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My wife and I are looking into buying a Class B and we've narrowed it down to three choices:

1. Winnebago Travato KL: Love the Pure3 system since we have a dog and expect she will be in the RV for extended periods (3 hrs?). We also live in a humid climate and expect that won't change, so need something that will allow a/c to last thru the night. Don't love the build quality or the actual layout.

2. Pleasure Way Lexor FL: Love the layout and the build quality. Not a fan of the battery system that limits a/c use. A generator would be noisy and not available at night, so that may be an issue.

3. Coachmen Beyond: Good qualit'y and a/c is estimated to last and be quiet, but it is a bit longer than we wanted (22'-2"), so won't be optimal for our kind of travel. We are more into towns/museums/history and less "out in the middle of nowhere" kind of people!

Our question, and it may be unanswerable or even foolish to ask, so I apologize in advance... what is a fair deal?

Dealerships seem to be all over the map when pricing these models and after much research, it seems final pricing can be difficult to pin down. It also makes it hard to find prices because few dealerships are specific regarding what options are actually included with the models (at least online). Dealerships for the RV's we are looking at never seem to have the models we want on site, or don't sell the brand at all.

1. Winnebago dealers usually offer 25% off MSRP, and it seems 28 to 32% off MSRP is considered a good deal.

2. Pleasure Way dealers usually offer 10% off MSRP, but I can't seem to find a general final offer price range anywhere.

3. Coachmen dealers have been hard to find (at least for the Beyond). The one I did find offers 28% off MSRP, but no idea what a final fair deal would be.

Any thoughts, suggestions, helpful hints, anecdotes, advice, dialogue, words of encouragement?

Thanks for reading this far too long post from a dazed and confused couple!

 

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Not to sound sarcastic, but a fair deal is what you and the dealer agree upon. I narrowed my choice to one particular model. I then contact what I thought where the three largest dealers. Gave them my build sheet and asked them to price it out.  I informed them that I was doing this so let’s not do any back and fourth. I then picked the cheapest dealer and bought my rig. I full time so no matter where I bought it I would more then likely never be back there for service. Some dealers PDI a rig MUCH better then others. They in my opinion are worth paying a premium on. As your rig will have less problems when you pick it up.  Because they spent the time to go over, find and repair issues before you even show up to pick it up. Don’t listen to people making a blanket statement, ya you should get 25-40 percent off. And the will even say OTR, on the road. But what people seem to lose site of is every state has different tax rates and fee’s (title & tags and what ever other fee’s the state charges). Supply and demand can also dictate the price. That is why shopping 3 dealers really gives you an idea. Getting a fair/great deal is state of mind. If you think you got screwed then that will be your mindset. Even if you got the best deal on the planet. When I sold cars, my Happiest customers where the ones that paid the most. 

Edited by rynosback

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Not sarcastic at all... as a matter of fact, truthful and honest and good information. I think I've been approaching this in the wrong way... trying to find the right build first at a dealer, then looking at their prices. Creating a build sheet first and sending it to dealers is a great idea. Thanks for the info!

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I added a little more to my post after you replied. Also dealers with what you want in stock are great dealers to include in the three. As the dealer does not want to have a unit just sitting there if they can move it quickly.  There are several variables that you need to look at to plan out the best way to do it is. I said build sheet as I had a 5th wheel built with two pages of custom modifications.

Edited by rynosback

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1 hour ago, Roads of Life said:

My wife and I are looking into buying a Class B and we've narrowed it down to three choices:

1. Winnebago Travato KL: Love the Pure3 system since we have a dog and expect she will be in the RV for extended periods (3 hrs?). We also live in a humid climate and expect that won't change, so need something that will allow a/c to last thru the night. Don't love the build quality or the actual layout.

Why are you considering this unit if you do not like the build quality or the actual layout? This would be off my list for the reasons that you mentioned.

2. Pleasure Way Lexor FL: Love the layout and the build quality. Not a fan of the battery system that limits a/c use. A generator would be noisy and not available at night, so that may be an issue.

Are you thinking that you can run your A/C off your battery’s? You would have to have a custom battery bank for that one if at all. I am not aware of any stock rig that will allow you to run your house A/C. Did some salesperson tell you that you could run your A/C unit on battery power?  The rigs you are looking at will only have 1-2 battery’s for the size of the units you are looking at.

3. Coachmen Beyond: Good qualit'y and a/c is estimated to last and be quiet, but it is a bit longer than we wanted (22'-2"), so won't be optimal for our kind of travel. We are more into towns/museums/history and less "out in the middle of nowhere" kind of people!

This sounds to me like your best choice by your comments. Are these three just by likes or research? I researched for almost two years before I made my choice.

Our question, and it may be unanswerable or even foolish to ask, so I apologize in advance... what is a fair deal?

Dealerships seem to be all over the map when pricing these models and after much research, it seems final pricing can be difficult to pin down. It also makes it hard to find prices because few dealerships are specific regarding what options are actually included with the models (at least online). Dealerships for the RV's we are looking at never seem to have the models we want on site, or don't sell the brand at all.

1. Winnebago dealers usually offer 25% off MSRP, and it seems 28 to 32% off MSRP is considered a good deal.

2. Pleasure Way dealers usually offer 10% off MSRP, but I can't seem to find a general final offer price range anywhere.

3. Coachmen dealers have been hard to find (at least for the Beyond). The one I did find offers 28% off MSRP, but no idea what a final fair deal would be.

Any thoughts, suggestions, helpful hints, anecdotes, advice, dialogue, words of encouragement?

Thanks for reading this far too long post from a dazed and confused couple!

 

Answered in bold in your quote.

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As rynosback said make up a build sheet with the options you want or must have then submit it to at least 3 dealers and have them bid on a price. This way you are comparing apples to apples. Contact the manufacturer of the one you want and have them recommend the three dealers. 

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Not sure what the manufacture is going to tell them about which dealer to buy from. I think that they would ask where you are located and tell you what dealers are closest to you. As I would be pissed if I was the closest dealer and they did not tell them about me. You might be able to ask them which dealers are there high volume dealers, sells the most.

Go to the forums of the one that you like and ask about the dealers from people. 

If you were looking for a DRV, I could tell you were to shop them, as I am on several forums for them and keep up with the latest news.

Edited by rynosback

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If you want to be able to operate an air conditioner through the night you must have a generator. RV air conditioners are 120V-ac power and do not operate from the RV batteries. 

If you are planning to bid one dealer against another, you need to settle on one brand as no two brands are priced the same. To know what is a fair price, you will need to study a lot of sales information if you base your opinion on what others are paying. But as long as both the seller and the buyer are happy, the price must have been good. 

You can visit a public library and use the NADA guide to get a feel for what the price should be if it is used. If you have a business history with a lender, they can also help you establish what is an appropriate price. 

Edited by Kirk W

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14 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

If you want to be able to operate an air conditioner through the night you must have a generator. RV air conditioners are 120V-ac power and do not operate from the RV batteries. 

 Be careful when you make “blanket” statements that may not be true! There are folks that can and do run an air conditioner from their batteries all night!

Edited by DesertMiner

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13 hours ago, Kirk W said:

If you want to be able to operate an air conditioner through the night you must have a generator. RV air conditioners are 120V-ac power and do not operate from the RV batteries. 

You need to look up the "Pure 3" system that they mentioned with regard to the Winnebago.  It has a huge 48 volt lithium battery pack and is specifically designed to be able to run the A/C off of the batteries. It also features a 6 kW alternator and an auto-start feature on the engine to recharge that battery when needed. 

Things change...

Edited by mptjelgin

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1 minute ago, mptjelgin said:

You need to look up the "Pure 3" system that they mentioned with regard to the Winnebago.  It has a huge 48 volt lithium battery pack and is specifically designed to be able to run the A/C off of the batteries. It also features a 400 + amp alternator and an auto-start feature on the engine to recharge that battery when needed. 

Things change...

Very cool, have to love how technology is giving us more options.

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1 hour ago, mptjelgin said:

You need to look up the "Pure 3" system that they mentioned with regard to the Winnebago. 

Guess I'll do some reading on it. Thanks...

Quote

If you were boondocking (not hooked up to shore power) and you were not collecting any energy from your solar panels and you wanted to run your air conditioner all day (at 50% duty cycle), run your compressor refrigerator all day (at 50% duty cycle), binge watch your favorite show on your big screen HDTV for six hours and have every single light in your coach on you would have to recharge in 7.3 hours.

Impressive!  Lichtsinn RV Blog

Edited by Kirk W

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2 hours ago, mptjelgin said:

You need to look up the "Pure 3" system that they mentioned with regard to the Winnebago.  It has a huge 48 volt lithium battery pack and is specifically designed to be able to run the A/C off of the batteries. It also features a 400 + amp alternator and an auto-start feature on the engine to recharge that battery when needed. 

Things change...

Interesting.  My OEM set up is eight 6-volt batteries and none of my a/c units would budge on just batteries.  Can run microwave and everything else, just not a/c units.  I'll bet more manufacturers will be jumping on that bandwagon. 

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Incredible discussion and so much good information all around. To answer some questions...

Why are you considering this unit if you do not like the build quality or the actual layout? This would be off my list for the reasons that you mentioned.

The Travato has the one thing most important to us... the Pure3 Energy system, which allows the a/c to run all night on battery power. I should have been clearer... the build quality is good, just not where Pleasure Way is. But you are correct, the layout is not our ideal. That said, it is still high on the list because of the battery system. It all depends on how much we are willing to live with and give up to have that battery system.

Are you thinking that you can run your A/C off your battery’s? You would have to have a custom battery bank for that one if at all. I am not aware of any stock rig that will allow you to run your house A/C. Did some salesperson tell you that you could run your A/C unit on battery power?  The rigs you are looking at will only have 1-2 battery’s for the size of the units you are looking at.

As "mptjelginalready posted, the Travato "L" series has been shown to run the a/c all night, but to do this, it appears if the system has a major issue, the entire system has to be replaced. You can't just change a battery. I haven't heard of this ever happening though.

This (Coachmen Beyond) sounds to me like your best choice by your comments. Are these three just by likes or research? I researched for almost two years before I made my choice.

I've been researching for over a year now... some may say obsessively. From dozens of choices, I narrowed down to the three I mentioned. I've been to a local RV show, but was disappointed as they had few Class B's and those they had were not the ones I was most interested in. 

For anyone interested in the Pure3 system, here are some links...

https://winnebagoind.com/products/class-b/2019/travato/overvie

https://www.lichtsinn.com/about-us/video-library/product-videos/winnebago-travato-59kl-59gl-pure3-overview

https://voltapowersystems.com

 

Again, I have to thank everyone for such an energetic discussion! It just goes to show how strong the RV community is and such positive feedback is greatly appreciated!

 

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8 hours ago, Roads of Life said:
8 hours ago, Roads of Life said:

3. Coachmen Beyond: Good qualit'y and a/c is estimated to last and be quiet, but it is a bit longer than we wanted (22'-2"), so won't be optimal for our kind of travel. We are more into towns/museums/history and less "out in the middle of nowhere" kind of people!

 

We took our Winnebago View 24H to all those places. We parked in downtown Chicago by finding 2 meters on the street and paying both of them. We parked in Miami by finding a spot in front of an unloading area and letting our tail end intrude a couple inches into that spot.  We parked at museums by finding a spot in a parking lot where we could back up so our tail end hung over grass. If you decide that's the unit you want, don't let the length deter you. After all, we drove our View the entire length of Historic Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica stopping at all kinds of sights along the way.

Linda Sand

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41 minutes ago, Roads of Life said:

 

Are you thinking that you can run your A/C off your battery’s? You would have to have a custom battery bank for that one if at all. I am not aware of any stock rig that will allow you to run your house A/C. Did some salesperson tell you that you could run your A/C unit on battery power?  The rigs you are looking at will only have 1-2 battery’s for the size of the units you are looking at.

As "mptjelginalready posted, the Travato "L" series has been shown to run the a/c all night, but to do this, it appears if the system has a major issue, the entire system has to be replaced. You can't just change a battery. I haven't heard of this ever happening though.

 

Thanks, I noticed that 5 posts under when I posted the above. And even acknowledged how cool that technology is getting better for us right after his post.  I was just commenting on information that you provided and did not want to speculate anything.

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Even though it seems that I failed to keep current on the newest lithium battery RVs, I would like to offer just a few thoughts on the Winnebago versus Coachman debate. The reviews clearly give the Winnebago a serious lead in the power race but there are some other areas that I think you should consider if you look at the companies that build the two RVs. 

Coachman is a brand name with a long history, but not all of that history is the best. The company had financial difficulties and was purchased by Forest River in 2008, a company whose history is that of making money for it's owner, Berkshier Hathaway, but also of putting profits ahead of quality or support. While I've not owned any recent Coachman products since then, they have a somewhat checkered reputation for quality and support.

Winnebago is one of the oldest RV manufacturers still in business with a very long history and with the same family based ownership for that entire time. In recent years they have enjoyed one of the best reputations for factory support in the RV industry and the motorhome owners usually rate the company over all to be one of the top 3 manufacturers. (The other two are Newmar & Tiffin) In addition, starting in 2018 the compay has sent a team of their design engineers to the Escapees national rallies (Escapade) each year to discuss the changes that need to be made in future products and to review the things that they are considering. In my opinion, Winnebago is one of the top RV manufacturers in the industry.

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Kirk W: You did not "fail" at anything. You are bringing much needed input to this discussion. Not knowing all about everything battery related in the universe means there is a lot to learn... from all of us! Remember the beginning of this thread, where I asked about our confusion on pricing and getting a fair deal! I knew that was going to be an arguably unanswerable question, and could even lead to heated debate (thankfully that did not happen!). But it did offer a venue for others to ask questions, give input, and gain knowledge. And the input from everyone has been a gold mine! Ignorance is bliss, as they say, but knowledge brings much needed control in our lives. Keep asking questions and giving your input! It makes all the difference in the world!

I had heard Coachmen was bought out by Forest River, but don't really know much of either history. The Coachmen Beyond wasn't really on my list until very recently by the suggestion of another RVer... RV-r? RV-person? RV aficionado? The length still bothers me... I was originally looking at a 19'5" PW Ascent and it took quite a while for me to give in to looking at 21' models. I'm not a big fan of diesel (I'm a child of the 60s and diesel was going to be the cheaper, less polluting, simpler designed engine savior of the industry. Now it costs $25k more for Sprinters, the fuel costs have risen substantially, and the engines are not that simple after all). So the longer Lexor and Travato models have won out. Whether or not I'm willing to go to over 22' is still debatable, but it will be some time before we can really take on the RV lifestyle, so I have time to mull everything over... and over... and over... and over... and... 😆

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4 hours ago, Kirk W said:

tarting in 2018 the compay has sent a team of their design engineers to the Escapees national rallies (Escapade) each year to discuss the changes that need to be made in future products and to review the things that they are considering.

They also host an annual gathering of Winnebago owners where they demonstrate new products and ask for feedback on existing products. We went one year when we owned the View and it was worth making the trip to Iowa to do so.

Linda Sand

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3 hours ago, Roads of Life said:

sandsys: I would never have thought of using two parking meters... what a great idea! I knew joining this forum was a good move!

It was even better than that; at one end was an alley and at the other end was a bus stop so it was a pull-through parking spot just around the corner from our destination! Some days you win. :)

Linda

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I would seriously consider the Pleasure Way (when looking, you'll notice some with years behind them and still on the road and not cheap to buy used either).  Winnebago and Coachmen (now owned by Forest River - research that) can afford to mark theirs down as they inflate prices on what they slap together in the factories.  I have seen 2 newer Winnebago Class Cs that were delaming.  Winnebago, in order to be price competitive, isn't what it used to be, well, most aren't.   

Best bet is to google for owners' groups of each of those and read about the issues.  If you see the same issues again and again, which is not uncommon with the lack of quality control, decide if you can deal with the problem or if you prefer something else.  Also, some serious issues require you to return to the factory, something else to think about when it comes to location.  A good dealership, one that will stand behind the product can go a long way when it comes to giving you needed support both locally and if the factory has to be involved with repairs.  I have heard it said that the manufacturer just ships out the units and leaves quality control to the dealerships, and sadly, two dealerships have actually told us this that they needed time to go through the unit and fix things that might have been missed at the factory.  We decided not to buy those units.

I would prefer a solid used unit over a lesser priced new one.

Good Luck with your choice.

 

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