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Old 06-22-2016, 01:24 AM   #1
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How to determine best manufacturers?

Hi, I'm relatively new here, and DH and I have had a Class C for 1.5 years and are absolutely loving it.

DH and I are starting to dream of going 1/2 time (rather than full-time). I like to browse through RV Trader and dream of our next RV. We're targeting a Class A, DP in the $125,000 max range. How do I get a general idea of the best manufacturers? We'd prefer to go for quality than for less well-made unit that has all the "bells and whistles".

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 06-22-2016, 01:26 AM   #2
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Looking for new or used?
How long?
How many slides?
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Need room for kids?
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Old 06-22-2016, 07:35 AM   #3
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Lots of opinions on this question. Here's mine.

Near the top:
Newell, Country Coach, American Tradition, Foretravel, Entegra, some of the very expensive conversions.

Next step down:
Monaco, Tiffin, Newmar.

Within each manufacturers lineup there are differences.

A Tiffin entry level RED DP may not be equal to a Winnie Grand Tour in quality of chassis and engine amenities.

Most of the coach manufactures use the same appliances and other comfort items but where the differences are in choice of chassis and engine, and how the house part of the coach is made. For example within the Tiffin lineup, the Phaeton uses a Cummins ISC with slightly lower HP engine with exhaust brake, while the Tiffin Bus uses a Cummins ISL engine with compression brake and I believe a Spartan Chassis. It is said the Tiffin Bus cabinet work is superior to the Phaeton, but this is probably somewhat subjective.

This can all get a bit confusing but in general the better built coaches will have better customer support which is probably the most important consideration.

For your $125K budget you should be able to get a Monaco, Tiffin or Newmar in the 40' range going back to '08 - '11.
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Old 06-22-2016, 07:49 AM   #4
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For a list that might be of interest and a place to start, from lower in price to higher:
Tiffin: Allegro RED, Phaeton, Allegro Bus
Newmar: Ventana, Kountry Star, Dutch Star
Monaco: Knight, Diplomat, Camelot, Windsor

In my opinion I would probably consider some of the Winnie and Fleetwood products rather than the entry level coaches above.
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:31 AM   #5
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No matter how high-end the brand, a used MH can have some expensive problems that are hard to see. I would have a reputable surveyor take a look before laying down $125K. Good luck.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:06 AM   #6
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The higher end brands/models are better, and I don't mean just more amenities (though there is that too). Better cabinetry construction, better quality upholstery and flooring, a more capable chassis, etc. Higher end manufacturers include American Coach, Newmar, Country Coach, Foretravel, Travel Supreme, and Entegra. Plus all the Prevost conversions and Newells, but those are almost surely out of your budget range. But full line manufacturers like Monaco and Fleetwood and Tiffin have good upper end models, and the Winnebago DPs are always good value for the money. So basically, just stay away from the bottom end.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:16 AM   #7
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what everyone else said, on a DP be aware of the 08 -11 models used a diesel particulate filter on the exhaust system. 11 up uses Def fluid..

varying opinions on this - so do your research and be informed..

i have an 08 cummings 8.3L i have no issues it works as it should...
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geardown View Post
Hi, I'm relatively new here, and DH and I have had a Class C for 1.5 years and are absolutely loving it.

DH and I are starting to dream of going 1/2 time (rather than full-time). I like to browse through RV Trader and dream of our next RV. We're targeting a Class A, DP in the $125,000 max range. How do I get a general idea of the best manufacturers? We'd prefer to go for quality than for less well-made unit that has all the "bells and whistles".

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
In your price range they are all good. You may have a choice of a Cat or Cummins engine or maybe only a Cummins. There are several frame choices of which there are proponents for both.

Look for the Floor Plan you will be able to live with and enjoy. Then due diligence for care and maintenance.

A 'hard used' luxury coach may give you less value than a gently used "low end" model.

Once you make your choice look for particular issues for the model year. All brands have lines with issues in some years.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:29 AM   #9
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Keep in mind that many line ups have "entry level" to "can't believe this" in the line up.

Newmar is a brand I like.
Ventana LE is the entry level, then Ventana, then Dutch Star, then Mountain Air, London Air and a bunch of Airs I cant afford.
We would buy a Dutch Star for instance.

Monaco, great brand.
Camalot is entry level, Signature top level. 5 or 6 levels in between.

The point being someone can say Newmar or Monaco are well built, but it will be important to know the pecking order of those brands.

Like was said before a top level Winnie (Tour, Journey) is more than likely a higher end coach than a entry level Newmar.

Read, read, read. The info is out there, it just takes some time to sort through the fluff, figure out whats right for you, what brand and model works price, size and floor plan wise, then finding a clean coach at a price you are happy with.

It would be of my opinion that $100,000 will and can get you a well maintained coach that will serve you well.
Just remember that it may NOT BE the 1st one you look at!
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:31 AM   #10
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How to determine best manufacturers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by geardown View Post
Hi, I'm relatively new here, and DH and I have had a Class C for 1.5 years and are absolutely loving it.

DH and I are starting to dream of going 1/2 time (rather than full-time). I like to browse through RV Trader and dream of our next RV. We're targeting a Class A, DP in the $125,000 max range. How do I get a general idea of the best manufacturers? We'd prefer to go for quality than for less well-made unit that has all the "bells and whistles".

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

It really depends on the range of years you will accept. You price can put you in a very high quality coach in the '03-'05 range. I live full time in a top of the line Monaco and it's been an outstanding home for 9 years. The top 3-4 coach lines from the manufacturers below represent superb value and quality of construction when measured against current production.

Of course Monaco is on my list.
Country Coach
Alpine Coach
Newmar
Foretravel

The above is not meant to "incite to riot" if I left out your brand. This is simply my opinion bases on my experience and observation.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:38 AM   #11
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I just went through the same thing, researched and looked at all the top manufacturers for almost a year. We just bought our 2005 Foretravel a few weeks ago and absolutely love it! I recommend looking at Motorhomes of Texas, they usually have several high end coaches including many Foretravels in your price range.
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:30 AM   #12
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If/when thinking of Monaco - don't forget their sister brand Holiday Rambler. For much (if not all!) of the 2000's - virtually every Monaco model had a twin marketed under the Holiday Rambler name. In most cases the most noticeable differences between the two would have been the name plate.

Monaco Knight = HR Ambassador
Monaco Diplomat = HR Endeavor
.... and right on up the product line...
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMan59 View Post
Monaco, great brand.
Camalot is entry level, Signature top level. 5 or 6 levels in between.
Just a nit ...

Monaco's entry level DP has historically been the Knight
Sister Coach = Holiday Rambler Ambassador
Moving up the line it was the Monaco Diplomat
Sister Coach = Holiday Rambler Endeavor
The net step was the Monaco Camelot
Sister Coach = Holiday Rambler Sceptor
There are others "north" of there ... but I'm shaky on both the order and sister coach equalents. They were all out of my price range back in the day ...

There were a couple of 'tweener models as well ... marketed below the Knight/Ambassador line - the Monaco Caymen and HR Neptune ... if I recall correctly, these were diesel pushers - but build on a chassis that was more akin to a gas unit chassis (i.e., no air suspension, no air brakes, etc.)
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:07 PM   #14
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I submit that for a used coach, brand has much less to do with quality at resale over TLC from the first/early owner(s).

With the exception of Foretravel, Prevost Bus bodied RV's, and a few other boutique builders, they all use the same chassis and appliances. And with these premium brands, when a one-off part breaks (and things do break), it is NOT cheap to fix.

RV's are made with either a bonded wall structure -or- they hang the exterior wall to rib frames with adhesives...both have pros and cons.

And finally, the recession hit the RV business hard, so there are "orphan" RV's where the maker is closed. An example of a very high quality builder that is gone is Rexhall:
Rexhall service center closing
But, their website is still up, so a buyer needs to do their research.

Like said above, a "survey" (boat sales term) by an expert could be well worth the cost considering it is a $125,000 purchase.

Best luck
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