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Old 04-25-2016, 08:15 AM   #1
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2016 FR3 32DS vs. 2016 Coachmen Mirada 35BH

I am new to the Class A motorhome experience.

I have a 2014 Grey Wolf 19RR Toy Hauler and its been great...

I am going to either get the 2016 FR3 32DS or the 2016 Coachmen Mirada 35BH but I cant decide which is better.

My only real requirements are that it has a double bunk bed and is in the 32-37' length area.

I understand the price for the FR3 is a little cheaper but its not that much cheaper for me to rule out the Mirada.

Thanks for any first hand experience anyone can provide me.
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Old 04-25-2016, 04:10 PM   #2
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We have been looking at the FR3 models. It struck us that the storage for kitchen, dry goods, plates and cooking pots was a bit on the shy side. Just our impression. We have not looked at the Mirada.
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Old 04-26-2016, 03:45 PM   #3
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Well what I can tell you, is that the Coachmen 35 BH is a great motorhome.

In full disclosure I have to tell you that we own one having traded up from a Jayco Greyhawk 31FK. At the time of our shopping we seriously considered a Jayco Precept and sincerely desired to own one.

Another option was a Winnebago of the similar floor plan. The difference became the bathrooms size, residential refrigerator and bunkhouse on the Coachmen. All were a cut above and won out out hands down over the Winnebago, Jayco and Georgetown .

We also looked at the Georgetown I believe it was 364TS. While it was nice that it had a laundry unit and two full bathrooms, both bathrooms were extremely small and very unusable for a handicapped individual or a person larger then a skinny mini!

Which brings us to full Circle in this discussion of comparing the FR3 to the Coachmen and another Forest River product the Georgetown. I've yet to see a definitive explanation of the marketing strategy and who the anticipated customers for each of these coaches in the different divisions of this company. I know the coachman is a legacy brand that they adopted and uniquely stands by itself is compared to the FR3.

In the end what I find intriguing is that there's very little discussion on the Coachmen discussion board but, Georgetown and FR3 people seem to flap a lot about complaints that they have. I'm not sure if that's a barometer of satisfied customers or better built products (Coachmen) but I just find it an interesting and noteworthy point of discussion.

Good luck !


Life is always better under a Palm tree...

2016 Mirada 35BH "Trolley"
2016 Jeep Cherokee Latitude

Previous- Jayco Greyhawk 31FK

Western NY
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Old 04-27-2016, 06:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OmegaQuest View Post
I am new to the Class A motorhome experience.

I have a 2014 Grey Wolf 19RR Toy Hauler and its been great...

I am going to either get the 2016 FR3 32DS or the 2016 Coachmen Mirada 35BH but I cant decide which is better.

My only real requirements are that it has a double bunk bed and is in the 32-37' length area.

I understand the price for the FR3 is a little cheaper but its not that much cheaper for me to rule out the Mirada.

Thanks for any first hand experience anyone can provide me.
We almost bought the 35BH. However - we did find something better for our needs. Emphasis on our needs. Each coach has trade-offs and compromises. I will call out 2 things about the 35BH that ultimately made us keep looking - they are the 2 bathrooms and the storage space.

The bathrooms introduces double dumping - or to simply not use the back one to reduce dumping w/o full hook ups. The bathrooms are sized appropriately and the real benefit was the rear shower.

The other is Kitchen storage space - we felt that there wasn't enough room to store what we had in our class C. If I remember correctly there is no easy access space under the dinette seats. Because the TV is on the back wall, you loose the extra cabinets that could be there. The fridge is awesome but again you lose pantry space.

We ended up with a GT - in our sig below - TV is on the side cabinets and opens. This freed up the back wall for cabinets and had storage under the seat. Rear bath is removed and has rear window for looking out where are parked.

Good luck on your decision. We looked at the FR3 too but I honestly can't remember as we looked at so many. It does have, like the 35BH, a front bunk which adds extra sleepers.
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Old 04-27-2016, 06:59 AM   #5
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I watched a YouTube on the FR3 bunkhouse because I was curious. There were no "good" dealers near us who sold them.

I think if you compare videos yourself you will see the difference. I also believe the FR3 was FR's answer to Thor's ACE. Personally, the ACE is much nicer based on my previous inspections. However I would not trust Thor or their regional service representative.



Life is always better under a Palm tree...

2016 Mirada 35BH "Trolley"
2016 Jeep Cherokee Latitude

Previous- Jayco Greyhawk 31FK

Western NY
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Old 04-27-2016, 01:55 PM   #6
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WDW you are correct in your comment that the FR3 is the comparable to the Thor Ace. I know this because I spoke with the FR3 designer when we bought ours and again this year at the RV show. He worked for Thor, He designed the FR3 to modify some elements that he thought did not work well in the Thor Ace. That said, we like our FR3, We considered trading up this year to a larger diesel with an extra bath then fortunately gathered on senses and decide to stay the course, at least for a while. The FR3 meets our needs. Kitchen storage is limited by I have converted one of the bedroom hanging closets into storage for that. We only are able to travel for short stays right now and do not need two large hanging closets. The bathroom is cozy but totally manageable. The surfaces are easy to clean, this was a big deal for me. We travel with dog and 93 year old who spills a bit. I don't have to worry about anything, a quick wipe with a paper towel saves the day. Your decision will have compromises. I even found some things I didn't like in a half million dollar unit. What can I say?
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Old 05-02-2016, 01:06 AM   #7
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2016 Mirada 35bh

I'm looking at buying a 2016 Mirada 35bh this month and need some input from current owners. What are the main issues (if any) how does it handle? Engine power? Can't find many reviews and have only heard bad things about it. It fits our needs perfectly and really want to upgrade but I'd like to here from current owners if possible... PLEASE advise!!!

Thanks a bunch.
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Old 05-02-2016, 11:26 AM   #8
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Update:


We ended up going with a Used 2014 FR3 30DS. Not exactly what we wanted but it will work for now.


Thanks everyone for the input.
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Old 05-02-2016, 02:37 PM   #9
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I don't know where you've heard bad things about the BH or coachmen I really haven't found that many comments. Equally I can find a tremendous amount about Thor products and a reasonable number about certain Winnebago units.

That said if you compare all similar models of a split bath, bunkhouse I think at end of the day the coachman stands out in that particular category.

That's not without saying I wish that there were certain creature features and design features that others of less rebuild or greater build have, it's always a trade-off.

We just completed our first shakedown trip which was about 350 miles round-trip. Unfortunately our trip on the out and back was in crappy weather. We have done several enhancements to the drivability of the rig including a super steer up front and a trac in the rear. Combined with a front end alignment that they spent five hours completing I believe our BH drives as well as any large refrigerator box can down the highway. This especially true at 55 MPH. It's enjoyable. On expressways it depends upon the surface level of the road. Decent Road equals driving at a higher speed poorly maintained road particularly with split patching is you find here sometimes in the Northeast makes it harder to maintain a higher rate of speed.

I don't think you'll find a unit with a bigger shower which was important to us and the organization of the unit at the drivers cocked it is extremely well done. However the lack of the pantry does make for. Challenging packing. In our case we are able to use the upper of the two bunks as an additional inside storage area.

Finally there's price I believe that we got a tremendous price at our dealer which is Ray Wakley's in North East Pennsylvania. It's a small dealership that I like to call it a boutique dealership. I've dealt with all the major dealers in the Buffalo area and Rochester and quite frankly none of them stand out or come close to the family oriented type of enterprise that Ray operates. As for price they are as competitive as that major dealer in Texas that blows out Coachmens at very attractive prices every day of the week.


Life is always better under a Palm tree...

2016 Mirada 35BH "Trolley"
2016 Jeep Cherokee Latitude

Previous- Jayco Greyhawk 31FK

Western NY
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