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Old 03-12-2013, 08:44 AM   #1
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Entegra plant tour March 2013

Hi, new poster here and soon to be new Entegra Aspire RBQ owner.

My wife and I just got back [to MA] from Middlebury (dodging snowstorms the whole way). On this trip we toured Entegra, Newmar and Thor and looked at a couple Winnebago/Itasca units. Last year around this time we toured Tiffin and Fleetwood/American Coach.

Based on the past years worth of research and all the great info on these forums (thanks to all!) we have concluded that Entegra is the coach for us. We believe they provide an excellent product at a good price point and are backed by a solid, people oriented company.

Anyway the main info I wanted to convey were some new aspects of the Aspire and in particular the RBQ floor plan. Sorry if this is old news.

1) RBQ Pantry - The RBQ's (all models) currently shipping now have a narrow pantry (guessing 8-10" wide) to the right of the refrigerator (yay!). The passenger side seating has been proportionately shortened. For us this fixes what we thought was a minor shortcoming in the previous layout and helped to solidify our decision. We don't have any issue with the narrower seat - someday I'm seeing this area perhaps getting converted to a desk. I'm guessing this change has been implemented for perhaps 1 or 2 months as mhsrv has Anthem's on the lot with the new pantry and the latest units to arrive at Lazydays (March) show it in their photos as well.

2) LED overhead lighting - the overhead ceiling lights in the Aspire now appear to be LED's. Our tour guide (Dave) confirmed this and they did look and feel (no heat) to me to be LED's. Yay again!

3) Ducted AC returns - I can confirm that the Aspire has the same ducted air conditioner returns as the other models. No central AC return grill and much quieter. I heard the system when running and while I can't compare it to the old Entegra layout it was noticeable more hushed than the non-ducted AC on our current 2006 Discovery.

4) Trip maker software for in dash GPS - unfortunately I was not able to find out if the currently shipping units have or can be upgraded to the tripmaker software. Dave knew about the change but didn't know when it would be coming out.

I do plan to blog soon about what we learned on the various factory tours and the differences we noted.

For now, pictures of the tour are here. I haven't had a chance to caption them yet but will do so soon, also sorry for the blurry cell phone shots. There is one photo of an Aspire RBQ slide out before installation that clearly shows the new pantry, plus there are some other interior photos of a completed unit.

Also there are a few photos of lunch at the Rise N Roll (excellent! check out the cinnamon and caramel donuts) and the Essenhaus (highly recommended place to stay in Middlebury).
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:34 AM   #2
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New 2013 44sl Anthem owner here. We toured the factory last year before we ordered our anthem. You were lucky to get photos in the factory! When we started our tour, Chuck Lasley warned us not to take any photos because of all the Amish employees.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:05 AM   #3
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Congratulations as a soon to be Entegra owner! Many happy and safe miles.

We too have the RBQ, 2013 and appreciate the pictures you posted. Really make us understand how much work is involved putting this hand made product together!

Best of luck!



Quote:
Originally Posted by voltdoc View Post
Hi, new poster here and soon to be new Entegra Aspire RBQ owner.

My wife and I just got back [to MA] from Middlebury (dodging snowstorms t.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:25 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by BUS4US View Post
New 2013 44sl Anthem owner here. We toured the factory last year before we ordered our anthem. You were lucky to get photos in the factory! When we started our tour, Chuck Lasley warned us not to take any photos because of all the Amish employees.
Yes, Dave warned about that, but he did not prohibit us. That's why there are a lot of blurry shots from trying to be discrete.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:12 PM   #5
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When we toured the factory Chuck also asked us to be discrete and not include any of the Amish in any pictures we were taking. We tried to make sure that our pictures were not ones with any of the Amish in them. We have quite a few Amish here in WNY and I was a little surprised by his request as most of them here are not particularly camera shy, but we respected his request.

Like you, we were very impressed by the factory tour and what we saw.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:35 PM   #6
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I think most Amish believe that having their picture taken is ok but posing for a picture is not. Therein lies the fine line! It's why, if you ask to take their picture, they will say no. So it's better to just be discrete!
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:51 PM   #7
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But boy, can they make some cabinetry!
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:32 PM   #8
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I'll be looking forward to read your comparison of the various manufacturers. We toured Newmar, AC, & Tiffin last year. We hope to tour Entegra this fall and solidify our decision in 2014 regarding our choice of manufacturer and model. Appreciate your post ...
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:26 PM   #9
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Congratulations on joining the family! I am sooooo jealous of the pantry but I still love my Aspire!
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:34 PM   #10
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I'm glad you liked your tour and hope it was fun and informative. The misses and I are touring the factory in a couple weeks and are really looking forward to it. We've read plenty about Entegra and hope this is our one and only tour we need to make. Everything we've seen in person points us toward an Aspire.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:52 PM   #11
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Nice pictures. Any idea what brand and size tires they are putting on the new Aspire's, how long does it take them to build a coach? Thanks
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:17 AM   #12
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Nice pictures. Any idea what brand and size tires they are putting on the new Aspire's, how long does it take them to build a coach? Thanks
Darn it no! I didn't have it on my list to verify the tire sizes and forgot to get a look, plus the 10" of snow on the ground didn't help.

The Spartan specs here for the 2013 Aspire show 295 front, 275 rear Goodyear G670 tires.

Ran into a couple on the Newmar tour who were bemoaning the use of Michelin 305's on their Newmar Mountain Aire - apparently this is a relatively odd size and is hard to find in stock or in another brand. We did see that size tire on several of the Newmar's.

We were told the build time for the Entegra's is about 5-7 weeks depending if you include the outsource operations like the chassis bridge welding and the painting. They are currently producing about 8 units per week.

From our previous tours at Tiffin and Fleetwood the paint process is very long and labor intensive. We did not see the painting operation at Entegra since it is done in another town.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake62 View Post
I'll be looking forward to read your comparison of the various manufacturers. We toured Newmar, AC, & Tiffin last year. We hope to tour Entegra this fall and solidify our decision in 2014 regarding our choice of manufacturer and model. Appreciate your post ...
Sounds like you are on a similar path to the one we traveled. I think you will like what you see at Entegra.

I have now captioned the photos of our Entegra tour and mention some of the differences we noted vs Newmar and Thor - you can view them here.

We blogged about our tour last year at Tiffin here and Fleetwood here. Keep in mind those tours were a year ago and we have learned a lot since then.

We would love to hear your views too as there are probably a lot of things we missed at all the tours!

Our top coach choices today would probably be Fleetwood/AC, Newmar and Entegra - not necessarily in that order
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:13 PM   #14
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I'm glad you liked your tour and hope it was fun and informative. The misses and I are touring the factory in a couple weeks and are really looking forward to it. We've read plenty about Entegra and hope this is our one and only tour we need to make. Everything we've seen in person points us toward an Aspire.
Don't think you can go too far wrong with Entegra and the Aspire - for us it was a great value! So will this be your first coach? Wish you all the best down the road!

Rob & Linda
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