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Old 09-04-2013, 08:26 PM   #57
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I don't think anyone has yet mentioned a toy hauler. The garage can be setup as a bunkhouse/bedroom. You won't need to tear down the dinette daily to make a bed.
Damon Outlaw is the most popular although it's gas not diesel.
Considering it. Thought I had posted it, but I'm guessing I did on a different thread. I like the Outlaw with its loft over the garage. There are diesels (one for sale on here now as a matter of fact). I also like the Fun Mover with the crew cab set up. One of the greatest upsides of the toy hauler is that when it comes time to sell it, I can just rip the bunks out if the next buyer doesn't want them. One of the big negatives in some set ups is that it shrinks the living space considerably. I'm leaning more towards a daily conversion of living space to sleeping space - the trade off being the larger living space during the day.
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:06 AM   #58
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Interesting thought on the toy hauler. You could definitely make the garage a "kid cave" with a few dollars worth of remodel.

I didn't look closely at class A toy haulers, but I will say that I did walk through a few and they definitely sacrificed the main living area and more importantly for my wife the master bedroom accommodations. Pretty neat idea tho!

A point about "setting up the living area" for kids to sleep. When we set up for the first night we VERY RARELY go back to "living room mode". We are almost always outside. We eat outside, hang out outside and watch movies outside.


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Old 09-05-2013, 12:14 PM   #59
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...

A point about "setting up the living area" for kids to sleep. When we set up for the first night we VERY RARELY go back to "living room mode". We are almost always outside. We eat outside, hang out outside and watch movies outside.


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You'd have to look at the camping you do / plan to do. While we do usually spend the day outside and eat outside, we have young kids and once night comes and we put them to bed, we pretty much use the living room every night for tv, reading, games, etc.
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:07 PM   #60
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You'd have to look at the camping you do / plan to do. While we do usually spend the day outside and eat outside, we have young kids and once night comes and we put them to bed, we pretty much use the living room every night for tv, reading, games, etc.
The toy hauler would make that the easiest and most cost effective (room changing-wise). I thought of changing the master bedroom into a kids room. Those renovations could be pretty serious and I don't think it does the resell value any favors, so I basically set that idea aside for now. I like what I've seen in some of the longer coaches that have a bunk room rather than a walk in closet in the back. Yes, the kids have to walk through our room to use the bathroom, but that's pretty rare for our kids. And that's a trade off I'm willing to make as opposed to losing the use of the living room in the evening when they go to bed.

That size coach takes me above my price range for now. Of course, so do the larger toy haulers. Perhaps I'll just end up delaying the purchase for a little while.
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Old 09-05-2013, 02:09 PM   #61
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Our TH has the Happijac beds in it. The lower has the jack knife dinette. Young children possibly 6, regular adults 4. With a button you raise the upper bed and set up the dinette. Not a good picture but at the top is the upper bunk (I added strip lights), the bottom is the jack knife bed (2 facing sofas.
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Old 09-05-2013, 05:49 PM   #62
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I recommend a Motorized Toy Hauler too.

My Outlaw has belted seating for 8 (4 belts are in the dinette, 2 on the couch, plus driver and Passenger).

The best thing about Toy Haulers is all the stuff you can do in the garage...bunks beds can be added and changed as the family changes.

New, you can pick from the Thor/Damon Outlaw 37LS and 37MD plus Newmar's Canyon Star 3920 and 3921.

For used (including Diesels) see: Class "A" Toyhaulers

Best of luck!
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Old 09-18-2013, 02:19 PM   #63
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Just got back from a nice week away with the wife and kids at the shore. Had some time to think about things as well as get some advice from others.

I think we're going to go ahead and plan on converting the master bedroom to a bunk room. I also believe I've decided to look for a model with a bath and a half. The benefits go beyond the obvious scenario when nature calls for 2 at the same time. It creates an additional private changing area and we can use it as a napping room for the infant during the day.

***One of the other big reasons for us to go to a rear bath is that the engine access won't be in the bedroom. I had forgotten that having the engine access under the master bed could make converting to bunks very challenging.

While there are a few options with in my original price range, I will explore coaches for more than that, but will want more options as opposed to just newer and less miles.

The Monaco/HR 40DST in both the Diplomat and Endeavor line respectively look like the lowest priced at this point.
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:44 PM   #64
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I think we're going to go ahead and plan on converting the master bedroom to a bunk room. I also believe I've decided to look for a model with a bath and a half. The benefits go beyond the obvious scenario when nature calls for 2 at the same time. It creates an additional private changing area and we can use it as a napping room for the infant during the day.

***One of the other big reasons for us to go to a rear bath is that the engine access won't be in the bedroom. I had forgotten that having the engine access under the master bed could make converting to bunks very challenging.

...
One thing to keep in mind with your bedroom conversion is that it's possible (you'll have to check with the specific manufacturer / floorplan) that you cannot actually remove the middle of the rear bed platform. I think in all the floorplans I've seen, the bedroom slide mechanism is in the base of the bed.

I have to agree with you that I really like the idea of bath 1 1/2 for large groups.
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Old 09-19-2013, 11:09 AM   #65
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One thing to keep in mind with your bedroom conversion is that it's possible (you'll have to check with the specific manufacturer / floorplan) that you cannot actually remove the middle of the rear bed platform. I think in all the floorplans I've seen, the bedroom slide mechanism is in the base of the bed.

I have to agree with you that I really like the idea of bath 1 1/2 for large groups.
Good point. I don't have any pictures of what it looks like under there. I have a feeling with some creative bunk building we can get around that and still leave access for repairs.

Anyone have some pictures?
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Old 09-19-2013, 12:24 PM   #66
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Good point. I don't have any pictures of what it looks like under there. I have a feeling with some creative bunk building we can get around that and still leave access for repairs.

Anyone have some pictures?
That will be really depend on the specifc model you are looking at so if you're thinking of a 05-06 Diplomat/Endeavor, you probably want to request pictures from a Monaco / HR specific forum. In our previous mh (98 Fleetwood Pace Arrow), there was storage under the bed and a 'box' about 2 feet wide down the middle that's the actual slide mechanism so that would have to stay. In our current mh (03 Tiffin Phaeton) there's no under bed storage and the whole thing is for the mechanism and the whole thing would have to stay.

Another important thing to keep in mind is how / what actually moves with the slide. I think in our 98 Pace Arrow, the side wall, bed and bed frame moved with the slide but not the floor which means your bunk(s) can't be attached to the floor and has to be able to move with the slide while still being sturdy. In our 03 Phaeton, I believe it's just the slide wall and the bed top that moves, even the base doesn't move so that could be be even trickier. If you are able to modify the base so that you only have to leave a small box in the middle, you might be able to build something where you have a bunk with a double on the bottom (which covers the slide mechanism) and then have enough space to walk by and have a narrow single bunk next to it. This would give you room to sleep 5 (unless you plan on having 3 high bunks) so that might be a good option for you.

Unfortunately, with RVs you often have to compromise and as much as I can appreciate your desire for 1 1/2 bath, it might be more feasible to get a 1 bath floorplan with a better layout in the back to do what you are looking for (e.g. maybe in something like a 05 Exec 45PBQ (minus W/D) you can build 2 sets of bunks at the back. Similarly, Monaco had a few older Execs and Signatures with a walk-in closet in the back. I've seen pics of a Travel Supreme modified with 4 bunks in the back closet, etc).
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Old 09-19-2013, 01:16 PM   #67
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Another point - I would not want to load a slide up with excess weight. Try to keep the weight of added furniture off of the moving components. One "anecdotal" thing I have noticed on many motorhomes is that the living room slide mechanisms seem "heavier duty". Perhaps because their loads can be more dynamic based on whether or not they incorporate the storage bins or furniture and items in the coach. I wouldn't load up my bedroom slides, the mechanism doesn't seem "over engineered". With a few drinks and a pencil and paper I bet you can come up with something that works.

This will be really neat once done and I look forward to seeing it. Would you and your wife sleep in the living room or a bunk? I would love to see a thread with pics once you get started.
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:51 AM   #68
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I feel comfortable that I can design and built something (or get someone else to if I reach my limit) that will function much in the same way the existing bed does when it comes to the slide. Think of it this way, I'm just splitting the existing bed in half. This won't change anything underneath. Then I'll build 2 more bunks on top. The trick will be in building a structure that will support the top bunks. I envision rollers being utilized to distribute the weight on the end opposite the side to which its attached to the wall. I would probably use some springs too in order to keep the pressure consistent and absorb any small rises in the floor while the slide was moving.


Regarding weight, its a good point and my thought would be here that I won't add all that much weight. If I keep my lumber selection to something lighter and build it the way I have in mind, it won't be that heavy. I have a feeling given the smaller space I'm building these in, there won't be much of an option for storage to be part of the bunks. Therefore, the weight will more than likely just be the bunk structure and bedding (no rides when operating the slide!) Depending on how the slide is engineered to begin with and what kind of room I have on the floor, there may be some storage options there.



These are all just ideas at this stage. I'll have to get up close to one and take measurements so I can begin drawing up plans on SketchUp.


As far as sleeping are for my wife and me, we will invest in the most comfortable pull out sofa we can get our hands on and make the living room our bedroom. That way we're only converting one bed each day, we can utilize the living area even after the kids are in bed, and we can get up and make coffee with out disturbing them.
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:11 AM   #69
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In PA children have to be restrained by seat belts until 18. I would start looking at seat belt options first.
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:33 AM   #70
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In PA children have to be restrained by seat belts until 18. I would start looking at seat belt options first.
We're going to be adding seat belts if needed.
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