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bamaboy473 01-10-2015 09:05 AM

Avalanche vs. Standard? Luxury vs. Regular?
My search for another coach includes Alpine on the short list (TS and Beaver being the others)

Can somebody describe what was done differently with the Avalanche series, since they appear to have a 20% lower MSRP than standard Alpines?

Secondly, what would I expect to find in an Avalanche Luxury model over the normal one? I have yet to find a link that answers these questions.

The coach I'm considering is an Avalanche but seller doesn't know the answers to these questions. Thanks all.

Algoma 01-10-2015 10:32 AM

Avalanche was an attempt to make a cheaper Alpine. Didn't work out too well. Walk away.

bamaboy473 01-10-2015 10:35 AM

Yep, MSRP kinda suggests that much. Where did the cost savings show up, though? Woodwork? Windows? Paint jobs??

Algoma 01-10-2015 10:43 AM

Maybe this will answer that question

Dave Fernandez 01-10-2015 10:45 AM

Hello Bamaboy, yes, yes & yes. The Avalanche had a rear radiator, air brakes, and the quality control was very poor and only 42 were built.

bamaboy473 01-10-2015 11:01 AM

42? Wow, maybe that's why I can't get more photos from the seller? I don't need a red-headed step child if it isn't a "real" Alpine.

That said, it doesn't seem possible that whatever factory problems there were, that most or all have been fixed, does it?

Coach I'm looking at has new tires, new batteries, and recent $2000 service, and the price is a bargain, compared to most Alpines.

Anybody know what factory problems would not be repairable? Not beating a dead horse, but my Mandalay was a limited production, but everything on it works as it I'm not terribly afraid of red hair if what's underneath is solid.

DrDaveMA 01-10-2015 11:41 AM

The Avalanches leaked, the cabinets were pressboard and combine that with the water, it was not a good decision. A friend of mine in CA actually had WRV buy back his Avalanches, he purchased an Apex at a GREATLY reduced price and has been happy ever since.

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Old Scout 01-10-2015 08:33 PM

Believe the Avalanch was on a WRV proprietary Peak chassis but that is about where the similarities end. Lots of mechanical down grades were made to meet a lower price point from the Std Alpines. There are stories about owners claiming to have eventually got their Avalanches into shape but they are very few in number==perhaps urban legend. Unless you were really handy and got a really low-ball price [whatever that is], think I would steer clear.

bamaboy473 01-11-2015 07:39 AM

Post 7 and 8 are the death blow to any idea about looking at an Avalanche. Cabinet wood is a BIG part of the pleasure of owning a nice house, boat, RV, etc. and you can't (easily) change that kind of construction.

Water intrusion, whether recent or over a span of years, isn't cool.

Mechanical downgrades can't get fixed; only replaced at heavy expense.

Thank you all for providing good advice. It's off my radar.

Jim A 01-11-2015 12:07 PM

Good decision. Its not a "real" Alpine.

WeBrzn2 01-13-2015 03:36 PM

Having once owned an Avalanche, I will try and provide some specifics for the record, so to speak. Yes, has a Peak chassis, the primary differences are; Form board with veneer cabinetry (my old one ultimately had solid cherry in the front half of the coach), air brakes vs hydraulic, Power Gear jacks and slide room operations vs HWH, 6.5 KW Onan Genset vs 8KW or better, single 3 slide floorplan (great layout), only a 40 foot layout as well, basement doors that opened sideways, a rear radiator vs side. Those are the primary differences.

As for issues, the roof was never properly mated to the sidewalls, thus my coach spent many months at the factory to attempt to repair leaks that never got completely resolved, the good news was, the third time they replaced the cabinetry in the front half of the coach, they used solid cherry since they no longer had the pressboard material. The second bedroom slide was designed a bit heavy and the mechanism for retention was too weak, had to be beefed up. The front jacks were located too far forward and caused tweaks in the chassis, WRV moved them back and relocated the propane tank. There was no baffling in the fuel tank, made things interesting at times! The doors for the basement storage always leaked even after the 4th set of seals were installed. The list could go on for a while, but I am sure you get the idea! I now own an Apex and am very happy with it (as Dr Dave in MA mentioned)!

bamaboy473 01-14-2015 07:40 AM

Thanks for the excellent write-up, WeBrzn2. The movie phrase, "It just keeps getting worse and worse.", seems appropriate!

I am REALLY glad that I asked the question. Given that the MH I currently have gives me zero problems (that can't be fixed), I'd have quickly developed a flat spot on my forehead by having to deal with un-repairable issues on a new one.

WeBrzn2 01-14-2015 12:30 PM

I will recommend that you seriously look at either the Limited or the Apex as they are both great coaches! The Peak chassis is a dream to drive, the maintenance is relatively straightforward, the fit and finish in these coaches is amazing and the amenities available are fantastic. The Apex has just about everything you would want on a coach including whole house RO system, surge guard built in, power cable and hose reels, air powered sewer hose extension retraction and the advanced Silver Leaf system to control everything!

bamaboy473 01-14-2015 01:19 PM

There's a very nice Apex listed in the Classifieds section, but it's both too far away, and more money than I care to invest in a tool we don't often use.

There's a 2003 Limited that's very nice. Until reading several threads, it was a rule of mine to not buy anything older than 9-10 years. Seems that braking and possibly other features are a better offering with pre-2004 models.

Am I thinking right, or did post 2004 models offer improvements worth noting over 2003s?

....and then there's this thread Does that mean that pre-2004 models didn't need the steering bracket upgrade?

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