2013 Coachmen Encounter 34TA Review
Those who spend most of their time on the road need a motorhome that has many of the same luxuries as a family home. If you want style and class, attached to a powerful engine, the Coachmen Encounter might be what you’re looking for.
Five versatile floorplans are available to choose from; we’ll be looking at the 34A, which we like for its layout and function. It has a gross vehicle weight rating of 22,000 lbs and gross combined weight rating of 26,000 lbs. It has an exterior length of 35’0”, exterior height of 12’3” and exterior width of 102”. For liquids, it has a fuel capacity of 80 gallons, fresh water capacity of 70 gallons, gray water capacity of 45 gallons and black water of 45 gallons.
Built on a Ford 22,000 lbs chassis, the Encounter 34TA comes equipped with front and rear fiberglass caps, while the TPO roof is crowned and laminated. Rear mud flaps keep the Encounter clean, while the heated remote exterior mirrors ensure visibility. The power entrance has a radius entry door and a double step, making entering and exiting easy, even for shorties. Pass through storage is available in the large basement, which makes tucking away large equipment easy. Other features include automatic leveling jacks, slide-out room awnings and full body paint in Desert Night or Mocha Cream.
Perhaps the most comfortable room in the Encounter is the cockpit. With a tilt steering wheel and cruise control, long trips are easy on the driver. It’s also equipped with a review camera that has a color monitor. The driver’s seat swivels around so when you have time to check on your family, you can comfortably turn around.
As for the interior of the coach, the wood finishes stand out. You have the option between Brazilian Cherry, Cognac Maple and Autumn Maple. Your interior décor choices include Bay Breeze, Espresso, Amaretto, and Brandy. The wood, combined with the padded vinyl ceiling and Milano Marble wallboard, create a cozy home that exudes luxury. All the hardware is oil rubbed bronze and Beauflor Linoleum covers the floors.
COMPARISON: Read our review of the Fleetwood Bounder 35K
Directly behind the cockpit is the living room, where glazed mullion panel cab doors are equipped with glass inserts. If you’re an entertainment junkie, listen to the radio while relaxing on the sofa. If you want to catch up on breaking news, then turn on the TV. The Encounter comes with a DVD Player, TV antenna, and a cable TV jack. Store battery chargers, electronics or anything else you have in mind in the overhead compartment above the sofa.
Your family chef will love the spacious kitchen. Store food in the eight-cubic-foot refrigerator or in the pantry. Wash it in the double bowl kitchen sink. If the sink is jam-packed with dirty dishes, then just hide the mess with sink covers. The single lever kitchen faucet comes with a sprayer. Chop veggies on the Corian countertop and fry them over the three-burner range. If you prefer baking, then luckily for you there’s an oven that caters to your needs. If your family chef is lazy, then he or she can reheat dinners in the 30” microwave oven. To repel funky kitchen odors, turn on the three-speed power fan. Eat food at the dinette, located directly across from the kitchen, beside a large window. You can enjoy your breakfasts while enjoying a beautiful sunrise.
After breakfast, start your day off with a grooming session in the bathroom. More spacious than most RV bathrooms, the Encounter allows you to do your business in the private toilet stall, while a family member showers next door. The toilet is porcelain and operated by foot flush. The fiberglass shower has a glass shower door and a skylight overhead.
After a long day of driving on highways or hiking on trails, escape to your bedroom. Close the blinds and collapse on the Queen bed, equipped with a deluxe innerspring mattress and bedspread. If you can’t fall asleep, then turn on the LCD television and relax.
The Coachmen Encounter 34TA comes with options. For an extra price, you can request a home theater and a DVD player in the bedroom. You can also get equipped with side-view cameras and a six-way power driver’s seat. The Chalet Package comes with ceramic tile flooring and residential hardwood cabinetry. It also upgrades your appliances to stainless steel.
The Coachmen Encounter 34TA sells for around $150,000. For more information, visit http://www.coachmenrv.com/.