Our journey to find the perfect DP continues
Now that we have pretty much explored a great number of options and features you can look at on a diesel pusher motorhome, it is time to look at a few coaches that are available on the market and see how they fill the bill as far as suitability is concerned. When I first started this phase of this project, I was surprised at how difficult it would be. Surprisingly, even in this bad economy, there is a good selection of new diesel motorhomes available on the market. Depending on what you want, and how much you have to spend, the selection grows to a point where it can get overwhelming and a lot of work can go into selecting your new rolling mansion. With prices ranging from the low $100,000 range, and up to several million, with lengths up to 45 ft., the various combinations grow exponentially.
In order to keep the scope of this study down to a reasonable size, and to save my sanity, I am going to limit this investigation to only a select few of the 40 foot diesel motorhomes. I am doing that for selfish reasons because that is what I own, what I know best, and what I would buy if I were looking for a new motorhome. Most of the manufacturers have gone in the direction of building more 45 foot motorhomes. This is a situation that has been driven mostly by the new EPA engines which are heavier than the old ones and thus push the weight limits of the chassis they are pushing. Manufacturers have found it necessary to add the extra axle in order to keep the CCC of the coach up to a suitable level. If you are considering a new coach, it is extremely important that you are familiar with the how to determine the CCC and other ratings put on by the manufacturer. Don’t just go out shopping, expecting that they build these things to be able to carry everything you own. I have seen new motorhomes that are already overweight before you add water to the tanks, and even if you carry more than one passenger. It is a “buyer beware” situation.
I am not saying this is anything like a complete list of available motorhomes. I certainly have missed some. I have also eliminated a few on purpose. As an example, Fleetwood makes several entry level and mid level motorhomes and they also make a luxury line under the American Coach brand. I have chosen not to include any of the lower level coaches from Fleetwood because as near as I can tell, all are equipped with a full wall slide or do not have midship TV. As we discussed in previous articles, I am not a fan of full wall slides and consider them almost a scam. I know, some of you love your full wall slides, and that is fine. I just don’t want to have to consider them in this article. Another obvious exclusion is the Tiffin line of coaches. As near as I can tell, none of the Tiffins have a midship TV floorplan available. If I missed it, please let me know. I consider the Tiffins to be a very high quality motorhome, service is great, and Bob Tiffin is a wonderful person who really cares about his customers. However, I feel strongly about midship TV and for that reason, I am leaving them out. The rest of the group we will be listing all have available a midship TV floorplan. With the exception of those two items, none of the other features we have discussed are what I call a “deal breaker”.
One final note before we begin, some manufacturers offer several 40 foot floorplans, and some offer only one. If there are several available, I am only going to talk about one specific one and leave you to investigate the others. This is not an exhaustive discussion, but only a beginning.
The first coach we are visiting is the American Coach Allegiance with the 40X floorplan. In the interest of full disclosure, I will say that I currently own an American Coach Tradition. I really like my coach and thus far I am very pleased with the quality and the service I have received.
The 40X is the only 40 foot floorplan in the high end coach line at American Coach. There are several features about this motorhome that have great appeal for me. I like the 40in TV mounted in the midship entertainment center and I really like the side aisle floorplan with the bath altogether in one room. In addition to this, American Coach has located the frig up front, right behind the passenger seat with the rest of the galley and the dining area located up front as well. Unfortunately this arrangement results in the dining area being located on the driver side which we have discussed in previous articles as being a bad choice. The remainder of the salon is back past the kitchen area and consists of a sofa, a leather recliner and of course, the entertainment center. A passenger side aisle leads past the bathroom area and into the kitchen. This is a 3 slide floorplan and from what I can see, the TV would still be usable even with the slide closed. It is difficult to judge how much kitchen storage is available from the online photos, but historically, that is an American Coach strong point. An interesting tech feature is the instrument cluster which is attached to the tilt wheel, allowing the instrument cluster to follow the tilt. As far as other features and amenities, this coach is loaded with stuff as befits a high end coach. I was a little disappointed to find that there was a “park telephone” jack included in the features although if you read back through our previous posts, you will find that somewhere along the way, someone actually used this feature in their motorhome. With a MSRP of $331,000, this is not a cheap motorhome. With a lot of nice features it is worth considering if that is your price range.
That is about it for now. In our next article we will review one of several offerings from a very well known manufacturer, Newmar. Until then, happy camping.