:58 AM   #5
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Just be prepared to have Western Rec parts/service department tell you that whatever part you need to locate is "obsolete" once the coach is out of warranty. The tech service people will help whomever is working on your coach diagnosis the problem, but then the hunt for someone who has that part begins - - and that can take a long time. That's the worst part of having an Alpine - - parts for older units are not standard and are hard to find.
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Old 08-30-2006, 10:15 AM   #6
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It's unfortunate that Barbaraok, during their recent visit to the factory, apparently ran into a parts employee that was way off in left field as far as parts for "older" coaches. But the use of the word "obsolete" and the phrase "..parts for older units are not standard.." is misleading at best.

Parts don't become obsolete just because the coach has come out of warranty. To any competent and professional parts person, warranty status means nothing other than who will pay for the part-- the customer or the factory. Nor does the word "standard" have much if any meaning to a parts person. If someone at WRV used the words "obsolete" or [non]"standard" in talking with Barbaraok, that employee needs some re-training.

Since Alpine coaches are built almost entirely with parts and components built by other (OEM) manufacturers, WRV is dependent in large part on each OEM's inventory for replacement parts. Fortunately, many of the parts/components remain unchanged from year to year. Even Barbaraok's 02 coach probably has many components still used in 07 models. If WRV does not have the needed part in stock-- I am confident they will do their best to expeditiously find that part-- regardless of the year of the coach and regardless of what some .. er.. idiot, told Barbaraok.
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Old 08-30-2006, 07:36 PM   #7
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I can only speak from experiance, but i have a (Classic Alpine) 1999 and I have always found the parts department helpful with finding the parts that fit my coach or leading me to the manufacturer that carries the part I need.

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Old 08-31-2006, 03:36 AM   #8
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I'm glad someone gets help from the Parts department. We are in Elkhart, Indiana at the Coach Care facility. They have been trying for 2 days to get someone from Western Rec to return their call regarding the tachometer problem we're having - which we asked them to look at at the factory last month, and they said there wasn't a problem. Guess what - the tach is frozen and the speedometer goes out every once in a while. Mind you, Coach Care is suppose to be the place to take Alpines - but only if you are on the West Coast. If you are anywhere else, they have no experience with Alpines and can't get any help from the factory people. This is why I can not in good consciencerecommend buying an Alpine if they are going to travel outside of the Northwest. NOT returning telephone calls is just bad form - I can not imagine why they feel that treating owners of older Alpines in this way is good for business. It is going to be good for someone's business in a couple of years, it just won't be an Alpine dealer who will get our business.
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Old 08-31-2006, 06:03 AM   #9
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Barbaraok,

Your broad generalizations about Cummins Coach Care and WRV seemed to be based on a very small sampling. My very small sampling has been quite different and my generalizations are just the opposite of yours. I've been to Cummins Coach Care in Albuquerque, NM and Cummins Coach Care in Greensboro, NC, both of which were very helpful and got excellent support from WRV.

I recommend asking this forum for help or advice on how to make the system (WRV and repair facilities) work for you. You will be surprised at how helpful people can be when you ask. For example, the problem with the tachometer and the speedometer on coaches made in 2002 are well known and the fix is well known. If you ask about this, you will find people who help.

Respectfully,

Dale Dowdy
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Old 08-31-2006, 07:42 AM   #10
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I realize that the problem with the speedometer is known. Which is why we asked them to look at it at the factory the first of the month. AT THE FACTORY - and they said nothing was wrong. 3 weeks later the tachometer froze. And we have been at 2 independent shops and 2 Coach Care facilities in the past 3 months. In each case (4 of them) they could not get a phone call returned and had to keep calling hoping to catch someone actually in the office and not having to leave voice mail which are seemingly never returned. And, when you are in different time zones, it means waiting 1/2 a day for the office to open in Yakima and then leaving voice messages and hoping someone calls back before quitting time here. 2 days and still no call back.

The technicians at the Coach Care in Denver did not want to work on an Alpine - said it was too much trouble to get a hold of someone in Yakima. The fellows here are great, but they would just like to get a call back so they can get some information on where to locate parts. They didn't want to get something out and find out it would be 3 weeks before a part could be delivered. That doesn't sound unreasonable, it sounds prudent to me.

I'm glad you and the people you've had work have been able to get through to WRV. Was it this summer? Because what I saw when we were at the factory was a number of people with institutional memory and skills having left and other people trying to learn on the fly and a LOT of things falling through the cracks. I have a feeling maybe the Parts area was one of those where things have fallen through the cracks.
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Old 08-31-2006, 07:44 AM   #11
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I have an older coach and when I need none brand name parts my first call is WRV. I have to admit that since Mike Parker has left I feel like a student going to a new high school when dealing with the parts dept.

You will have to be a bit flexible when sourcing parts as they do change over the years. Except for the frame and sidewalls all the parts come from somewhere else. The other manufacturers of the components have been very helpful to me. FMCA conventions and ACA rallies, IMHO, are the best places to talk to manufacturers and knowledgable owners.

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Old 08-31-2006, 11:21 AM   #12
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A quick update - WRV finally returned telephone call and, as the technician related, were not at all helpful. They stated they didn't know about anyone having trouble with tachometers or speedometers. So much for helpful.
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Old 08-31-2006, 07:03 PM   #13
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Barbaraok,

As I mentioned before, if you ask on this forum, you will very likely get answers, especially for an older coach. Remember, I am not defending WRV for their lack of a formal, computerized problem and resolution tracking system, which I think they should have in place and made available to both their entire staff and to customers. I'm simply suggesting a way to get the informal system to work for you. If you don't get what you need from WRV technical support, then escalate within WRV or ask questions on this forum or call the component manufacturer yourself.

I still didn't hear a question from you, but I will answer what I suspect would be your question, if you were to ask one about the source of the problem and the fix for the speedometer and tachometer.

If the speedometer and tachometer are not simply broken, then the likely source of the problem is faulty software in the head unit for the speedometer and tachometer. If you call the manufacturer (Borg-Warner or Stewart-Warner - don't remember which) of the speedometer and tachometer not WRV, hopefully, they still stock your version of these head units, which have the latest software installed in them. That latest software will then work correctly with the engine/transmission. This was the case with my 2001 Alpine Coach; after calling the manufacturer and replacing both the tachometer and speedometer with, as I remember, version C, all problems were resolved. I have heard of multiple owners of Alpine Coaches during 2001 and 2002 who had this problem and finally got it resolved with new head units with the most up-to-date software. See this link for some comments:
Speedometer problems

Do a FIND for "speedometer" to find additional related links.

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Old 08-31-2006, 07:33 PM   #14
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I cannot speak for your service at Coach Care. I can only say in the 5 or 6 times I've called WRV, I got a returned call the same day, by a helpful person and once they went out to the shop and brought in a tech for me to speak with.

Maybe you should call (I know you are not a tech), but you have a vested interest in your coach. The tech at Coach Care does not, and maybe, maybe, they (CC) are not reponding to phone calls or WRV is getting voice mail....playing phone tag, or there is a communication problem...tech to service writer.

BTW ours was a second owner coach also, and were a first time RV buyer.

We are not trying to beat you up. Just help.
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