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Old 12-05-2015, 05:38 AM   #57
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And can be downloaded online usually...

just do a google search for your state's cdl...
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Old 12-07-2015, 04:25 PM   #58
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There are also a number of You tube videos on the CDL (ignore the parts for the commercial license) as well as driving instructions for RV sized vehicles and why you do certain things. Lots of good information around.

And I did ALMOST get trapped in a small WalMart parking lot that had cheap diesel. Took my DW getting out to help keep an eye on things going around a corner and driving on the sidewalk in front of the store. Went straight out the nearest exit once I got clear of the corner.
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:55 AM   #59
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I have become much better at backing up my 40 footer and am now WAY more comfortable then when I hit the road for the first time. Just a little practice. I would not trade the additional living space for a 35'. Just my choice and each to his own. Heard a story of a guy backing his 45 footer into his site , his wife was out there with a walkie talkie yakkin away and waving her arms guiding him in. He backed the unit in perfectly. His neighbor spoke with the man later and said "Geez those radio's are a great idea , you backed that big coach in like a pro". The man replied yah, the DW loves that radio, I haven't had mine on for five years !
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Old 12-10-2015, 02:06 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by lnanne View Post
We do not like camping in RV parks and prefer state, county, and national parks. We are finding it difficult to find high quality coaches (for full timing) with the kitchen on the driver's side with enough carrying capacity at 35 feet or less.

We are concerned about being so limited in where we want to camp if we move to 40'. There are many small camp sites and not as many large sites in the campgrounds we like to camp in here in the NW. Even if they are long enough, we can't imagine backing into them with the tight corners we've experienced with our 27'.

Do you think the difference between 35' and 40' would be a big enough difference or will we already have enough trouble with even 35' so we may as well go for a 40'?

As always thank you for your help!

Ellen & Pat
We had a 35' Adventurer gasser and went to a 40' Newmar 4011 DSDP. Best move we ever made even though we are not full timers. In my opinion the Newmar is easier to manuver than the Winnebago was. The DSDP does not have the long overhang over the rear duals, therefore the "tail wagging the dog" is not so severe. You will like a 40' diesel if you decide to go that way.
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Old 12-10-2015, 06:48 PM   #61
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If you get a 40-45' with a tag axle that will raise you can shorten your turning radius immensely. my 42' panther turns around fairly easily and in less space than my 40' did.
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:43 PM   #62
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Hi Innane....Full time three years in a 30 ft gasser no slides. It was ok for a while but we finally decided we needed more space and bought a 38 ft Monaco 2 slide with 370 hp and the upgrade is way more than just a few more sq feet.

Dsl pushers have bigger everything: better built interior cabinets, exterior storage, better insulation, dbl pane windows, bigger fuel, water, propane, black and gray tank, better suspension / handling, generator, battery storage / inverter capacity and on and on. One year now in our 38ft Dynasty and boy are we glad we did it.

I can assure you that rv resorts rated by woodalls on good sam will not be cramped if you use their 10point ratings to find space. There are certainly many older narrow space rv parks out there but you don't have to stay in them. Monthly rates at a resort will always be cheaper than national / state parks paid by the day. Staying in the woods scrapping on trees, will get real old after a while. Resorts have pools, Jacuzzi, rec / craft rooms and Walmart is always near by. You can still have your camp fire and smores. SO...go big and have it all.
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Old 12-11-2015, 04:18 AM   #63
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We are finding everyone's perspectives really helpful and reassuring. We are also encouraged at the variety this opens up (looking at 40 ft vs shorter). But it feels like starting the learning curve over in many ways. Now we have to think about HP, transmissions, and ? when looking at diesels. And weight on front vs rear axles etc. Thank goodness, we know where to find help on that!
Thanks everyone for taking the time to answer, we really appreciate all the perspectives and reasons as it helps us figure out which ones seem to resonate with us more!

Ellen & Pat
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Old 12-13-2015, 10:48 AM   #64
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We are finding everyone's perspectives really helpful and reassuring. We are also encouraged at the variety this opens up (looking at 40 ft vs shorter). But it feels like starting the learning curve over in many ways. Now we have to think about HP, transmissions, and ? when looking at diesels. And weight on front vs rear axles etc. Thank goodness, we know where to find help on that!
Thanks everyone for taking the time to answer, we really appreciate all the perspectives and reasons as it helps us figure out which ones seem to resonate with us more!

Ellen & Pat
Keep in mind that going larger will be easy for getting used to and the skills for handling it, but going from smaller to larger, later on, will be downright expensive.
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Old 12-14-2015, 10:31 PM   #65
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Follow this advice:

Purchase your last motorhome first!
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Old 12-14-2015, 10:43 PM   #66
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If I were to have bought my last motorhome first, I would never have been able to afford it back then. I started with a 25 ft Itasca and I've had as large as a 39' coach. My current coach is a 36 footer and I love it. It's not too big for most campgrounds and it's large enough for everything my wife and I love to do. I would never go back to a 39 footer.
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:30 AM   #67
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think big

first was sleeping in the car , then a tent , then a truck and canopy , then 8ft camper , then a B van with a couch that made into a bed , then a new 1984 dodge caravan , was ok , better than a tent , back to a B van , then a 1974 27 ft class A , felt like a barn (that is what I called it) , then a 1998 34 ft class A gas , with no slide , but had storage under that was a great help , and pulled our car trailer with no problem , just as easy to park as the 27 ft , now we have a 40 ft DP , which will be our full time home on the road when we retire in 2 years .
the 40 ft Is an American Tradition 40 TVS (a step up from a cheaper design), on a Spartan chassis(an upgrade from a freightliner chassis in my opinion) and has independent front suspension (does not get pushed around as much as a BEAM axle) , air ride suspension (lowers when parked and super smooth ride compared to leaf springs) 10 inch taller and wider basement doors , washer-dryer(a must for full timing), dual opposing couches(one for each of us to relax and lounge), The DW had her heart set on a booth kitchen , this one had a table and chairs, (the dogs don`t climb on the table any more) and it is not crowded on the bench with junk any more , so now the DW likes it more , the diesel(330hp 8.3 ltr)has more power and 20% better fuel economy(10.8 mpg@55) ,and a 6 spd trans , dual pane windows , better insulation and brighter and much more luxurious interior , bigger bathroom and much more storage , and the kitchen is on the drivers side and has more counter space for prep . I
It drives smooth and straight , does not wander and handles cross winds and passing big trucks well , just finished a 2100 mile trip and enjoyed the drive(Detroit to Alberta)
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Old 12-19-2015, 07:34 PM   #68
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Don't be afraid of the 40

OK, my coach is only 39' long, and only 12.5 tall, so maybe things change with 1 more foot of length. However, we also avoid commercial parks in favor of state, NPS, NFS, and municipal campgrounds. In particular, NFS (National Forest Service) spots can be very tight. I've stuffed this thing into spots that seemed impossible. Slow, careful, walk around to plan your entry, use a spotter, stop when in doubt. Disconnect the toad first and use it to scout out the campground and find a spot. We've routinely stayed at campgrounds that stated smaller maximum lengths, yet been welcomed by the staff, who will often point you to sites that fit your rig.

One small caveat. Camping like this is a bit like taking my jeep off road. I once camped at Ten-X in the Grand Canyon next to a guy who had spent $60K pimping his jeep with all sorts of cool off-road gear and a hemi. When I suggested that we go off-roading together the next morning, he was horrified and stated that "he didn't want to scratch it". I have put a few scratches on my MH, but no serious damage. Another reason to buy a slightly older motorhome in good condition rather than new. If you can't deal with the occasional brushing of a tree limb, rethink your plan.

Charlie
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Old 12-19-2015, 07:47 PM   #69
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OK, my coach is only 39' long, and only 12.5 tall, so maybe things change with 1 more foot of length. However, we also avoid commercial parks in favor of state, NPS, NFS, and municipal campgrounds. In particular, NFS (National Forest Service) spots can be very tight. I've stuffed this thing into spots that seemed impossible. Slow, careful, walk around to plan your entry, use a spotter, stop when in doubt. Disconnect the toad first and use it to scout out the campground and find a spot. We've routinely stayed at campgrounds that stated smaller maximum lengths, yet been welcomed by the staff, who will often point you to sites that fit your rig.



One small caveat. Camping like this is a bit like taking my jeep off road. I once camped at Ten-X in the Grand Canyon next to a guy who had spent $60K pimping his jeep with all sorts of cool off-road gear and a hemi. When I suggested that we go off-roading together the next morning, he was horrified and stated that "he didn't want to scratch it". I have put a few scratches on my MH, but no serious damage. Another reason to buy a slightly older motorhome in good condition rather than new. If you can't deal with the occasional brushing of a tree limb, rethink your plan.



Charlie

I very much agree!
My 42 has a tag axle. When I lift the tag my rig has a wheelbase shorter than most 40s.
We also get into parks that state 35 ft max, like you do, yet we make it fit. The tag and tight wheel cut allow much. And I have pride in all of my "experience marks"!
FYI, I have a stock Wrangler that has "Arizona pin stripes" from brush, and is seldom washed as the protective layer of value-adding patina would be compromised.
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Old 12-20-2015, 12:09 AM   #70
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We full time in a 34' non-slide DP. We spent 7 months in a 24' class C before that so 34' feels pretty roomy and comfortable to us. I wish I had a larger galley, though a lot of larger coaches we looked at had loads of sitting area but still had small kitchens. The slide in our old Class C made it very tolerable and if I were to change anything in our current coach it would be to have a small slide. Apart from that, we don't feel we lack space. We have all our stuff with us including the DH's tools, my sewing machine, hobby stuff, chairs, bbq, etc.And we have a washer/dryer which I would never be without.
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