Hi all -
My family and I traveled for 4 months in a 2004 Forest River Wildcat and want to do a year or more in a newer bunkhouse model across the US and through western Canada and Alaska in the summer. During our trip, we had some sort of problem or another that cost us a total of about two weeks of lost time and around $5000. We paid $8600 for it, so to add more than 50% to our initial cost was quite a learning experience (you get what you pay for). We are hoping that a 2012 or newer model may need less repairs than our old 2004 Wildcat, but realize that with our budget of $25,000 to $30,000, we will have to have some repairs.
Here are our criteria:
1. Bunkhouse with:
A. two slides
B. lots of inerior storage
C. Either a built in desk to accommodate 4 or room to put a table and 4 chairs
D. half bath
E. two bunks
2. At least 5 slides (Bunkhouse: 2 Kitchen/Living: 2 Bedroom: 1 but would prefer 2)
3. Dining table that seats 4
4. Price $25,000 - $30,000
NICE TO HAVE:
1. Maximum of 2 days lost time per month due to repairs
2. Double refrigerator
3. Automatic Levelling system
MUST NOT HAVE
1. Definitely NO exterior kitchen
We fully realize that with our budget we're not going to get exactly what we want, nor is it going to be the best quality, so are looking mostly at 2012-2014 models.We have looked at dozens of floorplans and prices, and although there are a few with most of the features, nearly all of them seem to have the external kitchen. We definitely want to use that space for a table and chairs for roadschooling, and are not willing to compromise on that feature. So far I the only model I have found that meets our criteria and budget is:
Keystone Avalanche 360RB
Apparently this model is no longer manufactured, but the Avalanche 390RB is the closest current model: http://www.keystonerv.com/avalanche/
We did find a 2013 Avalanche 360RB for $30,000, but weren't really ready to pull the trigger because:
- we would like to have at least 2-3 models to choose from.
- the reviews we've read about Keystone products and their service have been mixed.
The other model that we would love to have, but is simply out of our budget is:
Grand Design 365DEN
Solitude Fifth-Wheel Floorplans | Grand Design RV
With that model, we would have to take out the couches in the rear and add our own bunks and table/chairs, but that's not a big deal for us. The main thing we like about the Grand Designs is the amount of positive user stories regarding how they stand behind their product.
If anyone has any other models they would recommend, or any personal experience with the Avalanche 360RB, we'd appreciate any suggestions or feedback.
Thanks in advance,