Coach Wars

Wandering through the various social media feeds on Newmar this morning and came across this post:

I am presently on two FB forums; this Newmar Motorhome forum and The Entegra Owners forum. The reason being before I purchase, I wanted to see the observations of the owners. Early on I was leaning toward Entegra, but lately their forum is filled with owners complaining about their coaches. I see Newmar owners sharing about their challenges with their coaches — but not with the same frustration and hostility that I am seeing with the other owners. Is this because Entegra has so many more coaches on the road, Newmar owners are more loyal to their brand, or one is a superior product? I really don’t want to make the wrong choice next spring when we take the plunge!! Thank you!

Likely a bit of a desperate move to go on Facebook and ask for advice. I have a sneaking suspicion that the Newmar forum and the Entegra forum might show a bias in their feedback. I have no idea what makes a choice “wrong” for this person.

But perhaps a few facts might help.

First, let’s take a look at just how many Class A motorhomes ship each year.

The industry will ship around 20,000 units this year. Interesting to see what happened to RV sales after the Great Financial Collapse of 2008 and 2009. Down to 6,000 units back then. Ouch.

Of course, those 20,000 units being shipped this year include gassers. The diesel pushers largely operate in two markets: units sold with Cummins ISX/ISL engines and units sold with ISB engines. For this analysis, I am not including the Prevost conversion builders. They only sell a hundred or so units a year and they do not use engines from Cummins.

Roughly 3,000 coaches will be sold this year with ISX/ISL engines. Those are the engine plants used for the larger diesel pushers from Newmar, Tiffin and Entegra, units 40 feet and longer. About the same number of coaches, 3,000 or so, will be sold with ISB engines.

Entegra has around a 30 percent market share of the ISX/ISL engines and almost none of the ISB market hence their introduction of the Reatta model. Newmar and Tiffin would split most of the balance of the ISX/ISL market. Newmar and Tiffin collectively share 90 percent of the coaches shipped with ISB engines.

Entegra does not have any more coaches on the road than Newmar.

Are Newmar owners more loyal than other coach owners? There is no JD Power survey for this industry. No independent source of data to determine brand loyalty. I have no idea. And what does it matter? I know a lot of people very loyal to their Windows PCs and Android phones. That I do not understand but then again I am a Mac and iPhone guy.

The RV industry reminds me of when I used to build clone computers. I bought a processor from Intel, a motherboard from ASUS, a hard drive from Western Digital, a graphics card from Nvidia, an operating system from Microsoft and assembled all these components into a computer.

Entegra and Newmar buy a chassis from Spartan, an engine from Cummins, furniture from Flexsteel, air conditioners from Dometic, and literally hundreds of other components from a variety of manufacturers and assemble them into a motorhome.

In other words, pick the coach you like at the price you can afford. They will all have problems.

The only wrong choice is picking something that someone else likes based off the advice of a Facebook forum.

Or this website.

Caveat emptor.

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