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Old 07-07-2014, 12:09 PM   #1
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Forza/Solei versus Ventana LE

Hello alló
I have decided to go with a short diesel pusher, and I have narrowed my choices to the Newmar Ventana LE and the Winnebago Industries Forza/Solei. I like the Winnie 34T floorplan and several Ventana LE plans, but for now letís go with the 3634. Donít want to go any bigger than that. We will primarily use the coach as a couple for two 4 to 5 week trips a year between Florida (our winter home) and Montana (our summer home). Probably a couple of 1 weekers each year from either location. Rarely if ever overnight guests.



Real Advantages I have found for the Ventana LE are: XC-R chassis (XC-S for the Forza), Comfort Drive, and Cabinet Doors. And itís a Newmar.


However, the Winnie comes pretty much fully loaded and can be had for the low 140ís. My best quote for a comparably equipped Ventana LE is about 185.


So, as much as I like Newmar, I am having trouble justifying an extra $45,000 for a comparable sized 340 HP pusher. Maybe my Newmar quote is bad?


I would love to have any opinions offered on the tradeoffs between the two coaches and why you would lean one way versus the other. I am posting this in the Newmar forum as well.


Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-07-2014, 01:26 PM   #2
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All I can say is Newmar doesn't have any windshield issues. Winnebago on the other hand is still having issues. We have a 2012 Winnebago that the windshield started leaking when it was 1 1/2 years old. Winnebago will not do anything about it. The window frame was rusted. Cost a lot to get fixed. In my opinion Newmar is a better product. We are looking to replace our Winnebago with a Newmar product. Have you looked at North Trails RV in Fort Myers Florida? They are easy to deal with and will work on the price with you.
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:55 PM   #3
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The 2015 models are geting ready to hit the market, and since you did not state what percentage of discount you may be getting, a minimum of 27% off the Newmar MSRP should be a good starting point.

If I can recommend, you should start a spread sheet comparison of any RV that you are considering in order to understand exactly what you are getting and most importantly what you are paying for. I.E H.P.; torque rating; Fluids capacity; carrying capacity; etc.

Now for a couple of specifics for comparision, the Forza is 35'6" lg. with 2 slides and 1 A/C and 1 HT pump vs. the Ventana at 36'8" lg. 2 HT pumps and more slides.

You're in the right place to ask qestions and I'm sure that you'll received a lot of good advise.

(The 3436 LE may be a better price point comparison.)
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Old 07-07-2014, 03:35 PM   #4
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newmar hands down
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Old 07-07-2014, 03:36 PM   #5
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Lass suggested very good recommendations. I would add to look closely at the fit and finish between the two. Look at the cabinets and other materials used throughout the coach. Can you find poor workmanship. Look inside the exterior storage compartments and see what may be differences in materials used in construction. Look at the slides exteriors and notice the differences in how they close flush with the wall on one and not the other. Suggest continued reading of both owners forums, to get a feeling of who are more happy with warranty work.

Suggest you give each a long test drive so you can get a true feel for the Comfort Drive vs. not having it. Try the various comfort drive settings during your test.

I am biased for Newmar, but full disclosure is I have owned 3 Winnebago's and was happy will all of them. So while I can find differences, I will add that you are looking at two good companies.
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Old 07-07-2014, 04:01 PM   #6
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I have a couple of points to add. I've been reviewing the same stuff you have, and what through me off of the forza was the immediate complaints of poor handling and ride. You can jump over to the winni forum and search + they won't put a king bed in the forza that I know of.

I think the chassis + comfort drive would make a big difference.... aside from that, newmar is a pricey brand. I don't think their meat and potatoes ever really came from the likes of the ventana or le - not when pro golfers are busting out king aires at a million a pop each year. So again, to that end, newmar always has the mindset of "things cost a little more" They aren't forest river, that's for sure.

Now also, I've beens scanning the market like CRAZY and here's what I found.

On RVT.com, there will ALWAYS be some dealer that has already shown the hand. For instance, my local dealer has a 40 foot fleetwood listed on RVT.com for like... 289,000 or something crazy, and right beside is some other dealer showing it at 179,000. That tells me exactly how far my local dealer can go.

I also noted that lazy days ALWAYS places prices about 100k higher than everyone else. I have a buddy that saw a berkshire on their site listed for 159k, and he walked with it at 84k.

The way I see it, this is a buyers market. there are over 10,000 class a rv's on RVT newer than 2005. 10,000 of them! 5000 of them newer than 2011. You pretty much get to call the punches if you ask me. Some dealer, somewhere, will let you steal one. Just be patient until you find that one place that will.

As to the forza, I've seen some jayco seneca's that look rock solid comparatively. One must consider all options.

While you are at it, you might want to look at the tiffin allegro red 33a and the phaeton. Both nice coaches too. Then there's the diplomat and the ambassador, also nice, and of course the fleetwood discovery's.. It can get overwhelming.

But if i were you I would dig my heels in the price like crazy! It's really sad when I see someone selling a 2012 model of something and right next to it is a 2014 at only 10k higher. That sort of indicates to me the person might have paid too much going in, or was upside down, or both. And that ain't gonna be me (or you ... hopefully)
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:06 PM   #7
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SCF:

Just read your post to DW and asked her opinion. We opted for the Itasca Solei 34T because we couldn't afford the Newmar. We've overcome so far the few things that were wrong with this coach (leaking windshield, mis-wired soundbar, leaking part on residential fridge). The leaking windshield was the worst, but luckily I read a post on this website that guided through correcting the leak. So far so good. Every manufacturer has their issues. You have to ask yourself is forking over an extra $45K worth it (if that is difference). We are retired full-timers, so we've kind of put all our eggs in this basket for now. I hope the problems we've experienced so far are done for a while, but I'm not that naÔve. If I had my choice, I'd go back to my big truck and fifth wheel!!!
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:27 PM   #8
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I don't know where how you come up with a 45K difference?
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:28 PM   #9
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Lanny,

What was the cause and remedy for your windshield leak? Where was it located and did repair get done by dealer under warranty?

Thanks,
Chris
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:39 PM   #10
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I've owned 3 Winnebago motorhomes over the last 17 years; 2 new, and 1 pre-owned. I became aware of the windshield frame rust problem early on, and spend a couple hours, and about $25, permanently correcting the problem. If I bought another new Winnie, as soon as I got it home, I would do the same thing.

I've seen first-hand how Winnebago dips the steel driver's cage/windshiled frame, in a primer, then a "protective paint" process, but with constant moisture being trapped behind the rubber trim moulding, it will eventually pit and rust.

What I have done, is buy a small POR-15 kit, remove the rubber trim, and prep the exposed metal per POR-15 instructions (everything is in the kit). Applied a brush-coat of POR, and when cured, re-installed the flexible vinyl trim. It will never rust again.

If you don't know anything about POR15, look it up. The more damp, humid or wet the environment, thebetter it cures. It will never peel, crack, chip, or flake. It would be great if Winnebago used it, but it's really not a big deal to fix. I've had my Horizon for 11 years now, and no rust on the windshield frame, (or anything else that I have coated with POR15. JMHO
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:37 AM   #11
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Your not looking at the true difference in price at 45K. I purchased my 3847 Ventana LE for a good bit less than the $185K. Check with several dealers around the country for a quote on an ordered unit and don't be afraid to travel to get the best price. I ended up buying from Guaranty RV in Junction City OR as they met my best price elsewhere. Push hard on the price.

I looked at the Winnies also, but there ongoing slide issues with the Schwintek slides scared me off. When I drove the Ventana with CD my mind was made up immediately. Your mileage may vary as they say. Good luck in your search.
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:39 PM   #12
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I've not read about issues with Winnebago slide that they use, didn't even know it was a Schwintek. Do you have a link to a discussion of these issues.

Nick
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:59 PM   #13
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I read the same someplace. Can't recall if it was here or on another network, but I've seen a complaint about a broken slide, and a leak at the windshield on delivery with a forza.

Not that they don't ALL have some issue or another at delivery.
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:47 PM   #14
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Traveler,
There has been several forums posts on a couple different sites which has had discussions and complaints on the slides on the newer Winn/Itasca coaches. The problem seems to lie in the use of Schwintek slide mechanisms in the longer slides, which evidently were not well engineered to handle the weight and length of the newer slides found on newer coaches. My previous coach was a Journey 36' (07) and we had no issues, but the newer units started using the Schwintek, even on the large full wall length slides. Do a search on one or several of the RV sites and you should find discussions on this issue. My computer skills are pretty weak so linking sites is not in my pay grade. Just today at lunch I spoke with a best friend who's neighbor recently bought a new gas Itasca. First time home had slide problems and is going to the dealer for second time for same issue.
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