By Tony Barthel
Some people bemoan the fact that the biggest companies in the RV industry produce so many varied brands and labels that it’s tough to tell what’s what. I agree. One of the things I enjoy about sharing RV reviews with you is that we go looking for small, unusual and specialty manufacturers.
Some of you are great co-conspirators in this, including Benjamin Vega, who suggested that I take a look at Coach House RV in Nokomis, Florida.
Coach House is a family operation that has been building Class C RVs since 1985. The operation started with Ruben Gerzeny along with his sons David and Steven. The family tradition continues to this day with David’s son, Zachary, running the production facility.
Coach House story
I had remarked in my recent review of the Relic travel trailer how unusual it was that those trailers are a single fiberglass capsule that then sits on a frame. Coach House uses the same idea but on a much larger scale. Their Class C motorhomes are constructed using a large one-piece fiberglass shell that the company has patented. Many manufacturers claim that their bodies are fine with seams in them. However, fewer joints leaves fewer places where something can go wrong. And leaks are usually what can go wrong.
Like Lazy Daze, Relic, Oliver and a few other smaller manufacturers, Coach House RVs are sold directly from the factory only. Like Lazy Daze, a tour of the showroom also includes a tour of the factory. Unfortunately, that’s been modified temporarily due to COVID.
Another nice thing about buying at the factory is the walk-through you get. It’s done by people who are right there at the factory and can answer your questions. And if they can’t, they can turn to the folks who designed the coach. Or they can asks the folks on the line building them and get answers there.
Coach House essentially sells four lines of RVs. These include three that are Class C models using the fiberglass shell and a fourth that is a Class B using a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter shell.
If you choose one of those Class C models, there are three choices for chassis. The Platinum sits on the Ford E-Series platform, the Platinum II sits on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter cutaway platform, and the Platinum III uses the Ford Transit cutaway platform.
One of the many benefits of a Class C is that you get the significant resources of a vehicle manufacturer making your chassis. This holds true with the Platinum chassis. That means that the Mercedes or Ford chassis inherits all the engineering and safety features of the respective chassis. In the case of the Platinum, that means Ford’s collision avoidance, braking, Sync and so many other tech features.
As for the coach body itself, Coach House features things like a 1,200-watt pure sine wave inverter to power some of the 120vac household outlets in the coach. In addition, there are two AGM batteries on a drawer that pulls out. Lights and features are controlled with the Firefly multiplex system. For additional power, there’s an Onan 4000 generator aboard.
The options list includes things like automatic leveling, a legless power awning, lithium batteries, a 190-watt solar panel on the roof or two 190-watt panels, a king bed and full body paint.
Floor plan of the Coach House Platinum
The Platinum is available in one floor plan and the size of this coach would be a great alternative to a Class B. While this is wider, of course, the 23’ 2” overall length will easily fit into a parking space. There’s also a standard receiver hitch. The Ford Godzilla V8 should be able to wrangle whatever trailer you need to haul within the specified limits of the hitch and chassis.
As you step inside, there’s a loveseat across from the entry that seats two and has power adjustment to fold completely flat. Coach House says this is a sleeping area. However, you’d probably have to be a shorter individual, like a child, to take advantage of it. Also, there’s a TV above the cab/cockpit area that is on a swivel arm. But it’s still in an odd position to be fully enjoyed by the occupants of this seat. On the other hand, there is a Blu-ray player included, so you can watch the latest movies. Well, the latest movies on disc.
Lastly, there’s a table on a pole that you can put in front of the seat. However, I think a Lagun table would have been super awesome.
Across from the loveseat is the galley consisting of a single-bowl stainless steel sink and a two-burner stovetop. I think whoever’s in charge of meal prep is going to like the large pull-out pantry next to the kitchen. It has lots and lots of space for cans and jars.
On the road side opposite the prep area is a two-way RV refrigerator and, above that, a convection microwave.
The bathroom and bedroom of the Coach House
Next on our tour is the bathroom, which is a split bath. The shower itself is on the camp side of the coach and the toilet and sink on the road side. The door for the shower can be opened 90° to block off the main living area of the coach if you choose.
The door is held open by a fairly industrial door prop, which reminds me of being in school. So many RV companies have gone to magnetic retainers, but this one does have the advantage of being pretty beefy.
Lastly, the bedroom in this model features two twin beds but there is a platform and cushions to convert this to a king-sized bed if someone wishes.
While counter space both in the bathroom and in the kitchen is limited, both can be made better with the flip-up counter extensions.
What’s not to like?
There are a few things I noticed in these that I thought could easily be remedied. One of those is the distinct lack of USB charging ports, although I suppose you could just plug in a charging brick. But that also means you’d have to run either the generator or the inverter.
I also was surprised to watch Robert Morales’ video from last year’s Tampa RV Show where he did a walk-through of a few Coach House models and they’re still using those spring-loaded catches for the doors. Do they not have magnets in Florida or something? Also, those odd rubber stoppers to keep the bathroom door open seemed unusual. Again – magnets, folks, magnets.
The “don’t like” things are minor compared to the “do like” things in this RV, starting with what the company has staked their reputation on: the single-piece fiberglass shell for the camper itself. I can’t stress enough how great it is to not have multiple panels that rattle loose over time.
I have to say I’m more familiar with Lazy Daze campers than with these. But both stake their reputation on the build of their camper portions of their rigs and, here in California, vintage Lazy Daze campers are quite coveted. I would imagine that’s the case on the East Coast with Coach House models.
Looking at the used RV market, there are 10- and 15-year-old Coach House RVs that still look factory-fresh selling for more than some newer Class Cs. A noteworthy number of them are selling for over $100,000, so I think the company’s build-quality reputation is deserved.
One bit of frustration – I did get the MSRP from Robert’s videos. I called multiple times and didn’t get a call or email back from the company. I’m hoping they are better at responding to customers than they are at responding to media inquiries.
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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