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Old 12-28-2015, 07:32 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by streetreaper View Post
Yea definitely need a residential king because I'm 6'1 and my wife is 5'10 so we are long. Thank you everyone for your recommendations. What do you think of MHSRV? I like the Thor Challenger 37TB and the Forest River Georgetown 364. But I didn't know about the chassis weight. Thank you for that. We are a family of 4 and we are all tall except my 2 1/2 year old but even she's big. So do need the space. Thank you again
I am 6'4 and wife shorter. We are fine in a queen. Queen same length as King, just five inches narrower. But look, the two brands you are looking at are at the bottom of what is generally considered the quality scale for a motorhome. Discounting the super high end units I would try to get into a Newmar, Tiffin, Holiday Rambler, or Winnebago in that order. Most would name the four but change the order. Some would try to put Fleetwood in that lineup. I would only consider high end Fleetwood diesel pushers. Be wise. The initial purchase is only a toe in the water. You have to stay afloat for years and years. You may have problems bad enough to warrant a trip to the factory, this is where Newmar and Tiffin shine shine shine..

Sombody (unnamed) posted that Newmar was in fact guilty of producing an overweight coach.
[Mod Edit]
Let me point out a few things:
This was in 2002...
Coaches were just being built with lots of extras like ceramic tile (read heavy) floors, huge fridges, etc.
Newmar only builds custom orders, either the owner specs it out or the dealer.
The man in question had ordered a 40' diesel pusher with three slides.
The current axle rating was not rated high enough and he ordered a coach with very little cargo capacity.

In the 14 years since then, Newmar has upgraded their chassis on Diesel pushers and now four slide units are common.

Having a heavier capacity chassis does not give you a worse ride if the weight of the coach is matched to the springs. If you want to ride on air, get a BIG loan and buy a diesel pusher.

As far as I know, Newmar is the only manufacturer that offers a gas chassis with a capacity of 26,000 pounds. Newmar custom orders their Ford chassis and does spec them out to meet their needs.

If you buy a more cheaply built rig that has a high stated cargo capacity on a 22,000 pound chassis then they are cutting corners in materials and strength.

I have been to the Newmar factory. The entry level gas coaches are built on the exact same assembly line as the $850,000 high end diesels. Same line, same Amish craftsmen. All aluminum welded frame.... etc...
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Old 12-28-2015, 08:35 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Scarab0088 View Post
A stiffer suspension will increase the GVWR, but will also make the RV ride more harsh, because it is leaf springs - not airbags like a Diesel RV.
I would agree, while having 4 or 5 thousand pounds of carrying capacity sounds great, but with a leaf suspension like the F53 most of that extra capacity is coming from stiffer springs and lower rear end gearing since as far as I know they don't change brake size or anything.

Ideally with a leaf suspension you don't want anything stiffer than necessary for the weight otherwise your just getting a harsh ride from not loading the springs up. I would definetly test drive different ones to compare and think about how much carrying capacity you need.

This is different with air suspension on a diesel with ride height valves that automatically adjust to the load.
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Old 12-28-2015, 09:11 AM   #17
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I would agree, while having 4 or 5 thousand pounds of carrying capacity sounds great, but with a leaf suspension like the F53 most of that extra capacity is coming from stiffer springs and lower rear end gearing since as far as I know they don't change brake size or anything.
If changing springs were the solution, any owner can get more springs, but this is not the case. The axle load carrying capacity has to be increased.

Newmar recently had a weight problem with their 40+ Dutch Star front axle load capacity. They stepped up to the plate and are doing a recall replacement to take the 15,000 front axle and replace it with 18,000. How many manufacturers would actually acknowledge the problem much less retro fit a coach. Look at all the high end brands with front axle capacity much less. These manufactures just add the capacity of the rear to the front and move on.... Not realizing the load is much more forward than simple math engineering.
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Old 12-28-2015, 09:23 AM   #18
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If changing springs were the solution, any owner can get more springs, but this is not the case. The axle load carrying capacity has to be increased.
Doesn't change the point, springs have to be increased to carry extra weight. With leafs that means stiffer springs, if you aren't loading them up to use the extra capacity the ride will be rougher.

Again in a perfect world you would load the MH to close to its max weight to get best ride. In the real world though that's hard to do without going over, so you want head room, however 2-3 thousand pounds of headroom might just be giving you a worse ride if you never use it.
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Old 12-28-2015, 10:49 AM   #19
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As a newbie RV'er already on our 2nd Class A in 8 months, my advice is to test drive, test drive, test drive.

We made the mistake of buying our first RV more on floorplan and price and only drove it before final negotiations. We didn't drive any others. After owning it for about 5 months our list of improvements we wanted to make and handling upgrades was very long. One day we found ourselves at a local dealer driving other RVs and couldn't believe the difference in quality of appliances, craftsmanship, and handling.

Could have saved myself a lot of $$ had I been a little more patient and not been so afraid to hop behind the wheel through the process.
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Old 12-28-2015, 10:53 AM   #20
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37TB Owner Experience

We have a Challenger 37TB. So this strictly based on our experiences over the course of 14,500 miles including a cross country trip with 3 granddaughters. We tow a 2103 Ford Explorer all wheel drive - 4 down.

1. Handling - was pleasantly surprised here. I did do the CHF and installed a Roadmaster steering stabilizer. We noticed a small incremental improvement in the handling with the CHF and installed the Roadmaster as "just in case" of a blowout. Side wind effect was minimal in 7500 miles of cross country trip. The 22.5" tires help this I think.

2. Basement storage - amazing with 172 sq feet and several pass throughs very functional.

3. Cabin comforts - great wish I'd have gotten both captains chairs with electric adjusters so that evening sitting would have been a bit more comfortable.

The residental frig has been great - no problems.

King size bed very comfy.

Added a Splendide 2100C and love it.

The 1.5 bathrooms are an absolute necessity (again IMO).

Electric fire place works great for keeping the cabin toasty.

Five TVs throughout gives everyone something they can watch as they settle in for the night. We still have an old Verizon unlimited data plan and a Amazon Fire stick or Apple TV on every box plus dvd players.

Added a Dish Tailgater (new style) love it.

3. Things we'd change - not a lot. Would enjoy a wider living area but without adding a 4th slide - happy with what we've got.

4. You'll hear lots of negative about issues about Thor but if you go to other brand owner forums - yep same sort of a thing. This is our 2nd new class A gas motorhome and that tells me the warranty period is really owner quality control - that is unfortunate but I believe true. What separates Thor from Forest River (first hand experience with both) is you can actually get a human on the other end of a phone call and guys like Tom Overton (Thor Warranty rep) are super to work with. I've had a great service department that also has been responsive.

I would add that for piece of mind and safest operation you should add:

-A electric suppressor. We have the Progressive Industries built-in 50 Amp.
-Tire Pressure Monitoring System. We have the TST 507 flow through.
-Small air compressor. We have the Porter Cable CMB15B

Parting advise - nail down the gotta haves, like to haves and money. Then go get it. The adventure awaits.
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Old 12-28-2015, 11:23 AM   #21
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Here is another coach for your consideration. The Holiday Rambler Vacationer 37BH. Bath and a half and a full size king bed is on the option list. Whatever coach you deceide on there are going to be isuues after the purchase. RV dealers are hot or miss at best. Fleetwood has factory service centers in Oregon and Indiana. I have first hand experience with the Fleetwood IN center and to say their level of service is exceptional is an understatement. The Holiday Rambler is a Fleetwood product and utilizes that service center. The availability of a near by factory service center is something to consider in a purchase of this size.
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:28 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tholtman View Post
As a newbie RV'er already on our 2nd Class A in 8 months, my advice is to test drive, test drive, test drive.

We made the mistake of buying our first RV more on floorplan and price and only drove it before final negotiations. We didn't drive any others. After owning it for about 5 months our list of improvements we wanted to make and handling upgrades was very long. One day we found ourselves at a local dealer driving other RVs and couldn't believe the difference in quality of appliances, craftsmanship, and handling.

Could have saved myself a lot of $$ had I been a little more patient and not been so afraid to hop behind the wheel through the process.
This is so very true. Few newbies have the experience to buy an RV based on all the hot and cold statements found on IRV2. Not that it is not a great forum. But, gain experience by test driving over and over.
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:46 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
If changing springs were the solution, any owner can get more springs, but this is not the case. The axle load carrying capacity has to be increased.

Newmar recently had a weight problem with their 40+ Dutch Star front axle load capacity. They stepped up to the plate and are doing a recall replacement to take the 15,000 front axle and replace it with 18,000. How many manufacturers would actually acknowledge the problem much less retro fit a coach. Look at all the high end brands with front axle capacity much less. These manufactures just add the capacity of the rear to the front and move on.... Not realizing the load is much more forward than simple math engineering.
Newmar builds heavy rigs. Our 40' 2002 DSDP only had 663#'s of CCC at delivery and was over weight on the front axle by 50#'s if I filled the fuel and propane tanks and that was before we loaded a thing or even got aboard ourselves. We didn't order the real tile floor nor the washer/dryer combo but did have some $38,000 in specials like removing a couple walls and pocket doors. In 2004 I drove the rig to the Spartan factory and Newmar had them install a 14,600# front axle (OEM was 12,000) and heavy duty wheels to match the higher axle rating. Newmar paid for the fuel both ways but that was due to state warranty laws.
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Old 12-28-2015, 02:16 PM   #24
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In 2004 I drove the rig to the Spartan factory and Newmar had them install a 14,600# front axle (OEM was 12,000) and heavy duty wheels to match the higher axle rating. Newmar paid for the fuel both ways but that was due to state warranty laws.
This speaks volumes to the kind of support Newmar gives. They are currently in the process of changing 2016 Dutch Star front axles to 18,000 axles.

Compare that to other companies.
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Old 12-28-2015, 04:08 PM   #25
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Welcome.....And congrats a deciding to purchase an RV..
I won't recommend a RV just a little advice...Don't be afraid to look @ everything out there. Take your time and go to several dealers. Pick a floor plan that works and enjoy.
Best of luck
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Old 12-28-2015, 04:28 PM   #26
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Old 12-28-2015, 05:33 PM   #27
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Thank you everyone. Have a lot to think about. By the way the Forest River Georgetown with the bunks was a horrible let down.
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Old 12-28-2015, 06:14 PM   #28
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Agreed

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Thank you everyone. Have a lot to think about. By the way the Forest River Georgetown with the bunks was a horrible let down.
Yep - looked at the Georgetown 364 at the same time as the Challenger 37TB. It was a short look. The longer wheel base and cargo storage made it no contest. The bunks in the 37TB can be used as a sofa or closet or bunks. The real kicker for us - CANNOT get in contact with Forest River warranty. And based on personal observations/research, you will need to contact them.
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