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Old 01-15-2020, 06:53 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 30.2
State: Iowa
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New Here - ACE 30.2 pre-purchase

Thought I should do some online reading and get some encouragement/discouragement before we pull the trigger. We're looking at a 2018 ACE 30.2 in the next few days and are pretty sure this is the floor plan for us, but I always appreciate owner-input from people like you. Give me your feedback about pros/cons of owning an ACE 30.2. What works well; what doesn't. Anything to watch out for after we buy? It has 6,500 miles and only 6 generator hours. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-15-2020, 07:37 PM   #2
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We've enjoyed our 2017 Ace 29.3 for three years now. Overall, given the need to replace it, I'd buy it again (except this floor plan has been eliminated).

Couple of things to make sure of:

1. On your pick up day, MAKE SURE they show you how to work EVERYTHING and that EVERYTHING works. That means every light switch. The furnace. The A/C. The inverter. The slide (and you have the big slide like I do so MAKE SURE you know the "trick" of how to keep it timed so make them SHOW you). The televisions. The water heater--both 110v and propane. The stove. Make them put water in it and test the internal pump at EVERY faucet. The refrigerator--both 110v and propane. The list can be very long. Write one down before you pick it up and go through it.

2. Be prepared for "gotchas" as it's not a matter of "if" but "when". Things will go wrong. Be prepared. Get manuals and keep them in the coach for times when you're away from the internet. One big one is a flat tire. What do you do without a spare tire? You really need a roadside assistance plan or lots of $$$.

3. Make them show you how to winterize the coach. We use ours all winter and I do it every time I get back home. It's easy, but it sure helps to have someone show you the first time. Know where ALL your low point drains are.

4. First trip out stay fairly close to home. You'll forget stuff. You won't remember everything. Venture further when you confidence climbs.

Remember that most of these forums are for the folks who have problems with their coach. Not that many of us post all the good stuff. I just had three problems taken care of with mine while I was gone for Christmas to the tune of $660. Be prepared for "stuff" like this.

Since yours will be a bunk house, remember none of these things are built like your house so roughhousing by kids should be a no-no inside the coach, especially since the bunks are on the long slide.

Accept that it was built on the last Friday of the month and everyone just wants to go home, that it's built to be light not strong, that it's going to twist and torque and bump in a way your house never will.

Water is evil. MAKE SURE you cover very carefully EVERY place where water might enter. Climb the roof and examine all the caulk joints on your hands and knees. Look at every window seal, especially the driver and passenger side front windows.

Good luck! We're about to head off in ours for the fourth adventure this winter.

Scott
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:07 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naturescott49 View Post
We've enjoyed our 2017 Ace 29.3 for three years now. Overall, given the need to replace it, I'd buy it again (except this floor plan has been eliminated).

Couple of things to make sure of:

1. On your pick up day, MAKE SURE they show you how to work EVERYTHING and that EVERYTHING works. That means every light switch. The furnace. The A/C. The inverter. The slide (and you have the big slide like I do so MAKE SURE you know the "trick" of how to keep it timed so make them SHOW you). The televisions. The water heater--both 110v and propane. The stove. Make them put water in it and test the internal pump at EVERY faucet. The refrigerator--both 110v and propane. The list can be very long. Write one down before you pick it up and go through it.

2. Be prepared for "gotchas" as it's not a matter of "if" but "when". Things will go wrong. Be prepared. Get manuals and keep them in the coach for times when you're away from the internet. One big one is a flat tire. What do you do without a spare tire? You really need a roadside assistance plan or lots of $$$.

3. Make them show you how to winterize the coach. We use ours all winter and I do it every time I get back home. It's easy, but it sure helps to have someone show you the first time. Know where ALL your low point drains are.

4. First trip out stay fairly close to home. You'll forget stuff. You won't remember everything. Venture further when you confidence climbs.

Remember that most of these forums are for the folks who have problems with their coach. Not that many of us post all the good stuff. I just had three problems taken care of with mine while I was gone for Christmas to the tune of $660. Be prepared for "stuff" like this.

Since yours will be a bunk house, remember none of these things are built like your house so roughhousing by kids should be a no-no inside the coach, especially since the bunks are on the long slide.

Accept that it was built on the last Friday of the month and everyone just wants to go home, that it's built to be light not strong, that it's going to twist and torque and bump in a way your house never will.

Water is evil. MAKE SURE you cover very carefully EVERY place where water might enter. Climb the roof and examine all the caulk joints on your hands and knees. Look at every window seal, especially the driver and passenger side front windows.

Good luck! We're about to head off in ours for the fourth adventure this winter.

Scott
That's great advice. Welcome to the forum
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:22 AM   #4
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I had a 2017 ACE 29.3 and really loved it. I do not know if its true on your coach but the bathroom sink water went to the black tank. The tank was only 26 gal. so really had to watch water use on sink and toilet.

I had no major problems with any of the moving parts, drive train, motor etc. In the 2.5 years I had it I put 20,000 miles on it. Change oil, grease, keep correct tire pressure.

The most important is Enjoy
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:30 AM   #5
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Can't really add anything to what Scott posted, but we bought a 2017 29.3 last year with very similar miles/hours on it. Did the CHF ("Cheap Handling Fix" - lots of documentation here) and am adding a steering stabilizer to improve handling. CHF was very effective, and the stabilizer should help even more.


We're now enjoying upgrading if as we go. Made a trip to the Keys last summer and to New Orleans before that. Also, several short runs around home in Tennessee. All good!
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Old 01-16-2020, 01:46 PM   #6
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Second to checking everything out three times plus...get ready for the closing with the F&I Goober. They will try to sell you every add-on they can as this is mega profit for them. We're talking thousands of dollars worth of crap and they'll push..."it only increases your payment by just a few dollars". Beware of things like paint protector, interior protector, extended warranties, "tire beads" and a host of every other thing they can think of. IMO, none of it it necessary and can be purchased later if you find you need them. This is the hardest sell pressure you will experience and they are pros at timing it just right. Good luck...you will love the lifestyle. Negotiate the best out-the-door price you can and get it in writing in the form of a "Buyer's Order", making sure its the real bottom line...before you go in for final delivery.
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Old 01-16-2020, 04:10 PM   #7
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This is great - thank you so much. We have experience with a travel trailer and a class C but felt a class A is for us. We've done lots of thinking, researching, thinking some more and we're ready to go further in the process. You hit on so many great points - I think the dealer thinks we're going to be there for a short time but I'm going to be thorough like you recommend because it's the off season and we won't get to use it too much. Both working full time parents with two young kids.

Thanks again, all.
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:54 PM   #8
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You're on the right track...make them take the time and go over everything twice...they hate that but once you drive off you're on your own. You'll probably find the Salesgoober doesn't know much about the unit. Most of them have never owned an RV...they're just training for a career in "Buy Here, Pay Here" car sales. And for the very few that are professional...hats off to them but they're in the back taking care of repeat customers...not out there on the lot looking for their next crumb.
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:46 PM   #9
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And for the very few that are professional...hats off to them but they're in the back taking care of repeat customers...not out there on the lot looking for their next crumb.[/QUOTE]


Took me 3 coaches to learn this! Figure out who the star salesperson is and make an appointment with him or her. If you just walk in the door youre apt to get the absolute worst - which takes all the fun out of the whole thing.
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:56 PM   #10
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You can usually tell right off by the way they are dressed. Ask them right off for a business card. If they have to write their name on it..keep moving.
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:25 AM   #11
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I agree with all the salesman advice.
But
I'm gonna say this:

It's a happy circumstance when a salesman ADDS to your knowledge base.
It's an unhappy circumstance when the salesman IS your knowledge base.
If you need a salesman for anything, other than unlocking the door,
YOU FAILED.
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Old 01-17-2020, 03:02 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ACEinCF View Post
Thought I should do some online reading and get some encouragement/discouragement before we pull the trigger. We're looking at a 2018 ACE 30.2 in the next few days and are pretty sure this is the floor plan for us, but I always appreciate owner-input from people like you. Give me your feedback about pros/cons of owning an ACE 30.2. What works well; what doesn't. Anything to watch out for after we buy? It has 6,500 miles and only 6 generator hours. Thanks in advance.


I own a 2014 Ace 30.2. We have been happy with it. Ours was low mileage 12,000 or so when we got it 1.5 years ago. We did some minor repairs to it and replaced the Goodyear tires that were cracking. We did the cheap handling fix which I highly recommend. The Ace handles great. Plenty of power for mountains and handles fine throughout wind and mountains easily. Before the fix it was rough. This year we had to get the sides recaulked and roof dicor replaced. Those are just typical maintenance items. We like the size and layout. We have 5 kids under 11 years old and we can sleep them all without breaking down dinette. If the layout works go for it and enjoy it. Im sure you will notice some fit and finish details that could have been done better but honestly for the price you cannot beat the Ace. I would buy again. Good luck and go for it.
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Old 01-22-2020, 07:35 PM   #13
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State: Iowa
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Originally Posted by Ohiomike View Post
I own a 2014 Ace 30.2. We have been happy with it. Ours was low mileage 12,000 or so when we got it 1.5 years ago. We did some minor repairs to it and replaced the Goodyear tires that were cracking. We did the cheap handling fix which I highly recommend. The Ace handles great. Plenty of power for mountains and handles fine throughout wind and mountains easily. Before the fix it was rough. This year we had to get the sides recaulked and roof dicor replaced. Those are just typical maintenance items. We like the size and layout. We have 5 kids under 11 years old and we can sleep them all without breaking down dinette. If the layout works go for it and enjoy it. Im sure you will notice some fit and finish details that could have been done better but honestly for the price you cannot beat the Ace. I would buy again. Good luck and go for it.
Thanks for sharing. How much did the stabilizer install cost? This has been on my mind lately as I think through and itemize expenses within the first year. Might go through the next season without it and have it done with the oil change and any other repairs at the end of the season 2020.
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Old 01-22-2020, 08:17 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by ACEinCF View Post
Thanks for sharing. How much did the stabilizer install cost? This has been on my mind lately as I think through and itemize expenses within the first year. Might go through the next season without it and have it done with the oil change and any other repairs at the end of the season 2020.

I didnt do any aftermarket parts. I did cheap handling fix. That is moving position of the front and rear sway bar links to inside position. I had mechanic do it while doing oil change and he charged $50 for both. I recommend that before buying any equipment. That change made huge difference on ride.
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Old 01-22-2020, 08:27 PM   #15
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Model: ACE 30.2
State: Tennessee
Posts: 32
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We have a 2018 Thor ACE 30.2 and travel with kids 4 and 6 and our golden doodle. Here are few things we have seen over the last 2 years and 15k miles.
  1. Our dining table broke free from the wall multiple times, a side effect of using car seats for the kids and them using the table many hours while driving
  2. I have had a clogged toilet probably every third trip out (kids have a hard time understanding the toilet works differently). I carry a clean-out tool with me now too
  3. The area under the sofa is wasted space and covered by a removable panel. We fit 3 big rubbermade totes under there and store all food in them. they are held in with a piece of 1x2 screwed to the ground on the front side
  4. Our RV has 2 places where screws are popping through the linoleum, one under the driver and one in front of the bunks. I had to cut through the floor and glue/screw them back in
  5. The outlets below the TV in the master worked but the USB ports did not
  6. We had speakers installed that had screw holes poked in them
  7. The bottom bunk sleeps hot (furnace ducts under the bunk)
  8. There is no easy cupholder for your copilot, so be prepared to install one
  9. You should DEFINITELY do the CHF (cheap handling fix). It is a free game changer for the handling of the RV with wind and passing vehicles
  10. You should verify with a level that your auto-leveling system is configured at the dealer if you don't want to figure it out on your own.
  11. The grill on ours (and many others like ours) squeals at 50-70mph. The dealer can replace the grill with a different one to make it go away. We wrapped ours in window screen and it stopped. Made vehicle impossible to drive between 50-70mph without getting a headache
  12. Temperature changes can cause a lot of moisture buildup on the front window and will drip a good amount on the dash (to the point of pooling).
  13. You will always forget common things like gas tank size, black tank size, grey tank size, tire pressure, etc. Make a laminated sheet for reference
  14. The wet bay is not heated, so if you are a winter camper, search the forums for tips. Some people put light bulbs in there and use heated hoses so the water pump doesnt freeze, for example
  15. Dealer had to replace our stereo in the first year, just stopped working
  16. Hot/cold lines were reversed in the kitchen on delivery

There were a few dealer/model issues in there, but generally, we are still in love with ours. For what I consider an entry level class A, it is awesome. There are a lot of cheap parts, but it get us comfortably between point a and point b, and we enjoy the rest of the time outside.

Good luck!
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:15 PM   #16
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Brand: Still Looking
State: Ohio
Posts: 14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferf View Post
We have a 2018 Thor ACE 30.2 and travel with kids 4 and 6 and our golden doodle. Here are few things we have seen over the last 2 years and 15k miles.
  1. Our dining table broke free from the wall multiple times, a side effect of using car seats for the kids and them using the table many hours while driving
  2. I have had a clogged toilet probably every third trip out (kids have a hard time understanding the toilet works differently). I carry a clean-out tool with me now too
  3. The area under the sofa is wasted space and covered by a removable panel. We fit 3 big rubbermade totes under there and store all food in them. they are held in with a piece of 1x2 screwed to the ground on the front side
  4. Our RV has 2 places where screws are popping through the linoleum, one under the driver and one in front of the bunks. I had to cut through the floor and glue/screw them back in
  5. The outlets below the TV in the master worked but the USB ports did not
  6. We had speakers installed that had screw holes poked in them
  7. The bottom bunk sleeps hot (furnace ducts under the bunk)
  8. There is no easy cupholder for your copilot, so be prepared to install one
  9. You should DEFINITELY do the CHF (cheap handling fix). It is a free game changer for the handling of the RV with wind and passing vehicles
  10. You should verify with a level that your auto-leveling system is configured at the dealer if you don't want to figure it out on your own.
  11. The grill on ours (and many others like ours) squeals at 50-70mph. The dealer can replace the grill with a different one to make it go away. We wrapped ours in window screen and it stopped. Made vehicle impossible to drive between 50-70mph without getting a headache
  12. Temperature changes can cause a lot of moisture buildup on the front window and will drip a good amount on the dash (to the point of pooling).
  13. You will always forget common things like gas tank size, black tank size, grey tank size, tire pressure, etc. Make a laminated sheet for reference
  14. The wet bay is not heated, so if you are a winter camper, search the forums for tips. Some people put light bulbs in there and use heated hoses so the water pump doesnt freeze, for example
  15. Dealer had to replace our stereo in the first year, just stopped working
  16. Hot/cold lines were reversed in the kitchen on delivery

There were a few dealer/model issues in there, but generally, we are still in love with ours. For what I consider an entry level class A, it is awesome. There are a lot of cheap parts, but it get us comfortably between point a and point b, and we enjoy the rest of the time outside.

Good luck!

Do you mind sharing a pic of the adjustment that you made to use under couch for storage?
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:19 PM   #17
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State: Missouri
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[QUOTE=The Gritz Carlton;219695]...Beware of things like paint protector, interior protector, extended warranties, "tire beads" and a host of every other thing they can think of. IMO, none of it it necessary and can be purchased later if you find you need them.... QUOTE]

I am not to sure that an extended warranty from the dealer is such a bad idea.

We just bought a 2011 Itasca Reyo (Sprinter based mini A with a 3/0L Diesel engine). It looks like new and has only 14K miles. I bought an exclusionary 5/75 warranty that pretty much covers everything except emission control devices and water damage (which is covered by my full coverage from Geico).

I am retired now but have been a mechanic ally working life and can most stuff myself with the tools I have at home. However I cant take those on the road. Besides that repairs on a Diesel engine and generator get expensive rather quickly.

Do what I did and get warranty quotes online. I got one from Warranty Wholesale for 4 year/unlimited miles with a $200.00 deductible per visit. Cost was $6500.00.

I paid $3200.00 with no deductibles at the dealer. Yes, dealers will make money but not all of them rip you off.
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Old 01-23-2020, 01:18 AM   #18
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Model: Windsport 29m
State: North Carolina
Posts: 188
THOR #9553
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACEinCF View Post
Thought I should do some online reading and get some encouragement/discouragement before we pull the trigger. We're looking at a 2018 ACE 30.2 in the next few days and are pretty sure this is the floor plan for us, but I always appreciate owner-input from people like you. Give me your feedback about pros/cons of owning an ACE 30.2. What works well; what doesn't. Anything to watch out for after we buy? It has 6,500 miles and only 6 generator hours. Thanks in advance.

I can't recommend the Windsport 29m enough. We love ours and it has been a delight from the beginning. That or the Hurricane are way better than the Ace, especially the view from the drivers seat, The overhang over the windshield on the ACE is just bad. The view from my RV is perfect!! Bob Trice
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Old 01-23-2020, 02:03 AM   #19
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State: Ohio
Posts: 14
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Originally Posted by knucklehead View Post
I can't recommend the Windsport 29m enough. We love ours and it has been a delight from the beginning. That or the Hurricane are way better than the Ace, especially the view from the drivers seat, The overhang over the windshield on the ACE is just bad. The view from my RV is perfect!! Bob Trice
just curious how does a non bunkhouse model help him with his layout?

The Windsport and Hurricane models are very similar to the Ace but very comparable. The 30.2 model is an amazing floor plan for its size. Neither your Windsport model or the hurricane have a bunk bed model under 33 foot.

The 34 J Windsport is 3 foot longer and only a few upgrades like inverter. Same with the Hurricane. Towing capacity is 4,000 lbs on both. Ace has 5,000 lbs so if towing a toad beware.

Original poster. The size of Ace 30.2 is amazing. Storage great and if you need inverter you can add one for less than $1,000 installed. Good luck
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Old 01-23-2020, 02:13 PM   #20
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Model: Windsport 29m
State: North Carolina
Posts: 188
THOR #9553
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiomike View Post
just curious how does a non bunkhouse model help him with his layout?

The Windsport and Hurricane models are very similar to the Ace but very comparable. The 30.2 model is an amazing floor plan for its size. Neither your Windsport model or the hurricane have a bunk bed model under 33 foot.

The 34 J Windsport is 3 foot longer and only a few upgrades like inverter. Same with the Hurricane. Towing capacity is 4,000 lbs on both. Ace has 5,000 lbs so if towing a toad beware.

Original poster. The size of Ace 30.2 is amazing. Storage great and if you need inverter you can add one for less than $1,000 installed. Good luck

I did no know you needed bunk beds. Didn't see that anywhere in the post but I think the Windsport and the Hurricane both have a bunk bed model or two. I liked the ACE for several reasons but I'm 6'6" and I could not see out the windshield worth a hoot. LOVE MY WINDSPORT THO'.... Bob Trice
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