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Old 02-09-2017, 10:04 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Axis 24.1
State: Michigan
Posts: 8,129
THOR #1150
Local RV Show observations

Our local RV show runs this weekend (Wed - Sun) so I did a quick run-through on my way home from work today.

Its not a very big one: all inside a convention center. This usually means that dealers just park one floorplan of each make/model with a diagram on the door showing all the available plans. The salespeople don't bug you too much but are ever present to answer any questions (occasionally we even get the odd factory rep).

For my quick visit I did not look at any trailers, 5th wheels, or really large motorhomes--we are happy with the Axis and thus won't be purchasing anything anytime soon. The only units I was poking my head into were fellow Axis/Vegas units (one 24.1 and a 25.3) and things slightly larger should we get the urge to upgrade at some point (An ACE, a Forest River unit, etc.).

Sitting in the 24.1 was a couple talking to a salesman--it sounded like they were getting ready to sign on the dotted line. Of course I opened my big mouth: "Hey have any questions? I own one?" LOL (Well given that we like our Axis I didn't shout at the top of my lungs: "DON'T BUY A THOR!" LOL). Their questions for me were rather simple: "Do you like it?" (yes) "Where have you taken it?" (FL, UP-MI, DC, MO, etc.) I did mention on the way out "Don't get the oven--you'll like the large drawers instead!"

The funny thing was: Having been on a few RV forums now for quite some time I find myself looking for the issues in the coaches instead of the features. "Ugh full-wall slide on this one, nope, sink and refer in the slide let me look at the plumbing, hmm none of these fridges have the reinforced hinge, etc." This behavior was obviously different from most show goers that I could see (at least the people that happened to be in the same unit as I): They would be looking at features and creature comforts...

Not sure if you notice that kind of thing at the bigger shows.

Another funny thing about this is this week's post on Thor's blog:
https://thormotorcoach.com/blog/those-crazy-rvers/
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Old 02-11-2017, 03:47 PM   #2
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2016 Vegas 25.2
State: Florida
Posts: 1,958
THOR #1589
My day at the big Tampa show was similar. Like you, we aren't looking to replace our Vegas 25.2 anytime soon. Did have some conversation with prospective Vegas/Axis shippers. Yes, the 25.2 is just right for our travel style.

My best suggestion was this and similar forums. And, pick your dealer carefully!

I spent some time inspecting the new Roadtrek, Homer and some other Sprinter coaches, confirming that we aren't ready to travel that light.
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Old 02-11-2017, 06:15 PM   #3
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Brand: Still Looking
State: Texas
Posts: 3,930
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post

.....cut....

The funny thing was: Having been on a few RV forums now for quite some time I find myself looking for the issues in the coaches instead of the features. "Ugh full-wall slide on this one, nope, sink and refer in the slide let me look at the plumbing, hmm none of these fridges have the reinforced hinge, etc." This behavior was obviously different from most show goers that I could see (at least the people that happened to be in the same unit as I): They would be looking at features and creature comforts...

Not sure if you notice that kind of thing at the bigger shows.

.....cut.....
Absolutely. The more you know the more you critique, and the more frustrating the search can become.

Most buyers are very trusting that what they will be buying was designed and manufactured by experts in their field, and appear to have little concern on whether the motorhome will perform or hold up well over time. You are right that creature comforts are more important than whether they will get stuck at a campground for days because a slide won't work right. Or that a motorhome is so top heavy and tall that it won't handle acceptably. I guess most people just take the risk thinking it won't happen to them, or that if it does, it will be so far into future that they will deal with it later.

Do you think many buyers check the underside of motorhomes to see how well they are built? I'd bet very few.



At the Tampa Supershow we really liked the Roadtrek Zion -- my wife wanted to buy it from the start. But it didn't feel right to me, and not being impulsive I decided to think about it overnight. They were reasons we had a list of "must-haves".

It only slept two -- no kids along for ride.
No forward-facing seats for car seats.
No large storage for normal things like chairs and small grill.
No conventional generator.

While it had lithium batteries (400 Amp-hours) that could run A/C for 3 to 3-1/2 hours, the engine-driven alternator would have to run too often and too long to keep A/C running during day while tailgating. It just wouldn't work as a package at the level I would want or expect. I figured a Honda 2000 could run the A/C for tailgating, but there is no place to store it other than on a hitch carrier (plus portable generators aren't technically allowed).

Everything about the Zion said "buy me", but based on years of experience I just knew that for our current needs that we would soon regret it if we did.
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Old 02-11-2017, 07:30 PM   #4
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 35C
State: South Dakota
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THOR #3761
Our experience at the latest RV show here in Virginia Beach was very similar. Since we already have a fairly brand new Hurricane and are quite happy, we knew we wouldn't be buying but still wanted to see what was new. We checked out some Forest River, Winnebago, Tiffin and Fleetwood motorhomes just to see and found ourselves having conversations very similar since we already owned one. We also know what we like and what we don't like as well as what we consider quality. It was an entertaining evening.
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Old 02-11-2017, 11:45 PM   #5
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State: Texas
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It is surprising how often we see "like-new" motorhomes for sale with less than 3,000 miles on them, when half that was getting them to dealer.

Sometimes it may be due to illness or loss of job etc., but I wonder how many RVs are purchased without really understanding all the consequences. I'd hate to make that kind of expensive mistake.
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