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Old 01-18-2023, 06:13 PM   #1
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actual size vs. manufacturer model size

So me and the wife are getting ready to buy a motorhome. Been saving for couple years and doing our research while we waited. Seen several post along the way, but not one that 100 percent answers my question. We have fell for the floorplan of Fleetwood Excursion 35c. Even though manufacturer is saying it's 35 feet it's actually 36 and a half with the bumpers. We are wanting ability to stay in some national and State parks that specify 35 feet or less. Am I going to run into trouble getting in with this motorhome? Is there some that has this situation that can give me some advice?
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Old 01-18-2023, 06:30 PM   #2
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Nah, you're fine with that. If the manufacturer says 35', then if asked, that's what you say. Having stopped at many such campgrounds over the 19 years as a full timer, I can say that I've never been turned away for that sort of situation. There's always room to snuggle the RV further back into the space or if your nose pokes out into the driveway, never had anyone complain and never had a park official stop by and ask me to move or get out of the park.

Never happened in my travels.
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Old 01-18-2023, 09:13 PM   #3
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I agree with Jim. Just put 35 on your reservation request, you'll be fine. We stayed in many 35 foot sites in our Southwind 37, at 37'10" and were fine. We stay yearly in a 35' max site in our Aria at 39'11". I measured the site before we reserved the first time and a 45er would fit. Don't know why they limit the way they do.
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Old 01-18-2023, 09:50 PM   #4
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Nobody is going to measure your rv.
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Old 01-18-2023, 10:25 PM   #5
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I've been RVing for a little over 50 years. Only once did they measure our RV. It was 30 years ago as we were pulling up to the "Road to the Sun". They had painted lines on the ground and allowed us to go through in a truck camper, but my dad with his truck and trailer was too long.

Keep in mind that "safety" items such as mirrors and bumpers are not included in a coach's total length or the width.
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Old 01-19-2023, 04:40 AM   #6
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Think of it as their inside dimension not outside. I've gotten my 41 footer in smaller sites many times.
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Old 01-19-2023, 07:18 AM   #7
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In 2021 I wanted to go to Devil's Tower in SD, the website said limit of 35', I have a ~40' RV pulling Jeep. I posed the question on a couple websites and got mixed responses so I took a chance and drove there.
Plenty of open sites so I picked one I could fit into. While I was staying there the camp hosts would make their rounds checking for registration etc. The second day I was there I stopped one of the hosts and asked about the 35' rule, the said there wasn't any, I said yes there is and that it is on the website. They didn't even know that. But they said as long as a rig could fit into the sites they didn't say anything. I could fit in the site and even park my Jeep behind it.
Over the years we've been in quite a few state and national campgrounds, I've never been measured, and have always been able to find a site. One of the biggest issues is the roads accessing the campground, they weren't designed for larger rigs but if you take your time you'll be fine.
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Old 01-19-2023, 07:19 AM   #8
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My coach is 37’10”. I don’t have any issues. Most state and national parks (not all) will allow you to make a reservation for a rig up to 40’ in length. I’ve got reservations in Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Denali this summer in spaces that will accommodate a rig up to 40’.

Unfortunately there are some smaller state parks in Colorado that have a limit of 25’. I could get my 23’ Airstream in there, but my Class A coach is too big. I’ll miss those little spots, as there was often great fly fishing in parks like that.
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Old 01-19-2023, 07:57 AM   #9
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We were not measured here, but the old RV park at Fishing Bridge had sites that were pretty small. We went in with a 36 mh and were against a concrete barrier that separates the rear of two sites (back-to-back). Had we been another foot, we would have been in the edge of the street. Sites were double width and we parked the towed beside the coach.
Thank goodness Fishing Bridge has been redesigned since then.
We have been in state parks that say 40 feet and have room for the coach and towed and still have more room.
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Old 01-19-2023, 10:37 AM   #10
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This seems to be a very common thing. My fifth wheel has model number 382, which seems to imply something like 38 feet. According to the manufacturer's specs, the actual length from kingpin to rear bumper is 40' 4". Many places state a 40 foot max or charge a lot more money for a site that says it's for a rig longer than 40 feet. I always just say it's 40 feet and book the site that says it accomodates a rig up to 40 feet. I've never had a problem. Most sites have plenty of extra room. I've only been to one campground that I didn't also have enough room to park my truck at my site, but they had plenty of parking for vehicles in a separate area not far away, so I just parked my truck there. Even when I had to store my RV before we went fulltime, I rented a 10 x 40 space at a local storage facility. They never said anything to me about it hanging out some inches. The next size space for storage was 12 x 50, was a lot more expensive, and was at another location much further from my home. I wouldn't worry about it too much, especially since you're below that 40 foot mark. In my travels, that seem to be the most common distinction.
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Old 01-19-2023, 10:48 AM   #11
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Good advice here. I would just like to add that sometimes, the length requirement isn't because of the site size, but the roads getting there. We tried to make reservations a few years back at a place that said max 30'. We are 33.5'. The lady at the CG said there was no way my MH with a toad could maneuver around the roads leading up to the campsite.

Another time we camped at a Harvest Hosts place, and we had to drop the toad and struggle to in get there. I told the owner they should put on the website 30' max, because I almost got stuck. We walked the road with her, and her 30' max went up in a couple of days.

Just some other things to think about. Sorry if I got a bit off-topic...

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Old 01-19-2023, 12:47 PM   #12
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The founding father of Fleetwood (John Crean), intentionally made his' RVs about 1' longer than the model #, to confuse the competition. The competition couldn't figure out how he was getting more living space from the same length.

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Old 01-19-2023, 07:31 PM   #13
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Thanks everyone for sharing their knowledge. Opens up some options for us that meet or needs better.
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Old 01-20-2023, 12:47 PM   #14
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There are two lengths of interest, the overall exterior length (aka bumper to bumper) and the interior living space length (floor plan length). RVIA encourages RV makers to use the interior length because it makes comparing trailer and motorhomes simpler, but RV sites and roadways are more about exterior overall lengths. If you do get measured at a place like Going to the Sun or Big Bend, it will be outside length. But if its about site sizes or general accessibility, the small difference between the two forms of length won't matter. Just give whatever the manufacturer brochure says and don't worry.
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