Anyone Own a 05/06 GS 8295 Sun Voyager or Independence?
We are looking to purchase either a new/recently used 2005 Sun Voyager SE or 2006 Sun Voyager 8295, the smallest model of the triple slide-out atrium line ? 30?8? overall length. This will be our first GS RV. We've owned both Jayco and Coachman in the past.
We do have a hard requirement to keep the new Class A to less than 33? overall length due to physical limitations of the parking area that exists on the side of the house. This parking area has already been expanded to the practical maximum size allowable.
Last year at the Denver RV, show we were in a 2005 SE 8295 that really impressed us. We are looking to trade up from our current 31' Class C to a similar closed length Class A, but one with a much larger parked/opened living space. The CCC of the 2005 Sun Voyager SE 8295 that we were in last year was not an issue since the weight sticker would have left us then with over 2400 lbs of CCC, a far cry from the 800 lbs CCC we have in our C and what we have learned to live within fiarly eaisly. Of course, actual weight sof any new unit (total unit, each axle, and 4 corners) will be re-weighted prior to purchase to ensure that we do indeed have excess CCC on the unit as well as all 4 wheels.
The Sun Voyager atrium line is the only overall Class A design that that we have seen that really appeals to us with its visual and actual sense of openness due to the triple slide and atrium/sun room windows. We have not found another Class A manufacturer / floor plan in the under 33? range that compares to the openness of the atruium line, given the triple slide set-up (especially dual slides in the main living area) floorplan There are currently no 05 Sun Voyager SE 8295s or 06 8295s or 06 Independence 8295s in the State of Colorado available for us to closely inspect and crawl around in for the foreseeable future and the two in-state Gulf Stream dealers have no plans for pre-ordering any additional 8295s (for whatever reason), so we will be looking to the fair supply of out-of-state units.
We researched the Gulf Stream reported quality issues but that does not really seem to factor heavily into our model decision since we all can point to posts from others on multiple boards for all manufacturers having some kind of manufacture / quality issues: from Monaco to Fleetwood to Winnebago to Coachman to ya-da-ya-da-ya. We also have no problem planning & modifying even a new unit to meet our personal use requirements so the thought of having to add additional fresh tankage, adding more user-friendly storage space and shelving, swapping furniture, adding electronics or battery storage, etc. is almost expected by us if we really want a smaller, non-custom coach to fit our (unique?) needs.
Questions to which hopefully someone is the current owner of a 05 / 06 8295 model and can answer are:
? Where physically are the fresh & grey tanks installed on the 2005 & 2006 8295 models? Fresh is the most concern to us since the advertised/actual tank capacities are (fresh/grey/black): 43/36/36 in 2005s versus 36/40/40 in 2006s. Where we camp, most state or national parks / forests in the western mountain / desert states may only have elect at the sites (if lucky), so existing tankage capacity & required expansion options need to be addressed up front
? Is there any empty space or vacant enclosed basement compartment adjacent / nearby (just for ease of cross plumbing) to add an additional fresh water tank? There are several other ways to address the additional grey capacity issue without necessarily adding/expanding the permanent grey tankage; engineering a grey-to-black, one-way transfer by installing a separate on-demand grey pump, manual ball valve and removable strainer to offload / pump excess grey directly into the black storage tank; use of external tote-able grey tank (e.g.: blue ones); re-plumb the kitchen sink to run directly into the black tank, use of dishpans in the kitchen and manually pouring the grey down the toilet, or additional creative ideas. Black tank capacity has never been an issue in any RV we?ve owned since it is just us 2 camping. There are several companies that make additional/replacement fresh & waste tanks at a very reasonable cost, in many oddball sizes.
? Is there accessible storage, e.g.: under the slide out bed or other areas that could be re-used? If not readily accessible now (i.e.: no drawers or access doors, bed platform top screwed into frame instead of being on a lift mechanism, short depth drawers, etc) is there still left over empty space that could be engineered & converted into non-tankage storage so that additional tankage space could be made available in some other places, especially considering weight balance versus overall bulk?
? What would be the bed end walk around space left remaining with the slide out if we swapped out the stock 60? x 74? RV queen, added on a hinged bed end platform support and added a 60?x 80? standard queen air adjustable (e.g.: Sleep Comfort) mattress?
? What are your unit's actual sticker weights (GVWR, UVW, NCC, Fresh gal, LP gal/lbs, etc) so that we can re-verify the CCC?
? We?d also be interested in any of your experiences and comments on the 8295 with regard to storage and cold weather performance (e.g.: insulation)
- # and size of basement pass-throughs
- how well the Gulf Stream Sun Voyager thermopane windows work
- # and size of interior kitchen / bedroom / other drawers / storage areas
- how well insulated the basement compartments are made
- how well the tanks are insulated & heated for winter camping
- other comments overall
Looking closely at a 8295 Sun Voyager SE (2005) or Sun Voyager (2006)