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Old 07-14-2018, 04:00 PM   #1
Back2PA
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Making the move from motorhome to FW, Montana maybe?

Hello all, new member, long time RVer. Currently fulltiming in a Dutch Star, making the move in the Spring to a FW. Front runners are the Montana 3400RL and the Everest 344J. You'll see from those two that they are quite similar layouts so that's pretty much what I'm looking for. Would love to hear comments from owners as to what they like, and what they have found they don't like, about each of these. For example, I'm concerned about the fact that the washer plumbing is in the large wardrobe in the Everest, thereby taking up lots of space there once installed (will definitely be installing a combo washer). Thanks
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Old 07-14-2018, 04:43 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Forum! As you look around here keep in mind that this is primarily a place for folks to get help and ideas so don't get the idea Montana's have more problems than other brands. Many of us have had multiple Montanas and are very happy with them. There are thousands and thousands of members here so the problems aren't real common.
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Old 07-14-2018, 04:51 PM   #3
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My family has two 2018: 3791RD and 3790RD. Purchased from CW in Myrtle Beach SC.
Super happy with the both 5th Wheels as well as CW. A few minor issues but nothing we could not handle.
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Old 07-22-2018, 03:25 PM   #4
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My family has two 2018: 3791RD and 3790RD. Purchased from CW in Myrtle Beach SC.
Super happy with the both 5th Wheels as well as CW. A few minor issues but nothing we could not handle.
I bought my last 3 units at CW in Myrtle! Sean Kwant or Suzie are the best. Have had great service at the 544 location and finding it just as good at the 501 location. Much easier to get a 43' 5er moved around at 501.
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Old 07-14-2018, 05:01 PM   #5
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Understand completely. I've been in and out of RVs for 40+ years so I get it. Nevertheless, I would like hearing what problems others have had; I think I'm fairly well able to discern whether those issues sound brand specific or not. But more than that, I'm actually looking for more subjective input, little design issues (such as floorplan, cabinet layout, how much room there is around the toilet, whatever) that have turned out to be an irritant. The point of this question is that I *think* I have pretty well determined the basic layout I like, but others may have some comments and/or suggestions about things I haven't thought about. Using my example of the washer plumbing for the Everest in the wardrobe, did other Montana owners have similar concerns and therefore go Montana vs Everest.

Another example, one that actually brought me here, was I read comments elsewhere that Montanas have an unusually high rate of tire failure. Is that internet rumor or have others had problems as well?
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Old 07-14-2018, 05:46 PM   #6
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Never having owned either, but very familiar with the 3400, I did have to Google the Everest 344J. Turns out it has a similar floor plan to the 3400. The location of the washer/dryer being the major difference.

Many models of Montanas have the washer/dryer in the bedroom. The 3400 was one of the exceptions. Despite being one of Montanas best selling and popular models, the geniuses at the mothership decided to discontinue the 3400 a few years ago. But then the whole Everest line, including the 344J, disappeared around 2009 (??). I conclude you are looking at used versions of these RVs rather than new.

As for tires, Montana, just like its competitors, have become heavier and heavier over time. The vendor tended to install the cheapest tire they could find. After many complaints, Montana, and others, have started using Sailun tires in an attempt to stay inexpensive but have a quality tire. Tires are a concern on any 15,000+ lb. RV.
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Old 07-14-2018, 06:25 PM   #7
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We are on our second Montana. The first was a 06 3400 and the present one is a 13 3402 which is a very similar floor plan. We are long timers and do many, many miles a year.

The 2006 3400 served us well as is the 2103 3402 Big Sky. The wife picked these floor plans as according to her tape measure the floor plan provided the most counter space and inside storage. Problems sure you have been around RV'ing long enough to unders tand it is industry wide.

The tire problem is also industry wide but Montana is doing better now days. The 13 3402 Big sky was OEM with G614 Goodyears.

As pointed out the 3400 is no longer made but the 3400 is for all purposed the same floor plan. I could never understand why they made both. The Everest is also no longer produced.IMO the Everest was a near duplicate of the Montana line but the "Everest" name was not a good seller.

Both the 3400 and the 3402 have the W/D ins the pantry closet to the right of the entry door. We had the splendide W/D in both units.It does take away some floor space in the pantry but we added shelving above the W/D and it works out.The location of the W/D was a primary selling point for the 3400 and the 3402. The W/D in the wardrobe was a complete turn off for us.Good luck

On edit I assume you are from Butler. PA.New Castle, PA is my hometown but we now live in Ohio. We have family in Butler.
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Old 07-14-2018, 07:02 PM   #8
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richfaa, in AZ now, Florida for the winter then W PA near Butler for the summer. I have family near there as well. You've kinda answered my question on the Everest WD location, and I wondered if there was any space in the 3400 with a Splendide in the pantry area - like the idea of shelves above.


carl n susan, yes budget says used, and actually for the floorplan I want it seems its an older out of favor floorplan. Been in some nice new ones just poking around, haven't seen one where the floorplan works although I'm sure it's out there). Must haves: large U shaped kitchen, built-in desk, large proper sofa, large dinette with leaves, no sitting bench in bedroom (waste of space in my opinion), gas oven and fridge - in other words a 3400 ;-) (or the Everest, but again, not liking the washer location).

Why is the Montana so much heavier than the Everest? Almost same size. Does look like some is available cargo capability but empty trailer weighs 1,000 pounds more. The new trucks have huge capability, but go back into the 2000s and even the duallies come up short for some of these heavy trailers.
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Old 07-14-2018, 07:27 PM   #9
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Dutch Star is a nice Motorhome. Good luck with your research.
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Old 07-14-2018, 07:41 PM   #10
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Back2PA. Depends on the year 2006 3400 Montana had 6K axles 2007 3400 had 7k axles; GVW went from about 13500 to 15,500. We have 3 shelves above the W/D in the pantry. there is plenty of storage space. BTW the 3402 is a near duplicate of the 3400 and can be purchased used. From your post you seem to favor the 3400 floor plan.Take a look at the 3402 Floor plan and you will note is is near identical.

We also winter in Florida near Disney world.
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Old 07-14-2018, 07:46 PM   #11
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Back2PA. Depends on the year 2006 3400 Montana had 6K axles 2007 3400 had 7k axles; GVW went from about 13500 to 15,500. We have 3 shelves above the W/D in the pantry. there is plenty of storage space. BTW the 3402 is a near duplicate of the 3400 and can be purchased used. From your post you seem to favor the 3400 floor plan.Take a look at the 3402 Floor plan and you will note is is near identical.

We also winter in Florida near Disney world.
Are you suggesting the 3402 because it has advantages, or just as an additional alternative? Just looked at the floorplan and it looks almost identical as you say, except it has a tub.

I'll be in north central FL, about halfway between Jacksonville and Tallahassee
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:12 PM   #12
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Are you suggesting the 3402 because it has advantages, or just as an additional alternative? Just looked at the floorplan and it looks almost identical as you say, except it has a tub.

I'll be in north central FL, about halfway between Jacksonville and Tallahassee
You seemed to favor the 3400 which is no longer produced and the 3402 is near identical.The 3402 does have a 2nd bathroom which was a advantage for us as it keeps the "guy stuff" out of the way from the "girl stuff" The separate bathroom is were the john is located and a sink and vanity. Very handy.

We are really not up with the latest models. This 2013 is the last RV we will have.
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:36 PM   #13
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You seemed to favor the 3400 which is no longer produced and the 3402 is near identical.The 3402 does have a 2nd bathroom which was a advantage for us as it keeps the "guy stuff" out of the way from the "girl stuff" The separate bathroom is were the john is located and a sink and vanity. Very handy.
.
When you say 2nd bathroom, you mean it has a second sink in with the toilet, correct? That's my current setup as well. While the second vanity sink in the bedroom is sort of handy, since it's just my "guy stuff" I could do without the second sink if it means more room for something else (such as drawers, cabinet, etc). I'd actually prefer to keep the sink with the toilet, which is the one I use the most, and get rid of the vanity sink in the bedroom, but of course they do it the other way around

Had a look, there are eight 3402s for sale on RV Trader, but at nearly double what a 3400 runs.
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:54 PM   #14
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Two bathrooms refers to a floorplan like our 3910 with a bathroom upstairs ( two sinks in ours) and a half bath (sink and toilet) downstairs.
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Old 07-15-2018, 12:06 PM   #15
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Check out the 3455sa. I can get to the bathroom/ fridge/bedroom with the slides in. It also has I side isle bathroom with shower/toilet/sink in one room (which we like as opposed to having the shower in the bedroom). U shaped counter with lots of counter and cabinet space. W/D hook ups are in the bedroom closet though.
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Old 07-15-2018, 12:35 PM   #16
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Check out the 3455sa. I can get to the bathroom/ fridge/bedroom with the slides in. It also has I side isle bathroom with shower/toilet/sink in one room (which we like as opposed to having the shower in the bedroom). U shaped counter with lots of counter and cabinet space. W/D hook ups are in the bedroom closet though.

Thanks. I do like the bathroom setup better, but not fond of the desk in the kitchen.
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Old 07-15-2018, 07:40 PM   #17
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I'm looking at various years 3400RLs from about 2006-2011. It's very difficult to tell but on some the large (starboard) LR slide seems quite a bit smaller than others, using the size of the couch to try and determine. Some of the couches look more like love seats but could be poor photography (which is prevalent!) Are these slides in various years all the same length, and how do they compare to the Everest 344J? Thanks
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2009 Montana 3400RL couch screenshot.jpg (119.5 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg 2008 Everest 344J couch screenshot.jpg (244.6 KB, 5 views)
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:27 PM   #18
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Another question, I have an Engel freezer in my basement which I am desperately hoping to move to the FW. My plan based just on looking at pictures is to place it in the generator compartment but I don't know if it will fit. The backup plan is to place it in the large compartment but that will create big access problems (i.e., one side will be completely blocked, if it will fit at all). I'd be very appreciative if folks could post the size of their forward compartment opening and depth of compartment. Thanks
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Old 07-18-2018, 03:33 PM   #19
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Yea, I don't like the desk set up either. I just use the dinning table for that purpose. I took out the desk chair to utilize that space to store larger items like cases of beer or water etc.

I can not be certain, but I believe most of the dinning slides are around the same width. And yes, its more like a love seat than a couch. I removed mine and replaced it with a futon for easier set up of an extra bed. If we have someone staying with us I move the futon to the back and put the rockers where the futon was. I also put a curtain pole across so they can have some privacy.

I measured my 2011 3455sa,s front compartment opening, its 36 wide x 26 tall. The depth of the floor is only 22 or so. I seriously doubt you could put anything larger than a mini fridge in there.
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Old 07-18-2018, 06:15 PM   #20
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The sofa in our 13 3402 is 71 inches long and was the same in our 06 3400. We have a fridge in our side compartment in the 13 3402 it is 30 inches tall and easily fits .It would not fit in the front compartment.
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