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Old 11-29-2022, 12:26 AM   #1
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New To Class A - 2023 Precept Prestige 36A Will Be My First Motorhome - Thoughts?

Hello! New to the forum.

I have a wife and six kids and we're currently in a 44' 5th wheel with five bunks and two full baths.

I'd like to go for longer trips however and have the family with me rather than driving behind me so we're looking hard at a new 36A Precept.

I will be flat towing a vehicle but I havent figured out yet which one of my vehicles will suit that best since I believe I have to stay under 5,000 pounds and thats hard in vehicles that seat 8.

Any tips or advise is welcomed.

Thanks!
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Old 11-29-2022, 05:45 AM   #2
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I'm always a fan of trying to rent that model, or one close, before buying. Somethings only become apparent with a couple days of use.

I'd also project out how long I would expect to keep it and will it still work for the kids at that age. If it won't work longish term and I was looking at a shorter useful life span I would be looking at a used unit that someone else took the new to used depreciation hit.
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Old 11-29-2022, 07:20 AM   #3
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I'm always a fan of trying to rent that model, or one close, before buying. Somethings only become apparent with a couple days of use.
I thought for the longest time I wanted to move into a Class 'A'. More space, more cargo capacity, 50 amp, etc.

Then I drove one. A Jayco Precept 31UL.

I decided I didn't want a Class 'A' anymore.
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Old 11-29-2022, 08:52 AM   #4
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All sounds like words of wisdom.

What specifically caused you to decide you didnt want a Class A after owning that Jayco?
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Old 11-29-2022, 09:21 AM   #5
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After almost two years full-time traveling all over the US...6 months ago we traded in our 43 ft Fifth Wheel and RAM Dually for a 38' Class A...simply due to all my back and knee problems. Climbing in/out of Truck, unloading, and setting up the Fifth Wheel was getting to buy old worn out bones/joints. While at a rally, an RV dealer had several used Class A's with one that looked suitable to us, the bedroom layout, washer/dryer, decent build quality, and easy to setup. We were able to get a decent deal on our truck and FW, so decided to go for it.

Way more storage underneath, with sliding cargo tray that slides out both sides, nice power cable reel so don't have to struggle with the heavy large power cord, large integrated wet bay with only on sewer port and macerator system - very nice, no struggling with two different dump points as with the FW, auto leveling system is inside so just pull in, check the level of the site just in case, and let her go leveling. No more standing in the heat, cold, rain rain starting the leveling system for the FW that has the leveling control outside. Decent Diesel engine that has plenty of power to get through the mountains, and nice generator...and lot more cargo carrying capacity than with the Fifth Wheel that we had. And a TV outside. Also the ceilings are about 7' so no longer need a ladder to get to my vent fans and vents in the ceiling as we did with the Fifth Wheel living area.

Also able to two our jeep now thus saving on fuel for travel days.

Down side is we lost 7-10 ft of inside usable space, very small kitchen area,
and when couch is out in living room, there is little space to move around.

But for the two of us, it was a good solution for our bodily issues and reduced arguments when parking/backing in sites ... was difficult at time with the large fifth wheel...

I agree with TaftCoach and rent one before buying to see if fits your needs.
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Old 11-29-2022, 09:41 AM   #6
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Thanks Topperace

Great run down

I am concerned about 8 people squeezing into a 38’ A after getting used to a 44’ FW with five bunks and a couch.

I just assumed I’d be putting a boy or two on the floor.

I currently have already dropped $65k on the one year old FW and pull it with a two year old $65k SINGLE rear wheel diesel long bed F350, so there’s $130k spent already

The FW has lots of problems and is wearing out super fast

I can go to a new FW for probably $100k, and maybe get $30k in trade for the old FW for a net $70k spent

Then probably end up buying the F450 I have ordered next year when it’s made for an additional $90k for a net $160k since I’m going to keep the current truck regardless

OR I can just trade in the old FW for a $170k Class A for a net $140k and then spend another $5k getting a old 2001 3/4 ton 4x4 Suburban I have equipped to be a toad which is about 700 lbs too heavy for the 5,000 lb tow cap of the Class A.

So money equals out to close to the same within a margin of about 10% give or take.

I’d have more room with a new Grand Design Momentum or Montana, but less hassle with the Class A and a RV that is built to last 200,000 miles

Hmmmmm ….
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Old 11-29-2022, 09:50 AM   #7
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Another thing, and I know you said looking at 36A Precept which is Gas, and most of the time that will be cheaper, less hassle, option to maintain/service when needed, but gas milage and engine torque are the downsides to gas Class A's - on the towing and mountain driving, etc.

Diesels have more power/torque, but are expensive to service/maintain if you are not skilled enough to do yourself. Finding service locations can be tricky depending on where you are, unlike the Gas option where most repair places can handle gas engine service, etc.

Also, I would not recommend buying new, you will find really good used Class A's
that have already had the "kinks" worked out on them, etc. But with any RV there is always something to fix.
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Old 11-29-2022, 03:03 PM   #8
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I have a 2021 36A and it works well for the wife and me. She has the bedroom area for her "craft" projects and I have the living area/main tv to watch sports. We use the bunk bed area for closet/storage which would otherwise be pretty limited inside. Not sure how it would accommodate 6 kids as far as living space. The 36A has as much sleeping accommodations as you are going to find in a gas A, 2 in bedroom, 2 bunk beds (small), 2 in drop down loft, 2 on trifold couch(not very confortable)and then the dinette for small kids. The driver/pass chairs swivel towards the living area which will provide seating, but there is very limited empty floor space. I tow a Jeep Grand Cherokee and personally I would not want anything heavier back there. The F53 chassis has a "straight" front axle with huge leaf springs as opposed to a front independent suspension with coil springs. The result is a very rough/jarring ride on rough roads/pot holes/excessive expansion joints on concrete hiways etc. Some people aren't able to live with this, but obviously thousands do. You can check out this forum and the irv2 ford chassis forum for more information on this. I have owned 5 diff gas A's ( 2 chevy based and 3 fords), driven them over 150K mi, and have just lived with the fact that they are what they are. Not everyone seems to be able to do this, however.
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Old 11-29-2022, 03:19 PM   #9
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Thanks Paul P that helps me frame my expectations.

Depending on what time of day it is, I go back and forth between the idea of getting a new fifth wheel vs a 36A.
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Old 11-29-2022, 03:44 PM   #10
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Another bit of advice I have heard from time to time is Class As are best for moving often, 5ers for stopping and staying awhile.
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Old 11-29-2022, 03:52 PM   #11
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Another bit of advice I have heard from time to time is Class As are best for moving often, 5ers for stopping and staying awhile.
Thats what got me started looking at Class As

For work I have a lot of one and two night stays at RV parks all over the state.

I thought I'd get a toad and go do my work trips, yet at the same time, be able to load my family of 8 up and go hit Branson, Mo or the Grand Canyon.

The more I scratch the surface, the more it sounds like it may be asking a bit too much to cram a family of 8 into a 36A for vacations.
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Old 11-29-2022, 05:18 PM   #12
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You know your family better than anyone here. My kids slept on the floor of my boat without complaints. And in tents and under the stars. They recall most of those trips as great memories.
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Old 11-29-2022, 05:28 PM   #13
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You know your family better than anyone here. My kids slept on the floor of my boat without complaints. And in tents and under the stars. They recall most of those trips as great memories.
Well there is that..

My oldest son tent camps outside the RV anytime I let him just because he likes to.

I doubt any of it would make for BAD memories as you point out....
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Old 12-03-2022, 08:05 AM   #14
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[/QUOTE]
My oldest son tent camps outside the RV anytime I let him just because he likes to.
[/QUOTE]

That is so funny. On our trip out west earlier this year my son-in-law stayed in the RV the first night and then insisted on sleeping in his one man tent for the rest of the trip. We had plenty of room inside for the six of us (4 adults and 2 college age teens) to sleep comfortably and we did not have to use the dinette as a bed. By the way we all get along great so it wasn’t anything personal but rather his preference to sleep under the stars.
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Old 12-04-2022, 12:18 AM   #15
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Well there is that..

My oldest son tent camps outside the RV anytime I let him just because he likes to.

I doubt any of it would make for BAD memories as you point out....

Well, sir, I have made up your mind, are you going to go for it or are you still thinking?
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Old 12-14-2022, 03:17 PM   #16
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Well, sir, I have made up your mind, are you going to go for it or are you still thinking?
I can get a Grand Design Momentum for $114k

I can get a 36A for $144k

If I get the 5th wheel, I will probably end up parking my F350 SRW and buying an additional F450 and spending $100k there since I could use both

So the 5th wheel will cost me around $215 and the 36A $144k.

Ive got half a mind just to buy the 36A and run it along side the fifth wheel for a year and sell whichever one I dont like the most. Probably getting close to pulling the trigger.
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Old 12-22-2022, 12:58 AM   #17
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I can get a Grand Design Momentum for $114k

I can get a 36A for $144k

If I get the 5th wheel, I will probably end up parking my F350 SRW and buying an additional F450 and spending $100k there since I could use both

So the 5th wheel will cost me around $215 and the 36A $144k.

Ive got half a mind just to buy the 36A and run it along side the fifth wheel for a year and sell whichever one I dont like the most. Probably getting close to pulling the trigger.


Well, have you decided yet since it been a few days now?
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Old 12-23-2022, 08:53 PM   #18
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Well, have you decided yet since it been a few days now?
I worked towards a deal on a 5th wheel.

Now that I know my bottom line on both I am praying about which one is the right one.

ONE question. If you are using both showers at the same time, will the insta-hot water heater keep up both in volume and heat ? AND how long will your propane last onboard?

Important since I have 6 kids and two adults and the propane is on-board and I cannot just bring extra bottles just in case
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Old 12-24-2022, 12:06 AM   #19
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I worked towards a deal on a 5th wheel.

Now that I know my bottom line on both I am praying about which one is the right one.

ONE question. If you are using both showers at the same time, will the insta-hot water heater keep up both in volume and heat ? AND how long will your propane last onboard?

Important since I have 6 kids and two adults and the propane is on-board and I cannot just bring extra bottles just in case

Maybe a small bottle, like a 20lbs propane tank and you can get the Extended Stay, I bought mines off of Amazon. So, you add it to your main propane tank and if you ever run out you can add a 20lbs tank to add to you propane.

Before we bought our motorhome we look at the Jayco Pinnacle and the Alliance 310RL and the 340RL 5th wheel.
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Old 12-24-2022, 12:39 AM   #20
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Thats a great help!

Thanks!!
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