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Thor 2013 ACE motorhome — Basic comfort, reliable coach

2013 Thor Motor Coach ACE Model 30.1
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 3 stars
$80,000
  • 60%

  • 2013 Thor Motor Coach ACE Model 30.1
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: May 29, 2016

Summary:

Thor Motor Coach has designed and incorporated many unique and positive features into the 2013 ACE model 30.1Class A motorhome.

I have owned an ACE for more than a year, and have driven a distance of more than 3,500 miles from Indiana to Arizona, California, New Mexico and even Baja, Mexico, while living in it for the entire time period.

As with most RVs, there are several features and components that I believe could be improved upon with a bit of thought, care and at minimal cost to the manufacturer. Several of these items cause me to wonder if the designing engineers have ever driven or used a motorhome.

Some problems would be obvious to any beginning RVer. However, I have owned, driven or towed more than 55 RVs of various types in my lifetime, including owning eight different Class A and Class C motorhomes ranging in length from 24 to 40 feet during the past seven years.

Most of the other features are rather standard for RVs in the $75,000 to $100,000 price range.

Gorden - ACE review 5 Gorden - ACE review 2

Pros

Changes I made to the coach that improved its comfort, performance and functionality included:

  • Move toilet paper holder to the bathroom door.
  • Place a better shower curtain over the clear plastic cover provided.
  • Add better towel bars in the shower stall and the bathroom.
  • Add curtains behind driver compartment to retain AC or heat in the driving area.
  • Place a rear view mirror on the windshield to enable viewing through the rear window.
  • Placement of shower hose holder does not allow free movement of the shower head.
  • Place a Fantastic exhaust fan in the rear bedroom.
  • Light bulbs have been replaced with LED lights which provide more and improved lighting.
  • I added a new 340-watt solar system that provides ample power for operating my rig while boondocking
  • Automatic power leveling.
  • High ceilings with ducted AC.
  • A large, flat screen TV with storage space behind it.
  • The boot storage compartment inside the entry door.
  • Large exterior storage compartments.
  • Swivel driver and passenger seats.
  • Pet owners may like the pet water and food drawer located under the shower stall, however the drawer opens into a narrow hallway.
  • Overhead bed above the driver and passenger seats which lowers and raises using electric power.
  • Separate shower and toilet/sink bathroom area.
  • Sliding door between bath area and living area.
  • Easy, tight turning radius.
  • Sufficient power to tow an SUV over western mountains.
  • Computer/writing desk top folds out from dashboard, has power outlet.
  • Ample rooftop area for solar system
  • Space for four batteries for storing solar power, plus space for the inverter in the boot box.

Cons

  • The drawer in the front step and the pet bowl drawer do not stay closed while driving. This results in open drawers that are a danger for tripping on or stepping into. Velcro strips will work to secure.
  • The single sink in the kitchen counter should be a double sink. There is adequate space.
  • A stainless steel plate should be placed on the side and back of the stove surface.
  • More electric outlets are needed over booth and kitchen counter.
  • Lights above booth and couch are not adequate for reading at night. Use LED bulbs.
  • There are no lights in the front of the coach making the computer/writing desk less useful.
  • There is only one reading light above the head of the bed and it is reflected by the dressing table mirror.
  • There should be a screen on the rear, emergency exit window with a mechanism (lever) to hold the window open for air circulation.
  • The wallpaper color and design in the rear of the coach is too dark with the dark woodwork.
  • Place one or more adjustable shelf in the tall cabinet at the entry door.
  • Place an adjustable shelf in the short cabinet under the kitchen counter.
  • Place cabinets above the booth area similar to those above the couch.
  • Remove the valance around the bedroom windows and enlarge the window space.
  • Sun screens are needed on the driver side windows.
  • Front sunshades should be wider, deeper and movable.
  • Engine oil pour spout is very difficult to access and pour oil into the engine.
  • This coach was designed for people who are 6-foot-4-inches to 7 feet tall. Overhead light switches are difficult for a person of average height to reach.
  • The toilet stool is too high off the floor.
  • The ceiling is unnecessarily high at 7 feet
  • The entire coach is too high off the ground and requires four steps to enter.
  • Lowering the entire coach will require reducing the ceiling height and the size of exterior compartments, but will result in a more user friendly coach.
  • The exterior entry step is too low and protrudes from the coach. It is likely to hit a curb if you drive too close. In fact, it has been necessary to replace the damaged entry step at a cost of $650
  • The power awning provides very little shade unless the sun is directly overhead. The awning can be angled downward to provide shade in the morning or evening, but is too high from the ground to attach a screen.
  • Very serious flaw — The windshield corner posts are much wider than is necessary; they measure a full 12 inches wide for the total 26-inch height of the windshield. A typical car windshield post is 5 to 6 inches in width. The extra width causes very dangerous blind spots for the driver, especially when driving on curvy, winding, mountain roads.
  • The only entry door is quite narrow, a common fault in RVs, The total width of the doorway is only 23.5 inches, and the door only opens to a 90 degree angle. This is both unnecessary and makes it very difficult to carry larger articles into the coach. Certainly it is past time to put wider doors on all RVs and perhaps a sliding door is feasible. The door height is 80 inches.
  • Many obese people could not squeeze through this door. Of course, they could not walk up four steps, either.

About Dr. Bob Gorden

Dr. Bob Gorden is an RVer, hiker and writer. He has a PhD in microbial ecology from the University of Georgia in Athens. He is a retired research scientist from the University of Illinois Natural History Survey. He has owned and operated more than 55 RVs of various types, and has visited every state, except Hawaii, in his RV. He also traveled by RV in New Zealand, Canada and Mexico. He currently owns and travels in a 1978 GMC 26-foot Class A and 2013 Thor ACE 30.1 Class A motorhome. He has a compelling desire to be “On the Road Again!”

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