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Old 05-26-2016, 12:11 AM   #11
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I really don't know much about tow vehicles, diesel vs gas, etc. In some respects, that decision seems more daunting than the trailer. Fortunately, living in the Deep South I have lots of friends I can ask. All I've figured so far is that I want a used, one-ton Dually with a crew cab that all six of us can jam into. I've had a few folks suggest I get a diesel, that it would have better gas mileage while pulling and last longer.

We Initially wanted the 377RLBH, and then I discovered elsewhere on this forum that the 355MBQS is adopting the 377's bunk layout for 2017. I called Jayco and they confirmed it. I have not been able to find meaningful differences between the two, so I'm looking at the Eagle since it's less expensive. The Northpoint is a little more upscale, the TV retracts, the master closet is larger, and I think it has a heat pump option (not sure how significant that is). Beyond that, I can't tell what's different. I'm sure there's much more though.

How do you like your 377 jnamadison? The only thing that I've raised an eyebrow over is how short the flip up bunk is. One of my 5 year olds could sleep on it (if I rig something to stop them from rolling out), but it is much smaller than the rear bunk models. I am envisioning that as they get older, that bunk won't work, and it'll be two kids in the loft and the other two on the bunk couch (but that seems tight too).
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Old 05-26-2016, 12:20 AM   #12
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So far, I really like the 377. Unfortunately, we only picked it up last week and this coming weekend will be our maiden trip. We'll see how much I like it after some real world use and not just a PDI performance at the dealer.

I do agree that the flip up bunk is small. Def not as big as the bunks in my previous rear bunk TT. But my boys are 8, 2, and 12mo so I def still have some use left for it. After they outgrow it, I can see it being removed to open up the window to the room.

I'll be very interested to see what the 2017 Eagle 355 looks like. Had we known that change was going to happen, we may have waited to see how they really compare. No reason not to save money when possible.
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Old 05-26-2016, 09:09 AM   #13
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So, some thoughts.
We have had TTs for 16-17 years before buying the 355MBQS.

Our last TT had a rear bunk room. It was 35' long. We are at about the same length when hooked with the 355MBQS since some of the 39' is in the bed. The 5th pulls SO MUCH better than the TT, and the TT wasn't bad....

We found that the rear bunkhouse on the TT wasted much living space as our 2 kids (6 & 9 years old) didn't spend much time in there like we thought they would. They wanted to be in the living area with everyone else. This was a problem as we only had a love seat and the booth. Only 2 of us got a comfortable seat. A big reason for our trade to the 5th was more living space.

We looked at other floor plans with the mid bunk room, but most that have the bigger bunk room like the 377 are 43-44' long and 16,000lbs. The 355 grosses at 13,7500lbs. This meant I could keep my current truck. Also, we camp in many State/National parks. 39' is pushing the limits, and we worried the 44' would be too much. The 355 to us fits the big, but not too big size.

Dully vs SRW. I say it depends. Dully is more stable and carrys big pin weight better. In my case, I work for a hospital. I must daily my truck and use parking garages some. DRW is out of the question for me. My SRW barely fits in some of the garage spots. Something to think about.

We boondock some. Tank size was important to us. As well as the 355s ability to have 3 batteries.

We are very glad we got the 2016. We like some of the 2017 changes, but not all. (Pocket door for bath is one.) We are not sold on the redesigned bunk area. A little more storage is nice, but that folding top bunk must be 48-50". Not long at all. In the 2016, the top bunk is 5' and the bottom is 6'. Not sure how much use the top bunk would be. Our 9yo is already over 5' tall....

I agree with the rent a RV for a long weekend and see if it is for you. We have known 2 sets of friends/family that bought a TT to go to the beach with family/friends. Both had only stayed in the on-site cabins/rentals before while the others were in their RVs. Both hated the towing to the beach. They did not like the fact that the RV required upkeep/maintenance. Both used the units twice to go to the beach, and never did any other weekend trips. Sold after a year or two at a big loss....

If you buy new, check prices with the couple of big online dealers. We were very pleased with their service, and wound up driving almost 600 miles one way to get our rig. Local dealer was $6500 more after negotiations, and actually told me it wasn't worth his time to sell to me at RVOne's price...... I must say RVOne did a very good PDI, and let me crawl all over the thing on pickup day. No rushing us or pressure. The couple of small things were handled quickly and we were on our way. It was stressful buying something this big "remotely", but worked out well in the end.

Sorry for the long rambling post.....I may have more to add later.
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Old 05-26-2016, 09:27 AM   #14
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I'm going to +1 the idea of renting/borrowing some kind of rig before you pull the trigger. Perhaps more than one type if you can swing it. Around here, you can rent travel trailers as well as the more common Class C rentals. I'm not sure about the tow vehicle in that situation though.

The point is that in renting something (even if it's a type you're not even considering, like a Class C) will tell you A LOT about the realities of RVing. We borrowed my outlaws' Class C for a couple weekends before we actually bought, and those experiences took me back to the drawing board to re-think a lot of decisions I thought I had a pretty solid handle on.

You asked about the things we wished we knew before we bought. First, I think you're on the right track considering your tow vehicle, and that's a really good thing. I wish I had understood weights better. Both for my hitch and my truck. I knew I would be on the upper limits of my truck, but I was really only considering "towing capacity" as listed. As you know, that's only one small part of the equation when considering a towed RV. I let the dealer settle my concerns, and that was a mistake. I was right at the tippy top of my capacities right out of the gate, and then the family started growing, so I bit the bullet and did what many others on here have done and upgraded my truck to have a comfortable margin. I'm in the process of upgrading my hitch now too.

You know that quote "buy your third trailer first", well I bought my LAST trailer first. Our next rig will (most likely) be a MH after my son loses interest in camping with us (and he's 19 months old).

Interaction with the dealer is another thing I wish I knew more about. Already, I knew more about my trailer than my salesperson or the tech I worked with when I went to look (which is kind of scary if you ask me). Since then I've learned A LOT more still. It's about knowing the right questions to ask and already basically knowing the answer before you ask it. They're more interested in moving that unit off the lot than they are concerned about whether you know how to use it and tow it safely (a generalization I know, but that's how most dealers are). Whatever your salesman says, it's likely to be anywhere from somewhat right to outright wrong, very rarely is it completely true.

Anyway, I think you're on the right track. LOTS of members here with TONS of real-world experience and gobs of technical knowledge, all willing to share it all with you freely. So ask away! And good luck!!
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Old 05-27-2016, 11:10 AM   #15
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Thanks Camper_bob! There are lots of themes in the advice I see, and I'm taking that all to heart. Thank you.








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Old 05-27-2016, 11:17 AM   #16
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Here's one big question that I still haven't figured out. It's the $20,000 question. What is the difference between a North Point and an Eagle.

Obviously the floor plans are different, but take for example the Eagle 355MBQS and the NorthPoint 377RLBS. They are basically the same (the 2017 versions even have the same bunk layout). I get that the fit and finish is a bit nicer in the North Point.

But MSRP is roughly $20k higher. Are there some major feature differences that I'm just not seeing?

The North Point has a retracting TV, a heat pump option, slightly larger closet space. There's got to be more, and I can't figure it out from their website.


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Old 05-28-2016, 07:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wire View Post
Here's one big question that I still haven't figured out. It's the $20,000 question. What is the difference between a North Point and an Eagle.

Obviously the floor plans are different, but take for example the Eagle 355MBQS and the NorthPoint 377RLBS. They are basically the same (the 2017 versions even have the same bunk layout). I get that the fit and finish is a bit nicer in the North Point.

But MSRP is roughly $20k higher. Are there some major feature differences that I'm just not seeing?

The North Point has a retracting TV, a heat pump option, slightly larger closet space. There's got to be more, and I can't figure it out from their website.




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Once you add the options on an Eagle that are standard on a NorthPoint then that 20k difference isn't that much different.
I don't think you can get 6 point leveling on the Eagle, just 4 point.
Only room for 3 batteries vs 6 batteries.
Standard on Eagle is a 8 cubic foot fridge.
Lots of things.
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Old 05-28-2016, 07:51 PM   #18
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Have you ever driven a pickup towing a trailer? If not, before you go spend $100,000 plus on a TV and Fifth Wheeler, you should borrow one to try it out. It can be challenging to get used to.
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Old 05-28-2016, 07:52 PM   #19
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One thing and I cant answer for sure on this as I don't own a northpoint is whether it has full body paint as compared to gelcoated sides... full body paint costs quite a bit more. Now to throw another wrench in there have you looked at any of the travel trailers as options. We bought the 338 rets and love it. There are options for two couches that fold out into full queen beds or a couch and 2 recliners which we opted for as we have 2 adult kids and their girlfriends that come with us from time to time we use a queen air mattress on kitchen floor for 3rd bed. Plenty of space and it weighs 9546 as delivered. Just a thought
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Old 05-28-2016, 08:03 PM   #20
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There's a number of "Good Hope's" around the USA, so I'm not sure which you hail from..... that said, every September, there is an RV show in Harrisburg, PA, that is unmatched by any of the smaller, regional shows that travel the country. You can spend a full three days in Harrisburg, just looking at floorplans.... Amazing place to go to decide.
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