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Old 09-26-2016, 02:32 PM   #15
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My wife and I are in the group of people who have downsized from a larger coach, and glad we did. We are not full timers, but camp about 5 months a year, and prefer State parks, National forests, etc. over motor coach parks.
With our 40 ft coach we often found ourselves on roads and in campgrounds that we had no business in. We drug our rear end in a mountain switchback once and did 4,800.00 damage to the rear of the rv, have damaged air conditioners, torn off storage doors, drug the ground, run into ditches, showed up at campgrounds at night that could not accommodate us, entered parking lots we could not get out of, and various other nightmares. We miss the interior space and rear engine, but the ease of handling and reduction of stress has been worth the tradeoff. Other than the space issue, our smaller RV has all the comforts that our larger RV had including a full body slide, and still has a 6000lb towing capacity. Now we can go to virtually any park with no concerns. So from my experience I suggest you find a nice coach that suits your camping style on don't go just for an enormous living area.
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Old 09-26-2016, 03:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimg View Post
My wife and I are in the group of people who have downsized from a larger coach, and glad we did. We are not full timers, but camp about 5 months a year, and prefer State parks, National forests, etc. over motor coach parks.
With our 40 ft coach we often found ourselves on roads and in campgrounds that we had no business in. We drug our rear end in a mountain switchback once and did 4,800.00 damage to the rear of the rv, have damaged air conditioners, torn off storage doors, drug the ground, run into ditches, showed up at campgrounds at night that could not accommodate us, entered parking lots we could not get out of, and various other nightmares. We miss the interior space and rear engine, but the ease of handling and reduction of stress has been worth the tradeoff. Other than the space issue, our smaller RV has all the comforts that our larger RV had including a full body slide, and still has a 6000lb towing capacity. Now we can go to virtually any park with no concerns. So from my experience I suggest you find a nice coach that suits your camping style on don't go just for an enormous living area.
LOL . . . All of your issues were totally avoidable and shouldn't have happened if you did some research first. We didn't damage anything using those kinds of parks for 16 years.
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Old 09-27-2016, 06:22 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Jimg View Post
With our 40 ft coach we often found ourselves on roads and in campgrounds that we had no business in. We drug our rear end in a mountain switchback once and did 4,800.00 damage to the rear of the rv, have damaged air conditioners, torn off storage doors, drug the ground, run into ditches, showed up at campgrounds at night that could not accommodate us, entered parking lots we could not get out of, and various other nightmares.
I'm glad you found a coach better suited to your lifestyle, but, um... YIKES! None of those issues had anything to do with the length of your rig. Sorry.

To the OP - the decision is a pretty simple one: Buy an RV based on how you want to travel, or buy one based on where you want to park it. Both are perfectly valid but very different approaches to the same question.

My wife and I prefer to travel well; we're perfectly willing to risk not being able to park in every available spot in the nation for the comfort our 42' coach gives us. Some folks are perfectly comfortable in far smaller rigs than we are, and more power to them. We wouldn't have been, and we couldn't let the possibility of a size restriction make that decision for us. You shouldn't either. Buy the rig that works for you... I guarantee you'll find a beautiful place to park it wherever you go.

Good luck!
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Old 09-27-2016, 07:29 AM   #18
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One answer that might suit this 'length' question might be the nomenclature used:

CAMPGROUND: this might indicate more of a 'camping/tenting' experience - maybe not necessarily designed for today's motorcoaches, either due to site sizes, no hookups, or tree limbs and tight navigation

RV PARK: this might indicate a design that is welcoming to larger units, full hook ups, 'big rig friendly', easy in-out, long sites, etc

RV RESORT: certainly a name that invokes a welcome for motorcoaches, especially the larger ones

having said this, we've found that the naming is not standardized and each use their own wording, regardless of whether it seems to fit OUR definition of the type of customer they are welcoming.
We have been to rv resorts that were less like a campground than some 'campgrounds', and we've seen many campgrounds that were more like 'rv resorts'!
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Old 10-07-2016, 09:12 PM   #19
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Thank You

I would like to thank everyone for their ideas, thoughts, etc on RV length. It has been very helpful as I get ready to buy or order a RV this winter. Retirement in June and I do not want to waste any time getting on the road. Thanks!
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Old 10-08-2016, 05:27 AM   #20
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Class A Newmar - Looking at 40 & 43 foot Newmars - will there be many places I cannot get in with the 43 vs 40 rv? What are the length limits in most National and State Parks in general. I realize I may find private campgrounds around national parks that I can get in.

We downsized from Journey DP to 30' gas. Better fit for us. Depends a lot on how you plan to use the rig. Smaller is always easier when in traffic, fueling, and generally moving around. Bigger is nicer when parked. If you plan to tow and park for 5+ days at a time, big is not so bad. If you are retired and only have to deal with campsite change once a week, no big deal. We tow and generally move campsites every couple of days. We prefer smaller. RVing is also secondary to our lifestyle, 2- 3 months a year. If we were rolling 5 months a year we probably would want bigger, maybe even washer/dryer. Enjoy your pending retirement, good chance that what ever you choose will not be your last RV.
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Old 10-08-2016, 08:50 PM   #21
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I'm working through the same question. I've started to assemble some actual data for National Parks here:

National Park Campground Information

It's a work in progress and should eventually match what can be found on the recreation.gov reservation system. It should provide you with some hard data to aid in the decision making process.
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Old 10-09-2016, 01:35 AM   #22
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I'm working through the same question. I've started to assemble some actual data for National Parks here:

National Park Campground Information

It's a work in progress and should eventually match what can be found on the recreation.gov reservation system. It should provide you with some hard data to aid in the decision making process.
I'm impressed that you would take on such a project. One thing...those aren't all national park campgrounds. From a quick glance you have national forest campgrounds, too. However, we mainly used these types of campgrounds with our 40' motorhome and I see that your numbers don't jive with what we've seen on a scan of your listings. There are many more 40' sites than you have listed. Also, many of your listed campgrounds don't accept reservations for all the sites. so there would be additional sites available.
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Old 10-09-2016, 03:03 PM   #23
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One thing...those aren't all national park campgrounds. From a quick glance you have national forest campgrounds, too.
Yes, once it gets fixed up it should match what you can find at recreation.gov. Right now there are issues, but I think it's still useful as is. I'll see if there is some way for me to show the type of campground (national park, national forest, etc.).


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However, we mainly used these types of campgrounds with our 40' motorhome and I see that your numbers don't jive with what we've seen on a scan of your listings. There are many more 40' sites than you have listed. Also, many of your listed campgrounds don't accept reservations for all the sites. so there would be additional sites available.
Yes. I provided two examples where there are missing 40' plus sites in the paragraph above the table. If you have some more examples just let me know and I will add them the the paragraph. I'm trying to get the data cleaned up and will use the places that I mention in the paragraph above for testing. I only need the name of the park(s). I can then compare what I have to the recreation.gov web site.

I **think** that the data that I have includes sites whether they can be reserved or not. If you give me the name of a park I'll compare what I have to what recreation.gov says to see if there are issues there too.
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