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Old 02-02-2011, 02:47 PM   #1
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Smile Opinions of Fleetwood Models..??

Hello all,

I am new here but Bob and I have been RV'ing for about 20 years. We are contemplating moving up from our 1995 Gas Newmar to a newer RV and have pretty much been sold on a number of Diesel rigs. It seems that after looking at numerous coaches, we keep finding that our top choices are all Fleetwoods. All of the coaches on our short list are 2004-2006 models and they are Revolution, Providence, Excursion, and Expedition. All 38-40 feet in length and all with about 25,000 miles. All with negotiated prices now from $99k to $111k. Now here are my questions...

1. How do all of the above models stack up on the "Chain" or "List" of Best to Good of the models...Revolution first, then Providence...etc.????

2. Keeping the above question in mind, does this really matter in the long run? For example, the 2005 Revolution 39C is the same floorplan as the 2006 Excursion 39C and they both have the same spec sheet. Are they essentially the same coach??

3. We have previously been just weekend warriors, traveling only about 50 miles or so from home, but we would like to go further and longer now and are concerned that our older gasser just will not cut it. It is a 38 foot tag axel'ed model that cannot get out of its own way and is way too heavy for its engine. And we have been reluctant to tow a vehicle behind because of the power issue. But...are we over-doing it now by going diesel when we may not be putting tons of miles on it for a few more years. (I have heard that diesels should be allowed to "stretch their legs and run well"...)

4. In dealing with the various dealerships, I am relying on NADA and other similar "comp" (comparable rig) listings to haggle on the price. Should I be trying to get a rig for less than the lower retail NADA value or is this truly pushing it? I certainly am not going to pay more than NADA as some dealers think that I should do.

5. Lastly, my old rig has very little value (about $20,000 or so says NADA), but all of the dealers say that they would not be able to give me anything for it because I have already haggled their price down so low. (I refused to discuss trade until they gave me their lowest price...) How should I respond to this? And is the economy of RV sales going up as they claim and I should not be so hard in my negotiating. I am reluctant to walk away and wait for another deal to come along as we get closer to summer.

I apologize for all of the questions but I am trying to be a strong, good negotiator and I also want to feel certain about the Fleetwood brand.

Thank you in advance for all of your answers, opinions, and tips...

Faith in Chilly, Snow Buried Massachusetts
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Old 02-02-2011, 05:06 PM   #2
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The Revolution is now part of the American Coach line and all Revolutions were built on the American Coach production line. American Coaches are the top of the Fleetwood DP hierarchy.

Providence would be next followed by the Excursion and Expedition, although I do not know how they stand in the hierarchy.

American Coach customer service (now available to all Revolution owners) is superb, but from what I have been reading Fleetwood customer service under the new ownership is getting very high marks.

In all cases the new Fleetwood will sell you parts direct and you do not have to purchase from a dealer which is a plus in my view.

The American Revolution owners can now participate in American Coach rallys and join the various American Coach owner's groups while the others mentioned can participate in Fleetwood rallys with support from Fleetwood for service without labor charges etc.

One major difference between Fleetwood MH's and many other brands is the quality of the electrical system. Fleetwood standardized on electrical terminals and splices from a single manufacturer (Molex) and the manufacturer's application tooling. Many other builders buy the least expensive terminals and splices that they can find and let the electricians crimp the products with whichever tool he or she has in the toolbox (resulting in bad crimp joints, torn insulation on insulated terminals and splices and generally unreliable wire terminations and splices).

I have an older Fleetwood American Eagle (98), it has been a superb and reliable unit.

Dave
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Old 02-02-2011, 05:08 PM   #3
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Fleetwood used the same floor plan on different models the big difference is the horsepower and chassis just do your research the chassis.
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Old 02-02-2011, 05:53 PM   #4
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One thing worth at least looking at is many fleetwoods have the basement compartments "part of the slide" This is nice for not hitting your head, as the basement comes out with the slide so you don't have to duck under it.

The downside on the diesel models is there is no passthrough storage. A diesel rig with a raised rail chassis and 3 big pass throughs has a HUGE amount of storage under the center of the coach.
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:06 PM   #5
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One thing worth at least looking at is many fleetwoods have the basement compartments "part of the slide" This is nice for not hitting your head, as the basement comeand 3 big pass throughs has a HUGE amount of storage under the center of the coach.
But a downside to that compartment as part of the slide is a limitation on total weight you might want to put in it. Extra weight hangs on the slide and moved in and out by the mechanism. (I have that type on the drivers side of our adventurere.)

I'd prefer the pass thru storage, not slide attached storage, of a raised rail chassis...IMO
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:22 PM   #6
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FormerBoater pretty much answered the majority of your questions. I'll tackle #5.

Normally, from a dealer you will get one of these:
Deep discount, less than squat for your trade
Decent discount, squat for your trade
No or very little discount, barely above squat for your trade

You will never get deep discount, high trade. The salesperson is in it to get commission & profit for the dealer (hence the push to get an extended warranty...but that's for another thread). I think if that ever would happen, the salesperson would be forced to take the cyanide pill the dealership owner keeps in an M&M dispener on his/her desk.

Lee Litchfield had a great link in the thread HERE about the deal process. A great read.

Lori-
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:47 PM   #7
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Not sure about the 2004 Revolution, but the American Coach line has the Spartan Chasis that I personally consider to be better than the Freightliner Chasis. You can get the specs from brochures for older models on their web site.

As to pricing, you need to be ready to walk away from a 2004 at 100K with no trade. No matter what the salesman says, their market is no where near where it used to be and is getting worse for those larger diesel rigs as fuel prices continue to go up.

I agree with the comments about American Coach customer service. They do their best to be helpful and have a great program for servicing at rallies they attend with no charge for labor. Also, you can take your coach to the factory if you're in the area or have lots of problems to address.

Dave
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:17 PM   #8
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The Revolution is now part of the American Coach line and all Revolutions were built on the American Coach production line. American Coaches are the top of the Fleetwood DP hierarchy.

Providence would be next followed by the Excursion and Expedition, although I do not know how they stand in the hierarchy.

Dave
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The correct hierarchy is Providence, Discovery and Expedition. They have stopped making the Excursion and I do not know where it fit in when manufactured.
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Old 02-03-2011, 04:03 PM   #9
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I don't know if all years of the revolution but mine has pass through compartments and are not part of slides which all have sliding draws with plenty of weight capacity.
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:07 AM   #10
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Can't belive it your walking in my shoes. I became a member to responed to your post. As I have just sold my 1994 newmar mountain aire and bought a 2006 fleetwood providence 39c, a week ago. have not had a chance to use it yet but lovin the look and feel of it. Just to let you know the dealer did not want to give us much of a trade for our 1994 37' with tag , so sold it to a friend at their trade value 11,500 he was very pleased to have it . We paid 99,800 for the new coach. hope that helps. good luck
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:35 AM   #11
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I purchased a 2004 Revolution around 6 months ago. It has the Cummins 8.3L diesel with 2 slides. My purchase price was 80,100.00, and it had 39K miles on it. It has 3 pass through slides with sliding trays. We have been very pleased with this unit. It has the Freightliner chassis. I believe that the 2005 & up have the Spartan chassis.

Take your time & purchase the coach that suits your personal needs. I watched several motor homes on Ebay, to get a good feel for pricing. Just tag the items on Ebay, to the watch this item list. This will show what items have sold, & what they sold for. Set your price that you all willing to spend, and be ready to buy.

Hope this might help!
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:12 PM   #12
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The correct hierarchy is Providence, Discovery and Expedition. They have stopped making the Excursion and I do not know where it fit in when manufactured.

I just bought a 2005 Excursion at 10% below wholesale, am thrilled with the machine. It is pristine, virtually every problem I've encountered is one of my own doing. Further, it has new electronics, new rubber, a history of indoor storage, all maintenance complied with. Did I mention $4K of paint updating?

My mentors, who buy and sell MHs as a sideline business, advised me to float offers between 10 and 20% below wholesale, accept the fact I'd go through a lot of coaches before I'd buy one. What makes them think this is feasible? Until recently, some dealers have been able to secure coaches at 60% of their wholesale price at auction, partly from other dealers going out of business.

In those cases, selling at 10-20% below wholesale nets them a healthy profit. Nonetheless, these same units are advertised at retail prices, and dealers can keep a straight face telling you the buyer that they cannot settle for anything less.

Anyway, before I had a chance to test their theory, another buddy lost his buyer at 10% under wholesale -- he'd just purchased an upgrade in the form of a Newell -- and the rest is history: I bought a coach whose maintenance, upkeep and use I'd already witnessed.


Yes, dealers will tell you what I'm saying amounts to BS because their lives depend on it. I heard it all: "We're not in the business of wholesale." And, "those deals are a thing of the past." One very likeable guy was actually in the middle of telling me how unreasonable my thinking was when his boss's 2011 Rolls Royce was being driven past, on its way to the detail shop!

Well, with $5 diesel looming, I'd say the days of 20% below wholesale are roaring back with vengance: you, the buyer, OWN the market.
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:24 PM   #13
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About 18 months ago when we were looking at LOTS of DPs to find one to buy I have ebay sending me all the new listings of motor homes close to what we thought we wanted and then we checked carefully all the ones that sold to find out values. PPL motor homes in Houston has a great site with fair asking prices. They also list selling prices on their site. Just like real estate, what maters in figuring out what a motor home should sell for you have to find out what others have been willing to pay for comparable ones.

Several of my close motor home friends have Fleetwoods. One of my closest RV buddies has a 2003 Bounder 35' DP he bought new. He has had very very good reliability with his. He is rich too and could afford anything. But really likes his fleetwood. Another friend has a top of the line fleetwood gas class A, bought new, very good reliablity.

IMHO Fleetwood is one of the better providers. My wife and I really liked the Providence with the full wall slide.
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Old 02-05-2011, 06:54 AM   #14
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Have fun with your purchase...doing all this "homework" is a good thing. We are on our 2nd Fleetwood....brought the first (Fiesta) a little too small and had to trade up, but I haggled dealer to "break even" so I didn't lose anything trading up 9 months later. Had some nicky little issues with this one, but now that everything is fixed and working, we LOVE it. Most of the Fleetwoods have the full wall slide and what it does to open up the inside of the coach is amazing. Would not trade the floorplan in my 36D. Recently went browsing thru the dealer...saw NOTHING I liked better than the one I have (including ones I couldn't afford if I HAD liked them better LOL)... I don't think you can beat that...
Do your dealer research too!! Our dealer that we bought TWO coaches from in less than a year, orphaned us when Fleetwood had its reoriganization last year. Another dealer down the road picked us up, did all the warrenty work and we never looked back. Owned a couple of Fleetwood trailers years ago. Only brand we've ever owned. Same as with the others, see as many as possible, buy carefully, do your maintenance and enjoythe lifestyle.
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