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Old 02-03-2014, 12:46 PM   #29
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We have looked at both the ACE, and the FR3, in the 29 foot model, and the shorter models over the past two weeks.
We preferred the FR3 over the ACE. It seemed a little better built
Take that as only a newbie opinion, but we looked at them this past week, and spent a lot of time in the ACE over the past weekend.
I would be happy with either, as long as they did not give me much in the way of warranty problems. I want to never have to use a warranty, or go back to a dealership.
Both are pretty nice vehicles, and very similar. The FR3 seems to be a clone of the ACE with some improvements that we prefer.
I also want to look at the Thor Vegas, because it fits our needs for the next 5 years. Better mileage, and slimmer width on the road, making riding in urban areas more simple.
It is so confusing looking at these things, as a newbie to the scene.
I am actually looking at some used class C to have for the next 5 years, as I stumbled across a couple with floor plans similar to the ACE and FR3.
The ACE, and FR3 are still my top picks though
One of our favorite things about the FR3 was the bedroom slider comes in, and leaves you with a single bed, as the king bed folds up. making the FR3 bed area usable even with the slider in,
Of course, the cool thing about the ACE was the double door bedroom, which give a very open feel to the ACE with the living room slider out.
Now my head is hurting again with the great choices available, and trying to make a decision.
I am going to check out the Thor Vegas this weekend.
It appeals to me although the front floor plan is similar to the short ACE, and FR3, which I have no interest in, because for a couple of grand more, you get a lot more with a 29 foot floor plan.
Too many good choices...
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:24 AM   #30
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IamJerryP be sure to read through this post Warning!!!! Do not buy a motorhome!!! when you have a chance. No matter what MH you settle on, expect a few quality issues.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:22 AM   #31
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IamJerryP be sure to read through this post Warning!!!! Do not buy a motorhome!!! when you have a chance. No matter what MH you settle on, expect a few quality issues.
Wise advice indeed.
I understand those things. They are pretty much part of owning anything mechanical.
I see you are an ACE owner,
What drove you to that decision???
Just because the ACE is not my number one choice at the moment, does not mean I do not like them. I think I would be perfectly satisfied with an ACE.
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:32 PM   #32
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The ACE has been a great MH for us. It gets decent mileage and is fun to drive (once you put the CHF and 5-Star Tune on it). It has all of the amenities of a much more expensive coach and can still tow a nice Toad. It is easy to maintain and, being under 30', can camp in most National Parks. And it is priced great.
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:27 PM   #33
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The ACE has been a great MH for us. It gets decent mileage and is fun to drive (once you put the CHF and 5-Star Tune on it). It has all of the amenities of a much more expensive coach and can still tow a nice Toad. It is easy to maintain and, being under 30', can camp in most National Parks. And it is priced great.
Thanks for the reply.
Does that 5 star tune help with mileage, I keep reading how great it is, but most comments are on the shifting, and power increase, and I wonder what the cost is for more power
What sort of mileage do you get.
I am calculating some trips, and am curious of the mileage on the ACE.
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:21 PM   #34
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No warranty dealer related issues?

"I want to never use a warranty or go back to the dealer!!! No offense but your buying or at least interested in buying an entry level class A. You'll find warranty issues in the top production coaches and couple that with million dollar custom Newell's and Foretravel Class A's. Heck forget class A lets talk about 23 ft. TT's. Just not going to happen my friend. Main point practice due diligence, talk with others as your doing now. RV's especially class A coaches are extremely complicated engineered homes that travel in hurricane force winds. Best of luck in your search.
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:50 AM   #35
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Floor plan! floor plan! floor plan! Put yourself in the motorhome, sit in the seats, look at the tv, think of who will go with you. Our case is the kids are older and we spend more time with friends coming over so the couch and dinette across from each other was a big thing and the captains chairs turning around big too. Vegas wall, Sprinter wall, 27.1 ace wall all gave us a closed in feeling. Fixable stuff is LED lights, better speakers, tv tilt.
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:15 PM   #36
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Thanks for the reply.
Does that 5 star tune help with mileage, I keep reading how great it is, but most comments are on the shifting, and power increase, and I wonder what the cost is for more power
What sort of mileage do you get.
I am calculating some trips, and am curious of the mileage on the ACE.
Yes, the 5-Star adds a little bit (maybe 1/2 to 1mpg), but don't buy it for that. For more information, go to the Ford Forum here or search on 5-star tune.
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:40 AM   #37
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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!
Hi again... sorry the delayed and long reply,

Please remember this is based on our needs, wants and personal opinions... And my 2 cents worth!

It is my understanding, FR added 8" to the bedroom for the king bed in the 30DS, which does not fold up like the smaller 25Ds model (which we looked at and did not like because the mattress was thinner than the dinette cushion) don't know where they took that 8" from... Counter space, not much to spare in ours, but maybe the doorway, which is nice and large on ours and cab as they are both extra roomy. We saw the stats online for the most recent FR3 brochure.

Storage - BF liked the outside storage on the ACE 27.1, but I felt like like I could have closet space OR a pantry, because it was centrally located. Then on the ACE, 29.2 was not enough closet space for us, as we go to the desert to MC race at least four to six days at a time- we even considered suit cases, but then why by a RV? (again, what suits YOU'RE NEEDS). Then we we went to the ACE 30.1, and I was back to no pantry/interior storage. Mind you, we had not driven anything at this point- just hanging out in them and checking out the floor plans. We spent a lot of time at RV shows and dealers, poor sales guys, but with this kind of money you want to get it right!

We got a full basement pass thru with FR3, for our big stuff (easy up, reclining chairs, plastic tubs of stuff, folding 5' table, tool box) plus plenty of other space for portable RV ice maker, ice chest, a bin just for cases of water & soda, another smaller bin chairs & little folding table, garden and door matts) and much more. Plenty for us.

I can't speak to the dump pipe, other than it is low and so is the exhausted pipe! But apparently both are on a flex arm, so they move up when pulling into high spots, rather than bottoming out. I don't dump it, and I never plan to!! Hahaha I clean the inside, and he does the outside! Again, I know nothing of the transfer switch. I can ask bf to read our posts and reply with his opinion.

The sofa... we love that it was a full size queen without an air mattress (we looked at so many I cannot remember if ACE was air mattress. I know one model you could have the air mattress on the overhead drop down bunk OR the sofa bed - you have to move it depending on which bed you want to use, or opt to purchase a second air mattress to have both) plus FR3 had double recliners, facing TV which BF loves! Okay, I like it too.

Cup holders, I could not agree more!! The driver has one, but the passenger does not!! Lame! I just make sure I have a drink with a lid as a passenger! We did not even realize that until our first trip out! However, double check now on the latest model because I've read they may have changed that.

Nightstands, agreed. But we have one great one, and nothing on the other side. The BF is pretty handy and we are going to add a shelf that will hold a bottle of water, flashlight, etc, light weight stuff that will fold down for the slide to close. Easy fix for us and no big deal.

The online pictures of the drivers captain/drivers chair fully turning around online is totally wrong, unless they've changed it. We talked to a rep a FR, and we've worked the heck out of the chair and steering wheel getting it to go all the way around and it will not. Now, keep mind, we did get it into a comfortable position to have living room conversation and you can still view the TV. We've seen other people post on different forums that they could do it, but we have not. We dig that the TV has storage behind, that's where wee keep our DVDs and booze! No one but current shoppers knows it's there!

I also liked that that when the overhead bunk is up you can't see three of the storage places... Another hidey place for stuff. My only issue I see so far with the TV is if you might want to add something like Roku or Apple TV, but I'm sure there would be a work around with the outlets. I just asked BF about that this week so I'm sure he'll figure it out.

We did like the center table idea on the ACE, but the more we thought about it, we don't entertain that much inside, plus we liked that the FR3 had the outside TV for that. ACE did not have that six months ago. And the dinette (which makes into a longer bed for tall friends) is so awesome and big on FR3, and with rounded comfy corners, with TV visibility it was ok.

The bathroom door that opens/closes to make the bedroom will not have to slam when level. I thought the same thing too, and was mad. Who wants to slam a door if you are sleeping and people in the front need to potty!! If you're level it goes right into place. It's not been an issue since we left the dealer lot.

Finally, the steps.... There are a lot into the FR3 three outside & three in. We actually liked the six smaller steps because we have an older Golden Retriever and we thought that would be easier on her. It doesn't matter for us, I actually usually skip that bottom step. But again, if we are parked all crazy I the dessert for races it might come in handy for us too.

Bottom line, I am the most nitpicky nit picker you'll ever meet, we've had our FR3 in several times for warranty work because no matter the price point, I want it to be correct. And I have to say, FR has been responsive every time and always want make it right.

I know BF would be more than happy to answer any questions you might have about "outside stuff". Please check the weight issues with the ACE. I only know from what I've read from other posters in this site, but apparently once an ACE is just filled with fresh water it is over its own rating capacity... True or false, I don't know but worth the homework. FR3has it's own issues and we are working to work them out.

Test drive everything. Price is always negotiable. Please feel free to ask all questions!!!
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:41 AM   #38
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Yes, the 5-Star adds a little bit (maybe 1/2 to 1mpg), but don't buy it for that. For more information, go to the Ford Forum here or search on 5-star tune.
We've heard if you do the 5-star it will make your warranty invalid... True?
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:00 AM   #39
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Hi again... sorry the delayed and long reply,
Test drive everything. Price is always negotiable. Please feel free to ask all questions!!!
THANK YOU for the delayed and long reply! I need all the feedback and info I can gather…It is appreciated!

I can't seem to find a 30DS that has the new specs..king bed/led's etc. The one at the dealer now obviously doesn't have it but I also did not like the fold up bed in the 25DS. The mattress was like my TT now…icky. Glad to hear all the feedback on storage. From what I have seen on both the ACE side replies and the FR3…the are completely comparable on most everything other than a few basics. I may even throw into the mix the new 30.2 ACE which adds bunks…that is a possibility.

The hard thing for us is we are only 3. 10 yr old daughter and 130lbs of lab mix dogs (2 of them…my other babies). We are set for sleeping with the drop down bunk and queen bed. The obvious rough spot becomes if we take someone with us. I just can't seem to think how often we'll bring someone with us rather than camp with friends that have an RV. I can't see justifying, for our needs, the slightly larger fold out bed when i really don't need it very often. That is where the "what works for you" comes in.

Short of seeing the ACE in person…I'm still leaning there for the many comfort reasons and some of the design features. Seems like such a big, permanent decision! The other tough thing is there aren't any close now…to see. There are no ACE 30.2's anywhere near me. Hard to see them only on paper and tour one here and there.

OH well…more thinking.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:08 AM   #40
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Please check the weight issues with the ACE. I only know from what I've read from other posters in this site, but apparently once an ACE is just filled with fresh water it is over its own rating capacity... True or false, I don't know but worth the homework.
I have a seriously hard time believing that is true…not possible that a manufacturer would do that. it has 18000 gvwr and 23000 combined as does the FR3…that makes no sense.

I hope someone with a 30.1 can answer that one
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Old 02-06-2014, 02:07 PM   #41
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I have a seriously hard time believing that is true…not possible that a manufacturer would do that. it has 18000 gvwr and 23000 combined as does the FR3…that makes no sense.

I hope someone with a 30.1 can answer that one
Motorhome Mag reviewed and weighed a 29.1 and it came in with a wet weight of 14,440lbs. They would have had to add another 3,500lbs or so when bumping up tot he 30.1 for the rumor to be true.

One VERY interesting takeaway from the review is that they got a MPG figure of ..... 7.1 MPG for their test trip.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:40 PM   #42
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I have a seriously hard time believing that is true…not possible that a manufacturer would do that. it has 18000 gvwr and 23000 combined as does the FR3…that makes no sense.

I hope someone with a 30.1 can answer that one
I looked at an ACE at one of the RV shows. Cant remember if it was a 29.2 or 30.1, but I do remember seeing the sticker saying that there was only ~1200 lbs CCC. It was on a 16k chassis with the 23k GCWR.

Looks like it was the 29.2.
2014 ACE Class A Motorhome Floor Plans (Best Class A & C RV)

And yeah, it is possible that a manufacturer would do that. Its been done in the past. All about the $$$.

We directly compared the 30.1 and the FR3. The FR3 won in our case. We felt the fit and finish were better, and little things that add up helped, particularly the larger shower, full queen bed (my wife is 6'1"), double sink, and deeper living room slide.

I had the 15k A/C added at time of purchase, did the LED strip myself, and the next thing will probably be the shower door. Im out minimal dollars on those and a few hours. I also added a 600w sine wave inverter, trailer brake controller (my dolly has electric brakes, and I also tow a racecar on a trailer), and a Scan Gauge.

For reference, since the weight has been kicked around in this thread:
Motorhome with 2 occupants full of water and fuel:
6420lb steer
10000lb drive
16420 combined

Motorhome with 3 occupants full of water and fuel, and weekend provisions
6470lb steer
10300lb drive
16770 RV
3890 Mazda CX-5 on dolly
20660 combined

I havent pulled the race trailer as of yet, but I would expect it to be in the 4500lb range.

FWIW, my CCC sticker says 2757lb.
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