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Old 03-25-2015, 04:39 PM   #1
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Several questions floor plans.

Tomorrow we'll be driving up to northern Indiana to look at 5th Wheel companies. In trying to decided which floor plans will work best for us, I have the following questions. I'd appreciate input from people who have actually lived in a 5th wheel with these features.....it's so hard to envision.

1. Pros and/or cons to a split bathroom, with shower in one room, and the sink and commode across the hall. Also, I notice that some floor plans even have an extra sink in the carpeted area of the bedroom.

2. Shower stall design? We think we would prefer rectangular with sliding door because it looks more spacious. With a corner shower with pull-out door I would think water would drip all over the floor? What about the rounded shower doors that open in the middle? Are those showers cramped? Can't really decide on this without trying it out for ourselves, which is a little difficult to do. :-) Would love your thoughts.

3. Rear entertainment or rear couch with large window? Or is this just personal preference?

4. We cook a lot when we travel, so we need access to the refrigerator. Do most of you experienced 5th Wheel owners always open up your slides when you stop to eat so you can access your fridge and sit at the table? How important is fridge access to you?

5. I've seen many floor plans with a floor register right smack dab in the middle of the living room, in front of the couch. Would this blow on you? Trying to figure out if that's a design flaw.....

6. Kitchen island or peninsula? Peninsula would obviously give more countertop footage, but I would think the work flow and 2 people working in a kitchen may be a bit better with an island.

Those are the main things I need to know in order to pick out some basic floor plans. Your thoughts and recommendations would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 03-25-2015, 06:52 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddleddd View Post
Tomorrow we'll be driving up to northern Indiana to look at 5th Wheel companies. In trying to decided which floor plans will work best for us, I have the following questions. I'd appreciate input from people who have actually lived in a 5th wheel with these features.....it's so hard to envision.

1. Pros and/or cons to a split bathroom, with shower in one room, and the sink and commode across the hall. Also, I notice that some floor plans even have an extra sink in the carpeted area of the bedroom.
I've had both types and prefer a full bath rather than split, generally more cabinet area and places for towels, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddleddd View Post
2. Shower stall design? We think we would prefer rectangular with sliding door because it looks more spacious. With a corner shower with pull-out door I would think water would drip all over the floor? What about the rounded shower doors that open in the middle? Are those showers cramped? Can't really decide on this without trying it out for ourselves, which is a little difficult to do. :-) Would love your thoughts.
Rectangular is the best option, but corner showers are not cramped, at least for us. Single swinging door can drip a little water and exit/entrance may be cramped. Split doors would be better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddleddd View Post
3. Rear entertainment or rear couch with large window? Or is this just personal preference?
Definitely rear couch because the chairs will face the TV directly yet someone can lay down on the couch and still watch TV. Larger couch is possible. Less glare on the TV. But then with our volunteer work, we need to relax in the evenings, so this may be less critical to others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddleddd View Post
4. We cook a lot when we travel, so we need access to the refrigerator. Do most of you experienced 5th Wheel owners always open up your slides when you stop to eat so you can access your fridge and sit at the table? How important is fridge access to you?
We prefer to snack on the road and stop by 3pm.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddleddd View Post
5. I've seen many floor plans with a floor register right smack dab in the middle of the living room, in front of the couch. Would this blow on you? Trying to figure out if that's a design flaw.....
Sorry can't help on this one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddleddd View Post
6. Kitchen island or peninsula? Peninsula would obviously give more countertop footage, but I would think the work flow and 2 people working in a kitchen may be a bit better with an island.
Our preference is peninsula, more counter space and more storage space. Some islands are pretty wobbly since they are attached to the floor only. Really don't like island sinks, puts all the dishes, dirty or drying in the middle of the RV.

Truth is, you can live with just about any floor plan. But the opposite is true as well, two units can have the exact same floor plan, one will be great and the other terrible to live with, it is all in the details.
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Old 03-25-2015, 07:45 PM   #3
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there is no floor vents in the solitude. Their vents exit under the front edge of the cabinets or steps. Makes it easy to throw down rugs or runners without worrying about covering a vent. Oh yeah, the bedroom vent is on the floor. Definitely go with rear couch. It's nice sitting across from the TV and not having to crank your head to watch it. Another nicety is the taller slides and taller/wider entrance door (I'm 6'3").
And go for a widebody unit (101" compared to 96") it does make a difference
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Old 03-25-2015, 08:24 PM   #4
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I will add that a corner rounded shower with the doors that open from the middle is not cramped. No water on the floor either. Note: I am not a huge person.

I have a peninsula and really like it. More cabinet space and a place for the keurig. Only one cook per kitchen.

I have a rear entertainment floor plan. For some reason I do not have a problem watching TV. I can lay on the couch and see the TV easily. The recliners on the opposite side as the couch are turned toward the TV. In my next rig a rear entertainment floor plan would still be ok with me.

I also have heating vents in the floor. Don't like them. But I think most 5th wheels are like this.

Make sure you get an upgraded pin box to make towing smooth.

Good luck
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Old 03-25-2015, 08:45 PM   #5
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1) I think bathrooms would be up to the buyers as to which they prefer--we have the split and doesn't seem to cause us any problems.
2) Our shower door opens outward and does drip some on the step towel we place in front.
Don't know what other type doors are like, except have heard some complaints on the sliders.
3) Rear entertainment--would never have this design as both side seats would have to turn heads to view the tv. Also like to look out the rear window during daylight.
4) Can't get to freezer side of fridge without putting out slide, but we have adapted to this easily--just park where there is no interference on that side. We have slides out in rest areas and Walmart lots.
5) We have 2 registers in front of couch and one in front of recliners--but we almost never use the furnace unless boondocking. Space heaters only when on shore power. But when using the furnace, we don't notice any airflow causing us a problem.
6) What you said about 2 people with the peninsula--we had this (bought used) and had it changed to an island. We are both much happerier with the island and the dogs don't get caught up underfoot.

Lots to think about, eh? Hope you get it all thought out before buying.
Good Hunting.

Joe
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:31 PM   #6
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When we were shopping for a floorplan we had a few absolute requirements:
1) Refrigerator and freezer accessible with slides retracted.
2) Restroom accessible with slides closed.
3) Recliners opposite wall from TV.
4) Island kitchen
5) King size bed

We found the exact layout we wanted and are completely happy after 2 1/2 years of ownership.

Few floorplans met all our requirements.
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Old 03-25-2015, 11:13 PM   #7
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Gee, thanks everyone! Very helpful. I'll answer appropriately tomorrow or the next day. It's late now and we're leaving town early in the a.m. But the info you've provided will help us in our search tomorrow. Thanks!
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Old 03-26-2015, 07:00 AM   #8
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1. Split bathroom - we had a split bath in the motorhome we had previously and we have the same in our new 5th wheel. We like it because seems more spacious.

2. Shower - we had corner shower in the MH and now have rectangular. We definitely prefer rectangular because it is bigger. I always had to turn the water off in the corner shower to soap up because there was not enough room to step out from under the water flow. If I left the water run, it rinsed off the soap faster than I could wash myself.

3. Rear entertainment or window - this is mostly personal preference, but we chose a rear window because with most rear entertainment centers, the seating is all off to the side (unless you get a floorplan with a J-sofa). With side entertainment, the recliners (which are what we use when watching TV) are usually directly across from the TV.

4. In our 5th wheel, the fridge is accessible with the slides closed. Unfortunately, the dinette is not. However, it was more important to us to have the fridge accessible because we can always eat in at a picnic table at the rest stop or in the truck. In one floorplan we were considering, neither the fridge nor the dinette were accessible.

5. We have 4 floor registers in the living area. All are near our seating, and we don't feel any air blowing on us. That being said, we rarely use our furnace. We prefer using the heat pump and/or fireplace unless the temp gets too cold.

6. Kitchen island or peninsula - we have an island. We have never had a peninsula, but we find the traffic flow with an island is excellent. We can't imagine having to walk all the way around a peninsula. Not only that, but when DW is sitting in the recliner with her feet up, I don't have to squeeze past her to get the the fridge or bathroom. I can just walk around the other side of the island. We have plenty of counter space with our island and are easily willing do without the extra couple of square feet a peninsula might give us in exchange for the convenience we feel we have with the island.
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Old 03-26-2015, 10:35 AM   #9
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All great points that have been offered but know body has hit these and to me they are very very important.


I. Storage compartment basement. This should have a large opening and pass thru with gas struts supporting the doors. Make sure that the slides can be open/closed without the door being closed.


2. Suspension and wheels/tires. Must be at least #7000 LBS axles and G-rated tires; I prefer LT tires over ST tires. Goodyear offers LT tires. The other item is you will want grease able linkage and wet bolts for the springs some trailers do not offer this.


3.Leveling- I prefer the 6-point hydraulic level system over just two front legs and rear screw down stabilizers for support.


4. Room darkening shades that pull down over pleated room darkening blinds.


5.Refergator must be able to be access with slide in for traveling on the road.


6. A upgrade pin box offered from the manufacture such as TRAILAIR or MORryde over the standard pin box. Males for a much more improved ride for the TV.


7. My DW said that the shower stall must have seat in the shower for her needs.


8. A very quite A/C unit you can not believe how noises some can be. Also if you can afford one get the second A/C unit in the bed room. Makes for a cooler camper in high heat and humidity. Make sure that this is tied into the rear unit vent system but can be separately control.


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Old 03-27-2015, 10:26 AM   #10
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We have a walk through bath and prefer that floor plan. It really opens up your bedroom. To me, models with side baths make the bedroom feel so cramped.

We have a big u-shaped kitchen. I have tons of storage and lots of counter space for cooking. We prefer to cook most of our meals at home (fulltimers) so that was really important to us. I also have a gigantic pantry.

We have a corner shower with the middle closing doors. It also has a seat inside. It is spacious enough for us use comfortably. We do not have a skylight but instead have a vent fan.

We have a rear sofa and side recliners so we are able to sit directly across from the TV. This was important to use because we always had neck pain watching RV from the side.

We have one furnace floor vent in the living room and it is right in front of the couch. We only use our furnace when temps fall below freezing and use the heat pump or a space heater instead. We never sit on the couch anyway so the vent does not bother us. There is also a small floor vent beside the bed and I have programmed myself to avoid stepping on it. It was unpleasant in bare feet.

For me floor plan was important but not primary. We wanted a quality built 5th wheel that would hold up over full time use. We have that in our HitchHiker. Most RVs are pretty inside with many of the same amenities. We were looking for a great frame, suspension, 17.5 inch tires, hydraulic brakes, and a leveling system. Baring some sort of accident, our 5th wheel will last for the rest of our fulltiming which we estimate will be at least another 10 years. Unfortunately high quality 5th wheel manufacturers are going out of business at a rapid rate including NuWa, our HitchHiker manufacturer.
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Old 03-28-2015, 01:03 AM   #11
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Fiddleddd:

If you're going to Northern Indiana, you should call ahead to reserve factory tours at companies that sell units in your general price range. Don't waste your time visiting companies out of your price range--or below your price range.

After your factory tours, go to the internet to see your preferred brands' floor plans. Then visit dealerships that are stocking models that interest you. You'll be surprised how fast the cream rises to the top, but don't get stuck on one brand.

Hopefully your local dealer will be willing to deal with you at a fair price. It also never hurts to go back to the internet to compare prices--and call competitive dealers for price quotes.

Another good source of good information on any trailer is on the specific brand's owners forums.
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Old 03-28-2015, 01:32 AM   #12
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I have no knowledge about 5th wheelers since I have a Class A MH. But buy local. Reason being is many service centers will repair and do maintenance for you but if you didn't buy from them, then they'll fit you in when they can.

I went with the split bathroom. Seems to fit my 6' frame rather well. Size is 36" by 30" and works for me. Plus it has the curve around entry/shower doors. The only thing is its clear glass and if someone needs to use the head in an emergency, well you best cover up. Lol.

Just my two cents worth. Enjoy. /Mikey
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