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Old 07-08-2012, 05:30 PM   #1
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Different motor homes

We are looking for a Class A motor home and would like to know where they fall in quality levels. What manufacturers are at the top, in the middle, and the lower end. Based on what I read here Newmar seems to be a top quality coach, so what would be a middle quality or a low end coach?

We looked at a Fleetwood Providence 39S yesterday. It is a 2005 model, where would that fall? I'd don't know where to find a listing of manufacturer's and a ranking of their quality.
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:39 PM   #2
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Top quality
Prevost (most of the converters are great)
Newell
Foretravel
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:54 PM   #3
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Quality ranking Class A

First, what is your budget range?
Second, are you looking to purchase new, or used?
Third, where do you live?

There are several levels of motorhomes.

Top Quality - $350,000 to $1,000,000+
High Quality(Diesel units) - $160,000 to $275,000
High quality (Gas) - $125,000 to $200,000
Good quality (Gas) - $75,000 to $150,000

These amounts are all ball park figures and vary some from region to region, dealer to dealer.

If you are willing to buy used your options are greatly increased for higher quality rigs at better prices.

I suggest you first decide your budget, then go look at as many different units as possible in that price range. Look for the floor plan and features that fit closest to your wish list.

IMHO, this is a ranking of high quality, reasonably priced motorhomes, both new and used. Orphans are those that went out of business during the fall of the economy.

Newmar
Tiffin
National-Orphan Models: Gas: Sea Breeze, Sea View, Dolphin, Surfside. Diesel-Tropical, Tradewinds, Pacifica, Caribbean and Marlin
Monaco - Original manufacturer and new under Navistar
Winnebago/Itasca
Alpine - Orphan
Thor
Fleetwood-Gas: Flair, Bounder, Southwind, Pace Arrow. Diesel: Bounder, Expedition, Providence

I am sure I am missing some, but another poster will correct me.

Good luck in your search.

Happy Trails!

Darryl
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:01 PM   #4
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Most of the major manufacturers make coaches in several prices ranges, so quality can vary among their models too. A higher priced model will of course have more amenities, but when the price difference gets large enough there will be pure quality differences too, i.e. more expensive but higher quality components used.

For example, Fleetwood's American Coach line is a totally separate coach from the Providence and other mid-range diesels. Scarcely a single part in common.
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desobelman View Post
First, what is your budget range?
Second, are you looking to purchase new, or used?
Third, where do you live?

There are several levels of motorhomes.

Top Quality - $350,000 to $1,000,000+
High Quality(Diesel units) - $160,000 to $275,000
High quality (Gas) - $125,000 to $200,000
Good quality (Gas) - $75,000 to $150,000

These amounts are all ball park figures and vary some from region to region, dealer to dealer.

If you are willing to buy used your options are greatly increased for higher quality rigs at better prices.

I suggest you first decide your budget, then go look at as many different units as possible in that price range. Look for the floor plan and features that fit closest to your wish list.

IMHO, this is a ranking of high quality, reasonably priced motorhomes, both new and used. Orphans are those that went out of business during the fall of the economy.

Newmar
Tiffin
National-Orphan Models: Gas: Sea Breeze, Sea View, Dolphin, Surfside. Diesel-Tropical, Tradewinds, Pacifica, Caribbean and Marlin
Monaco - Original manufacturer and new under Navistar
Winnebago/Itasca
Alpine - Orphan
Thor
Fleetwood-Gas: Flair, Bounder, Southwind, Pace Arrow. Diesel: Bounder, Expedition, Providence

I am sure I am missing some, but another poster will correct me.

Good luck in your search.

Happy Trails!

Darryl

Don't forget Entegra rose up from Travel Supreme -Top quality coaches.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:43 PM   #6
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RVing2go - you need to add your second post. You need to answer the questions posted by desobelman for us to be able to comment much. You need to say

new or used
approx price range
diesel or gas
size approx.

And so on.

A general comment I can make is that the RV Consumer Group makes a living rating coaches. They are not perfect, but they do provide ratings on pretty much every coach made for every year. Lots on this forum will complain about them, but when I was looking three years ago the RVCG was the most complete rating group.

Second general comment. You and your families careful consideration is the most important rating. Pretty much house quality is evident upon careful inspection. Careful inspection of a 2008 Providence 39R is what kept us from buying it. We felt the interior was not heavy duty enough. When we looked at a new one it looked great. When we looked at a 17,000 one there were already signs of significant wear. But IMHO the Providence floor plans are really impressive. They drive well too. Limited basement storage.

After the house is Ok'd by you and your significant other (assuming there is one) then drive whatever you are looking at. If it goes straight down the road and feels comfortable to drive try to put your impressions in your memory. Then go out and drive 10 more. Leave check book at home for the first 7 test drives.

Most RV sales men are lying any time their lips are moving. Look for the few that are really good honest guys. I found a couple. Run from the liars. Check on line ratings of dealers. I personally like dealers as they know what they are doing and many times separate the damaged from the good. If they are honest.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:31 PM   #7
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OK,

Didn't see much mention of the Jayco Class C diesel. Anyone have any comments? I am looking at dissapearing off the face of the Earth and discovering America. I spent 23 years defending her so now I would like to see her. My wife and I are thinking about going full time.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:54 PM   #8
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drobertson - Just a disclaimer, I am only giving my opinions I am not an expert at rating motor homes. Three years ago when I was looking high and low for a good motor home to buy for my wife and I I did look at Jayco's. I like them. A big advantage is that they are easier to get in and drive because you are in a similar situation to a car or pickup. Motor in front with a hood. Drivers door (another advantage) and not so high a seating position compared with class A's. They offer a lot for the money. Three years ago I could have bought a brand new 3 slide one in Temecua CA for under 100.

To me the disadvantages are noisy motor right in front of you and rough ride. In a DP the diesel is about 35' away. They are usually very quiet. Nearly all DP's come with air ride. That is a huge ride advantage. Not that springs could not be engineered to ride smooth. I used to own a GMC motor home from the 1970's and it had front springs and rode like a big Caddy. But the Jayco's I looked at did not have air ride and rode like a delivery truck.

If you are going to park for extended periods of time and not drive every day a super C might be just the ticket. They have nice houses for the money and are very sturdy. Jayco is a good company.
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:30 AM   #9
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If you going Full timeing then that makes a difference also. Make sure what you get has excellent insulation, also do you want propane or total electric. If you go full timing do you also want to be able to go for long periods off the grid, then you need a big battery bank and maybe even a big solar system. What about storage, yeah there is that also. Lots of things to take into consideration. Size will play big depending on where you think you are going. Alot of the big rigs will not be able to get into the National or State Parks due to their size. You will need 40' or less. Gas or diesel and what do plan on using for a Toad. The size of the MH can dictate the Toad you use.

Now, that we have your attention get out there and kick some tires and spend the next 6 months talking to the people that actually use them and see what kinds of things you think will really matter to you.
Good luck
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desobelman View Post
First, what is your budget range?
Second, are you looking to purchase new, or used?
Third, where do you live?

There are several levels of motorhomes.

Top Quality - $350,000 to $1,000,000+
High Quality(Diesel units) - $160,000 to $275,000
High quality (Gas) - $125,000 to $200,000
Good quality (Gas) - $75,000 to $150,000
You might need to change those price points.
A new Dutch Star optioned out can run close to $400,000 list price and Newmar doesn't even consider it a luxury coach! A King Air can come in at $800,000. So far they haven't done a Prevost conversion but I'm betting they will.
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:23 PM   #11
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You might need to change those price points.
A new Dutch Star optioned out can run close to $400,000 list price and Newmar doesn't even consider it a luxury coach! A King Air can come in at $800,000. So far they haven't done a Prevost conversion but I'm betting they will.

We looked at the Marathon conversions but my wife says they look like Vegas nightclubs with all the glitz and mirrors. She didn't care for the finish of any we saw. Hopefully if Newmar does one it will be with taste not flash.
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Old 07-12-2012, 06:19 PM   #12
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You deserve to have a "stress free" ownership experience. While I will not recommend specific brands, these are the things that are important IMHO:

-Cargo Carrying Capacity...more is infinitely better

-Large tankage -fuel, fresh water and waste water

-Real wood cabinetry with good fit/finish

-Full body paint...much easier to keep looking like new

-Fiberglass roof

-Generator on a slide for easy access and servicing.

-Bus style (pantograph) cargo doors with slides for easy loading and un-loading. While this is rare, you can find it in certain units.

-Side radiator

-Complete engine access from rear of the coach and from the tilt-up bed. This will save you a bunch and will allow you to easily inspect and clean your engine and not pay thru the nose for repairs due to more labor required to perform simple tasks.

Look used, good condition and flagships of their respective brand as your recipe for success.

Good luck, have fun!

Dave
1998 American Eagle 40 EVS
(Yes it meets the parameters outline above!)
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:07 PM   #13
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We started with a 27 Class 'C' very basic MH. We now have a 38' DP and it is so far ahead of the class 'C' that it not funny. As has already been said, look at what you can afford to make for payments and then go from there. A lot of the gas MH's are built on a less complitated chassic. With most of mid to high range Class 'A', not only do you have a larger tire but a much better suspension system. One of the down sides it that it will cost more to maintain a DP then a gasser. For us, we also looked at the larger water and propane tanks. We do a fair amount of boondocking and that helps.
If possible drive several different models in the size that you are looking at and see what you really like. Also, shop around as there are some REALLY good deals out there.
Good luck and have fun!!
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:08 PM   #14
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If you check NADA RV you can see what they price it at, and they also show the price when new, you can compare which ones dropped a lot of their value in a few years and which ones are holding values better,
I looked at 3 to 5 year old coaches with severe delamination on many of a certain brand, yet it has a good reputation ?,
when I contacted the manufacturer to ask questions about the roof constructon they told me the roof was not designed for multiple people sitting or walking around on and that we should not walk on the roof much unless we layed down some diamond plate sheets, I wanted to attend some races so that brand was off my list.
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