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Old 05-28-2016, 08:19 PM   #21
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Good Hope, Georgia... pretty small town. We've got a General Store and a flashing red light at the main intersection. That is pretty much the whole town :-)

We will probably hit one of the big RV shows and just walk through a bunch... I think they have one in Atlanta every year. We just went to an RV lot a few days ago and climbed through a bunch of North Points and Eagles. We have been alternating between the rear bunk and mid bunk plans, and are leaning towards the mid just because it has a nicer, more open living area.

We have four kids, and a Fifth Wheel just seems more appealing due to the size. I'm not too worried about pulling it, though I have a healthy respect for it. I do have a bunch of friends with them... not sure they will be happy about me learning on their rig though :-)

We're still a year off from buying, I'm just planning ahead, doing lots of research and getting my financial ducks in a row.

The heat pump seems to be only a NorthPoint option, as does the 6-point leveling. Does anybody feel strongly one way or another about either of those?


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Old 05-28-2016, 08:23 PM   #22
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There is another mfgr (can't remember which one) that has the virtually IDENTICAL floorplan to the North Point 377 RLBH. Theirs is about $10K cheaper..... but when you add their options that are standard in the North Point, THEN compare the quality of the construction, it's a no-brainer...... The ONLY thing pushing it away from North Point and toward the other is the North Point pin weight is significantly higher....
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Old 05-28-2016, 08:25 PM   #23
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the six-point leveling is very solid. Didn't go for the heat-pump, as cold weather gives us more of an excuse to snuggle. (at our ages, we need that!). Seriously, the furnaces have always done us well, even camping in a snowstorm!
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Old 05-28-2016, 08:49 PM   #24
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The heat pump doesn't tickle my tummy. If it's cold then furnace works just fine. No need for some other gadget to watch over.
But I wouldn't be using 4 point leveling on a big rig. Two lifting behind the axels and 2 up front leaves a lot of room for frame flex on an already weak frame.
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Old 05-28-2016, 09:52 PM   #25
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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.


Thank you for the long post... I missed this one somehow and just read it today.

The new 355 certainly is a mixed bag. The flip-down bunk will be useful for a few years, and then not so much. I'm 6'3" and my kids will probably not long fit in that one. We would get the fold out sofa beneath it, but as the kids grow, it looks like it would be for one person. The loft is plenty big for even two grown ups in sleeping bags though.

I like the fact that a rear bunk gives each one of my kids their own space, but like you mentioned it takes away living area. In our house, the kids always seem to gravitate towards where we are anyway.

I did not realize the size difference between the 377 and 355 and the implications. Thanks for pointing that out!

Have you had to bring yours into a local RV place for service? Just wondering if there are any implications for buying at an online retailer if something breaks down later.

I'm leaning towards a dually, but I'm glad it can be done with a SRW. I'd like to use it as my commuter also, so I'm still wrestling with that and have a bunch of numbers to crunch.


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Old 05-28-2016, 10:13 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by klassic View Post
The heat pump doesn't tickle my tummy. If it's cold then furnace works just fine. No need for some other gadget to watch over.
But I wouldn't be using 4 point leveling on a big rig. Two lifting behind the axels and 2 up front leaves a lot of room for frame flex on an already weak frame.


The 4-point auto level comes standard on the Eagle, and I assume it levels on those, and then you manually extend #5 and #6 for 6-point stability. But you're saying don't do that?

Do you know if 6-point is even an option on an Eagle. I got the impression from calling Jayco that they only do what's listed on the floor plan.


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Old 05-29-2016, 12:33 AM   #27
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From my conversations the frames are spec built for jayco by Lippert. Initially i was concerned about the 4 pt vs 6 pt systems.

Im staying in a park this weekend and have had the opportunity to walk through the Northpoint and the Eagle. My concerns about wanting the 6 point system on my 355 have now been alleviated. Both were stable with really no noticible difference. Neither owner had any complaints and both were new units purchased from the same dealer out of Kent, Wa.

If i were spending more time in the rig (retired) or had more disposable income the NP would be my choice . The heatpump would be nice if in a moderate climate and paying for metered electric.

However if i were dropping another 20-30k there are some other serious contenders I would consider alongside Jayco which muddies the water a little bit.

Honestly, i dont think you can make a bad decision with either unit as long as your willing to invest in a capable tow rig and are sure you will enjoy an RV.
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Old 05-29-2016, 08:03 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Wire View Post
The 4-point auto level comes standard on the Eagle, and I assume it levels on those, and then you manually extend #5 and #6 for 6-point stability. But you're saying don't do that?

Do you know if 6-point is even an option on an Eagle. I got the impression from calling Jayco that they only do what's listed on the floor plan.


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There is no 6 point on the Eagle.
What I'm saying is on a long rig there is a big span between the front legs and the back legs.
My NorthPoint groans and creaks when the back legs lift. I can hear the closed Windows creaking in their frames. Then when the middle jacks come down they lift at the middle of the frame and groan the frame back to a fairly stable condition.
In an extreme case with 4 point leveling the axels will basically be hanging off the frame, between the front and rear jacks... With 6 point the axels would be hanging between the rear and middle jacks.

There are all ready problems with the Schwintek slides binding up on long rigs because of the frame stress. Jayco had already changed their opinion (not officially) on whether to level first before putting out the slides or not.

IMHO I would pass on 4 point leveling and do it with boards or blocks and rear stabilizers....old school.
Your already going to have to "pre level" under the wheels anyways with Ground Control 3.0 because it will error out if you are more then 2" out of level. The 6 point isn't all that great of a system, I would think the 4 point would be even worse.
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Old 05-29-2016, 08:07 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by klassic View Post
Jayco had already changed their opinion (not officially) on whether to level first before putting out the slides or not.
So level first, then put slides out? (This is what the dealer taught me at the PDI)
Or slides out, THEN level?
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Old 05-29-2016, 08:39 AM   #30
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So level first, then put slides out? (This is what the dealer taught me at the PDI)
Or slides out, THEN level?
Level first was their rule. Then some long rigs were having binding issues.
The threads are here but I can't remember where.

Then Jayco told somebody "what ever works for you"

If you think about it the slides are installed while the frame is sitting level on the axels.
When you park the rig, whether the trailer is nose high or low or leaning to one side, the frame is still at rest on the axels.

When you level with the jacks there is, obviously, stress on the frame.
The frame was made to cantilever off the back axels, not to be lifted behind the back axels. Lifting at the back, while the front legs are down, is going to stress the frame to some degree.
Especially on the 377. I can't believe how far back they put the rear jacks. (Unless that was mistakes on the units I saw)

Anyways, there isn't much clearances on the Schwintek slide...it wouldn't take much to make it bind.
And for some, that's what was happening.

If leveling first works for you, then all is good...but if you all of a sudden need to do some super leveling and your slide binds then try doing the slides first.

There is not one unit on my dealers lot that is sitting level or on its levelers and they put the slides in and out all the time. So I don't see the "level first" being the hard fast rule to go by.

Perhaps this issue is why Jayco is putting a 12" frame under the 2017 Pinnacles.
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