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Old 10-31-2009, 08:39 AM   #1
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Class A driving question

We're looking at buying a motorhome. Hoe much harder is it to drive a 36 foot compared to a 30 foot?
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Old 10-31-2009, 08:44 AM   #2
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John

I would say it's not any harder. Take your time and be aware of your surrounding. Good luck on your new venture and travel safely.

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Old 10-31-2009, 08:58 AM   #3
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We're looking at buying a motorhome. Hoe much harder is it to drive a 36 foot compared to a 30 foot?

John, the 36 is no different looking thru the windshield than the 30 footer. What you have to be aware of is that usually the 36 will have more rear overhang from the rear wheels back. Just remember this when doing close manuevers such as parking near obstacles, and passing other vehicles on the road.
Hope you are successful in your search for a larger coach, and wish you many happy miles in it.

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Old 10-31-2009, 09:05 AM   #4
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If you have never driven either there no differant. You'll have the same learning curve with either. So buy the one you like as long as it's in pretty good condition. Unless it's new then buy the one you like with the best company behind it. Or what the hey BUY THE ONE YOU LIKE!

Good Luck

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Old 10-31-2009, 10:11 AM   #5
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My 2004 36 foot can turn much sharper than my 1992 31 foot RV I started with. So other than the over hang out back it is much easier to maneuver in parking lots and such.

Mike
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Old 10-31-2009, 12:10 PM   #6
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Your longer wheel base will require you to take a bit more care on turns, (especially right turns) but that is about it. We went from a 32 to a 36 to a 40+ - all diesel pushers -and that seems to be the only thing I noticed driving.
Backing into sites requires a bit more room and care with the longer coach.
The plus side is the longer coach will ride and probably steer easier because it IS longer.

How do they do in the mountains? Wow. That has a lot to do with engines and transmissions etc. Horsepower and torque rule here. The weight/horsepower/torque ratio can make for an easy trip across the Rockies or a slow grinding up one side and easing down the other.

There are some areas on the north portion of the loop in Yellowstone that are too narrow and too crooked for me to feel comfortable in. Not saying it cannot be done, it can. However I don't like to have traffic backed up as I try to negotiate narrow roads with little or no shoulder.
Suggest you park the MH and drive the toad when touring the park.
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Old 10-31-2009, 02:03 PM   #7
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What does the question have to do with the subject?

The answer is not much harder to drive. A little harder to park.
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Old 10-31-2009, 02:59 PM   #8
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My first motorhome was a 36' and It was my first time to drive one. I aggree with 69 RoadRunner they drive the same it is the parking that is the difference. The only possible difference could be the longer wheelbase 36' would probably ride a little better.

I now have a 40' and it takes more to park that my 36' but if you spend the time in it you will be glad you got the 36' because of the extra room and you will be use to driving it in no time.

Good luck and congrats on your new MH
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Old 10-31-2009, 03:03 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=69RoadRunner;

The answer is not much harder to drive. A little harder to park.[/QUOTE]


I thought that was what I said, in a round about way.

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Old 10-31-2009, 05:19 PM   #10
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The secret ...

The secret in backing is to watch the rear wheels (regardless of the length of the motorhome) ...

That is also true when moving ahead and turning as well as or backing ...

I tow ... I have also learned that if I get the rear wheels of the coach around an obstacle ... the toad will make it too ...
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Old 10-31-2009, 05:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
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The secret in backing is to watch the rear wheels (regardless of the length of the motorhome) ...

That is also true when moving ahead and turning as well as or backing ...

I tow ... I have also learned that if I get the rear wheels of the coach around an obstacle ... the toad will make it too ...
With power mirrors, it's easy to look at the rear wheels.
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Old 11-01-2009, 11:37 AM   #12
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Someone above talked about the rear overhang beyond the rear wheels. The thing to watch is in turning. The rear portion past the wheels "swings" more than a shorter vehicle. What I mean by that is, for example, pulling away from a gas island. You cannot turn away as abruptly as you can with a shorter rig because of the "swing" of the rear end. You might tag the pumps or bumper posts more easily in a longer rig than a shorter one. Same thing goes for adjacent vehicles and such. Just need to be aware of the "swing". I recently went up the coast of California to Oregon. The road can be tight and twisty. I didn't experience any situation that my 38' couldn't handle.

Another item is when you inadvertently get into a situation where you need to turn around, like a surprise dead end road. That extra 6 plus feet make a huge difference there.

Don't let this dissuade you, however. All of us that have the longer coaches have faced these conditions and have generally handled them just fine.

Oh, one last little item that I ran into on Hwy 101 just south of Willits California. Road construction where they place the concrete barricades on both sides of your lane right about where the white stripes should be. Compound that with it being rather twisty and you have a situation that will make your palms sweat. The greater length will be a little harder for you there as well due to the cramped turns. I did it and we didn't hit anything. In fact, in retrospect, it was more my fear than an actual lack of space, since, in truth, I still had as much space as before from white line to white line.

Get the length that makes sense for you and your family and don't look back.
Joe
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Old 11-01-2009, 06:35 PM   #13
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Not much harder, We went from a 32' narrow coach (96") to a 38' wide body (104") I cant really tell the difference.
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:03 PM   #14
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With the longer coach, your "S" turn to position for backing will be a little longer. The tail swing will be determined by your wheel base. As stated tail swing is important when making tight turns. Example; you are in the left lane waiting to turn left and there are vehicles in the right lane. If you turn to abruptly you back end will swing into the other vehicles. Just be vigilant in all your turns. If your driver seat is about over the front wheels, when your butt gets to where you want to be, start your turn but watch for clearances also.

Good luck.
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