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Old 08-15-2012, 07:50 AM   #1
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New Fulltime in 3100RL

We're looking at the Montana 3100RL and wanted feedback from owners about what you love, what you're unhappy with, any advice, etc. In fact any advice from other owners is also welcomed. We are retiring in about a year and plan to go fulltime. We camped for years in a TT until about 15 years ago when the kids became very involved in summer sports. We have also joined my fulltiming folks in their motorhome during the last 15 years. My husband has pulled lots of trailers with a gooseneck so should be very comfortable with a 5th but we're totally new at choosing one, deciding on what options to choose, picking a hitch, etc. I've been reading online to try to learn from others with much more experience. Anything you can share would be appreciated.
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:24 AM   #2
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We have the 3402 RL same as the 3400rl I think but with the extra vanity/sink in the bedroom Which is SOOO cool when you each have seperate sinks and we have the leather furn option I did not think I would like it but Dang it looks good and it is comfortable for me I'm 6-4 230 lbs other people here said they did not like it but anyway just my 2 cents Also you gotta get the 6 point level -up NICE!!! and the upgrade to goodyear G614' tires
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:27 AM   #3
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Probably your best bet is to just sort of review the various categories that might interest you. There is a lot of good reading. The search engine may help you some but don't rely too much on it. Good luck and welcome. Dennis
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:00 PM   #4
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As you are doing, first find a floor plan that you can really see yourselves living in. Not just in good weather, but what do you do on rainy days. As mentioned level up and G614 tires are something you will wish you had done if you don't get them up front. Also you will want double pane windows and most likely two air conditioners.
Dick, Joyce, Diego, Picatso and Gustav
2017 3720 RL, and 2013 HC 343RL
Pullrite Hitch, IS, Disk Brakes, 3rd AC, Winegard Traveler, Bathroom door mod, Dometic 320, couch for desk swap, replaced chairs, sun screens, added awnings, etc.
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:23 AM   #5
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X2 what Dick said.
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:42 AM   #6
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X3 on what Dick said. Upgraded tires, Level-Up system, dual pane windows help cut noise down a lot even if some say they don't really insulate that much, and fireplace for a good space heater so you don't use up your propane. Find a floorplan you think you like and then just spend as much time as you can in it on a lot and sit, and move around with the spouse to see if you can function in it.
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Old 08-16-2012, 03:23 AM   #7
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Agreed with everything said. In addition, check out the counter space and make sure it fits your needs for prepareing meals and such. We had the small Montana, the 2955RL, we liked the floor plan, but living in it all winter we realized we just didn't have enough counter space. So now we have an SOB with a nice big Island counter making life much easier.
Michelle & Ann
2018 Chevy 3500HD High Country DRW 4X4 Crew Cab w/Duramax/Allison, Formally 2010 Montana 2955RL, Now Loaded 2016 SOB, Mor/ryde IS, Disc Brakes & Pin Box, Comfort Ride Hitch, Sailun 17.5 Tires.
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Old 08-16-2012, 06:43 AM   #8
Steve and Susie
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I agree with all the previous comments. We couldn't be more happier with our Monty. Going from 27 ft Sierra with one super slide, to the 37 ft Monty with 3 slides was the best move anyone could have ever made. One big plus, was we added two slides, and 10 ft, but went from steel construction to aluminum and only gained 1200 lbs, which kept us within the limits of our chevy gas club cab, camper special pick up. We travel a lot in our music and are always getting ready for the gigs in the Monty. The extra sink in the bathroom along with the one next to the shower is a great plus for us getting ready for shows. The large living room and kitchen area is great for after shows guests which always happens. The one and only draw back I found, was needing a small step ladder to put the awning out or in, as I'm not tall enough to reach the front awning arm. I hate to even say anything about our purchase. It was a one owner unit, older people, no smoking or pets. They used it 3 months and he had a heart attack and passed away. All she wanted to do was get rid of it, and I made a comment of a cash price, and she said "done". I about fell over, and in looking at prices, it was less than 1/3 the going rate. All our Friends have labeled us thieves, but I tried to back out tell the lady it was worth much more, she said no, I just want it gone and you will give it a good home. Nothing more than just right place right time. Okey, enjoy your new unit and welcome to the MOC. Happy Trails, Steve and Susie
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:40 AM   #9
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Be sure to access stove, refrigerator ,bathroom and dining table with slides closed.
Congrats &wecome to th best forum on the net!
2010 3150RL
LevelUp, Dual 6 volt batteries, Progressive Industries EMS HW50C, Honda EU2000i Generator, Bridgestone Duravis R250 tires, Torklift Glowstep Revolution Stairs, LED Tail lights
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:38 PM   #10
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You asked about the 3100RL specifically so thought I'd answer since we have a 2011 model. This is our second new Montana which we ordered in early March of 2011 and took delivery on March 30 2011. Although not fulltime we did spend 7 consecutive months in the unit during 2011, and are in our 8th consecutive month so far this year.
We ordered it from the factory with slide toppers and a second fantastic fan (bathroom) larger refer, and fireplace. The level up system wasn't an option when we ordered, but is now. I probably would have ordered it at the time if possible. Another option that's now available is a cabinet on wheels to extend the counter top. We've seen one, but elected not to order it because we found on with more features at Wal-Mart for $119. When traveling we store 2 of the dining chairs upside down and secured with a strap around the sofa. We then secure the roll around cabinet with a strap around the table where the dining chairs were previously. The bathroom and bedroom are accessible with the slides closed. You can either put out the door side slide part way for kitchen and living room access or do as we do and simply hop up on the counter, swing your knees around to the kitchen side and hop down for access to the appliances.
Additions weíve made include a 2000 watt inverter, four 12v AGM batteries at 104 amps each, 2 Honda 2000 watt generators, 45 gallon water bladder and 12v pump for those boondocking times, of which there are many.
Our prior unit, a 1999 2850RK was never back for warranty issues, nor has this rig been to date. We've had a few minor issues that I corrected myself for less than $100 total. Much less than fuel costs back to the dealer.
In summation, we love the layout and hope you are as happy with your decision!
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:17 AM   #11
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For Fulltiming, you need to research legal residency options, mail forwarding options, and ability to set up all finances and personal bills for on-line payment and service. We did not think through that before starting fulltiming, and had to play catchup.
Mike and Lorraine
2002 3655 FL, 2005 3650RK
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Old 08-19-2012, 02:28 PM   #12
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We also have a 2012 3100RL model and just love the floor plan. It gives us a lot of room to move around in and not bump into each other. We also have a Choclate Lab and he is 110 lbs. so he takes up a lot of room when he lays down and spreads out. We never have to step over him. We picked this floor plan due to the openness and the more private bathroom. We also love the side stairs to the bedroom that way no one can see up into the bedroom (Especially if we forget to make the bed).
Our privious Montana was a 2004 2980RL and this one is far more roomier. Good luck on your decision and enjoy yourselves.
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Old 08-20-2012, 03:20 PM   #13
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We took delivery of our 2012 3100RL in Feb. We are weekend warriors at this point. Hope to extend our trips as we approach "retirement". As for this unit...WE LOVE IT!!! We were looking at the 3400RL but when we walked in to the 3100 we were sold. We really like the open floor plan in the kitchen. A little less counter space but it is plenty adequate. We have had only a few minor adjustments up to this point. The automatic level system is worth the $$. Very pleased with the overall quality of the Monty. We have the second AC unit and I think it is worth it but... it does add to the listed height. We measure 13' 4". The specs say 12' 9". Be careful if you get the 2nd ac. You can't look at too many units to try to figure out how YOU will live in YOUR unit. FP, larger refrig, slide toppers, convection micro, W/D prep, leather sofa and chairs, etc. All nice upgrades that make the unit more enjoyable. Happy shopping and camping in your future.
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Old 08-20-2012, 03:53 PM   #14
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Agree on the G614 tires. We have a 2012 3582 and chose it for several reasons. Access to the frig and head with the slides closed. My wife liked the large kitchen with countertops. She also like the 2 sinks and the larger shower/tub. Our dealer gave us a great suggestion as we considered several floorplans, spend several hours in the unit trying to imagine how you would use the space. I would not ever have a unit without the autolevel option.

This is a great forum for experiences and other thoughts. Good luck on your choice.
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Old 08-26-2012, 11:04 AM   #15
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quote:Originally posted by Searchers

Another option that's now available is a cabinet on wheels to extend the counter top. We've seen one, but elected not to order it because we found on with more features at Wal-Mart for $119. When traveling we store 2 of the dining chairs upside down and secured with a strap around the sofa. We then secure the roll around cabinet with a strap around the table where the dining chairs were previously.
Searchers thank you so much taking the time to write your thoughts down. We just bought a 3100RL and we were wondering how someone would secure what we affectionately call the 'roll-away battering ram'. Thanks so much for the great idea! My husband will be thrilled at your ingenuity!

We have not taken ownership of our 3100RL yet...tomorrow...but we decided even though it is a little shorter than another one we were looking at it is more than enough trailer for us with a 6 yr old and two dogs. We like to go to campsites that dont' have many spots that would accommodate an almost 40' long trailer. So this is the best of both worlds for us...creature comforts/quality...shorter and lighter length. Best of luck on your decision. It can be a taxing one but you will be so excited when you finally decide!
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:59 PM   #16
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I can't thank everyone enough for all the great information. You. Fought up many things we hadn't considered and some reinforcement on a few of our thoughts. Wish we could get on the road now rather than in a year but it's best to plan well. I'll be searching the archives and coming up with other pleas for input from those of you who have been there, done that. Thanks!
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:10 PM   #17
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Good luck with your search! Please do NOT hesitate let us know if you have any questions! We had a lot of help deciding what model was perfect for us too.
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:24 AM   #18
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We got our 3100 on October 26th and are heading out on a 10 day maiden voyage over Christmas. Re really like the open layout,separate bath and the length. We're in TX do the 2 air conditioners were must have and while we thought the fireplace was an extra that would just take up space, it adds a lot to the feel.

We traded in a 40' Cameo, really nice unit, but was really over the top for us, it was heavy, and plusher than our house. Made me worry too much. Towing the 3100 is a breeze. We transferred 2 lifeline batteries (300ah) and the G614 tires from the Cameo to the Montana. I too hop on counter and slide thru to get to the refer when the slides are in. Haven't tried it but you can lock the 2 other slides and just open the DS slide.

Our plans are to get a Yamaha 2000 generator and inverter. Not sure where/how to put an inverter because the power center is by the entry door and the batteries are in the front. Still trying to figure out how long it would take to charge the batteries and may look at some type of solar depending on how often we are without electric hookups.

Have not been able to exactly determine how the 93 gal of grey water is split between the 2 tanks. It appears that the grey tank for the shower is the same size as the black tank (50 gal) so that would make the galley 42 gal. The black and shower tanks are side by side. I measured the tanks, the best I could, and would seem logical, so when they were building it would make it easier.

I'm retiring at the end of 2013 and like Skeeters will spend several months out, running away from the TX summer heat!

Enjoy the journey, it's fun, and wishing you the best.

Scott & Fran
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Old 12-15-2012, 03:45 AM   #19
Wayne and Carolyn Mathews
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Even though you seem to have decided on your floor plan, which is a GOOD one, I like DQDick's suggestion about taking time to consider what you will be doing in your rig. We "played house" in various floor plans for several months before settling on a floor plan we thought would work for us. That playing paid off, because after living for 3 years in our rig, we are still glad we picked the 3585SA floor plan with the rear kitchen and big living area. By playing house, I mean we'd go inside a rig on a dealer's lot, sit/walk around for a while, and imagine doing things like watching TV, cooking, paying bills, hanging out on days when we couldn't go outside, etc. I pictured where I'd store various appliances, my computer and printer, extra clothes, and other things. (That basement storage, no matter how large, fills up in a hurry if you're fulltiming.)

Playing house helped us discover things we liked about a floor plan, and things that we didn't like, such as not having a comfortable area for 2 people to watch television, not being able to watch television with an unobstructed view, not enough windows, not having enough cabinet storage in the kitchen and/or bathroom, and no place to walk if we had another person or couple staying in the RV with us. A friend, for example, had an RV with a floor plan that turned out to be totally unsuitable for what he primarily used his rig for--taking grandkids with him to camp. Once the fold-out bed was opened, there was no way to get from the bedroom or bathroom to the living area and kitchen of the rig without climbing over that bed. (He's traded that rig in for one that is more "fold-out bed friendly.")

Having shared what we did before we bought our Montana, I feel sure you've already done most, of not all, of what I suggested. I know many people who own and fulltime in the 3100RL, and it's perfect for their needs. Bottom line: You'll be living in it, so go with the plan that fits YOUR needs.

Park hosting at the Matagorda Bay Nature Center RV Park, Site 31
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:56 AM   #20
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2 AC units and G rated tires a must. i'd also say buy used and try it out for a year or two and then upgrade.

don't really need double pane glass windows.

if you get a truck, get a diesel one ton...can't image all of us who should have gotten a one ton.

fulltiming is really two types as i see it. the ones that move around frequently and then the others who may not move or move just once or twice a year.... which one will you be?

if you sell everything then get an address in SD, florida or texas. we use SD at works for us and they do everything you need.
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