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Old 05-27-2014, 10:21 AM   #1
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? on 45 foot motor coach vs 38foot

I would like to buy a motor coach, however there is a problem money. Basically I have a beer budget with champagne taste. I have found one that I could live with but it's a 45ft, a very nice coach, I have been told by some people that it would be better to stay under 40. That would be nice but the coaches I like at 38ft are way out of my budget. I don't want to buy and be sorry, do I need to save more or what are comments on a 45ft. I've hear spaces are hard to find to rent, trouble finding parks that allow 45's, I don't believe I'd have a problem driving a 45 since I use to drive a ladder truck. But I am ten years older now (67), you know how that goes. I would appreciate your comments and knowledge, a little wisdom would be great also. THANKS, Dave

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Old 05-27-2014, 10:42 AM   #2
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Buy the 45ft, enjoy your travels. Its all the same 45ft vs 38ft. Am 67ft myself and have never had a problem finding a place to stay, this includes inside NP & SP.

Good Luck!

2010 Fleetwood Discovery 40X
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Old 05-27-2014, 12:53 PM   #3
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I have to question the age difference of the 45' and 38's you are comparing. The 45'er must be considerably older with more miles. It will have higher maintenance and higher cost per mile to drive. If you are ok with that, then go for it. The tag axle will greatly improve the ride over any 38' coach. It is actually more stable on the road and less stressful to drive.
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Old 05-27-2014, 12:56 PM   #4
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I've only had my 38' going on four years and have never had a problem finding a parking space.
John & Cathy R.
06 Pace Arrow 38L W24
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Old 05-27-2014, 01:00 PM   #5
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As mentioned the 45' coach must be a bit older then the 38 footers you've looked at. Maitenance my cost a bit more but the ride and handling will be superior. I don't think you'll have problems getting into most parks. A lot of parks have pull thrus and they're a piece of cake to park in. Now some National parks such as the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone may pose a problem for sure but there are usually plenty of campgrounds outside there gates to accomodate you. Good luck and enjoy your travels.
Steve & Sally / Hudson Our Little Pom / Heidi, Houston & HiTee Forever in our Hearts
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Old 05-27-2014, 01:05 PM   #6
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Tell us more about what you are looking at.
Are both diesels?
Do both have tag axles?
Do both have air bag suspensions?
What size generators?
How tall is each one?
What is the weight comparison?

We had a 38ft Eagle and stepped up to a 45ft Prevost-H3

Completely different animal

If you truly are budget consious then one of these could take you on vacation and the other to the poor house
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Old 05-27-2014, 05:25 PM   #7
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I have a 2013 WINNEBAGO 34B. Love it! Has double door freezer on bottom fridge king dial your comfort bed Sat tracking antenna plus much more. Easy to drive and welcome in all NATIONAL PARKS I know of. So you can get a 40' kind of RV in a more compact package.
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Old 05-27-2014, 05:48 PM   #8
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We have a hard time getting into some of the local state parks with the 40 footer we have. This is pretty typical with the state parks and COE parks here in N Georgia. That said, if you intend to spend a lot of time in it and on the road get the 45 footer. Likely you have at least 3 air conditioners and that is a big plus in the South in the summer
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:57 PM   #9
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yes tag axles, cummings, 1-2 slides, top line coach 2000 to 2003
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Old 05-28-2014, 06:21 AM   #10
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As others have said there are plenty of places that you can easily get a 45' into. However, depending on where you want to go and how you like to camp you may not. Especially if you like dry camping to get away from civilization.

For us, we really like the Nat'l Forest and State CG's and some of the really nice ones will not accommodate a 40' coach. We just got back from Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park but we camped on the southern edge, just outside of Allenspark. The next closest site was 500 yards away and from our site we could barely see anyone else. If this does not appeal to you then it may not matter what size coach you buy.

Happy hunting.
Glenn & Mary
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Old 05-28-2014, 12:39 PM   #11
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Is this going to be your first motorhome purchase?
There is so much difference between a 38ft coach and a 45 ft coach/bus.

Example: Most 38ft coaches have 4 to maybe 6 wet cell house batteries vs 6-8 AGM batteries for the 45 footers. You had best price the AGM's and make sure it is in your budget to replace them when the time comes. 8 AGM's can set you back 5k or more.

Be aware that a full set of tires (with tag), 4 wet chassis batteries, and 8 AGM's house batteries will cost you somewhere in the neighborhood of close to 10K.

Inverters: Most 38 footers have an inverter. Most 45 footers have two that can go bad. Ours has two 4000W trace inverters that to replace new can cost a few thousand dollars.

Oil changes: Most 38 ft diesels will have maybe an 8.3 Cummins that will hold in the neighborhood of 6+ gallon of oil. A Series 60 Detriot holds 12+ gallons.

Most 45 footers have an additional secondary air system that will require some special maintenance time to time.

Most 38ft coaches are either 110V, or 12V. many of the 45 footers are 110V, 12V and 24V.

Most of the 38ft coaches rely on roof mounted air conditioners that are realitively easy to maintain/replace. Many 45 footers have multi-complex heating airconditioning and systems.

Just some things to ponder.....
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Old 05-28-2014, 12:55 PM   #12
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Go for the 45'er, such a pleasure to drive and that is why you have a toad along, to get in the tight places. Plus the room you have when you get there. We don't feel as if we are even camping with all the roominess of the coach. We have had 6 MH's in the 25' to 35' range and 2 Fivers in the 35' and 40' range and this is the biggest of them all and we like it the best of all. Much easier to park this rig towing a toad then the 40' Fiver. As to the cost to own, this isn't a poor man's hobby by any means. Helps if you are a do it your selfer to save some money. No armored cars going to the cemetery, enjoy while you can. Randy
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Old 05-28-2014, 01:21 PM   #13
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A 45' may require additional drivers license qualifications depending on your home state. How much money are you looking to spend?

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Old 05-28-2014, 01:31 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by akeyzoo View Post
A 45' may require additional drivers license qualifications depending on your home state. How much money are you looking to spend?

So can a lot of 38s and even 34s if they are diesel since the weight will likely be north of 26k.

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Southern Maryland suburbs of DC
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