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Old 01-27-2011, 07:55 AM   #15
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Hi kate spence,
All other things being equal, for me bigger is better. Go with the 43' coach. You will notice the extra:
1. interior room
2. driving stability
3. extra carrying capacity

There is one additional but intangible reason. Ask your hubby, the tag axle looks cool.

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Old 01-27-2011, 10:01 AM   #16
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With a 38' rig, we do not fit in many campgrounds. RV parks are no problem.

The extra length adds interior room and probably net carrying weight capacity.

How you intend to use the MH will determine how much interior room you want.

Full time in RV Parks. Bigger

Part time in Campgrounds or Dry Camping. Smaller.

Inside most of the time. Bigger

Outside most of the time. Either one will work.

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Old 01-27-2011, 10:24 AM   #17
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In addition to highway travel, consider issues of mountain roads etc. We live in an area where several mountain roads of over 7,500 have to be negotiated. Engine size is also a major consideration for us. Even with a 40' unit, many of the national forest campground roads are very difficult to negotiate. The forest service has no appreciation for the struggle to park larger RV's. We live close to Yosemite and from the east side, the Tioga pass road has an elevation gain of over 4,000'. It is the highest highway pass in California at 9,943'.

Does the driver have experience with driving a large RV? There are driving schools available for the novice.

Are you a full-timer?
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:16 PM   #18
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I have found that owning the 43ft MH does restrict your campground choices while using the National Parks. You will occasionally find one that can accommodate your rig but for the most part you will need to find a privately owned park nearby. They are almost always just outside the Park entrance and will have room for a MH of that size and will also have all of the hookups, Sewer,water elec, even TV and wireless. Very seldom will you find all of those advantages in a National Park campground unless you are the host! Most of us that travel in our MH drag a toad behind. Once you set up in that RV park you can easily take a tour of that National Park using it and be able to access all of it at your leisure.
If you enjoy camping in the more rustic, or maybe I should say in the more natural environment of the Park (in and close to nature) the best choice my be to own a smaller camping trailer. One less than 32ft.
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:37 PM   #19
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We own a 40 footer and stay almost exclusively in State Parks and National Forest. It does restrict us somewhat and does require we do extra planning. Anything larger would lock us out even more. We've been to alot of parks where our size was the max. and have had to avoid a few where we couldn't fit at all.

I would say that you'll always find more spots that can take a smaller rig so if you're comfortable in the smaller space that will definitely give you more flexibility at public campgrounds.
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:41 PM   #20
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Hi Kate. Welcome to the forum. To give you a framework for my answer, we had an 40 footer, moved up to a 43 and will be taking delivery of a 45 in a month. What are your priorities? If camping in state and national parks is your paramount priority, then a 40 footer is about max. As someone mentioned, it's not just the pad size. Many state and national park campground roads aren't configured for the turn radius of large coaches. And they often don't trim the trees. Personally, I'd go for the floorplan you like. Now for 40 ft vs 43 feet. A 43 foot coach will have a tag axle. That means 2 more tires to worry about and in some cases the tag axle will eat up some basement storage space. But the tag axle will be more stable in a cross wind, will have less front-to-rear pitching (porpoising) and won't rock nearly as much when crossing uneven surfaces (like pulling out of a gas station with a dippy gutter). And for a given weight you'll have better braking since you have one more axle with brakes. All in all, I prefer the tag axle. Hope this helps. Joel
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:58 PM   #21
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Kate, you may also enhance the readability of what you type by using the 'B', or bold button.

That said, I agree with the 'buy what you like' sentiment. Yes, the bigger you get, the more sites will be off limits to you, but once you get to 40', hey...

A tag axle coach will generally have a higher cargo carrying capacity, giving you more flexibility to bring all those things you just can't live without. It's generally accepted that a tag axle coach will handle better in cross winds and poor roads, but there are many that will swear their single rear axle coaches handle great too. Bottom line, we're right back to 'buy what YOU like'. Its your $$$
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:08 PM   #22
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You would find many challenges negotiating park roads, turns and low hanging trees with a 40 ft. or a 43 ft. Both are probably the same height so trees will be a factor regardless.

We have a 42 ft. and have found that while there have been some spots where we would not fit, we have always found one where we did fit even in the same park. We camped at Trailer Village RV Park inside the Grand Canyon National Park and were able to fit in a site. It required some maneuvering since this is an old rv park and obviously was not built with 42 ft. motorhomes in mind, but it worked.

There were also a couple of private rv parks outside the National Park where we could have stayed if the one on the inside had not worked out. As others have said, this is often the case.

Go for the 43 ft. tag axle. Like GaryKD said.......it looks cool.

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Old 01-27-2011, 06:31 PM   #23
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First, are you going to be fulltiming or just weekend/vacations. If the latter, the 40 ft would be more than enough. If fulltiming, go with as large as you can afford. And don't be surprised, if you fulltime, to find out that you will actually spend very little time in National Parks - or state parks for that matter. The reason is that most National and state parks have online reservations and people will make reservations starting in January for every weekend in the summer - - so that when you figure out where you want to go (and fulltimers generally don't do that ahead of time) they will all be full for the Thursdays - Saturday weekend; and then if they decide not to go, they don't cancel them!

We have found that we like US Army Corps of Engineers parks, local and county parks, as well as private parks. We have stayed at a few state parks, usually before Memorial Day or after Labor Day. But state parks are now as expensive as private parks and have add on charges for cars, etc.

Corps parks - if you can find them, are always great. Big sites, well situated, always next to a lake, just a great place to stop.

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Old 01-28-2011, 04:03 PM   #24
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I do not know where you are located nor where you want to camp, but I have a 40 footer with a motorcycle hanging off the back and tow a toad. I have hit all the States south of Kansas and fit in tons of State and Nat'l parks. Yes, many only have limited sites for 40 plus foot coaches but I have yet to have a problem. Many times I am inches from trees at the back of the site, but I fit. Go with the floor plan that you like. I will guess that the 43 has a tag axle. Great bonus when you look at CCC. You all, ..ya'll... have fun on the road. Don't sweat the small thing like 3 feet.
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Old 01-28-2011, 05:54 PM   #25
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There are a lot of private parks 40ft is all that will fit bigger the unit means more weight needs more motor 3ft does give more inside room in most coaches it's a rear bath it all depends on your wants and needs take your time as we did look at all the pros and cons most rvers are bias we all think ours is the best. The length is a little problem try make,floor plan,chassis (the big one), new, used no two people or coaches are alike.
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Old 01-28-2011, 06:26 PM   #26
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Just carry a good chain saw.
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Old 01-28-2011, 06:59 PM   #27
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Yeah try that one in a state or national park and you will need soap on a rope.
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Old 01-31-2011, 02:41 PM   #28
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If you live in Calif, you (all drivers) will need a "B non-commercial" drivers license for greater than 40ft motor home.

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