Saturday, April 7, 2007

Fleetwood Tioga

The Fleetwood product line has tremendous value. Its design and construction are the industry's best as far as we're concerned.

When we bought our 27 foot long class C motorhome, we were expecting our first child. A floor plan with twin beds in the back seemed the best choice since we rationalized, "someday perhaps we'll have another child or maybe our son or daughter will want to bring a friend camping." Two months later we learned that our child had a sibling already. The twin bed floor plan was a perfect choice!

Sleeping accommodations vary with floor plans but we can put up a total of 7 people with little discomfort. Normally my wife and I sleep in the cabover bed and the children in the back. We debated the merits of the queen bed in the back and decided that if children need to be put down earlier than the adults, a separate room with a door is much more desirable than having to move them from the back to the front when the adults wish to call it a day.

Look carefully at the galley arrangement when shopping. Some are straight along a wall and others have an L shaped layout. The slide-out models give tremendous galley space and allow others to pass by someone preparing food with no interference at all.

You should also pay attention to the differences in the coach entrance door location. Some have access in the middle, front or rear of the unit. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. We prefer to minimize disturbing sleeping children if people need to enter or exit.

With regard to the power-plant, several people in our family have owned Ford chassis class C motor homes and had little or no trouble with them. Based on the experiences of friends that have owned models with GM chassis, we'll continue to choose Fords in the future. If you are buying anything but a rig under 25 feet long, order the model with the biggest engine available, you'll never regret it.

Given the amenities that one takes along with a motor home when you drive down the road, we use ours for day-trips as much as camping. Whether it's a trip with the gang to see a concert out of town, or just a bunch of friends going out to dinner, the bathroom, refrigerator, AC, and spacious seating make for an ideal trip! My wife has loved piling a bunch of friends in for a day of outlet malling. They can set out early in the morning, not stop for rest-area pit stops, convene mid-day for lunch in the MH, and stop for dinner at night on the way home. They have plenty of storage space for their plunder and can even lay down and rest their tired legs if they so choose.

It's definitely not cheaper than staying in hotels and motels, but we're never at a loss for accommodations. We can spend the night in a truck-stop (and have slept next to a load of hogs once!) or a Wal-Mart parking lot if we want to be really classy. Sometimes we even check into a campground! With the on-board generator, we can make our home along a stream in the wilderness and still have the use of a microwave oven!

Tioga motorhomes and our dealer have been extremely good to us. We have become loyal fans of both. We love to shop for new ones in the campgrounds and RV shows each year, but can't bear the thought of giving up our jewel. If you have half the fun that we do with ours, you'll never go back to another way to travel!

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