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Old 03-08-2013, 05:11 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 45
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Well the DW and I have been digging in and looking through all of the options for a larger RV for our growing family. There are four candidates on the short list for differing reasons:

Thor ACE 29.2 with drop down bunk :
Because of the open floor plan, size, mud room and pet features. I haven't been able to lay my hands on one of these to do a walk through so I have one question that I hope someone can answer. How long is the couch? It would be used regularly as a bed so the bigger the better. I'm familiar with Thor build quality and this unit is probably no exception. I expect it to be louder and hotter going down the road when compared to the others but the layout when parked and carrying capacity almost override the observations about fit and finish I've made with regards to a my current rig and a 29.1 I walked through. unfortunately the dealer that had the 29.1 is located on a highway with no side roads or rough spots to test for rattles, ride etc so the solidity of this unit is still an unknown.

Itasca/Winne 31JP (bunkhouse):
Solid build, quiet on the road, better road manners than my current rig (both unloaded). The only flaws I can see is the lack of floor space but all C bunkhouses have that problem. The main problem here is that gas and fresh water combined with people and cargo will definitely put this rig over its GVWR. I plan on towing a toad and transferring gear to it but the problem remains. I'll always have to worry about load distribution with either of these units.

Jayco GreyHawk 31SS :
Plenty of floor space. All the bells and whistles including leveling jacks and a grill. (Those bells could also make steam whistle out my ears if they're poorly executed. I can't test those bells. Does anyone have experience with Jayco and the quality of their extras?) I have the same question and problem with this rig. I haven't been able to walk through one and I don't know how large the couch is. Can anyone answer that question? I looked and it appears that the floor plan hasn't really changed over the years so hopefully someone out there has a tape measure handy. Load carrying capacity with the added leveling jacks will also be a concern...

And the Hawse Unit: Coachman Mirada 34 BH:
The size is the main plus and drawback here. I would be giving up some spots I would like to go to if we chose this unit but it checks all of the boxes. Although I wouldn't have to worry about overloading like I will with the C's. This unit would have the most work out of the gate. It's the loudest on road, has the most rattles and is the hottest from the drivers seat. While I plan on going through whichever rig I choose to tighten and check everything I can lay my hands on I know that I'll have a lot more tightening, shimming and sound deadening to do on this unit to make me happy.

I would appreciate any input you folks could provide on these units. The Mirada is most likely too big so I'm mostly interested in hearing about the Jayco and the ACE.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 03-09-2013, 06:38 AM   #2
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Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Wherever the rig is parked
Posts: 6,642
I owned an ACE 29.1 for a year and a half and just traded it for a Thor Challenger. I thought the ACE was ok regarding rattles and build quality until I experienced the Challenger. Night and day! The ACE is definitely an entry level coach. The pet window is only usable for a very small animal. With a passenger sitting there, the space in the footwell is very limited. The pet food dish drawer is unusable, there is no way to get the insert out without tipping it and spilling the contents into the drawer.
Bruce Dickson 2013 Thor Challenger 37GT, 5 Star Tune, Safe-T-Plus Steering Control with Air Trim, Roadmaster front and rear Sway Bars, SuperSteer rear Track Bar, Crossfires, 2012 Honda CRV on Blue Ox Aventa LX tow bar. Full timers since Jan 2012.
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