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Old 09-10-2014, 09:00 PM   #1
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Hershey Pennsylvania RV Show

I attended the Hershey RV Show today, September 10. I had expected that I might stay overnight to see what I wanted to see but didn't get a chance to see on the first day. But, by 4pm, Wednesday, the first day of the show, I found that I had seen all that I really wanted to see, all that interested me. That meant that I had seen the: Winnebego (View, View Profile, and Via), the Itasca Navion and Navion iQ (yes, I know the View is identical to the Navion, and the View Profile is identical to the Navion iQ), certain models of Leisure Travel Vans (Unity and Serenity), and various Newmar coaches (Ventana, Ventana LE, Bay Star, Bay Star Sport, and Canyon Bay). However, the RV that I most wanted to see wasn't even there, the Solera!!! So, in frustration I found a Forest River dealer rep, and said, "I can't find any Soleras, but I did find two versions of your Sunseeker 2400. I don't know anything about the Sunseekers, but these two certainly resemble what I would have expected the Solera to look like. They are based on the Mercedes Benz Sprinter 6-cylinder diesel engine and appear to be the same size as what I expected the Solera to be." He laughed at me (in a non-insulting way) and told me that they no longer make the Solera, that they had switched over entirely to making Sunseeker 2400s, they still had a year's supply of Soleras in lots or somewhere. After they were sold it would be only Sunseekers." I guess they stopped advertizing the Solera?

Am I the only one on this forum who didn't know this already? Well, it doesn't matter.

Okay, I assume I have bored every reader out there, and you've all stopped reading, but I will go on. I met lots and lots of nice people. I've never been around RV people. No one I know would ever think of this avocation (hobby?). When I was looking at the Newmar units, I listened to people who think nothing of paying half a million bucks for a vehicle. And say things like, "nope, 40 feet is as long as I'm willing to pay for a new RV. I want something easy to park." Huh?

I arrived thinking that after examining all the RVs I've mentioned above, I would be able to cross all but one off my list. Nope, I haven't even managed to cross any off my list, not without first running by the attributes and negative features of each model to my wife who is 8000 miles away. I do think that the Solera seems to be more of an RV than the Winnebagos or Itascas for the same amount of money. I found that the 34 foot and shorter length Newmars weren't as intimidating as I thought they would be to me (to drive that is). The Leisure Time vans were quite nice, but I felt more cramped in them than I thought that I would be.

In any case, it was a nice day. Oh yeah, and I met a very pretty sales rep one third my age. Ah, to be that age again. LOL.
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:41 AM   #2
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Nice report...good luck on the search. We liked the Newmar Baystar 2903 a lot (not the Sport) but ended up with a G'Town based on the price and more up to date features like a fiberglass roof. We started out looking for Class C as well but ended up with a short A.
The Solera is a very nice C if that is where you end up. We also liked the Winnie Access Premier models. Good luck with the decision making.
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Old 09-11-2014, 09:08 AM   #3
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When I first started RVing I figured a 20 somthing foot RV was max, then I found myself in a 38' pusher (used.) It turned out to be not so bad and once you got used to it, weasy to back into even tight spaces. I have since last years Hershey show moved on to a 40' 5th wheel. She is long, but again now that I am getting used to it, not all that hard to manuver. Though 40' is my max due to my favorite sites anything bigger would not fit easilly.
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjva View Post
I attended the Hershey RV Show today, September 10. I had expected that I might stay overnight to see what I wanted to see but didn't get a chance to see on the first day. But, by 4pm, Wednesday, the first day of the show, I found that I had seen all that I really wanted to see, all that interested me. That meant that I had seen the: Winnebego (View, View Profile, and Via), the Itasca Navion and Navion iQ (yes, I know the View is identical to the Navion, and the View Profile is identical to the Navion iQ), certain models of Leisure Travel Vans (Unity and Serenity), and various Newmar coaches (Ventana, Ventana LE, Bay Star, Bay Star Sport, and Canyon Bay). However, the RV that I most wanted to see wasn't even there, the Solera!!! So, in frustration I found a Forest River dealer rep, and said, "I can't find any Soleras, but I did find two versions of your Sunseeker 2400. I don't know anything about the Sunseekers, but these two certainly resemble what I would have expected the Solera to look like. They are based on the Mercedes Benz Sprinter 6-cylinder diesel engine and appear to be the same size as what I expected the Solera to be." He laughed at me (in a non-insulting way) and told me that they no longer make the Solera, that they had switched over entirely to making Sunseeker 2400s, they still had a year's supply of Soleras in lots or somewhere. After they were sold it would be only Sunseekers." I guess they stopped advertizing the Solera?

Am I the only one on this forum who didn't know this already? Well, it doesn't matter.
This might help explain. Look at post #9: Sunseeker MBS: Solera or Sunseeker?!?
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Old 09-11-2014, 01:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Nice report...good luck on the search. We liked the Newmar Baystar 2903 a lot (not the Sport) but ended up with a G'Town based on the price and more up to date features like a fiberglass roof. We started out looking for Class C as well but ended up with a short A.
The Solera is a very nice C if that is where you end up. We also liked the Winnie Access Premier models. Good luck with the decision making.
Cam, thanks. BTW, I wasn't aware that there was controversy between a fiberglass roof and a BriteTek one. Now that you've piqued my curiosity I've read a number of postings. Newmar uses the Brite Tek roof, but for a fee will install a fiberglass one. I might be being naive, but I feel that if the Brite Tek roof wasn't as good as fiberglass, Newmar wouldn't be using it. Also, the Brite Tek, I believe has a manufacture's 12 year warranty. Oh well, time will tell.
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Old 09-12-2014, 12:40 AM   #6
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Brite Tek may be a good roofing material BUT...it doesn't stand up to tree branches etc as well as fiberglass AND requires CARE that fiberglass does not. Georgetown Winnebagoo and Tiffin all opt for fiberglass and while people will swear by their own coaches roof material... Go to Camping World or other RV store sites and see how many things are sold for fiberglass roof maintenance...and see how many products their are for "rubber" roofs. Fiberglass roofing was a knockout item for us... and I had not heard that Newmar will offer it as an option. We talked seriously with Newmar reps two different times and two different guys and expressed our dislike for the brite tek and asked WHY Newmar with their focus on quality would not have a FG roof. Both times we were told it was lighter and quieter than FG and has a long warranty. No mention was made of a FG option. If you explore Newmar further, I'd be interested in knowing what the premium for FG is.
Other than making sure that items that poke through the FG roof have their seams checked & filled periodically...I don't expect to worry about my roof at all since none of my fiberglass boats had any problem keeping water out for 20 or 30 years in the water!
Anyway....that's my opinion and as always...each to his own! All best...
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Old 09-12-2014, 12:21 PM   #7
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Just remember that long roof warranty is for the "material" only. It still does not warrant the roof seals...so it is not the same as a 12 year roof warranty. Just a 12 year "membrane" warranty. Your roof can still leak and it not be covered.

The nice think about Fiberglass is durability (no tree limbs tearing it) and way easier to keep clean. A one year old fiberglass roof, looks about brand new. A one year old rubber roof stored outside is gray and mold covered (depending on where it is stored). I had a video of both styles one time. I'll see if I can track that down.
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Old 09-14-2014, 12:25 AM   #8
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DW and I spent a good portion of the day walking around the show today. FR was well represented, with a nice variety of various 5ers, TTs, pop ups, and driveables. They even had several XLR models (all in gray, which I wanted but was told had been discontinued for the 2015s.) Wife really liked the Charleston. Berkshires were nice too, but most of them with Ford V10s...

Found some nice goodies too. Lots of parts and accessory vendors inside. Well worth the price of admission.
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Old 09-14-2014, 10:12 AM   #9
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JJVA. I don't know how far along the RV life path that you have traveled, but I started out renting a 23ft class c for a vacation, then bought a new 32 ft class c because I was intimidated by the A's. Within a year and a half I kept looking at the Class A's and wondering. We really fell in love with the life and decided to buy an A. I fell in love with the Berkshire, especially all that you get for the money so with my wife's blessing, we purchased one and have been loving it since. I took a bath on my year and a half old Class C, especially considering that I did about $8000 in mods to make it "perfect". My point is, if you're not sure, try to find out what your needs and wants might be in the future and try not to make the expensive mistake of buying something that really doesn't fit your long term plans...resale takes a huge hit on the first couple of years. I find that I can drive for 8 hours now in my current coach and be less tired than in what would have been half the time in the other. Our coach is forty feet, which I thought was huge. But you would be surprised....after being in it a while, it doesn't seem that big. There is a ton of wisdom/experience to be gained from this site, so don't be afraid to ask. Also, if you have any questions that I can help you with, PM me and I'll give you my #.


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Old 09-14-2014, 10:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taranwanderer View Post
DW and I spent a good portion of the day walking around the show today. FR was well represented, with a nice variety of various 5ers, TTs, pop ups, and driveables. They even had several XLR models (all in gray, which I wanted but was told had been discontinued for the 2015s.) Wife really liked the Charleston. Berkshires were nice too, but most of them with Ford V10s...

Found some nice goodies too. Lots of parts and accessory vendors inside. Well worth the price of admission.
Taran,
I think you must be confusing the Berkshires with the Georgetowns. the Berkshires are on a Freightlinger diesel chassis and the Georgetowns are on the Ford V10 chassis. After a day at the RV show looking at all makes of RV's, I can see where one could easily mix up the coaches.
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