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Old 06-09-2015, 05:15 PM   #1
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Question for CC, Foretravel, Newell and Prevost owners

I recently upgraded from a 2002 Coachmen Cross Country 370DS to Newmar KSDP 3909. The Coachmen was in average condition, the Kountry Star is immaculate, in appearance at least.

I have been disappointed with Newmar as basically all the same issues I had before are already appearing and we've only done local runs this summer so far. I certainly realize that these beasts are largely the sum of the same parts, but I figured the Newmar would be alot better than the Coachmen.

The Newmar certainly looks nicer, is more quiet, drives better, but....the slides, the electric step, and the stair cover have all failed already. I haven't even driven it 500 miles yet. Now I discover the wet bay is true to its name, as in wet, since Newmar didn't seal the wheel wells properly.

I was hoping a coach that list listed originally at twice the price of my old one would be twice as good, but it seems not.

My question is, if I moved into a truly high end coach, is the experience better? Or at 10 years old do you encounter the same issues?

Thanks!
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:08 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstgofstr View Post
I was hoping a coach that list listed originally at twice the price of my old one would be twice as good, but it seems not.

My question is, if I moved into a truly high end coach, is the experience better? Or at 10 years old do you encounter the same issues?

Thanks!
Read what this fellow is going through with a brand new, top end Newmar on his third day of ownership.

Expert Advice Requested: New 2015 King Aire flooded with 50 gallons of water
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Old 06-09-2015, 08:31 PM   #3
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I don't know what you're expecting. If you bought a brand new coach and had issues, you might have a complaint. Ten years old is typically the time things start to wear out or need adjustment/maintenance. How many ties do you think the three items you describe can go in and out before some wear occurs. Ten years of steps is pretty good.

Would you buy a ten year old car and expect it to run like the day it was sold new.....things wear out.....alternator, battery, axle shaft boots, transmission, rattles and noises. And cars do much better than RV's.
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Old 06-09-2015, 08:38 PM   #4
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Our previous 2002 Dutch Star 4090 had only one real problem when we traded it. The main slide was troublesome and needed help everytime we brought it in. A week before we traded it I figured out that the plywood reinforcing Newmar had a local dealer install was catching on the carpet. Beveled the edge of the plywood and it worked fine. Someone will be getting a great rig.
Bought the Magna, looked great, everything worked but needs new batteries and tires, about $10,000 worth but I was prepared for that. But I wasn't prepared for the ISX to blow up. Even an oil test didn't show anything wrong.
Anyway, no matter what you buy there are going to be problems that need to be addressed. It's called "maintenance".
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Old 06-09-2015, 10:10 PM   #5
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Nature of the beast.....stuff wears out like Dutch Star Don said. If you had kept your old coach eventually things would need replacing on it also. I went from an 02 Journey to a 00 Foretravel. It rides better, quieter, more powerful and has a lot more options (Aqua-Hot, transmission retarder, 6 wheel ABS disk air brakes, etc..) but all of these options break just like on any coach. I've had mine a year and I've had to replace air dryer, alternator and a repair toilet along with chasing a few air leaks. Am I disappointed? Not in the coach its self. Yes, I beat my self up at times wondering what the heck did I get myself into but I realized that it will be a continual process as with any older coach. Over all I'm still happy with the change. Hang in, it'll get better and at times worse. Nature of the beast!
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Old 06-10-2015, 07:41 AM   #6
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Actually Dutch Star Don, I certainly would expect a year 2005 car with 50,000 miles on it to drive just like new. I'm shopping for cars for my daughter and most drive perfect and everything works at that age/mileage.

Yes I've read about the flooded King Aire, I can't imagine being in that situation. Disappointment would be an understatement.

It sounds like my expectations are simply to high, I was just curious to know if the experience is better when big dollars are spent.
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Old 06-10-2015, 12:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstgofstr View Post
The Newmar certainly looks nicer, is more quiet, drives better, but....the slides, the electric step, and the stair cover have all failed already. I haven't even driven it 500 miles yet. Now I discover the wet bay is true to its name, as in wet, since Newmar didn't seal the wheel wells properly.

I was hoping a coach that list listed originally at twice the price of my old one would be twice as good, but it seems not.

My question is, if I moved into a truly high end coach, is the experience better? Or at 10 years old do you encounter the same issues?

Thanks!
My rig is 20 years old and a high end coach of its time on a Gillig Bus chassis.

The power steps have been occasionally a problem but I carry a magnet to solve their problem.

No slides so no similar problems.

Wet bay, is not wet.

It has not been to a shop in 7 years or about 35,000 miles except for tires and an exhaust manifold replacement on the C8.3L Cummins.

I would drive it on any length of trip in North America without undue fear of breakdowns.

But as you add electrical and mechanical doodads to the more modern rigs, one has expanded the opportunity for failures.

You are moving a house with four electrical systems and components down our finely groomed highways at 60 mph thereby creating mini-earthquakes to the rig that can be devastating.

The occasional failures are the events that add extra fun value to the failure free trips!
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Old 06-10-2015, 12:27 PM   #8
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Actually Dutch Star Don, I certainly would expect a year 2005 car with 50,000 miles on it to drive just like new. I'm shopping for cars for my daughter and most drive perfect and everything works at that age/mileage.

Yes I've read about the flooded King Aire, I can't imagine being in that situation. Disappointment would be an understatement.

It sounds like my expectations are simply to high, I was just curious to know if the experience is better when big dollars are spent.
You haven't said the year or mileage on the Newmar, but I'm guessing it's an 05 w/50k miles? If so, as you know, 50k miles on an RV may mean it was driven barely but lived in CONSTANTLY. Hours are another way of measuring usage.
In particular, you say Newmar didn't seal wheel wells; how do you know since it's been weathered for 50k miles and 10yrs? Maybe it was and has all fallen off?
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Old 06-10-2015, 01:21 PM   #9
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It's in my signature, its a 2005, and yes it has 50,000 miles.

The original owner toured the southern states during winter with until 2013.

I have all the maintenance records, he was very diligent, it went back to the Newmar factory a few times for the slides, awning issues, cabinet work, shower leaks, A/C, Norcold fridge replacement, etc.

I had hoped that a better brand coach than my old one would be closer to automotive type reliability, but I guess that just doesn't exist in the RV world.
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Old 06-10-2015, 02:27 PM   #10
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Everything man makes breaks, Everything God makes dies, so whether you spend 1 million or $25,000 the end result will be the same some day. We all hope to have a trouble free RV, but I've been at this for 23 years and haven't found that one yet. It's part of the journey. JMO Randy
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Old 06-10-2015, 03:15 PM   #11
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Question for CC, Foretravel, Newell and Prevost owners

I have had several issues with my KS steps, the roads are the real issue. I have had bolts break in the stairs, the gear stripped, and other issues. Things get pounded. I periodically go under and tighten the bolts to prevent further issues having learned the hard way.
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Old 06-10-2015, 04:20 PM   #12
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I had hoped that a better brand coach than my old one would be closer to automotive type reliability, but I guess that just doesn't exist in the RV world.
My MH had 55,000 miles on it and was 10 yrs old when we purchased it. The previous owner was a CAT service engineer and provided us with every service receipt and a log of everything that had been done on the coach.

I can honestly say that everything worked on the day we purchased it except, possibly, a 10 year old, outdated satellite dish that we had intended to replace, anyway. Over the 4+ years and ~45,000 miles we have put on it, some things have failed but not because they weren't built to "automotive standards."

Of the things that have actually, "failed" one was a hydraulic line for our main slide that blew out because it had been undersized. This was definitely a design and/or quality control issue, but it was no worse than things that happen in the automotive industry. Fortunately, ~$1000 and a day of our time was all that was needed to repair it.

That happened soon after we purchased it. Since then there have been things like a parking brake actuator that failed (standard truck part, that simply failed), liquid-filled front hubs that leaked (pretty common issue), and a hydraulic slide and leveling pump that failed after ~13 years, as did the inverter. Although all of these were fairly expensive items, I can't, in good conscience, claim that any of these weren't simply age-related failures.

Our first toad was 3 years old and had 50,000 miles when we bought it. Everything worked when we bought it and it was an exceptionally reliable vehicle. But a few things did fail over the ~50,000 miles we put on it. These are mechanical systems. Use them and they eventually wear out.
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Old 06-10-2015, 04:48 PM   #13
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My 17 year old American Eagle continues to impress and over-deliver.

Mission critical items have never let us down (engine, transmission, generator, A/C's, furnaces, water pump, hot water heater, range, oven, frig, microwave etc.)

The items that are not functional do not cause me any concern (step cover, fantastic fans, old technology satellite dish). And yes the outside step has a mind of its own....however eventually it wakes up and functions properly.

I would get in the old girl and head for any destination without hesitation.

No, she is not on the list of manufacturer's listed by the OP in this thread...but is a tribute to American Coach quality control and engineering/design.
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Old 06-10-2015, 07:47 PM   #14
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American Coach built them right, I came close to a few 20 year old Dreams and I would not have had much worry about long trips on any of them. I ended up with a 20 year old Winnebago Vectra on an air ride/air brake Freightliner chassis and after some minor maintenance we have already put 2000 miles on it so far this spring. The only 20 year old diesel coaches from motorhome manufacturers I would even remotely consider are American Coach or Winnebago.
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