I've been researching class A, DP coaches, and I've noticed that hardly any manufactures now offer models which have a driver's-side door, as well as the traditional curb-side door. It seems like older models were much more likely to offer this feature. I really like the idea of having a driver's door, if for no other reason than not having to displace the DW each time I want to hop out and pump gas, check hitch, etc. I think I was only able to find one Winnebago model that offered a driver's door, and it was a gasser. Very few others seem to offer a street-side door amid-ship as well.
What might be the reason? Structural integrity?
* This post was
edited 03/21/11 11:25pm by FrozenAKJoe *
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The biggest reasons are probably the fact that most diesel pusher drivers are older, the door on the drivers side will not have steps and is more like climbing a ladder (or maybe even more difficult) rather than an easy access. The next drawback is that it then creates one more place to break in to the rv. So increasing building costs for something that most people do not use is probably not a good selling point.
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Placement of the doors are a lot of personal preference. I have owned coaches with mid curb side doors but no driver's door, mid curb side coaches with driver's door and DPs (3) with front curb side doors. My preference is the front curbside door.
In answer to your question, it comes down to the doghouse in a gasser. To exit as a driver, you have to negotiate climbing over the doghouse to exit. Hence, it made it easier to exit via your own door. On a gasser, you also do not have things like the air levelers, air brakes, jake brakes etc that would need to be relocated to install a driver's door. With a DP there is no doghouse and the passenger's seat is back far enough that exit is very convenient/easy. I dislike the mid entry arrangement as it takes up living space whereas the front door arrangement does not.....Dennis
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I have a gaser and I think Dennis pretty much covered the door location question except that I really like the mid-door (actually towards the front). Having said that however, I've never owned a DP.
I did however look at an older DP at my dealer a couple years ago, it had a driver's side door (can't remember the brand). Getting in was ok but getting out was a crap-shoot trying to find the inlay step while hanging onto the side handle. It just didn't seem too user friendly.
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My first RV had a drivers side door and Dennis and PackerBacker are right on. I really like Packer's comment on getting out being a "crap shoot". Can't tell you how many times I was hanging there trying to feel for the toe hold. It is not something I would even consider getting again. You have to be in fairly good shape to get in and out pulling yourself up while heisting your foot up. BTW I am in good shape and only used it rarely and hated it.
I now have a DP and don't find that it interferes at all with my wife
as I gas up etc.
Diesels do not have the Drivers door because there are a LOT more extra dash controls and switches and they want to use that side console panel for those switches. Next time you are in a Diesel, look at all the controls that are mounted on that side panel. Then imagine if they tried to fit all those controls in front of you. Then imagine trying to operate by having to lean forward while driving to get to those controls. As mentioned before, Diesels are a LOT higher in the air and negotiating that way down could cause problems. The OEM's also realized over the years that Drivers doors caused a lot more wind/air leakage/noise problems. Last, look at the design of a Diesel Pusher. You will see the LF wheel is a little closer on Diesels than gas models, so design of a door is harder. Doug
I to think it is a combonation of a lot of things. I do think that cost is one of them. And so is the Age Deal. As mentioned, Motorhome Doors are not the easiest to get in and out of. For us, it would have been a "Deal Breaker" if our Motorhome didn't have a "Drivers Door". The Mid-Section Door is OK, but I wish they would have moved it back a liitle bit more. But I sure wish I could have had a "Passenger Door" as well. Yes, I'm getting old enought to fit into the Age Deal. And messed-up enought to make the getting in and our of a Side Door rather hard. But I guess I am just old fashioned, as we both like side doors. But it doesn't matter anyways. As we have bought our last RV, Period. After 45 years as RV'ers. The Motorhome that we now own will last us the rest of our Traveling Days. And the Motorhome will more than out-last us and then some. Our Next Stop, will be the "Old Folks Home" someday. But until then, we are perfectly very happy wiht the Motorhome that we do have. As it suits all of our needs so perfectly. Good Luck. Happy Travels. Dan & Jill
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