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Old 06-08-2012, 01:32 PM   #1
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First Timers, Full Timers, is this rig too big?

My wife and I are close to putting a significant down payment on a Heartland ElkRidge 37 Ultimate. It meets our many requirements (first and foremost, a great play/learning/sleeping kid's room; secondly, a king bed), but we are both concerned that it's just too big. At 41+ feet, we'll likely not fit in many parks on the road - or is this changing?

We will be living in one place throughout most of our first year, so the size will be nice to have initially. We will also both be running internet based businesses, so the added room is nice for office space.

For you full time families: what have you found your space requirements to be over time? Is maintenance an issue? Have you found you worked/lived/parented better in a certain size?

Basically, we both have the jitters a bit, and are anxious to have any and all feedback.

Thanks!
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:21 PM   #2
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The mostly likely campgrounds you are limiting are the COE, state and county parks (i.e cheap camping). If you're not limited in budget and can afford $30 - 50 per nights stay, I've found 40' to be quite capable in most G.S., KOA or other private campgrounds. When you get to this size, you're not looking at staying in the "great outdoors" but in a more civilized area. If your idea of camping means you want limited facilities and the true outdoor experience, then yes you have to stay around 32' maximum to fit those areas. Myself, I live in 40' and don't want to be away from it all just far enough that I can enjoy peace and quiet, some trees and a swimming pool. Ahhhh... hand me that cold beer out of the frig, would you please?
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Old 06-08-2012, 03:15 PM   #3
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Some friends of ours have a camper that large and they don't seem to have much trouble getting into sites with theirs.

A camper that large should have a 50 amp service, and they sometimes have trouble finding sites with 50 amp service. They have an adapter to take it down to a 30 amp service, but then they have to be careful as to what they run so they don't pop the pedestal breaker all the time.

They have even melted an adapter plug once as well.
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Old 06-09-2012, 07:09 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by huntpalmer View Post
My wife and I are close to putting a significant down payment on a Heartland ElkRidge 37 Ultimate. It meets our many requirements (first and foremost, a great play/learning/sleeping kid's room; secondly, a king bed), but we are both concerned that it's just too big. At 41+ feet, we'll likely not fit in many parks on the road - or is this changing?

We will be living in one place throughout most of our first year, so the size will be nice to have initially. We will also both be running internet based businesses, so the added room is nice for office space.

For you full time families: what have you found your space requirements to be over time? Is maintenance an issue? Have you found you worked/lived/parented better in a certain size?

Basically, we both have the jitters a bit, and are anxious to have any and all feedback.

Thanks!
First off congrats on your selection of a Heartland. Make sure you join the Heartland forum as well. You'll get a wealth of info from the Heartland folks, and we also have a Heartland Owners club. IRV2 is also great and between the two, almost no question will go unanswered. I have a 37 foot Big Horn and haven't had any issues fitting into major parks. This length does usually require a reservation as some parks have a limited number of spaces to fit you in, but with a little advanced planning this shouldn't be an issue. As far as power, our previous 5 RVs all had 30 AMP so we're used to that. Agree 50 AMP is much nicer, but when necessary, I use a 50 to 30 AMP adapter and surge protector. The few times the wife has forgotten to turn off the AC when using the Hair Blower, it did pop the Camp Ground breaker but no harm. Also, it seems most camp grounds are starting to increase the number of 50 AMP sites.
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:21 AM   #5
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I've seen the pigtail type adapters that take two 30 amp or 1 30 and 1 20 and dovetailo into a 50 amp...
are those worth the expense ?
50-Amp RV Box Adapter - Intersource Enterprises D11-136 - Electrical Adapters - Camping World
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:40 AM   #6
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Its up to you, how much space do you want??????
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:42 AM   #7
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Go for it. My little 40' is sometimes cramped so 41' would be nice...

At times it's a PITA to find pull through sites or 50 amp but once you are there it's nice to have the room. We just traded in our 40' 5th for a 40' toy hauler and I really miss that extra 10'. wound up putting my desk in the garage along with a recliner and TV and taking the door off so it feels bigger. I too have an internet business.
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Old 06-09-2012, 02:12 PM   #8
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We just went from a 34' Montana to a 40' Redwood and the extra room is nice. Towing I haven't noticed much of a difference, except I now have to swing a bit wider than before. And if you have kids, you need all the room you can get, especially on those rainey days.
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Old 06-09-2012, 02:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnBoyToo View Post
I've seen the pigtail type adapters that take two 30 amp or 1 30 and 1 20 and dovetailo into a 50 amp...
are those worth the expense ?
50-Amp RV Box Adapter - Intersource Enterprises D11-136 - Electrical Adapters - Camping World
Be aware that some campgrounds are banning those adapters because you're taking more power than you signed up for. Wiring issues in the pedestal, with neutral, ground, phase can cause expensive problems with your appliances and electronics if it wasn't wired properly.
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:17 AM   #10
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The mostly likely campgrounds you are limiting are the COE, state and county parks (i.e cheap camping).
... When you get to this size, you're not looking at staying in the "great outdoors" but in a more civilized area.
Palpatine hit it on the head. As long as your requirements/dreams fit into this categorization, you should be OK.
For us, our kids (see picture) take up a lot of floor space.
We started full timing last September in a 41' New Horizons Majestic and a 2011 F450 Crew Cab (the kids have the back seat to themselves).
You just need to do a bit more trip planning when determining a route. Web sites like RV Park Reviews :: Home are helpful with 'Big Rig Friendly' tags, but you still need to read the reviews as people's view of the definition of a 'Big Rig' vary. Software like Microsoft's Streets and Trips have metadata file uploads with lists of big rig friendly parks. There are many tools to help with trip planning.
You need to explicitly state your size when making a reservation at a camp site. Their website may say 'Big Rig Friendly' but again, opinions vary on what that means. Make sure to let them know the length of your tow vehicle to make sure that there is room at the site to park both.
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Old 06-10-2012, 05:30 PM   #11
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We have a 39' 5er and have not had any problems other then having to use 30 amp sites sometimes but if you are not a power hog and only use one AC unit 30 amp is more then enough to get by.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:13 AM   #12
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I have the same question! We are thinking of getting our 1st 5th wheel, a Voltage 3950 which is 41'. I cannot figure out how you can get enough room to back in a pad because with the F350 I will be at around 62' overall. It seems to me at the campgrounds we have been to, the truck cannot straighten out without hitting the campers in the opposing pad and at some point you need to straighten out the truck! Yet I see big 5th wheels in these spots so it must be possible....
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:22 AM   #13
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What will you be towing with?...Don't listen to the salesman.
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:50 PM   #14
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That much trailer will take a well equipped F350/3500 or possibly an F450/4500 series. If the dealer told you that a SRW (single rear wheel will pull it....please run.)

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