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Old 07-09-2014, 09:21 AM   #71
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And actually YOU are a perfect person to ask! How many times have you been caught in that 43 foot rig, in a driving position, where you wish all of a sudden, it was a little shorter?
OH, a few times but to be honest, not enough that I would give it up for a shorter rig. Keep in mind that Sandee and I had some specific "needs/wants" for ours. These things are so individual but in our case we wanted:

1. A king bed - we have 2 GSDs and one of them likes to sleep with us.

2. Split bathroom. No combined toilet and shower, I need my private time. LOL (We did NOT want a 1.5 bath unit because of #3 below.)

3. Room in the living area for 2 large crates for our GSDs. We actually removed a desk and table combo to make room for the 2 crates. That actually worked out better in some ways because my brother in law build me an interlocking table top to put on top of the crates. That gave me lots of room for "stuff" including an UPS, Verizon router, printer, WX radio and so much more. To enhance that I recently removed the 72" jackknife sofa and replaced it with a wall hugger recliner. My back (see my PM to you) really loves it too!

We were not solid on the decision of tag vs non-tag but when my dealer told me about this rig being available and based on my anal research, this was the one to get. It helped that we got an OUTSTANDING deal in the process too.

Now, in all fairness what did I give up? My shower is a tad small forcing me to keep working on keeping my gut in check. I'm running a bit heavy for my 400 HP engine. My total weight including toad is about 41,000# so I can't keep up with a smaller coach with a better HP/weight ratio but then again, that ain't a big deal. The front axle is running near max weight per Newmar but that is a side bar story all unto itself. It isn't really a major concern.

However, there are still times I would appreciate a shorter rig for easier/more access to parks/CGs, fuel pumps an such. But, again, I have what I want and it also keeps Sandee happy too.

In the end, it is really a balancing act. As we move into our second year of full time use we see things a bit different. We want to put a few less miles on by spending more time in places we think we will enjoy exploring. Even that could change our appreciation for what we have or a shorter coach depending on what we run into. That being said, we are hitching our star this this beast. In November we are having our HEAVY tile floor replaced with either engineered wood or plank vinyl. That will remove nearly 300# off the front axle and allow me to consider a substantial solar power system. If the RVGeeks can boondock in a 43' Mountain Aire, I ready to follow along.
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:27 AM   #72
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OH, a few times but to be honest, not enough that I would give it up for a shorter rig. Keep in mind that Sandee and I had some specific "needs/wants" for ours. These things are so individual but in our case we wanted:

1. A king bed - we have 2 GSDs and one of them likes to sleep with us.

2. Split bathroom. No combined toilet and shower, I need my private time. LOL (We did NOT want a 1.5 bath unit because of #3 below.)

3. Room in the living area for 2 large crates for our GSDs. We actually removed a desk and table combo to make room for the 2 crates. That actually worked out better in some ways because my brother in law build me an interlocking table top to put on top of the crates. That gave me lots of room for "stuff" including an UPS, Verizon router, printer, WX radio and so much more. To enhance that I recently removed the 72" jackknife sofa and replaced it with a wall hugger recliner. My back (see my PM to you) really loves it too!

We were not solid on the decision of tag vs non-tag but when my dealer told me about this rig being available and based on my anal research, this was the one to get. It helped that we got an OUTSTANDING deal in the process too.

Now, in all fairness what did I give up? My shower is a tad small forcing me to keep working on keeping my gut in check. I'm running a bit heavy for my 400 HP engine. My total weight including toad is about 41,000# so I can't keep up with a smaller coach with a better HP/weight ratio but then again, that ain't a big deal. The front axle is running hear max weight per Newmar but that is a side bar story all unto itself. It isn't really a major concern.

However, there are still times I would appreciate a shorter rig for easier/more access to parks/CGs, fuel pumps an such. But, again, I have what I want and it also keeps Sandee happy too.

In the end, it is really a balancing act. As we move into our second year of full time use we see things a bit different. We want to put a few less miles on by spending more time in places we think we will enjoy exploring. Even that could change our appreciation for what we have or a shorter coach depending on what we run into. That being said, we are hitching our star this this beast. In November we are having our HEAVY tile floor replaced with either engineered wood or plank vinyl. That will remove nearly 300# off the front axle and allow me to consider a substantial solar power system. If the RVGeeks can boondock in a 43' Mountain Aire, I ready to follow along.

Yeah good points all around. A king bed is a deal breaker here! And you know I got them tiny dogs, and no need for a crate - so that helps some. I think I'm going to go play dummy on a few dealers lots todays.
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:32 AM   #73
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... A king bed is a deal breaker here! ...
Does that mean you must have a king bed or don't want it?
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:33 AM   #74
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Does that mean you must have a king bed or don't want it?
must have. The queen is just too cramped.
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:36 AM   #75
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And actually YOU are a perfect person to ask! How many times have you been caught in that 43 foot rig, in a driving position, where you wish all of a sudden, it was a little shorter?
My Tour is just under 43' (42'10"). With the 60 degree Wheel Cut and the ability to dump the tag axle I find it very maneuverable. My wife is amazed at the tight spaces I can get the rig into.

With that said there can be a benefit to limiting to 40' as it seems a lot of state campgrounds (and even some nationals) have that as a limit. However I have found this to not be a problem with private campgrounds always nearby that can handle the length of my rig.

For full time use I would recommend 43 to 45 feet.
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:39 AM   #76
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With $250k? Maybe a good down payment but sure not the full price!
Everyone has their preference but I find the interior of that Newell to be hideous. The high gloss wood finish and strange ceiling treatment. I have seen a few coaches like this and could not imagine living in that.
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:45 AM   #77
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Yeah we really do like COE grounds, state parks, and places off the beaten path for sure.
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Old 07-09-2014, 04:23 PM   #78
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I think I'm going to go play dummy on a few dealers lots todays.
Jay and Andrea,

I've been to MHSRV and they certainly do have just about anything you could want to check out. And now they are associated with ForeTravel. Always thought a trip to Nacogdoches to look at the factory refurbished units would be good. Lastly there is a dealer in Lewisville, TX, National Indoor RV Centers that has some nice coaches at what I think are fair prices. I don't know anything about their reputation but if you are close to Dallas they aren't far up I-35E.

I'm watching all the ones you listed so I can gauge fair pricing so when my S&B finally sells I can start to deal in earnest. I also watch eBay and there are a number of private sellers there too.

Best of luck in your search.
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Old 07-09-2014, 05:08 PM   #79
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Im back! What an INTEREsting day.
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Old 07-09-2014, 07:04 PM   #80
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Im back! What an INTEREsting day.
Did you find your dream rig?
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:05 PM   #81
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We FT for almost 3yrs in a 38' rig and for two people + 2dogs we wouldn't need or want anything bigger. Our dream rig would NOT have a tag axle or a full wall slide.....too much unnecessary complexity and weight & $$$$......and "yes" it would have restricted or at least made access to any number of places uncomfortable.

I would love a 38' Dutch Star with 4 slides & Comfort Drive. The power to weight ratio of 83lbs/hp & 8000lb CCC is way more attractive to us than 44'....100lbs/hp & 8,700 CCC. We live and RV in the West where mountain passes and steep/long inclines are the norm and struggling to eeek-out the summit in an under-powered 44' coach would not add to our RV experience. The tag brakes going down would be nice, but with less weight & a 2stage compression brake is this really necessary? Our Rexhall was a single axle on a Spartan MM and I could drive it in the Coachella Valley cross winds with very little drama .....so I'm pretty sure the Comfort Drive would more than compensate for the tag.

I'm also sold on Newmars' build quality and particularly their INSULATION. Having lived in Mexico we appreciate the value of insulation for "heat" as well as for cold. At 38' with Newmar's insulation.... 2 AC units would easily cool the space and negate the need for a third AC unit even in +40C temps. I'd also avoid aqua-hot (weight/complexity/$$) as even in our poorly insulated Rexhall, (lots of time in the mountains, early spring & late fall in Canada & cold desert Arizona in the winter) our electric fireplace and down quilt meant we seldom fired-up the propane furnace.....we never intended to take our RV skiing or felt the need for endless showers!

I'd also avoid the added weight & $$$ of a larger generator, a 6-8 battery bank, multiple inverters and anything else associated with an all-electric coach. I'd rather have a helium absorption fridge than a residential and we could go days on 4 batteries so the need for a complex solar system would also unnecessary for us. Can't think of any reason we'd ever need 2 bathrooms and my worst nightmare would be an electric macerating toilet in a Slide .....pumping to the discharge wet bay. We also can 't understand why big 40+ rigs have such inadequate kitchens.....two burners, no oven, no counter space and a dishwasher....really ? ..... we have a dishwasher in our house and with the 2 of us we only run it once a month (like a generator) to keep the seals and motor lubricated!

Clearly your needs are much different than ours, but if you start by recognizing the things you NEED from the those you DON'T and the $$$ & compromises that are inevitable.....then I am sure you could cut your short-list of desirable Coaches down to no more than a dozen. BTW I would never consider NEW and would try for something between 4-6yrs old at around 50% of what the original buyer paid .....as a result....with our modest wish list we couldn't even begin to spend $250K for our dream rig or contemplate loosing 2-3K p/mo. to depreciation. On the other hand, if you're prepared to spend $250K ....prepared to maintain & repair an expensive/complex machine.....and live with some serious depreciation down the road.....then you should get a pretty awesome unit..... Good luck.
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:58 PM   #82
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We fulltime in a 40ft do with 27,410 lbs GVWR. That gave us about 3000 lbs of CCC.
We are still under so no problems there. We are about to loose some of the stuff we brought with us and don't need. If you are going with a tag go all the way with a 45. Storage can get tight in a 42, in many cases its less storage than a 40.
We boon dock a total of 4-5 weeks all year. No solar, just good batteries, a converter, one 300 watt inverter, and a 1500 watt psw inverter.
We remodeled inside also. We. Have 2 residential recliners, a dinette booth and a very nice, comfortable jack knife couch. We also have a oven, 3 burner stove, convection mW, and what I consider more counter space than I've seen in most RVs.
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:35 AM   #83
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We FT for almost 3yrs in a 38' rig and for two people + 2dogs we wouldn't need or want anything bigger. Our dream rig would NOT have a tag axle or a full wall slide.....too much unnecessary complexity and weight & $$$$......and "yes" it would have restricted or at least made access to any number of places uncomfortable.

I would love a 38' Dutch Star with 4 slides & Comfort Drive. The power to weight ratio of 83lbs/hp & 8000lb CCC is way more attractive to us than 44'....100lbs/hp & 8,700 CCC. We live and RV in the West where mountain passes and steep/long inclines are the norm and struggling to eeek-out the summit in an under-powered 44' coach would not add to our RV experience. The tag brakes going down would be nice, but with less weight & a 2stage compression brake is this really necessary? Our Rexhall was a single axle on a Spartan MM and I could drive it in the Coachella Valley cross winds with very little drama .....so I'm pretty sure the Comfort Drive would more than compensate for the tag.

I'm also sold on Newmars' build quality and particularly their INSULATION. Having lived in Mexico we appreciate the value of insulation for "heat" as well as for cold. At 38' with Newmar's insulation.... 2 AC units would easily cool the space and negate the need for a third AC unit even in +40C temps. I'd also avoid aqua-hot (weight/complexity/$$) as even in our poorly insulated Rexhall, (lots of time in the mountains, early spring & late fall in Canada & cold desert Arizona in the winter) our electric fireplace and down quilt meant we seldom fired-up the propane furnace.....we never intended to take our RV skiing or felt the need for endless showers!

I'd also avoid the added weight & $$$ of a larger generator, a 6-8 battery bank, multiple inverters and anything else associated with an all-electric coach. I'd rather have a helium absorption fridge than a residential and we could go days on 4 batteries so the need for a complex solar system would also unnecessary for us. Can't think of any reason we'd ever need 2 bathrooms and my worst nightmare would be an electric macerating toilet in a Slide .....pumping to the discharge wet bay. We also can 't understand why big 40+ rigs have such inadequate kitchens.....two burners, no oven, no counter space and a dishwasher....really ? ..... we have a dishwasher in our house and with the 2 of us we only run it once a month (like a generator) to keep the seals and motor lubricated!

Clearly your needs are much different than ours, but if you start by recognizing the things you NEED from the those you DON'T and the $$$ & compromises that are inevitable.....then I am sure you could cut your short-list of desirable Coaches down to no more than a dozen. BTW I would never consider NEW and would try for something between 4-6yrs old at around 50% of what the original buyer paid .....as a result....with our modest wish list we couldn't even begin to spend $250K for our dream rig or contemplate loosing 2-3K p/mo. to depreciation. On the other hand, if you're prepared to spend $250K ....prepared to maintain & repair an expensive/complex machine.....and live with some serious depreciation down the road.....then you should get a pretty awesome unit..... Good luck.

Those are all really GREAT points!

I did spend some time in new coaches yesterday, but I really prefer to buy used for multiple reasons.

However we did spend some time in some new ones so that we could see some floorplans. I'm not sure what RV manufacturers are thinking when they make these things, I saw a lot of just really bad ideas - poorly implemented.

Our intent yesterday was to look at some short coaches and see if they could fit the bill, and they could.

We spent some time in the tiffin 33aa, which by the way has a great floorplan and a king size bed and felt as open as a 40'. Also the 36 and 38 foot models - space was fine, layout not great, but space fine.

We also hunkered into a jayco senaca and a dynomax DX3, talk about powerful, but obviously smallish on the inside.

Cruised through the venetana LE 38 foot --- eh

Now as tot he helium fridge, I am not all that familiar ... this is different than the current norcold's you find yes?

and I agree on the dutch star. A quick search of RVT.com reveals exactly 1 for sale, a 2011 listed at 179
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:35 AM   #84
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Now as tot he helium fridge, I am not all that familiar ... this is different than the current norcold's you find yes?

Like most on this forum I've read the threads on the fire dangers of the amonia/hydrogen adsorption refrigerators commonly used in RVs. I've also read that residential freon fridges are also far from foolproof and can also pose a potential fire hazard...and do not offer the advantages of the 2 way (gas/electric)

WHO or WHAT do you believe?

We had a Dometic that performed flawlessly and gave us the gas/electric option. As a result, if I was looking for a NEW rig I'd specify/option one of the new "helium" absorption models....helium being an inert nonflammable gas....why not? Seems to me to be one way to exit this entire debate...sleep at night...and just worry about my inverter/batteries/or propane system exploding and bar-be-queing us in our sleep!

The only problem is I would prefer a Used rig so this would have to be a retro-fit and I believe the largest helium fridge is 8c/ft.... which might make the whole exercise pointless if it didn't fit the existing spot or was tooooo small to be practical.

Anyway....starting to see the helium fridges showing-up more regularly on New stuff.....hopefully a step in the right direction for safety.
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