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Old 11-27-2016, 11:59 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Freedom Elite 30 FE
State: Arkansas
Posts: 67
THOR #6012
29M or 31S Thor Windsport

My wife and I are moving up to a Class A next year. We currently have a 2016 Rockwood Mini Lite 2104s with a murphy bed. We have enjoyed it since September of last year and have discovered we want something less troublesome when traveling and setting up. I have a brochure from a local dealer and we are reviewing the floor plans of both. The 29M has enclosed holdings tanks with heat pads. The 31S has enclosed and heated holding tanks. Can somewhere tell me in layman terms what is the difference in the two. We are leaning toward the 29M. I do not see any significant differences in the two other than the 31S is one foot longer, 29M has a 40 gallon waste holding tank versus 24.5 for the 31S, one slide and king bed in 29M versus two slides and queen bed in 31S. If you have either of the models, I would welcome your honest evaluation before we sink our retirement money in one of these. Thanks
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Old 11-28-2016, 12:10 AM   #2
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Usually "Enclosed and heated holding tanks" means the holding tanks are enclosed in a compartment with a duct from the furnace going there.

"Enclosed with heat pads" means also enclosed but they glue on the bottom 12V heat pads that keep them from freezing. The heat pads have a thermostat that doesn't turn off until close to freezing.
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Old 11-28-2016, 12:25 AM   #3
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Sounds to me that if I wanted to do some camping in the winter, the enclosed and heated holding tanks in the 31M would be better suited than the heating pads in the 29M. Right?
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Old 11-28-2016, 12:30 AM   #4
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THOR #2829
Jamie covered the holding tanks...
Obviously you get a larger bed in the 29M.
My one caution would be the full wall slide in the 29M - many issues related to the larger single slides on the forum - they did change to a 3 track system, but I would still be cautious.
The 31S has 2 smaller slides...

I have a 2014 Hurricane 32N (the cousin of Windsport) - with 2 slides and queen bed. Layout very similar to the current 31S. (I have U shaped dinette as primary difference).

Personally the 2 things I would steer away from today would be the full wall slide - and the frameless windows (an option)... The windows are a personal preference issue - I like the look - but they don't seem to open anywhere near as much - and I would prefer the airflow.

I would suggest the optional upgrade to the 50amp service (from 30amp standard) Sounds like a small difference - but really much bigger... 30amp is single 110v leg... 50amp is two 110 legs EACH being 50amps - really 100amp service when using 110 appliances.
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Old 11-28-2016, 12:34 AM   #5
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Not sure which method is superior. You could argue that the pads would work better with direct heat on the tanks.

Our Axis has heated pads but we've never been winter camping enough to have to use them. The coldest weather we've been in was about 40F.
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Old 11-28-2016, 12:42 AM   #6
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We have a 29M and love it!!! Personally I prefer the single wall slide, it gives a LOT of interior space that is usable. Since my wife and I sleep on a king at home we wanted a king in the coach, in reality it's a little smaller than a true king but still big. Since it gets HOT in Texas we have the dual AC, 50 amp service, and 5500 generator. It really boils down to choice, the tanks in both coaches are the same, they just described in different words. You should pick the floor plan that suits you best! I don't think you will be unhappy with either coach! Best of luck, let us know what you decide!
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Old 11-28-2016, 12:46 AM   #7
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50 amp upgrade

Since I will be buying a unit from the dealer, I should ask them if they can upgrade the unit from the 30 amp to 50 amp in their shop? That is possible isn't it? They could tell me NO but if I had the information from you guys that said it was possible, then I could insist on this upgrade. How much would it cost if it was possible?
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Old 11-28-2016, 12:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogday51 View Post
Since I will be buying a unit from the dealer, I should ask them if they can upgrade the unit from the 30 amp to 50 amp in their shop? That is possible isn't it? They could tell me NO but if I had the information from you guys that said it was possible, then I could insist on this upgrade. How much would it cost if it was possible?
Not a dealer upgrade.. Different wiring, transfer switch, breaker box, generator, and adds a second AC on roof.
If buying from dealers stock, it will be as they ordered it.
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Old 11-28-2016, 12:56 AM   #9
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If your coach has dual AC it will come with 50 amp and 5500 gen, if you only have one AC I'm not sure you would really need 50, upgrading would probably be expensive. One quirk of the coaches, the bathroom sink drains in to the black tank which can fill it up kinda fast. We can go about 7-8 days before dumping the dump. Also, the outside kitchen is a Great feature and the BBQ grill that comes with the coach isn't all that bad. The 29M feels like a much bigger coach inside.
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Old 11-28-2016, 02:22 AM   #10
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Model: Hurricane 31S
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Before you buy

Before you obligate yourself to the coach, I would inspect everything very carefully. Open all cabinets, drawers, inspect the installation, open the external covers to the furnace, batteries. Test drive the coach over various roads for more than a few minutes. If you live in a state that has a three day right of rescission, don't hesitate to exercise. It's your money and future happiness that are at stake.

I would avoid the long full slide. Most manufactures, including Thor, are having problems with these slides. We met a couple at the factory who were on their fourth trip to the factory with full side slide issues and the problems had yet to be resolved. The slide opens going down the road, won't open or won't close and gets stuck half way.
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Old 11-28-2016, 06:02 AM   #11
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I as well encourage you to avoid a full wall slide.
The reason is that a coach (any coach even those well over a half million dollar ones) have to flex (twist) due to the roads/campground paths,
All a slide is , is a humongous hole in the side of the coach with nothing to support the roof and floor except the mobile slide and it must have clearance to slide in and out.
And keep in mind that you should consider that there will be times when you will need to camp without the slide(s) extended... with your chosen floor plan is that possible? can you use the galley,get to the bathroom or bedroom without having to extend the slides??
I strongly suggest that you spend a few extra bucks more and get a leveling system,full sine inverter & the largest battery bank & gennie that you can fit in...and make sure that the wife's crock pot will fit in the sink (for slow cooking using said inverter while you are traveling)
Good luck and happy hunting
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Old 11-28-2016, 10:36 AM   #12
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THOR #5196
I disagree about the full wall slide. The coach is built on a steel platform, this is what resists the torquing on rough roads, not the structure on top. I have the construction prints for my coach and know exactly how it is built. Since Thor went to a three rail system there haven't been problems. With the 29M everything is usable even when the slide is closed. There are plenty of rough roads in Texas and we don't have any problems. When opening and closing the slide NEVER stop part way and always hold the button an extra 3-5 seconds after the slide stops. The mechanism counts motor revolutions to stay in synch, not doing the above is what causes slide problems in a Thor.
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Old 11-28-2016, 11:00 AM   #13
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Model: 2016 hurricane 31s
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I have a 2016 hurricane 31s. I sold a 2015 axis because it was total junk, 28 problems , 3 cracked windshields etc. I have two friends with a 29m windsports. they have nothing but problems with the big slide. they advised me to stay away from it. the one I looked at the dealer would not go out straight or return straight. make sure you operate the slides multiple times before buying. my hurricane after 5,000 miles has 0 problems so far. knock on wood ////// lol
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Old 11-28-2016, 05:13 PM   #14
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Model: Hurricane 31S
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chopshop - good luck with your 31S

Chopshop-
Good luck with your Hurricane 31S. We love the floor plan, but are beginning to hate the coach due the problems we have and the complete lack of concern on the part of Thor. We have 9,000 miles with four months of ownership. If we could get the major issues resolved, we can fix or kive with the minor ones.
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Old 11-29-2016, 01:10 AM   #15
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Model: Windsport 31S
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Chopshop, We have a 2016 Windsport 31S and are learning to love it. We've had 2 34ft Bounders, so we're a bit spoiled. I took the coach to the repair facility in Wakarusa, and they were very good, for both the warranty work AND the insurance work (don't ask). We also have 9,000 miles in the 7 months we've been driving it. I didn't opt for the second ac, but wish I would have. The one would not keep up with the heat out west this past summer, in the 100+ temps.
Also, buy local, as authorized repair, i.e. Camping World, will put you at the end of the line. I called mine today and they declared that I can get an appointment at the end of December! !
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Old 12-01-2016, 03:18 PM   #16
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Model: Freedom Elite 30 FE
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Thor Windsport 29M or 34F

I contacted a local dealer in Sherwood, AR. They have a 2016 29M (30amp) or 34F (50amp) that they will sell me at 5% over invoice price. I said I was still looking but it will be sometime after the first of the year before we decide which one to purchase. I have been told that you can get a great deal at one of the RV shows (February RV show in Little Rock and Hot Springs Arkansas). I do have concerns about the one long slide in the 29M but why continue to manufacture them if there are continued problems. I will continue to review any and all comments on this forum before I decide. Thanks
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Old 12-01-2016, 05:11 PM   #17
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Couple of suggestions. First, one AC won't do the job in hot weather. There have been several good changes made to the 2017 models. Depending on where you live in AR and how close you are to a dealer, I would go to MSHRV.com and compare prices, might be worth your drive. As far as the big slide, as long as you follow the instructions for extending and retracting the slide you shouldn't have problems. You should also consider where you will store your coach, do you have enough room for a longer rig?
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Old 12-01-2016, 06:58 PM   #18
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SuperD,

I must respectfully disagree with you on the full side slides. They are causing a number of problems for various manufactures. If you think Thor has a better design and they don't have problems with the slides, you are sadly mistaken.

The three rail system still has problems. While we were at the factory to have problems fixed, which is another story, we met several owners who have ongoing and unsolved problems with full slides. If Thor is telling you they have the solution, I have some ocean front property in Nevada I will sell to you.
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:14 PM   #19
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29M or 31S

I'm now driving a 16 Windsport 31S. Joined a Caravan in July at Grand Canyon and spent 3 weeks in the 4 corners area. I vouch for the requirement for 2 air conditioners, as one doesn't cool enough in 95+ temps. I had ordered mine and didn't realize the difference. In our previous 2 34ft Bounders, one ac unit would be enuf at nite, so I opted for only one in the 31ft Windsport. At the FLRVSUPER Show last January, General RV, the local Thor dealer, came down over $30,000, and I was ordering! Shows are good, but the dealer may not be local, which I learned is NOT good. BTW, we also had tthe factory tour in October and the guide is saying the three tracks on the full slide has solved the problems they encountered early on.
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:30 PM   #20
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Moving, I appreciate and respect your opinion. I have not said there aren't problems, what I said was proper operation can make a difference. The drop down bunk uses the same type mechanism and counts motor revolutions. When operating the slide or the bunk, even the smaller slides on other coaches, you must not stop during the travel, and you must hold down switch 3-5 seconds after motors stop. Many of the problems with all Lippert slides involve not operating correctly. Thor did go to a three rail system which has proven to work better. Like many others I feel there must be a better way of operation but this is what we have. Newell coaches use a ball bearing mechanism that uses one small motor, simple and effective, problem is a Newell costs 2 million dollars! Again, until Thor comes up with something better that's what we have.

P.S. Can't afford any more property right now, just purchased a bridge in San Francisco. Lol
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