based on your budget, i agree that a bunkhouse trailer will be your best option.
you will have a real difficult time finding any motorhome in that price range, for your size of family.
bunkhouse motorhomes are not common and are not cheap.
Dan- Firefighter, Shawn- Musician/Entrepreneur, Zoe- Faithful Golden Retriever(RIP), 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche LS, 2007 Rockwood Roo 23SS w/Equalizer and Prodigy, and 5 Mtn. bikes and 2 Road bikes
If you plan on towing the Excursion as a Toad you need a DP. Gas chassis have 3500-5000# tow limits. Some of the older DPs also have the lower tow limits. There is more to setting up a toad than just hook it up. You need an auxlilary brake system, tow bar, lights, etc. Adding another 500-1000# inside the toad will also add to your problems. When looking at RVs in your price range also check the tire ages. A new set of rubber can be a couple Thousand dollars. Any tires over 6-7 years old are due for replacement immediately.
Go to a RV show or large dealer to see some models - the hybrids are very roomy and are definitely not "pop-ups". We currently have a 43' toyhauler, but everytime we are at a dealer, I walk thru the hybrids, longing for one... So much easier to deal with than 43' long and 13'6" high.
2012 Dutchmen Voltage Epic 3795
2010 Dodge 3500 DRW MC
2009 GMC 2500 DA CC
2012 Smart-for-two (sometimes hitches a ride in the Voltage!)
2005 Sundowner Sunlite 777
Well, after talking to the wife and reading stuff on here we just reserved an apartment on South Beach, Miami. I just haven't liked any of the travel trailers we looked at and don't want to take two vehicles for a fifth wheel or rv. I wondered how many seat belts those had, but assumed if it slept 8-10 it would have that many belts.
It's not as much the camping I want as the mobility. My family had a travel trailer growing up and it was a lot of work to set up and tear down, and visiting a city of any kind where it neded to be parked was completely impractical. I guess we'll have to hold out for a newer class a or have one converted for us.
I know you got the apartment for this trip, but on the next one maybe rent a trailer to go to a close camp. See if the family is even interested in rv's. I have a large Toy Hauler for my family of 5, knowing at some point there will be friends camping with us (already has the cousin invasion). My truck seats 6, so more then that we are taking 2 trucks anyway.
1. 3 bunk hybrid and a tent. Consider a full size van for the TV. (Sleep older kids, or one adult and a kid in the tent...)
2. Class B for the TV, pulling a medium-size HTT. You'll have trouble with seating for 7 though.
3. Small Class C for the TV, pulling a small HTT. You'll still have trouble with seating.
4. Full size van and a really big tent. Wait until the kids leave home to get a trailer or RV.
For what it's worth, we have 6 kiddos and early in 2010, bought a 30' TT, quad bunk with no slide, sleeps 10, etc. We pull it with a 1-ton, chevy express 12 psngr van. We bought the TT used and already had the van. WE LOVE IT!!!! The kiddos get very excited to see it parked in front of the house a day or so before we leave - call it their "trailer beds".
Vacationing with a large family is very expensive, but we have found that we can go on about 2 or 3 trips with the TT for every 1 we went on without it (depends on the trip of course). We've used it many times, and our longest trip to date, was to Disney - 2400 mi round trip! With no slide-out, it can get a bit cramped, but for us, you do what you have to do, and it's so worth it for us.
We looked around for about 6 months before we found one - craigslist of all places. Had to drive a couple hours out of town, but we knew enough and had looked at enough to know we were getting a great deal on a TT that was kept in immaculate condition, etc.
God Bless you and your family and I hope you find what you're looking for.
Me, DW AND
DS-13, DD-11, DS-8, DD-4, DD-4 (Yup, Twins!), DD-2, DS-4 mos
'08 Chevy Express 3500
'04 30' Treasure Ship QBH, no slide