A stylish new gas-powered motorhome with contemporary features.
By Robbin Gould, Editor
Coachmen RV, a division of Forest River Inc., recently added a dash of diesel flair to its gasoline motor-home lineup. The new Encore Type A — built on a 22,500-pound 320-horsepower chassis — is designed to offer the look, feel, and amenities of more expensive rear-diesel motorhomes, both inside and out.
The 325SS floor plan featured in this article incorporates a full-wall, street-side slideout and an exterior length of 35 feet 4 inches. It rides on 22.5-inch tires with Alcoa aluminum rims.
The Encore is constructed with a one-piece fiberglass roof and comes prewired for a 100-watt solar panel and a satellite dish. Its Azdel Noble Select sidewalls feature a high-gloss exterior and incorporate composite panels. Azdel, a lighter alternative to wood substrate sidewalls, is said to resist water and mold, to improve insulation, and to provide sound dampening.
Three full-paint exterior color choices are offered — Caymus, Clearwater, and Hartland. Customers may choose partial paint with exterior graphics instead.
Up front, several exterior features enhance driver visibility, such as full-size chrome mirrors, more commonly seen on diesel pushers. Sideview cameras have been located near the wheels, where they minimize blind spots and make it easier to spot small cars, motorcycles, and other shorter vehicles. The motorhome also features a one-piece automotive windshield.
A trio of halogen headlights and LED strips illuminate each side of the front of the coach. An Encore emblem, centered in the front cap, is lighted also.
Exterior storage compartments are crafted from steel and lined with carpet, which reduces sound and minimizes the movement of articles stored in them. A couple pass-through compartments accommodate larger and longer items.
Several features encourage lounging in the great outdoors. One is an exterior kitchen, which comes with a sink, a refrigerator, and drawer and cabinet storage. Propane and electrical hookups facilitate use of grills, slow cookers, and more for picnics and tailgating. Folks can relax under one of the two curbside awnings while viewing the exterior television; the TV’s sound can be run through speakers that are integrated in the awnings.
On the rear of the motorhome, an 8,000-pound-rated tow hitch with a seven-way plug is installed. A backup camera comes standard. RVers also may appreciate the rear fuel fill, as it can eliminate some of the guesswork involved in maneuvering the coach at the fuel station pump.
The Encore is offered in a choice of three interior décor choices and two wood choices.
In the cockpit, RVers will find another visibility enhancement: Coachmen’s patented Site Rite dash. The dash is angled at 20 degrees, which is said to increase the driver’s view in front of the motorhome by 6 to 8 feet when traveling down the road. The dash includes a rearview monitor system. Driver and passenger seats swivel rearward; the powered driver’s seat features multifunction controls. In front of the passenger seat, a workstation includes outlets for electronic devices. A café table with cup-holders can be inserted between the seats when driving gives way to relaxing.
A full-size mattress snugs up against the cockpit ceiling and, at the touch of a button, lowers into place. The mattress can accommodate up to 300 pounds and comes with protective netting to keep sleepers or stowed items secure.
The dinette also converts into additional sleeping space. Its bench seats can accommodate four and includes four seat belts. The theater seating next to it might encourage snoozing as well; a pair of powered seats have controls for massage, heat, footrest, recline, and cup-holder lighting. Between them, a console contains a USB outlet and holds remotes and other small items. If customers prefer, they may opt for a 78-inch sofa bed instead of the seats.
The living area includes a 40-inch LED TV. Below it, a fireplace produces 5,000 Btu when heat is desired.
The curbside galley boasts solid-surface countertops, as elsewhere; stainless-steel appliances, including a residential refrigerator powered by a 1-kw inverter; and a large farmhouse sink with a gooseneck faucet and pull-down sprayer. Covers for the sink and cooktop provide additional prep area, as does a flip-up counter extension. The shadowbox-style window is framed by a tile backsplash and has room for storing spices.
Two large cabinets can be adapted to users’ needs. One functions as a pantry or linen cabinet; the second is prepped for a stackable washer and dryer if the buyer chooses to add them. Deep shelving is installed in one or both.
The bathroom comes with another space-saver. The door has no side hinges; its top connects to a track in the doorway. Rather than swinging open like a conventional door, it slides sideways through the opening. This design makes it easier to access the bathroom when the slideout is retracted. The bath includes a toilet, shower, vanity sink, and small linen cabinet.
The rear bedroom boasts plenty of storage and a space-expanding design. The king-size bed faces the slideout, where dual closets, drawers, and an LED TV fill the wall. Nightstands and additional cabinets surround the head of the bed, including one dedicated for a CPAP machine. To use the bedroom as a dressing area, occupants can lift the bed up against the wall. This reveals two padded benches, drawers, shelves, and a mirror. The bed can remain up or down, regardless of whether the slideout is extended or retracted.
For those seeking a gas motorhome with diesel amenities, the new Encore may bridge the gap. More information about this model is available on YouTube: https://bit.ly/3cU0Rw8.
SPECS | ROCKWOOD ENCORE 325SS
Coachmen RV, 423 N. Main St., P.O. Box 30, Middlebury, IN 46540; (800) 353-7383, (574) 825-5821; www.coachmenrv.com
Ford 6.8-liter V-10; 320 horsepower; 460 pound-feet torque
22.5-inch with Alcoa aluminum rims
chassis — (1);
house — (2)
35 feet 4 inches
12 feet 6 inches with A/C
GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING (GVWR)
GROSS COMBINATION WEIGHT RATING (GCWR)
GROSS AXLE WEIGHT RATINGS (GAWR)
front — 8,000 pounds;
rear — 15,000 pounds
FRESH WATER CAPACITY
HOLDING TANK CAPACITIES
gray water — 46 gallons;
black water — 46 gallons
(2) 15,000-Btu units with heat pump
5.5-kw Onan gasoline
residential, with 1-kw inverter
(1) with macerator
house — 1 year; additional warranty applies to certain appliances;
chassis — 3 years/36,000 miles;
powertrain — 5 years/60,000 miles
MANUFACTURER’S SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE