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Old 06-10-2015, 09:32 AM   #1
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Choices for a used 35 foot diesel motorhome

Here I am again I am much more frustrated with buying a MH than I ever was when I researched our 5th wheel. We have decided we'd like a 35 foot so we can camp in national parks. We also have a need to haul an aluminum bumper pull horse trailer occasionally (4,250 weight loaded).

It's just we two so we don't want to waste space on couches and booths. We would prefer to be overpowered than under. We would prefer a nicer fit and finish (I think that's what I see you folks calling it). So my question is? What are our choices? I'm finding it very difficult to sleuth out what we are looking for. The nicer coaches I like don't seem to come in the shorter lengths so I must be looking in the wrong place and trust me, I have looked a lot. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but I know I need help

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Old 06-10-2015, 09:53 AM   #2
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Welcome to iRV2.

Do you have any preferences , as to coach age and price range ?
By saying you don't want to be under powered , I'm assuming your looking at diesel pushers.

So, 35' DP with a 10,000# trailer tow rating 350+ HP and 1,000 + ftlbs of torque. ( I'll say 350+ even though I'm towing a 4,100# toad with 300HP )
Just have to pick a manufacturer with a proven track record of quality builds and find a floor plan you like at a price you can afford , and your on the road.

Good Luck in your search , I don't envy you , I wouldn't want to start over.

99DSDP 3884, Freightliner, XC, CAT 3126B, 300 HP /ALLISON 3060
2000 Caravan toad, Remco & Blue Ox.
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Old 06-10-2015, 10:02 AM   #3
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Your right about a lot of higher end coachs not offering shorter MHs. They seem to be about "luxury" & long equates with room/space and high-end finishes/features! Check out Itasca for shorter MHs & we think good quality. We love our 36' Itasca Meridian. Itasca is the sister branch of Winnebago with parallel models but with the Itasca name. Tiffin also has some shorter DP. We were going to buy a Tiffun RED 33A but liked the quality & features in our Itasca. If you want to research Tiffin, join the Tiffin Owner's RV Network online.

Good luck. ~Kay
"Living Our Dreams and ❤️ The Ride!" Kay & Richard, Austin TX
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Old 06-10-2015, 10:53 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by The Rose View Post
We have decided we'd like a 35 foot so we can camp in national parks.
First, you don't need an RV that is 35 foot (or less) to camp in a national (or state) parks. On average, over 50% of Federal parks have sites that are least 40 feet.

However, about 60% of Federal parks do NOT have any hookups -- so I'd suggest researching adding solar to whatever you buy.

Originally Posted by The Rose View Post
It's just we two so we don't want to waste space on couches and booths. We would prefer to be overpowered than under. We would prefer a nicer fit and finish
If you can stand a 36-footer DP, then you'll have a lot more options.

I'd look at used Country Coaches and Foretravels. Both are well built and usually well powered, especially Foretravels, and both brands have superior fit & finish.

Here are some examples in a wide price range . . .
2001 Mountain Aire DP 4095
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Old 06-10-2015, 12:17 PM   #5
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Tiffin produces a number of diesel pushers in the 36 and under range. 36 ft and under can be found in the following models: Breeze, RED, Phaeton, and Allegro Bus.

Lots to choose from out there.
Roger & Mary
2014 Tiffin Phaeton 36GH
2012 Honda Fit toad
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Old 06-10-2015, 01:02 PM   #6
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Our Fleetwood Excursion is what some might call an "Entry Level" 35' DP. Nothing fancy and I'm sure the trim level is not near the nicer Tiffins and whatnot. However we have all the features that interested us including an overhead bunk, diesel generator, Cummins 300 HP ISB, Inverter, residential fridge and table & chairs instead of a dinette. We upgraded the crummy Flexsteel Jack knife bed/ recliner with a residential leather reclining loveseat. We're very happy so far. Had it since Jan this year and have 9 trips and around 3k miles.

It's not the ritz, but for $130k brand new (2014 leftover) we seemed to have found exactly what we wanted.
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Old 06-10-2015, 10:20 PM   #7
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Have you looked at a Super C? I have been looking for 2 years for a small (up to 34’) DP. Our priority is drivability, we drive more than we park.

The problem with the shorter DP is that the wheel base is too short. They rarely are over 50%. They need 5’+ behind the rear wheels for the engine/transmission, which pushes the rear axle forward. The combination of short wheelbase and all that weight behind the axle affects the drivability. Especially if you’re going to add a trailer. All your weight will be behind the rear axle.

The advantage of a Super C is that the engine is in front of you which allows for a much better wheelbase ratio and weight distribution. I’ve spent the last few months researching these rigs and must say that there are definitely advantages. Look at units by Jayco, Nexus, Dynamax, show hauler, etc..
2012 Itasca Suncruiser 35P
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Old 06-12-2015, 07:20 AM   #8
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This question comes up from time to time, about having to have a smaller RV to get into National Parks. In over 5yrs of fulltiming we haven't had a problem getting into any of them we've wanted to stay in.
2000 Dutch Star Pusher
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Old 06-12-2015, 09:31 AM   #9
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You can also look at the Newmar Ventana and older Kountry Star models. Our former coach was a 34' Kountry Star diesel puller (front engine) and our current MH is a 34' Holiday Rambler Vacationer XL diesel pusher (measures 35' bumper to bumper). The KS had a 4000 pound towing capacity but I know the diesel pusher units built in the early 2000's had higher capacity. The Ventana models which seemed to replace the KS models in the Newmar lineup show to have 10,000 pound towing capacity according to the spec sheets I have seen. Our HR has the 340HP engine and a 5000 pound towing capacity. Like you, we wanted to stay at 35' or less because of some park restrictions.
Jim & Debbie
2008 Holiday Rambler Vacationer XL 34PDD
1974 VW Beetle
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Old 06-12-2015, 10:40 AM   #10
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X2 on the Newmar Ventana and the shorter length. Maybe we aren't looking at the same federal campgrounds as others with longer rigs, but I have run across CGs that can't accommodate long rigs and 35' is even too long.

Not everyone wants or needs a 40'+ rig! We love our shorty and as far as the handling part, with Nermar's Comfort Drive, wind & truck sway aren't a problem.

Good luck with your search!
Karen & Gary
Glamping is not for the faint of heart!
with furkids Gypsy & Cody &
traveling in a 2011 Ventana 3433!
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Old 06-12-2015, 10:42 AM   #11
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After owning a 40'... i would have no issue with a 36!

No one has mentioned your budget?? Fleetwood, country coach - both made some great models in that range. Heck I think country coach even had a 36 foot tag axle.
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Old 06-12-2015, 10:46 AM   #12
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2007 Country Coach Allure 470 37' For Sale at Country Coach | Country Coach Corporation
2000 Magna 36′ | Premier RV
2007 Allure 470 37′ | Premier RV

Also, check out the bounder 33c! What a great floorplan. Or the tiffin allegro 33AA
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Old 06-13-2015, 10:06 AM   #13
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My husband came up with the 35 foot limit in national parks, and I didn't do my due diligence I'm glad to know that's not the case. On the other hand, one of the reasons for going to a motorhome is that our 5th with truck is 55 ft long and my husband would like to drive something shorter, (he said to underline this) particularly if we are a pulling toad or horse trailer.

I have looked at C class diesels (Gulfstream Supernova ), but many seem made to sleep a crowd and storage is far more important to us. We don't believe in buying new so we have to find something used that will work for us without all the couches, booths and bunks. I will continue to look, because a C should work well hauling a horse trailer with the front engine, and according to some have a better ride for a shorter vehicle?.

I have looked at Itasca and Ventana and I like them. I continue to look for something that will fit our needs that is available. I see older Ventana that are too long and few used (in our price range) in the smaller 34. I take that as a good sign. However, I find that many shorter MHs seem made for a crowd. I guess that market assumes short vacation trips with friends and family (i.e. more sleeping space and less storage)???

I've looked at older Newmars over and over. That has always been my first choice. But as much as I love Newmars I am not finding anything I like in the size we want in our price range.

I just looked at the older Foretravels that were suggested. I'd not seen any of those and the ones pointed out were amazingly nice given the age. Years ago my husband would have loved taking on a project like this, but no more. I think he is gonna' say no, though there are a couple I really like.

Thanks to all for the great help, suggestions and ideas. I feel reenergized and ready to look some more. If anyone else has any ideas I'm willing to listen and learn. There doesn't seem to be any way to keep this simple, but I'm off to start a spread sheet, I can't keep any more of this stuff in my head
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Old 06-13-2015, 05:29 PM   #14
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I don't think I have seen what your budget is but you can pick up a 36' like this fairly inexpensive.


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