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Trading A Country Coach For A Cornerstone

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I have a 07 Country Coach Magna 630.  It is a very good Coach.  It is well made, drives great and I can operate it in any weather. 

I hear a lot of good things about the Cornerstone. 

I would like to hear from anyone who has gone from a Country Coach to a Cornerstone regarding the pros and cons of that move. 

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Frank.  Welcome to the Forum.

In all the years that CC was in business, by it's self or under Monaco, it was recognized and still is as one of the best manufacturers of high end coaches!  If your not experiencing any problems with it, why are you looking at another brand?  If it has to do with a more modern technology, like "Bling", re model what you have.  It's more cost effective!

Look and read, all that you can find on this forum for the past 2+ years and you will discover that the Post 2011 coaches have a world of problems, regardless of cost or name brand!

Also, look at what we, who answer most of the questions or give suggestions are driving...it's under our signatures.

Carl

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Look closely at the construction of the Cornerstone.  I was just at Premier RV services in Junction City (granted, very pro Country Coach).  They had little good to say about Entegra.  There was a newer Cornerstone sitting out in the parking area and the manager was telling me that it's spent more time with them than with the owner for some very serious manufacturer weaknesses, including a large window that had poor structural support and actually wobbled in the wind and leaked.  We we previously considering an Anthem and I had spent a lot of time on the Entegra forums, where many sang the praises of the company.  My wife and I decided to stay away from newer coaches, even though I had test driven a 2016 Newmar Dutch Star that drove like a dream.  We found a very nicely maintained 07 Country Coach Intrique that we will be taking delivery on next month.

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CarlA.  Congratulation on your, new to you, coach!  Is it a 40' or 45'? Engine?  Hope you take a picture or three!

On a New Coach. '15, '16 and '17, Bling sell's, " Common sense" died a long time ago, so did "more bang for the bucks" along with "after Service" and "Quality Control"!

Between '07 and '10, 70% +/- off the RV Industry filed for Bankruptcy!   

Carl C.

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Carl C.....it's a 42' .  We won't be taking delivery until the end of October, but will post pictures when we get it.   The '16 Dutch Star we drove was VERY nice, drove very well, but when we pulled in the slides for driving, there was only a few inches of floor space in the coach.  Not very friendly for our dogs to have a place to walk/lie without crowding us out in the front of the coach.  Lots of bells and whistles, but the quality of craftsmanship just wasn't the same as in our 06 Country Coach we currently have and not near what we found in the newer coach at 1/2 the price.

 

Back to Frank...you're going to be hard pressed to find the quality of your Magna in the Entegra.  I liked a lot about the Entegra line when I was looking at them, but when it comes to the quality found in the woodwork of Country Coach or Beaver, Entegra falls short.

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thank you for the feedback.  I cannot disagree with anything you said.  The Country Coach is a good machine. I had Beaver Marque.  I like the CC better than the Beaver because the maintenance per mile is noticeably less.  However the Beaver had the 2nd half bath.  I also had a c12 engine that got about 6 mpg in the Beaver  The  c13 that in the Magna does not get good mileage. I get about 4mpg  I realize that non of the big coaches get good mileage but the  c13 is really bad.  The cornerstone interests me because of the 600 cummins that reportedly gets 6 to 8 at free way speeds.  The bigger engine is important because I often need to make 500 to 900 miles in a day, often with a trailer.  If the CC had better mileage and the 2nd half bath I would not be thinking about changing.

I have been in a few Cornerstones and they do not feel as sturdy as the CC but the power train with 600 hp and 1950 torque seem comparable.   I completely agree that many ne coaches sell bling.  I call it "shiny cheap"

I can keep the CC warm when the temp is zero ( I have added some heat exchangers, electric heaters and insulation in the plumbing bay) and cool when it is 100 degrees.  I do not want to give those things up but I would like to add better mileage ( I would take 6) and the half bath for when our grown children and grand kids go with us if it is possible to do so.  Therefore,  I thought I would see if there was someone on the forum that had traded from a Magna or Affinity to a Cornerstone

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Frank, understood.  The engine is a ISX,  since 02' Cummings has had problems with it.  Sometimes people report that there is no problem, others are not so lucky.  Check Engines in Forum...we went thru this last month on my Post.  I was looking at a Foretravel with the ISX and a Newell with the C15.

I get 6.4 avg. on my current coach.  Like you I travel vast distances every year (9,000+)!  Have 2 good friends at the Rally here in Texas, 1 from NC and has a 2011 Itasca 45 foot that he says, has had no problems in the past 40,000+ miles!  Another is from FL. and has had no problems with his 2015 Allegro Bus 45 foot.  He came from Washington State to attend this Rally, via a side trip to Tiffin...His DW drove the coach all Summer, he was on his HD.

We have a member on Forum that loves his Cornerstone, but he has had problems.  If you got your mind made up to get another coach in the 45' range, I would recommend you look at Allegro Bus, Foretravel and Newmar! 

Carl

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Frank, don't get too overly excited about the HP, most of that was bumped to compensate for the emissions system that is stealing HP, depending on your current HP it night be close to a wash or only a slight gain. A road test under your conditions might be worthy to see just how much better it actually performs. If it is lighter I would also question WHY? 

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Just now, manholt said:

Erniee.  My bad ! :( Been a while, so I forget about the best "Cookie Cutter" made...the Bird/Wandelodge! :)

Carl

Still kicking myself for not buying the one we looked at in 14'

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Thanks for welcoming me to your forum and for responding to my questions.  I hope the following is not too long.

I would like to know more about the problems with the isx.  I have been told that there are less problems after about 2012.  The few folks I know with them seem to like them.  Although most Truck owners and equipment operators seem to like the cat better.  I have a couple of Cummins M11s but they are in dump trucks and pre 2002.

  I bought the 07magna Rembrandt 630 two years ago September.  It had 19,0000 miles It now has just over 50,000 miles.  (at 4miles to the gallon you can do the math)    Like I said above I have less maintenance per mile than I had with the Beaver.  Further, at 54,000 pounds, with a good length to wheel base ratio and impressive dynamax chassis it is great to drive at free way speeds and it handles our Wyoming winds very well.  When it comes to snow and ice I have ben very impressed.  I am sure there are others but I am the only one I know who carries tire chains in the RV and I have used them more than once.  The additional wheel base ratio (or something) makes it much better on snowy roads and in the wind compared with the Beaver.  In summary, I think the CC Magna is one of the best coaches out there and I am not going to trade it for a different brand or model without exhaustive inquiry.  But, if I could keep the things I like and obtain better mileage and the extra half bath I would be tempted.  I might even consider owning two for a while.  That is what I did When I Bought the Magna.  After several months I decided it was the 01 Beaver Marque that would have to go even though it got better mileage and had the 2nd half bath.  (I guess I just want the best of the two and that may not be out there)

   I think the c13 ( which is set at 525 HP) is a great engine but it should get better mileage.  A friend of mine that has several trucks swears by the cat engine but he says the c13 is thirsty and that having it set at 525 causes it to be wound up relatively tight at any given torque as opposed to the c15.  He thinks I would get better mileage with the c15 because the engine would have a higher torque at lower RPM.  Of course there are no cornerstones with the C15 I am only aware of a few Affinitys, Magnas and Beaver Marques with the c15.  If anyone knows of a well built coach with a c15 I would like to learn about it.

I thought the increased emission regs were in 08 is that correct?  I think I have about exhausted the legal avenues to address the mileage issue.  I have taken it to cat for engine diagnostics, put it on the dyno rack and worked on the exhaust.  Any one reading this probably wants to advise slowing down as that would help the mileage.  However, I drive it the same as I did the Beaver.

I did a lot of research before I bought the CC Magna 630.  It usually shows up as one of the safest, most road worthy and well built coaches.  I did not look at fuel mileage because I figured it would be similar to the beaver at about 6 mpg  and I was mostly focused on road stability and ability to operate in the cold.

 

I looked at Newmar which I think makes a good motor coach.  The Essex and King Aire  have highway ratings as good as the CC but the Essex I looked at did not have a big engine and I never found a King air at a price I wanted to pay.

I have not been in a Bluebird but I will look into them,  There does not seem to be many of them on the secondary market.  (I am a confirmed 2nd hand coach buyer the day one depreciation on a new one keeps me awake at night) I have a couple of Detroit engines but they are older and in construction equipment so it is difficult to compare

I have not been in a Fortravel but I would like to learn more about them.

I have been in a few Newells,  They are very fancy but for the live of me I can not see why they cost so much more than an Affinity or Magna. 

I have decided that I need to look at Alegro, particularly the zephyr.  However, I met a fellow (Al) from Maryland when I was in Indiana who drove a Cornerstone.  we visited for several hours.  Al had owned a Tiffin and an American Heritage, he raved about the Cornerstone and said it was a much better coach for the money with less trips back to the factory than either of the other two.  However, he has never had a CC Magna or Infinity so he could not compare the two but my conversation with Al made me decide I should look for some one that has owned both a Cornerstone and a CC Magna or Affinity that could compare the two based on experience.  For example, I would like to ask how does the newer freightliner chassis compare to the dynamax? And will the Interior of the cornerstone hold up?  It appears to be less sturdy then the Magna to me but my impression was based on minutes as opposed months or years

 

According to Consumerrv.org,  the Cornerstone is the equal of or slightly better than the CC when it comes to road worthiness.  The information from that organization led me to the CC Magna and it has been great other than mileage.  Accordingly, I give some credit to their ratings.  on the other hand I talked with the owner of an RV repair business in Oregon the other day, he use to work at Country Coach and he is a fan.  We only spoke for a moment but when I asked him about the Cornerstone his brief reply was that Entegra has a great customer relations program  which he said is a good thing since they have problems.

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Frank.  That's quite a list.  You might want to look at Prevost & Stuff.com and click on the Other Luxury Coaches tab.

You asked, why is Newell so costly?  Same reason as Prevost, Foretravel and CC (in it's day), they build their own chassis!  I forgot, check out MCI also...

Prevost chassis is used by:  Marathon, CC, Featherlight, Millennium, Outlaw, Liberty and Emerald...there are others also, that do custom coaches!

Cat dropped out of our market, when all the emission BS kicked in.  Newell and Prevost used Cat, now they use Cummings ( Volvo owns Prevost now and has a working agreement with Cummings)!!

Carl 

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Frank, since you have experience with Diesel power you are probably aware of the last generation of CAT engines with a diesel particulate filter. I would avoid them at all costs. They were manufactured in 07 and part of 08. The older CAT products had a few blips in different models and years but so do all engines. From testing I have done and my career they were great engines a little noiser and a little harder on fuel then their competition but solid. I believe you are on the right track with the list of brands above. One thing I always tell people, compare the engine compartment layout and access to each brand. If you can't access it the repair and maintenance of cost will escalate, if you are doing it yourself you will appreciate doing your homework upfront. If it were me I would not be searching cookie cutter coaches. In my opinion the quality is lacking to keep costs down, with depreciation the way it is it's much easier to step into a high end coach with a few years on it for not a lot of money. Again in my opinion these coaches will last longer and cost less to keep on the road.

enjoy the road

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I appreciate that info.   I am not sure if the c13 in the 07 Magna was manufactured before 07 or not I will look.  I do not have any other Cat engines from after 2001.  What problems does the diesel particulate filter cause?  Other than mileage the engine has been trouble free so far. I

 

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Frank.  I would have to Google the Ford/Volvo relationship in cars...Volvo/Prevost and Volvo/Cummings is the truck Division that has always been Volvo.  I could not find any reason as to why Volvo does not now, nor in the future, use or have any plans to use, their own engines!  Might have something to do with gearing.

Most chassis and engines are a year or more, older than the coach.  I'm guessing that your engine is a 2006 or earlier, since you don't know about particulate filter!  That was mandatory in 2007 per Federal EPA standard, then in 2010 the other EPA kicked in and all diesel engines has to use DEF...to be green.

My coach was built in January of 2010, but my chassis and engine is December of 2009!  I have the particulate...about every 4,000 miles +/- it goes into re generation mode and both exhausts, heat up to 1,200 +/- degrees for 15 +/- minutes, then return to 400-600 degrees.  Thankfully mine is set so that I can keep rolling!  Others are set, where you have to stop driving and let it burn off for 15 +/- minutes!  With the DEF(in a separate tank) it sprays a set amount for each tank full of fuel...you do get an increase in mpg but it robs you of about 12% HP.  I had that in a 2011 Allegro Bus 36 foot, Cummings 450, mpg=7.2 avg. at 67mph avg.  Current coach, Cummings 425, mpg=6.4 avg. at 64mph avg.  Nice numbers, but the weight and drag is greater in the 45 footer.

I did not go from gas to DP because of mpg and cost per gallon.  Ride and hauling ability was the factor!  I'm a member off Shriner's International and I was one of four, that had a staker trailer, that was full of all the "toy's" we rode in Parades all over the US.  No more, now I just love the ride! :wub:

Carl

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Frank, CAT used a different design for the regeneration process (sending fuel down to the filter for cleaning) it was a terrible design that is very problematic and expensive to keep operating properly. It's basically a heating oil furnace head with a spark plug. Do a web search and read all of the class action law suites. This ultimately resulted in them backing out of the on-highway engine program. They claim it was for other reasons but you know how that goes.

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Check the engine section for "dropped valve in #6". My ISX has done it twice, once at 14,000 and again at 45,000 (2,500 after we bought the rig). The first time it was under warranty and the bill shows $14,000 cost. Mine was for $33,000 with Cummins paying $10,400 of it. It's also had three turbo's (two under warranty) and two DPF's )one under warranty).

When it runs it runs very well, no problems getting on a freeway even at 50,000#'s and towing an add'l 4,500#'s. Mileage was consistent at 7.6 mpg although now it's down some due to the new pistons and liners.

Cummins knows there's a problem with the 600 and 650 HP 2007 EPA (dual overhead cam) engines and has a new head, valves, turbo and programming to cure it. I sure hope so as I can't afford to pay for another dropped valve!

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Thanks for all the good info.  I am sorry I did not respond sooner,  Sunday I left for Northern Nevada and spent this last week in meetings and very long days.  I did not ge out a computer or check emails.  I am sure I will pay for that when I start checking emails for tomorrow!  The CC ran great as it usually does.  I put a little over 2k miles on it.  And, as is also always the case, the fuel mileage is terrible at somewhere around 4.

 

I have two ford pickup's with the 6.7 liter that uses the def.  I have not had a problem with either so far.  I do not have anything else that uses def. 

So, is there anything that can be done,  (other than drive slower or pull less ) that can help the mileage in the c13 that is likely a 2006?  The way I drive and the loads I pull are not conducive to good fuel mileage, however it also gets bad mileage at 65mph with no trailer.

 

once again I appreciate the info above.  I know of a  CC with a c15 in it that is for sale.  I think it is an 09 but it could be an 08 or 2010.  Should a person stay away from that engine?  As I consider a possible trade, what engine and what years of the various engines should I focus on and which should I stay away from.

 

Finally, regarding the "dropped valve in  6" code, would the fact that this is a c13 as opposed to an ISX affect the relevancy of that comment?

 

 

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