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Old 04-15-2013, 01:44 PM   #1
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Class A first time shopper

Hello everyone. Based on some input from a few people I've talked to and searching the forums, I'm stuck on a few issues. I'm a first time buyer looking to just get my family out camping and have been looking at travel trailers for the past two years. Recently on a long road trip, my wife and I decided that we'd be happier with a motorhome as opposed to a travel trailer and I'm really torn on a few choices that I really like and what type would suit us best. I.E. Class A or C?
  • Here's my predicament: Family of 4 maybe 5 in the future. 2 dogs. My kids are small so I'm really leaning toward a bunkhouse in the 32' range and don't really want anything much bigger if I can help it.
  • Price ceiling: around $80,000 give or take a little.
  • Would like to be able to tow a VW jetta on a dolly, or a boat on occasion
  • Will be camping in the mountains of the Pacific NW (will need some decent power)
  • Can't really find diesel A's or C's in my price range with bunks (please give me suggestions if there are any)
  • Don't know if I'd be happier with diesel or gas.
I've found several models that would suit us based on floorplan (I haven't been inside any of them yet though):
Class A: Fleetwood storm 32bh, thor hurricane 33g (a bit higher priced), and the coachmen mirada 32bh
Class C: Winnebago minnie winnie 31H, Itasca spirit 31H, itasca impulse 31J, Thor chateau or fourwinds 31a, fleetwood jamboree sport/tioga ranger 31n, and the Jayco redhawk and grayhawk bunkhouses.

I'm really liking the fleetwood storm 32bh at this point because I like the drop down bunk up front which gives me a similar capacity to a class C. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated as I know there is tons of knowledge out there. Thanks!
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Old 04-15-2013, 01:49 PM   #2
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You should consider a used class A. I recently changed from a C to a used diesel pusher and extremely happy.
Good things come to those that wait.
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Old 04-15-2013, 02:31 PM   #3
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Your budget puts you in the used Class A category for the size and space you need. Diesel is nice but not essential and a gas chassis rig will be much less expensive up front.

Take a look at the Super C's, e.g. the Jayco Senaca. They may suit your needs.
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:11 PM   #4
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Keep in mind that it is hard to resell a bunk house class A , I have 2 young kids (2 years,2 months) and my 34' class A has plenty of sleeping room, the infant sleeps in a pack-n-play on the floor and my daughter on the pull out couch. We have even traveled with another couple and their daughter and had plenty of room without bunks. One other important thing to look at is where you can put car seats safely, and what direction they can face. I looked at a 2013 33g hurricane and it didnt have a great set up for car seats. I would look for a floorplan with dinette(off slide side with seatbelts)and a barell chair(for car seat to face rear) make sure the coach comes with seatbelts, most dealers will not install them. good luck
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:23 PM   #5
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I think 32 feet may be a little small for the number of people in your family, but that's just me
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Old 04-16-2013, 04:53 AM   #6
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I agree with the comment about the bunkhouse. When looking to upgrade from our previous C to the A we were looking for a bunkhouse and noticed how long the units stayed on the dealers lots. Additionally we as we were advised by a dealer friend trade in and resale of bunkhouses was very difficult. A pull out couch and a convertible dinette will meet and exceed your needs.
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:42 AM   #7
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We are a family of 6, with 4 children ranging from 10-16 years old. We've owned a travel trailer and are now on our second Class A diesel pusher. I would agree with others about the bunkhouse. Our first coach was a standard layout queen in the back and two sofas that jack-knifed in the front. Was fine for a while, as the kids got bigger, I was convinced that we needed to get a bunkhouse diesel pusher. We looked and looked, new and used... but ultimately decided to NOT get the bunkhouse. You really lose a lot of space with the bunks. We ended up getting a 42' Tiffin. It has queen in master, airbed in front, jack-knife in front and dinette that converts to bed. Yes, it's a bit of a hassle setting up each night... but you get used to it.

The main reason we decided to go without the bunks... was availability and price. Let me explain... I'm a big believer in NOT buying new. There are lots of great used coaches on the market and you can save a TON. And, there weren't very many used bunkhouses on the market. But, there were TONS of used non-bunkhouses on the market. We were able to choose a better built, higher quality coach (with a few miles and years on it) for our budget than what we would have, had we gone with buying a new bunkhouse.

So if I were you... IMHO... I would look on the used market. Your $80,000 will go much further on the used market.
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:10 AM   #8
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Why is is it hard to resell a BH MH? We looked for almost a year to find our BH....but we also wanted a certain floor plan. We opted for a Damon challenger 376. It has the duel couches up front..dinette..bunks...and a queen in the rear. Both my wife and myself wanted this floor plan for a couple of reasons. The main reason is that we can isolate the bunks from the living are. We no longer have to worry about folding the dinette down for sleeping room. This makes it especially nice in the morning. We can make breakfast and move around without waking up the kids. But each family has a floorplan that works for them. Just my .02. Good luck!
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:00 PM   #9
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We upgraded from a TT to a class A gas. After researching for over 2 years, thinking I really wanted a diesel. It really comes down to the floor plan and storage that works for you. Trust me I made my husband nuts researching coaches. We have been very happy with our gas Itasca. I have already drove it from NE Pennsylvania to Phoenix Arizona. Never a problem with power. Look at floor plans, print out the specs so you can do side by side comparisons. Highly recommend going to a show get inside them take pictures and measurements. We love our current floor plan so much. Friends of ours went and purchased the same exact one. We now refer to them as the other half of the duplex !! Best of Luck on your search
Would recommend a class A over a C - my opinion
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:14 AM   #10
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OK nomad10th as a fellow PNWer here is some advise. Bunkhouse or no bunkhouse when going to resell if it is in good condition and priced right it will sell. Minor issue in my opinion. My concern is that you stated that you want to camp in the mountains. We use to own a 33' Class A and I found it very difficult to find any National Parks here that allowed anything over 26'. Now our State Parks are no problem. Only a couple that are tight, but can manage.

I would also go used because you can get more MH for the buck. Get what you and your DW will be happy with. Thor makes an ACE 29.1 that is 30' with a drop down bunk above the cab, a slide out with a nice couch that makes into a nice bed, easy to drive, and looks fantastic. I would own one, but too far above my budget. When I say them at the Tacoma RV show the salesperson I spoke with said (Sunset RV) they had a few units (used) that had the same setup. I would look into it.

Good Luck in your search.
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