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Old 11-13-2007, 06:04 PM   #15
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That is good to hear.


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Old 11-19-2007, 02:17 PM   #16
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My 2003 is a 350hp. I tow a 6000 lb truck sometimes and have no problem with the weight. Can't speek on fuel economy differences though.

ACA Member
Alpine 34 FDDS, '06 Jeep Rubicon
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Old 11-21-2007, 05:00 AM   #17
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Individual experiences tend to drive Alpine owners' opinions--most love their coach while some have struggled with fixing nearly everything. Early 2003s and then 2006s seem to be two transition points for Alpine. Here are some thoughts to consider.
1) Prior to 2003
a 48% wheel cut--so large turning radius.
b 4 Vs 6 house batteries--you can upgrade
c Old inverters--modified sine-wave
d 1 Vs 2-stage "Jake Brake" on early 400hps
e HWH hydraulic hose leaks?
f poor battery wiring harness
2) Post 2005
a Hydro hot issues?
b more electronics (good and bad)
c apoxy sealed radiators
d Onan inverters?
e electrical--charging/discharging(Apex?)
Bottom line--if you review threads on this forum, you will find specific issues in any given year. Perhaps I am a bit A/R but I keep a complete maintenance log of EVERYTHING ever done to my coach--the good, the bad and some ugly. Knowing what I know now, I'd look for a used coach with a well-documented history and an "involved" owner. Otherwise, its a "crap-shoot!"
Old Scout
2003 40' MDTS
Garden Ridge, Texas
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Old 11-22-2007, 06:41 AM   #18
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personally....You will be hard pressed to find a better "riding coach"... and that cannot be understated.... Now that being said.... it will come down to, will the interior/exterior setup be acceptable enough.... more bluntly, are you willing to crawl up to your alpine storage bays on your knees????

Are you or your friends taller than 5-6" ? and those sitting on the inside of the kitchen table willing to accept a few head bruises..... it's going to happen.....
Hollow core doors ? Very humble entrance steps and front dash console area on entrance into Alpine.{all plastic and cheap...} lower grade counter tops.Do you have dovetail or better engineering on your cabinet work ????

Now the woodwork for the most part is fine as far as the stock wood they use. But hardware attachments could be way better and the "procedure" for applying this hardware to the woodstock.{Hinges,ect}
Does anyone every have "LOOSE HINGES" on their cabinet doors???? You cannot tighten them up properly because the screw cannot tighten .... so you get my point.
This should not be- there is much better ways to make solid non slip connections in wood for hinges.

I am into hardwood and woodworking. These minor but important points are often overlooked or "hiding" to be noticed AFTER you own your motorhome....
Those sharp corners of the coaches slides stick out and are pointy. A better contoured and molded edges on the slides and all "points" on the motorhome.....
The motorhome LAYOUT is poorly designed- Landry room should be in a hallway leading to bedroom. Kitchen table on opposite side{headroom} with kitchen table top BOLTED right into the side substructure of the coach for a most ridged steady kitchen table.
The bedroom double side "Panel" to seperate the bedroom is pathetic... It needs to go and a solid door that can be locked engineered into the opening....The king size bed is a bit overkill and the area could be better utilized with a queen for better access to the back closet...
I could go on but you must be wondering......?
Why did you buy a Alpine after not liking so many things...???????

The answer is..... THE RIDE........
You need to test drive EVERY motorhome.... And try it when the wind is howling.......
I will not need to say anymore... You will be suprised when you find the more expensive a motorhome is in NO WAY is going to guarantee you a better handling coach.. NOT AT ALL...
Now, what will you do half the time in the motorhome...... TRAVEL..........
70 miles in a motorhome on a windy day can seem like seven hundred with may coaches......

If this is your first coach and you are still somewhat flexible {physically that is}
I would not look anywhere else.
In my opinion the alpine will give you more for your dollar then other coaches.

WRV being a company that has entered the motorhome buisness relativily recent compared to some of the old companies that have been around. That being said, they put most their effort from the chassis down.
You will be hard pressed to find many/few motorhome companies that have their own chassis plant. They contract that out to 10 or so chassis makers... Freightliner- Spartan Magnum- ect-ect-
So there are very few motorhome companies that make the motorhome from "ground" up. WRV is one of them... Newell is another- there are a very few more...
Think of it this way.....WRV revolved around it's chassis. It was countoured like a Nascar.
Every bend in that rail was engineered for a motorhome.
Now can you say that about just about everyone else?????
This is why the ride is superior to anything I know.... I have drove just about everything except a Newell. So other then that, I have a extensive history of driving these coaches. In the Alpines case- I just "ride" it... and there is a big difference.....this is so key...
If you have a wife and expect her to drive, I would STRONLY advise getting a ALPINE. I cannot imagine a lady "strong arming" something like a Monterrey down the road on a windy day.... "Good heavens" !!!!!.....
In the final verdict for me...
1. The Ride
2. Bang for my Buck
3. My ability to change some of my complaints {above} about the Alpine problems myself....

Lastly, december-jan-feb- is the time to make your purchase.
Internet search the country and look for leftover models from the past years.
Sometimes with the new models coming in.... there is a need to quickly reduce the old inventory... sometimes overhead costs can be extreme and you will find at right away who wants to move something seriously...
alot will depend on just how choosy you are on certain things...exterior color- options ext.

I guess what I am saying is I ended up buying a new Motorhome over a used because there was little difference in Price and the Motorhome company was very "MOTIVATED" to move the old inventory.
You must know what the "at cost" number is and work from there.
Depending on a Dealer's situation... Many times you can buy under "at cost" numbers because there is a great need to move old inventory. Again, being somewhat flexible helps..... My coach did not have a satellite- no problem -installed a KVH motion myself.
Search the entire country and do not be afraid to travel- I am resident of Montana- Have house's and buisness in Michigan at the time-bought through Washinton state and picked up in Arizona all while I conducted everything out of New Jersey by Internet and telephone. But if it saves you $50,000 is it worth it ???????

Good luck and enjoy the ride !!!
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Old 11-22-2007, 06:59 AM   #19
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Thanks Wingding....

I appreciate hearing both sides of the story and I found your reasons why you went with Alpine to be exactly what I would consider important after driving our 28' Trek down a windy Utah highway with semis roaring by. I was exhausted after 200 miles and my nerves were quite frayed.
Frankly, I've come to the same conclusion; that Alpine fits us best and we'll just have to accept some of the deficiencies. The big question now is; what size - 34' or 36'. I prefer smaller If I can convince Donna that the Splendide W/D will work for her.
It is a problem finding a suitable 34 - 36' used and I like your idea of buying in the winter and considering new.
Thanks for all the time and thought in your email.

Clark Bowen
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Old 11-22-2007, 08:48 AM   #20
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"I was exhausted after 200 miles and my nerves were quite frayed."

I'll tell you what...you already know! Percisely, and I could not put it any better!

I guess it is somewhat like a house.. If the foundation is suspect.......doesn't matter how nice you hide it with the interior decor...you got big problems...or will have soon enough.

The completely changed wiring schemes in 2003/4 for the entire coach were a considerable improvement along with many other changes.. OLD SCOUT gives a nice account of some other major things that changed during this period.Again the model year 2003-2004 is not the factor for change as much as where the coach was in the production of that particular year.
A good way is to know the production numbers which can be had from WRV. Example: If you are looking at a coach, get the numbers off of it. From this you can see where this coach stood in the production year. WRV has everything numbered and you can see it stands as far as key changes go..... {which leads me to thinking about giving them a call and see EXACTLY when the dreaded type #1 Exopy radiator replaced the older solid copper....... Sometimes newer is not always better.... I know I am somewhere on the cusp in radiator regards.... And am hoping I slipped in at the end of the copper line or else I am in BIG trouble..... Eventually it is believed that the Exopy radiator was improved... somehow ...and the problem has been rectified... So the newer ? Alpines will not have this problem...But this is strictly hear say and I do not or have not seen any actual proof of this... Unfortunately I have seen plenty of first hand proof of the dreaded #1 Exopy radiator horror, right here at IRV2...With stomach curling photo's to boot !!!!

The rest of us with the misfortune of those # 1's that have not yet been left incapacitated who knows where.........are going to be ...eventually......

Thats another thing to be on the lookout for.... Take a real close look at that radiator and make certain it is Not the first exopy radiator replacement WRV made after copper, or else you will have a serious radiator leak eventually . {Eventually appears to be somewhere between 1-3 years.. the 3 being me.... and I am guessing very low miles is why.. Has not been on the road much..... unfortunately it seems neither WRV or the atrocious radiator company that created this piece of garbage will step up to the plate and correct their horrendous mistake.It is really the RADIATOR companies problem BUT WRV Needs to to the "HEAT" on them.....

Wow, sorry, I really took a detour here.

Anyway, you seem to have a very good idea of all the important issues and feel you will come to a solid conclusion.
Again good luck and hope you find what your looking for. ~Wingding~
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Old 11-22-2007, 07:15 PM   #21
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I've got a '99 and have experienced the wind gusts going through Utah as well. In an Alpine it is not especially difficult. The noise picked up as the wind speed did, plus going 80 to keep up with a friend pulling a 5th wheel (he needed the extra speed to get over the tops of some of the hills). But going 80mph on concrete with a 25 to 35 mph side wind, one expects noise. On another occassion my wife was driving the rig east on I-84 along the Columbia. We were going into a wind out of the North-east that must have been blowing a steady 30 with gusts to 40, the wind broke the sat. dish loose but didn't create any real problems with staying steady in the lane. I know Uhlmann's has a couple of 36' 2007's on the lot they would like to move. Send me a PP and I'll get you their 800 number.
'99 Alpine Coach
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Old 11-23-2007, 09:09 AM   #22
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<UL TYPE=SQUARE>Love my King Bed
Love my washer and dryer in the bathroom hallway
Dining table is solid as a rock
At 5' 11" haven't hit my head on cabinets
Countertops are as nice as Corian (only the blonde ones are nice)
No loose hardware or hinges (43K miles)
Like the dash layout, better than anything out there (I have submitted to plastics)
Hate crawling into the driver's side bins (I use it for parking items and long term junk)
May change the sliding doors to solid wood
Have repaired a couple drawers (okay, maybe a couple couple)
Will change the drawer slides to better quality
Love my coach
LOVE THE RIDE!!![/list]
P.S.- I'd like to hire Wingding to make my woodworking improvements. I love picky craftsmen. If I'd built it, I'd probably be too picky to get it done.
2003 Alpine 40FDTS (400HP)
Long Beach, CA
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Old 11-23-2007, 03:58 PM   #23
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Our first motorhome was a new 2003 Safari Trek Model 2610. I found many postings in the msn.com Trek Tracks group that made me think we could achieve better handling by going up to Henderson's Line Up in Grants Pass, OR and letting them do their magic on suspension upgrades. After about $4000 in upgrades, I thought the Trek still didn't meet my desires for a good handling motorhome. I did quite a lot of research and found the Alpine. We kept looking at Alpines and Country Coaches and the overall layout (especially the kitchen for Michele) was the determining factor between those two brands.

Then there's the handling. As you've noticed, all Alpiners say that Alpines handle great. Well, they are not joking, Alpines handle wonderfully. I used to drive the big Kenworth's and Peterbilts and I longed for something that would handle as well as the big rigs. Well, Alpine is it.

We sold our 4 year old Trek (in July 2007) and bought a 3 year old Alpine 34 footer and we love it. We choose the 34 foot mainly because we thought that length would allow us into some more state and national parks. Also, Michele does drive the rig and I wanted something that didn't overwhelm her. We have talked about this recently and the size doesn't bother her, it's the fact that there are so many systems to manage (more than on the simpler Trek). So, she doesn't know if she'll be taking the rig on trips by herself while I'm working. Time will tell.

Best of luck!
Mike and Mike (Michele)

2004 Alpine 34 FDDS
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Old 11-25-2007, 04:38 PM   #24
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Main difference between the 34' and the 36' is the toilet closet. It sticks out into the floor space around the entrance of the shower and the wash basin. There are more drawers in the 36'.
Give and take!
Dan and Patty
"04" Alpine 34' FDDS
Saratoga, CA
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Old 11-28-2007, 02:44 PM   #25
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Well, we bought one; a 2007 36' 3 slide with 983 miles on it. Driving it was a joy - like everyone said.
Thanks to everyone for all your advice. Particularly WingDing for suggesting clearance sales on new versus buying used and Jeff for pointing me to I-5 Uhlmann RV in Chehalis, WA (800-245-5378). They are selling their 2007's for 35% off. Their two sales people, Kip and Jody were straight forward and their attention to hunting down needed fixes has been excellent.

Clark and Donna
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:22 PM   #26
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Congradulations, which one did you get, the front entry or the mid-door entry?
'99 Alpine Coach
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:31 PM   #27
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Front door in the Cinnabark paint, interior scheme.
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Old 11-28-2007, 05:12 PM   #28
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Welcome, I know you will be very happy with it !! Keep us posted! and as always If you need anything let me know. HAPPY RV-ing!!! Ron
ps. make sure you join the Association! lots of great people there!

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