Diesel Motorhome Manufacturers: Our research led us to find every USA Class A diesel motorhome manufacturer. We spent over nine months (10-2006) reviewing, on the web, every model, every floor plan and specifications from every manufacturer. After narrowing down our selection, we set up appointments to drive 14 motorhomes at five dealers in a four day period. After we selected our motorhome, we revisited every web site trying to find a motorhome that might exceed our choice.
Construction Differences: Your motorhome will be the first or second most expensive purchase of your lifetime. And it is more complicated than your home, your computer and your car combined. You want it to last as long as possible and therefore the construction is very important. If possible you should take factory tours before you purchase. We took only one and not from the brand we purchased. But since then, we have toured five other factories. When you see the construction you can make a better decision about which motorhomes can endure the punishment of the roads of North America.
Manufacturer Service versus Independent Service: Your best service should be from the manufacturer, but many dealers and service centers provide great service. Manufacturers will have all the spare parts and should get you in and out sooner. However, the waiting list for manufacturers can be many months.
Common Components: Many of the components used in the motorhomes are common to all brands. The furniture, appliances, steering wheels, engines, transmissions and other components may be the same. Your focus for reliability should be on the chassis, floor, wall and ceiling structure; the cabinetry, countertops, fabrics and other differing aspects.
Manufacturer versus Dealer: A full timer may not be concerned about choosing a dealer near their current home. Doing this may force you to choose a brand that is not the best for your needs. When full timing, your travels can take you across the USA. Make your best guess about where you will travel and consider any manufacturer that will be near your travel routes. After choosing your brand, then find the best dealer for that brand.