RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-28-2016, 07:43 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 5
Family of 4 motorhome questions

So we are looking at the Sunseeker 3170DS and the Forrester 3171DS.

We have a 3 year old son and a 1 year old daughter. Most of my family has campers and the kids really love going out to visit and play etc. We are considering purchasing one of the above so we can also enjoy the experience. My wife does not like to fly and I do not like hotel rooms so I feel like this will really allow us to travel (weekends, trips etc).

Any thoughts we are a younger couple and want to make sure this will be the best option for our young kids, my wife is 30 and I am 32. Just seeing if anyone see's anything they would be concerned about.

Thanks,
Kyle
kkool83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2016, 05:25 PM   #2
Always Learning
 
ependydad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Four Corners, FL
Posts: 20,162
"Best" is all relative with what you want. If you like the floorplan and can envision where everyone will sleep and how you'll "camp" in it, then go for it.

My first concern (without looking at the floorplan) is, if you use one, where a pack-n-play will go? Given you'll have night time and nap times.

Next is - is there a bunk for the 3 year old that you can put a rail on?

Is there room at the dinette for a high chair (there are cool folding ones) and booster?

Really take the family and spend a couple of hours milling around one. For instance, at RV shows- being a big guy, I sit on the toilet like I'm making #2 and I'll get in the shower. I want to have room to spread out with both of those things.
__________________
2018 Ram 3500 DRW/crew cab/long bed/4x4/4.10 gears pulling a 2017 Spartan 1245 by Prime Time
Checkout my site for RVing tips, tricks, and info | Was a Fulltime Family for 5 years, now we're settlin' down for a spell
ependydad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2016, 06:05 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Out West Somewhere
Posts: 163
Regarding the Forrester vs Sunseeker, remember that the units are basically the same. The Forrester has a few standard upgrades that people like over the Sunseeker. But the Sunseeker costs less up front, downstream maintenance will be close to the same.

My first family camping happened when my son was 3 and my daughter was 1 and we were in a "surfer van" at the time. We went to a couple of national parks in the van and then we decided to go up to a truck camper. We had a blast with all of us crammed into the small space. We had a planned play time every day and a planned nap time (albeit the play time always went better than the nap time). Wow, it's hard to believe that they are in their 40's now.

If you are unsure of this lifestyle, you could rent a Class C for a couple of weekend trips and see how everyone likes it. Then, you can make a decision about buying one without make the big plunge.
WayneLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2016, 09:36 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 268
We had that floor plan for a couple years and traded to a 3010. We found the larger living area was more useful to us than the bunks. We use the overhead bed most of the time for guests and the sofa or kitchen table if we have more than 4. The kitchen counter space is one of the biggest things that will probably annoy your wife in the 3170. The 3010 has a huge counter.
If it's mainly going to be the 4 of you, check out the 3010. If your family is getting bigger or you think you may have guests a lot, the 3170 may be the way to go if you want more sleeping space.
Brian217 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2016, 09:57 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: St Peters, MO.
Posts: 1,064
Years ago we started out with a 22 ft TT with my wife and 2 son's and I, we traveled all over. We live in Missouri and often would go to Florida spending 2 or 3 weeks away from home. We didn't just use our TT as a camper but as a motel while we traveled. We had a lot of memories of our travels.
We now have a motorhome and the kids are grown. We will do some camping, but want to do some extended traveling next year. I think it is a good idea and believe you will enjoy the RV life.
This forum is the place to go for answers to all your questions. Have great travels and safe trips which ever RV you decide to go with.
Wattsworld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2016, 10:02 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: West Michigan/Fort Myers
Posts: 3,927
If it was me I would look at the class A line at FR. The Georgetown has some great floor plans as well as the Berkshire. The room with 4 of you will be appreciated. The bunks could be configured to allow a nap place for the young ones.



Phil57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2016, 01:00 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
knockando's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 105
3 kids here with a 3170ds

I would highly suggest the 3170ds for your family. There are of course some trade offs the main one is the kitchen space for the bunks. With two kids you could make a non-bunkhouse model work if the kitchen/living space is important. We have a 7, 4 and 1 year old and it is perfect. The 1 year old has a pack n' play setup on the floor between the couch and the table. It is tight but we take it down during the day unless for naps. I know the 3170ds has a tub, not just a shallow curb, which of course is great for baths for your kiddos. Most shower spaces are just the curb. The only other downside to the 3170ds is that the rear slide out shortens the width of your awning a bit, not much but it is smaller.
knockando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2016, 03:06 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
oldsmasma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 667
The idea of renting may be a good one but with two little kids the packing of a rental for one time use and then unpacking and cleaning of a rental may not give you a clear idea of how much work is involved in camping. Odds it will seem overwhelming but if you own it you can keep it stocked and partly ready all the time. If you are handy a nice used unit might get you into the lifestyle at a lower cost. We gave our son and daughter in law an older small c class for Christmas last year. He is an auto mechanic with his own shop. She can paint/sew/upholster anything. Between them they have turned an older unit in good basic condition into a showpiece. They have a 1 year old and just love to get to the campground. They keep it plugged in at home stocked with the basics. Even with the baby and both working full time they camp two weekends a month on average. We often camp together and in fact are getting ready to camp next weekend for Canadian Thanksgiving. Great memories!

They were able to make modifications to accommodate a pack and play that they will reverse when our granddaughter is able to sleep in the top bunk. They are already planning the mod to make the bunk work for her. Good luck!
__________________

Phil, Heather & Olaf the Boxer
Ontario Canada
Lexington 283GTS
oldsmasma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2016, 06:39 AM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 7
Kyle, we have the 3010 Sunseeker. We travel with the grand Kids. Ages now are 5,8 and this coming year 3. We love the extra counter space and the large dining table. The living area is huge. Lots of extra storage compartments. The tv is on the wall over the counter where everyone can see it. this works great for snuggle time. It also has lots of seat belts.

You can get a fold out bed in the couch or a jack knife couch. (We took the two recliners). So you could sleep 6 kids if you had to.

Draw backs. The toilet is small but it has it's own shower apart from the toilet.
tapadunbar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2016, 08:16 AM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 5
Thanks for the replies

Thanks for all the awesome information. It looks like a lot of suggestions that we also look at the 3010 for more room in the general living area. I did see a mention of the FR3 suggestion, I have been highly considering looking at that as well so I think we will check both these suggestions out. And I was glad to see a few say they liked the 3170ds and 3171ds (clones basically) What do you guys think of under storage on this camper? Would the FR3 have a ton more? Price is something I need to watch but the 10k difference is not an issue. Would I get a lot more camper for the money?

As for renting a RV, we have travelled with my parents in there class C on a two week trip down to disney world. So although that is a REALLY good idea i think we have tried it and know how packed it can be etc.

This forum is fantastic!! I guess I never thought of the 3010 per say because we do like the idea that the kids have "there own room" and that bottom bunk they both can sleep on when they are younger as it's only 4 inches off the ground... I DO NOT like the drop from the kids bunk area to the main room. Does anyone know how old the kids seem to still fit in those 2 bunks? We hope this will be our only camper purchase until the kids are in high school.
kkool83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2016, 09:01 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
BamaBob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Whereever our Berkshire is Parked!
Posts: 7,085
I'm with Phil (I guess we are biased )


The price differential between a Georgetown and a Forester is not that much but the layout will probably be more agreeable to your family (the 364TS is a great bunk bed layout.)


One other consideration is how long will your trips be? Just a 100 or so mile drive to a lake or campground? Or, will your travels be cross-state or cross-country? If this is the case, you may want to look in to a Berkshire as Phil suggested. I am here to tell you that there is nothing better than a diesel pusher for loooong trips.


OTOH, if it is just short weekend trips, the Georgetown would probably suit your needs. As others have said, before you buy go to a RV show (the bigger the better) and take a look at the floorplans that interest you and, especially with a 1 & 3 year old, envision yourself stuck inside the coach for 3 days because of a unrelenting rainstorm--does the floorplan and space STILL work for you?
__________________
Bob & Anne-Marie [BamaBob & 6 Actual]
| 2017 Berkshire XLT 43A with Ultrasteer Tag | Blue Ox Avail + KarGard II |
| SMI AF-1 Air Brake | 2016 Jeep Cherokee Overland TOAD | Pedego Bikes |
Nights Camped: 2013 - 24 • 2014 - 42 • 2015 - 56 • Jul 2016 - Fulltime •
BamaBob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2016, 09:09 AM   #12
DW's 401(k) Plan
 
DaGrinch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Western MD
Posts: 2,355
I totally agree with your thoughts about your previous experience(s) in a Class C. While you may have had an extra 2 people on board, you still get the idea of how it works.
From what I saw (which was limited) on storage doors on the 3171DS (and clone), I would really explore that aspect. I have two fairly large doors for my rear storage space (one on each side) and that was a big selling point for me. We originally started looking at Class A's, but interior-wise, DW wasn't impressed and couldn't find/get what she wanted. That's why we went with the 3010DS and we have very few regrets. We compromised on the rear slide (we wanted all slides on the driver's side) and we have the sofa instead of the recliners, which DW liked in the Forester we looked at. But, I think you can find pretty much get what you want in either the A or the C. They both have about the same floor plans/slide configurations. But check the storage. That's huge with a growing family.
Good luck and

And after reading BamaBob's post, he brings up some REAL good points on short vs long trips. I've only done short trips with my Sunseeker. I may change my mind after I take my first looong one.
__________________

"Sunny" the 2017 Sunseeker 3010DS
2006 Jeep Liberty Toad
.... and lovin' life........MOST of the time.
DaGrinch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2016, 09:20 AM   #13
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 5
The only issue is the length we need to keep around 33' or so or it won't fit in our drive. What do you think of the FR3? The FR3 32DS
kkool83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2016, 10:36 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
BamaBob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Whereever our Berkshire is Parked!
Posts: 7,085
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkool83 View Post
The only issue is the length we need to keep around 33' or so or it won't fit in our drive. What do you think of the FR3? The FR3 32DS
For a entry lever motorhome, the FR3 is not bad - reviews have been mixed however. I have a FR3 owner attending our FROG Rally next week and I will ask her to give me a review. She arrives on the 4th so I will try to post the review that evening or the morning of the 5th.

As for parking the rig, have you considered these options:
  • First off, do you have a covenant or Homeowners association? A lot of neighborhoods do not allow RV owners to permanently store their RVs next to their homes (I know silly law, but you better check that out)
  • If you can store the RV at your home, is there room on the side of your house to pour a concrete pad for the RV? If yes, how long can the pad be? (the pad will need to be at least 10' wide to accommodate parking and slide-outs)
  • Have you considered a local storage facility? Many storage facilities offer reasonable covered and uncovered RV storage options
__________________
Bob & Anne-Marie [BamaBob & 6 Actual]
| 2017 Berkshire XLT 43A with Ultrasteer Tag | Blue Ox Avail + KarGard II |
| SMI AF-1 Air Brake | 2016 Jeep Cherokee Overland TOAD | Pedego Bikes |
Nights Camped: 2013 - 24 • 2014 - 42 • 2015 - 56 • Jul 2016 - Fulltime •
BamaBob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2016, 11:18 AM   #15
Phat Phrog Stunt Team
 
AquaMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Tipp City, OH
Posts: 7,153
As a young growing family, I would buy what fits your budget and what will fill your needs for the next 5-7yrs. As the kids get older (maybe another?) and more involved in sports, weekends and time away may be few and far between or you may enjoy it so much that you'll want to move up. I had a large 5th wheel when I had teenage daughters at home, now that they've moved out and we only have our little one (9) we found that the GTown 364 fit our needs. We can easily stay in this one for many years, as our family is not going to grow anymore. When looking at trailers, it's pretty much a no brainer to buy your "next one first", but with a motorhome you have a mode of transportation that you may not use as much as you think (being young) and at a cost that's a lot more. Once you've decided, go with the biggest fridge you can get!
__________________
2016 Georgetown 364TS
2017 Jeep Rubicon Recon toad
Nights Camped 2019 - 17
AquaMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2016, 12:38 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
BamaBob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Whereever our Berkshire is Parked!
Posts: 7,085
Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaMan View Post
Once you've decided, go with the biggest fridge you can get!
As usual, SPOT ON Tim

You will never hear a RVer complain that their fridge is too small
__________________
Bob & Anne-Marie [BamaBob & 6 Actual]
| 2017 Berkshire XLT 43A with Ultrasteer Tag | Blue Ox Avail + KarGard II |
| SMI AF-1 Air Brake | 2016 Jeep Cherokee Overland TOAD | Pedego Bikes |
Nights Camped: 2013 - 24 • 2014 - 42 • 2015 - 56 • Jul 2016 - Fulltime •
BamaBob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2016, 02:49 AM   #17
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 89
We have a Forester 3011 and we love it for our family of six. The kitchen counter and plenty of sleeping space was the main reason for choosing this floor plan. We looked at the 3171 but felt the tradeoff for the bunks was a much smaller and more crowded living space. We opted for the larger fridge and we wouldn't want it any other way. Outside storage has been sufficient for the RV gear, gas stove, griddle, BBQ, propane tank, 8+ camping chairs (including my large zero gravity recliner), cooler and some extra toys and I still have extra storage throughout if I had more I wanted to carry.

Our kids are 16, 14, 12 and 10 and we all have plenty of space to spread out. We tent camped when the kids were much younger so I don't have experience with requirements of a younger family in and RV but this floorplan works great for us and we sleep two on the couch hide-a-bed and two on the upper bunk.

We also opted for both driver and passenger swivel seats people can hang out at the table and eat or play games while another group sits on the couch to chat with those in the front seats. And often times a few kids are hanging out on the upper bunks hanging out and talking.
__________________
2015 Forest River Forester 3011 DS - 2007 Dodge Durango Toad
ORvideoguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2016, 05:12 AM   #18
DW's 401(k) Plan
 
DaGrinch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Western MD
Posts: 2,355
Quote:
Originally Posted by BamaBob View Post
........
You will never hear a RVer complain that their fridge is too small
AMEN!
__________________

"Sunny" the 2017 Sunseeker 3010DS
2006 Jeep Liberty Toad
.... and lovin' life........MOST of the time.
DaGrinch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2016, 08:38 PM   #19
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 32
We just purchased a Sunseeker 3170DS after searching for many months. We have 3 children, ages 13,11 and 8. Deticated sleeping space for each child was a must. I didn't want to bother with converting a dinette or sofa every night or if someone wanted a nap. Plus, our son is quite tall and still growing. The dinette and sofas seem to be short for him to be comfortable and the size of the overhead bunk in the 3170ds is fantastic. Counter space is limited, but with the counter extension and the flat top stove cover, I've been able to make it work. The tub is a plus, we have a little dog that we bathe in there as well as my 8 yr old still likes to take baths. We wanted windows on both sides of the upper bunk for cross ventilation. (Some class cs only have a window on one side or none at all up there and it can get hot. Also about windows, I like fresh air and will have the windows open as much as possible. Some of the newer units have frame less windows (which I love the look of) but they only crack open which allows for little to no air flow. Deal breaker for me. We also wanted to keep our length under 35 feet. As not to be limited on parks we could get into.
We looked at the F3 and the Ace 30.2 with bunks. The problems with the F3 was that the drivers seat would not adjust far enough up for me to drive without putting a cushion or pillow behind me. I'm 5'2. It does have the double fridge which is nice, but because of that, there is virtually NO kitchen storage or pantry space. Not good for a family with 3 kids. The overhead bunk would fall off the magnets when driving. They may have fixed that with the 2017 model. We looked at the 2016.

The Ace was nice and I was able to drive comfortably. The drawbacks were that the toilet sat up higher than most. My feet would not touch the floor and my 8 year old couldn't get up on it with out a struggle or a stool. I saw that as a pain in the neck. Also the black tank was smaller than others. Only 28 gallons. With a family of 5, that would fill up guickly.
If you have any specific questions, I'd be happy to try answer. Best advice is take the whole family and spend lots of time in each unit you are considering. Have the kids lay in the beds, picture where you would put yor food, clothes, toys etc. You may find things that you like or don't like that you never thought of.
SSminnow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2016, 07:37 PM   #20
Sunseeker 3010DS
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: California
Posts: 110
I believe all here have given you some good advise. Here is mine and it may hit some points already mentioned in earlier posts. As a 40 + year camper and having kids your age and some grand kids now. Here is the advise I have given to my kids. Get what you can afford, after providing for the future of your growing family This type on expenditure will deprecate very quickly in most cases. After providing. As some posts mention things will change as you family grows, Keep that in mind. My kids have and most there age that I know in the 30's have toy haulers. I had a tent trailer at that age and eventually moved into a 5th wheel and now a Sunseeker 3010 DS. Oh and I bought a trailer for hauling toys. But as the family evolved so did our camping equipment. We mostly bought used because we traded up every few years. But what ever decision you make the equipment you use to get out into the great outdoors will not make much if any difference in the quality time spent with friends and family and great stories and memories that will come from RVing.

Best of luck And happy camping!
slamac is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
motorhome

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:34 AM.