Coach Shopping 101: Just Say Yes
Lester and Lisa Quam
2022 Avellino Double Slide Edition
Purchased August 2021
Delivered June 2022
My story begins with a boat – a very large and wallet-draining boat that I parted ways with last summer. At that time, Lisa – my wife, best friend, and love of my life – decided she wanted a motorhome to travel this beautiful country of ours. Personally, I had no interest in owning a “land yacht,” having endured the water version for 13 years, so I decided to stall and hope this notion of hers would disappear. No such luck.
Turns out Lisa had been secretly researching motorhomes for quite some time. And when we found ourselves in Fort Lauderdale last August, she informed me that she’d scheduled a little side trip to Stuart to meet with Frank Konigseder at Liberty Coach and take a look at a 2015 model he had for sale.
No problem, I thought to myself. As a seasoned car collector and former car show judge, I could easily find enough flaws in this old motorhome to put the notion of buying it to rest. I even brought a couple of knowledgeable collector car buddies along to help me out.
I knew I was in trouble as soon as we walked into the showroom and saw the coach. This was like no motorhome I had ever seen. First of all, the Prevost chassis was built like a tank. And on top of that, the fit and finish was equal to the highest quality collector car restoration.
OK, I told myself, so this Frank guy found an amazing painter,. Big deal. It’s all show and no go in terms of engineering.
So I immediately took out my flashlight and crawled through every single inch of the Coach compartments on my hands and knees – and immediately realized the engineering was of the highest quality I had ever seen. Not only that, but when I started grilling Frank about the particulars of the design, I found that not only did he know his stuff – he actually designed the systems himself.
It was the same story when I tried to find fault with the interior. It was impeccable. No squeaks, no rattles, simply perfect craftmanship – far better than I had ever seen. I was in deep trouble now.
Still, I held out hope I could avoid making the purchase. We had never owned any kind of motorhome and had no idea how to drive a behemoth like this. And my wife, bless her heart, said she’d really like a second bath and a different galley design and maybe a few other little tweaks.
You know what comes next. Frank, crafty devil that he is, explained that we could order a new 2022 and design everything just the way we wanted it, inside and out – AND it would include a 360 degree overhead camera and their exclusive blindspot detection system (yeah, Frank designed it) and just about every other driving aid a rookie coach driver could ever want.
It was all over. Satan – er, I mean Frank – had sold us a motorhome.
My one small last hope was that it in the 9 months it took to build it, I could somehow talk my best friend out of this deal. And that evaporated the moment we arrived in Stuart last week and walked through the door to find Liberty Coach #890 waiting for us on the showroom floor.
It was so beautiful, we both actually had tears in our eyes. The only thing that could compare was the treatment we received from the amazing Liberty service team. For the next 3-1/2 days, they VERY patiently trained these two first-time coach owners on every aspect of coach operations, and made absolutely sure we knew what we were doing.
That said, when it came time to leave Saturday morning, both Lisa and I were still a bit anxious – okay, more than a bit – about whether we could operate this beast out on the road. But once we were out on the turnpike, I quickly discovered that I freaking LOVED driving this thing!! It was like nothing else I’d ever experienced. I told Lisa to just kick back and relax, that I was taking it from here. You say you want to drive? Sorry, honey – maybe next trip.
In all seriousness, it’s clear to me that Liberty has built their reputation one coach at a time, one customer at a time, for over 50 years. I understand several other companies convert Prevost coaches, and I’m sure some do an outstanding job. But for me, the difference with Liberty was we were never dealing with a company. We were dealing with a FAMILY. The same family that built their first coach in their backyard in 1971 and built our coach in 2021. The same family that’s now in their third generation of building the best coaches in the world – and still takes the time to pick up the phone and answer my first-time coach owner questions, no matter how dumb they are. Let me tell you, it’s a pleasure doing business with that kind of family, and gives me confidence that our special relationship will continue on for as long as we own our Liberty.