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Longevity of Class A Motorhomes

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After extensive searching of the electronic web, I turn to our friends at Escapees. We are starting to shop for our second (and "last") motorhome fo our retirement years.

 

We have a pretty short list but that doesn't answer my nagging question. We like the Newmars, Tiffins, and Entegras. All are quality built coaches of their type...boxes built on a frame.

 

The question.....which brand of motorhome will pass the longevity test? Excluding normal wear and tear, normal maintenance, etc..., which brand avoids most of the catastrophic life ending problems? Things like roof leaks, plumbing failures, floor rot, side wall delams,

 

Are the bus conversions a better choice due to the construction processes?

 

Lot on my mind this past weekend! Thanks, Dan

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Not sure it has to be one of those. I happen to be sitting next to a 2002 Itasca Horizon and frankly it looks pretty much new interior and exterior. The owners have taken great care of their home and it shows (I'm bragging on you Paul).

 

So, to answer your query, a bus conversion may be better if none of the original construction has been structurally compromised however it really boils down to 1) does the rig have good "bones" and most importantly 2) has it been well taken care of.

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My response would be

1-bus conversion type;

2-Foretravel;

3-Winnebago/Newmar/Tiffin/Monaco.

 

And I absolutely agree that owner care and maintenance overrides all. My 14 yr old (built in May 02) Winnebago has over 100k miles, doing great & looking great.

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The question.....which brand of motorhome will pass the longevity test?

First we need to define exactly what you mean by longevity test? If you mean the ability to serve well for 10 years, 20 years, or how long? In terms of chassis and structural life spans there are none that match one of the bus conversions. We know a couple who have been fulltime in a 1977 Newell now for about 10 years. That RV is still going strong and while it has been remodeled to update the interior and furnishings and some of the appliances have been replaced, the RV continues to be solid and reliable. Next year it will be 40 years old an I doubt that you can find any of the brands listed still on the road at age 30, let alone 40.

 

With more typical RVs a great deal of the longevity it has depends upon just how much maintenance money you are willing to invest. The motorhome that we lived in fulltime for 12 years was purchased for use as a snowbird unit and it is currently 18 years old and doing fine, but has had several of the appliances replaced and will be getting new EDPM on the roof very shortly and after that it will also be getting a complete paint job with automotive type paint.

 

When you look at older motorhomes you need to do so realizing what it might cost to keep it in good condition over the years, even though you may be choosing one with a reputation for longevity. We know two couples who bought used Fortravel motorhomes based upon recommendations of others and then had to give up the road because the cost of operating and maintaining them was beyond the budgets that they had.

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We also have a 14 yr old coach (though an orphan) and with over 150K miles she just keeps going and going. If we were buying again, we would be getting a Foretravel or higher end Newmar - and yes they would be used but that is ok with us. Older higher end coaches, well maintained, is what we would be looking at.

 

Barb

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I don't know if you're looking for a used MH but there were a few years when Tiffin had a problem with their roofs and I believe the wet bay area.

 

Newmar wouldn't have delamination issues because they aren't laminated walls.

 

We were extremely happy with our Newmar Dutch Star for 8 years of our full-timing.

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Newell, Buebird Wanderlodge, and Foretravel would be at the top of my list. Presently we have an American Eagle and it is a top of the line coach...very happy with it. Its a 2001 with 90 K miles and going strong. The engine is just breaking in nicely :).

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Jim has my list. 'Birds aren't being made anymore, but there is a very active owners' forum that provides more help than most manufacturers. We're full-timing in a 1993 Foretravel and it still has many years of travel left. Newell has 24/7 factory phone support for ALL Newell owners, no matter how old the coach or how many owners before you.

 

I should mention that our Foretravel is listed for sale here. The reason is simply that our needs have changed, and we're spending more time parked than we had planned on when we bought it three years ago. We've done some updating and upgrading, so it is ready to go for many more years.

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My list as well. Newell, Buebird Wanderlodge, and Foretravel would be at the top of my list.

Great forums and on line support for Bluebird and Foretravel. Long lasting coaches.

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I have a 1999 Fleetwood Discovery that I have Full Timed in since I got it in 2002. I plan on it being my last one.

I have replaced a few things like both AC's for upgrades, hot water heater and a couch so far. And many TV upgrades. OEM Dometic side by side still going strong same with the Sharp Microwave/Convection.

 

2 years ago I also bought my last Toad. :)

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If I was in the market right now for a high end build quality coach that will last, I would look at this 2003 coach closely: http://motorhomesoftexas.com/coachrv/foretravel/2003--u320--40--C1852A (Ihave no financial interest and never seen it in person)

​Good place to shop for older high build quality coaches: http://motorhomesoftexas.com/

Support forums for Foretravel: http://www.foreforums.com/index.php?action=forum

​Our future coach may be another Bluebird, a Foretravel, or perhaps the "right" Newmar or Tiffin with side radiator.

 

​Love the floor plans on Tiffin, the Star Chassis under the 2016 and up Newmar, and the build quality and strength of Bluebird and Foretravel. (we prefer no more than 40' on coaches)

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