I would get a capable tow vehicle and a good bunkhouse trailer. There are many capable SUV's out there if you don't want a 4 door pickup. One SUV well known for it's capabilities is the ford excursion. It can be found in a 3/4 ton diesel version for a really heavy duty tow vehicle. Sadly, these are no longer manufactured so it has to be found used. The bunkhouse TT, is great for the kids. We have a model w/ 1 set of bunks and it works perfectly for our family of 3. The extra bunk serves as storage shelf until it is needed for guests. We got one w/ a large slide so our DD would have room to play inside if weather got nasty. Our 30ft TT provides a lot of room inside. If you think you might have more kids or will want the same TT for a long time, then you might want to contemplate a triple or quad bunk or a bunkhouse slide room. These quad/triple/bunk slide TT's are heavier and you will want a 3/4 ton TV of some sort. A regular bunk you could get away with a capable 1/2ton (do your research on weights though, don't go by unloaded vehicle weight and pay close attention to payload and tongue weight of the TV). If you want to go this option we can talk more about weights later. Having a bunk area is very necessary with young kids. You have a designated place for them to lay down and take their nap or go to bed without having to make the sofa or dinette every time. We got a TT w/ a hard sliding door to master so we could watch TV after DD is in bed or if DD is napping and it is nasty weather out.
No matter what you get, sit in it as a family and look around. THink about where you will put things ie dishes in that cabinet, mom's clothes in this cabinet and toys in that drawer etc) Have everyone do an activity they would normally do, ie mom pretend to cook, DD play on floor, and dad move about the TT/MH. See how it feels. Is it too cramped? Look bigger. Think about sleep/nap/rainy day plans as well as functionality. Also remember to find something that has room to put a pack n play up for the new addition. many will fold down the dinette table and put it here. If you have a quad bunk or bunk house slide, it might have room there. These things will lead you to an RV that is right for you and your family. Happy hunting
2014 Silverado 3500 Duramax, SRW, Crew Cab, 4WD
2014 Palomino Sabre 34REQS
2011 Crossroads Zinger ZT26BL - sold after 3 1/2 yrs and 76 nights camped in it!
I really think you should think about what you plan to do with the RV. If you plan to full time with it then I would say get something bigger. If you plan to use the RV for long weekends or week long trips then I think the ACE will work out. Luv ya!
First let me say that I like the fact that you are getting your kids into this early. My kids have been camping since the youngest were 3 & 4 and they love camping and the outdoors.
Second planning a head is smart. Our mistake was buying a HTT that suited our needs when the kids were young but quickly out grew. In 2004 we decided to not tent camp any more and ordered brand new a Palomino Stampede 21SD (great rig good quality) it had a queen front double bed in the back bed. Well bother and sister sharing a bed was ok at age 9 & 10 but soon became icky to my daughter. So two years ago we “upgraded” to a different floor plan… Lesson learned is that you take a loss trading in or up so buy the right rig first. I originally wanted the Palomino Stampede 235 but it was a few pounds heavier than I thought I could tow. Had I bought that first I would still have it and Palomino does not make that floor plan any more.
Buy the right rig think of the future so you don’t take a loss. If I were doing it all over again I would look real hard at the Forest River Rockwood ROO 233S. I like the floor plan with growing kids.
Once again, I think you will not be happy with the ACE in the long run. For the first trip or so, it may do fine. But I think you will find it kind of cramped. It on;y has one slide and it does not go out very far. The kitchen is real small. The location of the tv, really is not ideal. You can get easily get a class c with more room for about $15-20k less...or a larger class for around the same price if not just a little more.
go sit in it again. Think about actually being in it. Think about being it for a long time, like all day. Say the weather is bad. How would you feel about being in it for an extended period of time. One thing you will learn in the world of rving is that you will need ot get more than you think you need. We all go in it at first thinking this is all we need. Then after a few trips, we start eyeing other rv's. You will be back at the dealership looking at other rv's. Trust me. A few hours at the dealership getting something fixed, will have you walking back through other rv's and pondering.
We've owned our ACE for a while now and absolutely love it. You can read my long review on the forum HERE.
As for the drop down bed vs bunk beds we choose the drop down. One the
ACE's electric drop down bunk bed can be down while traveling. But also when our kids are not with us it simply lift up and is hidden. We also looked the the Hurricane and Windsport lines, they both have several floor plans with drop downs and traditional stacked bunk beds.
I can't remember but two of Thor's Motorhomes had an optional 3-way transforming thing - Dinette to stacked Bunk Beds to Wardrobe Closet - it was called Adapt-A-Room and it was in a 2011 RV. I could not find it on there site today.
Very interesting post. I have been looking at C's because I need the overhead bunk space for the kids. But, I can't find one that doesn't have leaks & / or delam in the overhead bunk area. Oddly enough, before even seeing this post, I started thinking about a Thor ACE because it essentially has a cabover bunk similar to a C - but I thought it might be less prone to leaking since it's essentially an A from a construction perspective. I haven't seen one yet in person but it seems similar in size to a class C. I guess I have to check one out. But, again, very interested in it having sleeping space like a C but not leaking as much like an A.
'13 Forest River Sunseeker 3100
'04 Fleetwood Sedona / Reese Mini 350 / Prodigy / BAL
'94 Coleman Cedar
Travel n man, on your review, is that floor plan the 29.2? Because that is not the floor plan we looked at. The one we looked at hada small slide for the dinette only. the kitchen was somewhat L-shaped with the sink in a different place and the stove where sink is on that floor plan. The toilet was across from the shower if I remember correctly. The floor plan you showed looks as if it would be a little more open...The 29.1 we looked at was just too cramped for us. I guess we are used to our 31ft TT with 2 slides and 4 bunk beds. And to us we would like more room than the TT..lol
We just got an ACE 29.1 and love it! PM for any questions you may have. I would have no trouble using it with a family of 4. We had a C when he had our kids along, but this floorplan would have been SO much nicer. There is much more room with the slideout, and the kitchen isn't in the hallway so you don't have to do the dance around the chef to get to the bathroom. Happy searching!