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Old 08-30-2015, 02:46 PM   #1
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Encounter

My wife and I are considering buying a 2016 Encounter. Would like to know what is your experience if you own one?
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Old 08-31-2015, 11:10 PM   #2
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Anyone with an Encounter out there?
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:56 PM   #3
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Encounter

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Anyone with an Encounter out there?
Yes, there are a few of us. We have a 2013 Encounter 36KS. Have had a few warranty issues that have been resolved - some at the dealership and others at the factory or a Service and Seminar Rally that we attended in 2013. Pretty reliable now and handles very well. Last weekend we ran into a driving rain on the way home and discovered that the front clearance lights leak. Spent several hours taking them apart, cleaning and applying silicone sealant.

We live in ours 4 to 5 months a year. We like the floor plan; however, the DW would kill for a washer/dryer - maybe our next one...

Have done lots of mods including: inverter, BIRD, LED strip light under awning, replaced all halogens with LEDs, cheap handling fix (CHF), 5 Star Tune, transfer switch, toad charging circuit, beer fridge in basement, vent covers, upgraded home theater/DVD system. I am an electrical engineer and do my own RV repair/mod stunts...

What else would you like to know about the Coachmen Encounter/Ford F53 Chassis?
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:26 PM   #4
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Thank you for your response. I just wanted to hear from some owners about their experience.
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Old 09-02-2015, 09:52 PM   #5
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Thank you for your response. I just wanted to hear from some owners about their experience.
2011 Encounter 37TZ here. about 15,000 miles now, combination of local time and trip time. We have one of the first Encounters (37TZ anyway) off the line and as you might expect many many issues but... once we (the dealer and I) got to them, the DW and I started to have more fun with the rig. Now I would take it anywhere.

My suggestions, come to grips with these limitations: no washer or dryer, small shower (get in it and close the doors so you know what you are dealing with) no heated tanks or wet bay so this is a three season coach, small grey water tank meaning if you don't have full hookups you have to conserve water so as not to fill the grey tank too fast. Fresh water and black holding tanks are fine, its the gray that is too small.

Service is mush less expensive than Diesel coaches, fuel costs right now are low but regardless fuel mileage is also low. We tow a jeep and I load the coach up; we get 8mph sometimes on the level and as low as 6.5mph in the mountains when towing and we are always towing.

You may want to add a steering shock and rear track bar to improve handling on the Ford chassis but otherwise the Ford Triton engine and chassis is just about bullet proof.

Hope that helps,

Gary
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Old 09-02-2015, 11:05 PM   #6
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Well, two of the floor plans 37LS and 37SA come with washer/dryer prep. We are thinking about this. Thanks.
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Old 09-02-2015, 11:06 PM   #7
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Gary, how does it pull the Jeep?
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Old 09-03-2015, 09:42 PM   #8
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Gary, how does it pull the Jeep?
We have a 2012 Wrangler Unlimited (meaning a 4 door) weighing in at about 4012 pounds if I recall correctly.

Much of the time we don't even know it's back there. But going up grades you start to feel the weight. We slow down to 50 or so on long grades like Fancy Gap in the Appalachian Mountains.

I was told by a gentleman I met recently who has a gas Newmar Canyon Star that he slowed down to 25-30 by the time he got to the top at Fancy Gap and 50 was doing very well. The Canyon Star he was driving was another 24/30 inches longer than our 37 TZ which is not quite 38 feet.

You'll pick up a little tail wag on curves when towing due to the long overhang on longer gas models but the track bar previously mentioned will mitigate much of it. The problem is the long overhang and leaf spring set up on the Ford. The Axle moves left and right slightly enhancing that tail waging the dog feeling. Again, get a rear track bar, it will hold the axle in place. This is not an "Encounter" problem by the way, it's a problem with any brand of longer gas coach on the Ford Chassis.

Gary
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Old 09-04-2015, 12:22 PM   #9
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Thank you.
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Old 09-04-2015, 10:14 PM   #10
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Think twice before investing in a Coachmen. We bought a 2015 Encounter 37LS 50th anniversary edition in January. It took 8 months before we could use the unit. It spent most of that time at the dealer or at the factory.

Both drivers and passenger windows had to be replaced
Front cap had to be reattached and resealed
Windshield was resealed 3 times
Stairs had to be replaced
Slide seals were replaced

The residential refrigerator died, dealer wouldn't touch it, the factory finally swapped it out but in the process had to rebuild a wall of cabinets because the new refrigerator was bigger than the original one.

The light fixture above the mirror in the rear bathroom fell off the wall while we were driving to the factory. Mirror didn't break but had to be replaced. In the process of replacing the mirror they mounted it differently resulting in it sticking out a little bit from the wall. You can't see this at all. No big deal right? Not exactly. The bathroom sink faucet is offset. It's a 2 lever faucet and when you turn the hot water off the lever hits the mirror. I have to replace the faucet with a single lever unit.

At the same time when they reinstalled the light fixture they left a wire hanging outside the housing. I have to loosen the fixture and push the wire back in.

The entire outside had to be resealed. The factory put the unit in the rain tank to test for leaks. It was done with the slides in and out. The also found a leaking backup light, they replaced both.

Both coach batteries had to be replaced and the chassis battery is on it's last legs, it will get replaced next year.

The awning was wired to the chassis battery instead of the house batteries resulting in the awning going out but couldn't retract. I had to do some rewiring to fix that.

When we went to put in the water filter into the housing (just before our first trip) it leaked. Couldn't figure out why. Finally realized that it was installed without the o ring. It's a special size, no one anywhere had one. Only fix was to put a new housing in which I did do we could take our first trip.

Overall it's a well built unit with a few issues. It has what we want, just wasn't built right. That sours our opinion of Coachmen even though they stepped up and fixed most of the problems.
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