The newest addition to the Entegra line of diesel-powered motorhomes is considered the company’s entry-level model but comes packed with high-end features that say otherwise.
By Mark Quasius, F333630
The 2017 model year incorporates several major upgrades to the Entegra Coach line. Enhancements were made to three existing Entegra models — the Anthem, Aspire, and Cornerstone — which left room to introduce a new model with a lower price point. This model is the Insignia.
While the new Insignia is Entegra’s entry-level model, I hesitate to call it that, because it’s loaded with features. This motorhome initially is available in the popular 44B floor plan, which also is used in the Aspire and Anthem. Additional floor plans will be unveiled later this year.
The Insignia exhibits the same build quality as other Entegra Coach models. The company employs the hung-sidewall method of construction, instead of vacuum-laminated sidewalls commonly used in other motorhomes. The hung sidewalls are filled with acoustical-grade fiberglass insulation batts and are backed by reflective Flexfoil, a layered product said to offer excellent insulation. This method also is used in constructing the roof and floor, resulting in an R-16 sidewall, an R-24 roof, and an R-33 floor. The front and rear caps are insulated in the same manner, yielding an R-24 insulation value.
Entegra employees build the floors using a 2-by-4 framework that is then insulated to the aforementioned R-33 value. Three-quarter-inch seven-ply marine-grade plywood is used for the decking. This design deadens vibrations and road noise and contributes to a smooth, quiet ride.
The roof structure incorporates arched aluminum truss rafters on 16-inch centers; additional rafters are placed in strategic areas as needed. The roof is decked with 3/8-inch exterior plywood.
The 2½-inch-thick interior walls are lined with ½-inch plywood.
Entegra modifies the chassis by adding both horizontal and vertical X bracing in the basement areas to create a more rigid box on which to mount the coach. This trussing provides a solid platform on which to build the superstructure, with minimal frame twist, which improves handling and minimizes flex. Entegra also places a steel hoop over the cockpit for additional strength and safety.
The Insignia is built on Spartan’s Mountain Master chassis, equipped with a side radiator and a solid I-beam front axle The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of this chassis is 47,660 pounds, with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 62,660 pounds. It is equipped with a 15,000-pound-rated towing hitch. A 450-horsepower Cummins ISL9 engine puts out 1,250 pound-feet of torque and is equipped with a two-speed engine compression brake. An Allison 3000 MH series six-speed automatic transmission delivers the power to the rear drive axle, which is rated at 20,000 pounds. The tag axle is rated at 12,000 pounds, and the front axle is rated at 15,660 pounds, limited by the rating on the tires. Both the drive and tag axles are equipped with 275/80R22.5 tires, while the front axle is shod with 295/80R 22.5 tires and ABS disc brakes.
LCI hydraulic leveling jacks are used to level the coach at a campsite. A 100-gallon fuel tank and 15-gallon DEF tank complete the chassis. Dual DEF fills are included so that the DEF tank can be refueled easily at truck stop fuel islands.
The Insignia’s exterior is available in four different paint schemes. Each one of these attractive designs imparts a high-end look and belies the fact that this is Entegra’s version of an entry-level motorhome. Our particular coach was done in the Flashpoint design.
The coach features halogen high- and low-beam headlights and LED fog lights nestled into trim bezels surrounded by LED accent lighting. This same design adorns the rear of the coach and its LED lighting. Stainless-steel Entegra emblem bars are located on the front and rear of the coach and are backlit with soft LED accents.
Entegra designers take pride in their paint process, which involves more than two weeks for each Insignia. After the background and graphic colors are applied, three polyurethane clear coats are added to protect the exterior and give it a finished look with a nice, deep shine. A 3M front protective film mask protects the paint from stone chips.
A Girard Ultra power awning is equipped with LED lighting. A power entry door awning and manual window awnings are also included. Flush-mounted, deep-tinted windows; LED docking lights; and polished aluminum wheels finish off the exterior trim.
One of the key points of any Entegra is the forward-control design of the cab. The tall windshield makes it easy to see right in front of the coach when maneuvering in tight spaces. It also makes it possible for the mirrors to be mounted lower; this helps to eliminate blind spots by allowing the driver to look over the mirrors rather than around them, improving visibility and safety at intersections. The huge windshield also makes for some great panoramic views when traveling or parked at a scenic campsite.
Entegra uses flush slideouts, which eliminate wind noise when driving and create a nice, airtight seal when parked. The flush-mounted entry door is fitted with an Aire-Secure pneumatic door latch system that grabs the door and pulls it tight whenever the park brake is released. This same system is applied to the sliding pocket doors in the interior; they are connected to the park brake to prevent the doors from slamming around when traveling.
The exterior entertainment center holds a 40-inch LED TV and a JBL sound system. Keyless power door locks on the entry door and the basement compartment doors are controlled by a keypad near the entry door, and by remote key fobs.
The 44B floor plan has a nice, open look, similar to the layout of a full-wall-slideout floor plan. It does retain the structural integrity of a quad-slide floor plan with a small center sidewall section, which offers support for the roof.
The Insignia test coach was finished in the Bronze interior décor package, with natural cherry woodwork and Amish-crafted cabinets. Three interior choices are offered. The porcelain tile floor is new for 2017 and features a wood-grain look and texture. Countertops throughout are solid surface and accented with LED lighting. A multiplex lighting system controls all of the coach lighting and slideout operation.
The six-way power captain’s chairs in the cockpit have integrated seatbelts and shoulder belts. The instrument panel cluster contains the usual gauges and Spartan Message Center, while the dash area to the right contains a Pioneer touch-screen entertainment center with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Views from the color rearview and side-view cameras are displayed on the infotainment system; they temporarily fill the screen when the transmission is placed in reverse or the turn signals are activated. A rocker switch allows the driver to select horizon view, hitch view, or auto mode.
The cockpit is equipped with MCD power shades, while manually operated United shades are used throughout the living area.
The Insignia certainly doesn’t lack in the entertainment department. A 50-inch LED TV is placed on top of a cabinet that contains an optional fireplace, plus storage for the Blu-ray player and any other components. An optional 32-inch LED TV mounts in the front overhead cabinet. The 40-inch LED TV in the exterior compartment is attached to a tilt-and-swivel mount. The JBL premium audio surround-sound system uses a calibrated 180-watt DSP amplifier and four speakers. A Samsung sound bar finishes off the system. The coach comes with a Winegard satellite dome but is prewired for an optional Winegard Trav’ler satellite dish.
The 44B’s galley features Entegra’s largest galley counter. A flush-mounted induction cooktop from the Furrion RV Chef Collection is mounted immediately next to a recessed stainless-steel sink. A ceramic tile backsplash surrounds the work area, which also includes a large pull-out section that further increases counter space. The overhead cabinetry contains 1.9 cubic-foot Whirlpool Gold convection-microwave oven. Immediately opposite is a 20-cubic-foot Whirlpool residential refrigerator with French doors and a large freezer drawer. All appliances and plumbing fixtures are finished in brushed stainless steel. The 44B also features a large full-height pantry.
Aft of the refrigerator on the street side is a midcoach half bath. Next comes the bedroom, which contains a king-size bed with a euro-top mattress. Hardwood sliding doors separate the bedroom from the forward area as well as the rear bath. The slideout opposite the bed holds a solid-surface-topped dresser along with overhead cabinets. These cabinets also house a 32-inch LED TV that swings out, and electronic components such as a Blu-ray player or a second satellite receiver.
In the very rear of the Insignia is a full bath, which includes a circular fiberglass shower enclosure with an overhead skylight. Both the shower and a Thetford Tecma macerator toilet are located on the driver’s side of the bath, while a large vanity with a flush-mounted sink is located on the curb side. An expansive mirrored medicine cabinet hangs directly above the vanity. The rear wardrobe in this area contains a laundry center with a stackable washer and dryer.
The Insignia is equipped with a 50-gallon propane tank that supplies the Aqua-Hot 400LP hydronic heating system. This system delivers clean hydronic heat throughout the coach, as well as unlimited domestic hot water on demand. The system also provides in-floor heat.
An Onan 10,000-watt diesel generator is mounted on a pneumatic slide rail in the front cap. It supplies an automatic transfer switch that also is fed by the 50-amp shore power cord, which is mounted on a retractable power cord reel. A Xantrex 3,000-watt true sine wave inverter supplies the various receptacles throughout the coach as well as the entertainment system; it is connected to a bank of two 390-amp, at 20-hour-rate, L16-series AGM batteries. An automatic generator start module can be programmed to start the generator whenever battery voltage falls beneath a preset threshold or if the thermostat calls for cooling. Cooling needs are met by three ducted 13,500-Btu air conditioners with heat pumps.
In the utility bay, a black-water holding tank flush system is supplied via a separate hose connection, while the black-water and gray-water dump valves are remotely controlled by levers on the compartment panel. The holding tanks can dump via a Sanicon Turbo macerator or by the traditional 3-inch hose via a bypass valve, so the operator chooses which method to use. The Sanicon Turbo, which comes with a 21-foot hose, is much faster than the original macerator designs and will dump as fast as a 3-inch gravity dump.
The Insignia handled well; it drove effortlessly and was nice and quiet. The motorhome’s solid I-beam front axle is a departure from the independent front suspension used in Entegra’s other three models, but the ride was smooth, nonetheless.
The modifications Entegra makes to Spartan’s Mountain Master chassis improve the handling, and the details spent on insulation and noise absorption pay off. The 450-horsepower Cummins ISL engine had more than enough power to move this coach along with reasonable acceleration, and the two-speed engine compression brake and front disc brakes performed well in bringing the coach to a stop.
The 44B floor plan offers plenty of room, and the comfort level was high throughout. The new-for-2017 porcelain floor tile was a welcome improvement. Guests who toured the interior remarked that they liked the wood-grain look, which didn’t show dirt as easily as polished porcelain tiles, and that the tile was more durable than vinyl flooring. I expect to see more of this flooring in other models in the near future.
Our scale readings showed that the motorhome offered plenty of cargo-carrying capacity. In many motorhomes, the total cargo carrying capacity cannot be utilized due to limits on the front axle, but I found that the Insignia’s 10,260 pounds of cargo carrying capacity was a realistic number, with good weight distribution among all three axles.
I predict that the new Insignia will be pleasing to many motorhome owners. It’s a great combination of price and features in a coach that’s enjoyable to drive and to inhabit.
Entegra Coach Inc., 903 S. Main St., P.O. Box 460, Middlebury, IN 46540; (800) 517-9137; www.entegracoach.com
Spartan Mountain Master raised rail
Cummins ISL9 turbocharged; 450 horsepower; 1,250 pound-feet torque at 1,400 rpm
Allison 3000 MH six speed
4.88 to 1
front axle — 295/80R 22.5;
rear axle — 275/80R 22.5
front axle — ABS disc;
rear axle — ABS drum;
tag axle — drum
solid I-beam front axle; air suspension
chassis — (2)
house — (2) 390-amp L16-series AGM
Xantrex 3,000-watt true sine wave
Onan 10,000-watt diesel
44 feet 11 inches
12 feet 8 inches
GROSS COMBINATION WEIGHT RATING (GCWR)
GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING (GVWR)
GROSS AXLE WEIGHT RATING (GAWR)
front — 15,660 pounds;
rear — 20,000 pounds;
tag — 12,000 pounds
(weighed with full fuel and water and two passengers)
front axle — 14,150 pounds;
rear axle —14,325 pounds;
tag axle — 8,925 pounds;
total — 37,400 pounds
OCCUPANT & CARGO CARRYING CAPACITY (OCCC)
FRESH WATER CAPACITY
HOLDING TANK CAPACITIES
gray water — 63 gallons;
black water — 42 gallons
100 gallons plus 15-gallon DEF
Aqua-Hot 400LP hydronic heating
Aqua-Hot 400LP hydronic heating
(3) 15,000-Btu with heat pumps
Whirlpool 20-cubic-foot residential
(1) Thetford Tecma porcelain with macerator in rear bath; (1) in half bath
coach — 2 years/24,000 miles
chassis — 3 years/50,000 miles
BASE SUGGESTED PRICE
PRICE AS TESTED