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Old 05-31-2016, 11:33 AM   #1
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Buying a new Class A, looking for opinions On Winnebago,Forest River and Thor

Wife and I bought our first coach about 5 years ago, 2998 Fleetwood Discovery 36T DP. We loved the coach but it was just too much for us. We do 90% local weekend getaways, not once have we driven out of state. In the future we may do 1 extended trip, 1 week, a year if my work schedule permits. BUt most of our trips are Friday-Monday short and sweet local ones.

Must haves:
Bunks
Outdoor TV
Storage
Inverter

Would like it to have:
Side cameras

We have 1 daughter, she is 4. We also take a niece or nephew at times and he is 8. My wife is determined to have bunks, we went looking and these are the ones we are looking at:

Winnebago Vista 31BE, top of the wife's list right now
Forest River GEORGETOWN GT3 31B
Forest River FR3 32DS
Thor Motor Coach HURRICANE 34J

Once thing we learned with the Discover is it is just too big for us. We don;t do a whole lot inside the coach besides sleep, we are almost always outside.My wife won't drive it so I am always driving. And the little we use the coach a DP is just overkill.

We originally started looking at Class C's but then we were shown the Winnebago 31BE and we get more storage in the Class A and it's almost the exact same size as the Class C in size.

I have read and heard horror stories about Thor, we like the layout but the details worry me. The Winnebago has everything organized, thought out and nice. Thor on the other hand just has them there and seemed to just put things where they would fit.

Any thoughts or ideas? All are within what we want to spend and are all brand new 2016/2017 models.

We like the bunk idea because our daughter can sleep in the bunk and we can have the coach still usable. We can make breakfast, dinner, watch TV on the couch etc while she sleeps in the bunk. Plus it allows us to let her bring a friend as she gets older. The way our coach is now we lose the couch, or the dinette, when she is asleep.

When we started looking at 35'+ I see no reason to get rid of our Discovery. Our entire reason for selling the Discovery was to cut down on maintenance and size. Spending $2-3k a year in yearly maintenance was about what we spend camping a year.
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Old 05-31-2016, 11:36 AM   #2
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I think Thor is the one to worry about. I read about lots of issues. Never owned one myself. The folks that run our RV Storage Lot used to work in Sales in Tucson, and said stay far away from Thor products.
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Old 05-31-2016, 11:39 AM   #3
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Also another question, my worry was these units only having 1 AC unit.

Can these motorhomes keep an RV cool with just 1 unit? We do like to go to the river and it can be 110*
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Old 05-31-2016, 11:43 AM   #4
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I think Thor is the one to worry about. I read about lots of issues. Never owned one myself. The folks that run our RV Storage Lot used to work in Sales in Tucson, and said stay far away from Thor products.
That is what I have heard also. But then you hear great things about them from owners.

Just looking at the units I can see quality differences:
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Old 05-31-2016, 11:48 AM   #5
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Another dumb question that I can't find an answer to. We went to 3 dealerships and I hate going because all the sales person does is nod and say yes, lets talk numbers.

Do all Class A come with an inverter?

And why do none of them come with Satellite? Is this normal?
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Old 05-31-2016, 11:57 AM   #6
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Where are you located. I would also look at the Newmar Baystars, they are really quality built and most models have two AC's. If you are talking about going to the Colorado River, I would definitely get one with two AC's for the summer heat. You may pay a few thousand more for the Baystar, but the quality will be well worth it. You can pretty much get a 25% +/- discount off msrp on a new one so build that into your pricing plan. If you are in the SoCal area go on-line to Tom Lindstrom RV and you will see some of the models available, and they will not be significantly more in price than what you are looking at. You get what you pay for so do your research and it will save you time and money down the road.
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Old 05-31-2016, 12:08 PM   #7
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Where are you located. I would also look at the Newmar Baystars, they are really quality built and most models have two AC's. If you are talking about going to the Colorado River, I would definitely get one with two AC's for the summer heat. You may pay a few thousand more for the Baystar, but the quality will be well worth it. You can pretty much get a 25% +/- discount off msrp on a new one so build that into your pricing plan. If you are in the SoCal area go on-line to Tom Lindstrom RV and you will see some of the models available, and they will not be significantly more in price than what you are looking at. You get what you pay for so do your research and it will save you time and money down the road.
I cannot find a Bay Star 3004 in stock anywhere to go see, this is the only model with bunks I believe.

Yes I am SoCal, went to GiantRV and Mike Thompson. Not impressed with either
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Old 05-31-2016, 12:52 PM   #8
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Ok a new entry, just worked an awesome deal on a 2016 Coachmen Mirada 35BH.

Bigger than we want but it has everything we are looking for and an extra bathroom.

Thoughts on this coach>?
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Old 05-31-2016, 01:00 PM   #9
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Check out Lichtsinn RV for your Winnie. IMO they are a great dealership. Worth the drive to pick up you unit and take the factory tour while there.
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Old 05-31-2016, 01:08 PM   #10
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I'd also suggest Newmar. Even if you can't find a bunk model to walk thru, you can look at their site, ands till walk thru another non bunk model Bay Star.

On the three you asked about, well so much depends upon specific models.
General, I'd give the nod to Winnie. Then consider the other two a tie. Thor has made regular improvements on build and materials over say the last 5 years or so. Berkshire buying them and helped with the management team changes, as well as the financial backing to start turning things around.

But for sure, as you're writing the check, go kick your own tires get the one that you feel meets your needs the best!

Good luck to you,
Smitty
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Old 05-31-2016, 01:31 PM   #11
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Another dumb question that I can't find an answer to. We went to 3 dealerships and I hate going because all the sales person does is nod and say yes, lets talk numbers.

Do all Class A come with an inverter?

And why do none of them come with Satellite? Is this normal?
Learn to politely say just looking to the salesperson. Learn to think that if a salesperson is talking there is high probability he is not being very honest.

Not all class As come with inverters

Not all class As come with satellite
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Old 05-31-2016, 01:33 PM   #12
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Also another question, my worry was these units only having 1 AC unit.

Can these motorhomes keep an RV cool with just 1 unit? We do like to go to the river and it can be 110*
If it is 110 I doubt 1 AC will cool any rv. Even with 2 ACs on the roof at 110 it will be a struggle. If you need two ACs then you need a larger generator to run both also. 5500 watts would not be enough to run 2 ACs.
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Old 05-31-2016, 01:39 PM   #13
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Smile We also suggest Newmar

We also suggest Newmar. Over the years we have owned 9 MH and have found Newmar well worth the money. Also suggest checking with Midway RV in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Chad is a great salesman to work with and I am sure he will treat you right.
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Old 05-31-2016, 01:42 PM   #14
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If it is 110 I doubt 1 AC will cool any rv. Even with 2 ACs on the roof at 110 it will be a struggle. If you need two ACs then you need a larger generator to run both also. 5500 watts would not be enough to run 2 ACs.
We have two AC's and the 5500 Generator, they both run fine at the same time off the generator, and keep the MH cool in 100 plus degree weather. I don't know where you come up with that advice, the generator supplies the same power as when we are hooked up to the 50 amp service at a full hookup spot.
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