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Old 02-23-2013, 11:55 AM   #1
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Cruzer 3 manufacturer comparison

I'm looking for the 3 manufacturer comparison document that Cruzer did. Anyone have a link to it?
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:07 PM   #2
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Here you go:

http://www.rvcruzer.com/3brands.pdf
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Ownby View Post
Thanks, Steve
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:51 AM   #4
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I'd love to see Cruzer do a comparo of Newmar, Entegra Coach & Tiffin. Seems like those three players are really the biggest direct competitors:

Dutch Star -- Aspire --- Phaeton

Mountain Aire -- Anthem -- Allegro Bus

Essex -- Cornerstone -- Zephyr

Seems like Entegra Coach has the leg up on things like structural integrity of the chassis (Spartan being a big plus) and enthusiasm (being the newest kid on the block). But Newmar has a lot going for it being one of the "long-time" coach builders (a lot of knowledge and engineering go into their product changes, etc) along with the ability to custom-order changes to a coach right from the factory.

Could be my bias toward Newmar, being a Newmar owner! LOL!
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:32 AM   #5
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They're all good, but so much is personal preference.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:02 AM   #6
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I agree, Newmar was the missing element in Cruzer's review. I could not consider the three covered in the report without considering Newmar also. Between the three in the report and Newmar, I think you have the cream of the crop in the 300-$750K market. All of them are fine coachmakers and the difference is in the details which appeal to the individual buyer.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:26 AM   #7
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Being a former Tiffin owner I have to disagree with those comparing the Bus with the Anthem. The Bus is on the level of the Aspire if you compare. JMO> The reason Cruzer compared the American, Tiffin, and Entegra was because he has researched and written articles on all three. Newmar is blad, blah, your grandmothers coach.
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:59 AM   #8
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Being a former Tiffin owner I have to disagree with those comparing the Bus with the Anthem. The Bus is on the level of the Aspire if you compare. JMO> The reason Cruzer compared the American, Tiffin, and Entegra was because he has researched and written articles on all three. Newmar is blad, blah, your grandmothers coach.
I thought we weren't going to bash other brands? If you have a specific critique of some coach it is appropriate to post it, but name calling is not.
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:47 PM   #9
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All three of those manufacturers have strong points and weak points. The comparison just points them out so that you can decide which points matter to you and which points don't bother you so much. Since then I have been involved at Newmar, doing an article for RV Magazine on the Canyon Star toy hauler and another article for FMCA Magazine on the Mountain Aire. In the process I was given a serious in-depth look behind the scenes at Newmar and I think I have a good handle on them as well. I could include them in a 4 way comparison because they do indeed belong to that league but I'm not going to do another one of those. But what I will do is give you a nutshell viewpoint of what I found, keeping in mind this is just my opinion.

Newmnar is very close to Entegra in many ways. Then again, Entegra's roots are in Travel Supreme, whose roots were in Newmar so go figure.

Both Entegra and Newmar use hung wall construction, which is unique in the industry which is dominated by vacu-lam construction. I personally feel that a hung sidewall is much better. Newmar does not use jigs for assemble. They work off of plans. They lay the aluminum structural tubing out on a table (measure twice and cut once) and weld it up according to plans. This gives them the ability to custom build each and every coach. If a buyer wants a cabinet put in a place where none was planned, they just add the necessary backing and weld it up. Windows can also be resized, added, or eliminated. This allows Newmar to custom build to a buyers unique specifications, which is a huge plus given the fact the no one seems to be 100% happy with their floor plan. There's always something that could have been done differently. Newmar builds them one at a time and will change tile, Corian, wallpaper or whatever if needed.

However, this method of construction does come with a price. Apples to apples a Newmar will cost more than an Entegra of equivalent specs. But if the price isn't an object, you can customize your Newmar in many ways that you won't be able to get with Entegra. However, with Entegra the price savings are greater so you can afford to go and have custom mods done after the fact so it's a toss up.

Newmar is going with Freighliner instead of Spartan unless you go with the Essex or higher. That's a negative in my opinion. Hopefully they will revisit that in the future. I recall in the 2004 era when Newmar sold Dutch Stars with either chassis and 2 out of 3 were Spartan. That should tell you something about what the buyers want.

Entegra does sweat the details more than anyone else. The chassis tweaks, better insulation, thicker wooden floor sub-structure, and sound deadening details all add up to some nice benefits. I also prefer the Entegra windshield and mirrors. The low windshield places the mirrors lower and gives you better cab forward visibility for a tight maneuver. The lower mirrors let you see over the tops of them, eliminating blind spots and improving rear vision to be more three dimensional with better depth perception. The same with their mirror mounted side cameras. Basically, I've found the Entegra to be the best riding, best handling, and quietest coach I've ever tested. And that even includes the Mountain Aire with Comfort Drive Freightliner chassis, although the ride and handling were closer on that one.

If I were looking at a gasser, I'd go with Newmar's Canyon Star. The build quality of it trumps everything else out there. If Entegra did not exist, I imagine out next coach would be a Newmar if I could scrape up the cash. They are very close to Entegra and if anyone doesn't like the current offering of Entegra floor plans the Newmar would be a good alternative. In my case, I'll just wait.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:10 PM   #10
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Thanks Mark...With your thoughts on Newmar, that pretty much gives us a four unit comparison. We have known for some time now that if we were to buy one more coach it would be an Entegra. We are however , very happy with our present coach, and as we keep upgrading it, may never need a new one. Like many, we do feel that these four builders are doing the best job today. Any of the four would be a good place to start looking if wanting to buy today. I too hope Newmar goes back to Spartan Chassis.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:46 AM   #11
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Mark, great work, as always! One bit of construction methodology history--Holiday Rambler was doing hung-sidewalls before Newmar/Travel Supreme/Entegra. They used the C-channel aluminum frame, 24" on-center vertically and horizontally, same dual insulation and vapor barrier, all windows, openings framed etc.

One of the Newmar founders was a VP at Holiday Rambler before starting Newmar and brought the hung-wall methodology over, albeit with 16" on-center framing, no aluminum sidewall skins or roofs, favored by Holiday Rambler in the '60's and into the 2000's on lower-end models.

When Monaco Coach bought Holiday Rambler from AMF, they continued this construction methodology in the Indiana built models of Monaco, Holiday Rambler, Safari and Beaver, while the Oregon models were primarily semi-monocoque chassis, steel sidewalls, but laminated. Eventually, the lower-end Oregon built models adapted aluminum super structures from the Holiday Rambler influence and I think even built some hung-sidewall models, but I'm not sure. They definitely were doing aluminum skin and roofs in Oregon due to the Safari acquisition in 2001.

Regardless, hung side-wall construction has been around a long time with towables and motorized with Holiday Rambler.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathans View Post
Being a former Tiffin owner I have to disagree with those comparing the Bus with the Anthem. The Bus is on the level of the Aspire if you compare. JMO> The reason Cruzer compared the American, Tiffin, and Entegra was because he has researched and written articles on all three. Newmar is blad, blah, your grandmothers coach.
nathans,

Newmar was definitely grandma's coach interior wise in the '90's to early 2000 period, but I'm surprised to see somebody equating modern Newmar models that way. Have you been inside an Essex or King Aire?
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