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Old 06-17-2016, 06:52 PM   #15
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We generally prefer state parks and similar (county, city, etc.) for the privacy they offer. There are a very few that will show 25' as max length - and experience has shown it's fair to assume those are pretty old places that are way past due for updating. Most, if they have a limit, will show a 35' max. There's some reading between the lines required with that limit. Like is this 35' site endorse for use with a truck and a 35' 5'er on the back, or a 35' MH? Obviously (to me anyway) that 5'er rig is going to need quite a bit more room than out 38' MH.

Also, we have yet to be challenged by anyone at any campground for stuffing our 38' into a site with a 35' limit. I have NEVER seen any park official with a tape measure in their hand, let alone one used to verify your length.

One word of caution. There is no "guaranteed" clearance to, or into a site. That's 100% on you. When going in to a new park, especially an older one, I would highly recommend dropping your toad at the check in area, and using it to go check out (or pick out) any camp site PRIOR to venturing back with your coach. Mental notes made ahead of time regarding overhanging branches or trees that are very close to the edge of the road can make the trip back into the site a breeze.

Last, much of this will depend on how comfortable you are moving your coach around in tight confines. At first, you might want to go for "drive though" sites only. After you become comfortable with your rig, you may be up for more challenging sites. Our 38 has not been an issue for us in our travels all over the country. If I were to go bigger, I doubt I would want a coach with a tag. That might be too big...

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Old 06-17-2016, 06:53 PM   #16
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I don't know about a 40-ft-motorhome-specific map of allowed state routes, but on the same DMV site are maps of restricted truck routes, which probably are at least heads-up for RVers. It notes roads with turns, tunnels and clearances that are problems for bigger rigs. I have a printed copy from a CHP office.

I learned of the 40-ft laws years ago, after 99% of motorhome salespeople tried to sell me a 40+, one mentioned the need for a special license (so, really I shouldn't have been allowed to do the test drives), and the route restrictions. So I went to my local CHP office to learn more. All of the CHP officers I asked then, and ever since, have instantly recited the 40-ft laws and restrictions. But they admitted that a patrol officer was unlikely to simply pull over a motorhome and measure it.

Where the enforcement happens is any other situation that leads to LEO interaction -- speeding, accidents, filing an insurance-related report, DUI checkpoints, and entering certain government lands that require showing license and insurance. In those situations they collect all the details, and do not tolerate for non-compliance.

Speeding while towing is another "do they enforce it" law, since a coach towing a car is limited to 55mph but this seems to be ignored. But every officer said they ticket that, when they aren't chasing down a bigger fish. One CHP said they mostly nab fast pickups towing speedboats, because they lose control and cause crashes. Another officer regarding motorhomes said "just keep it under 60 and you'll be fine".)

The other situation is highway inspections, by those CHP officers in blue uniforms who specialize in equipment-related compliance. They focus on truck compliance, but if a motorhome rolls up they check it too (as they told me). It's just that encountering them is random.

So, the odds of getting away with it are good, but the consequences if/when caught aren't pleasant.

I think it's an absurd situation and wish California would dump the 40-ft laws, which would require a state politician to take up the cause...not likely. But as I understand the goverment-ease on Cal DMV's web page, it was only 2001 when they first allowed motorhomes of longer than 40 feet. When they stretched the length beyond 40 they felt the need to invent many restrictions.

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Old 06-17-2016, 08:55 PM   #17
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My main experience with length issues has been at BC Provincial Parks and National Parks. BC has a 35-foot limit universally, and I have struggled to get our 33-footer through the loops and into spaces more than once. Anything much bigger, and we'd have to write off BC parks entirely which would be a shame, because they're quite nice otherwise.

National parks are also really borderline. We barely fit at best. I'd expect that most people with DP's are staying at RV parks outside. For folks who are into that, that's cool. Those who really like the more rustic NP loops will probably appreciate a smaller rig.
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Old 06-18-2016, 08:10 AM   #18
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Here is a link to the 45' motorhome map. The legend says green routes allow up to 45' and the red routes prohibit 40' and greater.


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