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Old 10-05-2005, 02:02 PM   #15
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We bought our 2nd Alpine Coach in March. It is a 2005 38FDTS, the previous coach was a '99 FDS. We, of course, have been very pleased with the coach. We have 16K miles on it and the '99 had 77K on it when we upgraded.

We have had some pecular Onan problems, but that seems to have gone away. And we had the Hydro-Hot recal as well as the Vansco VMM recall which were all taken of through the factory.

No other other major problems since the dealer prep. We are well pleased and are now full timers.
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Old 10-06-2005, 10:11 AM   #16
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Wil, what was the Vansco VMM recall?
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Old 10-07-2005, 09:19 AM   #17
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I have owned RVs made by National, Fleetwood, Kit and WRV. Based on my experience Alpine is a good choice. Every RV will have problems. The biggest difference is the engineering that goes into the product and the after sales support from the factory. I was at the Northwest Angle of Minnesota this summer and my slide would not come in. I was hundreds of miles from any kind of service center. The WRV service people walked me through the troubleshooting of the problem and helped get me on my way even though my coach is out of warranty. I did not get this level of service from any of the other manufacturers I have delt with except for Kit and they don't make motorhomes. Again, I would buy an Alpine again.
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Old 10-07-2005, 11:49 AM   #18
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Wayne,
The Vansco VMM recall was due to a very small % of failures in a select run of modules. The result was complete failure which cashed engine shutdown.
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Old 10-12-2005, 05:47 PM   #19
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Barbara,

Congratulations on finding a used coach that fits. We have an early '05 (probably more like a late '04) that has had some problems. However WRV has done a good job in responding and we are now getting a '06.

Paul & Dale Sullivan
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Old 10-13-2005, 07:50 AM   #20
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Ok,this is how I see it after 6 month's in a Alpine 2005 40' quad slide.
I had sometime to test ride numerous makes on a 70 mile trip from a dealership. {I spent over 2 month's on the site.} Long story but getting to the points of interest.
There was not a single make or model that drove like the Alpine. It was heads and tails above EVERYTHING. That includes million dollar models down.
Alpine is all about the ride!The engineeering of the chassis {peak} is second to none.

Now that being said, the tradeoff is this......

The interior and floorplan just is not up to the standard I would have hoped.
I find the kitchen table sits directly under a short ceiling ...65". I am constanly finding that ceiling .......It would have been better to rearrange the floor plan so as to give more distance between the floor and ceiling where the kitchen table would be.
The cargo bay doors are brutal for most. They open vertically and there is very little room to squeeze underneath while you are packing. I cannot imagine older folks attempting this.
You need to crawl up to it on your knees. Horizontal opening storage bay doors are a must.

I will tell you that WRV does stand behind their product and will not abandon you. I think they are definitly a stand up company.

If all things were possible, I would want a Alpine chassis and a Monterey interior. The floorplan and makeup is much more to my liking. The countertops are wonderful. The landry facility is better placed and the interior is much better thought out.Solid hardwood doors not hollow.Superior countertop quality.Much more thought out FLOORPLAN.

But this is the problem. After a 70 mile ride in the Monterey..... It felt more like 700 miles. I was worn out mentally.
I always picked the windy days to test ride these motorhomes. The monterey was all over the place.
Now how can one travel like that. The ride was terrible.Along with other coach manufacturer's.
Moreover, the alpine trips were through the worst weather conditions. I cannot imagine taking the monterey through that same course during those conditions.
Most of those motorhomes left me worn down even on short trips through windy conditions.
Now try that for 700 miles and you can imagine.

For me, what good would a better floor plan and better quality interior be if I am worn down trying to keep the thing on the road, and that is a very big part of what we do......TRAVEL

I just could not find another coach ..Beaver-Travel supreme-Monaco-Country Coach- ect ect {I quickly forgot many.}that could ride like a Alpine. Nothing was even close.

So it is a tradeoff. Being a house builder that specializes in nice interiors { Tongue and groove hardwood walls and lots of solid hardwood interior , I figure that I can make some changes myself. Although there is nothing I can do about the kitchen table ceiling height and the cargo bay doors,there are many other things that I can do to the interior to improve. But the floorplan cannot really be changed.
This is something that WRV will have to take a really good look at, in the future.
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Old 10-13-2005, 09:10 AM   #21
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Wingding, well put.

You may have not noticed that the bay doors under the front passenger side slide are designed to raise higher when the slide is closed. I put clear rubber bumpers on my doors and secured the swivel bracket to allow the doors to open all the way all the time. This helps a lot when packing I just close the slide and have a lot better access. When the slide is open the bumpers prevent me from scraping the paint. Also get in the habit of closing the lock handle before you raise the door or it will scrape the paint. Don't ask how I know.
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Old 10-14-2005, 07:36 PM   #22
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Why don't you "big" guys install drawers in your basements so you don't have to crawl up to the bays? I have installed four in my rig and it really helps.
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Old 10-15-2005, 03:53 AM   #23
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Wayne, Must be a new thing for 2005-6 that the bay doors can raise higher when the slide is closed. I have an '03 and sure would love to buy some of those swivel brackets. Do you think they would fit on my coach?
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Old 10-15-2005, 06:10 AM   #24
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They were installed on the quad slide and I assume the 36FDTS. They are also only installed on the front RH slide doors. They allow the door to open as far as it would on a non-front RH slide model.

ON my 2000 Alpine I made some extensions for the 3 doors on the LH side. Worked great, it sure made filling with propane easier.
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Old 10-17-2005, 11:09 AM   #25
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1) I use knee mats; have several and they are the first thing out of the locker any time I monkey around in the basement. I'll be adding slide-out drawers soon; that'll help but not cure the contortionalizationing.

2) the extender-bracket is a simple sheet metal gizmo that you rotate up to "lengthen" the air strut's effective reach (edge of door goes up ~7"). Can't see any reason why it wouldn't work as a retrofit. IMO well worth adding. IIWY I'd call the OEM parts guys in Yakima; see AccessoriesCtrMike's post under Homecoming above for instructions. Be CAREFUL to figure out how it affects opening of slide, or you'll be customizing body work. Horizontal-swing doors would be the "right" thing to do, so that the only headroom loss would be the room slide.

3) I'm looking for a very-very-low chair on wheels that would make working in/out of storage easy. Sears has one in their 05-06 tool catalog that has a bicycle seat & knee cups for a mere $179 that would be close to ideal. If anyone has a better tool for the job please shout.
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Old 10-17-2005, 01:25 PM   #26
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Two of the items mentioned above are somewhat taken care of on the Avalanche. First, the ceiling height is greater than on the limited, second, the basement doors open sideways, nice feature.

In regards to the overall experience, the Avalanche drives like a dream, however, I was dissapointed in the build quality including the massive leak I had in the first big rain storm.

WRV and Mike Glazier in particular did a good job of working with me to get my coach leak free (I will know for sure this winter here in California) and the extensive damage taken care of inside the coach.

I have yet to see another Avalanche on the road, but I did see many of them at the new service facility.
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Old 10-17-2005, 01:50 PM   #27
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Engineer Mike, On your thought of a low chair. Give some thought to the little step stools that you use in an office. Generally they have casters and stand app. 12-13" tall and cost about $ 50.00.Just might be what you are looking for.
It was interesting to read WeBrzn2's comment about the Avalanche with the basement doors that open sideways. With 5 back operations I would kill for those.

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Old 10-17-2005, 02:41 PM   #28
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I thought of the office step-stools B4 I took delivery of the coach, but discarded their design as too high once I had to get into crawl mode. I like the spring loaded feet, but 12" is way too high on the driver's side & about 6" too high on the passenger. I'm looking more for the profile of a creeper, but in a small footprint (buttprint?).

The Avalanche was an attempt to hit a lower price point in a coach that would be nice for driving and cushy as to space & features. It didn't sell well, which I attribute to weak marketing (it was placed in a crowded field w/3 very large volume coach builders and several smaller ones). The Apex is sort of the same but @ a higher trim level. It will be a money loser due to higher cost of getting the word out for some time, but I think those searching for a coach at the higher level will be more likely to zero in on WRV as a coach builder. If management will accept and support the cost and pace of adaptation req'd to innovate new products, WRV could do some wonderful things w/Apex-like changes to the Alpine fleet. The lack of side-swing doors, old-school headroom, and other modern features offered by Monaco, CC, etc. show that it can be done in the industry, and accentuate the WRV philosophy of slow pace of change. Apex & Avalanche show that some interest exists in adapting to customer demands, but the failure to rethink storage doors when going to 3 slides, and the QC problems (somewhat pronounced w/the Avalanche according to some accounts) shows the effort is not being driven very hard by mgmt. W/that said, I think those who follow thru on debugging an Avalanche will have a very enjoyable coach for a long time.
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