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Old 04-07-2018, 09:56 AM   #1
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Class A Motorhome and Boondocking

Exploring other types of RV's out of curiosity and possible opportunity....anyone doing BLM/National Forests in a big Class A? If so, what challenges do you encounter in finding a place to get away from everyone? How hard is it to get them down a gravel road?

My current thoughts are that they are too big/heavy/low to get to the same places that a 40 foot fiver can get to, but I'd like some feedback from people that actually own then and get off the beaten path. Thanks!
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Old 04-07-2018, 11:17 AM   #2
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I'm sure you'll here from actual class A owners but what effects all of us when going off the beaten trail is rv height and ground clearance you don't want to drag your rear end entering or leaving or I suppose get hung up in the middle. A big factor is knowing when not to go where your rig doesn't belong the wrecker bill can be expensive besides the damage to the unit.
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Old 04-07-2018, 11:41 AM   #3
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Well... we drove good gravel roads approximately 20 miles from pavement with both our 33' 5th wheel and our 40' motorhome. Absolutely no difference and was very doable. Of course, we researched before going in that far but once that was done we never encountered any 'surprises'. We did this in the western states though. We didn't have any issues with clearance up above and we didn't boulder-hop. We saved that for the Jeep. We picked good maintained gravel roads. Some may be washboard but we drove very slow anyway so it didn't affect anything... never had cabinet doors fly open (good catches on them).

Even YouTube nowadays has many road trips - just put in your F.S. or road number. We'd get recommendations from our traveling boondocking/Jeeping friends. We also used the Benchmark series of state atlases and the gravel roads marked in this atlas are mostly o.k. with a normal vehicle - but not always, for sure. There were less than a handful of times that we really weren't 100% sure so we disconnected the Jeep and scouted out first. As it turned out, we were just fine.

You'll find many big rigs out in the boonies with their toys. For our entertainment we had the Jeep which took us farther to explore once we were parked. I will definitely say it can be done with a big rig. No..... you can't just go out on any backcountry road but there are many, many you can do. For us, the motorhome/Jeep combo was much better than the truck/5th wheel because we could sitesee more places with the Jeep rather than the big, clunky, noisy truck that even scared the animals away.

One thing we did learn to do is to let the Jeep lead the way in because with the diesel, especially, there's a lot of dust in the rear and the Jeep stays cleaner that way. With the truck/5th wheel, it's the 5th wheel that gets the dirt. But then, when boondocking dirt is norm.

The majority of our 16 years of full-timing was spent either boondocking or in public campgrounds such as national forests, national parks, COE, county and city parks. We don't like RV parks.
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Old 04-07-2018, 05:04 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by aknavy View Post
Exploring other types of RV's out of curiosity and possible opportunity....anyone doing BLM/National Forests in a big Class A? If so, what challenges do you encounter in finding a place to get away from everyone? How hard is it to get them down a gravel road?

My current thoughts are that they are too big/heavy/low to get to the same places that a 40 foot fiver can get to, but I'd like some feedback from people that actually own then and get off the beaten path. Thanks!
I'm interested in the same thing too as the Super C's give up too much in usable room. One idea is to add HWH active air, there is a discussion in the Entegra forum about this: Has anyone had HWH Active Air put on their Anthem?

It's expensive, but getting an extra 6 inches of ground clearance seems to be a huge benefit.
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Old 04-07-2018, 05:25 PM   #5
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We were in Quartzite this year, and there were plenty of very large class A s on the bml land there. Ive seen on utube, there are lots of fireroads around flagstaff that have campsites made that will fit A class coaches. As stated, the A class-jeep combo seems to be the best for these situations. They were certainly the most popular that we saw. Im considering getting a jeep instead of the toad car. We found lots of places we couldnt take the car this winter. Monument Valley didnt recommend we take the car down their road. The road to the bottom of the grand canyon is a high clearance road, as well as all the roads around Quartzite and blm lands. For having fun on blm land, they seem to be the thing. The other popular thing we saw were toyhaulers with 4 wheelers and side by sides.
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:25 AM   #6
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I have read the thread on the HGH leveling system, and have found some motorhomes that have it as a factory option.

We're struggling with this decision - we like getting off the beaten path, and while our current fiver/truck combo allows that, we're pushing the limits on payload/tow capacity, and driving the behemoth off road or in the city is always a fun time!

We're right on the verge of "should" get a dually, and if we do that....well, duallies aren't gonna be going off on any trails and the city thing just gets a little worse.

I guess we should go explore one of these large dealers that have tons of coaches and see if we could live in one, then progress from there.
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Old 04-08-2018, 10:47 AM   #7
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Our gasser is only 32 feet but we've had it plenty of places this winter. Gravel roads, sandy roads, rocky roads. The biggest obstacle are rises and dips in the roads that can cause you to high center or drag your rear. Rough roads, relatively speaking, aren't much a hindrance if you take it slow.

And we've seen rigs that were much bigger than us, 45 footers in fact, out there. A MH can certainly handle boondocking.

Only word of caution is in forests. The smoothest road in the world can have overhanging branches. Don't forget to look up too
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Old 04-08-2018, 11:21 AM   #8
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Only word of caution is in forests. The smoothest road in the world can have overhanging branches. Don't forget to look up too
Yeah, we've had a couple close calls with our fiver - had to stop and trim and move branches!
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Old 04-08-2018, 01:09 PM   #9
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I love boondocking with our class A and have done so many times. Out here in the west, it is pretty easy to find isolated camping on public land. BUT I absolutely hate taking the DP down dirt roads any distance. I can stand getting the rig dusty but most dirt roads really give the MH a pounding, made worse if there are washboards. I think of all the plumbing and electrical connections, the slides, etc. and think what severe vibration does to them. It is so much more jarring than even bad pavement. So, I creep along for a mile or two to get off the highway but will not go much more than that on dirt.
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Old 04-08-2018, 04:04 PM   #10
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I feel the same way about our fiver - I take it pretty slow, creeping along the road when it's rough. I'm not talking about getting deep into the woods, but a mile or two off the paved road. I still need cell service, but I hate campgrounds! My type of boondocking is similar to the south entrance to Joshua Tree, or the BLM land near Hurricane, Utah, outside of Zion.

I'm a big fan of leaving the fiver behind when it's gonna be rough and dusty, and would do the same with a coach. I just want the ability to get a little way off the road.
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:45 PM   #11
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The 22.5 workhorse gas chassis is really tall. Ours comes up in the rear even higher. I think the rear is 22Ē off the ground? Donít hold me to it. My coach is hanging out with some bus conversions waiting itís turn with the mech. Lol

Anyway we have 3 outside steps and the last step is a ways off the ground.
<<<<<See avatar

Our driveway requires 4WD or some mad skillz. The MH takes it in stride. I have a video of the crazy trip down. Lol

The thing I would keep in mind is know how your tanks are supported. Ive read a few instances of full tanks putting stress on poorly designed supports and breaking loose. I would also travel lighter to reduce stress on suspension components.
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Old 04-09-2018, 06:49 PM   #12
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my coach is 40 ft and i do blm/nfs all the time. no problems on my coach but one time near salina ut when i got off i-70 about 100 ft to "Great Western Trail", the rock in the middle of the dirt road knocked off my toad transmission dipstick bottom cover. the honda fit toad was too low. no major damage though. we waited for a week until the part from honda arrived.

now i am towing a ford c-max energi. still low but so far ok.
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Old 05-23-2018, 05:30 PM   #13
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If you and your MH can survive the road (I use the term "road" loosely) going to Chacho Canyon NM then you can go anywhere. Went in from the West, out the East side and it was BRUTAL both ways. I have no fear of going cross country now.
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Old 05-24-2018, 05:22 PM   #14
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Hey, after seeing what they call a paved road in the Sierra foothills west of Yosemite first hand, a little gravel and washboard is no big deal.
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