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Old 10-16-2019, 07:58 PM   #1
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Forward door vs. mid-coach door

Searched for this topic, didn’t see it. Please forgive if I missed it.

In beginning to choose our”must-haves” list, it seems to me that having the passenger door at the front makes more sense than having a door at mid-coach where it interferes with furniture placement.

Are there many (any) cons to having the door alongside the co-pilot seat that we should avoid it?


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Old 10-16-2019, 09:01 PM   #2
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Not many mid door rigs for a reason, they didn’t sell well. It does make getting the groceries into the refrigerator easier, not that it’s hard from a front door.

This post is my opinion, worth what you paid for it.
Our ”New” ride...08 HR Navigator 45’. A nice upgrade after 14 years with a 04 Dynasty 42’.
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Old 10-16-2019, 09:28 PM   #3
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You don't state if you are looking for a diesel pusher or a gas motorhome. Most diesel pushers will have the front door. There are some exceptions, including the one I own. I prefer the mid door for several reasons. I like the quick access to the kitchen and rear area of the coach. I have also ridden many miles in the passenger seat of a diesel front door coach. I didn't like my feet always hanging in the stairwell, or turning the seat sideways. You can pull the stair cover over the hole, but both the ones I rode in, they were manual, and a pain in the butt. I also found that in wet and snow conditions when we head south from Ontario, the front entrance way is plugged up with wet boots at the entrance. The passenger always has to have shoes on, or your feet get wet. These were the main reasons I searched out a mid door diesel pusher. I had a gas rv with the mid door previously, and I liked it better than both of my friends front entry. Gas motorhomes on the other hand are pretty much mid door only as far as Im aware. Any of them that have the front engine have that area pretty much taken up by the motor. Therefore, you get a mid door. There are some gas pushers, but they too are rare.
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Old 10-16-2019, 09:42 PM   #4
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I to prefer the mid entry door, doesn't seem to impact the furniture etc. My door after 19 yrs still shuts beautifully unlike my Sisters HR DP's front door with its broken hinge, hard to open etc. We have a flush floor for the passenger & I like the looks better & feel its safer from the bedroom area.
I myself would never own a front door, but that's just our opinion.
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Old 10-16-2019, 09:46 PM   #5
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My DP with a front door allows me to have an enormous amount of counter space in the kitchen. We put our shoes in front of the drivers seat.
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:02 PM   #6
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We’re looking for a DP and the wife prefers a mid-door. Idea being that once you’re in the coach you land on a hard surface that’s easy to keep clean. For the most part if we’re outside and run in/out, it’s to get something out of the kitchen. That said, it’s not an easy option to find on most DPs and for that reason it’s not on our “must have” list.
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:04 PM   #7
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As a general rule most DPs are front door and most gassers are mid door.
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Old 10-16-2019, 11:33 PM   #8
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Front door Pro:
-More useable space in the front living area of the coach.
-Usually more cabinet space
-Less compromise of the steel cage around many front DP, without front doors
Front Door Con:
-Long way to get in/out of the kitchen
-Long way go to the head
-The biggest gripe from my wife, the view is compromised from the passenger side
-Sometime more likely to hear wind noise from the entry door area

Mid Door Entry? Well, you can infer from the Pro/Con above!

Alpine made some mid 30's up to 40's Mid Entry Doors (Do not think they had 45'?). Newel also made a few Mid Entry Doors too...

One of the things I told an acquaintance about Mid vs Front Entry door, is that: "If you are prone to driving, putting miles on a coach over the year - the Mid Entry Door does provide the benefits of limiting obstruction of view for the Passenger. If you are going park to park, staying 4-6 weeks at a time - a Mid Entry can eat up you interior front living zone. Door, and stairwell in. But, offset from faster entrance/exit into the kitchen and restroom areas from the patio!"

No right or wrong, just choices.

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Old 10-16-2019, 11:54 PM   #9
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To each his own. It's very difficult to put a front door on a gasser as the wheel is in the way. Just the opposite for a DP, there is plenty of space in front of the front wheel and doesn't take away from useable wall space.

Even though there are fans of both, the front door on a DP is the most popular configuration. So building a mid door DP really limits the amount of buyers.
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Old 10-17-2019, 01:39 AM   #10
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I haven't seen anyone mention safety re: door position. In a frontal collision, as most are, damage to the front of the coach that deforms the door frame and/or door in a front entry coach is quite likely making an exit through the door difficult or impossible.
When I started gathering information on motorhomes in preparation for buying our first coach a mid-entry curbside door and a roadside driver's door for safety were high on my list. It soon became apparent that almost all mid-entry coaches were older gassers and a few FREDs(front engine diesels) on truck chassis's. Since we wanted to carry a motorcycle and tow a car none of them were sturdy or powerful enough to do that. We ended up with a front entry DP.
Last October a young woman turned in front of our coach trying to beat me through a busy intersection. She didn't make it. When I tried to exit the coach I couldn't because the door frame and hinge were deformed and fibreglass from the front cap was blocking the door.
It's a good thing there was no fire as it took me several minutes to repeatedly ram the door with my shoulder to force the door open enough to squeeze out. A mid-entry door wouldn't have been damaged at all in this collision.
In today's market a diesel coach will be hard to find with a mid-entry door. We did find a rare DP with a large picture window/emergency exit in the back cap though which we thoroughly enjoy when backed up with a view of the mountains across the lake in a forested USFS campground.
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Old 10-17-2019, 05:35 AM   #11
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Thanks all for your very helpful input. Kinda embarrassed that I didn’t noodle it out for myself that engine location determines where the door goes. 🙄
It’s pretty clear from your safety/convenience comments that the mid-coach door will be our preference and, since we’re leaning toward gas, that works out well.

Thanks again.
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Old 10-17-2019, 07:06 AM   #12
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I have the mid ship door and love it. AS mentioned above safety and ease of access loading and un loading are a plus for me.
Bob & Karen & Buddy "yourkie"
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Old 10-17-2019, 07:37 AM   #13
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We have mid entry door....well not really in the middle of the coach. Actually it's right behind the passenger seat. It's a gas MH, but we love that entry arrangement.

We have several friends that have DP's with a front door entry and when we visit them I don't like it. Why? Entering the coach you have to go around the passenger chair every time. It's usually tight and small and I just don't like it.

With our mid-door entry, it's so easy to bring in groceries after shopping, if you're outside BBQing or whatever going back and forth to the kitchen to get stuff, or if you have to use the head, it's so much easier access. As many times we go in and out of our coach everyday, I would hate going around that passenger seat every time.

We bought a new love seat this summer to change out our older one. The new motorized leather love seat weighed 245lbs. and took us (2 big men) to get it into the coach. It was a breeze getting it out of our door. No way could we have done it that easy with a front door entry. The passenger chair, motor and all that would have to of been removed first in addition to bringing it into that cramped front space with the dashboard etc, trying to muscle in that love seat. And even then not to sure if that would of worked. Some front entry doors I've seen are pretty narrow. Our door is a full 30" wide and we needed every bit of it..
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Old 10-17-2019, 07:51 AM   #14
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My DP has a midship door and I absolutely love it. My fridge is right there, the kitchen is right there, the dinette is right there, the bath is around the corner, the wardrobe is half a coach away. Someone comes in and they don't have to worry about the head knocker. The midship door affords a much bigger side window for the copilot, it's actually bigger than the pilot's side window, and there's no door jam/door frame, or itty-bitty door window. The midship door frees up the copilots foot area for knitting bags or whatever. The midship door allows the copilot seat to be more forward. The midship door is under the main awning. The midship door is midship, so if it whistles going down the road, I can't hear it in the cockpit. For the life of me, I cannot figure out what the advantage of the forward door is, other than you can pretend you're on a rock star tour bus or a Greyhound.

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