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Old 09-30-2011, 07:59 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Ocala, Florida
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40' vs 42' american coach

Hi, I am planning on getting a newer RV. I have 98 Beaver Patriot Thunder 40' and am looking at 2004-2006 American Eagle or Tradition units. I would appreciate your thoughts on whether it is worth the substantially more $ they want for a 42' over a 40'. It seems to boil down to paying 25% more $ , for a rig that weighs 20% more, but only gives you 5%[2ft.] more space. Weight hauling capacity is not on issue for me. What is a typical difference in fuel mileage for 40' vs 42'? As you can see, the 40' seems to be the wiser buy to me, yet I've been advised to go to a 42'. American Coach doesn't even build a 40' anymore so there must be something I'm missing.

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Old 09-30-2011, 08:37 PM   #2
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We have had three 40ft American Coach's and loved them all. We now have a 2005 42R Tradition and it is our favorite, the ride is better by far. You also get more braking power with the tag, more fresh water capacity. 40 footers get 125 gallons vs 150 gallons of fuel. The overall drive ability is notice able. The reason AC dropped the 40ft is cost. They cut the option to cut down and concentrate on tag floor plans. With the extra weight, the tag is a nice option that is now a standard. You're getting a bigger generater and another Air Conditioner and several other subtle differences. We have the king size bed option with plenty of room around the bed, also the front driver side slideout is several feet bigger as well. There is more than meets the eye at first glance than two more feet.

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Old 09-30-2011, 10:14 PM   #3
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We have a 42 ft country coach. We bought it because we loved the floor plan and the ride and drive were the best. Those are the three criteria I would use in you decision.
B Bob
Country Coach 42' Affinity
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
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Old 10-01-2011, 06:43 AM   #4
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If I was in the market, it would be the 42 with extra rear bath. There is nothing wrong with a 40 and on the other hand, if I had 2 more feet it would not fit in my favorite camping spot.
2007 Fleetwood Revolution LE 40V
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:12 PM   #5
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We have a 40 foot American Tradition and it's fine for us. You should buy whatever length is needed for the floor plan that suits you and not worry about length per se.

High end coach buyers keep wanting bigger and bigger layouts - more space is better. So sure, 42 and 45 foot models are what are now being built, cause that's what new coach buyers are ordering. But that doesn't mean YOU need 42'. Or 45' either.

On the other hand, it's not hard to fall in love with extra space. No RV is ever quite big enough for every situation, but you need to apply some common sense to your wants. But then, if money is no object then maybe you don't... that's why people are shelling out $500-$700k for new American Coaches.
Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition; 2014 Buick LaCRosse
Homebase in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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Old 10-01-2011, 09:18 PM   #6
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Hi Gary, I live 6miles nw of Ocala. I agree, it is easy to to spend alot more money on newer and bigger when it's really not necessary. I don't full time and we like state parks so I probably would be wise to stop at 40 ft. and save the money. There are good deals out there with the current economy. Nobody has commented on the fuel mileage difference between 40 and 42ft. but I am guessing itwould be 1.5 mpg. Thanks for the input.
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Old 10-02-2011, 12:53 PM   #7
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I posted before, but I just wanted to add that we wanted to stay at 40' but ended up with a 42' because we liked the floor plan. After looking for a year we decided that we did not want the front passenger slide as it was in the way of our patio and made it hard to get into the basement storage. The extra length gave us the room we wanted without having more than two slides. I know everyone seems to be in favor of as many slides as possible, but I can tell you from our opinion not having the front pass side works quite well. Yes, you don't have as much space inside, but it is enough for the two of us. When on the road we access the basement storage all the time. An extended slide is just too much for my 64 years old back.
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Old 10-02-2011, 02:18 PM   #8
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40 vs 42 foot motorhome

Something to consider is your drivers license. Many states including california require a non comercial class b drivers license for any motorhome exceeding 40 feet.
Also in california most of costal highway 1 noth of san francisco to oregon restricts motorhome and busses over 40 feet as well as many other highways in california.
A smart man learns from his own mistakes! :
A wise man learns from the mistakes of others!
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Old 10-03-2011, 09:19 AM   #9
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We wanted as long as we could get without a tag...our Allegiance is 41'.
2014 American Eagle 45T
DD 500
Pulling a Honda CRV
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Old 10-03-2011, 07:34 PM   #10
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I just went through the same process and ended up with a Revolution 40E, which is actually about 41 feet, no tag. Revolution is built on same chasis as the American Coaches. The "42" foot American Coaches are actually "43". I drove a bunch of them of both sizes and found that although the tag axel does smooth the ride somewhat, it was not a deal cincher. The 40 definitely has better acceleration so probably better mileage, but the diffrerence in mileage will not likely amount to much in the grand scheme of what you are spending. I wanted to be able to pretend I am 40' to get into the campgrounds we like, and like you, I don't need the extra weight capacity. I traded in my 40' Prevost, which had a tag. The Revolution does not approach the ride quality of Prevost (10,000 lbs heavier), but I find it more nimble and the ride is still quite nice compaired to other 40 footers I drove. Remember, with a tag you have two more tires, two more airbags, 2 more shocks and two more sets of brakes, so they cost more to maintain as well as to buy. My mantra has been "simplify". It's a personal choice. Good luck with whatever you choose.

2002 MCI E4500 bus conversion by American Coach
Detroit S-60 12.7
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