I'm brand new to your forum and to the concept of full-time RV'ing, and I'm excited about both.
My husband and two young sons (preschool age) and I have made the decision to sell our big 'stick house' (I'm practicing the 'lingo'
) and go on the road full-time for a year or two before our oldest goes to school.
We need at least 38 feet with as many slides as possible since this will be a full-time space for us for the foreseeable future, and we definitely want bunk beds which narrows the pool of options considerably (just as well).
We want to buy a pre-owned rig to avoid the massive depreciation that occurs when you drive off the lot and need our all-in price to be south of $150K. (This number used to be $140K until we remembered about sales tax which adds about $10K at this price point - ouch!)
We came "this close" yesterday to buying a 2011 Journey Express 39N. It meets most of our requirements, EXCEPT that there is no door between any of the sleeping quarters. A detachable curtain separates the queen bed from the bunks, and a flimsy accordian divider made of some kind of fabric separates the bunks from the living area. We REALLY want at least one door so that we can have the semblance of privacy as well as a better shot at sound barriers when we are working in one part of the RV and the boys are playing in another. I thought this couldn't be found and then we came home and got on the internet AGAIN and saw the Forest River Berkshire model. (How we didn't see this sooner is a mystery to me as I suddenly found several units for sale locally...)
They both have Freightliner chassis and Onan 8k diesel generators.
Obvious differences are
3 ACs compared to 2 in the Forest River (how big a deal is this??)
only 7000 miles, compared to 21000 in the Forest River
4 tvs (including one outside) compared to 2 in the Forest River
Forest River PROs:
4 slide outs compared to 3 in the Winnie
350HP compared to 340HP in the Winnie (how big a deal is this?)
already has the washer/dryer combo (needs to be added in the Winnie)
stainless steel fridge compared to wood paneled in the Winnie
Bigger shower WITH TUB (compared to corner unit in the Winnie)
ceramic tile compared to vinyl in the Winnie
Problem is, we've never heard of Forest River. What is its reputation? What is your experience?
All feedback on these manufacturers would be greatly appreciated. If Berkshire is a good option we'll need to hold off on the Journey Express which looks like the only one of its kind on the market right now...
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!