Jayco Inc.’s diesel-pusher division has rolled out this luxurious model.
By Lazelle Jones
It is uplifting to me when a company’s leaders push the envelope and introduce innovative products, realizing the future possibilities of such an endeavor. Such is the case with Jayco Inc. and its high-line diesel-pusher division, Entegra Coach. Entegra offers four motorhome models “” the Insignia, Inspire, Anthem, and Cornerstone “” which range from 36 feet to 45 feet in length.
The Insignia, a 101-inch-wide model, is available in one 36-foot floor plan and two 40-foot floor plans, and each floor plan features four slideouts. Recently, I took possession of the 40-foot-9-inch Insignia 40FKSA for a road test and livability review.
The motorhome was delivered to the West Coast from Middlebury, Indiana, a distance of 2,123 miles. During my initial inspection, I noted that the Insignia’s digital instrumentation readout had logged a very respectable 7.2 mpg for this cross-country journey. The driver, a small, petite woman, had braved challenging weather and road conditions, especially when motoring through the Colorado Rockies on Interstate 70, and she commented that these adverse conditions did not impede or delay her progress in any way.
After taking delivery, I weighed the coach with the fuel tank registering a quarter full (approximately 25 gallons, based on the 100-gallon capacity of the fuel tank), and with its holding tanks registering empty. Its total gross weight came to 29,200 pounds. With water weighing about 8 pounds per gallon, and diesel fuel weighing approximately 7 pounds per gallon, I calculated that the Insignia’s gross weight would have been about 30,400 pounds had the fuel and fresh water tanks been full. Comparing this figure to its gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 32,400 pounds, the 40FKSA has a potential cargo carrying capacity of approximately 2,000 pounds “” sufficient to accommodate the needs of even the most avid full-timing couple who wants to bring everything with them.
The Insignia is built on the Freightliner XCR Series platform. Freightliner has a long-standing reputation in the motorhome chassis market and an even larger presence in the world of heavy hauling trucks. What this means to the motorhome owner is access to Freightliner’s extensive service center network, in addition to the Entegra Coach network of service centers across North America.
Freightliner has married the Allison 3000 MH six-speed shift-pad electronic transmission with the Cummins ISB 360, a turbocharged, highly efficient power plant that develops 360 horsepower and yields 800 pound-feet of torque. The engine incorporates cutting-edge technology, making it more compatible with the environment. The exhaust brake is an integral part of the Cummins technology.
The Insignia yields a mellow ride at 70-plus mph. I found the power train to be exceptionally responsive across a broad range of conditions, including urban, mountain, and freeway driving. Acceleration was rapid when entering freeway on-ramps and when passing at interstate speeds. On a related note, the 40FKSA is rated to tow another 10,000 pounds of adult toys or a horse trailer, towed vehicle, watercraft, etc.
The rear-camera color monitor provides good visual information out and across the back of the coach. When the turn signals are activated, the side cameras transmit good visual information that is relevant to what is taking place alongside the vehicle.
Maneuvering this giant around corners and along winding roads is made easy with the 55-degree wheel cut that is engineered into the front axle package. The raised-rail chassis suspension is augmented by a finely tuned shock package and an air bag system that provide an exceptional over-the-road experience.
The fully automatic leveling system is controlled with the touch of a button. The jacks are spring-retracted so they won’t get stuck in the ground should the area be muddy. When a campsite is reached or when a stop is made along the way and you want to extend a slideout, you simply touch a button and auto leveling takes place. However, it’s important to note that stopping along the way for lunch or a short catnap does not require putting out any of the slideouts in order to take advantage of most of the amenities.
Entegra Coach creators have designed the 40FKSA with a center-aisle pathway that runs through the living, dining, and galley areas; this arrangement provides sufficient livability and unencumbered movement fore and aft, even when both of the two front slideouts are retracted. Even the bathroom facilities can be fully utilized when a rest stop is conducted, without any effort. However, to access the rear bedroom, the rear street-side slideout must be extended, unless you are a thin individual. In that case, entry to the bedroom is possible.
Each of the four slideouts in the 40FKSA has its own control switch. A hidden control panel situated over the front entry, behind one of the handcrafted cabinet doors, controls the forward slides. A second control panel for the two rear slides is disguised behind a cabinet door in the bathroom. A safety switch must be depressed and held while the extend/retract switch for each slide is pressed. If the safety switch is released, the articulation of the slide stops instantly. The slideout mechanisms are electric, and during the process of using them, I found that all four could be extended and retracted without running the engine or the 8-kw auxiliary diesel generator. The house battery pack, consisting of four 6-volt deep-cycle batteries, did the job. The source for recharging the house batteries is the engine alternator, the auxiliary diesel generator, shore power, and the roof-mounted solar panel.
A 2,000-watt pure sine wave inverter makes extended periods of stand-alone coach camping totally doable. The gen set needs to be operating or shore power plugged in to bring the dual 15,000-Btu roof air conditioners online.
Flooring in the Insignia is constructed with 5/8-inch plywood, to which 2×4 floor trusses are added. For the walls, Entegra uses 2¾-inch aluminum studs that are 16 inches on center and insulated with both R-7 fiberglass and ½-inch bead foam insulation. The roof system includes 4 1/2-inch welded tubular aluminum trusses, with 3/8-inch plywood decking and a fiberglass exterior on the top. The exterior skin is made of gel-coat fiberglass and dressed with full-body premium Sickens paint layers. Available paint schemes are Dakota Sandstone and Iron Slate. The basement storage compartments are coach-wide, making the stowing of items more convenient. The basement is heated, as are the holding tank compartments, making the Insignia a true four-season coach.
When the front slideouts are extended, the interior width of the coach measures 71 inches between opposing sofas. In the rear bedroom, the interior width with both slideouts extended is 91 inches from nightstand to drawer.
Regardless of how drop-dead gorgeous a motorhome may be, it needs to function as a live-in vehicle. In addition to its good looks, the Insignia yields both comfort and functionality. We liked the idea of having the spacious user-friendly galley and dining areas all the way forward, immediately aft of the driver and passenger cockpit seats. The comfortable, coach-wide living area is located aft of the galley and features the aforementioned sofas “” covered in sumptuous leather “” that face each other. When the forward slides are extended, this area is huge. In fact, if a movable European-style lounger were added, the living area could be even further used as a social gathering place.
A midcoach wall runs perpendicular to the curbside exterior wall, extending almost to the street-side wall where the side-aisle passageway begins. This interior wall is occupied by a 32-inch LCD flat-screen television and surrounded by a bank of handcrafted cabinets and drawers.
Starting midway, a side-aisle street-side passageway leads aft past the bathroom and into the rear bedroom. This area receives natural illumination thanks to a pair of 48-inch-by-36-inch windows.
The rear bedroom is notable in and of itself. The queen-size bed sits with the head of the bed inside the curbside slideout. Across most of the rear, full-length sliding mirror doors belie the fact that a massive wardrobe resides behind them. Adjacent to the wardrobe is a separate floor-to-ceiling cabinet where an optional washer-dryer combination can go. The vanity at the foot of the bed has a complex of cabinets and drawers above and around it as well. This area also includes a 26-inch flat-screen LCD television, all of which extend with the streetside slideout.
When the bed is extended in the curbside slide, a separate door to the bathroom appears. Here the bath and bedroom share a massive, floor-to-ceiling storage area. Not having experienced a floor plan with a separate passageway between the two areas, I can say I liked this a great deal.
As mentioned earlier, many folks will not be able to enter the bedroom without first extending the rear street-side slideout. You simply will have to keep what you need up front when traveling, or be prepared to extend the slideout 4 to 6 inches when you are parked to gain access to the rear of the coach.
The huge bathroom, almost coach-wide, is beautifully presented. The semicircular corner shower employs frosted glass panels and door. Atop the Corian countertop is a designer bowl akin to those found in upscale residential homes “” which, of course, the Insignia is, except it’s a residence that can be enjoyed wherever you want to go. As noted, the complex of hardwood cabinets shared between the bath and the bedroom become accessible when the rear curbside slideout is extended. A pocket door sequesters the bath from the bedroom.
In my test coach, porcelain travertine flooring flowed from the bath forward, up the side-aisle hallway, and through the living and galley/dining areas. It also covered the cockpit/entryway floor and the stairwell itself. The hardwood cabinetry throughout the coach was called Mocha Glazed Maple. The other choice is Washington Glazed Maple. Beautiful stuff!
The Insignia’s galley yields full functionality. Along with its eye appeal, it’s a venue where a full-on chef or the individual who is raiding the fridge in the middle of the night are both well-served. The refrigerator (two large, lower side-by-side doors) and side-by-side freezer with ice maker above sits immediately behind the passenger seat. Aft of the refrigerator is the cooktop that features a Corian split/fold cover that can be instantly opened or closed, depending upon food preparation or counter needs. A double sink is positioned in the angled portion of the counter, making the surface area even larger while introducing the galley to the living area. Very little step-and-fetch is required to take full advantage of all the features this galley offers. And when food preparation is complete and it’s time to serve, the chef simply turns around 180 degrees, and there is the dining table. Wherever beauty and a rugged-use surface area are required, Corian is used.
While reviewing the Insignia 40FKSA, I was struck by the amount of value today’s luxury motorhomes offer and how they have evolved in the past decade. Approximately 10 years ago, I evaluated a high-end diesel pusher with one slideout, the bells and whistles of that day, and a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $475,000. Flash forward to today, and the finely engineered Insignia I had the opportunity to test included four slideouts, a powerful and environmentally friendly engine, a state-of-the-art chassis, and house systems that were only being imagined a decade ago. The 40FKSA, with seemingly all the possible bells and whistles available today, comes with a suggested retail price of approximately $285,000. The base suggested retail price is approximately $272,000. The test motorhome included the following options: dual 15,000-Btu air-conditioning units with heat pumps; 8,000-watt generator; 12-cubic-foot refrigerator with icemaker; air horns; central vacuum system; convection-microwave oven and cooktop; Crí¨me Brulee interior; dual-pane tinted safety-glass windows; entrance door awning; exterior 32-inch LCD TV and CD/DVD player with speakers; front overhead 26-inch LCD TV; GPS navigation system; Iron Slate exterior paint package; Mocha Glazed Maple hardwood cabinetry; semiautomatic satellite dish; slide-out cargo tray. The value the luxury coach enthusiast can expect is better than it has ever been.
I am obviously very high on this unit. As stated in the opening paragraph, it uplifts the spirits to know that Entegra Coach has stepped forward with this level of luxury in a motorhome.
Entegra Coach, 903 S. Main St., P.O. Box 460, Middlebury, IN 46540; (800) 945-4787; www.entegracoach.com
Freightliner XCR Series
Cummins ISB turbocharged, aftercooled 6.7-liter electronic diesel; 360 horsepower @ 2,400 rpm; 800 pound-feet @ 1,800 rpm
Allison 3000 MH six-speed automatic with lockup
4.63 to 1
Michelin XZA3 275/80R 22.5, 16-ply, front; 445/50R 22.5, rear
4 polished aluminum, 2 steel, 22.5 x 8.25-inch, 10-bolt lugs
Full air brakes with auto slack adjusters and ABS; 17-inch disc brakes, front; 16.5 x 7-inch drum-style spider-cam, rear
Neway air ride suspension, front and rear
Tuned shocks, Sachs
TRW tilt/telescoping steering column with foot pedal and floor-mounted boot
chassis “” (2) 1900-cca;
coach “” (4) 6-volt deep-cycle
6,000-watt Onan auto generator
40 feet 9 inches
12 feet 8 inches w/ AC and satellite dish
GROSS COMBINATION WEIGHT RATING (GCWR)
GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING (GVWR)
GROSS AXLE WEIGHT RATING (GAWR)
front “” 12,400 pounds;
rear “” 20,000 pounds;
(weighed with 1/4-full fuel, holding tanks empty)
front “” 10,440 pounds;
rear “” 18,380 pounds;
total “” 29,200 pounds
OCCUPANT & CARGO CARRYING CAPACITY (OCCC)
50,000-psi raised frame rail with X-Bridge frame
fiberglass: R-14 floor, R-10 sidewalls, R-19 roof
FRESH WATER CAPACITY
HOLDING TANK CAPACITIES
gray water “” 60 gallons;
black water “” 60 gallons
50.6 gallons (172 pounds)
42,000-Btu furnace with automatic ignition
(2) 15,000-Btu central AC units
Norcold 10-cubic-foot two-way with ice maker (standard);
Norcold 12-cubic-foot two-way with ice maker (optional)
Thetford Aria porcelain with push-button flush
coach “” 24 months/24,000 miles plus 60 months structural;
chassis “” 36 months/50,000 miles
BASE SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE
PRICE AS TESTED