If in a squishy rv park, we spend more time inside when at the campground.
If in a large spacious public campground, we spend more time outside when at the campground.
The amount of time we spend outside is directly proportional to the amount of space we have outside.
Also, we fulltime. We have to spend time cleaning, paying bills etc. Since we fulltime, inevitably, it is done at a campground, typically ones with very small outside spaces like the one we are in now.
On a separate issue, the rear living room is great to have on cold and/or rainy days. You have a big picture window and, if you have a site with a great rear view, the window is worth it. We have had a rear bath and a rear living; we really preferred the rear living if just for that window.
I will note, if only from experience, that the tv position in all the lay outs you mention is awkward. But, if you don't camp often in the rain, it shouldn't be much of a problem.
We have no experience with Heartland but we did have a Jayco and would recommend their tts to anyone.
2 verizon smart phones, unlimited data: $160/mo.
Tethered to laptops for internet/movies: one time charge of $9.99 for EasyTether
Dish TV w/2 receivers: $47/mo first year, $95/mo. second year.
This covers everything we need. Our tethered cell phones are typically faster than the wifi we come across so we rarely use campground or other wifi.
We had a white trailer once. It was gawdawful to keep clean.
Our next trailer had brown on the bottom and white on the top, front and back. You could see every bug smashed into the cap and we had to clean the front a lot. The bottom wasn't so bad - the brown hid the road dirt.
Our class A is black, brown, and beige with swirls. We can go a few weeks cleaning nothing more than the windshield. It gets just as dirty, but you can't see it with all the swirl action going on.
The swirls are obnoxious, but they save a lot of cleaning time. And I rarely look at the outside anyway.
I was the one that posted about the gas MH. We needed to be able to tow our Tahoe to fit all 5 - 6 people and gear in for side trips. No gas MH can do that except a very few Class C units. But with the Class C units you have major issues with GVWR and GAWR. Our unit had ~1800# of gross CCC not including water! Add water, additional fuel, people and now you are stuck with closer to ~500# of payload. You need to be very careful not to overload any part of the unit or poor handling can result.
I'd be surprised if you could find a gas C that could tow that. We looked at Super Cs first - diesel - and they had the capacity (10K lbs.) But they were either too long or poorly constructed.
There really isn't the perfect RV out there.
If you are only taking a weekend I would go to the beach - Assateague State Park in Maryland has electric and the beach is pretty nice. It is not too far outside Ocean City for something to do if it rains. There is also Frontier Town (http://www.frontiertown.com/) a private campground in the area with full hook-ups.
We went from a diesel F250 pulling a trailer to a Bounder 33C pulling a jeep.
The road and engine noise is similar is both. When one is going uphill and the engine downshifts, either is pretty loud. The F250 had more power, but it wasn't pulling as much weight. The F250 got better mileage, but the fuel was more expensive. And, with the Jeep, we get better mileage and much easier parking once we get where we are going.
We went to a class A because it was more convenient. We can unhook the toad any time we want and go looking around an area without having to find a campground. Unless one finds a convenient place that allows one to leave an unhooked tt/5er, it can't be done. We are also a couple feet shorter when hooked up but, if necessary, we can unhook to become shorter which makes it much easier to get around. We often stay in areas where the recommendation is nothing longer than 35'. Sometimes there just isn't room to maneuver 54' but there is to maneuver 34'.
One poster mentioned not enough payload. In our 33C, we have 3500 lbs of payload. We haven't even come close to that yet and we full time.
It was also mentioned that the gas engines are noisy but we haven't really seen that - we previously had a diesel so that may be why. We looked at DPs but one of the things I found really annoying was the loud generator. They sit up front and, when one is parked and using the generator, make conversation difficult. The generator in a gas A is in the rear - we can close the bedroom door and don't hear it hardly at all.
I'm not sure how passengers in a truck would easily go to the bathroom while moving, unless you keep them in the 5er? But, even with a class A, you have to pull over if the driver has to go.
We have a little less storage inside our Class A than we did in our tt (there is no cabinet big enough to hold my crock pot and giant frying pan). But, we have about 4X the storage outside, and it is much easier to get to. Instead of 2 doors we now have 8. We also have a lot more room for batteries for our solar power system.
The front windshield is nice - we can pull into a site with a nice view in the back (such as Bahia Honda) or back into a site with a nice view in front. With a tt/5er, one doesn't have a choice. But, the front windshield does make the rig hotter when driving into the sun. The a/c and fans do an adequate job keeping up on really hot drives.
As for setting up: we can pull over in a fairly flat spot, turn on the generator to watch a little tv or use the microwave, eat, sleep, whatever, without having to level, move the slides out, hook up, or leave the rv at all. And we have done just that during huge downpours or just because we felt like it.
Class A motorhomes are more centered around moving and less around stopping. TTs/5ers are better when stopping and less when moving. It really depends on how you travel. Neither is better than the other but you will find one will be better for you.
I grew up in DC. We went to the mall for fireworks every year because we could walk home.
The metro will take hours and be unbelievably crowded.
The same happens on the water only it is more dangerous because they are also drinking.
If I were to do the mall now (I no longer have a house there), I would rent a hotel room within walking distance. I don't know though, if your six year old is up for it - a really long day with a lot of walking. And it is usually gawdawful hot.
NO place to put them.People would put them in a garbage can if there was one around.
I put them in a used grocery store bag and throw the bag in the back of the truck until I find a garbage dump.
See, there was a place to put them.
Just an FYI, prospecting in the San Gabriels is illegal. The designation of the monument doesn't change that.
Hunting is currently allowed in many National Monuments. I really think you are confusing National Monuments with National Parks. Hunting is also allowed in wilderness areas unless they are in National Parks. Again, I think you are confusing National Monuments with National Parks.
As for sidewalks, are they there now? Getting National Monument status may actually improve the chances of there being accessible facilities in the future.
If you want to blame a president on the current use of Monument status, make it Teddy Roosevelt in 1906.
And Jimmy Carter designated 56 million acres (not 50,000).
If you go a little further south you can try Wanee Lake Golf and RV Resort.
We just spent 4 nights there. Nice, quiet, PA rates, nice golf course, food if you don't feel like cooking, a clubhouse with a bar and a pool. Very nice friendly owners.
When you leave, you can stop at Carrolls Sausage and Country Store.Really good sausage and bacon.
If you stick to public parks (COE, Fed, State, County, etc.) you will rarely find permanent residents (there are exceptions). There will also be larger sites, though often without sewer and sometimes water or electric. There will often be wonderful walking areas and hiking trails, but much less often, pools and mini golf.
USCampgrounds.info is one of the most comprehensive sites listing public campgrounds. One can also check Reserveamerica.com, which will list many public sites.
RVparkreviews is a good resource but don't rely on the ratings. Many people will mark a campground down 3-5 points for not having a sewer at their site, or not having a swimming pool, or wifi, or cable tv. Read the reviews themselves to get a better feel of the campground.
They made it a national monument, not a national park or wilderness area.
According to releases, this will allow MORE money to be spent making improvements to roads, campgrounds, etc.
"As a national monument, the San Gabriels will honor existing property and water rights, public access and rights-of-way for roads and utility infrastructure, administration officials said. Existing recreational activities — such as hiking, camping, fishing, cycling and panning for gold — will be unaffected."
from the LA times: http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-obama-monument-20141011-story.html
As for Carrizo Plain, it is currently 246,000 acres of National Monument. Legislation was submitted to turn 60,000 acres into Wilderness area, about 25%. So, it won't be "locked up." One can travel and camp in wilderness areas. You just need to do it with your feet instead of your car. Currently, there is grazing and oil drilling leases in Carrizo Plain. I think part of the designation is to get rid of the current drilling leases. Previous drilling has turned up dry, but current owners are threatening to drill.
"I was able to flag down a salesman easier and talk in depth about a particular RV."
My favorite is when I ask a technical question, they turn to DH to answer and completely ignore me. But they like to show me the microwave and the closet space. As if. DH has most of the close space. Also, sales reps seem to be able to lie to women easier. I have walked away from many sales reps as soon as I catch them at it. Make sure you go into any dealer knowing the product you are interested in inside and out.
If you have a problem with the beds, double check the shower enclosures before you buy. DH is 6'1" and had problems with many of the showers - the shower head would be about shoulder height and his head would be in the skylight. And those were the larger ones.
Thanks to everyone for all of the suggestions! The Fleetwood seems to be the best choice. We love the floor plan and it sounds like it is well made. I'm sure we'll be browsing this forum often!
We recently bought a Fleetwood Bounder and are very happy with our decision. The price was great, the fit and finish is good, and it handles very well.
Contrary to others in the forum, we like and have no problems with our non-fiberglass roof.
We found the Bounder to be a great value as many options on other lines are standard on the Bounder. There are things we would change but they are minor and do not impact our enjoyment of our coach (dometic fridge door "lock," winegard satellite system).
There are many, many happy Bounder owners. They must be doing something right.
It is not the wheelbase you look at by itself - otherwise, everyone would be buying 45' rigs; they have the longest wheelbase. You must consider it combined with total length of the rig. The wheelbase will be a percentage of the total length; the general recommendation is to look for a ratio higher than 50%.
However, I will also suggest looking at chassis gross weight rating. At the size you are looking at, it can range from 14,500 to 22,000 lbs. The higher the GVWR, the 'heavier duty' the chassis and the more it can carry and tow. In our search, we saw class As with a cargo capacity as low as 1200 lbs and tow ratings as low as 3000 lbs. Can't carry or tow much of anything with those.
With 4 dogs, I would suggest the higher end of your length range. Best of luck in your search!
Post above has some very good advice and I wonder if they wish they had gone bigger than. 33' for FT?
No. We are quite happy with the 33'. Had we gone one size up, we would have an extra 1/2 bath (seems all As 33-36' have a bath and a 1/2). I don't want to clean two toilets and since there are only 2 of us, one works well.
Also with the 33C, which is 34', we find we fit better in quite a few more parks - many we have stayed at have maximum length of 35' due to roads to get into them (we prefer state/fed parks).
At least in the Bounder line, our 34' and the next size up 36' have the same 22K chassis. With the smaller size rig on the same chassis, we have greater cargo capacity - we can carry more stuff. Not that we need it - we still have a ton of empty space. But, psychologically, I feel better with the cushion.
Honestly, I can't conceive of what the larger amount of space would be used for. We have a living room that seats 4, a dining room that seats 4, the passenger seat acts as an office (with a desk), the bedroom sleeps 2. The best part is the outdoor living space - it is immense and changes when we want.
Though it would be nice to have room for a canoe... :)