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Old 02-17-2012, 02:23 PM   #1
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Bunk modifications I'm considering

Our search for a motor home has boiled down to the ability to add bunks in a 40' Diesel Pusher while maintaining some privacy for the master bedroom and keeping a good flow in the living space. We also have to fit under an $80K budget.

Attached is a very rough sketch of two different floorplans I am considering. The red 'X' area is where I would put the bunks.

The coach with the longer wall slide is an Alfa See Ya Sooo Long, founder edition, 2007 with a 330HP Cat that has 22K miles.

The other coach is a 1999 Gulf Stream Tour Master Millennium Edition with a 450HP Cummins that has 52K miles.

Here are my thoughts:
  • The Tour Master has much nicer appointments and features inside. Feels very luxurious. Our moods and ability to live fulltime as a family will depend somewhat on overall size (Alfa wins), but also on the built environment (GS wins). I'm not sure which to place more value in.
  • I love to cook, and the kitchen in the GS appears far superior
  • The Alfa is famous for having tall ceilings (7'6"), wheras the GS is a full foot shorter (6'6"). Being 6'4" myself, I fear I will feel a bit more cramped in the GS. However, the GS has a mirrored ceiling, which gives the illusion of more height. Again, not sure what I will think in the long run.
  • GS, with the more powerful engine, will not labor on hills as much. We will change locations every month on average, so will do a fair amount of driving.
  • Slide depth on both coaches is 36", so the living space 'feels' exactly the same on either. This is where I imagine I will spend the bulk of my indoor time with the kiddos.
  • GS has a larger water heater and a 2' deep tub that is nearly large enough for two adults. This is a plus for bathing our kids. I imagine this can be added to the Alfa pretty easily, but still an additional expense.
  • Alfa is newer by 8 years, but given that neither engine is approaching high mileage then I consider the age a moot point.
  • Alfa has larger windows (because of the higher ceilings). This, again, will probably make it feel roomier even though floorspace is nearly the same. Then again, it will be harder to heat and cool. Not sure which coach wins here.
  • Undercoach storage seems pretty equal between the two, so I think that is a draw.
  • GS has larger tank capacities across the board, which will help if we boondock extensively. Not sure how important this is because I don't know how much water to expect to use per day, nor how quickly we will fill the waste tanks. Still larger seems better to me.
  • The Alfa has the longer slide (by 7 feet), but most of the extra space would just be a hallway passing through the bunkhouse.
  • The GS has solar panels on top. Will we actually use these?? It seems with a generator, an inverter, and shore power that solar will take the back seat.

I appreciate any and all thoughts! We hit the road in June. Thanks for your time.


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Old 02-17-2012, 02:56 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Ph.Dad View Post
  • The GS has solar panels on top. Will we actually use these?? It seems with a generator, an inverter, and shore power that solar will take the back seat. -
Just a comment on the solar panel.... The inverter requires battery power and with solar you have one more method to keep the batteries charged!
Ronnie (WD5GIC) & Jan (WD5IHU)
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:07 PM   #3
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Hi Dad;

The first thing to think of, as stated in many other posts on here, is which one "feels"better. Putting all the objective analysis aside, you want to feel comfortable with the floor plan.

That said, a couple of things popped out at me as I looked at the drawings. It looks to me like the GS has a bit better kitchen, if you do a lot of cooking, that can be a big thing. That kitchen however comes with a trade off. The Alfa looks to have a more comfortable living area. Also in the Alfa's favor is the dining table vs. a booth. I am kind of a big guy, so the booths don't fit me. Most of the units I looked at I would have had to trim the table by about 6"to get my fat a** in there. Another point that I liked is the private entrance to the bathroom.

Good luck with your decision, and please show us some before and after photos when you get going on this project.
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