Trent, Siobhan, 5 Kids in a Foretravel

I follow Trent and Siobhan’s website and YouTube channel.

I admire them. I’m not sure how they live full-time in a coach with five kids and still maintain their sanity.

They travel in a 22-year old Foretravel.

Foretravel makes a beautiful coach. Like this ih-45:

New, these coaches sell for about $1.4 million USD. Give or take a few dollars.

Trent recently posted a video about their coach basically asking how well a 22-year luxury coach holds up. An interesting take on how their family lives full-time in an old coach.

RV Success School

I’ve followed Marc and Julie’s blog since they started their website and I have also followed them on their YouTube channel.

They seem like a very nice couple, the kind of folks I would love to meet on the road.

On their about page, they make the following statement:

We’re here to dispel a big myth. There’s a myth that the RV life is only for retired folks, but that’s simply not true. Not anymore. These days, RVing is for couples, singles and families. RVing is for anyone who has ever dreamed about seeing the country (or world) up close, from one end to the other, one mile at a time.

Which led them, after a few years, to create the RV Success School.

I understand their situation. They love the RV lifestyle and they are not retired. Although it is possible to work remotely while traveling, I’m sure it comes with its own set of challenges. And certainly, it led Marc to finally quit his job after a few years of working while on the road.

There are many people attempting to monetize their websites and their YouTube channels. In a way, it is a spin on the book business: create good content, bring in a pool of followers and then try and sell a smaller number of followers on a subset of content.

It can’t be easy to sell an online education program with so much free content on the web. I wish them well.

For most of us, we have a season of life where we spend our days providing for our families and setting some money aside for the future. A time arrives where it is obvious that there may be other dreams to follow. Retirement is usually when dreams like traveling full-time in an RV can be realized.

Some chase their dreams early.

But it is never free.

Pre-Owned Prevost Or Class A

I really enjoy Andy’s videos. And his website, The Gadget Guru.

He did a segment on why someone should consider a used Prevost over a new Class A. Some interesting observations on the differences in engineering philosophy.

Of course, highlighting the 2 million mile design specification of a Prevost bus is a testament to the lifespan of the brand. Although I do see many older Class A motorhomes still on the road even after 15 or 20 years.

But I have not come across any specifics comparing the lifespan of a Prevost vs a quality Class A coach. Nor have I come across any specifics on the total cost of ownership over the long-term, say 20 years of ownership.

My suspicion is that the Class A coaches would not hold up as well in terms of depreciation over time. Whether the cost of operating the coach including depreciation equals out over time between the two is really a guess.

Interesting discussion though. We have given some thought as to whether we will continue in a Class A coach or trade for a used Prevost sometime in the future.

Rock Safaris

Rock Safaris. They take care of getting you there.

If you are a musician and your label is not quite ready to provide you with your own bus, well, you can rent a 9-12 bunk Prevost Entertainer Coach from Rock Safaris.

A Prevost Entertainer Coach?

Yes indeed.

From the Prevost Entertainer Coach website:

The Prevost X3-45 VIP Entertainer is designed to suit the demanding and rigorous needs of traveling entertainers and their crews. The unmatched Prevost ride comfort is the pinnacle attribute, providing headliner acts with unparalleled stability for sound sleep and serene lounging while on the move.

Rates are between $375 and $1,110 USD per day. Driver rates are around $250 per day. Add in fuel, 13 cents per mile surcharge and you have maybe $10,000 – 15,000 per week to run a band in a sleeper coach.

What got me here?

This fellow’s YouTube video on what life is like on the road as a touring musician (and yes, he does travel in an Entertainer Coach).

Newmar Dutch Star Problems

I follow Mike’s blog, The Good, The Bad and the RV. He bought a brand new 2015 Newmar Dutch Star and only a year or so later he had traded it in for a 2016 Newmar Essex.

I’m not sure what motivated his decision to change coaches so quickly. He must have taken quite a hit on the depreciation cost of the Dutch Star even with a trade-in on a coach that was sitting on a dealer’s lot.

He did post about some of the issues he had in the first few months with the Dutch Star:

Our brand new Newmar Dutch Star had the following problems, which took months to fix:

  • The passenger seat had a spring poking out of it (this was noticed pre-purchase and the salesman assured us it was a simple seat replacement. It ended up taking 2 months because Newmar refused to replace the seat)
  • Both the mid and aft floor heat switches randomly turn off after being on a short time (sometimes as short as 30 seconds)
  • The Oasis burner turns on and off constantly, forever. The burner starts up, runs for 1 second, and then shuts off. 5-10 seconds later it repeats this…over and over until I turn the burner switch off.
  • The rear, drivers side leveler jack left a large puddle of hydraulic fluid when I last retracted it
  • The USB port in the dash is not working
  • The fresh water hose has developed blisters between the inner and outer layers and now leaks
  • The passenger sofa bottom fell off when putting the slide out and will not reattach
  • Windshield wiper fluid does not dispense when the button on the steering wheel is pressed
  • When playing DVD audio through the AV receiver (for surround sound), the sound cuts out
  • The sun shade on the passenger window no longer retracts
  • The night shade on the drivers window is coming down askew and sliding towards the front of the coach. It used to come down straight, but now, when unrolling, it ends up 3-4 inches away from where it started.
  • The front leveler jacks sound horrible when extending. Having owned this same system in another coach, this sound doesn’t seem normal.
  • The kitchen faucet is overly loose

Right after buying this unit, we took this coach on a two week trip. It then sat at the dealership for over 2 months! We then took it on a one month trip. Problems on the list still were not fixed so it went back to the dealer for almost another month. So the unit spent 3 of the first 5 months at the shop.

We have had our fair share of issues as well. This is our list.

First, the warranty punch list after the first few months of operating the coach:

  • Kitchen Sink Leak: drain pipe leaks where drain meets down pipe immediately underneath the sink.
  • Loose Fabric Trim: fabric trim by pantry drawer leading into bedroom has come loose in a couple of areas.
  • Cracked Floor Tile: cracked floor tile driver side behind the recliner that is closest to the kitchen galley.
  • MCD Day/Night Shades: MCD Day/Night Shades over dining area appear to require reprogramming. Day shade inoperative over main dining area window and night shades over main dining area window and small dining area window out of synch.
  • Winegard Rayzar Digital TV Antenna: Unit is producing an E3 error during operation (motor movement error).
  • Sofa Bed Latch: Latch for inflating sofa bed doesn’t stay closed when inflating.
  • Passenger Side Basement Door: When door side slideout is open, first basement door rubs bottom of slideout (door out of alignment).
  • Front Wheel Vibration: At highway speed, roughly 100km and above, front exhibits a vibration that is characteristic of unbalanced wheels.
  • Driver Side Fuel Cover: Missing clearcoat
  • Engine fault light triggered by outdate engine firmware
  • Driver side tire bulge

We had a couple of recalls including the infamous “your coach could catch fire” recall:

  • 467 RSB – Recall 16V 826: Power Steering Fluid Leak (potential fire hazard)
  • 472 TSB – Slideout Motor Mounting Bolts (under-torqued). We heard loose mounting bolts on both front slideouts (Full Wall Slideout and Off Driver Slideout) while driving the coach.

And, since then, a few other items which have not been resolved yet:

  • Side radiator lower grill almost disconnected from body of coach
  • Oasis hot water heater pump failure
  • Full wall slideout uneven — literally rises up a quarter inch or so after slides are deployed
  • Levelling jack leaking hydraulic fluid

Along with a few more new recalls that will have to be resolved:

  • 483 RSB – Recall 17V 420: Driver Passenger Shade
  • 486 TSB – MCD Remote Shade Motor Replacement
  • 488 RSB – Recall 17V 497: Battery Cable May Rub Against Frame (another potential fire hazard)
  • 493 PIB – Freightliner Lightbar: instrument panel odometer value may reset and no match the engine ECU odometer value

Well. Quite the list for such an expensive coach.

And, like Mike, our coach has to go to the dealer for an extended stay. Typically 3 to 4 weeks. Which isn’t an issue now since I haven’t retired yet. But when we plan to be in the States for about 6 months of the year, I don’t want to have the coach sitting at some dealer for a month or two.

We certainly expected some issues with our new coach. And given Newmar’s reputation as being one of the better manufacturers, it does seem a bit troubling to run into so many issues after only a few thousand miles on the chassis.

We hope to run the coach for many more years.

I hope this list doesn’t get much longer.