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Old 10-16-2016, 08:29 PM   #1
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Ideal Motorhome length

Hi everyone! We currently do not have an RV but are planning to full time in about 2 years. My wife and I have been searching for our first RV. We agree that we want a used Class A diesel pusher. The question yet to be answered is the length. This is where we would love to hear from the ones that are already doing this. Considering we will be full timing for many years, we are considering 40-45ft. is there a significant disadvantage to having an RV over 40 feet when it comes to having access to parks and campgrounds. We know there will be some that cannot accommodate big rigs but do you find it a problem frequently enough to consider downsizing? Thanks and we look forward to hearing from you.


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Old 10-16-2016, 08:52 PM   #2
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You can search this forum up and down, sideways, backwards, and inside out, and will find that there are different strokes for different folks on this

As for us, we went a bit on the longer side, a 42'er, which we fully understand the limitations of being this long...there are many factors to consider. Comfort and plenty of room to live in for us anyway was a
big factor.

Good luck on your choice.

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Old 10-16-2016, 08:57 PM   #3
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I always thought I'd move up to a 45 but have since changed my mind. I'll stick with my 40
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Old 10-16-2016, 08:59 PM   #4
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simply put...public parks like state and national park, likely. privately owned parks, not so much
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Old 10-17-2016, 11:45 AM   #5
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Ideal Motorhome length

First and foremost, Welcome!!👍 Good luck with all your ventures. You'll find the population here both friendly and helpful-- except for me. I tend to get crusty and snarky at times, but usually only on days that end in 'y'. In any event, you've come to the right place.
It's my opinion that the so-called size restriction is significantly overblown. There was probably a great deal of truth in it 40-50 years ago, when the primary source of camping sites was the state and national park system, most of which was conceived and designed pre- WWII. Today, not so much.
We have found perhaps 5-10 listings over 4 years in campground directories that stipulated a size limit. Oddly enough, most of those seemed to be in California. Simple. Just find another place.
As to overall size selection for full time living purposes, my advice to those who ask is to (if possible) buy bigger than you think you'll need. The notion of "too big" will only last a month or so as you settle in and get comfortable. "Too small" will last forever.
Good Luck!

John & Diane, fulltiming since '12 02 DS40, FL, Cat, '04 Element NHSO RVM103
John & Diane, Fulltimers. RVM103 NHSO
On the road since June '12 with Lincoln, the guard cat.
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Old 10-17-2016, 12:03 PM   #6
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John beat me to the punchline:
"Too BIG lasts only a few days as you get used to it...Too small lasts forever"

Another issue to consider is licensing...check your home-state laws for upgraded driver's licensing. Some say - over 26,000lb GVWR requires upgrade. Other's say over 40' requires upgrade. Upgrade can be add'l testing and even a medical report. This IS NOT an upgrade to a Commercial Driver's license...no state requires a CDL for an RV that I know if.

Best luck
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Old 10-17-2016, 12:16 PM   #7
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As someone looking for a shorter, around 30' DP, there sure seem to be a lot of DPs on the used market around 40', so you shouldn't have any trouble finding one. Not so much for 30'. We don't live in the thing full time, but we do live in it several months of the year traveling from the West Coast to the East Coast and back along with wherever else we choose to go. We also use it on logging roads here in OR which are usually very curvy and single lane. A 40 footer wouldn't work for us, but if I were full timing I would probably have one at least that big.

Best of luck with the choice.

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Old 10-17-2016, 12:31 PM   #8
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I wouldn't even THINK about considering length over floor plan if I were full timing.

I have had my '43' footer on much smaller pads, as long as there is not a tree or something at the end, your overhang behind the axles can extend past the end....

Now, sometimes the access roads limit you and requires 'judicious' turning skills, but once you are used to your rig, that can be less of an issue.
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Old 10-17-2016, 01:23 PM   #9
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We have always been able to find a suitable place for our previous 38' and current 40'. Will it everywhere? No of course not. But being roomy is a biggie to us. Other things to consider is carry capacity. A 40' on a single rear axle is typically near maxed out. Moving to a tag axle solves this and has other goodness.
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Old 10-17-2016, 01:30 PM   #10
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Length plus toad does matter some as it may limit your choice of available spots, but as others have said they have had little issues. Keep in mind with the advent of triple and quad slides, you can have plenty of room on a shorter chassis. ( Once deployed! )
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Old 10-17-2016, 01:49 PM   #11
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We looked until we found the perfect floor plan for us, which turned out to be 35+ ft. Many of the longer MH's have a 2nd bathroom which adds to the length. We love our layout because of the full length closet and wardrobe along the back. It really is personal preference. Look until you walk in one and say "this is it!". You will know it when you see it. Have fun looking and good luck. We purchased ours with full-time in mind. We will be listing our s&b early next year and as soon as it sells, we will be FT.
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Old 10-18-2016, 04:27 AM   #12
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36-42' less Toad would work for most situations. adding the Toad would increase your overall length and must be considered when looking for a MH Park that can handle your rig on a pull through. JMHO
'97 Pace Arrow Vision 36 with Tag Axel, Ford 460 with Banks Power Pack. 2000 Jeep Wrangler Toad, one miniature schnauzer that rules the roost and a wife that enjoys traveling. Retired FTCS (SS) USN and loving it. FMCA#461483
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Old 10-18-2016, 04:56 AM   #13
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There's more to it than length. A lot depends on how many occupants and life style. We have a 45 ft. with King bed and 4 slides. Just 2 of us and we do not entertain inside. The benefits more than offset the restrictions. State and national parks can be a problem but there are usually nearby commercial parks that are suitable.
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Old 10-18-2016, 08:06 AM   #14
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Unless you really want to take advantage of the older and smaller state and national park campgrounds, the length should not be too much of an issue. As mentioned previously, you can shop for private parks with the accommodations you want/need.

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