Newmar Versus Prevost

Marathon versus Essex. Two great coaches. I have friends with a Marathon coach. And I have friends with an Essex. These two luxury coaches are significantly apart in terms of their asking price.

This Marathon, coach number 1303, lists for $2.2 million USD, or $3 million CAD. Ouch.

A Newmar Essex starts at around $770,000 USD, or a little over $1 million CAD, list price. Another ouch, just not as big an ouch as the Marathon.

In the video below, a detailer takes you through the differences he notices between the two coaches. And, to be honest, I had never really thought about many of those differences. There should be something for the added cost of the Marathon.

But I question a few of them. I’ll let you decide but these are the ones that left me puzzled. Why would Newmar do that?

  1. Lots of silicone on the Newmar. Although the detailer doesn’t highlight this difference in the video, there are several Newmar body panels that attach to the frame by screws. Screws that can work themselves loose.
  2. Unfinished slideouts on the Newmar.
  3. Cheap latches on the Newmar bay doors. I’ve had first hand experience with the cheap bay door latches. Not to mention a plastic latch for the sewer hose compartment on our coach.
  4. Plastic plumbing bay on the Newmar.
  5. Clear coat. Newmar does put a bit more clear coat on their high line coaches but one look at the finish of a Marathon and you can immediately tell the difference.

A Prevost chassis has superior engineering when compared to a Spartan chassis. That is reflected in the cost. But for a million dollar Newmar coach, I would expect a little better on some of the details highlighted in this video.

Great Deal on a Luxe 40RE

Great deals are sometimes hard to find. If you know of someone looking to buy a beautifully equipped fifth wheel then you might want to point them to this ad currently running on rvtrader.com. At the price, I can’t see this unit staying on the market for very long.

I had posted yesterday about a Luxe RV. The design, layout and finish looked so compelling that I went out and priced the unit. New, the cost was almost $200,000 USD.

A friend wrote in to let me know about a similar unit up for sale on rvtrader.com. The asking price is $89,000 USD.

If I were in the market for this type of unit, I would jump on this one. Here are a few more details in case you know of someone looking for a great deal on a gently used and very well maintained luxury fifth wheel. It will give someone a wonderful home on wheels. You can find the ad over here.

2016 August Luxe LF-40RE with many upgrades including:

  • Onboard remote start 5500 Watt Onan Propane Generator,
  • 1500 Watt – 10 Panel Solar System with Magnum 3000 Watt Inverter,
  • x6 – Rolls Surrette 460 Amp Hour 6V Battery Pack – 700 Amp Hours in 12V,
  • Truma On Demand Hot Water Heater,
  • Fully Plumbed and Vented for Washer/Dryer,
  • Fisher & Pakel Dish Washer,
  • Winegard InMotion Self Tuning Satellite System,
  • 49″ Samsung Ultra HD 4K Living Room TV,
  • 39″ LG HD Bedroom TV,
  • LG Sound Bar & BluRay Player,
  • Dish Network DVR/Receiver,
  • HD TV powered antenna,
  • Living Room Fireplace Heater,
  • x2 Dometic Powered Awnings,
  • x3 Dometic Slide-out Toppers,
  • Wireless Back Up Camera System,
  • Exterior TV and Sound System,
  • x2 Dometic Roof Top Ducted AC Units,
  • LG Convection Microwave,
  • Induction Cooktop,
  • LG 21 Cu FT Residential Style Refrigerator,
  • Solid Surface Counter Tops,
  • Under Cabinet Lighting,
  • Fully Adjustable Coach-wide Lighting Controls,
  • Dometic Porcelain Toilet,
  • Double Glass Bowl Bathroom Sinks,
  • Full Size Stand Up One-piece Shower with Sliding Glass Door,
  • x2 Auto On/Off Fantastic Fans,
  • Large Basement Storage with 800lb MorRyde Storage Slide System,
  • Massive Interior Cabinet Storage,
  • King Bed,
  • Cedar Lined Armoire,
  • Goodyear G114 Commercial Grade Tires – Like New Condition,
  • New x4 Disc Brake pads,
  • New Shock Absorbers and Rubber Suspension Components with Wheel Bearings recently serviced by MorRyde,
  • Recently installed New Electric Motors and x3 Slide-out service,
  • Living Room SofaBed,
  • Twin Recliners,
  • Ceiling Fan,
  • Solid Wood Dining Table with x4 stand alone chairs,
  • Solid Wood Amish-made interior Cabinets and Trim,
  • Waterproof Vinyl Wide Plank Flooring,
  • Interior and exterior LED mood lighting,
  • Upgraded Self folding Aluminum 4-Step entrance stairway,
  • Exterior LED lights,
  • Custom Switched Backup lights,
  • MorRyde dual 9,000 lb Axles,
  • MorRyde Independent Suspension,
  • MorRyde Disc Brakes,
  • MorRyde Pin box and Kingpin,
  • LED Taillights,
  • 6 Point Auto Leveling System by Equalizer,
  • TST x4 Tire Pressure Monitoring System,
  • Full Body Paint, with Clear-coat and Graphics,
  • Custom Painted Fiberglass Front and End Caps.

Luxe Elite 42RL

Another trailer. This time, not an Airstream. A Luxe. I review a lot of RV walkthroughs. And Deb Schmucker does a fantastic job walking through a Luxe Elite 42RL. One of the best RV walkthroughs I have seen on the web.

I hadn’t followed the fifth wheel market all that closely over the past few years. However, when Dave decided to sell his Class A Motorcoach for a fifth wheel, I decided to spend a bit more time looking at that part of the RV market.

My opinion was, and let me emphasize that word “was”, that fifth wheels were an inexpensive entry point into an RV. I think that still holds true for a fairly large segment of the fifth wheel market however there are many luxury fifth wheels out there like the one Deb showcases in the video below.

I was impressed enough by her walkthrough that I jumped online and priced out a build on the Elite 42RL. By the time I loaded up the options, I was almost at $200,000 USD or $270,000 CAD. Add in Canadian taxes and all of a sudden that inexpensive entry point is at 300,000 loonies not including the price of a diesel dually to pull it. Yikes.

Luxe sells direct to consumer, a bit unique in the RV industry. I can’t comment on the quality of the rig as I do not know anyone with a Luxe. I suspect that the ownership experience is similar to Class A motorcoaches. In other words, expect issues and you won’t be disappointed.

Airstream Classic 33FB

Airstreams. I love them. Lorraine doesn’t understand my passion for these trailers. She thinks that they are too small for full-timing and not at all practical for us. She is right. We would have a hard time squeezing everything we have with us now into this trailer. Okay, we would never be able to squeeze everything we have with us now into an Airstream.

Airstreams have a timeless, classic design and they last a long, long time. Much simpler to operate than a Class A motorcoach and, in several areas, more technologically advanced than our current Class A motorcoach.

Not well known is the relationship between Airstream and Thor. Thor was founded in 1980 when Wade Thompson and Peter Orthwein acquired Airstream. Yes, Thor began as Airstream.

There are two Airstreams at our park, one of them a new Classic.

My favourite model is the Classic 33FB. Priced out at around $230,000 CAD (before tax), it is an expensive trailer. I’ve seen lightly used ones selling for much less. Lots of great features which you can find detailed at the Airstream website here. Nice floor plan.

And here is a video walkthrough of the Classic 33FB from Airstream.

RV Shipments Keep Sliding

This cannot be a good sign for the economy:

The RV Industry Association’s April survey of manufacturers found that total RV shipments ended the month with 40,243 wholesale shipments, a decrease of 15.2 percent from the 47,442 units shipped last April.

All categories of towables and motorhomes were down for the month.

Towable RVs, led by conventional travel trailers, totaled 35,718 units for the month, a decrease of 13.7 percent compared to last April’s total of 41,411 units. Motorhomes finished the month with 4,525 units, down 25 percent compared to the April 2018 total of 6,031 units.

Through April, RV shipments have reached 140,219 units, down 24 percent from the 184,528 units at this point last year.

RV shipments are typically a leading indicator of a pending recession. Best to avoid investing in companies like Thor (52-week high of $110 and trading now at $56), Camping World (52-week high of $27 and trading now at $11) and those companies that are heavily exposed to the RV industry.

From the Atlantic:

RV sales turn out to be a pretty good predictor too: When RV sales are doing well, the economy follows; when RV sales tank, the economy is soon to tank too… The RV industry has repeatedly fallen in advance of more widespread economic troubles.