RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > THE OWNER'S CORNER FORUMS > Newmar Owner's Forum
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-25-2014, 12:41 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 79
Does Length Matter?

So DH wants under 40' I want 40'. I say that if we are going to do this and it's going to be something that we build just for us (be that from a new or a used) that it should be something we can use for a long, long time. I also like what I've read about TAG and being that we are both new to driving RV's believe it would be a great benefit to us and our comfort when driving it.

DH says that a 36' will be easier to handle and that since we've never had experience otherwise we won't know what we are missing by not having the TAG axle. He also says that the jump in weight is a big deal.

I need some honest thoughts on this. Is another 4' really THAT big of a difference??


logsend is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-25-2014, 12:50 PM   #2
Senior Member
Mr_D's Avatar
Country Coach Owners Club
Winnebago Owners Club
Solo Rvers Club
iRV2 No Limits Club
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 36,649
Not to me!
Over the years we've gone from a 17' Type B to a 26' Type C, then a 35' Type A, a 39' Type A and now a 41' Type A and before that it was a series of TT's.
The biggest change was going from the 35' Type A to the 39' Type A as it was a DP.

2009 45' Magna 630 w/Cummins ISX 650 HP/1950 Lbs Ft
Charter Good Sam Lifetime Member, FMCA, SKP
RV'ing since 1957, NRA Benefactor Life, towing '14 Jeep JKU Dragon Edition
Mr_D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2014, 01:17 PM   #3
Senior Member
tanstaafl's Avatar
Tiffin Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: North Port, Fl
Posts: 588
Are you looking at diesels only, or are you considering gas also? With a 36 foot gas you will be ok with your current license. If you go to a 40 foot diesel you are probably going to need a class b drivers license depending on the total weight and where you live.
Not all who wander are lost.

2014 Allegro 36LA
tanstaafl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2014, 01:17 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 542
Angie, It depends on how many times you want to upgrade to a larger coach. The longer coach with a longer wheel base will give a more comfortable, stable ride. The longer length will give you more living space and storage space. You will be happier with a longer length. I have gone from a 32' MH to a 43' one with one in between. I would be far ahead financially had I gone longer sooner. I'm sure our Dane would have also
appreciated it as well.

Longer is no harder to drive than shorter and so much more comfortable.

Al Sawyer
'05 Mt. Aire
allynne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2014, 01:21 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 542
As Tanstaff says the licensing requirement depends on where you live.

Where are you located?

Al Sawyer
'05 Mt. Aire
allynne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2014, 01:30 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 582
I agree with the post regarding DRIVER LICENSE, check your state DMV for the requirements for your license. Most states do not require a special license.
Length is a personal question for you to decide. We have traveled in our 36ft Discovery for the past eight years and have been very comfortable. We have found that we have been able to get into most state and national parks which have older site designs. A longer coach might have been iffy. Would like more than one slide that we have. Three would suite us ok.
Find a coach that both of you like. That is the most important.
JBDISCOVERY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2014, 01:31 PM   #7
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 79

DP for sure

I've read all about MD and their non-commercial class b license need, which while I understand and will abide by am finding it very hard to figure out how to put the cart and horse together so to speak. I asked on the general forum and got an array of answers

Just having nothing to base it on I think the 'idea' of 40' is something that DH is having a hard time with. He was the same way when we were looking at fifth wheels, commenting how it would be 20' of truck and 30' of fifth wheel...

Me, well does it scare the crap out of me, why yes, yet it does, but I'm a brave little lass and I'm more than willing to give it a go! I've seen ladies older than myself wheeling around school buses so if they can, why can't I!
logsend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2014, 01:34 PM   #8
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 79
Oh and the other reason for 40' currently we have just one Dane, Cooper, but he may be getting a little sister here soon
logsend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2014, 01:46 PM   #9
Senior Member
Gordon Dewald's Avatar
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 12,955
My answer for length is Floor Plan, Floor Plan, Floor Plan.

No matter what length you get it will go down the road. Newer MH with 60 degree steering will turn as well or better than many of the older shorter units. Length may be an issue in some campgrounds but IMO if you can get a 36 in a 43 can with a bit more work.

Driving a MH of any sort will take some thought and practice. It is not like a car so you have to think ahead a bit more. It is like the first time you drove a car. There was all kinds of buttons, peddles and levers in front of you, there was a hood out front and the second you stepped on the gas things happened very rapidly. As you practised more things seemed to slow up and become less intimidating.

It will be similar with a coach. It will line up differently because you are sitting in front of the wheels. Takes a little getting used to but many people have done it in the past and many more will do it in the future, the two of you included.

If possible take a training course. There are a number available around the country. It that is not practical consider a truck training school. Watch videos. CW has a series that seem to be very practical and well produced.

Start out driving carefully. Go to a local shopping mall where there is space and practice turning and backing up. Take some plastic pails or cones to see you fast the coach will turn or when to stop backing up, go ahead and realign for the tighter parking space.

Floor plan is the most important factor. If you spend time in your MH is is inevitable that you will spend time in inclement weather. Pretend you are cooped up for 3 or 4 days and imagine how you will deal with the confinement. Can you watch your favorite program on one TV while your spouse watches their favorite on another? Will the sound interfere with each other? Can you lay out some hobby for a day or two and still get around? Is their enough counter space to prepare meals etc? Do you want a washer/dryer or a combo? What about washrooms, we absolutely love the bath and a half. We also went all electric.

Most of the folks who trade up found they did not have the right space for them to live in. In very few instances did they trade because of a mechanical issues. Very few traded down.

Find something you like in your price range and buy the highest model you can. Generally the higher end models have better materials. Workmanship is usually done by the same workers who build multiple models on their line.

Good luck with your search.
Gordon and Janet
Tour 42QD/InTech Stacker
Gordon Dewald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2014, 02:16 PM   #10
Senior Member
millerj's Avatar
Newmar Owners Club
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Titusville, FL
Posts: 411
Send a message via AIM to millerj Send a message via Yahoo to millerj
I had travel trailers and then went to a 32' fifth wheel the last four years I worked before retirement. This was great since we could still get it into most state and national parks. However once we retired and headed south for four or five months the 32' fifth wheel became too small so we upgraded to a 43' Ventana. I had never driven a motorhome so I can't do any comparisons between the difficulty between a 36' motorhome and our 43' but I can say if you take it easy at first I am sure you will do fine. I had a couple hundred yards of practice before being in six lanes of traffic and it went fine other than having to replace the driver seat cushion due to the hole I put in it due to the pucker factor.
Jack and Janet
2020 Allegro Open Road 32 SA
millerj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2014, 02:34 PM   #11
Senior Member
cc8375's Avatar
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Pasadena, Md.
Posts: 1,098
Get your self a Canyon Star...... its only 39' and some inches but under 40'. I park in all the same places as my 35' motorhome. My son uses the coach a few times a year also, he found that there was No big difference driving.

You need No special license to drive it either.
CC..... Happy Rving!!
2013 Newmar - Canyon Star 3940
2012 Honda CR-V toad
cc8375 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2014, 02:38 PM   #12
Registered User
RVNeophytes2's Avatar
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 949
Blog Entries: 1
No, But Girth is Important

Originally Posted by logsend View Post
So DH wants under 40' I want 40'.

We started with a 40' that worked fine for us and our two MUCH smalled furry kids; the DW embarked on replacing it with a 45' equipped with tag.

Frankly, I don't sense too much interior space difference or handling improvement. We've enjoyed a pretty big increase in basement space; but, that's largely due to pass-thru storage rather than length.

Here's the kicker. While Momma would happily take to the road alone in the 40' rig towing a car, it is beyond her skill-set in the 45 footer.

Length is the lesser part of it, the bottom clearance and tag management issues confuse her more than anything else. And -- you can laugh if you'd like -- the bigger coach "seems" wider.

About this last part: they are all the same width, side and top clearance varies little from that 36' rig you mentioned and the biggest 45' you can find. But, her concern isn't without merit: a more ponderous feel, higher weight, the belly-dragging issues and having extra wheels chasing you down the highway all add up to feeling larger, wider.

If you quantify driving skills, let's say you need at least an 87 to drive a 36 footer diesel pusher. Well, I'm here to tell you that the difference between that and the tag-equipped 45' is only two or three more points. They all take good sense, patience, practice.

So, like the guy before me said, look at floorplan and make enough space for two horse-dogs; only after that, the length is coincidental.
RVNeophytes2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2014, 02:41 PM   #13
Senior Member
GaryKD's Avatar
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Wellington, Florida
Posts: 13,555
Hi logsend,
Go for the largest coach you can afford. Bigger is better. Choosing a coach is simpler than most folks think. Consider, in order of importance, the show stoppers are:
1. floor plan
2. Will the coach carry all the people and all your stuff? GVWR-UVWR=NCC (does not include propane and fresh water weight you must add this to the weight of your stuff)
3. Will the coach tow what you want to tow? GCWR-GVWR=Maximum towing weight. Also check the coach receiver/hitch weight rating.

After these items are met, one can make the decision as complicated as one want to make it.
2005 Newmar KSDP 3910 + GMC ENVOY XUV 37K lbs Moving Down The Road
The Avatar Is Many Times Around The USA
Nobody Knows Your Coach Like Somebody Who Owns One Just Like Yours
GaryKD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2014, 02:53 PM   #14
Senior Member
336muffin's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,569
There's something also to consider. When comparing a 40ft and shorter against a 42ft plus, your fresh, black, grey and fuel tanks can be bigger also. Usually another AC unit with a few heat pumps which gets a bigger generater. It's not just a few more feet in length when you start really comparing.

American Tradition 42R-Cadillac SRX Blue Ox Koni 5050XL MCD Scangauge D Samsung rf197
Fulltime since 2012
336muffin is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Camping with a Total Length of 70ft coachmanrvr Class A Motorhome Discussions 37 09-03-2014 03:32 PM
RV Length JeannieH iRV2.com General Discussion 16 07-11-2014 01:10 PM
Question about battery bank system and length of wire to purchase Jasper7821 RV Systems & Appliances 9 01-24-2014 02:48 PM
Trailer vs 5th wheel total length? DumOleBob Travel Trailer Discussion 4 01-23-2014 09:01 AM
Overall Length of a 2012 Winnebago Tour nova 42qd Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 1 01-12-2014 08:59 AM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:08 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.