34′ 2000 Foretravel U270
Each January we’ve enjoyed attending the Tampa RV Supershow. We’d always taken time to look at motorhomes but knew it didn’t make sense until we were able to use our RV more frequently. With the 5th wheel it was easy to keep the diesel truck running properly by using it as my daily driver between camping trips.
We began to look at Class A motorhomes more seriously in 2015. We decided early on that we wanted a diesel pusher that would allow us to continue camping in state and national parks. It quickly became apparent that we’d be looking at something as close to 30′ as we could find.
After the show in 2015 we took a trip to Lazy Days RV in Tampa to get a look at the Monaco Vesta front engine diesel we’d seen on Gone with the Wynn’s vlog. At just shy of 34′ it looked to be big enough to provide the comfort while meeting our length criteria. During the day we spent at Lazy Days we looked at the Vesta and a number of other diesel RV’s.
During the tour the salesman showed us an older 1990’s era 36′ Country Coach and we were amazed at the difference in quality. Gone were the glitzy lights and mirrors, pressboard walls and lacquered cabinet finishes. This coach had hand-crafted residential grade solid walnut cabinets, standard plumbing fixtures, residential leather and fabric furniture and a solid chassis powered by an over-the-road grade diesel engine and transmission. The salesman indicated the 1980’s thru early 2000’s had been the heyday for high-end quality class A motorhomes.
We got home and a google search quickly confirmed what we’d heard. Names like Country Coach, Monaco, Newmar, Beaver, Bluebird and Foretravel were often mentioned. Many of these brands had gone out of business but their devotee’s were alive and well. RV forums spoke regularly about these coaches and the opportunity afforded those willing to seek out these quality coaches.
Foretravel quickly came to the top of our list when we discovered they were still being made in the small town of Nacogdoches, Texas. We also discovered Foreforums, a website dedicated to the preservation and maintenance of these grand coaches. There too we discovered the cottage industry that had grown up around the brand in Nacogdoches. Engine shops, custom paint and body shops, upholstery, electronics and detailing establishments continued to support the re-sale and renovation of these coaches.
Motorhomes of Texas and the Foretravel factory took older coaches in for consignment and provided full service care for owners who’d purchased coaches. We watched endless Motorhomes of Texas videos of coaches that had been sold in prior years. We talked with owners on Forefoum and discovered the wealth of data available on these coaches. A Foretravel owner even collected brochures, floorplans and spec sheets for these coaches from the late 1970’s through early 2000’s and published them on his website, Beamalarm.
We were hooked. We began to seek out owners of Foretravel coaches in Florida and slowly began to meet owners and tour their coaches. Foretravel had a sales office near Tampa in the 1990’s, now closed, so there turned out to be many coaches scattered around Florida. We even discovered the Florida “Motorcade Club” had a number of owner-coaches that would Rally at the RV Supershow. We met many of these owners at the 2017 show.
We were convinced we wanted a 34′-36′ Foretravel. In March of 2017 we drove to Nacogdoches to meet with dealers and owners and “get on their radar”. We’d seen a 34′ for sale at Old Town Motorcoach but were disappointed to find it had been sold a week before we arrived. We later learned it had been sold to a Foreforum member who’d previously owned Foretravel coaches. We left Nacogdoches without a coach but left word to contact us as soon as a 34′ or 36′ arrived at one of the outlets.
In August 2017 we got a call from Motorhomes of Texas that a 34′ 2000 Foretravel U270 was coming in on consignment. What was described sounded like the 34′ we’d tried to see in March and, sure enough, a quick post of Foreforum indicated the Forum member who’d purchased the 34′ was indeed trading it on a 40′ Foretravel after his wife convinced him she really wanted to go back to a longer coach.
We put a deposit on the coach over the phone and made arrangements to fly to Nacogdoches to check it out. We left after purchasing the coach and having a detailed pre-purchase inspection done. Motorhomes of Texas was given authorization to make the initial upgrades and service work we wanted and we returned to Florida. It wasn’t until October 2017 we were able to get the time to fly back, take delivery and begin the 1000+ mile journey to bring our Foretravel home to Florida.