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Old 01-01-2014, 04:40 PM   #1
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>.< Oh the options.

The DW has put her foot down on lots of toys while we were raising our children, she miser-ed every penny and would often hide away money for that "one day" fund. With our baby married and setting off to start her own family, she handed me a savings book for Christmas as said "time to get serious".

We have no more solidified what we want than we can control the weather.

I drove logging and mining water trucks all through college. These were extreme hauls and tended to be in huge rigs in excess of 80,000+ pounds. This was back in the 80s when motors were smaller and less "smart" but the driver was sharp as a whistle.

Several years ago the DW started doing her research. Being ex military and driving convoys for front refuelers and wreckers, power and towability are keys to her. She wants a floor plan that is minimal and comfortable that will accommodate our fur kids (Weimaraners).

We like the quality of the Entegra Cornerstone, but loath the floor plans. While they surpass in many ways, where they are lacking is a huge lacking factor. Where they win every time is the DW likes the K3 Spartin and 600hp motor. She has done so much research on this coach that I often have to tell her to put it away.

Personally, I like the idea of an HDT toter combo. The problem with this is you can't take it international unless we both get international CDL... (she rolls her eyes as says "not gonna happen, its a toy, not a job" ).

Two of our really good friends had a newer rig and were MH jacked while going through Nicaragua on their way to Costa Rica in their rig, so DW says, "we need a beater that no one will care about". Then we sat in these old rigs, by the time you find a sound frame and chasis, you will be about $150-$300 depending on the modifications you make. Some that we rented for weekend trips were really little more than teeth rattlers. Noisy, wet, and you might as well have strapped yourself to a boulder because the comfort was about the same.

We looked into converting a skoolie (school bus), but I really don't want to dig into that. All the rewire to LED, getting the lay out just right, hiring someone to lift the roof (I am over 6'4"), install the basement and everything else. The wife says that way on the inside it would be comfortable because we could pick the furniture, but we could "hippy" the outside and leave it looking like nothing special. We managed to find one to rent for a road trip, but I just don't like the noise up front like that.

Long story short, the things that are musts for us are:

  • Quality, Quality, Quality
  • Customer service past the purchase contract
  • Tag Axel, Diesel Pusher
  • Motor large enough to haul coach and toad up and over our mountains we live in without feeling the need to get out and push
  • Good climate control
  • NO REAR lavatory
  • NO HALF bath
  • Floor plan that works for us and our fur kids (which are weimaraners, if you have never owned one, you may not understand the unique challenge our fur kids pose)

These are our solids and why we are so glad we have found this forum. Sometimes I think my DW lives here in her off hours. She refused to get an account because she said "You can't get one yet, we are redneck hillbillies that don't know squat with our pop up". I figure you all had to start somewhere. Our RV experience is mostly in our houseboats and ski boats, but we have had our well used pop up since 1986 and its still in great shape.

So much more to decide upon and we want to make our decision no later than early next year. We agreed that we would retire after our baby got married, we aren't old enough (government standards) but both feel we spent our "young" years focused on raising the children, now it is time to get to know each other and have our "play and live" time together.
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Old 01-01-2014, 05:40 PM   #2
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It seems like you have a handle on it.
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Old 01-02-2014, 05:07 AM   #3
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Welcome aboard....Good luck on your quest an I'm sure you'll find some help on IRV2...
Terry & Brenda - From the Iowa Banks of the Mighty Mississippi
2011 Winnie Journey 34y, Freightliner / Cummins , 2012 Chevy Colorado Toad

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Old 01-02-2014, 07:05 AM   #4
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Lots of wants and desire's on a floor plan! You'll need, IMHO, to convert a bus.
Clay & Pebble
2012 Providence 42 M. Spartan Chassis, 450 ISL
Ford Edge toad, RM All Terrane, TST TPMS, SMI Air Force One, RVM95....
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Old 01-02-2014, 07:52 AM   #5
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Hi folks! Welcome to IRV2! It's great to have you join the gang!

WOW! That's a LOT of options, but then it's good to know what you want and keep looking till you find it! Hope you enjoy the forum!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!

Joe & Annette
Sometimes I sits and thinks, sometimes I just sits.....
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Old 01-02-2014, 08:15 AM   #6
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Wow I'm exhausted after reading your letter...You will find what you are looking for sooner or later. I wish you the very best in your search. Happy New Year. Good times are ahead of you. Good luck.
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Old 01-02-2014, 08:28 AM   #7
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Rigs like the earth roamer might fill most of your wants. But at what price? Personally if you intend to drive throughout the Americas you might consider a used unimog as a starting point and have one of the custom builders do what you wan behind.
Don and Lorri
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:00 AM   #8
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The floor plan that works for us is the Forest River Berkshire 390BH. Floor plan needs is where it stops for us on the Berkshire. IMHO the motor will never cut it and the quality is below what we desire.

Newmar has a floorplan that would "sorta" work in the King Aire 4599, it meets on all but two accounts. The rear Lavatory and the $$.

For those wondering why a "bunk house" works for us is because Weimaraners are very attached to their owners. To the point that they go nuts when they can not "touch" their master. I can not even begin to tell you how much we have replaced in our S & B. You have company that don't appreciate a dog in their face (we have two) so you shut them up in a bedroom while you visit. When your guests leave, you open the door, they have torn up the carpet and torn it trying to get out of the bedroom to be back by your side. They claw through doors (or try). They aren't being destructive to be destructive, they do it because their love and loyalty to the person in which they attach is so strong, if they know you are home, they will do what ever it takes to get to your side to protect and watch over you.

For this reason, with the costs of a coach, we really need that bunk area so we can put them in non destructive kennels when we want to explore somewhere a dog isn't allowed.

Edited to add: Weimaraners are non violent, they just want to be within touching distance. When you go places, you end up with new friends and not all friends are dog lovers. Thus, you need to put them in a location where they can't destroy everything to get within touching distance. A built in sturdy kennel is a must with our two fur kids. They are tall and require XXL Giant Kennels, this would be easier to "build in" than it would to disassemble, reassemble and store.

The reason for no rear bath is that while in the military the DW took a few bullets and is in need of two new knees. Because of her age, doctors don't want to do that for about 20 more years. She gets many injections and has them drained every few months and does her best to not let them slow her down. She can't climb around like she could prior to the injury that caused the problem. Couple this with an OCD dirt person and she will be climbing around to that rear lavatory while driving to make sure no dirt and smudges.

If anyone knows of a quality rig with a bunk option, please chime in.

As for budget, we would like to spend no more than $500k (including options and modifications to accommodate the fur kids and DW disability.
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Old 01-02-2014, 05:40 PM   #9
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Welcome and glad to meet you!
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