Solid construction, an impressive interior, and enough carrying capacity for full-timing make this motorhome from Country Coach inspire dreams of life on the road.
By Lazelle Jones
The Inspire 360 is a really, really fine coach “” in the way it looks, the way it drives, and the elegant habitat it provides at the end of the day. With a base suggested retail price beginning at $307,090, the Inspire 360 also represents value in the high-line motorhome market.
The Inspire 360 I recently reviewed was equipped with three slideouts “” two in the living area and one in the bedroom “” and measured almost 40 feet long by 102 inches wide. This model also is available in lengths of 34, 36, and 40 feet, and with two, three, or four slideouts, depending on the floor plan.
Upon taking delivery of my test unit, I was immediately struck by its interior. My first impression was that this coach had been well thought through. The choice of materials and furnishings show attention to detail and a thoughtful eye to keeping the lines and appointments simple yet elegant.
The Inspire 360 also offers plenty of cargo-carrying capacity. My test coach weighed 30,820 pounds while carrying 110 gallons of diesel fuel. Its gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is 36,200 pounds, which left a cargo-carrying capacity of 5,380 pounds. Even if the fresh water tank were full, the capacity would diminish by only approximately 800 pounds “” still leaving more than sufficient capacity for even the most full-time of the full-timers who bring everything with them.
I calculated the unit’s fuel economy at 6.5 mpg, an average that included driving on a mix of interstate and urban roads.
Is this coach driver-friendly? Indeed. The only critique item I noted was that the view of the left side mirror is somewhat blocked by the left A-pillar of the windshield. The curbside mirror performed its function well.
Overall, the Inspire 360’s split and heated mirror system, along with the single-piece windshield and backup monitor, do an excellent job of letting the driver know what’s occurring around the coach in all directions. The backup monitor even has measurements on the screen that indicate the distance between the rear of the coach and a vehicle or other object behind it.
The massive, flat dash is uncluttered and includes an attractive storage tray that pivots or swings out, so the driver can move it around to reach items. The tray is divided into sections to organize and separate items as needed.
The dash itself is uncomplicated, featuring easy-to-read instrument and control gauges, and then only as many as are required to keep the driver apprised of important chassis systems. The SmartWheel steering wheel contains touch controls for the cruise control and windshield wipers.
A two-stage exhaust brake lets drivers choose the degree of engine braking they prefer when the accelerator is released. Selecting “no” exhaust braking is also a choice. The coach’s air-ride suspension is augmented by four Koni shock absorbers that are tuned in such a manner that sounds and vibrations that originate from traveling on concrete segments of a freeway, for example, are held to a bare minimum. Couple this with the quiet yielded by well-sealed windows, and the cockpit in the Inspire 360 was a very comfortable and quiet place to be. This coach should minimize driver and passenger fatigue even during a long day on the road.
The passenger seat in my test coach was equipped with an optional power footrest and included a six-way power adjustment that lets the copilot configure it. The driver’s seat is also fully power-adjustable.
The display for the Allison 3000 MH transmission includes a digital readout called an economy reading that indicates which of the six gears the transmission is actually in (at any speed). Twin power sun visors (driver and passenger side) can be lowered and raised as needed by the touch of a button. The driver has a sun screen to his or her left that can be manually pulled down or pushed up. The pleated fabric windshield drapes work well; they draw easily across and around the windshield, in both directions, to provide privacy in camp.
Country Coach Inspire 360: windshield and accordion-style shades
Windshield and accordion-style shades provide privacy while in camp.
The entryway and cockpit floor in my test unit were dressed with rectangular-shaped ceramic tile. Carpet covered the living area floor, and the tile resumed in the galley and continued to the center-aisle bath. Carpet was used in the rear bedroom.
The Inspire 360 has four décor packages from which to choose, ranging from traditional to contemporary. My test coach featured the Odesa package, a very pleasant and enjoyable combination of neutral fabrics and mixture of colors and tones. The classic patterns were imbued with a contemporary feel. I was so impressed that I asked Country Coach’s resident interior design guru, Debbie Hollembaek, about the selection process. She explained that the fabrics used for the interior furnishings have a residential “hand,” or feel. A mix of natural and synthetic fibers is used. Durable and easy to maintain, this marriage of materials is matched with such appointments as high-grade carpet ($70 a yard) and porcelain tile. The latter can be set in a traditional rectangular pattern or in a more artsy but subtle inlay design.
Oak, maple, and light cherry are available wood choices; my test unit featured cherry. The cabinetry is handcrafted in-house; even the wainscoting has a special Country Coach design that is carved into the wood by a local Oregon craftsman.
Country Coach designs and configures its patented DynoMax chassis specifically for each model and floor plan in its product line. No generic, cookie-cutter platform is used. For example, my test coach’s floor plan, the Genoa, is different from the other 40-foot Inspire 360 in that the placement and number of slideout rooms dictates where the house battery pack will be located and how the holding tanks will be positioned.
However, all DynoMax chassis do have several things in common. First, the DynoMax features a semimonocoque design that also incorporates welded tubular steel members that together share and distribute the loads appropriately from front to rear and side to side. The rigidity of this steel infrastructure prevents the type of torsional twisting that can occur as a coach moves over uneven road surfaces, and preserves the integrity of the entire coach.
The 40-foot DynoMax chassis’ air-ride suspension system also doubles as the leveling system when a destination is reached. Its air springs are large, high-volume, low-pressure devices that intercept and modulate trauma emanating from below. The control and modulation of each 22.5-inch wheel is further enhanced by Koni shock absorbers that are precisely tuned to their particular location and workload.
Every Country Coach motorhome, regardless of its price point, features independent front suspension (IFS) as standard equipment. This permits each front wheel to independently step over irregular road surfaces. The IFS yields a 50-degree wheel cut on the Inspire, which means that tight turns that otherwise would be impossible are manageable. The front suspension also features double-wishbone construction, drum brakes, and an ipd antisway bar.
Country Coach Inspire 360: living space with both slideouts extended
When both living-area slideouts are extended, the room measures 12 feet 4 inches wide.
All of this explains why the unit I reviewed felt so comfortable across all kinds of driving conditions, and why it was so devoid of interior noise.
The floor is made of steel, which further augments the rigidity of the chassis. It consists of welded tubular steel, with foam insulation cut to fit in between the grid pattern of the steel. The interior portion is topped with plywood, and the bottom consists of Truegrit coated weather steel. The entire structure is vacuum-laminated to create a unitized structure.
The walls are multilayered and, like the floor and the roof structures, are vacuum-laminated. The exterior skin is a gel-coat fiberglass, joined with welded structural steel members, high-density foam core insulation, and, on the interior, lauan panel. The roof structure features a plenum system that delivers air from the twin 15,000-Btu roof air conditioners. The roof exterior is fiberglass, with padded vinyl covering the interior side of the ceiling. The walls and the roof are welded and lagged together to further create a rigid structure.
This unit functions very well when it comes time to set up housekeeping. The three slideout toggle switches are located together midcoach. The house batteries (four deep-cycle marine-style) provide power to extend and retract the slideouts, one at a time, in a matter of seconds. However, the slides don’t need to be extended to enjoy full use of the coach when stopped for lunch or parked at a spot to take a quick snooze.
The 2,000-watt pure sine wave inverter takes 12-volt-DC power from the house battery pack in sufficient amounts to power everything except the air conditioners. They require shore power (30 amps is sufficient) or the 8-kilowatt diesel generator. This coach is just as capable of providing luxury in a stand-alone camp setting as it is in a high-end luxury RV resort.
The Inspire 360 can be ordered with the optional Hydro-Hot hydronic heating unit. My test coach included this system, which in addition to heating the coach interior also serves to preheat the engine as needed and to supply domestic hot water.
The coach’s water system includes a heated and insulated fiberglass plumbing bay, a city-water-to-water-tank fill, exterior hot and cold running water with a handheld spray fixture, an electronic tank monitoring system, a water filtration system, a 12-volt on-demand water pump, and a black-water tank flush system.
The full-service galley is nicely appointed. Its granite-like solid-surface counter matches the tops used in the bath area, on the stand-alone dining table, and on the nightstands in the rear bedroom.
Standard galley features include a two-burner cooktop and a microwave-convection oven. A three-burner gas cooktop with 21-inch oven is available as an option, as is an Advantium Speedcook stainless-steel microwave-convection oven. The standard refrigerator is a 12-cubic-foot Norcold two-way unit with an ice maker; my test coach had the optional 12-cubic-foot Norcold refrigerator with an ice maker and water dispenser in the stainless-steel door.
The galley pantry provides sufficient storage for all kinds of dry goods, and the drawers feature Accuride self-closing guides.
Country Coach Inspire 360: The head of the bed is in a slideout.
The head of the bed is in a slideout, which provides even more room to reach the wardrobe along the rear wall.
Forward of the galley is a massive living area that with both slideouts extended measures 148 inches (12 feet 4 inches) across. Twelve-volt-DC lighting (which looks very residential) is used throughout the coach, including the two large, recessed oval lights in the ceiling of the living room and dining area.
The opposing sofas in the living area were covered in optional neutral-colored Ultraleather fabric, which feels buttery to the touch. The dining chairs are not simply stick-type seats, but plushly upholstered and exceptionally comfortable.
The living room comes with a 32-inch LCD television set in the overhead dash; a 37-inch LCD TV is optional. The standard home theater system has 5.1 surround-sound, a DVD player, and a CD changer. The Inspire 360 I tested was outfitted with an in-motion satellite dish (up front) and a conventional roof-mounted antenna.
In the rear bedroom, a separate enclosed corner hutch holds a 26-inch television. The queen-size bed is set in an island configuration (the head of the bed is on the streetside wall) that enables occupants to gain access to the floor-to-ceiling double-mirrored wardrobe at the rear. Even more space is available once you open the slideout, which encompasses the head of the bed.
The split-aisle bath has a large, angled shower with a skylight and a lavatory on the street side, and a toilet on the curb side.
Country Coach Inspire 360: angled wash basin in split-aisle bath
The split-aisle bath has an angled wash basin on the street side.
The elegant interior in this coach is matched by clean, uncluttered graphics on its exterior, using full body paint. In fact, the exterior of the Inspire 360 has a total of four layers of paint, including a final hand-rubbed dressing of clear coat designed to provide years of low-maintenance beauty.
The coach comes with an electric patio awning (with wind sensor) that is matched with standard topper awnings above each slideout room.
The exterior bays yield a total of 115 cubic feet of storage capacity, with a manually operated coach-wide slideout tray that provides access to gear even when it’s stowed in the center. The bays are heated, as are the holding tanks, making this an all-season motorhome.
As mentioned, the base suggested retail price of the Inspire 360 is $307,090, and the price of my test unit came to $344,040 with the following options: Cummins 400 ISL engine; TracStar satellite system and high-definition receiver; cherry cabinetry; Ultraleather sofa; driver sliding seat cushion and passenger seat power footrest; hydronically heated hot water system with electric backup; Hydro-Hot diesel-fired hydronic central heating system with zone control; 12-cubic-foot Norcold two-way refrigerator with ice maker and water dispenser in a stainless-steel door; elliptical ceiling light fixtures; 3M nose protectant; SmarTire II tire monitoring system; and dual directional bay slide trays.
It’s nice to be able to consider the upscale Country Coach Inspire 360 among the most pleasant and luxurious homes on the road. Attention to detail makes it one in a million “” without the accompanying price tag.
Country Coach, 135 E. First Ave., Junction City, OR 97448; (800) 547-8015, (541) 998-3720; www.countrycoach.com
Cummins ISL, 400 horsepower @ 2,200 rpm, 1,200 pound-feet torque at 1,300 rpm (optional); Caterpillar C9, 8.8-liter; 400 horsepower @ 2,100 rpm, 1,100 pound-feet torque @ 1,400 rpm (standard)
Allison 3000 MH
4.88 to 1
Steel-belted radials 295/80R x 22.5? (six)
Full air brakes with ABS and automatic slack adjusters
front – Holland/Neway IFS, full air suspension; drive – Holland/Neway with air springs and Koni shock absorbers
chassis – (1) heavy-duty 8D with 12-volt disconnect; house – (4) 6-volt with disconnect
Fully integral, full-time hydraulic power-steering gear with tilt and telescoping column
2,000-watt solid-state inverter and 100-amp solid-state convertor-charger with 15-amp chassis battery charge system
Onan 8-kilowatt liquid-cooled diesel
39 feet 10 inches
7 feet 1 inch
12 feet 9 inches
WEIGHT RATING (GCWR)
WEIGHT RATING (GVWR)
GROSS AXLE WEIGHT RATING (GAWR)
front – 14,200 pounds;
rear – 22,000 pounds
WET WEIGHT AS TESTED
front – 11,920 pounds;
rear – 18,680 pounds;
total – 30,820 pounds
PAYLOAD AS TESTED
Steel tube cage structure, vacuum-bonded walls and floor, fiberglass exterior with aluminum skirts and doors, one-piece laminated fiberglass roof
2-pound-density styrene insulation
FRESH WATER CAPACITY
HOLDING TANK CAPACITIES
black water – 53 gallons;
gray water – 69 gallons
32 gallons @ 4.5 pounds per gallon
Hydro-Hot (optional); Atwood Exothermal 10-gallon (standard)
Hydro-Hot, 50,000-Btu (optional); (1) 35,000-Btu, (1) 20,000-Btu, LP-gas (standard)
Demand, with filter
(2) 15,000-Btu low-profile roof units
12-cubic-foot Norcold 2-way with ice maker
basic – chassis/house, 24 months/12 months, unlimited mileage; structural – chassis/house, 60 months, 50,000 miles
BASE SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE
PRICE AS TESTED