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Old 07-18-2019, 07:44 PM   #1
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Entegra quality

Hi all, I just walked away from a new Entegra Reatta because it had a ton of fairly major problems. Now, I understand that the Reatta is Entegra's cheapest coach; it's really a Jayco with a shiny coat of paint on it. But I've looked at several more-expensive Entegras too, including a number of Aspires (including new ones), and every single one of them has had something broken on it.

I know that all new coaches will have problems. A PDI can't catch everything, and there are plenty of things that are "broken" but won't fully give out until after the coach has been used for a few weeks or months. Although we've had a completely trouble-free 2 years with our Winnebago travel trailer, we know we got lucky. We fully expect to have more repair bills with our next RV.

But I also feel like I should be able to expect that everything is working on day 1 of ownership.

Am I being unreasonable? Should I expect, instead, that the coach will arrive with a laundry list of problems that will then be gradually fixed over the next few months, and a "good experience" is that they actually, truly, get fixed (eventually)?

For contrast, none of the Newmars or Thors we looked at had a single problem that we could see. Am I just unlucky? Was the Reatta that I almost bought just a lemon?
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Old 07-18-2019, 07:57 PM   #2
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Compared to some others I have been lucky, but I have also been very careful. With my Tiffin Phaeton I participated in the final inspection at the factory and caught a few things, then did not leave the dealer until after two full days of inspection and testing systems. With my Aspire I had a few mostly minor things and was at the dealer for about a week. Part of that time was getting training on how things worked, part on waiting for a tech, and some time for getting a small part. There should not be an expectation of driving it away from the dealer in one day. But it is unfortunate the number of people who have significant issues on a coach fresh from the factory.
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Old 07-18-2019, 08:12 PM   #3
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Your odds of getting a unit with zero problems at delivery are very slim. Every new coach, regardless of brand, is likely to have issues of some sort. Initial problems exist on Entegra's as well as every other coach made. That includes even the most expensive Prevost's, Foretravels, and Newells. Most important is how does the manufacturer/seller back up their product and solve any problems encountered. Entegra comes with double the warranty that most other brands offer, (2 years versus 1 year). That is a very valuable thing. Entegra’s factory support is superb.
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Old 07-18-2019, 08:44 PM   #4
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My MH has Entegra badges, but is their first year of offering coaches in the "entry" gas level. Minor issues, but my dealer took care of them without any hassle. The only observation I can make is that their customer service is geared toward the larger DP's and they have not even acknowledged an email from me searching for matching graphics to put on my motorcycle trailer. Their last homecoming specifically excluded the Class C and smaller gas Class A's. I love the coach and some of the systems trace back to their luxury line and are hidden benefits not found in some comparable coaches. Eventually, I hope Entegra finds a way to give us lesser family members a bit more attention, but the luxury clients have paid a premium and deserve a higher level of care.
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:05 PM   #5
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So it sounds like my expectations were pretty far off, then.

It seems like I should expect to camp out at the dealer for a week after taking delivery. That will give them a chance to fix everything they missed in PDI, as well as to wait for replacement parts to arrive. And since I will be there, breathing down their necks, I will be able to make sure that the work actually gets done.

Is that more realistic?

As far as after-purchase support goes, I'm not expecting great things for the reasons you mentioned (it's the "poor man's Entegra"). That's exactly what I get with my Winnebago travel trailer, so I'm pretty used to it.
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:29 PM   #6
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I believe the factory support after purchase will be the same, regardless of model. I canít imagine there being two levels of support. Almost all Entegras leave Middlebury with a minimum of problems. Iím guessing you are looking at dealerships and not the factories. Different dealers have different practices regarding viewing. Some allow pretty much unrestricted access and the products look like it. Some dealers keep their inventory looking nice, others think thatís what the PDI is for.
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Old 07-18-2019, 10:47 PM   #7
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Schad, welcome to the group.

You appear to be where we were about 8 years ago.

At the time, we felt the purchase of a new coach (Tiffin Phaeton) would help to ensure we had a more sorted out coach, and the benefit of a factory warranty.

That coach took 14 months of pretty serious effort to achieve what we consider to be a reliable coach. Along the way, we became very familiar with the Customer Support staff in Red Bay.

We sold that coach after 5 years and downshifted into an Open Range 5th Wheel. In spite of the 5th Wheel not suiting our family, the actual trailer itself was virtually trouble free. In spite of the trouble free nature of the trailer, we felt overall it was far inferior in terms of long term strength. Lots of flex due to lighter gauge materials, from the frame rails to the roof, and everything in between.

We actually purchased our Phaeton back for a short while, and soon traded for our Aspire. Our Aspire was more complex than the Phaeton, but took around the same amount of time to sort out. Our coach is now quite reliable, and seems to be humming along pretty well (I just knocked on wood!)

Our perspective is this:

-All coaches are hand built. As such, the great variability in worker proficiency and/or technical skill has a huge impact.

-These coaches are not CAD designed, engineered, or quality tested. In short, any major revision anoints the new owner as the Test Pilot.

-The chances of initial build quality issues is directly proportional to the complexity of the machine in question. A Winnebago trailer has a fraction of the components that the most basic Class A pusher has. As such, I would expect proportionally less problems with the simpler machine.

-Once an owner has adjusted their perspective to realize all coaches from $2M to $20,000 have issues, itís easier to relax and decide if RVing suits their temperament.

-A potential owner should recognize that periodically they must turn a wrench, otherwise be doomed to a never ending quagmire of service appointments.

-Entegra is an excellent company to deal with during and after the warranty period. Entegra stands apart from the industry in their 2-Year / 24,000 mile warranty. Entegra may not build a perfect coach, but their Diesel Pusher Class As are as good, and many times quite a lot better than the competition.

As you recently demonstrated, the consumer has the power. Unfortunately, the industry has been struggling to fill orders until the last year or so, and many manufacturers are more oriented on moving units out, than quality.

What Iíve personally witnessed, is that Entegra Diesel Pusher production has remained top notch. Ultimately, we would purchase another Entegra if we were in the market. I canít say that about many brands.

-Matt
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Old 07-19-2019, 06:49 AM   #8
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Just my experience. I had an 2014 Entegra that never should have been released to the public. Back then Entegra did not have a Quality Control Dept. It was from my coach and 4 others like mine that Tadd Jenkins built a Quality Control division. That started out with a few service bays and a Quality Control Manager, now a complete division of the new plant. Entegra bent over backwards to make that coach right, so much so, we purchased another one last year. Quality on an Entegra has improved by leaps and bounds over the 14's when they had no quality control. Thank God for a 2 year warranty, we used every bit of it many times.

There is where the rebranding is having a problem, is the coach going through the Entegra plants quality control bays? It doesn't sound like it is. If the Entegra rebranded coaches are not built at the Entegra plant with the 37 Quality Control bays, then they are really not Entegra quality. Just my experience with a good and a bad Entegra.

BTW my 14 problems were 85% Spartan Chassis and vendor items. From front end steering, 3 bad rear ends, in frame air leaks, etc. You can't build a good coach on a bad foundation, but Entegra stepped up to the plate to get the Spartan problems fixed and did not pass the buck.
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Old 07-19-2019, 07:59 AM   #9
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Thanks for that, and let me ask you a followup question: How many times, over those 14-odd months, were you not actually able to go out in your RV?

I don't really care about small problems. Things like the entrance awning not going out, or TV lift not going down, or whatever. Those are all things that I can live with until I find time to fix them, or get them fixed if I can't do it myself. They wouldn't stop me from going camping whenever I wanted to.

I do care about bigger problems, like the A/C not working. A/C's mandatory in the South, so that one would definitely force me to cancel a planned trip. It actually already has; I was planning to go camping in my new coach this weekend, and had to eat the cancellation fee because the A/C was broken.

I do understand that everything can (and, given enough time, will) break. I'm just trying to get a sense for how often I can expect major problems, and in this context I'd define major as not being able to use the coach for its intended purpose (camping).
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Old 07-19-2019, 08:44 AM   #10
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We have had our Aspire since April of last year. We currently have about 9,000 miles on it, so it does get used. Our issues to date are that the dead bolt broke and the expandable dinette seat can be off kilter enough to be uncomfortable. For the dead bolt, Entegra sent us the parts which some friends and I fixed and I stopped at Villa in Elkhart for the dinette issue. That's it.

We did not camp out at the dealers. Our PDI was about two to three hours long and nothing else needed to be done. We just drove off and put our stuff inside and started to enjoy the coach. We have continued to enjoy it and have never felt that it was a bad purchase. If we get another coach in the future, it will probably be an Entegra. No reason to argue with a good experience.
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Old 07-19-2019, 08:49 AM   #11
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x3 what Matt says.

I bought a 19 Cornerstone and have had more than my share of problems... some of them Entegra and some of them Cummins and many of them Spartan. These are complex coaches. They have complex systems added to them which new first-time owners become the beta testers for those systems... they seem like good ideas and of course the OEM company says they are absolutely bullet-proof, but they all lie and it is the owner that has to deal with the problems that soon come to light, and there can be a lot of them......

My current opinion is that any owner of a new luxury coach should anticipate having to deal with "issues" for the first year of ownership. What separates the men from the boys, is the quality of the dealer, and the quality of the warranty of the manufacturer. Evaluate those issues as much as you pay attention to how nice the woodwork looks or the electronic bells and whistles that are on the coach and you reduce your chances for buying something you wish you had not bought.

I am at a dealer who sells a LOT of very expensive Newmar coaches and I can testify that there are a ton of them in their shop as I type and waiting to be worked on that are a year or two old with significant problems, so the issue is across the board.

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Old 07-19-2019, 09:00 AM   #12
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schad, to answer you questions as the related to my coach. The AC is a vendor item and no fault of Entegra. I lost one at 102* in S. Dakota and had to detour all the way to Denver to get a replacement. It was still 102* in Denver

Awning not going out...vendor item, but that is where Quality Control is to check those items before shipping.
TV lift, Entegra.

Search the forum, several have had problems with Colman Mach 8 AC, large post just a week ago. That is one vendor that really needs to improve quality. Entegra can't be blamed, the Coleman are suppose to be one of the best on the market.
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Old 07-19-2019, 09:14 AM   #13
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The passage of time has removed a little bit of the anger -- I was pretty PO'ed last night, and I think it comes across in my original post -- and maybe restored some objectivity.

The more I think about it, the more I think that the problems with the coach are actually problems with the dealer. This is worrisome, because they are the only Entegra dealer within 250 miles. (And it's not like this dealer is just around the corner. They're 50 miles away.) There's another Spartan service center about an hour from here, but for Entegra-specific stuff they are the only game in town.

How is Entegra about warranty work outside their dealer network? I know that some manufacturers make the process deliberately complex if you go through a third party.
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Old 07-19-2019, 09:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schad View Post
The passage of time has removed a little bit of the anger -- I was pretty PO'ed last night, and I think it comes across in my original post -- and maybe restored some objectivity.

The more I think about it, the more I think that the problems with the coach are actually problems with the dealer. This is worrisome, because they are the only Entegra dealer within 250 miles. (And it's not like this dealer is just around the corner. They're 50 miles away.) There's another Spartan service center about an hour from here, but for Entegra-specific stuff they are the only game in town.

How is Entegra about warranty work outside their dealer network? I know that some manufacturers make the process deliberately complex if you go through a third party.

Again, just my experience, I mentioned the dealer problem on your other post. My first dealer, I wouldn't go back to them they were so bad. We enjoyed going to the factory with our list and getting it done right. Again or coach was a "special needs" coach

Met some of the greats Entegra owners while we were there and Shipshewana is one of our favorites stops whether we are going to the factor or not.

Our new dealer is NIRVC in Atlanta, I would go to them in a heartbeat over my previous dealer. Their techs are factory trained and know what they are doing. NIRVC center is 600 miles from my home. My previous dealer is a 125 miles from home. I drove the extra 500 miles for good service and would do it again on the next purchase.
Warranty work out side of the network not problem. Most of mine on the 14 was mobile service to my door.
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