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Old 04-17-2008, 09:28 AM   #1
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Well I just made an appointment to look at an Alpine Coach and read this. Question: Would you still look at buying an Alpine Coach knowing that they closed shop?
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:28 AM   #2
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Well I just made an appointment to look at an Alpine Coach and read this. Question: Would you still look at buying an Alpine Coach knowing that they closed shop?
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:29 AM   #3
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No, as parts could become an issue.
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:00 AM   #4
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I may be totally off base here - but my thought was that none of the parts on an Alpine were proprietary. I know we got some info from WRV but didn't they order most of their stuff from other companies and just put them together? I know the Peak chassis is unique to WRV but did they manufacture it or just put parts together to their specifications? If so - that wouldn't make parts a problem. Warranty now - that's a different issue - and I read that a dealer (Guarranty - if that is spelled right) is making a special offer on that.
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:18 AM   #5
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Karl,

There is obvious risk involved but that should translate to a great price break. Components/parts that fail are not likely to be WRV manufactured...i.e. virtually everything is supplied by vendors who build them as standard items. The only real difficult issue would be getting help on the "internals" of the coach. You can get Alpine's serviced/repaired at many general purpose RV service locations around the country. However, as I said, there is risk but the tradeoff should be a bargain price. If you can 'stomach' the potential down side, go for it...no great deal is risk free.
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:46 AM   #6
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No offense intended, but when a manufacturer closes, the rigs become orphans.

While many of the parts are "off the shelf", certain body parts, proprietary chassis parts and/or vendor supplied parts that have been built to the manufacturers specs, may be difficult or impossible to get.

Also, the factory is no longer available for advise or consultation.

However, the are countless RV orphans that are still on the road, and without problems.

As noted in a previous post, if the price is right, and the risk tolerable, you may decide it's a good deal.
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:52 AM   #7
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I too am in the get a great deal category. With prhaps an extra 20% savings on a $300,000.00 coach you can buy an Extended Warranty. Besides all of the Warranties for engine, transmission, refer, heat pumps, hydro-hot etc from the equipment mfg. apply.

Then too you get to join a great club!!

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Old 04-17-2008, 11:12 AM   #8
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Karl,

I definitely would not, at least until we find out for sure what is going to happen to WRV.

We purchased our coach last Sept. and it was a "new" 06. What worries me alot is we have the Apex and it has many complicated components that I hope we can find someone who can work on them when the time comes. If WRV stays closed, and nobody can fix these things, then I will have a very expensive yard decoration.

Good luck with whatever you decide on.
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Old 04-17-2008, 11:24 AM   #9
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In the first segment of iRV2 Forum, under COMMUNITY, posted by driVer, is a "For immediate release" regarding WRV.

This release states that "WRV has temporarily halted operations and explores sale". Worth reading. ...due to the current slow down in sales. He (Bob Wert) ends by stating "...we intend to resume normal manufacturing operations."

Let's hope for the best. There is no mention of bankruptcy. We all know that most all of the coach companies are going through some tough times. We are too.


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Old 04-17-2008, 01:23 PM   #10
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No need to make it a "Yard ornament". The only thing I can think of that is proprietary to Alpines is the "House". Even then, the parts and assemblies are a stock item for someone.

Can anybody think of what required part or assembly is unique to Alpine?
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:39 PM   #11
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I to have an 06" Apex and its out of warranty, I would have shopped any part I need on the internet. All parts are propietary as the man said. Will they go down in value? I wouldn't bet on it. Any Coach Care can work on it plus you have help from the part manufacturers. Most of my service was directly with HWH, Silverleaf etc.

We love our coach

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Old 04-17-2008, 01:54 PM   #12
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Bob-
1) If you get in a wreck and need new body parts, those come from a sheet metal shop based on manufacturer's drawings (basement doors, bulkhead assemblies, generator rack parts, new front cap, SmartBed parts, etc.). WRV has those drawings, w/nobody to access and manage the parts procurement. Maybe there is a connection that knows which shops in which states supplied what, and maybe those shops have the drawings (this is a hint to those savvy ex-WRV employees who are looking to start that sexy new independent service center). Now anything can be reverse engineered, but this is where a) you start running into heavy feedback from shops that only want to swap out parts, paint, & get your money in and you out, and don't want to get too involved in truly custom work and real thinking, and b) reverse engineering takes time & involves custom work. I can forsee long periods where coaches are locked up waiting on GKW, and unavailable for use by their owners at shops that didn't have the situation figured out when they committed to doing repair work of this type.
2) You have a wiring problem, and a Vansco multiplexed chassis (not yours, these started later). What are the circuits doing? If there was a somebody w/the diagrams who could assist, that's a minor and routine problem. If not, see #1 above as to custom work.

Aside from these 2 problem areas, Alpines as orphan coaches are no different than any other rolling house. The 110V side can be visually inspected and mostly analyzed by anyone with experience; the 12V stuff (not multiplexed) is visually inspectable; ditto plumbing and all house accoutrements. Cummins or anybody who services big diesels can deal w/engine issues & tranny and other truck chassis stuff. Even Camping World can do a variety of work on an Alpine from now till the EPA outlaws diesels.

Jim & Sally have one of the deeper mystery issues w/the Apex automation stuff. But even there, Silverleaf did most of the programming and IIRC from posts here on iRV2 have great help for snafu'd Silverleaf automation on those coaches.

So the orphan problem is real, but not overwhelming. What has always been true of owning any big, complicated toy is even more to the point- if we can make use of resources like this forum (so we understand the nature of problems that arise and learn from the serendipitous experiences of others), we will get along fine, just not as smoothly as with a well oiled manufacturer supporting their product.
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:10 PM   #13
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I think Mike covered the bulk of it. I think if you bought it I would have a back-up. Buy two and you could probably make a go of it. How good a deal do they want to make?
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:38 PM   #14
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Having just bought a 2006 "new" Apex less than one month ago, my first expression was of concern. The Apex is a very complex machine, yet is not as daunting as it first appears. In reality, most of the parts and systems do indeed come from third party suppliers with great reputations such as HWH, SilverLeaf etc. The warranties on these items are still in effect (for me anyway) so the real issue is the systems integration aspect. If I had the Interface Control Drawings, and assembly drawings, I should be able to go into any decent RV repair facility and obtain service for the problem at hand.

Now the challenge is obtaining the interface control drawings and assembly drawing information! My manual did come with a very good set of schematics, so I am not as fearfull. The other thing is all the fantastic information available from this site! I have seen many very complex issues addressed very thoroughly here. The requirement to reverse engineer is real, but i believe that it will not be very common.
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