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Old 11-16-2016, 08:46 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cranemec View Post
Do not dismiss American Coach.
Good point, Cranemec. Please tell us how you think American Coach stacks up in relation to the previous postings in this thread.
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Old 11-16-2016, 12:36 PM   #30
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I am not Cranemec but we just recently went through looking for a coach and looking at similar levels in these brands.

BTW: By education I am a mechanical engineer and just retired from years making things for the auto industry.

For us the pluses and minuses that I can recall were as follows:

Build Methods:
AC most "automated/documented" build. That is they rely less in the skill/knowledge of the people and more on their process. (Best for volume esp. if employee turnover is high.)
Newmar most skill oriented build. Looked to have long term employees watching over things. (Best for low volume if employee turnover is low and enough high skilled workforce is present.)
Entegra was a mix of the other two. Something that may do well in the future but right now can also result in quality differences between coaches.
Negative to Entegra after looking at problems listed and figuring out relative volumes for the brands.

Factory location.
This dropped Tiffin out for us as we live a little over one hour from Decatur and under two hours to Middlebury and Napannee. Add in AC has factory service in two other areas of the country and AC gets a plus for us. Not sure that holds true for some others.

Frame:
AC gets the nod but at expense of wall construction. (Weight limits and trade offs.)
Anyhow the bridge is a very strong frame and has super clearance in the bays.

Walls:
Newmar and Tiffin both use hung walls which I like better.

Drive:
Newmar with comfort drive was best.
AC was acceptable.
Entegra, who knows? Dealer would not let me test drive. HUGE minus for us with Entegra!

Layout/decor
We liked several Newmar layouts.
AC 45A was a winner layout (but bath ceiling requires me to be barefoot to avoid hitting head.)
Entegra had some layouts we could have lived with also.
On decor wife hated Newmar, was ok with Entegra, loved in the AC we got.

On company stability:
AC owned by REV looks like they will probably be around and are stable.
Newmar privately owned looks stable but always could be sold to someone in the future.
Entegra as we were looking got sold to Thor creating some instability from my point of view.
Note this is something I was sensitive to having just sold my business and watched as things got changed causing old customers problems. Anyhow to me this was a slight plus to AC.

Dealer:
AC and Newmar were both top dealers in the country while the Entegra dealer was not and see above about test drive. Real minus for Entegra.

Chassis:
Newmar choice of Freightliner or Spartan.
Entegra Spartan but lower level than Newmar. That is the DS has features the Anthem does not.
AC Freightliner
Here is perhaps a slight plus to Newmar.

Slides:
Newmar all tile. Plus esp. since we were planning on having dogs along.
Entegra and AC both decent systems but carpet. So just ok.

Then came price!
DS like we wanted would have been about $340 actual price. AC we got was a bit more but 600hp vs 450hp and the difference was really less than just a drive train upgrade since we bought a unit that had been on a dealer lot for about a year.

Anyhow at this point I leaned Newmar. The deciding factor was the wife really hated the Newmar decor and really loved the AC. So being what I think is a reasonable husband we compromised and got the AC.

Now note these are just my impressions/evaluations from factory tours, dealer visits, and reviewing problems listed on-line. For volume comparisons it gets hard since AC has other brands on the same production line and Newmar has more model variation on their production line.

I am not sure there is a sure poor choice when picking between these brands but I am also not sure there is a sure better choice either. All make compromises and have their good and bad features. Much like I love my Audi, my wife loves her Mercedes, and some friends love their BMW's, Jaguars, or Cadillacs.

Do also please note, wife or I had not had an RV for years so we had little real life feedback from folks we had meet with the units we were looking at.

Tom
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Old 11-16-2016, 03:24 PM   #31
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Have to say

I would have to say that the AC Tradition was on our short list until the change that had REV Group eliminate that model for 2017. For us, price & construction at AC was very impressive. Just no 17's was a deal breaker, and we couldn't afford the AC Dream.

Quote:
Originally Posted by THenman View Post
I am not Cranemec but we just recently went through looking for a coach and looking at similar levels in these brands.

BTW: By education I am a mechanical engineer and just retired from years making things for the auto industry.

For us the pluses and minuses that I can recall were as follows:

Build Methods:
AC most "automated/documented" build. That is they rely less in the skill/knowledge of the people and more on their process. (Best for volume esp. if employee turnover is high.)
Newmar most skill oriented build. Looked to have long term employees watching over things. (Best for low volume if employee turnover is low and enough high skilled workforce is present.)
Entegra was a mix of the other two. Something that may do well in the future but right now can also result in quality differences between coaches.
Negative to Entegra after looking at problems listed and figuring out relative volumes for the brands.

Factory location.
This dropped Tiffin out for us as we live a little over one hour from Decatur and under two hours to Middlebury and Napannee. Add in AC has factory service in two other areas of the country and AC gets a plus for us. Not sure that holds true for some others.

Frame:
AC gets the nod but at expense of wall construction. (Weight limits and trade offs.)
Anyhow the bridge is a very strong frame and has super clearance in the bays.

Walls:
Newmar and Tiffin both use hung walls which I like better.

Drive:
Newmar with comfort drive was best.
AC was acceptable.
Entegra, who knows? Dealer would not let me test drive. HUGE minus for us with Entegra!

Layout/decor
We liked several Newmar layouts.
AC 45A was a winner layout (but bath ceiling requires me to be barefoot to avoid hitting head.)
Entegra had some layouts we could have lived with also.
On decor wife hated Newmar, was ok with Entegra, loved in the AC we got.

On company stability:
AC owned by REV looks like they will probably be around and are stable.
Newmar privately owned looks stable but always could be sold to someone in the future.
Entegra as we were looking got sold to Thor creating some instability from my point of view.
Note this is something I was sensitive to having just sold my business and watched as things got changed causing old customers problems. Anyhow to me this was a slight plus to AC.

Dealer:
AC and Newmar were both top dealers in the country while the Entegra dealer was not and see above about test drive. Real minus for Entegra.

Chassis:
Newmar choice of Freightliner or Spartan.
Entegra Spartan but lower level than Newmar. That is the DS has features the Anthem does not.
AC Freightliner
Here is perhaps a slight plus to Newmar.

Slides:
Newmar all tile. Plus esp. since we were planning on having dogs along.
Entegra and AC both decent systems but carpet. So just ok.

Then came price!
DS like we wanted would have been about $340 actual price. AC we got was a bit more but 600hp vs 450hp and the difference was really less than just a drive train upgrade since we bought a unit that had been on a dealer lot for about a year.

Anyhow at this point I leaned Newmar. The deciding factor was the wife really hated the Newmar decor and really loved the AC. So being what I think is a reasonable husband we compromised and got the AC.

Now note these are just my impressions/evaluations from factory tours, dealer visits, and reviewing problems listed on-line. For volume comparisons it gets hard since AC has other brands on the same production line and Newmar has more model variation on their production line.

I am not sure there is a sure poor choice when picking between these brands but I am also not sure there is a sure better choice either. All make compromises and have their good and bad features. Much like I love my Audi, my wife loves her Mercedes, and some friends love their BMW's, Jaguars, or Cadillacs.

Do also please note, wife or I had not had an RV for years so we had little real life feedback from folks we had meet with the units we were looking at.

Tom
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Old 11-16-2016, 05:31 PM   #32
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We left Newmar for Entegra. Our Newmar was OK and we got good service out of it. Our Aspire was a step above the Dutch Star and our first Cornerstone a quantum leap above that. Hopefully, our second Cornerstone will be ready in April and will not disappoint. I think that bang for the buck Entegra wins if the floorplan/interior and paint are in your wheelhouse. You have to accept what they offer.
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Old 11-16-2016, 05:55 PM   #33
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Just noticed I wrote Tiffin on walls where I meant to write Entegra. opps:

Tom
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Old 11-16-2016, 05:57 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THenman View Post
I am not Cranemec but we just recently went through looking for a coach and looking at similar levels in these brands.

BTW: By education I am a mechanical engineer and just retired from years making things for the auto industry.

For us the pluses and minuses that I can recall were as follows:

Build Methods:
AC most "automated/documented" build. That is they rely less in the skill/knowledge of the people and more on their process. (Best for volume esp. if employee turnover is high.)
Newmar most skill oriented build. Looked to have long term employees watching over things. (Best for low volume if employee turnover is low and enough high skilled workforce is present.)
Entegra was a mix of the other two. Something that may do well in the future but right now can also result in quality differences between coaches.
Negative to Entegra after looking at problems listed and figuring out relative volumes for the brands.

Factory location.
This dropped Tiffin out for us as we live a little over one hour from Decatur and under two hours to Middlebury and Napannee. Add in AC has factory service in two other areas of the country and AC gets a plus for us. Not sure that holds true for some others.

Frame:
AC gets the nod but at expense of wall construction. (Weight limits and trade offs.)
Anyhow the bridge is a very strong frame and has super clearance in the bays.

Walls:
Newmar and Tiffin both use hung walls which I like better.

Drive:
Newmar with comfort drive was best.
AC was acceptable.
Entegra, who knows? Dealer would not let me test drive. HUGE minus for us with Entegra!

Layout/decor
We liked several Newmar layouts.
AC 45A was a winner layout (but bath ceiling requires me to be barefoot to avoid hitting head.)
Entegra had some layouts we could have lived with also.
On decor wife hated Newmar, was ok with Entegra, loved in the AC we got.

On company stability:
AC owned by REV looks like they will probably be around and are stable.
Newmar privately owned looks stable but always could be sold to someone in the future.
Entegra as we were looking got sold to Thor creating some instability from my point of view.
Note this is something I was sensitive to having just sold my business and watched as things got changed causing old customers problems. Anyhow to me this was a slight plus to AC.

Dealer:
AC and Newmar were both top dealers in the country while the Entegra dealer was not and see above about test drive. Real minus for Entegra.

Chassis:
Newmar choice of Freightliner or Spartan.
Entegra Spartan but lower level than Newmar. That is the DS has features the Anthem does not.
AC Freightliner
Here is perhaps a slight plus to Newmar.

Slides:
Newmar all tile. Plus esp. since we were planning on having dogs along.
Entegra and AC both decent systems but carpet. So just ok.

Then came price!
DS like we wanted would have been about $340 actual price. AC we got was a bit more but 600hp vs 450hp and the difference was really less than just a drive train upgrade since we bought a unit that had been on a dealer lot for about a year.

Anyhow at this point I leaned Newmar. The deciding factor was the wife really hated the Newmar decor and really loved the AC. So being what I think is a reasonable husband we compromised and got the AC.

Now note these are just my impressions/evaluations from factory tours, dealer visits, and reviewing problems listed on-line. For volume comparisons it gets hard since AC has other brands on the same production line and Newmar has more model variation on their production line.

I am not sure there is a sure poor choice when picking between these brands but I am also not sure there is a sure better choice either. All make compromises and have their good and bad features. Much like I love my Audi, my wife loves her Mercedes, and some friends love their BMW's, Jaguars, or Cadillacs.

Do also please note, wife or I had not had an RV for years so we had little real life feedback from folks we had meet with the units we were looking at.

Tom
What he said. Lol.

I put Newmar and Tiffin on the same level. Of course I have never been inside a King Aire or a Zephyr. American Coach and Entegra are a step above and we loved them both. Entegra didn't have quite the floor plan that was perfect for us and the full wall slide on the American really opens it up.

Plus we got a fan-freaking-tastic deal on our 2015 Tradition.
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Old 11-16-2016, 06:15 PM   #35
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Newmar, Entegra, Tiffin?

This is a grand thread!
Form, fit, function, and a happy wife are the top line. The top tier of standard MHs are competing hard for customers, and their efforts through good business models is showing.

As a former financial business manager I can tell you this:

Warranties add to the bottom line, 2-year, more so. It is a separate business expense that is cooked into the production books just like any other such products. It includes ALL costs, including promotions, complimentary food and beverages, parties, and after warranty grace/goodwill coverage by the vendor.
In many industries I dealt with, longer warranties are "market differentiators", a code word for buyers bait. But cost is cost.
And the cost is, with profit margin, what buyers pay in price; it's all in there!
I have 2 more years on my 4-year EW. I paid for it!
Just sayin....
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Old 11-16-2016, 07:39 PM   #36
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Dutch Star 4369

We LOVE our Dutch Star 4369. We live in it full time and find it to be very livable. The floor plan is perfect for us. We have the sofa and two reclining chairs and the free standing table with cabinet. The more expensive Newmar models have some added bells and whistles but we got everything we cared about on the Dutch Star. And, frankly, I like the look of the Dutch Star interior better. We think the Newmar cabinetry is much higher quality, both in appearance and construction. It's really beautiful. We hadn't driven other motorhomes, so we can't compare, but people we've talked to who have owned other brands and switched to Newmar really do rave about the Comfort Steer. We have been impressed with how responsive Newmar is to their customers. If you are going to special order one rather than buying off the lot, Newmar allows for more customization of various things than the other brands.
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Old 11-17-2016, 08:26 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THenman View Post




Walls:
Newmar and Tiffin both use hung walls which I like better.




Tom
Tom:

Excellent post.

I have a followup question for you.

Did the American Coach design for the wall connections to the roof and to the floor have any impact on your decision process?
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Old 11-17-2016, 08:37 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LDMcL View Post
Tom:

Excellent post.

I have a followup question for you.

Did the American Coach design for the wall connections to the roof and to the floor have any impact on your decision process?
Not directly but it was part of the process making the unit instead of the skill of the workers.

Tom
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Old 11-17-2016, 09:04 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THenman View Post
Just noticed I wrote Tiffin on walls where I meant to write Entegra. opps:
Quote:
Originally Posted by THenman View Post

Tom
How does the insulation R-factors compare on the AC to Entegra and Newmar? I know Entegra and Newmar are way better than Tiffin, with Entegra being slightly better than Newmar. We eliminated Tiffin from our search because of less insulation and quality issues that were noticed on most new ones we looked at in spite of really liking some floorplans.
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Old 11-17-2016, 11:09 AM   #40
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[CENTER]How does the insulation R-factors compare on the AC to Entegra and Newmar? I know Entegra and Newmar are way better than Tiffin, with Entegra being slightly better than Newmar. We eliminated Tiffin from our search because of less insulation and quality issues that were noticed on most new ones we looked at in spite of really liking some floorplans.
I don't recall actually. I think it was pretty comparable and all were lower than I'd like. You have some heat flow problems in all the coaches due to amount of windows if nothing else. AL structure members also increase the heat flow while thicker fiberglass slows it down as does wood.

Not been out yet in real hot weather so can not comment on how it does. While driving in warm temps however we have run the generator and a roof unit to keep the coach cooler. That is pretty much in-line with things when I test drove a Newmar so no biggie yet to me.

If you really want to know the numbers I would suggest calling REV in Decatur and asking I am sure they could tell you quickly.

Tom
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Old 11-17-2016, 05:02 PM   #41
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I agree with a lot of what's been said. We looked at an AC, many Tiffins, many Entegras and landed on Newmar. Lots of reasons, but one that hasn't been mentioned is that Newmar and Tiffin offer a quality coach in lengths under 40'. For us, we really wanted to stay under 40 while still getting the quality, fit and finish we liked. Tiffin was eliminated for other reasons, which left us with Newmar and we are very pleased with it.

Our focus on length paid off with this site!
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