RV Of The Year

RV Business recently named the RV of the Year. And the winner?

A Winnebago.

Interesting.

The Winnebago Horizon is a Class A diesel and it seems to be comparable in price and features to coaches like the Newmar Ventana although there are no tags available in the 40-foot model of the Winnebago.

My concern would be the quality of this product. When I read David’s experience with his Winnebago, I thought to myself, life is too short for dealing with way too many build issues. And, my goodness, what an experience he had with his new build. Eventually the sale did not go through. His story, unfortunately is not unique. You can download this couple’s pdf and get a sense for the anger and frustration caused by the lack of quality control.

Quality was one of the reasons why the Winnebago product never made its way to our short list.

The RV industry is certainly under pressure to deliver. Record demand puts a lot more strain on the manufacturers. Hopefully this Horizon is a better built coach. It is one thing to get an award from an industry publication. It is another to build a solid reputation with customers.

Entegra Qwest

Not quite what I expected.

Entegra has now started posting some details about their new lineup of Class C coaches on their Facebook page and on their website.

Looks like the Entegra web team haven’t spent much time on building up a slick marketing presentation for the new product. No dedicated page for the Qwest as yet. Even the QWest brochure looks a bit, well, anemic. You can download the pdf here.

The brochure contains no photo gallery of the exterior or interior. A couple of small thumbnails and a couple of floorplans. And a fact sheet. At least with their coach brochure, you get a sense of excitement about owning their product.

Doesn’t come across to me that they are all that enthused about their new class C lineup.

Maybe someone forced them to do it against their will? The Qwest looks very close to the Jayco class C.

I guess I was expecting better. Looks more like a nameplate change to an existing platform with some minor refinements.

Marathon #1261

This was Marathon’s first 2018 coach built on the Prevost X3-45 chassis. A very classic look.

We have been looking at a 2007 coach built on the XL II chassis. Not seriously mind you. But looking at one just the same. Hard to tell that the coaches are a decade apart. Some minor differences on the front and rear caps and around the tag but otherwise remarkably similar.

The Marathon #1261 features the following floorplan:

Here is the video tour of the Marathon #1261:

The Marathon #1261 was offered at $2.1 million USD.

The 2007 built on the XL II chassis? Well, somewhere around the $500k USD range.

These coaches are engineered for a long service duty. Not sure that it is much of a compromise to buy a used one. Even if it is ten or eleven years old.

Entegra Enters Class A Gas and Class C

I came across this press release from Entegra:

Entegra Coach recently announced the expansion of its family of luxury products to include luxury Class C and luxury gas Class A members.

“The name Entegra Coach is synonymous with luxury motorhomes,” said Andy Baer, GM of Entegra Coach. “Expanding into smaller coaches allows us to better support our loyal Entegra Owners by providing luxury options prior to, and after, their large diesel coach lifestyle. … In addition, now multiple generations of families can enjoy the Entegra Coach lifestyle together, while in the luxury of their own coach.”

We almost bought an Entegra.

This one actually:

It was the first coach that we walked through when we went to the Hershey Show way back in September of 2015. Loved it. And the salesperson was very keen to cut us a great deal. If we bought the coach right then.

“Canadians buy from us all the time!” He told us.

We were not there to buy from a U.S. dealer though. We were there to do our research. And we ultimately decided on a Newmar Dutch Star.

We bought our coach from a Canadian dealer. Primarily for warranty support and relative ease of access. And our Canadian dealer, the Hitch House, has been terrific.

Entegra became part of Thor. Thor was founded in 1980 when two entrepreneurs acquired Airstream. Then Thor made a string of acquisitions leading up to Jayco.

Thor had a knockout quarter with record sales of $2.23 billion, up over 30% and record net income of $128.4 million, up over 63%.

I had posted about Thor in December of 2016. At that time, the share price was $105 USD.

The current quote for Thor is $153 USD. Really big jump on their results. Yikes.

Companies like Thor don’t fit into my investment portfolio although given the incredible surge in the RV industry, perhaps I should have taken a bit of a position in Thor. It looks like easy money now doesn’t it?

Hard to say how long the ride might last for Thor.

This move by Entegra to get into Class C and Class A gas coaches is interesting. The new products were to be featured today at the RVIA show in Louisville. One luxury diesel Class C coach, the Entegra Qwest, two luxury gas Class C coaches, the Entegra Odyssey and Esteem, and one luxury gas Class A coach, the Entegra Emblem.

Nothing up on the Entegra website as yet.

I’ll have to check back and see what they are doing on this front.

With all of this demand and new product, it is bound to start getting crowded at the RV parks.

Andy Pargh has a couple of interesting posts about Entegra that he wrote back in June of 2016 here and here.

For whatever it might be worth, Andy went on to purchase a Prevost.

 

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.