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Old 10-03-2016, 09:24 PM   #1
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Family of three...bunk, loft, sofa?

Hi everyone. I have been lurking around for some time consuming all sorts of information and insights from you all.This forum has been very helpful in narrowing down what motorhome might be right for us. There is something I was not able to solidify.

For a bit of background…..we are a family of three which include our eight year old. We are fortunate enough to have a considerable amount of time off from work in the traditional sense. The plan is to travel with extended stays in the motorhome.This would be the unit we cut our teeth on; we do worry that our taste may change as we have more experience.Therefore, our thought is to go for a used unit of maybe 4 - 8 years. We have worked through the gas vs diesel decision and we have brands in mind.We have been through multiple layouts and can easily identify a layout that we like versus one we wouldn’t.We are ready to pull the trigger when we find the one.

If you are willing to share some experience…we are trying to figure out if bunks are the way to go. I did read an earlier thread that touched on this but was left unsure. There seems to be relatively few “bunkhouse” models in a DP; even less when we shop in our brands.Are these bunks truly practical and functional?It seems that these are often next to the bedroom and may give little actual privacy to either area. Do they become an eyesore? We did come across a cab area drop down bed (loft) that looks very intriguing and thoughts are that this would be even better than the bunks.Unfortunately they seem to be extremely rare and found mostly in the gas models. Am I missing something here? Would we be better served with the typical pull-out or convertible sofa option? How much of a pain is such a set up?

Thanks!
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Old 10-03-2016, 09:37 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Equanimity View Post
Hi everyone. I have been lurking around for some time consuming all sorts of information and insights from you all.This forum has been very helpful in narrowing down what motorhome might be right for us. There is something I was not able to solidify.

For a bit of background…..we are a family of three which include our eight year old. We are fortunate enough to have a considerable amount of time off from work in the traditional sense. The plan is to travel with extended stays in the motorhome.This would be the unit we cut our teeth on; we do worry that our taste may change as we have more experience.Therefore, our thought is to go for a used unit of maybe 4 - 8 years. We have worked through the gas vs diesel decision and we have brands in mind.We have been through multiple layouts and can easily identify a layout that we like versus one we wouldn’t.We are ready to pull the trigger when we find the one.

If you are willing to share some experience…we are trying to figure out if bunks are the way to go. I did read an earlier thread that touched on this but was left unsure. There seems to be relatively few “bunkhouse” models in a DP; even less when we shop in our brands.Are these bunks truly practical and functional?It seems that these are often next to the bedroom and may give little actual privacy to either area. Do they become an eyesore? We did come across a cab area drop down bed (loft) that looks very intriguing and thoughts are that this would be even better than the bunks.Unfortunately they seem to be extremely rare and found mostly in the gas models. Am I missing something here? Would we be better served with the typical pull-out or convertible sofa option? How much of a pain is such a set up?

Thanks!
we raised our boys from start to finish, and traveled all the time... we found the jack bed to be the best... one boy in the dinette and one on the jack bed..

the pull out beds were a pain... and you had to stop and pop out to use them..for just an over nighter my boys loved sleeping bags...

we started out with a 22' jamboree now that they moved on ... we have a 34' DP
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Old 10-03-2016, 10:05 PM   #3
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I would think that at night, you would want the kid as far away from your bedroom as possible.
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Old 10-04-2016, 07:11 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies and experience. We are looking forward to more.

We have used a jackknife bed in our motoryacht for the odd night or two. It is quick and easy to deploy; however, we do question how comfortable it will be for multiple weeks. Would those with long term use experience be willing to share?
We get the "as far away" "as possible" part and that is how we have operated in our current/past travels. Our boat has two separate bedrooms with two separate full baths spaced apart with some serious walls. We understand there will be some compromises and some gains. The sleeping area issue is giving us the most trouble.
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Old 10-04-2016, 07:17 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies and experience. We are looking forward to more.

We have used a jackknife bed in our motoryacht for the odd night or two. It is quick and easy to deploy; however, we do question how comfortable it will be for multiple weeks. Would those with long term use experience be willing to share?
We get the "as far away" "as possible" part and that is how we have operated in our current/past travels. Our boat has two separate bedrooms with two separate full baths spaced apart with some serious walls. We understand there will be some compromises and some gains. The sleeping area issue is giving us the most trouble.
We have an adult disabled son that travels with us, and we opted for the bunk house with a bath and half. We have sliding doors between him and us. He likes it better in the bunk than on the sofa. The top bunk on this model folds up and out of the way so you can have a big area.
Works out for us..
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Old 10-04-2016, 07:43 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Equanimity View Post
Thanks for the replies and experience. We are looking forward to more.

We have used a jackknife bed in our motoryacht for the odd night or two. It is quick and easy to deploy; however, we do question how comfortable it will be for multiple weeks. Would those with long term use experience be willing to share?
We get the "as far away" "as possible" part and that is how we have operated in our current/past travels. Our boat has two separate bedrooms with two separate full baths spaced apart with some serious walls. We understand there will be some compromises and some gains. The sleeping area issue is giving us the most trouble.
we used to do 2 week trips.... my boys would have loved the bunks... most have TV's in them..and like said... most have a pocket door to give the master privacy
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Old 10-04-2016, 12:26 PM   #7
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The over-the-cab bunks would be ideal. They are far from the main bedroom and the child could have their own space without having to fold up the sofa every day. They could also go to sleep when wanted and the sofa could still be usable by those still awake. One thing to think about it would be advantageous to park the RV so the front window would not be facing into direct sun all day. Motorhome windows admit a lot of heat so the bunk would be a hot area.

Regular bunk 'rooms' would also work. The extra bunk could we used for storage or even an office space.

Children really need their own 'space' and not using the sofa or dinette every night. This can disrupt the whole family by having to always make the bed and pack it up in the morning before anyone else can use the space or by various sleeping hours.
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Old 10-04-2016, 12:56 PM   #8
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I'm not in a class A yet but have traveled extensively with kids and can offer some thoughts. In looking at class A coaches the drop down bunk/loft looks ideal. I agree there aren't many DPs with that option though. Hopefully, more to come in the future.

One thing I did for years and am absolutely done with is giving up the couch or table for a bed every night. It's a pain setting up and tearing down, and really a pain to have a kid sleeping at the breakfast table when I want to get up. I bought a new 5th wheel last year and a separate bunk room for my 3 kids was at the top of the list.

You're doing all the right things researching floor plans and asking others for advice. Check an RV show if you haven't already. It's a great way to see a lot of products in a low pressure environment.

On Edit: One thing I forgot to add that the post below eludes to is the bunks make for great storage areas when not in use. One of my biggest problems with RVs before I had one with bunks is there is just nowhere to set bulky things like jackets or a handful of groceries.
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Old 10-04-2016, 01:08 PM   #9
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We love the Class C because of the bed over cab. You are apparently not interested, just making sure you've thought it through. I feel that you would do well to consider a bunk house. Then you have 3 totally independent sleeping areas from the couch and dining area which can be left intact. We see Holiday Rambler and Thor have an option to have a bunk house with a small dinnette on the lower level that I have thought of using as an office to keep all my business clutter away from the dining area. My point is that you would have more versatility this way. The bed over cab is so easy to make up in the morning and throw extra pillos, jackets, dog beds etc on, you couldn't leave stuff on a loft bed during the day, it wouldn't have enough clearance.
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Old 10-04-2016, 01:58 PM   #10
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We are also a Family of 3 with an 8 year old. She sleeps on the dinette which isn't too much trouble at this point in our RVing career. Sleeping bag and pillow make it easier but we still have to move cushions to raise and lower the table. This would get old if we were fulltiming or using the rig more often than we do now.
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Old 10-04-2016, 09:52 PM   #11
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Hi Equanimity,

I have a 2015 Winnebago Vista 36Y that I'm selling. It's currently at a campground in New Jersey. I bought the Vista new in December at Ray Wakeley's in Erie, PA, and drove it here. It was stored in a heated garage over the winter, I took in out of storage in June, and brought it to the campground. I live locally and have my house for sale and hasn't sold yet, so I've been in the Vista on and off over the summer, but just me, don't even have anything in the cabinets. So the rig is pristine and not really lived in.

For all practical purposes it's brand new. It's got about 1500 miles on it, which represents the delivery from the factory to the dealer in Erie, and my driving it here from Erie. My plan was to head out west this winter, but due to medical issues I've had to change those plans, and I'm selling the Vista. It has a motorized drop down twin over the cab bunk. Has wood slats like a frame bed, not a plywood, so it's very comfortable. Might be what you're looking for.

Check out this YouTube walk-through of a 2015 36Y, my coach is exactly the same as this one, it has every feature as the one in the video, and it's the same color scheme inside and out. Let me know if you have any interest. About as new as you can get.

Check out how the kitchen island is across from the huge bay window, one of the nicest features, it's a great layout.
The Vista 36Y is on a Ford Triton Chassis Gas V-10, 37 footer.
Let me know if you're have interest.
Regards.. Paul
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Old 10-05-2016, 01:50 PM   #12
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Thanks for the additional input.

Some of your comments have really hit home and the bunks may offer the best solution for us personally.

The downside is few DP coaches seem to offer bunks. When I trim a few brands or models off, I have limited choices. Some time ago when I got into boating I was given advice to buy my second boat first; it was great advice. I hope to follow that advice again here.

Paul, I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing medical problems. That is a great floor plan on your Vista. I appreciate you reaching out to me but I don't think it is were we are now in our shopping. I hope things get better for you.
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Old 10-08-2016, 10:28 AM   #13
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What time does your kid go to bed and is it the same as your bed time?

We asked this question to ourselves because if you put your kid in the front of the RV then you are limited on what you can do because you do not want to wake them.

We have friend who has the same size family as yours and they got a bunkhouse and loved it. They made the top bunk the bed and the bottom was converted into a playhouse area.
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