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Old 07-25-2016, 05:35 AM   #1
Kenleys Oompah
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M.O.C. #18656
Islands in the way

I've had my Montana since 2009, and I'd like to upgrade to a newer model, but most of the 5ers I've seen have either a food prep or galley sink island that obstructs access to the refrigerator or prevents me from walking the length of the cabin when the slides are in. When we travel, we usually stay in free parking and don't want to put out the slides.

My unit has no island; I use a small butcher block table in the galley which I can slide all the way to the rear when on the road. We can use the galley for food prep and eating, and I can sit on the sofa to read with the slides in.

When we were in Quartzsite last January, we toured many units at the RV show and carious dealers in town. I looked at one smaller SOB that looked like it would be OK, but when I tried to open the refrigerator door, I was amazed to note that, had the designer moved the island LESS than an inch aft, the door would have opened. Instead, the door opened about eight inches and whacked up against the island.

Does this bother anyone besides me, or am I being unrealistic to expect freedom of movement in the cabin of my 5er whether or not the slides are out?

2006 Mountaineer 329RLT
2011 Ford F-250 Lariat 6.7
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Old 07-25-2016, 05:53 AM   #2
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I can see your point about the inch ... bad design, but with many of today's fivers with multiple opposing slides, you can't walk the length of the unit anyways. Fortunately my 3150 has the fridge right across from the entry door for easy access. There's a boatload of fivers with either opposing slides, L shaped kitchens, or island kitchens that limit what can be accessed ... it seems to be the current trend. I put some blocking valves in my hydraulic system so I can choose which slide(s) I want to go out and which slide(s) stays. Some of the newer electric slide models are that way as designed. I've stayed for "free" a few times along our travels, but there are two opposing camps on this practice and I just can't fiure out which I'm in.
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Old 07-25-2016, 06:15 AM   #3
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Even my 2007 Montana with no island, I could not walk from the entry door to my fridge area. I had to add a swivel to my dining table so that it could be turned to allow room to pass between the table and the kitchen counter. Swivels were later added to the tables as standard.

But yes, each time I look at new floorplans the first thing I look at is access to bathroom (1st) and fridge (2nd), and rest of trailer (3rd). But with all the nice features they are putting in them now, it is getting harder and harder. I agree, the ability to select and move individual slides helps a lot.
Bill & Patricia

2007 3075RL
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Old 07-25-2016, 06:26 AM   #4
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Ours has the L shaped counter design and we stay "free" whenever we move. The bathroom and 1/2 the fridge are accessible when the slides are in. What we didn't think about when we bought was that the bedroom isn't so we always have the one slide out.
Dick, Joyce, Diego, Picatso and Gustav
2017 3720 RL, MorRyde pin box
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Old 07-25-2016, 06:30 AM   #5
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I can get to the fridge and the bathroom on mine but nothing else. No living, dining or bedroom.
Walt and Carol Ashley, with fond memories of Bailey the Chesapeake! Land O Lakes, FL
2009 Big Sky 365REQ 10th Anniversary Edition
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Old 07-25-2016, 06:54 AM   #6
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We can get to half the fridge, both bathrooms and climb up onto the bed. That's about it.
Mike and Lorraine
2002 3655 FL, 2005 3650RK
2010 3665RE, 2015 3910FB
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Old 07-25-2016, 07:05 AM   #7
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I can get to the fridg both doors, bath room and bed room with all the slides in. Can't get to the back of the rig unless I put one of the slides out a bit.

I am in the camp that beleaves in staying in a camp ground. I like the safety and being able to have hookups. I have about $110,000.00 invested in my truck and rig, I can afford to pay for a CG. I am not going to park in a Walmart or truck stop where there is a lot of transit traffic. Walmarts are inheritly dangerous (I know some will say they are safe) BULL. Truck stops are crazy what with trucks coming and going plus refer trucks running all night. Nope I like glamping. Again JMHO
Wayne and Ann Moore
2015 Ford F-350 King Ranch
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Old 07-25-2016, 07:36 AM   #8
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My friend just bought a beautiful 2016 Jayco 341 North Point that has an island but the residential huge frig can be opened with slides in. I have a 358 Mountaineer 2013 with island and we can access the frig anytime. I think they still have a 3582 Montana with the island but a different design of the bathroom. I love the island that you can walk all the way around and wouldn't do without it. If I were buying again I would buy the Jayco because it has several other great features but I love my Montana and hopefully this one will take us on out of here. Lol.
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Old 07-25-2016, 08:43 AM   #9
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We can get to the frig but can't get the the bathroom with slides in. We did not think about the bathroom access when we purchased (just slipped our minds) but we can live with it. We can bump the slide out a little if we need to.

We have camped overnight in a Walmart parking lot before and it is nice to know it is available if needed, but we prefer a campground. We always plan our trips so that we have campground reservations wherever we are supposed to stop for the night. If there is an emergency and we have to stop somewhere unplanned...we hope to be able to make last minute reservations somewhere....if not...We are pulling our house behind us so....Walmart, Truck stop...wherever (as long as it is safe) will do.
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Old 07-25-2016, 10:27 AM   #10
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quote:Originally posted by DQDick

Ours has the L shaped counter design and we stay "free" whenever we move. The bathroom and 1/2 the fridge are accessible when the slides are in. What we didn't think about when we bought was that the bedroom isn't so we always have the one slide out.
Same here, but we don't have a double door refer, so the whole thing is accessible. I've looked at many newer models and it seems today's designers just don't give a crap about what an owner can use while on the road or overnighting somewhere the slides can't be put out. Really not smart on their part.
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Old 07-25-2016, 10:58 AM   #11
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One thing I look at can I get to the fridge and the bathroom while traveling but I travel a lot and camp a little. If I camped a lot that would be less important.
Lynwood Harrell
323 RL HC 2008 F250
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Old 07-25-2016, 11:42 AM   #12
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Go to a large rv show, such as tampa (fl), pomona (la), etc so that you can see and tour several hundred or more rvs at a time...across all manufacturers. That will let you compare build quality as well as design features and layouts. John
2012 F350 6.7 L dually, 2013 3800RE with 6 pt leveling, Sumitomo 17.5" load range h tires, Samsung 18 cu ft residential fridge, 8k Morryde I.S. with disc brakes. Full timing since 2012.
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Old 07-26-2016, 06:51 AM   #13
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We have the 2014 331rlt and the island is movable. they only made this one year and we love it. We just push the island to one side and we can put a banquet table in our unit long enough to seat 12 people. I don't know why they quit on this model because we consider it one of the best designs that Montana came up with.
2017, 3500 Ram Big Horn, 4x4, Crew Cab, DRW, Aisin, 4:10. Curt Q20, 2014 Mountaineer 331 RLT, Sailun.
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Old 07-26-2016, 08:06 AM   #14
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With slides in on our 2014 3100RL, we can access the bedroom but not the closet, the bathroom, the kitchen including refer. Can also get to the couch but cannot step on the slide floors when they are in. We spent almost 2 years looking before we bought this one and are glad we did. Among other things in addition to the above, the bathroom door swings into the bathroom so don't have to go down steps when coming from the bedroom. It isn't the biggest or fanciest but it works great for us.
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