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Old 09-20-2015, 12:53 AM   #1
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Hi! Nice to meet you. I'm from the Pacific Northwest with its short camping season and unpredictable weather (it rains here - usually when I decide to go camping).

I'm a tent camper (Hey, stop laughing! Most people start there.). I'm looking to extend my camping season by trading in my tent for an RV (However no one takes me seriously when I ask how much trade in they will give me on my tent).

Having never pulled anything before and after watching my friend who is experienced in pulling things trying to back his 5th wheel into camping spots I've decided to skip that whole experience and jump right into a mobile home.

Some completely random strangers who were in the middle of buying the RV my wife and I were walking into at a RV show said that at my age (getting to be empty nesters) I should be taking a look at the 3rd RV I would think that I would want. I figure the first would have been a towable or truck camper. The second would probably have been a class B or B+. So I'm looking at either a sub 30' C or A. I really like the looks of the A's over the C's so that is why I am rambling on to you in this forum.

After spending the past month looking at RV's and floor plans I'm not any closer to a decision. I'm looking at sub-30s because one of our favorite camping locations has size limitations. We will probably be spending mostly 4-5 day stretches in it so it isn't a home replacement. After a year to break it in we are hoping to spend the better part of the following summer doing a cross country trip in it. We will probably buy fairly new but plan on keeping it for a number of years until we are ready for something bigger and have more time to make use of it so depreciation concerns will hopefully even out with trade in value for not being completely old by the time we are ready to trade up.

I'm looking for any feedback you are willing to type my way. Any brands to be cautious of? My commuter vehicle is a motor cycle (all year despite the wet) so I am hesitant to go bigger that 28' (+/- 2'), but if you have any compelling reasons why bigger is better (get your mind out of the gutter) I would be willing to hear those, too. If you have a sub-30', I would like to hear what you have and any pros or cons about that particular model.

If you are still reading this by this point, I thank you for your time. If you have stopped reading already then... I guess you won't have been thanked.
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Old 09-20-2015, 01:25 AM   #2
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From the further North , North west.

Ah, the what to buy question, I love to mess with;.... no I shouldn't say that.
I love my class A , motor home, came to A's from 5ers.
What to look for , In every coach you look at look for the factory weight sticker, I'll post a picture below, and check for the CCC ( Cargo Carrying Capacity) this is the load that can be carried by the coach and the tow weight rating, this number will determine what you'll be able to handle in the way of a toad.
Many class C's and some class A's are so close to being overload from the factory they aren't worth looking at.
For a class A under 30' , I'd want a CCC # of 2,000lbs+ The longer the coach the higher that number should be , my 38' has a CCC of 3,400 lbs.
And any coach you consider should have, a tow rating of 5,000lbs, or more.
Class A's have the advantage, of leveling systems, that can be fitted to some C's others due to frame issues cannot, and once you've set a class A up in a site , you won't want to be without levelers.
Good luck in your search , as you see more RV's , make a list of what you consider " must haves " and a list of " sure would be nice" items and as you shop have your list handy.
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Old 09-20-2015, 01:32 AM   #3
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Picture didn't come through , trying again.
Also if you look in the " Files " drop box, blue bar above under your welcome message, and download a " Buyers check list" to help you examine a used unit.


BTW; manufacturers can be very creative with placement of these stickers , back of closets , but they will be in the unit.
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Old 09-20-2015, 02:36 AM   #4
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My wife "Buddy" (our throw away dog we rescued him the day he was going to be put down) and I have a Class-C Jamboree 26Q, made by Fleetwood. There are just the 3 of
us. Some times we look at a bigger rig, but what we have is just fine. We do a lot of Boondocking when we get to go in the RV. I would say you are better off getting a RV instead of a trailer, but you might need to get a "Toad" also.
If you are not sure of what size to get if you have a pick up truck, you might look into getting a Slide in Camper. Just a thought. My wife and I are happy with our RV it is just the right size for us, but we also need to get a Toad.(Here I am telling you to get one and we don't have one yet ) It is a pain in the back side to load everything up and pull out of your perfect Boondocks spot to drive into town and get more supplies, or to go see other attractions that you want to see on your trip.
Good luck
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Old 09-21-2015, 05:21 AM   #5
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Make sure he floor plan works for you. If it doesn't you will hate the rig. Think about the floor plan if it is a rainy day, a quick stop for lunch, a quick bathroom break, if you are thinking slides, access with all the slides in. Once you find he right floor plans that is half you battle.
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Old 09-21-2015, 08:11 AM   #6
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We decided on a sub 30 for the two of us. second choice was not to have a corner bed as we did not want to climb over each other getting in and out of bed. Third, we decided not to have a toad to drag around the country with us. fourth, it had to have a rear bed as again we did not want to climb over each other to get up and down as most class C we found.

After looking for over 6 months we found the one that would work for us and have been very happy with our choice. Even though it is 20 years old it was in very good shape. The only thing we have replaced was to have the ball joints replaced along with front treads.

The MH is 26 foot class A, with 30K miles and works for the two of us. I stress THE TWO of us. Should you want to drag the grand kids along it can get a little tight on a rainy day. So keep the tent and use that for auxiliary sleeping if you like company.

We use it to pull the boat to the local lakes that we camp at.
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Old 09-21-2015, 08:34 AM   #7
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Make sure he floor plan works for you. If it doesn't you will hate the rig. Think about the floor plan if it is a rainy day, a quick stop for lunch, a quick bathroom break, if you are thinking slides, access with all the slides in. Once you find he right floor plans that is half you battle.
What Tom said.
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Old 09-21-2015, 09:39 AM   #8
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Greetings from a PNW rv owner of many years, with ancesters that found a covered wagon was adequate for traveling on the Oregon Trail to the PNW.
I discovered shopping for an rv is a lot of fun and good weekend entertainment, so take your time and enjoy the experience. Actually the pain of purchase put an end to all my fun, most likely for the rest of my life. The wife however did not find pleasure in just looking, really believing I had no intention of ever buying a new rv. She was correct in that belief, so I understood why she thought it was all just a cruel taunt. Honestly I would have kept our compact rv forever.
Bought a new Bounder 28T in '93 and enjoyed 22 years traveling on weekends, with longer trips in the summer. These trips were usually with the three men in our family, until Chriss signed on in '98. The summer trips included many cross country travels to see as much of the country as possible in two week segments. The short Class A with no slides proved to be all we needed or desired and for myself had distinct advantages.
I have yet to stay in an rv park, preferring only to boondock. If I was limited to rv parks, we would not have an rv.
Our travels have taken us well off the paved roads, logging roads, forest service roads and the like. We could not adventure into these remote locations with a large rv and because we have a truncated rv, there is no reason to pull a toad. On scenic highways we can dart in and out of the pulloffs with ease. Seeing the sites in cities is also enhanced with our nimble easy to park rv.
When shopping for rvs the wife would be inside opening cabinents, while I would be outside measuring ground clearance and the ratio to its wheelbase, rear overhang, turning radius etc. The salesman would get a chuckle out of me and my tape measure.
This is my answer for your question about drawbacks of a shorter rv. In our case there has been none, only advantages that we both appreciate. Chriss liked two mhs, the Tiffin Allegro 31SA and the Newmar Bay Star 3103. With crossed fingers I said she could have either one and to my relief she decided that the extra foot in length of the Tiffin eliminated that model. The long wheelbase of the Tiffin was a problem for my needs. My choice would have been the Southwind 32vs, that baby comes with copious ground clearance.
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Old 09-21-2015, 10:45 AM   #9
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Welcome. I have a 2013 Fleetwood Storm 32BH which is sort of a Hybrid in that it has the sleeping capacity of a "C",9, but on a class A frame. I've gone cross country from NJ to San Francisco, Portland, Glacier Nat'l Pk and return and loved it. Just did a trip from NJ up the Maine coast to Prince Edward Island Canada, Nova Scotia and return. Plenty of room for my girlfriend and I and also I took daughter, son-in-law and grandson to Asheville, Nashville and Smokey Mtns. and plenty of room for them. I was just at the Hershey,Pa rv show and saw a 28ft Fleetwood Flair with a north/south bed, and the bunk features that was really a nice layout. Oh and I bought mine used from the dealer with 7000 miles on it to avoid the first year depreciation, etc and it had the kinks worked out of it. Good luck with your search. We like state parks and the 32' worked fine.
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Old 09-21-2015, 10:53 AM   #10
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I enjoyed your post and wish you luck. The real challenge is folks talk floor plan, but no one really knows, really knows what they like until they have stayed in one for 2 weeks.
But you do need to make a decision at some point.
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Old 09-21-2015, 11:02 PM   #11
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Thanks for the replies. I enjoy learning what others have to share. For me it is all about the floor plan. For example most Winnebagos are a no go's because they have these big blocky bathrooms that seem almost jarring as you walk into the coach and I would prefer not to have the bathroom door opening into my kitchen. And like Lifemember, "we did not want to climb over each other getting in and out of bed". So I'm compiling what I like but trying to fit all of that into a small space is difficult.

The leader right now is the Newmar 3004. Have you seen the kitchen counter space in that model ? Not having need for the bunks that space will become a closet and possible wet bar liquor cabinet. It also has higher GVWR & GCWR then other models I have been looking at.

As soon as I find a buyer for a kidney and as much blood as I can pump out that is the one I'm going for.
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Old 09-22-2015, 12:17 AM   #12
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What are your experiences with having both a dinette and a couch vs. just one or the other? Does one get used more than the other? The Newmar 3004 only has the couch but there is a small table between the driver and passenger seats that looked like it would serve as a dinette for 2. From what I have been reading it is kind of a tight fit to try to get more than 2 people into most of the dinettes on the smaller models anyway.
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Old 09-22-2015, 01:24 AM   #13
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What are your experiences with having both a dinette and a couch vs. just one or the other? Does one get used more than the other? The Newmar 3004 only has the couch but there is a small table between the driver and passenger seats that looked like it would serve as a dinette for 2. From what I have been reading it is kind of a tight fit to try to get more than 2 people into most of the dinettes on the smaller models anyway.

Again welcome to forum, there are a lot of great people, and a wealth of information to be had .

In our RV we have a dinette. We are not really happy with that set up. We took the table out about the second trip in the RV. My DW and I use a folding table to eat our meals at, and then at night it's made into a bed.
The bed in the back is in basically the right rear corner. I sleep back there because I will not and can't fit on the bed in the front also I use a Bi-Pap Machine. Our RV has an over the cab bunk also, I think it's great for storage but not for sleeping in unless you are a little kid.

I have my opinion, and maybe some one else has a different opinion or is of the same opinion that I have. I hope that from every ones thoughts opinions and advice is a help to you. One more thing to remember it's only money. Do a lot of research. Buying an RV is a major investment. My wife and I bought one used from a so called family friend, we graciously named it "TMFH" (the motor home from hell).Don't buy from friends or family. Been there, done that. Almost like loaning money to relatives. Buy one that is within your means, and one that is only a couple of years old. If you can afford a new unit by all means, buy one. Buy one that you can get a warranty on. Also beware of the so called Good Sam's Extended Service Plan Warranty, It's good but way over priced.
That is just my opinion. I will probably get my hands slapped or flamed for that .
Good luck and welcome to the forum.
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Old 09-22-2015, 09:05 AM   #14
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What are your experiences with having both a dinette and a couch vs. just one or the other? Does one get used more than the other? The Newmar 3004 only has the couch but there is a small table between the driver and passenger seats that looked like it would serve as a dinette for 2. From what I have been reading it is kind of a tight fit to try to get more than 2 people into most of the dinettes on the smaller models anyway.
Have the Dinette and leave the table set up all the time. Most of the time we eat outside under the awning and use a small folding table. We spend very little time inside the MH when parked unless the day is two hot. The Table has been used for quilting projects, road maps, (still like maps), food prep area, and many other projects when the weather is not cooperating.

The passenger seat/area is used as the computer room. The driver seat is my lounge chair and reading area. We only have a 26 foot MH that works out for our style of travel and camping. Having a small MH is like having a one bedroom home. No room for guest
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