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Old 02-25-2012, 06:51 PM   #1
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2013 Anthem Test Drive

Just on my way back from test driving a brand new 2013 Anthem. 800 miles of flying and 250 miles of driving just to see if this is the one. Thought I would post my observations as a non owner for anyone out there like me too far away to go see one.

Lazy Days Tucson Just got in a 2013 Anthem 42RBQ, so it was nice and fresh. Our drive confirmed a bunch of comments from the folks here but there were some things that weren't best in class. Here's my general observations, keep in mind I'm not a full timer, I'm moving from a truck and trailer and I'm pretty particular about anything automotive and mechanical.

First the bad: (not that much really,more nit picks)

-Starting around the outside, not thrilled with the baggage door hinges. They work fine but don't seem to look as beefy as others I have seen. (buddy has an American Tradition). Also, the inside of the door is lined in plastic with clumbsy access panels for the latch. Just not finished well.
-Clear bra on the front already fading, may have been from the wash, if you don't treat them right they dull easily. But this coach was just delivered.
-Piece of trim had come loose near he awning, about 10ft and was scuffing the paint. This was the only assembly flaw I saw on the exterior.
-Like the carpet finish in the bays, but why light grey, it will be thrashed in no time.
-No rear ladder, not sure why?
-Not sure about the integrated awnings, thought they would be more sleek, but lots of gaps.
-Inside, similiar niggles, whats with the kitchen sink, the material is very cheap and looks like it will stain, why not stainless for my 400k?
-Overhead woodwork on the ceiling looks great from 5ft, but its not real wood and faux painted to look like wood. Why bother?
-Love the recliner action at every seat, but the mechanism seems pretty flimsy, not sure how long it will last. Same comment for the couch extension in the aspire DEQ that was there.
-Distressed look on upolstery, why are all choices this way, the white looks normal in pics, but up close its patterned to look distressed. Not everyone wants something new to look old.
-One slight creak above the passenger when moving. Seemed to go away with a few miles.
-Where do you put a directv receiver? No room in the bin over the main screen.
-Really dislike the rear bath layout, lucky for us we don't want one.
-Mobile eye seems like a waste of $2k. Only tells you too close to the car in front and you are over the lane lines.

Now the Good: (At least what stood out, there is a lot good)

-This is the only coach I have driven in the last 2 years of looking that made almost no noise going down the road. Very quiet, brilliant ride.
-General fit and finish is above the other guys. Not great (ie to automotive standards), but lets face it almost every RV is built like crap, even the good ones.
-Front tires are 315, rears are 295. I'm assuming thats because of front axle weight.
-General attention to detail was very nice for an RV. Love that all cabinets are lined. Lift up the area rug in the bath and the bottom is lined. Curved wall in the bath area (DLQ) along with the different finished vanity look as good in person as the photos.
-Dash layout works well and controls aren't bad, others i have driven are a disaster.
-Tile on the floors, shower and counter are nicely done and look great.
-Love that flip up TV in the bedroom with the safe behind.
-Every shade is motorized, nice.
-They took the time to fit the elec cooktop flush with the counter.
-lots of comfortable places to sit. Many coaches have lots of seating but not necessarily comfortable.
-Love the all electric coach, and dropping propane gives you a bunch more storage.

All in all its the best I have seen for the price point, Aspire is better than the Revolution, and the Anthem is better than the Tradition, all at lower cost. Tiffen is not on the same planet.

So this is the one, and now its time to start negotiating, Anthem 42 DLQ in silver will be the goal. Also going to lobby the factory for a few simple changes. We'll see how it goes. Thanks to everyone here and all the posts to read, lots of good stuff.
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Old 02-25-2012, 07:31 PM   #2
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Great write-up, thanks
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:41 PM   #3
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Thanks much for your thoughts, as we are looking at Entegra also. Please keep us posted as you go forward.
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:58 PM   #4
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anthem

i have a new 2013 anthem that will be here
next week, there is nothing better in my opinion!!
you should probably keep what you have, i would not
want to be your sales person.
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:16 PM   #5
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Thanks for the post and keep us informed on what you may decide to purchase.
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:13 PM   #6
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MSMATT What comments do you have on the Aspire 42 DEQ you looked at? Ride,Quite,layout,,finish?
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:31 PM   #7
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One thing I heard about the Entegras is that the wall construction is of the older moisture absorbing material design, not the vacu-bonded type walls that Monaco, American, et al are using. Do you see any significance to this difference between Entegras and the other top brands?
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelvin View Post
i have a new 2013 anthem that will be here
next week, there is nothing better in my opinion!!
you should probably keep what you have, i would not
want to be your sales person.
Congrats on your purchase! I agree, haven't found something better for the price points. Working on an order as we speak. My sales person will probably love me because likely they'll never see me!
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azbuzzard View Post
MSMATT What comments do you have on the Aspire 42 DEQ you looked at? Ride,Quite,layout,,finish?
Buzzard, we didn't drive the Aspire as the chassis is very similar to the Anthem (no way you'll notice IFS in 5-10 miles). The only issues I saw was the pull out on the couch is pretty clumsy and both Aspires had shower doors out of their tracks.

Finish wise they were fine, equal or better than the tradition we went in.
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHart View Post
One thing I heard about the Entegras is that the wall construction is of the older moisture absorbing material design, not the vacu-bonded type walls that Monaco, American, et al are using. Do you see any significance to this difference between Entegras and the other top brands?
Absolutely, this is what makes the Entegra so quiet! The wall is actually through bolted to the chassis and roof. Also, they are thicker than standard Vaccuum bond. (Cruzer has a great write up with pics) Monaco and the others just screw their bonded walls in from the bottom and top. Any coach that gets water in the wall will absorb it and rot and in my experience thats likely from a window opening or roof leaking, so keeping things caulked and sealed is key. But out here in California, we don't have much moisture anyway.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:39 AM   #11
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Placed an order for an Anthem 42DLQ yesterday, Shadow Grey with Boardwalk interior. Dealer says we probably won't see it till July. Thanks to everyone here for all the info to make the right choice!
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Old 02-28-2012, 03:13 PM   #12
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I would like to get everyones opinion on the Anthem 42 RBQ vs. American Coach? What line would you compare the Anthem with (Rev, Trad, Eagle)? We have been really happy with our Discovery but would like to upgrade at the end of this year or first of next year. I am going to try and find an Anthem close by for a test drive. I have driven all the ones from AC above. Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-28-2012, 03:24 PM   #13
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Ask me in May. I've done articles for RV Magazine on the Anthem and Cornerstone, and am familiar with the Aspire. In April I'll be doing an article on an Eagle or Revolution for FMCA Magazine. My intent is to compare them thoroughly, including construction details, at that time. My initial guess is that Entegra will be the winner but that American Coach will be a decent second place.

The Revolution looks to be similar to the Allegro Bus and Entegra Anthem although the Tradition is also that chassis with the ISL 450. The 45' Eagle can be gotten with a 450 ISL, 500 ISX-11, or 600 ISX so it's tough to define that, although most Eagles wind up with 500 HP and most Heritages wind up with 600 HP engines. That puts them into the Cornerstone category, which is now 600 HP ISX. Pricewise the Entegra has them beat and I tend to think that Entegra's comittment to customer service and their two year warranty really stack the deck in their favor.

One thing that I need to find out about is the word that Fleetwood is going exclusively Freightliner and that would also include American Coach. If the Liberty chassis goes the way of FL instead of Spartan, that would be a negative.

Lots of questions, but answer I have to wait for until April.

If you've looked at the American Coaches, take a look at Entegra, especially at how they build them on the factory floor. That may answer your question.
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Old 02-28-2012, 03:45 PM   #14
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Definitely agree with Cruzer. American is a good coach, my buddy has one and his sold me on the Spartan chassis, but when you start looking at Spartan coaches and compare, Entegra offers more stuff for $30-$50K less.

American does have full wall slides that really open up the coach, but you have to challenge the reliability of spanning that much distance. (seems like the coach will flex over time).

One negative for American is the lower portion of the front cap hangs on the generator slide, so the whole front of the coach below the windshield pulls out. Look at some older ones, they don't really fit that well over time, whereas the Entrgra is mounted to the body.
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