Steven & Fran's
2007 Coachmen Chaparral 340 QBS Bunkhouse Fifth Wheel
At the end of 2007 Fran and I bought a new fifth wheel travel trailer.
Our old Prowler Regal fifth wheel served us well for the past 12 years and it was bitter-sweet as we watched the new owners drive it away.
But the old rig was beginning to show it's age and we were feeling cramped... no slide outs. We though it would be better to sell the Prowler while it still had value rather than do the donate car charity thing or haul it to a junk yard. Really though, bottem line, we just wanted a rig that would give us more living space and allow us to continue full time RVing for a few more years.
We had planned to look for a good used trailer as soon as we made the last payment on our truck and we made that payment the first of September and Steven began looking online for a not-too-old bunkhouse fifth wheel. As hard as they are to find on the used market, we found one that looked promising and made arrangements to go look at it. But when Steven called that morning to confirm our appointment the owners said they were having a bad day and asked to postpone a day.
Well, Fran decided since we were all set to go look at RVs that's what we should do so we grab the newspaper and found and ad for a parking lot sale. Needless to say we found our fifth wheel there. It was new and therefore more than we had intended to spend but it was priced right and had a great floor plan. We knew we would surly have to compromise on that floor plan with any used bunkhouse we might find, We couldn't pass it up.
There was also a self imposed time crunch. We were in southern California visiting Fran's Son and family and we only planned to be there a few weeks. Since he has a large back yard it would be ideal if we could use it to make the transfer to a new trailer.
We spent three weeks moving in... sorting an pitching stuff and making modifications to make it 'our' home. It was a lot more work than either of us had imagined. But we're both very happy to be in our new home.
Here it is... our 2007 Coachmen Chaparral 340QBS just after we brought it home.
Here's the 340QBS floor plan. The remodeling took place in the forward bunk room. We removed the two side-wall bunks and the upper forward bunk. We also raised the remaining lower bunk to make more adult friendly.
In place of the to sidewall bunks we installed a small chest of drawers and a computer desk for Fran's computer.
Getting the new house into the backyard.
Old rig parked next to the new one. Made the move a lot easier.
Remodeling the front bunkhouse into Fran's bedroom/office
We knew going in to the purchase that it wasn't the best RV ever made and that's been proven out over the few months we've owned it. There were lots of quality issues that weren't apparent when we did a walk through before purchase. Nothing serious, except for a holding tank leak fixed under warranty.
I've been able to fix whatever else needed attention. But the lack of concern for quality is very apparent when you look behind and under panels etc. In the case of this fifth wheel at least, beauty is really only skin deep.
Buying an RV is an act of compromise. For us, a floor plan we really liked was a factor, but the big compromise was price verses quality. While paying more doesn't always get you real quality, paying less hardly ever does. That said, we feel we paid a fair price and got what we paid for. Overall, we like our fifth wheel.