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Old 09-20-2012, 12:10 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Mid-coach vs. Front entry

My wife and I are shopping for a "new to us" diesel pusher motorhome. We have a strong dislike of the "bus style" front door entry, and are wondering if we are alone in this (as the prevalence of front doors on newer coaches would suggest) or are there others who feel this way as well. Of those who prefer front entry, I would ask: Would you please explain the addvantages to me? As to why I dislike front doors:
1. They interfere with the passenger seat by placing the hole in the floor where feet should be (even an automatic cover leaves an uneven floor).
2. The passenger seat winds up offset to the rear such that two people are no longer seated side by side with each other in a companionable fashion.
3. Should the driver want to exit the coach during a brief stop to check on the rig etc. he must climb over/disturb the passenger to do so, as driver's doors seem to have become extinct.
4. They go against typical architectural traffic flow: When was the last time you were in someone's home, and, to leave the living room, you had to go to the far corner of the room and around the back of a recliner to get out the front door?!
5. This last point is particularly pertinent as in a motorhome, with the kitchen virtually always in the middle, and a patio under an awning, again in the center of the coach, the trip from the lounge chair to the fridge doubles in length. I guess they feel we need the excercise!
I would love to hear any and all views on this subject.

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Old 09-20-2012, 12:16 PM   #2
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I'm with you on all points, plus how many times has someones head come in contact with the TV cabinate in a front entry?


2006 Sea Breeze LX 8341 on a Workhorse W22 Chassis with 22.5 Alcoa Alum wheels,
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:36 PM   #3
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When we bought ours we were told that was the way it was - a diesel had the door in the front because you didn't have the "doghouse" for the engine between the passenger and the driver. The gas has them further back for the same reason. We were like you, wanted the diesel but the door further back - was told that wasn't an option.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:15 PM   #4
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Me, I really LIKE the up-front door--

--I don't have to navigate over and around a doghouse to drive. At first we missed the doghouse, no place for snacks & stuff, but a $13 folding table fixed that problem!

--Lost no useable space to a doorway and step. The front door on a DP is in a place that isn't used anyway. Yes, the seat is set back a bit to make walk room, but it's only about half the space a mid-entry doorway eats up. Our Allegro has 2 full size sofa's, which is pretty hard to do in a mid-entry.

Addressing complaints... #1, the hole in the floor-- for us this is no big deal because (a) the fold-out temporary floor is no problem at all, and (b) we don't use it anyway because the wife's seat has a recliner-style foot rest.

As for #2, my wife's seat isn't offset forward or back from my drivers seat at all?

Hitting the TV? Our TV is in front, right above my drivers seat. Nobody will run into it there!

Seems a lot of problems with a front door depend on the floor plan. Ours works for us...

I only have ONE complaint about our front door, and it's that it only opens 90, so while camping (and loading and unloading) I'd rather have it open farther. However, fixing or changing out the stop bracket would be a really easy fix. Just haven't done it yet...
2000 40' Tiffin Allegro Bus \ 2003 Chaparral 260 SSI
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:18 PM   #5
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I like the front door because it provides more wall space in the living area instead of taking up the space with a door. This can allow for a bigger sofa, or an extra lounge chair, or a bigger kitchen etc. depending on the floor plan.
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Old 09-20-2012, 02:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Glenn and Kathy View Post
I'm with you on all points, plus how many times has someones head come in contact with the TV cabinate in a front entry?

X2, even without the TV....
1997 37' HR Endeavor, 275hp Cat, Freightliner
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Old 09-20-2012, 02:14 PM   #7
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I believe there were a couple of manufacturers that made the mid side entry but of an older vintage. I'm with you though I prefer the mid side entry rather then the front. JMHO
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Old 09-20-2012, 02:33 PM   #8
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We, also, were interested in a mid-entry MH when we were looking for ours, but very few seem to have been made and they pretty much were discontinued because they weren't compatible with slides on the passenger side.

If you think about it, the mid entry stairwell takes up extra floor space, since the front entry stairwell gets "shared" with the passenger's footrest space. Once you move the stairwell back into the coach it is a "hole" that affects traffic patterns, dining table location, etc.

We're accustomed to our front entry; the passenger seat is only set back about a foot compared to the driver's and some of that can be recouped by using the seat control to move it forward. There's only about 3/4" of difference between the stairwell cover and the rest of the floor and, as has already been noted, my wife doesn't really care because she has a power footrest. Having all the foot traffic come through the front of the coach did motivate us to replace the carpet in the front by more durable and cleanable flooring.
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Old 09-20-2012, 02:40 PM   #9
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We started out sure we'd want a mid entry, but in the end realized that the front entry has much less wasted space.

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...and F-Troop: Fearghus, Fiona, and Frankie (Cairn Terriers)
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Old 09-20-2012, 02:57 PM   #10
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Alpine Coach made a front door and a mid-door option on its DP coaches from 1998 to 2009. Gulfstream also made a mid door DP and it seems to be coming back into style with the Thor Palazzo. My wife would love a mid-door so we may be looking again.
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:36 PM   #11
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I think the Montrreys by Beaver also are mid entry

I bought a gas specifically for the side entry and is the reason I won't go to a DP. There are some choices now for side entry I have seen in ads
The convenience of a side entry - I take a lot of dogs in and out- plus a better escape exit in an emergency outweighs other features for me.
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:38 PM   #12
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I prefer front door less wasted space, my floor cover goes fairy even and if I have to exit the MH it woud not hurt the front passenger to wake up. If I had a big box tv in the way I'd change it.
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:39 PM   #13
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Isn't this one of those Ford v Chevy questions?
Travel well, travel safe,
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:54 PM   #14
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My rear engine gasser has a mid entry door. My wife and I both didn't like the front entry RV's we looked at.

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