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Old 01-29-2016, 11:58 PM   #1
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390qsmb for full time

Those of you who bought one of these, how's it holding up? Anybody full-timing in it? We are planning to buy something soon to go full-time, and we love this floor plan! Just hoping it's built well enough to withstand full time use. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance
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Old 01-30-2016, 01:06 AM   #2
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I'm sure it will work out great. From my research it appears the units have really improved over the past 5yrs. Your unit will have heavy duty 7k dexter axles and EZflex suspension as well as R38 roof insulation. The floors have great insulation plus R40 radiant barrier. I am actually impressed with the fit and finish on my unit not really finding anything that had to be fixed other than a bad pump seal which started working fine on its own. Be sure to get a dual AC setup and perhaps replace the rear lights with LEDs. I think it would be a very easy RV to full-time in especially because of its exclusive use of Azdel in the walls instead of luan wood. If you are ordering yours, be sure to include the strong arms as well as the 6-point auto leveling. Unless you don't mind leveling yourself.

We almost bought that unit, even thought about switching at the last moment, but the things that aswayed us towards to the 360ibl were the following:

1. Larger kitchen with Island and Barstools
2. AC in living room is positioned much further away from the livinroom (over the kitchen) than in the 390. This is important because of the amount of noise in our living room is far less than the 390
3. Bike rack (attached to frame) comes on 360 but not 390
4. Slightly 2.1' shorter overall length makes getting in an out of parks easier (39.8' vs 41.9'')
5. More payload capacity since they share the same axles and tires but the 360 weights less. The 390s axles are technically rated for 1000lbs less than the trailers Max weight.
6. Tires are more able to carry the weight without failing
7. Larger pantry and far far far more storage in the 360.

If you really need the larger bunk room and options King bed then the 390 is the way to go. Also, the 390 has a 12" I-beam frame vs the 360s 10" I-beam (which is where most of the extra weight probably comes from).

Remember that either model will include a sleeper sofa that folds into a near King size bed in the living room.

Can't go wrong with either. We sleep 2 adults, 2 older teens, 1 baby, and 2 animals juast fine in ours and could accommodate up to 3 more ppl.
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Old 01-30-2016, 11:31 AM   #3
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TheRowlands,

We just bought our 390QSMB a few weeks ago. We haven't had a chance to actually camp in it yet (midwest winter weather), but we have had it in the drive for a number of days "camping" in the driveway while we get stuff put back in and setup. This is my 4th camper. My last 5er I had for 13 years. At the time, my old 5er was in the same price range as this Chaparral. I wouldn't have considered it a "full time" trailer. I know Forest River states the Chaparral isn't for full time use (and it may void the warranty), I think you could live comfortably in the 390 all year. Overall fit and finish is very good. I've seen a number of complaints on here about things being "cheap" and the fit being bad on their Chaparral. Either I got a trailer that went through the extra quality checks at the factory or my dealer did an amazing job fixing things before I took delivery. (Not likely since I saw the trailer on a Saturday and picked it up the following Wednesday) But I haven't found anything that needs to be addressed.

Like any RV in this price range, the components are built for occasional use. Using it full time will wear things out faster, but if you know that going in, it shouldn't be a surprise.

I like to watch the "tiny house" shows. I laugh when they talk about 250-300 sq ft homes. The 390 comes in around 400 and I think it is nicer than many on the shows.

j
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Old 01-30-2016, 01:13 PM   #4
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J to your point though, there aren't many high end RVs that are built much better. You'll notice that industry wide cheap materials are used. Even Luxe and Mobile Suite have some cheaper parts here and there. Trim will always be an issue given the rapid temperature changes as well as staples and nails used.

Funny, if you think about it you're probably less likely to have issues with your trailer than even a new home. I remember when we custom built our 4200sq ft home we had 10 pages of issues that needed to be fixed either before or after closing. Too many people moving too quickly to complete too many parts for everything to always end perfectly.
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Old 01-30-2016, 04:51 PM   #5
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You should check out the 371mbrb same length and stuff as the 390.
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Old 01-30-2016, 09:22 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the great advice so far. We have looked into the 371mbrb. It's very nice, but doesn't seem quite right for us. We like the 390QSMB and the 360IBL because of the mid bunk, which makes a usable "living room" where we can all (2 adults and 2 young children) sit and watch a show together. We don't need the extra bunkhouse in the 371, especially at the expense of the living room seating. We are leaning toward the 390 because my wife really wants the king bed. The length concerns me because we hoped to stay mostly in National Parks.
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Old 01-31-2016, 08:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRowlands View Post
We like the 390QSMB and the 360IBL because of the mid bunk, which makes a usable "living room"... The length concerns me because we hoped to stay mostly in National Parks.
This was exactly why we went with the 390. I had a traditional bunk house for 13 years and I wanted a larger living area at the rear with all the windows to see outside. We looked at the 360, but I liked the larger bunk room in the 390. My DS18 will likely keeping camping with us for a long time and we often take another couple with us. The living area easily accommodates 5 adults and the bunk room feels more like a real bedroom than the 360.

Not being able to fit in some places was the biggest trade off. Being 42 ft excludes us from many national parks.

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Old 01-31-2016, 08:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VizJedi View Post
This was exactly why we went with the 390. I had a traditional bunk house for 13 years and I wanted a larger living area at the rear with all the windows to see outside. We looked at the 360, but I liked the larger bunk room in the 390. My DS18 will likely keeping camping with us for a long time and we often take another couple with us. The living area easily accommodates 5 adults and the bunk room feels more like a real bedroom than the 360.

Not being able to fit in some places was the biggest trade off. Being 42 ft excludes us from many national parks.

j
Could you please give me a few examples of which NPs you have / have not been able to use? And of those you were unable to use, would the 2ft difference in the 360IBL have made a difference? This is a pretty big factor for us, as we have an access pass, which keeps it within out budget to use NPs.
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Old 01-31-2016, 09:01 PM   #9
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Could you please give me a few examples of which NPs you have / have not been able to use?
Well, we just bought the 390 a couple of weeks ago, but I raced sports cars until last season and traveled from Colorado to the east coast and near Canada to Florida every season. We had a 2 car hauler that carried our Mustangs and all the spares, tools, tires and stuff. I generally pulled a 42 ft toy hauler that we had a Spec Miata in for enduros (long timed races). The team would stay in the toy hauler at tracks. Several times, I or my team mate would go to a track early with the toy hauler to go camping before a race.

Last season, we were racing outside Denver. I wanted to spend some time in the Rockies with my family. All the campgrounds inside Rocky Mtn Ntl Park had a 30 ft limit. We ended up in a private CG in Colorado Springs.
This year, I'm going to Gatlinburg for a week. I would love to stay in Great Smoky Mtn Ntl Park, but Elkmont CG has a 32 ft trailer limit and Cades Cove has a 35 ft trailer limit. Link

None of these are close enough to 42 to try getting in without being noticed.

I haven't tried any other Ntl Parks. I live outside St Louis and there are many more state parks and COE CGs than national parks.

From other posts on various camping forums, I've read that many national parks have length limits similar to RMNP and GSMNP though.

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Old 02-01-2016, 10:51 AM   #10
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So I spoke with an engineer at Forest River today. He gave me a great suggestion that I wanted to share. Some of you may already know this. He said get a good 90pint Dehumidifier to run at night or when extremely hot or cold outside. Preventing humidity build up is key to prolonging the life of almost everything inside of the RV including the inner portion of your walls (the none Azdel portion)
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