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Author Topic: Longer Haul Travelling - Best Motorhome Type?  (Read 1671 times)

nmakarewicz

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Longer Haul Travelling - Best Motorhome Type?
« on: January 01, 2018, 09:08:06 AM »
Greetings all, I am in the market for a used motorhome and I am looking for some feedback from those that may have actual experience in the different types of motorhomes. 

Background:  I owned a relatively low end used 2008 Coachmen Mirada class A gas motorhome several years back and we were relatively disappointed with travelling in it.  The front end shimmied at highway speeds (never troubleshot it), the engine noise was loud while driving and much of the "stuff" in the coach rattled while driving.  Our RV needs at that time were short drive (200 mile) weekend camping trips around the state, so we switched to a travel trailer and we love it for that type of RVing.  However, our RVing needs have changed again and we will be doing 3 annual longer haul trips (600 to 1500 mile) out of state trips for the next 5 years.  We took our travel trailer on one such trip last spring and due to the winds, passing semis, and hilly terrain, much of the ride was white-knuckled and honestly a lot of work in the driver's seat.  By the end of our trip the wheel skirts on the travel trailer were torn completely off.  I do indeed have the proper tow vehicle and setup equalizer hitch etc and am pretty religious about weighing, loading, tire pressures etc.  Nonetheless, that sort of longer haul travelling with the trailer was just too much of a "fight" while driving.  So here are some questions for which I am looking for real world experience and/or opinions on:

1) Will the driving portion of long haul travelling be somewhat better in a motorhome vs. pulling a travel trailer?  My experience with my first low end class A gasser motorhome has me not so sure, but was it because it was low end and potentially not setup well?

2) Are the newer (2015+) Class A gas motorhomes (e.g. 2017 Thor Miramar) far better from a driving experience than I might have had in my 2008 Mirada from a shimmy, rattling, and engine noise perspective?

3) From a perspective of not getting blown around by crosswinds and semis, will a class A gasser be better or worse than pulling a properly setup 5000 pound travel trailer with the proper tow vehicle?

4)  Does anyone have experience in both a Class A gasser, and a Freightliner or International based Super C (e.g. Jayco Seneca, Nexus Ghost).  It seems to me that the Super C would be hands down the absolute best RV when it comes to vehicle dynamics due to its weight ratings, actual weight, sway bars, rear air suspension, air brakes, etc.  However, I would like feedback from anyone that has real world experience driving both a class A and super C.  I am pretty sure my mileage needs do not justify the diesel and I am not sure I want to deal with all the nuances of the diesel especially knowing it will sit in storage in a cold climate for months at a time.  However, if the vehicle dynamics/handing of the super C is heads and tails above anything else out there, I might swallow hard and take the financial hit.

Also note, I will likely be pulling a full size SUV on either a flatbed trailer or 4-wheels down as I travel. 

If you made it this far through this long-winded post...God Bless You!  I will greatly appreciate all thoughts, opinions, real world experience, and feedback. 



Larry N.

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Re: Longer Haul Travelling - Best Motorhome Type?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2018, 09:58:53 AM »
1. A class A gasser might be a little better than the TT you had (I never pulled that type), but it still can be blown around a lot, at least partly because of the long overhang behind the rear wheels, but also due to wheelbase and weight balance. A class A diesel pusher (DP) will be MUCH better in that respect, from weight, wheelbase and air suspension. More expensive (MSRP) coaches will likely have less rattle than that Mirada, but few are completely without odd noises such as creaks and an occasional rattle.

2. Some class A gassers will be better than that Miramar, some not so much. As I mentioned above, a DP will be decidedly better.

3. Depends on the specific rig -- some are worse than others.

4. I've not driven a Super C, but I'm told that they generally have a stiff suspension, and they don't offer all of the diesel benefits, even though they do have some of those. Others probably can elaborate better on that. An older DP might be better than a Super C, though, for no more purchase cost.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL, Bounder, Beaver
  de N8GGG

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Longer Haul Travelling - Best Motorhome Type?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2018, 10:36:37 AM »
A newer Miramar will surely be superior to that '08 Mirada - it's both newer and a higher end model. However, it will still share some of the less desirable attributes because it remains a front engine configuration (noise) with spring suspension and relatively lower capacity and rigidity in the chassis. And all motorhomes rattle to some extent - you are essentially riding in the kitchen as it bounces down the highway.  A diesel pusher will eliminate some of those shortcomings, and a higher end model will reduce even more of them.

A Super-C is somewhere in between a DP and a gas chassis rig. It is still front engine but has air brakes and can be equipped with the premium Jride air suspension.

As for getting blown around on the highway, you appear to be looking at relatively small rigs (a 5000 lb trailer is small!). Yet you mention towing a full size SUV, which may challenge the limits of a gas chassis motorhome (usually 5000 lb tow limit). A Super C or DP is a better choice for towing a heavy vehicle.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

NY_Dutch

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Re: Longer Haul Travelling - Best Motorhome Type?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2018, 10:38:50 AM »
Our 34' Georgie Boy Landau Class A gasser (built by Coachmen) handles moderate winds and passing trucks quite comfortably at highway speeds. Oddly, about the only time we feel a noticeable push is from some passing tour buses. The Triton V10 engine can be a bit noisy when it gets wound up to 4500 or so RPM on steep grades, but the noise reduction insulation I added to the doghouse helps a lot with that. We run 6-7,000 miles per year with this rig towing our RAV4...
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

scottydl

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Re: Longer Haul Travelling - Best Motorhome Type?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2018, 12:15:31 PM »
You're coming into this with quite a bit of RV experience (a good thing), and have your .  All of the issues you described seem like they would be improved with a diesel setup.  Either a larger trailer (I'm thinking fifth wheel) + capable diesel truck, or a diesel pusher motorhome which would have air-ride suspension and very little engine noise in the driver's area.  In general, the diesel rigs are more heavy-duty in almost every way and can handle winds, passing traffic, and mountain driving without as many white knuckles.

I'm a gas vehicle fan myself, as I've always owned them and know how to maintain them... but for 15 planned multi-state RV trips over the next 5 years?  A heavier-duty rig would probably serve you well.  Of course, the main factor with any of these things is how much want to spend.  Diesels are more expensive to buy up front, and more expensive to repair.  So price will certainly direct your purchase options above all else.  ;)
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

WILDEBILL308

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Re: Longer Haul Travelling - Best Motorhome Type?
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2018, 07:02:19 PM »
From what you say what you need is a diesel pusher with a tag. You get a better built coach and much more bang for the buck. Just having a coach with the motor in the back and air ride suspension trumps all gas coaches.
Start looking at used coaches. ppl.com is a good place to start as you can get a good idea of what things are going for.
Could make better recommendations if I knew your budget.
Bill
2003 Bounder 38N
300 HP 5.9 Cummins
Allison 3000MH Trans.
Towing 2014 Honda CRV
Home base Fort Worth, Texas
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
-Mark Twain-

A Traveler

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Re: Longer Haul Travelling - Best Motorhome Type?
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2018, 07:50:48 PM »
Two words...DIESEL PUSHER.

ANY diesel will be more pleasant to travel in than a front-engine gas coach.

nmakarewicz

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Re: Longer Haul Travelling - Best Motorhome Type?
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2018, 09:16:22 PM »
All, thanks for all of the replies and the great info and considerations.  I love this forum,  it never disappoints.  Perhaps I better add diesel pusher into my research...I assumed they were out of reach.  I would like to stay under $105K, absolute max is $125K...a couple of the super Cs I have been watching have dropped into this range.  If you have any additional considerations...please keep them coming.  Thanks again!

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Longer Haul Travelling - Best Motorhome Type?
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2018, 09:20:13 PM »
You can get a really nice "previously owned" DP for $100k.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

WILDEBILL308

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Re: Longer Haul Travelling - Best Motorhome Type?
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2018, 10:03:16 PM »
All, thanks for all of the replies and the great info and considerations.  I love this forum,  it never disappoints.  Perhaps I better add diesel pusher into my research...I assumed they were out of reach.  I would like to stay under $105K, absolute max is $125K...a couple of the super Cs I have been watching have dropped into this range.  If you have any additional considerations...please keep them coming.  Thanks again!
You haven't gone to PPL yet. I would recommend agents a supper C as they still don't have air ride.
How about this? 42' 2007 Newmar Dutch Star 400hp Cummins w/2 Slides $113,995 https://www.pplmotorhomes.com/used-rvs-for-sale/diesel-motorhomes/2007-newmar-dutch-star_rv-37420
OR
41' 2005 Newmar Mountainaire 400hp Cummins w/4 Slides, $76,495 https://www.pplmotorhomes.com/used-rvs-for-sale/diesel-motorhomes/2005-newmar-mountainaire_rv-37204
I would look at Motor Homes of Texas as he usually has some nice Quality used coaches like this Foretravel http://motorhomesoftexas.com/coachrv/foretravel/2001--u295--36--C2055
Bill
2003 Bounder 38N
300 HP 5.9 Cummins
Allison 3000MH Trans.
Towing 2014 Honda CRV
Home base Fort Worth, Texas
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
-Mark Twain-

Oldgator73

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Re: Longer Haul Travelling - Best Motorhome Type?
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2018, 09:04:33 AM »
The 41' Newmar looks really nice at $76k. We are looking at Class C's to take longer trips with the grandkids but something like this is very appealing. And it is about the same price as the Class C's we are looking at. It is big though. But not any bigger than what we used to own; 37', triple axle 5th wheel pulled with a 3/4 ton Dodge Ram. Difference is the truck and trailer could bend in the middle.
Retired Air Force
2016 Winnie Drop
2016 Nissan Frontier

MYRV2

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Re: Longer Haul Travelling - Best Motorhome Type?
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2018, 04:19:48 PM »
I've own all types of rv,s  and my report is they all leave much to be desired, my wife has a 34' alpine diesel pusher with 400hp,1200  tq the coach is a dream to drive and far superior to all of the freightliners I've owned...headed down the highway, hard to beat the alpine....but... to me it's too big...wife loves it...so there you go.. happy wife, happy life,...for me... I bought a 21' born free class c  ..
I tow my boat, and use it to commute from vegas to havasu...cruises at ease a 75 mph and gets a constant 10 mpg..if we go over night it's the born free, and the alpine for the week long or more tripps...biggest gripe for me is once you are in town,,,,just about need a toa'd   to get around...

as far as the v-10 class a's go... I love them..and I have figured out how to quiet down the motor...though they will never have the ride of a alpine, you can really make them nice with sumo springs...
2004 alpine 400 hp 1200 tq dp
towing 216 jeepjku, or triple axel custom inclosed

JSplaine

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Re: Longer Haul Travelling - Best Motorhome Type?
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2018, 10:37:37 AM »
We purchased an older 2004 Beaver Monterey, 40ft, 400hp DP. Last year our snow bird trip took us from Washington state to Florida Keys and back. A total of about 10,000 miles and enjoyed driving every mile. Do not hesitate to look at Diesel Pushers even with 40, 50 or 60 thousand miles as their is a lot of life still in them. If nothing else go for a ride or test drive in one to compare to gasser.
2012 Allegro Red 38QRA
2010 CRV

nmakarewicz

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Re: Longer Haul Travelling - Best Motorhome Type?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2018, 10:48:06 PM »
Hey MYRV2, I am interested in how you quieted down the gas class A Thanks. 

ChiefM

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Re: Longer Haul Travelling - Best Motorhome Type?
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2018, 02:50:47 AM »
Two words...DIESEL PUSHER.

ANY diesel will be more pleasant to travel in than a front-engine gas coach.

I have been in your shoes. I have owned a popup, front engine 27 ft winnee and I just bought a 40ft DP and will never go back to a front engine MH. The power, the nice quiet ride, bigger towing capacity. It has higher maintenance cost but longer maintenance intervals so to me it is an offset. If you can do any of the maintenance yourself then it is a non issue. Both a gas and diesel have to be maintained in storage just differently. Go with a DP you won't regret it.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 02:53:39 AM by ChiefM »
1998 American Tradition VS 40' DP
2004 H2-Toad
1986 27RT Winnebago Chieftain/Sold
CW4 US Army Retired

timjet

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Re: Longer Haul Travelling - Best Motorhome Type?
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2018, 06:12:31 AM »
Not sure this will help much as I have no experience in motor homes other than the 40' DP I purchased almost a year ago and have put 8000 miles on. I don't have any of the issues you experienced in your previous coach. My coach has a quiet ride, plenty of power and doesn't get pushed around much on the highway by passing semi's.
I opted for a slightly higher end but older coach and am very satisfied. My budget allowed for fixes on the older coach and I'm using it.
Tim
Tampa Bay
'07 American Tradition DP 40', 1.5 bath
'14 Honda CRV

Oldgator73

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Re: Longer Haul Travelling - Best Motorhome Type?
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2018, 07:09:46 AM »
Not sure this will help much as I have no experience in motor homes other than the 40' DP I purchased almost a year ago and have put 8000 miles on. I don't have any of the issues you experienced in your previous coach. My coach has a quiet ride, plenty of power and doesn't get pushed around much on the highway by passing semi's.
I opted for a slightly higher end but older coach and am very satisfied. My budget allowed for fixes on the older coach and I'm using it.

I noticed in your signature you owned an American Tradition MH. I have not heard of that brand so looked it up on RV trader. That's a really nice unit. I don't know what you paid but the one I looked at was a 2007 40Z with 57,000 miles and a price tag of $127,000. It's amazing how much they depreciate. I can see why most on this forum advocate buying used. I know you are having a great time in that gorgeous MH. Happy Trails!
Retired Air Force
2016 Winnie Drop
2016 Nissan Frontier

blw2

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Re: Longer Haul Travelling - Best Motorhome Type?
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2018, 09:33:01 AM »
Yet you mention towing a full size SUV, which may challenge the limits of a gas chassis motorhome (usually 5000 lb tow limit). A Super C or DP is a better choice for towing a heavy vehicle.

My E-450 has a 5,000 limitation...but I understand the newer models have more capacity...or at lest some do.

I find that mine drives well enough.... but I've ready plenty of complaints and stories of folks spending lots of money on all sorts of steering and suspension mods to tame wild steering.  I find it drives like a truck.  If you don't expect a luxury marshmallow car, then it's ok.

This past summer I was out West and in the strongest winds I've driven it through yet..... had to slow down....way down.....
Some folks in one of those freightliner super C's flew by me during one particularly bad crosswind mountain descent and the wind was not affecting them at all!  I'd probably slowed to 40MPH or something and they were doing what seemed like 90.
Normally though, the wind doesn't affect me that much.....

Brad (DW + 3 kids)
13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

blw2

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Re: Longer Haul Travelling - Best Motorhome Type?
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2018, 09:39:05 AM »
meant to add.... about the question of best way to travel....
I am thankful every time I see a TT being towed into a site, weight distribution screaming away......or one being dragged down the road, that we didn't go that route.  Even a 5th wheel....The motorhome, even in my low end class C, is so much a better way to travel.
I came form a popup tent trailer which was so much work to set up, zero access to anything inside while on the road or at the rest area stops.... now everything is within reach.  rest stops are wonderful, intitial "camp" set-up could not be easier, boondocking at walmart couldn't be easier... no work to hitch or unhitch.... shorter overall length than a TT and tow truck....to me, a MH is win win win
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

kdbgoat

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Re: Longer Haul Travelling - Best Motorhome Type?
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2018, 09:47:27 AM »
My E-450 has a 5,000 limitation...but I understand the newer models have more capacity...or at lest some do.

Yep, mine is good for 7500#, hitch and vehicle.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

docj

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Re: Longer Haul Travelling - Best Motorhome Type?
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2018, 09:58:56 AM »
Not sure this will help much as I have no experience in motor homes other than the 40' DP I purchased almost a year ago and have put 8000 miles on. I don't have any of the issues you experienced in your previous coach. My coach has a quiet ride, plenty of power and doesn't get pushed around much on the highway by passing semi's.
I opted for a slightly higher end but older coach and am very satisfied. My budget allowed for fixes on the older coach and I'm using it.

We did essentially the same thing.  We had experience with a 27' Class C and didn't find that particularly pleasant (noise, poor fuel economy, limited storage) so a Class A DP made sense to us.  We also bought a higher end, older model--ours was 10 years old when we bought it and is now ~18!  But, to my surprise my insurance company was willing to provide me an "agreed value" policy at 70% of our purchase price 8 years ago.  Yes, we've put a fair amount into redecorating and modernizing it, but nowhere near the cost of having bought a new one of lesser quality!

As for ride and handling, we have put nearly 60,000 miles on ours all across North America.  Even though people claim "you need a tag" I think that is far too broad a generalization.  There are brands of MH's that are known to drive better than others and ours is an especially sweet example.  On the highway at ~65 mph it drives like a dream and winds or big trucks rarely cause any concerns.  Ours happens to also have a greatly over-sized 12 liter engine (CAT C-12) which allows it to pull away from stops nearly as fast as many cars and it hardly notices hills other than the steepest ones.

If you expect to take long trips in it for multiple years, I strongly encourage you to consider an older DP.

Joel (AKA docj)

Sandie & Joel

2000 40' Beaver Patriot Thunder Princeton--425 HP/1550 ft-lbs CAT C-12
2014 Honda CR-V AWD EX-L with ReadyBrute tow bar/braking system
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timjet

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Re: Longer Haul Travelling - Best Motorhome Type?
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2018, 10:38:26 AM »
I noticed in your signature you owned an American Tradition MH. I have not heard of that brand so looked it up on RV trader. That's a really nice unit. I don't know what you paid but the one I looked at was a 2007 40Z with 57,000 miles and a price tag of $127,000. It's amazing how much they depreciate. I can see why most on this forum advocate buying used. I know you are having a great time in that gorgeous MH. Happy Trails!

You're description pretty much mirrors our coach, year, price tag, and model. We're very happy with it and being a tinker, I'm always finding projects to fix or upgrade on it. We'll probably put another 8000 miles on it this year.
Tim
Tampa Bay
'07 American Tradition DP 40', 1.5 bath
'14 Honda CRV

nmakarewicz

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Re: Longer Haul Travelling - Best Motorhome Type?
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2018, 09:21:22 PM »
Thankyou all for all the feedback and experiences.  Over the last several weeks we have looked at and driven quite a few various motorhomes and types.  I think my ultimate goal is to get into a DP.  After further investigating cost of plates, insurance etc. I also decided it was best to somewhat lower our budget for now. We also talked with a long time RVer who told us to stop treating it like we were looking for our "final" RV, because you are probably not...that took off a lot of pressure...and made a lot of sense.  Long story short after all the guidance and experience you all have provided, I thought it only fitting for me to share with you all that we decided to purchase the 2017 Thor Miramar 34.1 at the link below.  While it is not my favorite driving motorhome it is indeed far better than our experience with the 2008 Mirada, and all things considered at this moment it seemed to be the right fit for us, particularly knowing it will likely not be our last.  Now we are turning our attention to planning some trips, and figuring out the best way to bring another vehicle along with us.

https://www.rvtrader.com/listing/2017-Thor-Motor-Coach-Miramar-34.1-122091243 


timjet

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Re: Longer Haul Travelling - Best Motorhome Type?
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2018, 09:57:05 PM »
Congratulations!
Tim
Tampa Bay
'07 American Tradition DP 40', 1.5 bath
'14 Honda CRV

WILDEBILL308

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Re: Longer Haul Travelling - Best Motorhome Type?
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2018, 09:30:00 AM »
Thankyou all for all the feedback and experiences.  Over the last several weeks we have looked at and driven quite a few various motorhomes and types.  I think my ultimate goal is to get into a DP.  After further investigating cost of plates, insurance etc. I also decided it was best to somewhat lower our budget for now. We also talked with a long time RVer who told us to stop treating it like we were looking for our "final" RV, because you are probably not...that took off a lot of pressure...and made a lot of sense.  Long story short after all the guidance and experience you all have provided, I thought it only fitting for me to share with you all that we decided to purchase the 2017 Thor Miramar 34.1 at the link below.  While it is not my favorite driving motorhome it is indeed far better than our experience with the 2008 Mirada, and all things considered at this moment it seemed to be the right fit for us, particularly knowing it will likely not be our last.  Now we are turning our attention to planning some trips, and figuring out the best way to bring another vehicle along with us.

https://www.rvtrader.com/listing/2017-Thor-Motor-Coach-Miramar-34.1-122091243
Congratulations!!!!
The best way to bring a vehicle along with you is towing 4 down, less easy is with a dolly. I have done both. I am now towing 4 down. Look at Remco industries, if they can't or don't show something to be towable it isn't. They have made their money making things towable for years.
http://www.remcoindustries.com/product-pages/towing/
Any questions just ask.
Bill



.
2003 Bounder 38N
300 HP 5.9 Cummins
Allison 3000MH Trans.
Towing 2014 Honda CRV
Home base Fort Worth, Texas
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
-Mark Twain-

scottydl

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Re: Longer Haul Travelling - Best Motorhome Type?
« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2018, 07:19:15 PM »
Glad you found something that fits your needs!  Just remember, that brand new RV will depreciate like crazy in the next 4-5 years... you'd be lucky to get back 40% of what you paid.  If you can afford the financial hit and you'll get full enjoyment from the rig, then go for it!  But if not or the finances are questionable, trust that there ARE good used RV's out there that could meet your needs.  It can be a long shopping and research process, but it can be done... I'm living proof.  :)
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012