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Old 04-15-2019, 05:56 PM   #1
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Thor Aria 3601

Hello. We've been campers for years and are looking around our first motorhome -- 2018 Aria 3601. Just curious on two things... 1) any thoughts from folks who have transitioned from campers to motorhome? Our daughters have grew up camping and are now 15/13 so don't think we need to stick to a bunkhouse floorplan. Anyone regret going into a motorhome? 2). Any feedback good/bad on Aria 3601?

Thanks in advance.
Jason
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:01 PM   #2
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Model: Tuscany XTE 36MQ
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No regrets on going to a motorhome from us. Just need to ensure it fits what YOU want to do.

As far as the 3601, we have the 36MQ which was the predecessor to 3601. We love the floorplan. Great for traveling. You can get to everything except washer / dryer without putting a slide out. Suits our needs very well.

FWIW
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:56 PM   #3
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Model: Aria 3401
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No regrets from us, after previously having a pop-up, travel trailer, then fifth wheel.

We have a 2018 Aria 3401 and like it so far. The ride is better than our F-350 dually and it's more comfortable rolling down the road, but it's a bit noisier. It is nice to not have to go out back to the trailer to get to the fridge, bathroom, etc.

One thing that isn't great about the Arias for quick overnight stops is the tilt-a-view bed. Either the bed slide or full wall slide need to be out to lay the bed flat.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:28 PM   #4
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Thanks. How was getting in/out of tight spots in campground compared to 5th wheel?
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:50 PM   #5
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Didnít have a fifth wheel but did have a decent size travel trailer. I have zero regrets about switching to a MH. Itís easier and more convenient in every way. Iíve not yet tried a toad but setting up for one now and expect it still to be more satisfactory than the TT.
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Old 04-16-2019, 12:08 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jwill18 View Post
Thanks. How was getting in/out of tight spots in campground compared to 5th wheel?
Aria 3401 at 35' vs 37' fifth wheel pulled by long bed crew cab F350 dually...the Aria wins hands down.

Adding our Jeep Wrangler 4-door towed makes it a little more even. On the plus side for the ARIA/Jeep, we can disconnect in about 5 minutes and drive them separately in tight quarters. The only downside is that you CANNOT back up while the Jeep is connected (with caveats in certain limited circumstances). The Jeep is fun to have along for other reasons, too.
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Old 04-16-2019, 12:13 AM   #7
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Aria 3401 at 35' vs 37' fifth wheel pulled by long bed crew cab F350 dually...the Aria wins hands down.

Adding our Jeep Wrangler 4-door towed makes it a little more even. On the plus side for the ARIA/Jeep, we can disconnect in about 5 minutes and drive them separately in tight quarters. The only downside is that you CANNOT back up while the Jeep is connected (with caveats in certain limited circumstances). The Jeep is fun to have along for other reasons, too.
Thanks. Already have a Jeep so that's half the battle!
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Old 04-16-2019, 02:26 AM   #8
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Aria

We have the 3901. It is our third MH. We never had a camper or trailer. My parents did, then graduated camper to trailer, to class C to class A. We have a ski boat and white water rafts that we like to drag along on some trips, and tow a Durango when we need something to get around in. Never regret the MH. Our Aria had a few issues during the first 6 months or so, but all have been taken care of. For the last 18 month's we have just been able to use it without having to fix anything. I always said I would never buy a Thor, but we are very happy with it. Headed to the Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce in a few weeks with the grand kids and most of our kids.
Mike
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Old 04-16-2019, 03:05 AM   #9
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We also have the 3901. So far the Aria has been great! Still trying to get used to the water heater and of course a few minor issues to get fixed. This is our third motor home but grew up camping from a camper, class C and Airstream Travel trailer. In MHO a class A diesel is the best experience. Driving the Aria is so easy, one handed even with wind and a Semi passing. I hope you get the rig you want and enjoy it!
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by m1noel View Post
We have the 3901. It is our third MH. We never had a camper or trailer. My parents did, then graduated camper to trailer, to class C to class A. We have a ski boat and white water rafts that we like to drag along on some trips, and tow a Durango when we need something to get around in. Never regret the MH. Our Aria had a few issues during the first 6 months or so, but all have been taken care of. For the last 18 month's we have just been able to use it without having to fix anything. I always said I would never buy a Thor, but we are very happy with it. Headed to the Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce in a few weeks with the grand kids and most of our kids.

Mike
Thanks. Very helpful. Does that Cummings motor pull the Durango without any issues? I know it's rated for 10,000 lbs but wasn't sure if it made the engine struggle or it handled it with ease. I currently have a 2017 F350 and it pulls our toy hauler with ease.
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:17 PM   #11
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We also have the 3901. So far the Aria has been great! Still trying to get used to the water heater and of course a few minor issues to get fixed. This is our third motor home but grew up camping from a camper, class C and Airstream Travel trailer. In MHO a class A diesel is the best experience. Driving the Aria is so easy, one handed even with wind and a Semi passing. I hope you get the rig you want and enjoy it!
Thank you. I'm very well versed in travel trailer and 5th wheel but this MH stuff is all new!
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:22 PM   #12
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plenty of motorhomes have either hallway bunks, or front bunks, or both, like our Palazzo... and the girls that age would probably rather have bunks for privacy - letting out sofas to sleep on gets old, and there's no privacy either.

Bunks also serve a great purpose, otherwise - plenty of STORAGE, which always a great by-product when not needed for 'sleeping'. Our front let-down bunk also goes for storage, nice.
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:25 PM   #13
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you'll also find that a motorhome is much easier to maneuver thru campgrounds and backing into sites, or even pull INTO sites - which is not an option for trailers and fifths.
I'm at a lakeside site right now, pulled in directly looking over the lake - all the other trailers and fifths had to back in. My big front picture window is a 'window' to the world!
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Old 04-16-2019, 02:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwill18 View Post
Thanks. Very helpful. Does that Cummings motor pull the Durango without any issues? I know it's rated for 10,000 lbs but wasn't sure if it made the engine struggle or it handled it with ease. I currently have a 2017 F350 and it pulls our toy hauler with ease.
I wouldn't say it handles it with ease, but it certainly doesn't struggle either. I was a little disappointed at first with the hill climbing ability, but after learning to shift down manually instead of waiting for the tranny to do it on it's own, it pulls the hills fine. We have been over the Sierra's both ways a couple times, the Blues quite a few times, and it really gets over the hills without drama. Not the fastest MH out there, but certainly not the slowest.
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Old 04-16-2019, 02:23 PM   #15
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It was an age thing for me. Going from a 39' TT to the MH was about all the conveniences outlined above, but mostly going total "push button". Although the TT had electric everything, it still required lots of hitch drama, stabilizer jacks controlled from outside, etc. The TT required a lot of set up and break down, plus finding the larger sites without having to block up the street for 30 minutes is nice. Not too long ago we were breaking camp in the rain. The wife watched the guy next to us break down the MH and drive off. She said..."why can't we get one of those?". We did. Another consideration specific to you...those 15 and 13 girls, while they will always be "Daddy's Girls", will soon be finding other things of interest and not wanting to go camping with "Mommy and Daddy" as much. Bottom line, I enjoyed the TT as much as I do the MH. There are an equal number of reasons one is better than the other. It's just which set of options fits your bill today. The huge slides of the TT made huge spaces inside. The small slides of the MH make great short stops in rest areas or quick overnights, as everything can be accessed with slides in. A lot can be said for simply backing into your campsite, standing up from your seat, extending your slides and going straight to bed...never having to set foot outside...especially if it's pouring rain.
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:23 PM   #16
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you'll also find that a motorhome is much easier to maneuver thru campgrounds and backing into sites, or even pull INTO sites - which is not an option for trailers and fifths.
I'm at a lakeside site right now, pulled in directly looking over the lake - all the other trailers and fifths had to back in. My big front picture window is a 'window' to the world!
That's awesome. Thanks.
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:26 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by The Gritz Carlton View Post
It was an age thing for me. Going from a 39' TT to the MH was about all the conveniences outlined above, but mostly going total "push button". Although the TT had electric everything, it still required lots of hitch drama, stabilizer jacks controlled from outside, etc. The TT required a lot of set up and break down, plus finding the larger sites without having to block up the street for 30 minutes is nice. Not too long ago we were breaking camp in the rain. The wife watched the guy next to us break down the MH and drive off. She said..."why can't we get one of those?". We did. Another consideration specific to you...those 15 and 13 girls, while they will always be "Daddy's Girls", will soon be finding other things of interest and not wanting to go camping with "Mommy and Daddy" as much. Bottom line, I enjoyed the TT as much as I do the MH. There are an equal number of reasons one is better than the other. It's just which set of options fits your bill today. The huge slides of the TT made huge spaces inside. The small slides of the MH make great short stops in rest areas or quick overnights, as everything can be accessed with slides in. A lot can be said for simply backing into your campsite, standing up from your seat, extending your slides and going straight to bed...never having to set foot outside...especially if it's pouring rain.
Thanks for the advice. My wife and I have chatted about the fact that the years of camping with all four of us are fewer than they've been. I agree on the set up. We wedged into a site this week at Disney with the toy hauler and unloaded everything and set up (about 90 minutes). A family came beside us in a MH and in 15 minutes, poof. They were set up and heading to the parks.
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Old 04-16-2019, 11:44 PM   #18
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for us, the motorcoach gives a lot of easy options when it comes to simply 'overnighting', whether at an rv park or campground, or just in the far reaches of a large parking lot...

once I park, and turn off the coach, I really don't 'have' to do anything, not even run out the slides. I don't 'have' to drop the bags, or even put down the levelers, if I don't really want to... and sometimes that makes a lot of sense. Stealth.

We owned a fifth-wheel 40' bunkhouse... we get the difference, it can be a BIG difference. We would have to stop and pull over and 'hope' that while we used our own restroom, the wind from passing trucks wouldn't tip us over while we were 'in the john'! Also, when you want to simply stop for an overnight, you 'must' have a very flat surface or else you are going to be really uncomfortable. Sometimes, you can't really even do stealth parking since you 'must' run out the slides to even access all the areas.
Our fifth required the main slide to access the fridge, and the bedroom slide to access the restroom and the bedroom... so at least two of four would have to be out.

While if you are a 'larger' profile you may not find most ClassA access to the restroom or rear bedroom available easily without the slides out, ours works easily for us, though our layout, with the forward facing master bed, gives us options that even some larger coaches won't have. Most of the coaches with slide mount master beds require you to run out the slide, or either crawl over the bed to the rear restroom.

With a ClassA diesel, with air bags, you have options you don't get with even Class A Gas units - the air bags can drop you down onto the chassis, giving you a 'firmer' overnight, without 'having' to deploy the levelers. Diesels also sit much lower, so dropping the bags gives you very easy 'entry', with some coaches only having a single entry step, like ours.
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Old 04-17-2019, 11:42 AM   #19
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"Most of the coaches with slide mount master beds require you to run out the slide, or either crawl over the bed to the rear restroom."

A few of the bigger models offer bath and a half. Half bath is mid-ship which allows access without deploying slides. Take you time and look at everything. Diesel models are a bit more money and come with the larger units. My advice...buy as big as you can afford...even go a bit over budget. They all get small quickly...especially since you will be traveling and camping in them full time. Full access to everything is nice when parked in small spaces for short times, which you'll find yourself often vs. traveling with a trailer camper.
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Old 04-28-2019, 01:58 PM   #20
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Went from a fifth wheel to an Aria 3601 in 2017 when they first came out:
1. Less driving stress. Actually a pleasure to drive. You are not being pushed by something that weighs 2 to 3 times your vehicle weight.
2. We had a short 31 ft. HT 5th wheel. With vehicle connected we were pushing 46ft. total length. So, the 3601 if 10 ft. shorter and does not have a middle "joint" to deal with. Parking is a breeze.
3. We looked at all makes and models (still do actually) and the Aria had the best layout and features included in the MSRP with wading through a list of options.
4. Thor: We have been blessed with few to no issues with our unit. When I have called Thor with questions I have a 99.7% positive satisfaction rate with the responses and help provided.
5. Just the two of us plus dog, but 8 grandkids. The unit accommodates us great but easily supports more without having to think about a bunkhouse layout.
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