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Old 03-31-2015, 10:27 PM   #1
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Tough Decision

Hopping you folks can help us decide what coach to choose -- what are the trade off's.

We are considering purchase of a new or near new motorhome and have narrowed the choice to the following and are having a hard time deciding which is the best or what the trade off are that are important to consider.
The models we like are:[LIST][*]Adventurer 38Q[*]Sightseer 35G[*]Vista 36Y[*]Possibly the Brave 31C - but we aren't sure of this one

Some factors that drive our decision:
We have two dogs one large and one small
We would occasionally want to take a couple of grand kids with and possibly their parents - not expecting to have sleeping for all of us though
Longest trips would be 5-6 weeks for now but in a couple years we may want to full time or take long trips
Would tow a Mini Cooper with manual transmission
Want to be able to camp in state parks as well as larger camp grounds
Limited dry camping
Drivability is important
Best value is more important than cost

We are really struggling with the decision - keep looking at them and talking with dealers. So if any of you own some of them and can compare that would be a big help.


Thanks for any input
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Old 03-31-2015, 10:49 PM   #2
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Don't have first hand experience with the units you're considering, but here is how we went about our decision and the advice you will most often see on here, or parts of it anyway.

For us, because full timing was the goal, we went for the biggest unit with a floor plan that we liked that was within our budget.

There we many to choose from, too many in fact and we spent over a year looking at them, learning everything we could about brands, models, equipment etc.

Then when it came to choosing we began by dropping units from the list rather than try to pick from a handful.

Many folks will tell you until you get out there and use it/live in it, you won't really know for sure and that you may end up trading for something else later.

Good luck with your search/decision. An RV is not like a tattoo. You can change it if you like something else better.
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Old 03-31-2015, 11:11 PM   #3
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IF you like them all the same and price discounts are equal, the Adventurer may be the best value. It is a higher quality model that should hold up well and the larger size would be good for the extra passengers.
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Old 04-01-2015, 03:54 AM   #4
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The larger size will be appreciated when you encounter bad weather at the destination. As said before, you should choose according to the best floor plan for your taste and budget.
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Old 04-01-2015, 04:26 AM   #5
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I think the Adventurer would be a good choice for you.
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Old 04-01-2015, 06:41 AM   #6
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Motorhome choice

I would stay with the adventurer series many more features and quality. You might want to think of a 35 ft because of a lot of state and national park size limits. A 35 with 2 or 3 slides should give you plenty of room. Bigger is not always more functional. If you go used you can save a lot of money just shop for a nice unit. Good Luck!
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Old 04-01-2015, 07:08 AM   #7
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I have a 38V and it is tough to get into some state parks because of the access roads and limited room to maneuver. I will not go to a lot of Michigan State parks for that reason. I have found restricted parks but they are usually very restricted to like 30ft. I would not let length be the determining factor. And some believe that if you are going to be on the road with a class A then 36' and above gives a better ride.

If ride is important then you should consider an older diesel.
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Old 04-01-2015, 07:21 AM   #8
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I would stay with the adventurer series many more features and quality. You might want to think of a 35 ft because of a lot of state and national park size limits. A 35 with 2 or 3 slides should give you plenty of room. Bigger is not always more functional. If you go used you can save a lot of money just shop for a nice unit. Good Luck!
I would agree. We camp a lot in state and national parks. We chose the Adventurer 32H because it was a better fit for these locations. Even at 33'3" it's hard to get into some of the more scenic campsites.

Personally I would go for an Adventurer. We're on our second one and have loved them both.
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:53 AM   #9
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So you have narrowed it down to a Class A gas Winnebago basically? Looks like MSRP (before options) would be from about $120,000 to $190,000 on the models you listed, quite a range.

Value? Couple year old like new will be much cheaper, for basically the same stuff you'll get on a new one, lots of "value" there. You could also argue the Brave is the best value, it still has 80% of what the Adventurer has for 60% of the cost.

That doesn't seem to be what you need to hear though? We starting looking at Sightseers (entry model in '04) and ended up in an Adventurer. But that step up was about 30% back then, it's much bigger than that now. We sure like the features our Adventurer has over the Sightseer. Today that choice may be about what getting a Sightseer over a Brave (Cheiftain was the top gas model in '04 - we didn't go all the way "to the top") is today. The brochures have all the features, just have to read them a bunch and filter out the real features vs. marketing fluff.

Good luck!
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Old 04-01-2015, 02:41 PM   #10
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So you have narrowed it down to a Class A gas Winnebago basically? Looks like MSRP (before options) would be from about $120,000 to $190,000 on the models you listed, quite a range.

Value? Couple year old like new will be much cheaper, for basically the same stuff you'll get on a new one, lots of "value" there. You could also argue the Brave is the best value, it still has 80% of what the Adventurer has for 60% of the cost.

That doesn't seem to be what you need to hear though? We starting looking at Sightseers (entry model in '04) and ended up in an Adventurer. But that step up was about 30% back then, it's much bigger than that now. We sure like the features our Adventurer has over the Sightseer. Today that choice may be about what getting a Sightseer over a Brave (Cheiftain was the top gas model in '04 - we didn't go all the way "to the top") is today. The brochures have all the features, just have to read them a bunch and filter out the real features vs. marketing fluff.

Good luck!
It isn't quite as simple as having 80% of the same amenities at 60% of the price. While they both Air Conditioners, televisions, shower enclosures and other similar amenities there is a difference in the quality level of those amenities. There's a quality level difference between the upholstery, carpeting flooring cabinetry and almost everything else. A motorhome is like everything else in life. You get what you pay for.
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Old 04-01-2015, 08:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmrsbb View Post
Hopping you folks can help us decide what coach to choose -- what are the trade off's.

We are considering purchase of a new or near new motorhome and have narrowed the choice to the following and are having a hard time deciding which is the best or what the trade off are that are important to consider.
The models we like are:[LIST][*]Adventurer 38Q[*]Sightseer 35G[*]Vista 36Y[*]Possibly the Brave 31C - but we aren't sure of this one

Some factors that drive our decision:
We have two dogs one large and one small
We would occasionally want to take a couple of grand kids with and possibly their parents - not expecting to have sleeping for all of us though
Longest trips would be 5-6 weeks for now but in a couple years we may want to full time or take long trips
Would tow a Mini Cooper with manual transmission
Want to be able to camp in state parks as well as larger camp grounds
Limited dry camping
Drivability is important
Best value is more important than cost

We are really struggling with the decision - keep looking at them and talking with dealers. So if any of you own some of them and can compare that would be a big help.


Thanks for any input
Looks like the vote is in for the Adventure. I suggest used over new because of the hit you take the first couple of years and the new build headaches that go along with it. The 38Q is first seen in 2014. It is the gas version of the coach I am in and 2' shorter. Have you considered a diesel pusher? The ride and handling is usually better than a gasser and the fuel mileage is about the same. I am averaging 7.7mpg according to the on board monitor. We have ample room and even have had the grand boys stay overnight. No trips with them yet. Our dog is very happy here too.

No mater what you buy always take special care to examine the quality of the coach. Because I didn't buy locally (drove 1200 mi to trade) I didn't get a few cosmetic issues corrected that I wish I would have. We love the livability of this coach. A true home on wheels. My only caution is that some of the years after this '11 started having slide issues because of the mechanics used. That is a issue to be educated on when you get serious.

Look forward to your final choice.

Rick Y
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Old 04-01-2015, 11:23 PM   #12
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We looked for several years before we found something that had a clean and basic look. That is what the Brave/Tribute is for us. For example, look at the cabinetry in these models compared to the others. I would argue that the design is more functional and quality is better with the extruded aluminum cabinet slides. The quality of the rest of the materials is just as good as the higher end models. The only difference is that the design in the Brave/Tribute is honest, and not gaudy or contrived like many of the other offerings from just about every manufacturer out there.
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Old 04-03-2015, 08:06 AM   #13
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So it seems most the votes are for an Adventurer - possibly used and smaller. I agree that the further you go down the line of models the fewer features you get and the quality gets lower. In regard to smaller the things that cause us to like the 38Q over the smaller floorplans are -- most do not have a pantry, most do not have as large a firg nor a residential frig, and they don't have the residential homy feel as the 38Q or Sightseer 35G. However we are concerned about price and being small enough to be easy to drive and park in smaller camps.

Like the Brave 31C but the overall quality seems lower and you lose a lot of features. Seems to us that it would be fine for weekend trips or a short vacation but any thing longer would make you anxious to get home.

So I guess a question is how important are some of the extras you get with an Adventurer? How important is having a washer and dryer? Some of the smaller Adventurers have a closet near the frog that could serve as a panty - but it is where the washer dryer goes.

What features are important enough to pay more? What features do you lose as you go smaller and cheaper?
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Old 04-03-2015, 09:22 AM   #14
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I believe all Adventurers have a pantry. At least since 2001. The pantry in our 2001 Adventurer 32V was on the passengers side to the rear of the refrigerator. The pantry in our 2013 32H is on the drivers side to the rear of the refrigerator. The one in the 2015 32D is on the same side just behind the drivers seat.

We have used our Adventurers for trips in excess of 3 months without any problems. We've taken both to Alaska, Florida and almost every place in between. The 2001 had over 100,000 miles on it when we traded it in.

As for the washer and dryer we haven't found the need to have them. In order to use the washer you almost have to have a full hookup. With the amount of water it uses you'll drain the fresh water tank, and fill the grey water tank in short order.

The washer and dryer are tiny by residential standards. Several friends of ours have them and spend the better part of the day when they do laundry. We go to the campground laundry or local laundromat and are finished in less than half the time. To us it's extra weight and space that's better used for a larger pantry and more storage space.

In the end it's all a matter of personal preference. We outfitted our Adventurer as close as possible with the amenities we have at home. It makes a more comfortable and relaxing atmosphere. It's easier and more satisfying to travel the highways and byways when you don't miss the comforts of home.
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Old 04-03-2015, 09:44 AM   #15
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You say you would like to stay in state parks, but limited boondocking. Sometimes, I've found some state parks are boondocking. They may not have any hook-ups or possibly only water and electric. You will need to rely on larger holding tanks and your generator.
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Old 04-03-2015, 11:00 AM   #16
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Thanks. Your right. That's why we mentioned it.
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Old 04-03-2015, 11:23 AM   #17
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We looked for several years before we found something that had a clean and basic look. That is what the Brave/Tribute is for us. For example, look at the cabinetry in these models compared to the others. I would argue that the design is more functional and quality is better with the extruded aluminum cabinet slides. The quality of the rest of the materials is just as good as the higher end models. The only difference is that the design in the Brave/Tribute is honest, and not gaudy or contrived like many of the other offerings from just about every manufacturer out there.
We like the 31C Brave/Tribute However, some of the times seem to be lower quality or cheap. The sliding doors are great but other things like the dinete appeared to be on the cheap side - example rough plywood under cushions that is hard to lift up to store stuff and the leg on the table didn't look very sturdy.

Lack of sun shades in the cockpit and other things make us wonder if we would be happy with it long term. Do you have a list of things not in the Brave that would be in a Sightseer or Adventurer?

I kinda think it would be fine for short trips but not suitable if one was eventually going to live in it full time or most time.

It would be helpful to know what you think the pluses and minuses are after owning one.
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Old 04-03-2015, 01:32 PM   #18
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IMHO. If you are going to be taking your granchildren plus their parents with you, space will be important. I have always believed that a larger coach has it's pluses. I once spent a week in a CG with constant rain. I was glad my RV was big! With the exception of some state parks with limited length restriction, I have heard from many in here that they still can get in those parks while exceeding the limits. Also a larger coach means bigger storage, which is very important if you will be spending a long time travelling in it.
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Old 04-03-2015, 03:25 PM   #19
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Thanks. That confirms my thoughts. The other issue is bigger = high price unless you can find a used coach - which for the 38Q - means a 2014, which won't be much cheaper.

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Old 04-03-2015, 05:08 PM   #20
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Most of the people we know with washer /Dryer do aa bit many rtimes per week as the small size is better handled that way. We have never felt the need in about 30 years of camping and extended trips. Don't forget the Itasca models that are very similar to the Adventurer. Many times they have additional features originally provided and have different interior design such as lighter interior colors. Be sure to get a good campground directory and you will find reference to the amenities and the length of unit recommended.
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