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Old 06-19-2015, 07:55 AM   #1
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Minimal Problem Class A

My wife and I are almost ready to full time Rv and we've decided a Class A suits our desired lifestyle. I know there will always be issues with these complicated machines. But every forum I visit contains absolute horror stories like catastrophic engine failures in DP's. I constantly read descriptions of issues ranging from air conditioning to transmissions. The cost of the rig doesn't seem to matter. Can anybody post good news stories involving experiences with quality, durability and longevity?
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Old 06-19-2015, 07:59 AM   #2
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When there is a disaster, people post about it. I'd say that I've actually read very few stories about DPs having catestrophic failures. That's usually not what goes wrong.

Buy a quality DP. Have it inspected. If you're concerned about the chassis, you'll need to find someone that can go through that too. Keep the maintenance up and the chances are very very small that you'll have a serious mechanical failure related to the chassis.

Quality DPs last a really long time - just take your time shopping for one that has been keep indoors, maintained well, and has records. You're much more likely to have little issues with the systems than a engine or driveline failure.
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Old 06-19-2015, 08:01 AM   #3
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The tough part about your question is that one can tell you brand A was terrible and another will say that brand A was the best thing they ever purchased. Sadly, it is somewhat of a crap shoot as to quality, but if you want the best responses, you need to put out a budget range, new or used, size range, and so on. Basically details will get you some sound info while generalities will get you, well, generalities.
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Old 06-19-2015, 11:10 AM   #4
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The chassis, engine, and transmission of most DP's are used in truck and bus applications all over the world.

There will be major component failures but statistically their number is small compared to the total number of units in use.

If a DP owner gets unlucky, then you will hear about the failure.

The rest of the rig may have items that fail, but except for water damage due to poor assembly or maintenance, will not be major cost repairs.

JMHO.
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Old 06-19-2015, 12:28 PM   #5
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Great idea for a thread...

The biggest lesson I've gotten from iRV2 for a problem free ride is to do the maintenance: Oil and filter changes; Replace old tires; Do the inspections; Fix it before it breaks; Etc. Not all but most of problems seem to come from failure to maintain the vehicle. And yeah, though we've had a few issues, we've not been stranded.

Lack of knowledge can result in problems, too (don't ask!). Our rig came with a bag full of manuals literally a foot thick and I've now read it all. I'd strongly suggest doing the same.

And though there's so many practical and useful threads to read here, it does seem like the negitives outweigh the good. I felt a bit overwhelmed before I went from a Class B to a Class A. But remember the old saying, "When things go right they'll tell a few people, but when things go wrong they'll tell everybody!"

We've had many pleasurable miles and many wonderful adventures and we're really looking forward to this summer! Here's wishing the same for you and your travels!
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Old 06-19-2015, 12:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orvis926 View Post
My wife and I are almost ready to full time Rv and we've decided a Class A suits our desired lifestyle. I know there will always be issues with these complicated machines. But every forum I visit contains absolute horror stories like catastrophic engine failures in DP's. I constantly read descriptions of issues ranging from air conditioning to transmissions. The cost of the rig doesn't seem to matter. Can anybody post good news stories involving experiences with quality, durability and longevity?
Some interesting facts.

Entegra has been around for several years and has recently produced it's 1800 MH.

Newmar has been around for years and produces 40 MH per week. They are ramping up to increase production in the near future.

Winnebago produces 240 MH a week. Rumor has it that they will be entering the 45' class in the near future.

As an observation there are a number of threads on this forum dealing with the various brands, problems and successes.

Of the three it seems to me there is less said about Winnebago than any other brand, good or bad. Considering the different production levels I suggest that Winnebago owners are for the most part satisfied.
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Old 06-19-2015, 12:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by cb1000rider View Post
....
Quality DPs last a really long time - just take your time shopping for one that has been keep indoors, maintained well, and has records. You're much more likely to have little issues with the systems than a engine or driveline failure.
For that matter, quality gassers last just as long, (Ford V10 engine good for about 300,000 miles if maintained). And, the initial purchase price is typically 1/3rd to 1/5th the price of a similarly outfitted DP.

If you are going to keep the coach long enough to wear out the engine, the Ford V10 engine, (your only current choice for a new or late model gasser), can be completely replaced, (not just rebuilt), three times over for less than the cost of normal required annual maintenance required to keep a DP alive and kicking for the same duration, about 900,000 miles. Just a consideration.
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Old 06-19-2015, 12:53 PM   #8
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As mentioned, people who are happy with their rigs rarely take time to go on a forum to proclaim their joy. The other major problems that go hand-in-hand are unrealistic expectations and lack of knowledge.

Some buy 16 year old rigs and expect everything to be up to their standards. Others buy new rigs and believe everything the salesman tells them. Neither is a formula for success.

You've taken a good first step by registering here and asking others for their experiences. However, even that has caveats. As one of my clients used to say, "Keep an open mind but not so open that your brain falls out." Everyone has an agenda, try to understand why each person says what they say. Keep in mind that some people are easygoing and never let anything bother them while others are surly, angry people who will never be happy.

We've only owned 2 motorhomes. Both have been Winnebago (NYSE WGO) and both have met our needs well. No motorhome will meet your needs perfectly anymore than any house will be the "perfect" home. As we looked at various makes/models, we decided that, in our price range, WGO offered the best value.

One last point, if you think an RV has problems, think of all the problems you've fixed in your S&B (sticks & bricks) home. Now think how that S&B would stand up to rolling down the freeway at 60mph. Good luck and keep asking questions.

Edit - One other point, the chassis (engine, transmission, etc), appliances (refrigerator, range/oven, A/C, slides, jacks etc) and structure (walls, cabinets, flooring, etc) are distinct components. As mentioned, there are only a few late model chassis to select from. Most of the appliances are standard, OTS (off the shelf) products available across makes/models. The RV mfg is responsible for the design, layout, "box" and integration of all the components.
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Old 06-19-2015, 12:57 PM   #9
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For that matter, quality gassers last just as long, (Ford V10 engine good for about 300,000 miles if maintained). And, the initial purchase price is typically 1/3rd to 1/5th the price of a similarly outfitted DP.

If you are going to keep the coach long enough to wear out the engine, the Ford V10 engine, (your only current choice for a new or late model gasser), can be completely replaced, (not just rebuilt), three times over for less than the cost of normal required annual maintenance required to keep a DP alive and kicking for the same duration, about 900,000 miles. Just a consideration.
I don't disagree, although I don't see many 100-300k V10 RVs around. And you're just talking about motor replacement cost / maintenance. You dont buy a DP (typically) just for the motor. The V10 is a good motor if you get the right years, but I'm done with gas.. :-)
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Old 06-19-2015, 01:10 PM   #10
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Could we not turn this into another "gas vs diesel" thread?

To the OP--in my limited experience, an RV is a purchase that needs a lot of serious consideration. Having a bit of mechanical aptitude and the ability to take care of smaller issues and some maintenance yourself will go a long way toward avoiding "upkeep anxiety." An RV is expensive to buy and expensive to maintain; some are just less so than others.

As has already been stated, you will get opposing opinions on ANY brand or model. Pick the brand you like best and read the section of the forum dedicated to that manufacturer. You'll find actual owner experience in those sections. Good luck!
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Old 06-19-2015, 01:51 PM   #11
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Some people are not happy with anything unless they are unhappy, and forums are an open podium for them. Have an aquatintanepce that was buying a high end car, and I happen to know the GMs at both of the local dealerships - I told them NOTHING will make this man and his wife happy, and no matter what you do he / her with find something / anything to complain and make a big deal out of. I told them hopefully he'll buy something else, but he didn't and they have to deal with him, but at least they were for-warned.

The other is people with unrealistic expectations, and several posts above relate to that directly and indirectly. Don't sweat the small stuff, and you'll be surprised how much just works itself out or after a while, you just forget about it, or you'll look at it down the road and figure out a 2 minute fix. Example, our main door was hard to close at first, but after a couple of trips it works fine. There was a small pice of wall paper int he bath that didn't seem to be applied properly, the other day I just ran my hand over it, and it smoothed out perfectly.

I see people that post they have a 2 page punch list on a new MH, they have way too much time on their hands, and have some really unrealistic expectations. I feel sorry for them, I feel sorry for thier dealer, and I feel sorry for the manufacturer.

RVs are for enjoyment, enjoy it!
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Old 06-19-2015, 02:05 PM   #12
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I agree with Betr2Trvl, but the time to take that attitude is after the purchase is locked in, not before.

Give us a budget and a age preference and this forum is very good at steering towards quality products. There IS a build quality difference in the DPs, but as the build quality gets better, typically the systems get more complicated. Generally a catastrophic engine failure on a reasonably-maintained DP isn't high on my worry list..

They're not automobiles, they're unlikely to be completely problem free for long periods of time, but most stuff is relatively minor and well in range if you're reasonably handy... And this forums is great for help.
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Old 06-19-2015, 04:51 PM   #13
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You have to remember two or three things.

First..Murphy's law (in it's simplest form) STUFF HAPPENS
Extending slightly: Usually at the worst possible time..

Second.. People tend to post when stuff happens.. When nothing bad happens they tend to not post.. Human nature

Third..Much of what is in a motor home is designed for sticks and bricks.. Microwave (Mine shipped with a standard LG (Lousy Goods) with a Dometic label on it, Being an LG it did not work.. It is now modified by Xeno Transplant (GE part) and works very well.

Cabinets..Drawers MAY have a latching feature (That is specific to RV)

Shower is standard.. Toilets are special.

Couch I'm sitting on..Standard Sink smaller than my house but standard,, Faucets all standard.. (Starting to get the idea) TV antenna is a Winegard..Designed for RV but..Well an antenna is an antenna..Not much special about this design save the knob inside.

Air conditioning is shaped different but is not different from what you hang in a window.. Really very little that is RV specific.

The major difference is you do not drive your sticks and bricks house down pothole lane and washboard road at 55mph.
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Old 06-21-2015, 11:20 AM   #14
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We have owned 7 motorhomes over the past years and travel approx 8-9 months per year being only at home base for a few months at various times each year. Have owned several class C's and now Class A's including our current DP of the Tiffin Variety. We worked our way up from 21 ft to now 45 ft. Each suceeding purchase would include likes and don't likes from the previous models but mostly fell in the comfort value of each. Now owning a DP we are liking the torque for climbing mountains. Fuel mileage is comparable for gas or diesel. We drive consistantly at approx 62 which is good for both.
My bigest concern is the dealerships capability to give satisfactory service. We have complied thru our many years of travel a list of substandard dealers and service centers. A few have lived up to our expectations and many have not. Each MH has their good and bad points but the dealer can certainly make the difference. Hope this helps somewhat!
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