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Old 08-17-2017, 06:31 PM   #1
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40 ft or less?

Ready to buy a DP for full time use, likely going with something in the 36 to 39 ft range, likely a 1999 to 2002 model, looking to spend about 30K$.

It just the wife and I so we really don't need a 40 footer, but it keeps nagging at me because there are some many 40 models, seems everyone makes multiple 40ft models. I hear lots of campgrounds have smaller limits, but I got this huge campground book and its all over the map as far as size, but alot of them say 32 ft limit, or 36 ft limit...so I'm over the size limit with a 37 or 39 footer anyways, so why not go 40 and get more storage since we are full timing. One must have feature is a 10K# tow hitch, and only the bigger units seem to have that, once engine HP gets over 330 or so they seem to offer the 10K hitch vs 5K.

So please chime in, love to know your thoughts on this topic, and as always thanks, its great to have a group like this to chat with.

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Old 08-17-2017, 06:48 PM   #2
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Currently have a 2002 Monaco Windsor 38PKD but the actual length is close to 40'. Never had a problem getting into campgrounds.

The coach is comfortable on shorter trips but gets claustrophobic if we are trapped by rain etc. It has 2 slides. No tag so limited CCC.

If I were to get another coach (Got Power Ball tickets so fingers crossed), I would got to a 45' quad slide with tag axle. More room, carrying capacity, and towing capability.
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Old 08-17-2017, 06:56 PM   #3
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40ft seems to be the "sweet spot" for coach length. Not too big & not too small. If you've noticed, a lot of mfr's have been coming out with more & more floorplans in that length. As a matter of fact, that's the size I'll be targeting when we're ready to upgrade to a used DP.

I really wouldn't concern myself with not fitting on a site, unless you want to be in mostly National parks. If there's a decent length overhang behind the rear tires, you can, most likely, fit on shorter than 40ft pads because you can back those rear tires all the way to the pad backstop & the bedroom part of the coach can jut out past the pad. We do that often with our 37 footer.

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Old 08-17-2017, 07:13 PM   #4
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Hi KC,

If you're planning to full time in your coach I for one would go with something a little longer than a little shorter. My bet would be a 38 to 40' would serve you well.

I'm going to go against the normal convention here and say to not get all caught up in the floor plan. There are some good used coaches out there and don't cut out an otherwise excellent coach because a chair isn't exactly where you want it.

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Old 08-17-2017, 08:47 PM   #5
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My wife and I have spent the last month in a 35ft RV (not full timers) and trust me - get 40+ft if this is going to be your home. I would love, love to full-time someday - but would not consider less than 40ft when that day comes. Get the biggest coach you can find - you'll be surprised at how accommodating most campgrounds are.
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Old 08-18-2017, 12:24 AM   #6
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40 ft or less?

K..... Over 5 years fulltiming in our 40 ft DS we've had only 1 size issue and that was at a very old state park in Cali. Learned of this on the phone and just called the next place. Always buy bigger than you think you need. "Too big" lasts a month or so; "too small" lasts forever.
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Old 08-18-2017, 12:49 AM   #7
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40' is about as big a coach you can have in a chassis without tag. So this economic drives 40' coach availability.
Vince and Susan
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Old 08-18-2017, 12:51 AM   #8
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We have not had a problem with size. We've been able to put our 40' coach anywhere we have wanted to place it
Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
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Old 08-18-2017, 06:04 AM   #9
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If ride comfort isn't an overriding factor, for you dollar, you might consider a gasser. We were searching in the same price range you are. We found we could get similar year for almost 1/2 the price, or 5-7 years newer for the same price as the DP.

Last fall we started our upgrade search specifically looking for a 35-37 ft DP. The main reason for the DP was the quality of the build. i.e quality cabinets, features, etc.

After looking at many DPs, I was researching diesels getting ready to do a couple pre-purchase inspections, I was starting to realize, I didn't know squat about DPs and would need to come up on the learning curve before I was comfortable making any inspection.

We had wondered into a couple high end gassers that were build to high quality the same as a DP. We decided to open the search to high end gassers, specifically looking at F53s.

Our decision to change was based mainly on owner / operating cost of a DP vs gasser, and also my learning curve on DP vs gasser. I knew very little about DP, but am very comfortable with the F53.

We limited to 35-37 ft so I could get it into the parking spot at home.

My observations on length for the style of places we stay, the jump from 30 to 35 ft puts us at the limit of lot of places, 40 ft would limit those more.. These are mainly older places, newer places should be able to accommodate 40-45 no problems.


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Old 08-18-2017, 06:24 AM   #10
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I read somewhere that if you want to get divorced, get a 36ft or less.
Rick and Larrie Dee
1997 40' Newmar London Aire DP CTA 8.3 (Mechanical) 325 Spartan MM
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Old 08-18-2017, 06:46 AM   #11
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Hate to burst your bubble, but my wife purchased the winning Powerball tickets already😛
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Old 08-19-2017, 09:04 PM   #12
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As to the tow hitch piece of your question, the ability to have a 10,000 pound hitch is the chassis builder's decision but the coach builder's price point determines what gets put on it. My Fleetwood Discovery is on a Freightliner chassis that routinely gets 10k hitch receivers but Fleetwood only bolted a 5k unit on it. I had my local trailer hitch shop build a hitch after talking with Freightliner about how it needed to be mounted. While it's easier to get something that's already in place, don't let the coach builder's budget hitch scare you away if the chassis was designed for the bigger unit. Be sure there is still capacity on the rear axle for the tongue weight and make sure you'll still be within all the parameters.

As for size, I have a 39' that I spend about five months of the year driving across the country for work and fun. It's the wife, a 10 month old Labrador and car trailer. So far so good. A longer coach would add a little to the interior, not much more exterior storage but my overall length (now 67') would become way too long for most RV parks. I'm already pushing my luck at a lot of places. YMMV.
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