Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Visit to Entegra Coach

The day we took delivery of our new Anthem back in May, we called Entegra Coach and made a service appointment.  We know what you are thinking . . . why so quick to think there would be problems?  Hang on dear readers!  If you know one thing about RV’ing it is that things break.  It doesn’t matter if your motorhome is a year old or 10 years old, there will be problems.  New motorhomes come off the lot all polished up looking and sounding great but add a few thousand miles and roads that resemble moon craters (yea, we’re talking about you Pennsylvania!) and you will quickly discover problems.  The Entegra two-year warranty (and three-year roadside assistance) was a big selling point for us and we knew any manufacturer that offered that must build a solid coach to begin with, but after six months living in it and a few thousand miles we did have some reasons to go for repairs.

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If you have never heard of Entegra Coach, you are not the only one.  Entegra is fairly new in the RV realm.  It’s 118predecessor was Travel Supreme and since 2008 Entegra Coach became a member of the Jayco, Inc.  Entegra makes three models of luxury Class A diesel motorhomes – the Aspire, Anthem, and Cornerstone – with just over 2,200 units sold.  We feel the quality, warranty, and customer care that Entegra produces are the reasons they have become a fast climber in the Class A diesel market.  Pretty sure you will be seeing a lot more of these parked next to you. 

In our experience, RV service has rarely been an easy pleasant experience and we were very much hoping that Entegra’s focus on customer service would be a positive experience.  What we really liked about the Entegra service process was that we were assigned an appointment date (albeit you have to book far in advance) and service representative (Owen Brown, in our case) that would coordinate the work being done and act as the liaison between the service technicians and us.  Let me back up….what we really liked were the FRIENDLY professional people in the service department. 

Three weeks prior to our visit we were asked to complete a form outlining the problems we were having and service needs.  In our case, the punch list included 20 or so items that included things like the convection oven not working, two shade motors not working, a door latch needed to be painted, awning needed adjustment, instrument panel needed to be refastened, and a faulty check valve in the water pump.  During that three-week time period we had great email communication and follow-up with Owen and had to add a couple of more minor items.  A few days prior to our appointment date, there was a final email/call to make sure all items were on the list. 
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Our awesome service advisor, Owen.
Service starts early at Entegra and every morning we needed to be out of the coach at 6:30 am.  Yes, there really is a 6:30 in the a.m.!  To accommodate owners, Entegra recently increased the size and comfort of their lounge.  Here you can relax comfortably in the luxury of a pleasant atmosphere with hot coffee, cold water, televisions, and restroom/showers.  Being out of your home during service can be a pain but the lounge was perfectly comfortable and we were able to take Spirit in with us.  By 2:30 our coach was back and ready for us with the slides out.  At the end of each day Owen gave us an update on the work that was done and the status of what was left to do.  We loved staying on the lot and got to know other Entegra owners and swap stories and were treated wonderfully by the Entegra staff. 

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Entegra is located in Elkhart County, Indiana - the hub of RV manufacturing and Amish Country – which means there is lots to see and do and eat.  Our days passed quickly with tours of Newmar and Jayco RV’s, visiting the Amish Mennonite information center, eating delicious Amish food (including numerous cheese factories), shopping, and making a pilgrimage to the RV Hall of Fame.  More on all that in the next post. 

One morning we were treated to a hot breakfast cooked by the Entegra staff.  This informal gathering allows you to meet other owners as well as some of the Entegra Customer Service staff.  Joyce Skinner provided us with an update on Entegra happenings and a chance to ask questions or voice complaints.  After breakfast, it was off to the newly expanded factory for a tour where we saw the 2016’s being rolled off the line.  Sorry, no pictures inside the factory were allowed.


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All finished and just waiting for paint.

Factory tours are a great way to really get to know your RV.  Here you can follow the build procedure from when the naked chassis comes on line to when the walls are put on to when it gets the final polish and drives out of the production facility.  Entegra made some drastic exterior changes to the front and rear caps of the 2016 models that give it a stylish updated look that we love. 

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With the increasing sales of Entegra motorhomes the service department realized the need to keep up with the number of coaches on the road and added nine new service bays.  Another great addition is the service bay dedicated to Spartan Chassis issues.  We were able to get a full alignment at Entegra rather than driving 100 miles north to the Spartan facility.  Entegra advertises that they have “The Quietest Riding, Best Handling Coach on the Market Today. Period.”  So when we said ours was all over the road and a tough cookie to handle they ran the alignment, adjusted it properly and fixed our handling issues. 

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Our experience at Entegra overall was very positive and they are great to work with.  A big “Thank You” to Owen, Joyce, and all the technical support and service staff that has helped us work through our repair issues. It is so nice that you can make a reservation for your appointment and that they are ready to go with all of your repair issues when you arrive.  The idea is to get you out of there within the week or early.  Our list was, for the most part, taken care of including the items we added after the initial list.  The one item that was not properly fixed was a water pump issue we were having.  Entegra replaced a valve but the problem ended up being in the water pump.  That is where our mechanically capable friend Rob (of My Quantum Discovery Blog) replaced our water pump and finally fixed the problem.  Entegra had given him a new water pump to bring to us and we arranged a meet-up.  Hey Entegra, you might owe Rob a hat or jacket or just put him on the payroll as your mobile repair guy.  Thanks again Rob! 

Before we left Entegra we scheduled another appointment for the spring.  Why not?!



6 comments:

  1. Being from PA I totally agree with the craters in the roads! Thanks for a comprehensive review of Entegra. Since meeting you, we have had great luck with our new 2016 Anthem and are enjoying it a lot! Yes, and Entegra service is great! Hope to see you on the open road! Safe travels and enjoy! Sandy

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  2. We've drooled over the Entegra MH's, certainly on our short list if we ever decide to get another new one. They really (really) are nice units, had they been around when we bought our Winnie 8 years ago, we'd be driving one. ;c)

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  3. Superb information about entegra coach and I had got bad experience of its roof then, I changed and for new RV I applied RV Roof Repair to be safe and sound.

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  4. I admire how pragmatic you guys are, and how nothing ever gets you down! It sounds like they provided really good service for you. And I love that RV construction happens in Amish country, what a neat little fact. I never would've guessed! Hope to see more of your adventures here soon, you are a really good writer and photographer.

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  5. We stopped last week at Entegra and saw you parked in the lot. My husband and I stopped at Entegra without an appointment. We were traveling back to Ohio and thought we would see if there was any way we could join in on a factory tour. They did not have any tours that day. However, the receptionist asked us to wait and Chuck Lasley came out to speak with us. Chuck (who we later found out was the General Manager!) took us on a tour. We were very impressed by the facility (layout, cleanliness, overall operation), his knowledge, their construction process and the incredible product. We couldn't believe that the General Manager took so much time with us; he answered all of our many questions and let us take our time walking around the production facility with him. The ultimate customer experience - and we are not customers (yet). Because of this experience, Entegra is at the top of our list for a Motorcoach purchase.

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    1. So glad to hear about your positive experience. We have always been satisfied with the Entegra product, customer service and warranty. You may want to attend one of the many Entegra Rallies held across the country. Then, you will really be impressed. Good luck with your decision.

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