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Old 05-20-2014, 09:20 AM   #1
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RV length

Hi, this is my first experience with this site and would like to ask others for their point of view. We currently have a 35 foot gas RV and are considering purchasing a used diesel that is 43 feet. My husband's concern is the length and the difficulty when turning and backing up. Anyone interested in giving their experience with an RV this long? It's not that we need a 43 foot RV but found this one that is a really good unit and a good deal. Thanks!
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:24 AM   #2
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We went from a 34' gasser to a 41'with tag. After a little practice, it's not that much harder to handle. The ride difference will be worth the slight difficulty in parking. 8-)
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:24 AM   #3
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Welcome to irv2. My MH was the same size as yours . You'll get plenty of good advice here.
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Old 05-20-2014, 10:26 AM   #4
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We went from a 40' to a 42' tag and noticed an improvement in the handling. Now we have a 45' and are really enjoying the increased living space and great handling.
Just be careful when backing up. Have the DW make exaggerated signals and always keep her in sight of your DS mirror.
Of course, wider right turns would be helpful.
We have no regrets going bigger so go for it!😉
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Old 05-22-2014, 01:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bardani54 View Post
Hi, this is my first experience with this site and would like to ask others for their point of view. We currently have a 35 foot gas RV and are considering purchasing a used diesel that is 43 feet. My husband's concern is the length and the difficulty when turning and backing up. Anyone interested in giving their experience with an RV this long? It's not that we need a 43 foot RV but found this one that is a really good unit and a good deal. Thanks!


Not much difference, some. Turning right street corners will require readjustments in positioning and when to begin the turn. That is a hands-on thing best learned with traffic cones in a parking lot. You must pay more attention to length restrictions in CG's, state/national parks. Weight limits come into play if you drive some county roads, etc.
Backing will be easier because the steering response is slower for the longer wheelbase__ until you stay at a CG with narrow streets and parking sites at a right-angle to the street.That requires fore-thought and planning, and about 10 on-lookers to make the driver nervous.
Bottom line, there is no substitute for practice. Both of you, slide under the wheel and practice. Anyone can drive in a straight line, practice the other stuff.
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:06 AM   #6
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This is a topic that comes up on a regular basis.

Lazydays has a number of driver instruction/confidence videos on-line you may find informative. This will link you to the first one, you should be able to find the others from there: Driver confidence courses

Like anything else, the more you do it, the more comfortable you'll become. 99.9% of us worked our way up from smaller rigs. It'll work out fine for you too.

Enjoy!
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:20 AM   #7
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The longer it is the easier it is to back into parking places but it takes more room to turn.
Some parks have a length limit.
You might consider a shorter one with more slides.
We currantly have a 36 footer with 2 slides and would like to have at least 3 slides.
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:57 AM   #8
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We decided to go with the 40' MH for three reasons:

We could get into more RV parks with limited site lengths

It would be easier to maneuver on narrow roads and streets

There would be two less tires to buy


We have never regretted the decision!
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:09 AM   #9
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Backing up a 43' vs 38' not that much different. I ALWAYS use a spotter behind me when I'm backing up. This helps me get centered and helps avoid a branch or anything else that could be hit. Turning is something that you will get use to doing, and then you won't think twice about it. If I have a problem with length at camgrounds I just go to a different CG. There are books out there for big rigs and CGs that are big rig friendly. Bottom line you will spend the majority of your time on open hwys. not travelling around in cities. Find the length and floor plan you like, you'll adjust.
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:35 AM   #10
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Hi bardani54, welcome to iRV2. You have stumbled on one of the more entertaining issues on the forum. Many people attempt to compare front engined gas motorhomes with Diesel pushers and always state the DP is better. In reality, these are almost always two different products with each having their attributes and issues. I prefer smaller motorhomes, so seem to be in the minority

I think the answer to your question is affected by what you do with your motorhome. In terms of interior space, storage room, etc. bigger is better (as almost everybody states on this forum). If you like back roads, smaller campsites, easier maneuverability, etc. then bigger may just be a hassle. While one can certainly get used to a 40-45 ft. unit, as many have, there ain't no way something like this is as nimble as a 35 footer or shorter (Remember, you can get used to a longer unit). If you lust after something longer, then buy that good deal you found. However, if you are really happy with what you have, that good deal may turn out to be a 43 ft. albatross. There are always trade offs, so you may need to examine what you will do with it.

Good luck; it's your decision, and I hope you enjoy whatever choice you make. And, be sure to visit and use this great forum...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bardani54 View Post
Hi, this is my first experience with this site and would like to ask others for their point of view. We currently have a 35 foot gas RV and are considering purchasing a used diesel that is 43 feet. My husband's concern is the length and the difficulty when turning and backing up. Anyone interested in giving their experience with an RV this long? It's not that we need a 43 foot RV but found this one that is a really good unit and a good deal. Thanks!
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:44 AM   #11
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You'll love the ride and handling. No more white knuckle cross wind issues, braking is improved, etc. etc. you'll master the process in no time. Go slow, have a spotter at all times. Backing watch your front cap swing as well as your rear swing. DW and I use an inexpensive set of headsets, works very well and keeps the blood pressure down!
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Old 05-22-2014, 11:09 AM   #12
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Thank you everyone for your insight! It's great to be able to hear from those with experience. glad I joined this forum!
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Old 05-22-2014, 04:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bardani54 View Post
Thank you everyone for your insight! It's great to be able to hear from those with experience. glad I joined this forum!

We're glad you joined too! This is a great site, lots of friendly folks eager to share their knowledge and experience, VERY little back-biting and rudeness, and Moderators who are always fair and respectful!

As I said, this is a great site, and you just made it better by joining!
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