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Old 10-21-2014, 09:42 PM   #15
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5th Wheel Size might be a personal preference OR what the DW decides is adequate space for the family. If you plan to work camp then check with your employer. Our employer has no sites over 34’.
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Old 10-22-2014, 09:56 AM   #16
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Stickdog, do you have a mail forwarding service? If you do which one do you recommend ?
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Old 10-22-2014, 11:11 AM   #17
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Size is something we have thought about. We have had a 26, 29 and 32 fifth wheel. Since we often travel the blue roads and stay in WA and OR state parks where size of the site can vary quite a bit, we think 32 is our upper limit.

One other thing we have noticed is there are places where turns are tight and the longer the rig the more difficult to clear obstacles. Private parks seem be much easier to navigate than some state.

Keep in mind the overall length of both truck and trailer when considering size.
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Old 10-22-2014, 12:02 PM   #18
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I'm running around in a 38' bumper to aerodynamic nose 5er and have had no issues thus far. The long overhang allows me to back into sites deeper, I put it into a site marked as 30' once, let several feet hang over the back of the site without issue.

It's also branded as a 346, which to most parks is all they care about. Tell them it's a 34' and you're golden.

I love the spaciousness.

Now, beware. I've read about some national parks that will actually measure you upon arrival. They'll put your bumper on one line and if anything is past the line 35' later then they'll turn you away, hitch, bicycle rack and all. I've been told that Yellowstone is one such park.

I picked the places that I wanted to visit by priority. Mile High in Cherokee NC can take up to roughly 40' at a few of their sites. Most national parks have 35' limits but the model number has gotten me around that. So that helped me with my choice and so far I've been quite happy with it.
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Old 10-22-2014, 10:04 PM   #19
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We are full-timing in a 35' FW. While we haven't had too many problems yet, the issue you will face is less of a camping spot size and more of a "how do I maneuver into that spot?" issue. Sometimes the lanes leading up to the spot allow for very little back-up room considering you have a truck that needs more room in the turning radius. My suggestion would be to ask for a 40' spot if towing a 35' FW. I just tell them I'm 5' bigger than I am and that seems to work. The CGs will fit you into a spot depending on what you tell them. The only exception to that being Fishing Bridge at YNP. All the 45+ spots were taken so I had to go with a 35' spot just to get in. It was a super tight fit due to our TV, a CC F350.
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Old 10-22-2014, 11:40 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by cptgregger View Post
We are full-timing in a 35' FW. While we haven't had too many problems yet, the issue you will face is less of a camping spot size and more of a "how do I maneuver into that spot?" issue. Sometimes the lanes leading up to the spot allow for very little back-up room considering you have a truck that needs more room in the turning radius. My suggestion would be to ask for a 40' spot if towing a 35' FW. I just tell them I'm 5' bigger than I am and that seems to work. The CGs will fit you into a spot depending on what you tell them. The only exception to that being Fishing Bridge at YNP. All the 45+ spots were taken so I had to go with a 35' spot just to get in. It was a super tight fit due to our TV, a CC F350.
This does bring up a good point that I don't see addressed very often. Backing skills.

The tightest place I've put mine is at Red Top Mtn in North Ga. Beautiful park, older, rustic, lots of room between sites. But, it's older and it's site sizing is.......ambitious at best.

I reserved a 40' site with the knowledge that a 40' site usually means enough room for the 5er and the truck. Don't forget, I'm coming in at 38' long physically.

Well, once I dangled several feet off the back of the site my 5er was in there with just enough room for me to squeeze my truck past the nose to park alongside the road. The road was narrow, approach poor and honestly was a tough target. It took me three shots to hit it which for me is unusual.

Day two a knock came at the door, I opened it to see a ranger. Thinking I was busted for the way I parked my truck (In my site, but because of the lack of room not on the pad which is officially a no no.) I started apologizing when he put his hand up. My rig was the biggest he had ever seen in that spot and he wanted to know how I got it in there. Seems they regularly have to reassign people with much smaller trailers.

I practice, when I first got her I went to a parking lot and practiced backing up to see how it acted, how it turned, how it reacted to input. I still practice, when out on the road and about to park I'll back up into places just to try it.

Just for comparison, my 5er is 38' long, my old TT was a 28' box, 32' hitch to rear bumper. But from the hitch to the front axle the distances are the same within inches. I parked the 5er on the same tire tracks and the pin was directly over the TT ball. Yet it backs up completely different, the 5er, pivoting over the rear axle, reacts much quicker than the TT.

Lot of typing to say please consider backing up when considering length. Getting into the spot can at times be difficult, having practiced backing skills can make your life much easier no matter what size unit you get.
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Old 10-23-2014, 01:08 PM   #21
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We have 'jumped' from a 33' Glendale Titanium which, due the way it was built, had a lot of the length over the bed as well as maybe 4-5 feet directly over the truck cab (and a lot of hitch weight. Now, we have a 38' (measured!!)Montana High Country which has virtually all of its length behind the hitch. Sites that I had no problem getting into before make for some interesting maneuvering now. On a recent trip we found that many East Coast campgrounds will often advertise a certain length, i.e.39-40 feet but I have to say those are often very ambitious figures and for those 5er with the non extended hitch box.

Now, then back to the OP question - the 38 foot length we now have is a LOT more living and comfort space and well worth the aggravation trying to find a place to park. Then, something else to maybe look at - front living room, rear bedroom. We thought very seriously about that arrangement but none we saw had the kitchen layout the DW wanted

What it all ends up - it's what suits you and your style of life. If you and the spouse like togetherness - smaller can work. If you have a need for your own space..........
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Old 10-23-2014, 05:13 PM   #22
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With Excel making 32' units with 3 slides or a shorter used NuWa with 3 slides I think you could full-time in these shorter units that are built well enough to full time in. The key is that they have 3 slides.
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:22 PM   #23
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With Excel making 32' units with 3 slides or a shorter used NuWa with 3 slides I think you could full-time in these shorter units that are built well enough to full time in. The key is that they have 3 slides.
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At our point in life, 3 slides is minimum and since that worked so well on our last 5er, we ended up with one with 4 and that's even better yet with a LR that is extremely comfortable, having a desk and decent sized kitchen/dining area for the two of us plus the 'kid', our poodlepup
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Old 10-24-2014, 08:45 AM   #24
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3 slides plus

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With Excel making 32' units with 3 slides or a shorter used NuWa with 3 slides I think you could full-time in these shorter units that are built well enough to full time in. The key is that they have 3 slides.
Ditto. We couldn’t agree more. A requirement for us is a floor plan that allows access to the kitchen and lavatory with the slides in.
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Old 10-25-2014, 03:29 PM   #25
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the last time my trailer was at the edge of my site to fit it in, a kid under 12 drove a golf cart into it.
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Old 10-31-2014, 02:29 AM   #26
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You didn't mention how many people will be aboard but I guess the answer is really what kind of people you are should determine the length of your home, not what campgrounds you use. There are people just as happy in their 25 footers as those who are in their 43 footers. Are you outdoor or indoor people? If you want to live indoors all the time, like in a the city, you will likely need a bigger RV to move around in. Being more camper minded, but having lived through our share of rain sodden tents so are finished with that, we like being outside, which is why we don't need as much space. We bought a 37' bunkhouse when we had two teenage daughters living in it with us but now that they are gone I use the space for my office--but just because it's there, and they will come to visit when on breaks from school and missionary work. Otherwise, I'd cut that 6 feet off and have the big back window nonBH models have.

We did workamp some having no problem anywhere we went in RV parks, state parks, or roadside rest stops but I remember seeing lots of ads for workampers that said no rig bigger than 34 feet. I've seen most of those in Oregon say no more than 29' in their state parks. So I say don't let those dimensions be your guide. Visit lots and lots of 5ers before making a final choice taking your time to move around, lie on the bed, get on and off it, go through the motions in the bathroom, walk around, think about your hobbies and how you spend your spare time now; that won't likely change as much as you might think. Neither is wrong but are you an outsider or insider? Might you use the campstove and eat outdoors as we most often do, or will all meals be cooked and eaten in the RV? Are you a camper type who likes to sit outside as much as possible or is TV and AC your main attraction? When we aren't walking or exploring, I knit, write, and bible study while my husband reads and watches Youtube videos; very portable activities that don't take much space and can be done indoors and out. Those kinds of ideas should direct your choice, not just where you park it.
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Old 10-31-2014, 05:19 PM   #27
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We may have gone off the deep end, but have just traded our 39' Big Horn for a 43' Trilogy. The logic behind this larger RV is my DW is an inside person, and I like my share of TV myself. We sold our home earlier this year and were planning on living in the Big Horn but with DW's had issues with her back. That puts a new twist on things (no pun intended). The new Trilogy has a toilet on the lower floor in addition to a toilet on the upper bedroom floor, therein less climbing the stairs on a daily basis for DW. We plan on full-timing in the 5'er for several years until we decide where we would like to buy another home. I would like to do some work-kamping but the news I'm hearing in this thread my supersede doing so with a 5'er of this length. We enjoy our time inside (i.e. reading, watching TV, surfing, napping, yada, yada, yada), thus the reason for wanting a little more space in the new RV. We are really looking forward to the new unit; expecting to have all the options installed and ready for delivery in the next several weeks. For us, we wanted more inside space, so, now I get to back a 43'er in to place instead of a 39'er.......
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Old 10-31-2014, 05:21 PM   #28
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Kind of like a boat: 2' longer than you have now!
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