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Old 03-22-2016, 09:05 PM   #1
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What is the right size ???

While I'm sure there will be a lot of different opinions on this I want to hear them all.
We presently still work but hope to retire in a couple of years and travel the country. We have land in PA which we will probably build a insulated garage with small utility area for the times we are home in the summer otherwise I hope to move around most of the year following the weather and exploring this country. I am a big history buff. While I'm sure we will settle in one spot for a few weeks at times we do want to keep moving.
We do boondock occasionally I don't plan on living off the grid for long periods of time.
We presently own a 2008 Fleetwood Excursion 42ft. My DW told me when we bought it that it's size may be a problem at times which I am finding to be the case. We have decided to start looking for a replacement and I want to buy new this time so I can take care of it from the start.
When we first started talking about reducing the size. DW's requirements were she still wanted 1.5 Bath like out present but below 40ft. She also wanted the door to be in the middle of the coach for more ease of entry
The problem is we are looking at 2 completely types of units and so this is the reason for this tread.
DW now wants to downsize to a Class B Plus with a Mercedes/Sprinter setup at around the Mid 20ft length. While the Mercedes would be my choice if we moved this way I really don;t see me living in this size coach Full time. It would have a permanent Queen Bed in the rear but the coach is a great reduction in size, storage, comfort from our present.
I want to look at another DP below 40ft. The model I have been looking at is the Fleetwood 36K which is around 37.5ft in length. It also gives her the 1.5 bath and Mid Door.
While I realize the cost of fuel, oil changes, tires, etc would be cheaper in the Mercedes I wonder about the longevity of the coach over a DP.
I have driven the Sprinter as a work van and it is nice to drive but I think my Fleetwood is a nice ride as well.
Lastly either vehicle would most likely be flat towing some type of small car.
I presently flat tow my Silverado but after retirement I wouldn't need as large a vehicle.
I'm sorry for being so long winded but wanted to give as much information as to our projected use of the coach.
I look forward to your responses.
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Old 03-22-2016, 09:14 PM   #2
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We bought a 2000 38' DSDP to retire in, then the DW wanted a third slide and more space so we bought a three slide 40 DSDP in 2002. An now we upgraded to a 45. quad slide unit. Personally I wouldn't go below the 40' triple slide to live full time in.
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Old 03-22-2016, 09:32 PM   #3
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Hi,

I amnot much of a Diesel Pusher fan and would Recommend a Winnebago 35 foot Adventurer Gas unit on a Ford Chassis. It will get into most campgrounds and has all the amenities tha you would need such as a Double door fridge, a washer and dryer and a kingsize bed. If you must have the 1 1/2 baths for what rwason I don't know you could go to the 38 footer Adventurer. If you must have a DP then go with the Winnebago Forza or Journey which they make in a 36 footer. I would limit my length to 35' - 36' though.
Hope this helps as we have been living in our Adventuer for 4 months now and find it serves us well and DW loves washer and dryer, fridge and sleep number bed.

You can PM me if you like.

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Old 03-22-2016, 09:37 PM   #4
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I don't think you'd be happy going from a 42' to a 20' Class B and travel pretty much full-time. Yes, some people do it but they start off small. Think of being confined in it during bad weather. If your wife all of the sudden eliminated her wish of 1.5 baths then you could just go down in size but not that drastic.

You could also rent one for a couple weeks and see how it works out. It just may.

We full-timed for 8 years with a 33' 5th wheel and 8 yr. with a 40' motorhome. We used public parks or boondocked in beautiful areas 90% of our time and the 40' got into our favorite sites that the 33' did. We used many national and state parks and national forest campgrounds.

It also appears that you have a dog. Is it a big one?

Just my opinion but go easy on your decision and think it out carefully.
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Old 03-23-2016, 07:38 AM   #5
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I started with a 24 ft Roadtrek on a Chevy chassis. The next year traded for a 30 ft Sightseer on a Ford chassis. The next year traded for a new 36 ft Thor Palazzo on a Freightliner chassis. This year traded for a Thor 40 ft Venetian also on a Freightliner chassis.

The Roadtrek was just too small but could park anywhere. The Sightseer was nice but road rough and the engine screamed climbing hills. The Palazzo had a washer/dryer, the ride was a dream, and had one bath. The Venetian drives even more stable and smooth than the Palazzo, has 1-1/2 baths, and feels like a coach I could live in full time.

For us the Venetian seems to be optimum. We didn't think 1-1/2 baths were necessary at first. But now that we have it, we find it creates a welcome area for showering and dressing. The extra length and slides makes a big difference too. The drawback - 36 feet fits easier in parks and maneuvers better than 41 feet.
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Old 03-23-2016, 10:21 AM   #6
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Are you really asking us for couple's counseling? Just don't send us a summons to divorce court.

It is really tough to be objective since we love our 43' Tag axle DP since we full time and have been able to get nearly everything we wanted to carry into it since we opted to sell the house and not have a storage unit. Having run into overweight axle issues on a gasser also played a big part on our choice.

If we had the option I would like a 40' NON-tag with an 18-20K front and 24K rear axle. Anyway...enough about US. LOL

There are sooooo many variables. To be honest, it sounds like your spouse is all over the place compared to you. My first suggestion is that you both need a big sit down and find a way to meet both of your goals. I get the feeling that she want's less travel and more time "home". There are tons of reasons for this from family ties to general security to fear of breakdowns and being stranded. I'm just having a hard time understanding why someone would go from a Class A to a Class B unless there was a major change in goals.

SO...what do you "NEED", "WANT" and do without? That would be an important starting point.

Things that would seem to point to a Class A (which you already have) instead of a Class B are; room to move around and feel comfy in without being crowded, larger bathroom and shower (especially if you are looking at 1.5 bath), larger refer (res or RV), substantial storage area, room for a washer/dryer if desired and (in general) a more home like feeling. Also you have the ability to tow a car for getting around.

If none of that is top priority then a Class B could work. Perhaps the biggest drawback is that it is also your "get around" vehicle so you would have to disconnect water, sewer and power to get around shopping, touring and such. That certainly isn't that big of a deal.

I don't want to get into the weeds since I suspect you can sort out the smaller issues and since you currently own a Class A understand the general costs.

In the end, for US, I couldn't find a way for US to enjoy a long time in a Class B but that doesn't mean you can't. I still think the issue is to have a serious sit down with the spouse and agree on what your goals are and how you can best meet them.

Good Luck!
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Old 03-23-2016, 03:21 PM   #7
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There is no way you will be comfortable in a Class "B" or a super B or a super,super B. They are too small for full timing. I know someone is gonna say they full time in one. But just try to spend 3-4 rainy days cooped up in one. Plus storage is very limited.
I agree with MR_D you need more room, and anything under 40' will be too small for you.
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Old 03-23-2016, 03:44 PM   #8
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We could full time in ours if we wanted to, it has plenty of room for the two of us, and storage area we haven't even begun to fill. We have had it on a few extended trips the longest being a six week trip and have never had any problems finding a place to park it. Ours has the bath and a half, which I would think for full timing is more important than extra storage space. Having the two bathrooms, gives you a little extra storage for the bathroom type stuff as well as a little extra privacy, especially when two people need to use the bathroom at the same time. We never use the CG restrooms or showers so that is important to us.
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Old 03-23-2016, 04:14 PM   #9
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Some Clarifications

After reading the responses so far I will add some clarifications.

My wife and I are what I call retreads (married before).
She has traveled all over the country whereas I haven't. I am self employed and do field service which allows me to travel and by buying the DP she and our dog go with me most of the time. We tried to allow some time in each trip to do some site seeing with our Toad.

Someday when I can we will expand our horizons and travel farther and hopefully I will get to see all of the country.

She wants to sell the house and only have a place to set the MH up while back home so at that point our only home will be the space the MH provides.
Before we talked about doing this I was looking at Tag axle DP's for even more room and comfortable ride although I am pleased with the Excursion.

I do not want a palace and don't have deep pockets.

As stated I believe going below 40ft may be beneficial but having slides are a must. Having the door mid coach would make her happy.

We started out in 2012 with a 35ft TT with opposing slides which we liked.
When I realized that DW liked this lifestyle (My ex didn't at all) I decided to "kick it up a knotch" and we purchased our present unit in fall of 2013.

It has been a learning curve and it has taken some money to get it to a great unit. The Low miles I thought were good at purchase meant it hadn't been driven or used for much of it's 1st 5 years. The problems were all from lack of use and have been taken care of. I have had it maintained properly since buying it.

Anything Man made can and will fail but I personally feel a properly maintained DP will outlive a Class B Plus although the extra equipment that comes with a larger DP allows the potential for more things to fail but also things fail in a house and it isn't going down the road.

After I can slow down on the work I plan on doing more of the normal maintenance myself with the occasional factory to check myself

So you see we do plan on living in this coach and it won't be a weekender.
We plan on driving it coast to coast and not sit still for months at a time.

Our dog is a 65# Goldendoodle that is kennel trained for night time.

As stated before I would love the economy of the Mercedes but I also believe a 24-26ft Class B Plus would get very close after several weeks of sitting.

My parents lived on a boat for approximately 30 years. They started with sailboats of around 32-34 ft then finally ended up with trawlers 1st a 32ft then a 34ft. They anchored our mainly and only docked to fuel up and take on water due to cost. They got along quite well but they themselves said the difference between the 32 and 34ft trawlers was huge and would never go back to even the 32. They worried about economy but said the lack of living a storage space wasn't worth it.

Keep your experiences and suggestions coming as I appreciate them all.
To the one person that doesn't want to be drawn into divorce court don't worry I'm a big boy and I can take it.

Lastly, when we bought the DP in 2013 I stumbled onto IRV2.com while researching a problem. I became a supporter and find I can't go very long without logging on as it is the most informative site out there. We went to the Myrtle Beach Rally a couple of years ago as our 1st rally and met some very nice people which didn't surprise me at all.

Thanks to all who have responded and to those who do so in the future.
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Old 03-24-2016, 07:30 AM   #10
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Size of Full Time RV

I posted this same thread on the Full-timers forum but [Mod Edit: was moved) here to try and get more discussions.

While I'm sure there will be a lot of different opinions on this I want to hear them all.

We presently still work but hope to retire in a couple of years and travel the country. We have land in PA which we will probably build a insulated garage with small utility area for the times we are home in the summer otherwise I hope to move around most of the year following the weather and exploring this country. I am a big history buff. While I'm sure we will settle in one spot for a few weeks at times we do want to keep moving.

We do boondock occasionally I don't plan on living off the grid for long periods of time.

We presently own a 2008 Fleetwood Excursion 42ft. My DW told me when we bought it that it's size may be a problem at times which I am finding to be the case. We have decided to start looking for a replacement and I want to buy new this time so I can take care of it from the start.

When we first started talking about reducing the size. DW's requirements were she still wanted 1.5 Bath like out present but below 40ft. She also wanted the door to be in the middle of the coach for more ease of entry
The problem is we are looking at 2 completely types of units and so this is the reason for this tread.

DW now wants to downsize to a Class B Plus with a Mercedes/Sprinter setup at around the 25ft length. The units we have looked at have one rear slide for the bed and one for the Love Seat. While the Mercedes would be my choice if we moved this way I really don't see me living in this size coach Full time. It would have a permanent Queen Bed in the rear but the coach is a great reduction in size, storage, comfort from our present.

I want to look at another DP below 40ft. The model I have been looking at is the Fleetwood 36K which is around 37.5ft in length. It also gives her the 1.5 bath and Mid Door.

We do travel with a dog, a Goldendoodle that weights 65# and sleeps in a kennel at night.

While I realize the cost of fuel, oil changes, tires, etc would be cheaper in the Mercedes I wonder about the longevity of the coach over a DP.

We do want to stay with a diesel either way. Gas is off the table

I have driven the Sprinter as a work van and it is nice to drive but I think my Fleetwood is a nice ride as well.

Lastly either vehicle would most likely be flat towing some type of small car.
I presently flat tow my Silverado but after retirement I wouldn't need as large a vehicle.

I'm sorry for being so long winded but wanted to give as much information as to our projected use of the coach.

I look forward to your responses.
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Old 03-24-2016, 07:43 AM   #11
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As you already know it is your personal preference. We lived in a 32' 5th wheel for 6 years and were quite happy. We now have a 30' Class A but don't live in it full time although we would not have a problem with it. There are give and takes in all aspects. We had 40' 5th wheel the first year we fulltimed, it was a major PITA driving in tight places. In 2013 we bought a 22' New Class C (really B+ cause it didn't have the bunk) we took it to Alaska and it was great for getting around but it had no slide in it, towed our car with no problem. Now we have a 60# dog and that was to tight so we upsized. 30' was my preferred choice, it is easy to get into almost any park and especially state parks which we like to stay at. I found maneuverability to be the most important item. The rest I could deal with. Good luck
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Old 03-24-2016, 07:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knightab View Post
As you already know it is your personal preference. We lived in a 32' 5th wheel for 6 years and were quite happy. We now have a 30' Class A but don't live in it full time although we would not have a problem with it. There are give and takes in all aspects. We had 40' 5th wheel the first year we fulltimed, it was a major PITA driving in tight places. In 2013 we bought a 22' New Class C (really B+ cause it didn't have the bunk) we took it to Alaska and it was great for getting around but it had no slide in it, towed our car with no problem. Now we have a 60# dog and that was to tight so we upsized. 30' was my preferred choice, it is easy to get into almost any park and especially state parks which we like to stay at. I found maneuverability to be the most important item. The rest I could deal with. Good luck
Thanks for the input.
While I know there are some Class B Plus's that have more basement storage the couple we have looked at are more like the TT we had for storage.
DW believes we have more room than we need and that we would carry additional items that we wouldn't use all the time.
My argument is that if it is our Full Time Home we would have to carry clothing, etc for all types of weather and without storage that becomes a problem.
I will win in this argument as of course the Man is the Boss in the relationship. Or at least in my dreams I am.
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Old 03-24-2016, 08:03 AM   #13
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I never felt like I had too much storage lol. Our Class C (B+) had a large storage compartment in the left rear. Very large. I was able to carry all the things I felt important, the spare was in there, a tool box, jack, air compressor, safety items, mat, leveling blocks, hoses, fishing stuff and more. Its intent was to make the Alaska trip, that is one I would have to say I would have had a hard time living full time in. Any of the other rv's we owned it would not have been a problem....for me.
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Old 03-24-2016, 08:13 AM   #14
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Everyone is different. Personally, I can't imagine full timing in anything smaller than a 38-40 ft motor home. I'm not even sure I could travel comfortably in a 25 foot class B.
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