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Old 07-25-2016, 11:08 AM   #1
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DPs under 40ft

I suppose this is my intro to this forum, but I've sure been reading it a lot. Tons of great info here, really enjoying it!

My wife and I downsized a year ago from 3000sqft to 1500sqft, and this fall we'll be downsizing again to something a bit more mobile, going fulltime as soon as we get all our ducks in a row. We are not new campers, but definitely new RV'ers. After running the gamut, looking at TT, class Cs, ever-escalating 5th wheels (until we'd need a 600hp Mack to pull the damn thing), we finally realized that a DP makes the most sense for lots of reasons. So far we have looked at a lot of different manufacturers, sizes, floorplans, and have decided the sweet spot is really 36-38ft. Big enough to live in, but small enough to get just about anywhere, and some really great floorplans.

Top contenders right now are the Tiffin Allegro RED and Newmar Ventana, but my wife has really taken a shine to some older, higher-end models too like the Foretravel U320. We also saw a Fleetwood Discovery and an American Coach yesterday that were both impressive, but a little bigger than we'd like.

That's a long-winded way of saying hello, and hey anyone got any thoughts or recommendations? Finish level and quality are important to us, as well as a well-designed coach we can rely on, not to mention live in!
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Old 07-25-2016, 11:29 AM   #2
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You won't adversely notice 2 extra feet in length........ Opens up more floor plan options as well.
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Old 07-25-2016, 12:14 PM   #3
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True, but we started out looking at 28. Then said well, 32 isn't much more and is more stable. Then said well, 36 is only a bit more and has a lot more storage options. Then said well, we really like a couple of the 38s we have seen. I have to draw the line somewhere because at this rate I'll end up in a 45ft Newell!
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Old 07-25-2016, 12:15 PM   #4
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Our first Fleetwood Discovery was a 37 foot. and this one is a 35 foot. Really liked the floor plan in the 37 better, but this 35 footer is so easy to get around in, especially state and national forest etc.

Lots of good coaches out there in your length. I doubt you will be sorry with to many of them.
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Old 07-25-2016, 12:30 PM   #5
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The other thing is it's just me, Peggy and the dog, kids are out of the house and I have no desire to host family gatherings...that's what houses are for. We also run an internet business, and will continue to run it on the road. That means I don't need multiple couches, and I do need desk space. Floorplans like that are scarce, which is why an older coach with a little remodeling looks like a good option too. Why don't manufacturers create floorplans with office space? The Allegro 37PA and Ventana 3724 are pretty close, but even there I'd like to make some changes.

It sucks to be a perfectionist.
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Old 07-25-2016, 12:41 PM   #6
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The older Foretravel are pretty nice coaches but what caught my eye one day while day dreaming was how much of the available under floor storage various house mechanical system are consuming.
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Old 07-25-2016, 12:56 PM   #7
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We started out (from a TT) to a 35' DP with two slides, queen size bed, tv over dashboard and a underpowered 330hp CAT engine. Our thoughts were that we wanted to not worry about fitting in some rv parks/campgrounds and maneuverability. We only half time and spend about 5 to 6 months a year in our coach and we soon discovered that after about 2 or 3 months that coach got smaller and smaller until we were complaining about the other taking up so much space.

We'd heard stories about people saying to purchased your third rv first...meaning you're gonna move up sooner or later so why not get the end rig first. Never really put much thought into that until we had that 35 footer for about 5 years and then it started making sense to me.

So, we went shopping and about two years later we found what we were looking for in a long term rig. We now have lots of interior and storage space for many more things than we really need...king size bed, two bathrooms (his and her's) stacked washer and dryer, fireplace, dish washer, tag axle, large and powerful engine, and a large 42" tv directly over the fireplace and across from the couch for perfect viewing.

We now spend our 5 to 6 month in comfort with sufficient space to keep both of us happy.

My point is, think ahead....especially if you're gonna full time it and don't buy something that you probably will be trading in before you get the full use out of it. These things depreciate so quickly and so much, so it's better if you get your 3rd motor home first (in our case, second).

Good luck, hope you find just the right one for you.

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Old 07-25-2016, 01:04 PM   #8
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We have a 37' gas MH which has nice storage. Looked at the 37-38' DP's and they don't have enough cargo space underneath, in our opinion, for long term use.
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Old 07-25-2016, 01:13 PM   #9
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Many high end builders made a coach under 40 ft. Such as Country Coach, Monoco, Travel Supreme, and Alpine to name a few.
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Old 07-25-2016, 05:11 PM   #10
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Having had great success with a Newmar, that's what we recommend.
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Old 07-25-2016, 08:45 PM   #11
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There have been many posts on similar subjects.

My advice is to think about how you would survive in a smaller coach if you were on a trip and it started to rain, no place to go, and you had to just stay in the coach for week straight. Is it big enough for both of you to have room to be comfortable.

We took a 3 1/2 month trip to Alaska and our coach seemed to get smaller with each day.

We had a 31' Class C that just wasn't big enough. We moved up to a ~40 Class A DP with 2 slides. Better but still not enough room but I doubt we will move up to a bigger one (unless we win the lotto).
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Old 07-26-2016, 05:08 AM   #12
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We went from 2013 Fleetwood excursion 35B to 2016 Forest River Berkshire 38A and never looked back. We full time and love the floor plan and the ride. Click image for larger version

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Old 07-26-2016, 05:38 AM   #13
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We started with a 36' HR, and now have a 40' Phateon. The 40' does not seem to me to be any less manuverable than the 36' was. It rides and drives better, but that's due to diesel vs gas. 40' is probably the most common length in diesel coaches, which would make more opportunities available.
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Old 07-26-2016, 06:02 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marknpeg View Post
I suppose this is my intro to this forum, but I've sure been reading it a lot. Tons of great info here, really enjoying it!



My wife and I downsized a year ago from 3000sqft to 1500sqft, and this fall we'll be downsizing again to something a bit more mobile, going fulltime as soon as we get all our ducks in a row. We are not new campers, but definitely new RV'ers. After running the gamut, looking at TT, class Cs, ever-escalating 5th wheels (until we'd need a 600hp Mack to pull the damn thing), we finally realized that a DP makes the most sense for lots of reasons. So far we have looked at a lot of different manufacturers, sizes, floorplans, and have decided the sweet spot is really 36-38ft. Big enough to live in, but small enough to get just about anywhere, and some really great floorplans.



Top contenders right now are the Tiffin Allegro RED and Newmar Ventana, but my wife has really taken a shine to some older, higher-end models too like the Foretravel U320. We also saw a Fleetwood Discovery and an American Coach yesterday that were both impressive, but a little bigger than we'd like.



That's a long-winded way of saying hello, and hey anyone got any thoughts or recommendations? Finish level and quality are important to us, as well as a well-designed coach we can rely on, not to mention live in!

A top end older coach makes lots of sense. The Foretravel is an outstanding coach. Country Coach and Monaco also built some high end coaches in the 36' to 38' size.
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