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Old 03-13-2023, 09:45 AM   #1
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Floor Plan Considerations?

Hi folks, new to this topic. We are selling our large boat and hoping to start RVing. I am reading a lot of great information on this and other bulletin boards. Everyone keeps talking about finding the floor plan that you like. What are some things that I should be considering for a older class A in the 30-34' range?

Thanks in advance, Bill
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Old 03-13-2023, 10:13 AM   #2
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we just retired Dec 31 and have been in a FL RV park since. Our previous RV was a 20007 33' Fleetwood Bounder that had the typical floorpan of that size, TV over the dash, couch and dinette along wall in a slideout. In order to watch TV, you sat sideways and looked up. Was a great RV for weekend camping as we dont watch TV then, but living in it for 4 months was a no go, so we decided to look for something different. Found a 36 Bounder with the more common latest floorpan with a TV above fireplace in the living room, with an L shaped couch. Like you'd find at your home. Feels more like an apartment now instead of a camper. We also have opposing slides which really open up the space. Again, great for long stays, not a requirement for weekend use IMO. Otherwise, kitchens, baths and bedrooms will be pretty much similar in the size you are looking at. Our 33 had a large area in the back for dressing and just moving around which our 36 lacks. Kinda miss that aspect.
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Old 03-13-2023, 10:20 AM   #3
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If you've spent night/days on your boat you know how confined it can get. So imagine you are on a trip and stuck at a campground for a week with relentless rain and not place to go. Will the RV have enough room for you to live.

This is where 2-4 slides come in handy, it opens up the RV a lot and makes it easier to get around and live.

If you plan on doing a lot of cooking make sure the setup suits your needs. Some come with ovens, others don't, we've had both and can survive either way. Counter space is important for food prep, wish we had more.

if you need a larger bed take that into consideration, most shorter RV's may have a queen, few would have a king.

Other>>>Storage is also important along with what the coach is rated to carry. Cargo Carrying Capacity is important and a lot of newer RV's have a low allowance for "stuff". Ours is ~1900 lbs and wish it was more. Just have to watch how much "stuff" you carry.

Rule of thumb on engine is to have 1 hp for every 100 lbs of total weight, bigger the engine the better. We weigh ~33K loaded and have 350 HP, ours is marginal on extra power. We get by but wish I had more.
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Old 03-13-2023, 10:40 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by montenido View Post
... finding the floor plan that you like ...
When we moved up from Class C to our 30' Class A, split-bath was important for us. That way I could shower while the DW finished her 'prep' at the mirror.

Also, x2 on cooking prep counterspace too -- especially if you both like to be involved in meal prep at the same time.

We're not big on TV time, so hide-away (exposing windows/light & ledge) was nice.
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Old 03-13-2023, 10:44 AM   #5
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Have owned 2-36' RV's one with zero slides, one with 2. Lived in the zero slide RV as a single for 12 years, and the 2 slide RV as a single for 7 years now and I much prefer having the two slides.

MW/Convection oven over the gas range gives much more drawer space under the stove, 3 large drawers in my RV...I never used the oven much in my 1st RV as it sucked up way too much propane, was hard to light, and often burnt stuff.

Remodeled the LR, removed the over dash TV and made a cabinet for storage where it had been, and put a 47" TV where the wall mounted small table behind the passenger seat and the OEM rocker/recliner/swivel chair had been and moved both to the other side after selling the 73" powered couch/bed. Added a counter top dishwasher (best purchase for the RV EVER!!!) next to the kitchen counter on it's own stand and added a lift/lower device for the TV.

The bathroom has the toilet in it's own room with plenty of storage where the optional washer/dryer would have been if the OP had ordered it. The shower is a glass walk-in corner type. No mini tub (and none needed) like my first Class A had.

The bedroom has N-S bed and the large collection of closets are all part of the bedroom slide out. The main chest of drawers is blocked when the slide is in, but I can open the closets if I want to climb over the bed. I keep an emergency set of clothes in the drawers next to the bed.

When I bought this RV, it was after 2 years of casual searching, and 1 year of concerted effort searching so I grabbed it paying $10K more then I thought it was worth as a used RV (at a consignment lot). But I am happy I did. Well worth it after searching for 3 years. It's exhausting trying to find what you want that checks all your boxes. So yeah, if you spot one that seems to have most of your boxes checked, grab it.

What I'd like to have is two more slides. LR & BR. Or I'd like one of those newer shorter diesel RVs with two full wall slide setups.
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Old 03-13-2023, 11:37 AM   #6
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Many, many people moving up to a Class A are overly concerned about the length of the vehicle while driving so they start off short. Then they realize it's not that big a deal but they are now unhappy with the less space in the shorter vehicle so they need to upgrade within a few years.

Other people buy short due to some perceived need for state parks and national parks. Then they realize their stays in those areas are minimal, less than 10% of the time. But they are now stuck with less space 100% of the time. And one bathroom. And an RV queen bed, sometimes a Short RV Queen bed (60" wide but only 74" long instead of 80" long). Etc.

Us, we moved from a 10' pop-up to a 38' gas Class A and are happy. It has enough room for two adults and dogs and we're in this thing for close to five months straight over the winter. We have an RV King bed, a bath and a half (which was a mandatory requirement for us), a combo washer/dryer, and opposing front slides. We have 6' of clear floor width in the living area so it's much more home-like. Our third slide is the bed slide.

It all depends on how you folks will use it.

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Old 03-13-2023, 01:00 PM   #7
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We have no slides.

When shopping in 2001, the slide mechanisms used up too much wall length in a 38' MH for our floorplan wants.

We wanted lots of windows. A separate toilet room. Galley on the driver side. Opposing sofas. Convection/microwave oven. No gas oven. Long galley counter top. No dining booth. North/South oriented bed.

Our Country Coach met all those wants.

I read rather than watch tv. DW watches tv from the J lounge sofa and is looking directly at the adjustable tv screen. The dog has no druthers on this aspect.

Not much has changed in our wants today. A more powerful engine would be nice. Slides might be ok. Engine brake vs an exhaust brake would be great for our local mountain travels.

We were houseless for 8 months while shopping for a new home. I recommend doing that in warm weather and little rain to be able maximize your outdoor stretching time.
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Old 03-13-2023, 01:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by deandec View Post

We were houseless for 8 months while shopping for a new home. I recommend doing that in warm weather and little rain to be able maximize your outdoor stretching time.
As a former RE Broker I'd have to disagree with 'wait until warm weather' to buy a want the worst weather like near the end of winter as the seller will often despair of ever selling it and are ready to deal.

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Old 03-13-2023, 01:40 PM   #9
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“We wanted lots of windows. A separate toilet room. Galley on the driver side. Opposing sofas. Convection/microwave oven. No gas oven. Long galley counter top. No dining booth. North/South oriented bed.”

Same for us, lots of big windows, especially curb side. I couldn’t imagine anything without opposing sofa’s (aka jackknife pull out beds) nor could the dog lol. Street side galley with lots of counter space, table and chairs instead of a dinette, a full pass thru basement and tons of CCC. Of course, this means a front door model, but that’s ok. I could care less where the tv is located, but stretched out on the sofa ain’t a bad place to watch from.
Opposing slides are nice, until they are both retracted while driving.
Every floor plan is a give and take, just don’t settle for something “I guess we can live with”. Look at and drive as many as possible. Trust me, you’ll both know the right floor plan when you see it….
Good luck.
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Old 03-13-2023, 02:43 PM   #10
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We have a 1965 37' wooden boat. It only gets used in the summer so outside deck space was more important than living space, inside just need a place to sleep, cook and shelter if/when it rains so used to living in a smaller space. MH has way more living space!

Went from a 30' no slide gas MH to a 35' two slide DP MH. The differences in floor plan were twin beds to walk around queen and single bathroom to split bathroom with toilet in one room everything else in the other. We also got wiring and plumbing for washer dryer which we don't use. Both are side entry which is normal for gas but unusual for a diesel pusher. Would have an additional 3 or 4 feet of storage and counter space with a front entry which would be nice but the side entry has its own advantages.

The extra 5 feet really doesn't make that much difference either way. Didn't really gain much with the length, and it is no harder to drive or find places to stay. Everything is just a bit bigger. The dinette and table are just a bit bigger, the couch is just a bit longer and pulls out to a full bed rather than a 3/4 bed, the fridge is bigger, the bathroom is slightly bigger. Total inside storage is similar as the split bath takes up most of the extra wall space we gained. We would rather have the extra storage. The twin beds gave excellent access to storage above and below the beds. The walk around queen not so much. We got storage in the closet in the slide and lost overhead bins and easy to access under the bed storage. Much more comfortable bed however!

The biggest difference is the feeling of space inside with the slides out. Much more comfortable for longer stays. The extra length does make a difference in where you can stay. A 30 foot has more options than 35 and that has more than 40. Does that matter? So far it has not stopped us staying where we wanted, but it has limited our options occasionally. We tend to stay national and regional parks rather than commercial parks so length is more of an issue for us.

If you get slides make sure the whole MH is useable with slides in if you plan to do any travelling. Ours is a bit cramped with slides in, two small storage bins are blocked and the bed is no longer walk around on one side but otherwise completely useable.

We lost the oven below the stove. We used it, but don't really miss it - I figured out how to do pizza in the BBQ.
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Old 03-13-2023, 02:59 PM   #11
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The question posed in this thread is difficult to answer. It’s a bit like asking what floor plan is best in a house. It all comes down to what you prioritize as a buyer. I think that your traveling and camping style are important to consider, as are your family size and goals for your RV life. Will you travel with kids or pets? Are you indoor people or outdoor people? How important is a big bathroom to you, or something like a king sized bed? How much additional sleeping space do you need for family or guests? Do you need a large eating area like a big booth for a family, or is a smaller table better for your needs? Do you need a large kitchen? What are your storage requirements?

Make a list of your top priorities and you’ll start to narrow down the things you want in a floor plan.
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Old 03-13-2023, 03:10 PM   #12
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Length is not a big issue when driving. It is an issue depending on the type of parks you plan to visit.

For us we have a 45ft and would get a 50 ft if you could.

Look for what you want. Slides give you far more room but look at the coach with slides in as well. They are in on travel days.

The more time per year you will spend in your RV the more you will appreciate more space.

Good luck.
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Old 03-13-2023, 03:47 PM   #13
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Thank you everybody for the thoughtful responses. There are some very good points to consider. Yes, coming from cruising on a 50' boat we do have some idea of close quarters travel. We will definitely look at interior access with the slide(s) in versus out. Also, kitchen space and counter space will be on my list. I like the split bathroom suggestion also.

In the meantime, I am reading as much as I can on this site and a couple others. At the moment, we are looking at something like a Fleetwood Southwind or National Dolphin from the early 2000's, but we are keeping our options open.

Thanks again for the great responses.

Cheers, Bill
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Old 03-13-2023, 04:02 PM   #14
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We used to have a 40' aft cabin boat that slept 8 adults and had two heads. With its 14ft beam it had double the elbow room of a 40' MH.

And of course, much of the time you could not step off the boat onto something stable, like the ground...

Shorter is not always better in a MH.
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