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Old 05-03-2009, 11:46 PM   #1
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Should I buy an APEX or SE LIMITED?

We are planning on buying a late model Alpine 40' FDQS coach. I have narrowed it down to two units:

2007 APEX with Rafter Awning, dishwasher and residential refer, among many options. This coach is "new" on dealer lot.

2009 SE Limited with Silver Leaf and many options. Slightly used with only 1800 miles, yes that's less than 2000 miles. This coach is essentially new in appearance.

This will be our first experience with Alpine and Class A. Moving up from a C. I've done A LOT of research on Alpine and have driven a 36' and 40' on test drives.

I am told that the APEX suffers from electrical problems due to the whole coach Silver Leaf system. I would like to hear from APEX owners and others, of their experience and recommendation.

Thanks! Looking forward to seeing many of you on our first rally!
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:41 AM   #2
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Sent you a PM, but we have not had electrical issues other than the ones everyone has either fixed or had the dealer fix. Silverleaf is something to get used to, ask to do the SL yourself with someone showing you how it works, your learning curve will be less. Every MH has some issues I don't care who makes it. It's 30-50K pounds of machinery going down bumpy roads at 60 MPH, that much weight and mass is going to have issues.
I have not had an issue so far I could not have fixed or fix myself provided I have a place to work on it, and the time. The systems should be under factory warranty however the coach won't be. We love the residential fridge, hate the dishwasher, love the washer/dryer, medium on Smartbeds as they will cause trouble down the road. It drives like a dream, and our miliage is slowely going up. Cummins had to replace the rear cover gasket and seal due to an oil leak. It was under warranty. Have the oil & filter changed once a year, or do it yourself. Change the air filter and fuel water seperator changed every 15 miles or once every 18 months. I carry spare filters for both genset and main engine. I like the Hydro hot, it's quiet. Wow, so much to say and cannot think of it all. Do a search on APEX units and see what you think. Basil has one as well, hopefully he will chime in. We have the mid door and it's the best floor plan we think, you actually have more room with it in a 3 slide version. The Quad Slide version is so huge, we could have a dance contest in their.
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Old 05-04-2009, 02:45 PM   #3
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Thanks, Monty.

I'm hoping someone will chime in on merits or not, of the 2009 limited SE. This coach was built a month or two before WRV shut down. Wondering if quality was suffering toward the end. The newer 425hp engine and taller ceiling are tempting. It would cost about 10% more than the 2007 Apex I'm considering.

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Old 05-04-2009, 06:57 PM   #4
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I don't own one of either, but I'm familiar with both. I felt like WRV finally got it "right" at the end, the '09's. They are beautiful, the high ceilings are wonderful, but then I'm over 6' tall. To me the analogy is like the '67 Corvette...they finally got the design really done right. If they were still in business I would probably be looking to buy a 2010 model. I'm not convinced the people on the assembly line at the end knew that the end was so near. I think the fit and finish of the '09's I've seen is excellent.

I have spoken with several Apex owners who have had teething problems, which you will probably have with a "new" 2007, but once Apex people get the bugs ironed out they love their coaches.

I say buy the one that pushes your buttons...they're both great coaches, and Alpine owners are a great bunch of people.
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:30 PM   #5
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Scott- either way you get SmartBeds which are great!! and a whole lot more room & amenities than the previous C unit.

If you spend a lot of time dry camping (not on shore power) the Apex will probably wear out the 160A alternator after a coupla years. You can upgrade to a 200A model then and that problem should be behind you. Comparatively, the access to systems on the SE is about as good as you can get; because the Apex has a number of gadgets the SE doesn't, the Ape's access to innards is tighter (check the HWH setups for a quick comparison). IIRC the Apex comes w/whole-house RO system, which is a fabulous option IMO; I've had it in my last two coaches and wouldn't be without it; you can add it to the SE for about $1k.

I read elsewhere here on iRV2 (shoulda bookmarked it) you can now buy an extended warranty that will cover for out-of-biz manufacturers like WRV tho that rider costs extra (of course). Might want to ask about that @ the dealer. Hope to see you on the road soon.
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:58 PM   #6
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New apex or se

I have an 05 Alpine SE and really enjoy it. We have the washer/dryer combo & love it. We have the combo refrig and love that we have the ability to run it on propane if necassary. 14 Cu ft is big enough for most people and we do not have to run our generator to keep it cold. I added a dishwasher and it is terrific. The 425HP is just a trade off for the 400HP as it has to push all the emmission crap that they were obligated to. I don't believe the performance has changed, at least from the one I drove. The silver leaf I would not own, but that is a personal opinion. I know 3 people that had it in different coaches and either removed it or just will not use it. I would almost kill for the smart beds with my back. I believe they are a tremendous asset no matter what problems may occur. No matter what coach you buy you will have problems. Two coaches from the same manufacturer will have different problems. I have heard the Apex seemed to have more issues than most.
Personally, I would pick the one you like the most and buy it. We will help you B.... about it after you buy it and then Engineer Mike, Dale Gerstel, Robert Mehan and a host of other folks on this forum will tell you how to fix it. The support on this forum is nothing other than outstanding. It overshadows anything any other coach owners have. It is wonderful as are all of the people within. Good luck with whatever your choice may be. Nothing drives like an Alpine.
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Old 05-04-2009, 08:17 PM   #7
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Well, now I'm up to Post #3! When do I graduate from "Junior Member"? Just kidding...

I want to thank everybody who has replied (and called) so far. I have gained a tremendous amount of "insider information" that really has helped with the decision process. We decided some time ago that Alpine was the way to go, and that was based upon appearance, features, drive AND the support evident on this site, and specifically this forum.

We are looking forward to meeting many of you down the road.

Scott & Marcia Hicks
200? 40FDQS
Portland, OR
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:26 AM   #8
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And your decision is.......???????
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:58 AM   #9
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No decision quite yet...looking at an SE today. Stay tuned.

Scott & Marcia Hicks
200? SE ltd.
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Old 05-05-2009, 04:02 PM   #10
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We have lived 3+ years & 39,000 miles full time in our 2006 40' Apex FDQS which was #6 off the line. We loaded it with virtually every option that WRV offered and some they didn't which makes it probably the heaviest Alpine coach ever built. The 40' quad slide is a great coach for full time use and still drives like a dream.
a. Avoid a rafter awning on a quad slide coach. To clear the dinette slide, the awning must stick almost straight out which makes it worthless after about 2:00 O'clock in the afternoon. No shade. On a 3 slide mid-door, the awning is angled down for more late afternoon shade.
b. Love the dishwasher and residential fridge. Would not be without either.
c. Love the RO system. Soft, chlorine free water. Especially good on the "liquid rocks" water you get in Arizona and California.
d. The Apex is a power hog and not a good choice if you dry camp a lot. We dry camp in Quartzsite for two weeks every year but we run the generator a lot.
e. Whole coach Silverleaf is a neat system but at times I wish I had my individual system control panels back which I understood.
f. The Apex double pump hydraulic system on my 2006 is jammed into a small compartment and a witch to work on. They may have improved this in 2007.
g. Take a close look at the fit and finish on both coaches. Fit not very good on my coach but it is an early model Smart-Bed coach and they were still learning.

I think I would pick the 2009 SE coach. The quality seemed to have improved and, with no factory support, a less complex coach is probably a good thing.
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:38 PM   #11
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Basil (or anybody else with FD),

Do you wish you had purchased a mid-door coach?

Other interesting news on the 2009 SE, is that there is no window over the headboard of the bed. There is one side of slide window facing to the rear. No front facing slide window due to bath vanity.

Scott & Marcia Hicks
200? SE Ltd.
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Old 05-06-2009, 07:49 AM   #12
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A quad front door vs a 2 or 3 slide mid-door is a matter of personal preference. Personally I like the quad but there are many who are just as passionate about the mid-door. A big downside of the quad is that you lose a lot of overhead storage taken up by the dinette slide.
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Old 05-06-2009, 05:40 PM   #13
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Well, boys and girls, it's an SE. We've made a deal on the 2009 SE ltd. 40 fdqs at Uhlmanns in Chehalis. 1880 miles, 9 on the genset, beautiful!

Thanks to all of you who have provided us with invaluable information toward this purchase. So, we're headed to Rhody Days in Florence next weekend for the maiden voyage - Honeyman Campground.

I must admit this sure drives a lot nicer than the 2005 Jayco 27DS that it is replacing! See you at the next rally.

Scott & Marcia Hicks
Portland, OR USA
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Old 05-06-2009, 05:50 PM   #14
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Congratulations on your new baby! I'm sure you will enjoy it as much as we do ours.
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