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Old 01-29-2014, 06:20 AM   #15
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:01 AM   #16
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Again, thanks all for the feedback. I love the honesty and openness. It is refreshing in today's world. I've done so much reading and looking that my head hurts! The items we are debating seem so subtle and small but you have to think of everything when making this kind of purchase right?

Has anyone seen the bunks / 30.2? I know this is very new but curious to the reactions. Probably has more beds than we need but interesting.

There is an RV show in Feb, Greensboro NC which is the soonest/closest for us…so I can't wait to hit Camping World and the show to browse more!
Browsing at the show will do you the most good for sure. The Tampa RV Show was the first we had ever gone to and therefore I had never had a real feel for the different brands.

Some things I liked about the ACE line were the smaller size and the obvious intent to make them look much more upscale at what is a very low price point (For a new MH). The floor plans are pretty smart to maximize the amenities in a smaller space but they are not what one would call roomy probably due to smaller slides and of course the narrower width overall. Being a little on the tall side, I also appreciated that they put full length beds in those things.

What I didn't like was the overall fit and finish. The drawers are usually the first thing I check and of course they were pretty cheap but I personally don't need them to glide out so moving on... The couch was NOT comfortable. Even though the simulated wood grain on all of the cabinets looks amazing, they all felt rather cheap.

What really stands out in my memory was when we were in the 30.1. There are two full length wardrobe cabinets in the bedroom area that have 4 smaller doors on the front of them. When I closed one of the doors, the entire front of the wardrobe wobbled in and out like a thin sheet of aluminum. Also, my wife is usually aesthetics over functionality but even she said the whole thing was really "cheesy". We also agreed that of everything we looked at in the show, the ACE gave us the worst overall impression.

Also, as much as I hate to make such a statement, from what I have read here and elsewhere, Thor doesn't have the best reputation for quality.

Anyway, I think the ACE concept is good. It's interesting to see almost a swing back to the old narrower Class As and a pull down bed but with slides and a modern powertrain. With the 362hp V10 in those things, they must have some get up and go.

Definitely take a look at them as different people have different requirements. I personally would love to have a upscale looking coach and high quality construction but realistically when I have to compromise on one or the other, I will let go of the looks. Also, the ACE has a very nice and low price point but if price were the only determining factor, you would be looking at something like what we own....
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:40 AM   #17
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Thanks for the great info. I appreciate it. I think we'll venture out to see a 27.1 this weekend. Same construction issues i would imagine, and we can get a feel for the quality etc…can't wait for the rv show in Feb.

Price is always an issue but it's a balancing act between value/function and what is acceptable etc...
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Old 01-29-2014, 10:49 AM   #18
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I’m unfamiliar with the FR3 but I owned a new 2013 Thor ACE 27.1 for three months. Took a loss and traded it in on a Winnebago Vista 27N. Not happy about loosing the money but very glad to be rid of the ACE. I guess that gives you an idea of what I think of its quality. From the comments I read nothing has changed for 2014.

The ACE had very poor handling, wandered all over the road, the fit and finish was poor, lots of rattles and bangs. Check some of the other threads about ACE handling. I had multiple water leaks, exterior and interior trim pulling off, one pocket door pulled off the rollers and jammed blocking the bedroom, intermittently the house battery would not take full charge & drained fast, the shower wall to pan caulking had large gaps, and those are just the high points. When you are going through an ACE just for fun try out the throne. Unless you're over 6 feet, your toes will barely touch the floor.

According to the specs on Thor’s website and owners’ manual the 2014 (as well as the 2013) ACE has a Crown Roof w/ Exterior TPO Membrane”.
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:06 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by jtseltmann View Post
Again, thanks all for the feedback. I love the honesty and openness. It is refreshing in today's world. I've done so much reading and looking that my head hurts! The items we are debating seem so subtle and small but you have to think of everything when making this kind of purchase right?

Has anyone seen the bunks / 30.2? I know this is very new but curious to the reactions. Probably has more beds than we need but interesting.

There is an RV show in Feb, Greensboro NC which is the soonest/closest for us…so I can't wait to hit Camping World and the show to browse more!
The 30.2 has bunks, but they give up kitchen counter space to fit the bunks in. Knowing that your wife likes to cook, I would think that counter space would be her preference.
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:32 PM   #20
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According to the specs on Thor’s website and owners’ manual the 2014 (as well as the 2013) ACE has a Crown Roof w/ Exterior TPO Membrane”. [/QUOTE]

This is from the website:
Vacu-Bond™ Laminated Roof

Standard on all models. I have one. It's not TPO. It's the same materials as the walls.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:01 PM   #21
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The 30.2 has bunks, but they give up kitchen counter space to fit the bunks in. Knowing that your wife likes to cook, I would think that counter space would be her preference.
very true…but it was her idea! she seems ok with either kitchen setup. I think you give up some storage in the bedroom too for the bunks.

Question…how are you dealing with Thor for the warranty items? call them? email them? bring to dealer? how hard is that process?
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:28 PM   #22
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Well I have a 2013 ACE 29.2 it is awesome in Alaska, great in the cold and heat of summer 81 this summer. I have owned travel trailers, class C and now ACE it is an upgrade for sure. The stereo is not perfect but works well, love listening to music while camping makes it easy. While driving it is not so easy to hear but ok.

Lots of up's and downs as with any coach but I haven't done any if the fixes and mine works great. Only add I had was inverter so large tv works without generator running.

I have run it on hwys and 200 mile washboard roads it is great camped dry, in rv parks and boondocking. Everything works well. Oh yeah I did have Thor replace the front windshield as it leaked after first use no problem and not a drop since.
Hope this helps
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:55 PM   #23
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Our rig is at the dealership right now for a couple of warranty items. Thor has been very responsive. The dealer called while I was there about the curtain issue, as we didn't want to replace the old ones with identical new ones - it's a bad curtain design. Thor told us they would send new ones, and they did.

Thor assigns you a concierge, and ours has been great. We've called a few times. However, the one time we called after hours they did not call us back until the next day. We had popped a circuit breaker and couldn't find the panel. Five of us were crawling over every square inch looking for the panel, and the book didn't tell us where it was. I was crawling around on the floor, looked up, and lo and behold - it's on the bedframe. We didn't see it because the bedspread was covering it up. Crisis averted! Note to self - do not run the AC, coffee pot and electric skillet at the same time!
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:13 PM   #24
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We bought our 2012 ACE 29.2 through CW. We had the normal maintenance items and took it back to them. They were great doing repairs in the dead of winter (when there were only a few other rigs in), but not so great in the summer (when there were rigs parked everywhere). There are a couple of streams on the Thor Owner's forum that discuss how great Thor warranty is if you can take your rig to Indiana. That's quite a hike for us here in Colorado.

Overall, we love our ACE and expect to hold onto it until we can go full-time.
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:29 AM   #25
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Hello,

We had a 38' Monaco DP, which was just way to much RV for the two of us and we were looking for new and in the 30' range. When we first started out, we were looking at the ACE. Being in no rush to buy, we spent a lot of time at different dealers and RV shows, test driving, asking millions of questions and the internet... This is a great site for info.

We purchased a 2014 FR3 and couldn't be more happy with it. Not to say that it doesn't have its issues. It has been three times now for warranty repairs, but from what I understand that is pretty common no matter what price point you are at.

Our personal reasons for going with the FR3 over the ACE was fit & finish. It just seemed to us the FR3 was a bit better quality in things like the drawers and cabinets. Both models of the ACE didn't have the storage inside that I wanted. We liked the deeper living room slide on the FR3, the bunk is rated for more weight, the double sink, and the BF loved the outside TV and speakers. The entire entertainment system on the FR3 was just way better, we love using the Bluetooth from our phones outside to play our iTunes. I have to admit, we've have a movie night outside and it was pretty fun! BF also loves the way the FR3 handles. He forgets it's not just a sports car!

Although we just purchased ours in August, there are even more things to love about the newest FR3's. Now the 30DS is standard with a king bed, LED lighting throughout, shower door (not a curtain) and LED lighting along the awning. Dang, I wish ours had that stuff!

We also recently saw the Jayco Precept 31UL. Wish we had looked at that one more closely when we were shopping, but only one dealer near us and we just never saw it... You may want to check that one out too. Nicer fit & finish than FR3.

Just do lots of research and test driving. When we bought the FR3, it killed me that the different dealers would call it only an "entry level coach". It was still al lot of money to spend!! Get what YOU want and like. Good luck and happy shopping.
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:28 AM   #26
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We just got our Ace 29.2 last week. I admit the cabinets are thin and light. Not sure if that's a bad thing as long as they hold up. We are taking these things down the road after all and weight is important. Someone mentioned having a 18k chassis was an advantage over the 16k. If your using that weight to haul heavier cabinets and standard equipment and not ccc that's not an advantage.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:50 AM   #27
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Although we just purchased ours in August, there are even more things to love about the newest FR3's. Now the 30DS is standard with a king bed, LED lighting throughout, shower door (not a curtain) and LED lighting along the awning. Dang, I wish ours had that stuff!

Just do lots of research and test driving. When we bought the FR3, it killed me that the different dealers would call it only an "entry level coach". It was still al lot of money to spend!! Get what YOU want and like. Good luck and happy shopping.
PJ,
Thank you so much for the honest feedback. I have a few questions back. I just saw a brand new 30DS at the dealer Sat. Had the LED lights outside (though this is not deal breaker as this is an easy mod upgrade - i added one to my TT that is RGB so it is any color you want - kid pleaser), and shower 'door' but not a King bed and not full LED inside. Curious where you got those stats from? I saw the king bed listed on FR site but that is not what is being produced without making the br larger. I would LOVE LED lights throughout but again those bulbs are easy to buy and replace (huge savings on wattage).

I'm also curious on a few of your comments about storage. The ACE seems to be right on par if not better in my mind with storage inside. Bath has more cabs, kitchen has storage above and below fridge and pull out pantry. I know the sofa is different and bunk has diff # rating but i'm ok with that. To me the outside storage seems better on the ACE. The dump pipe is way too low on the FR and the ACE internal solution seems much nicer/cleaner. The FR3 transfer switch plug seems to be right in the way of the storage bin in back?
I like the ACE has all utilities and exhausts on the off door side also. I couldn't make the FR3 drivers chair swivel all the way around and no center table. The FR3 dash seems archaic vs the ACE. Where are the upholders in the FR3??? who designed that? Also the bathroom slide door mechanism just slams into the wall and leaves a gap of 1/4 inch plus. That seems very cheap. Funny, I see all that stuff when looking! I'm such nitpicker! But with these coaches they seem to be on par with the same equipment internally but just the layout and finishes. The new ACE has the outside TV but no speakers. I also like the bedroom in the ACE…nightstands and an outlet close to bed. The single step and inside storage by door is a pretty nice deal also. The FR3 steps are slow and far too many…i don't get that design. THe slide in the FR is bigger yes but not by much. The TV flipping up is annoying to me…can't see from the front of the coach. But the recliner sofa is better. UGH! Can't one have all the best and make it clear choice! I kinda don't understand the halo headlights and all…those were populate about 10 yrs ago…not now. Wannt upgrade the lights make them HID projectors…the halos are just silly…regardless of the look. Wasted money IMO.

Anyway, as you said, we'll be happy with what we get i'm sure..and there are so many helpful, nice folks like yourself willing to provide the feedback. I just can't wait. It may come down to dealer price too…and which they can get me.

Thank you for taking the time to reply and provide your insight! It is really appreciated!
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:53 AM   #28
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We just got our Ace 29.2 last week. I admit the cabinets are thin and light. Not sure if that's a bad thing as long as they hold up. We are taking these things down the road after all and weight is important. Someone mentioned having a 18k chassis was an advantage over the 16k. If your using that weight to haul heavier cabinets and standard equipment and not ccc that's not an advantage.
Thanks for the feedback..you are right…the 30.1 does have an 18K chassis like the 30DS…and I hear you on the 'weight' of the cabs. We are not a rough and tumble family but it does speak possibly to durability. We looked at the 29.2 also…it may be an option still but who knows…need to see one but can't wait for the RV show in NC!!!!
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