By Steve Sansford
Winnebago Vista 31BE
There are few names as synonymous with RVing as Winnebago. They’ve been building RVs in Iowa since 1958 and their recently redesigned Vista 31BE reflects Winnebago’s 60 years of experience. The Vista 31BE one of the more functional floorplans in a family sized Class A motorhome. The bunk beds provide plenty of sleeping space for the kids, although they’re still likely to fight over who gets to sleep in the retractable StudioLoft bed over the cab. The full-wall slide on the Vista 31BE adds a tremendous amount of room to the living areas. The kitchen area is compact, but the clever use of an L-shaped counter allows for easy access to the double sink and three-burner stove, even with the slide-out retracted. The bathroom is also spacious, with a walkthrough design allowing access to the master stateroom, with it’s queen-sized bed, when the slide-out is closed.
Thor A.C.E. 30.2
Thor Motorcoach had a goal of combining the east-to-drive features of a Class C with the spaciousness and capabilities of a larger Class A motorhome. The result is the Thor A.C.E. (Class A, Class C, Evolution), a compact, fun-to-drive unit offering all the features a family needs to enjoy RVing. There are seven floorplans to choose from, but the 30.2 offers the most family-friendly layout, thanks to it’s bunk beds and full wall slide-out. You’ll find the kitchen area is smaller than other models, but it’s fully-equipped, and the trade-off is more spacious seating areas. Both the dinette and opposing jack knife sofa convert to sleeping areas. The drop-down overhead bunk adds space for even more guests, allowing this model to sleep seven to eight people in comfort.
Jayco Alante 31R
The Jayco Alante 31R is an excellent bunkhouse model. It forgoes the full-wall slide-out that is common on other Class A bunks in favor of dual slides, one on each side. The result is an interior that seems wider than usual, with an open walkway from front to rear. The only potential downside with this floorplan is the location of the bunk beds on the passenger side of the RV. This is the side that always houses the main entryway and awning, where all the outdoor activity takes place, which would be in full view from the bunk windows, meaning bedtime might be challenging for young kids. If this doesn’t seem like it would be an issue, this Jayco Class A would be a great choice.
Fleetwood Bounder 36H
The Fleetwood Bounder 36H is one of the larger motorhomes on our list of family-friendly models. At 37-feet, 7-inches, it’s a super-spacious model with triple slide-outs for maximum living space. This floorplan also features a bath-and-a-half layout, with a full three-piece bathroom as the rear of the unit, and a two-piece between the bedroom and living area. The second bathroom is also across the hallway from the bunk beds, making it convenient for the kids. The kitchen stretches along the passenger-side of the main cabin, directly opposite the convertible dinette and sleeper sofa. The Bounder 36H can also be ordered with a king-sized bed and a washer/dryer combo to make it feel even more like home.
We reviewed a Bounder a few years ago. In the market to buy used? Click here to read our full review on the Bounder 35K we tested!
Tiffin Allegro 36UA
Measuring in at 38-feet even, the Tiffin Allegro 36UA is the longest unit on our list. It’s packed with plenty of great features, including a full-wall slide-out that comes standard with a dinette and sofa bed, which can be swapped out for a massive U-shaped seating area. Tiffin refers to this area as a ‘Luxury Lounge’. It’s one of the most spacious dining arrangements you’ll find in this class of motorhome. If family dinner is your thing, this is your coach. Opposite the lounge is the fully-equipped galley with a fridge, double-sink, microwave and three-burner stove. The rear of the coach features a king-sized bed and three-piece main bathroom. A second half-bath is further forward, adjacent to the bunk beds.
Thor Chateau 31E
The Thor Chateau 31E is a great choice for a family RV. It features a full-wall slide that creates plenty of open space when extended. The rear bunks are slightly narrower than other models, at 27-inches, but will still offer plenty of room for the kids. Narrower bunks mean there’s more room for the bathroom, which has a 32-inch corner shower and a walk-through design to allow access to the master stateroom when the slide is retracted. The rear stateroom features a 60 by 75-inch queen-sized bed, awning wardrobe and dresser. Up front, you’ll find a functional kitchen, spacious dinette, and a 68-inch jack knife sofa. The cabover bunk has a 54 by 96-inch sleeping area but is also equipped with cup holders and a 40-inch LED television to keep the kids entertained on a rainy day. The TV also swivels so it can be viewed from the sofa or dinette.
Coachmen Freelander 31BH
The Freelander 31BH is a long Class C motorhome, measuring in at just under 33 feet, which means there’s plenty of room inside for the whole family. Class C motorhomes are the go-to style for many families and the 31BH has a great floorplan. The cabover bed is always a favourite feature for the kids, but the rear bunk in this model will also be popular. The top bunk flips up, allowing access to a small dinette (which also converts into a bed) giving the kids their own activity space. It also doubles as the kid’s table at mealtime when the main dinette is full. Other great features of the 31BH include the full 60 by 80-inch queen-sized bed, clever L-shaped kitchen counter, and the optional swivel driver’s seat.
Jayco Redhawk 31XL
Jayco jumps into the Class C family bunkhouse arena with its own 31-foot model, the 31XL. Like most of the models in the segment, it offers all the features a family needs to enjoy their next RV adventure. Jayco chose a dual slide configuration for this floorplan. The driver-side slide, containing the sofa and three-burner stove, expands the living area. The passenger-side slide-out houses the bunk beds along with the wardrobe and dresser for the master stateroom. The 31XL has a smaller bathroom with a single door, but this means there’s more space for the bunk beds, and with the slides extended, the 31XL feels quite spacious.
Winnebago Minnie Winnie 31G
Winnebago’s legendary reputation and decades of experience building quality RVs can also be found in an excellent Class C package. The Minnie Winnie 31G is loaded with features. Starting at the front, the cabover bed is a room 57 by 95 inches and comfortably sleeps two. The sofa bed sits opposite the large convertible dinette. With the drivers-side full-wall slide extended, the interior of the 31G has plenty of space to move around. The split kitchen design is functional. The bunk beds are 28-inches wide and an optional TV can be installed on the adjacent wall. The rear bedroom features a 60 by 75-inch queen-sized bed, hanging wardrobe and dresser. One thing to note, while the standard 31G is outfitted with seven seatbelts, the Premium Package option eliminates one of the belts on the sofa, leaving this Minnie Winnie with a capacity of six.
Fleetwood Jamboree 30D
The Fleetwood Jamboree is the shortest Class C on our list 31-feet 8-inches, but this dual-slide floorplan offers plenty of space for the whole family. The cabover bunk isn’t as large as other models in this class, measuring 42-inches by 80-inches. However, the result is a smaller front cap that’s more aerodynamic. It’s an equal tradeoff. Fleetwood also equipped this model with the widest rear bunks at 33-inches, making them more than adequate for older children, or even adults. With the queen-sized bed in back, and the convertible dinette and sofa bed up front, there’s no shortage of sleeping space. The 30D packs all of the features of its larger competitors into a chassis almost two feet shorter while still managing to make it feel spacious and functional.