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Old 11-17-2015, 10:39 AM   #1
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Thoughts on a Northpoint for fulltime?

Okay, so our family is hoping to begin full-timing next year. It will be me, the wife, our 9 year old daughter that we homeschool.....and her grandmother who will be with us most of the time as well.

We love to camp and do so probably 10 times a year, and my daughter and I just got home from a month long cross country trip where we stayed in our tent, KOA cabins, even slept in the car a couple of nights. Guess it comes down to the fact that we love to travel, explore and the outdoors. After we go fulltime, we would be traveling to 5 or 6 work locations throughout Eastern U.S (Florida, Arkansas, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Texas),spending about 2 months per location, and taking about 2 weeks between each to travel a bit and explore some.

We have narrowed our search down to the 5th wheels with middle bunkhouses. We love the floor plans and feel as if these really would give us everything were looking for. While we would love to go used, it appears as if middle bunkhouse models are a fairly new phenomenon within the RVing world as I dont seem to find many, if any, used mid-bunkhouses for sale (particularly in a brand that most would consider to be of decent quality). In terms of budget, were really hoping to not spend over 60k if possible. We were thinking, as many of the Jayco 377RLBH models are in the mid to high 60s, that we could probably find a new 2016 model for a little less after the 2017s are announced or begin to arrive at the dealerships.

I know from looking on the forums and blogs, that there are people full-timing in everything from a 10k travel trailer to 5th wheels and class As that cost more than I could ever imagine. While we are very excited with the thought of doing it full-time, theres a also a bit of trepidation in terms of having a 5th wheel as our home and wanting to ensure its of adequate quality and doesnt fall apart around us.

So, our first question that wed love to get some opinions on.....
If you were forced to live in a Jayco Northpoint fulltime, what would your concerns be? Structural issues? Quality of furnishings? Electric leveling instead of hydraulics? Lack of tank heaters? Ugly color scheme maybe ? Just really hoping to get some feedback on if you all think the Northpoint might be adequate for full-timing and the reasons why or why not.

Thanks!
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Old 11-17-2015, 07:05 PM   #2
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Thoughts on a Northpoint for fulltime?

Oddly we just started the full time adventure in our 377rlbh. We are somewhat untraditional full timers. We are full timing in our home town much of the year. We sold the house and put what we kept in storage. We wanted simpler and the ability to up and travel whenever we want. My wife and I have an 8yr old son.

We searched many floor plans and found the mid bunk to be best. Plenty of space in living room and separate room for kid. Also the loft is great for storage or sleeping. My son has occupied both at this point.

We have had it a month and we had/have a couple minor issues. So far nothing I couldn't do. I have had no issue with the auto level. It will pick wheels up on the ground. It's limitation is in length of stroke. If it's really Unlevel, put some blocks under that leg and it's fine. Furniture quality is great. The floors are easy to clean. I would have preferred to have tank heaters but realistically when you need them your going to have the furnace on anyway. We have the heat pump option and it works fine down to 35-40deg. Beyond that you need the furnace. The fireplace will heat it up the living room pretty well.
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Old 11-17-2015, 09:08 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Hoojs12840 View Post
Oddly we just started the full time adventure in our 377rlbh. We are somewhat untraditional full timers. We are full timing in our home town much of the year. We sold the house and put what we kept in storage. We wanted simpler and the ability to up and travel whenever we want. My wife and I have an 8yr old son.

We searched many floor plans and found the mid bunk to be best. Plenty of space in living room and separate room for kid. Also the loft is great for storage or sleeping. My son has occupied both at this point.

We have had it a month and we had/have a couple minor issues. So far nothing I couldn't do. I have had no issue with the auto level. It will pick wheels up on the ground. It's limitation is in length of stroke. If it's really Unlevel, put some blocks under that leg and it's fine. Furniture quality is great. The floors are easy to clean. I would have preferred to have tank heaters but realistically when you need them your going to have the furnace on anyway. We have the heat pump option and it works fine down to 35-40deg. Beyond that you need the furnace. The fireplace will heat it up the living room pretty well.
Thanks for the reply! It's nice to hear from someone that has a Northpoint, especially someone with the 377RLBH. Sounds like our reasons are very similar to yours in wanting simpler and some freedom.

We've looked at more mid-bunk models than I can even count....Sandpiper, Cougar, Montana, on and on and on. But when we finally began seeing the apparent quality of brands like Jayco, we understood we'd feel more comfortable with something more substantial and reliable if we wanted to full-time. We could have stretched the budget or found a used Pinnacle but of course no mid-bunk there :-(
We're also looking at the Grand Design Solitude 377MB. Trying to decide between that and the Northpoint really at this point. Planning on stopping by the GD dealer tomorrow for another look at the Solitude, but we like several aspects of the Jayco better including a little more cabinet space, bunk-room layout, etc.

I agree about the tank heaters, but we'll be following the weather a little so things shouldn't get too cold....and when we're ready for some cold weather, I believe they can be added later down the road with after-market pads.

We've read about plenty of people full-timing in Pinnacles and Solitudes, just not really anyone with a Northpoint (possibly since it's the first year for them).....so we were looking for some feedback from those more knowledgeable before we went and sold the house and bought the wrong thing!

Yep, the layouts that we were really drawn to were the open living room and mid-bunkhouse combo. The models with the rear bunkhouses just seemed to make the living room and kitchen seemed so cramped.
And I know what you mean about your son. Our daughter has already begun planning on how to fill just about every available space with some of her things.

Very reassuring to hear that you're happy with yours, so thanks again! Feel free to keep us updated on how things go, we'd love to hear!
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Old 11-18-2015, 08:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmergen View Post
...

So, our first question that wed love to get some opinions on.....
If you were forced to live in a Jayco Northpoint fulltime, what would your concerns be? Structural issues? Quality of furnishings? Electric leveling instead of hydraulics? Lack of tank heaters? Ugly color scheme maybe ? Just really hoping to get some feedback on if you all think the Northpoint might be adequate for full-timing and the reasons why or why not.

Thanks!
IMO & experience, the quality of Jayco is better then most other manufacturers in the same price point. We have a 2015 Eagle Premier, which is the predecessor to the North Point and have only experienced minor problems that you can expect with any new unit.

If full-timing, my concern would be, what would I do if the trailer needed to go in for repairs that would take multiple days or weeks?
You may want to give some forethought to and have plans if this happens. That is, where would you have the repairs done, where would you stay if the repairs required multiple days to complete, etc.
When full timing, the trailer is your home now, which creates some complex logistics if your home needs to go in for repairs.

Maybe some full-timers here can share some of their experiences and ideas on this topic.
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Old 11-18-2015, 09:15 AM   #5
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For us, staying with family or hotel is the backup plan. Major work I would probably schedule at the jayco plant as I hear there turn time is very fast.

We looked at the GD 377MB. Didn't like the decor, the seating is not as nice in our opinion. Also counter space is less in the stove area. We also didn't like the bunk room as you only have the couch and not a bunk above it, (although an adult can't sit below the bunk if it is folded down) the bathroom storage is better in the jayco. One other thing is the GD mounts the lights for the awning on the tube so you have to fully extend the awning to use the lights.
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Old 11-20-2015, 08:42 AM   #6
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Full timers here

We've been living full time for about 6 weeks and we LOVE it! We have a 4 year old that uses the queen bunk to sleep and store ALL her books. We utilize the den for all her clothes & toys. I have to say that I couldn't imagine a 4th family member due to only 1 bathroom! It's perfect for a family of 3.
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:47 AM   #7
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I agree. Not sure I could live with mom or mother in law.....
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Old 11-20-2015, 06:37 PM   #8
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Yes, we had intended to stay in a hotel for any short-term repairs and have family we can stay with if it's a more lengthy repair, just depending upon where we may be at the time.
Good point about where to have repairs done, which certainly gives me another question. With Jayco, do they push you to the dealer you bought from to have warranty work done, or is it fairly easy to simply take it to the closet service location?

Ah, the single bathroom....we've certainly discussed that one. The mom came to visit about 6 months after our daughter was born and just never left :-) We originally looked at some toy haulers for that reason, but just weren't thrilled about most of the floor plans, and occasionally heard issues related to the garage getting too hot or cold, and since it would be a bedroom, it kind of concerned us a bit. Not to mention the increased weight and cost with many of the toy haulers. The wife seems certain we can survive with a single bathroom....guess we'll see.

Very glad to hear you're happy with your 377 Bowes! Faced any challenges or surprises you hadn't thought of or planned for yet?

Thanks for the input and things to think about, very helpful! At least no huge concerns put forth yet about the quality of the Northpoint for full-timing.
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Old 11-20-2015, 08:00 PM   #9
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We are full-timing, have been for 5 plus years. For short repairs and warranty work, we have been able to schedule drop off in morning and pick up at closing. For lengthy repairs, we stay with family and friends. Jayco has been very good at allowing us to have warranty work done at our dealer's in Washington state and also at the Jayco dealer in Tulsa, Oklahoma. If in an emergency, you can contact Jayco and they will tell you where you can get work done near you.
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Old 11-23-2015, 10:18 AM   #10
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We've had our 377RLBH now for a couple months and absolutely love it so far.
I concur with everything @Hoojs12840 said. We have not had any issues (yet) with the Auto Level and hopefully won't - that is my main concern thus far based only on what I've read.

These mid-bunkhouses are indeed a very new design. My intention was to buy used (1-3 years old) but after about a year of deep research and investigating dozens and dozens of models including the rear bunk and toy hauler layouts, we fell in love with this mid-bunk layout and felt Jayco was a quality manufacturer and in our price point so we ordered new.

The living area is so "homey" and comfortable - we've entertained quite a bit in it already and it's just awesome. The kids love their bunk room and loft.
We specifically did NOT want the 2nd bathroom or rear entrance that comes with many 2nd bath units. We found that with only 430 sqr. ft. to work with, we really didn't need a 2nd bath taking up a chunk of that space, plus it's more 'stuff' to potentially break. We didn't want the 2nd entrance either for safety reasons, especially being directly in the bunkhouse.

We are moving toward full-timing as well and feel the general quality of Jayco manufacturing is hard to beat in this price point. Our coach feels incredibly well built, well insulated, very comfortable, and it looks great. You have 4 color/design choices to pick from to match your tastes (we went with the Mahogany package). Jayco has been very responsive to all questions I've had thus far.

The only "complaint" I have thus far is the manual. Since this is a brand new line and model for them I imagine they are tweaking things as they build them so various things are changing month by month. That said, the manual is terribly generic. There are very few specific directions specifically for the 377RLBH. I winterized ours this weekend and I had to figure out 1/2 of it myself as the manual was not very helpful at all.

Here's how we configured ours:
- Mahogany interior
- Customer value package with heat pump (HIGHLY recommend this addition...it's amazing)
- Luxury package
- North Point Advantage package
- Convection add-on to microwave
- Residential refrigerator
- Backup camera & monitor
- 2nd AC in bedroom
- Manual cord real
- Generator prep and Owan Generator
- Thermal pane window upgrade
- 2nd power awning
- Slideout awnings

PM if you would like to know what we paid for ours and who we bought through and/or if you have any questions we may be able to help with.
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