Since I have heard and read about so many bad experiences with the Palazzo and Camping World I thought any prospective buyers should have the opportunity for another point of view.
First, some background. I have never had a motorhome and I did not do extensive research and go to lots of RV shows. *You might say we jumped in head first without knowing all that was below the surface. *But from conversations with some owners I knew I wanted a diesel pusher. After some short test drives I was convinced and my wife insisted that was the way we were going. *However since my budget would not tolerate a Newell or other top end coach my choices were limited, especially since my wife also insisted on new. I understand that may not be the best way to go since there are some good used choices available. Fortunately we do not have a need for a huge size so when I looked at the features and price of the Palazzo I thought that would meet our requirements. A key point in my satisfaction is that given the price of the Palazzo I was not expecting the perfection of a $1M. *
We visited four dealers and talked to a few others. For a variety of reasons some were not a good fit. *When I talked to Brad Field at Camping World in St. Augustine I felt much more confident that I was talking to someone who really knew motorhomes and who would do more than just give me a price and walk away when the deal was done. *So even though it was further away i decided to work with Brad. Since my wife wanted a particular color combination it had to be special ordered so it took about 10 weeks before delivery. *Throughout this build and delivery process Brad kept me informed of the progress and also put me in contact with David Jones, the Southeast manager for Thor.
We went to St. Augustine the day before it was supposed to be ready for delivery so I had some time to look it over and familiarize myself with where things were and what they looked like. I had been reading the manuals that I was able to download from Thor and Freightliner so it was good to be able to actually see what I had been reading about. Since I was new to this motorhome business reading the manuals and the forums were invaluable. It was also a good opportunity to point out a few things that needed attention. *A few months ago I never heard of DEF or an LBCU and now I needed to know about those and a lot more! *I also came prepared with a multiple page checklist of things not only to check but also to learn how to use. *I had items separated into areas that ranged from just showing me how it works through things that could be fixed now or later to no go items to come back another day.
After the Palazzo was washed and cleaned up the next day it looked great. *Rick was the tech assigned to work with me and he was great. He was both knowledgeable and patient in showing me how everything worked. *We found one significant item with the water system that Rick and other techs jumped on to fix. *I doubt it could have been done so quickly at a small dealer. They stayed late and we moved the Palazzo to very nice Camping World campground for our first night in the coach. This was great so I could become more familiar with systems and go over my checklist to see what I needed to review.
The next day was very busy with going on a drive with Brad to verify all the running gear, a lot more time with Rick to continue teaching me how things worked, and of course the paperwork. Angela was the nicest finance person I have ever worked with and she was able to get an outstanding loan rate.
So I am delighted that my experience with Camping World in St. Augustine was great and so much better than what I have read about what has happened elsewhere and what I have experienced with some car dealers. I would highly recommend Brad Field as someone to work with especially since his knowledge and experience as a motorhome owner
As for the Palazzo, I am still learning but overall I am pleased with what it offers. It has some very nice and convenient features that we have enjoyed on three trips so far. It is disappointing that the Owners Manual does not match everything on the coach but the response from the Thor service desk has been great as well as information shared on the forums. Even if I were an experienced motorhome owner there are things that should be more accurately covered in the manual as well as having a manual that matches what is on the motorhome. In these days of electronic publishing and the Internet it would not be difficult or expensive for Thor to provide revisions to the manual as they make revisions to what they are building. Other Palazzo owners in the Thor Owners Forum have been an invaluable resource for information on how to do things that are not clear in the manual and changes that have been made. I donít know how many people jump right into a diesel pusher but for beginners like me something like Motorhome Operation for Dummies would be a help to get started.
2015 Phaeton 40 QBH, 2013 Honda CR-V