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Old 08-18-2013, 01:40 AM   #1
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Hi. I'm new to the forum. My wife and I have been shopping 5th wheels for a while now and are leaning heavily towards a RW. We really like both the 38GK and 36FL. The front living room on the 36FL seems very intriguing, but since we've never owned a 5th wheel before, I'm wondering how it compares in actual use to the more typical front bedroom type layout. I'd really like to hear from some 36FL owners that have previously owned a front bedroom unit of some type.


Another question for 36FL owners: do you see it as much of an issue that you can't get in or out of the bedroom without passing through the bathroom? We have a 17yr old that will be camping with us at times and I have this vision of being trapped in the bedroom




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Old 08-18-2013, 05:10 AM   #2
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My wife and I are front bedroom type of people. One thing that I've always said is that if you're half awake and get up early sometimes I have had visions of missing a step on the way to the galley. Obviously, wouldn't be a good thing.

A bedroom in the back section of the trailer omits that particular issue. You're on the same floor all the way out to the galley. Obviously, I get up earlier then my wife and I make the coffee.

Sorry, can't help ya' with your getting stuck in the bedroom dilemma. I guess........get a front bedroom.

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Old 08-18-2013, 08:12 AM   #3
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We previously owned a front bedroom 5th wheel. We really enjoy the 36FL layout. It provides a "degree of separation" especially with Grand Kids (GKs). You can sit in the kitchen and be in a separate room while the GKs are in the living room watching a movie or vice versa. It is also a nice layout when entertaining. You can set up a buffet on the kitchen counters, and your guests can enjoy all of the space from the kitchen to the living room and have multiple conversations while enjoying a good meal and a cold drink or two We have had as many as 12 folks for dinner and it worked well.As for the being trapped in the bedroom just initiate a schedule or take a movie with you into the bedroom and relax, quiet time is nice.
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:46 AM   #4
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We have a 36FL, but as this is our first RV can't compare the floor plan to the more common front bedroom.

Yes, having to transit through the bathroom to enter/exit the bedroom was an initial concern, but you have to give up something when downsizing to just under 400 sq feet.

In reality we didn't find it an issue and during our maiden voyage we had friends join us for 4 days. No problems were experienced as we discussed the issue and developed a schedule and notification for when the washroom was in use.

I especially like the additional rear door. Even in retirement I still get up early and with the rear door can exit the coach with the dogs without disturbing those that are sleeping in the lounge.

I also agree with Col John's comments regarding the great layout for entertaining.
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:19 AM   #5
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I really can't see a right or wrong layout here. You need to remember that what works for you may not work for someone else.

That being said, we love the layout of our 36FL. It feels more "homey" to us. As the Colonel stated, degrees of separation. Activity can be taking place in the living room while completely separate activity can be taking place in the kitchen area, yet you're still connected.

Additionally, we back in to almost every site and we purposely look for sites that back up to open space as opposed to having another site directly behind us. That affords a sense of privacy that we didn't find in the front BR models. Since we've been known to take a nap or two in the afternoon, the shade for the large BR window can remain open so that we can enjoy the scenery as we doze off. Hopefully, this isn't beginning to sound like a paragraph out of 50 Shades of Gray.

We recently had our daughter, son-in-law and baby grandaughter stay with us. We gave them the BR which helped to protect us from all that baby activity stuff that goes on. Very convenient.

I suppose a layout with the bathroom more removed from the main floor plan would be better. On the other hand, we've had a lot of overnight guests, including our own kids ages 19- 26 that understand there's no "I" when camping. If they need privacy that badly, we send them to the bath house.

The biggest downside of the 36FL is basement storage. I've learned to be extremely creative in how I organize my stuff.
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:16 AM   #6
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Considering the 17 year old, it is my experience that you will be up and at 'em LONG before the teenager We have the FL and are very very pleased with it! You aren't tripping over dogs or feet of guests while moving from "room" to "room". We are full timers.
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:17 AM   #7
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I agree that it is all a matter of preference. One thing we did do was to purchase an inflatable portable bed from frontgate.com that stores in a suitcase, weighs 53lbs, and inflates and deflates with a touch of a switch. Queen size, and when stored fits nicely between the two lounge chairs in the living room. Our 2 grand girls used that all summer and it worked great.
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:19 AM   #8
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We had a TT with a rear bedroom that could trap you back there if someone was using the bathroom. We just had an understanding that you surrendered bathroom privacy and locked doors if the bedroom was occupied.

If you can - spend some time sitting and relaxing in a few floor plans - sometimes brand doesn't even make a difference - and see how they "feel" in your minds.

Try thinking about what it would be like to do different things; relaxing, cooking, laundry, entertaining, quiet time, etc. Sometimes you can find some showstoppers.

We fell in love with a huge rear kitchen 5er once that had an island and slides on both sides of the kitchen, but after sitting in it and mulling things over in our minds, it really was not a real friendly floor plan beyond the kitchen, and all slides had to be open to access the fridge. As it turned out, it was one of the least popular models made and the one we were in had been sitting there for 2 years.
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:52 PM   #9
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Just for the record, please note the 36FL is no longer available. It is now known as a 38FL, which is virtually the same floor plan with some pretty neat changes I think you will like.
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:23 PM   #10
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So the length hasn't changed, just the amenities/layout inside?
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:50 PM   #11
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When it it 110 the divided bathroom allows us to keep the living roon & bedroom COOL with only a small area getting HOT or COLD. THAT BEING SAID, I am a night person, so I get to Watch TV without wife hearing the sound and visa versa for DW.
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:50 PM   #12
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We have the 36 FL and like it over the front bed room that we previously had. The 36FL or 38FL now is like an appartment. You have more of a separation compared to the other lay outs. As far as having to pass through the bathroom to get to the bedroom, don’t you have to on most of the front bedrooms? We full time in ours and a couple things are very nice about the front living. While traveling you will have Full access to the kitchen with the slides in. You will have full access to the bathroom via the rear door with the slides in. You will Not have access to the bedroom with the slides in while traveling. What we do is the wife sleeps in the chair and I sleep on the couch with the slides in while traveling. The other great thing about the FL (Front Living) is heat rises so if you like it cool to sleep it is easier to keep the bedroom at 70 in the back because its lower then the front bedrooms. The other thing with the front living is it feels more open then others that we looked at. With 100 degrees plus temps outside here in Texas we have had no problem keeping the temperatures inside under control. Yep there is just something about the FL that did it for us. Less then 5 foot in the door and the wife said this is it!
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Old 08-22-2013, 11:04 AM   #13
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Thanks to everyone for the helpful responses. We're both leaning towards the 36FL (now 38FL); she just wants to see it one more time.Of course, I'd like to see what the new 38FL looks like before making a final decision. My guess is that we'd be plenty happy with the FL, RL or GK. They're all really nice.
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