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Old 05-04-2014, 08:03 AM   #1
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Red face Best class A diesel

Hi, can anyone provide opinions regarding what might be the BEST RV manufacture today for the smaller Class A diesel.. Thinking about 34-36ft, high quality coach. Any thoughts are appreciated.

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Old 05-04-2014, 09:00 AM   #2
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Exclamation How much money do you have to spend?

Hi Paul and ,
Now to your question, it is a "loaded question"........your question is best answered in how much money does one want to spend..........the more money one spends.......the more one gets, if you were to look at a $90,000.00 Coach, and then look at a $350,000.00 Coach, you will see what I mean.

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Old 05-04-2014, 09:12 AM   #3
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Welcome Paul, as has been said already 'this is a loaded question'! Ask vehicle owners which is better, Chevy-Ford-Dodge or... and see what kind of answers you get! Motor home are not much different. Each of us has their own requirements and wants. Take some time to talk to owners in a RV park, go to dealers and look MH's over real good. There are so many different options that it is mind boggling! Have fun and good luck.
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Old 05-04-2014, 06:22 PM   #4
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well i agree with above. we just came out of a 05 class c gulfstream endura super c. put just under 40'000 miles in 5 years.no major prob. but need some work.now move up to a 2015 35e living in here is nice will let you know more about it as miles get put on. allegro red supper nice 30'000 more . so how much $$ you want to spend.
safe travles bob,linda&missy
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Old 05-04-2014, 06:35 PM   #5
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FWIW, at that length, you may drop back from the mid-tier fancy, simply because they don't make them less than 40 ft (Entegra Aspire for 2015 has one at 40, Tiffin Phaeton; not sure if Newmar Ventanna has any at 34-36 ft, but if they do, I think that would be best made in 34-36 ft with some mid-tier amenities. Same with Berkshire. I'd hate to say anything negative about any, because everyone's got an opinion, and you are right at a break between entry level diesels and high end gassers and mid-tier coaches which tend to be more towards 40 ft and longer, nicer interiors, upgraded chassis, more horsepower, etc.

Class C Jayco Seneca at that length could be pretty nice. JMHO
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Old 05-04-2014, 06:40 PM   #6
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We do dog agility and have lot's of large equipment to carry with us. We looked at all classes of rigs for a year and decided that the class A had the basement storage we needed. Then we freaked out and went back to motels for another year, then we started the process all over again. I'm a retired fire engine driver and I like short wheel bases so we bought a used 36' Holiday Rambler Endeavor DP with two slides. We put 70 K on it over the years and traded it in 2013 for a 38' Holiday Rambler Ambassador DP with four slides. We looked and looked and made spread sheets of what we wanted in elaborate detail before we bought anything. We also tried to learn as much as we could to reduce the surprises. Once we bought the real learning curve began as we worked to get to know all the systems and challenges a motorhome presents. Like many others though we've enjoyed our purchases in large part because of our research and talking to folks before we laid down the money. We found that users gave us much better overall advice than did RV sales folks, many of whom had little or no experience living in the rigs we were looking to buy. Lastly, I would never buy new, I would look for a rig with 30 - 50 K miles on it, preferably a one owner. That has worked twice for us. Good luck.
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Old 05-04-2014, 06:54 PM   #7
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Hopefully you are in an area where there are lots of dealers with lots of brands. If not perhaps a weekend "away" to an area that has lots of dealers.

Best thing to do is to go out to as many dealers with different brands as you can and view everything you can in your size range. Most of the dealerships I have been to leave the MSRP listing in the MH. Lots of times more money does not equate to better quality of workmanship, certainly material but it seems to depend upon the day of manufacture for the quality you get.

Take copious notes (features, quality, quantity, etc, price) and pictures. It is funny (not) when your memory starts running various rigs together. You will find some of the layouts will speak to you. When that happens you will know what you would like and the approximate price. You can sit at home and revisit the MH's you like.

Then you can do your homework by asking specific questions about the units you like or will consider.

I believe you will find some that come close to what you would like, others you will walk in, turn around and walk out.

A good salesman will work with you, answer your questions and not give you the hard sell. Be aware of sales that say "We can do that" for all of your requests. Perhaps they can but changes can be costly and many times the results are less than stellar.

We were fortunate when we were looking. We went to several dealerships where the MH were lined up and the doors open. We looked through them all, even the ones we were not considering. Then we found a salesman who took the time to talk with us.

Then a bunch of research, benefit cost analysis between the coaches we liked and then negotiations.

Hope this helps. It worked for us.
Gordon and Janet
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Old 05-04-2014, 07:18 PM   #8
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If you're not in a big hurry, go to one of the many RV shows around. On the east coast they are in Tampa and Hershey Pa. You'll see almost everything under the sun.
Tony & Ruth........... FMCA#F416727
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Old 05-04-2014, 07:30 PM   #9
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If you want the best ( meaning most money) I believe ForeTravel makes a 36' coach.
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Old 05-04-2014, 08:18 PM   #10
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The best class A diesel is a 2004 Holiday Rambler Endeavor
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Old 05-05-2014, 02:20 AM   #11
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One word of caution. Shop carefully. In that size range-- 34 to 36 ft-- you're right at the place where manufacturers start to change up to the larger, heavier chassis. Depending on different requirements, some will put a 36 on the larger chassis, some will leave the 36 on the shorter base, the same chassis used by the 34s or 33s. This you do not want.

stansnapp wrote that he likes a short wheelbase. Makes sense if you're maneuvering a pumper or ladder truck in city streets, but not if your requirement is for a stable, safe cruise for hours at highway speeds. For stability and handling, you want the longest wheelbase you can find in the size coach you want. You don't want to have 15 ft of coach hanging in back of your rear axle.
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Old 05-05-2014, 07:18 AM   #12
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Thank you all for the excellent feedback. We are coming down from 45ft Marathons and Country Coaches, so not familiar with many of the smaller size brands. Price: new 250k or less is what we are thinking. What we've found so far at 34-36ft range are products like Forza, Palazzo, Journey, and Newmar. Newmar looks excellent and feature rich in the Ventana line. My interest is in " Your opinion" of the various manufactures and their quality, from your experience, over time. Thanks for your time.
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Old 05-05-2014, 07:37 AM   #13
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Have you considered a used Country Coach in that size, as they made some nice one's?
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Old 05-05-2014, 11:27 AM   #14
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A few more thoughts after reading the others. As you get more familiar with details you will find that as price goes up so does quality that isn't easily noticed. For example, Fantastic fans are in most coaches but they start at fan with three speeds and range incrementally up to remote control blowing out or he with power lids, nice for high ceiling coaches and everything in between. Skip the ovens, the gas ovens are only good for storing pans. A convection microwave will bake very well and a cook top with is is all you need. We carry a griddle for those pancake mornings. Plumbing fixtures go from all plastic to mostly brass and they look a lot a like. Cheap coaches come with cheap mattresses, take a good look at the mattress.
I like short wheel bases but the point about rear overhang is important too. Our 36' '01 HR Endeavor rode very nicely and the rear engine means a quiet cab which is very nice. Our current 38' '08 HR Ambassador has a bit longer, 20" or so wheel base and it does ride better. Our friends have a Tiffin Phaeton 36' and it is a very high quality coach and competitive, be sure to check them out.

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