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Old 08-19-2007, 09:21 AM   #1
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I am a Dolphin owner that has been lusting after diesel pushers and most recently Alpine.
After reading through many of your postings I am wondering if I would be crazy to change to a
DP and the comments about Alpine and their customer service doesn't help. Do any DP owners
get by without having big proplems on a trip.

Still lusting,
Brad
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Old 08-19-2007, 09:21 AM   #2
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Alpine Owners Club
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I am a Dolphin owner that has been lusting after diesel pushers and most recently Alpine.
After reading through many of your postings I am wondering if I would be crazy to change to a
DP and the comments about Alpine and their customer service doesn't help. Do any DP owners
get by without having big proplems on a trip.

Still lusting,
Brad
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Old 08-19-2007, 11:45 AM   #3
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Hi Brad,

We had also lusted for an Alpine for a couple of years and just bought a user one a couple of weeks ago. All we've done is driven it across country to get it home but so far it is all that we had hoped it would be and we had a trouble-free trip.

You've got a point about some of the customer service comments but don't forget that the motorhome is made up of a number of components which are similar across brand lines. I.E. the same refrigerator may also be in a Winnie or a Bounder.

The one thing that came across loud and clear from Alpine owners is the legendary handling. And I can attest to that now myself! Some folks are talking about issues with brakes but the '04 we bought exhibits none of the problems in that area.

I think you're wise to lurk and ask questions in the owner forums, I lurked for quite awhile in the Alfa, Newmar, etc. forums talking myself out of those brands as I saw some of the issues raised.

Stay in touch and we'll give you a progress report!
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Old 08-19-2007, 12:39 PM   #4
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We have a 2005 36FDDS Alpine that we traded a 2005 Country Coach in on. Every time we take it out my husband continually says "This drives so great". This has been going on for 20000+ miles. We have had 7 prior MH's and this is the first one he plans to keep after 2 years. I don't think he would ever be happy driving any other brand at this point. Sure we have had some problems, but they have all been with added parts, HWH pump replaced, refrigerator cooling unit replaced, Micro/Conv repaired, awning motor replaced, step motor replaced. All were done in a timely fashion either at the dealer, factory or on the road and we have never had a problem with getting things paid under warranty. We will see what the next years bring but for now we are solidly happy Alpine owners and would recommend them over anything we saw last week at the FMCA show in Bend. Hope all works out for you in your search.
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Old 08-19-2007, 01:44 PM   #5
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Brad,

To answer your question, yes, I have had numerous trips where nothing big has gone wrong. And many trips where not even something minor has gone wrong. We have approximately 35,000 miles on our '04 Alpine Coach now. We have made two trips to the east coast and back, and have never made a single repair facility visit during any of our trips. My time may be coming, but it hasn't happened yet in 3+ years.

We have had some things go wrong. We did have some initial slide leaks in the rain. And a roof leak due to poor quality caulking of the front cap. I now carry a Little Giant ladder with me that I can use to get up on the roof if I ever need to, and carry some sealing putty with me in case I ever have another roof leak. And I haven't. I also had a coach water pump fail, which required us to use RV park water connections for water for a day until I could get a new pump and install it. (I installed it myself, so that is probably as close as I have come to needing a repair facility visit while on the road.) Everything else could wait until I got home.

The slide repairs got done through the dealer, so I can't comment on WRV customer service, since I have not really needed it. And after 3 1/2 years, I am probably on my own now anyway.

If I decided to leave on a trip tomorrow on the spur of the moment, as long as there was fuel in the tank, I would be ready to hit the road with no fears that the coach was capable of making the trip.

I have roadside service as well as AAA available if I ever need assistance. And I carry a small toolbox with wrenches, screwdrivers, and the like for doing some minor repairs myself if necessary.

I honestly doubt you would have any more problems with an Alpine that you are likely to have with any coach such as your Dolphin. I had two gas class C motorhomes before the Alpine, and would not go back to gas.

I hope that gives you some insight. We all post our problems on IRV2 in hopes of learning about solutions. And we do! So you are only reading about our bad stuff, not our good stuff!!
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Old 08-19-2007, 02:26 PM   #6
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Thanks for your encouraging coments. I think I will stay on the Alpine trail. The new Dolphin we bought in 04 also had plenty of trips back to the dealer the first year.

Thanks again,
Brad
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Old 08-19-2007, 04:51 PM   #7
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Brad,
Don't forget that you can also get a used Alpine, maybe a couple years old, that will most likely be fully "debugged" and be in "better than new" condition. Of course you will have to be very critical when looking at them but with your experience with RVs you could certainly spot any of the OEM problems that affect all brands. Numbers of actual Alpine service centers are the biggest risk, however, there are not enough unique problems to Alpine to raise significant concern over too few repair centers.
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Old 08-23-2007, 03:03 PM   #8
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Last December my wife and I flew to Texas, picked up a 2000 36FDS and drove it home to California. Other that having the brake recall work done, at WRV's expense, I haven't had any problems with the coach. This summer we took trips to Nashville and Lake Tahoe and also didn't have any problems. The only work I've done on the coach is routine maintenance items and adding stuff to the coach like an in-motion satellite dish, a flat screen TV on the wall between the dinette and the passenger side sofa and more towel bars.

Overall, I have been very happy with my Alpine.

Here are pictures of the Alpine when we purchased it in Texas.
http://ebay.carad.com/viewItem/viewA...93&template=48
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Old 08-23-2007, 04:57 PM   #9
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Tom-

Thanks for the pix. What a great coach. It's amazing how Alpine has kept it's product so consistent in design. It's fun to see the "little" changes. Yours looks in great condition.

Today I saw my "twin" at Coach Care in Irvine, CA. No one could tell they were a few years apart. A few minutes earlier I saw green one go by in the opposite direction. Beautiful!
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Old 08-24-2007, 03:40 AM   #10
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takepride,
Keep in mind that WRV/Alpine has saved a fortune with little changes through the years. Personally I like change. The 2008's seem to have finally made some changes. I don't think I would like buying a new car that looked 8 years old.
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Old 08-24-2007, 04:56 AM   #11
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Or the other side of that is having a vehicle that is eight years old and still looks new.
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Old 08-24-2007, 07:31 AM   #12
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I'm another happy owner, purchasing a new (leftover) 2004 in Sept. of 05. I bought it in NC from CA and took factory delivery in WA.

It's been 2 years, with 10 trips and 2 problems on the road comprising:

--slow water leak under the kitchen sink [I tightened a water connection to fix]

--fast water leak in water pump [I wrapped a screw with elec. tape and drove it into the sensor (which had cracked) hole of the pump for a temporary fix. ShurFlo later replaced the pump under warranty even though it was well past warranty; I installed]

Problems outside of trips comprised:

-common horn solenoid failed on (un-nerving, but a $35 fix with an improved SS solenoid)

-Added a gain controller to eliminate a sound system "hum" (Factory warranty, I installed)

-Re-wired video connections for HD/ED picture quality on plasma HD TV

-Had a local shop install a hydraulic switch, which caused dash AC to fail (Factory sent switch kit and paid for AC repair)

-Had a solar/battery charging problem (Factory sent a new solenoid, I installed)

I think that's it...

We love the coach. It's our second and I've driven several others. I haven't driven or receieved any input from my RV buddies that any other coach handles as well (then again, none of my buddies own ultra high end).

I'm particularly impressed when threading through narrow crowded lanes on SoCal freeways and maintaining 75mph+ traffic "flow" both in and out of state.

I've had one "fecal matter" emergency manuever, requiring a hard avoidance at freeway speeds. The coach braked well and made the turn with little lean and no residual wobble. I was impressed.

My view on the design is that WRV put forth a great effort in the initial design/look of the coach and stuck with it. This is somewhat analogous and consistent with their "euro" vehicle strategy to produce something distinctive in the way of image and substance.

Personally, I think this benefits owners and buyers much like euro cars that stick with good designs longer (making slight incremental improvements) than their US/Asian counterparts.

I attribute this to Ron Doyle and hope the new management builds upon these distinctions.

"We all post our problems on IRV2 in hopes of learning about solutions. And we do! So you are only reading about our bad stuff, not our good stuff!!"---JimA

Couldn't agree more Jim!
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Old 08-24-2007, 12:40 PM   #13
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Yeah Joe, like me.
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Old 08-24-2007, 01:08 PM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Joe Hamilton:
Or the other side of that is having a vehicle that is eight years old and still looks new. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Amen Joe!

After reading about Vagabondman's coach, I think I'd rather have IT than something a bit newer. It looks the same outside, but it's "tricked out" with lot of new things. I like that I can add to my coach without feeling like it could be a waste. Even though it's a few years old it doesn't look "dated". The superior chassis allows me to make upgrades and keep my coach longer. By not having major changes, I can add a dishwasher, upgrade electronics, and use more parts, etc. from the factory (I'll pass on the smart beds). Who knows, I may have an '08 paint scheme in a few years!

I feel like any park I pull into, I know I can have one of the newest looking rigs, without trading it in every 3-5 years. All I have to do is keep it clean. With the s.o.b's I can tell you the exact year from a hundred paces. Their perceived value also drops every time they make a style change. I suppose some vanity comes into play when wanting a better than average-looking rig, but oh well, it's a hobby (or lifestyle) and deserves some pride!
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