My husband and I began talking seriously about motorhomes in the summer of 2001 and by fall we had attended our first show. Having never been inside a motorhome, everything we saw that day looked great. We came home with a lot of information and brochures of models that interested us the most. Studying the floor plans was when we discovered that in motorhomes as in other aspects of life, "things are not always what they seem."
My husband is a tall man, a little over six feet. He insisted that to be comfortable and be able to feel well rested he would need a bed that was at least 80 inches long. He said he'd slept in enough beds where his feet hung over the edge and he saw no reason to do it again. That's why we were pleased that all the beds we saw were called "Queen size." Length wasn't going to be a problem. This is when we noticed after studying the brochures that these "Queen sized" beds were only 74-75 inches long and not the 80 inches we had come to expect and what we wanted. Now was the time to go to the Internet and see if such a thing existed.
USING THE INTERNET TO FIND THE ANSWER Almost all motorhome manufacturers have Internet sites that feature pictures inside and out as well as floor plans for all their models. Most sites also feature a dealer network locator. We used that to narrow our search to manufacturers with dealers near us for service and warranty work. We were also interested in a motorhome in the 30-31 foot range. This also narrowed our list. We discovered only two motorhomes that fit our requirements. One, a Winnebago Brave, and the other a Rexhall Aerbus. Since other features of the Winnebago, such as a galley/dinette slide-out appealed to us we favored the Brave. The Aerbus didn't have slide-outs until you got into larger coaches.
We attended RV show, hoping to see the Winnebago and Rexhall models. Even though this was billed as a "supershow," neither of these coaches were being shown in the size that interested us. We did get a chance to look at a lot of motorhomes that day but if we had gone to the show to find our perfect motor home we would have been unsuccessful.
Naturally we didn't buy the Winnebago sight unseen. Using the dealer locator we were able to find a dealer who had a Winnebago Brave 30W on site. We made an appointment to see it and we weren't disappointed. We ordered the Winnebago 2002 model for spring delivery. The Winnebago 2001 model does not have an 80 inch bed. This is an improvement on the 2002 model.
Make your list of what's most important to you in a motorhome and use the Internet to help you find it. This worked for us! It will save you time, money and will prevent you from buying a motorhome at a show that doesn't fit your needs and isn't what you really want. Good luck and happy searching!
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