Bounder Turbo Diesel by Fleetwood (267)

Overview:

Bounder Turbo Diesel by Fleetwood

Hey Joe:

As you know I don’t own a motor home, but I do spend a fair amount of time in many large rentals traveling to races and back. Sometimes we are in a unit for up to three weeks straight so I can say unequivocally that this Bounder was tops.

It has so many features but I’ll mention the ones that struck a chord with me. There’s an 8 cubic foot refrigerator standard permitting a pantry to the right of the fridge. You can opt to replace the pantry with a 12 cubic ft. double door fridge. The long slide out that includes a sofa bed, and the dinette adds a spectacular addition to the living area. There’s also an optional washer/dryer unit.

Well Mr. Cobb:

I know you’d never put this motor home through its paces on the track, but I know you take advantage of them in Pit Row. Perhaps Fleetwood will provide one for your use to promote the product. They really have a lot of uses and I enjoyed comparing notes with you on this one. We had this vehicle back to back; unfortunately I got it after you tore it up. *#@%^ starting falling off it after you turned it in. Just kidding. I know you don’t mistreat machines. They’re kin and you treat them like the family they are. I wonder if you share genes with them. I’ll bet you have similar DNA.

Yes, these things are like leaving home without leaving home. Know what I mean? Things fall off at home too. I think we both noted they should have put more nails or screws in the closet doors, cutting board.

Engine: This coach comes with an extremely competent 275 horse Cummins Turbo Diesel engine. Take the Bounder’s low wet weight of 21,420 pounds and the Cummins’ 660 pound feet of torque available at 1600r.p.m. and this motor home will stay in front of most any traffic and make hills out of the mountains here in Colorado.

Slide Out: I really liked the EZ Glide rack and pinion slide out. It was very well constructed and operates on the rack and pinion method and rolls on polyethylene rollers. It operates with a separate key, which is a great safety feature, making it way more difficult to move the slide by accident. Smooth, simple and quiet.

Plumbing: 100 gals water, 50 gals gray and 50 black. Water heater is a 6 gal unit that heats up and maintains the flow well.

Fuel: 90 gals of diesel, 35 gals. propane

Leveling: the four point hydraulic leveling system, which was wonderful to use.

Engine: Yep, the Turbo Diesel is great but it is very sluggish off the line. It would be better to have a supercharger for quicker acceleration.

 Slide Out: I also loved the Slide out. It adds 40 square feet of living area, which is just enough to make it feel like home.

Plumbing: No matter how much you can store it is never enough. It’s simply hard to break old habits of letting the water run. The tanks were relatively easy to empty.

Fuel: Great range, eh? You can travel 800-900 miles before refueling. Then pull out the Visa, because they don’t take American Express.

Leveling: I agree Price, this was tops in technology. No more worry about carrying wood shims to drive up on to level it out. It was embarrassingly easy.

Storage: Joe, this 39 footer is so well laid out and it is built with the now standard “basement storage” usually found on the big dogs. Nice touch in the three-door storage bin located under the street-side slide out that measures 140” long, by 26” by 24”. This bin moves with the slide out so that access is unhindered.The bedroom has extra storage underneath the bed which is easily lifted thanks to the installation of two gas struts

Overhead storage: bins are not in the way and house the front TV, VCR and any other audio/visual components you might want.

More storage of course surrounds the bed with the nightstands and three overhead cabinets as well as around the entire cabin.

Instruments & Electronics: Dash is simple yet covers the bases. To your left are the transmission selector quadrant, the engine brake controls (Jake Brake), and the four point hydraulic leveling system. The back up monitor faces the driver and was a pleasure. It also affords the added bonus of watching anything you might need to tow. A 20” TV in the bedroom is angled for easy viewing from the bed as you kick back after a hard day on the bricks.

Air conditioning: Apart from the engine driven A/C there were two ducted roof units.

Storage:  Price, not only does this thing look like a bus, the storage compartments remind me even more of a bus. I agree it was well laid out to take advantage of every bit of space.

Yes, this has everything, including the kitchen sink. Literally this was home. I particularly liked the roll out feature to expand the living area to change the feeling from motor home to home in the country. Then of course there is the Washer Dryer and a big refrigerator. I didn’t know you could opt for a larger one. The master bedroom and bath with stall shower was like being home. The built in awning covered the length of the unit and would have been nice but I hit a tree and couldn’t get it down. The steps tuck away nicely after you open or close the door. The rear view camera gave great visibility of where you’ve been and necessary since there is no rear window. Being totally self-contained is freedom and the generator worked great. Thanks for telling me about the using the converter to operate the TV’s and other appliances without the noise of the generator.  The Satellite dish and antennas would have been nice too, except I managed with the help of a tree to disable the operation of both. I wonder if that’s why the winding mechanism inside that elevates the antenna fell off as we were driving down the highway.

Performance & Handling

At 39 feet in length the Freightliner motor home chassis and NeWay front and rear air suspension is exceptionally easy to drive. Combine this with a relatively short wheelbase of 252 inches, front wheels that can turn a bunch, great visibility, a pair of split electrically controlled/heated side mirrors. And a closed circuit TV monitor allows great visibility behind.

Price, one kind of driving helps to excite the heart while the other helps to relax it. Well, the Bounder did both for me. First, I said I’m not a bus driver, so how can I possibly maneuver this huge object on the road. It was a new experience for me even though I used to own a 25-foot Winnebago. Amazing how 15 feet more can make such a difference. However, I agree, it handled amazingly well for its size. Literally anyone could drive this RV.  The extra 15 feet made it hard finding a berth for the night. Most parks won’t accept that size RV. Swinging wide for right and left turns was no problem, but you just can’t pull away from a curb or wall like you would usually. The ten feet behind the rear wheels acts like the tail of a dinosaur.

Pricing

Bounder, built by Fleetwood, is one heck of a buy.

Price, “…heck of a buy”, hell, most houses or condos don’t cost more. Unless you mean you could live in it full time. You’re free to move about the country.

Good News

Hydraulic leveling system was wonderful to use,easy to drive

Ultra convenience. Expansion feature is fantastic and with the push of a button.

Bad News

Temps a little high up front during the heat of the day. I’d suggest both units cool the forward part of the coach and DUCT some air to the much smaller rear area and bedroom. No side shades for the driver and passenger. Oven mount is awkward which precludes easy use of counter below it. It worked as advertised but use wasn’t intuitive.

I found this 40 feet difficult to find somewhere to park. Attention to detail needs improvement, eg, the front edge of cutting board fell off as well as molding behind the driver.

Point/CounterPoint Conclusion:

All in all I was blown away by the incredible value the Bounder is. Great room, wonderful power, and all the amenities with a Turbo Diesel to boot. I’ll ask Fleetwood to mind a few minor details in the assembly process and then ask you to make sure you include this in your search for a new motor coach. Oh… and ask me sometime about the hill I climbed in this thing.    CIAOWhat a great way to be on the move. All the conveniences of home wherever you stop for the night. I prefer it to a hotel room any day. You don’t even have to plan ahead with this self-contained vehicle. You can simply stop turn on the generator / or converter and watch one of two TV’s, radio, VCR, satellite TV, cook a 20lb turkey and relax. “It’s a wonderful life, Jimmy”.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
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