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Old 01-26-2013, 09:51 PM   #57
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Well, we're buying a new Entegra for many of the same reasons! Upgrades, upgrades, upgrades! Certainly haven't noticed downgrades.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:48 PM   #58
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Randy, most mfrs. use "apartment" type units which, by nature, are built to a certain price point. Unless you spring for a bus conversion, you'll usually see one of these in your coach. It isn't going to be less reliable than other appliances in most "plastic" coaches.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:07 PM   #59
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I looked at the Entegra's at The Phoenix Good Sam rally early last year. What I found was, as usual, the salesman's lips were moving and we know what that means!

Try to order special items on an Entegra as see what you get. That was one reason we went with our two Newmars. They will customize pretty much to your specs.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:33 PM   #60
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Riscky, Speaking of changes, do you know if the 2013 Anthem's have Flexsteel or Villa furniture? Our is arriving in Orlando next month.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:40 PM   #61
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They have both actually. The pilot and copilot chairs are flex steel and the rest of the furniture is villa.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:44 AM   #62
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It is true that Newmar will customize where Entegra won't (So will American Coach). But that is part of the reason why Newmar's cost a good deal more than a roughly equivalent Entegra. Also, we felt the the Newmar interiors were too narrow when closed up. We do a lot of quick lunch stops and night stops with slides in, and the Entegra aisle is much more "walkable" than the Newmars in that configuration.
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:41 AM   #63
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Entegra is using the same dryer as before. For a brief time Entegra did experience a supplier issue resulting in them putting in a same quality dyer as previous coaches had, just a different brand. That was brief and they are back to business as usual.

Here's my takeaway after reading this thread is:

If you find a floor plan that you are happy with, appreciate the value of X bracing, a 2 yr warranty and superior customer service...buy an Entegra.

If you're not happy with their floor plans, want your bed turned 180 degrees or other customizations, desire 2 more airbags, cant stand Whirlpool (or similar) appliances...Newmar is your choice...for $100k-400k more.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:00 PM   #64
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I have some views based on being a Newmar owner(old 2000 Dutch Star DP) and selling Newmar from 2002 through early 2006. When I bought my Dutch Star new in 2000, it was the only coach available with a Spartan chassis, IFS, side radiator, big block Cummins, and optioned the way I wanted for the price point, and had a 3 year warranty.

As a Newmar salesperson, I pushed the unique construction(with the exception of Travel Supreme, and Holiday Rambler to some extent), the flexibility to order the coach the way the client wanted and the 3 year warranty. Newmar workers were amongst the best paid in the industry, were given bonuses based on low warranty pay outs and only built to order. These were differentiators not seen with most mass produced builders. I also sold Beaver, Safari, Fleetwood, Winnebago, National, Georgie Boy and was quite sure that Newmar was the better brand, overall.

During this period, Newmar made more of a push into high-end coaches, brought on ex-American Coach/Fleetwood execs, lost their president Virgil Miller, decided to not allow order customization below Mountain Aire and dropped the 3 year B to B warranty by 2006 model year. They also lost market share, and I felt QC had gone downhill. Newmar's losses were Tiffin's gain. Newmar then retinstated the customization and had a two year warranty for Mountain Aire and above, then retreated from that warranty. My top five Newmar dealership had already lost interest in Newmar by the 2006 model year and I lost interest in the RV business.

I was also very aware of Travel Supreme having many ex-Newmar employees and building a very good coach with good value. Meanwhile, Newmar had upped the ginger bread along with the prices and made more options as standard. I think the overhead went up due to the high priced execs, while volume went down, which hurts efficiency, all affecting the bottom line.

Entegra is a very attractive product because of the construction methodology and how well they show and the good bang for the buck. They don't have many dealers,
but Newmar has much less than they used to. Entegra has a better warranty, and seems to be standing behind the product, as Newmar has always done--with the exception of the reduced warranty.

Were I to buy a new coach today, I would look long and hard at Entegra, but I'm at the point where I view all modern DP's as being too complex for independent RV service providers. As a salesperson, I saw too many coach issues from all brands, especially high lines. I'm still pretty certain Newmar and Entegra would be the only two brands I would consider.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:20 PM   #65
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Very thoughtful and insightful review, as always, Jeff.

Thanks for providing the history. Interesting to know how and from where these things developed. Helps too to get perspective on where things might be headed.

When we were looking and serious about pulling the trigger, Entegra was not a player. Our choices were Tiffin and Newmar. That pairing is also a long standing and interesting subject with plenty of opposing views for many. We looked long and hard at the histories of the two companies, the movement toward ownership succession by the second generation, the blog discussions about actual problems experienced, our own visits to the plants and driving the product. At the end of our pretty extensive research process, we chose Newmar and never found the need to second guess our decision.

That being said, there is no question that this entire industry continues to evolve, and more and more innovations continue to unfold -- just witness what has happened in the 2006 period you refer to and today, six plus years later. Lots and lots of changes. Plenty of manufacturers no longer in existence. The ones who survived, and the ones who have thrived, have been forced to be more efficient, be more about consistent quality and to offer more and more of what people want. That's win-win for all of us IMO.

If Entegra had been a player when we were looking, like you, there is no doubt we would have been serious shoppers -- and might yet be in the future.

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Old 01-27-2013, 07:41 PM   #66
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Thanks Deek! I used to enjoy doing specials for my Newmar clients, the drawings, specs, etc, just so the coaches could be exactly as they wanted. The ironic part was that most clients traded in every 18 months! Most salespeople loved selling short coaches to customers because they knew they'd be back soon for a larger coach. Then of course, after some years, if customers were still interested in RVing, they'd ultimately go full circle, back to small coaches!

You're a prime example! My wife wants a shorter coach(not that she's ever driven our 38 footer).

I'm happy to see the industry making a comeback, but don't expect to ever see the diesel pusher market the same as it was. I'm very sorry that we've lost the Oregon and California built coaches. It's strange seeing Newmar as a boutique builder, although they had already lost a lot of market share in gas coaches and towables when I was selling.

I'm just happy that being in the business didn't ruin the RVing hobby for me(although it came close). My wife and I still love our too infrequent RV trips. I know you guys are going to love your new coach!
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:54 PM   #67
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Thanks, Jeff.

Part of the fun of this to me is the planning, the optioning, even the colors and fabrics. We got a fabulous coach in our Ventana and there was no reason to get rid of it except, as you say, to go bigger and better. My wife, the practical one, just loved the Ventana and saw no real need for anything bigger -- or better -- but she humored me in my dreams and now she has come along all the way and has really enjoyed the planning with the dealer and the factory and has been an even more active participant in the process than me, especially since she has been retired (and I'm not yet).

You are correct in the boutique comments about Newmar. Hard to fathom it, but you are right on -- and that's a lot of the appeal to Newmar as we see in the Forum and the thread comments comparing Newmar to Entegra and others.

By the way, I don't see Tiffin in the boutique category either. Like many others, they put out lots of units (many more than Newmar) and they sell them all day long. If you want changes, specials, custom touches, Newmar is the best choice IMO. If you want the most competitive pricing for a regular production, no change in style or systems motor home, there are others that are better at that game than Newmar. Tiffin and Entegra, maybe American Coach, are in that category.

I am glad that you hung onto the motor home fun. Bigger or smaller coach, it is just a lot of fun.

With my wife's retirement, we did more trips last year and just had a ball. We plan to do even more this year. One of the reasons we started smaller with the Ventana is that we weren't sure, one way or the other, about motor homing. We didn't want to go overboard on a large unit if we didn't first determine that we would like the life style and feel like we could handle all that goes with motor homing. We found when we put both our heads into it that we really did have a lot of fun with it and that answered many questions for us -- enough to go to the next step when the bug grabbed me -- and then DW.

Again, glad that you and your wife are still taken with it too. There is so much of such significance to see in this country -- too much work has kept me from that for too long and we are both looking forward to seeing much more with the new coach.

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Old 01-30-2013, 06:32 AM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyP View Post
Gee did I ruffle a few feather here..... I think most of you missed my point ..... Yes the dryer is cheap, does it work, I'm sure it does but it's not something I think most people would expect to find in a 500k coach...... But my other point is the dryer has been down graded to a cheaper model then what was in the coach last year this time....

Yes Entergra offer allot for its price point, but I think their standard has dropped on several items over the last year.... I would rather see Entegra keep the higher end quality products and raise their MSRP a few percent then lower the quality of their products to keep a flat line price point
Randy - would you be a little more specific here as to hw Entegras standards have dropped over the last year? Just curious.
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