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Old 01-08-2014, 06:33 AM   #1
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Ace 30.2

Looking at an ACE 30.2 and was wondering if there are any owners that would like to comment on their experience with this model or the ACE line in general?
We were looking at a few Class C bunkhouses, but the ACE design seems to give more room, features and useful load at a comparable price.

A few questions:
How does driving an ACE compare to a Class C?
Does anyone have kids in car seats that they have used in an ACE?
How is getting around in the back when the unit is closed up?
Any major issues? How is build quality?
Where did you buy yours and how is dealer / Thor support?

Thanks very much!!

Thanks very much!!
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:49 AM   #2
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I suggest you visit the THOR owners forum here on iRV2.com. LOTS of threads there from owners.
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:10 AM   #3
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No 1st hand experience with an Ace. I can tell you that most class A's will drive and handle a lot better than a class C. Class C's are built on van chassis with usually a 13,000 GVW rating. Manufactures will usually extend the frame with lighter materials to get the length within their specs. Not as much storage as a class A. Class A's are usually built on RV designed specific chassis with 19,000- 22,000 GVW. A great improvement over the typical class C and drivability much better.
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:07 PM   #4
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I had a new ACE 27.1 for three months. Took a loss and traded it for a Winnebago 27N. Not happy about loosing money but happy to see the ACE go. I had multiple water leaks around the cockpit, exterior trim and molding pulling away from body, bubbled decals, battery/electrical problem which would drain down the battery in 2 or 3 hours, and extremely poor handling even after an alignment and CHP (Cheap Handling Fix.). Along with all that was the poor fit and finish of the woodwork and cabinet doors, pocket door stripped out of rollers and jammed bedroom door, pantry drawer unit slammed open on every turn. And those are just the high points. The dealer tried to do repairs but new things kept coming up. Finally said enough is enough and dumped it. Just for fun try out the throne, unless you are 6 foot or over your feet will dangle above the floor.
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:38 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info. What year was yours?
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:42 AM   #6
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My ACE 27.1 was a 2013. I purchased it new in March 2013 after seeing one at a RV show. One funny thing when I took the Winnebagod in for some minor warranty work after having it four months the service writer was the same man as at the ACE dealer. I asked him how he found Winnebago in comparison. He said since working for this dealer he has never seen 7 page warranty write-up like at the previous dealer. I said I guess my ACE was just a lemon. He said no, most of them were like that and that was one of the reasons he left that dealer. He said it was very hard dealing with owners who had so many problems
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:17 PM   #7
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Hello, I have a ACE 29.2 2013 and really happy with the coach. Had a 24' travelaire travel trailer for 7 years, no matter what it was still a trailer couldn't tow anything behind it. Upgraded to Itasca 29 class C it was great enjoyed it however the roof seal leaked one winter and destroyed the coach. Was looking to replace with class C 2 seasons ago ran across ACE and it made my choice easy. It drives much easier and more comfort than a class C feels much more stable and tighter turning radius. For me in class C you feel underpowered and at max weight capacity all the time not in the ACE!

I read a ton on this blog before I bought and learned what to ask for and what didn't matter. I had one of the first 20 in Alaska. No they are all over the place and our dealer can't keep them in stock. We have been on week long trips and day trips and the coach is awesome, spent 35 nights in it last summer. Plan on taking it out 3 times this winter too! Taken it on 200 mile gravel washboard roads and it is great! ACE has thought of everything the step drawers, mud area tons of storage. I put 3 float tubes and 2 bikes (front tires removed) in rear storage and room for BBQ table chairs ect.

Leaking windshield happened from new but dealer replaced same day, that is only problem I have seen so far. I did have them install an inverter due to the fact that most of our camping is remote without hook ups, kids can still watch a movie ect. Macerator took a little getting use to never had one before so learning curve, now I can't imagine not having one it is super clean no chance of waste touching you.

My wife did make fleece inserts for blinds Alaska summers you need block out. She made them for the vents also.

Drive the Ace and C you will notice right away the difference.

Kevin
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:48 PM   #8
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Also purchasing ACE 30.2

To chesapeaktec: was the purchase made? Happy? Issues?
We just sold our class c pvt and are ready to step up to the class a world with the 30.2.

To kkuper: macerator?

Thank You
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rampncamp View Post
To chesapeaktec: was the purchase made? Happy? Issues?
We just sold our class c pvt and are ready to step up to the class a world with the 30.2.

To kkuper: macerator?

Thank You
What is drawing you to the ACE line as opposed to a full size Class A? Is it the low price or the smaller size?
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohhwell View Post
What is drawing you to the ACE line as opposed to a full size Class A? Is it the low price or the smaller size?
I love the macerator it is much cleaner option for dumping. Also after having a class c it is so nice to drive the A some would think it would be intimidating but it is much easier and the view is perfect.

Any more questions let me know!
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Old 03-15-2014, 06:49 AM   #11
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ACE Motorhomes

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChesapeakTec View Post
Looking at an ACE 30.2 and was wondering if there are any owners that would like to comment on their experience with this model or the ACE line in general? (snip, snip) Thanks very much!!
As I'm sure you've seen, it's hard to get a valid statistical sample from postings on a forum. A few vocal people can create an impression one way or the other that might not be indicative at all. So, take what you read here (including my post!) for what it's worth. (E.g., the worst nightmare I've ever read about any motorhome involved a luxury Winnebago, but that wouldn't stop me from considering that line. Read here.)

We have a 2013 ACE 30.1 and love it. We couldn't be happier. We've had a couple piddly issues (like I had a door lock break once), but nothing major and nothing that would cause me to get rid of the unit. The main thing we like about the ACE is the concept: it definitely has the most user-friendly layout and collection of features we've seen. In fact, I find it interesting how many other manufacturers are coming out with ACE-like units (such as the Forest River FR3). We go to RV shows from time to time, ogle the luxury units, but we've never seen any layout (really, none) (none even in $500,000+ units) that we like better. Obviously, layout and features is a 100% personal judgment, so I won't go on about that.

To your questions:
How does driving an ACE compare to a Class C? I've only rented Class C's, so my experience is limited, but I find driving the Class A very easy. It's roughly the same size as a large Class C, the visibility is better, and being high and up front gives me a better perspective as I maneuver (such as through a gas station). We get about 7.5 to 8.5 mpg, which is tolerable. It seems to drive fine in cross-winds and doesn't get squirrelly with passing trucks. It has plenty of power, even when towing our Highlander.

Does anyone have kids in car seats that they have used in an ACE? We've put the grandkids in "booster seats" (or whatever they're called), and it worked fine. I can't think of how to use a real car seat, but maybe someone else can chime in.

How is getting around in the back when the unit is closed up? That's actually one of the subjective features that drew us to the ACE. For our traveling style, we needed a unit where everything (kitchen, frig, bathroom, dinette, and so on) was accessible and usable with slides in. The 30.1 meets that threshold criterion. The DW likes being able to get up, walk around, get drinks, make lunch, use the potty, whatever, while we're on the road (even while moving). Very nice.

Any major issues? How is build quality? No major problems and overall build quality seems to be just fine. Like I said, the usual number of minor issues, but fit and finish were fine, all of the appliances work as they should, the furnishings are all of good quality. Thor has a multi-point inspection that they do before the unit leaves the factory, so unless there's a total screw-up, the major systems ought to be OK. I did read somewhere, though, that build quality in the major brands tends to be about the same, so it's less important that the build quality in the particular unit, and hence it's critical to do a very thorough pre-delivery inspection. There are checklists available if you google the phrase, book plenty of time for the process, and don't leave the dealer's lot until you've got things the way they should be.

Where did you buy yours and how is dealer / Thor support? We bought ours from Camping World in Macon, GA. Typical dealer--nothing out of the usual either way. However, Thor support is stunning. Like, unbelievably good. You'll be assigned a concierge right after you buy your unit who will call a couple times in the first couple months to make sure you're happy and to see if you need anything. After that, there's a very accessible technical support group that goes to extraordinary lengths to be helpful. For example, I was having an intermittent problem with the hydraulic jacks. (Intermittent problems are insidious because they never happen when you've got tech support on the phone. ) Anyway, I called Thor tech support anyway, told the tech about the issue and that (unfortunately), it was working fine at the moment, but then asked what should I do if/when it happens again. The tech insisted on walking me through each of the possible causes, one by one, on the phone, including e-mailing me a copy of the relevant schematic, all while I scurried around the MH, to see if we could deliberately initiate the problem. We eventually (after about an hour) traced the problem to a bad crimp on one of the wires behind the jack control panel, and I've never had the problem since. Three lessons--the tech definitely knew what he was doing, he was sympathetic to the annoyance of an intermittent issue, and he wasn't going to let me off the phone until we got the issue fixed. To me, you can't ask for more.

Sorry for the long post. Hope that helps. Feel free to PM me if you need any additional info.
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:59 AM   #12
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Thanks SkipRD for the formal and well-written response! We need to provide answers like this more often than not to keep the forum well-read!
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Old 03-16-2014, 12:08 PM   #13
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Yes, very good in depth assessment from an actual owner. Having been in one, I would vehemently disagree with everything you said under the build quality section of your review but everyone has different standards I guess. You can tell from my signature that I am far from an elitist.

I agree that build quality can vary greatly between individual units in almost any product line (unfortunately) but there are material and construction choices in the ACEs that I looked at that were bottom of the barrel.
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:10 PM   #14
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I just purchased the ACE 30.2. I have 4 kids (10,7,6,18mths). I was looking for a Class A with bunk beds to sleep a family of 6. Wanted to be at or less than 30 ft so I could get into more state and national parks. Also so I could get in and out of my driveway. The ACE was very appealing in concept and on paper satisfied all of my needs. I can easily sleep my family of 6, golden retriever and a couple of my children's friends. I searched for a very long time and found no other floor plan at 30 ft with bunk beds that compared to the 30.2 so I purchased it.

Just completed my second outing in the coach and have a lot of feedback.

Driving - For the last few years we have rented a 30 ft class C. We have driven across the US on interstates, highways and backroads. The Class A wit the Ford F53 Supy Duty chassis is much better to drive than the Class C: much better visibility, more room in the cockpit and seems to be better turning radius. If you are comfortable driving large vehicles than this will be a dream ride. If you are new to driving then it will be easy to learn.

Kids and Car Seats - car seats do not fit in the dinette but booster seats will. The sofa has 2 seat belts and can fit 2 car sears easily.

Issues/Build Quality - I will talk more about this later but in general terms this is an area of improvement for Thor. There are a lot of areas where workmanship is below average. Since this is my first RV I dont have any others to compare to. The only comparison I have is to Cruise America which I have been renting from for the past three years. I also questions the quality inspection process done by the factory. I have a multitude of workmanship quality issues that the factory is presently fixing. The cabinet quality is okay at best. They are stapled together not bonded or nailed. The seems of the cabinets are rough and have not been sanded. My kids got a few splinter from this. Alignment of the cabinet doors are off. Some cabinets and drawers dont shut that well or are crooked. The padding around the dinette is coming off. The molding on the wall paneling is not bonded well and needs to be rebonded. Many small issues like this lead me to my statement that workmanship needs improvement.


Floorplan - for the size of the coach the floor plan on the 30.2 is as good as it gets. You do give up kitchen cabinet space and storage space underneath. There are a few other sacrifices with the floor plan: you can not access the wardrobe or drawers unless the slide out is extended. This means that if you want to get something out of the closet you have to stop, level the coach, open the slideout, get out what you need, close the slide out, retract the levelers and get back on the road. So if you have a baby still in diapers do not store them in the wardrobe when you are traveling. You have to make a conscience effort to get out whatever you will need before you start traveling. If you want to access the bed in the rear of the coach while the slide out is in (while you are traveling) you have to go through the bathroom. It is not a big deal and easily done. The galley cabinet space and counter tops is what is sacrificed to make space for the bunks. We don't cook too much inside anyway. I store cooking gear under the coach because I don't need it anyway until we set up camp. I use my Weber Q2200 to cook everything outside. That is why we have a coach anyway - to be outdoors. In bad weather the oven, stove and micro will work just fine. The bathroom is small but it gets the job done. My wife says the shower works fine and my kids have not problem using the toilet. I vanity cabinet would have been nice to store toothpaste and such. We dont spend much time in the bathroom anyway. Storage underneath the coach was cut short on this floor plan as compared to the other ACE floor plans. While there are multiple storage areas underneath there lacks a big enough one to carry a decent size folding table. I did find a folding table big enough for my family that will fit into the large storage but it took some shopping. I like to listen to podcasts while I drive. My 30.2 has four speakers throughout the coach however none of them are close to the driver. To listen to podcasts I have to crank up the volume to hear the speakers in the roof about 8 ft away. This means everybody has to listen to my podcast at a high volume. Wish there were dash speakers and I could turn of the other 4 internal speakers that are in the bed room and near the galley. On the other side of the coin when the whole family wants to hear some tunes we can really rock it. Lots of fun. There are no overhead lights that I have found yet in the drivers area. If I need to see something after the sun is down and I am still on the road I have to have a family member turn on a ceiling light from within the coach. So I have purchased a small flashlight to put in close to me after the sun goes down. My kids say the mattress in the bunk beds are really comfortable. The pull down bed over the cab is extremely easy to use and also comfortable enough for the kids. I wish Thor would have included some ladders because getting into the to bunk is a effort for my little ones. The pull down bed is impossible to get into. My son climbs on the dinette and does his best impersonation of super man to fly into the pull down bed. The jackknife sofa bed is comfortable and easy to set up. The Denver mattress on the queen bed is also quite comfortable. The bunk beds can still be accessed while the slide out is retracted but the access is limited to a couple of feet. Big enough for my kids to still slide into the bunk beds which are like cubby holes. Once the slide out is extented there is plenty of room to access the bedroom.

Cockpit - I love driving this motorhome. The cockpit is roomy. The chairs are really plush and comfortable. They could use a bit more adjustment features. The mirrors have side view cameras and there is also a rear camera standard on the 30.2 and they are a huge help when driving and for checking on the the bikes hooked to the hitch. I can't believe there is no compass, no driver lights and no speakers up front. There is an overhead mirror above the driver that Thor says is to be used to see what is going on in the coach without the driver having to turn around. I am 5'10" and all I see in the mirror is the ceiling. I can't adjust the mirror down to see lower so essentially this feature is worthless. Also up front on the passenger side is the flip up workstation. This is a good thought to have but no one in my family can flip it up because they cant reach the handle which is really far up on the dash.

Electrical/Plumbing - there was an issue with the electrical when I got the RV. I did not have power in the coach unless from the batteries. This was very annoying and is in the shop now being fixed. The HDMI plug located in the cabinet next to the door was damaged and someone tried to use electrical tape to fix it. They did a bad job trying to fix it. No one at the dealer or factory has a clue to how this happened. So far the plumbing is fine. There are heated holding tanks that are really great for when the temperature drops. Once annoying thing about water is that the city water and the fill water are on opposing sides of the RV. The city water hookup is on the passenger side. I have to run a water line under the RV to get city water.

Exterior - The exterior looks great. I like to electrical awning. Wish I could change the angle of the awning once it was deployed to better shield against direct sunlight. The outside shower is located directly next to the dump station. You know that cross contamination is going to happen. Could have picked a better spot for the outside shower. Accessing the motor fluids to check levels can be challenging. Getting under the hood is very cramped and not easily done.

Issues - here are the items that the Thor and the dealer are having to fix
  • electrical issue - cant use battery
  • foreign matter under linoleum - looks like they laid down the linoleum on top of dropped screws
  • The exterior graphics have bubbles
  • the RV had lots of manufacturing debris in all the nooks, under cabinets, sofa and beds. manufacturing debris is stuff like sawdust, screws and nails
  • molding that joins the exterior front cap to side wall is coming off
  • the frame for slide door between bathroom and bedroom came out of the ceiling. It was screwed into the ceiling and the screws could not hold the weight of the frame and door. Dont know how they are going to repair that
  • plus all the other issues mentioned above makes you wonder what happened to all of those quality checks from Thor and the dealer.


Overall there are positives and negatives. As long as Thor fixes the issues I will be very happy. Quality in workmanship is an issue. The amount of stuff that has bee designed into 30 ft is great. In spite of the issues we had a blast on our first two family outings. My kids loved our trip to Grand Canyon National Park. Now I need more vacation time to go on more trips.



Let me know what else you want to know about the ACE 30.2. I am happy to answer
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