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Old 03-10-2023, 07:23 AM   #1
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Thoughts on Downsizing from 43' to 37'?

Loved driving my 2019 Dutch Star 4369, then my 2020 King Aire. I actually liked driving more than arriving and staying at a destination.

Sold both. Now thinking of retiring for real and want to buy another, but pricing has gone nuts from Newmar over the past three years, nearly 70% increase for the same coach and features.

Thinking of buying a 37 foot 3709.

Will the drive be less smooth, comfortable and overall enjoyable compared to the longer, heavier coaches (both were Spartan and 3709 is freightliner)?

Will the smaller space and storage be a frustration? We mostly travel to sight see and play golf. Not big on camping.
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Old 03-10-2023, 07:29 AM   #2
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I guess it really comes down to your needs and expectations. We moved up from a 23’ Airstream to a 37’ Newmar. The Newmar seems HUGE to us. It has plenty of space for living and for storage. That said, I’d guess it will feel a bit small compared to a 45’ King Aire. I think you need to drive it and then decide. Only you will know if it really works for your situation.

I will add this: I think you’ll notice the biggest difference in the bathroom and the bedroom area. The salon/living room in the 37’ Newmar will be comparable in terms of living space to some of the bigger coaches. The bathroom will feel quite small.
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Old 03-10-2023, 08:16 AM   #3
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If the primary reason for going with a smaller coach is cost, it seems like it could be a very expensive proposition. If you find that the smaller coach is not as livable as the larger coaches you've been accustom to, just the depreciation to move back into a larger coach could be huge.

As far as the driving experience, only you can decide that and you really need to drive the model you are interested in more than once and decide for yourself.

You say that you are not big on camping and you mostly sight see and golf. Maybe travel in a motorhome is not what you need. Just the depreciation and fuel costs could allow you to stay in nice hotels and golf resorts.
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Old 03-10-2023, 08:55 AM   #4
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We have a 34' Ventana 3407 and for the 2 of us, we find it big enough and small enough at the same time.


Yes, more basement storage could be handy, but all we would do is put more stuff down there we don't need or use. Inside storage is ample.



The only issue on driving the shorter coach is in a strong crosswind, it does move around a bit more than a longer coach with a tag axle, even with the Comfort Drive. But, it's manageable and I have gotten used to it. Now, on a calm day, drives like a dream. Maintaining a proper tire pressure based on weight, after getting the unit weighed, has help more than I can put in words. The factory info indicates 130 PSI in the front and 120 PSI in the rear. The calcs based on my actual weight are 110 PSI in the front and 95 PSI in the rear, world of difference in ride and handling.


Now let's talk fuel economy, your mileage may vary, we get about 8.0 MPG to 8.5 MPG with the TOAD, and 8.5 MPG to 9.0 MPG without the TOAD. Now, this was before the tire pressure change on extended trips. I have not had a long enough trip yet to really check it, but our short trips are indicating about .25 MPG to .5 MPG improvement. Don't know for sure.


Getting into smaller spaces, yep. There are very few parks that we can't get into based on size. I also save about $150 / Mo. on storage because it can fit in a smaller unit. It's tight, but it fits. I have 3" in the rear, 6" in the front, 1" on the left (at the mirror) and plenty on the right to get the stairs out. Here is a pic of it's squeezed in the stall.


Hope this helps, and answers some of your questions.


Have a Great and Safe Day, and Happy Travels.
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Old 03-10-2023, 11:30 AM   #5
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Dang that's tight!
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Old 03-10-2023, 11:53 AM   #6
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Tag axle is huge, we have drove 38 ft without one and my CC 37ft had a tag, what a difference. I wish they made new 37ft with Tags. If you go to 40 you can get that tag back? When you know the difference (no pun intened) go drive one on a windy day on the freeway with trucks and see. Worth the time before the investment.
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Old 03-10-2023, 12:00 PM   #7
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We have a 37’ and find it’s the perfect size for two, and a dog.
If your not full timing I don’t see a downside. It’s surprising how the 37 fits into many places easily.
Many parks have a 34’ “limit”.
Never seen one yet our “34” non tag axle couldn’t fit into….
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Old 03-10-2023, 03:35 PM   #8
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From a chassis perspective, it is really going to depend on if the Freightliner has a IFS or beam front axle.
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Old 03-10-2023, 03:52 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by bentjm View Post
From a chassis perspective, it is really going to depend on if the Freightliner has a IFS or beam front axle.

Said another way, for maneuverability, CUT-ANGLE of the front axle is quite important.
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Old 03-10-2023, 04:09 PM   #10
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We have a ‘22 DS 3709 and find it about perfect for the two of us and our dog. Coach is very maneuverable and handles well. Crosswinds and trucks not a problem BUT I have never driven tag axle so I have no basis for comparison. Floor plan is very livable and provides plenty of room. True, the bathroom could be larger but works just fine as it is.
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Old 03-10-2023, 05:22 PM   #11
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Iím confused we have 2021 37 foot gasser and even stock I never knew I was being passed by semis. Why would a DP without a tag get pushed around when my gasser doesnít?
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Old 03-10-2023, 05:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotS View Post
We have a 34' Ventana 3407 and for the 2 of us, we find it big enough and small enough at the same time.


Yes, more basement storage could be handy, but all we would do is put more stuff down there we don't need or use. Inside storage is ample.



The only issue on driving the shorter coach is in a strong crosswind, it does move around a bit more than a longer coach with a tag axle, even with the Comfort Drive. But, it's manageable and I have gotten used to it. Now, on a calm day, drives like a dream. Maintaining a proper tire pressure based on weight, after getting the unit weighed, has help more than I can put in words. The factory info indicates 130 PSI in the front and 120 PSI in the rear. The calcs based on my actual weight are 110 PSI in the front and 95 PSI in the rear, world of difference in ride and handling.


Now let's talk fuel economy, your mileage may vary, we get about 8.0 MPG to 8.5 MPG with the TOAD, and 8.5 MPG to 9.0 MPG without the TOAD. Now, this was before the tire pressure change on extended trips. I have not had a long enough trip yet to really check it, but our short trips are indicating about .25 MPG to .5 MPG improvement. Don't know for sure.


Getting into smaller spaces, yep. There are very few parks that we can't get into based on size. I also save about $150 / Mo. on storage because it can fit in a smaller unit. It's tight, but it fits. I have 3" in the rear, 6" in the front, 1" on the left (at the mirror) and plenty on the right to get the stairs out. Here is a pic of it's squeezed in the stall.


Hope this helps, and answers some of your questions.


Have a Great and Safe Day, and Happy Travels.
Yep, you may win the award for the least amount of wasted storage space.
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Old 03-10-2023, 05:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tskadberg View Post
I’m confused we have 2021 37 foot gasser and even stock I never knew I was being passed by semis. Why would a DP without a tag get pushed around when my gasser doesn’t?
I may be wrong in this but I'll give it my best.

DP's hold a lot of weight in the rear. The shorter the bus the more likely it'll be jerked around with passing rigs. No large rig is immune to wind or gusts especially a MH with huge surfaces that act as sails.

Longer DPs, especially with TAG's react better to the force brought on by the passing vehicle. Longer is better in this case.

My 34 foot REX is a white knuckle experience in the lightest of wind and passers. My 40 foot Excursion (non tag) is a laid back easy cruise. You can still feel the wind but it isn't the same.

Think of the tail wagging the dog.

the type of front axles will also help or accentuate the experience. I believe IFS is better for it while solid or straight is not.

Hope this helps

Cheers
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Old 03-10-2023, 06:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tskadberg View Post
Iím confused we have 2021 37 foot gasser and even stock I never knew I was being passed by semis. Why would a DP without a tag get pushed around when my gasser doesnít?
We have no issues in our 37í diesel pusher when an 18-wheeler passes. I hardly feel it.
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