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Old 03-15-2018, 06:14 AM   #1
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Front Living Vs. Bunkhouse

Was originally looking at a 325BHQS. Wife and I looked at a 339FLQS. Kids are 8 and 13, and our with us majority of trips. Like the 339 for those rainy days. Thoughts on Front Living vs. Bunkhouse? Greatly appreciate it.

Our longest trip is about 5-6 days. Typically we go for a weekend or long weekend. In terms of packing things to go.

Thank you!
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Old 03-15-2018, 06:37 AM   #2
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I personally am a fan of open rear living floorplans. I like having the windows surrounding me, it makes the "first floor" of the coach feel more spacious.

That being said, breaking down and setting up folding beds would get old for me, too, which is what you'd have with a front living setup.

Which is why I went with a mid-bunk floorplan. But I only have one kid.

Also bear in mind pin weight with a front living layout, they tend to be higher, make sure your tow vehicle can handle it.
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Old 03-15-2018, 06:40 AM   #3
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Hi craig62285, Yes, lots to consider.
We had our kids with us at that age also but by the time the oldest was 16 he was off doing his things in his new world of driving and the younger was not wanting to miss the weekend get togethers with friends so they became part timers only coming on the odd weekends and longer trips.
Just saying that as they get older their interests can change quite dramatically.

We just bought the 339 but are also empty nesters so it is perfect for us now and still room for them to join when they can.
If you are thinking you may swap out trailers in 6-8 years then I think the bunkhouse would be the way to go for now. JMHO..
Really and truthfully...you can't go wrong with either one as you will adapt to your requirements.
Enjoy your choice and time with your children, it goes faster than you can even believe.

Update...I just looked at the 325 layout and think that you guys would probably have 4 kids with you on most trips because yours would want to bring friends..lots of sleeping and lounging room for them in that bunkhouse. They would be very comfortable and there is floor space to lay and watch tv if needed...enjoy!!

Cheers
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Old 03-15-2018, 06:53 AM   #4
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We have a small bunkhouse now with 2 kids after several non bunkhouse units. 2 advantages to the bunkhouse from my experience.

First, while your kids are younger, they enjoy the bunks as their own space. My 2 go back there at night and have their ipad and books and you don't see them again until morning.

Second, my wife snores. I'm not talking just a little. The walls shake, the windows rattle, and we have been banned from camping within 1000 miles of a fault line. Since our bunks are double over double, I often end up in one bunk and my kids in the other while my wife scares away wildlife for 40 miles at the front of the trailer. You just never know when that extra sleeping surface will come in handy.
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Old 03-15-2018, 06:56 AM   #5
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Hi Craig,

Have you looked at the 355MBQS? It is a mid bunk. Our kids are 13 and 17, the 13 yo is on most trips, the 17 yo is hit and miss. We take a 2-3 week trip every summer, last summer being our first in the 355, it was fantastic. We really like the mid bunk because of the open rear floor plan. The only complaint I hear from the kids is that the bunkhouse doesn't cool well, so my daughter spent nights on the sofa. Wife and figure we will still use it when the kids are gone and turn the bunkhouse into a storage / office.
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Old 03-15-2018, 08:12 AM   #6
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We travel with kids. I too thought/think breaking down the living room every day for kids beds would get old. It's definitely doable! The bunk houses are great, but once the kids are gone, it could be wasted space till the grand kids come... Our last camper had 2 bunks and a fold out couch. The couch bed was always blocking the living room when kids go to bed or sleep in. There just is not a great floor plan for folks who want kids sleeping space, and good living room space.

We chose a toy hauler. We loose a little on the living/kitchen space. We use the garage as a bedroom and half bath. The beds are bigger than typical bunks so kids are not cramped/falling out. The garage has a TV/DVD for the rainy days. Sturdy dinette table for games/eating/etc. The garage is good for storage for bikes, coolers, etc. when traveling. It a total different direction, but thought I would share.
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Old 03-15-2018, 08:29 AM   #7
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We are empty nester with grandkids and initially where thinking about a bunkhouse. But as we gave it deeper thought we came to the reality that the vast majority of time we would be the primary occupants. Every floorplan has compromises and you should consider what will suit the two of you best in the future when you may use it more often? Obviously if you are only purchasing this for the short term and for family outings then the bunkhouse makes sense for the very short term. I think the size of most bunks makes them a poor choice for anyone over 5'8 and on the above average girth meter! We really like the seperate on of living/sleeping space the 339 provides. Unloaded pin weight is right under 20% so it's not bad for a front living floorplan. All the best in your choice!
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Old 03-15-2018, 09:15 AM   #8
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It would be nice if Jayco had a sleeper sofa instead of chairs in the rear den model, similar to that of the Keystone Cougar 366RDS. I really dont want to change brands.
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Old 03-15-2018, 09:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oh355mbqs View Post
Hi Craig,

Have you looked at the 355MBQS? It is a mid bunk. Our kids are 13 and 17, the 13 yo is on most trips, the 17 yo is hit and miss. We take a 2-3 week trip every summer, last summer being our first in the 355, it was fantastic. We really like the mid bunk because of the open rear floor plan. The only complaint I hear from the kids is that the bunkhouse doesn't cool well, so my daughter spent nights on the sofa. Wife and figure we will still use it when the kids are gone and turn the bunkhouse into a storage / office.
Buy some vinyl and cover the vents into the basement for the furnace when not needed. You can feel the heat rolling in from the basement on hot days.
We did this on our 355MBQS, and the cooling problem is solved. Just remove the vinyl when you need to run the furnace.
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Old 03-15-2018, 09:31 AM   #10
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So, we have the 2016 355MBQS. It is a mid bunk layout.
The floor plan changed for 2017.
I think in the newer models, the 30.5MBOK is closer to what we have now.
We have 2 kids 8 & 11.
We found in our old trailer with a big bunkroom at the rear, a lot of space was wasted. By that I mean, the kids often wanted to sit in the living area with us. There was only a love seat and the booth. Not comfortable for everyone.
With the rear living, we have 5 comfortable seats...and much more floor space. Room to add 2 antigravity folding chair for 7 comfortable seats....
Assuming we keep the rig when the kiddos don't come with as much, we will use the bunk as a closet, either extended or retracted depending on how much room we need.

On edit:
My folks had a front living 5th for many years. I am not exactly old at 42, but you wind up going up and down the stairs.....A LOT....something to keep in mind.
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