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Old 03-01-2013, 09:31 AM   #1
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Sportscoach Pathfinder - 1 year later

Almost 1 year ago, we purchased our first DP, a 2007 Coachmen Sportscoach Pathfinder from a dealer in New York. Since we've owned it for a period of time, I thought it might be good for someone considering one of these coaches to know the pros and cons.

First, we noticed one of these coaches on Ebay. I found that for whatever reason, they usually sell for less than you might think for a DP with full body paint. At one point in my RVing career, I would have never considered a Coachmen product, because they just didn't look like very high end products. And, I suppose they're not. But, I think what Coachmen (now Forest River) is trying to do is hit a certain price point, and they've certainly done it with these coaches.

The MSRP on my coach when it was new was $179,000. I bought this one (a 2007 model) with 2200 miles on the clock for $79,000 which was way under NADA book and even under the low retail. The price sort of scared me at first, because it was like "what is wrong with this unit"? I had it checked out and bought it.

There have been some teething pains, mostly from the coach sitting for so long. It was not even licensed the first time until 2009, which tells me it must have sat on a dealers lot for almost two years before being sold the first time. We did have issues with rust on some of the radiator hose clamps, slack adjusters and the muffler, all since fixed. Also, the front roof AC unit failed while we were in New Orleans last summer. It most likely had a defect (leak) from the factory and nobody noticed it until I bought the coach, so I can't blame that on Coachmen.

So, on to what I think about this coach, what's nice, and what's missing. What do you get when you buy a Sportscoach?



Here are the plus points:
  • Freightliner XC chassis with 4 air bags
  • Onan QuietDiesel 7500 genset
  • Full Body Paint
  • Slide out awnings
  • Two Step patio awning
  • Huge pass through basements with side opening doors
  • Cummins 300hp diesel
  • Allison 3000 transmission
  • Exhaust brake
  • Ultraleather (or whatever Forest River calls it) seating
  • Ceramic tile flooring
  • Large one piece windshield
  • Air horns
  • Dual roof AC units
  • EMS system with Inverter
  • Dual house and dual starting batteries
  • Padded ceiling
  • Sirius ready radio
  • Flat floor slideouts
  • Satellite ready
  • Automatic levelers
  • Cruise control
  • Dual fans mounted over windshield
  • Front mount flip-down LCD TV
  • Rear mount bedroom TV
  • Automatic steps
And here is where you'll lose features:
  • No tinted windows (except the windshield). I tinted mine myself.
  • No power awning, it's manual
  • No awning over the door
  • Stainless wheel simulators (I actually sort of prefer these as they are super easy to keep clean)
  • No slideout on the generator
  • Rear radiator
  • No Corian countertops, they are sort of a fake solid surface.
  • No SmartWheel
  • No automatic step cover
  • Non-residential refrigerator
  • TPM roof (which I really like from a maintenance standpoint. It's white which reflects heat and is NOT body painted--no wax).
Prior to this coach, I loved Holiday Rambler's and Monaco's. That was actually what we were shopping for when we stumbled across the Sportscoach. I'm very happy with this coach, especially considering what I paid and the features it has. While I'd love to have fancier countertops and perhaps a side radiator and generator slideout, it certainly doesn't take away from our enjoyment of this coach. As far as build quality, this one is at least as good as my previous Holiday Rambler, and I thought it was built like a tank. How will it hold up for the long term, who knows? I guess for my experience, when it's ready to move up to a newer one, I'd definitely look at the Coachmen line. For the money they're doing something right. I know I will have detractors, but you've gotta remember these things are houses on wheels and things are going to go wrong. I just happen to like piddling with mine
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:01 AM   #2
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Great writeup Mark. It certainly is a nice looking coach. Your lists of pros and cons were both surprising to me. It has both more than I would have expected and then doesn't have what I thought certainly it would. That certainly sounds like Coachmen to me.

You didn't mention, are the cabinets wrapped or solid wood?

Can you comment on handling. My Encounter was a handfull when I first took delivery, now handling is improved but I had to invest to get it there.

Sounds like you are ready to upgrade, what do you want for the 2007?

LOL Roll
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:24 PM   #3
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Most of what it doesn't have I don't miss. For example, I failed to mention it doesn't have double-pane windows. I've not seen a coach yet with double-pane windows that doesn't have a fogged window or two. So, for that I'm happy. I do wish it had a generator slide. Not because I NEED one now, but when that unit needs a new belt, it's going to be a big job. Same for the rear radiator. I have no problem with the rear radiator until I have to work on it. Then, I'll wish I had a side-rad unit.

Interesting about the cabinets, mine are wood, except in one spot in the kitchen under the electrical outlet. There, it does have a contact paper covering. I know this because there's a bubble.

As far as handling, it handles great. I LOVE driving this coach. I can (but don't) drive it with one finger down the interstate. It's that stable. It pulls good in the mountains too even with the lowly 300 HP ISB. Of course, if I HAD a tag axle 450 HP ISC I might think differently, but what you don't know can't hurt you

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roll View Post
Great writeup Mark. It certainly is a nice looking coach. Your lists of pros and cons were both surprising to me. It has both more than I would have expected and then doesn't have what I thought certainly it would. That certainly sounds like Coachmen to me.

You didn't mention, are the cabinets wrapped or solid wood?

Can you comment on handling. My Encounter was a handfull when I first took delivery, now handling is improved but I had to invest to get it there.

Sounds like you are ready to upgrade, what do you want for the 2007?

LOL Roll
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by topdownman View Post
, I failed to mention it doesn't have double-pane windows. I've not seen a coach yet with double-pane windows that doesn't have a fogged window or two.
Glad I posted on this. I've been moaning and groaning to myself that our coach doesn't have double pane windows. It is not otherwise winter ready; no heated basement, tanks or wet bay but still, I wanted double pane windows.

Now after your comment I see a general "rule of life" is indeed true in this case, there are trade offs to just about everything in life.

I wanted double pane windows but I don't have to worry about fogging;

I wanted a diesel (in the worst way) but... engine service costs me about $60 opposed to what it costs to service a DP and Gas is still cheaper than diesel fuel.

You have smooth handling and plenty of torque; my big V-10 has to pull a little harder and I can steer with one hand but not with one finger.

Trade offs.

Thanks Mark. It's a great looking coach and it appears you keep it in very nice shape.

Drop me a note if you decide to trade.

Roll
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:12 AM   #5
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Thank you Roll. Yes, it is all about trade-off's in this life. Right now, I'm pretty happy with what I have.

As a matter of fact today, I'm waking it from its winter slumber and bringing it home. I'm going to spend the day tinkering and piddling on the inside. I've got some new "stuff" to install, a ScanGauge D, new CB radio, new speakers and I'm going to fix a few squeaks and rattles.

It'll be a good day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roll View Post
Glad I posted on this. I've been moaning and groaning to myself that our coach doesn't have double pane windows. It is not otherwise winter ready; no heated basement, tanks or wet bay but still, I wanted double pane windows.

Now after your comment I see a general "rule of life" is indeed true in this case, there are trade offs to just about everything in life.

I wanted double pane windows but I don't have to worry about fogging;
I wanted a diesel (in the worst way) but... engine service costs me about $60 opposed to what it costs to service a DP and Gas is still cheaper than diesel fuel. You have smooth handling and pleanty of torque; my big V-10 has to pull a little harder and I can steer with one hand but not with one finger.

Trade offs.

Thanks Mark. It's a great looking coach and it appears you keep it in very nice shape. Drop me a note if you decide to trade.

Roll
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:29 PM   #6
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Mark, it was interesting to read your post. Last October we purchased a Sportscoach Cross Country 385 ds (40' bunkhouse). It was on the dealer's lot for 1 year but we found out at Camp Freightliner that the chassis had been delivered to Coachmen 1 year before the coach was built. Our dash looks like yours (2013 models have been updated) but many of the items that weren't installed in 2007 showed up I our unit;
-power awning
-door awning
-wood cabinets
-upgraded leather
-corian countertops


I don't miss a residential refer since propane works for traveling and boondocking. But would like a generator slide. Our model has the Cummins 340 hp that gets us 10-10.5 mph even when towing with a dolly (on flat roads). I wish we had the upgraded Allison 2500 or 3500 trans, don't miss but wouldn't mind the smart wheel. Coachmen positioned and priced their DP's very competitively but don't seem to be having tremendous success. I'm happy to hear that yours is performing well over time. We've kept out previous rigs for 11 and 8 years respectively and our hoping to have the same success with this one.

Good luck
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:09 PM   #7
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I drove a 2013 Pathfinder from an RV show to the dealer lot yesterday. I was impressed with the coach, good power, quite, and the ride was very good. If I were looking for a new coach the sportscoach MH's would be on top of my list.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:00 AM   #8
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Coachmen Pathfinder 384TS

Mark, I have almost the identical coach as yours. Same color and all. I
got mine in May 2010 with 13000 miles. It does not have all the bells and whistles as the higher end coaches but for the money it is a good coach. I spend 5 months in FL every winter and it is very liveable for that long. I have had no problems with this coach at all. Replaced the capacitor in the front air. The mileage is 9 to 11 mpg pulling 07 HHR. Overall, this coach does everything I want and my DW and plan on keeping it.

Jim Thompson
2007 Coachmen Pathfinder
2007 HHR
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:09 AM   #9
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Jim, you have the 384TS which is three slides, mine is the 377DS with two, but we do love this coach. I'm easily getting the same mileage on mine and it pulls great.

This weekend, she gets 3 chromed train horns on the roof

Quote:
Originally Posted by jetfromtn View Post
Mark, I have almost the identical coach as yours. Same color and all. I
got mine in May 2010 with 13000 miles. It does not have all the bells and whistles as the higher end coaches but for the money it is a good coach. I spend 5 months in FL every winter and it is very liveable for that long. I have had no problems with this coach at all. Replaced the capacitor in the front air. The mileage is 9 to 11 mpg pulling 07 HHR. Overall, this coach does everything I want and my DW and plan on keeping it.

Jim Thompson
2007 Coachmen Pathfinder
2007 HHR
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:56 PM   #10
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Coachmen Pathfinder

I failed to mention a couple of changes I have made. I took the crt tv out of the bedroom and made a very functional cabinet in that space. I took the winegard router out and also the tape dvd combo. I put my direct tv dvr in that space and ran 2 satellite leads to it. In the left side I put a blueray dvd player. I use a thin Vizio 19 in the bedroom which I strap to the left wall of the cabinet when travelling. I use a 32 inch Vizio in the
middle bay on the curb side. These changes have this coach just like home. I envy the horns.

Jim Thompson
Clinton TN & Bonita Springs FL
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:45 AM   #11
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I'm considering pulling the rear TV also and installing a flat screen in place. I'm in a campground this week with only over-the-air TV (I don't have a dish) and the rear TV won't pick that up and I've never bought a digital converter.

BTW, finally got the horns finished this weekend. You can see my final write up on that elsewhere on the forum. What a job. But, they work GREAT!

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Originally Posted by jetfromtn View Post
I failed to mention a couple of changes I have made. I took the crt tv out of the bedroom and made a very functional cabinet in that space. I took the winegard router out and also the tape dvd combo. I put my direct tv dvr in that space and ran 2 satellite leads to it. In the left side I put a blueray dvd player. I use a thin Vizio 19 in the bedroom which I strap to the left wall of the cabinet when travelling. I use a 32 inch Vizio in the
middle bay on the curb side. These changes have this coach just like home. I envy the horns.

Jim Thompson
Clinton TN & Bonita Springs FL
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:01 PM   #12
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BTW, where did you put the horns? If you ever get a good idea about changing the kitchen surface, let me know. That is the thing I would most like to improve. Got back from Bonita Springs last thur and have been freezing here in TN. Tough to leave 85 degree weather for this. It is no problem to live in this coach for 4-5 months.

Jim Thompson
Clinton TN
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:09 PM   #13
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I mounted the horns right on the roof in place of the Hadley's. Changing the countertops would be a huge expense.
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:32 PM   #14
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Hello,

We have an 06 Encore. I am wondering how you turn on the docking lights? The manual shows the switch on the panel left of the drivers seat, just forward of the electonic shift panel. However, the switch that is there according to our owners manual, dumps the airbags. Wondering if there is some other switch located elsewhere. Thanks!
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