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Old 02-01-2014, 10:41 AM   #1
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Opinions on Class size for family of 4-5

Hello all--
I received a warm welcome over in the newcomer section. Thanks for the welcome.

I was hoping for some advice on our next rig. We are thinking a Class C due to sleeping space, cost of ownership, easy to drive (compared to towing and Class A), like the exit doors, and kids love the overhead bunk).

Family of DW, 2DS 14 and 9, and one furry friend mini schnauzer. Granny may be included on some trips and bring her furry friend. We have about 30-35 days per year available for RVing. Most are 4 day trips, one 7 day trip , and one 2 week trip. On some trips, we may tow our 21' Pontoon boat (3500#).

Our intended uses:

California, Nevada, Arizona for 80% of our use
One 2 week trip per year back east some where
Campgrounds, RV parks near lakes, golf courses, ocean
At times, we want to explore and visit places sometimes off the beaten path (smaller crowds (oxymoron)!
We don't enjoy crowded places, especially large campgrounds and large RV parks.

We like the idea of a smaller rig (24-26), but not sure how quick that may feel too small.

Slides or no slides? Found a 2009 Forest River 2860 with 2 slides but the CCC was quite a bit less than the 29T I speak of below.

We looked at a Winnie Access 29T on a 450 chassis. 10K miles, genny, fiberglass roof, all in great shape. $36K

So we are stuck trying to decide what size, slide or no slide, and how new? We have a budget of $35K, but that doesn't mean we have to use it all!

Input on our dilemma is appreciated!
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Old 02-01-2014, 03:20 PM   #2
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I would consider a one slide 29 to 31ft class c. The extra feet you get when the slide is out and having a walk around queen bed instead of a corner queen bed will feel more roomer.
That's the first thing we noticed when the DW and I went from our old corner bed no slide class c to our new class c.
Best of luck in your search.
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Old 02-01-2014, 03:36 PM   #3
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Agreed about the size, 29-31 with a slide. Some have bunk beds also. E450 is the most common chassis. I would pay close attention to the floor layout. Pick the one best suited for your situation. You can change stuff to a degree but the floor plan is what you are stuck with.

Think about 4 of you and a dog cooped up if the weather is bad for a day or so.
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Old 02-01-2014, 07:00 PM   #4
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Agree with both posters above. I'd look for bigger not smaller, would not want a corner bed, but would want one slide. This based upon your family size and intended use. The 2860 has two slides. The second slide is in the bedroom. Since you want cargo capacity I would give up that second slide. Don't really need the space in the bedroom since you're really just sleeping there. Avoiding the second slide will give you cargo capacity back.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:00 AM   #5
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Right now, the 2008 Winnie Access 29T on a Ford chassis is at the top of our list. The slide I would consider a "small slide" as it is only for the dinnette.

Should I be looking for a larger slide that slides 2 items instead of one (ex. dinnette and stove, couch and dinnette, etc..

Does it matter if the dinnette and couch oppose each other or are on the same side?

The 29T is nice with a walk around queen, great storage, and fiberglass roof. Just not sure about the floorplan.

Thoughts on the 29T floorplan?
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:52 AM   #6
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We have a Forest River Sunseeker 3100. I personally like our floorplan a little better but, then again, there's a couple more feet in length to work with. Your's is fine though. A couple things I noticed that you may grow to not like over time. The kitchen space is a little snug for, say, putting out 4-5 paper plates and making sandwiches for the family. Also, there isn't a great TV viewing location since it's behind the couch - you'd be in the cabover as the best spot and on the dinette as the next best spot (necks would be twisted on the dinette).

Since you're newer at this I do have one other piece if advice. IMHO it's more important than layout. Go over the outside and inside with a fine tooth comb. On the roof, look for bulges. On the front of the cabover and sides of the entire thing (but especially the cabover), look for bulges again. Same for where the cabover wraps under toward the cab. Any bulges are likely water leak areas - or "delam". Then go inside, and essentially rip it apart. Bring a flashlight to look at the ceiling even inside cupboards. Look at side walls. Look under the cabover bed cushions and any cupboards in the cabover area. Here you are looking for signs of water including actual dampness, staining, mold, etc. Look at the entire thing but especially focus on the cabover both outside and inside. The vast majority of used Winnie's we looked at had water issues.

Basically what I am saying is I would be 100% picky about a dry unit and only 90% picky about the ideal layout.
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:02 AM   #7
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We are a family of 4, with 2 girls ages 10 & 13. We sometimes bring our little dog, but usually not. We camp about 1-2 weekends per month most months, plus 1-2 weeks in the summer. We have only been RVing for 1 full year, coming up on our second summer and starting to make summer plans.

I did not want to tow anything behind a big truck that I don't own and don't have a need for as a daily driver, so we looked at Class A's, and only bunkhouse models because we made a requirement that everyone has a bed without opening a couch and killing the non-sleeping, socializing space when a kid is tired. I highly recommend a bunkhouse model for this.

We initially assumed we'd not do long hauls for a week or more in the summer--so our first purchase was a Coachmen Mirada 35' bunkhouse gas. Loved that coach,even though we had a few minor "new coach" issues. But notice that I said "had."

We did not plan to go for longer than a weekend at a time, but we learned that the WHOLE FAMILY loved this new-found thing called RVing! For us, it was transformative. It opened up a whole new avenue for family fun & bonding. Last summer we spent 18 days on that Mirada, and I honestly didn't know if we'd finish the trip wishing we hadn't gone on it, or loving it. Turns out that we absolutely loved it, and decided to upgrade, even though we hadn't owned that first coach for even 1 year.

We took a hit on the trade in, but we upgraded to a 40' Diesel Pusher. There are several bunkhouse DP models out there, but the selection is slim compared to the plethora of non bunkhouse DP's, so you do need to do your research. Our friends have a Berkshire 39' that we really loved, but ultimately we ended up finding a great deal on a Fleetwood Discovery 40G that we like even better.

My story to you is... Try not to make the same "mistake" that I did, and think long and hard about the possibility that you'll love this as much as we do, and wish you bought bigger. I have no regrets--the $$ we lost on the trade wasn't huge, and we simply wouldn't have known how much we'd love this otherwise. But... It was a hit nonetheless.
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:01 AM   #8
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Our first Motorhome was a 26' class c and I was over the moon with it till our first rainy day, with 2 adults 2 young daughters and our 2 chihuahuas we quickly, and I do mean quickly got tired of each other ! We sold the Motorhome a week later and moved into a 32 ft class a , if you can afford a newer one with bunks if recommend it but if not it's all about routine, my girls are good they know to fold up their sleeping bags and pillows into the closet before breakfast as well we leave the table set up and have a self inflating/deflating single air mattress that works well so the girls aren't fighting for space on the couch bed. My 02 cents but good luck!!!
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:40 AM   #9
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One thing to also check on the C's is the net cargo carrying capacity of the rig you are looking at. I've looked at larger class C's with great storage space and upgraded cabinets only to discover that there was 300/400 pounds of net carrying capacity after only 2 150# people and a half tank of water! The great storage only would have allowed for very light items without being over the limit. Multiple slides add up to weight that subtracts from cargo capacity so that may be a factor to consider. Personally, I'm leery of a slide design that moves a fridge (weight). I agree on avoiding the corner bed if possible. Ours has that and we will be upgrading to a walk around bed soon due to a family member with new mobility limits. On the class A, there are units now available with a bed that lowers from the ceiling for kids. The forest river FR3 and Fleetwood storm are examples. In our area, there are several places that it is beneficial to stay under 30 feet in length, hence why this continues to be our goal.
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Old 02-03-2014, 01:16 AM   #10
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Recommend something 30-32' long with a slide. Carry along a 10x10 pop-up which you can put solid sides/screens on. Has multiple uses as shade or closed guest/play room. You may want to look at a Used Class A Toy Hauler. The garage area allows room for toys and keeps boxes and other obstruction out of living area. New and Used Damon Outlaw 3611 RVs for Sale - RVTrader.com
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doggy Daddy View Post
Recommend something 30-32' long with a slide. Carry along a 10x10 pop-up which you can put solid sides/screens on. Has multiple uses as shade or closed guest/play room. You may want to look at a Used Class A Toy Hauler. The garage area allows room for toys and keeps boxes and other obstruction out of living area. New and Used Damon Outlaw 3611 RVs for Sale - RVTrader.com
Definitely agree on the 10x10 Easy-Up tent. We use this every time we camp. I cook almost everything outside under that tent, and I do have clear tarp walls that I put up when it's cold outside--plus propane heaters if necessary.

I might recommend that you check out a new or slightly used Coachmen Mirada 34bh. That was our first coach. I know you are looking mainly at class C's but you may be surprised at the price of the Mirada, and the value. There's a lot of bang for the buck in that unit.
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