Older Fleetwoods

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scottydl

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I'm trying to figure out these older Fleetwood MH's, and how all the different models "rank".  For instance, the 1989 Fleetwood Class A's I can find on the internet include the Pace Arrow, Bounder, Southwind, Flair, and the Overland.  So far the Overland and Flair look the most sleek and modern (without that 1980's "shark nose" shape that I really don't like), but were they the highest quality in Fleetwood's line-up?  I've read nothing but good things about Pace Arrow's from everyone here, and they rate 2nd-best in the looks department IMHO.  Southwind and Bounder rank near the bottom for me.  Anyone know what the official Fleetwood offerings were in those 1988-1992 (or so) model years?
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Pace Arrow and Southwind are pretty much sisters, today and back then as well.  The Flair was slightly downscale and downsize from either of them. Bounders were and remain entry level.

I didn't realize Overland was ever a Fleetwood brand name, but a quick check shows it was. Nice looking rigs and well equipped, so maybe they were higher up the marketing chain.

Fleetwood also had the Coronado back around then and it was a well equipped and fairly upscale, I think.
 

chaajoad

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Scotty - that MH DOES look in good shape - and with a tow dolly!

Funny that every time Bounders are mentioned here, there's always that "entry-level" disclaimer attached. Of course it's true but I see ads for brand new Bounders going for around $80k list. Pretty expensive hobby/lifestyle we have going here when 80 grand is entry-level. For us at this point, that's both the entry and the exit level!!!

Are you bidding on that MH?
 

scottydl

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Unfortunately no, it's too far away from me geographically.  But it's a newly-discovered (for me) model, that looks much more modern than other MH's of the mid-late 80's.  And believe me, I wasn't referring to *your* newer Bounder with my comments above... it looks just as good as any late-model MH as far as I'm concerned.  ;)  But the body style of the era I can afford left much to be desired IMO.
 

BernieD

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scottydl said:
Thanks, that's the kind of model breakdown I was interested in.  I'd never seen a Fleetwood Overland either until I ran across this one on eBay.  Nice looking rig for its age.

Scotty

In the late 90s Overland was a higher quality coach independently owned. It went out of business in 2001. I had ordered a new coach and Freightliner was going to provide a diesel pusher chassis that was repossessed when Overland closed.
 

Jim Dick

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chaajoad said:
Scotty - that MH DOES look in good shape - and with a tow dolly!

Funny that every time Bounders are mentioned here, there's always that "entry-level" disclaimer attached. Of course it's true but I see ads for brand new Bounders going for around $80k list. Pretty expensive hobby/lifestyle we have going here when 80 grand is entry-level. For us at this point, that's both the entry and the exit level!!!

Bounders were the "entry level" coaches a few years ago and are close to that now. However, when John Crean was CEO of Fleetwood NOBODY did anything to that coach without his approval. His own coach was a Beagle. He had a Bounder body put onto an Eagle chassis. I actually saw it on the road in Decatur, IN. Bounder was the test bed for many of the innovations that Fleetwood eventually made in its entire lineup. It was the first to receive dual pane windows. Cost was kept at a minimum because they only had one interior color/pattern for each  production year. It was a coach that worked and worked well. We owned two, one gas and one diesel, and would have purchased another if they had come out with their new diesel in time. I really believe that back in the 90's, and perhaps even now, it was the most bang for the buck in motor homes.
 

JudyBKM

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Do you disagree with RV Consumers' consistly low ratings for the Bounder (depending somewhat on size)?
 

Jim Dick

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JudyBKM said:
Do you disagree with RV Consumers' consistly low ratings for the Bounder (depending somewhat on size)?

Judy,

If you're talking about the group that charges $100 for their info which they sometimes just substitute figures from other models because they didn't have the correct info, yes, I disagree. We had two Bounders and they both were great coaches. The only reason we moved on was because they didn't come out with their newer diesel when we were ready to trade. Now I don't have any experience with the newer models except having driven a couple at work. They are on a fine chassis and the finish is consistant with the price range of any manufacturer.

One must remember you get what you pay for and lower priced coaches just don't have all the quality of higher priced ones. That doesn't automatically make them bad. That outfit used to rate the Rexair as a top coach in it's class, IIRC, but upon inspection it didn't look as good as our Bounder! Remember, this was back in the late 90's.
 

JudyBKM

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Jim Dick said:
If you're talking about the group that charges $100 for their info
Renewals are only $28.50  :)

I know they put a lot of emphasis on wheelbase-to-length ratios -- although they qualify that in the FAQs.

For someone who may be able to judge the quality of construction but not other aspects of a motorhome, do you not feel that the RV Consumers Group in general provides some good guidelines? Certainly there has been agreement between people here and the RV Consumers Group regarding many brands and models. OTOH, we've heard people say that they absolutely love a particular motorhome -- yet the ratings are very low and other RVers will speak poorly of that motorhome. I guess a lot has to do with luck -- or perhaps a willingness to put up with the inconvenience of problems on the road.

 

Ron

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For someone who may be able to judge the quality of construction but not other aspects of a motorhome, do you not feel that the RV Consumers Group in general provides some good guidelines?

IMHO I do not believe the information provided can be considered as good guidelines.  From what I understand the RV Consumers Group does not do any real tests or even on site inspection of any of the coaches they evaluate.  How can a valid evaluation be made without testing and inspection.  Sorry I am not impressed with the RV Consumer Group information.  This is just my opinion an others may have different views.
 

Shayne

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Scotty  If you want an older Fleetwood Pacer  or Southwind,  you should come out here to AZ west of Phoenix.  Lots of them out here for sale.  Many of us old Gheezers can't drive any more and they are up for sale.  All kinds and sizes.  Shoppers paradise.
 

Jim Dick

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Owners know more than any group that doesn't test properly. :) I just have no faith in any group that inserts "test" information from other models because they can't get the information for whatever reason.
 

Shayne

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RV tests are probably like auto tests    If you pay the most money you get the best revue. 
 

Jim Dick

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Shayne,

I hate to say it but I have never read a bad revue of an automobile, RV, or motorcycle in any publication associated with the aforementioned items. :)
 

172ndLIB

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Fleetwood also had the Limited.  It was I believe only available in lengths 34 feet and up.  It was supposed to be their top model in 1988-9 but I don't remember if they made it in 90-92.
It had just about anything you could get in a RV back then.  You can find out the model by checking out Kelly Blue Book on-line.  They used to list all Fleetwood models under that heading.  Haven't used it lately so don't know if they still do.  I know NADA doesn't anymore.
 

Shayne

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Jim   I read revues  constantly about 2 or 3 units in luxury cars and they list  Cad, Lincolns, Lexus, and Chrysler,   Chrysler isn't even in the same ball park with those cars.  Jags maybe  but not Chryslers   They fit in with Buick,  Mercury and that catagory.  Even in pricing.  They test  2 or 3 cars in a set series of tests and then don't even drive the others in the classes.   I've seen myself and was told, it's the writers options to include what they want.  Some companies wine and dine these writers and has visions of payola all over it.  Think I'm wrong?  Go to a test sometime and check it out.  Been there  done that.  It's happened for years.  It's writer version and he can set it any way he desires.    Check some of the auto mags, 5 mags and you'll get 5 different opinions and 5 cars selected the best.  It just depends on what mag you believe in.
 

chaajoad

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Scotty - I knew what you were referring to and I'm with ya. In the months I looked, I checked out a TON of rigs of all sizes and ages. The ones I liked the least were the shovel-nosed units you've referred to. I know this might not be the best reason, but I liked the Bounder because of the rounded edges. It just kinda looks "friendly", ya know? I understand lay-out, mechanical reliability and that kind of stuff is really more important, but ... I liked the looks and went from there.

I wish I would have saved the photos but there was one rig I really liked that was very tour-bus in its looks and was older (maybe an '88 or '89?) but deee-lux inside. It looked very modern. At the time I just couldn't picture a thing that big next to the house plus it was a bit out of the price range. Turns out I bought a good-sized MH anyway and spent more $$ than I thought anyway - I could have had it. But I'm happy.

Here's a first - I backed it down the driveway to the side of the house in one pass the other day. THAT is a first - and in heavy rain, to boot! Not a big deal in the scheme of the universe, but I was kind of pumped.

I'll say it again - very few guys on this board have your desire and dedication. It will be cool to read about your adventures when you get rolling. Next month or next year - I hope I'm around to read your posts!

Danny
Poulsbo WA
 

chaajoad

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Scotty - as mentioned here earlier, you really might want to think about Arizona as a place to get a MH when the time is right. I came across a few dealers (and private sellers) online - the deals seemed greatand the coaches looked excellent. Yes, older owners selling well-cared-for rigs would make sense in AZ and the dry weather has to be help keep the rigs in good condition.

As for Consumer Reports type of ratings ...

I have zero knowledge on these publications but how can they thoroughly test dozens of RVs that are so costly? Toasters are one thing but using them to rate a $200,000 rig is another. Myself, I'd search out forums like this. That's where I was convinced Bounders had a solid rep, after reading but good about them in 3 or 4 other forums.
 

Jim Dick

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172ndLIB said:
Fleetwood also had the Limited.  It was I believe only available in lengths 34 feet and up.  It was supposed to be their top model in 1988-9 but I don't remember if they made it in 90-92.
It had just about anything you could get in a RV back then.  You can find out the model by checking out Kelly Blue Book on-line.  They used to list all Fleetwood models under that heading.  Haven't used it lately so don't know if they still do.  I know NADA doesn't anymore.

The Fleetwood Limited was the predecessor of the American Coach line. It is still considered in the American Coach family. I can't remember what year they changed the name to American Eagle.
 
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