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Old 01-20-2013, 11:50 PM   #1
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5th wheel length

I now own a 20 ft 5th wheel , a Security, and am looking at a 36 foot Montana but have been told that to get into most parks, National, State, or Provincial that it is recommended to stay under 30 feet. I am looking for input so that I can make the correct decision. We do a lot of rural camping and also am thinking of going full time with this newer RV., P.S. We also have 3 dogs that are our kids.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:27 AM   #2
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A lot of provincial, Wells Gray, Bear Creek near Kelowna, several older private parks around Nacusp, Halcyon Hot springs sections of Fairmont Hot Springs will be a problem with a 5th over 30 feet , particularly if your trying to manuver with a quad cab long box P/U. Any private park that takes reservations will be easier if you tell them up front what your looking for in length, but the provincial where it's first come first served can really be a problem. Most were set out in the days when a 24ft TT was huge and slides were not heard of. Driving skill can help but length, width, and in some parks height can be a real problem. Wilderness camping and ground clearance on longer units can also be a no-go, most are built with Interstate Highways in mind.
I had 4, 5th wheels ,longest 29' before I got my coach.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:01 AM   #3
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In Sept. and Oct. we took or first trip in our new 27' 5er. We visited 7 national parks and a whole bunch of national forests. We never had any trouble with our length, but there were several times when I would have trouble if I had been a few feet longer.

Joel
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:45 AM   #4
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You will be limited in some parks with a 36'er, no doubt. You just look for a different park. I have been in many provincial parks with my rig. I have been in many US state, county and National parks. Most private CG can handle 36 with no problem. Just check your guides before you start and plan ahead. Never found a Walmart or Sams yet that gave me a problem for length. ............Next question is the truck - - don't try to pull it with a 1/2 ton. In fact, a 3/4 could give you a problem with the GVWR. Lots more pin weight on the truck. But, if you plan on spending a lot of time in that baby, 36' is pretty nice.

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Old 01-23-2013, 07:28 PM   #5
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5ers over 30' long are for "rich guys" that can afford to pay for a KOA or Good Sam RV park. Sorta like folks with diesel pushers. If you plan to get by cheap, then limit the 5er to 28' or so, and be sure it's useable without the slides extended. Many of the forest service campsites are too narrow for even one slide to stick out, much less slides on both sides of a Montana.

No, I haven't tried it with something as huge as a Montana. My 5er was 25' with one big slide, and sometimes we had to leave the slide in while parked in the spot the Forest Service assigned to us. Now we have a 20' TT with no slides, so we can camp almost anywhere.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:31 PM   #6
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Think about it this way. A 36ft 5th wheel will take same room as a 30ft TT. Only height to be concerned. Lower profiles are available.
Owned large 5th for 17 years and always found a fit.
Its better to own what is comfortable then to worry about size.
And I am not rich neither do travel on a budget.
I see smaller units with more outside additional storage contraptions, why not have comfort. After all fees are same for large and small and we have comfort of home anywhere we park.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:01 AM   #7
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We just traded a 38' Montana for a 30' Jayco mostly because the RV was a bit too much for the TV. We only travel 4 months out the year but if we were full time, we would have kept the Montana and bought a heavier TV. For the most part, we don't camp at State Parks, etc. so the Montana length was no problem for us. I can tell you that the Montana was great when we got to where we were going. We had plenty of room and our two cats were not in the way, as they are now in our smaller 5er. It's one of those things where there is the good and then there's the bad. With decisions like this you gain something while giving up something else...just have to weigh the differences.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troutslayer View Post
We just traded a 38' Montana for a 30' Jayco mostly because the RV was a bit too much for the TV. We only travel 4 months out the year but if we were full time, we would have kept the Montana and bought a heavier TV. For the most part, we don't camp at State Parks, etc. so the Montana length was no problem for us. I can tell you that the Montana was great when we got to where we were going. We had plenty of room and our two cats were not in the way, as they are now in our smaller 5er. It's one of those things where there is the good and then there's the bad. With decisions like this you gain something while giving up something else...just have to weigh the differences.
I agree. Smaller for partime works. But full timing is an other story.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:34 PM   #9
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Larger then 32 feet and you won't be able to get into a lot of state and federal parks.
Currently have a a 32 foot Montana and it gets tight in some parks
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:15 AM   #10
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Check out the Arizona State Parks. The few I've been to have plenty of room for the largest of rigs. And you have tons of room inbetween campsites.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:52 AM   #11
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Gawlee you guys sure gave me a headful to chew on . We are off to the Early Bird RV show in Abbotsford B.C. and are looking to see what there is in the 30 foot range as we have been concentrating on the BIG ones and now realize that 30 feet is acceptable.

I was a long haul driver before I retied so moving 60 to 70 foot rigs is not a problem for me.

Will sign in after the show and then we will see which way to go.

Thanx agin
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:00 PM   #12
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Smokey, over 30' does not limit you to KOA and GS and are not for rich guys. Granted, our 36' 5er does limit us in SOME parks, but we still find plant of neat places to camp. When we lived in NE Oklahoma, we were more limited than in Texas. We have not had any problems to really speak of.

And as for Commiefornia, I don't really plan to go there.

Ken
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:18 PM   #13
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We've been fulltiming over 3 years in a 34ft 5er towed with a Ford F450 diesel dually long box and we stay in a lot of older and National Forest campgrounds. We've been all over the US and never find a problem. We always seen to find at least one spot to fit into. We always check out the campgrounds online as we are travelling down the road to make sure they have some spots for our size. Most parks seem to understate the maximum length allowable. We've frequently fit our 34' into sites the park said would only handle 30' or 32'. But I think 36' would probably be pushing your luck.
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:30 PM   #14
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We full-time in a 35' Montana and have had very few problems finding a spot. Most national forest campgrounds are too small, but if it is national forest, just go find a spot that you do fit. I would really not want to try to full-time in a 30' trailer. My wife can throw things pretty accurately at 30'.
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