huffypuff

New Holiday Rambler Ambassador

16 posts in this topic

I saw the new Holiday Rambler Ambassador at the Redmond reunion and now there is coverage on it in FMCA magazine as a comeback. When I went to the reunion one of the things I wanted to see is the new HR's to see what improvements were made. I toured a few coaches before I found the HR and Monaco displayed in the back end of the lot. I was dismayed of what I saw and here is why.

1. HR had only two displays, the Vacationer and the Ambassador.

2. The displayed of the Ambassador is like the picture on the front cover of FMCA magazine. The first thing that bother me was the bright glare of the tan paint walking up to the front of it.

3. The next thing that bother me as well as my wife is that HR put the door midway behind the slide. Then there is only one handrail to get you inside the bottom step and your on your own to get the rest of the way up and in. It also takes away from the layout of the coach as that brings on the next point.

4. The mid entrances and the step well takes away from the space from the middle of the coach. HR answered that by eliminating the love-seat. The power room also has much wasted space with too much cabinetry. All that is needed there is a toilet and a sink with just enough cabinet to keep hand towels and toilet supplies.

5. My wife and I always felt that a large window at the head of the bed is a bad idea. Too much light and noise at the top of our heads isn't something we want. A better option is to have smaller windows on the side of the slide with a double shade to block light if needed. These windows would be at eye level and more acceptable if there are windows in that area at all.

6. We like the bathroom in the rear of the coach but there is a layout problem there also. The shower is too small as older style tub like showers of the 80. Move the shower to where the toilet is where there is more space for a larger one. If the sink is moved to the corner there will be more space for cabinetry floor to ceiling across the rest of the back of the coach. Those that demand a washer and dryer can go back there also. Why in the heck would you want it in the bedroom?

7. The placement of the TV in the center of the coach is in a place that would be better utilized as more kitchen space. How about hanging that from the ceiling right behind the driver seat at a slight angle for better viewing from the seating area?

8. The only improvements I see is better TV's and residential refrigerator option. All of the other coaches have it as well as the Retro Winnebago Brave. If you have a older coach, those can be updated as well as the generator auto start if house batteries gets too low.

9. Going through the new Ambassador I found much less of just about everything compared to the Ambassadors before the crash of 2008. Less engine, transmission, chassis, length, tires, towing capacity and generator. There is so many other things if you look at the specs that are less than what it was and I consider this a step down not an improvement of what the Ambassador use to be. One thing that is less that we may all like is starting at $206,000 the price is less. But as it goes we all get what we pay for.

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Sounds to me that Allied Specialty Vehicles are positioning the Holiday Rambler brand to be an entry level diesel pusher. If true it is really a shame that a proud brand is demoted from a midlevel luxury coach to entry level.

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That makes sense as the Vacationer is a gasser with lower price than Ambassador. The next thing there was the Monaco Dynasty with a $689,000 I guess their flagship. I did stop at the tent and was told a mid luxury model will come out in six months but not sure which brand name.

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We attended the Monaco International Rally in Gillette last year and were present for a briefing from a Monaco executive. Their strategy (as I understood it) for restarting the company is to start with the most popular of their vehicles and then expand the line from there. They are positioned at the top of the ASV RV line and plan to stay separate from the other companies in the line as much as possible. They are however located in the same manufacturing facility so there will likely be some economies associated with common facilities. With the economy and the market for RV's remaining weak, this start-up is likely to be a slow deliberate process and it may never blossom into the full range of vehicles that we once had available.

As you suggest, some models may be repositioned in this process. We all know that following the merger of Holiday Rambler and Monaco the two lines became more and more similar as suppliers and manufacturing processes were standardized. This resulted in what I considered a set of parallel models with smaller and smaller differences with time. Our model was orphaned several years before the bankruptcy and first reorganization. I'm certain that the same will happen with other models. This is all similar to the General Motors reorganization.

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Monaco and Holiday Rambler were still being built to the 2013 model year by Navistar but was brought out. Unfortunately didn't look like the MaxForce engines did very well with all the problems customers had with them. When Allied Specialty Vehicles brought out Navistar their first goal is to get rid of the Roadmaster chassis. They are using the Roadmaster name on a modified Freightliner chassis on the Dynasty and Freightliner on Ambassador so it's not the same. That means that all models has to be redesign to fit the new chassis as a drop on the frame bodies as opposed as the way it was built before. Looks like Fleetwood is part of Allied Specialty Vehicles that was formed in 2010. Maybe that's their plan to get more market shares by hanging well know name brand on an entirely different coach. The only thing that exists of Holiday Rambler and Monaco today is the name.

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The 2015 is not the same as my 2013 HR Ambassador in many ways.

I agree.

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American Coach is also owned by ASV and built in Decatur, Indiana. I took a gamble on a used 2010 Tradition and fell that it paid off.

After looking at the new Tradition, Eagle and Heritage in Redmond, I agree with Ray. The new ones offer a lot of fluff, but not much else for the price and there is not enough difference in the models for me to want a new one.

Also, I'm not a big fan of DEF, my engine is a 09 on a 09 chassis....my 10 came out in Jan. of 2010. :)

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I'm not complaining about the demise of the Roadmaster Chassis, because it has taken until this past year to discover why so many of the 8 bag Roadmaster chassis have had wandering issues, right out of the factory. It's great that the reason has finally been found, and wonderful for anyone purchasing an older Roadmaster chassis coach today, because they can easily and affordably modify their coach to be one of the absolute best handling coaches on the road. It's unfortunate that the solution didn't come from Monaco or Roadmaster themselves, and disturbing that so many folks that bought brand new Monaco and Holiday Rambler coaches relied on Monaco and Roadmaster for solutions received no help at all.

Having said that. Even considering the shortcomings, the Roadmaster (ie. Chrsyler, ie. Belguim bus) chassis was years ahead of its time. It is unfortunate that it has been destroyed. Someday, it may be realized that the basic tenants of design of the Roadmaster chassis are superior to much of what will continue to be used on the road for many years to come.

But, I believe it's a sign of the times. Profit is the only bottom line. Very few customers care about semi-monocoque chassis. It's all about fancy and glitz. Talk about floor plan. It doesn't matter what's underneath the floor.

So. I agree with all opinions thus far. The new Monaco Dynasty is an American Eagle with different decals. Please understand, I'm not knocking the American Eagle. It's a fine coach. It has always been a fine coach body built upon a Freightliner chassis. It has never been a proprietary semi-monocoque chassis that some expect to be able to have when they buy a Monaco Dynasty.

I think that the new Holiday Rambler Ambassador is a price point marketing stategy on a Freightliner chassis. I think the manufacturer is assuming that the new generation wants a coach for the occassional weekend holiday a few short miles from home, and possibly the occasional trip. Again, focus on the floorplan, and don't talk about the chassis.

I think there will be a few of our older generation that will search for quality coaches on proprietary chassis. I suspect that the manufacturers believe that the next generation of purchasers don't care about details. They just want the fancy and the glitz.

I believe that eventually the next generation of purchasers are in for a bit of a surprise, and the suppliers to that generation are in for a wake up call. While the purchasers are only concerned about the glitz, they are assuming that the quality is already there, and won't put up with surprises. They have been trained by the evolution in the automotive industry. The RV manufacturers are waking up to supplying the glitz, but so far they don't have a clue regarding the quality.

I'm not trying to argue here. I'm just sharing my opinions.

Jim

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Jim,

Two things:
1. I have a 2008 HR Ambassador with the 8 bag suspension. You mentioned a affordable fix for wandering and I would like to know what that fix entails.

2. I could not agree with you more on the lack of quality issue. I have been a broken record on this forum politicking for RV manufacturers to embrace an ISO quality standard in their manufacturing process. The first RV manufacturer that embraces and installs an ISO quality manufacturing process will definitely save money over time by virtually eliminating warranty costs.

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I'm not complaining about the demise of the Roadmaster Chassis, because it has taken until this past year to discover why so many of the 8 bag Roadmaster chassis have had wandering issues, right out of the factory. It's great that the reason has finally been found, and wonderful for anyone purchasing an older Roadmaster chassis coach today, because they can easily and affordably modify their coach to be one of the absolute best handling coaches on the road. It's unfortunate that the solution didn't come from Monaco or Roadmaster themselves, and disturbing that so many folks that bought brand new Monaco and Holiday Rambler coaches relied on Monaco and Roadmaster for solutions received no help at all.

Having said that. Even considering the shortcomings, the Roadmaster (ie. Chrsyler, ie. Belguim bus) chassis was years ahead of its time. It is unfortunate that it has been destroyed. Someday, it may be realized that the basic tenants of design of the Roadmaster chassis are superior to much of what will continue to be used on the road for many years to come.

But, I believe it's a sign of the times. Profit is the only bottom line. Very few customers care about semi-monocoque chassis. It's all about fancy and glitz. Talk about floor plan. It doesn't matter what's underneath the floor.

So. I agree with all opinions thus far. The new Monaco Dynasty is an American Eagle with different decals. Please understand, I'm not knocking the American Eagle. It's a fine coach. It has always been a fine coach body built upon a Freightliner chassis. It has never been a proprietary semi-monocoque chassis that some expect to be able to have when they buy a Monaco Dynasty.

I think that the new Holiday Rambler Ambassador is a price point marketing stategy on a Freightliner chassis. I think the manufacturer is assuming that the new generation wants a coach for the occassional weekend holiday a few short miles from home, and possibly the occasional trip. Again, focus on the floorplan, and don't talk about the chassis.

I think there will be a few of our older generation that will search for quality coaches on proprietary chassis. I suspect that the manufacturers believe that the next generation of purchasers don't care about details. They just want the fancy and the glitz.

I believe that eventually the next generation of purchasers are in for a bit of a surprise, and the suppliers to that generation are in for a wake up call. While the purchasers are only concerned about the glitz, they are assuming that the quality is already there, and won't put up with surprises. They have been trained by the evolution in the automotive industry. The RV manufacturers are waking up to supplying the glitz, but so far they don't have a clue regarding the quality.

I'm not trying to argue here. I'm just sharing my opinions.

Jim

Hey Jim, I have a 2013 Ambassador that wanders and I noticed you mentioned a fix for the wandering problem. I don't see it on your post but where can I find the solution.

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Monaco and Holiday Rambler were still being built to the 2013 model year by Navistar but was brought out. Unfortunately didn't look like the MaxForce engines did very well with all the problems customers had with them. When Allied Specialty Vehicles brought out Navistar their first goal is to get rid of the Roadmaster chassis. They are using the Roadmaster name on a modified Freightliner chassis on the Dynasty and Freightliner on Ambassador so it's not the same. That means that all models has to be redesign to fit the new chassis as a drop on the frame bodies as opposed as the way it was built before. Looks like Fleetwood is part of Allied Specialty Vehicles that was formed in 2010. Maybe that's their plan to get more market shares by hanging well know name brand on an entirely different coach. The only thing that exists of Holiday Rambler and Monaco today is the name.

I have a 2011 Monaco Knight with the Maxxforce 10 engine. I have had no problems with the engine, and after speaking with a number of other owners with that engine, I don't know where all the "problems" have been. In reading this and other forums, it seems that all brands of engines have enough problems to go around. One of the best things is no DEF.

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I agree that we should not stray off the topic of this thread, which is a discussion about the new Holiday Rambler Ambassador.

Jim

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I have a 2003 Ambassador with extras from the aftermarket to fit my liking. I just left an Ambassador click thru from FMCA's site. The brochure puts the Ambassador as the Holiday Rambler flagship and on a Roadmaster with two gassers and a class C to finish the HR presentation. I've lost any brand loyalty I had with this HR offering. Still love my coach. Just a note to other post, all new HR's have middle doors.

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