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Old 02-12-2013, 07:41 AM   #1
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What are your thoughts on Class A length?

Couldn't find a thread that discusses this question. Sorry if I'm repeating the topic. We are in the final stages of deciding on a new Class A. We have narrowed down the manufacturer and model but keep going back and forth on the length. The 36' unit would be built on a 22,000lb chassis and it seems that the Gross Weight would be close to max almost all the time with full fuel, propane, etc. The 40' would be on a 26,000lb chassis and would give us more than enough capacity to carry a full load of everything usual PLUS it would leave us a LOT of extra capacity without coming close to the Gross limit.
It sounds like an easy question but we're wondering what others have experienced in terms of traveling and getting into campgrounds (private or state or national parks) with longer coaches.
Is it worth staying shorter in order to have a better selection of campgrounds? OR, should we just consider going with the longer coach and not be too concerned about getting into campgrounds when out on the road. We have owned a Class C for about 8 years but this will be our first time owning a Class A.
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:52 AM   #2
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Personally, I don't see much difference between a 36' and a 40'. Now if you were talking 32', that might be different. Go for the 40'.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:21 AM   #3
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We F/T in a 33. But, what we aint got we dont need. We are about 1500 under gross.
Happy trails!
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:32 AM   #4
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2x on the 40 ft...state campgrounds can be tight...plus they never seem to trim the tree branches( air draft)...there are some we can still get into...but I really dont like the hassle and worry...there are all kinds of campgrounds now days out there with room to maneuver...and really there is not much difference between 36 feet and 39' 10 inches! Except like you say...more living space and storage space!
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:41 AM   #5
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

There's actually quite a lot of discussion on this topic. I'd add my vote for the 40 footer. Yes, state/federal CGs can be a challenge at that size but the same can be said for the 36.

We don't frequent these parks often but we have a member here "Wheelnit" who seem to spend most of their time in these public parks and they always report that it can be a challenge but they nearly always find a spot where they'll fit.

Best of luck.

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Old 02-12-2013, 09:35 AM   #6
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Thanks topdownman, campdaven, Jim & Rick....we learned this AM that they can build the 36' on a 26,000 chassis....of course they didn't have the price for us yet. As the saying goes...all it takes is money! But, while this may give us the higher gross the added cost may simply exceed the difference in price between the 36 and 40 with the 40 already having a 26,000 chassis.....and a more comfortable layout. We may just end up going for the longer coach. Never can tell how long it could be before we buy another new one. As for the campground part of the question we certainly appreciate your thoughts.
If others want to comment we'll greatly appreciate all thoughts.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:51 AM   #7
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Please do you and DW a favor. Go with room. The 40 Ft. Floor plan I am 99% sure offers greater living capacity. After all you will be living aboard for extended lengths of time. We moved from a 39' coach to a 43' coach never had but one problem with the larger coach still got ino and out of the site. It will be a bit intimidating at first but will become second nature in no time! Congratulations!
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:57 AM   #8
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Our coach sits at 41 feet long. While we usually prefer commercial campgrounds, we have stayed at state parks in OR, OK and TX without any real issues.

Obviously, the longer the unit, the more challenging it is to find places that will accommodate it. Planning and research is the key.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:59 AM   #9
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In the sailing world, there's a condition called "2-foot-itis" that sets in rather quickly after acquiring a sailboat, as in "If my boat was only 2 foot longer, I could....". Now, I don't have enough experience to apply that ideology to MHs yet, but I'd imagine there's quite a bit of similarity there. Just something to consider.

Having said all of that, what is the real difference in the two chassis? That's a question I'd want answered because if it's springs, heavier shocks, etc. then there shouldn't be a huge cost difference having the 36' built on the heavier of the two.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emoney View Post
In the sailing world, there's a condition called "2-foot-itis" that sets in rather quickly after acquiring a sailboat, as in "If my boat was only 2 foot longer, I could....".


... and when building a new custom home it called the "myzwells".... as in, well, we myzwell (might as well) go with the upgraded this and the bigger that...

As the OP said, all it takes is money.

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Old 02-12-2013, 10:31 AM   #11
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The DW and I have had this 'conversation' many times over the years. At one point I was stuck on a 32' and she wanted a 36' MH. We ended up getting a 38' and it is just fine. Are there places that we can not get into because of the length, yes but that is the trade off of having more room. We are now looking to 'upgrade' and looking at 40/42' MH's. I am thinking more of a 40' and being able to stay away from a tag axle. The main thing that we look at is the floor plan and does it work for us. We do 'boondock' a fair amount, so where are we camp has changed with the larger MH. Again that is one of the trade offs of having more room.
Good luck on whatever you decide.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:44 AM   #12
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You are wise to consider the total weight vs. carrying capacity issue. Some manufacturers don't give you any extra carrying capacity. I have a 27 ft Class A. We like to be able to boondock, especially in federal campgrounds where you don't have hookups or asphalt parking spots. In these campgrounds, there is often a length limit, so longer coaches can't get admission. In addition to the length requirements, there is the issue of low-hanging branches, which another poster already mentioned. You can often plan your route in the campground to avoid these. The advantage to a shorter class A is that you don't have to worry about which campgrounds you can get into. If I was a full-timer, I would probably go with a longer MH for additional living space.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:55 AM   #13
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For what it's worth, while I can appreciate the extra space in a 40 footer (especially if you are full timing), if I was unable to visit any of the amazing State and National Parks in the USA then a lot of the joy of RVing would be gone. Plus, in many of the floorplans that I've looked at the extra length often adds features like chairs in the bedroom and an extra 1/2 bath.
I'll sit on the corner of the bed to pull on my socks if it means I gain some maneuverability!
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:11 AM   #14
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Reading this post ....I think that you are talking apples and oranges. 22000 GCVW and GVWR are two different animals .My 36 pusher weighs 27and change empty,33500 loaded with cargo trailer attached. My nameplate GVWR is 32350. The GCVW is 42350.
I do not think anyone builds a 40 ft class A that only weighs 22000 or 26000 loaded.
GVWR= Gross vehicle weight rating.(loaded coach) GCVW=Gross combined vehicle weight (towing capacity)
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