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Old 11-03-2015, 08:00 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Port Neches, TX 77651
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Which one to choose???

I am looking to upgrade my 2006 Holiday Ambassador 4 slide 40' coach. Simple ride-no Aquahot, no tag axle. VERY reliable. I would like to have tag (extra set of brakes and maybe a bit more stability), and perhaps an Independent front suspension. Here are some coaches I am looking at-two are newer, and one is not:
1. 2010 Dutch Star 42'
2. 2011 Entegra Aspire 42'
3. 2006 Fortravel Phenix 42'

Floor plans all work. The first two are 4 or 5 years newer and would be around $160 K.
The third one is a much higher level coach, but approaching it's 10th year, and would need batteries AND TIRES. It would probably come in at $190-$220K. The DS has IFS. Not sure about #3.
One of my MAJOR concerns is maintenance and age. Would the Foretravel be a bigger problem than the other two maintenance-wise? The same? Less?

Guys, I need some serious guidance here. Or should I say HELP!!! Thank-you in advance.

'06Holiday Rambler
Ambassador 40'
ISC 330

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Old 11-03-2015, 08:08 PM   #2
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Get what you can afford, the better the coach, chances are the better the enjoyment. For me personally, if you like all three, go for the floor plan that works best for you and yours. If money isn't a concern, better is great, the "best" is...well.. the best. Batteries and tires are "routine maintenance", so having to buy them early, is just that, buying them early. Best of luck in your decision. My .02....

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Old 11-03-2015, 08:12 PM   #3
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The Dutch Star will have Comfort Drive which is a HUGE improvement in driving. You'll notice it at the end of the day. There all good coaches!
Don & Mary
2014 Newmar Dutch Star - All Electric - 450 ISL
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:26 PM   #4
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Of the 3, I would go for the Foretravel hands down. Go "bang" on all the coaches and see which one feels the most solid.

Guess I don't understand why the Fore would need new batteries, they could go for another few years depending on brand. Tires maybe.
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Old 11-04-2015, 06:57 AM   #5
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Foretravel of Texas has several Phenix for sale. They seem to have Cummins ISX engines and either 12.5K or 20K Powertech generators. The list price of these units appear to be in the upper $200K range. I believe they have 12 volt 8D gel batteries (guessing $4-500 each to replace).
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Old 11-04-2015, 11:02 AM   #6
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You said that all of the floor plans work for you.

I'm always an advocate of buying the highest quality coach that will still fit our budget. While I respect both the DS and the Entegra coach lines, no question the Foretravel is in a different league.

Besides the IMO better build quality, it also has the bigger engine and retarder transmission, both of these are real safety features in my mind. Bigger ISX allows for reserve power capacity to allow for acceleration if needed in an emergency situation. And the big block coupled to the Allison 4000R transmission, provides way superior and infinitely adjsutable braking horsepower.

I also feel that say 5-10 years down the road, the Foretravel would still retain a more solid feel, and have less overall problems due to driving dynamics stresses, the the other two.

If it is within your budget range, and you are sure you like the layout - the try to negotiate allowances/credits for the batteries and tires. (And heck, hope they have newer tires on it by now, so check the Born on Date.) But even if the price is firm as is, I'd go with the higher quality coach every time.

And again, sure not knocking the coach 1 and 2 - they're both fine coaches and well liked by their owners - just not in the same league.

Best of luck to you - great choices anyway you look at it!
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Old 11-04-2015, 03:15 PM   #7
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Which one to choose

Smitty77, I agree completely. I just want to make sure that I will not be adding more sophisticated maintenence due to a more complex and older coach.
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Old 11-04-2015, 03:19 PM   #8
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All are acceptable coaches. What any come down to is how they have been maintained. Complete maintenance records would be a bonus.
Gordon and Janet
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Old 11-04-2015, 06:19 PM   #9
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As just picking up a 2014 Integra anthem I must say it is absolutely amazing in all aspects I have owned several older coaches this one blows them all away Integra is all about the experience and it shows on every corner I would go with the Integra you will get the newer coach plus quality hands-down
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Old 11-04-2015, 06:30 PM   #10
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We had two Dutch Stars and both were good rigs. In fact we should have bought another Newmar rather than the CC we did buy. Not that the CC isn't good, but it sure is costing us a bunch to keep it going due to the ISX blowing up. Once past that it is a great rig and the best driving RV I've encountered.
I looked at the Entegra line and didn't like the "no changes" policy. Newmar is far more flexible in that respect.
We were also somewhat knowledgeable about the Foretravel line as my parents had one but just didn't find one we liked.
If I had it to do all over I'd be looking for nice London Aire or King Aire.
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Old 11-05-2015, 05:42 AM   #11
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Fortravel is a very fine coach. However, I'd opt for the newer DS, also I nice rig, for $60k less...and probably newer technology.
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Old 11-05-2015, 07:19 AM   #12
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I really feel for you and that VERY EXPENSIVE last noise your ISX ever made!!! How common is it for an ISX to self destruct? Would that engine be a reason to take a coach off my list???
Thank-you for your input...

Based on my 7 year experience with my HR Ambassador, I have very high respect for the Holiday/Monaco brand. Mine has had very few issues, and so far, nothing I couldn't fix myself (and I am NO MECHANIC!)...

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