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Old 09-18-2016, 09:49 AM   #1
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Trying to choose a new coach, part 2.

We are concerned about size. We're planning on full timing with stopping places for a month to three at a time. But probably putting a lot of miles on over 2-3 years.. Plan to start off in Tucson for 3 months if we can get outta here this year. Want to do that to get aquainted with the rig, find some of the bugs etc. But I've read that 40 is harder to maneuver, excludes you from some RV, State and national parks. I've read that 35 -36 is better. We don't want to go smaller because my wife wants the washer dryer. 40s just seem so big and neither of us has ANY experience driving a motor Home.
The other thing that strikes me is there are so many used 40s and the 35-36s seem fewer and to go fast.
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Old 09-18-2016, 01:31 PM   #2
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We full timed for 3.5 years in a 1996 Holiday Rambler, the coach had one front slide and was a wide body 37 feet long. It worked great for us - but it didn't have a washer/dryer. We purchased a quad slide 41 foot coach in 2006 with washer/dryer. We did some 3 month trips in it. I didn't notice any difference driving - in fact the 40 foot seemed easier to me. Having said that, we are now buying a Newmar 3513 with three slides - one being a full wall slide. It has everything the diesel has and is a gas unit. We are looking to do shorter trips now as we in our retirement years. Many of the older campgrounds and National park campgrounds have lots of room for 35 footers - but not much for 40 footers. The last time I was at yellowstone- several years ago - they only had one full hook up 40 foot site - had lots that would take 35 footers. We found a 37 foot coach to be too large for many New England campgrounds.

Our new rig has plenty of room for 2 and it will comfortably sleep 4 and with sleeping bags 5. We are ordering two recliners instead of jack knife sofa - only $500 more and much more comfortable. We found a very nice queen sleeper bed that is elevated and takes the space of a large size suitcase that will work for guest on the rare occasion we need it. This bed works well and only cost $300. Just thought you might like this info - it is called an EZ Essential Bed you can find on google.

Good luck, I think either will work for you. But the smaller units are very nice now, especially built on the Ford 26K Chassis.
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Old 09-18-2016, 05:15 PM   #3
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Keep in mind that you won't be using the washer/dryer everywhere. You need to be on a sewer hookup. We didn't want a W/D. We preferred to get it all done at once every 10-14 days.

We successfully full-timed with our 40' motorhome and had no issues getting into parks that we wanted including national and state parks, national forest campgrounds, COE, county and city. No...you won't fit in all of them but neither will a 36' or even a 25', depending on the park.

We both drove the 40' and loved driving it. I think you'll find that maneuvering a 36' won't be much different than a 40'. It can be done and you'd get the hang of it. There are also RV driving schools throughout the country.

If you're going to be in Tucson in March, considering attending the Escapees RV Club's Escapade being held at the fairgrounds. It also offers 'Boot Camp' for beginners and usually there are signups for attending the driving school. Register early for Boot Camp if it interests you. It's very popular.

https://escapees.com/knowledge/escapade
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Old 09-18-2016, 09:34 PM   #4
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There's a good reason the 35 - 38' coaches are not plentiful on the used market. We love them and don't want to "trade up", a misnomer as far as I'm concerned.

We own a 2013 Tiffin Allegro RED 33aa, a 35' diesel pusher with 4 slides, 4 TV's, residential refrigerator, fireplace and washer and dryer. The W/D option is something we use frequently and we no longer consider it a frivolous extra. We live in the coach for 5 month every winter as well as several weeks each summer.

The 35' length makes it accessible to state and national parks and more maneuverable in all situations. It also has the power to tow a vehicle without noticeably diminishing the performance of the coach. The air suspension ride of a class A diesel is also much better than a super C chassis.

If you think this size coach is for you just keep looking. If you find one - buy it
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Old 09-18-2016, 10:13 PM   #5
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Two Gypsies - we used our washer and dryer WHILE driving all the time. If you have a water and an empty gray tank - it is not a problem! Worked great for us. We did the clothes driving down the road- when we hooked up or stopped at a dump station, we took care of water issue. If your coach can't handle washing while on the road - I suggest you consider getting a different coach - Newmar's definitely don't have a problem doing this!
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Old 09-18-2016, 10:22 PM   #6
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Two Gypsies - we used our washer and dryer WHILE driving all the time. If you have a water and an empty gray tank - it is not a problem! Worked great for us. We did the clothes driving down the road- when we hooked up or stopped at a dump station, we took care of water issue. If your coach can't handle washing while on the road - I suggest you consider getting a different coach - Newmar's definitely don't have a problem doing this!
Read the washer and dryer manual. I think you'll find it's not recommended. The Splendid combo units use concrete weights and the drum is suspended from springs. Hitting a bump at the wrong time can permanently stretch the springs
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Old 09-18-2016, 11:01 PM   #7
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We are concerned about size. We're planning on full timing with stopping places for a month to three at a time. But probably putting a lot of miles on over 2-3 years.. Plan to start off in Tucson for 3 months if we can get outta here this year. Want to do that to get aquainted with the rig, find some of the bugs etc. But I've read that 40 is harder to maneuver, excludes you from some RV, State and national parks. I've read that 35 -36 is better. We don't want to go smaller because my wife wants the washer dryer. 40s just seem so big and neither of us has ANY experience driving a motor Home.
The other thing that strikes me is there are so many used 40s and the 35-36s seem fewer and to go fast.
Bigger is better...Very few Fulltimers will tell you to go smaller. If you define fulltimer as one who lives in their RV 24x7x365, then it is all about space inside out of the rain and storage for all the essentials of living day to day. If you can drive a 30 fter without running into things, then you can drive a 40 fter. In the driver seat, all you worry about is staying in the middle of your lane and being aware of where the rear tires and the rear end are. They will become subliminal after a while. 40 fters are NOT "harder'" to maneuver. It is one of those " If you think you can't...you are probably right".

You are smart to live in your RV close to home for a while, because there will be bugs, whether you buy new or used. That way you will be able to fix stuff without being stranded some where you are not familiar with.

We have a washer and dryer and used them for a short while and then stopped. DW was always doing the laundry due to the small load capacity. We have not used ours in over a year. You can do laundry while on the road and not hooked to a pedestal but it is just way easier waiting till you get to an RV park or whenever it is convenient. I think it is a great selling point for the DW but other than that it just takes up a lot of space. Storage space trumps most every thing when you are fulltime.

I suggest renting an RV similar to what you plan to buy and see if you like the drivability and imagine what it would be like spending a month of cold, rainy days inside. I hope the DW loves you a lot....
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Old 09-18-2016, 11:38 PM   #8
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I suggest you consider getting a different coach - Newmar's definitely don't have a problem doing this!
We did have a Newmar - just like you. We would never do laundry while driving and we wouldn't do it in a public park without hookups. That's why we chose not to have the W/D when we bought. We mainly used public parks. We definitely didn't mind going into town for groceries, etc. and doing laundry once every 10-14 days so that we didn't have to do it daily. Everyone is different - and that's o.k.
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Old 09-19-2016, 04:16 AM   #9
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For most full timers bigger is better. Well worth having the added living and storage space for the cost of not fitting in a few places. Driving a large rig is not much different than a smaller one.

As for the w/d, we love ours and find it a real time saver. We do Laundry while doing other things in the RV. Also, we would never do laundry while driving, bad idea for many reasons.
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Old 09-20-2016, 11:45 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Rickndebw View Post
We are concerned about size. We're planning on full timing with stopping places for a month to three at a time. But probably putting a lot of miles on over 2-3 years.. Plan to start off in Tucson for 3 months if we can get outta here this year. Want to do that to get aquainted with the rig, find some of the bugs etc. But I've read that 40 is harder to maneuver, excludes you from some RV, State and national parks. I've read that 35 -36 is better. We don't want to go smaller because my wife wants the washer dryer. 40s just seem so big and neither of us has ANY experience driving a motor Home.
The other thing that strikes me is there are so many used 40s and the 35-36s seem fewer and to go fast.
Just wanted to say, we used washer/dryer all the time for 10 years while driving. People say manual says don't do it. Maybe so, but I can tell you it was never a problem. I have a 4024 Dutch Star, maybe the air bag ride reduces the chance for bumps. But I will also say we usually washed while on interstate s.
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Old 09-20-2016, 05:32 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Rickndebw View Post
We are concerned about size. We're planning on full timing with stopping places for a month to three at a time. But probably putting a lot of miles on over 2-3 years.. Plan to start off in Tucson for 3 months if we can get outta here this year. Want to do that to get aquainted with the rig, find some of the bugs etc. But I've read that 40 is harder to maneuver, excludes you from some RV, State and national parks. I've read that 35 -36 is better. We don't want to go smaller because my wife wants the washer dryer. 40s just seem so big and neither of us has ANY experience driving a motor Home.
The other thing that strikes me is there are so many used 40s and the 35-36s seem fewer and to go fast.
While not full timers our longest trip was a month and the washer and dryer were great to have. No waiting at the laundromat for the clothes to wash and dry. My rig is a Itasca Sunova 33c which is just shy of 35 feet and in the future when we become snowbirds or even full timers it would make a nice on the road home. Sounds like you are leaning towards used which is not a bad idea but don't hesitate to visit dealers to get test rides and a hands on feel. Size (height, weight and length) are important but they are different for everybody and while some older government parks have length restrictions there is a commercial park right down the road that will take any size coach. Also size is relative to what stuff you want to bring - a lot of stuff = a bigger coach. Remember you'll end up towing a dingy no matter what rig you purchase so plan for that addition. After you did your test drives and hands on then focus on the size unit you want and search the used. If you find a gem with low mileage and great price with no w/d I would go and look at the manufacturer websites as most of them have previous years information (I know Winnebago does) and look at the options if it was an option it is probably pre-piped all you have to do is buy a w/d. While the RV washer / dryers are not cheap it is certainly better than getting a less than "perfect" rig with a well used washer / dryer.
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Old 09-23-2016, 02:42 PM   #12
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Go with the 40' with a least 3 slides preferably 4 and used is the way to go believe me (I've owned 3 and the first two were new). If your planning on living in your coach for more than 3 months at a time you will be glad you have the extra room. We have a combo washer dryer in our rig and use it all the time.
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Old 09-25-2016, 04:06 PM   #13
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For full timing, I would go for 40 feet. There really is not much difference in driving. When we are looking for sites, we see National Parks where 25 feet is the limit. Our length has never stopped us from finding a place to park in the area we want to visit.
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Old 10-01-2016, 06:56 PM   #14
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Tthank you everyone. We appreciate all the good information. We found and bought a 2005 38 ft Monaco Knight. 4 slideouts. Were excited, but sure will be asking lots of questions. Part of our deal with the RV dealer was to include a new washer/dryer. DW is pleased.
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