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Old 10-26-2020, 03:00 PM   #1
Eug
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2020 Thor ACE 33.1

I am looking at trading my 2008 Monaco Diplomat for a 2020 Thor ACE 33.1. Does anybody have a 2020 ACE 33.1 and are you happy with it? I probably won't be happy going from a 400hp pusher with air ride. But we want to downsize. Does the ACE ride fairly decent and have enough power? Quality might be another issue. I usually run 65-70 mph pulling a Jeep Wrangler, can I expect 8 mpg?
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Old 10-26-2020, 03:28 PM   #2
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That question may be better asked and answered on the Thor forum. https://www.thorforums.com/forums/

Not to be negative, but from what I've read about new Thor RV's, it could get ugly.
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Old 10-26-2020, 04:35 PM   #3
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Thor is Thor. Known for lack of quality and currently the manufacturer of the most complained about motorhome in the industry, the Hurricane. I owned one Thor (an Axis) - never again. Loving our Tiffin gasser (2016 32SA).

To be fair, There are folks who love their Thor’s though.

That said, the 2020 ACE should be riding on a Ford F53 truck chassis with the 320HP 6.8L V10. It will have plenty of power to pull a Jeep, but it’ll be slow uphill. We had the same engine in the Axis. We towed a ‘17 JKU with no trouble. The Axis is a couple of tons lighter than the ACE, and was way over-engined with the V10.

We averaged a bit better than 9mpg over 14,000 miles and 6 years cruising at 65mph. With the ACE’s higher profile and 4000 additional pounds I’d guess you’ll be bit below that, but I’m sure folks who own them will chime in.

The F53’s handle OK, but you won’t enjoy it coming from a DP. Our Tiffin is on the 24k lb. version. Luckily, the previous owner had upgraded the suspension and it handles pretty well, but it’s still a working truck at heart. The ride can be harsh on bad roads, and Thor tends to be light on insulation so it’ll probably be noisy too.

Good luck however you go.

Regards,

Randy
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Old 10-26-2020, 04:54 PM   #4
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Thor is the world's largest RV manufacture.

When your the biggest, you will have the most complaints.
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Old 10-27-2020, 08:45 AM   #5
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A few years back we wanted to downsize from a 35' 5th wheel 3 slides the works, it was just to big. Looked around and found an 2017 ACE 29.1 that we liked. After a year plus of traveling we decided the ACE was to small for much more than a week out. Thus we went to the Meridian.

The ACE if you read the Thor Forums has handling problems. I will have to say the ACE I had, had none or I was just used to driving the Ozark Mountains. The V10 had enough power to handle anything I asked of it, we pulled a KIA on a dolly without problems.

Storage sucks!! going from the 5er with tons of inside storage and then back to the Meridian with tons of outside and inside storage the ACE really had not much to speak of. The quality of workmanship really showed between all three rigs. the ACE being the worst from to many staples holding or not holding the panels on, from a wall under the sink that hid one of the water heater bypass valves. The quality was just not there.

The holding tank in my ACE was very small something for you to check out. the Black Tank was only 29 gal and the bath sink drained into that tank. I did make one big mistake that my ACE only came with one AC unit. That was something I really screwed up on you need two units.

Good Luck
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Old 10-27-2020, 09:35 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies, from the reviews I've been reading there hasn't been a lot of praise for the ACE. That's what scares me and makes me hesitate to get rid of my Diplomat. Still scratching my head.
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Old 10-27-2020, 10:31 AM   #7
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Eug,

As an example/option - for a bit less than you’ll pay for a 2020 ACE you could get into a 3 to 5 year old Tiffin 32SA which is a whole ‘nother world from Thor. The Tiffin is 34’ 3” long, has much better storage capacity, better carrying capacity, and vastly higher quality.

If you have a chance, go visit an ACE and spend an hour or more in it. Open everything, sit a while on everything you can sit on - for more than a few minutes. Walk around (inside) with your SO. If the salesman isn’t watching, pull out a couple bottom drawers and look around with a flashlight. Really try and get a feel for the coach, inside and out.

Then, go do the same thing on a used Tiffin (or Winnie, or Newmar gasser) in the same price range. If you’re like me you’ll be somewhat amazed at how different they are and just how good they feel.

There are certainly other brands that are higher on the quality scale than Thor; the three mentioned above are the ones that made our list when we made the decision to trade up. It took me two years of part-time research to come up with the list. Full disclosure, I spent the last several years of my career doing/teaching statistical quality improvement, so I may have over-thought it a bit...

Coming from a DP you are very unlikely to enjoy driving a gasser. You should shoot for a coach you love when it’s parked!

In the end, the ACE maybe perfect for you. If so, buy it! A lot of folks love theirs. We had a great time in our Thor Axis for 6 years. But, it was also 6 years of continually fixing issues directly related to poor design/build quality, and we finally got tired of it.

Best of luck whatever you decide.

Regards,

Randy
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Old 10-27-2020, 06:42 PM   #8
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Our next coach may be an ACE 33.1. For us the 33.1 floor plan is the best available from any manufacturer. We may get the Thor Miramar 35.2 or Thor Challenger 35 MQ. Similar floor plans. We will also buy used, 1-3 years old.



If Tiffin had a floor plan with opposing slides, theater seating (with an opposing TV), stack washer/dryer, residential fridge, and king bed, we would probably choose that over the Thor. We live in NC so not too far from the Tiffin factory if needed.



Changing from a DP to a gasser is apples and oranges. You won't like driving your new coach as much, louder, harsher ride. You will probably will enjoy camping in the new coach a lot more, better floor plan. If driving the rv is a big part of your enjoyment, stick with what you have. To me driving is the necessary evil connected with traveling, regardless of what I am driving. Fueling up was easier in our DP, gas pumps can be a bit tight.



I would recommend adding a steering stabilizer, rear track bar, and possibly upgrade shocks to any F53 you purchase. Any newer gasser will be on an F53, regardless of manufacturer. Buying used you may find some or all of these upgrades already installed.


Happy camping.
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Old 10-28-2020, 11:10 AM   #9
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Thanks for all your inputs. Still scratching my head.
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Old 10-29-2020, 10:27 AM   #10
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Hey, it only took us 2 or 3 years and inspecting 100 or so coaches at dealers across the country before we settled on exactly what we wanted. You’re just getting started.

Regards,

Randy
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Old 10-29-2020, 10:50 AM   #11
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Keep scratching, it is a lot of fun looking.
In the meantime. Welcome aboard.

A lot of good advice above.
As others have said downsizing from a quality DP is not easy.
Any reason you can't stay with your present coach?
Sounds like a dream.
Wish you well.
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Old 10-30-2020, 09:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
Thanks for all your inputs. Still scratching my head.
I would think long and hard before going from a very nice older Monaco to a Thor no matter what. If size is the main issue I personally do not think it is a huge difference driving, etc. from one to the other once you are behind the wheel. I know friends who have a Thor and they wish they did not. I would compare the two like going from a Caddy to an old Volkswagen Bug. I went from a new Itasca gasser in 2014 to an older Monaco and would never go back. Good luck.
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Old 10-30-2020, 11:10 AM   #13
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Don't have to switch to a smaller unit, mine is great, I've owned 18 wheelers so size doesn't matter here. But something I read last night might change my mind to stay with my Monaco. An article I read said that the gov't appropriated millions of dollars to update national parks. The plan is to update the roads, restrooms and rv spots to accommodate bigger rigs. That was one of my concerns was state and national parks. Of course that could be years down the road, and by the time the engineers and design people get done there might not be enough money left to do the actual work. Still scratching, thanks for the inputs.
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Old 10-30-2020, 11:19 AM   #14
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From a 27.2 owner, 20K miles, 3 years; sounds like you are correct in everything you write except the ride part. Mine rides like a solid suspension log truck, I don't mind though. Be sure to do the DIY front sway bar fix. Otherwise a happy camper towing a '18 Chevy Cruze @ 8mpg.
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