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Old 10-20-2021, 09:41 AM   #1
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New 40 Foot DP Coach

Quick question, looking to downsize from 45 foot 2019 Cornerstone to a 40 foot coach. Like the Dutch Star as it still has tag axle. Talked with my service tech who has taken care of me for 15 years and he likes both Newmar and Entegra. I have read online that there is not a lot of difference from the Mountain Aire to Dutch Star to justify the cost different. Any suggestions.

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Old 10-20-2021, 10:41 AM   #2
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Just like with Entegra, most of the big chunk of money that you pay for a Cornerstone over an Anthem goes into equipment that you dont see.... disc brakes, a big engine, and big heavy tranny to handle that big engine, bigger tires all around, etc etc all stuff you don't "see". My '15 Anthem had nicer woodwork in it than this '19 Cornerstone has and the inside of this Cornerstone is no nicer or better than my 15 Anthem was. Actually, Dee and I feel that the inside woodwork was much nicer in our Anthem than this Cornerstone, and our 01 Monaco wood inside blows away both of these coaches.... That wood was Ethan-Allen furniture quality (they say that quality is "out of style"). So I think a similar situation is true between Dutch Star and Mountain Air. Sure see a lot of them on the roads. Go for it if the Dutchy fits your needs.

Now, we like our Cornerstone and it is a beast of a machine, but it sure isn't because of the superiority of the interior. Everyone seems to feel that buyers in this day and age don't value deep quality in wood and wood finish and carpentry and the industry has moved away from that, but this old geezer still likes all that stuff a lot and its hard to find now. A big reason that I am not busting a gut to buy a new coach is that I really don't like the quality of the interior in new coaches.... I hope the first time 65 year old buyers love it because a bunch of us older buyers with coins sure don't like what is being sold new. I have talked with a reasonable sized group of geezers who have said spontaneously that they "just don't like the interiors of new coaches". Probably a generational thing. Design people.... listen up!

Gary
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Old 10-20-2021, 10:57 AM   #3
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I suggest you at least look at the American Coach 39RK (at least I think that is the model). It has a tag axle, and the one we saw at the Tampa show last year looked REAL nice as far as fit/finish is concerned, and we loved the floor plan. Now, I'm trying to get them to make it in a "big rig"
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Old 10-20-2021, 11:39 AM   #4
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We looked at the 40' Dutch Star tag with some friends - as I recall, very nice coach, with similar construction to an Entegra (hung walls, good insulation, IFS, etc...)

However, what we didn't like, was when the slides were pulled in, the center aisle was super narrow, and the access to the mid-bath was very restricted. [Of course, it may have changed, and YOMV...]

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Old 10-20-2021, 05:43 PM   #5
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I suggest you at least look at the American Coach 39RK (at least I think that is the model). It has a tag axle, and the one we saw at the Tampa show last year looked REAL nice as far as fit/finish is concerned, and we loved the floor plan. Now, I'm trying to get them to make it in a "big rig"
I agree. I just spent some time in an American Dream 39RK at the factory, doing a magazine article for Family RVing Magazine. It's the best 40' DP I've seen and rides and handles great with that steerable tag axle. What is really unique is that it has a center kitchen island, like most fifth wheels do. It opens up a ton of counter space. What makes the whole thing work is their dinette. It acts as a breakfast bar for two and allows the coach to have a nice aisle front front to rear when the slides are in when traveling. Once parked you can extend the table to have more room. What is really cool is that it pulls out and can rotate 90 degrees to a third position. In this way you can comfortably seat 4 persons for dinner at the largest dinette table ever. American Coach really hit a home run with this one. The coach I reviewed had the Rushmore painted cabinets but their American Chestnut woodwork looks very nice.
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Old 10-20-2021, 06:29 PM   #6
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The American Coach 39RK looks pretty good. Iíve never thought seriously about an American Coach and I always thought that if we get into RVing again it would have to be with an Entegra, but I do like what American has to offer. It would be nice if Entegra has something comparable to a 40 foot tag axle coach. Entegra seems to be abandoning the smaller coaches to their Reatta models which donít appear to be the same quality of the Aspires and on up.
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Old 10-21-2021, 06:21 AM   #7
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Anthem now has same 20K front suspension and same size tires as Cornerstone, 365 front 315 rear.

Is a tag axle on a 40 ft coach really worth the extra weight,loss of storage space, and not to mention expense? My Phaeton did not have tag and drove fine.
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Old 10-21-2021, 07:22 AM   #8
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American Coach has the Liberty Bridge chassis, which is basically a trussed bridge that rests on top of the front and rear clips. The bridge uses I-beams rather than the C-channels used by everyone else. There's a few benefits to this bridge. It's very rigid, the I-beams aren't as tall as C-channels, resulting in more basement cargo height, etc. This design also allows the fuel tank to be located rearward, relieving much of the weight on the front axle. This doesn't require a 20K front axle or 365 tires any more (315s all around) and also doesn't change the handling of the coach from varying between empty and full fuel tanks. There are a number of other benefits but moving the fuel back does transfer front axle weight to the rear so the tag axle is pretty much required on a 40' American Coach. The 39RK American Dream is not like the Phaeton. It's a high end coach and has amenities such as quartz countertops, which really add weight. The empty weight (unloaded but with full fuel) on the one I drove was 39,237 with a GVWR of 47K and an OCCC of 7,763. I've driven Phaetons and Allegro Busses before (I owned two of them) and the Phaetons did drive well but this 39RK did kick it up a notch. As to the Anthem, that was a good move. With a front fuel tank, full load and all the tile and countertops they can get nose heavy. My Cornerstone makes it with a 20K front axle but there isn't a whole lot left over when I'm fully loaded, although we do travel heavy. The 2022 will probably have more headroom because they stopped using quartz in 2022 (what were they thinking).

The answer to the question of whether or not the tag is necessary is going to depend on the brand of coach. If thinking Phaeton - no but if an American Coach - yes.
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Old 10-21-2021, 08:22 AM   #9
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Smile

Thanks for the info, I will look at American Coach. The only thing I will mention is my service tech who has taken care of us since the Monaco Executive coach days believes the best built coaches today are Newmar and Entegra. I know it is just one persons opinion, but he does the work on all makes and models of motorhomes. My DW believes the best coach we had for fit and finish was the Executive. The wood work was high quality for sure. We just couldn't get parts after Monaco closed the doors.
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Old 10-21-2021, 10:12 AM   #10
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No coach currently built will match the fit and finish, woodwork quality, and inside niceness that you had in the Sig.... nothing made on an assembly-line will come close.!!! Current manufacturers seem to think that excellent interiors are "old fashioned" and no longer wanted by many owners, and they may be right. My son and wife probably won't be interested in any of our furniture when we die, as even though it looks brand new and top shelf quality, its "too dark". Dee and I would have "killed" to get a house full of furniture of this quality, but not 50 "year-olds". However, you are not going tp find that quality unless you step up to a Millennium or Custom Prevost conversion where they will make whatever you order.

Today, you are paying for bells and whistles, which while nice, tend to be costly and unseen. All, imho !

Gary
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Old 10-21-2021, 12:06 PM   #11
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I have to agree with Gary, my 21 Cornerstone is nowhere near the woodwork and trim of my 2002 Travel Supreme. Instead I have computer everything. Still haven't decided which I like better, depends on what day I am asked. But like me, the TS after 11 years was showing it's age.
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Old 10-21-2021, 12:16 PM   #12
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I have to agree with Gary, my 21 Cornerstone is nowhere near the woodwork and trim of my 2002 Travel Supreme. Instead I have computer everything. Still haven't decided which I like better, depends on what day I am asked. But like me, the TS after 11 years was showing it's age.
Oh come on, You must be more than 11 years old.

The sad thing is I like the 21 more than the 22. Taking out the quartz countertops was a big step backwards. Not too fond of the new exterior graphics either. Think I'll keep my 2016 with the "original" DEF sensors that don't fail.
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Old 10-21-2021, 01:49 PM   #13
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I did look at the American Dream 39 RK. Really liked the island, did not like that the TV in the main area does not slide down behind coach. I like that window to see out. Just my opinion.
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Old 10-21-2021, 02:01 PM   #14
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I did look at the American Dream 39 RK. Really liked the island, did not like that the TV in the main area does not slide down behind coach. I like that window to see out. Just my opinion.
I noticed that too. Their reasoning is because a TV on a Televator lift would push the couch farther into the aisle, negating the open aisle plan they now have with the dinette and island. If only they could find a smaller sofa that was still comfortable then they could make that happen. I too prefer lots of windows with ambient light. If the sofa was removed and a desk/entertainment center/fireplace was located there it would work. But then the opposite side would either have theatre seating with no additional sleeping capacity or a sofa sleeper with no theatre seating. Maybe Lambright would be able to make a reclineable theatre style sofa that still makes into a bed. That would be a good choice for many coach manufacturers.
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