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 > Looking to buy, bunkhouse ~26ft, all advice welcome

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Amandasaylor

Washington

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Posted: 06/01/20 10:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey there RV'ers,

Husband and I are in the market to purchase a travel trailer and I'm looking for advice. I've done a fair bit of reading, visited dealerships, but I still have lingering questions. There's quite a bit of variation in construction and floorplans and it's getting a little overwhelming to pick through, so I'm trying to narrow down the search to a handful of brands. This TT will be used with our family of 5 to go camping or moderate distance traveling. We are in washington state.

Needs:
Quality built!<-- most important. Tell me the brand(s) that stay out of the shop!
Bunk house
23 to 26ish ft (advertised length, I know they are truly longer with hitch)
Useful layout with storage!
A slide, I think. Unless theres a big reason not to.
New or used? What say you...
I heard that straight toilet plumbing is the best for negating leaks and a mess down the road...true? Who has that in a TT?

Thanks in advance for your time in answering [emoticon]

Lwiddis

Bishop area, California

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Posted: 06/01/20 10:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A slide makes a smaller RV "big" at the campground. I wouldn't buy an RV without at least one slide. For your first purchase...to determine if you really like RVing and to avoid substantial depreciation...used might be better. Unfortunately, no RVs stay out of the shop. The key is a close inspection, using every system and ALL repairs before you put any money down. Consider a pro inspection before you buy...or at least a very experienced RV friend. Get ON the roof and underneath with a flashlight too. Be careful to determine if your tow vehicle is adequate...not just GVWR...payload!

* This post was edited 06/01/20 11:04am by Lwiddis *


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watt solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet-11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


opnspaces

San Diego Ca

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Posted: 06/01/20 12:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Amandasaylor, welcome to the foum. You'll find quite a variety of opinions on your questions from all of us. One thing I can suggest to get the best answer is to give us the make and model of your perspective tow vehicle. Also if it's a newer model open the drivers door and see if there is a white and yellow sticker on the doorjamb. If so you should find a statement saying something to the effect of "maximum capacity for all occupants and cargo is xxxx. If that sticker is there please give us that number as well.

As far as your actual posted needs:
Quality built!<-- most important. Tell me the brand(s) that stay out of the shop! Unfortunately most of the trailers, heck most RV's for that matter are built the same, fast and cheap. You can maybe look for solid wood drawer and door fronts. Some of the more expensive have complete solid wood cabinets as well as the doors and drawers. I have had my Jayco since 2005 and it has served me well with very few issues. If and when I buy again I will definitely look at Jayco again.

Bunk house
23 to 26ish ft (advertised length, I know they are truly longer with hitch) Mine is a 27BH (BH for bunkhouse) but it's 30 feet bumper to tongue. I like the layout even with 4 boys. When they were small two shared the full size bottom bunk and one on the jacknife sofa. Now that they are older one or more no longer camps with me so the bedding isn't an issue.

Useful layout with storage!I like the passthrough front storage on mine. The only problem is it's easy to wind up with a whole ton of stuff in the trailer that you just never use. So every year or two you should try to go through everything and remove the unneeded stuff.

A slide, I think. Unless theres a big reason not to.A slide definitely adds some usable room. But it also can add 1,000lbs to the trailer. Which may or may not be a problem. If you do look at slides make sure you can access things like the bathroom and maybe the refrigerator with the slide all the way closed. This may or may not matter to you. But it sill be good to know so it's not a surprise later.

New or used? What say you...Mine was new, but I have no problem going used. Going used will definitely make it more affordable. But RV's leak and leaks can be catastrophic for them. So you need to check everywhere on the floor for soft spots or discoloration. Also look in the corners of all the top cabinets for water staining. For used you might want to search for a mobile RV repair person and pay them to look your prospective purchase over before signing anything.

I heard that straight toilet plumbing is the best for negating leaks and a mess down the road...true? Who has that in a TT? I'll bet that the straight plumbing is more common than plumbing with a bend in it. It's easy enough to figure out though. Just hold the toilet flush valve open and look down with a flashlight. Make sure you firmly hold onto the flashlight and I would never use my smart phone in case it got dropped.

Last bit of advice. On any prospective trailer go into the bathroom, close the door and make sure you have enough room to do your business. Don't just sit down and then stand up. Take a minute to relax and picture if you actually have enough room.

* This post was edited 06/01/20 02:00pm by opnspaces *


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jdc1

Rescue, Ca

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Posted: 06/01/20 01:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

5 persons? Slide, for sure. Everything Matt says, I agree with. Cooking space and privacy might be looked at too. Where's that last kid going to eat?
I vote for used. You'll save thousands, if not ten thousand dollars. If you saw my trailer, you'd understand.

Thermoguy

Graham, WA

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Posted: 06/01/20 01:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It would be helpful to understand your truck's capabilities. Since you have a family of 5, the smaller the trailer the less room to be comfortable as a family. The bunk house can be a place to sit or play if large enough, but typically just a place to sleep. We were in our trailer with our 1 son and 2 dogs this weekend and he was complaining about having a good spot to sit and watch TV with us. We have a small sofa and a dining table, but no where to really sit and watch TV. OK for 2, but no way would be have enough room for 5. We have a 5th wheel which we bought because of the quality and bunkhouse vs the TT's we looked at. So, a larger trailer gives you more room inside, but then harder to find a spot at some campsites, specifically state sites.

the e-man

Virginia

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Posted: 06/01/20 03:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We had a Jayco Jay Flight 26BH as our first camper. It was pretty much perfect for a family with 2 kids. It was a pretty standard design with no slide. That made it a good first camper for us. Standard dinette, not u-shaped, which worked well. No outside kitchen which means more room for storing things and more room for the bunks.

As the kids got older and we added a dog, it started to feel a bit small. Hard to work in the kitchen and have someone pass through to the bunks or bathroom. Not enough room for us all to watch TV comfortably. Top bunk was a single which we heard some complaints about as the kids got above 15.

If you want a bit more room, there are some units with a slide. Consider getting a super slide with couch and dinette in the slide. Consider ensuring there are three beds (3 bunks or 2 bunks + sofa) so each child has their own space. There are a few triple bunk campers available in the size you mentioned.

To get started, take a look at a Jay Flight 26BH and Jay Feather 27BHB.

When shopping around last time, we ended up getting a Grand Design Transcend. So far, it seems like a good quality unit. For what you are describing, maybe the Xplor 247BH, 261BH or 265BH.

Note that there are other good travel trailer manufacturers and models. I'm just sharing our experience.


2018 Grand Design Transcend 28MKS
2010 Ram 2500
Travel Trail Sail - Info on Travel Planning, RV Camping, Outdoor Living


wildtoad

Blythewood, SC

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Posted: 06/01/20 04:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My first input is, buy bigger than you want to buy, but no bigger than you can safely tow. You have three kids, and I assume they are fairly young (NOW). They will need places to store they stuff (as will you) and one thing you give up with bunk houses is storage space.

We bought a 31 ft MH with bunks. One for the grand nephew which has only been used thrice, and a place to house the pets and their stuff. We found there is very little (nil comes to mind) room for anything the kid needs to take.

A lot to think about.


Tom Wilds
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Amandasaylor

Washington

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Posted: 06/01/20 05:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks friends, all of this is very helpful! The vehicle (husbands department) is an excursion and states it can tow 7 to 8 thousand lbs...but willing to upgrade vehicle to meet the trailers needs. I was told by one guy at a lot that he see's passports in the shop the least, so I was starting my search in that direction. I didnt mention that in my OP because I wanted an unbiased opinion. We are going to rent a 2018 28ft dutchman kodiak BH locally and take it on the road for a week to get out feet wet and see what fits [emoticon]

Thanks again

* This post was edited 06/02/20 01:18pm by Amandasaylor *

mbopp

Henrietta, NY, USA

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Posted: 06/02/20 08:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have a Grand Design. Anecdotal evidence says the early models were better built before GD was aquired by Winnebago and experienced explosive growth. But you'll be hard pressed to find a manufacturer with better service after the sale. There are stories about GD replacing walls on 4 year old trailers under a goodwill warranty.

The dealer makes or breaks your experience. Being told you need to leave your trailer for 2-3 months for warranty work is BS.

I don't know about your Expy. With 5 people you will probably be pushing your payload, rear axle, and maybe hitch ratings. Short of taking 2 vehicles many large families use a 1-ton passenger van.


2017 Grand Design Imagine 2650RK
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APT

SE Michigan

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Posted: 06/02/20 10:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Excursion is 3/4 ton. If accurate, then no concerns with nearly any <30' TT. Flush all the fluids.

My TT has never been to an RV dealer for repairs. I have never heard of a positive experience from my local dealers (or any for that matter). I do as much of my own repairs as possible. Typically when I learn of a failure, it is within 2 weeks of a planned trip. If there was a problem even if "free" to repair under warranty, the time of my vacation is worth a lot of money for me to repair myself. Order part, replace. I did have some alignment issue which I took to a truck/trailer frame shop. And I had some damage to body that I took to a auto body shop who also had experience with RVs.


A & A parents of DD 2005, DS1 2007, DS2 2009
2011 Suburban 2500 6.0L 3.73 pulling 2011 Heartland North Trail 28BRS
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 > Looking to buy, bunkhouse ~26ft, all advice welcome
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