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New Motorhome Floor Plans: Practical Or Impractical - A Poll

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Hello Carl,

I owned a smaller C class Toyota truck before my business overwhelmed me...I hated it...kept bumping my head when I would get out.

As of today, I don't own an RV unless you consider my Mercedes with its top down or my Boxer dog Mace an RV, so mostly my wife and I do day trips. We are going to Yosemite this Wednesday.

We are heading out to RVSEF in Kentucky in May for their conference. My wife will be taking one of their 3 hour Class A driving courses.

I'm now working on my appliance specialist which should be fairly easy for me, but I have to prepare for the test and I still want to go back through the materials. Then I will work on my chassis specialist.

I will be in buying mode at some point, probably 10 months to 2 years from now and be looking for a well taken care of dp and jeep (my wife always wanted one). The owner care taking is a key element. I will be willing to pay cash at that time...just waiting for the funds to free up. My budget is 80k to 130k for the dp itself.

We plan to start with 3 month road trips, traveling around the U.S. Just don't think a 5th is the best choice and my wife is beginning to understand my point of view.

Note: just had Mace neutered and he acts like nothing happened. Very resilient personality. Took him to the Vet's place yesterday to check on his recovery and acted like I took him to a party when we got there.

Note: the doc said to give him 3 doses of phenobarbital to slow him down or 2 doses if 3 are too much. Didn't affect him at all so gave him 4 doses this morning...no effect either. I guess I will give the med back to the doc. Tough customer.

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Reviewing coaches on the internet and "looking" at floor plans, got us a basic idea of 2016's offerings. Our thought was each and every coach manufacturer that survived 2008 - 2011 had pros and cons that appeal to their customer base and allowed them to remain in operation, although as we know a few had to seek additional assistance thru the courts. Last month we spent two (2) long full days at Tampa RV Super show, after reviewing all of 2016's offerings we elected not to upgrade to any of this years makes or models.

In summery as so many others have already stated, every coach and floor plan has its pros and cons.

So the question is really yours.

What best meets your travel needs and life style ? What keeps her happy? As so many of us already know..... Happy wife happy life, upset wife miserable life.

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RodgerS

Click on huffypuff (Ray) picture and send him a PM. His coach and toad is for sale at a price that is hard to beat! I know it's not 10 months or more down the line, but with Ray you will know that you have a trouble free unit!

Carl

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RodgerS

Click on huffypuff (Ray) picture and send him a PM. His coach and toad is for sale at a price that is hard to beat! I know it's not 10 months or more down the line, but with Ray you will know that you have a trouble free unit!

Carl

I was going to suggest the same. Locating a coach that is well maintained is difficult, locating one that was Impeccably maintained is nearly impossible. If I was in the market or was planning on being in the market soon I would have jumped on a plane by now and met Ray.

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"...you will know that you have a trouble free unit!"

I did not know there was such a thing. :)

================================

"I would have jumped on a plane by now"

I'm in no hurry, but thanks. :)

My wife and I will jump on a plane to France later this year.

================================

"he really would rather be"

That is a phrase I left behind when I retired. :)

I'm more of a "has been" and don't care to be anything.

=================================

Thanks for all the excellent advice, :):):)

Really, very much appreciated,

but there are plenty of coaches out there and

the wife kind of wants a 5th and we are going

to Yosemite tomorrow and

I'm quite relaxed about the whole thing.

The nice thing about cash is that it is always spendable tomorrow for

the next great deal that seems to always come along.

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Just a note, and without any disrespect to any owner who makes his best efforts taking care of his coach.

I'm a darned good inspector and my point of view is the coach is only as good as I say it is.

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Obviously different floor plans appeal to different people. Personally, I'm not a fan of a second bathroom, but then I like the flexibility of a smaller coach (38-40 feet) and would rather have the space used for something else. My biggest pet peeve is how the coach makers seem to want to outdo each other on how many sofas/love seats/couches they can cram into the living room area. I would much prefer detached recliners and a desk-type work space for computer, printer, file cabinet, etc. We just had the sofa removed from our 2006 Alfa and had cabinets/work space built in. Some people might want the extra sleeping space, but in 10 years we had one person spend one night on our sleeper sofa. If we ever have overnight guests again, they can sleep on a air mattress.

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Carl,

Yosemite was beautiful. There was still some snow on the ground and the roads were all clear. Valley RV campground was about 50% full. Very minimal traffic on the roads. Mostly photographers and painters, with a few hikers. Hit a BBQ stand on the way back home that night.

We walked through the RV campground, which included some tents, and chatted about the various setups. I also talked to a couple in a Travato Class B in one of the hiking parking lots. The couple, about the same age as my wife and I, had two small dogs with them and the wife looked a bit ragged, as in fighting to make it work (the way people look who have tents, when they just popped out of the tent). How they were using it was within my expectations for a Class B - lots of mileage with one or two night stays in each location. Easy to pull into a Starbucks parking lot for drinks.

My wife and I worked the concept of a B class over as to a similar trip, but staying a couple of weeks in the Valley. Really excellent mobility, but really tight livability. We concluded it would be a great choice for us EXCEPT that we intend to stay more than 2 nights in any one place and one can't carry much with you. My wife did think she could get used to the marine toilet and was willing to entertain the idea if I wanted to go that direction. My conclusion was that I don't have the mental discipline to be that tightly confined for a one to two week stay at each location, even if I put a screen room out. Plus, my Boxer is expected to weight 65 pounds, and would hem us in even more, unless we kenneled him.

Rodger

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Newbie:

"My biggest pet peeve is how the coach makers seem to want to outdo each other on how many sofas/love seats/couches they can cram into the living room area. I would much prefer detached recliners."

My take on this is that there is a large group of RVers who are very sociable. When I see two sofas in a dp, my assumption is the buyer likes the idea of inviting people over for food or wine, to play games, to bring family, etc.

I'm sociable, but tend to prefer doing things with my wife most of the time. I have no problems with this issue. It is very simple to toss out one of the sofas and put a pair of recliners in its place. I would then put a pop-up tv behind the other sofa.

​If I bought new I might be irritated more about it, but buying used I would feel quite comfortable doing some remodeling. 40 feet usually gives me a lot to work with.

Note: I have batted around the idea of a 5th quite deeply, but my intended usage pushes me towards a dp: 1) moderate plus mobility and 2) moderate plus livability. I see a 5th as moderate mobility and high livability. The front living room 5ths are amazing. The 5ths often come with dual recliners and one couch and a tv in front of the recliners...just about perfect, but...then...

Rodger

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RodgerS.

Glad you had a good "Get away" and found it enjoyable! Class B, would make for a nice toad.

My best friend has had a 5th now for 10 years, because he tends to stay in one place for 3 or more weeks and has been looking for a new rig! Took a year for him to make up his mind as to get a 40' to 45' DP or another 5th! He told me yesterday that he and the DW has decided to go with another 5th, custom built by Royal, 47'!

He will end up spending as much for trailer and hauler as I would on a new 45' DP.

His reason is quite simple...we all change as we get older, he no longer is interested in all the toys, both like to stay in one place for the Summer! They have rented a garage in Cortez, Co. for her car and his Jeep!

Every body has their own reason and need. I still like to travel and I'll stay a week or a month, I'm not hung up on seeing the same people each year, at the same place, doing the same thing!

Carl

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Carl,

Turning a class B into a toad, now that is a creative idea I had not heard before. All this talk about new is pretty interesting, as well as the idea of new high quality trailer and new semi hauler hauler about equal in cost to a new 45ft.

Leaving the concept of New land yachts for a moment, for about $80 to $140, you can have a used high quality dp or a used trailer/hauler. So, your argument works new or used. With a 5th combo, you can mix new and used.

A rough rider (smile) over in another forum asked me to take a ride in a new chevrolet silverado hd dually diesel truck...the concept being that the trucks have changed so much that one can actually use it as a daily driver when not towing and with a payload of 7,100 lbs and towing capacity of 22,600 pounds, it should be part of ones serious consideration. My wife certainly likes 5ths and the concept of a reasonable multiuser vehicle.

One interesting thing I discovered that the engine hood allowed me to know where both sides of the dually were in relation to the road...don't know if that was intended, but it was a nice surprise and added a big feeling of comfort for me. I'm not gonna say it rides like a cadillac, but I will say, it was an epiphany for me and a really great daily ride except in really rough terrain. On the freeway...just amazing - smooth and quiet.

Plan A: do nothing and enjoy the daily tips

Plan B: a used Newmar 40 dp

Plan C: a new Silverado dually and a used premium 5th like a DRV.

I spent several hours reading about 6 different long dp vs 5th threads. Frankly, like you say it is very personal and the tradeoffs and compromises are also very personal. One man's horse is another man's donkey, so to speak.

I'm amazed at how how the need to take a leak in their dp while traveling seems to be the primary choice driver for some...a traveling old age rest home for some (smiles/joking).

Happy husband, happy life.

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Rogers, keep in mind the down sides of trailers;

When you arrive you have to exit to set up, in bad weather that can be a pain.

When you arrive, the trailer is at ambient temps inside, cold or hot can be uncomfortable for some,while waiting for the systems to get the unit to your desired temp.

While in travel, you are at the mercy of using rest stops or gas stations for the potty.

While in travel, stopping for a meal often cannot be cooked in the trailer without opening the slides, then most do not have generators if you need power, again you will be at ambient temps inside while this is all happening, chances are you will be done before the temps are comfortable.

The bucking and bouncing down the highway getting blown around gets old quick with a trailer.

I am sure here are downsides to motorhomes for some, if there is any they don't bother us. We often travel with friends with Trailers, these are the struggles I witness, and I have my first drink down, they are still setting up.

One safety concern; when a trailer is set up you have no brakes to keep it secure in its spot, (unless it has air brakes) I watched one roll at a campground last year as it pushed the chocks along and the scissor locks between the wheels fell off. Just my two cents, go for what ever works best for you and enjoy it.

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Advanced member:

With due respect, after reading 6 threads on the subject as I mentioned, I don't think I need to be reminded of the downsides

of dp or 5ht combos. None of your comments were ignored in those threads, but repeated many times. :rolleyes:

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But, I will respond as a courtesy:

1)When you arrive you have to exit to set up, in bad weather that can be a pain.

​This was commonly mentioned on all the threads I read. Thanks.

2) When you arrive, the trailer is at ambient temps inside, cold or hot can be uncomfortable for some,while waiting for the systems to get the unit to your desired temp.

​This was commonly mentioned on all the threads I read. Thanks.

3) While in travel, you are at the mercy of using rest stops or gas stations for the potty.

​This was commonly mentioned on all the threads I read. Apparently, dp drivers can put the coach on cruise mode and go use the potty.

Ah, thanks.

4) While in travel, stopping for a meal often cannot be cooked in the trailer without opening the slides, then most do not have generators if you need power, again you will be at ambient temps inside while this is all happening, chances are you will be done before the temps are comfortable.
​This was commonly mentioned on all the threads I read. A little creativity might help. Generators can be purchased and installed in the the 5th or the truck. Ah, thanks.

5) The bucking and bouncing down the highway getting blown around gets old quick with a trailer.

​This was commonly mentioned on all the threads I read. 5ths seem to be better and dp owners also complain about trucks and stuff blowing them around...

​Yes, quite a challenge managing all this. Ah, thanks.

6) I am sure here are downsides to motorhomes for some, if there is any they don't bother us.

Are you joking with me??? The threads across forums are rife with complaints by dp owners.

Ah, thanks.

7) We often travel with friends with Trailers, these are the struggles I witness, and I have my first drink down, they are still setting up.
One safety concern; when a trailer is set up you have no brakes to keep it secure in its spot, (unless it has air brakes) I watched one roll at a campground last year as it pushed the chocks along and the scissor locks between the wheels fell off. Just my two cents, go for what ever works best for you and enjoy it.

This was commonly mentioned on all the threads I read, as well as problems dp have had like fires and rollovers. I don't drink, don't need the booze. I'm in very good physical shape and don't mind getting off my duff. Do I need to go into safety concerns on dps?

Ah thanks.]

You did read my post that I have read lots of discussion on this. Nothing you said added to those discussions.

Note, since retirement I have earned my rv electric technician special and am an rv inspector for an extended warranty company.

Am I listening, yes.

Are you listening or reading? I don't know.

Last add: historical experiences are excellent, but not keeping up with the changes in technology is devastating. When was the last time you reviewed the new 5th wheel technology, not just the dp technology?

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"But, I will respond as a courtesy" Please don't bother. I have heard enough condescending opinions on how great of a expert you are on, Well every thing and I am not impressed that you are going to France in the future. I have seen you on several places and mostly to promote your self as an inspector or that you are going to be one. You don't have a motorhome and haven't for a long time so your experience comes from reading and watching not hands on doing. You have spent a great amount of time talking up 5th wheel trailers as the greatest. You may find better responses on a trailer or 5th wheel trailer forum. It is unlikely you will convince anyone on Family Motor Coach forum that they are better. The good news is you are free to go buy anything you want.

Bill

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I read somewhere on this website that Rodger was looking at a used DP for future purchase. Does seem odd that someone with no RV is working on numerous certifications. Jump in there with the rest of us Rodger. Buy something. Joe is a good guy. He does not deserve your condescension.

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- At some point it dawned on me that being able to fix most of this stuff myself had some value.

- I have read there are a few people like me who studied this for a couple of years before they purchased. I'm in that category.

I will buy when, what, and on my own terms. I'm not preventing you from doing what you want, and I'm not complaining about your replies,

but I will say what I think.

Things that I think are overboard include:

1) telling me to run out and buy someones dp because it will be trouble free.

2) telling me to jump in and buy something.

3) telling me my thinking is odd.

4) telling me that a key advantage of a dp is where you can potty.

5) telling me what a great expert I am with a snide tone. I get paid for my RV opinions as an inspector, that's a fact.

6) I don't promote myself as an inspector, I'm hired as one and only work for one company. That is a fact.

7) Glad I've been seen several places, guess that person was there too.

8) Yep, I'm disqualified from having an opinion on anything RV because I don't own one. Well, either I'm right or wrong and

anyone can set me straight - I love discovering I'm wrong.

9) Yes, tell me to go elsewhere to another forum. Let's get rid of anyone that doesn't sing the approved song. No problem.

Fine with me.

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Take that chip off of your shoulder Rodger. This forum is made up of good helpful people. You kind of remind me of CB warriors at truckstops. The anonymity of the CB makes them more opinionated or aggressive. Gave those battles up years ago. Really don't know why I am still replying to you. Hope you don't talk to your friends and wife the way you jumped on Joe. Me/ I don't care. You will wear yourself out around here.

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Note from Moderator:

It is fine to correct someones incorrect facts and/or question someones opinions.

It is not OK to attach the poster. One of the reasons that politics, religion and other controversial topics are off limits on virtually all Forums-- too easy to degrade into personal attacks.

"Let's continue to play nice." That is what sets this Forum apart.

Thanks.

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Take a look at my signature line, I have been hit, knives pulled on me, broken up bar room fights, went through a glass door with a guy 2x my size etc... and I now work for a trucking co, that was nothing... :o:D I do appreciate the responses from my friends. OK, with all of that being said lets get back to the topic......shall we?

Yesterday the DW and I took a road trip to CW in NJ (beautiful day for a ride in the car) to pick up the little things we all need for the start of the season. Plus this CW just expanded into selling new and used RV's, so we wanted to take a walk around and see if I get my next brainstorm :blink: . Surprisingly it was my DW's idea. Several products were on display in the parking lot, TT's with and with out the bumper hitch, :) Class C's, Class A's and a few DP's. We must have spent at least 2 hours walking through them. I have to say we were not impressed with the floor plans and quality, here is what we saw;

  • TV's out of sight range, you have to turn your head 90 degrees to see it. One had it mounted next to the cook top (class A DP), not sure how that will look in a few years.
  • unable to access back bedroom or restroom with slides closed.
  • overall construction quality was very poor. screws laying on the floors and counters, valences falling down.
  • sink in one bathroom wedged deep into a small space, not sure my kids could access let alone an adult, when there was another location that it could have been mounted. My guess is they placed it as close to the gray tank as possible.
  • just flimsy construction products all throughout.

It all just reiterated somewhere back in this or another post on how the quality has dropped off in the last few years. What really surprised me was the dealer displayed new units with broken items inside.

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Part of the problem is the engineers who design these things are not RVers and have never spent a night in one. Several years ago, the pres of American Coach was going to initiate a program where the engineers had to go spend a week in an RV they designed. Soon there after, he retired, so I don't know if they started that program. Sounds like a good idea to me.

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  • 1) TV's out of sight range, you have to turn your head 90 degrees to see it. One had it mounted next to the cook top (class A DP), not sure how that will look in a few years.

Yep, kinda of strange to me to see all these tv's, let alone where they are place. Fortunately, I read a lot of books most of the time.

2) unable to access back bedroom or restroom with slides closed.

Hard to close the door to the toilet, needed to move my legs around, while sitting down in one unit I looked at a couple of days ago.

3) overall construction quality was very poor. screws laying on the floors and counters, valences falling down.

Yes, pretty common.

4) sink in one bathroom wedged deep into a small space, not sure my kids could access let alone an adult, when there was another location that it could have been mounted. My guess is they placed it as close to the gray tank as possible.just flimsy construction products all throughout.

Yeah. I think there are two critical problems. One is that quality of construction materials adds weight. Two, that the industry is where the auto industry was in the 1970's, before the Japanese challenged the market with quality control systems. Nothing to force this market to be better.

---------------------------

So, one way to deal with this is buying a used premium dp and redecorating it. Of course, it may mean doing some diy skill building to upskill oneself, which is why I learned the technical service side of things, though it is not common for most owners to do what I did so I could fix most things myself, except for the chassis. For example, you can pretty easily pull out a sofa and install a lift tv inside that would be at eye level.

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