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Old 01-27-2013, 10:33 PM   #1
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Western Recreational vehicle demise

Hello to Alpine Coach owners, I am not an owner but have been looking at used ones. I have never owned a class A coach and I am concerned about buying a coach that is no longer in business. I realize several Rv manufacturers have gone down. How has the loss of the manufacturer affected the repair of your motorhomes? Are you able to find parts and get maintenance done? Would you reccommend buying an Alpine coach? We have looked at one and was impressed with the quality of construction but some work was needed and I am hesitant due to the company's demise. Any comments would be appreciated. Looking for our first motohome.

Thanks
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:56 PM   #2
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Vtxbiker,
I have been very pleased with my Alpine Coach and will use it till I give up RV'ing, however many years that is. The loss of factory has not been an issue for me. Most of the systems were made by other manufacturers (engine, transmission, breaks, electrical components, ect) and most are siill around. This forum is a great assist for a variety of issues and the Alpine Coach Assn. has a tech library that has been helpful. A review of the threads on this forum will clue you in as to the level of savvy of some of our owners. If you post what year and model of coach you are looking at plus what issues need addressing, others will chime in with ideas and resources. The one area where the Alpine stand out is drivability. Try it, you'll like it!
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:59 PM   #3
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I agree with Jeff. Love my coach, and the loss of the factory is not an issue. This forum probably supplies just about any information you would expect to get from the factory. Frame components are the main item that WRV actually manufactured themselves. Axles, suspension, etc. is all made by suppliers to the industry. People on this forum can guide you to just about anything you might need, including body panels and end caps.
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:31 PM   #4
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Alpines have better owner-to-owner support than any other brand, actually better than factory support most of the time. Most Alpine owners chose this brand for technical superiority, and did so by studying the technical platform to some extent, and then had usual issues causing more technical study on that issue.

The only really tough issues that have come up have all been resolved, though the fight for the one who had the issue originally might have been a bit tougher than if there was a factory. I'm thinking of the couple of Meritor rear axle implosions, where getting proper part info took several days & the cooperation of multiple owners who dove under their coaches to verify specs; I'm thinking of the couple of Vansco burn-outs that took owner-to-owner verifications of testing req'mts to isolate the problem.

Body parts, both aluminum & fiberglass are available by the prior factory suppliers, and those come into play on insurance repairs. Inverter support was always lousy, and owners do a better job than Xantrex ever thought of, can't imagine why but its so.

In short, I miss Camp WRV, but the loss is not important for our vintage of coaches given the Band of Brothers meting out support by phone & here on iRV2.
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:57 AM   #5
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[QUOTE=EngineerMike;1447932]Alpines have better owner-to-owner support than any other brand, actually better than factory support most of the time. Most Alpine owners chose this brand for technical superiority, and ......................
In short, I miss Camp WRV, but the loss is not important for our vintage of coaches given the Band of Brothers meting out support by phone & here on iRV2.

ME TOO. RIP
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:22 AM   #6
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I am proud to say my coach was never there!
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:08 PM   #7
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My 1984 Winnebago was on a defunct P30 gas chassis. The only factory support available from GM was to tell you to go to your local Chevy dealer for service. Owners knew more about the chassis than most dealer service techs.

My 1996 Safari Trek was on later version but by then defunct P30 chassis. The only factory support available from GM was to tell you to go to your local Chevy dealer for service. Owners knew more about the chassis than most dealer service techs (by a long shot).

Sooner or later everything is left to the devices of the owners. Thanks be for the internet, and owner's groups, the great pool of service information they are.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:32 AM   #8
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I have owned 3 different motor homes during the last 40 years. This included a GMC MH I had for over 25 years and my current 1999 Alpine coach that I have owned since 2007. All of these MHs lost factory support within a few years of my purchases. This forum is the best source of information I have had for any of my coaches.

The more you get to know your coach and all its components and systems, the easier it is to maintain. I find the best way to learn is to do as much of the maintenance and repair you can by yourself.

Even when coaches still have factory support, often I found the people who fill the customer support jobs knew less about the product than I did. Also, if you have the need for an emergency repair in the middle of nowhere, it sure helps if you can diagnose the problem, get parts sent over night and fix it yourself. Also, you can often improvise and do repairs or temporary fixes using locally avalable parts. I have found that even medium sized cities often don't have any expertise at fixing large motor homes.
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:18 AM   #9
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Ditto! I would only add that being familiar enough with your coach to pinpoint the problem can save time & $$$ even if you don't perform the work yourself. If I take my coach in for repair (not maintenance) I am always in a position to direct the repair and NOT pay for the "diagnostic". And if possible, I have acquired the suspected component myself. Some shops don't like the customer providing the parts but that just means "go somewhere else". Obviously, an emergency out on the road may not allow this strategy but so far I've been able to "manage" the issue to delay finding the right situation for the repair. My wife still thinks it's a "money pit'!?
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:32 AM   #10
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Factory support sucked badly every weekend & virtually all holidays. Fellow owners are much more accommodating.
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:45 AM   #11
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My only concern is if it got in a accident. I had a coach that was 10 yrs. old and the bottom cabinet doors were damaged. Ordered the new doors and had it fixed quickly. No problems since it was a major manufacture.
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:41 PM   #12
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Both fiberglass & metal body parts are available from the original suppliers for Alpines. Though I'm sure business is slower for them than when money was raining from the sky, both outfits appear in good shape for the long haul. The fiberglass outfit even bought back the molds that happened to be at the WRV factory when stuff was auctioned off, so they again have the complete collection. The metal outfit has all the cad drawings to make OEM basement lids, chassis bulkheads, etc.
One owner got sideswiped recently, had metal & fiberglass damage, $70,000 worth including new radiator & misc. All repaired w/OEM equipment.
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