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Old 05-17-2011, 07:28 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn and Kathy

We've seen lots of DP's dry camping along the coast of California over the years. Many stay for extended periods. They do usually have larger tanks
making it easier to stay longer.

Glenn
Agree...We dry camp alot and are Diesel too. We boondock when we can find a spot to fit. Clearance is definitely a consideration for us (and keeps us out of harder to get areas) but our large tanks mean we can last a long time.
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:03 PM   #44
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our first, a 36ft gasser, was a beetch to drive. Heavy, wide and slow, grossly under powered, the front wheels at my feet, and over SIXTEEN feet of rear overhang. Plus the leaf spring suspension that made it handle like the UPS truck it was.

I learned. #2, a 4 slide 40 foot DP, is a joy to drive. It fits anyplace the 36 foot would have. It's easily double the square footage inside with the slides out.

it has a real bathroom.

The wife like it.

Nuff said.
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:21 PM   #45
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My first coach was a 37' front engine gasser. The one I have now is a 39' rear engine gasser. I know now I will never own another front engine gasser, the difference in driveability and engine noise is dramatic. I get 7 to 7.5 MPG and have never had a problem getting in and out of gas stations as I plan ahead and buy gas at Costco or at truck stops. If Mama is happy with the floor plan, drive the Coach and see how it handles. If it is hard to drive you won't be happy.
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:57 PM   #46
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FloorPlan and Storage and we like ours because 5 Slides make it like a small Home isn't that right Powerboatr,by the way make it 40 ft DP and Damon Tuscany has 5 slides and some 6.
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:04 PM   #47
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Hi Dsnealey - this is an interesting thread and has produced some thoughtful and (hopefully) useful comments. Here's our story - like you, we wanted a shorter motorhome to camp in state and National parks with length limits. We rented three: a 24' B+, a 31' C, and a 37' A. We realized that the B+ was too cramped for us, the C wasn't an efficient use of space for us as we have no kids or dogs, and the limited storage and smaller water/waste tanks would keep us from dry camping. The rental A was spacious, with large storage and water/waste tanks, but too long. It was gas, and not the best construction but convinced us we would be happiest in a short A.

So we looked for a shorter Class A, and ended up with a 33' gas Class A with a full-wall slide. Lots of storage inside and out, plenty of water/waste capacity, a real bathroom, fully useable with the slide in, 7' ceilings, and short enough to get into most public parks. Our only regret is not getting the shorter (30') version of the same model. Ours is a Monaco, but other makers of short class A's with good quality and intelligent floorplans include Newmar (Baystar at 27' and 29'), Tiffin (Allegro at 32' currently and 28 as recently as two years ago), and Winnebago/Itasca. Our experience certainly supports the statements above that a good floorplan, particularly with lots of slide space, can make a shorter motorhome feel and live like a much larger one.

We bought a gas motorhome; there weren't that many diesels at that time, and they would have cost at least $15 - $20k more. There are more choices in short diesels now but the price difference isn't much less. A diesel brings better mileage at a minimum. Because diesels normally come with other bells and whistles the price difference can be much higher but those extras may be important to you. Our ride is not luxury-car smooth, but we can afford the payments and that means we can actually afford to go camping!
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:40 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melmoses
Our first Class A was a 32' Allegro gasser with 3 slides (2 in the bedroom and one in the living area. We recently moved to a 40' Phaeton (diesel) with 4 slides. We had great experiences in our 32' because we could get into most anywhere and had no trouble fueling when we needed to. The biggest drawback I found was the kitchen counter was really too small. The Allegro had plenty of inside storage which was great. Other big drawbacks to the smaller coach was the size of the shower, the size of the holding tanks and the basement storage. I also like having the stacked washer/dryer in the new one because I don't like having to find a laundrymat and the dryers there usually are way to hot & ruin my clothes. But, that said, I would start with a used smaller coach and truly find out what matters to me. Living in one will quickly bring to light what you like and don't like, what works and doesn't work for your style of camping. Choose the best compromise for you both and that will start it off. Then after living in it a while you will know what you truly want that is important.
Great advice. I remember now the laundry mate dryers are always burning up my clothes.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:47 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by alvinc
You stated that you wanted to dry camp.

The type and style of RV depends on what you want to do with it. I don't think I have ever seen a Diesel pusher in any "real" dry camping situations. When I am out and about with my Jeep in rustic camping situations, the RV's I see are pickups with inserts, Class C's of all styles, trailers, 5th wheels and gas Class A's. I suspect this is because the Diesel Class A' (30-40 ft) do not have as much ground clearance, and are heavy.

If you want to get off the beaten track you may want to pay attention to ground clearance.

Another factor for dry camping is propane, water, black and grey tank capacity. Longer rigs will sometimes sport larger tanks.
Good point. I have noticed some of these big rigs look like they could barely make it over a speed bump. It would be nice if a chassis could have lifters that you could raise when go off pavement.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:52 AM   #50
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We started with a Sprinter-based class C, thinking that small and good mileage was the key. We quickly learned three things: 1) We're too old and used to our comforts to not have a real bed. 2) Storage is VERY important. We couldn't even find a place to carry golf clubs. 3) It has to be comfortable to stay in and drive as you spend equal time doing both. The Sprinter road like the truck it is.

So we went shopping in the 28-32' range and wound up with a Serrano from Thor. It drives very well. This last winter we did a 1,000 mile day to beat a storm getting home and it was no big deal. It lives well because the slides (just two) are opposed, so the space gets good and wide. And it has great storage. We now have golf clubs and bicycles in the rear storage and nothing hanging off the back. And it gets 12MPG.

If we go to full time (provided I can ever get retired!!!!) we might go up to a full-sized unit, but right now this fits everywhere (including under covered storage), two people can live for three or four weeks in it easily, and we don't look like Jed Clampett rolling down the road.

My only piece of advice: Don't buy a mid-size A without driving it. In our shopping and trying, we found that every front-engine A drives VERY differently. One we drove was downright spooky - it wandered all over the road. Another we drove shifted up and down through the gears at the slightest incline. Very annoying. And a third couldn't get out of its own way, which is good as it couldn't stop either. So drive it before you buy it.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:57 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucemcdou
Hi Dsnealey - this is an interesting thread and has produced some thoughtful and (hopefully) useful comments. Here's our story - like you, we wanted a shorter motorhome to camp in state and National parks with length limits. We rented three: a 24' B+, a 31' C, and a 37' A. We realized that the B+ was too cramped for us, the C wasn't an efficient use of space for us as we have no kids or dogs, and the limited storage and smaller water/waste tanks would keep us from dry camping. The rental A was spacious, with large storage and water/waste tanks, but too long. It was gas, and not the best construction but convinced us we would be happiest in a short A.

So we looked for a shorter Class A, and ended up with a 33' gas Class A with a full-wall slide. Lots of storage inside and out, plenty of water/waste capacity, a real bathroom, fully useable with the slide in, 7' ceilings, and short enough to get into most public parks. Our only regret is not getting the shorter (30') version of the same model. Ours is a Monaco, but other makers of short class A's with good quality and intelligent floorplans include Newmar (Baystar at 27' and 29'), Tiffin (Allegro at 32' currently and 28 as recently as two years ago), and Winnebago/Itasca. Our experience certainly supports the statements above that a good floorplan, particularly with lots of slide space, can make a shorter motorhome feel and live like a much larger one.

We bought a gas motorhome; there weren't that many diesels at that time, and they would have cost at least $15 - $20k more. There are more choices in short diesels now but the price difference isn't much less. A diesel brings better mileage at a minimum. Because diesels normally come with other bells and whistles the price difference can be much higher but those extras may be important to you. Our ride is not luxury-car smooth, but we can afford the payments and that means we can actually afford to go camping!
Good points. I have been looking at your suggestions. I did not realize the Tiffen had a 28 ft rig. Do you think the diesels retain value any better? Ip heard most gassers are problematic over 100k.


Thanks!
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Old 05-20-2011, 07:30 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by COSerrano View Post
We very carefully considered the 34' Winnie Journey Express........

1) It is wide and tall. When I drove it back-to-back with the Serrano we bought it seemed VERY wide and we like narrow roads. Test drive it on something other than an interstate.........
???

Journey Express is 101.5 inches wide Serrano is 101 inches wide
Journey Exxpress is 12' 7" tall Serrano is 11' 5" tall

Strange

PHE
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Old 05-20-2011, 07:49 PM   #53
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I think one thing to consider is also how you travel.

My wife and I, we travel light. We've gone on monthlong trips to Europe with literally two carryons and one suitcase. My mother, on the other hand (bless her heart) ends up taking several suitcases each year down to Mexico, where they have a house that is fully stocked with everything you'd think they'd need.

In short, if you'd travel with a few pairs of jeans, some shirts, sweaters and a jacket, you won't need as much space as folks that enjoy changing outfits to go into town...

Steve
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:40 PM   #54
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So we went shopping in the 28-32' range and wound up with a Serrano from Thor. It drives very well. This last winter we did a 1,000 mile day to beat a storm getting home and it was no big deal.
Dang how fast did you drive...That's like 16 hours behind the wheel !!! Peace...D
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:51 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by deasnealy View Post
Good points. I have been looking at your suggestions. I did not realize the Tiffen had a 28 ft rig. Do you think the diesels retain value any better? Ip heard most gassers are problematic over 100k.
The best way to answer your question is to note that the NADA Guide doesn't consider mileage on DPs. That's because the engines used are designed for hundreds of thousands of miles if properly maintained. Drivers of cars and other gasoline engine vehicles have no understanding of these engines.

To give you some perspective, my CAT C-12 is supposed to have its valves first adjusted at about 40,000 miles. The next valve check is at 250,000 miles. My MH has 59,000 miles; I don't think I'm going to have to worry about the next valve adjustment. Similarly, CAT will provide a t-shirt to any owner who can show he has a million miles on a CAT highway engine, but I doubt I'm ever going to get one! LOL

Nothing quite compares to the power of one of these big diesels. I realize mine is "over-powered" for a 32,000 pound MH, but it is a lot of fun to drive.
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Old 05-21-2011, 12:10 PM   #56
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Width and Length (of the drive!)

As to width, I'm don't always trust specs, particularly when I know the spot where I need to store the unit. So we took the tape to the Serrano and Journey before we made a choice. The Serrano (inside the mirrors) measures about 8 inches narrower. Not sure about the specs. Winnie does note that the Journey is the maximum width allowed for an RV.

As to the 1,000 miles, yep, it was a very long day. On the motorcycles we always figure an average of 50MPH. We ride fast, but we tend to stop about every 150 miles or so. With the motorhome, we don't drive as fast but we don't have to stop half as often and tend not to stay stopped as long.

I think it turned into about 15 hours. But remember, we live out west where the speed limits are high and the traffic low...
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