RV Business recently named the RV of the Year. And the winner?
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.
Not quite what I expected.
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.
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 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.
What is the legal length of a motorhome including a towable? It all depends on where you drive.
In my home province of Ontario, the maximum length of a motorcoach is 12.5 metres or 45 feet 11 inches. The maximum length including towables is 23 metres or a little over 75 feet.
As you can see from the chart above, there are some variables in terms of permitted lengths for each province in Canada.
I imagine it is the same in the United States.
Although I would not expect to be pulled over for being over length, I suspect if we were involved in a motor vehicle accident, the length of the coach could be an issue. Especially if we were towing a longer trailer.
I’m starting to think that I should be towing a car like this one — only 8 feet 10 inches long.
The windshield must be clean.
And not just clean. Super clean.
Inside and out.
I always clean the windshield before we start a drive and I always clean the windshield when we set up at our site. There is nothing like a really clean windshield. No haze, no streaks and, for a few minutes into the drive at least, no bugs.
My approach is probably a bit different than most.
I use product from Griot’s Garage: Window Cleaner, Glass Cleaning Clay, Fine Glass Polish, Glass Sealant.
If the exterior windshield requires a major treatment I will clean the windshield, clay it, clean it again, polish it, clean it again and then apply sealant. A final buff and clean and the glass is all good to go. I will usually do a major treatment on the exterior windshield once the sealant is no longer repelling water.
Otherwise, it is regular cleaning of the exterior windshield with the glass cleaner.
The interior of the windshield uses an approach that I took from a ChrisFix video:
Works like magic.
He has another video on how he deals with the outside of the windshield. A bit different from my approach and it does yield a great result.
The RV Geeks use steel wool to clean their windshield. I’m not prepared to try that technique. Some mixed views on that approach in the auto detailing community. But here it is just in case you want to give it a try on a windshield you don’t like.
The votes were tallied and the majority — at least the very few that elected to vote, cast their votes in favour of welcoming owners of self-contained RVs, namely travel trailers and fifth wheels.
My understanding is that the FMCA has roughly 135,000 active members. Only 9,800 active members voted on this item. 6,820 voted to extend membership beyond owners of motorcoaches. And that is all it took to change the original vision for FMCA.
Membership in FMCA was contingent upon ownership of a motorhome and the vision of the founders of FMCA was a club specific to motorhomes. On their website, FMCA has a series of questions about the change including this one:
17) How will FMCA fulfill the vision that the founders had that FMCA would be an exclusive club for motorized RVs?
We recognize your concern about this issue. However, to continue to exist as an association, we also recognize that we need to avoid stagnation. The RV marketplace has changed and evolved over time. We’ve looked around and seen that our families and friends – those we want to welcome as new FMCA members – have many choices of RVs that are not motorized. We want to make sure FMCA flourishes well into the future, and broadening our focus is a way to help ensure this.
We have been FMCA members since we purchased our coach. Not quite sure how to react to the change.
I love Airstream trailers. I am not much of a fan of fifth wheels. Not that it really matters except that my ownership experience is quite different from travel trailers and fifth wheels. I’m not all that interested in reading articles about travel trailers and fifth wheels nor being part of rallies with travel trailers and fifth wheel owners. And given the recent surge in the sales of motorhomes coupled with the demographic shift to retirement and the appeal of an RV lifestyle, I’m not sure how necessary it was to make this change.
Looks like it was volume related and there is no question that there are far more travel trailers and fifth wheels than motorhomes. Maybe this will encourage more members. I guess we will find out.
In the province of Ontario, Canada, we are required to hold a commercial driver’s licence to operate a Class A diesel motorcoach. Specifically, a DZ licence.
The Z designation is for the air brake component and it is mandatory for anyone in Ontario that operates a vehicle with air brakes.
The Class D licence lets you drive any truck or vehicle combination exceeding 11,000 kilograms (roughly 24,000 lbs), provided that the towed vehicle weighs less than 4,600 kg (roughly 10,000 lbs).
To apply for a Class D licence, you need to be at least 18 years old, hold a valid Ontario licence other than G1, G2, M, M1 or M2, pass an eye test, submit a medical report, pass a written test about operating large trucks and tractor-trailers and pass a road test.
To make our life in retirement just a little more interesting, our provincial government has elected to change the rules regarding Class D renewals.
Class D licence holders up to age 80 will be subject to a Class D knowledge test and vision test every five (5) years at time of licence renewal. Class D licence holders over the age of 80 will still have to complete an annual knowledge, vision and road test.
Class D licence holders under the age of 46 will be required to submit a Medical Report every five (5) years.
Class D licence holders between the ages of 46 and 64 will be required to submit a Medical Report every three (3) years.
Class D licence holders age 65 and older will be required to submit an annual Medical Report.
Having a more stringent requirement for commercial truck drivers makes sense. Does it make sense for someone like me that operates a recreational vehicle? I will now have to do the Class D tests every five years and medicals every year after age 65. And I’m just not sure how relevant all of the truck related content is for someone who drives a recreational vehicle. Some of the content is applicable. Most of it, however, is primarily for people who drive trucks for a living.
As we plan to be in the States during the winter months, it will be quite aggravating to have to deal with license renewals in March — March being my month of birth. Our provincial government bases renewals on date of birth.
Could be costly having to fly up to Canada just to do a licence renewal every winter.
This is our rock guard on the back of our coach.
Tough to keep it clean and after reading several threads on the IRV2 forum, I’m not too sure about keeping it on our coach.
Here is one comment from one of the threads:
Why not try going without the so-called rock guard for a while and see how it goes? You may find your toad will suffer less stone chips and stay cleaner.
I removed mine at an RV Park in Whitehorse, YK after fighting with stones covering my toad everyday on our way to Alaska. Prior to departing, I had raised the flap from 4″ clearance to 6″ clearance on the advice of our caravan organizer to prevent the flap from dragging on the ground going through some of the dips in the highway.
Turns out that even at 6″ the flap was still causing small stones to be tossed up and covering my toad.
In Whitehorse our Wagon Master suggested removing the flap altogether. So on his advice, I made arrangements with the park owner to leave it and pick it up on our return.
Lo and behold, there were no more stones and the toad seemed to not accumulate dust and mud as it did with the flap.
When we returned to Whitehorse, I told the RV park operator he could just dispose of the flap as I was now convinced it was doing more harm than good.
That was three years ago and I have not regretted its removal. In fact, I used to use a Guardian Rock Guard and a custom windshield cover which I have not used in over 15,000 miles and I have zero stone chips to the toad.
Others I have talked to along the way have gone the same route and are very happy with the results.
Worth a try.
I’m going to do a bit more research. I have seen some toads that have extensive damage on the front end due to stones being thrown up from the back of the coach.
I’d like to keep the toad in good shape.
That problem would obviously go away if I used a trailer but for now our plan is to tow four wheels down.