Thanks to Bonnie D., today’s review is of the Entegra Coach Emblem 36T. Like the Thor A.C.E. that we looked at a few days ago, this one’s based on Ford’s F-53 platform. This is a much-improved motorhome platform over what the company offered with their weird V10 engine just a few years ago.
Now, before you fire up your keyboards to tell me how long your V10-based motorhomes have lasted, I don’t doubt that the engines and other bits under the floor are decent. But a V10 is an oddly imbalanced engine. Ford also had the reputation for these things having issues with spark plugs.
As with the Jayco Seneca, which bears a family lineage to Entegra since they’re the same company, Jayco then takes the chassis and massages it with improved stabilizer bars for better cornering and SACHs shock absorbers for a better ride. The chassis is also shod with Michelin tires—so no MayPops for this unit.
There are a lot of reasons that one might choose something like this or the Thor A.C.E. I realize that diesel pushers have the advantage of more torque, plus the engine being way, way “back there” so it’s not right under your feet. Those are all good things.
But the advantage of a diesel pusher’s engine being able to last half a million miles is pretty inconsequential. That’s because so many RVs look like junk in a decade and some parks don’t even let them in. Furthermore, maintaining a big commercial diesel engine is not cheap, and only certain places can do the job.
In addition, we’ve all read about the issues with the Cummins engines, of late, and their emissions control systems. It’s a shame other competitors don’t come back into the motorhome market. But they aren’t here, so you can kiss the days of Caterpillar diesels in motorhomes goodbye. And, unless you’re going vintage, there are no two-stroke Detroit Diesels either.
My point is, there are a lot of good reasons for choosing a gasoline-powered Class A, including the price difference. This is especially true if the rig is something you only use once in a while.
But compared to the Entegra Class C from the other day and almost any Class C motorhome, a Class A gasser gives you more storage in the basement.
I like this floor plan for the simple reason that the entire width of the rear of the coach is the bathroom. This always works well—and when the coach is 101” wide, so much the better. That means that there’s a lot of room to accomplish whatever you came in here to accomplish.
Another good thing is, this is also a rig that’s designed to bring your crew along.
While I had justifiably criticized Thor for their over-cab bunk being fairly weak with a rating of only 250 pounds, this Entegra is just the opposite. Two folks built like me could easily sleep up there (imagine how fun the video would be of me and my twin getting up into said bunk, though!?). The optional over-cab bunk has a capacity rating of 750 pounds. That’s actually a lot of weight, but offers accommodation for wiggling around in the night.
If you don’t want to choose the optional over-cab bunk, you still get twin bunk beds in the camp-side super slide mechanism. There is also cabinetry in the back bedroom that includes a closet and space for a washer/dryer combo, which is an option.
Bunks are rather deluxe in the Emblem
Those bunks are rather deluxe as each one has its own small TV in there. So if the folks you bring along don’t get enough of TV watching with the set in the living room, the back bedroom and even outside, they can also be glued to the boob tube late into the night in their bunks.
Perhaps that’s not a bad thing as you won’t have to watch whatever is the equivalent to Barney 8,000 times on just a week’s vacation—they can watch in the privacy of their own bunk. Of course, if they’re adults and you’re using this to go to the races, they could watch a recap of the day’s driving.
Those bunk residents will also have very direct access to the second bathroom in this rig. It is sort of the “guest” bathroom right across the hall from the bunks.
The Emblem is good for entertaining
Considering that the captain’s chairs at the front of the rig swivel around and there’s a dinette and sofa, this wouldn’t be a bad rig if you liked to entertain.
However, the living room folks won’t be overly entertained by the TV, which is in the wall facing the rear of the coach. Yeah, yeah. It’s on a swivel mount, but it’s still a neck wrecker. I would write that you didn’t come to Yellowstone to watch TV, but considering how many there are in this rig, I stand to be corrected.
There are some things that I really do like about this coach, including the fact that activating the turn signals also activates the cameras in the mirror on the respective side that you’re turning into. Jayco’s upgrades to the chassis are also a big plus and do result in a better driving experience than if the chassis sat under, say, a Grumman delivery van.
Looking for the pricing for you, I actually threw the mouse for my computer. While I had no issues with finding the stupid swishy swirl graphics colors, their “Build and Price” tool sucked harder than an industrial vacuum cleaner. But there were plenty of things popping up on the site. Grrr.
It was much easier to figure out on my smartphone. That’s where I found out that the requested Entegra Emblem 36T had an MSRP of $241,448. However, I went back to Thor’s website to look at an equivalent A.C.E. and that site didn’t work properly either. Apparently RV companies neither try out their own products nor do they do a good job vetting their websites.
There’s a lot to like about this model, actually. As mentioned, I think the idea of a gas-fueled motorhome makes a lot of sense for a lot of people for a variety of reasons.
Jayco also has done a good job with much of this rig. It would be a good way to move a decent number of folks around and have a spot for each of them to sleep with some degree of privacy.
RV companies need to describe build quality and material use better
While I think that RV companies do a better job of describing the ludicrous graphics on the outside of the coach than telling the story of build quality and material use, that’s also what I hear attendees at RV shows talking about. If I were selling RVs again, I’d talk about what customers asked about.
One last thing. You’ll notice not many photos of the RV and a few that aren’t of this exact rig. It’s not like you could go to the end of the assembly line as you’re building this with an iPhone and take pictures or something like that.
I would love to read your comments and suggestions over on our new forums, where you can weigh in and start or join a discussion about all things RV. Here’s a link to my RV Reviews Forum.
Tony comes to RVtravel.com having worked at an RV dealership and been a lifelong RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his wife.
These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.
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