Coachman Industries

Looking at the possibilty of buying a 1997 Coachman Class A Catalina on a Ford Chassis. Anyone got any experience with Coachman Industries that would assist me in my decision?

Gary B

Senior Member
Coachman Industries

Hi hdrich, welcome to the forum and rving, Coachmen builds a good middle of the heap rv, they aren't top line nor are they anywhere near entry level. Our first 5th wheel was a Coachmen and we didn't have a problem with it and it served us very well for the 4 years we had it, after 4 years we traded it on a larger 5er and got an excellent trade-in for it. Good luck with the search.
:) :laugh: :cool: :bleh: ;) :approve:
Coachman Industries

We have a 99 Class C Coachmen Santara - It is a great camper it has a Ford V-10. We have owned it for 6 years and have not had any trouble with it. We are talking of getting a class A for more room, but I really hate to leave it go.
Coachman Industries


Well, as a Coachmen dealership service manager I can tell you that there are alot worse out there!!
As GaryB stated, it's a good "middle of the heap" rig.
Like any other rv....look it over carefully for past, or present, water leakage. If there are maint. records, ask to see them.
I think the Ford is the better of the chassis, too!!

Good luck and happy campin'
Coachman Industries

CamperTech and LuAnn, we look at a 2005 Santara today and we loved it. It has two slides on it, do you think we will have any problems with leaks? I drove it (V-10 Ford) and was very happy with the power. Gary, are you :) ? I think I may be coming over to your side. ;) :laugh: One more thing that we liked about the rig was that it has so much more storeage than the older class C models. Thanks for any advice you may be able to you give. Terry


Senior Member
Coachman Industries

Are you saying that even today you would choose the Ford over Workhorse? I know that Ford was leading when GM sold out, but I'd be interested to know why you still feel that way? I have noticed that the same coach built on a Ford will have at least 1500# more CCC than the same coach on a Workhorse, assuming that they have the same GVWR. Is there another reason?
Coachman Industries


Congrats on your new Coachmen. The Santara's are great rigs. Leakage? well, it's pretty much like this...If you were to take your house off it's foundation and truck it down the road, eventually the twisting & turning would cause something to leak. It's like that with all trailers and motorhomes. The secret to keeping them in good shape is how well they are maintained.
I suggest to all my customers that they have all the moldings, windows, storage doors, and utility hatches sealed with silicone. I also suggest that, unless they are very handy with a caulking gun, they have a dealer do it. (I've seen some REAL nasty sealing jobs :dead: ) This provides an initial barrier to water as well as keeping air and sunlight from drying the compound used to seal under all those items.
The roof seams should be checked, from time to time, to be sure the sealant hasn't lifted or a trapped air pocket hasn't burst after sitting in the hot sun.
So you know, this is a suggestion I make to buyers of ALL rv makes, it's not just my Coachmen customers.

If you follow the maintenence procedures that are in the owners pak, you will get alot of enjoyment from your new rig.
I hope you have great luck with your new rig, and especially have tons of fun! :)

Happy Campin'

C Nash

Senior Member
Coachman Industries

Camper Tech
Like Kirk, I would like to hear your reason for thinking the Ford is better than the Workhorse. Lots of folks will tell you there are very few workhorse repair shops but, I can't really see this as a problem. Lot of good reports on the workhorse ride and handling. By the way I have the Ford chassis.
Coachman Industries

Hi Camper Tech, thanks for your advice on the leaks. I will go with the pros. for help with the caulking. We will pick our rig up Sat. morning. This will be our first new RV and we are really looking forward to getting it on the road. Also our first Ford, nothing against the WorkHorse at all, but my wife wanted a Class C this time, she says she will be able to drive this one if necessary. Thanks again, Terry and Martha
Coachman Industries

I can't say pro or con on the Workhorse....we don't sell anything built on that chassis so I have no experience with them.
Or main motorhome inventory is Coachmen class C's & Trail Lite B+'s. They are both available on Ford or GM chassis. I've found the Fords more comfortable and more reliable. My customer feedback tells me the Fords get better fuel economy.
The few Mirada A's (By Coachmen) that we stock are on Ford Chassis and have given us little, if any, problems.
Coachman Industries

Camper Tech, we are thinking of have hydralulic jack installed on our 29 ft. Coachman Santara, and have read on another forum that if not very careful, the frame can be bent on class C Motor Homes. Have you ever seen this happen? Also if you think it's a good idea, what brand would be best. Thanks for any help you may give us. Best Regards, Terry and Martha