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Old 04-05-2016, 10:27 AM   #1
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Coachmen Class A Gas

My wife and I currently have a 2008 31' Keystone TT which we like. Over the last year we have been researching getting a new 5th wheel or upscale TT. We have looked at a bunch of them and have in narrowed down to a couple. Last week while at a large RV dealer in L.A. we looked at some Class A gas units for fun. We liked the floor plans and price of the Coachmen Mirada and Encounter units.

Can anyone offer up any advice, warnings, praise for this line of units?

We are looking for something that can tow our Jeep Wrangler. It is normally just the 2 of us but the occasional grandkid comes along. I don't like units with the bed over the driver. I need the headroom as I am 6'6"
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Old 04-05-2016, 01:18 PM   #2
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Own a 2014 Coachmen Mirada - bought it new in 2014. Some minor fit & finish issues when purchased that were corrected by the dealer. We have almost 20,000 miles on it and love it. Floor plan is perfect for us - can fully function with the exception of some drawers in the bedroom, when the slides are in. The standard Ford V-10 has been excellent. The Dometic AC units, Dometic Refer, Atwood Furnace, Atwood stove\oven, microwave, TVs, etc. etc. pretty standard stuff - no issues. It has vinyl and carpet flooring vs tile - Formica counter tops vs Corian, etc. needless to say the cost was a big factor for us. We wanted a nice layout - quality engine/transmission, and decent appliances - we didn't need the high end stuff - Tile, Cherry wood, Leather, etc. As it gets older we may upgrade counter tops, and flooring etc. but we are fine with the way it is. We have seen units almost twice the price on the same Ford Chassis. To each their own. Basically you get what you pay for (most of the time).
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Old 04-05-2016, 02:51 PM   #3
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Thanks. Me thinks most Class A gas units are similar to trailers. Same chassis, same components etc. we looked at a very nice upscale unit that was a 2015 model. 60k off sticker. If I was financially ready I would of bought it on the spot. This was a 23k gvwr rig 37 ft long. The one thing I liked about the Miradas is I could maneuver my 6'6" chassis behind the drivers seat pretty well. I've sat in 1/4 million dollar pushers I couldn't sit in.
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:06 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bob1340 View Post
My wife and I currently have a 2008 31' Keystone TT which we like. Over the last year we have been researching getting a new 5th wheel or upscale TT. We have looked at a bunch of them and have in narrowed down to a couple. Last week while at a large RV dealer in L.A. we looked at some Class A gas units for fun. We liked the floor plans and price of the Coachmen Mirada and Encounter units.

Can anyone offer up any advice, warnings, praise for this line of units?

We are looking for something that can tow our Jeep Wrangler. It is normally just the 2 of us but the occasional grandkid comes along. I don't like units with the bed over the driver. I need the headroom as I am 6'6"
We just bought a Mirada with a bed over the driver. Lots of headroom when driving, I don't think you'd have to duck to get in the driverseat, but I'm only 5'10" so, I can't say for sure. It's a 35kb and we liked the layout. We inquired about quality of build and got mostly good feedback. When we initially looked at it we looked for cabinetry fit and finish and it was better than our previous
DP. Storage is great, and the v10 seems to pull it along just fine. Only complaint is the dealership that sold it to us did not do a proper pdi. Good bang for the buck.
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:48 AM   #5
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We have had our 2015 Mirada 35 LS for a little over a year now. We absolutely love it! We have only had a few minor issues to deal with and our dealer handled them great.
The day we brought it home, the LCI leveling system quit working. The dealer, working with Coachmen could not figure out exactly why it happened, but Coachmen overnighted brand new pump system. Our dealer had it fixed that day and we have had no further trouble with it.
The only other problem we had was the fireplace made a squeaking sound. Coachmen replaced the fireplace with no questions.
We have made a few modifications to improve driveability and handling which I felt it needed.
I installed a rear stabilizer bar and Steer Safe on the front. Made all the difference in the world.
I also installed a tune from 5 Star Tuning. That solved all the funky transmission shifts. But that may not be an issue anymore now that Ford is putting the 6 speed transmission in the F53 chassis.
We installed a small removable table between the captains chairs that we set up when we camp. It's been great to grab a snack there or play cards or set up our MacBook for the few times we needed to handle a little work.
We also asked if Coachmen would install a table and chairs instead of the booth dinette.
They would not, however the did build ours with nothing there and we bought our own table and chairs and our dealer installed. Coachmen gave a $500 credit to do that.
We flat towed a 2013 Ford Explorer at first, and we still do on occasion when we stay close to home. At 4700 lbs. that was a lot for the V10 to handle. You could really feel it back there.
We recently bought a used 2009 Scion xB with a manual transmission that we flat tow. At 2900 lbs. you can hardly tell you're pulling anything and our MPG improved nicely.
We love it. We love the floor plan. We love the large shower in ours. We love the residential refrigerator over an RV fridge. We upgraded to the stainless appliances. The L-shaped sofa. I could go on.
My ONLY regret is not having the full body paint. It was a $7000 option that seemed expensive but in the grand scheme of things if you're financing, it only added a few dollars to the payment.

This was our second trip out last year.

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Old 04-06-2016, 10:53 AM   #6
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Also in ours, we did upgrade the flooring. It's vinyl tiles but they are nice than the standard flooring. Also standard now is Corian counter tops throughout.
Do not bother with upgrading the mattress, they are all junk. :lol:
We went to The Original Mattress Factory and had a nice pillow top custom made to fit.
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Old 04-06-2016, 01:50 PM   #7
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Coachmen Class A Gas

I believe the early and late 16's have several upgrades. Later 16 has co-pilot work station with extra plugs. Also rubber mats under your / driver/ passenger feet. Also King Jack antennas for OTA TV.

We've made the following upgrades with ours prior to PDI:

King Jack antenna
Satellite antenna
Direct TV box
On demand water heater
Extra outlet off inverter
3 more 12V. @ dash
Changed fans to Fan Tastic with temp and rain sensors
Safety Steer
Rear Trac bar

At home we've:

Added the "missing shelf" in the main kitchen cabinet

Added support braces under shelves in bathroom and wardrobe

Replaced / added second smoke with smoke / CO2 alarms

Upgrades / added 3 fire extinguishers

Installed 3 bin soap / shampoo dispenser I shower

Installed C-fold paper towel holders in bathroom

2' flex extension to waste tank tube

Wire racks in compartments, bath, kitchen cabinets

Borge Dully valves on rear tires

TST 507 TPMS with repeater

Interior / exterior 18" grab bars

Side turn signals / markers under the forward cameras and mid coach

Additional stop and amber turn lights. To be seen when towing

Changed the rear stop, turn, back up to Super Bright LEDs

Window shades up front for when you are driving (sun in side windows)

Synthetic engine oil.

AND..... because we never got it till late October and needed to go to storage combined with the fact Spring isn't exactly happening here in WNY. --get ready ..... WE'VE NOT EVEN SPENT A NIGHT IN IT OR commissioned the "black tanks"!

But our "shake down" trip (besides 3 to dealer for service) is 2 weeks away.
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Old 04-06-2016, 01:59 PM   #8
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Old 04-11-2016, 06:21 PM   #9
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We own a 2014 Coachmen Encounter 36BH and for the most part love it. - We bought ours used after the previous owner decided to go back to a 5th wheel so he paid the depreciation when driving off the lot. Our unit looked brand new when we got it and only had 1,500 miles and 15 hrs on the generator.

My main complaint is not having solid wood for the cabinets but plywood with a paper type decal over the cabinet frame. Cabinet doors are all solid wood with nice finishes. When purchased it we got it from a dealer who sells Coachmen so the few minor issues were taken care of by the dealer when we worked out our deal to purchase. Since purchasing the unit we've had a few additional things happen such as a crack in each of the front fender wells which were no fault of our own. The dealer worked with the factory and they covered most of the repairs and replacement parts even though we were technically the second owner and the factory warrant doesn't go beyond the initial purchaser. We were very happy Coachmen stood behind their product for us!!

We now have 30,000 miles on it and it looks as good as the day we purchased it. We've taken our Coachman from the Chicago area to southern UT twice, San Antonio TX once and Disney's Fort Wilderness twice w/ another trip planned to Disney later this year. We've also been up into Wisconsin and Michigan a few times.

For the most part the unit handles very well. We did have SureSteer products added to the suspension to help with wind gusts. Trucks passing us or us passing trucks didn't seem to be an issue but strong gusts of wind blew us around a bit. We still get pushed from the wind after the mods but not like before which is nice.

When when driving of course we have the three slides in and we can get to pretty much everything with the exception of some lower drawers in the bedroom and under the king size master bed.

The standard Ford V-10 has been excellent even in the Rockies. I pull a Hyundai Veracruz on a two wheel dolly and it has no problems with it. Of course going up the steep mountain passes you slow down a bit but that's to be expected. Even without towing the car is slows down. With you looking to pull a Jeep Wrangler I wouldn't think you would have an issue wih it.

Ours has the two Dometic AC units, Dometic Refrigerator, Atwood Furnace, Atwood stove\oven, microwave, 3 TVs, fireplace, etc. and we've experienced no issues with any of them. Ours has vinyl and carpet flooring vs tile and Corian counter tops. We wanted a nice layout so we went with the bunkhouse model which allows us to use it for many uses not only bring the grandson with. Most times it just has cat crates and dog towel on them since we travel with 3 yellow labs and 2 cats.

One thing I noticed a couple of days ago when going to the Coachman website is the Encounter isn't listed on their site any longer so I'm guessing it's now an obsolete model. I'm guessing the Cross Country has replaced the Encounter. Based on the pictures and layout it looks very similar to the Encounter.

Enjoy your hunt for your next RV and I hope this helps.
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Old 04-11-2016, 07:20 PM   #10
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We have the Coachmen Pursuit and enjoy it. Just got back from the third trip to FL with it. We had a few problems with it when new that have been corrected. Some by the dealer and some by the factory. Nate and Bob have been great to work with. Just have to get a slight rim/tire balance problem corrected and I think things will be good. Have around 13,000 mile so far.
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Old 04-11-2016, 07:29 PM   #11
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In 2002 I bought a brand new Coachmen Aurora 36'. It was nice for what I paid for it, but deep in my heart I was not happy with it because I did not like the way it handled the cross winds. The V-10 Ford had plenty of power, big slides. Kitchen counter top was kind of small. So we traded it in for a diesel pusher. Very happy with the diesel pusher. It rides so much smoother and you can hardly hear the engine on the rear.
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Old 04-11-2016, 08:42 PM   #12
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I think you are making a sound decision to look at a class A. We went from a popup, to TT, to Class A in 3 years.

Had you told me I would own a class A 2 years ago, I would have laughed at you. Funny thing though, during a hellacious tow to Florida and back, we stopped at a show in Daytona beach 'just for fun'.

While there, an extremely competent salesperson showed us a no compromise Georgetown 351DS. I say no compromise because it had all the mid to high end finishes we would have liked, but was significantly cheaper than any competitor. We did the only logical thing and left a deposit.

The next morning we had buyers remorse and decided to cancel. On the way back I started to calculate the cost of the tow vehicle, which had very little use to us when not towing, the cost of the trailer, the higher insurance cost, and considered the IDENTICAL fuel milage when towing.

You know what? My new 2016 6 speed Georgetown on a 22K frame with 22.5" tires only cost me $100 a month more. Another plus is that it is ideal for quick getaways and fast camp deployments. If you look at the time saved and additional comforts, the difference is WELL worth it.

Not to mention family comfort on long trips....

We did end up canceling but only because I found a new 2016 364TSF for approximately 100K of your dollars.

For reference the 364TSF is the 2 full bath model of the 351DS. It also has the extra slide and a bunch of other stuff. There must be a reason it's the #1 selling bunk model in North America. All that plus 22.5" wheels (makes a huge difference in ride), solid surface counters, hardwood cabinet doors, exceptional equipment level, residential fridge, and yes, it REALLY only cost me a $100 a month.

As an aside, I wouldn't recommend that model for you, I think you could find a a new 2016 or 2017 351 DS for about 92K. You might want to also look at the Georgetown XL versions of the Georgetown. Sometimes left over units are really well priced. I would have gotten an XL version if it were available.

If the finance part sounds like a no brainer, thats because it is. One caution though. Whatever brand you buy make sure you get a 2016 with a 6 speed transmission. It is apparently a game changer that closes the gap with DPs, if you believe people who had the 5 speed and traded in for the 6 speed.

Before I get a well deserved flaming, please note the I said it 'closes' the gap. I didn't say it eliminates it, there is still a difference. The 6 speed and 22.5" wheels just makes it more pleasant to drive.

Happy trails!
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Old 04-12-2016, 12:21 AM   #13
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Yeah, I am pretty much sold on 22.5 wheels. Why mess around? I did not know they went from a 5 speed to a 6 speed. Thanks for all the comments.

Now, i am seeing most of the class A gas units come with a 5,000 lb hitch. Is that going to be okay for my 2006 Wrangler Rubicon long wheelbase with a hardtop and armor installed? I am guessing it has to weigh 4,500 lbs. I guess I should weigh it.
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Old 09-11-2016, 09:44 AM   #14
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rear trac bar,

how many have installed the rear trac bar, and which one did you get for the F53 18,000 chassis
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