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Old 12-18-2016, 11:22 AM   #1
JnC
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Thumbs up Short class A Newmar questions?

Hello fellow forum members,

I've been searching for awhile and I'm pulling the paperwork together on a 2017 Ventana LE 3436. I was searching for input from some of the other owners regarding their short class A experiences.

The reason we're going short is we currently own a 25' class C. We currently park in the driveway and a 34' class A will still fit in our drive. I realize we won't be able to drive downtown SF or Seattle anymore, but we still wanted to maintain a smaller footprint here in CA as some of the state parks and National parks are restrictive (we just came back from a great trip to the Grand Canyon in November, but found our newer 25' class C got way too small with our new baby and two pups). In the past we've owned diesel p/u's, fifth wheels from 32' to 40', but like the condensed size, ready to go style of a MH.

As you all know, the comfort drive is equipped on this unit and there is a deminished CCC compared to the Ventana, but this unit is more in our budget as compared to a similarly equipped Ventana. We don't have a toad, but do sometimes tow a 16' box trailer with off road goodies (2500lbs).

We have driven the 3436 as well as the Pace Arrow 37D. The fleetwood quickly fell out as a contender due to it's noise, vibrations, and thin compartment doors / fit / finish, but could be had for approx. 160K. The Newmar costs about 20K more, but is well equipped.

The included options are w/d, fiberglass roof, upgraded leather, tile floors, fantastic fans w/ sensors, auto start gen, and upgraded inverter 2000 watts, with the dual payne windows, hab couch (for occasional guest) panel insert on dual door norcold fridge w/ ice maker, etc. We do a lot of dry camping, dirt biking, the 105 gallon water capacity and norcold RV fridge appeal to our style.

The reason we've decided new over used was the limited used market, as well as the high valuation of used units currently. The interest rate is currently locked at 3.99 for 240 months on this unit; which I didn't think was very bad at all.

I've done searches for several weeks and read a lot of stickys as well as PM'd some of the users here.

Wanted to hear any and all input on the Newmars as well as the short class A.

Cheers

JNC.
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Old 12-18-2016, 11:50 AM   #2
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We have a 2901 Baystar and it handles just fine, even the big trucks pass unnoticed most of the time. Tracks true, I drive with one hand resting on the wheel...could not ask for better.
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Old 12-18-2016, 12:20 PM   #3
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In reading your post I feel confident that you're making the right decision for all the right reasons. I see no fault in your reasoning, if that's the comment you're seeking.
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Old 12-19-2016, 01:09 AM   #4
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We bought used the short 2007 Ventana and have put 46,700 miles on it in five years. It doesn't have the comfort drive, but it does have steer-safe, motion control valves and new koni shocks. The previous owner changed to Koni's and added the other stuff when it was new. We replaced the Koni's last summer (at about 60k miles) and are very happy with how it is handling. When we tow a open trailer with toys it is about 3,200 lbs and we climb mountains slowly.
We have been in places where we just fit and are happy it isn't longer (our model 3330 box is 33'10", plus mirrors and ladder).
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Old 12-19-2016, 02:28 AM   #5
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Short DPs

Quote:
Originally Posted by JnC View Post
Hello fellow forum members,

I've been searching for awhile and I'm pulling the paperwork together on a 2017 Ventana LE 3436. I was searching for input from some of the other owners regarding their short class A experiences.

The reason we're going short is we currently own a 25' class C. We currently park in the driveway and a 34' class A will still fit in our drive. I realize we won't be able to drive downtown SF or Seattle anymore, but we still wanted to maintain a smaller footprint here in CA as some of the state parks and National parks are restrictive (we just came back from a great trip to the Grand Canyon in November, but found our newer 25' class C got way too small with our new baby and two pups). In the past we've owned diesel p/u's, fifth wheels from 32' to 40', but like the condensed size, ready to go style of a MH.

As you all know, the comfort drive is equipped on this unit and there is a deminished CCC compared to the Ventana, but this unit is more in our budget as compared to a similarly equipped Ventana. We don't have a toad, but do sometimes tow a 16' box trailer with off road goodies (2500lbs).

We have driven the 3436 as well as the Pace Arrow 37D. The fleetwood quickly fell out as a contender due to it's noise, vibrations, and thin compartment doors / fit / finish, but could be had for approx. 160K. The Newmar costs about 20K more, but is well equipped.

The included options are w/d, fiberglass roof, upgraded leather, tile floors, fantastic fans w/ sensors, auto start gen, and upgraded inverter 2000 watts, with the dual payne windows, hab couch (for occasional guest) panel insert on dual door norcold fridge w/ ice maker, etc. We do a lot of dry camping, dirt biking, the 105 gallon water capacity and norcold RV fridge appeal to our style.

The reason we've decided new over used was the limited used market, as well as the high valuation of used units currently. The interest rate is currently locked at 3.99 for 240 months on this unit; which I didn't think was very bad at all.

I've done searches for several weeks and read a lot of stickys as well as PM'd some of the users here.

Wanted to hear any and all input on the Newmars as well as the short class A.

Cheers

JNC.
We too were looking for a short DP for the same reason, access to state & national parks which generally restrict the length to 35' in many of the california parks.

The 3436 looked like a good fit for our needs with two exceptions. The shallow driver side slide would not accept the large residential refer and the TV was not directly across from the couch. We then focused our attention on the 3412 which solved both of those issues. However, the 3412 has a very small bathroom vessel sink and much less counter space. It also has a much smaller walkway when the slides are in.

Our dealer suggested we look at the next size up, 3709 which addressed all of the issues with the 34' coaches. I was hesitant to consider the 37 footer because of the park limitations and we did not feel that we needed that long of coach. Although I have to admit the 37 footer was a much more comfortable coach. So I checked online for spaces in yosemite & sequoia NP. I confirmed that most of the sites were limited to 35' lengths. I assumed that length was for the RV & that there would be room for a towing vehicle in the case of a trailer or room for a toad with a motorhome. Bad assumption. The 35' length is the total length. Consequently, the only way we could stay in the park with a 34' coach would be to leave the toad at home. This was unacceptable because we did not want to just sit at the campsite but wanted to explore with the toad. That meant we would have to stay at one of the commercial campgrounds just outside of the park. Well if we were going to stay outside the park, then there was no need to eliminate the 37' coach from consideration.

I realize your situation is different with a driveway restriction and all coaches come with their own set of compromises. But just wanted to share some of our thoughts on restricting choices to the shortest DPs. We are still sitting on the fence & have not made a final decision yet.

Good luck with your research!
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Old 12-19-2016, 03:47 AM   #6
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Among other things- I think the le has steel wheels vs the aluminum on the Ventena.

I agree with all you say as I'm in a similar boat. I want the 360 motor which means going for the 40' le or a used Ventena to stay at the price point. And we all like new! One thing to keep in mind with used Newmar- the warranty is only to the 1st owner.
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Old 12-19-2016, 06:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dp7 View Post
Bad assumption. The 35' length is the total length. Consequently, the only way we could stay in the park with a 34' coach would be to leave the toad at home.
I haven't camped in my coach yet so please excuse the dumb questions - isn't there a spot for you to pull the toad in by the pad (table)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dp7 View Post
This was unacceptable because we did not want to just sit at the campsite but wanted to explore with the toad.
I think it is safe to assume that everyone (or most people) would like to explore.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dp7 View Post
That meant we would have to stay at one of the commercial campgrounds just outside of the park. Well if we were going to stay outside the park, then there was no need to eliminate the 37' coach from consideration.
I think we will have to compromise with "outside" sites due to our coach size too. Part of the deal I guess....

Hope you decide on/find the perfect one for your plans. We did.
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Old 12-19-2016, 06:56 PM   #8
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We are very happy with our small coach, because it's only two of us. If we were to go up in size, it would be the model your looking at. The ventana 3436 has a nice simple
floor plane that works.
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Old 12-19-2016, 09:06 PM   #9
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JMHO but I would never let the size limitations of a few state parks which I may, or may not stay in, determine the RV that I would buy. I am in a 43' and have never had to abandon plans to stay somewhere because of the length. You can always find a place.
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Old 12-19-2016, 09:22 PM   #10
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Your logic sound good. It is all personal preference. We had a 37' for several years and it was fine, until we retired and started staying for extended periods. So we upgraded to a 40'.

Two reasons: get a mid bath coach, since I am getting older and crawling over the bed to get to the toilet while on the road was becoming a challenge. And 6'2 240# the short queen left a lot to be desired, so king size bed was a must.

Bad decisions are only those were you were too lazy to do all the homework. Sounds like you've done your homework.
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Old 12-19-2016, 09:35 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the feedback! Keep the comments and ideas coming. We're always open to new ideas.

Our driveway might accommodate longer; but the crest of the drive will not accommodate a longer wheelbase found on the larger floor plans. With the 5ers we kept them several miles away. Thus a little more preperation is involved in our spontaneous trips and weekends and the MH away from home.

A factory warranty on this investment was another reason for new. Not saying that many well cared for units can't be found and most of those units have already been through their shakedowns

On a side note; JMHO, I felt an aftermarket warranty isn't the best investment. Has anyone had a real success story with one in a Newmar?

Cheers,

JnC
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Old 12-19-2016, 09:48 PM   #12
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Short Bay Star

We bought a 32 ft Bay Star. It's our first motorhome. Very happy the way it handles. I have put 5K on it since July. I have nothing to compare to. We do have a toad. The only thing I did was add a steering stabilizer for safety reasons in case of a blowout. I don't think I really needed it but makes me feel safer. I couldn't go to big without adding cement to my side pad at my house

I wanted gas because of the extra cost of the diesel motor. My V-10 does ok in the hills. Not sorry I bought this coach
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Old 12-20-2016, 02:46 AM   #13
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[QUOTE=RKins;3380627]I haven't camped in my coach yet so please excuse the dumb questions - isn't there a spot for you to pull the toad in by the pad (table)?

It is my understanding that all wheels must remain on the pavement.
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Old 12-20-2016, 08:26 AM   #14
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After market Warranty Insurance.??? ABSOLUTELY NOT !!

We purchased a "Sorry Sam" Extended Warranty in'07 when we bought our 3rd coach. Got them to replace the backup camera ( would only approve a refurbished one). After two years we dropped them.

In '14 we upgraded to another coach, bought the policy again....STUPID ME. We have had three claims, each over $2K not one red cent out of Good Sam's, the BS and excuses sounds like the recent Presidential campaign. I stopped payment of premium about 4 months ago.

Each month I accrue the monthly premium to a savings sub account for Major RV repair. I think I am going to be much happier.

P. S. I have heard they do ok on simple straight forward stuff like, like a microwave, or A/C, much else is a joke. Our Last was a failed control board in the Atwood Level leg system. The only fix was replace the entire system, zero control boards anywhere. My cost $3,900. They offered to pay $700 for a board, the only thing that was broken. But there are no replacement boards, they don't make them!! That was the straw that broke the camels back.

When your rig is broken I get stressed, I don't need them adding to my stress, when I've paid them thousands, and they either deny the claim, or cherry pick it. With rebuilt parts.
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