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Old 12-02-2015, 07:33 AM   #43
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We wanted a shorter rig and got a 34 ft Journey. The previous posts on the turning radius of the DPs is significant. That coupled with a shorter rig has let me maneuver ours in ways you would never think possible. Being under 35 has let us in more places that have restrictions (we try to do a lot of state and National parks). Also, there are a surprising amount of times that we call for a reservation and they say "we only have one spot for a 35 footer." It seems to give us some good breaks on finding spots when it is busy. BTW, our kitchen is on the driver's side, which puts our table on our patio side. We like that.

Good luck with your search and decision.

Jeff
Your comment about reservations seems right on in our past experience in a shorter coach. We loved the turning radius in our shorter gas coach compared to our friends long (gas) coach. We didn't realize DP give you better turning than gas so that's great to hear.

What model on your Journey? We've tried to look at every reliable manufacturer's model archives for floor plans but I'm kind of rummy looking at them. We might have missed yours!
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Old 12-02-2015, 07:43 AM   #44
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State parks are $25 per night with E or E/W out here in the SW. That is $750/month, and your stay is limited to 2 weeks. But a good RV resort is 400-500 per month with FHU and amenities galore, including hiking trails right from camp.
Wow! Did not know that about good RV resorts. Our experience (with nightly, not monthly) camping is it's much more expensive to be in RV resorts and private campgrounds and even if it's a "resort", it's a lot of cement and limited space between sites. Looking forward to something like you're describing.

I don't really want to have to move every two weeks if we want to explore an area AND it would be nice to save money by staying a month at a time so we'll have to figure out how to find places.
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Old 12-02-2015, 07:54 AM   #45
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Inanne,

What's your budget? We can all come up with great suggestions to spend your money. If you are fulltiming, I would suggest a diesel. If you are looking for something that fits most places, has a driver's side kitchen, has plenty of storage space, you might want to look at a Tiffin Phaeton 36GH.
Thanks for the suggestion. Someone else had mentioned this floor plan and we really like it but it is beyond our budget of $125k. We would welcome recommendations on floorplans with kitchens on the drivers side and quality coaches. We know we'll have to look at older models (the 36GH is too new drat!). And we are looking at up to 40 feet now because floorplan is more important to us but we didn't want to regret the length if it limits the places we can stay too much. It sounds like most folks think it's manageable and 40 feet is more livable for full-time but a shorter coach does open a few more opportunities. So it sounds like we should continue to look for 35-40 feet and pick the one with the best floor plan and not worry "too much" about the length. But going from our previous 27 feet to 40 seems a huge leap!
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Old 12-02-2015, 08:58 AM   #46
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Excellent. Sounds like you have made a series of decisions, based on answers to some great questions, that very possibly saved you from an expensive mistake many of us have made. Good job, and best of luck on your hunt! -Al
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Old 12-02-2015, 09:18 AM   #47
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Wanted a 35' or less...will we regret 40ft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lnanne View Post
Thanks for the suggestion. Someone else had mentioned this floor plan and we really like it but it is beyond our budget of $125k. We would welcome recommendations on floorplans with kitchens on the drivers side and quality coaches. We know we'll have to look at older models (the 36GH is too new drat!). And we are looking at up to 40 feet now because floorplan is more important to us but we didn't want to regret the length if it limits the places we can stay too much. It sounds like most folks think it's manageable and 40 feet is more livable for full-time but a shorter coach does open a few more opportunities. So it sounds like we should continue to look for 35-40 feet and pick the one with the best floor plan and not worry "too much" about the length. But going from our previous 27 feet to 40 seems a huge leap!

When going fulltime, correctly judging your storage capacity is of high importance. We upgraded by 10 feet because of it. ($ Cha-ching!)
Also, "vacation mode" does not last forever. We are still vagabonds that follow the weather, but the MH gets plopped down as a base of ops to explore with the toad within about a hundred miles. We average about 18-24 locations per year.
This season it has been PA, KS, CO, UT, NV, and AZ, with New England, ME, and the Canada Maritimes yet to come. Next year we plan to start by wandering in the GNW and BC!
Some folks are more home-minded and simply travel to and from their winter/summer spots. And this is great too. But many of us still see an oyster too large to not keep cracking!
Best wishes
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:44 AM   #48
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But going from our previous 27 feet to 40 seems a huge leap!
Many folks, including ourselves, went from 0 feet to 38 feet or more.

You can do it too.
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Old 12-02-2015, 07:01 PM   #49
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We upgraded from a 33' Fleetwood Gas coach to our 40' Monaco diesel. Larger than we were looking for but a good deal become available. The Monaco "lives" great but driving it is a real challenge. It is even hard to maneuver around a Walmart parking lot if they have islands at the end of the aisles. We have stayed in a number of national and state parks where our current coach would never fit. My advice is to wait for a deal on a 36'-38' DP.
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Old 12-02-2015, 07:42 PM   #50
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Wanted a 35' or less...will we regret 40ft?

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The Monaco "lives" great but driving it is a real challenge. It is even hard to maneuver around a Walmart parking lot if they have islands at the end of the aisles.

I do fine with my 42 in those conditions!
I recommend that everyone at least study the CDL manual and practice the air brake stuf, maneuvering and turning. I am much safer for having done that.
Some will come back with "I've never had a problem". If they just study the CDL manual they will say "wow, that not only makes sense but makes driving easier and safer". They can shed the fear!
When you can confidently drive in downtown traffic and make the tight corners, or pull up to a standard fuel pump, or back into a space in one shot, etc, it feels very good.
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Old 12-02-2015, 08:02 PM   #51
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We upgraded from a 33' Fleetwood Gas coach to our 40' Monaco diesel. Larger than we were looking for but a good deal become available. The Monaco "lives" great but driving it is a real challenge. It is even hard to maneuver around a Walmart parking lot if they have islands at the end of the aisles. We have stayed in a number of national and state parks where our current coach would never fit. My advice is to wait for a deal on a 36'-38' DP.
Anything is possible, and I'm sure there are some special circumstances, but even people who are pretty much overwhelmed by their 38'+ coaches when they first bring them home, generally will overcome that with the familiarity that comes with some seat time.

Driving something like this should not be a challenge under normal conditions, and a Walmart parking lot should provide little challenge.

That's not just been my own experience, but observations made as a service manager at a large RV dealer for 20 years.
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Old 12-02-2015, 08:19 PM   #52
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I would take a serious look at the Winnebago/Itasca 34H floorplan. I previously had a 2003 Journey DL and we really liked it. We often spent 6 to 8 weeks on the road and never felt cramped. The 208 inch wheelbase an 55 degree cut made for some amazing turning specs.


The early to mid 2000's should be fairly easy on the budget.
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:08 AM   #53
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Your comment about reservations seems right on in our past experience in a shorter coach. We loved the turning radius in our shorter gas coach compared to our friends long (gas) coach. We didn't realize DP give you better turning than gas so that's great to hear.

What model on your Journey? We've tried to look at every reliable manufacturer's model archives for floor plans but I'm kind of rummy looking at them. We might have missed yours!
It is a 2007 Winnebago Journey 34H. You can see the brochure with floor plan at this LINK.

We chose this model both for the length and for the fact that it had basement air. We have an RV garage with a limited height door, and roof AC units won't fit in.

jeff
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Old 12-03-2015, 09:37 AM   #54
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Full timing is a WHOLE 'nother layer ....

What may be acceptable for the weekend or part timer WILL get cramped on the rainy/snowy weeks when you can't don't want to go out...

We can't decide for you, but can only give you anecdotal opinions of our decisions...

Floor plan and your use of it, is EVERYTHING -
Have seen 45 footers with less usable space than smaller rigs.

ours, at 44'+ may sound long, but once you realize that all you have to do is fit the FRONT through, the rest will follow you're good !

Already mentioned that many times the access TO the site is more of a hindrance than the site itself. that's why we carry a limb trimmer :-}
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Old 12-04-2015, 08:07 PM   #55
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Could you tell me where you got the CDL manual that you studied?
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Old 12-04-2015, 09:58 PM   #56
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Could you tell me where you got the CDL manual that you studied?

You can get it at your local DMV license office. It's free
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