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Old 09-12-2015, 07:50 PM   #1
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Coachmen Quality

I currently have a Palomino Maverick 8801 truck camper. I love truck campers unfortunately my soon to be size 14 shoes, 6 ft. 13 year old doesn't really fit the fold out couch anymore. Plus, he wants a little privacy. I am looking at a Coachmen Catalina 343QDS with the 2 queen size beds option.

My question is if any owners of Coachmen would share their quality of workmanship issues, warranty issues/handling, plus overall if they are pleased with purchasing their Catalina?

Any input is appreciated!

Bob
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Old 09-12-2015, 07:54 PM   #2
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WE have had good luck with our Coachman. Not perfect, but I think a little better than many other brands. AS I understand it, Coachman still operates semi independently from other FR divisions and is hanging on to its reputation and practices.
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Old 09-12-2015, 07:59 PM   #3
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No real problems to report here.
The lite has been a good package so far.
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Old 09-12-2015, 08:16 PM   #4
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they all have their share of bugs to work out, but overall, Coachmen is probably one of the better ones in that price range. Yes, there much better out there, but it comes at a cost.
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Old 09-12-2015, 09:01 PM   #5
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No complaints here. We're very pleased!
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:46 AM   #6
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We have had ours for a year and a half. No problems with the build,until, I noticed the front cap has started to faxe out. When we get back home I'll send some pictures to the dealer. I had just cleaned and waxed the nose in July and it has been setting since. Build quality though has been great.
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Old 09-13-2015, 07:25 AM   #7
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A few options I would suggest: sink covers, 30lb propane tanks, Heated/Enclosed under belly, 50 amp service with two A/C units (unless you don't camp above 80 degrees)

You also will be just shy of 10,000 loaded and most likely a tongue weight above 1000lbs so make sure your tow vehicle can handle it including the payload (tongue weight + people + all your stuff in the truck). You will need a good WDH 12000 capacity/1200 tongue weight (Equalizer 4 point is what I used)
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Old 09-13-2015, 10:45 AM   #8
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I have an 2011 model year, have had a few issues but feel the quality and value is above other lines I have seen. Last year I looked at the Catalina line at the rv show and they in my opinion had gone down hill. That being said, our fall rv show was this weekend and I went over every coachmen there and were no issues I could find on the surface. In fact we were there with a friend who is in the market, the clear winner out of the nearly 50 units in his towable range was a coachmen. It just felt more solid.


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Old 09-13-2015, 11:37 AM   #9
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Having just bought a chaparral 360ibl the quality is not where i thought it should be, over time we will have the issues addressed walls not flat, bulging with different weather conditions, kitchen faucet installed backwards and dribbling instead of a steady stream, cabinet doors not able to adjust easily, caulking missing where it needs to be, the under storage wall not attached to the water waste manifold plastic frame, the sliding door on the closet for the washer/dryer not staying put when traveling, not big issues just aggravating. The dealer did a lousy PDI and this stuff should not have left the factory this way, lousy inspector. Don't get me wrong I can deal with these things just should not have to. I didn't buy for brand I bought for floor design and this is the only one my wife and i could live with for our needs and we do like the trailer. Summing up there quality control in my opinion is not very good on the little things, I hope it is better on the build things, so far what I have seen their general build quality is better than their finish work quality. Just my opinion and worth what you pay for it
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Old 09-13-2015, 01:14 PM   #10
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We have had our Coachmen 254DSX for a little over 1 year. We just took it on a month long 4,700 mile trip and had no problems. So far we are extremely pleased. This is our second Coachmen. We toured the factory where ours was made while on our recent vacation. We were impressed with the process. We would definitely recommend Coachmen.

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Old 09-13-2015, 05:26 PM   #11
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We purchased a new 233rbs Freedom Express last July and we've taken it out 8 times so far and love it! We've had a few minor things that the dealer has done a great job taking care of. As others have said, you get what you are willing to pay for, just make sure you buy from a reputable dealer.
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Old 09-14-2015, 12:24 AM   #12
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Coachmen Quality

We drove a Clipper 15rbd from St. Louis to LA CA and back over a month with zero issues.

I do think it comes down to reputable dealership too. Quality control safety-net for the parent company.


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Old 09-14-2015, 05:24 PM   #13
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IMO
I would prefer it if the company that built the RV didn't depend on the end user to do the QC work or to have to go to the expense of going to a dealership to fix stuff that should never have left the factory.
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Old 09-14-2015, 05:42 PM   #14
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Have a 2014 Catalina 273dbs. No complaints so far.
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Old 09-14-2015, 05:48 PM   #15
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I agree. However, do you go directly to coachmen to have work done whether additions or modifications? If I go to anyone, I would start with my dealer as they are the ones trained to install additional options.

I could be wrong but I think you misunderstood my post.


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Old 09-14-2015, 06:28 PM   #16
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We've had a Coachmen 360IBL since February of this year. We're currently on our 5th outing, 6th campsite and so far the only thing we've noticed is the washer/dryer area door in the bedroom slides open during travel as Dave.E mentioned. Didn't realize that it was designed to not do that until recently and we've just been using a light bunji to basically tie it closed to the closet door knob on the farthest left. We are not happy with the company we bought ours from (DH said he'd never worked so hard to give somebody money for a product in his entire life) and hope and pray we never have warranty issues to be fixed. So we will probably (justifiably but maybe not right) just live with it. Also have noticed a slight wiggle on the island but only when DH leaned heavily against it and he's not a lightweight. We have weathered several really tremendous downpours with some light hail and no leaks that we have been able to find yet. We did not yet have our TV when we bought the 5er so had a delivery service bring it to our storage lot when we bought it. As it pulled into our storage facility, we noticed it had a flat tire. The driver said it happened just down the road from the storage. Now we didn't follow behind him as he drove there so we're not exactly sure where or when it occurred. It could have been because the tires weren't properly inflated when it left the plant, or because it was stored in a spare lot before being moved to the dealership or because the tires weren't properly inflated when it left there or because the driver drove too fast for the tire capacity or because he hit a curb. We just didn't know, so we replaced all five tires. Just as a precaution. There was no damage to the 5er at all and DH thoroughly checked that before he signed for delivery so we are believing the driver that it happened just as he got to our storage facility.

Are we happy with our Coachmen...yes, so far but we haven't cold weather camped yet and we are newbies. We didn't buy a $100K coach and we don't expect a $100K coach but we do expect it to work the way it's supposed to and the way it's designed to. So hopefully it will give us years of enjoyment and so far we have not been disappointed.
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Old 09-14-2015, 09:08 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scootingranny View Post
Are we happy with our Coachmen...yes, so far but we haven't cold weather camped yet and we are newbies. We didn't buy a $100K coach and we don't expect a $100K coach but we do expect it to work the way it's supposed to and the way it's designed to. So hopefully it will give us years of enjoyment and so far we have not been disappointed.

Did you get the fireplace? If so, I think you will be very happy with the colder camping. When we camped last October for Columbus Day weekend, the highs were 57 degrees and the lows were around 38 degrees. We had our fireplace on high at night and that was enough to keep the camper warm all the way up to the master bedroom (with the doors open of course). We didn't have to use the furnace once.. I was really impressed that the fireplace could heat it to the low 70s with the outside temps in the high 30s.

Between the electric fireplace and electric hot water tank, we very rarely use any propane lol... which is quite nice.
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Old 09-14-2015, 10:18 PM   #18
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Yes we have the fireplace option and are looking forward to "stretching our wings" and doing some cold weather camping. TFS the info blwnsmoke!
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Old 09-15-2015, 12:48 PM   #19
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IMO Quality is in the eye of the beholder. I don't call building an RV such that heat ducts are crushed to half height good quality. Or having exposed copper from wire not properly insulated or requiring interior panels be removed and water hoses be disconnected at the water pump fwhen winterizing to be signs of good quality or design.
Having the vinyl graphics crack or the stitching on the awing to fail at 3 years a sign of poor quality components being selected. Water lines should not be attached with electrical tape. Half full cans of paint should not be left under the bathroom floor. Wires should not be crushed by the battery hold down bolts. Welds holding the exhaust should not fail at 6 months. All 6 brake light bulbs should not be corroded at 3 months. You should not be able to see the ground from openings in the coach floor. Basement locks should have keys that work. Sheet metal screws are not proper for attaching cabinet slides to particle board. Bumper paint should not come off in sheets.

But then again that's just me.

Pictures available for those that have questions on items on this list.
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Old 09-16-2015, 05:21 PM   #20
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Heated/Enclosed under belly
Is this a option on the Freelander and Leprechaun? I didn't see it in the list of options for either one of those models.
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