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Old 03-10-2017, 01:12 PM   #29
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Thor is RAKING it in!

http://www.elkharttruth.com/hometown...f98a1885c.html
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Old 03-10-2017, 03:53 PM   #30
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Hi guys,

...Forest River and Thor are the two big guys in the room when it comes to Class A Motorhomes...
I like to see some figures on that. There sure are lots of Fleetwoods, Newmars and Tiffins on the road. We are on RV number six and have never even considered FR or Thor.
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Old 03-10-2017, 04:11 PM   #31
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When we decided to move up from our Class C to a Class A, I was torn between a new Thor Windsport and a gently used one year old Newmar Bay Star. They were about the same price. I liked the floor plan of the Thor a little bit better, but I had read so many comments about problems I was concerned. I talked to someone who had been, in the very recent past, both a Thor and a Newmar dealer. When I asked him about the Thor vs Newmar question, he candidly told me (with no dog in the hunt) that the Newmar was a MUCH better quality product with far fewer problems. Bought the Bay Star and never looked back.
I certainly understand your point about the difference in quality, but is a Dutch Star at close to $450,000 really $70,000 better than a Berkshire XLT? Both are on a Freightliner chassis with 450 horse engines. The floor plans are similar. The differences would seem to come down to the DS gives you a flat floor when the slides are out and Comfort Drive along with no carpet on the slides.

We have been looking for the last several years and had narrowed our search to either Newmar Dutch Star or Entegra Aspire. Considering the fact that our Berkshire has been pretty darn near problem free I have to ask myself whether or not the amenities of either of the other two brands are sufficient to make me shell out a lot more dollars. Added to that discussion is the difference in margins that the dealers of these different brands seem to operate with in these respective brands.

It comes down to different strokes for different folks. One of my clients had a Marathon conversion on a Prevost chassis. It was very nice, but for me it wasn't nearly the $1.8 million he paid for it nice. Perhaps it's under the heading if you've got it, flaunt it. There's a rig out there for everyone who really wants one if you are willing to pay the price.
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Old 03-10-2017, 04:19 PM   #32
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I certainly understand your point about the difference in quality, but is a Dutch Star at close to $450,000 really $70,000 better than a Berkshire XLT? Both are on a Freightliner chassis with 450 horse engines. The floor plans are similar. The differences would seem to come down to the DS gives you a flat floor when the slides are out and Comfort Drive along with no carpet on the slides.

We have been looking for the last several years and had narrowed our search to either Newmar Dutch Star or Entegra Aspire. Considering the fact that our Berkshire has been pretty darn near problem free I have to ask myself whether or not the amenities of either of the other two brands are sufficient to make me shell out a lot more dollars. Added to that discussion is the difference in margins that the dealers of these different brands seem to operate with in these respective brands.

It comes down to different strokes for different folks. One of my clients had a Marathon conversion on a Prevost chassis. It was very nice, but for me it wasn't nearly the $1.8 million he paid for it nice. Perhaps it's under the heading if you've got it, flaunt it. There's a rig out there for everyone who really wants one if you are willing to pay the price.
You need to look at the bones of the unit rather than the lipstick and mascara. THAT'S where it's worth the extra $$...Oh, and the DS has the independent front suspension, side radiator (although some Berkshires do too) & better tires
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Old 03-10-2017, 04:39 PM   #33
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You need to look at the bones of the unit rather than the lipstick and mascara. THAT'S where it's worth the extra $$...Oh, and the DS has the independent front suspension, side radiator (although some Berkshires do too) & better tires
BINGO

And to answer the question on the last page:
"when you take it in and get it fixed, does it stay fixed?"

The answer is definitely NO. If you build a coach with crappy parts, then replace the broken parts with the same crappy parts, they will not be fixed.

I'll give you an example that has nothing to do with the slides.

My Thor (again, this is a $115k sales price unit) had drawer glide retainers that broke on every trip. The dealership fixed them a couple of times. Thor finally sent me a large box of them so I could fix them on my own. But even after putting 2-3 screws in each one rather than Thor's 1 screw per retainer, they still broke.
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Old 03-10-2017, 08:00 PM   #34
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I'll give my two points here.

When you look at total number of forest river products out there, they have significantly more. Why? Travel Trailers. When you boil it all down travel trailers are easier to make with less moving parts. So when people think "forest river" a lot of folks thing travel trailer and those simply aren't that complex.

Now lets talk about my second point.. Dealers matter. Here in Atlanta if i want a Thor I am stuck going to a camping world, if i buy a Thor my service will be from camping world and we all know how that goes. Does that reflect poorly on Thor i'd wager that it does but potentially unfairly. You get 10 forest rivers class A's and 10 thors of equal price point. The thors go to camping world and they do a poor job on the PDI and the 10 forest rivers go to a good dealer. The forest river dealer fixes problems before delivery, camping world doesn't. Lets for the sake of argument say that by chance both manufacturers have the exact same amount of issues. I'd be willing to bet the forrest river customers end up much happier, than the thor customers in this scenario. Thor themselves told me camping world is the bulk of their sales....
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Old 03-11-2017, 01:13 AM   #35
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This is an interesting thread, very entertaining to read. A couple of thoughts come to mind:

1. Will a $300K coach travel down the road the same as a $900K coach does..yep absolutely..it just depends on which neighborhood you want to live in..you can get a 3BR/2B run down bungalow in San Fran for $1.8M or the exact same house in say Wallace, Idaho for $72K. Both do the same thing.

2. People exempt the manufacturers from defects of their suppliers and dealers do the same, stating it is not the manufacturers fault, but the component manufactures fault..who do you think specs and approves these items for their builds ? Toyota took the hit from the faulty air bag folks..right? Heck yes they did, it was in their vehicle so they are responsible.

3. The high percentage of new MH's that require extensive service after the sale points to one thing...minimal or zero Quality Control before they leave the line. They are depending on the receiving dealer to PDI and make all repairs..old adage "If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you".

If you are buying new: We recently put on our helmets and took out our bats to try to ink a deal on a new American Allegiance. We arrived at a "fair price". Knowing that new MH's will have issues and loss of use was not what I was paying for, as part of the deal, I made them include my Loss Of Use contract which stipulated that any days down over 30 for repairs, in the first 18 months, they were legally obligated to pay me $350.00 per day (cost of a comparable rental). Needless to say, they would not accept our contract inclusion so the deal died.

We make these major purchases to follow dreams and lifestyles, not for our MH to sit at the dealer for months and months correcting design/manufacturer flaws.

Hold them accountable, as many on this thread have, this is hard earned money that is being spent for a specific purpose.
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Old 03-11-2017, 08:19 AM   #36
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I think you miss the point on specing out parts. The issue is the size of the orders. Thor or FR might be big enough to push their suppliers but the individual brands are not. They take what they can get from suppliers where they are only part of the customer base. Even when they are the big user in things like cabinetry they are way more price conscious than quality conscious. Better quality cost more in both jigs and fixtures and time.

There is an unwarranted expectation linked to price. People tend to think in terms of cars where $50,000 is expensive so an $80,000 cabin on wheels is luxury. Really it's bottom end. You can scale that up to $250,000 DP's. If the cabinet doors are not quite aligned or the drawer front crooked it's not a big deal as long as the unit got out of the factory on time. Chances are everything will move on the ride from the factory to the dealer anyway.
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Old 03-11-2017, 08:51 AM   #37
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This has been a great thread. Very informative. As for us, our 2012 Georgetown 337 we purchased new has a king bed and full body slide. It is our 4th gasser, after two class c's and a Winnebago 38' class A. We downsized to the 337 so we could access more state parks, national forests, etc. and we drive on two lane mountain roads a good bit. We went with the 26k gcwr unit to get 22.5 inch wheels and heavier suspension. So although our unit is only 33.5 ft long we can still pull almost 6000# comfortably with no sway, etc. on mountain roads and still be under GCWR
We now have 30k miles on it and it has never been in a shop except for the Lippert step recall. We love our RV. We subscribe to the Georgetown forum and read with interest all of the info and maintenance advice. We also subscribe to Thor Winnebago and Tiffin groups and hear pretty much the same on each. Many people who are happy, and many who are in the shop a lot.
That being said, it is very true as stated earlier that RVs do require regular maintenance. I see posts from many people who claim their RV is a piece of junk because it stays in the shop a lot. But many of the complaints are from people who are not experienced in troubleshooting and doing minor repair work, and take it to the shop every time a fuse blows of if a cabinet door is misaligned, etc.
Basically, if you have no knowledge of plumbing, electric, minor carpentry, etc, you are going to spend a lot of time in the shop paying a lot of money for stuff that can be fixed at home.
We visited the Forest River factory and during final inspection they stick a post-it on everything that needs repaired before it goes for delivery. The RV we looked at had dozens post-its all over it, inside and out.
There are literally hundreds of small things that can go wrong in an RV. It is very important that a complete inspection be done by the dealer by a professional, then check out each and every component before taking delivery, otherwise the first time you take it out you will find problems.
Our local Camping World will actually let you stay in the unit overnight at a campsite at the dealership before taking it home to be sure everything works so you do not have to bring it back for minor repairs.
As we travel we make notes of everything that is not working perfectly and as soon as we get home I tweak or repair all the items on the list.
So good luck. Whatever type or make of RV you get you had better have a good set of tools and know how to use them or you are going to be spending a lot of money and time going to a dealership.
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Old 03-11-2017, 11:31 AM   #38
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Hi guys,

You've made the point I've been trying to make this entire thread but did it poorly. It's not a "shakedown cruse" because that denotes the shaking is fixed and is over with the cruse!

What you're correctly saying however is the shakedown continues as you cruse. As stated many times stuff happens. If you're somewhat handy the time, money and frustration can be somewhat mitigated with what we'll call, sweat equity!

Does a more expensive coach give you more piece of mind, maybe? On the other hand it could add to your frustration because you paid more and didn't get as expected?

That's why I keep saying "if you fix it does it stay fixed"? Because if it does (major items especially), there's life after frustration!

Maybe the answer is buy what makes sense for you and what you want to pay. The rest will just happen and it's for you to deal!!!

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Old 03-12-2017, 02:38 PM   #39
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I'll speak just to the Thor Motor Coach bit...

TMC was created in 2010 from Thor RV's long lived motorhome brands;
FourWinds
Damon Motor Coach
Mandalay Luxury Coach.
There are no motorhomes called Thor before 2011...but there's MANY out there under these brand names.

Thor has been in the business since 1980 when they acquired the distressed Airstream company:
http://ir.thorindustries.com/about-thor/our-history/

The motorhome brands were acquired over time but did not show the Thor brand.
Even now, Thor RV has many, many brands that do not carry the Thor Name:
https://www.thorindustries.com/get-t...the-companies/

These brands have always offered a wide variety of lines that share the same chassis' and components as the boutique brands, which make only a fraction of the RV's made by the big 3 (Winnie, FR, and TMC).

TMC covers every motorhome segment from B, C, Super C, gas and Diesel A...even Class A ToyHauler. No other RV maker covers every segment.

For the used market of any brand, usually the previous owner's TLC is the biggest factor in the condition of the RV.

For a new purchase - of any brand - the dealer reputation will be a big factor in warranty work. Unfortunately, because of volume sales, many dealers are not responsible and treat buyers poorly, causing many customer complaints. But TMC's factory customer service is really great.

Sure, TMC has lots of discussion about problems. That's a function of selling more motorhomes than any other brand. But, for every complaint on-line, there are lots more happy owners.

I say, everyone must shop-around and get what each of us want.

Best luck

P.S. We've not yet had to fix any problem twice.
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Old 03-12-2017, 03:05 PM   #40
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Thor's quality has to start at their manufacturing plants....and it doesn't. We have a guy at Thor everyday. He can easily bill them for 40 hrs of customer pay work a week. No one cares at the plant. From concerns like the horns are inop (due to never being installed) to no-starts (due to smashing the cab harness between the chassis and the floor)...anything and everything happens there. It's quite honestly sad. They go through employees faster than you change your underwear.

Having said that, they 'look' nice so people buy them...
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Old 03-12-2017, 07:04 PM   #41
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Not sure how to define behemoth but REV group sure seems like a behemoth to me. As far as I know, in total vehicle products including RV's, they have got be biggest or close. Their buying power gives them a lot of leverage and across their lines there is a lot of knowledge, history, and engineering ability. REV Group Specialty Vehicle Manufacturers ‚Äď Fire, RV & Ambulance Vehicle Brands
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Old 03-13-2017, 12:17 AM   #42
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Thor's quality has to start at their manufacturing plants....and it doesn't. We have a guy at Thor everyday. He can easily bill them for 40 hrs of customer pay work a week. No one cares at the plant. From concerns like the horns are inop (due to never being installed) to no-starts (due to smashing the cab harness between the chassis and the floor)...anything and everything happens there. It's quite honestly sad. They go through employees faster than you change your underwear.

Having said that, they 'look' nice so people buy them...
So sorry for your experience...What Thor brand/model gave you this outcome?

Our tour of the factory proved the staff there were very happy and hard working people...now grown to 5 factories just for the motorhome lines.

The horn story has gone around on-line, but doubtful since the typical chassis comes from the chassis builder set-up for safety minimums (like brakes and horn). Same for the won't start story...how would the RV get delivered to the dealership?

Forest River and Thor are bringing a great product to market at a reasonable price. And SO glad...the closest model to our RV offered by a different brand is a Newmar. Less garage capacity, no ramp/deck, and too much equipment being optional only (like lift bunks, and residential fridge), and at an unreasonable price point.

Safe travels
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