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Sportdog

Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2005
Posts
9
Location
Door County, Wisconsin
Greetings all,

We are fairly new to RVing having bought a travel trailer just last year. By we I mean my wife and I along with with our three large dogs, 2 Newfoundlands and a Golden Retriever. We decided to start with a trailer to find out if this RVing lifestyle was going to work out for us before we get too heavily invested. We agreed top keep the trailer for three years and then decide what direction to go, scrap the whole idea or move up to nicer rig. We made one trip late last year which went quite well and then this fall we took of for 10-12 days. This trip went so well and we had so much fun that our trip turned into almost a month! We decided that rather than build a large addition to our home we would scale back on the house plans and buy a Class A instead. Needless to say the lifestyle agrees with us.
We currently have a '05 Holiday Rambler Alumascape 31 CKS which we like very much. We based our purchase on ratings by RV Consumers Group paying particular attention to the highway safety ratings. The trailer pulls very well, my tow vehicle is a '99 Chevy Van, one ton w/a 454. Being new to pulling a heavy load and wanting to make this as safe as possible I also purchased a Hensley hitch and I am very pleased with it. This is a 10,000# plus trailer and bi-passing double bottom logging trucks at 60+ is truly one handed. Hooking up takes a little practice but once you get used to it is fairly easy.
We have been looking at several Class A's and plan to make a purchase soon. Some of the models we've been looking at are, in order: The Holiday Rambler Ambassador 38 PDQ, The Fleetwood Excursion 39 S, The Newmar Ventana 3933. If anybody has suggestions or comments on these or any other Class A's I would appreciate your input.
One comment about the RV Owners Group, the length to wheelbase ratio seems flawed to me. After test driving many rigs [15-20] over the past few weeks it occurs to me that the ratio assumes that all of the length over the wheelbase is tail overhang. Diesel Pushers have a front overhang of around 5' which I think should deducted from the overall length when making your calculations.

Thanks,
Sportdog
 

Ron

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Posts
18,082
Location
Home is where we park it
Welcome to the RV Forum and congratulations on your new Holiday Rambler.  Please join in any of the ongoing discussions or start new discussions relating to the RVing lifestyle.  Ask any questions you have too.

IMHO information found in the RV Consumers group ratings should not be taken as gospel and should not be used as the only source of information.  Personally I don't have much confidence in them.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
72,123
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
Those are all capable rigs you are looking at.  I would probably lean a bit toward the HR or the Newmar, but have no fault to find with Fleetwood either (we had a Southwind for two years).  HR Ambassadors are generally viewed as a bit upscale from the Excursion or Ventana, but these days new motorhomes are so well equipped  it is hard to tell the difference.

I see you have found one of the flaws in the RV Consumer Group commandments.  Read their reviews and consider their opinions, but don't take them as gospel. They have never established any credibility for their ratings - it's just one viewpoint.
 

Jim Godward

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Posts
5,906
Location
Hillsboro, Oregon
Take a real hard look at the MHs you named for the use of fake wood, i.e., particle board that has been covered by a plastic overlay.  if this is the case run do not walk away.  If price is a problem, you would be well served to look hard at a used Dutch Star, HR, etc. to get a quality MH at your price.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
72,123
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
Take a real hard look at the MHs you named for the use of fake wood, i.e., particle board that has been covered by a plastic overlay.  if this is the case run do not walk away.

Oh darn! Now I've got to go RV shopping again!  I've barely gotten used to the stigma of driving a gas powered coach with leaf spring suspension and now my cabinets are no good either!  ;) [sigh]  RVing is just not the place for those of us on a restricted budget.

Seriously, though,  real wood cabinetryis highly desirable. As to whether it is mandatory, I not sure I agree.  I've seen laminated faux finishes that are decently sturdy (if not aethetically appealing) and I've seen those that seem to peel or delaminate at the drop of a hat. I suspect it depends on the quality of the materials used in construction and that's hard to judge from theoutside when the rig is new.
 

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