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Old 05-13-2011, 09:29 AM   #1
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Cool 30 ft vs 34 ft vs 40 ft. Motorhomes

Hello all and thanks so much for your great info and advice.

My wife and I are exploring options for a motorhome. Have never owned or used one yet and plan to rent a few before we jump in. Of course we do have a slight disagreement on size. She likes the 40 ft and I like the 30 or below size for drivability and access to smaller campgrounds. She likes the king bed and washer dryer. We plan to get a used one for our starter and if we like the rv world, we are heading out full-time. I like dry camping and off the beaten path. Will be upgrading with solar to allow this option. We have no kids and 3 dogs

We would really appreciate you opinions, advice and friendly debate.

Take care
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Old 05-13-2011, 09:34 AM   #2
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Mine is a 30 foot gasser. Some fueling stations can be tight to maneuver through, some I have to pass by all together. A larger rig would be even tighter. So, larger gassers might be more difficult to fuel. Length is a moot point if you own a diesel, as you can pull into any truck fueling station.

We have had 5 people packed into ours for the last 7 or so weeks. Two adults and an 11, 13 and 17 year old. A bit cozy, but doable in the short run. If you are full timing it with three pooches, I would think 30 foot would get old real quick. I've decided that when I upgrade, I'm going to a 34 to 35 foot gasser with one big superslide.

Keith
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Old 05-13-2011, 09:58 AM   #3
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Floor plan, floor plan, floor plan. Its been said over and over on this blog, but can't stress the importance of finding a floor plan that BOTH of you are happy with. Lenght should be secondary. I have had 18' to 40' and never have had a problem finding gas or a campsite. It becomes second nature after awhile. Renting is a good idea, but typically won't give you much variety in floor plans. Go to RV shows or dealers and look, walk thru, imagine how each will fit you lifestile.
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Old 05-13-2011, 09:58 AM   #4
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We have a 30ft. class C with 3 slides, and it's perfect for myself, my wife, and our almost 4 year old son. We may be cheating a bit with the three slides, but it works well for us.
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjsheldon View Post
Floor plan, floor plan, floor plan. Its been said over and over on this blog, but can't stress the importance of finding a floor plan that BOTH of you are happy with. Lenght should be secondary. I have had 18' to 40' and never have had a problem finding gas or a campsite. It becomes second nature after awhile. Renting is a good idea, but typically won't give you much variety in floor plans. Go to RV shows or dealers and look, walk thru, imagine how each will fit you lifestile.
I agree. If you have a couple of slides and the floor plan is what you like then length really doesn't matter. You could have a 40' Prevost with no slides and a 30' Holiday Rambler with 2 slides and have more room in the 30'. I have a 50' rig total pulling a trailer and it is a pain getting gas but even with a 30' pulling a toad it won't be much better. I kick myself every trip for not buying one with slides. Find the smallest length with slides you can enjoy and go for it! On weekends or whenever you can visit RV lots and look at what's available. You will soon realize what you like and need. Good luck.
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:39 AM   #6
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My first motor home was a 30 footer and it seemed huge to drive. The 60 mile drive home from the dealer was a white knuckler.
However after a few more miles it was a piece of cake.

When we decided to full time and got ready to buy a new one with slides, I still wanted to stay with about 30 feet.
My wife liked a 35 footer and that is what we ended up getting. Sure glad we got the bigger one. It's as easy to drive as the 30 footer - many times it is actually easier because it has a 47 degree wheel cut.

Would like to have a 40 footer now.
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:44 AM   #7
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Thanks for your input. Would not have thought about the station issues. I think my dream one is the Winnebago 34 express diesel.
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:53 AM   #8
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Started about ten years ago with a gas 34 footer. Decided when husband going to retire to go to 40 foot DP. In 8 year period of time we had two beautiful Monaco 40 foot DP's. loved them and lots of travel.
After trip last year we decided to go back to our roots and downsized for a Allegro Open Road 34 TGA for many reasons. First and formost was less length and then like previous poster said floor plan, floor plan, floor plan.
Our downsizing was the best move ever for us, we will be able to access more places we love and have found the floor plan we choose we actually have more storage than our bigger units.
We look forward to heading out end of May for the summer. WE have camped at some great places around the US but have found that many of the RV parks/campgrounds are not really BIg Rig friendly and you certainly look at gas stations different when trying to fill up.
We travel with one small dog and two senior cats!
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Old 05-13-2011, 11:13 AM   #9
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Floor plan is the biggest, but another issue you might want to consider is what do you want to bring with you. The smaller gas units have limited tow capacity(3.5k Lb), and the mid size dp slightly more (5K lb). In order to tow something larger, you usually have to go to something bigger, which brings a bigger price point.
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Old 05-13-2011, 11:24 AM   #10
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If you want to be happy. Get what your wife wants.
It will probably have to be at least a 35' one up to have the washer/dryer.
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Old 05-13-2011, 11:44 AM   #11
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Been fulltiming 5 years now and I have a little different view. If your going fulltime, then length is important. With length comes cargo carrying capacity and that becomes very important as you experience the fulltime lifestyle. Interior space is also important(more slides). After that I agree that floorplan is next. I started fulltiming in a Itasca Suncruiser 37G gasser(one slide) and last year bought my present coach(4 slides). The difference was amazing. If you are uncomfortable in the space(length and floor plan) you have you will not be happy fulltiming. That's not to say people don't fulltime in a pickup slide in, they do, but they like that style of living, you have to know your mindset.
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:12 PM   #12
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Thanks for that tip. I like the Tiffin line as well. What are your thoughts on gas vs diesel?
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:15 PM   #13
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OK, I'll take the other side of the road and say we wish we would've gone slightly smaller. We've got a 40-footer and ~3 months into our fulltiming experience we decided we did not like private campground at all and MUCH preferred public spots (National Forest, COE, BLM, state parks, boondocking etc.). It's definitely more trouble to get into more remote sites the larger you are. We do get by, but 40-foot means I need to do a lot of detailed planning and there are spots (esp. Forest sites and boondocking) that we have to pass up because of our size...35-foot would be easier...30-foot would open up alot more spots.

So, if we were to do it over we'd go smaller, but keep the slides. Slides make MUCH more difference to floorplan and space than length (in our opinion).
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:20 PM   #14
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I appreciate that input. It seems the cycle for most is to grow to a larger and longer rig for full-time and then drop back to a smaller one after a while. My goal is to reduce stress. To go larger I will need to get better at driving. I may go for a driving course before I get a really large A. Take care
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