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Old 03-29-2023, 03:28 PM   #1
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Help picking a Motorhome (size)

Hello all,

I have to start this post with some background on me. At one point in my life (Pre-kids, when the wife and I had a life outside of kids/sports) my wife and I owned an airplane and loved to travel.

Once we outgrew the airplane, we sold it. We have 5 in the immediate family, with 3 remaining parents that are still active, and a big part of our kids' lives.

I have always dreamed of owning a self-containing airplane / Boat / RV to travel in with the family. So, the itch for an RV has been with me for a long time!

On top of my internal itch, a buddy of mine came to visit in his 28' Motorhome and it was awesome. They stayed in our Cul-De-Sac and just hooked up water and electricity from the house. Let's just say the itch is now burning and the wife and I are serious about wanting a RV. While an airplane would be amazing, one that sits 7/8 is in the several million-dollar range, and a boat would be in the slip 120 miles from the house! Thus, the RV is where I'm focused now.

I've been lurking this forum for years! And finally settled on the type of RV I want.

I want: Class A Motorhome with Bunkhouse and Washer/Dryer and I would like to be in the sub $200K range.

The coaches I've been researching are: Tiffan (Leading my research) / Newmar (I think they are out of my price range) / Thor (I keep reading about quality issues).

Where I think I'm landing is the Tiffan 36UA.

Questions:

1. Anyone travel with 5 - 8? If so, how is it? What size coach do you have?

2. I was thinking 36 would be a big RV and was thinking something smaller. I've found bunkhouse RV's that don't have washer / dryer. Can you add these?

3. Is there any manufacture that has only two fuel types? Gas / Electric or Diesel / Electric
I would like to have everything ran off of electricity, except for the generator and coach itself (I would like only 1 fuel tank).

I'm sure I will have a ton more questions, once the dialogue starts flowing :-)

Happy RV'ing to all :-)
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Old 03-29-2023, 03:42 PM   #2
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I think you’re asking good questions. The key to being happy with motorhome size is in the floor plan. There are some 45’ coaches that are only configured to sleep 2 people. There are some coaches under 40’ that can easily sleep 6 people.

If I were in your shoes, I’d make a list of priorities in terms of what you want out of an RV. You need to have adequate sleeping, but think about things like privacy as well as bathrooms. Think about seating inside the RV when the weather forces you inside. All these things are important. Look at the bed options because some beds are quite small, especially those that are made by converting a dinette into a bed.

To answer a few of your other questions: a washer and dryer can be added easily if the RV is pre-plumbed and wired for it. If not, then it’s more of a challenge. Many RVs are sold with the plumbing in place. There are multiple fuel options. Search for an “all electric” coach and you’ll find what you seek. All electric really means no propane in the RV world. My all electric coach has all electric appliances, but the heating system, water heating, and the generator all run using diesel from the main tank for the engine.

Happy shopping!

Edit: Another consideration is where you like to camp. Many state and national parks have size limitations for RVs. We specifically stayed under 40’ for this reason.
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Old 03-29-2023, 03:52 PM   #3
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I would say a lot depends on the duration of your trips. A party of 5-8 for a weekend outing a lot different than same size for week or more. That size of party likely requires a bath and ahalf setup for longer durations. That puts you in a35’ plus class A range. As for the washer dryer, you’re not going to keep up on laundry for that size of party unless you run it all day. I’m not sure you can add one unless the coach is plumbed and wired for one. Yes they’re convenient but nothing like you have at home. To answer your question, yes there are diesel electric coaches. Might suggest you rent one with what you believe you want to see if it fits your needs. We’ve camped with 2 additional adults for a couple of weeks, and after that we each wanted our space. Best on whatever you decide.
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Old 03-29-2023, 04:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis C. View Post
I think you’re asking good questions. The key to being happy with motorhome size is in the floor plan. There are some 45’ coaches that are only configured to sleep 2 people. There are some coaches under 40’ that can easily sleep 6 people.

If I were in your shoes, I’d make a list of priorities in terms of what you want out of an RV. You need to have adequate sleeping, but think about things like privacy as well as bathrooms. Think about seating inside the RV when the weather forces you inside. All these things are important. Look at the bed options because some beds are quite small, especially those that are made by converting a dinette into a bed.

To answer a few of your other questions: a washer and dryer can be added easily if the RV is pre-plumbed and wired for it. If not, then it’s more of a challenge. Many RVs are sold with the plumbing in place. There are multiple fuel options. Search for an “all electric” coach and you’ll find what you seek. All electric really means no propane in the RV world. My all electric coach has all electric appliances, but the heating system, water heating, and the generator all run using diesel from the main tank for the engine.

Happy shopping!

Edit: Another consideration is where you like to camp. Many state and national parks have size limitations for RVs. We specifically stayed under 40’ for this reason.
Dennis,
Thank you for the response.

The trips I'm envisioning with the family are: (examples)
1. weeklong skiing trips to Key Stone are in CO or Angle Fire in NM
2. Summer trips Going West and North.... or East and North

Trips with 7/8:
1. Beach trips, about 120 miles from the house.
2. Local trips in TX, which can pretty vast since it takes forever to drive out of the state :-)


I like the Tiffan 36UA for these: Dual bathrooms, big enough to give everyone space on bad weather days (Great call Warhorse 6). My only issue is that it has propane, like I said, I would rather avoid that.

My google skills are lacking: when I lookup RV with Electric appliances, all I get are All electric RVs (class B, small ones).

Any pointers would be appreciated
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Old 03-29-2023, 04:17 PM   #5
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It sounds like a coach in the 30’ - 40’ range with the right floor plan could be ideal. A bunkhouse floor plan would definitely be helpful with a large group.

You might try searching for coaches with induction cooktops or residential refrigerators. These items are typically found in “all electric” coaches. I don’t know the Tiffin product line well, so I can’t give you advice in what options they offer.

I live fairly close to Keystone and I ski there regularly. There’s a great year round RV resort fairly near there in Breckinridge called Tiger Run Resort. It offers things like heated water supply lines and more. Using an RV in Colorado winters presents another set of challenges that you’ll need to consider. Management of the water lines to prevent freezing is the biggest challenge. The second challenge is humidity inside the coach, especially if you have multiple people inside. You’ll definitely need some kind of a dehumidifier system, otherwise you’ll wake up in the morning with condensation running down the windows and maybe even the walls. Winter RV usage isn’t for the weak hearted. Driving an RV in the mountains in winter conditions is another challenge. We don’t get our rig out of storage and de-winterize it until May. It’s March 29th as I type this. Yesterday morning it was -1į F at my house when I woke up. RVs are a challenge when it’s this cold.
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Old 03-29-2023, 05:27 PM   #6
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It sounds as youíre going to need to focus on beds. Another thing that was touched on, with that many people, on bad weather days, itís going to be tight. Iíve never heard anyone say, they wished theyíd bought a smaller coach. Have fun, itís out there, be patient.
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Old 03-29-2023, 05:53 PM   #7
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With that many bodies,, Might look into retired entertainer buses that have multi bunks and galley/bath facilities..
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Old 03-29-2023, 05:59 PM   #8
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1. Anyone travel with 5 - 8? No....but we have sleeping for 4 guests on the dinette and televator bed over the cockpit (6 total) in our 35 ft motorhome. Last one, a 30 ft motorhome, had sleeping for 2 more on a couch (8 total).

2..........I've found bunkhouse RV's that don't have washer / dryer. Can you add these? Generally yes, if pre-plumbed and wired for them. Our 35 ft motorhome came with factory-installed stackable washer/dryer.

3. Is there any manufacture that has only two fuel types? Gas / Electric or Diesel / Electric. Depends, gassers generally use gas for generator, propane for water heater, furnace and cooktop snd electic for everything else and diesels generally use diesel for generator, gas for water heater and furnace and electic for heat pump, cooktop, etc.

Good luck with your search.........get out there and kick the tires!!
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Old 03-29-2023, 06:04 PM   #9
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Coaches

Why dont you look at the Tiffin Red or Phaeton they come in all electric models.
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Old 03-29-2023, 06:18 PM   #10
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Why dont you look at the Tiffin Red or Phaeton they come in all electric models.
I heard that you want to be sub 34 or 36 feet to get into most state parks. And since I've never owned a RV before, I was trying to stay that size.

I'm up for being educated!
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Old 03-29-2023, 06:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnP88 View Post
I heard that you want to be sub 34 or 36 feet to get into most state parks. And since I've never owned a RV before, I was trying to stay that size.

I'm up for being educated!
It depends on the state and the parks. Weíre camping in Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Denali, and Arches this summer. Our rig is just under 38 feet in length and we got reservations with no problems. The limit was 40 feet in most of these parks.
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Old 03-29-2023, 09:43 PM   #12
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Here is my advice, first off buy used, probably something in the 6-8 year age range, consider your first motorhome to be a learning tool, as you simply don't know what you don't know, and therefore have no practical first hand opinion on any number of features, ranging from top hinge to side hinge cargo compartment doors, to free standing dining table or dinette that convert to a bed, etc. As others have mentioned the mini-front loading washer and dryers found in motorhomes, will never keep up with the laundry demands of 7-8 people unless you run them 24 hours per day, keeping up with half of that would be challenging for most.


Now down to more specific suggestions look for a bath and a half bunkhouse coach with a drop down bed over the cab area. Everyone hates sleeping in a dinette bed, most are small kids size beds, they tend to be converted to a bed last at night, and first in the morning, so if you can find a floor plan that works for you without anyone sleeping in the dinette everyone will be happier.


You imply that you are somewhere in Texas about 120 miles from the coast, if that is the case, I would suggest going to Nacogdoches and spend a day at Motorhomes of Texas seeing what they have on the lot that fits your needs. MOT specializes in used good condition mostly upper end diesel pushers, though they do have some other stuff. They also clean and stage all of the coaches on their lot (how they get all the soap scum and water marks off of shower glass I have no clue), also all of their inventory is plugged into power and has air conditioning running unlike a lot of dealers.


Bunkhouse layouts, 1 and a half bath layouts and drop down beds over the cab area all started to become popular about 10-11 years ago, therefore finding a good one around 6-8 years old should be relatively easy, likely at a price well below your budgeted amount. Also condition matters a lot more than brand / initial build quality on used coaches.
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Old 03-30-2023, 12:14 AM   #13
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Many of the things we didn’t care about are now the main features we MUST have in any future RV. We bought a Bounder 35k, but did not care about the 2 bathrooms, fireplace, or outside TV. Now we wouldn’t have an RV without those.

I also did not want a 36ft coach, but thought a 32 would be better. I am so glad the wife got her way . The 36 handles better with the larger 22in tires and longer wheelbase.
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Old 03-30-2023, 09:02 AM   #14
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Take a look at Fleetwood Discovery LXE 44B and 40G. Both are bunk house models with sofas that also fold out into beds. And if you get a later model, then most will come with the dropdown bunk over the driver and passenger seats.

Another thing you need to look out for, is "seat belt" locations. Make sure you have enough seating with belts to accommodate all the passengers.
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