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Old 10-29-2012, 01:47 PM   #1
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Entegra Floorplans

Looking for some input.

What are you looking for in a floorplan?

RV floorplans are trendy. First it was the "number of slideouts" war, which culminated in quad slides for most everything.

Then it was the "biggest flat screen we can get" and the residential fridge trend. All good trends to be sure, but trends nevertheless.

All electric coaches are in vogue right now. When you consider that a residential fridge doesn't draw all that many amps, and they come with 8 batteries and true sine wave inverters, there aren't that many drawbacks to ditching the propane tank and gaining that basement storage space while you're at it. The electric cooktops will require the generator or shore power but that's generally not a problem and you never have to hunt for propane again.

Rear baths seem to be fairly recent. There's a big push for bath and a half layouts. While a big rear bath is nice, it does come at a cost. There's only so much footage available and that maxes out at 45'. When you put a large rear bath in you still need a smaller guest bath and that puts the squeeze on everything up front. Really, the living area is where you spend most of your time. Do you really want to cut back on the area where you spend 80% of your time just to have a big, fancy bath that you see 20% of the time? It's not like you're going to show it off to guests either, unless you like dragging them through the bedroom to show your ceramic tiled shower stall through the water spotted clear circular shower surround. In my way of thinking that's just backwards. I'd rather have a more functional interior.

Walk in closets are the latest trend. I first saw them at Louisville at the 2010 RVIA show. They were in a 42' American Coach Revolution and in a 45' American Heritage. It worked well in the 45 footer but didn't work in the shorter 42 footer. The nice thing about walk-in wardrobes is that you get a full width wardrobe but you don't have to deal with the sliding doors that obscure half of the wardrobe when slid open. You can also get to it when the slides are fully retracted, which you typically can't do with the normal sliding door pair. The walk-in area is accessed by a single pocket door. Within the wardrobe area is a chest of drawers on one side and the washer-dryer enclosure on the other side. It's a great design but takes a 45' coach to do it without harming the rest of the coach's floorplan.

Storage is another thing I look for in a coach. I've seen overhead cabinets that are too shallow and won't accomodate dinner plates. There's never enough pantry space either.

If you are reading this forum you know very well how technology has affected us. Internet connectivity, email access plus online banking and bill paying means that computers need to come along when we travel. Desk space is needed because setting up on the dinette table, only to have to clear it off whenever it's time to eat gets tiring soon. Good desks that have a comfortable seating position and are computer friendly plus has drawers capable of shandling hanging file folders are what we need.

Anyway, those are some things I look for.

What are your needs and wants?
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:57 PM   #2
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For us, one of the big drawbacks we find is the lack of sleeping options. We still travel with kids and when they are gone, we will still probably travel with at least two other adults. So many of the higher end coaches are geared toward the one couple full timing group. We aren't there yet, and may never be there. I know that several manufacturers, Tiffin, Forest River, and I'm sure others, have the option of bunks that have the top bunk fold up and the space turns into a wardrobe.

If I had to sum up where I would like to see some changes is in the area of versatility. Most coaches seem to pigeon hole someone into a particular lifestyle with no other options available in the coach. It would be nice to have something that would allow us to take the kids now, grandkids later, and still have the option of full timing in the future.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:01 PM   #3
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Bunk bed coaches are nice, but they're a limited market. Not everyone is going to jump on that right away, at least not in a higher end diesel pusher. But some coaches have lousy couch options that don't allow the couch to make into a decent sized bed. I'd like to see that changed.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruzer View Post
Bunk bed coaches are nice, but they're a limited market. Not everyone is going to jump on that right away, at least not in a higher end diesel pusher. But some coaches have lousy couch options that don't allow the couch to make into a decent sized bed. I'd like to see that changed.
Mark,that is more the route I would like to see coaches go. I would agree that the bunk idea is fine, but it has a limited market as many who want bunks also don't want them near the bedroom, which is not practical, or they have pretty specific requirements. We are finding that as our twins are getting older they really don't like to be in the bunks.

I see the jack knife couches which are almost impossible to use as being something that could be improved. Or what amounts to an oversized twin bed for a fold out couch which is also more on the less than desirable level. One of my bugaboos about many of the Entegras is that dinette is big enough for one and a half people on each side. It would seem to make more sense to have a dinette that would actually seat four people.

Another issue for me is the placement of the TV's. It seems like all the coaches are set with TV's where the viewer has to look sideways or turn their head to see the TV. Maybe it would make more sense to put the TV across from the couch and put cabinets where the current TV's seem to go. The TV over the driver's head has never made sense to me, particularly with another large TV in the same room. Does someone really need four TV's for 300 square feet?

I'm sure you are going to get lots of ideas on this thread.

Ed
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:31 PM   #5
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As we looked at options, the living room area was important to us. As you can see, we chose the DEQ floor plan, primarily because of the entertainment center option, combined with what we saw as more bang for the buck with Entegra. To us, the TV on the other side of the dining area seems dysfunctional for our life style. My only issue with the living area for the DEQ is that the lounge chair is not useful for watching the TV

DW liked the models that had kitchen up front with living area in the middle. Kitchen that opens to the outside living area also seems smart (as opposed to some that have the kitchen looking out on the neighbors living area).

The bath and a half is useful, but we don't live in the bathroom, so while it looks swell, I don't think it's the best use of space. And I hate cleaning bathrooms

This being said, those units that had an entertainment center worked for us the best...but I must say that the most effective use of space would have the TV pop up out of a desk, and if that desk was set up for portable computers in a workstation environment, that would be great. Also, installed wireless router would be useful. Think the IPad thing is really just a gimmick.

In the end we chose the mix that fit best, albeit not the absolute optimum.
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:19 PM   #6
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Wow...the new 40+ higher-end coaches are truly magnificent inside, with lots of great new ideas & comforts!

We have been travelling FT for almost 2 years and we are fortunate enough to have a proper desk (chair, filing cabinets, accessories drawers, etc) incorporated into our bedroom slide and it allows us to leave our computer, printer, router/ repeater set-up on a permanent basis. This is great feature for anyone who is away from home for an extended period and far more useful to us than a second half-bath. Our floor plan also includes an eye-level TV & electric fireplace opposite our sofa....much better & safer than an overhead mount.

While the shiny stuff like floor plans and quality materials would play a very big part in any future purchase we might make, I am surprised non of the manufacturers jump on the "safety" bandwagon as a way to stand-out from the crowd? Everyone now has 4 slides, stone counter tops, cherry wood cabinets, tile floors, half baths, all electric appliances, 8 batteries, 2 inverters, etc and all this weight and comfort is pushing the length to 42-45ft, bringing tag axles, larger motors & drivetrains into the equation. All good stuff, but the highways are still the most dangerous place in the world.....traffic accidents are still the single largest source of fatalities every year.

As a result, we'd like to see more attention paid to air bags, crumple zones, roll-over & crash protection, traction control, etc. I'd rather know how you've engineered this thing to protect me and my family, than how you were able to get 4 massaging heads into the shower.
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Old 10-29-2012, 07:48 PM   #7
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Don't own a MH yet so I'll just subscribe.
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:11 PM   #8
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To us the 2nd bathroom was a must have. The main reason: We're living in it for work. My wife can be in the mid bath finishing getting ready while I'm in the back getting ready. Total win for us, made life on the road better.

Sideways living room was also a must have. No more laying on the couch or kinking your neck just to see the TV. This is a trend I'm happy to see more of. That said, there is only ever 2 of us in the coach. More people (of any size) would be a game changer.

We like having the walk in closet, step out of the shower and get dressed right there. No more whacking the wall while drying off, or bumping your head while bending over to dry your feet.

Our 42 footer feels like double the space of our old 38 footer. And it mostly because of a better layout.
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:14 AM   #9
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An observation and a question. When we were at the Entegra factory we noticed that Entegra seemed to be doing a very standardized assembly line procedure where every unit being built was equipped identically with the one before it and after it. This standardization has to improve efficiency and should reduce the likelihood of errors. The assembly process at Entegra seemed to be more standardized that what we had witnessed at the Forest River Berkshire/Charleston factory when we toured that facility.

My question is, would the advent of new floor plans slow the production line down as each unit would be less standardized and would it increase the possibility of errors in construction?
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:28 AM   #10
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I don't see that as happening. Other manufacturers do it and some are quite good at it. As long as the correct components and sidewall assemblies are delivered to the assembly line when needed it shouldn't slow it down one bit. The Entegra workers are talented and that Amish work ethic is present so that's a plus.

What it does do is add to the cost. Having to have room to store a wider variety of cabinets and fixtures costs money and the communication required to make everything run smoothly also has a cost so the more you customize, the higher the price.

Now, if you want some custom mods made, above and beyond the option list, that can really grind an assembly line to a halt and that's not just for your coach but for everyone else behind it.

Entegra seems to have a policy of including most items as standard. Their options list is fairly small. That's just the opposite of Newmar, who has a base price and a huge list of options, many of which are pretty much given that everyone will order them. It gives them the ability to really tailor a coach to a customer's desires but it does add quite a bit to the cost.

I don't know how many people realize this but Entegras hold a very high resale value. When you want to trade the dealer looks at the base wholesale price. In this economy they do not factor in the cost of the options. Because brands such as Tiffin have a lower base price and a larger list of options, the trade-in value is less than an Entegra, which has a higher base price but a smaller list of options. Now that's not the sole reason to buy an Entegra but it is a bit of frosting on the cake that'll pay off later on.
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:02 AM   #11
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I also believe that the more standardized the coaches and the fewer the floor plans the higher the quality control as well as lower costs can be achieved. We as owners, are benefiting from both of these factors. I know, I know, some of you have had more problems than you consider acceptable but I have owned trailers since 1974 and am now on my third motorhome and my opinion is that Entegra is doing a great job overall with quality control. Further, considering all the standard equipment and the very high quality of both the coach and all of the materials and appliances included are among the highest in the industry, the pricing point for the Entegra is very reasonable and among the lowest for all the coaches in its class. Lower than a comparably equipped Newmar or Tiffen(if you can even get a comparably equipped unit). Newmar's willingness and ability to customize is a huge asset for them but unfortunatey it comes with a high price as Cruzer has pointed out. The trade in value is really icing on the cake and the reason we were able to trade out 2011 for a new 2013 with all the upgrades and the longer floor plan that we wanted. EVERYTHING is a trade off in the RV world, there is no perfect RV, and for my money Entegra is by far the best combination of value, features, quality and a great company who truly cares that the customer has a great experience with their unit and will remain a customer down the road. NOW, all that being said, some more floor plan choices would be very nice and ARE in the works at Entegra. In addition, they are going to double the size of the plant and that will make it possible to up production numbers without sacrificing quality and also add more floor plans. All in all, the future of Entegra, and therefore the retaining of trade in values for us as customers, appears very bright. All just my experience with Entegra and opinion.
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:29 PM   #12
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Speaking of the few interior options from Entegra, does someone have any pictures of those optional pieces, like the desk, sofa with table, or dinette? All the brochures and online galleries have the standard interior, and that is what the dealers have on hand.
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:10 PM   #13
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I've seen a lot of pictures of the standard floor plan with two sofas. If you go to the MHRVS site out of Texas they have a full line of pictures of the Anthem DEQ interior. I have yet to see any actual pictures of the desk version of a living area from any of the on line venues. Have to wonder if they don't have many orders for it so you have to order that floor plan, which means a significant wait (as opposed to taking a model that has been pre-ordered by a dealer).
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I've seen a lot of pictures of the standard floor plan with two sofas. If you go to the MHRVS site out of Texas they have a full line of pictures of the Anthem DEQ interior. I have yet to see any actual pictures of the desk version of a living area from any of the on line venues. Have to wonder if they don't have many orders for it so you have to order that floor plan, which means a significant wait (as opposed to taking a model that has been pre-ordered by a dealer).
I have a few photos of the 2013 Cornerstone 45J with the desk option and the free standing dinette if anyone wants me to email them. Can't seem to figure how to post them here so if anyone wants to see them, just send me a message...
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