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Is there any REAL quality out there?

DaveRVman
Explorer
Explorer
We were looking at a Thor A.C.E. and found a video where tons of things broke on it for a buyer.

We also looked into Jayco, Winnebago, and numerous other brands. Over and over there are Better Business Bureau reports of horror stories...

Then comes the promised warranties. That seems like a scam because if anything goes wrong (Let's say in April) the wait is 4 months for the warranty issue to be fixed. Well there goes a big chunk of the season.

What does one do? We went to an RV dealer and a NEW Winnebago had tiles falling off behind the backsplash. Just horrible. Then I hear of people who have such hydraulic problems their RV is now a 100k driveway ornament.

I DON'T mind maintenance issues, I'm handy like that. I just don't want to throw 100k into something that is trash.

Is my only choice a 350k diesel pusher Monaco or Prevost? I don't have the funds for that.

What does one do? Just want a reliable Class A for the family. 100k budget.
37 REPLIES 37

Bruce_Brown
Moderator
Moderator
CWilson wrote:
Bruce Brown wrote:


No. Newmar was owned by the Miller family until a few years ago when they were bought by Winnebago.

Thor has nothing to do with Newmar and never has.


One could argue Winnebago is not much of a Peach when compared to Thor however, they too pump out a fair amount of garbage, like anything branded "Grand Design". Nothing more than a hodgepodge of slapped together LCI trash like many other brands.


My own personal opinion is Winnebago buying Newmar won't be beneficial for Newmar in the long run.

There is a reason we're keeping our '08, and it's not just $$$.
There are 24 hours in every day - it all depends on how you choose to use them.
Bruce & Jill Brown
2008 Kountry Star Pusher 3910

CWilson
Explorer
Explorer
Bruce Brown wrote:


No. Newmar was owned by the Miller family until a few years ago when they were bought by Winnebago.

Thor has nothing to do with Newmar and never has.


One could argue Winnebago is not much of a Peach when compared to Thor however, they too pump out a fair amount of garbage, like anything branded "Grand Design". Nothing more than a hodgepodge of slapped together LCI trash like many other brands.

Bruce_Brown
Moderator
Moderator
DaveRVman wrote:
Tom/Barb wrote:
There are several 2000 to 2008 Newmar motorhomes that are well equipped for that price range.
We have very little problems with our Newmar Maintain Aire.
to avoid the typical quality stuff you must stay above the luxury level.
Just remember there isn't a cheap motorhome.
and never buy from a dealer, , we found ours in a park and sell lot.
22 years later we think we got some divine guidance


Is Newmar by any chance owned by Thor or built in Indiana? I just want to avoid anything coming out of there. Way to many horror stories... Sorry not trying to insult anybody... 🙂


No. Newmar was owned by the Miller family until a few years ago when they were bought by Winnebago.

Thor has nothing to do with Newmar and never has.
There are 24 hours in every day - it all depends on how you choose to use them.
Bruce & Jill Brown
2008 Kountry Star Pusher 3910

way2roll
Navigator
Navigator
I think the OP has left the building. Guessing that "DaveRVman" isn't an RV man after all.
2023 FR Sunseeker 2400B MBS

SuperBus
Nomad
Nomad
I'll share the two best pieces of advice I received when shopping for a coach.

1.) Don't concern yourself with the cost - if it is going to be an issue for you then stay away
2.) The initial investment (purchase price) is not what you need to be concerned about, anyone who wants to will find a way to buy a coach at some price point. What you do need to be concerned about is the maintenance.

Its a house, its a bus, its a house that gets beat up because its on a bus. Things break, its going to be expensive. Poor quality just makes this reality worse.

Good luck!

willald
Explorer II
Explorer II
JoeH wrote:
DaveRVman wrote:
Wiscampsin wrote:
Winnebago officially acquired Newmar in November of 2019. They are built in Nappanee Indiana.


That means Amish guys running around being paid by the piece slapping it together as fast as they can. If you've seen the factories, it's nuts. I guess I just don't want to drop 100k of hard earned money on something somebody else slaps together... Sorry not trying to insult others or anything.

So "older" Newmar coaches were built where? Would be interesting if they were built in a quality factory.


That's correct... plus , for the most part, working there is a "part time" job, their full time job is on the farm , which they head to in the early afternoon.


Well, if thats the case and you want to avoid anything built in Indiana by Amish folks......You can cross off probably 95% of the RV manufacturers off your list, and plan on shelling out obscene amounts of $$ for something like a Prevost, Foretravel, or some other bus conversion company.

I guess thats the answer to the OP's question - Yes, there is real quality, but you better have very, very deep pockets if you must have it.
Will and Cheryl
2021 Newmar Baystar 3014 on F53 (7.3 V8) Chassis ("Brook")
2018 Jeep Wrangler JK ("Wilbur")

JoeH
Explorer III
Explorer III
DaveRVman wrote:
Wiscampsin wrote:
Winnebago officially acquired Newmar in November of 2019. They are built in Nappanee Indiana.


That means Amish guys running around being paid by the piece slapping it together as fast as they can. If you've seen the factories, it's nuts. I guess I just don't want to drop 100k of hard earned money on something somebody else slaps together... Sorry not trying to insult others or anything.

So "older" Newmar coaches were built where? Would be interesting if they were built in a quality factory.


That's correct... plus , for the most part, working there is a "part time" job, their full time job is on the farm , which they head to in the early afternoon.
Joe
2013 Dutch Star 4338- all electric
Toad is 2015 F-150 with bikes,kayaks and Harley aboard

CWilson
Explorer
Explorer
willald wrote:


I would not classify them as 'Amish guys running around being paid by the piece slapping it together as fast as they can'. At least, not without doing a factory tour with them and seeing for myself.


The folks in this video
with the Mo Howard hairdo's, homespun clothes, and beards are not the Boy Scouts.

The description says "Amish hand-crafted solid hardwood interiors". Having had years of being personally being involved with Amish Hand crafted workmanship good luck. They've dominated the residential and commercial wood framing industry for years in the Midwest into the Mid Atlantic states. Don't expect plumb/level or square often, which doesn't matter a heck of lot when it comes to a horse barn.

Tom_Barb
Explorer
Explorer
DaveRVman wrote:
Tom/Barb wrote:
There are several 2000 to 2008 Newmar motorhomes that are well equipped for that price range.
We have very little problems with our Newmar Maintain Aire.
to avoid the typical quality stuff you must stay above the luxury level.
Just remember there isn't a cheap motorhome.
and never buy from a dealer, , we found ours in a park and sell lot.
22 years later we think we got some divine guidance


Is Newmar by any chance owned by Thor or built in Indiana? I just want to avoid anything coming out of there. Way to many horror stories... Sorry not trying to insult anybody... 🙂


Lots of stuff happened in 2008 starting with DEF. industry standards, company policies, and the THOR take over..
That is why I stay 2000 to 2008 are the better coaches.
2000 Newmar mountain aire 4081 DP, ISC/350 Allison 6 speed, Wrangler JL toad.

willald
Explorer II
Explorer II
DaveRVman wrote:
Wiscampsin wrote:
Winnebago officially acquired Newmar in November of 2019. They are built in Nappanee Indiana.


That means Amish guys running around being paid by the piece slapping it together as fast as they can. If you've seen the factories, it's nuts. I guess I just don't want to drop 100k of hard earned money on something somebody else slaps together... Sorry not trying to insult others or anything.


I understand your point, as there are a lot of manufacturers around that fit this description well, that produce some cheaply built rigs.

However, I think you are painting with an awfully wide brush, to say that *all* manufacturers in Indiana are like this.

Specifically with regards to Newmar, they have a reputation for building really good quality in all their units. They are just about as good as it gets without shelling out tons more $$ for a Prevost or Foretravel.

I would not classify them as 'Amish guys running around being paid by the piece slapping it together as fast as they can'. At least, not without doing a factory tour with them and seeing for myself. Our Newmar has been rock solid since day one, is the best coach I've ever owned. And nearly everyone I've spoken to that owns a Newmar says pretty much the same thing about theirs.

I definitely can relate to your point, though, about not wanting to spend $100k on something thats going to be cheap and shoddy. I wouldn't either, but I would not give up on finding something good quality in your price range. As others have said, they are out there, you just have to be patient and look, and go in knowing that things are going to break and need fixing even on the most expensive units. When you take what is essentially a house and drive it down the road and expose it to all the bumps, etc. of the road...Things are going to break and need fixing now and then, no matter how well its built originally. That just goes with the territory of owning an RV.

It was just a few years ago, I myself swore I'd never spend 100k on any depreciating asset like an RV no matter what. Hahahahaha, man, I sure ended up eating those words! After going through numerous major life changes that made me see things very differently, ended up buying the Newmar we have now that definitely passed the 100k mark.
Will and Cheryl
2021 Newmar Baystar 3014 on F53 (7.3 V8) Chassis ("Brook")
2018 Jeep Wrangler JK ("Wilbur")

Onyrlef
Explorer
Explorer
DaveRVman wrote:
way2roll wrote:
The OP did say he was looking at a Thor ACE. Nothing against them, I owned one myself when they first came out, but it is the lowest end offering from the lowest quality manufacturer. I knew that going in as I was on a budget and just wanted a cheap weekender. The key is realistic expectations. You can't buy a Yugo and expect Bentley quality.


I agree.

But I'd rather not spend 100 grand on something that was tossed together and will fall apart. I know RV'ing to have definitely an aristocratic type class (upper middle class) folk sometimes. But for me, 100 grand is a bunch of money for a toy. I'm not wasting 100 grand on a Yugo.

In some RV worlds I'm too poor for the "great prestige" of a nice new Prevost. Pinky's out folks, but sorry, my pinky has callouses.

In my world I'd rather let the Thor ACE sit on a lot, and do something else with my money than purchase a "Yugo" type quality coach. 100 grand is not trash...

So I'm looking for some kind of alternative. Because I'm too poor for the Bentley (which isn't great reliability BTW), but still value my 100 grand of hard earned money more than to throw it away on something of rough quality.

So if there are really no REAL options that's fine. A nice used Cessna sounds fun too. I won't be subsidizing companies that produce things that fall apart. It only encourages them.



There are some great used DP's to be had, but if you're looking to finance, most lenders aren't going to consider anything over ~15 years old.

Bruce_Brown
Moderator
Moderator
We've owned (3) new Newmars, all 3 have been as trouble free as you could ask for.

Our current one came home in Aug '07 so we've had it awhile too. :W
There are 24 hours in every day - it all depends on how you choose to use them.
Bruce & Jill Brown
2008 Kountry Star Pusher 3910

way2roll
Navigator
Navigator
Typically RV's depreciate - but most things you buy do too. And RV's don't just arbitrarily fall apart. Sure there are some quality issues, but materials are light and engineered in a way to minimize weight and maximize functionality. That sometimes is a trade off. And While a Prevost might be the best coach in terms of quality, it's the largest and heaviest too. The chassis alone on a Prevost is half the cost - it's commercial bus. But of all the production RV's manufactured in the past decade, most are still on the road relatively problem free. They do take some attention and care for the owner, or have deep pockets to have someone else do the work. But it's not all doom and gloom. Most small issues get sorted out in the first few months and then then care is minimal - just like with a house. But Rv'ing is a lifestyle, not a financial investment. And most of us don't view them as toys but rather the most comfortable way to travel with your own food, clothes, gear etc. A rolling apartment with all the luxuries of home while on the road. But most RV'ers are hardly aristocratic. Most are practical folks who just enjoy travelling and being self sufficient.

Of course you could buy and keep a condo everywhere you want to travel, which would hardly be cost effective and you certainly wouldn't escape issues and maintenance - it would be exponential for each condo you own.

To each his own, but maybe Rv'ing isn't for you.
2023 FR Sunseeker 2400B MBS

DaveRVman
Explorer
Explorer
way2roll wrote:
The OP did say he was looking at a Thor ACE. Nothing against them, I owned one myself when they first came out, but it is the lowest end offering from the lowest quality manufacturer. I knew that going in as I was on a budget and just wanted a cheap weekender. The key is realistic expectations. You can't buy a Yugo and expect Bentley quality.


I agree.

But I'd rather not spend 100 grand on something that was tossed together and will fall apart. I know RV'ing to have definitely an aristocratic type class (upper middle class) folk sometimes. But for me, 100 grand is a bunch of money for a toy. I'm not wasting 100 grand on a Yugo.

In some RV worlds I'm too poor for the "great prestige" of a nice new Prevost. Pinky's out folks, but sorry, my pinky has callouses.

In my world I'd rather let the Thor ACE sit on a lot, and do something else with my money than purchase a "Yugo" type quality coach. 100 grand is not trash...

So I'm looking for some kind of alternative. Because I'm too poor for the Bentley (which isn't great reliability BTW), but still value my 100 grand of hard earned money more than to throw it away on something of rough quality.

So if there are really no REAL options that's fine. A nice used Cessna sounds fun too. I won't be subsidizing companies that produce things that fall apart. It only encourages them.