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Old 04-02-2024, 09:56 PM   #1
crimsonclint
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Join Date: Apr 2024
Posts: 1
Intro - brand new to campers

Hello all!

I am a recent Air Force retiree ('22) with a passion for travel. Our family of four (and 2 pups) is embarking on a year-long full-time camping journey starting roughly in June. We have everything but the camper at this point so I am hoping to get some good pointers or perspectives from this community.

We currently have a '17 F-350 DRW and a place to park the camper long-term after our year on the road (a lot down near Gulf Shores, AL).

Our current favorites among brands/models:
Alliance Paradigm 395DS (newer floorplan - a little pricey)
Keystone Avalanche 390DS (looking 1-2 yr old used - wife is concerned with drop frame in rear)
Jayco North Point 377RLBH (maybe my favorite '21 and up)
Jayco Eagle 355MBQS (found a fair-priced one w/ loads of extras)

Happy to hear thoughts/critiques of our choices so far.
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Old 04-15-2024, 04:11 PM   #2
bmanz
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Join Date: May 2020
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I looked at a number of makes & models. It all came down to a floor plan that worked for me. I ended up with a Jayco Eagle and I am very happy with it. Just below the North Point which is Jayco’s top of the line. I think the build quality is a little better with Jayco.
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Old 05-18-2024, 09:28 AM   #3
DutchmenSport
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Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Near Anderson, Indiana
Posts: 25
Avalanche is a good model and you'll really, really enjoy that rear door off the bathroom.

I (personally) do not like the floor plan of the Paradigm compared to the Avalanche and here's why. First, I like that back door in the Avalanche a lot more than the Paradigm that has no door. Second, the kitchen is more open in the Avalanche. When using the stove in the Paradigm, you ARE going to be claustrophobic! It's a very small space and definitely, 2 people cannot stand side by side. The kitchen sink is there also limiting counter space. You WILL not like that at all. It' is claustrophobic and tight when actually using that space. The Avalanche is much more open and the Island is easily accessible on both sides.

I had to look up the Jayco model. The living room and kitchen are more accessible and more open. I think you'll like that. Most of your time is going to be spent in those areas, so you'll appreciate the open feeling.

The middle room, bunk room / office / bed room is an interesting feature. I've seen several models with the middle room and I'm kind of indifferent to the idea. Some things you do need to consider about that model. The room is on a slide and it looks like the beds are bunks. Can the bunks be used if the slide is in the "in" position. Another thing to consider is, how hot and how cold is that room in the heat of the Summer or the cold of Winter (depending on how you plan on using it). Is the room going to be used by kids, or just as a bonus room for you. (It's something to consider carefully).... although, if you have kids, it is nice to tuck them away in their own "space".

The Jayco also has the middle "bunk room", some thoughts apply.


In my opinion, it's a toss up between the Jayco and the Avalanche, it all depends upon if you want that back door.

Personally, .... the Avalanche has a full size bed for a second bed room. The Jayco has smaller bunks in the middle room. Who is going to use that bedroom space, kids, a boy, a girl, both, other adults, or is this just simply an extra room for storage and an occasional guest.

If that is the case, then I vote for the Avalanche. The second bed is much more becoming, the rear door is attractive, the kitchen space is open, and the island makes easy access. (The trade off is, the actual living room space is smaller. There is only a double seater couch and no where else for other people to sit except at the free standing dining room table.

But, the dining room table and chairs can be removed and you could slide another small couch or recliner in that space. We removed our free standing kitchen table and chairs and use that space for other purposes. We never sat at the table anyway for meals. In my opinion, the kitchen table is a total waste of space. We eat outside or small TV try folding tables in the living room area.

My thoughts: Go for the Avalanche.

(Have you considered a front living room model.).... one problem you will have with a front bedroom is the difference in temperature between the upper floor and the lower floor, especially with the door closed. The upper will be hot in the Summer and Cold in the Winter when the bottom level is comfortable. With a front living room model, there is no wall between the two levels. The temperature difference is minimal.

Good luck in your decision.. In the end, it's YOUR decision. All 4 models are worthy competitors.
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