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Encore 380 DS

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

The new Encore by Sportscoach, a division of Coachmen, was envisioned to appeal to the
fastest-selling price point in the Class A diesel market. More than simply trying to elbow
its way into an increasingly crowded entry-level segment, however, the Sportscoach comes
bearing design changes exclusive not only to the budget side of the market but also to
mass-production diesel-pusher technology. “Nearly half of all the new Class A motorhomes
sold this year have been diesel,” noted Mike Scheetz, vice president of sales and marketing
for Sportscoach. “That compares with only about 18 percent just a few years ago. “At the
time of its inception we had no product that addressed [entry-level Class A diesels], which
is approximately 30 percent of the total diesel market.” Not content with an “if you build
it, they will come” premise, Sportscoach implemented an inspired bit of innovation: After
production began on Encore, the manufacturer teamed up with Freightliner to produce a
dropped-rail frame that allows for lower engine placement on the chassis, resulting in a
flat floor in the bedroom. “The Encore will be the first [diesel-pusher] coach in the
industry that does not have a hump in the bedroom,” says Scheetz. “The engine cover will be
gone.” What Encore does have is a generous list of standard amenities. Eye-popping painted
graphics, drop-down power rearview mirrors (heated option available), stainless-steel wheel
inserts and an aero-style front cap give it points for curb appeal. The interior has a
choice of three decor selections designed around maplewood-faced cabinetry. A coordinating
Brazilian cherrywood option is available. Encore features a 27-inch flat-screen television
and stereo VCR up front, and a 20-inch color television in the bedroom. The coach is wired
for a satellite dish. For easy listening while relaxing on the leather sofa, Euro-design
chair (with ottoman) or the six-way power-adjustable leather pilot seats, the coach
includes a four-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo. Twin furnaces and air-conditioning units handle
climate control, while fluorescent lighting brightens the living area. Slideout space is
generous. According to Scheetz, “The main slide is a whopping 38 inches deep, which gives
you almost the same interior space as a triple-slide without cluttering the patio side of
your coach.” The galley, with its solid-surface countertops and backsplash tile reminiscent
of an Italian bistro, includes flush-mount range covers and extra-deep double-bowl sinks.
Full-timers will appreciate the cavernous, heated pass-through basement storage — and the
fact that the Encore is prepped for a washer and dryer. With features and innovations such
as these, Sportscoach anticipates that the Encore will stand out as much more than just
another entry-level Class A diesel — though, in deference to the chassis design, “stand
down” might be a more appropriate description. Coachmen Recreational Vehicle Company; (574)
825-5821; coachmenrv.com

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