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Old 05-22-2014, 08:22 PM   #1
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Coachmen Encounter

Looking at the Coachman Encounter and it seems to offer a lot of options for a good price. Wondering about Coachman's support and coach quality but can't seem to find any info on the forums. Anyone have any "real world" experience that they would like to share?
Thanks
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:00 PM   #2
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I'm not familiar with the Encounter as we downsized to the baby Pursuit last December. However, I can say that where you buy is more of a factor than what you buy. I have found that the RV industry as a whole is using the build them and push them out the door and let the dealers fix the problems business model. In general, quality control appears to be a myth. As a friend of mine once said, If they built boats like they build RV's, they would all sink.
There are things you can do to ensure you are getting the best bang for your buck but you will need to park the emotional part of the purchase along with the now syndrome to make that happen. So to answer part of your Q directly, IMO, Coachmen is average for quality and support.
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:05 PM   #3
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Hi, i have a 2011 coachmen freedom express and for the most part enjoy it. As with most new unit you will experience minor issues due to what se refer to as settling. My best advice is to get an extended warranty through ypur dealership. Due to the fact that even though coachmen makes the frame, all the appliances and add ons are often mass produced by a different supplier and we all know not every one piece is gonna be the same.
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:41 AM   #4
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We have a 2011 Encounter 37TZ.

Expect problems and in doing so, you'll save yourself some grief when they pop up. Just expect it. I've read complaints about nearly all brands except maybe for the "way out of my price range" rigs in the over $1M bracket.

Several of us on this forum have Encounters so if you do choose this coach, you'll find a lot of help here.

Our 2011 had a lot of issues, but none were actually serious and all have been fixed. We have a first run coach (can be a problem); later Encounters (2012, 2013, etc.) had fewer problems based on my discussions with other owners.

The key to success is to develop and cultivate a good relationship with your dealers service department and in particular the service manager. Sales folks will fade into the background after you drive off the lot but you'll be living with the service department for a while. Introduce yourself to the Service Manager, if you get a cool reception or sense red flags from the service manager move on and find another dealership.

We love our Encounter now that we have it working as expected. You will too, once you get the bugs out. FYI if any sales person suggests that their brand is problem free and their QC is excellent, be skeptical. As Duck and Metal said, ALL brands have problems and many times the issues don't show up until you've spent a few nights in your new rig.

What model are you considering? New or used? If you share your intended use we might be of some help in pointing out the good or bad as it relates to how well suited the Encounter might be for you.

Gary
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Old 05-28-2014, 11:13 AM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback. It is a long story but we sold our Tiffin 2010 Red last year and hope to get back on the road sometime in early 2015. I am going with gas this time and from looking around the Encounter 37BH looks like what we want and for a good price, the cheaper the better. Do you think this is the best forum to follow for "Things Happening" with Coachman. I have a great relationship with Bill Plemmons in Raleigh NC, but would have to see their pricing, if not there are a couple other dealers I would look to compare prices.
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Old 05-28-2014, 06:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galena View Post
Thanks for the feedback. It is a long story but we sold our Tiffin 2010 Red last year and hope to get back on the road sometime in early 2015. I am going with gas this time and from looking around the Encounter 37BH looks like what we want and for a good price, the cheaper the better. Do you think this is the best forum to follow for "Things Happening" with Coachman. I have a great relationship with Bill Plemmons in Raleigh NC, but would have to see their pricing, if not there are a couple other dealers I would look to compare prices.
If you have a good relationship already I would stick with them. And they won't be as anxious to work on a new coach you bought from someone else.

Sorry to say this but you probably won't be happy with an Encounter after owning a Tiffin. If that's what you need to do, better ratchet back your expectations.

Gary
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:41 PM   #7
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FWIW...take a look at MHSRV which has all of them loaded up for about $119k so you can show Plemmons which has an excellent reputation. Nice looking coaches...no Allegro...but as nice as any of the middle of the road gas coaches.
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:39 AM   #8
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I have a 2013, it's our first motorhome, and so far it's been largely trouble free. No horror stories to tell here! This is our third season camping with it.

A few tweaks here and there, but nothing major at all. The worst thing we had to do was replace our windshield. I suspect it had a very small air pocket in the seal since new, and it just ended up cracking with the severe weather we've had this winter. We're coming up on our third camping season with it.

At the time we purchased, it was the only gas rig that offered tile flooring and actual wood cabinetry throughout the coach with the upgraded "chalet" package. (They cheap out elsewhere with things like: a plastic sink, lower-end synthetic leather seating, crappy slideout seals, horrible mattress, etc).

If you're looking for bang for the buck, it's a great deal. If you are looking for more quality, I'd suggest looking at Newmar's Canyon Star line, but you'll also be paying quite a bit more for that. For this price-point, you really do get a lot of good stuff with the Encounter.

The one thing I do not like is how cheaply it's thrown together in general, but unfortunately that's not something specific to just this brand.

I'm still happy with our decision. It's rides nicely due to the long wheelbase, isn't loud on the road (like you read about on most forums about gas rigs in general) and all the big, important stuff works.

If you have more questions, please let us know!

Best of luck with your decision!
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Old 05-29-2014, 12:07 PM   #9
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Coachmen Encounter

We have the 2013 Coachmen Encounter 34TA. We have had a few minor issues over the last year and have another one to address at the dealership next week. The dealership has been great helping us along the way with our repairs. This is our first motorhome and we have had a couple TT's before that. They also had minor repairs and weren't Coachmen products. We doubt any manufacturer is perfect and have issues. We try to keep a good relationship with our dealer and we have enjoyed our Encounter.
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Old 05-31-2014, 10:19 PM   #10
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We have a Coachmen Encounter 37TZ with the Chalet package. As with all MH's there were problems. Coachmen, and our dealer stood behind the product and fixed everything. Some things will be fixed quick and some things might drag on for a few months. The dealers size of service department makes the difference. The coach has a lot of bang for the buck. I have though, over 12 years of experience with the F53 V10 Ford chassis. I have had no problems with the engine, transmission and chassis. Just treat it well by doing all of your required maintenance, do some preventive maintenance and it will treat you very well. It should give you 6-8 MPG depending on your load, and speed in your foot (lead you know, will keep you on the low end). Enjoy the coach and camp often.
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