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Old 04-27-2013, 11:31 AM   #1
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Thor ACE competitors?

Looking for some collective wisdom from the group... Thanks in advance.

I'm preparing for my first motorized RV purchase. We were looking exclusively at Cs, until we came across the Thor ACE 29.2, specifically. I'm trying to see what the competition is in order to do some comparisons, and I'm not finding a lot.

The things we like. Drop down over cab bunk, dinette and a sofa, queen bed seperate. Under 30 feet (I can keep it inside at my house!) class A visibility, tow small trailer or car, price. My budget is around 70k, I'm usually a used vehicle buyer but it seems I could get a 29.2 new for that.

Thanks again!
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Old 04-27-2013, 11:13 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WarPhil View Post
Looking for some collective wisdom from the group... Thanks in advance.

I'm preparing for my first motorized RV purchase. We were looking exclusively at Cs, until we came across the Thor ACE 29.2, specifically. I'm trying to see what the competition is in order to do some comparisons, and I'm not finding a lot.

The things we like. Drop down over cab bunk, dinette and a sofa, queen bed seperate. Under 30 feet (I can keep it inside at my house!) class A visibility, tow small trailer or car, price. My budget is around 70k, I'm usually a used vehicle buyer but it seems I could get a 29.2 new for that.

Thanks again!
I to went to look at a C and found the ACE and have had it for about a year. Had small issues which everyone seem to have one way or another. (look under Thor forum and you will see the ACE topics). I think for your money it is the best out there. I travel with DW 3 kids and 2 dogs on trips and it is fine.
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Old 04-27-2013, 11:27 PM   #3
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We bought the Ace in December. Also our first MH. The only layout with all the things we wanted that my wife and I agreed on! Price was good compared to others we saw. We have used it a few times. Going out for a week in a couple of weeks and a big trip out west in July. Everything works well. Was easy to learn what I didn't know- much of it on this forum! I don't think you will find anything out there that gives you so much for the money.
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Old 04-27-2013, 11:40 PM   #4
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Forest River's direct competitor to the ACE is the FR3, new this year.
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Old 04-28-2013, 06:37 AM   #5
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Re: ACE Alternatives

Quote:
Originally Posted by WarPhil View Post
Looking for some collective wisdom from the group... Thanks in advance.

I'm preparing for my first motorized RV purchase. We were looking exclusively at Cs, until we came across the Thor ACE 29.2, specifically. I'm trying to see what the competition is in order to do some comparisons, and I'm not finding a lot.

The things we like. Drop down over cab bunk, dinette and a sofa, queen bed seperate. Under 30 feet (I can keep it inside at my house!) class A visibility, tow small trailer or car, price. My budget is around 70k, I'm usually a used vehicle buyer but it seems I could get a 29.2 new for that.

Thanks again!
Not that you asked, but we've been unbelievably happy with our ACE 30.1 and Thor's customer support and service is unequaled. I can provide further information if you'd like, but now back to the question...

As mentioned above, the Forest River FR3 appears to be essentially identical to the ACE: Forest River FR3. We had a Forest River travel trailer for years and loved it. Great quality at a reasonable price. If we hadn't already purchased the ACE, I'd definitely look at the FR3 (although, from an online glance, the floorplan doesn't seem as well-suited to our preferences).

I also just got a notice of a new Jayco class A. Jayco Class A. Details are a little sketchy and I don't think it's available yet, but based on the online blurb, it appears to be another ACE knock-off.
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Old 04-28-2013, 06:47 AM   #6
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I agree that all the competition is making their ACE knock off because it is a great Class A for the family vacationer. Where I think Thor still has the market is their costumer service and they have worked the bugs out of the ACE in the last three years.
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:20 AM   #7
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As an ACE 29.2 owner, we agree that the ACE is a great motorhome. The few problems that we have had were quickly remedied. With the CHF installed and 5-Star tuning, it is just a blast to drive. I think Winnebago may have a class A for almost the same price, but it doesn't have the overhead bunk. You didn't mention how many of you will be traveling in style? Is it just you and the DW or are you planning on a number of youngsters to tag along?
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:45 PM   #8
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We were also looking very seriously at Class C's before we came across the ACE 29.2. The biggest problem we had with the C's was the tank and storage capacities, and the long overhang behind the rear axle (we have a steep driveway).

One of our biggest requirements is that we wanted to stay under 30'. We also wanted a dinette AND couch, and a separate bedroom. We really liked the ACE 29.2 because of the "social" floorplan with the couch across from the dinette. It's a little easier to communicate with the family when they're all together, rather than spread out. We also like that the 29.2 ACE is fully functional with the slide out in.

Downsides of the ACE: overhead bed has a 250lb weight limit. The Jackknife bed and dinette are only 5' long when turned into beds. If you have a bunch of munchkins with you, this isn't a huge issue. However, you're definitely not sleeping more than 2 maybe 3 adults comfortably.

I really like what I've seen in the FS3. It has a few niceties the ACE doesn't - LED headlights, more "finished" drivers area, and that couch/recliner/fold out bed is really cool (I want one for our ACE). They've definitely taken the ACE concept to the next level. However, the FS3 is also nearly 32'.
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:06 PM   #9
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Just about every Class A motorhome manufacturer has an entry level unit. Thor does pack a lot of unique things into the ACE though.

Another one with a fold down bunk is the Fleetwood Storm It also has a bunkbed floorplan that has a lower bunk that converts into a small dinette.
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:56 PM   #10
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Just about every Class A motorhome manufacturer has an entry level unit. Thor does pack a lot of unique things into the ACE though.

Another one with a fold down bunk is the Fleetwood Storm It also has a bunkbed floorplan that has a lower bunk that converts into a small dinette.
The fleetwood Storm does offer a drop down bunk as an option, and has some pretty cool features. The big turn off for us was that the drop down bunk uses an inflatable mattress.
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:40 PM   #11
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Coachman has added the Pursuit to this Family Class A/C group and Winnebago the the Vista. We have lookes at only Class Cs until the ACE came out. Now leaning towards FR3 because of 80" Queen Bed, outdoor TV and storage. Anyone know of FR3 quality issues as of yet?
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WarPhil View Post
Looking for some collective wisdom from the group... Thanks in advance.

I'm preparing for my first motorized RV purchase. We were looking exclusively at Cs, until we came across the Thor ACE 29.2, specifically. I'm trying to see what the competition is in order to do some comparisons, and I'm not finding a lot.

The things we like. Drop down over cab bunk, dinette and a sofa, queen bed seperate. Under 30 feet (I can keep it inside at my house!) class A visibility, tow small trailer or car, price. My budget is around 70k, I'm usually a used vehicle buyer but it seems I could get a 29.2 new for that.

Thanks again!
I like you are in the same boat. My wife and I have three children (7, 8, and 12) and have been looking into class c rv's for the flexibility in sleeping options (Winnebago 31JP Access Premier). However, when Thor Came out with the ACE I fell in love. Not only does it have the overhead sleeping area, and all the amenities of an A, it looks awesome for an entry level unit!

However, the ACE still was missing something... While researching other units, I came across the Forest River FR3. Now this thing is sweet. It looks similar to the ACE (which I like). The difference that causes me to lean more toward the FR3 VS the ACE are the features that the FR3 has. Such feature as the reclining sofa, and the pull out sofa bed are just a couple. The sofa in the ACE just does not look very comfortable.
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:25 PM   #13
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Was in the same boat just last week. Been doing research and looking for over a year. Looked at in detail and researched until my eye's bled for over a year. Finally made a purchase two days ago.

Coaches looked and researched in detail:

Every class C
Class A under or at 30ft

Itasca & Winnebago
Coachman Pursuit
Thor ACE
Thor Hurricane
Forest River FR3
Fleetwood Storm

I had the same requirements, looking for under 30ft with a great floor plan. Tougher than it sounds. Loved the ACE until I really looked at the fit and finish and if I brought friends, where would they sleep. The ACE sleeping is for tiny people who don't weigh more than 100 lb. The overhead drop down is only rated for 250LB, so not for adults. The hidabed is a joke, only for really small children, my 10 yr old is too tall for the ACE hidabed. The coach inside has great layout but very, very cheap.

The long and short after one year of research and looking at everything, I just purchased the Fleetwood Storm 28F. The overhead pulldown bed is rated for 650 LB. the dinette sleeper is 84" long. The storm is the only, and mean only class A under 30ft that can sleep 6 full sized adults of 6ft or taller, the FR3 can't say that, none other can. The exterior storage is a big thing also, the Storm beat all of them hands down with 132 cu ft. No one came close. The fit and finish was a level above any thor, or Forest River, until you get to the thor Daybreak and up. The Coachman looked ok but still a level below the Fleetwood. The list is long of why I considered the Fleetwood. Every lot that sold the Thor and Fleetwood the people always said the Fleetwood is a step above, after looking close, they are correct.

My opinion and happy RVing!!
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:30 PM   #14
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The Storm is another fine RV... Congratulations on your purchase! I must admit that the Storm is also on my list if possibilities...
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