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Old 05-14-2011, 10:07 PM   #15
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WE have owned 7 MH. all have been good/exulant; We toured the holliday/monaco/beaver/Sufari. Factorys several times . Then we went through the Winnebago factory. And seen all the love/careing that went into the coach we Bought the Ultimate;. To our supprise The country/monaco ETC used all the same appliances that are used in the entry leval coached. They have a bit more GLITZ in the coach. OH they build there owan Chassic And have a FEW sellect dealers that work on then. Before you lay your hard earned money down Do the home work..For repair facilities;; Winnebago Is the GMC> of motorhomes ; Life is good ;;
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Old 05-15-2011, 06:28 AM   #16
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Well I'll take my 12 year old Foretravel over a 6 year old Winne,Fleetwood, ect any time, IMHO. The diffrence is how it's put togather, just one example there is no particale board any where in my Foretravel.
In a changing manufacturing environment, I hesitate to demean (or elevate) one brand against another.

As a newbie, I walked through 'em all with the clearheaded outlook of someone yet to read forums, hear the lore. My sole vision of a DP was my next-door neighb's newer Prevost.

Through that lens, Monaco Dips/Camelots/Dynasties seemed superior to all the sub-$500K crowd. Fleetwood Excursion and up stood out as second. Strictly curb appeal, to the uninitiated. I liked all the others, and recognized the solid woods of Newmar and Foretravel, but felt like the others in the middle price range were all decorated by my grandmother. Even then, I saw they largely imitated each other; the more expensive ones tossed in casino-style ceilings and more accessories, but retained the same bones.

Alfa and Winnebago seemed economy-grade. But, in the latter's case, now that I've seen their newer products, and understand the system changes they have brought about, it looks like the playing field is shifting once again. It reminds me of how we sneered at Hondas in the 1970s.

Now, armed with a good dose of practical knowledge, I went back and looked again at the ones fabled as superior amongst our "midrange" herd, see the same faucets, pipe, chassis, engines, transmissions, microwaves, sinks, countertops, seats, sofas, carpet, tile, doors, lights, switches, tables, tires, entertainment systems, beds, air conditioning. Granted, the power reels, Aquahot, slideout trays and power locks are delightful; but, all that other stuff must, statistically, fail at the same rate as with more pedestrian offerings, eg mileage has the same effect.
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:10 AM   #17
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Now, armed with a good dose of practical knowledge, I went back and looked again at the ones fabled as superior amongst our "midrange" herd, see the same faucets, pipe, chassis, engines, transmissions, microwaves, sinks, countertops, seats, sofas, carpet, tile, doors, lights, switches, tables, tires, entertainment systems, beds, air conditioning. Granted, the power reels, Aquahot, slideout trays and power locks are delightful; but, all that other stuff must, statistically, fail at the same rate as with more pedestrian offerings, eg mileage has the same effect.
As the owner of an older "high end" MH I don't have any disagreement with your statements. We decided to purchase a well taken care of unit because of things like its solid cherry cabinetry that are practically unavailable these days at any price. As for appliances and accessories, they are the same as could be installed on any coach, but not that many mid-level units will, for example, have as many of them as original equipment. My Aqua-Hot might need servicing, but it is not something that can be easily retrofitted. Similarly, power locks on the storage bay doors are a nice convenience, as is a power cord reel.

The other reason for considering a higher-end coach is the fact that they are most likely to have larger pusher diesel engines. I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with having an engine of the size class of the Cummins ISC or CAT C-7, but I can tell you from experience that driving a CAT C-12 is quite a trip. It handles the grades on the interstates almost as well as most cars. I don't ride the "truck lane" because I don't need to. When I do decide to pass an 18-wheeler I can do so without hesitation with lots of reserve power.
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:51 AM   #18
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With sincere respect, Jim; what systems are different on "high end" coaches versus a run of the mill Winnebago or Fleetwood? All the items mentioned above were to my limited knowledge, generic. I've often wondered what makes one coach double (or triple) the price of another. Same chassis, powertrain, etc...
Times have changed and there are not many high line coaches produced today. For example, a 1995 CC Concept had a OEM price over $450K. In 1995 they didn't have slides but today's buyers are demanding them. A slide adds about $25k. If you want 4 slides you are looking at $100K. That means a $200K coach now costs $300K. If the manufacturer wants to maintain a lower price then they must cut the quality. Another example, used to be most MHs did not have full body paint. Today they almost all have this feature. That adds $15K or so.

The difference between a high line and a run of the mill is overall quality. It's fit and finish, construction materials, workmanship, quality of appliances, amenities, and etc. BTW, you want find a high line coach built on a Spartan or Freightliner Chassis. It is true, power trains are likely the same. The choices are very limited. About the only transmission available is Allison. Engine choices are Cummins and Detroit Diesel. Caterpillar is no longer in the RV engine business.

I'm not sure about this but, Winnebago and Fleetwood have OEM prices around the $200k area. A production line high line coach such as Foretravel or Newell is pushing $1M. Now there is got to be a difference.

I could go on but I think this pretty much explains the difference as I see it.

Jim E
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Old 05-15-2011, 01:01 PM   #19
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Another BIG thing to add to the mix are the companies that have been in and out of business, sold or just plain gone. Company support has to rank near the top of the equation when picking a coach. When you have a problem, not if, it's nice to have someone to talk to.
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Old 05-15-2011, 01:49 PM   #20
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Another BIG thing to add to the mix are the companies that have been in and out of business, sold or just plain gone. Company support has to rank near the top of the equation when picking a coach. When you have a problem, not if, it's nice to have someone to talk to.
This comment has been discussed before. Just because a manufacturer is no longer in business isn't cause to shy from their used coaches. A manufacturer actually assembles their coaches from parts manufactured all over the USA. The only problem would be replacing/repairing a proprietary item which is not, IMO, reason for concern.

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Old 05-15-2011, 03:21 PM   #21
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This comment has been discussed before. Just because a manufacturer is no longer in business isn't cause to shy from their used coaches. A manufacturer actually assembles their coaches from parts manufactured all over the USA. The only problem would be replacing/repairing a proprietary item which is not, IMO, reason for concern.

Jim E
I agree. A motorhome is just an assembalage of parts. It's the problematic stuff like wireing or plumbing diagrams that are nice to access if need be. For example, I lost the turn signals at the plug that went to the Toad. I called Winny and was told that the fuses were behind a false wall in the electrical compartment, granted, a stupid place to put them, but there never the less. I have seen that other folks with the exact same problem spent hundreds of dollars having a service shop try and trace the wires. At least the solution was just a phone call away had they chosen to use it rather than have no choice at all.
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Old 05-15-2011, 03:24 PM   #22
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I don't think the issue here is whether the mileage is "bad" or not. The price question arises from buyer preferences, and given two similar rigs, one low mileage and the other high, most buyers would choose the lower mileage one. Ergo the higher mileage one probably gets an incentive in the form of a lower price. Maybe not much lower, but probably somewhat.
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Old 05-15-2011, 04:33 PM   #23
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I'm new to this forum, but, I have been lurking for awhile. There's REALLY GREAT stuff to be learned from this forum. You guys have helped me tremendously over the last year by reading your posts.

We've only been RV'ing for a few years now. I was wondering where my 1997 Fleetwood American Dream with slide falls in the 'low end' vs. 'high end' coaches. I picked it up from my father-in-law when he picked up a newer 45' Beaver. So, i didn't do a lot of research since i got an outstanding deal. To me this American Dream seems to be well built and plenty of power. Is Fleetwood one of those companies that was once considered a better coach company than they are today?

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Old 05-15-2011, 05:36 PM   #24
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I'm new to this forum, but, I have been lurking for awhile. There's REALLY GREAT stuff to be learned from this forum. You guys have helped me tremendously over the last year by reading your posts.

We've only been RV'ing for a few years now. I was wondering where my 1997 Fleetwood American Dream with slide falls in the 'low end' vs. 'high end' coaches. I picked it up from my father-in-law when he picked up a newer 45' Beaver. So, i didn't do a lot of research since i got an outstanding deal. To me this American Dream seems to be well built and plenty of power. Is Fleetwood one of those companies that was once considered a better coach company than they are today?

Thanks,

John
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I would not consider the American Dream a high line MH. If I remember correctly, the American Coach was Fleetwood's top of there line. They made three coaches, the Eagle which retailed for about $260K, the
Dream which retailed for about $220K and the Tradition which went for about $185K. Compare this to a 1997 Country Coach Affinity which retailed for about $365K and a Monaco Signature went for about $340K. I would consider you coach mid level.

Jim E
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Old 05-15-2011, 08:01 PM   #25
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I would not consider the American Dream a high line MH. If I remember correctly, the American Coach was Fleetwood's top of there line. They made three coaches, the Eagle which retailed for about $260K, the
Dream which retailed for about $220K and the Tradition which went for about $185K. Compare this to a 1997 Country Coach Affinity which retailed for about $365K and a Monaco Signature went for about $340K. I would consider you coach mid level.

Jim E
American Coach still is Fleetwood's high line MH. They make Heritage, Eagle, Tradition and just added the Revolution in place of the Allegiance.
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:33 AM   #26
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Is Fleetwood one of those companies that was once considered a better coach company than they are today?
It's not a question of whether Fleetwood was once a better company; I believe that American Coach was a company that had been acquired by Fleetwood during its heyday of acquisition. Throughout the Fleetwood bankruptcy American retained its own identity and production line. Its products were always considered better than the rest of Fleetwood. Its flagship product was always the Eagle which has always been a "high end" product. The Dream and Tradition were more affordable but were considered good coaches.

Revolution started as a Fleetwood "branded" coach built on the American production line. It was confusing to buyers since it was marketed as different from the rest of the American products. Making it part of American made a lot of sense.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:09 AM   #27
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I don't think the issue here is whether the mileage is "bad" or not. The price question arises from buyer preferences, and given two similar rigs, one low mileage and the other high, most buyers would choose the lower mileage one. Ergo the higher mileage one probably gets an incentive in the form of a lower price. Maybe not much lower, but probably somewhat.

So true, but a friend who buys and sells just related to me that, of four Prevosts he's owned, the ones with low mileage rode the worst, gave the most trouble.

I imagine that effect is blind to quality: a five-year-old rig that has been lived in and not driven is often not up to par with one that has been driven regularly, received meticulous maintenance.
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Old 05-17-2011, 11:39 AM   #28
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FWIW.... to bring up two VERY good examples of HIGH MILEAGE coaches that our highly sought after if cared for properly...:
1) Check ebay for high mileage 20 year old Blue Bird Lxi Wanderlodges fully loaded. (typically loved and well maintained and wow factor OFF THE CHART and sell for WAY more than their counterparts...)
2) 20 year old Beaver coaches with all their wood work and heavy Gillig Chassis were built to last a million miles with proper care, storage, and maintenance.
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