Originally Posted by ChesapeakTec
Looking at an ACE 30.2 and was wondering if there are any owners that would like to comment on their experience with this model or the ACE line in general? (snip, snip) Thanks very much!!
As I'm sure you've seen, it's hard to get a valid statistical sample from postings on a forum. A few vocal people can create an impression one way or the other that might not be indicative at all. So, take what you read here (including my post!) for what it's worth. (E.g., the worst nightmare I've ever read about any motorhome involved a luxury Winnebago, but that wouldn't stop me from considering that line. Read here
We have a 2013 ACE 30.1 and love it. We couldn't be happier. We've had a couple piddly issues (like I had a door lock break once), but nothing major and nothing that would cause me to get rid of the unit. The main thing we like about the ACE is the concept: it definitely has the most user-friendly layout and collection of features we've seen. In fact, I find it interesting how many other manufacturers are coming out with ACE-like units (such as the Forest River FR3). We go to RV shows from time to time, ogle the luxury units, but we've never seen any layout (really, none) (none even in $500,000+ units) that we like better. Obviously, layout and features is a 100% personal judgment, so I won't go on about that.
To your questions:
How does driving an ACE compare to a Class C?
I've only rented Class C's, so my experience is limited, but I find driving the Class A very easy. It's roughly the same size as a large Class C, the visibility is better, and being high and up front gives me a better perspective as I maneuver (such as through a gas station). We get about 7.5 to 8.5 mpg, which is tolerable. It seems to drive fine in cross-winds and doesn't get squirrelly with passing trucks. It has plenty of power, even when towing our Highlander.
Does anyone have kids in car seats that they have used in an ACE?
We've put the grandkids in "booster seats" (or whatever they're called), and it worked fine. I can't think of how to use a real car seat, but maybe someone else can chime in.
How is getting around in the back when the unit is closed up?
That's actually one of the subjective features that drew us to the ACE. For our traveling style, we needed a unit where everything (kitchen, frig, bathroom, dinette, and so on) was accessible and usable with slides in. The 30.1 meets that threshold criterion. The DW likes being able to get up, walk around, get drinks, make lunch, use the potty, whatever, while we're on the road (even while moving). Very nice.
Any major issues? How is build quality?
No major problems and overall build quality seems to be just fine. Like I said, the usual number of minor issues, but fit and finish were fine, all of the appliances work as they should, the furnishings are all of good quality. Thor has a multi-point inspection that they do before the unit leaves the factory, so unless there's a total screw-up, the major systems ought to be OK. I did read somewhere, though, that build quality in the major brands tends to be about the same, so it's less important that the build quality in the particular unit, and hence it's critical to do a very thorough pre-delivery inspection. There are checklists available if you google the phrase, book plenty of time for the process, and don't leave the dealer's lot until you've got things the way they should be.
Where did you buy yours and how is dealer / Thor support?
We bought ours from Camping World in Macon, GA. Typical dealer--nothing out of the usual either way. However, Thor support is stunning. Like, unbelievably good. You'll be assigned a concierge right after you buy your unit who will call a couple times in the first couple months to make sure you're happy and to see if you need anything. After that, there's a very accessible technical support group that goes to extraordinary lengths to be helpful. For example, I was having an intermittent problem with the hydraulic jacks. (Intermittent problems are insidious because they never happen when you've got tech support on the phone.
) Anyway, I called Thor tech support anyway, told the tech about the issue and that (unfortunately), it was working fine at the moment, but then asked what should I do if/when it happens again. The tech insisted on walking me through each of the possible causes, one by one, on the phone, including e-mailing me a copy of the relevant schematic, all while I scurried around the MH, to see if we could deliberately initiate the problem. We eventually (after about an hour) traced the problem to a bad crimp on one of the wires behind the jack control panel, and I've never had the problem since. Three lessons--the tech definitely knew what he was doing, he was sympathetic to the annoyance of an intermittent issue, and he wasn't going to let me off the phone until we got the issue fixed. To me, you can't ask for more.
Sorry for the long post. Hope that helps. Feel free to PM me if you need any additional info.