RVers searching for a smaller diesel-powered motorhome may be intrigued by this 25-foot Type C , based on the Mercedes-Benz 3500 cutaway chassis.
By Lazelle Jones
Entegra Coach Inc., of Middlebury, Indiana, has established motorhome lines to meet the needs and changing tastes of many RV enthusiasts. The company produces Type A luxury diesel pushers, Type A gas-powered motorhomes, and gas and diesel Type C motorhomes. For model year 2020, Entegra Coach features three Type Cs: the Esteem, the Odyssey, and the Qwest. The Esteem and Odyssey are built on the Ford E-450 gas chassis, while the Qwest uses the Mercedes-Benz 3500 Sprinter diesel chassis as its platform.
This past winter, I had the opportunity to review a Qwest 24K, one of three floor plans offered in the 2019 product line. All three have an exterior length of 25 feet 2 inches and are 96 inches wide. Their 6-foot-8-inch interior height is sufficient to accommodate even tall occupants.
All three Qwest floor plans come with slideouts. The Qwest 24K incorporates two: a living area/dinette slideout and a second slideout in the rear bedroom.
Mercedes-Benz and its Sprinter chassis carry universal recognition and appeal, including within the RV industry. The dual-rear-wheel, ladder-rail Sprinter 3500 chassis is powered by a fuel-injected V-6 turbo-diesel Mercedes-Benz engine that delivers 325 pound-feet of torque and 188 horsepower.
All three Qwest floor plans have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 11,030 pounds and a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 15,250 pounds. A 5,000-pound-rated Class III hitch receiver is installed as standard equipment, along with the necessary electrical harness and coupler. This package enables RVers to take along personal watercraft, a utility trailer filled with off-highway vehicles, or other toys, if desired.
Like its Qwest siblings, the 24K is designed to accommodate a broad spectrum of user wants and needs, regardless of whether RVers set off on a weekend getaway, a thousand-mile road trip across North America, or full-time RV living.
This 25-foot motorhome can be navigated in and out of urban traffic and other settings that might present issues for larger RVs. Obviously, a smaller motorhome poses fewer challenges when finding a parking spot as well. The configuration of the cockpit’s instrumentation and controls will feel familiar to many drivers, reminiscent of those found in a van, a pickup truck, or a large sedan.
When I slid behind the steering wheel, I immediately felt at home. The large windshield and side windows, along with the adjustable, heated side mirror system, provide good visibility for the pilot and copilot. The backup camera, with its 6.7-inch dash screen, informs the driver what is taking place at the rear of the unit.
The V-6 turbo-diesel engine is not timid. Entering a freeway, passing another vehicle, or climbing a winding mountain road is no more complicated than if one were operating a standard-size vehicle.
Once a campsite is reached, setup can be completed with a minimal number of steps. City water, 30-amp shore power, and dump hoses connect easily. The double slideouts are electrically powered; at the touch of a button, they extend and retract after the electric stabilizing jacks, which are mounted to the Sprinter frame, are extended. A large pad on each stabilizer jack provides substantial support. The mechanisms that articulate the slides in and out use the house batteries as their power source.
RVers who enjoy stand-alone camping will want to note that a 3.6-kilowatt Onan propane-fueled auxiliary generator comes standard on the Qwest. This gen set powers everything, including the 15,000-Btu low-profile roof air conditioner when the motorhome is not connected to 30-amp shore power. An optional 3.2-kw diesel generator (fueled by the Sprinter’s 26.4-gallon tank) is also available.
Topper awnings protect each slideout and prevent debris from collecting. RVers can relax beneath the standard Girard armless electric-powered patio awning, with LED light strip, which measures 14 feet long. An outside shower is standard.
The cab doors are secured via a keyless entry system. The Qwest’s main side entrance door, located in the patio area, comes equipped with a folding electric step, as well as a grab handle.
One of the first things RVers will notice upon stepping inside the Qwest is the floor treatment. Entegra Coach designers have elected to use a woven acrylic fabric. This washable, low-maintenance material adds a distinctive look to the interior. It should appeal to RVers who travel with pets, especially dogs, as it is impervious to damage from a frisky canine’s claws. Soft-touch vinyl covers the ceiling.
Among the Qwest’s many distinguishing features is its décor. The overhead cabinetry, front to rear, features high-gloss, European-style, curved-surface galley doors. This curved, sculptured style also graces the door that sequesters the residential bath, as well as the counter outside the bath area.
The windows are dressed with day/night roller shades, and the interior is brightened by high-intensity LED ceiling lights. The interior décor package, Solstice, features high-gloss light brown wood that pairs nicely with the Ultraleather upholstery.
The 24K’s living area/dinette slideout, on the street side, measures 73 inches long by 20 inches deep. Even with the slideout retracted, sufficient room exists for occupants to move fore and aft along the center aisle, from the cab past the galley and living area to the bathroom and to the rear bedroom. Spacious cabinets hang overhead.
This floor plan includes a legless dinette, which converts into sleeping quarters. Each upholstered bench seat incorporates a large, roll-out drawer that yields coipious volumes of storage. Entegra officials note that in future models, optional club-lounge-type sofa seating will be available in place of the dinette.
Across the aisle, aft of the entry steps, is the 24K’s galley. Appliances include a stainless-steel convection-microwave oven; a two-burner drop-in stovetop with a flush cover; and a 6-cubic-foot three-way refrigerator, which operates on propane, electric, and 12-volt power. Additional prep space is created by a wooden cover/cutting board, which fits atop the stainless-steel sink. A closet provides wardrobe storage just aft of the refrigerator.
At the very back of the 24K, the bedroom slideout extends to the rear, revealing a walk-around queen-size bed. The queen bed measures 60 inches by 70 inches and features storage below.
Attention has been given to the front cab area. For those who prefer the traditional cab-over sleeping quarters, Entegra Coach has engineered it to carry 750 pounds — more than sufficient to sleep two adults or three youngsters comfortably. My review unit featured the B-Plus front cap option Entegra Coach offers on the Qwest product line. This option accommodates coach enthusiasts who don’t want a bed above the cab. Instead, they might prefer additional interior storage that is easily accessible. They also may want a different, more aerodynamic exterior front profile.
With the B-Plus cap installed, the overall front projection above the cab is smaller. The configuration comes with a complex of overhead compartments that have wide-swinging doors. The doors conceal deep drawers that glide in and out on rollers, which makes it easy to retrieve even those items stored at the back.
A 32-inch flat-screen LED TV is mounted on an adjustable arm above the entryway. The arm permits occupants to position it out from the wall for viewing from the living area, galley, and dinette. The rear bedroom has its own 32-inch flat-screen TV, which also moves via a flex-type mechanism.
The Qwest starts with the cutaway 3500 Sprinter chassis, which includes a complete cockpit, all necessary driving controls, and the two captain’s seats. Behind the seats, the chassis has no bulkhead. Two frame rails extend back to the rear axle, with dual rear wheels on each end of the axle. The Sprinter suspension, exhaust, and electrical systems remain in place.
A Mercedes-Benz directive states that to maintain the chassis warranty (3 years/36,000 miles), any appurtenances added cannot be welded in place. Instead, they must be attached mechanically with some sort of bolt/nut mechanisms. Entegra Coach technicians utilize construction processes that comply with those stipulations.
Entegra creates a welded tubular heavy-gauge aluminum structure that supports the floor. This intricate substructure is then set in place and coupled to the Sprinter chassis using the required attachment mechanisms. The holding tanks are mounted below the floor. All holding tanks are equipped with 12-volt electric heating pads.
The walls, floor, and roof are created by a vacuum-bonding process in Entegra’s own climate-controlled facility. Each structural piece contains welded aluminum packed with polystyrene insulation. Technicians glue fiberglass to the exterior and wall board to the interior. The pieces are run through the vacuum bonder for final lamination. This process ensures a watertight, airtight seal.
Full-body paint is applied to finish off the exterior; this is standard on all Qwest floor plans. While adding eye appeal, the full-body paint also provides an extra layer of protection from the elements.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the 2019 Qwest 24K is $145,793. The review unit, which included the three available options on this model (B-Plus front cap, diesel generator, and folding windshield sun shade) had an MSRP of $151,464. To learn more about this motorhome, including new features coming for model year 2020, visit the Entegra Coach website to locate a dealer near you.
SPECS | ENTEGRA QWEST 24K
Entegra Coach Inc., P.O. Box 460, Middlebury, IN 46540; (574) 825-5861; www.entegracoach.com
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500 cutaway
V-6 turbo-diesel with electronic fuel-injection; 188 horsepower; 325 pound-feet torque
4.18 to 1
front and rear disc; four-wheel antilock
chassis – (1) 12-volt/100 amp-hour;
house – (2) 12-volt
3.6 kilowatts, propane
25 feet 2 inches
10 feet 11 inches
6 feet 8 inches
GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING (GVWR)
GROSS COMBINATION WEIGHT RATING (GCWR)
FRESH WATER CAPACITY
HOLDING TANK CAPACITIES
gray water — 31 gallons;
black water — 31 gallons
12.2 gallons/41 pounds
20,000-Btu ducted furnace with auto ignition
(1) 15,000-Btu low-profile roof unit
6 cubic feet, three-way (gas, electric, 12-volt)
Entegra Coach — 2 years/24,000 miles;
chassis/transmission — 3 years/36,000 miles;
engine — 5 years/100,000 miles
BASE SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE
PRICE AS REVIEWED