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Tmahanna

Fleetwood Quality & Company Support

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Tmahanna   

I am a Tiffin Owner and really like the support and coach quality and I am trading up to a diesel pusher.

I like the Phaeton but am considering a pretty good deal on a new Fleetwood Discovery LXE 40.

Can anyone give me any feedback on how the Fleetwood product stacks up in overall quality and how good is the access and support.

Especially heads up against a Tiffin Phaeton 40

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Clayobx   

I'm a twice purchaser of FW products.  One a 39P pre REV and present Providence 42M.  I live in a motorhome community in Titusville Fl., Willow Lakes,  so I'm exposed to all makes and models of RV's.  Bottom line I see the good, bad, and ugly!  My neighbor is a Tiffin Phaeton owner since 09.  My providence will be six years old this Jan. 18.  Personal experience with FW CS, very good to excellent.  Neighbor, very good to excellent.  Summary..tie.  Negatives of both coaches, both handmade mass products.  This equals quality control issues right out of the gate.  However, this is true of all production coaches no matter the dollar amount. If I were buying in today's market the reputation and service department of the selling dealer would be my major determining factor in any motorhome purchase regardless of brand.  However!.  I'm going for the deal!  Looks like that's your direction so let's look again at the dealer and service post purchase.  Pluses and negatives.  Red Bay, you'll wait in que for a lengthy time even with a new coach.  FW now offers three major regional service centers. Plus one for REV, if your dealer stinks and 90% fall into this slot.  Bob Tiffin, if available is the best in the business, a plus for Tiffin.  Note, Bob's old, older than me and that's OLD!  Just sayin'.!  Chassis tie,  I'm assuming both FCCC.  House, this is where IMHO REV in the FW line has put all their eggs in one basket for their Discovery, especially the "LXE" being the top dog.  No Providence houses anymore but that's ok I got a good one. Real good coach, I would not trade or sell except for health reasons, fingers crossed.   So, in an effort to shut off my over active finger,  if your getting a good price you can rest assured your getting a very good coach equal to if not a couple notches up over the Phaeton line.  I've been pleased with FW customer service over the phone technical assistance.  Thankfully, never had to use the factory or regional service areas.    FW full wall slide is a tried and proven system.  No issues and I'm a fan of Power Gear product.  It's simple and easy to maintain.  I've adjusted the passenger side s/o myself to raise the travel height several years ago.  Hope this helps.  You'll not get a better coach for the dollar amount IMHO.  

Regards,

Clay

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manholt   

Tmahana.  Welcome to the Forum!

Since you live in Arizona, you might want to compare the distance to the nearest Factory Service Centers.  REV Group is in Indiana, Texas and Oregon!  Tiffin is in Alabama!  I have had several coaches by both Tiffin and Fleetwood/Allied/REV Group (REV is a division of Allied), IMHO Tiffin was great up to 2010.  I had a 2011 Allegro Bus, POS and traded it in on my current coach...listed under my signature.  Would I get another FW or Tiffin?  No.  My next coach will be a Newmar or Foretravel .  They both make a 40 foot with tag axel...I and my SO love the Tag!  She has a 40 foot Phaeton 2006, but she want's my tag on a 40.  Happy SO, happy travels! :wub:

Clay.  Agree with you on all your points, except one.  Power Gear by Lipper Industries is the pits (I have both air and Jacks)!  Hard to get any customer service and a pain to work on! :P

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Tmahanna   

Thanks to both of you. Good point all round. Have had a good friend rave about his Dutch Star but so far have not seen one that jumps out at me.

I have heard from "sales" people that the Fleetwood overall can be problematic; not sure how to read that. 

I did notice the Discovery has a fairly short warranty listed on their web site, just 1 and 3 years. I assume the engine and transmission have their own. Will check it out today.

The Tiffin has 1,5 and 10 plus the drive train.

I will take another look at the Dutch Star.

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I recently sold my 2008 Fleetwood Bounder diesel pusher. I looked at and drove three motorhomes. First was a Fleetwood since I was a Fleetwood owner and it was a rattle trap. The quality of workmanship was terrible. The dash squeaked and rattled and the salesman stated just get use to it because they haven't been able to figure out how to stop it. I was shocked in the quality of a MSRP of $375,000 motorhome. Next we drove a Phaeton, better but too much plastic and the woodwork fit and finish was lacking. Lastly, we drove a Newmar Ventana 4369 with tag. Same price range as the other two but it was like looking at a top of the line custom built home to a cookie cutter tract home. The workmanship is impeccable. The drive...there is nothing even close to driving the Newmar with the Comfort Drive steering. The only comment needed is my wife is comfortable driving this motorhome and after driving our Fleetwood for 20 minutes she said never again. I've driven it in 30 mph cross winds and the wind was barely noticeable. But don't believe me, go drive one but drive it last because it will be the last one you will drive if you drive it first.

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manholt   

Jim.  My Linda want's the 40 foot Ventana, also with tag.  I want one also...guess we will be a 2 Ventana family in sin! :lol:  She want's a bath and half.  I don't, not in a 40!  :P

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Carl, have either of you driven one? Our 4369 is a bath and half and the rear bath is huge. The storage space is awesome. I would guess we have 12-15 feet of hanging space and so many drawers and shelves I can never find anything; some we don't use.

The customer support from Newmar is tremendous. I have two people assigned to me and their office number rolls over to their cell phone for after hours needs. I don't know of another manufacturer that offers that.

Example: I was having an tire balance issue. I talked to Freightliner about it and they didn't want to do anything under warranty. I called Newmar, Newmar called Freightliner and we had a 3-way conversation, Freightliner called the local Freightliner dealer and made an appointment during this conversation. Newmar followed up with me making sure I was satisfied. Newmar suggests we let them know if we take the coach into a dealer for warranty  work so they can check on the progress of the work. Dealers would use the excuse they were waiting on parts or waiting on Newmar when in reality they had not contacted Newmar. Newmar wants to stop this from happening.

There is a reason the only coaches they have built for the last few months are coaches sold to owners not dealers. Dealers cannot order a coach for inventory. I believe the wait time is about 6 months if you order now. They will cut off orders for 2018's soon after the first of the year.

 

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Tmahanna   

I drove a couple of Fleetwood products and agree, they are noisy and poor handling.

I also drove a Newmar Dutch Star but not a tag axle. It is a very nice drive and solid feeling coach.

I did not drive a Newmar Ventana, I am not enthusiastic about the weight of the Tag Axle but sounds like I need to try one out.

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ObedB   

In 2015 I met an 80 year old gent that had recently taken delivery on a new 40' Dutch Star with a tag axle. He loved it, and he was an experienced RVer. Look longer than 40' because of the tag.

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manholt   

Jim.  Have you measured your coach?  take a tape from outside bow to stern....bet your over 45 foot.  Mine is a 45 foot chassis = 46 foot 4 inches!  They go by length of chassis not including end and front cap! :P

I drove a Dutch Star and a King Air last year, very impressed with ride on the K2 & K3 chassis....I have the K2 now.  A friend keeps telling me that the new Freightliner/Daimler chassis is a 100% better than what I had in 2007 !  I'm skeptical about that, so no, I have not driven the Ventana yet!  I'm never going back to a single rear axle again....Tag makes your road trip so much more relaxing and comfortable!  I only know of 2 manufacturer's that offer the Tag on 40 foot.  Dutch Star did a 38 foot Tag in 2015, don't know why they stopped!  

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I have not put I tape to it; I'll need to find my 50' tape. My wife's comment is it drives like her Lexus its just a lot longer. 

The FCCC chassis is worlds different from the 2008 FCCC chassis we had with the previous coach. Plus, I didn't have a tag and the passive steer tag axle is an added benefit.

I'm already designing my next coach, 2028 King Air. 

You do know if you order one its like buying a custom home. They have a designer to work with you to make it just what you want, Cat 5 cabling, electrical outlets where you want them, built in WiFi, flooring, cabinet finish, fabric, lighting fixtures and on and on and on.  Orders today are looking at May or June delivery.

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FIVE   
Some general comments, lots of info here, all is not correct for all coaches:
-  All 40' and over coaches do not have tags, and a majority of 40' coaches are really about 40'11".
-  Some tags wheel bases are the same length as their non tag coaches...just more aft over hang.
-  I would not pay much attention to wheelbase listings on brochures.  The correct way to measure a wheelbase is front hub to dually hub.  Fleetwood, at least AC, measures front hub to the mid distance between the dually hub and the tag hub.  I questioned them on that and all I got was a tap dance.

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manholt   

FIVE.  Read my post...word for word in ref to coaches of 40' with tag...I know of 2, Newmar and Foretravel is the other!  So, you don't misunderstand, Foretravel has 3 lines of coaches they make! 

There is one other, but I generally don't include it, due to $$$$, that is Newell...38 foot to 47 foot with steering Tag!

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rfsod48   

Jim,

Did you order your unit thru a dealer or direct from Newmar? Did ordering have an effect on the final price you paid?

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I bought through a dealer. If I did it again, I would put together my want list and send it out for bid to several dealers. Best percentage discount off MSRP would get the order. Then I would get with Newmar for the final design of the coach, get the total MSRP and take the dealer already agreed on discount. Pay for factory pick up and spend a week with the techs that build it explaining every nut, bolt and screw so to speak. If any part of the body is found needing repairs, the experts are there to repair it. I would want to take it to FCCC or Spartan for any chassis needs. The only contact with the dealer would be via email, text and wire transfer of money. I know several buyers who have done this and never see the dealer that may be a thousand miles away. 

I'm in the planning stage now for our 2028 King Air. 

Edit: You cannot buy direct from Newmar.

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manholt   

Jim.  You can buy direct from Newmar, go to factory and tell them what you want...they list their suggested MSRP on the web.  You can have it built, interior colors, wood and more, Exterior design and paint colors, other than what's offered in catalogue...get a total MSRP, then negotiate with a dealer....We have a member of River City Travelers who did it that way and the Dutch Star will be ready for PU at factory in Feb., he got the best deal thru a dealer that's 35 miles from Factory and recommended by Newmar...as soon as he said yes, Newmar call and gave a heads up to dealer. 

You can also, have the coach delivered pre painted and taken to a Custom Paint Shop in Bremen (8 miles from Newmar) and they do some unbelievable paint jobs....we toured that place before Indy!  They had a booth in Indy..cost $18K- $40K. 

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Exactly. But you still have to write the check to a dealer, you cannot bypass a dealer and write the check direct to Newmar. Your friend did it backwards than what most buyers do. They negotiate the percentage discount with a dealer and then design the coach. From my understanding, Newmar won't spend time designing exactly what you want until you've signed a contract with a dealer. They have removed the specs with MSRP from the website but you can have customer service email you one. Yeah, I've heard about the custom paint jobs and having been in the paint and body business, they earn every penny of that $18-40,000.

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manholt   

I know, contract issues...it's obscene how much $$$ the Factory & Dealer makes!  Look at MHS in Alvarado, they discount from 25% to 45% depending on Brand !  2 years ago, when REV moved in across the Hwy.  MHS took in all the AC coaches that Acira had...called me and gave me a offer on a 2015 Tradition at 45% off MSRP (Factory)!

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FIVE   
21 hours ago, manholt said:

FIVE.  Read my post...word for word in ref to coaches of 40' with tag...I know of 2, Newmar and Foretravel is the other!  So, you don't misunderstand, Foretravel has 3 lines of coaches they make! 

There is one other, but I generally don't include it, due to $$$$, that is Newell...38 foot to 47 foot with steering Tag!

My comments were not directed at you...read my post word for word...it says "general comments.":D

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I just had my coach annual service at Freightliner Northwest. The shop foreman showed me a recent year DutchStar that caught on fire in the engine compartment.  The engine had to be removed and repainted along with inside and back of the coach.  It was sitting there waiting for an engine wiring harness along with batteries cables.  Seem that a battery cable shorted on the frame and cause the fire.  Now DutchStar is supposed to be recalled the models with the Freightliner chassis.  Insurance is paying for it and it's lucky the entire coach didn't burn up.  

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