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Old 03-02-2016, 08:09 PM   #15
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I just went down the same path looking between a Keystone and a Reflection bunkhouse. I'm guessing we ran across many of the same sites/reviews as you because we ended up purchasing the Reflection 323BHS. For us, we felt the size was a good compromise between having lots of space for the 3 kids and having too long of a trailer that we wouldn't be able to park where we wanted to go. I can't speak to anything other than initial impressions because we just picked it up last Saturday, but I am ready to go.
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Old 03-02-2016, 09:34 PM   #16
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They have a Solitude in stock (2016) floor plan is 377MB-R. I LOVED IT. However not sure if hubs will go for the length or the price. The Reflection 30BH is in stock and he loves it. I feel it is a tad too short for us to be comfortable and that we would need to upgrade in a couple of years or not sooner. I know he is worried about the challenge of towing the bigger ones. However the dealer has 2 models due in the first of April with bunkhouses, both are Reflections, the 357BHS and the 367BHS. I could live with either of those too! But 38 percent off a Solitude? Wow! These are 2016 models on the Grand Design so not sure we could get that much off. We still have to buy a truck as well, but we are waiting until we pick out our 5th wheel before we purchase a truck. We want to make sure we have more than enough truck to tow our fifth wheel.
That's the exact conversation my wife and I had.. you see who won! lol

The size really isn't as much of an issue as I thought it would be. This is our first, so maybe jumping to the largest right off the bat gives me a bit of an edge on the learning curve? My truck handles it with zero issues, so weight isn't an issue. I just plan ahead on length. I just check over and over. I figured out that I can call most parks and say "Hey, I'm a noob that doesn't want to damage my camper, what's the best spot for me?". Google maps on parks that aren't heavily treed also helps.

Don't tell my wife, but I think we made the right decision. We probably would have been upgrading from the smaller unit. Even a reflection might not have been enough in the end. The Solitude really is impressive. I liked the MB as well, however my wife wasn't so sold on it.
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Old 03-02-2016, 10:25 PM   #17
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Question

I think the 323BHS would be a good fit for us. But, none in stock and none on the way. I'm guessing 2017 models will be out soon, but not sure when exactly. So, this is our first RV. I don't want to have to upgrade in a year or two because of lack of space. We have not towed anything before (doing research on trucks now, but waiting until we decide on a fifth wheel and know the weight before purchasing a truck). Hubs is a good driver, but I know he is worried about towing something longer than 30 feet. If we went with the 35 or 36 foot that is due to arrive to our dealer on April 1st, then would we be crazy? How hard is it to master? I don't think our first trip would be to the mountains. We could camp locally or 30 minutes away just as a practice run. The dealer walks through everything for you. Takes you on the interstate. Takes you to a parking lot and teaches you to park. Teaches you how to set up and tear down. But hubs is used to zipping around on the interstate and I imagine changing lanes and stopping and sharp turns, not to mention backing, are not easy with a fifth wheel. Would we be considered insane as newbies to consider a 35 or 36 footer?
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Old 03-03-2016, 06:55 AM   #18
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If you have a fat wallet go for "new" . If it's your first 5er I'd buy a used late model and put the savings into a great truck. If you love the 5er and want to continue camping up-grade ,trade her in. You'll probably find things you'd like to have in the next one. .

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Old 03-03-2016, 11:02 AM   #19
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Go read about what other owners have to say over here.
Grand Design Owner's Forum


Grand Design was started by 3 ex Keystone employees. They offer pretty much the same type of RV as Keystone is making or any other brand for that matter. Where GD tries to separate it's self from the rest of the pack is with customer service.
They know full well that no one builds a perfect RV and every RV will need some work done in the 1st year. So by promoting better customer service they feel they have an advantage over everyone else. While that may be true it only works if you have bigger problems that need fixed.
It's sort of a catch 22 thing in that you can buy any brand and not have problems and never need warranty work, or you can buy any brand and need several items fixed. The latter is what GD is banking on. GDs customer service promotion only works if you need to have warranty repairs.
JMO but I would never base my purchase decision on how well I'm treated after the sale by the MFG because after the warranty period is up you're stuck with what you chose. And was it chosen because you really like the RV or was it chosen for the warranty treatment?
I'll take my chances on having big problems. After owning 3 RVs and never having anything more than a small leak in one, I feel buying the right brand is more important than how I'm treated for 1 year after purchase.
But I can see how new buyers would be intimidated by the whole RV scene. Lots of problems, products and fears are really hyped on the internet. It's easy to get caught up in the all the internet talk about what's the best or worst of anything.
A few people on any forum can steer the conversation in their way as to promote their ideas as the best. That then leads to the Lemming affect.
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Old 03-03-2016, 12:51 PM   #20
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We really did like the finishes and floorplans in the Grand Designs. Unfortunately, they have a waiting list of customers for used fifth wheels with bunkhouses! The new 2015 Montana is longer. I would like a tad longer than the one they have now, but the ones coming in April measure (full length, not just the box) around 41 feet. After thinking about it last night, I do think that is too long for our first 5th wheel. I would love to get one around 35 or 36 feet just for some extra room. The Solitude they have is just pure luxury. Full sized fridge, pantry storage galore, finishes are top end. But I don't think hubs will go with that in the budget. I think the Reflections are fine for us. Kids are in school so we won't do full time....I am not crazy about the idea of home schooling. We may be on the road a lot more in a year or two when hubs "retires". I say that in the loosest sense of the word, because he might retire from his business, but I see him doing real estate investment type work. He doesn't golf, and he needs to do SOMETHING, just to keep from driving us all crazy. I will check out the other forum, thanks. I have just read recently of many frustrations of keystone owners. Hubs, too, has read of a lot of their units suffering from leaks lately. Is it crazy for our first RV to be 37 feet or longer? Too hard for a newbie to tow? We have stayed in cabins in campgrounds before and our kids loved the experience. So I think they will love RVing. They have a ton of fun in the bunkhouse area as we are looking. Thank you all for your patience and help. It may be fall before we end up with a unit, but at least he is putting forth effort to go to different dealers.
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Old 03-03-2016, 01:18 PM   #21
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Like I said, our first RV is our Solitude, it's over 42' long. It's not crazy if it's what you want.

We didn't want a full on bunkhouse, which is why we ended up with the Solitude we did. Gives us two bathrooms and two extra fold out couches for beds.

We aren't full time, we're weekenders. Though I like to say we work hard to play hard.

I will say don't rush your decision, don't feel like you need to. It took us three years to figure out exactly what we wanted. When we found it, it took less than a month after seeing it to make our minds up and buy it. In the words of my wife "You'll know it when you see it".

Our Floorplan:
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:25 PM   #22
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HEATED theater seats? Wow! Jealous! Any tips on towing/backing/turning for a newbie? Did your dealer teach you the basics? How hard is it? Hubs is supposed to stop by the dealer Saturday morning on the way to work. I already snuck by there once this week and told the sales guy to be SURE and show him the Solitude! And, also, if we have them order a the 32 bunkhouse floorplan, I am assuming we pay full cost, right? No negotiating after the fact. Seems like bunkhouses are kind of hard to find, or maybe they just sell quickly, at least around here. Hubs said he may wait until fall but I hope he gets one this spring so we can break it in this summer. I called Grand Design today and they said they are still shipping 2016 models. Said production had not started for 2017 yet. So it might be summer before any 2017 models are out for them. They switch over later than a lot of the other companies apparently.
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Old 03-04-2016, 12:12 AM   #23
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We've had our Solitude for three years this month, couldn't be happier with the unit or the customer service. You can't go wrong with any GD unit
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Old 03-04-2016, 11:22 AM   #24
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...And, also, if we have them order a the 32 bunkhouse floorplan, I am assuming we pay full cost, right? No negotiating after the fact....

You can still negotiate when ordering, just do it beforehand.
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Old 03-04-2016, 05:18 PM   #25
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I just ordered a Jayco and the dealer knocked 32% off MSRP.
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Old 03-04-2016, 06:08 PM   #26
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HEATED theater seats? Wow! Jealous! Any tips on towing/backing/turning for a newbie? Did your dealer teach you the basics? How hard is it? Hubs is supposed to stop by the dealer Saturday morning on the way to work. I already snuck by there once this week and told the sales guy to be SURE and show him the Solitude! And, also, if we have them order a the 32 bunkhouse floorplan, I am assuming we pay full cost, right? No negotiating after the fact. Seems like bunkhouses are kind of hard to find, or maybe they just sell quickly, at least around here. Hubs said he may wait until fall but I hope he gets one this spring so we can break it in this summer. I called Grand Design today and they said they are still shipping 2016 models. Said production had not started for 2017 yet. So it might be summer before any 2017 models are out for them. They switch over later than a lot of the other companies apparently.

I am a first timer as well. Yes, our dealer took the time to show us how to hook and unhook the trailer. As far as tips, I will tell you what experienced 5th wheel pullers told me. Swing your corners wide. Know how tall your trailer is and get in the habit of looking up. Find an empty parking lot and practice, practice, practice.
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Old 03-05-2016, 08:27 AM   #27
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While dealers have incentive to make their best deals with in stock units that are costing them money, you should be able to get a minimum (even more, really) of 25% off an ordered unit because it means their costs are low. Somewhere in the neighbor hood of 30-40% is even better. And some dealers are reluctant to negotiate much so shop around. Better to buy from someone not out to gouge the customer.
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Old 03-05-2016, 09:18 PM   #28
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Before considering what you'd pay for a two year old new model, what do you think you could get for it if you had to sell it a week later before even using it. (it being two years old despite its non-use)
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