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Old 07-12-2015, 10:31 AM   #1
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RV model number versus actual length

I am curious why the model number of a motorhome always seems to be less than the actual length. My last motorhome was 32 feet 11 inches compared to the 32 in the model number, and my present 34Y Itasca Meridian is actually a full 35 feet according to the specs. I have looked at the specs for many other motorhomes, and the actual length is often close to a foot longer than the model number would indicate. I would have thought that manufacturers would have jumped at the chance to present a model number that would indicate longer coach. Is there a "truth in advertising" law that says you can't round up the length?
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:33 AM   #2
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Model numbers are just that, not a length. The specs are in brochures and manuals, so don't think you are on the right track about truth in advertising.
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:37 AM   #3
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Yes, I know they are just model numbers, but that doesn't answer the question of why the number is always less than the actual length.
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:37 AM   #4
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No correlation between model numbers and actual length; darned if i know why.
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:42 AM   #5
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Ours is a 327RES 5er and its over 37 feet. I think its just a number, nothing more.
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Old 07-12-2015, 11:50 AM   #6
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The model number typically reflects the usable space rather than the overall length. On a motorhome it usually ignores bumpers or other protrusions, on a travel trailer it ignores the tongue, and so on. Similarly, the width in the brochure does not count protrusions such as awnings or side view mirrors, which is consistent with US DOT measurement standard for vehicles.

The distinction came about largely because of the long tongue on travel trailers. Overall length is not very meaningful if comparing to a 5W or a motorhome, so they try to give a "floor plan length" and that is what is typically used as the basis for the model number.

At the end of the day, however, a model number is just an identifier and need not have any numbers at all in it.
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Old 07-12-2015, 02:11 PM   #7
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OK, approximate length without bumpers. That makes sense.
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Old 07-12-2015, 02:26 PM   #8
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My 1999 triple e commander 3503fs is 34'3". I am actually shorter than the number suggests.
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Old 07-12-2015, 03:07 PM   #9
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My Fleetwood 35A is 36 feet long
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Old 07-12-2015, 03:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred1609 View Post
Ours is a 327RES 5er and its over 37 feet. I think its just a number, nothing more.
Fred1609
I agree
Unless your RV is 327 feet long.

BTW my toad is a "Saturn ION" which doesn't describe the length..(nor does "CRV" indicate the length of my wife's Honda CRV).

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Old 07-12-2015, 09:07 PM   #11
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A very long term dealer told me the number usually represents the interior length of the coach, which is pretty much what RVRoamer said.
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:43 AM   #12
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My coach's model # is 43DFT .... but according to the specs on the brochure the overall length is 44' 3". Near as I can tell ... all it means is there's a decal on the coach that I can point to an say "look, it's just a hair over 40!" ... and NOT have to say "it's damn near 45!" when I'm trying to finagle my way into a spot with length limits. I've yet to run into a spot "labeled" as being sized for a 40 ... that wouldn't squeeze in my 44' 3" without it being a hazard.

I can't help but think that little bit of ambiguity works to my favor on occasion!
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:50 AM   #13
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The numbers are typically related to the length and the letters to the floor plan, but there are no rules. The factory guy could use his grandmother's birthday & initials if he felt like it. Use them as a clue but don't expect accuracy.
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Algonquin View Post
I am curious why the model number of a motorhome always seems to be less than the actual length. .... Is there a "truth in advertising" law that says you can't round up the length?
I would call that rounding DOWN...you got more coach length than they implied you would! However, in my case I got less as my 40e is actually 39' 11".
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