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Old 08-15-2012, 05:04 PM   #1
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Storage compartment capacity

We are looking at A class models in the 30' - 32' range. One thing on our wish list is tall exterior storage compartments. Does the term 'Basement model' have anything to do with this? Like the difference between say a Fleetwood Terra and a Storm, in regards to the tallness of the compartment doors seems huge! (I'm only going on photos on the internet).I'm not sure if their carrying capacity is the same or not? But some models look like you could get next to nothing in them. By the way, the age group we are looking at is in the 99 -02 range if that helps with any body sharing their words of wisdom.
Cheers,
Mr M.
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:18 AM   #2
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Basement models have good-sized storage bay doors and space underneath, and most Class A's for the last 12-15 years are "basement" models. Non-basement models typically have little doors, maybe 9-12" tall. I thought both the Terra and the Storm had basement storage, but would have to look at some to be sure

Update: I looked at a 2001 Storm brochure and it definitely has "basement" style compartments. Same as on a 2002 Terra.
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Old 08-18-2012, 07:32 AM   #3
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Hi Kiwis,

Originally, class A motorhomes were built with the floor at the level of the chassis frame rails. This required compromises in the interior design to clear the rear wheels that projected upward through the floor level. Also, the floor usually had a substantial step up to the driver and passenger seats. The basement rv's were those that had the floor raised so the rear wheels didn't interfere and there could be a, flat floor, but the roof was also higher. The benefit of this was much taller storage compartments; hence the term "Basement". The first basement motorhome was the original Fleetwood Bounder. Some thought that the additional height made these look ungainly and unstable but everyone is used to the appearence now. The basement style is almost universally used, but I have seen a few newer motorhomes with non-basement construction. These are usually lower priced units.

There are different quality basement RV's. Depending upon what temperatures your proposed motorhome will see, you should determine if the basement storage compartment water bay is closed and heated, or just hung under the chassis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coupla Kiwis View Post
We are looking at A class models in the 30' - 32' range. One thing on our wish list is tall exterior storage compartments. Does the term 'Basement model' have anything to do with this? Like the difference between say a Fleetwood Terra and a Storm, in regards to the tallness of the compartment doors seems huge! (I'm only going on photos on the internet).I'm not sure if their carrying capacity is the same or not? But some models look like you could get next to nothing in them. By the way, the age group we are looking at is in the 99 -02 range if that helps with any body sharing their words of wisdom.
Cheers,
Mr M.
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Old 08-18-2012, 11:42 AM   #4
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One other factor besides being basement or not, is the term 'pass thru' storage. These allow 'see/pass thru' storage from one side to the other. Quite often with slide out trays that make access a bit easier.

Some manufacturers have deep compartments that are not pass thru, still with a slide out tray available to pull out (quite oftern on the passenger side). On those coaches, the slide side say the driver's side, have compartments that will move out with them. Advantage to this is you can access them without having to bend down under and open the door, then pull the cargo slide out. The negative to this, is usually less cargo capacity due to both size and weight.

In the size rig you are looking for, usually moving a bit further up the RV food chain, will get you into a two bay pass thru unit with cargo trays quite commonly found.

One other tid bit to factor, is the CCC capabilty of the rig you are looking at. Many RV's were sold with very little CCC capabilty, so space is not the only factor - what good is it if you can not safely carry weight?

Best of luck on your search, have fun,
Smitty
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Old 08-18-2012, 12:52 PM   #5
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The term Basement model I think was coined when the larger storage bay design was first introduced. One of the factors not mentioned yet is the chassis configuration. A rear engine RV will usually have more pass through compartments since the drive train is not running the length of the RV. There's lots to choose from in your age/lengths mentioned.

Does your name coupla Kiwis refer to New Zealand or your favorite fruit?
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