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Old 11-30-2015, 07:48 PM   #29
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When we've planned to stay at state parks, we've found the limitations on electricity and sewer connections to be more of an issue for us than any question of size and space.
There's wisdom in this comment. Here in Michigan - it seems like the vast majority of state park sites are 30 amp electric only. Some provide 50 amp service. State parks with true full hookups (electric, water and sewer) seem pretty rare.

We find that typically there are fewer state park sites that are labeled as able to support our Endeavor 43 DFT (44' 3" overall length) - but other than a last minute trips during peak season, we've always been able to find state park sites that can accommodate us. You simply need to be diligent about doing a little planning and reserving in advance.
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:31 PM   #30
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One thing to keep in mine is that DP's turn MUCH tighter than gas rigs, because the wheels can turn 50-55 degrees off-center (compared to about 32 degrees for many gas coaches). That said, you obviously can't put a 40' motorhome in a space that's 35 feet long, but, IME, you can back a 40' DP into a 40' space much easier than you can back that 35' gasser into the space.

In the year before we bought our DP (and we had the same issue you reference, that the selection of units under 36' is far more limited) we really focused on looking at where we went and what we did and asking ourselves "could we do that in a bigger unit?" to try and figure out if it would really matter to us.

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Old 11-30-2015, 10:22 PM   #31
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Why does the kitchen have to be on the driver's side?
In our experience here in the NW, most of the time the best views are out the passenger side so we want the dining and couch on that side. Worst case it's a view of your camp. On the drivers side most of the time you either see your neighbors camp OR bushes/trees right next to your rig or in pull through's you get a view of the campground road.

Ideally we want large windows on both sides to cover our bases! But we find that in most shorter rigs, the kitchen is on the side with the least windows so we prefer that on the drivers side.

PS to CampDaven - sounds like you're camping in places we hope to not spend a lot of time at - the RV parking lot variety (if you see sewer hoses for your view)! But perhaps in a few years of full-timing we'll eat those words and be perfectly content in places like that for the full hookup conveniences! Right now it sounds ok for the times we need to do laundry perhaps but we'd be looking hard for more "nature-like" alternatives!
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:27 PM   #32
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One thing to keep in mine is that DP's turn MUCH tighter than gas rigs, because the wheels can turn 50-55 degrees off-center (compared to about 32 degrees for many gas coaches).

Steve
Several folks have mentioned this and I admit I'm having trouble following this. We have read that longer wheel base is a better ride and doesn't that mean it doesn't turn as tight? If it has a tight turn, doesn't that mean there's a lot of overhang beyond the back tire (on longer rigs) and won't that cause issues in trying to get into tight spots? Just trying to understand if it's better to look for a rig with more overhang in the back or less. Or something else?!
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Old 12-01-2015, 06:53 AM   #33
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Wanted a 35' or less...will we regret 40ft?

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Several folks have mentioned this and I admit I'm having trouble following this. We have read that longer wheel base is a better ride and doesn't that mean it doesn't turn as tight? If it has a tight turn, doesn't that mean there's a lot of overhang beyond the back tire (on longer rigs) and won't that cause issues in trying to get into tight spots? Just trying to understand if it's better to look for a rig with more overhang in the back or less. Or something else?!

I suggest test driving ALL of them to really know and FEEL the difference in handling, parking and maneuvering. A 55 degree wheel cut and air ride make a huge difference.....actually, all the difference.
And then there is the storage.
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Old 12-01-2015, 07:19 AM   #34
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Wanted a 35' or less...will we regret 40ft?

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PS to CampDaven - sounds like you're camping in places we hope to not spend a lot of time at - the RV parking lot variety (if you see sewer hoses for your view)! But perhaps in a few years of full-timing we'll eat those words and be perfectly content in places like that for the full hookup conveniences! Right now it sounds ok for the times we need to do laundry perhaps but we'd be looking hard for more "nature-like" alternatives!

Going fulltime will allow you many new freedoms and challenges.
State parks are $25 per night with E or E/W out here in the SW. That is $750/month, and your stay is limited to 2 weeks. But a good RV resort is 400-500 per month with FHU and amenities galore, including hiking trails right from camp.
We DO love the State Parks, and spend a week in them now and then. And, yes, better views. This is at Picacho Peak SP. HUGE sites, electric only. And Picacho Peak is out our picture windows on the drivers side.
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BTW, we boondocked since childhood, tenting, carrying water, etc. 30 years ago we got a fully self-contained RV. Now, we don't rough it. We "smooth". But we are still minimalist and must improvise, adapt, and follow the good weather.
Happy Trails and best wishes!
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Old 12-01-2015, 07:20 AM   #35
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Inanne,

What's your budget? We can all come up with great suggestions to spend your money. If you are fulltiming, I would suggest a diesel. If you are looking for something that fits most places, has a driver's side kitchen, has plenty of storage space, you might want to look at a Tiffin Phaeton 36GH.
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:00 AM   #36
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Several folks have mentioned this and I admit I'm having trouble following this. We have read that longer wheel base is a better ride and doesn't that mean it doesn't turn as tight? If it has a tight turn, doesn't that mean there's a lot of overhang beyond the back tire (on longer rigs) and won't that cause issues in trying to get into tight spots? Just trying to understand if it's better to look for a rig with more overhang in the back or less. Or something else?!

Wheel base does not determine the angle the front wheels are capable of turning to. All else being equal, wheelbase might affect your turning circle diameter?

When it comes to a list of desirable handling traits, long overhangs will ALWAYS be a step backwards.
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Old 12-01-2015, 03:38 PM   #37
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Several folks have mentioned this and I admit I'm having trouble following this. We have read that longer wheel base is a better ride and doesn't that mean it doesn't turn as tight? If it has a tight turn, doesn't that mean there's a lot of overhang beyond the back tire (on longer rigs) and won't that cause issues in trying to get into tight spots? Just trying to understand if it's better to look for a rig with more overhang in the back or less. Or something else?!
You are right that a longer wheelbase doesn't turn as tight, all things being equal. But the tighter you can turn the front wheels, for any given wheelbase, the sharper the turns you can make.

Just picture driving your road car in a parking lot, and if you are only allowed to turn the wheel a little bit, you will need a lot more room to get into a space!

Steve
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Old 12-01-2015, 06:00 PM   #38
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Take a look at the Tiffin RED 33AA floorplan, which is actually 35' long if you are interested in that length. Have not had a problem getting into any state parks or CG's.
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:06 PM   #39
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There will always be places you can't get in regardless of what size rig you have. You can get a truck camper and find places to small for you. I have ben in about 50 different campgrounds this year. Never did I say never had a time I couldn't find a place to park in the area I wanted to be.
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:57 PM   #40
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We currently have a 34 foot DP. We are going to a 40 ft soon. Don't know how it will work out as far as camping goes. We are full timers and have plenty of space to park at both spots, one in MI and the other here in OR. When traveling, we usually stay at rest stops for the night.
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Old 12-01-2015, 11:39 PM   #41
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We wanted a shorter rig and got a 34 ft Journey. The previous posts on the turning radius of the DPs is significant. That coupled with a shorter rig has let me maneuver ours in ways you would never think possible. Being under 35 has let us in more places that have restrictions (we try to do a lot of state and National parks). Also, there are a surprising amount of times that we call for a reservation and they say "we only have one spot for a 35 footer." It seems to give us some good breaks on finding spots when it is busy. BTW, our kitchen is on the driver's side, which puts our table on our patio side. We like that.

Good luck with your search and decision.

Jeff
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Old 12-02-2015, 05:47 AM   #42
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I think you will find it will take you about a week to get used to whatever you buy.

So find the floor plan you like and go for it. I heard it said before "size matters". That extra 5' on the inside is huge if you are staying in the coach any length of time.

We went from 35' to 40' and love the extra room. Have not had any issues with state or national parks.

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