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Old 08-20-2016, 08:20 AM   #1
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Coachman?

I've started to look at class A gas units recently. So far price wise and floor plan wise I am attracted to the Coachmen Mirada Select 37SB units. They seem very comfortable.

Another one I have spent some time in is the Winnebago Suncruiser 38Q, I really like the floor plan.

I also like the Newmar Canyon Star 3902 and 3914 models, but I haven't been in one yet.

I don't know much about these things yet but was looking for feedback on what is good and what is not good.
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Old 08-20-2016, 02:49 PM   #2
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Well, it's my opinion that Coachman models are firmly targeted toward the lower end of the price scale, with product quality trade-offs to match that goal. Winnebago is more middle and Newmar toward the top. Sport of a "get what you pay for" measure. But they all have lapses in production quality, i.e. the assembly line guys make mistakes. Sometimes little ones, and some time big goofs. They simply aren't very consistent. But Newmar has the reputation of backing their products 100%, and Winnie is pretty good too. Coachmen (a part of Forest River), maybe not so much. They mostly make you rely on the dealer for contact and help - no factory service or customer support team.

Now I've probably managed to offend all the Coachman and Forest River owners out there, so listen for the screams!
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Old 08-20-2016, 04:20 PM   #3
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Coachman?

Well everyone is certainly entitled to their opinions. However most of your facts are just that, your "facts" whether they're accurate or not that's up for everyone else to determine based on their own experience.

Having extensively looked at Jayco's Precept, Winnebagos, Thor, Georgetown and Coachmen we chose the Coachmen Mirada.

Simple facts are that it has a larger shower, a residential refrigerator, well planned out service bays, great storage. While the bunkhouse units are pretty much the same from unit to unit, in the case of the Coachmen they have finished their's with a nice set of folding doors. Finally, it's a reasonably well built for a middle of the line product.

Components: first off a Ford chassis is a Ford chassis. LCI levelers microwaves and all of the other things that go inside are the same across the entire industry. Yes some units and some brands may have a higher quality TV, radios etc. But I would challenge you to find a class A gas coach that has as nice layout of the instrument cluster in the operator area as a Coachmen Mirada has.

Another significant factor is Coachmen is one of the exclusive users of a product that is pretty much impervious to water. All the others are using laminated sandwiches in their side walls including those fancy more expensive models. Read about the Azdale construction of the Coachmen product

To say that there is no support system is ABSOLUTE malarkey. Coachmen class A products have a direct contact with the person right at the factory responds to emails promptly for service questions. There is another for parts.

Side note -- they don't have a huge back warehouse of parts. Most manufacturers are just in time supply chain manufacturing.

If you read inside the other forms you will see Forest Rive folks reaching out to individuals on the message boards from time to time helping them a specific problems. Recently at the FROG (forest river owners group) annual rally numerous factory technicians and representatives were on site assisting owners at the rally.

If there's a question of how something is done or how it was assembled Nate can walk from his office right out onto the floor where they are in production.

I have an extensive set of pictures of our particular model in production and I'm quite pleased with how it's assembled.

We have visited what is known as plant 310 and observed all of the different models of Coachmen class A's being built. There is a tremendous amount of pride on the part of the people working on the floor and the people in the offices managing the facility.

While the Georgetown is the sister product, made it a totally different location in a totally different factory, I would challenge you to go over to the Forest River Forums and look at the frequency of comments there is compared to Coachmen. Likewise you can do the same thing with Jayco's. I know, I have read them all, and follow them on a daily basis.

I won't disagree that the Newmar probably has finer appointments however at the end of the day most of the components whether they are of any brand they all come from the same few manufacturers. It just depends upon how much lipstick you want to pay for and how you're going to kiss the bride ....that means how you're going to use it.

So at the end of the day you have to ask yourself it's all about the floor plan that you really like, the features of the coach that you really want and a dealer that you feel that you can reasonably trust to be there down the road. Our experience is we went from one of the major Buffalo dealers that have stores in multiple locations across the country and really pushes Jayco's. They are often well-known for their competitive online pricing. We walked away from them and Jayco and went over to a small dealer in North East, PA that sells both Winnebagos and Coachmens.

For our money we got a darn good coach and were quite happy with it.


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Old 08-20-2016, 04:34 PM   #4
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Old 08-20-2016, 04:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Pepper2 View Post

Now that's funny.


2016 Coachmen Mirada 35 BH
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Old 08-20-2016, 05:16 PM   #6
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Thanks WDW. I noticed the bunk house models were much nicer than others because of the doors. We have no need for a bunkhouse, but what a great storage place for clothes and such that would be.
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Old 08-20-2016, 05:21 PM   #7
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What I find interesting is the condescension toward things like formica type laminates instead of solid surface instead of granite or similar. To me the coach is a cabin in the woods not a high end condo. Coachmen builds a solid but not ostentatious product with some of the better layouts around. We had one of their C's and would buy another one of their units in whatever model we want when we upgrade.
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Old 08-20-2016, 05:21 PM   #8
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We like our Winnebago made Itasca a lot, my dad liked his Coachman a lot, I've seen Newmars that I would be very happy with. I don't know what this means. Pass me the butter for my popcorn please!
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Old 08-22-2016, 01:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
Well, it's my opinion that Coachman models are firmly targeted toward the lower end of the price scale, with product quality trade-offs to match that goal. Winnebago is more middle and Newmar toward the top. Sport of a "get what you pay for" measure. But they all have lapses in production quality, i.e. the assembly line guys make mistakes. Sometimes little ones, and some time big goofs. They simply aren't very consistent. But Newmar has the reputation of backing their products 100%, and Winnie is pretty good too. Coachmen (a part of Forest River), maybe not so much. They mostly make you rely on the dealer for contact and help - no factory service or customer support team.

Now I've probably managed to offend all the Coachman and Forest River owners out there, so listen for the screams!

Not screaming and not agreeing. Coachmen has appealing price points but not FIRMLY targeted to the lower end. This may have been true years ago but the Class A product has evolved to become very competitive. I also think you are misrepresenting customer and warranty service in general. All manufacturers rely on their selling and authorized dealers to service and support a sale. Coachmen has a very qualified, knowledgable and helpful factory service division that provides in-house, warranty and standard owner service. As with all RV's, they are a house on wheels with numerous systems and components that are mostly provided by independent suppliers. It's not uncommon to experience a failure no matter whose vehicle that you purchased. As for "you get what you pay for", I've found that I have as much enjoyment and fun as any other RV owner irrespective of what each of us may have paid. Fun is not directly proportional to the cost of the unit, although I have seen many instances where the higher valued units have an equally higher cost of repair.
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Old 08-22-2016, 04:01 PM   #10
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Call the independent service people in your area and ask them which brand of MH they think are better made. I talked to 5 different ones and the answers were consistently similar.
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Old 08-23-2016, 06:56 PM   #11
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WDW; very well said and informative ! Regards
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Old 08-25-2016, 06:22 AM   #12
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Our previous coach was a Coachmen C Santara. We had it for 12 years and it was a joy to own. Our dealer was absolutely excellent and tech support was great! I called about wiring diagrams and they sent me the entire set! Construction was solid and held up very well.
It took the Monaco to get us to trade it in.
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Old 08-25-2016, 06:44 AM   #13
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I think we hit a situation along the lines of, you can talk bad about my house, my kids, or maybe even my wife (doubtful), but don't be talking bad about my dog or my motorhome! There are some things that are sacred.
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Old 08-25-2016, 06:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
Well, it's my opinion that Coachman models are firmly targeted toward the lower end of the price scale, with product quality trade-offs to match that goal. Winnebago is more middle and Newmar toward the top. Sport of a "get what you pay for" measure.
Generalities like this are just that--generalities. Having said that, I agree that in general terms, of these three brands, Gary ranked them right.

Our first coach was a 2013 Coachmen Mirada 35BH. Our second (current) coach is a 2013 Fleetwood Discovery 40G. For a few hours, I owned two 2013 RV's when I was trading in the Mirada for the 40G. Ouch. I think my check book is still burning a little from that.

Now... that's comparing apples (gas Class A) to oranges (diesel Class A), and my motivations were more about switching to a diesel than about getting out of the Coachmen.

Our <1 year with the Coachmen did have (maybe more than the usual) new-RV bugs, including a waterfall-leaking back window, a leaky shower floor, and hydraulic lines that literally unscrewed from the jacks as we were driving down the road. Those were the biggies, plus many smaller things. But I have to say that we really did love that RV nevertheless--maybe because it was our first?

We knew that it was an inexpensive entry-level model, and our monthly payments reflected our commitment to RVing at the time. We would probably still own it if our goals were mainly short-drives for weekend destinations. But what we discovered with that RV is that, while weekends were still our "bread and butter" RV experience with two school-age kids, we really enjoy the long-haul, 2 week adventures too! For us, the Coachmen was just too loud and rough for those longer drives, and things tended to rattle apart, so we upgraded to a DP.

Our closest RV buddies and long-time family friends started with a Berkshire bunkhouse diesel pusher (Forest River product), and then moved up to a Newmar DP. Both were bunkhouse models. We have camped with them on numerous occasions, and shared a bottle or two of wine inside that Newmar. There is absolutely no comparison... Newmar is far superior to their Berkshire. In fact, I think that Newmar Dutch Star is the nicest sub-$500k DP RV that I've seen.

You didn't ask about diesel RV's, but I bring it up because if Newmar's quality and customer service in their diesel line is representative to what it is with their gasoline models, it's probably the best in the gasoline class-A market, and possibly the best in the the sub-$1mil category. (I've no experience with the big-boy $1m plus RV's.)

Just my opinion here, with limited experience sprinkled in.
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