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Old 04-17-2017, 11:43 AM   #1
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Sierra vs Coachmen

Have a FR tow behind hybrid, was a great first camper, but now we have the itch to upgrade. We have an 04 GMC diesel dually TV.

I'm 6'5", so the added extra height in the Sierra models is appreciated.

Can someone comment on why there seems to be two classes of 5th wheels, ones with 13'2" height and ones with 12'4" height? Is height the only difference, or does this speak to chassis build, etc.?

Also, what is the history of Sierra? Coachmen appears to have been a recession era acquisition by FR, and frankly, there are a lot of negative consumer reviews on the internet about the brand (but their BBB is actually better than Sierra's). Wondering how much the Coachmen brand may still be in the midst of overhaul by FR to meet its standards.

Last: because of my tall frame, I like free standing dinettes better than the booths. Is free standing even an option on a model like the 372LOK? I don't see it.

Thanks in advance,

Todd
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Old 04-17-2017, 12:26 PM   #2
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Many RV reviews you read online are people venting, partly about the RV usually about the dealer. Most don't distinguish between FR and a FR dealer.
While most problems may seem like major catastrophes to the consumer, they are typically trivial. This at least, has been my take, and there are a few exceptions. As for Sierra, I had good luck with them and would buy another.
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Old 04-17-2017, 01:18 PM   #3
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I completely agree with AquaMan.....nobody usually posts online as to how great and problem free their RV is because they are too busy enjoying it!!!

In addition, the vast majority of the complaints I've read are about trailers that are 6 months or older. To me, that's your dealer not properly supporting you and getting the job done correctly. In my mind, if it was a true "manufacturer" problem, the trailer would be less than a few days old if that.

All that being said, I can literally Google EVERY manufacturer, brand, model etc and find a ton of complaints about each of them. At the end of the day, it's a crap shoot as to whether or not you will get a good unit or one with issues. Fortunately, given enough time, you can fix all the flaws. You just need to find a good supportive dealer and decide how much time you are willing to invest.
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Old 04-17-2017, 01:21 PM   #4
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Yes, I get that. That's why if someone could fill me in on the history of Sierra, I'd appreciate it. If it's been a FR brand for a long time, that means more to me than a relatively recent distressed acquisition.

Thanks!
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Old 04-17-2017, 01:40 PM   #5
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Coachmen was acquired by FR almost 10 years ago.
I think the overhaul would've been done by now.
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Old 04-18-2017, 11:59 PM   #6
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The Sierra and Sandpiper lines are virtually identical. The difference being the trim (interior colors etc.) I have a Sandpiper. We like it but have had problems. Most solved, the EXCEPTION being the main A/C. FR and dealers say it's a-ok. I say NOT! A 78* temp inside with the main A/C running all day and the exterior temp only being 92* is NOT OK by my standards.
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Old 04-19-2017, 12:08 AM   #7
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And to be fair, yes all the other warranty issues we had, minus the A/C, were taken care of. We just had a bad experience with 1 dealer on 1 warranty issue and an insurance claim to the roof. They fixed a fridge toppling out of it's slide durning transport with a strap, functional yes, appropriate fix or pretty, not in my book. I went back after our warranty expired and fixed it the right way. Now no strap is necessary and I have no fear that the fridge will swan dive into the couch again.

We hit a tree and had to have the roof replaced. Before I figured out this was one of the less than desirable dealers I had them replace the roof. NO issues with the leaking cap from the factory, now it leaks like a sieve. And of course they are pointing the finger at me saying I hit another branch which I am positive I did not. My insurance agent said most likely that corporate would cancel me if we had another major claim like that within a year or two so I am ANAL about trees now. I slow to a snail pace if I think we're going to brush them.
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Old 04-20-2017, 08:59 AM   #8
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Running only one AC in a trailer that size is not going to cut. You can usually only expect a 20 degree delta from an AC, and it takes 2 to cool it down at the 90+ temps. I couldn't get below 80 on 95-100 days, added the second AC and was down to 70.
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Old 04-20-2017, 10:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaMan View Post
Running only one AC in a trailer that size is not going to cut. You can usually only expect a 20 degree delta from an AC, and it takes 2 to cool it down at the 90+ temps. I couldn't get below 80 on 95-100 days, added the second AC and was down to 70.
I have a 15k BTU main a/c and a 13.5k BTU secondary a/c. The 13.5 gets the MBR into the low 60s even with it pushing air to the main cabin. And the main cabin still won't get below 78. And both are factory installed units. So more than 1 and still not cutting it. Based on the 13.5 getting the MBR into the low 60s AND helping the main I contend there is a problem with the 15k main.
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Old 04-21-2017, 07:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chop249 View Post
I have a 15k BTU main a/c and a 13.5k BTU secondary a/c. The 13.5 gets the MBR into the low 60s even with it pushing air to the main cabin. And the main cabin still won't get below 78. And both are factory installed units. So more than 1 and still not cutting it. Based on the 13.5 getting the MBR into the low 60s AND helping the main I contend there is a problem with the 15k main.
Yeah, you may be right! Take some temp measurements coming straight out of the dump and see what kind of delta temp you are getting.
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