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Old 09-04-2012, 11:52 AM   #15
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I also suggest, as you are comparing manufactures and comparing specific coaches, to spend time looking at the unit from the underneath. I learned a great deal in my search from looking at the mechanicals, the construction, quality of weldments, corrosion, how well wires, pipes, and hoses are run, etc. etc. When comparing models also consider if it has a fiberglass roof, what appliance is being used for heat and hot water, what version of the Chassis is the house mounted on.

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Old 09-05-2012, 06:32 AM   #16
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I don't want to come across as a smart ass, but after being around for well over 70 years, about 20 of those with MHs, I believe I can recognize quality when I see it. In my experience, cost is the key. Look at $200K and $500K unit, the difference is obvious. I don't believe a manufacturer will take a "cheap" chassis and drive train then use top of the line appliances, solid wood cabinets, Corian counter tops, top quality heating and cooling systems, etc. I'm not talking ginger bread like mirrors, lights and smoke.

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Jim,

You're correct in what you say and I'm sure most people will agree with that. However in order to see the difference between cabinets you physically have to touch them.

Another example is seating - all 'leather seats' are not the same. I've been reading about the problems that some owners are having with their Ultraleather seats after about 6 years in which they are flaking off the leather - however when they bought those units in 2006 they didn't think it was a problem.

I don't expect a 300,000 coach to be of the same quality as a 150,000 coach; I wouldn't expect a Mercedes SL to be the same price as a Chevy Cruz.

However there are things with a Class A MH that I can't see; drive trains, chasis, plumbing, etc., and I was wondering about how those things held up. When you look at pictures and brochures everything looks good (well ALMOST everything)

When I started to seriously look at upgrading I immediately discounted all gas Class A's because I 'though' they weren't as good as the diesels. However for OUR needs and where we're going to use the MH a gasser will suffice because our plan is to have a unit for 5 years and be able to handle 12K/year before trading.

In the auto world Lexus has an IS model to get drivers used to the Lexus experience in the hopes that when they trade in they upgrade to an ES or ultimately LS. Acura, Toyota, BMW; they all do the same.

What RV manufactures do that as well - or because they don't put out that many units is there a difference?

People talk about layouts and going with the layout you like so my question is should I get a 2012 Encounter that has a layout that I love or for the same price get a 2009 Canyon Star from a company that I 'believe' to be of higher quality?
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:35 AM   #17
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I also suggest, as you are comparing manufactures and comparing specific coaches, to spend time looking at the unit from the underneath. I learned a great deal in my search from looking at the mechanicals, the construction, quality of weldments, corrosion, how well wires, pipes, and hoses are run, etc. etc. When comparing models also consider if it has a fiberglass roof, what appliance is being used for heat and hot water, what version of the Chassis is the house mounted on.

Mike
Mike - these are things that I have NO KNOWLEDGE about; for now at least!

For example welds - how do you know what's quality vs not? With regards to roofs fiberglass; if this something to avoid or something to seek out?

I'm asking here because let's face it folks any dealer will tell you what you want to hear in order to make a sale; sure I listen to them but I take it with a grain of salt.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:25 AM   #18
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DW and I just went through a similiar scenario, starting out looking for a 2005 to 2008 nice used gasser when I read a comparison thread on rv.net forum comparing Georgetown to Tiffin, in particular the GT 378XL vs. the comparison Tiffin model, with the Tiffin being 40K to 50K more. Made me start looking at new/newer Georgetowns which seem to offer an awful lot of features for the money. Landed up with my 2011 GT with 4600 miles on it, not that far out of the price range of the '07 and '08's we looked at. Certainly is more rig than what the DW and I thought we could afford.
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Old 09-05-2012, 05:03 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by MJFZ View Post
I also suggest, as you are comparing manufactures and comparing specific coaches, to spend time looking at the unit from the underneath. I learned a great deal in my search from looking at the mechanicals, the construction, quality of weldments, corrosion, how well wires, pipes, and hoses are run, etc. etc. When comparing models also consider if it has a fiberglass roof, what appliance is being used for heat and hot water, what version of the Chassis is the house mounted on.

Mike
Lucky:
I agree with Mike's recommendations. Get on a creeper and take a look under different rigs. Take a mechanic buddy with you and you'll quickly pick up on manufacturing differences.
I'm an aircraft mechanic by training and probably spent twice as much time under various chassis with a flashlight and mirror than inside the coaches. I witnessed lots of lousy workmanship issues however atrocious wire routing was the most egregious workmanship problem I witnessed. Bundles hard against frames, missing stand offs, chafing against propane lines, connectors exposed to road salts and debris and etc., etc.

I did not see any manufacturers that did not exhibit these conditions. In fairness I never climbed under a Prevo, Tiffan or a Newmar so perhaps they are fine however for the price they damned well better be.

As a new RV owner I recently purchased a 2002 Coachmen Cross Country Elite 36 diesel pusher. She sits on a Freightliner Cross Country chassis with a Cummins 300 HP ISB and Allison 3000-MH 6 speed with 39,000 miles. I paid short money and it is a beautiful rig. Over the years this chassis has been well sorted and there are thousands on the road. It handles great and is a joy to drive.
It even has a separate toilet enclosure so my wife isn't exposed to my morning indiscretions while she applies her makeup and brushes her teeth.

Heck, if the leather covered Flexsteel seats start flaking I'll have them reupholstered or heaven forbid a cabinet door becomes loose I'll tighten it.

Lucky, buy what you feel comfortable with. I like my new/used rig and I didn't have to liquidate assets or take a loan to purchase it. If I run into hiccups I'll deal with it.
If you do "check book" maintenance or the precipitous drop in value doesn't bother you perhaps a new rig would be your best choice.

Most importantly, have fun in your quest and good luck. There are lots of informed folks on this site who generously offer their advice. Take advantage it.

Best Regards,

60Vette
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:18 AM   #20
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Lucky:
I agree with Mike's recommendations. Get on a creeper and take a look under different rigs. Take a mechanic buddy with you and you'll quickly pick up on manufacturing differences.
I'm an aircraft mechanic by training and probably spent twice as much time under various chassis with a flashlight and mirror than inside the coaches. I witnessed lots of lousy workmanship issues however atrocious wire routing was the most egregious workmanship problem I witnessed. Bundles hard against frames, missing stand offs, chafing against propane lines, connectors exposed to road salts and debris and etc., etc.

I did not see any manufacturers that did not exhibit these conditions. In fairness I never climbed under a Prevo, Tiffan or a Newmar so perhaps they are fine however for the price they damned well better be.
Thanks for that advice; especially about bringing a mechanic with me because honestly I wouldn't know half of what I was looking at.

[QUOTE=60Vette;1299961]As a new RV owner I recently purchased a 2002 Coachmen Cross Country Elite 36 diesel pusher. She sits on a Freightliner Cross Country chassis with a Cummins 300 HP ISB and Allison 3000-MH 6 speed with 39,000 miles. I paid short money and it is a beautiful rig. Over the years this chassis has been well sorted and there are thousands on the road. It handles great and is a joy to drive.
It even has a separate toilet enclosure so my wife isn't exposed to my morning indiscretions while she applies her makeup and brushes her teeth.

Heck, if the leather covered Flexsteel seats start flaking I'll have them reupholstered or heaven forbid a cabinet door becomes loose I'll tighten it.[quote]

The bathroom situation is just what my wife is looking for. I bought up the seat issue because it just makes me wonder - if a manufacturer cuts corners with defective seat material what else are they doing? As far as seats, yeah that may be a pain but if the steering goes, or chasis, or a roof leak....well I hope you get my picture.

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Lucky, buy what you feel comfortable with. I like my new/used rig and I didn't have to liquidate assets or take a loan to purchase it. If I run into hiccups I'll deal with it.
If you do "check book" maintenance or the precipitous drop in value doesn't bother you perhaps a new rig would be your best choice.

Most importantly, have fun in your quest and good luck. There are lots of informed folks on this site who generously offer their advice. Take advantage it.

Best Regards,

60Vette
60Vette - thanks for your suggestions. I'm seeking the advice from the experienced in the crowd because I do just want to have fun and not spend more time with the Rig in the garage than on the road! We're not looking to live in it but instead use it 1 or 2 a month for smaller trips (500 miles or less round trip). I don't need or want the best all wood cabinets but I want to make sure they don't fall off while I'm driving down the road.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:36 PM   #21
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Monaco Knight vs. Tiffin Phaeton

Well we're looking at two specific DP's both are 2007 models. Both have 20,000 miles.

Knight 40 SKT versus Phaeton 40 QDH

Both have maintenance records.

We like the floor plans on both and amazingly both are very similar in prices (7K difference with the Tiffin being the more expensive of the two)

I'm inclined to take the Tiffin while the Mrs. is leaning towards the Monaco (it has ..."pretty colors" direct quote).

Any recommendations?
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:12 PM   #22
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Prime recommendation is: listen to the DW :-)
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:37 PM   #23
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As for who makes the best coach, I believe that just like the answer to every question in the universe, it depends. We have owned a few over the years and some have been great coaches/motorhomes. We did buy a gulf stream conquest that had some SERIOUS quality issues. As for the original question, just make sure you know what you are getting into, the gulf stream taught us that lesson.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:45 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Theluckys View Post
Well we're looking at two specific DP's both are 2007 models. Both have 20,000 miles.

Knight 40 SKT versus Phaeton 40 QDH

Both have maintenance records.

We like the floor plans on both and amazingly both are very similar in prices (7K difference with the Tiffin being the more expensive of the two)

I'm inclined to take the Tiffin while the Mrs. is leaning towards the Monaco (it has ..."pretty colors" direct quote).

Any recommendations?
You can't go wrong with either coach. I think your wife knows which one she wants.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:42 PM   #25
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You can't go wrong with either, but as an extremely biased 08 knight owner..... Monaco's 8 air bag roadmaster chassis is the best in the business in a non tag rig. WAY better than the cheap isb powered frightliners....

On your floorplan comments, a real bathroom with a door, non walk thru separate room, was a requirement for us. Monaco's skq floorplan (diplomat and knight, late 80's) has it, and we love it.
Sportcoach has a similar ploorplan. Brand new for about the same as we paid for the (4 year old) monaco. Note i bought the monaco after dw declared the sportcoach to the "the one"
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:20 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Theluckys View Post
Well we're looking at two specific DP's both are 2007 models. Both have 20,000 miles.

Knight 40 SKT versus Phaeton 40 QDH

Both have maintenance records.

We like the floor plans on both and amazingly both are very similar in prices (7K difference with the Tiffin being the more expensive of the two)

I'm inclined to take the Tiffin while the Mrs. is leaning towards the Monaco (it has ..."pretty colors" direct quote).

Any recommendations?
Go over to TiffinRVNetwork and inquire about the '07 Phaeton, lots of great Tiffin knowledge and experience there.
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:35 PM   #27
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If The DW isn't happy no ones happy, just a little advice to cover your, well you know what I mean. Jim
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:38 PM   #28
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If The DW isn't happy no ones happy, just a little advice to cover your, well you know what I mean. Jim
The wife is always right , even when she's not
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