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Old 11-07-2016, 05:17 PM   #1
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How do you rate RVs?

We are searching for a new gas class A, and are trying to figure out what brand is good, which ones to stay away from, etc. Dealers hype only the brands they carry, but how do we compare others? We are looking for something above an entry level; something we can retire with and be in a couple months at a time if we choose.
Any suggestions? Anyone know of a website to help?
Thanks!
Alan & Terry
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Old 11-07-2016, 05:44 PM   #2
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I think the "top" gas coaches are as follows, in no particular order...

Newmar
Tiffin
Winnebago

I currently have a WBGO, I'm happy with it.. I feel it was a few steps above an "entry" level coach.. but I also know, it isn't THAT far above..

Others will chime in with their two cents !!

Good luck !!
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Old 11-07-2016, 07:47 PM   #3
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All gasoline motor homes are about the same. If you want a much better coach go with a diesel. Chassis are much better and drive 100% better then a gasoline when you have strong winds.

As far as to quality of the interior of the house, all manufacturers make a cheapo and a high end, just like in the automobile companies. Example: GM manufacturers a little chevy Spark, but at the same time they make the Cadillacs. Same with the motor homes.
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Old 11-07-2016, 08:06 PM   #4
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Winnebago/Itasca or Tiffin. All others except for Thor went under during recession. Thor quality not good.
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Old 11-07-2016, 08:15 PM   #5
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Newmar and Tiffin are the ones we are considering. Windshield frame issue of Winnebago is something I don't want to risk.
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Old 11-08-2016, 04:56 AM   #6
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Our Tiffin 31SA is our first RV, which we ordered in Dec. 2014, less than 2 years ago, but it seems like a lifetime. Since taking delivery in Mar. 2015, we have over 15,000 miles and spent close to 8 months traveling, including 3 one month trips, and a 6,300 mile trip over 3 months. We have been from FL, to NY along the east coast, the Smokies, and out west indludng WY, MT, UT, and CO.

We are younger than most retired folks, not large people, and don't have pets, and have no need for a big towing capacity. With that, we had, and still have no desire for a large coach, much less an 8-12 year old DP (to get anywhere near our budget) for a very long list of reasons. We have yet to see any coach, new or used, that makes us second guess our decision to buy a new 31SA.

Given everything we looked at, once we saw the Tiffins, we knew what we wanted, even though it was going to push us over our initial "soft budget" of about $100k.

We quicly looked at Newmars, but thier interiors were a bit too traditional or "homey" for us, but if that is what you like, they are certainly a viable option.

We just never saw a Winnebago Adventurer floor plan we liked. There were a couple we would have liked to see, but no dealer reasonably close by (including Lazy Days in Tampa which we did visit) had them in stock to look at.

When it came down to a final decision, it was actually between the Tiffin and very similar Fleetwood Bounder models, but once we broke the $100k budget, we decided to just get the Tiffin that we really wanted.

I think one key thing that differentiates gas coaches, is getting to the 22k chassis with 22.5" wheels (the 22k chassis also comes on 19"s). Once you get to the larger chassis, you get the bigger basement bays, as well as enough room over the engine for more noise insulation.

You'll also find that Tiffin uses longer wheelbase chassis vs. total length than most other gas coaches, which greatly improves handling as well as reasonably high CCCs. My weight sticker attached for reference; note that the "off the menu" optional 24k chassis for the 31SA nets ~1,500# net additional capacity as the chassis itself is ~500#s more.

Another interesting nuance on the Ford chassis is that structurally, the 24k and 26k chassis is identical, only the springs are different, hence the higher GVWR. However, the GCWR is 30k for both which actually makes sense if you think about it, so that while the hitch is rated for 5k, you don't have to eat into your GVWR to pull a 4k-5k toad on a 24k chassis (my Trailhawk weighed in at 4,600# this summer, with a full tank of gas and 2 bicycles on the back).

Good luck!
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Old 11-08-2016, 05:09 AM   #7
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Winnebago/Itasca or Tiffin. All others except for Thor went under during recession. Thor quality not good.
You seem to be forgetting Newmar, Fleetwood, Forest River, and perhaps others.

OBTW, Winnebago dropped the Itasca name-now all of theirs are now Winnebago.
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Old 11-08-2016, 12:01 PM   #8
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Everybody that I have been talking to in the RV industry is talking about how the Thor buying out Jayco will improve the quality of the Thor coaches. Everybody seems to think that Thor will take over as a leader in the industry for manufacturing quality coaches and trailers.

Thor is a big company which goes back a long ways. I remember working for the railroad industry, the railroad used to purchase a lot of air tools manufactured by Thor and this was like over fifty years ago.
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Old 11-08-2016, 01:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by RayChez1 View Post
Everybody that I have been talking to in the RV industry is talking about how the Thor buying out Jayco will improve the quality of the Thor coaches. Everybody seems to think that Thor will take over as a leader in the industry for manufacturing quality coaches and trailers.

Thor is a big company which goes back a long ways. I remember working for the railroad industry, the railroad used to purchase a lot of air tools manufactured by Thor and this was like over fifty years ago.
Thor was founded in 1980. I've had some Thor tools myself. Not the same company.
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Old 11-08-2016, 02:26 PM   #10
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You currently have a Fleetwood Storm. Do you dislike it or the quality? The Bounder has been one of the best selling coaches for years. Step up to a Bounder or Pace Arrow.
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Old 11-08-2016, 02:36 PM   #11
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THOR was started in 1980 as a purchase of AIRSTREAM, who was in financial woes at the time. THOR is a combination of the two partners last names - Thompson and Orthwein.
THOR later purchased other RV manufacturers, such as Dutchmen in 91, FourWinds in 92, Keystone in 01, Damon in 03, Crossroads in 04, Heartland in 2010, the former MONACO plant in Wakarusa for the new Thor Motorcoach Diesel lines in 2013, DRV in 2015, and, of course, JAYCO and ENTEGRA COACH this year.

https://www.thorindustries.com/get-to-know-us/history/

This THOR has nothing in common with either the tool manufacturer or the movie.
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Old 11-08-2016, 02:39 PM   #12
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The service dept. Makes the difference. Try to find one that you can work with. One that has hours for your schedule. The sales dept will promise the moon.
Winnebago factory will do appointments. May be 6-8 weeks out but you can get one. In the first year of warrantyyou can just show up and get work done in a few days. All depends on the time of the year. With a extended warranty the will not file if you just show up.
Win no order.
Winnebago
Tiffin
Newmarket
These are IMHO. the mid priced.
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Old 11-08-2016, 02:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanTerry View Post
We are searching for a new gas class A, and are trying to figure out what brand is good, which ones to stay away from, etc. Dealers hype only the brands they carry, but how do we compare others? We are looking for something above an entry level; something we can retire with and be in a couple months at a time if we choose.
Any suggestions? Anyone know of a website to help?
Thanks!
Alan & Terry
Head over to your local dealer/used lot and ditch the salesman. Then proceed to visit every coach in the lot. Some you will look in and turn around, others may be of more interest.

Go in and sit down. Pretend you have been in rainy weather for two days and cannot get outside. Do you have enough room to relax, prepare meals, do hobbies, relax, have a nap, relax without interfering too much with each other. Can you watch a game and a movie at the same time.

Do you want a residential fridge, washer/dryer, lounge chair, comfortable couch, all electric, television directly in front of you?

Note the things you like and the things you will not tolerate. After you visit enough coaches you will find you will get a clearer idea of what you would like.

Then using the criteria you developed start looking for coaches that meet most if not all of your wants and needs. If there are more than one within your price range then look at the power units in more detail.

If buying used look for complete maintenance records and have the coach inspected by competent mechanic and rv tech.

There will be something out there than meets your needs. Buy it and get out there using it. You will find it one of the better experiences as you will meet lots of great people who think like you do.

Not going to recommend any brand. IMO all of the manufacturers have about the same failure rate and the same level of manufacturer support. Find a highly rated dealer and you should be golden. If you consider WGO we like Lichtsinn RV. Think they are a great dealer.
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Old 11-08-2016, 02:49 PM   #14
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Winnebago/Itasca or Tiffin. All others except for Thor went under during recession. Thor quality not good.
Newmar didn't go under either, we've had two ourselves.
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