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Old 11-04-2012, 11:37 AM   #43
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As you can see you get all kinds of opinions. Most are opinionated to whatever they own. Our first class A was a 2006 Bounder, wife loved layout private bathroom,shower etc. Personally I think they are all pretty much the same as long as your in the same price range. The way I look at it is when you see it you will KNOW that this is the one I want. That is my thinking anyway.Hopefully this Heritage will be our last Motorhome but you never know what you will see down the road and say I have got to get one like that. Who cares what the brand name says as long as you are both happy enjoy!
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:52 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Mopar View Post
I have to throw a vote for Thor/Damon in for #3 spot. They're high level gas coaches and entry diesels are made with the same care as comparable Newmar models....using similar building techniques and materials.
Well even though I initially asked the question I've been looking and observing and based on a long test drive of several vechicles: Newmar, Tiffin, Monaco, Fleetwood and Thor I can honestly say that I've eliminated the possibility of purchasing a Thor product in the forseeable future.


Driving the DP's back-back was very revealing. When looking at the new coaches the differences were not as apparent. However, when looking at 2006 vechicles it was very obvious which manufactures 'held up' better than others. Then when driving the coaches over the same road condition one right after the other it was easy for my wife and I to eliminate the Thor product which was really heart breaking because it had the mid-living floor plan that the other manufactures didn't produce at that time.
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Old 11-04-2012, 03:34 PM   #45
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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?
Since I own a Monaco product and have dug into about every nook and cranny doing modifications too numerous to remember I can tell you it is extremely well built. This is our 7th rv and have always been a modifier. For example. The light fluoresent light fixtures in past rv's were held up with wood screws into 2x2 wood backings or less in some rv's. In the Monaco there is an aluminum frame to hold the fixture. The whole frame work is aluminum. The roof is an amazing piece. Layers of glass, foam, wood, more insulation, more wood, more fiberglass etc. The studs are extremely strong and walking on the roof is solid as a rock. The floors have many layers as well. Insulation is shot into every nook and cranny underneath. The chassis frame with the 8 airbags holds this heavy monster up. We are going to be fulltiming in this one soon and expect it to last another ten years without any issues.

Go with the one the wife likes. That's a no brainer for me. If momma ain't happy, no ones happy.
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:11 PM   #46
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This post is too specific to not merit a specific reply...but about the O.P., to cross any Mfgt off a shopping list is just a mistake in my opinion...maybe a different year unit with better care would give momma the floorplan and give you the feel in the drive that works.

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Those floorplan differences are pretty big. Took the DW about 30 seconds to determine the Outlaw was not for her.

...and many would not prefer how the bath in 3920 is so small and juts so far into the main living space. Also, any and all foot traffic from the garage to the bathroom or main room - must go through the bedroom - just unacceptable to many.

I can't speak to what Thor is doing with Damon now, but I would charactize the Damon Outlaw as an entry level coach, and the New Canyon Star as a mid-level. I own a Newmar '12 3920 now, and had a '97 Damon Daybreak before it.

A 15 year old experience is really not a fair measure. The Daybreak was and still is an economy priced motorhome (just research the website) but the Outlaw (only made since 2007) is not what most anyone could call inexpensive.

Again, maybe Thor is doing things differently now, but I was always astonished by what I would find when I looked under cushions, behind drawers, etc. at how stuff was put togther on the Damon. It looked nice at first glance, but Damon seemed to believe that a wood screw was the right fastener for pretty much every situation. I was always filling stripped screw holes or putting in bolts to replace the wood screws.

Like I said before, I personally compared a 2012 Canyon Star 3920 and 2012 Outlaw, plus I own a '07 Outlaw, but could find no major differences in the manufacturing styles. And, comparing 2 RV's of the same year is a fair test.

Maybe the Newar will be the same in 12 years, but there are lots of subtle differents in build approach I see.

For example:the basement compartments on both are thin metal sheets. On the Damon, there was a frame around the door that the locks latched to, supported by the cabinet floor. On the Newmar, the door latch is on an L shaped piece of metal attached to the basement frame.

Umm, no - The basement bins on every Outlaw ever made are rotomolded composite. The bins are suspended from high quality all-welded steel frames. The doors are double walled and insulated and hung on the frame. Even the pass-thru bins are one piece composite.

If you have a lot of weight in the basement, the door frame on the Damon would move, the latches would disengage, and the doors would fly open on the freeway. (Mostly in a driving rain, it seemed!) The Newmar frame isn't being supported by the basement floor, it won't move the same way even if you overload it.

Another error...Loading the bins in an Outlaw will have no impact on the hinge or latch. Except for the material used to construct the bins, I saw little difference in the basements between the models...but now I know that Newmar is using sheet metal for the bins, I would prefer the "never rust" and hard to dent composite.

I think it reflects the design approach taken by the two companies. The original Damon was focused on "value by design" - which seemed to be doing things the cheapest way that worked. Newmar seems to be a step up.

"Value" and "Cheap" are very different things and I pick value over fluff, but that does explain the big difference in price between the 2 models despite very little other difference.

My dealer recently dropped the Thor line, citing more shortcuts like this still be taking in new coaches, so I would opt for the older Newmar over the newer Thor.

To drop the "Thor line" a dealer would be dropping the sum total all motorized products that included Damon and others offering 3 DP's, 6 Gas Class "A"s and 9 brands of Class "B" and "C" plus Airstream, Breckeridge, Crossroads, Dutchmen, Keystone, Heartland and Redwood. Of course a dealer could do this
http://thormotorcoach.com/...a pretty big block of business to drop.
I will highlight one bad point about the 3920...there is a fiberglass cap over the rear ramp and it is just too thin to withstand the test of time for a vehicle ramp. It was easy to see it bow when the dealer opened and closed the rear ramp...heck it is even flexing in the Mfgt's website video. If I had a 3920, I would be very careful with that.

Opinions are great, but to make statements that are in error is just wrong. I love my Damon Outlaw, the original Class "A" Toyhauler. And there's lots of folks that feel like I do too
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:30 PM   #47
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[QUOTE=anotherone;1359035]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Mopar View Post
I have to throw a vote for Thor/Damon in for #3 spot. They're high level gas coaches and entry diesels are made with the same care as comparable Newmar models....using similar building techniques and materials.

uh I dont agree.

uh...you're gonna wanna elaborate. It's always good to disagree, but it's not nice to not say why .

I'll say that Thor makes both great and horrible-ish products products. Kind of like Coachmen, which I know all too well

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Originally Posted by Theluckys View Post
Well even though I initially asked the question I've been looking and observing and based on a long test drive of several vechicles: Newmar, Tiffin, Monaco, Fleetwood and Thor I can honestly say that I've eliminated the possibility of purchasing a Thor product in the forseeable future.


Driving the DP's back-back was very revealing. When looking at the new coaches the differences were not as apparent. However, when looking at 2006 vechicles it was very obvious which manufactures 'held up' better than others. Then when driving the coaches over the same road condition one right after the other it was easy for my wife and I to eliminate the Thor product which was really heart breaking because it had the mid-living floor plan that the other manufactures didn't produce at that time.
I can say that not all Thors are created equal, far from it actually, depending on year and model. The company DOES make quality motorhomes, but not every Thor is one. Take the Hurricane for example (at least the Hurricanes of not long ago). Cheap, popular, no frills....the Chevy Cobalt of motorhomes. Low-end fiberglass construction (the type that you can vaguely see the texture of the fiberglass strands). They can start to de-lam after a couple of years, leak when only a few months old, hinges rust, basement storage compartments sometimes aren't water tight, etc etc. Far from being well engineered, although with proper maintenance, they've served thousands well over the years.

Then take a unit like our Intruder. I could have had any gasser I wanted, but I chose it because it had a nice layout, beyond plenty of storage, and was well built....solid-wood cabinet facings and trim, vacuum bonded glass-smooth finished sidewalls, aluminum subframe structure, high density polyethylene lined storage compartments, integrated heavy gauge steel-trussed substructure, among other things. Greek to some, but it's stuff like this that companies like Newmar use to set their MHs apart. So in short, not all Motorhomes are created equal, not even if they're made by the same company. Otherwise that's like saying "a Chevy Cobalt is junk, therefore a Chevy Corvette ZR1 is also junk"

I've been around plenty of MHs, and on top of that our friends operate a Newmar dealership. I'll put my Damon against any gas Newmar of the same vintage. If you find 3 or 4 legitimate issues where the Damon really falls short compared to the competition, I'll fly you and whoever else here for a mini-vacation, just so I can shake your hand and say "you were right" haha. Not being cocky on that one, just I know what I know.

Make an informed decision when you buy ANY motorhome from ANY brand, even if it's a brand that most agree is top notch. Sometimes companies drop the ball, so make sure that your next MH wasn't the ball they dropped.
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:30 AM   #48
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[QUOTE=Jon Mopar;1361219]


I can say that not all Thors are created equal, far from it actually, depending on year and model. The company DOES make quality motorhomes, but not every Thor is one. Take the Hurricane for example (at least the Hurricanes of not long ago). Cheap, popular, no frills....the Chevy Cobalt of motorhomes. Low-end fiberglass construction (the type that you can vaguely see the texture of the fiberglass strands). They can start to de-lam after a couple of years, leak when only a few months old, hinges rust, basement storage compartments sometimes aren't water tight, etc etc. Far from being well engineered, although with proper maintenance, they've served thousands well over the years.9/[quote]

While I mentioned that I won't be looking at any further Damon/Thor products I didn't get specific - so now I will.

My wife and I had narrowed our search down to the Tiffin & Monaco based on her specific floor plans and (sigh) inside color schemes and bathroom layout.

We visited our local dealer and while there we were shown a Damon Tuscany that had the identical floor plan as the Knight SKQ (mid-living). Both of us liked the Damon look and feel but then little things began to happen: The handle on one of the doors can off when opening, the salesperson struggled to get the unit turned on, two of the doors at the base wouldn't shut correctly, the bathroom door screw hinges popped out. It was frankly embarrassing to the salesperson and we kept hearing, 'it will get checked out and all these little things taken care of before deliver.' Then when driving the unit the sway was more, the noise level higher, it just didn't live up to the level of the Monaco, Tiffin, Newmar or even the Fleetwood Revolution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Mopar View Post
Make an informed decision when you buy ANY motorhome from ANY brand, even if it's a brand that most agree is top notch. Sometimes companies drop the ball, so make sure that your next MH wasn't the ball they dropped.
Maybe the original owners of that Damon were just very tough on the MH but with so many unit out there to look at sometimes you need some criteria to narrow down the field. Sometimes it's price, sometimes it's the layout - or in DW's case the colors. I just felt that with the Damon you get less than what you pay for when compared to the Tiffin, Newmar, Monaco & Fleetwood.

BTW we didn't get the Knight because it had a very bad leak with damage to the wood that was extensive and the Phaeton was sold before we were able to get our bid on the unit. That's when the salesperson offered the Damon and Fleetwood to us
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:53 AM   #49
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Quote:

While I mentioned that I won't be looking at any further Damon/Thor products I didn't get specific - so now I will.

My wife and I had narrowed our search down to the Tiffin & Monaco based on her specific floor plans and (sigh) inside color schemes and bathroom layout.

We visited our local dealer and while there we were shown a Damon Tuscany that had the identical floor plan as the Knight SKQ (mid-living). Both of us liked the Damon look and feel but then little things began to happen: The handle on one of the doors can off when opening, the salesperson struggled to get the unit turned on, two of the doors at the base wouldn't shut correctly, the bathroom door screw hinges popped out. It was frankly embarrassing to the salesperson and we kept hearing, 'it will get checked out and all these little things taken care of before deliver.' Then when driving the unit the sway was more, the noise level higher, it just didn't live up to the level of the Monaco, Tiffin, Newmar or even the Fleetwood Revolution.



Maybe the original owners of that Damon were just very tough on the MH but with so many unit out there to look at sometimes you need some criteria to narrow down the field. Sometimes it's price, sometimes it's the layout - or in DW's case the colors. I just felt that with the Damon you get less than what you pay for when compared to the Tiffin, Newmar, Monaco & Fleetwood.

BTW we didn't get the Knight because it had a very bad leak with damage to the wood that was extensive and the Phaeton was sold before we were able to get our bid on the unit. That's when the salesperson offered the Damon and Fleetwood to us
Ahh, all good reasons to trust your gut I guess. I do understand that things happen (screws popping out of a hinge or a loose door handle can and will happen in a Prevost Marathon just as it can with a tent trailer), but it shows that the sales staff haven't gone over the unit like they should have....and if you get a bad vibe, you just have to go with it. It's your money at the end of the day, so you have to get what you like. If a motorhome fails so start...that's on Caterpillar, Cummins or whoever made the powertrain.

This is a perfect example of how it all comes down to how models differ, and how you really need to experience a MH for yourself. Get in pre-owned Monaco La Palma or a Tiffin Allegro Bus / Allegro Bay, and you'll understand how different they can be quality wise.
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:06 PM   #50
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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

OK, what the hell is a DW? dishwasher, dickwad,
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:30 PM   #51
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OK, what the hell is a DW? dishwasher, dickwad,
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:40 PM   #52
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hahaha dickwad....nice
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:26 AM   #53
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So what is the consensus on Winnebago or Itasca(same thing really)? Winnebago had only been mentioned once. Do they not fall within the top 4 or 5? I'm just wondering because we are on the verge of owning a 2008 Itasca Ellipse 40WD.
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