Tag Archives: Entegra motorhome

Factory Service at Entegra

026Entegra coaches are unusual in that they provide a two year bumper-to-bumper warranty on our coach, instead of the more customary one year. We’ve had some warranty issues fixed along the way, but we arranged our routing to allow for our final warranty work to be done at the factory, in Middlebury, Indiana as we are coming up on 2 years since our purchase.

002Entegra’s service facility is bright and clean, with 8 service bays and approximately 20 coach parking spots with electrical hookup (water and sewer dump is available nearby). We arrived the afternoon before our appointment and hooked up for the night. Bright and early the next morning (6:30 am!), a service tech arrived to drive our coach back to one of the bays. A short while later, our service coordinator escorted us to our coach where we reviewed all of our requested items in detail. In addition to our list, the tech also goes through their own annual inspection checklist and evaluates all of the systems. While they set to work, we settled into the customer lounge.

027The customer lounge is large and lovely, equipped with comfy sofas, TVs, work tables, free wifi, refrigerator, microwave, and free Keurig coffee. There are men’s and ladies restrooms each with a clean and beautiful shower facility. The lounge is accessible 24/7 with an entry code for off hours. It is a very comfortable way to spend the day.

024The only one who did NOT like the lounge was Pumpkin! It was unsafe to leave him in the coach while the repairs were done, so we had no option other than to use the Entegra-provided pet pen in the lounge. He was NOT a happy camper!! I draped the pen with a blanket to provide him some privacy, but he still voiced his displeasure every time he saw me. As the service days went on, we had to be very intentional about blocking off his coach hidey-holes, because he knew what was coming and would attempt to avoid being stuffed in his carrier! He survived the experience – barely.

Our service experience was stellar. The technicians were knowledgeable and corrected our issues properly, the first time. They even fixed a few things that we hadn’t identified. Joyce, the service manager, walked out to the lounge a couple of times per day to make sure everyone was being taken care of properly and supply free Entegra T shirts. We met all of the key customer service players and went on a factory tour. We had the opportunity to meet other Entegra owners and compare notes. We felt welcomed and quite at home. The only downside was the early 6:30 am daily coach pickup! What was estimated to take 6 service days, actually only took 4 — and it didn’t cost us a penny.

005While at Entegra, we obtained a quote to repair some scratches and dings on our exterior from Entegra’s preferred paint facility, S&S Automotive in nearby Wakarusa. After finishing up at Entegra, we headed there. S&S’s small lounge isn’t as nice as Entegra’s, but it does offer comfy lounge chairs, a TV, free wifi, and free Keurig coffee/tea. Restrooms are nearby in the shop. The lounge and restrooms were not open off hours, but the facility has several parking spots with electrical and water hookup and a dump station is on property. The half-dozen Entegra coaches parked on the lot proved that they worked on our type of rig all of the time!

The S&S technicians were artists. It took several days to prep the surface, paint, and reinstall a section of the front diamond shield coating, but at the end it looked simply perfect. They brought the coach back to us each night, so we didn’t have to stay in a hotel at any time. We also did not have to haul Pumpkin out every day since they were only working on the exterior (which he appreciated!). The work was not free, but they stuck to their estimate, and we thought the cost was fair. Everyone there was super-nice and accommodating, and did a great job.

With a couple of days to spare before our appointment with Spartan in Michigan, we simply headed back to Entegra to park for a couple of nights (with permission). We could have found a campground, but this was convenient and free!

So what did we do for two weeks while our rig was being all fixed up? We biked the Pumpkinvine trail. We browsed shops in Shipshewana and caught dinner and a show at the Blue Gate restaurant and theater. We saw the play “Simple Sanctuary” which was surprisingly professional and engaging. We ate at the famed Essenhaus restaurant in Middlebury.  We went on a half-day Newmar coach factory tour (a close competitor to Entegra, but we still like ours better). We took a day trip over to Indiana Dunes National Park – I’ll do a separate post on that. I drove to Chicago for a two day business trip. We stopped in at Amish Acres in Nappanee, but I wasn’t overly impressed (too tourist-y). We took motorcycle rides through the Amish countryside and sampled the delicious local Amish cuisine and the baked goods. It’s a good thing we aren’t staying longer because the goodies are fabulously addictive!  Maple frosted cinnamon rolls ….. pies ….. cookies …. doughnuts ….. YUM.

We even had a mini family reunion with Aunts/Uncles/cousins who live in this area. My dad is from around these parts, and still has a lot of family here. My sister drove my mom and dad up for the day and we had a lovely time catching up. Some of my cousins I hadn’t seen for over 20 years! It was a blessing to be able to reconnect.

Overall, our experience here was most pleasant and productive. All systems are working, the exterior looks pristine, and we’ve picked up a lot of new useful information about our rig. Another owner turned us on to the web page “Cummins Quick Serve” which includes all operation and service manuals, bulletins, and the latest service intervals – invaluable! We’re even looking at our route to see how we can come back through here in a year or two to have our general service work done here. It won’t be done under warranty, but if we have to pay someone, we’d prefer it be someone who knows what they’re doing!!

Later today, we’ll be heading up to Michigan, to the factory that built our chassis – Spartan Motors. I’ve heard wonderful things about their service, so we’re looking forward to it.

I’ll keep you posted!

Taking your house in for service

This is a Throwback Thursday post, first blogged in January 2018. We still find that getting service done on the motorhome is one of the more  logistically challenging aspects of fulltime RV living. Sometimes you can have a mobile RV guy come out to work on your systems, but some things just have to be done in a shop. We have had to adjust our itinerary several times to accommodate motorhome service needs. We actually planned our entire 2019 itinerary around our Entegra factory visit next summer. We will have our “post delivery inspection” and any warranty repairs completed before our 2 year bumper-to-bumper warranty expires.


First posted: Jan 2017

When your car needs service, you just drop it off at the local garage. If it is going to take a few days, you can borrow or rent a car. But when your car is also your house …. it’s a bit more complicated!

You may recall from a prior post, we experienced an issue with our rear engine hatch. Our particular bus has a motorized cover, not manual. At delivery, we noted that one of the two cover actuators were missing. The dealership replaced it, everything seemed to be working, and we set off on our way. Unbeknownst to us, the actuator was not identical, and opening/closing the cover caused it to torque and damage the cover and bracket. In fact, for a while, we were unable to open the engine cover at all.

Back home in South Florida, we identified a local authorized warranty repair center. They were able to remove the offending actuator which enables us to open / close the hatch (with some difficulty). However repairing the unit required pre-approval from Entegra and replacement parts, which they were unable to source before Thanksgiving, our launch date. So we had the parts held at Entegra in Indiana, until we could arrange for repairs at an alternate facility.

It should be noted that most repair facilities do not have hookups or even just a parking spot for you to stay with the motorhome. So, if you have a multi-day repair (like this one), you may have to go stay in a hotel for the duration (not a simple endeavor with a cat). If the repair facility isn’t attentive to your rig’s power needs, you can come back to find your house batteries drained and spoiled food in the fridge. We attempted to find a repair facility in the vicinity of our Gatlinburg cabin after the holidays. However, since it was winter, the facilities would not guarantee our rig wouldn’t freeze and recommended we winterize before dropping it off. Um, no. Not going to do that.

So, on to Plan C. Since we were coming back by Dixie RV anyway, perhaps they could work us in around that time. And they could! And they have parking sites with power hookups, and we can sleep in the bus every night! And Entegra can ship the parts to them in time!  Sold! Since they kinda broke it, it only seemed fair for them to fix it.

Dixie RV was great. They worked around our travel schedule and addressed everything we listed. We cleared out each morning and the bus was parked back in a hook up spot each evening by 5 pm. It all worked out. Rear engine cover fixed!

We had to make some accommodations to stay on site. We just left the slides in the whole time,  it’s a lot simpler to do so. You just have to plan ahead and take everything out that you may need from those cabinets that are blocked when the slides are in (mainly clothes and food). We only had electric hookup, so were in water conservation mode. No long showers or laundry. But hey, it was free camping! And at night when everyone cleared out, it was super quiet. We spent a total of three nights there.

It felt a bit surreal to come full circle from last summer when we picked up the bus. Six months ago we were such newbies. Now we feel seasoned, and comfortable handling and living in this rolling home. We are back where we started this adventure and will now encounter new territory!

Westward Ho!

How we chose our motorhome

A Throwback Thursday post!  Originally published last year, this describes how and why we chose our rig. It has proved to be an excellent decision!


Choosing an RV for full time living is a Big Deal. It will be our moving home, one that we will be living in for a very long time (hopefully!). Before making our decision, we spent years researching and travelling to RV shows.

The first decision:  What kind of RV?

Jeff loves to ride motorcycles. He’s had some kind of motorcycle for most of his life. At his peak, he had 4 cycles in our garage:  a Honda 15cc scooter, a Honda 450 trail bike, a Honda 650 sport bike and a Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited touring bike.  Life on the road without at least ONE motorcycle was not an option. So, any housing option we selected had to allow for towing or otherwise carrying a motorcycle along with some kind of car/truck for everyday transportation.

5th wheel trailers are homey. The layout is much more house-like and very comfortable. And they are potentially the less expensive option. But, towing a large/premium 5th wheel trailer that we would be happy living in full time would require a hefty tow vehicle, on the order of an F-350 or larger. I wasn’t enamored with the size of the vehicle that we would use for sightseeing and errands. Plus, there was no good way to carry a motorcycle too. So, 5th wheels were out.

A conventional travel trailer was another option that we ruled out for most of the reasons above (size of trailer desired vs. corresponding tow vehicle required). It was possible to carry a motorcycle in the back of a large truck tow vehicle, but we liked the appearance, ease and convenience of the motorhome option. Plus with a motorhome, we had options that enabled us to tow both a car/truck and a motorcycle.

So we zeroed in on a motorhome as our preferred choice fairly early in the process. But, which one?

Second decision:  Selecting the bus

Key factors for us were cargo carrying capacity, quality, and of course, price. Since this would be our full time home, we wanted it to be a quality build with home-quality furnishings. RV’s can look nice on the showroom floor, but if the materials aren’t top grade, they can quickly fall apart with daily use. And since top quality furnishings are heavy, that steered us toward a diesel pusher in order to have the cargo capacity we needed to carry our entire life with us.

Our researched showed Tiffin, Newmar, and Entegra to build quality rigs in a comparable price range. We watched the models evolve over years and also perused the owners’ forums to assess customer satisfaction.  We were fortunate that our nest egg grew, so we were able to raise our sights to slightly larger and fancier motorhomes. We debated RV size, and decided that we preferred having more living space and accepted that having a “big rig” may limit our camping options. As we approached the time to buy, Entegra bubbled up as being the best value for the features provided as well as providing the best warranty. Entegra had a model and floor plan that we liked and fit our budget. So that was the pick.

The final factor was timing. With the introduction of 2018 models and close out of 2017 models, we felt late summer or early fall would be the time to pull the trigger. We watched rvtrader.com and saw the prices dropping in early June.  We found our preferred model and color scheme at a price significantly lower than our budget and felt we had to move on it, even though it was earlier than expected. So, there you have it!

I know what you’re thinking – why didn’t you look at gently used buses rather than just new? It was an option we seriously considered, but cream puffs are hard to find. Since this is our very first motorhome, we liked the security of having that full 2 year warranty period. And, we have almost always bought new vehicles. It’s just what we do.

So that takes you through our rationale and decision making process. It is a rig that fits our particular needs/wants and lifestyle.

Tire Fun

Motorhome life can be a bit – unpredictable.

We pulled into our current campground near Kalispell Montana last weekend, checked in, and headed for our designated site. This older campground was recently purchased by a new owner and has started improving the roads and sites by putting down fresh gravel. Although plenty long enough, the site was narrow (for us), requiring trees to be trimmed on both sides simply to allow us to put our slides out. Once that was accomplished, we attempted to level the bus. Fail. The site was so sloped, that even putting blocks under the rear tires didn’t allow us to completely level the bus. Our auto-level system did its best, but left one of our dually tires an inch off the ground. Not ideal, but we didn’t have a whole lot of other options.

A few days later, a better site appeared to become available, so I approached the office about the possibility of moving, and they said yes, so long as we moved that day. So we prepared to move over 3 spaces – packed up, jacks up, slides in. Then we discovered ….. the tire that had been lifted off the ground was now flat! Yikes. We weren’t going anywhere soon.

We pulled out our small portable air compressor and filled, and filled, and filled. It’s a really big tire! Finally the tire pressurized, but then started  hissing, punctured by an object unknown. Since we still wanted/needed to move, we filled the tire as best we could and hoped it would hold air long enough. We carefully maneuvered over to the new site and re-situated ourselves. This site also required some branch trimming, but was MUCH more level and better situated for us. So one problem solved, but another discovered.

I had the bright idea to call the Coach.net emergency roadside service number (service provided 3 years for free by Entegra). We weren’t on the side of the road, but they do cover tire issues. They contacted a local tire firm on our behalf, and arranged for them to bring a new tire to our site a couple of days later.

To prepare for our service, we had to pull up the jacks and pull in the slides (again). The tire guy arrived promptly, jacked up the bus, and removed the tire. The “object” was half of a needle nose pliers, spiked right into the tread! Who knows where we may have picked that up. Fortunately, the tire was repairable, so a patch was applied on the spot. Tire re-inflated, remounted, and we were good to go!  The best part: no charge. The service was entirely covered by our Entegra-provided Coach.net service.

Although somewhat inconvenient, we were also blessed that we didn’t become disabled while on the road in some remote location. The un-level site was blessing in disguise – had we not been adamant about moving, we wouldn’t have discovered the problem until departure day, which would have been much more problematic. And the fix didn’t even cost us anything.

Our angels are watching out for us!

Taking your house in for service

When your car needs service, you just drop it off at the local garage. If it is going to take a few days, you can borrow or rent a car. But when your car is also your house …. it’s a bit more complicated!

You may recall from a prior post, we experienced an issue with our rear engine hatch. Our particular bus has a motorized cover, not manual. At delivery, we noted that one of the two cover actuators were missing. The dealership replaced it, everything seemed to be working, and we set off on our way. Unbeknownst to us, the actuator was not identical, and opening/closing the cover caused it to torque and damage the cover and bracket. In fact, for a while, we were unable to open the engine cover at all.

Back home in South Florida, we identified a local authorized warranty repair center. They were able to remove the offending actuator which enables us to open / close the hatch (with some difficulty). However repairing the unit required pre-approval from Entegra and replacement parts, which they were unable to source before Thanksgiving, our launch date. So we had the parts held at Entegra in Indiana, until we could arrange for repairs at an alternate facility.

It should be noted that most repair facilities do not have hookups or even just a parking spot for you to stay with the motorhome. So, if you have a multi-day repair (like this one), you may have to go stay in a hotel for the duration (not a simple endeavor with a cat). If the repair facility isn’t attentive to your rig’s power needs, you can come back to find your house batteries drained and spoiled food in the fridge. We attempted to find a repair facility in the vicinity of our Gatlinburg cabin after the holidays. However, since it was winter, the facilities would not guarantee our rig wouldn’t freeze and recommended we winterize before dropping it off. Um, no. Not going to do that.

So, on to Plan C. Since we were coming back by Dixie RV anyway, perhaps they could work us in around that time. And they could! And they have parking sites with power hookups, and we can sleep in the bus every night! And Entegra can ship the parts to them in time!  Sold! Since they kinda broke it, it only seemed fair for them to fix it.

Dixie RV was great. They worked around our travel schedule and addressed everything we listed. We cleared out each morning and the bus was parked back in a hook up spot each evening by 5 pm. It all worked out. Rear engine cover fixed!

We had to make some accommodations to stay on site. We just left the slides in the whole time,  it’s a lot simpler to do so. You just have to plan ahead and take everything out that you may need from those cabinets that are blocked when the slides are in (mainly clothes and food). We only had electric hookup, so were in water conservation mode. No long showers or laundry. But hey, it was free camping! And at night when everyone cleared out, it was super quiet. We spent a total of three nights there.

It felt a bit surreal to come full circle from last summer when we picked up the bus. Six months ago we were such newbies. Now we feel seasoned, and comfortable handling and living in this rolling home. We are back where we started this adventure and will now encounter new territory!

Westward Ho!