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Old 05-29-2014, 08:28 AM   #1
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Floorplan questions

My wife and I are in the very preliminary stages of our search for a motorhome (probably a couple of years away). We are thinking of either a roughly five-year old DP or a new to very slightly used gas model, 36-feet or shorter so we can still enjoy Forest Service campgrounds and boondocking. Our short list currently has three brands on it: Newmar, Tiffin, and Winnebago.

One of the models I am looking at is the Sightseer, which seems to be a nice combination of amenities, features, and value. However, I have a question about the various Sightseer floor plans on the Winnebago website. The 30A and 35G both come standard with a regular-length queen bed, while the 33C has the shorter queen. I like the 33C floor plan aside from the shorter bed, but that would likely be a deal breaker. While I know the floor plan drawings are not necessarily to scale, the bedroom slides on the 30A and 33C appear to be roughly the same depth, and it appears there would be enough space for a full-length queen bed in 33C. So my question is: why didn't they do so? Would it be possible to add a full-length queen mattress after the fact to existing bed structure?

One other question about the 33C: it has a longer (perhaps not quite full-length) slide on the driver's side. Have there been any structural or stability issues with those slides? I ask because I have read elsewhere some general concerns about the structural integrity of full-length slides. Thanks for the input.
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Old 05-29-2014, 01:46 PM   #2
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We replaced the short queen mattress in our adventurer with a full length without any problems. It extends beyond the platform but works fine. The platform could be extended if you wanted to.
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Old 05-29-2014, 02:23 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by John Hilley View Post
We replaced the short queen mattress in our adventurer with a full length without any problems. It extends beyond the platform but works fine. The platform could be extended if you wanted to.
Thanks! That's good to know.
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Old 06-01-2014, 04:59 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by WaltH View Post
My wife and I are in the very preliminary stages of our search for a motorhome (probably a couple of years away). We are thinking of either a roughly five-year old DP or a new to very slightly used gas model, 36-feet or shorter so we can still enjoy Forest Service campgrounds and boondocking. Our short list currently has three brands on it: Newmar, Tiffin, and Winnebago.

One of the models I am looking at is the Sightseer, which seems to be a nice combination of amenities, features, and value. However, I have a question about the various Sightseer floor plans on the Winnebago website. The 30A and 35G both come standard with a regular-length queen bed, while the 33C has the shorter queen. I like the 33C floor plan aside from the shorter bed, but that would likely be a deal breaker. While I know the floor plan drawings are not necessarily to scale, the bedroom slides on the 30A and 33C appear to be roughly the same depth, and it appears there would be enough space for a full-length queen bed in 33C. So my question is: why didn't they do so? Would it be possible to add a full-length queen mattress after the fact to existing bed structure?

One other question about the 33C: it has a longer (perhaps not quite full-length) slide on the driver's side. Have there been any structural or stability issues with those slides? I ask because I have read elsewhere some general concerns about the structural integrity of full-length slides. Thanks for the input.
A DP is a great way to travel. The air springs smooth the ride and the torque is most often better than the gassers. Also, you don't have the engine noise and heat in the driving area. This DP we now have is truly a home. We have been in forest service parks but we must be careful as the 40' length is pushing the limits in some of the older parks. The basement of this model is one of the biggest I have seen. The floor plan and the amenities are supper for our needs. I have upgraded many of the lights to LEDs (M4-Products) and added a LED strip light under the patio awning.

I could ramble on and on but I won't. My best advise is buy used, buy a DP, get the residential refrigerator model and choose wisely your floor plan and interior colors. The darker colors are beautiful to look at but living with them 24/7 gets to be a problem.

You may find Newmar DP's of this floor plan I have too long and with tag axles. They are great coaches. Winnebago/Itasca is a good coach with many choices as with Tiffin. Before you buy know what you want and absolutely don't want.

This is my third DP. I hope it is my last. Handles mountains well and gets around 9 mpg. Full timing and volunteering requires reliability. We have been in the coach for a year and are very happy overall.

Happy hunting.

Rick Y
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Old 06-01-2014, 05:16 PM   #5
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For us the first item on our floorplan list was/is; everything inside the coach must be usable when the slides are retracted. This makes stopping for lunch, and overnighting much easier. One example used to be (no longer available) was the Mexico Copper Canyon train RV excursion; it did not allow slides out because your was loaded onto a flatbed rail-car that was 8' wide.
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Old 06-01-2014, 05:27 PM   #6
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"so we can still enjoy Forest Service campgrounds and boondocking"

I know this wasn't part of your question but definitely check the ground clearance and overhang behind the rear axle.
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Old 06-01-2014, 06:00 PM   #7
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#1 You are quite correct that drawings can be misleading, you need to see the units in person. As far as why, Winnebago has been doing this for a long time and they usually have very good reasons why they do it. You might want to call them and ask.

#2 Short queen beds - I'm almost 6'2" and full-time with a short queen bed, doesn't bother me in the least but I know we are all different. As far as putting in a regular mattress in our adventurer you couldn't do it unless it was some really floppy POS because it would need to fold or bend quite a bit to close the slide.

#3 Long slides - most of the problems come from the slide mechanism itself not being strong enough. You can google problems for the year and coach you want to see. I have seen more clogs in kitchen sinks that are in slides and many Norcold installations that were done in slides do not have adequate ventilation for cooling.

I'll also throw my .02 in about diesel vs gas. I have owned both and actually choose a gasser to go full-timing in. In the end it all came down to floor-plan and the one that scored highest on our list was a gasser. My general rule of thumb about gas Vs. Diesel is how much are you going to be driving it? We do about 6,000 miles a year which equates to 1% of the year is spent driving. However when I part-timed and was pushing my coach to get a thousand miles away for fun and then a sprint back home my actual percentage of driving time skyrocketd. It was about 10-15% of the time we were RVing, couple that with living in the pacific NW and pulling mountains, sometimes with a heavy trailer, then a diesel made a whole lot of sense.

I've owned 6 different brands, one Newmar and one Winnebago, both were excellent coaches with lots of smart engineering. I have never owned a Tiffin but have been in quite a few and am not the enthused about their product, they may be pretty but they seem to be more form over function, IMHO.

Last comment, I would get used either way, no need to spend all of your money and used is the way to get a great coach at a great deal. All 6 of my coaches have been used and have never regretted the nearly $500,000 I have saved in 17 years of RVing.

Good luck and have fun in the selection process.
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Old 06-01-2014, 06:13 PM   #8
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The diagram for the 33C appears to show room to extend the mattress to a full queen but that is with the slide extended. It may not be a good fit with the slide in for travelling. I suspect they have the short queen for a very good reason.

I'm 6'2" and have not had any issues getting a good nights sleep on a short queen. You may be taller and might have an issue though.
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Old 06-02-2014, 11:48 AM   #9
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Thanks to all for the input thus far. Wildtoad and StevenNSteph, thanks for the comments about sleeping in the short queen. I am also 6'2" (minus half an inch for age-related shrinkage ). I think my wife is actually more concerned about the bed length than I am, so I may be able to get her to come around on this.

Cypressloser, you make a good point about rear overhang and ground clearance. Definitely things to consider. Does anyone know if that can of information is available anywhere? It would be nice to have that data before buying.

StephenNSteph, thanks also for your input on long slides and the eternal gasser vs. DP question. Like you, I am hoping to drive in the 6-7,000 miles a year once we are able to full-time (probably less beforehand and maybe more a few years as we have friends and family in the South and the NE).

You are now the second person I have had direct input from who has chosen to full-time in a gas coach. Like you, I think it will come down to floor plan. I do wonder, though, about being able to tow a Jeep behind and maintain a decent cargo capacity. I know a few of the Newmar models seem to have good cargo capacity. I have a harder time figuring that out for Winnebago or Tiffin.

Tiffin is the brand that made it first onto our list, but they are perhaps now number three of the three brands we are considering. Part of that is all of the somewhat common issues that owners seem to have (wet bay, DS slide issues, roof rails). I know Tiffin's customer service is second to none, but I'd rather not need it. The bigger issue for us is that, so far, I think we have only seen one floor plan that really worked for both DW and me. That was a 2005 Phaeton 35GH that the dealer was asking maybe $15K too much for (and we weren't ready to buy yet). Many of the other plans are either too long, too awkward, or have too little kitchen prep space.

Thanks again, everyone. I appreciate the input and advice.
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Old 06-02-2014, 12:33 PM   #10
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I don't think you have to worry about the length behind the rear axle. We have two motor homes on the Ford chassis with the 228" wheel base and don't have any problem with either. We find that a table & chair with buffet is more comfortable than a dinette. We have a 35' Brave that came with a dinette. I replaced it with buffet and chairs, it made a huge difference in day to day comfort. The 33C looks like the most comfortable of the floor plans for full time. It offers the best viewing for TV.

Although we don't full time, we do spend about 7 months out of the year in the motor home. The 99 Brave 35C is used to travel with our 30 year old quadriplegic son. The bedroom has a hospital bed in it and Hoyer lift. We replaced the jack knife sofa with a conventional hide a bed for my wife and i to sleep on. We are able to carry every thing to keep him comfortable while traveling and the whole family can get together in the motor home in comfort.

We picked the Adventurer 38G for the floor plan. The front over head TV works fine for us. We have the washer/dryer and don't use it often, but are glad we have it. I see that it is available on the 33C at the expense of the nice size pantry.
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Old 06-02-2014, 01:42 PM   #11
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I don't think you have to worry about the length behind the rear axle. We have two motor homes on the Ford chassis with the 228" wheel base and don't have any problem with either. We find that a table & chair with buffet is more comfortable than a dinette. We have a 35' Brave that came with a dinette. I replaced it with buffet and chairs, it made a huge difference in day to day comfort. The 33C looks like the most comfortable of the floor plans for full time. It offers the best viewing for TV.

Although we don't full time, we do spend about 7 months out of the year in the motor home. The 99 Brave 35C is used to travel with our 30 year old quadriplegic son. The bedroom has a hospital bed in it and Hoyer lift. We replaced the jack knife sofa with a conventional hide a bed for my wife and i to sleep on. We are able to carry every thing to keep him comfortable while traveling and the whole family can get together in the motor home in comfort.

We picked the Adventurer 38G for the floor plan. The front over head TV works fine for us. We have the washer/dryer and don't use it often, but are glad we have it. I see that it is available on the 33C at the expense of the nice size pantry.
Thanks! I guess we just need to get out and look at some - if we can get past the higher-pressure sales pitch we always seem to get when we visit Camping World to look at RVs.
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Old 06-02-2014, 02:40 PM   #12
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You can get a lot of information looking at the ads on the Internet. Some have very detailed pictures and videos. Ask the salesman to let you look at the motor home alone so you can discuss it before you walk through it with him.
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Old 06-02-2014, 06:31 PM   #13
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Our 40U is functional for us on the road. The bed is accessible, full queen, and cooking is very possible though a bit cramped. Because this coach sets up and closes so easy and quickly we have no reservations about leveling and putting the slides out at Walmart. We just try to be considerate. I still feel that this is hard to beat for comfort and function.

My wife loves plants. When we travel the plants leave the dash and go to the shower. Because she has many things that need to be packed down safely our room is a bit cramped. If these things and the 90# dog were not in the way traveling would be much less stressful. What I do for love! But the 40U is something to be considered. We drove 1200 miles to get this one used and affordable.

We travel from coast to coast, north and south. We know when the coach is being taxed by the terrain. I feel that I have the best of both worlds with this RV; driving and camping. Home is where the wheel are parked.
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaltH View Post
My wife and I are in the very preliminary stages of our search for a motorhome (probably a couple of years away). We are thinking of either a roughly five-year old DP or a new to very slightly used gas model, 36-feet or shorter so we can still enjoy Forest Service campgrounds and boondocking. Our short list currently has three brands on it: Newmar, Tiffin, and Winnebago.

One of the models I am looking at is the Sightseer, which seems to be a nice combination of amenities, features, and value. However, I have a question about the various Sightseer floor plans on the Winnebago website. The 30A and 35G both come standard with a regular-length queen bed, while the 33C has the shorter queen. I like the 33C floor plan aside from the shorter bed, but that would likely be a deal breaker. While I know the floor plan drawings are not necessarily to scale, the bedroom slides on the 30A and 33C appear to be roughly the same depth, and it appears there would be enough space for a full-length queen bed in 33C. So my question is: why didn't they do so? Would it be possible to add a full-length queen mattress after the fact to existing bed structure?

One other question about the 33C: it has a longer (perhaps not quite full-length) slide on the driver's side. Have there been any structural or stability issues with those slides? I ask because I have read elsewhere some general concerns about the structural integrity of full-length slides. Thanks for the input.
The short queen or short king in the Sightseer/Sunova 33C butts up against the dresser drawers when the bedroom slideout is in. There is no room for the regular size queen or king. However, all areas from the front to the back to the bed are fully accessible and usable with the slideouts in.

The floor plan on the 33C is what sold us. The living room is set up just the same as we have at home. TV at eye level and looking straight at it from all seating areas. I like the Euro lounger beside the sofa. My wife and I and granddaughter can sit at the buffet table and play games and watch TV easily. The TV is quite viewable from the captain's chairs also. We have dry-camped, camped in Forest Service campgrounds, Corps of Engineers campgrounds as well as private campgrounds and upon occasion stayed throughout the winter in luxury RV resorts down south. The size works very well in a lot of different environments.

The Winnebago Journey/Meridian 34Y/34B is the exact same floor plan as the 33C except the full wall slideout extends beyond the hallway through the bedroom. This allows enough room for a full length queen or king size bed. The diesel version has the four-door refrigerator and the TV pops up out of the buffet instead of being mounted on the wall.

The Journey/Meridian 34Y/34B is the diesel version of the Sightseer/Sunova 33C. The 2009 version has the 350 hp diesel with the big torque, whereas the newer models have the 340 hp diesel and less torque.

The 2009 Journey/Meridian 34Y/34B is hard to find as I have been following them for a couple of years now. However that is partially due to the fact that the wife will only have one specific exterior color combination.

Here is an example of a 2011 Journey 34Y. The asking price is too high but he probably could be dickered down.
#BS410A - 2011 Winnebago Journey 34Y for sale in Boerne TX - Ancira RV

Here is a search on RVTrader.com:
New and Used Winnebago JOURNEY RVs for Sale - RVTrader.com

The same search can be done for the Itasca Meridian 34Y/34B as the Winnebagos and Itascas are the same unit just different names, both made by Winnebago.

Here are some views in ours with the slideouts in and the last one with slideouts out.
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:44 AM   #15
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If you like the 33C floor plan and want to go diesel, take a look at the Winnebago Journey 34Y (2009 to 2012). It is basically the same floor plan as the 33C except it has a larger closet positioned across the rear and also has either washer and dryer or another large storage cabinet. As far as the mattress length, on our Journey 34Y, when the Bed slide and full wall slide is closed there is not enough room to add any more length, but I am 6' and haven't had any problems with the length......
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:05 AM   #16
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Chiefbvfd and aauummm, thanks for the additional input on the 33C and the advice on the Journey 34Y. I'll take a closer look at both of them.
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:19 AM   #17
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Chiefbvfd and aauummm, thanks for the additional input on the 33C and the advice on the Journey 34Y. I'll take a closer look at both of them.
You're welcome and good luck on finding the MH that will suit your needs. I had two previous motorhomes before getting the Sunova 33C. Looking for just that right MH is probably the funnest part of the experience of buying it.
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:23 AM   #18
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You're welcome and good luck on finding the MH that will suit your needs. I had two previous motorhomes before getting the Sunova 33C. Looking for just that right MH is probably the funnest part of the experience of buying it.
I always enjoying looking at and reading about motorhomes. My wife says she starts to get confused after looking at more than two or three. I suppose it does get hard after a while to keep them all straight.
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