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Old 11-30-2015, 09:39 PM   #1
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Which RV manufacturer is best

Been doing tons of research and going to see various units. Who makes the best RV suitable for full timing for under $70,000? Our favorite floor plan is a Bay Hill 375RE and that is about $60,000. Also, what options are a must: dual pane windows, second AC unit, etc
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Old 11-30-2015, 09:49 PM   #2
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Dual pane windows and any optional insulation you can get. That will help in both winter and summer. A second heat pump could be useful too. Every rig we've had since 2000 has had heat pumps as well as the stick house.
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Old 11-30-2015, 09:58 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by m3gene View Post
Been doing tons of research and going to see various units. Who makes the best RV suitable for full timing for under $70,000? Our favorite floor plan is a Bay Hill 375RE and that is about $60,000. Also, what options are a must: dual pane windows, second AC unit, etc
I have the Bay Hill 375RE on order coming with in the next couple weeks. Seriously doubt you can get one for that price unless it is an early model 2015 carry over which I would not recommend buying. doubtful it has 2nd A/C and dual pane windows or MCD roller shades. We visited the factory in August 2015. The 2016 models have many things standard that were options in 2015. Bedroom tv was an option, 2nd A/C was option, dishwasher was an option, MCD roller shades were an option. These are all standard equipment in the 2016's. I special ordered mine which they may not be doing now. Mine lists north of 96K.
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Old 11-30-2015, 09:59 PM   #4
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I think that Black with swirly stripes are best.
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Old 11-30-2015, 09:59 PM   #5
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Completely agree with dual pane windows, a second A/C, and the heat pumps. My addition to this list is for ducted intakes on your A/C units, or quiet air. Don't let a salesperson tell you it doesn't make a difference in how loud the A/C will be. It does. Just like the dual pane windows make a big difference.
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:05 PM   #6
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Bit off topic but . . .

For full timing an important thing is ventilation. A unit that is not well ventilated will get moisture in the walls and foster the growth of mold.

Most important thing is the floor plan that you will be sharing with your significant other. There has to be room to spend extended time if confined by inclement weather.

Adequate space for storage is also important. While a bath and a half is not necessary it is a very nice feature to have. All electric, stacked washer/dryer and residential fridge are good to have.
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:11 PM   #7
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Completely agree with dual pane windows, a second A/C, and the heat pumps. My addition to this list is for ducted intakes on your A/C units, or quiet air. Don't let a salesperson tell you it doesn't make a difference in how loud the A/C will be. It does. Just like the dual pane windows make a big difference.
On the 375RE the A/C units are ducted together with separate T-stats. I had to special order to get the heat pumps on the A/C's. These are usually only available on the top of the line Life Style. I also asked for and got the Life Style 8K axles with disc brakes. The premium pkg has all the extra insulation. Not sure if that includes the dual pane windows. I made sure they were on my order also. Comes standard with the residential fridge ( I opted for the 12 cu ft Norcold. Also standard now is the convection oven/microwave. I ordered fantastic fans in kitchen and also bathroom. Also ordered awnings on all slides except the slide under the 2nd main awning as there is no room clearance wise on it. I think this is a fantastic model.
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:26 PM   #8
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Bit off topic but . . .

For full timing an important thing is ventilation. A unit that is not well ventilated will get moisture in the walls and foster the growth of mold.

Most important thing is the floor plan that you will be sharing with your significant other. There has to be room to spend extended time if confined by inclement weather.

Adequate space for storage is also important. While a bath and a half is not necessary it is a very nice feature to have. All electric, stacked washer/dryer and residential fridge are good to have.
We purposely looked for a rig that had slide open windows rather than the new "frameless" units that swing out at the bottom. They give very little air movement.
BTW: you don't get air con units with heat pumps or heat pumps with air cons. A heat pump, by definition, gives both heating and cooling
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:48 PM   #9
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We purposely looked for a rig that had slide open windows rather than the new "frameless" units that swing out at the bottom. They give very little air movement.
Thank you for saying that. I've been looking at so many RVs with those frameless windows that seem like they barely open and I've wondered if I was the only one who was worried about how little breeze they would let through.

But on that same note, I've been noticing more and more RVs with blank exterior walls where windows once would have been. The trend towards huge TVs, desks, etc, limits the amount of wall space available for windows. From my perspective that makes for dark rooms and a nearly continuous need to use lights and A/C. Whatever happened to opening the windows and enjoying the breeze? Isn't that one of the joys of going camping?
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:01 AM   #10
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We do not mind the frame-less windows. Opening the windows and running the exhaust fans can create significant air flow.

IMO opening windows and running the fans is something we do consciously. It would be easy to run the heat and air and never open any windows.
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:56 AM   #11
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We purposely looked for a rig that had slide open windows rather than the new "frameless" units that swing out at the bottom. They give very little air movement.
BTW: you don't get air con units with heat pumps or heat pumps with air cons. A heat pump, by definition, gives both heating and cooglin
That is correct but the way the companies list them is as A/C units with heat pumps....................
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Old 12-01-2015, 09:27 AM   #12
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Just a note on the frameless windows and their opening distance.

An easy mod can be made, at least on the Hehr frameless windows that our fiver has. It will take a bit of time and some thought but there is a limiting plastic strip in the slide area on the bottom. I had to drill the pop rivets that hold the operator mechanism in place on the wndow frame but some short 10-24 or 10-32 round head machine screws and lock washers will hold it instead if you don't have a pop rivet tool. OK - that operator mech is now loose, so slide it out of its slot. A piece of plastic is between each arm in the slid slot. That will slip out as well. Cut that piece of plastic down to about 2" then put everything back together. Voila!!! That window now opens about 2x as far and of course, allows a LOT more fresh air circulation. Also, when the window operator is off, this will give you a chance to put some lube in that slot which allows easier operation - I used a wee bit of high temp brake silicone lube. Now, would I prefer the usual slider windows? Yes, if I could get some that had more then two positions, open or closed, but these frameless windows do allow you to modulate flow if necessary.

Oh and if you do the mod - don't do it at the roof access ladder window area

And the OP question as to which manufacturer makes the best - whichever one fits your budget and lifestyle. No matter who makes a unit, there are prizes and Monday-morning-after-a-3 day-holiday-weekend-units and most in between
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Old 12-01-2015, 09:31 AM   #13
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Others have given you good answers, good insulation, a 2nd ac and dual pane windows are necessary. We have a heat pump and I could do without it, the furnace warms up the space so much quicker. As to your original question, there is no "best" manufacturer or "perfect" floorplan, you can drive yourself crazy looking for that. You could purchase a really pricey unit and have problems. My 2 cent advice is to purchase a slightly used quality unit. We are biased, we have owned 2 Drv's and would purchase another. They have 3 1/4" inch walls, even in the slides and good insulation. Dual pane windows are standard. They are pricey and heavy. You really don't know what floorplan is good for you until you spend time in it. By buying a used unit you will know what you like and what you don't like. You can always buy a new unit later.
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:52 AM   #14
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None of the conversation goes to the OPs question.. which really isn't answerable except for the one s/he likes.

From trolling the boards for a couple years I think I will *never* buy a new unit.. too many problems and too steep depreciation curve...but some require that new rig smell I want a rig with the bugs worked out...

Good luck regardless..
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