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Beginning the top 5 DP motorhomes

September 1, 2010 by Larry Cad · 15 Comments  
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Number 5

Damon Tuscany 4051

 

 

 

The Damon motorhome is a late addition to this list.  I did this for a couple of reasons.  Damon has been around for a number of years and they produce a very nice coach.  In addition, we actually have two ties in our arbitrary, subjective ratings and I thought it would add some variety to our list.  Finally, with the recent announcement that the American Coach Allegiance is being dropped from the line, some may think that we need a replacement.  Anyway, we are going to look at the Damon Tuscany, a 40 ft. diesel pusher built on a Freightliner XC chassis.  Plusses that we found on the Damon are the TPO roof, low mount wipers and mirrors, a 100 gallon fresh water tank, a standard basement entertainment center, and a single piece windshield.  We also like the general floorplan of the 4051 which includes a side aisle, and a passenger side dinette.    Several minuses were that the coach has four slides which I consider to be a disadvantage compared to three slides, and a standard, automatic awning.  In addition, the 4051 comes standard with a king bed which we don’t like, but to add insult to injury, there is no option for a queen bed in this floorplan.  To get the queen, we have to go to the 4078 which is a side aisle floorplan, but moves the dinette to the driver side.  Some of these are compromises which make this less than the perfect DP.

 We have been in several Damon motorhomes and they are very nicely built, with solid cabinets, and many features which speak of quality and good value.  Damon appears to be in the business for the long run and should be around in the future.

 I was very disappointed with the Damon website.  I felt that there was a shortage of specifics as far as features are concerned.  I would strongly suggest to any manufacturer that they should spend more time on their websites, improving available information and making it accessible to viewers.  I was particularly put off by the number of glaring spelling errors on the Damon website.  Examples include:

                                                 3 Camear System

Front Mount Chrmoe Power Heated Mirrors

8.3 Lieter Cummins 360 HP engine

 

These are direct “copy and paste” from the website and while I will agree that when you buy a motorhome, you don’t have to drive the spelling errors, it just concerns me that a corporate culture may exist that tolerates glaring errors and this culture may extend to the manufacturing area.  I tried to contact Damon regarding the above listed errors prior to publishing this post.  Unfortunately, the contact area on their website requires you to provide your mailing address to Damon before they will accept your comment.  I chose not to provide this information and decided not to pursue any effort to contact them.

 Other features that merit mentioning are the solid wood cabinets, the power windshield day/night shade, power driver seat, and power passenger footrest.  I like the looks of the Damon dash area but I would have to drive the coach to determine if the instrument arrangement and switches lend themselves to reduced driver fatigue.  The Damon/Freightliner retains the treadle brake pedal while many manufacturers have moved to an automotive type brake pedal with adjustable feature.  Preference here is with the driver, so consider this feature when you are looking for your motorhome.

 If you are in the market for a new diesel motorhome, you should consider the Damon.  This is a well built, well featured coach with a lot of value.

 Next time, Number 4.  See you then.

 

Larry

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Last 5 posts by Larry Cad


Comments

15 Responses to “Beginning the top 5 DP motorhomes”

  1. Mike Wright on September 2nd, 2010 4:51 pm

    While it is interesting to read your articles and your ratings, I think you are using too many personal preference factors rather than actual characteristics of good vs not as good in your ratings. As a couple of examples, you downgrade the units that come standard with a king size bed. My preference is to have a king size bed, and so that is something I will look for when selecting a unit. another example is your preference for a passenger side kitchen. I have seen many units with kitchens on both sides, and the functionality has more to do with the overall floor plan rather than which side the kitchen is on. I could site other factors, but the point is that you should not represent your opinions on items that don’t have anything to do with the overall quality of the unit as being anything other than personal preference. If an item is strictly a personal preference, it should not be reflected in your ratings. This does a disservice to many other high quality units.

    I hope you will speak to my comments in your next article.

    Mike Wright

  2. Van Sullivan on September 2nd, 2010 7:08 pm

    Excuse me, Mike but I have been following this series off and on and I beleive that Larry has made every attempt to make it clear to the readers that his rating system is HIS rating system. It obviously is based on his and his wife’s personal tastes. And when you are spending the kind of money we are talking about, it boils down to personal likes and dislikes. While I don’t agree with all of Larry’s choices, I appreciate his attempt to explain his positions. I have enjoyed the series and look forward to his description of the final 4.
    Keep up the good work Larry

  3. Barry on September 2nd, 2010 8:52 pm

    We have looked at a lot of floorplans over the last few years and this Damon 4051 is our favorite. We first saw it at the Albuquerque rally in 2009

  4. Mike Buchanan on September 2nd, 2010 8:58 pm

    Personally, I agree with Larry I don’t like a King size bed. I also don’t like the U shaped dinette not the perfect choice when it’s only two people using the RV. I also caught the spelling mistakes a few months ago and took the time to mention it to Damon and did provide my address as I wanted a hard copy of their catalogue as well. For a company the size and age of Damon, their catalogue was very disappointing to say the least. They need to look at Newmar and Tiffin to see how a quality catalague is produced. Needless to say the fact that the errors still have not being corrected is pretty alarming. It makes you wonder just what degree of errors they would allow for in their qualit assurance in the manufacturing process.
    Overall, I found the option process quite lacking when compared
    to other manufacturers.

    Again it’s nice to see someone putting the effort into calling them as he see them. Keep up the good work Larry

    Mike
    Ottawa

  5. Larry Cad on September 3rd, 2010 6:15 pm

    Mike Wright, from the beginning of this series, I have made no secret that this is a personal search that I am sharing with all the readers. I am not trying to impose my views on anyone, I am trying to outline some of the things I consider when looking at a prospective replacement for our current motorhome. Everyone is free to disagree with my preferences. I will have succeeded if someone buys a new coach and is a little happier with it because of something I pointed out.

    For years I have read reviews of many motorhomes in magazines like FMCA, and Motorhome, and found them to be sugar coated vanilla with very little substance. I am taking a different approach.

    Van Sullivan, thanks for your support and I appreciate the kind comments.

    Barry, so when do you go out and buy your new Damon?

    Mike Buchanan, thanks for the comment on the spelling mistakes. I hate to make a big deal out of something like that, except for what I said about reflecting badly on the company as a whole.

  6. Mac McClellan on September 4th, 2010 8:13 am

    Interesting article as always Larry.

    Another idea for contacting companies is to call and ask for the Public Relations department.

    A note to all about personal preferences; that’s how we all choose things, RVs cars, restaurants, campgrounds, etc. We share some of the same preferences with Larry (side isle, big tanks) and not others. I feel that hearing someone explain their preferences helps me to evaluate my own and to consider why I like and dislike certain things.

  7. Bill Ridgley on September 4th, 2010 1:20 pm

    I totally agree with both you and Mike Buchanan regarding the spelling issue. It is not a major deal to have someone who is reasonably competent in basic English grammar and composition to proofread copy. It really diminishes the impression of a company when mistakes are published.

    Larry, keep up the good work on your evaluations. I enjoy your insights, even though not all of them I agree with.

  8. Charlie Romine on September 4th, 2010 7:18 pm

    I wonder if the people with Damon know about SPELL CHECK on their computer.
    I would never trade my king size bed in my Tiffin Phaeton. After being married to my dear wife for 41 years, we can stand a little seperation. My little dog sleeps in the middle anyway.
    Keep up the good work Larry, I look forward to your articles.

  9. Tireman9 on September 5th, 2010 3:24 pm

    Larry
    How about including some facts on the length of the various warranties provided by the manufacturer?
    Extended warranties have too many variables and exclusions to be meaningful.

    Mfg #1 offers a 12 month 12,000 mile Bumper to Bumper and 2 year 24,000 drive train.
    Mfg #2 offered 3 year 36,000 mile B2B then I would definately believe that they have made a concious effort to design and build a better quality unit.

    If Mfg #1 isn’t even willing to sell you an additional two years B2B coverage for $2,000 then aren’t they telling you that they expect you, the buyer, to expect to be spending at least that much to keep their unit running?

  10. Drew on September 6th, 2010 8:56 am

    Mac,

    Your point is well taken, I coudn’t have said it better myself.

    Drew

  11. Larry Cad on September 6th, 2010 1:08 pm

    Charlie Romine, that is exactly the kind of comments I am striving for. I am not in a position to dictate to anyone what they should or shouldn’t buy, but rather I am trying to get others to think about what they get, and hopefully be better buyers as a result.

    Mac McClellen, my thoughts exactly. Thanks for the comments.

    Tireman9, you have a good point, however, just as important is how the factory actually responds to potential warranty issues. There are several manufacturers who are legendary in this regard. If you are going to buy a new DP, you should compare their response to that provided by Tiffin, Newmar, American Coach, who are all excellent in the customer service area.

  12. Dale Johnson on September 7th, 2010 5:23 pm

    Another feature that I find important is a relatively flat dash in front of the co-pilot. We need that for the navigation computer and for the various maps etc. The sculptured dash from side to side is a deal breaker for me

  13. travel nz on September 17th, 2010 2:11 am

    Seems to me Larry it is just laying it out there for everyone to see if it matches there wants.

    Wonder if the Damon Motorhome people can make a few small custom changes?

    Ewen

  14. Rick on December 25th, 2010 8:48 pm

    Just purchased 2010 Damon 4078. Equipped with 425 cummins. We are spending winter in it going here and there in Arizona before going back home to Michigan. So far quite pleased with coach. Going from Gasser to DP is like going from a Chevette to a Cadilac. The 4078 seems to be a great layout for us with acceptable workmanship. Not a lot of fluff which made it more affordable than similiar floorplans on other brands. The big cummins was an added bonus over other 40 footers. Getting 9.5 with less than 3,000 miles on coach. I pull a Buick Lucerne on a dolly, 4700 lbs.

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