Cruisers Forum

Main Forum => General Discussion => Topic started by: NHWanderlust on March 04, 2014, 05:29:59 pm

Title: Decisions Decisions
Post by: NHWanderlust on March 04, 2014, 05:29:59 pm
I find it interesting that the difference in price between a 3100 and a 2552 is minuscule. Comparably equipped with the options I wanted it was about $400. The difference seemed to be a little more money for full body paint on the larger 3100. Shows you just how popular that 2552 has become. What I am also wrestling with and could use the groups help in my search and education is the cost difference between the PC and a few of the smaller Class As like the THOR ACE 29.2. If what I see for negotiated pricing in the RV forums is correct they can be had for about 70 to 75 thousand. A pretty huge savings from the PC. We visited a ACE at the dealers the other day and were impressed with the layout. Not so impressed with the single pane windows and thin walls. Good insulation is important to me for sound and heat living here in the great white north. Especially this year! -4 this morning at my house. So any thoughts you would like to share. Our education and search will go on for a while yet. Planning a visit to Hersey this fall to actually get in some of these and see how they feel. We are on the 14 month plan.
Title: Re: Decisions Decisions
Post by: 2 Frazzled on March 04, 2014, 07:29:06 pm
I can't speak for the ACE or other smaller A's (though we crawled in and out of most of them) but I can make note of a few things that put us in the 2552 instead of the 3100 - size and payload. Some national parks and state parks have a 27 foot limit. Many have a 30 foot limit. We expect to spend a lot of time in both types of park so we refused to even look at anything longer than 30 feet. When we were ordering our Phoenix, Stuart tried to talk us into the longer unit with the belief we'd just be trading in for a bigger one in a year anyhow. The extra space would be awesome but I questioned what the extra length, slide and dinette would cost us in weight. I didn't get a tried and true figure since every rig is different but it was in the range of about 1,000 lbs. I believe the payload on the 2552 is about 3k so we'd lose a full third. That may be OK for short trips or even a few months with a loaded car tooling along behind but to carry everything we would need as full timers (plus what we need in office gear for the work side), we just didn't think it was enough.

We did three days at Hershey two years ago to narrow down our choices. I recommend you spend a lot of time up front and make a list of maybe five things you HAVE to have. We were dragging by day three of the show but we left with a list of (and brochures for) 4 or 5 possible units. THEN we were at the decisions-decisions point. Our five points would have been: 1) length; 2) payload/weight; 3) functional bathroom; 4) functional kitchen; 5) room for two people to work. Everyone will have a different list depending on how they like to travel, where they like to stay, and what they do when it rains for 5 days and they are stuck inside.
Title: Re: Decisions Decisions
Post by: Pax on March 05, 2014, 01:09:18 am
Only thing I can add to what John/Holly said is that I would be sure to take a look at the cargo carrying capacity.  When I was looking at class A's I was astounded at how much cargo 'area' many had, but how little 'capacity' was available before becoming overloaded.  In a couple of cases, the CCC was as little as 600 lbs, but there was enough space to put thousands of pounds of stuff.

  - Mike
Title: Re: Decisions Decisions
Post by: TomHanlon on March 05, 2014, 07:20:55 am
The only thing I can add is to email Aimee on this forum and ask her if their any owners of the larger PCs near you that you can visit. It works out for both parties because you get the real scoop from an owner and if you buy and let the factory know you visited someone, they get $500. Most owner love talking about their PC anyway. (nod)
Title: Re: Decisions Decisions
Post by: gradygal on March 05, 2014, 08:50:12 am
I think decision process is determined by how you plan to use the MH and what options may be important to you.

For us, when we ordered the 2910 as a custom coming from the 2551, we wanted a comfortable living area. The Euro chairs and the galley area certainly fit the bill. This year we plan to spend the month  of August on Orr's Island in Maine and then head to NH and Vermont. We will be in New England for 3 monthes. We also wanted twin beds--actually what we really wanted was the front of the 2910 and rear of the 3100 but Kermit could not build it that way.

As you said, insulated glass windows were a must for us. Noise level was a major factor in that decision.

Phoenix will build what you want if it is possible.

We travelled to the Grand Canyon and other National Parks and were very comfortable. There was no problem towing our Honda Fit.

Another thought in the buying decision is Customer Support. We did not know, at the time we bought our 2350, of the fantastic customer service. Once you buy your PC, Kermit and the crew at the factory will do everything in their power to help out with "whatever". I can't tell you how many times Kermit, the owner of PC, has called us to answer questions. We are so impressed with that.

If you want to see our 2910 this summer, send us a PM and we can hook up somewhere in ME or NH.

Title: Re: Decisions Decisions
Post by: dickreid1 on March 05, 2014, 12:24:52 pm

There is one more thing not mentioned... looks.

When we were down to three on our short list, the stand-out beauty of a Phoenix Cruiser was the deciding factor.  This fact has been reaaffirmed endlessly by people we meet on our travels.
Title: Re: Decisions Decisions
Post by: Jim and Beth on March 05, 2014, 03:19:23 pm

Two years ago at Hershey, PA we made the decision to buy a Phoenix after looking at other manufacturers. A major selling point for me was the quality as compared to other manufacturers with units in the same price range. Phoenix had a 2910D at the show, but we wanted a 2910T which was a smaller version of our Class A while full timing for five years. We picked up the PC in November 2012. During the trip home to NH we decided that the queen bed arrangement was too different from what we were used to. My issue is back problems and I had trouble getting in and out of the bed.

To reinforce the excellent customer support provided by Kermit and his crew, we were able to trade in our 2910T (with just 1000 miles) for a custom 2910 with the twin beds like Judi and George have. The deal was more than acceptable and Kermit's son flew to NH to pick up the 2910T. Since March 2013, when we picked up the second PC, we have had factory support that far exceeds anything we had when we were on the road full time.

If you are interested in seeing our 2910 feel free to contact me. We live in the Lakes Region and I have a heated garage so it is available anytime we are not traveling.


Title: Re: Decisions Decisions
Post by: Ron Dittmer on March 05, 2014, 04:35:54 pm

Everyone is making excellent points.  I'll add a few of my own.

When shopping for our replacement motor home in 2006/2007, I was attracted to a local RV tent sale.  There I seen a brand new short class A with an inviting $59,000 sticker on the window.  It looked sharp from a distance, but then I stepped inside.  Put plainly, it was put together very poorly and with cheap materials.  I could see it wouldn't hold up to the beating of being driven for lots of miles.  Another strange phenomena was that I could not breathe inside it.  I actually felt faint and had to leave before I passed out.  There was an outgassing of chemicals from the construction process that had me getting dizzy.  Maybe it was from the particle board formaldehyde or adhesives or something else, or a bunch of chemical outgassing in combination.  One thing for sure, I couldn't buy that rig if I wanted to.  I'd die inside it.

Around that time, a family member had us sleep inside his 5th wheel.  That too had a similar odor and effect on me.  It was an older trailer which I had assumed much of such chemical outgassing was over with, but such remnants had me wake up with a splitting headache the next morning even though we had the windows open all night.

We've had no such chemical outgassing issues with our PC.

Another matter all together different.   Unlike the masses here and abroad, my wife and I don't value a slide out simply to gain more open floor space.  The extra cost to purchase, the extra 400 pounds per slide out, the extra mechanical complexity & seals with age will become a liability, the loss of interior storage, the cold heat noise bug and wind driven rain infiltrations, all combined doesn't justify the benefit. We also highly value the dinette (with memory foam cushions) which cannot be installed in many of the PC slide outs.  It does help to have our 3rd captain seat for a place to kick back and relax, today that is a Euro chair.  If you feel as we do, a no-slide out is an option for you to consider.

The only other benefit to a slide out would be for resale benefits as most people are initially attracted to them when shopping for a motor home.  They look impressive when opened up inside.....great eye candy.

I do need to include here that we travel without children or dogs.  If we had more bodies inside, I'd think the extra floor space would be of great value to us.  But for just the two of us, ordering our rig with a slide out would be regretful.  We elected to spend that money on a full body paint job which we like very much.

You can view our 2350 with no slide out by clicking on my orange ron.dittmer name, then my website.
Title: Re: Decisions Decisions
Post by: NHWanderlust on March 05, 2014, 05:24:45 pm
Thank you all for the comments. They reinforce what I have come to believe after spending some time on this forum over the past year. We will just need to get inside some more of all types of MH. We did like the floor plan of that ACE 29.2 but the quality and durability was suspect. The cost difference is substantial though. We keep a close eye on the used market here too. I am reminded of one of my custom builder clients though. A home buyer was complaining about the cost of a custom staircase the builder quoted. The builders response was, "Do you want all the nails or just some of them?" Jim we will be in touch.
Title: Re: Decisions Decisions
Post by: TomHanlon on March 06, 2014, 04:26:55 pm
I spent four years after I retired from the world of computers selling RVs. i had been camping for over 30 years before that. I would like to think I did not BS anyone. So I don't care for your comment.
Title: Re: Decisions Decisions
Post by: TomHanlon on March 06, 2014, 05:38:16 pm
No problem, you are forgiven as long as you stand in the corner for two minutes. :-D
Title: Re: Decisions Decisions
Post by: Bob Mahon on March 06, 2014, 07:56:35 pm
Stay tuned to the for sale category. We may be considering a sale after we find out more about a medical decision.
Title: Re: Decisions Decisions
Post by: Pax on March 06, 2014, 08:56:22 pm

Hope all goes well!
Title: Re: Decisions Decisions
Post by: Bob Mahon on March 06, 2014, 10:06:45 pm
Thanks Pax. We too.
Title: Re: Decisions Decisions
Post by: TomHanlon on March 07, 2014, 06:43:06 am
Good luck Bob.

Title: Re: Decisions Decisions
Post by: gradygal on March 07, 2014, 06:45:49 am
Bob and Peg,

Hope all goes well. We know you have put a lot of effort into your PC. Hope it stays off the market for a while longer and also hope to see you in June at Promised Land State Park. We have reservations at the Pickeral Point Campground in the park for Friday June 27th, Site 166.

Judi and George
Title: Re: Decisions Decisions
Post by: ragoodsp on March 08, 2014, 02:52:00 pm
NHwander.....come down to Exeter and see the 3100.  We love the space and layout much more compared to the 2551.  In FL right now and this 70 degree stuff sure beats what we bad I can only spend 5 days here.  Thanks
Title: Re: Decisions Decisions
Post by: NHWanderlust on April 15, 2014, 02:15:42 pm
A helpful to Jim and Beth for showing us their customized 2910. Beautiful!
Richard & Jackie
Title: Re: Decisions Decisions
Post by: Steve on November 03, 2014, 01:47:38 pm

I've been wondering many of the same thoughts of your original post. Particularly, the price difference between a class A gasser, like the Tiffin Allegro, versus the 3100. At fully loaded the 3100 is basically the same price as an Allegro Open Road.  Arguably, both companies make equally well built coaches.

I couldn't wrap my head around why there wasn't a larger gap in price. I would assume the Allegro should cost substantially more.  The I recalled my Economics lessons from college. How Tiffin is able to price its coach similar to PC is due to Economies of scale. They're making many more Allegros than PC is, and they're makjng it up with larger volume of sales.

Think of like butter (costs) to bread (sales). You're able to spread the butter thinner and thinner the more bread you have.

Hope that helps s bit.
Title: Re: Decisions Decisions
Post by: Sparky on November 10, 2014, 11:03:00 am
Hopefully your still reading this thread had to add 2cents,,,,, Yes you can purchase a small A for about the same price or even cheaper,,, but take that same A... go back 3/4 years and see what the re-sale value is today....dollar to a donut it's horrible,,,, now if you go buy a quality A even a small one,, your re-sale is going to be better,,,,,and if you purchase one with the same quality as a Phoenix I'm betting your in the 100K+ range...

   I realize your doing your research,,,,From what I have seen on the market  I could sell my 2350 for about what I paid for it today(purchased in 2012),,,it's a 2008 I could have purchase a brand new similar size RV for about  6000 more,, but my research showed that in 2/3 years I would be  in the hole in the 10/15k range,,, At the age most of us our at we have to be prepared,,, yeah I know don't worry be happy haha... but if I go down or become unable to maintain the Beast wifey is going to sale her,,,and I don't want her to be in position of taking a major hit.

  So my decision to buy a Phoenix was based upon quality and resale,,,   I have looked and spent hours looking at the smaller units 24,25,26 ft and I know I am right ... now have not priced the larger units  28,29, 30  but would be willing to bet the guys that own them will confirm the same....

good luck

Title: Re: Decisions Decisions
Post by: Ron Dittmer on November 10, 2014, 01:04:18 pm
FWIW, as stated in our 2007-2350 paperwork, MSRP was $89,051.  Before current-day factory-direct only sales, we bought through a dealer paying $67,205 + $4,368 in sales tax.  After our purchase we added $3900 in suspension upgrades, $430 for a 3rd captain seat, and lesser amounts on piles more that added thousands more.  I would guess we have near $80,000 invested when considering the money we invested to tow our Jeep.

I really don't know what our 2007 2350 with no slide-out would sell for today.  I am not convinced the tiny slide-out offered at that time would make a difference in value and/or marketing if selling today.  I do feel the larger slide-out which includes the fridge is a positive influence.  I also feel the largest slide-out in the new 2351 (also known as the 2450) and the 2552 and bigger models is a sure winner for resale value.

We did special order our rig without a slide-out with no consideration to resale value.  For you who consider resale value "crucial", you really should get a slide-out, even if you don't find it important for yourself.

Again, these are just my thoughts based on resale observations.  I don't have hard data to back up my comments.  I don't claim to be an authority on this.
Title: Re: Decisions Decisions
Post by: Barry-Sue on November 10, 2014, 03:19:42 pm
Ron's posting got me thinking, wondering what the difference a slide makes on the average sale price of a PC.

I went to NADA Guide website and looked at the average sale price for a 2007 2350 with and without a slide.  I included no mileage or options.  The result is very interesting, on average a 2007 2350 with slide would sell for $12,900 MORE than a 2007 2350 without a slide.  I did the same thing with a 2012 2551 and found the 2551 with a slide would sell for $12,200 MORE than a non slide 2551.

I know this is just numbers on a piece paper but it does provide food for thought.

NADA Web Site:

Title: Re: Decisions Decisions
Post by: Ron Dittmer on November 10, 2014, 04:24:03 pm
....on average a 2007 2350 with slide would sell for $12,900 more than a 2007 2350 without a slide.


I saw that on

I am so surprised they value a 2007 slide-out with an MSRP of $4130, valued today at $12,900.  As messed up as RVT might be with that one, it is what people read when shopping.  If we ever had to sell our rig, we'd be in jeopardy.  Good thing we plan to own our rig for over 30 years, 23 to go.

I'll have to plug in my rig into NADA and then do it again with a slide-out.

REPORTING BACK Using ( with Average Retail Figures

My rig base price is $31,500 adding $4,095 for lower mileage, then adding $15,434 for optional equipment for a total of $51,029
It states my MSRP was $78,983 when in reality is was $89,051.  That's all messed up.

Same rig, same mileage, same options but adding a 6 foot slide-out, adds $1470 for a total of $52,499

I guess that is why NADA and other such value estimators are referred to as "Guidelines".
Title: Re: Decisions Decisions
Post by: Barry-Sue on November 10, 2014, 06:50:56 pm
Code: [Select]
Same rig, same mileage, same options but adding a 6 foot slide-out, adds $1470 for a total of $52,499

Actually Ron, according to NADA, your rig with a slide would have originally retailed for $83,113 and if selling today would be $63,929. 

When selecting the original model you either choose a 2350 non-slide or 2350 slide.  For some reason NADA values a slide if added as an option at only $1,470 but NADA does not treat a slide as an option on any Phoenix Cruiser.  NADA identifies each Phoenix Cruiser as a separate model depending upon non-slide, slide, double slide. 

You make a very good point that people have to look at these guidelines very carefully when determining the value of a motorhome.

Title: Re: Decisions Decisions
Post by: NHWanderlust on November 12, 2014, 03:34:21 pm
Hopefully your still reading this thread had to add 2cents,,,,

good luck


Yep I'm still reading and learning. Next May we sell the big house and move into a little house. And then we can get the moving house!!
Title: Re: Decisions Decisions
Post by: 2travel on November 16, 2014, 01:11:53 pm
I know Ron is not a fan of the slides but many of us have them and are very satisfied.  If you want a dinette, it can be put in the slide of the 2552. We have it and like it. 

You can't put a price on the service and care Phoenix offers.  It is as if you become a member of the family.  Well done Phoenix.

Title: Re: Decisions Decisions
Post by: bobojay on November 16, 2014, 05:45:45 pm

You can't put a price on the service and care Phoenix offers.  It is as if you become a member of the family.  Well done Phoenix.


This is what I keep hearing from multiple owners.....
Title: Re: Decisions Decisions
Post by: TomHanlon on November 16, 2014, 05:47:13 pm
You got that right! (exactly)
Title: Re: Decisions Decisions
Post by: Ron Dittmer on November 16, 2014, 06:07:54 pm
You got that right! (exactly)
Yes Indeed.