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Old 10-12-2015, 03:49 PM   #1
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Need opinion on brand quality

Hi folks, Its time for us to upgrade from our 2004 Coachmen Mirada 300 QB no slide model to a 3 slide 37 foot newer model. I have decided on a specific 3 room floor plan. Im looking for opinions on which manufacturer will give me the highest quality and which manufacturer will hold its value better than the others. The 3 models are Winnebago Sightseer 37L, Thor Challenger 37KT and Coachmen Encounter 37TZ. My budget is around $70K-$75K which would get me into a unit with around 10K miles and would be a 2011 and maybe if Im lucky a 2012 or 2013. Im interested in all opinions. Thankyou, Marcdohc
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Old 10-12-2015, 04:17 PM   #2
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If you find the one that has the floor plan you want and the colors you and the DW like they will all be about the same.

I prefer the Winnebago because they make their own parts so you will always be able to get anything you need.

They are all on a similar chassis so it is a matter of doing the due diligence when you get close to your final selection. Have it inspected, ask for the maintenance records and take it for a test drive. If you like all of the above go for it.

If you really like it you should not have to worry about selling it. You should wear it out!
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Old 10-14-2015, 07:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcdohc View Post
Hi folks, Its time for us to upgrade from our 2004 Coachmen Mirada 300 QB no slide model to a 3 slide 37 foot newer model. I have decided on a specific 3 room floor plan. Im looking for opinions on which manufacturer will give me the highest quality and which manufacturer will hold its value better than the others. The 3 models are Winnebago Sightseer 37L, Thor Challenger 37KT and Coachmen Encounter 37TZ. My budget is around $70K-$75K which would get me into a unit with around 10K miles and would be a 2011 and maybe if Im lucky a 2012 or 2013. Im interested in all opinions. Thankyou, Marcdohc
We have had two Thor Challengers. Never had a Winnebago or Coachmen. Thor's quality control and quality of materials is borderline at best. With that said, I don't know if Winni and Coachmen are any better/worse. I would add that in your range of years Thor was just taking the Challenger over from Damen. Judging from our experience with a 2013 Challenger, there were even greater quality control problems during the transition. We absolutely love the Challenger KT floorplan. I am going to look at your other choices to see how they compare. So far, we haven't found any other unit with the features of the KT floorplan that we love (completely seperate living room and freestanding table and chairs in front of a large window).
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:07 AM   #4
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As a Itasca (WBGO) owner.. I'm probably a little bias on which way to go.. but I can only speak to my experience.. I am very happy with my WBGO product.. and I especially like the "on-line" resources available to me at the WBGO website.. I actually used it just this morning looking at winterizing procedures..

However, it appears you're looking at getting a used coach.. HOPEFULLY, no matter the brand, you're getting if from a diligent, conscientious previous owner who has done all the hard work by "shaking out" all the issues and had them repaired/fixed properly...

I think a more appropriate question for you to ask.. follow up on the dealership you're purchasing from.. HOPEFULLY, they are the type of dealer who will stand behind their product and work with you (no matter the brand) to make you a satisfied customer..

Good luck on your search and purchase !!
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:47 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Gordon Dewald View Post
If you find the one that has the floor plan you want and the colors you and the DW like they will all be about the same.

I prefer the Winnebago because they make their own parts so you will always be able to get anything you need.

They are all on a similar chassis so it is a matter of doing the due diligence when you get close to your final selection. Have it inspected, ask for the maintenance records and take it for a test drive. If you like all of the above go for it.

If you really like it you should not have to worry about selling it. You should wear it out!

Not bashing Winnie because I think they are a pretty good value and build quality is reasonable. However, the idea that parts will always be available from Winnie is just not true. They do build many of their parts but they also buy many from outside vendors.

My first DP was a Winnie. At about 5 years of age I needed a fairly specific plumbing part. Not only was Winnebago unable to provide the part, they were totally unhelpful in suggesting a work around. Later I needed a hinge for one of the basement doors. Nope, not available.

Winnebago is a good manufacturer but don't go into it expecting that complete support.


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Old 10-14-2015, 10:01 AM   #6
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Of the three you mentioned, Winnebago is head and shoulders above the others quality of construction and materials.
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Old 10-14-2015, 11:21 AM   #7
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I do feel that Thor has been making improvements in the quality of build. That being said, I would still consider the Winnebago out of this grouping. (IF, all things are equal as far as condition and documented maintenance.)

Personally, I would take that budget and look at some other coaches to see if they meet your needs. In no particular order:
-Tripple E
-Rexhall
-Mountain Aire or Dutch Star
-National line (Dolphin's)

Those all come to mind as IMO, having a better build quality and material's. The Tripple E is usually also an All Season gasser. The Rexhall has a Safety Steel Cage providing some enhanced protection over conventional builds. The person we bought our Bounder from 10 years or so ago, bought a National Dolphin with he Workhorse combo. It was a very well built coach, with great material choices. (National also had other models then the Dolphin, depending upon year.) Mountain Aire was the top of the Newmar Gas Food Chain in those years.

Also in the at basic size, you might consider a UFO with the 8.1 as a Gas Pusher. Old Monaco's Holiday Rambler line had a good layout, that the owners seem to like. And Rexhall had the two 'T Rex Slides' - which made a 37' coach large enough to square dance in. And no worries on these large slides, as Bill Rex really over engineered these.

I would have zero concerns about buying a coach that was orphaned, most components are still averrable, with I'm sure rare exceptions.

But what I, or others like, really does to matter! It is what you like that matters...

Happy hunting,
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Old 10-14-2015, 01:22 PM   #8
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Interesting post about WBGO not being helpful on the part, I had the opposite experience!! We had (until this week) a 2005 Journey. It was missing the floor hatch that the power cord went through. WbGO tech guy spent a good bit of time helping me find the correct hatch and sent the part to our dealer. We loved the fit/ finish of our Journey... Only reason we traded was we wanted A tag and a bit larger coach.!!

Good luck with your decision!!
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Old 10-14-2015, 01:39 PM   #9
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We have a 2011 Challenger 3710 and find the fit and finish comparable to other motor homes in this price range. We have had very few issues with our Challenger and really enjoy the floorplan - isolated TV/"living room" area with French doors. We plan to upgrade to another Thor motor coach in the near future.


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Old 10-14-2015, 06:12 PM   #10
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Newmar you can't go wrong, I have a 1997 and have had very few problems. QC is great. I am looking for a bigger MH, soon to be full timer and will buy only a Newmar.
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Old 10-16-2015, 03:48 PM   #11
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Thanks for your opinions, Marcdohc
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Old 10-17-2015, 05:09 PM   #12
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I've sold them all....go with winnebago
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Old 10-17-2015, 08:24 PM   #13
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Old 10-18-2015, 12:04 PM   #14
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Best brand quality is one that fits your budget, was reasonably well produced, has few issues and a good dealer or manufacturer support system.

Really subjective as most are convinced their unit fits all of the above requirements.

If you are happy with your choice you have the best quality.
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