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Old 04-16-2016, 08:08 PM   #1
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Adding a bunk over the driver's seat of a Class A DP

We are a family with three young adults. We have been looking for a diesel pusher with three bunkbeds. We looked at the Palazzo 33.3, but wE are not able to make it work because of a lack of internal and external storage. If it were 38 to 40 feet long with more storage underneath and inside, the 33.3 would be perfect for us. We also looked at the discovery 42A. The floor plan is wonderful but the unit is rarer than hen's teeth to find. We heard rumors Fleetwood was going out of business, and we heard rumors that Fleetwood's quality needs some improvement. This brings us to the Excursion 35E. It looked perfect, but we knew folks that bought one, as of a few weeks ago, they had 68 service issues with their unit. So, I have loads of concerns about this rig.
I would be interested if there are other factory-made DPs with the front bunk.
We are currently looking at a Bershire and would like to know if anyone knows of a mod, factory or aftermarket, to add a bunk to this or another DP rig. I am not interested in something cobbled together with 2x4s and plywood.
The option of having one sleep in the living area is difficult because my DW is an early riser and spends the early AM studying in our TT "living room."
The other option of waiting for the oldest to leave the nest, but this would require perhaps a two year wait. It also seems a bit cruel.
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Old 04-16-2016, 08:14 PM   #2
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How about the Entegra Aspire 44R?

http://www.entegracoach.com/uploads/...e_0002_44R.jpg
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Old 04-16-2016, 08:46 PM   #3
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I don't think Fleetwood's going out of business. We had an Excursion 35C which had the overhead bunk, but the jack knife couch was the only other bed other than the master. We had some issues with the Excursion, mainly with slide motor issues that were covered under warranty.

I don't remember which model it was, but there was an Excursion that had both the bunkhouse and the overhead bunk. That's probably a good choice

Have you looked at the Discovery 40G. It's a good sized coach with a bunk house and the main couch folds out into a queen bed with an air mattress. We bought ours used, but so far so good.
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Old 04-16-2016, 11:39 PM   #4
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Thanks, jondrew. We have looked at the 40G, at least on RVTRADER. We may resort to having someone sleeping in the living room; we were just really wanting to not have to have someone there. We wanted that area as living space accessible to all 24/7.
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Old 04-17-2016, 05:50 AM   #5
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Unfortunately you've got 5 full sized people you're trying to accommodate in under 400 square feet. the excursion with a bunk house and an overhead bunk would be the perfect solution but let me tell you from experience the Discovery is such a great upgrade from the Excursion I'd go Discovery all other things being equal (except cost of course).

We had 4 adults and a 7 year old on our trip to the Keys a few weeks ago. Making up the bed isn't a huge deal. The hallway that closes off on both sides of the bunkhouse is very nice too.

Another thing to keep in mind traveling with 5 people is how much room there is with the slides closed. The Discovery is pretty good whereas some coaches are very squeezed when traveling. Z
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Old 04-17-2016, 07:25 AM   #6
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Thor may be adding a front bunk to their 2017 TuscanyXTE bunkhouse
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Old 04-17-2016, 07:54 AM   #7
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or the Venetian

our Palazzo works fine for us 4(two teen boys)
we use our front bunk for storage- added some additional rail stops about 12" down - it stays there even when traveling - I also like the Palazzo bunks because they are longer than most, and have actual TVs rather than just dvd players

We also love the FR Charleston and the Thor Tuscany, but neither offer bunk models
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Old 04-17-2016, 11:24 AM   #8
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Thank you, MrUSA14, jondrew and Mister T. I will make a concerted effort to look at these other rigs. Tuscany might be an option, but we were wanting to get a slightly used model to take some pressure off of our pocketbook. I have been looking at a Charleston, but I have not seen either a front or a rear bunk(s).
So far, the elusive front bunk add-on remains but a rumor, a shadow around a corner, a whisper in the night.
Jondrew, I would love to know about the quality of your 40G. What sort of maintenance have you encountered? What areas do you see as high, middle and/or low quality.
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Old 04-17-2016, 11:38 AM   #9
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front entry coaches have always been unable to provide a front overhead bunk option, until now - with Thor's entry into this option with an ingenious new design - mums the word, tho
I've been sworn to a secret by Thor management, tho I've been privilaged to see it in person
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Old 04-17-2016, 11:45 AM   #10
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Keep in mind when comparing the Excursion or Palazo to a Discovery you are comparing base models to a much higher end model. The Discovery has higher end just about everything, including handling and ride compared to the Excursion. More coach batteries (6) and much better access to the batteries (checking water levels on the Excursion was a real PIA). Plus it has a 2800 w inverter as opposed to a 2000 W. Whole the Discovery is still a rear radiator DP, there is much better access to the engine in the Disco.

Fingers crossed I've had few issues with the Discovery as opposed to a bunch of problems with the Excursion (both slide motors died, bad grey water level sender and a few other things, all covered under warranty). Again, not exactly a fair comparison since the Excursion was new, and the Disco was. A year old with 12k miles on it. So the original owner may have been going back to the dealer getting break in bugs fixed.

Every brand has some issues. Thor had a lot of problems (as did others) with the Schwintek slide system. My understanding is that Thor did a pretty good job of making it right to the customers who had problems. I've had good luck with Fleetwood so far.


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Originally Posted by Magellan View Post
Thank you, MrUSA14, jondrew and Mister T. I will make a concerted effort to look at these other rigs. Tuscany might be an option, but we were wanting to get a slightly used model to take some pressure off of our pocketbook. I have been looking at a Charleston, but I have not seen either a front or a rear bunk(s).
So far, the elusive front bunk add-on remains but a rumor, a shadow around a corner, a whisper in the night.
Jondrew, I would love to know about the quality of your 40G. What sort of maintenance have you encountered? What areas do you see as high, middle and/or low quality.
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Old 04-17-2016, 12:08 PM   #11
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A front entry bunk system? I am intrigued and will be watching for it. ��
Jondrew, I see what you are saying about concerning the two lines. I think our time of asking, listening, and looking will pay off in the long run.
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Old 04-17-2016, 12:25 PM   #12
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And in answer to your concern about the DW being an early bird. I'm up early and when we had guests on the couch of the disco, I'd just sit at the dinette and work. You're not going to get a lot of privacy no matter what configuration you choose. There was a Dutch Star or Entegra model we looked at that had a small office desk in the back bedroom. That looked intriguing, but now we've jumped up another price point. I think Newmar has bunkhouse floor plans in several models.
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Old 04-17-2016, 02:25 PM   #13
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I would think maybe a toy hauler and make 3 beds back there...just a thought.
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Old 04-17-2016, 11:29 PM   #14
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All good points.
We considered the toy hauler option, but really wanted a DP for a lot of reasons, and a TH would merely be an interim solution, and interim solutions cost money.
We have this growing sense that we are going to have to compromise with the available options and have someone sleeping in the living area. Either that or wait to see what the future brings. Tuscany or Berkshire may have some options in the future. i would love to see the Discovery 42A return.
In the meantime, we are still hoping an add-on front end bunk appears on the market.
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