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Old 09-24-2014, 01:37 AM   #1
MPH
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How good is National?

I'm still shopping for our first MH. Have seen a few National coaches on the internet classified sites, but don't know a thing about them. Is the quality equal to Newmar or Winnegago or Monaco or Country Coach? Are they still in business? What are the pros and cons with a National motorhome?

Thanks!

Mel
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Old 09-24-2014, 03:40 AM   #2
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National was located in Perris California. They are no longer in business. Certainly here on IRV2 they enjoy a good reputation for quality. There is National forum here and maybe by searching it you can read comments.

I own one and have been happy with it; as you can see from my signature it is now twelve years old. We have not experienced any problems related to quality of construction. As a matter of fact when I bought this MH I did not know anything about MH's. I took my time and looked at many different manufactures products. In the end I finally decided that National made the best of those I compared. It was the main reason for my purchase.

The fact that they are out of business has had virtually no effect on my ownership so far. Parts are available and except for body fiberglass MH's basically are an amalgamation of many different components made by multiple manufactures who remain in business.

To the degree that build quality is continually suspect among all manufacturers I think it is safe to say National products have the reputation of being above average.
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Old 09-24-2014, 06:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njs42 View Post
The fact that they are out of business has had virtually no effect on my ownership so far. Parts are available and except for body fiberglass MH's basically are an amalgamation of many different components made by multiple manufactures who remain in business.

To the degree that build quality is continually suspect among all manufacturers I think it is safe to say National products have the reputation of being above average.
X's 2 Have been very happy with mine, when shopping did some research and found them to be very good quality and well built, did not cut corners on construction and appears they used high quality products. As I have done some shopping for a little newer unit I find myself using the fit and finish of mine as the threshold and find many popular brand units coming up short.

I would replace mine with a newer National with no hesitation.
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Old 09-24-2014, 10:23 AM   #4
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Even though I have mine for sale on here I agree with trode! The quality in my opinion is excellent. My 2003 doesn't have all the bells and whistle but for quality I put it right up there with some of the higher end gas units. Don't know about the DP's if that's what your looking for but I'm sure someone on here knows about those also. If your looking for a gas mine is listed in the classifieds on here and the only reason I'm selling is because I have gotten older and we are wanting to downsize and I refuse to let a dealer give me wholesale on a trade for it. Good luck in your hunt!
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Old 09-24-2014, 11:32 AM   #5
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We have a 2005 National Tropical DP. Very happy with the coach. The build quality is very good. Equal to or better than Winnie, Fleetwood, Monaco or Newmar coaches that we looked at in the price range. Overall value for price was much higher in the National because they are OOB and don't have the same name recognition as the others.

Nice standard features including solar charger, energy management system, surround sound, inverter, fiberglass roof, wood cabinets, etc. Systems are well laid out, labeled and serviceable

All parts and systems readily available including headlights, tail-lights etc. Some after-market body panels are also available.

We have two friends with National coaches and they are very happy as well.

Good luck in your search!!
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Old 09-24-2014, 01:46 PM   #6
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have a 99 tradewind and fulltime now about 6 months. found nothing wrong and love the floorplan.

we have over 45000 mi. and it is a diesel pusher, get avg of 10 mpg and there again no problems.

JMHO if you are looking at buying a National GO FOR IT.

The quality is above average and the parts are available.

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Old 09-24-2014, 04:45 PM   #7
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We are very happy with our National Pacifica - no regrets.
Cummins and Freightliner still cover the important stuff.
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Old 09-24-2014, 10:19 PM   #8
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On my 2nd National now, 40' DP. Great value and good workmanship. All MH's will have issues but none were from poor quality or construction. I remodeled mine and it looks about as good as a new model. If you like the floor plan and it has good service records and everything works, snatch it up.
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Old 09-24-2014, 10:32 PM   #9
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Friends had a Dolphin, they kept in AZ and a Dutch Star DP they had in OR. I worked on the one in AZ. The DSDP had better quality cabinets but still and all the Dolphin was a nice rig and didn't have any outstanding problems
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Old 09-24-2014, 11:08 PM   #10
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NationalRV went out. Was bought by country coach and they went out of business.
We have 2003 NayionalRV Islander new it was $255k solid wood cabinets and strong chassis.
Any MH have it inspected before buying. All fluids checked and extended warranty good too.
Ours can hold its own as a high end coach right along with Monaco. Or others. Get coach that is comfortable for you. They all put same appliances it's just a matter of how well the piecing together the manufacturer did when your coach was built. All appliances can have problems and there are good and bad to all. Saw a brand new Monaco delivered to dealer with broken floor tiles. Dealer replace and they broke again on the way from shop to showroom about 200 feet away. Tiles were 16inches and could not flex. So buyer beware and do your homework.


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Old 09-24-2014, 11:39 PM   #11
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I asked the same question 11 years ago when we were first shopping for a MH. Received a lot of the same answers you are receiving. After looking at many MHs we decided on a National Dolphin 5342. Glad we did too. We bought it with a little over 10,000 miles and have over 55,000 miles on it now. Only problem has been the left front wheel seal started leaking, $35.00 later (I installed it) and all was good. If you buy a National on the Workhorse chassis make sure the two main recalls have been completed, 1. fuel pressure regulator 2. Front brake calipers. Both no charge.
Last year we went to the RV show in So Cal. They had hundereds of MHs from all the mfg and every conceivable configuration. We couldn't find even one MH we would like more than our Dolphin, even MHs in the $200,000+ range. If I looked for something 'newer' I would look at other Dolphins. We love our Dolphin. Good Luck.
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Old 09-25-2014, 04:30 AM   #12
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We purchased our 2006 National Sea Breeze in September 2013. A decent price but assumed that we would need to address some issues with the coach. In the last 12 Months; complete shop service , brakes, shocks, all fluids, belts, all batteries, TV, DVD and all components.

We attended the local Boat, RV show with the intention of trading up, an eye opener! We would not trade our 2006 National for any new coach, for so many reasons, primarily quality and storage.

This summer we replaced all of the interior lights with LEDS ( M4 Products ), and had a Poly Glow weekend. We are very happy with our coach, and thankful for this forum. Be prepared, owning a Motor Home is a learning experience.

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replaced TV & DVD components,
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Old 09-25-2014, 09:15 AM   #13
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Overall value for price was much higher in the National because they are OOB and don't have the same name recognition as the others.

Good luck in your search!!

Thanks to you and everyone else for all the replies. Really appreciate it.

'Scuse my ignorance, but what is OOB?

After reading all these replies, I am definitely going to consider a National. Someone on another thread suggested staying away from "orphan coaches" (guess he means companies that are out of business). But from the sound of all these experiences, it is not a big deal. I do wonder if over a longer period of time, it could become an issue to replace tail or head light lenses, body panels, or other parts unique to a particular coach. ???

Again, thanks to everyone for the replies.

Mel
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Old 09-25-2014, 12:12 PM   #14
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Thanks to you and everyone else for all the replies. Really appreciate it.

'Scuse my ignorance, but what is OOB?

After reading all these replies, I am definitely going to consider a National. Someone on another thread suggested staying away from "orphan coaches" (guess he means companies that are out of business). But from the sound of all these experiences, it is not a big deal. I do wonder if over a longer period of time, it could become an issue to replace tail or head light lenses, body panels, or other parts unique to a particular coach. ???

Again, thanks to everyone for the replies.

Mel
OOB I guess is Out Of Business, tail lights head lights etc are from other manufactures, body panel would be an issue attended to by junk yard MH's and fiberglass work just like boats and older cars. Good hunting let us know what you wind up with National or not. Thanks for shopping with us.
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