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Old 01-18-2013, 04:25 PM   #15
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Kerrville, TX
Posts: 152
A couple points in favor of shorter (this may get opposing comments!!):
--The newer motorhomes are getting more functional space out of 35 feet with large opposing slides..the new Winnebagos in the mid 30 foot range are sweet! Just make sure you have the things you want, (like perhaps 4-door fridge with ice maker, generous bedroom, recliners, maybe closet/drawer space, or washer/dryer..whatever you deem important). I would venture to say there are recent model mid 30 footers with large opposing slides that are more spacious than some older 40 foot diesel pushers.

--The older State parks that were built by the CCC were built for smaller travel trailers at the time...often the best spots by water are smaller and our 38 would hang out into the street.

--We are "State Park" type campers any time we can. I know the 40-42 foot folks often frequent the resorts with swimming pools and pull through concrete pads, but we still prefer leaves underfoot and space between you and the next camper.

--In Alaska (we rented a 31' Class C) we even camped right on the shore of a river in a spot I would not want to take our 38. We also camped in the Denali State Park and had our pick of all the spots...perhaps half would have fit our 38 and even less a 40.

All that being said, if you are truly full timing for years at a time and using your MH as your base for toad excursions and are not into the camping thing like we are "go long".

Oh also, a big decision is gas vs diesel...if you are talking 40 that seals the deal for diesel, but in the mid 30 foot range there are a lot of new and very slightly used V-10 Ford chassis running through the dealers lots for a lot less money..I mean a LOT less. Maybe go late model gas mid 30 foot now and trade up to a longer diesel when you know more what you want and can justify the price being up to twice what you paid for the mid 30 gasser.

Just some thoughts..

Curt & Susan 2009 38' Newmar Grand Star 3752
Front Engine Diesel Freightliner Chassis Cummins 340 ISB/Allison
Toad: Honda Element, Ready Brute integrated tow bar and braking system, Protect-a-Tow
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:24 PM   #16
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,530
I think one of the most important parameters in the original post is the requirement for reservations with about a week's notice. Finding parks that can accomodate any length RV is a piece of cake. Finding one on short notice can sometimes be difficult because as you go up in length, the number of sites able to accomodate you decrease, especially in national and state parks.

As an illustration, I ran a couple of queries on our favorite national park campground, one for a 35 footer, and another for a 40 footer.

The query returned 54 sites that can handle a 40 footer, and 88 for a 35 footer. Those sites fill up quickly, and reservations on short notice are rare.

This is just one data point, but I think it's pretty typical for parks in our region of the country. Your options are going to be fewer the bigger you go, but it's manageable with a little planning.

2005 Newmar KSDP 3910
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:45 PM   #17
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Thanks to all for very thoughtful responses. It has helped greatly. We are not going to avoid 40', but are going to focus on finding a slightly used 35'.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:34 PM   #18
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In eight years of full time RV'ing with a 37', and a bike rack adding another 3', I can say I've never had a problem of 'length'. However, I always, always, check on-line for info for my next days stop (or several days in advance). I look for parks that have pull trough's or mention that they can handle 'Big Rigs', etc. Even with back-in sites, where the nose of the rig overhangs the driveway a couple feet work. Because I've found that parks are very accommodating. I've avoided parks where when I drive in the streets are very narrow and all you see are 24' trailers or class C rigs.

Then of course, I never make a reservation. But...and this is important, I always start looking for a place to park around 3pm. And no later then 5pm. And I usually have a couple or three parks noted on my mapping program before I get to that area.

If you spend a lot of time in State or Federal parks, same thing, with the added benefit of them letting you know on their web site whether or not you'll fit. Many RV parks in smaller towns don't have a web site but you know they are there from searching online.

'02 Winnebago Journey DL, DSDP, 36' of fun.

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