First, let me say how much we love our rig. The floor plan is nearly perfect and our Pace Arrow has been super kind to us, allowing us to travel across the country & back. She’s getting older however, and as we look around, there is much to be done. We’re at a crossroads of deciding whether to fix up Crush or start looking to upgrade.
What we have:
2004 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37C (Gas, 30amp)
View of Crush
Major Pain Points:
CCC: Our carrying capacity is crap. I think we figured it out and we can carry 800 pounds. That’s really not too much when you live in an RV. When we first got the rig, I got a little crazy weighing everything and then decided that was for the birds. What we have done is make sure we don’t have a lot of extras, and we distribute the weight as evenly as possible to help with the ride. We also never travel with full tanks, allowing us some weight wiggle room.
Towing Capacity: Our towing capacity is pretty piss poor. We flat tow a Honda CR-V, which is handy, but it only allows us one vehicle. That’s fine when we are traveling, but one of our plans was to travel & work. In Tampa for example, the public transportation is non existent and the traffic is horrid, so it’s harder for me to get a contract. Having another mode of transportation would go a long way & we both miss riding motorcycles. However, without the ability to tow more, that’s not going to happen.
Speed & Handling: Those of you that have diesel rigs that blow by us on hills & on the freeway, we curse you. We of course wave hi & wish you no ill will, but we seriously jealous of the time you make. As a gas rig, there is only so much we can do up hills, and due to our sail of a back end because where the wheel base is located, it’s uncomfortable to go more than 60 MPH. On shorter trips, it hasn’t been a big deal, but when we made the trek to Tampa from SD, it would have been nice to speed up safely.
Fair Weather Only: While our coach was a top of the line Pace Arrow in ’04, it most definitely was not designed for 3-4 season use. Because we are 30 AMP, we are the masters of switches. We can use both AC’s, but nothing else electrical at the same time. We have and can use the microwave, washer / dryer, electric water heater but we only get to choose one. In the summer, once it cools off and we can shut off one AC we can turn on the electric water heater. The biggest pain point is the coach really isn’t meant for shoulder seasons, making extreme temperatures next to impossible, or at the very least, very uncomfortable. This really limits our ability to contract & stay in the coach. When 50 AMP is available, it would be nice to just live, instead of toggling switches.
The places we’ve had to get Crush out of!
Minor Pain Points
Clothes Storage: While we don’t do bad in this area, it would be nice to have more than half a closet & two drawers. We did expand our space by removing the old TV and using that for shoe storage, but it would still be nice to have a bit more room.
Kitchen Storage: On one hand, the storage we have works. I was able to fit in all the essentials, along with some extras. We have our nice knives, 36 spices and even an assortment of baking pans. One of the biggest problems is we heavily use the two dinette storage units and they can be particularly difficult to open & close. I would also like to better organize so it’s not such a process to get something out to use and having a few more dedicated kitchen cabinets would go a long way.
Kitchen Faucet Placement: This sounds a little silly, but we both hate the kitchen faucet placement. It’s so far back across such a deep sink, that my lower back hurts after doing dishes. And when you like to cook & bake like we do, we create a lot dishes!
Outside Storage: The biggest compliant here is how some of the basement doors don’t open all the way. We are often in an odd ‘scrunch’ trying to remove an item and that gets uncomfortable. We’re quite envious of those have have doors that open to the side and trays that roll out.
Lack of Inverter: Since we can’t run standard 120 volt appliances off battery we have severely limited boondocking ability. While I know you can fire up the generator to supply electricity, it is quite loud and negates the quiet you are looking for being in the middle of nowhere.
The time we were next to another Pace Arrow!
What we love & need to find in another coach:
Bathroom Location: We both really like that we don’t have to walk through the bathroom to get to our bedroom. The bath is set aside with a door, and there is a well lit hallway we walk down. Having a separate bath is a must!
Washer/Dryer: We currently have a combo washer/dryer unit. While I would love to have a full washer & dryer, even this model has its perks. It’s nice to be able to throw in a few items, and not have to worry about what was washed previously. When you have sensitive skin, it’s important especially for the delicates!
Glass Storage: We travel with glass and have a bar glass collection. In our current coach, we have a perfect place to store them in the curio cabinet without having to pack them. We’ll need to find an acceptable solution in a newer coach.
Stove: We love cooking with gas and could never buy an all electric coach. Our stove has two large burners and it seems to be common to have a smaller 3 burner stove. We’ll have to do some research on this, but we definitely want a useable stove to cook on and our two burner is our preference.
Generator Auto-start: We added this after the fact, but love the piece of mind this gives us. While we often take Samantha out with us, Jasmine is always left behind. In the hotter weather, we like knowing that if the electric in the park goes out, there is an opportunity for the backup generator to take over.
Length: While we would love to go smaller, but our 37 foot really works. Sure, the larger coaches have a great layout & extra space, but we would limit our ability to visit state parks and that’s a bummer. Smaller coaches would make state park visits even easier, but then we give up things we love like our separate bath & washer/dryer. While we are flexible on the length, our 37 footer has worked well in terms of livability and flexibility.
RV Fridge: When we moved into the RV one of the hard changes was moving into a much smaller fridge. While our coach has a large RV fridge we still miss the space of a full residential fridge. We’re not alone apparently as many people have moved to full residential fridges in motorhomes. We’re conflicted on giving up the ability to run the fridge on propane though.
The biggest challenge will be to find a coach with a near perfect floorplan, in good condition at a good price! We continue to be thankful for the great deal we got on this coach, and would love it if history repeated itself. Anyone have a fabulous coach they want to sell at trade in pricing?
One of our favorite spots Crush made it to in New Mexico
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