Tuesday, October 3, 2023


RV Review: American Dream 39RK Diesel Pusher

By Tony Barthel
Ever since I was a wee lad I was told about the American Dream. I think this is something that all young people are told about in the United States. But until I got a press release from an RV company, I didn’t realize the American Dream was actually a motorhome. Who knew? 

In fact, the American Dream is a Class A diesel pusher produced by American Coach. It’s a series of big motorhomes from a 39RK to a 45A, with corresponding lengths. Since I wanted to see what this American Dream was all about, I checked out their website and press release. I also headed over to YouTube to see what people were saying.

In the press release, American Coach shared that their new American Dream 39RK floor plan features a center island made possible by a folding table in the camp side slide room. 

What is the American Dream?

The American Dream coach is based on the Liberty Chassis. It features either a Cummins L9 or X15 engine, depending on the model chosen. The X15 is exclusively for the 45A. The rest get shoved around by a Cummins L9. The L9 is no slouch at 450 horsepower but, more importantly, it has 1250 ft-lbs of torque. 

What got the folks at American Coach all excited is the fact that they have their first ever motorhome with an island in the kitchen. But this isn’t the first time I’ve seen this. The first time I saw this was in my review last October of the Fleetwood Discovery 36HQ 25th Anniversary Edition. 

Both of these motorhomes accomplished this feat the same way. That is, there’s a table extension in the camp side slide room that folds in when that slide room is retracted. This gives you the ability to walk past the island and head to the rear of the coach without even extending a slide. Slick.

The main tour

Unlike that Fleetwood, however, this motorhome has an even richer feel as you might expect with an MSRP that’s more than $150,000 higher. In fact, you could buy the Fleetwood and tow an Airstream and still have money left over for who knows what. But that’s not the whole idea. 

If you’ve looked at one of these in the past, there are a few changes the company has made to the 2021 models that you might appreciate. 

The beautiful ceiling panels do more than just look good. They help to route the chilled air produced by the three 15,000BTU air conditioners. In addition, they make sure that cool air is delivered as quietly as possible. 

Countertops have been upgraded to a quartz material, which is used throughout the coach. 

More importantly, there are new technologies that help the driver of this 20-ton machine to not run over or smash other things. These technologies include pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, and collision mitigation with forward warning and active braking. (The adaptive cruise control can slow the coach down if it senses other vehicles or items ahead doing the same thing.) These kinds of electronic nannies really are real-world safety benefits. Already in place were things like electronic stability control, traction control, roll stability systems and more. 

The American Dream walk-through

With this floor plan, you enter through the front like a tour bus and then are greeted by the cockpit. There’s a sliding door/panel so the co-pilot can put their feet on the floor when you don’t plan on opening the door. 

Down the coach are theater seats on the camp side and a jackknife sofa on the road side. The occupants of either of these positions are going to have access to a TV over the cockpit. There’s another TV behind the couch. Unfortunately, it’s on a wall that could have a nice window if they had put the TV on a televator. 

On the road side of the rig is a large countertop with a sink at the back and cabinets overhead. Opposite this on the camp side is that table with an extender that makes the island possible. That island is right there in the middle of the floor. On it are two induction burners. Further down on the camp side is a Samsung residential refrigerator. 

The mid-bath is nice

The entire coach is bisected by a mid-bath. I actually like this as it gives more sound isolation between the back bedroom and the front living room. This is great if one person gets up early and uses that dinette table to get some work done while the other dreams of how great life is on the road in this fancy RV. 

That bathroom has a porcelain toilet on the camp side, which has its own door, and then a corner shower and sink on the road side. The shower is outfitted with a teak flip-down seat. 

Lastly, the bedroom features a king-sized bed on the camp side. This faces a large wall of cabinets and drawers along with the third TV in this unit on the road side. At the back is even more storage/closet space and accommodation for a stacking washer and dryer. 

Thoughtful engineering in the American Dream

Class A diesel pushers have one aspect that I don’t like – and that’s the typical emergency exit. Let’s be honest, if you’re at the stage of life where you can afford one of these, you’re not likely going to be jumping out of a second-story window, which is the typical way that emergency exits are configured. In this case, there’s an emergency exit in the bathroom behind the toilet which incorporates a ladder. This is brilliant and, frankly, should be a requirement. 

Something else I like is that there’s a metal strip along the bottom of the American Dream that can be easily polished if it gets scratched or encounters road grime. The company also put the hydraulic system on a slide-out drawer for easier maintenance and repair. A great idea. 

The slide rooms in the American Dream are beautifully engineered

If you notice how the floors look with the slide rooms open, it’s one flat opening. These slide rooms are beautifully engineered. Then the pattern on the flooring matches up nicely with the slide room and the main living space. 

The same is true of the exterior paint, where the swooshes and swirls match up with the slide rooms whether they’re open or not. 

There are awnings above the windows, which is smart. And there’s a full wall slide on the road side. 

There’s even a paper towel holder and a soap dispenser on the water bay door. 

In summary

I appreciate American Coach’s using the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) rally to debut this vehicle. I’m an enthusiastic member of that organization and it’s good to see them recover from the challenges brought on by our global pandemic.

But the star of this article is this coach, which is a very, very nice place to spend time. However, something that bugged me is that, for more than half-a-million bucks, you don’t get a monster series of walk-through videos and other resources on the internet to do research on these. Instead you can download a PDF. Come on, really? 

Also, while I realize that certain compromises have to be made with regard to engineering, the DEF fluid fill and the diesel fill are on opposite sides of the coach. Seems a bit petty, but at this price point, I’m less willing to overlook things like this. 

Why no paint scheme without swooshes and swirls?

Lastly, there are four different exterior paint schemes you can pick and every one of them has swooshes and swirls. With as tasteful as the interior is, this disco-era exterior treatment just makes me shake my head. I know there are people who love this. But if you’re going to give me choices, how about just one that isn’t swooshes and swirls? Please? 

I will say though, that the attention to detail in this coach everywhere you look tells you why this is at the price it is. Yeah, there are swooshes and swirls – but they look the same with the slides in as they do out. 

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.

Got an RV we need to look at? Contact us today and let us know in the form below – thank you!

Tony Barthel has been a life-long RV enthusiast and travels part-time with his wife where they also produce a podcast, write about RVs and love the RV lifestyle.


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2 years ago

I totally enjoyed this review! The new terminology was great! Yes we all can say meow to this and meow to that as we all have likes and dislikes but thank you for a new and different refreshing way to review.

Connie VH
2 years ago

We bought a 2017 American Coach Revolution 42G for 2 reasons, the main one of which is the REAR EMERGENCY EXIT DOOR. I just could not see myself shoving my 68-year-old tush out a freakin’ window designed for a teenager, and landing either on my {bleeped} or my head. NO. Not this grandma. Not gonna do it.

We understood while coach-shopping that, like Newmar coaches, this option was available American Coach models from about 2016 on. But…. as an option. We feel lucky indeed to have found this 2017 Revolution with this option.

Revolution, indeed. The rear emergency door SHOULD BE mandatory in all coaches.

Side note: We keep our emergency bugout bags in the closet by that door, including a fireproof documents case. Door opens, bags go out, and we scamper down the shelves-turned-steps to safety.

2 years ago

One thing I’ll never understand is why there is a TV in the cockpit. Other than “we’ve got a big flat space here, and we don’t know what to do with it”, it seems like the absolute worst place for a tv. It’s a distraction when you’re driving, and when you’re parked, you have to crane your neck to see it from the seating.

Connie VH
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy

Our cockpit TV is used for our exterior cameras.

Donald N Wright
2 years ago

A dream ? A built in A/C-heat rather than the A/C’s stuck on the roof is nice. A wheel chair lift to a second entrance could be helpful. Access doors to the lower storage area’s from inside the coach. A computerized parking system like on cars. I guess we have different dreams.

Neal Davis
2 years ago

Thank you for this review, Tony! It is a bit larger than we want to downsize to, but you’ve given me a lot to think about. Wonder if going directly to American Coach/REV could get the television on a lift and a window behind it? Then shop the spec sheet?

Bob P
2 years ago

Had me confused with terminology for awhile with camp side (right side/passenger/roadside/left/drivers side. I always thought both sides were in the campsite and the entire vehicle was on the road. Lol

Tommy Molnar
2 years ago
Reply to  Bob P

Bob, I think you and I are used to the terms “line side, and blind side”.

Connie VH
2 years ago
Reply to  Bob P

And we call it “curbside”!

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