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Old 03-20-2019, 06:59 PM   #1
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Have They Lost Their Way?

Iím not a Foretravel owner but have always been a huge fan. I am the original owner of an 04 Country Coach Allure that has served me brilliantly, but I am considering a new or new to me coach.

Foretravel has always been on my short list: their chassis, slides, air ride, trans retarder, flat floors, great fit and finish, high end appointments, etc., but

Now they are on a Spartan in the new 37 which on paper seems overpriced, theyíre doing a Prevost H3 which is as much if not more than a Liberty. Then thereís the Realm only thru MSHRV.

Iím confused. What is Foretravelís strategy? What is really going on with them?

You folks know far better than I do but Iíd really be interested in your comments.
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Old 03-21-2019, 06:29 AM   #2
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I hope not, Foretravel has over time built a couple of Prevost conversions, some emergency use vehicles and some trailers with of course what we all no as the coaches. Is it possible that other companies are not as flexible as Foretravel? They were asked to build the realm by the largest single point dealer in the world , only because mhsrv felt as though they had nothing in that segment to offer customers. Now they have been asked to build a couple more Prevost for the exact same reason. Only time will tell, market and demand continue to change and if the ability to be nimble and flexible are gone they may end up like sears.
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Old 03-21-2019, 06:50 AM   #3
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Have They Lost Their Way?

Thank you for the comment. Question: do you think they will abandon their in-house chassis? My CC is built on CCís proprietary Dynomax and it is a wonderful riding coach. If Foretravel goes Spartan Iím wondering if Spartan will afford a smaller volume manufacturer true flexibility in design. Iíve always been a big fan of Foretravelís chassis. (And Iíve never been bullish on jacks.)
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Old 03-21-2019, 09:03 AM   #4
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Thank you for the comment. Question: do you think they will abandon their in-house chassis?
They already have.

Because of the cost of designing a new cooling package, etc., each time Cummins releases a new engine design, they had to switch to purchasing a chassis. There is some custom spec work with Spartan, particularly as it relates to the airbag placement, but I believe starting with the 2018 or 2019 builds, they no longer design or build their own chassis. I recall they laid off their chassis service/alignment guru over a year ago.

One of the items you mention, transmission retarder, has also been phased out with the chassis changes.
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Old 03-21-2019, 02:40 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info.
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Old 03-22-2019, 06:08 AM   #6
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As said by spuds they have had to move chassis manufacturing to spartan, I had a chance to compare the two and it appeared that spartan did a good job of mirroring the Foretravel travel ride suspension and were able to keep the rigidity of that chassis and the outboard air bags. In my case while in the ordering process I was given the choice of spartan or the travel ride by Foretravel, having had the test drives with the travel ride I choose to be the last ih built with a travel ride from fore travel. On a second note I really like the allison retarder versus a three stage exhaust brake.
While at the Foretravel facility I did see that the 2019 model on a spartan chassis still retained the Allison retarder, so if it has been dropped it most likely was owner demand or cost.
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Old 03-22-2019, 12:17 PM   #7
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While at the Foretravel facility I did see that the 2019 model on a spartan chassis still retained the Allison retarder, so if it has been dropped it most likely was owner demand or cost.
Are you sure it was a retarder control and not a lever for the engine brake?

Per Foretravel's website and product guide, the IH-45 has an "engine compression brake with 4 position lever". The IC-37 has a "3 stage engine brake with on-off switch". I could see FT using a lever instead of the usual switches for an engine brake if the repeat customer is more familiar with operating a lever than switches. Give them a similar control device to what the customer is used to doing. It would just have fewer positions than the retarder lever.

There is some advantage in getting away from the retarder, especially with customers who don't watch the transmission fluid temperature during long downhill runs.
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Old 03-22-2019, 06:30 PM   #8
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Foretravel continues to utilize a retarder in the IH. Realms have compression brakes
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Old 03-22-2019, 06:45 PM   #9
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Please look at Foretravel's website and go to the 2019 and 2020 ih-45 product guides and you will see that they no longer have a retarder but a "Engine compression brake with 4 position lever". It may be confusing to some for they still use the same looking lever as they did for the retarder.

2019 and 2020 ih-45 Product Guides in header of this link: Foretravel Motorcoach - Available Coaches
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Old 03-23-2019, 07:05 AM   #10
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The retarder is still utilized as a call to Foretravel has confirmed that the documentation is incorrect and they will be correcting it
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