Fleetwood vs National RV

I need your help in deciding which RV I should buy. The Fleetwood Bounder 35E (2003-2006, or the National RV Sea View, Sea Breeze, Dolphin LX and Tropical (2003-2006). I have not found a floorplan like the Fleetwood 35E. Any help will be greatly appreciated. I currently drive a 1990 Fleetwood Mallard (28'). I would like to move up to a 35"-37" rig. Everyone is telling if I'm going to move up, I should by a Diesel vs Gas MH. I'm set to retire in 5 years and want something that is going to last. Thanks, Guy from San Diego....

C Nash

Senior Member
Re: Fleetwood vs National RV

I would probably go with the National but, if I found a good deal on either the make would not be a deal breaker if, I liked the floorplan, condition. Some really bash Fleetwood products and others say National is in trouble. Gas engines will last a long time if properly cared for. Diesels will generally have more CCC, offer better rides and have more towing capacity. The right size diesel engine, transmission will have better torque. Cost is more for diesel maintaince. Diesel fuel cost more per gallon but it is cheaper here now since gas has gone through the roof. All JMO
Re: Fleetwood vs National RV

Fleetwood all the way. Have had dealing with National and they where not good. If you want to pay the extra diesel that is the way to go. More power for towing and on hills. Also,usually better fuel mileage.
Good luck


Senior Member
RE: Fleetwood vs National RV

My son owns a 2002 Dolphin LX and has had excellent service from it. He previously had a Safari Zanzabar diesel pusher and hated the way it handled. He got the Dolphin on the Workhorse chassis with the 8L V8 and really likes the way it handles. He has lived in it with his family for 8 months at a time and it has held up very well. If I were to purchase a motorhome, I would certainaly give National and Dolphin a good long look!
Re: Fleetwood vs National RV

I am in the same boat too or should I say RV too . I am a newbie myself though. My father owned and loved the GMC motorhomes from 1973-1978. Since times have changed I been spending the last year and half making a decision on a RV. We decided on a diesel pusher and the two choices I narrowed it down to are the 2008 34ft Bounder and the 2008 National RV 35ft Tropi-Cal LX. Initally I liked the bounder since Fleetwood has such a reputation. But after going to the show this weekend in Pomona California I discovered National RV's Tropi-Cal. Which in all intended purposes looks great, The steel construction appears to be a plus, and the roof being fiberglass is a plus too. Untill I read that rubber roofs are better for longevity since the expand and contact easy. Besides that confusion My knowledge about National RV was limited since I never bothered to look. Done some research and of course see what is going on with National RV I may hesitate from it. So my question is what are the plus and minus of both RV's. :8ball:


Re: Fleetwood vs National RV

I myself have a tiffin alegro bus ,, but IMO if the coach is to u'r liking ,, then buy it ,,, u need to test drive one and see how it handles and also ck out the waranty ,, if it's new see what they wil cover or not ,,, but by all means make sure u do some research into the type of rv u want.... but again ,, JMO :)
Bty what price range u looking at ,, u might want to look into Tiffin ;)
Re: Fleetwood vs National RV

I had a 1995 Fleetwood Pace Arrow -- gas. We didn't drive it as much as we should, and then DH passed away. I kept the coach until 2005...now have a Fleetwood Bounder Turbo Diesel 40'. We full time in it and have not had any real problems. We had some frozen pipes last winter, but we were in CO and suffered through 70" of snow!!!

This Sept we had an electrical surge go through the coach and that blew out the AC's and the EMS...had we had a surge protector this would not have happened.

We have a 300 CAT engine and an Allison 6 speed tranny....the engine is a DREAM!! This baby loves to roll...has a sweet spot at 73mph!! I tow a 1998 Honda Accord with no problems....I have to keep an eye on the camera to make sure it is still there -- even going up the hills!!!

I've heard a lot of bad things about Fleetwood, but for the most part, we've been very happy with our Bounder!!

I think the key to keeping any coach in good shape and running smooth is REGULAR and CONSISTENT MAINTAINENCE!!!

FYI--when I drove from Madison, WI to Cincinnati, OH last year I got 11.5 mpg!!!! Yes, I was towing!!! I was only going about 55 or 60m mph!!!

Hope this helps!!!