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Old 12-02-2008, 03:25 PM   #1
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we are in the process of going full time. 8 months to 12 months. we are currently looking at a 40' mid door, changing fron an 36'front door. we like the mid door but i can"t find what the "apex" is except for smart beds and more money. can somebody tell me in a short version what it is. is it worth the expense?
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Old 12-02-2008, 03:25 PM   #2
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we are in the process of going full time. 8 months to 12 months. we are currently looking at a 40' mid door, changing fron an 36'front door. we like the mid door but i can"t find what the "apex" is except for smart beds and more money. can somebody tell me in a short version what it is. is it worth the expense?
thank you
woodinboater
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Old 12-02-2008, 03:52 PM   #3
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I owned a 2006 Apex for about a year. In my opinion, Apex refers to more complicated problems.
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Old 12-02-2008, 05:01 PM   #4
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Agree with Big Jimbo. We considered an Apex; however, decided on a Limited SE, the next model down from the Apex. Too many Apex owners seemed to have a higher proportionate number of problems.
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:34 PM   #5
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APEX owner here and we had some problems at the outset on our coach, which we purchased in May 08. It's a 2007, manufactured in June 2006. I think the biggest problem in any motorhome is the dealer prep after you sign your name. I wish in retrospect we had looked longer and checked more dealers prior to purchasing. Our on-going issues could be common to any manufacturer, so itís not just alpines which have problems. To date: Mixing valve in Hydro-Hot unit to be replaced spring of 09; one HWH slide solenoid is problematic-vanity slide creeps in sometimes-I know what to do-just need the slide to act up when I am in a place I can crawl in there and fix it. The tank level gauges indicators are crappy, and it will cost 150 or so to replace them, and upgrade the Silverleaf system to accept the new ones. Itís not critical this getís fixed for now, although it might become so, when we head to Alaska.

I like the concept of the APEX, but, down the road, I think the comments are correct, we will have more problems. However, many of those problems are/will be common to many coaches, not just the Alpine, primarily because, it's a 33,000 lb (or higher weight depending on your purchased model) monster bouncing down the road, and it's shaken all the time underway.

That said, there are many things I like about the APEX, and especially like the mid-door floor plan - we think our kitchen is bigger than any other model out there, and once we spent all that money, eating in is a priority. Ours is a triple slide, which is large enough for us, heck, we are not going to dance the foxtrot in the living room, so don't need that 4th slide. I like the silverleaf system, but, WRV left out the Xantrex Control Panel, so I cannot fine tune the device if I want to deep charge my batteries, nor can I find out how to change the battery type, I know it's in there someplace, just cannot find it.

I like the fact that I can level the coach; put out the slides and not have to go outside for anything else if I don't want - all from my drivers seat. I however always put down some kind of block under each jack prior to leveling, unless I am on a concrete pad. I like the smartbeds, but feel down the road; I am going to have trouble with them. I like the push button sewer extend/retract, but again, feel there will be trouble. Other than those concerns, I think I can fix most anything that comes along, since I am real handy with mechanical things.

If we had it to do over again, we would have looked seriously at Country Coach, however, and this is a big however, I don't believe we would have found another motorhome which drives as good as the alpine, has the holding tank capacity, and the large kitchen we like. That said; I wish I had air brakes and an electrical/electronic engineering degree so when something goes wrong I can fix it.

Next year I plan on attending RV College to learn all about how to keep this thing on up and up. Alpine purchased good to great components, just did not assemble them in the best way, and that can be said for all the models. Stay away from avalanche, the Limited SE model is what we would have gone to. We would not have ordered the washer and dryer, but we have it and love it and would never be without one again. We would not have purchased the dishwasher, I hate the thing, and the DW loves it when we entertain. We both like the residential Refrigerator, and the ability to keep it running (read inverter - 8 coach batteries & 100 watt solar panel) for long periods not hooked up to services. No other MH manufacturer puts as large of holding tanks into their units as WRV did, (FW=105; GW=100; BW=80) so Boondocking is a dream. In addition with the 145 gallon diesel capacity, my cruising range is near 1000 miles if I need to push it that far. I figure once I replace the house batteries (dealer let them go dry more than once) we could stay out for at least 7 days without services, and longer if we take marine showers.

No matter which manufacturer you purchase, you will have issues, so the best advice is, ask around for good dealer references, and then buy a model you like from the dealer who gets the best vote. Good Sam just released their top 50 dealerships, so that is a good place to start looking. Guarrenty was in the top 5, they have a large selection of Alpines. Don't pay over 180 Ė 195K for the Limited SE and maybe less, with WRV gone, you have the burden of making sure all the things work.

Here is a punch list of things to have the dealer fix/replace prior to delivery. Stick to your guns, and donít drive the thing off the lot without all those being taken care of, in fact, donít give them the final check until you are satisfied itís the way you want it to be. BS walks, Money Talks!!!

1. Make them replace all the house batteries with AGM type, and have them take out the automatic watering system, as you wonít need it with the AGM batteries. But have the dealer leave the distilled tank, as itís a good emergency reserve for the radiator if you need one

2. Make sure they change the Engine-oil & filter, and a transmission service, also including genset oil & filter too.

3. Make them do the show and tell (pre delivery check/training) on the coach twice, once on the day of delivery, then go back a week later and have them do it again; you will be amazed at what you missed.

4. Read the Cummings, Allison, Silverleaf, TV-Home Entertainment system & satellite manuals the first day after the walk through. Many Alpines have the wiring for the Satellite/King Dome incorrect, so have that checked too.

5. Make them check and tighten all the 110V and 12V electrical connections from bumper to bumper, because the WRV had very bad electrical quality control and those loose connections will cause you numerous headaches until all those are fixed, especially the ground wires (white in 12 volt system). This is especially true for the Generator wiring in the front of the coach, and the Xantrex and surge guard wiring. There are too many comments on this forum about those issues to let that not be checked. Make sure the selling dealer shows you they have checked and tightened those connections, one owner commented here he was about a week out from a serious fire with his generator wiring.

Stay tuned to this forum for information on what to look for, how to fix things, and where you can find parts if necessary.

If you purchase alpine, welcome to the family, we donít have all the answers, just most of them.

Sorry to be long winded, but forewarned is forearmed!
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Old 12-03-2008, 04:00 PM   #6
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An Apex is a gaget gurue's dream. Out of the box from Wrv they were a nightmare. I would not sugest buing a new one (left over stock) with no factory support (for what it was worth). It was a great concept, but they didn't get all the bugs out first. Wrv belived in building it then fixing it. Yes that worked with the limited just ask any owner once it went through the first year they were great. The avalanche on the other hand was junk period. The apex is a good coach with some bugs. Most are fixable bur some just won't go away. If you can find a good used one that has been the first year and properly fixed you should be good. Some small problems that won't go away but in general a good coach. If you wan't a good used apex there is a guy in fl with one for sale. Make a post and contact him.
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Old 12-03-2008, 09:44 PM   #7
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I would also agree with "midflalpinetec", however, the "one year period" could be used on any motorhome. I have talked to many MH owners, and all have told me the first year is the time it takes to get all the bugs worked out. No one I have talked to, be it Alpine, Country Coach, Winny, any of them, had a trouble free first year. Some had a worse year than other, but all had some problems.
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Old 12-04-2008, 04:55 AM   #8
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We have been full time in our 2006 FSQS Apex for 3 years and it is a great full time coach. I loaded mine with almost every option that was offered and some that were not like a queen size hideabed with an air mattress on top. SO COMFORTABLE! This is only possible in the quad slide.
Downsides:
1) The 40' quad slide Alpine design pushed the weight limits of the Peak chassis. There are a lot of this model SE & Apex coaches out there that are overweight and, unless they weigh the coach, don't know it. But, the quad slide offers so much room in the living area that you can live with less junk.

2) Silverleaf is high tech and takes time & experience to use.Every system on the coach (power, hydraulics, water, etc) is tied to a central data buss and controlled by Silverleaf. Personally, I like it but wish I had a control panel for the inverter which I understood. The functions are on Silverleaf but I have yet to master them.

3) In the quad slide design, you loose the overheas storage in the dinette slide on the passenger side. We offset this loss by adding cabinets below the table and a computer desk in the front corner.
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Old 12-04-2008, 09:20 PM   #9
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Basil, speaking of the silverleaf system, I called them today to find out how to deep charge and change battery types and that kind of stuff because of all the talk about AGM batteries. The SL people said there is a document that explains how to dig down into the system to gain access to those settings and how to change them, etc. He is going to send it to me. He mentioned the Xantrex control panel was an extra option, which WRV did not want for the APEX units, so they put those settings inside it (silverleaf). As soon as the technician sends it to me, I will let you know and send it to you as well as the tech library on the Alpine Coach Forum. Speaking of which, it looks like it not growing as fast as I thought it should. I need a contact so I can send them all the on line documents I have, as I am sure some of them he does not possess.
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Old 12-06-2008, 08:06 PM   #10
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She. She does not possess.
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:32 PM   #11
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I keep reading how BAD the AVALANCHE is...Can anyone be more specific about why people are calling it "JUNK" ? We bought one about 2 years ago and so far the only problems have been cosmetic; living room flourescent came loose, kitchen sink came loose. I gotta say the WRV "Fit & Finish" Inspectors were out to lunch on July 21, 2004 when mine was made ! But, other than that, it runs and handles just fine.
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:26 PM   #12
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It doesn't make any difference what brand you buy, the more equipment it has, there is more to have problems with. Part of the the answer is how handy you are about doing your repairs, at least you can save on the a lot on labor. I do have an Apex which I am happy with and if if I was going to go full time I would buy the nicest coach I could afford, so I would go for the Apex.
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:49 AM   #13
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Dubya--there is alot of history behind the Avalanche. Around 2005, WRV was exploring both a higher end coach [the APEX] and a lower-end coach [the Avalanche] to complement its standard SE coach offering. There were a variety of differences between the Avalanche and the std SE [eg, air brakes, rear-radiator, leveling, front cap, interior, electric slides??? etc] all of which to lower the price point. Bottom line--the initial production run had "issues" and buyers were not happy so only about 35 or 40 were ever built.

As I heard the story, WRV bought/ traded back most of the Avalanches. What happened to these coaches was not public knowledge. Good news here is the Avalanche has many of the frame, engine and handling characteristics that make all Alpines desireable. The bad news is that there were production problems so only a few ever made it to the open road. Like any coach, you spend a lot of time and sometimes money, getting the bugs worked out. Once done, you can enjoy your coach for many years. I dont know how many people really know all the details of the Avalanche [including me] so they tend to go with "urban legend" that the Avalanche is a problem. Maybe someone who knows more can add to or correct what I have said. In the meantime, just enjoy your coach.
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Old 05-27-2012, 03:35 PM   #14
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Dubya, I agree with Old Scout...just enjoy your coach, and don't worry too much about the comments you might see here on the forum. You know your coach better than anyone!

Woodinboater, I know many Apex owners, and they all seem to love their Apex. If the one you are looking at was owned by someone long enough to work out the bugs, you will probably enjoy the coach immensely. We've owned 4 Alpines, though no Apex, and have needed to work on various issues, but we would not even consider another brand. Other RVers we know well have had the same or similar challenges with their coaches.
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