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Old 09-16-2012, 08:42 AM   #1
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Size and Length

For those of you that have a 40'+ MH and tow something behind (be it car or trailer).....what kind of challenges have you faced because of your size/length?
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:58 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by NoFear
For those of you that have a 40'+ MH and tow something behind (be it car or trailer).....what kind of challenges have you faced because of your size/length?
The total length is not much of a problem. The height, weigh and width should be in your mind at all times. The length of the vehicle and tow goes through the hole you make with the front end. Once you get comfortable with when to turn the wheel so the back end clears at the inside of the turn you will be ok.

My biggest issue is at fuel islands, so I almost always fill up with the trucks at truck stops. Sometimes I will use the RV island at a Flying J. With 150 gal of fuel on board, I generally plan my stops and know where I'm going to fuel.
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:28 AM   #3
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Steve hit it on the head IMO. The toad is not much of an issue and you actually have to keep reminding yourself that it is back there at all. Fuel stops always have to be carefully considered and I try to never enter anywhere without know what my exit strategy is.

For the first time in 50,000 miles we had to unhook a couple of weeks ago while fueling in Quebec. I knew my exit route when I entered but while fueling, a truck pulled in and parked in a spot which blocked it. I didn't ask them to move right away because I figured they were only going in to make a quick purchase and would be gone by the time I needed to leave. As luck would have it they all piled out and went to the restaurant next door to have lunch. My French isn't good enough to go into a restaurant and interrupt their meal so I bit the bullet.

I think the biggest challenge of a 40DP comes in where you camp. Most national and many state parks just don't yet have facilities where we'll fit so we nearly always stay at private CGs.


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Old 09-16-2012, 09:33 AM   #4
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Steve hit it on the head IMO. The toad is not much of an issue and you actually have to keep reminding yourself that it is back there at all. Fuel stops always have to be carefully considered and I try to never enter anywhere without know what my exit strategy is.

For the first time in 50,000 miles we had to unhook a couple of weeks ago while fueling in Quebec. I knew my exit route when I entered but while fueling, a truck pulled in and parked in a spot which blocked it. I didn't ask them to move right away because I figured they were only going in to make a quick purchase and would be gone by the time I needed to leave. As luck would have it they all piled out and went to the restaurant next door to have lunch. My French isn't good enough to go into a restaurant and interrupt their meal so I bit the bullet.

I think the biggest challenge of a 40DP comes in where you camp. Most national and many state parks just don't yet have facilities where we'll fit so we nearly always stay at private CGs.

Rick
Thanks! That was what I was worried about... the state n national parks. We really prefer the quite and less contested areas to park. We love the nature and outdoors. If we had to always stay in a big RV park I thing I'd go nuts.
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:04 AM   #5
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Thanks! That was what I was worried about... the state n national parks. We really prefer the quite and less contested areas to park. We love the nature and outdoors. If we had to always stay in a big RV park I thing I'd go nuts.
I know that Paul and Nina have done very well staying at state, national and COE parks in their 40DP. You might check out their blog Wheeling It | Living the Fulltime RV Dream with 12 Paws, 40 Feet and the Open Road

Best of luck.

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Old 09-16-2012, 10:12 AM   #6
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Some state park systems have plenty of large sites - Georgia comes quickly to mind. And Corp of Engineer parks (some of which are state or county operated) are also typically quite roomy.

On the other hand, older parks of any type, including private ones, are likely to have smaller sites and/or narrow access roads. Still, we seldom encounter one where we cannot find a usable site, even if it is a bit crowded.

To me, overall length (we are 61 ft) is not an issue while driving. The long wheel base of a 40+ foot coach can be, though. Ours is 22'4" between the wheels, which creates a lot of lag in a tight turn. If something prohibits us from swinging wide, e.g. traffic in the oncoming lane during a city street turn, the rear wheels may climb the curb or the side could kiss a light pole. Obviously something to be avoided!
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:31 AM   #7
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I see you are from Texas. We have not had issues using the Texas State Parks and Corps of Engineer parks. You can check both online to see if there are any size restrictions.
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:56 AM   #8
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Border crossings, entering the USA, the new security lanes; concrete re-inforced steel posts set in a curved patern ( to slow vehicles trying to crash through the border) and the 90 degree exit turns after you pass the guard posts. I get mixed signals when I ask about using the truck lanes, no offical policy.Also, crossing with the trucks, south of Vancouver B.C. could put you in a 3 hour line up. Coming back into Canada isn't any better 9' lane through between the huts, when I stop to talk the guard can't exit , if he comes out to guide me through; clear the mirrors; he can't get back to his computor terminal, also no offical policy regarding RVs in the truck lanes.
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:13 AM   #9
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We're 100% success rate at NP's! (But, so far have only tried to stay in three NP!)

Many have stated this before, in ohter posts about length. With advance planning, you can usually find spots in many SP and NP that state limits of say 32 -36'. Most parks, will allow you to look the sites over, and if you feel comfortable with a spot, let you go for it.

It's quite oftern the access roads to the spots, in the older parks, that are more of a limit then the actual space size.

You will find some parks that you can not fit into. Period.

So it comes down to what is important to you. If just weekend or two-three week camping usage, 32-36' will get you into most parks, and is a good compromise on size. If full time usage, of long extended road trips, then 40' is not all that much bigger.

Also, when looking at a big rig, as Gary mentioned, the turning radius becomes an issue. With most Tag units that also have IFS, you will sometimes find them to have better truning radius then the 36' coaches. Yep, got to watch the tail end some too! Our 40' CC is just amazing on how tight it can turn...

Look over how you plan to us a rig, and buy accordingly. We expect about 8-12 years of heavy usage for our rig (We should retire next year, then go Permanent Part Time Full Timing - doing 2-4 month trips at a time, then back to the home base to check on family). We currently think we will downsize at the end of this period, and hav a smaller rig for ongoing local short hop get aways. But who knows how this will change over the years ahead...

Best of luck on your choices, and have some fun when you get going,
Smitty
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:28 AM   #10
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I went from pulling a 28 foot trailer behind a GM Savanna to a 42 foot MH pulling a Suburban. The main difference is I am not as casual about where I'll stop. I usually plan pretty carefully where I'll pull off the road if it is NOT a truck stop or a highway rest area. Not all Walmarts and truck stops are actually that easy to use.

I usually go on Google Maps and get a satellite view before I pull out. Lots of interesting things you can learn from a photo that a map won't tell you. On a longer run I'll check out a few different points as I don't know exactly where we will want to call it a day, and wandering around in the dark is not an option.
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:37 AM   #11
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We have a 40' DP and have stayed in 9 Florida State parks this year already. We only had one issue and that was at Hillsborough River State park in Thonotosassa, Fl. One camping area had a tight turn and almost, if I wasn't carefully looking hit a pine tree that was right next to the entrance turn. Slow and easy is the safest way but is doable. I like the SP as I am disabled 100% and get 50% off campsites.
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:26 PM   #12
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We have been considering a 45' Monaco pulling a 20' cargo trailer. Currently we are at 50' with a Dodge 3500 and 35' 5th wheel.
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Old 09-16-2012, 05:43 PM   #13
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I see you are from Texas. We have not had issues using the Texas State Parks and Corps of Engineer parks. You can check both online to see if there are any size restrictions.
Ditto here. We have never had a problem with COE Parks. Some of the State parks can be a little tight with overhanging limbs and short parking spaces. But there is always a way to squeeze it in somewhere.

Height is an eye opener as to where you cannot go without some aggravating scratches at best and some worrisome damage at the worst. I never gave height a thought until I drove ours home. Meandering through our neighborhood trying to find some clearance was a big challenge.

Length is not a big issue once you learn to allow for it with turns and lane changes. Many parking spaces are not pull-throughs so you have to unhook but that is not a big deal. We have been able to plan ahead for most issues that might affect us.

Good luck.

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Old 09-16-2012, 07:30 PM   #14
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We are staying at a Washington State Park next week. We have a reservation for a 50' site that we made when we were using the p/u and camper. I don't expect their will be a problem.
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