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Old 11-18-2012, 04:23 PM   #1
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When is long too l-o-n-g?

We are nearing the trigger-pulling point on a new (or newer) Phaeton. I am concerned about length. We plan to be part-timers and visit county and state campgrounds as well as national parks. We plan to by the new 36GH because we "think" we'll be able to fit in more of those types of places with a shorter coach. As a kid growing up my parents owned a string of LazyDaze Class C's. They started with a 24', moving up in length each time until they owned a 31'. they never seemed to have a problem. I mention this because that is my only frame of reference. So what is the consensus out there? Will 36' get me into more of those types of places or am I just kidding myself? I really don't want to buy anything smaller because quality and pizazz seems to suffer going that direction (from what I've seen), and I don't want to cross the line between livability and camping (i.e. I don't want to have to convert my dinette to a bed every night!)
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Old 11-18-2012, 04:32 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

There are folks here on the forum who have learned to spend much of their time in State and National parks with coaches up to 40 feet. They get very good at picking sites, backing up, leveling, and generally being able to fit a large coach in a small space.

I would think that at 36' you'll be fine in most of those places. You won't be able to fit into all spots or even all parks, but I think you'll be ok to do what you want.

Best of luck with your choice.

Rick
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Old 11-18-2012, 04:46 PM   #3
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Our 37 ft DP was good on our recent trip around the USA, but a few times I wish it had been 34 feet.
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:13 PM   #4
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When is long too long...

A post is too long when I fall asleep before I reach the end of it.

A sermon... Fr. told of a preacher who loved the sound of his own voice and went on and on and on and one of his congregation got up left and returned before the end of the sermon.. the preacher ask him where he went: To get a haircut, Why didn't you do that before services? "Didn't need one then" That was too long.

A motor home or trailer.. When it won'r fit on the campasite.
As they get longer, your parking options bedome more limited,
Usually 30 feet or less go anywhere (I have seen some sites in teh 46 foot range) 35 is generally OK, but somewhere between 35 and 40 it starts to get harder to find parking.. My rig, offically 37'7" with cargo tray 40' and I usually have no trouble.
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:23 PM   #5
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In California the State Parks have a theoretical length limit of 35 feet. My brother takes his 37 foot 5th wheel and stays at Calif parks and when they ask he says it's 35 feet. Never been a problem. Other state's parks may have a similar limit.

My RV is stated as a 36', its actually longer but I haven't had a problem with a 35' spot either.
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v8dave View Post
In California the State Parks have a theoretical length limit of 35 feet. My brother takes his 37 foot 5th wheel and stays at Calif parks and when they ask he says it's 35 feet. Never been a problem. Other state's parks may have a similar limit.

My RV is stated as a 36', its actually longer but I haven't had a problem with a 35' spot either.
We have a 40 footer and have stayed several times at Beal's Point State Park at Folsom Lake. Nice, paved sites long enough to park our Ford Explorer toad in front of it. I wouldn't want to count on that though so local knowledge/forum sharing is valuable here.

Rick
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:56 PM   #7
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We travel in a 38' and I think it is about right. The state parks are a very tight fit but most every where else is ok. That being said, if I could afford a 45 tag I would just plan my stops a little better.
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:29 AM   #8
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We traded in our 40' Tiffin Bus for our current 34TGA for that very reason : couldn't access many State, National and Corps sites...especially the older ones.

Somehow along the way I lost out on a diesel for a gasser, but the DW always has the final say...but once parked, they are all the same, and this unit can get in almost anywhere and has a great floorplan for the DW and our two large dogs.

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Old 11-19-2012, 06:25 AM   #9
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We had the same mind set, that we wanted large enough to comfortably live in full time, but small enough to get into the state and national parks. We bought 36 and have not regretted it. With very few exceptions, so far, largely in the NE area, we've never had trouble finding a state/national/COE park. Have fun!!
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:44 AM   #10
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Interesting reads. Had a 32 now a 36 ... amazing what just 4 feet adds to the party. And detracts. Just conversation, but once at the 36 (and above) parking things get interesting in 'tight spots.' Times where I don't even try for the 'best spot' if I've got a 'pull through.' I can walk an extra few feet ...... ("v")
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:07 AM   #11
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Can't imagine the wife allowing a long term decision that makes her leave ONE trinket at home for a few tight sites

too many parks - too many sites that would work - heck we're at 50+ ft combined and we've gotten into some SMALL parks...

heck, if we're too tight for the perfect spot, there are always walking, bicycles, toads, other sites, parks - get the layout you can live with first
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:58 AM   #12
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Same here. I'm at 61' combined. I haven't had any trouble so far, but have planned my stops well in advance. Several places have allowed me to remain hitched for over-nighters. I stayed at a KOA in Van Horn, TX last week that could have accommodated an 80 footer.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:05 AM   #13
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Wow what a great bunch of information - thank you all. You have helped me to cement my choice of a 36' (RV's are rounded down and boats are rounded up - why is that?). It appears that the length offers more choices insofar as selecting a campsite is concerned. I don't know yet all the various acronyms used in your posts but I learn quick. Thanks again!
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:47 AM   #14
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We are at the same point in our thinking. How long? We love how maneuverable my "little" 27' Vision is. We have gotten into some tiny spaces.

Our next one is more of a full-time rig, so longer than 36'. But at what point is it too long?

Over 40' requires a special license in California.
Yosemite has a number of spaces for under 35', just a few for under 40' and none allowed over that.

How much difference in maneuverability in tight spaces is there from 36' to 44'?
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