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Old 07-25-2017, 05:10 AM   #1
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Model: ACE 30.3
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Vegas vs Ace 30.3 for first RV. 32' to long

Ok, I have a Vegas on order, but am really afraid that it's too tight for the two of us and our two standard poodles and am wondering if I should jump to an ace 30.3 or Windsport 31s, which will have far more room with the living room slide.

I'm just not sure if the jump from 27' to 32' is too much for a first RV.

In either case I will tow a jeep. How much harder to handle is the extra 5' for a first time RVer?
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Old 07-25-2017, 10:52 AM   #2
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I bought our first RV in Sept 2016, a Miramar 34.4. It is 35' and I have had no difficulties getting it in and out of tight sites. To be honest I have not towed anything with it yet so there is that added length.
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Old 07-25-2017, 10:55 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by tnedator View Post
Ok, I have a Vegas on order, but am really afraid that it's too tight for the two of us and our two standard poodles and am wondering if I should jump to an ace 30.3 or Windsport 31s, which will have far more room with the living room slide.

I'm just not sure if the jump from 27' to 32' is too much for a first RV.

In either case I will tow a jeep. How much harder to handle is the extra 5' for a first time RVer?
You will never notice the difference. Driving a large RV for the first time can be intimidating. Take your time, watch your turns, and just give yourself so time to get used to it. After a while it gets to be second nature, just like driving a car except bigger. Always have a spotter on the outside to help you park, running in to something can get expensive. I've seen lots of 70+ "little old ladies" driving 40-45' DP's without any problems, you can do it too!

Yes the Vegas might be a little cramped, especially with two large dogs.

Enjoy yourself and have fun!!!
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Old 07-25-2017, 11:41 AM   #4
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On a side note, I know that people come on here and complain about Thor, and I don't think there is any doubt that quality isn't where we would all like it especially on these entry level coaches.

That said, I decided to take another look at the Forest River FR3, which is similar to the Thor ACE line. I went to the Forest River Forums site and looked at the FR3 and I would say 8 of the first 10 posts on the 30DS I was looking at were in the horror story level posts. It reminded me about what happened when I started researching their Forester/Sunseeker line and had similar results.

If you base it on forum complaints and posted issues, I can't help but believe that Forest River is far worse than Thor in product quality, which drove me back to looking at the ACE.
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Old 07-25-2017, 11:47 AM   #5
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On a side note, I know that people come on here and complain about Thor, and I don't think there is any doubt that quality isn't where we would all like it especially on these entry level coaches.

That said, I decided to take another look at the Forest River FR3, which is similar to the Thor ACE line. I went to the Forest River Forums site and looked at the FR3 and I would say 8 of the first 10 posts on the 30DS I was looking at were in the horror story level posts. It reminded me about what happened when I started researching their Forester/Sunseeker line and had similar results.

If you base it on forum complaints and posted issues, I can't help but believe that Forest River is far worse than Thor in product quality, which drove me back to looking at the ACE.

Thank You!!!

I have stated this repeatedly, if you think Thor is the only company to have problems you haven't read the forums from other companies!!! All the manufacturers have problems!!!
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Old 07-25-2017, 11:48 AM   #6
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I think in general size does matter; whether you are new at it or experienced. For me it's not so much whether smaller is easier to drive, but that larger limits where you can go easily.

I've driven a lot of miles in different size but similar Ford E-Series (20, 24, 27 and 30-ft) and it makes a difference to me. With 24-foot Class C it didn't take much planning going into gas stations, grocery stores, or even resteaurant parking lots. With a 6-foot longer 30' Class C the same maneuvers took a little more planning, and often were not possible. Granted, I wasn't towing so that would have limited options from the onset.


When in doubt, I recommend renting. It's expensive but less so than trading for the right size. Dogs can sometimes be an issue for renting though.
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Old 07-25-2017, 12:27 PM   #7
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While I agree that larger coaches limit where you can go, driving is not more difficult. Our current class A coach is 31' long and I don't have problems parking or getting gas, it does take planning and experience knowing where your coach will fit and how sharp it will turn. I regularly pull in to convenience stores to get gas, a few times I have had to wait on other cars to move, I'm used to it and don't really think about it, comes with driving a big vehicle.

I took our 41' DP just about everywhere, malls, stadium, parks, etc., just had to know the limits, plan ahead, and occasionally honk the horn.
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Old 07-25-2017, 12:41 PM   #8
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While I agree that larger coaches limit where you can go, driving is not more difficult. Our current class A coach is 31' long and I don't have problems parking or getting gas, it does take planning and experience knowing where your coach will fit and how sharp it will turn. I regularly pull in to convenience stores to get gas, a few times I have had to wait on other cars to move, I'm used to it and don't really think about it, comes with driving a big vehicle.

I took our 41' DP just about everywhere, malls, stadium, parks, etc., just had to know the limits, plan ahead, and occasionally honk the horn.
I've driven with my brother in law when he's been in his ~40' Tiffen without the truck being towed and he's gone wherever we needed. Granted, it's the rare exception he doesn't tow, but on that occasion we went to Florida without a Toad, he just thought through what he was going to do before he did it.
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Old 07-25-2017, 01:02 PM   #9
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As a side note (I hate bombarding site with new threads, so hopefully this won't get lost). Does anyone know the CCC on the 30.3? I've looked and can't find it.
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Old 07-25-2017, 01:03 PM   #10
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Some places I want to go in my travels clearly state "vehicles longer than xx feet not permitted" or "not recommended for RVs over xx feet". If you want to get away from the madding crowd and see places others seldom do, then it might make a difference. My 25' class c was wonderful for going to more remote places and sometimes had to disconnect my toad and attempt to convince my lovely wife that white knuckles delayed the onset of arthritis so she would drive the toad. She's not buying it. Give it some thought. It all depends where you want to go and what you want to do.
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Old 07-25-2017, 01:11 PM   #11
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I was also very close to purchasing the Vegas/Axis model, with the thought, its all we need and will be easier to handle. Well after many trips to the dealers my wife and I felt that we would be cramped and i liked the extra space and get a way room in the Ace 31'. After four months and three trips, We love the added space inside and the extra storage outside. You will not notice the extra 5' and keep in mind, you can't stretch the Vegas after the fact.
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Old 07-25-2017, 01:25 PM   #12
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Any place that can only fit a 27' RV is probably too small for me to want to stay there anyway.

Any place that is too treacherous to drive a 28' RV is too treacherous to drive an RV.

8+ ft wide, 12' ft tall is the issue, turning radius will bite you some time, regardless of your turning radius.

Towing a car, which limits or eliminates your ability to use reverse, is the issue in gas stations.

Thinking you can use a coach that is small enough to take to run errands is nice, until you have to break camp/batten down the coach every time you want to go anywhere.


Get the one that is more comfortable to be in, then take what the drive gives you. Enjoy.
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Old 07-25-2017, 01:37 PM   #13
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Any place that can only fit a 27' RV is probably too small for me to want to stay there anyway.

Any place that is too treacherous to drive a 28' RV is too treacherous to drive an RV.

8+ ft wide, 12' ft tall is the issue, turning radius will bite you some time, regardless of your turning radius.

Towing a car, which limits or eliminates your ability to use reverse, is the issue in gas stations.

Thinking you can use a coach that is small enough to take to run errands is nice, until you have to break camp/batten down the coach every time you want to go anywhere.


Get the one that is more comfortable to be in, then take what the drive gives you. Enjoy.
From when we started looking to now, we reached the conclusion that we really don't want to break down camp to run to the store because we forgot toilet paper or decide to pickup food rather than cook. We started out looking for RVs that were small enough to do both, but then thought about that.

Do we really want to unhook water, electric, sewer and drive off and then struggle to find the outside spaces big enough to park?

So, after talking to some friends on reading on here and other forums, I decided that whether we went with a Toad day one or shortly after, that's where we were going to wind up, so we expanded from looking at 24'/25' coaches to 27-28' coaches and landed on the Vegas, but that still leaves it REALLY tight for us considering one of the main reasons for getting an RV is the ability to take our two standard poodles with us.

Since we are planning to tow a jeep regardless, I started to think that we might be better off just biting the bullet of a slightly harder learning curve on driving and get something in the 31-32' range, that has living room slides.

The ACE 30.1 or Windsport/Hurricane 31S look nearly perfect for us. Many of the things we liked about the Vegas, like the large shower, queen bed, etc., but the addition of the living room slide to open up the space for us and the two tall, lanky dogs.
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Old 07-25-2017, 01:55 PM   #14
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The extra living space is nice, we have a 75 lb Labradoodle with LONG legs and I know he enjoys the space to move around.

A Jeep is probably one of the easiest vehicles to tow, easy hookup, and with the V10 you won't know it's there.

We went from a 41' DP to our current 31' Windsport, feels like going from a bus to a gokart!
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Old 07-25-2017, 01:56 PM   #15
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June 2016 I bought my first RV, a 2016 Axis 25.2. Had the same thoughts as a lot of new RVers. Get something smaller, its easier to drive and there's plenty of room for the two of us. Well after a year almost to the day we traded up to a Thor Windsport 31s. After a year of camping we found the Axis was a little small for us and I wanted some options the Axis didn't have. I didn't want to go too much bigger and the Windsport at 5 feet longer fit the bill. It also afforded me more room inside with 2 slides. A bigger kitchen with more counter space. More outside storage which was a real plus. Inverter. Auto leveling. A bigger cockpit and bigger motor and chassis. A friend told me when you buy your first RV purchase like its your third time. I towed 6x10 enclosed trailer with a motorcycle in it and both the Axis and the Windsport did so with no problems. Now with the Windsport I'm dolly towing a Mini Cooper. To me both are great choices but I'm glad I went a little bigger. Oh and the added size did not seem to hinder my maneuvering around gas stations or campgrounds. Good Luck.
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Old 07-25-2017, 02:06 PM   #16
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...With 24-foot Class C it didn't take much planning going into gas stations, grocery stores, or even resteaurant parking lots. With a 6-foot longer 30' Class C the same maneuvers took a little more planning, and often were not possible. ...
I will also suggest driving the same size class A and C to compare... I started looking at C's until I drove an A. To me the A's can maneuver tighter than C's of the same size based on steering geometry and wheel location... I can swing my 33 foot Hurricane in some relatively tight places that usually suprises those that haven't driven them..
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Old 07-25-2017, 02:06 PM   #17
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Sorry forgot to mention the Windsport has slam type latches on the outside storage which I really wanted. Those little thumb style latches on the Axis and Ace models didn't work for me.
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Old 07-25-2017, 03:20 PM   #18
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Model: Hurricane 34J
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Went from a travel trailer to the Hurricane 34J which is 35ft and I toad my chevy equinox. Was a little intimidating at first. But after a few times driving it I feel very comfortable with it. And as far as the toad goes you barley know it's back there. Plus it's not as wide as the RV so turns really aren't that bad.
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Old 07-25-2017, 03:25 PM   #19
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We kind of went in the opposite direction, but not from a large A to the Axis but from a large'ish 5th wheel (31+ ft). We are limited to about 30' in our driveway anything bigger would block the street (even though we only park it there for loading/unloading we still don't want to block anything).

The 5er had tons of room, tons of storage, was pretty maneuverable with the pickup. It was just too big. When we saw the Axis at a camper show we thought it was perfect. In the past 3 years with it; it was worked well. We don't travel with any dogs big or small but we do travel with a cantankerous teenager (who does think the Axis is too small LOL--although I think he is looking forward to the recliners on the couch).

That is why they make big ones and small ones--not everyone can live in a tiny house
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Old 07-25-2017, 04:44 PM   #20
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I will also suggest driving the same size class A and C to compare... I started looking at C's until I drove an A. To me the A's can maneuver tighter than C's of the same size based on steering geometry and wheel location... I can swing my 33 foot Hurricane in some relatively tight places that usually suprises those that haven't driven them..
Agree. Class A on Ford F-53 chassis should have greater front wheel cut angle than the Axis/Vegas or Class-C built on E-Series (at least it used to be that way). The turning radius on Ford 30-ft Class C with wheelbase over 200 inches was horrendous.

Larger Class As on F-53 sometimes do have shorter wheelbase for their size, but downside for those units is longer rear overhang. We looked at a 32-foot Hurricane built on a 190-inch wheelbase (similar to much shorter Axis/Vegas) and the rear length just seemed too long. Mostly the MH was way larger than we need when traveling alone.
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