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Old 03-17-2014, 11:53 PM   #29
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We've had our 31W for ten years now and still love it. We can get into pretty much any place a truck and camper can. 190" wheelbase!

It was always important to me to have easy manuevering and parking capability. It's also a perfect length to park next to the house so we don't have storage fees.

So when we found the Winnie/Itasca 31 footer with all the same features as the 34 to 36 footers it was a no-brainer. Large tanks, double slides, ducted air, the list can go on and on. The best thing is the chassis is the same as the bigger ones so we end up with almost 4k lbs off carrying capacity. And tows a car like a dream. So the tanks, power, and features of the bigger coaches but in a shorter size, more nimble, can get into campgrounds and places the big ones can't.

This model is very hard to find, I don't think I've ever seen one come up used, but surely there must be a few. Values in the $50K's now. We bought new and it was low $90's.


Chris & Sherry Brown - 2014 Anza Borrego Weekend Trip Report
2005 Itasca Sunrise 31W - W20 and 8.1
2015 Chevy Colorado 4X4 Toad
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:31 PM   #30
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We have hauled our 41' Monaco Knight DFT into some incredible places. If you are not "state-parking" all the time, size does not matter. We went to Inuvik, at the end of the Dempster Highway in the North West Territories last summer, and parked in places that you only dream about. That said, the rig took a beating (~15K in repairs), but it had nothing to do with the size of the rig, but more how I beat the crap out of it. Warning - you should not maintain 70 mph on the 450 miles of dirt road that the Dempster is! Radiators and windshields are hard to come by above the arctic circle. Waking up to a 900# grizzly looking in your windshield and wondering if he thinks you are breakfast under glass - priceless!

Jay & Jo Couture Livin' On The Edge,
w/Dawson, our mini aussie, in a 2007 Monaco Knight 40DFT, towing a 24' Pace "garage"
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Old 03-20-2014, 12:01 AM   #31
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I live in Oregon so we camp with our rv almost every weekend in the summer. we are on our 5th 30 footer and would never go any larger. Its really too large for some of the places we go but bring a ladder and a saw and you'd be amazed at where you can get to Its nice to have the room until you have to back down a road for miles to find a spot to turn around, but its all part of the adventure!
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Old 04-09-2014, 06:53 AM   #32
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I think that is great you want to to this.My wife and i will be full time in the next few months.Boon docking will be high on our list, but storage for what is needed is also high on list. We talked to a lot of people that full time and found that that there experience was priceless.We looked for 6 months and decided that a 40' 4 slides was what we would need for storage and living space,seeing this will be our full time home.. If you are going full time you needs are different than if you have a house to go back to. We are planing several trips boon docking,big bend national park is one.I have been there many years ago and there are places we can get our 40' to if we take the jeep and recon the roads first. As far as you saying you will never camp in a walmart,we have found that getting from point A to point B a walmart comes in very handy when we need a rest over night while on road.
One of the things we plan on is finding is a camping spot that getting to will not cause damage to m/h then taking jeep for more remote spots.We plan on putting on solar and storage upgrades etc ,but make sure we are not over loaded also. All this cost $$ so plan on taking good care of your m/h.The list can go many different ways depending on your needs.We are in our 60's downsizing a great deal.I travel with a lot of things some people do not.There are things i may never need,but will very glad i had if the need comes up.Sorry to ramble on.I just hope for the best but plan on the worst.
Good luck on your search and keep us posted.For us this is a great adventure,one we look forward to.
Tim (aka tagcat)
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:47 AM   #33
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Smaller is better for boondocking. We have a 34' Open Range 5th wheel and there are places we cannot go that we did with a 28' trailer. We just got back from spending three days at Stewart CG on Cave Creek in the Chirachuas and there was only one spot that the rig would get into. The primary problem with Cave Creek aka Portal is the low branches and a tall 5th wheel will hit them. The signs on the road state that rigs long that 40' are illegal. There are several spots we love in the Yucatan (Laguna Azul and Calukmal archaeological site) that are not accessible to a large rig unless one wants to sit on the roof with axe and saw (and permission from the Mexican government) ti clear out the tree limbs
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Old 04-19-2014, 11:50 AM   #34
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Earlier in the thread someone mentioned a Safari Trek. We like to camp in state parks, USFS, and sometimes boondock. Monaco Safari Trek is a high-end short coach. Our 2003 Model 2810 is 29 ft. Since we don't have a bedroom - bed comes down from the ceiling of the living room at night - we have the living space of a 38' motorhome. We also like the full-size bathroom. If you can live with the bed, you will love a Trek.

It is our first motorhome after being tent campers for 35 years.
Al Z
2003 Monaco Safari Trek 2810
Coos Bay, Oregon
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Old 04-19-2014, 11:56 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by icolquhoun View Post
Hi all,
First post here on this great website.
My wife and I (early 30 somethings with 3 dogs and no plans for kids) would like to have a go at RV'ing this summer (I teach and wife is leaving her job) for 3-4 months and also winters. We have been researching MH's for the past few months and plan, budget, plan, and budget every day and know what we can afford.
I practically grew up in a VW westy so am familiar with the life on the go, and we are super into the outdoors and peace and quiet.
We have ZERO aspirations to EVER visit a campground or stay in a wallmart lot.

I understand all aspects of boondocking from a technical sense and what we will need to do for waste and energy conservation/generation, etc.
Having never camped on BLM or NF land in anything other than tents, just how important is:
1.) being under 30'?
2.) having a small and nimble MH?

I understand we wont be rockcrawlin with a class A but is something like a Monaco Monarch SE 32wbd really feasible to get into some quiet peaceful places out west?
We are looking to go from NJ down along smokies and then ozarks to TX and NM, then AZ and up along coast to BC and back along the top of US and CAN. Of course we want to hit the rockies but that may wait til next summer: As with everything in life, this isn't set and is subject to change at any moment

We are currently looking at:
30sfs and 32wbd...LOVE the 32wbd but it is 34' long the 30sfs is over 30' as well
ACE 29.2 and 30.1 Nice coaches, but kinda cheap feelin and same price as monacos

of these four, which would be your choice and why?

Am I overlooking anything?
Will a 31'ish MH preclude us from accessing, through technicalities or practicalities, certain areas?

Thanks all, and looking forward to interacting with everyone here in the future!
I think you are thinking fine here. Look up "gone with the wynns" - they are in a similar situation.

I have taken my 40' deep in places people bash me for trying, but's worked out fine.

Also, don't be so quick to discount the walmart parking lot they make an awesome napping station on the way to your destination, and we stay the night in the all the time. It's not camping, it's just parking for the night, and you get up and keep moving the next day. Easy in, easy out.
RVM#78 - -USAF- F-15 Eagle Radar Vet
'5 Fleetwood Revolution- '15 Airstream Intl Sig. 27FB
Jay, Andrea, Stella '14 Ram 3500 Aisin '18 ORV F30RLS
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Old 04-19-2014, 12:23 PM   #36
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Just how important is it to be <30'?

Originally Posted by zekegb View Post
Earlier in the thread someone mentioned a Safari Trek. We like to camp in state parks, USFS, and sometimes boondock. Monaco Safari Trek is a high-end short coach. Our 2003 Model 2810 is 29 ft. Since we don't have a bedroom - bed comes down from the ceiling of the living room at night - we have the living space of a 38' motorhome. We also like the full-size bathroom. If you can live with the bed, you will love a Trek.

It is our first motorhome after being tent campers for 35 years.
I've seen a nice 1995 Trek locally that's pretty nice. I've never heard of them, but like the concept and design. He's done tons of work too it, so he's asking $30k which I think is a little high. I'm really tempted too try buying this...
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Old 04-19-2014, 12:30 PM   #37
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Just how important is it to be <30'?

We had a 1995 28' safari Trek 2830 for ~7 years before the current coach. Lots of room. Good quality build. Sold it in good condition 2 years ago for $14k.
Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
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Old 04-19-2014, 04:50 PM   #38
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For the use described in the OP I'd definitely go under 30'. Yes, you can 'get 'er in there' with larger units but it just isn't fun, and often not cheap. Another factor is whether you want to tow a separate vehicle. If not then you need to keep it at 25' or less to keep it easily parkable and practical as a runaround vehicle. Basically, a small RV will be able to go anywhere most cars can go but every foot you add adds limitations, that just the way it is.

With regard to living in s smaller RV over the period of several months, hard to advise there because some are cut out for it and some are not. Two adults should have no trouble in a well-designed smaller unit (as long as they like each other a lot ) but don't know about the 3 dogs though, have no experience there. One cat is plenty for us.
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Old 04-20-2014, 07:53 AM   #39
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With regards to couples traveling in small rigs. No trailer is large enough for two people all the time. This is paraphrased from we have been told by folks that full time boat in the Caribbean.

Yep, but you can always go for a short walk when that trailer gets to small for an hour or so.

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