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Old 07-07-2014, 08:45 PM   #1
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Full timing in a Class A

We currently live full-time in a 39' 5th wheel and are considering transitioning into a Class A motor home. Do you have any opinions with regard to better makes and models in which to live full time? Our 5er has a 42" LED, fireplace, 4-door fridge, built-in 5.1 surround sound, central vac and a custom-made king bed. We're interested in trying to find a comparable size (40' or longer) MH that has the features we currently enjoy as well as a residential-style fridge with water and ice in the door.

Your thoughts will be appreciated!
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:24 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryHooper View Post
We currently live full-time in a 39' 5th wheel and are considering transitioning into a Class A motor home. Do you have any opinions with regard to better makes and models in which to live full time? Our 5er has a 42" LED, fireplace, 4-door fridge, built-in 5.1 surround sound, central vac and a custom-made king bed. We're interested in trying to find a comparable size (40' or longer) MH that has the features we currently enjoy as well as a residential-style fridge with water and ice in the door.

Your thoughts will be appreciated!
most all 40Ft++ ,mid to upper end diesel pushers built from 2008 on have what your looking for.not so much the fireplace but lots do have them
I have a 2008 40 ft King bed,diswasher(best option I ever had)BI central vac,aquahot heat system and hot water on demand, 4 door fridge surround sound, four LCD TV one being a 42 inch and all \factory wired for HDTV service,sat dish system etc etc
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:25 PM   #3
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Are you looking at new? If so, several makers have all electric units. I can tell you about our Phaeton but Entegra, Winnagago, Newmar have similar units at similar quality.
Ours has residential fridge, fire place, heated floors, AquHot heating, three heat pumps, bath and a half, good quality cabinetry, 450 HP, dish washer, stacked W/D, ceiling fan, king bed, and a bunch of other stuff.
As I said earlier there are a few other manufacturers that you should look at. We looked at several and chose the Phaeton simply because when we first walk in it just felt better than the others, that and the reputation of Tiffin support.
This is our second Tiffin and are quite happy. We have not owned any of the other brands.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:55 PM   #4
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Entegra Anthem will blow any phaeton or even a allegro bus out of the ball park and their less money than a bus last time I compared apples to apples
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:05 PM   #5
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Are you looking at new? If so, several makers have all electric units. I can tell you about our Phaeton but Entegra, Winnagago, Newmar have similar units at similar quality.
Ours has residential fridge, fire place, heated floors, AquHot heating, three heat pumps, bath and a half, good quality cabinetry, 450 HP, dish washer, stacked W/D, ceiling fan, king bed, and a bunch of other stuff.
As I said earlier there are a few other manufacturers that you should look at. We looked at several and chose the Phaeton simply because when we first walk in it just felt better than the others, that and the reputation of Tiffin support.
This is our second Tiffin and are quite happy. We have not owned any of the other brands.
Iam curious as to when Tiffin started offering the Aquahot heating systems
on the phaeton as a option
Thanks
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:28 AM   #6
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Entegra Anthem will blow any phaeton or even a allegro bus out of the ball park and their less money than a bus last time I compared apples to apples
I have an allegro bus and I have not seen anything for comparable money that will blow it out of the park. I have seen some coaches I liked better but for a lot more money not less.
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:35 AM   #7
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Ok I am going to get a lot of comments for this, but. What kind of travelling do you do. You are full time but do you just pack up and go somewhere else every week or do you stay somewhere for a month or longer at a time. I have had a 5th wheel and I have an allegro bus. To be honest if we stayed somewhere for long periods of time I think the 5th wheel is a better way to go especially with some of the newer models. New Big Horns and Cedar creeks are available with residential refrigerators, and hydraulic leveling jacks. The new price for one of these is about the same as the used price for an 8 year old allegro bus. Normally we somewhere different every couple of weeks. At the moment we are staying put for a few months and if I were buying something for this I would prefer a 5er. Talk to people around you with a MH and see how well they can keep their MH cool with two AC units compared to how your 5er keeps cool in the summer and same with warm in the winter. Do not assume just because they cost more MH are better. Each one has better characteristics for different purposes. With that being said I love my MH but as I said normally we travel in it quite a bit.
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:37 AM   #8
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Racers edge, I don't know if the 2013 had that as an option but as of 2014 the Phaetons are all electric as standard. AquaHot is standard. If you want propane it is a $2400 option.
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:57 AM   #9
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I believe gemini5362 pretty well summed it up as far as I'm concerned. I have a diesel motorhome, and we're on the road quite a bit. But if I was one to sit for months at a time I believe I'd have a 5th wheel. Don't get me wrong we really like our Dutch Star and have made modifications that have made it much more livable for the way we like to travel. It's all personal taste. I'm not going to get into a brand war, lets just say that if you stay with the higher end coach's, not the real high end one's, you'll probably be ok in whichever one you choose. Me personally I wouldn't buy new, there's too many really nice hardly used one's out there. And it's a buyers market.
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:26 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by JerryHooper View Post
We currently live full-time in a 39' 5th wheel and are considering transitioning into a Class A motor home. Do you have any opinions with regard to better makes and models in which to live full time? Our 5er has a 42" LED, fireplace, 4-door fridge, built-in 5.1 surround sound, central vac and a custom-made king bed. We're interested in trying to find a comparable size (40' or longer) MH that has the features we currently enjoy as well as a residential-style fridge with water and ice in the door.

Your thoughts will be appreciated!
Our 2012 Winnebago 40U Journey has most of what you are looking for or had the ability to get them as an option when new. (we did not get the vac, wish we had) The king bed option gives you lots of space in the bed but it uses space that may be more useful as floor space when you are not in that bed! (can't seem to get mine made without bumping the switch for the fan with my rear end, either bad placement of switch, or bad placement of "BUTT")
Our Refrig has only 3 doors (double above with a drawer type freezer below) ice and water in the door. (we do not use the ice as it generally takes on the taste of the tank or the water system of the park you are in) I will not make a comment about it's quality verses others beyond the fact that it works well for us!
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:44 AM   #11
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I full time in mine, an all electric unit with residential appliances, but the real benefit to me is that if I stop in Walmart, Flying J or even a rest stop for the night, I don't have to leave my vehicle at all. I press a few buttons and I'm set. Much more secure then any towable.

I have all, except fireplace, that you are looking for. Definitely get a bath and a half model. Save the bumping of you and your partner. Get 4 slides. Full slide model even better.

Get the most you can afford and don't waste money on a new unit. Let someone else take that massive hit. A 2 or 3 year old model can be had for at least 45% off the list.

Check age of tires. Sometimes the tires are 2 years old on new units!

Hope this gives you some food for thought.
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Old 07-10-2014, 06:40 AM   #12
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Thank you all for your helpful comments! We looked at a 2001 Newmar London Aire last night and, although a really fine coach, it helped us to decide to stay put (for at least awhile). Appreciate your input!
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:23 AM   #13
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Thank you all for your helpful comments! We looked at a 2001 Newmar London Aire last night and, although a really fine coach, it helped us to decide to stay put (for at least awhile). Appreciate your input!
Good luck with any future choices you make. Each to their own. Some of my best RV friends own 5th.

Just to toss my thoughts for others following this thread I will add the usual reasons for making a choice. BTW, I'm not versed enough on the argument of costs comparing comparable 5ths to MHs so I leave that to bean counters. Total cost was not a prime point in our decision to go with a Class A.

1. Ease of set up. I think Class As are generally easier but from my 5th wheel friends, it isn't that big of a deal. Newer 5ths with leveling are getting that much easier. However, the leveling base for the jacks on 5ths appears a tad shorter compared to the those on a long class A. That might be an advantage in favor of the 5th when leveling on uneven locations. I also like the fact that I don't have to leave my coach when pulling into a rest stop or Walmart/overnight boondock location to go to bed.

2. Convenience. In our Class a we can be going down the road and if the copilot needs a bathroom break or to fix us something to eat that is easy. No packing a snack ahead of time. We like that since we are doing a fair number of miles a year.

3. Pets. We haul 2 big dogs and they would be a handful in the back seat of a truck. It's bad enough we have German Shedder hair in our coach but routinely in 2 vehicles. LOL Of course, smaller dogs will fit quite nicely in a truck if the owners so desire. We liked the ability to put in crates for our GSDs when we travel. HOWEVER, that was a choice we felt fit our needs and we removed a desk set from the coach to support that desire.

4. Toad vs Truck for running around. We like the smaller toad option. We do spend enough time in some places, especially during the winter, to enjoy the better fuel economy for a run around vehicle. My wife did not like the idea of driving a big truck around when she wanted to get her hair done. LOL I'm not particularly fond of driving one around either for the most part.

5. Insulation. I'm going on what I have read here so forgive me if I am wrong but I believe folks can find 5ths that have better insulation options than most Class As. If one is looking to be in the extremes of heat or cold then that could be an important factor. We opted for our Newmar because in the Class A realm it was one of the best. BTW...we have not had any problems with our 2 AC units and single furnace staying comfortable. Still, a well insulated 5th may be cheaper to keep comfortable.

6. Floor plans. I have seen some OUTSTANDING floor plans in 5th. However, some folks may not like the stairs to get to parts of the 5th. When we looked at some 5ths we just thought the entry steps alone were a bit longer than our MH. Still...LOVED some of the floor plans we saw.

7. Buy in costs. Like I said, we really just didn't make that an issue because items 1-6 were more important for US. Your mileage/money choices may vary.

I'm certain some other points can be tossed out by others that have actually owned both. I hope I was rational about the points we considered in our purchase process.
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:42 AM   #14
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Very interesting and positive thread. Some good ideas for both sides. I would like to add something about central vacs. We have a central vac and I don't like it. The wife liked it but was not as crazy about it as she thought she would be. I bought her the portable dyson vacuum for Christmas and she loves that more than her central vac. I am noticing a lot of units now are including that instead of a central vac system. To me it is easier to use than getting out the long hose and then pulling it all over the coach. It is also a lot easier to empty the Dyson than the central vac. I was a bit worried when I found out it would only run for 15 min per charge. When I asked the wife about it she said 15 min was more than enough time to vacuum the MH. After two years of using it she is right.
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