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A Review of the 1993 Country Coach Magna

Updated on August 18, 2016
TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

I am an avid RV enthusiast who has traveled, lived, workcamped and volunteered nationwide for more than 50 years and am still going strong!

Country Coach is a name synonymous with luxury, comfort and good construction. Yet, even within a brand name vehicle such as this one, there can be many problems.

The review I present here is a true life experience that should serve as a warning to all who seek to purchase recreational vehicles, be they new or old, because any unit can have serious flaws.

Recently some friends purchased a new and very expensive unit but ignored the fact that it had a scratch on the exterior of the body. This led to six months of major repair problems and eventually to a trade for a different unit.

Any sign of problems is a red flag that buyers should never ignore, especially on new RVs, because they are the most expensive.

Even the most expensive coaches can have problems, and this 1993 Magna was one of them!
Even the most expensive coaches can have problems, and this 1993 Magna was one of them! | Source

Our 1993 Country Coach Magna Was a Broken Beauty

The 1993 Country Coach Magna Diesel Pusher Motor Home is a beautiful machine, but the one we purchased several years ago had many mechanical problems. These might have been be due to its age, but more likely were due to the fact that it could have been a "lemon" because we have owned other units just as old that were much more durable.

In its day, this unit was referred to as the"Baby Prevost" because of its class, style, beauty and luxury. It was, and still is, one of the most expensive motor homes an RV enthusiast can buy. When new, the price tag on this particular motor home was more than $300,000! Today, a new one will cost upwards of one million dollars!

We, of course, paid far less, but the money we spent turned out to be a bad investment for us.

Buying a Used Motorhome - How to get the most for your money and not get burned
Buying a Used Motorhome - How to get the most for your money and not get burned

I wish I had read this book before we bought the Magna! The information in it would have warned us to walk away rather than buy.


A Motor Home With Hidden Problems

Because of this brand's excellent reputation and beautiful design, I was very surprised to see that the one my husband and I purchased had so many problems.

We have owned older coaches before, but none ever had as many mechanical issues as this one. I would be tempted to say that this was due to the fact that it was not well maintained, but this simply is not true.

The packet of maintenance records that came with it was huge! We should have seen this as a "red flag", but unfortunately, we failed o do so. We simply thought the original owner took good care of this RV. However, that much maintenance should have made it clear that this unit had tolerated ongoing problems since day one.

All of the furniture had to be reupholstered because it was in such bad condition.
All of the furniture had to be reupholstered because it was in such bad condition. | Source

A Complicated and Fragile Wire System

The wiring system gave us the most trouble because it was old, fragile and very complicated.

It took two basement areas just to house the rat’s nest of wires, and one of them was very difficult to reach. Tracing the wires when problems arose took many hours, even with schematics in hand.

Also, some of the connections were very strange. For example, a problem we had early on with the refrigerator caused the electric steps to stop working!

The problems caused by this issue plagued us almost every day of our travels, as did other problems.

A Nightmare Trip in the Magna

It was only when we started to travel that we realized we had made a big mistake by purchasing this motor home.

In addition to wiring system problems, the

  • air bags,
  • the sleep number bed,
  • tires,
  • suspension system,
  • generator and
  • refrigerator

constantly kept breaking down.

These problems led to one night without any electricity, half of one day waiting for a mechanic to come to us because we were unable to drive the unit, an unplanned week in Southeast Iowa an unplanned trip to Houston, TX and a two day wait on a dealer’s lot once we got there.

Many days it seemed as though the entire vacation had turned into a bad road trip the purpose of which was to lead us from one expensive RV repair shop to the next.

A beautiful kitchen with an eating booth where only two people could sit.
A beautiful kitchen with an eating booth where only two people could sit. | Source

The Good Did Not Outweigh the Bad

Although it was great to have amenities such as extra counter space, a built in laundry hamper, double medicine cabinets and household style plumbing, the constant upset of having daily mechanical issues outweighed these things.

After we had a minor mishap that destroyed to our electric steps (which unbeknownst to us were ready to fall off anyhow) our situation became much worse because entering and exiting the RV became both unsafe and awkward. We were lucky we had a ladder with us because using it was the only way to enter and exit the RV!

For us, this was the final straw!

Hard Lessons Learned

We learned the hard way that older Country Coaches have complex mechanical systems which can easily break down when stressed by the rigors of road vibration and long distance travel.

Our nightmare vacation made us realize that this unit was never going to be right, so we decided to sell it as soon as we arrived home.

As Kenny Rogers once said “You have to know when to hold them, and know when to fold them”, and we took his advice.

A bathroom so poorly designed that the commode had to be re positioned in order to reach some of the lower cabinets.
A bathroom so poorly designed that the commode had to be re positioned in order to reach some of the lower cabinets. | Source

No More Country Coaches for Me!

We had made the mistake of believing all of the hype about Country Coaches, and allowing our emotions to overtake our common sense.

We had assumed that this particular brand of motor home would be able to deal with the stresses of long distance travel, but we did not realize that it had design flaws in its basic technology and mechanical structuring.

It had wonderful amenities such as

  • a navy and cream gel coated exterior,
  • full body paint,
  • a one piece, no leak proof roof,.
  • all leather interior seating,
  • 8 way electric captains chairs,
  • Corian counter tops throughout,
  • intricately designed ceramic tile floors in kitchen and bath,
  • day /night shades,
  • front and rear AC,
  • front and rear television sets,
  • a water filtration system,
  • slide out basement storage,
  • a 300 CAT diesel engine,
  • an engine brake,
  • A 7.5 KW diesel generator,
  • huge fuel, fresh, gray and black water holding tanks,
  • dual electric Kwiki steps and
  • massive amounts of storage.

Nonetheless, I would not have one of these units again if you gave it to me, nor would I want a new one.

Inspect Carefully Before You Buy

Showy luxury motor homes like Country Coaches are OK for people who don’t mind spending their vacations in repair shops, but I prefer to spend mine enjoying myself.

The old saying, “Be careful what you wish for” definitely applies to the experience my husband and I had with our 1993 Country Coach Magna.

We learned the hard way that “plain and simple” is the best way to go, and hope our misfortune will help other RV travelers to avoid the kinds of mistakes we made when we bought this particular coach.

This article showed me why it's important to be cautious when buying RVs

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  • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

    TIMETRAVELER2 3 years ago

    Deandec Actually, we have been lifetime RV travelers (50 years by the way) and have owned a number of motor homes. We have traveled across the US countless times. My husband is also an extremely good mechanic. To assume that we are inexperienced or that we do not know a good coach from a lemon is a rude assumption on your part. Of course not all CC's will have the same issues, but this particular one was loaded with them and those problems ruined our taste for it and this brand. We have known a good number of other people with similar experiences with Country Coach Motor Homes. If your experience has been good, I am happy for you, but please do not refer to me as irresponsible when I tell the truth as I know it from my own experience and background. The more complicated a coach is, and the older it becomes, the more likely it is to have problems. This is true of Country Coach units as well as all others of its ilk. While they are indeed beautiful units, I would not have one again if you gave it to me. Obviously, opinions vary.

  • profile image

    Deandec 3 years ago

    Sorry for your unfortunate ownership experience.

    As 11 year and 66,000 mile owners of a 1995 Magna #5280 (that now has 93,000 miles on the clock), we have not experienced your intense complaints or experience. We certainly would not condemn or proclaim " perfect" the brand based on our single experience.

    Yes there have been some repairs and an en route breakdown in our travels. Most repairs I have accomplished myself and I am not a mechanic, just a a capable homeowner.

    Breakdowns en route are not outside the realm of expectation with our complicated motor homes regardless of brand.

    The effects of earthquake equivalent impacts while traveling our fine highways, will take some toll on any motor home. That is generally understood by the more experienced motor home owners who use the rigs to travel.

    Most CC owners are very pleased with their rigs, but there are always some coaches that have been mistreated in their current or previous life.

    To disparage all Country Coach rigs with your limited sad experience is irresponsible. One experience whether created by your inexperience or by outside factors does not a relevant conclusion make.

  • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

    TIMETRAVELER2 4 years ago

    DDE: I love the pun'..."getting into"...thanks for the laugh.

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    It sounds a perfect idea when you see it right in front of you but if you don't know what you are getting into then choices can be bad.

  • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

    TIMETRAVELER2 4 years ago

    Curiad: It just goes to show you that even someone with as much RVing experience as the two of us can still be blinded by our emotions and make big buying mistakes. You can't always go by "brand", and the info I gave here proves that. Nice to see you again. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Curiad profile image

    Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

    Good information and helpful to anyone contemplating a motor home.

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